Dystopias are by far my favorite genre when it comes to reading books for class or for leisure. I tend to gravitate more towards such dystopian themes since I feel that the author creates a world which blends both fantasy and reality. It is amazing how the worlds the dystopian authors imagine are similar yet different from our own complex world. I also enjoy the different themes inside each dystopian book. For instance, some may focus on romance while others focus on technology or overcoming adversity. Even though most dystopias have a common plot where a seemingly normal character rises up from humble beginning and faces the controlling government, I enjoy how each author puts a twist on their own story.
It is fascinating to see how a character lives in a world with cruel governments which take over cities and manipulate their citizens through technological, physical or economic constraints. The government always seems to have some way to control the citizens in a way which pressures them into compliance and constraint. Finally, a lower-class citizen recognizes the never-ending struggle and makes choices in order to liberate the dystopian society. In Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard, the main character is from a poor town in the Stilts (very similar to the Seam in District 12 of the Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins) where all the citizens are born with red blood except for the elite upper class who have silver blood. The Silvers control the Reds by stating that they are genetically superior since they have powers which can cause destruction. When the main character discovers she has powers like the Silvers, the Reds are able to take control of their lives and begin a rebellion to end the manipulation of the Silvers.
Uglies by Scott Westerfeld is another book series which has a similar plot to Red Queen. All the children in the book eagerly await the day they turn sixteen and are able to undergo a surgical operation which alters their appearance and makes them “pretty”. The children fear the punishment of staying “ugly” forever; however, the kids do not know that the pretty operation does more than just change their appearance. The operation changes their brains and keeps them in a peaceful, unaggressive and unquestioning state which makes them easy to control. The main character (Tally Youngblood), like any other girl, dreams of the day to become pretty until her friend runs away. Suddenly, Tally is confronted by the Specials, an elite and harshly enhanced police force, and forced to bring back her friend. Once Tally discovers what the surgery is doing to the people, she undergoes the pretty surgery and discovers ways to stay “bubbly” or stay in control of her mind. Throughout the Uglies series, Tally fights for her and her friends freedom against the Specials and the conformist society.