Book List

5 Dystopian Societies We Don’t Want to Enter

June 23, 2017
Danielle Finnegan
Riveted Editorial Board
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Have you ever been asked what book universe you’d like to live in? Mine’s the world of Harry Potter—post 7th book—no contest (have you seen my profile picture?). But there’s a surprising lack of books I’d actually like to live in because so many contain horrific situations that NO ONE wants to be a part of. This is especially true when it comes to dystopias. I mean, you couldn’t pay me to walk into The Hunger Games universe, pre OR post Mockingjay. It also goes for utopias, because HELLO, they’re definitely just secretly dystopias. Take Want by Cindy Pon for example, in which the rich can buy longer lives because they can afford special suits to protect them from pollution and viruses in the world.  Those who can afford suits probably feel like they’re living in the perfect utopian society since basically nothing can touch them, but ask the people who can’t afford them, like Want’s main character Jason Zhao, and you’re looking at a dystopian nightmare. Is it an absolutely compelling and enthralling dystopian nightmare? ABSOLUTELY! Would I walk into it even if given my own functional wizard wand? No way. Read the extended excerpt of Want until July 3rd to learn more about this crazy world.

Here are 5 more dystopian societies I NEVER want to set foot in (but I will read about them because I enjoy nice things).

The Hunger Gamesby Suzanne Collins

Katniss is the hands-down one of the bravest YA heroines of all time. She can survive the Hunger Games but there’s NO WAY I would ever come out of that alive. Just the misery of living in a society that could call you up to kill or be killed at any moment, is terrifying. While this book is a fantastic read and cautionary tale of what could happen, I would like to stay on the other side of the page.

Deliriumby Lauren Oliver

Lauren Oliver’s dystopian trilogy is one of my favorite series of ALL TIME. However, just thinking about living in a place where Love is a disease and outlawed? That’s just depressing. Love gives us hope and comfort, plus think of all the wonderfully romances you wouldn’t be able to read about?

Ugliesby Scott Westerfeld

Uglies by Scott Westerfeld was my first entrance into dystopian YA. It completely hooked me in and I haven’t turned back since. BUT, as someone who is 100% scared of hospitals, needles and any kind of surgery (this is a serious level fear), even the hoverboards could never compel me to live in a society where it’s mandatory to get surgery at sixteen just to BE PRETTY.  That’s not even adding the level of disgust for a society that can’t accept that everyone is beautiful in their own right (cause that’s ridiculous), but the surgery itself has me running away.

The Selectionby Kiera Cass

Having a contest to see who marries the Prince is a ridiculous notion (even if it’s makes for a great read). Prince Maxon has no say who he will marry outside of the 35 girls who get selected by a lottery. Not to mention the caste system that dictates where you marry if you’re not in the selection. Then there’s the violent rebel attacks on the castle. None of this is a situation I would like to be a part of.

The Giverby Lois Lowry

This is a dystopian hiding behind the illusion that it’s a utopian society. This is another society where your lives are picked for you, your emotions are hampered with, and history isn’t known by all. The Giver is the perfect cautionary tale of why history needs to be remembered and emotions need to be felt, but it’s not a society I would like to be a part of. I like to pick my own fate, thank you very much.

2 Responses to 5 Dystopian Societies We Don’t Want to Enter

  1. Yeahhhhh, so I love reading both dystopian stories & utopian stories, but… same. I don’t think I’d ever want to live in *any* of those worlds. It’s scary how closely it seems like we’re moving towards one though…

  2. alyssayuri says:

    I’ve only read a few of this and The Hunger Games was top of my list. I also thought of The Maze Runner…

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