Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Mini-Reviews: Jumping on the Dystopian Bandwagon

I absolutely love dystopias and other forms of science fiction, so of course I'm thrilled with the recent craze over the genre! However, I'm trying to keep my blog's reviews from being repetitive with those on other YA blogs, and so I'm just going to bundle together mini-reviews of all the most popular YA sci-fi novels I've recently read.

All of these were received through either giveaways or Random Buzzers.

I Am Number Four (Lorien Legacies #1) by Pittacus Lore
2010; read in one day
It seemed like nothing much happened until the end. The read was a breeze - just part of an afternoon and evening - and it maintained interest, but it just wasn't as absolutely-jawdropping-amazing as I had expected based on others' opinions. A good, but not memorable, read.
Reminds me of: Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Colfer

The Maze Runner (Maze Runner #1) by James Dashner
2009; read in two days
For a little while, I thought this was going to be just a mediocre read, mostly because of choppy writing, especially concerning the interplay between dialogue and plot. The more I read, though, the more the writing and story improved. This turned out to be quite a thrilling read, and I absolutely loved the world-building and mystery. I can't wait to read the next books!
Reminds me of: Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card

Divergent (Divergent #1) by Veronica Roth
2011; read in two days
I can't really take this as a serious dystopia over more of an adventure novel. I thought the dystopian premise was unrealistic, but it did lend itself to a good story. I found the plot slow, but well-developed and well-written. I really liked the main character, too. Divergent wasn't totally awesome, as I had expected, but it was a good, pretty quick read. I'm not sure I'm willing to invest my time in the rest of the series, though.

Matched (Matched #1) by Ally Condie
2010; read in three days
I'm not entirely sold on the dystopian premise, though I find it more believable than that of Divergent. I liked the main character, Cassia, and thought her internal confusion was very understandable. The plot, however, seemed slow. I wasn't much interested until about the last 75 pages, where the whole premise and world-building totally picked up and surpassed my expectations. Very 1984-esque: I wish there was more backstory to the world to make it more realistic, but at the end there's some quite psychologically thrilling parts.


  1. I don't tend to read a lot of YA, but I had Divergent on my to-read list because of the dystopian element. I'm not sure now! The Maze Runner sounds a lot better. Nice to see how you put these books together and compared them.

    1. The Maze Runner turned out to be probably my favorite of the above dystopias. Like Matched, it reminded me of more classic sci-fi, but unlike Matched, it was exciting for most of the book.

      Divergent merely fits into the current standard YA dystopian form: it goes for action rather than worldbuilding and deeper interpretations. I prefer the older forms of socio-political commentary.

  2. Divergent is the only one I've read and I really do want to read the follow-up to it. Maze Runner and Ender's Game have been on my list for so long I really need to get to them too!

    - Jessica @ Book Sake

    1. I'll probably get around to Insurgent at some point, too, since I've heard the author delves more into the society's history in the second book. I highly recommend boosting up both The Maze Runner and Ender's Game on your TBR list. :)