Tag Archives: Dystopian Fiction

effcubed’s CBR3 #49-52

Looky here, I’m done! Hopefully next year I’ll post a little more regularly throughout the year and not in a giant blob at the end.

Wanna see this list with the 108 books I read this year and didn’t review? Google spreadsheet.

#49: A tiny book about people who are very, very wrong.

#50: You’d think as that, as a theatre person, I’d read more plays, but I don’t. Here’s a newly translated Oscar Wilde (yes, translated).

#51: Mysterious disappearances in a tiny Montana town, so haunty!

#52: Who doesn’t love dystopian YA? Here’s one set in a Chicago where Lake Michigan is just a marsh.


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Ashley’s CBR III Review #152: Dark Inside by Jeyn Roberts

CBR III Review #152: Dark Inside by Jeyn Roberts

This is the YA novel version of David Moody’s Haters. Dark Inside follows five different teenagers as they try and survive in a world that has gone crazy.  After a series of earthquakes people have seemingly snapped and have started harming everyone that hasn’t gone “dark”.  Bombs were detonated, spree shootings took place all over the world, and assault cases skyrocketed.

Dark Inside had everything I enjoy about a good dystopian novel it was just so similar to Haters that it was hard for me to look past that and to compare the two novels.  I did enjoy the historical parallels and the indication that maybe this had occurred before in he past and that is why various civilizations had fallen before ours.  I wish the novel had gotten more into this.

Overall it’s a great quick read. I just wish it had gone more in to detail about how the outbreak occurred.  I also wish it had skipped over the chapters where someone who is possessed by “the dark” is narrating. I tended to skip over those chapters.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers (November 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 144242351X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1442423510
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.9 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #44,122 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Ashley’s CBR III Review #151: The Line by Teri Hall

CBR III Review #151: The Line by Teri Hall

Rachael lives with her mother in a future dystopian society.  Her father died many years ago and now her and her mother work on the Property.  The Property is on the border of the Line.  The Line is a protective barrier that runs around the United States of America.  The barrier was put in place after a series of atomic bombs were headed towards the US.  The problem is once the barrier was put in place many people were stuck on the other side of the line and had to survive despite the bombs fallout with no help or supplies from the US.  These people are now referred to as the Others.  Rachael finds a note begging from help from what could only be an Other and she starts to unravel the secret of the Barrier and what actually happened to her father.

The Line suffered from a problem that a lot of young adult novels do.  It treats it’s audience like kids.  The best YA books are ones that can be read and enjoyed by adults as well. The Line oversimplifies what is going on and doesn’t really get to the heart of the problems and the issues surrounding the US.  We get a glossary overview of what is occurring but that is about it.   I want to read a dystopian novel that has fully created a new world, one that will suck you in and make you want to stay in the world as long as possible.  The Line attempts this but falls short. There is a second novel in the series that is out, but the first novel felt so rushed I’m not sure I would enjoy the second novel.

Product Details

  • Reading level: Ages 12 and up
  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Dial (March 4, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0803734662
  • ISBN-13: 978-0803734661
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.7 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars 

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Ashley’s CBR III Review #150: Ashfall by Mike Mullin

CBR III Review #150: Ashfall by Mike Mullin

There is a volcano that is under Yellowstone National Park.  Alex is home alone, his parents and sister are visiting his aunt and uncle, when the super volcano erupts.  The ash covers everything and the world as Alex knows it comes to a halt.  His house is destroyed and the falling ash makes it nearly impossible to travel.  Armed with only a few cans of a food and some skis Alex starts on the 140 mile journey to find his family.

 Alex quickly realizes that the new environment has brought out the worst in a lot of people and he must fight to survive.  He tries to overcome extreme cold, slow travel, and a dwindling food supply as he makes his way across the state.

Ashfall isn’t the most dramatic Dystopian novel I have ever read but it was a decent one.  I wish the characters had a been a bit older so it would have been a bit more realistic but it didn’t try to skate away from the grim topic and not everything was easily solved, which I appreciated. The journey that Alex took felt authentic and if you ever read up on the history on Pompeii you would know that the scenario is in fact very possible…which does make it a little bit more scarier then your normal run of the mill dystopian.

I’m not sure if there is going to be a sequel but it left it open for one, but at the same time it was tied up nicely so I’m not too worried if one comes out or not.

