Kinda Sorta Done with YA Dystopia

In between reading memoirs, I am driven to engulf myself in some kind of fantasy novel that will erase the empathetic pain I feel for the writers. The last memoir I read is Shadows in the Sun: Healing from Depression and Finding the Light Within by Gayatri Ramprasad, another gripping tale. Somewhere in the middle of reading these memoirs, I start to feel a little sick, reliving my bouts of depression through the lens of their lives.

Someone I know mentioned that they were looking for stories similar Hunger Games / Divergent / Maze Runner for their summer reading. Because I loved The Hunger Games, I decided to pick up the entire Divergent trilogy by Veronica Roth from my library the other day. I think there’s a part deep inside of me that hopes I can scrub the terrible feelings from my psyche by plunging myself into an alternate reality.

Roth’s story and pacing are gripping, and I do like it. However, I feel like I still loved The Hunger Games a lot more. It’s kind of like when you eat the best chocolate cake you can ever eat in your life and then go on to eat nearly-as-good chocolate cake. You taste the difference. But here I am, most of the way through book three (Allegiant) because I have to find out what happens to everyone. I want to know the whole system is gonna break down.

Earlier this year I read another YA dystopia novel called The Murder Complex by Lindsay Cummings, book one of a three book series. I enjoyed that quite a bit, too. The second one is out, and I am waiting for the libraries to order copies. I could only find 1 copy available, and that’s already been taken out. So I have to wait for the end of the month.

While reading the Divergent series, I have been thinking underneath why it is that maybe this series isn’t as interesting to me as other ones I have read just like it. All three stories have female protagonists who live in a society structured to “fix” the problems with human nature and society. All three heroines defy the odds, find their inner strength, have relationships, make mistakes, deal with guilt and consequences, and somehow find their way into winning at the end.

And, just like that, I think I’m just done with this genre for a while. The formula is too obvious and similiar to the others that it takes out some of the enjoyment for me. It makes me feel like I’m reading the same thing again, even though I am not.

I like fantasy, but I need to find a fantasy series that doesn’t follow the pattern I described. I need something else, something different, and, by its difference, something by more interesting.

If anyone has suggestions for fantasy (some sci fi is OK), please tell me!


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