In my past experiences reading dystopian novels, I have come to define a dystopia as place designed to be unpleasant and bad in order to explain how we should change our current lifestyle. While this description is widely agreed upon, I believe that a dystopia can also be a place that on the outside seems good. In this case the world may seem fair overall, but as you take a deeper look into the society you find that basic human rights have been stripped from the population. In a dystopia that on the outside looks like a utopia (a good place), people who seem happy and equal are not allowed to think and move freely. They must act in the way their government wants them to. For example, in The Giver, the world the government has created seems happy enough in its uniformity until one finds out about everything the government has withheld from them.
Although dystopias are commonly defined as a place where everything has gone bad, the definition of dystopia can change depending on the type of novel you are reading. For example, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins takes place in a dystopian society, but it also involves aspects of an action/adventure novel and aspects of a romance novel. That being said, The Hunger Games version of a dystopian society might be defined as a society created bad by the interference of government, which ultimately results in a rebellion lead by the people. The action/adventure part comes in to play when the government makes children kill each other during The Hunger Games. This violence can be seen in the GIF below. It also comes in to play in the series as a whole, when the games cause an uprising in the districts.
In addition, combining the dystopian genre with Young Adult literature changes the definition as well. A Young Adult novel is aimed at an audience between the ages of 12 – 18. In my past experiences reading young adult novels, I have found that the majority of protagonists have been young adults in these books. With that in mind, when one combines dystopia with Young Adult literature, the rebellion that comes during dystopian novels is usually lead by a young adult. I might define a Young Adult dystopia as a place in which society has been constricted by the government or some other factor, a rebellion occurs to change this, and that rebellion is led by a young adult.