Product Details

  • Reading level: Ages 12 and up
  • Hardcover: 476 pages
  • Publisher: Tanglewood Press (September 27, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1933718552
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933718552
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.9 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars

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Ashley’s CBR III Review #147: Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

CBR III Review #147: Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

 Shatter Me follows Juliette a young women that hasn’t touched anyone in almost a year.  The reason is because her touch is deadly.  She accidentally killed a young boy and has been locked up ever since.  The world that Juliette lives in is heavily polluted and resources are extremely limited.  It’s a dystopian novel, but honestly I’m not sure why it’s a dystopian society.  You are really never given a clear reason why the two sides are fighting and what caused all the pollution and destruction.

I really like the premise but that was about it.  The writing was disjointed and weird.  I felt like the description of the country and who was fighting and for what was never really described.  Tahereh Mafi uses a technique where she keeps writing what the character is thinking about saying, then crossing it out.  Some may really like it, but I found it distracting.  If it had been used sparingly I may have enjoyed it more but after ever few sentences it becomes a little much.  There were a few steamy scenes that I enjoyed, mostly because YA likes to tip toe around those scenes.

Near the ending of the novel it pretty much turns into a X-Men novel complete with costumes. If I wanted to have a X-Men universe I would have just re-watched the movies.

I was so disappointed with the writing and the set up of this series I don’t think I’ll be picking up the next one in the series.

Product Details

  • Reading level: Ages 14 and up
  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; 1 edition (November 15, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062085484
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062085481
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.6 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  

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Ashley’s CBR III Review #146: Legend by Marie Lu

CBR III Review #146: Legend by Marie Lu

This book got a lot of hype before it was even released.  I believe I read the first chapters almost a year ago and I made sure to put it on my calendar for when it was scheduled to come out.

Legend follows the story of Day and June.  June is a prodigy who has skyrocketed in the military.  Day should be dead.  He failed the test that every 10 year old is suppose to take and those that fail it are sent to a work camp, but Day quickly found out that wasn’t the case and escaped before he was murdered.  He is now the Nation’s most wanted terrorist.  Day and June are both teenagers with two very different places in the world and their worlds intercede and June makes it her mission to find and bring Day to justice.

Obviously this is another foray into the Dystopian Young Adult fiction and I really enjoyed it.  The fact Day and June are only 15 bother me a bit.  I wish she had made them 17 or 18 but you quickly forget about their ages.  The first section of the novel is a fun cat and mouse chase then you get to the meat of the story where Day and June start to truly realize what their government has been up to.  I like the fact that the story starts out with June strongly on the governments side. I like stories that involve characters who go through transition and growth.

I think Legend could have been expanded upon and not been as short.  It’s the first in a series and I wish she had added more back story or kept the story going for a little longer then she did.I will pick up the next one next year…too bad it’s going to be awhile.

Product Details

  • Reading level: Ages 12 and up
  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Putnam Juvenile (November 29, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 039925675X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399256752
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.4 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)

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Ashley’s CBR III Review #143: Dark Parties by Sara Grant

CBR III Review #143: Dark Parties by Sara Grant

Dark Parties is another novel that delves into Dystopian Fiction.  Neva has grown up in the Protectosphere.  A sphere put into place to protect it’s residents from whats outside.  All the citizens of the Protectosphere look a like and their resources are starting to dwindle.  Health issues are also a concern due to complications from imbredding.  Neva and a few of her friends decide they want to start to protest the Protectosphere and all the very constrictive rules.  The problem is if they are found out they will be “removed” from society.  Neva accepts the consequences and starts a crusade to try and let the people know that maybe the Proteosphere is actually worse for them then whatever could be outside the sphere.

I think that Dark Parties is a little bit more ambitious then most dystopian fiction because I feel like it was trying to make a point.  If the USA keeps trying to protect ourselves from people that come from outside the US we will ultimately be doing ourselves a disservice, but maybe I read more into then the author intended.

The series has a lot of potential I just didn’t enjoy the entire novel as much as I had anticipated.  For being such a short novel I think the novel would have benefited from a bit more detail on how the Proteosphere came into place and bit more on all the evils the government participated in.  The love triangle I think hurt the novel in the long run.  If had skipped that part I think I would have enjoyed the novel a bit more, but I  have no patience for female characters that go after their best friend’s boyfriend because they couldn’t help themselves.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; 1 edition (August 3, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316085944
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316085946
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #103,781 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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