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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Is Dystopian the New "IT" In YA?

I was having a conversation with my dad about books yesterday, being that I had just told him about my blog, and he was fascinated with the whole world of it, and the fact that there was a whole online community of “book people like me”. And somehow we got into the topic of vampires. He was saying something like I should review more vampire books, and I said “Vampires are really losing steam, dad.” Then he asked me what was popular now, and my answer was instantaneous, almost mindless: Dystopian.

(It took a little explanation for him to get what dystopian meant, lol. “What the hell is that?” “Dad, they’re novels that take place basically at the end of the world, or when society goes to shit.” “Oh, I get it.”)

And that got me thinking. Is dystopian really the new “IT” thing in YA? There is a sudden influx in dystopians being written, and the legions of dystopian fans are quickly growing (including myself, or course.)

As we have seen, all it takes is one book to put something at the forefront. Harry Potter made reading in general cool, and shed a new light on YA lit. Twilight is what really got YA lit booming (and I say this painfully), especially vampires. After that, we couldn’t get enough vampires! But, like all good things, that fad is quickly fading. The next revolutionary novel that has made as big of an impact as Twilight was the The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. This novel, as well as its sequels Catching Fire and Mockingjay, became the next “IT” books, and with them they brought dystopian fiction into the limelight. Just as after Twilight we were bombarded with vampires, now the shelves are filled with post-apocalyptic stories and tales of people rebelling against oppressive societies.

So, my conclusion on the matter is that, yes, dystopians are the new ‘it’. But how long until a new smash hit book is released, that pulls a “Lady Gaga” in the YA market and completely turns the tides? What will be the next trend?

What do you think about dystopians? Love them, hate them? Let me know!


  1. I don't know. But it is wierd how there's trends in the book world...

  2. Definitely the new IT in YA. :D When I mention the word "Blog" to my parents they go like. "O.O Huh? whats that?" haha.

  3. Dystopian is definitely in right now. I was telling someone about a book yesterday and I said it was Dystopian and then added with a laugh "what book isn't?" Of course, she replied with, "What's Dystopian?" I love post-apocalyptic books and movies; can't get enough. My favorite saying is "I love it when the world ends."

    What will the next trend be? That's easy... my book! :P

  4. I would have to agree that dystopian novels are becoming the next greatest thing. This might also be due to the fact that the "end of the world" is going to be happening in 2012.

  5. I'm a huge dystopian fan and I'm happy to see it gain such a popularity. But the problem with trends is books losing their originality and I hate to see that happen with dystopian books.

    It's hard to say what's the new it with so many trends going on. My bet will be on angels and demons!...or zombies?

  6. Yes, Dystopian is "now," but I think the next big trend is fairytale retellings (I saw you have ENTWINED on your wishlist, and I can say that three out of the four of us at weheartya LOVE it). Honestly, just want publishers to continue to give us great books, trendy or not, y'know? Sarah xx

  7. I love this post. For a few reasons one being if I had read this a month or two ago I would have probably said I'm not a fan of the "dystopian genre" but now I think I could start to like it. I read Enclave which I loved. Here's to hoping I like the others that I have yet to read like Wither, Delirium (i did start it but never finished) Fast tracked, and I know there are a few others I have. Two being a friend of mine who's not much into reading read my blog and a post I made on the blog we share and asked me what Dystopian is in a text so I had to try and explain it to her through very few words. So when you put your dad asked you it just made me think of that. Anyways, nice post.

  8. Dystopian is definitely in right now and I love it, since I've loved it since the Giver came out and I always wished there was more dystopian YA. I guess it's time has finally come. However, with good dystopian novels also comes a bunch of crap ones, just as happened with the vampire influx which I tried to avoid at all costs. I'd guess the next big thing, which is already starting is retellings of mythology, especially greek mythology.


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