See, I've been kicking around a story idea for this year's NaNoWriMo. I'm still working out the details in my head, but I think it will be a first person YA dystopian novel. And in order to better understand the genre, I've been reading some recommended dystopian books.
But can someone help me explain to a 65 year old woman what dystopian means? I tried to sum it up as books that deal with the loss of individual freedoms, or take place in a repressive "utopian" society, or involve some futuristic genetic or medical related issue, but I'm not sure if that's necessarily right.
Do any dystopian books end happily? Have you found any that give you a sense of hope, or is the main purpose to make the reader grateful for our current society, warts and all? I have a hard enough time reading these books, I'm not sure about how my psyche will handle writing one.
I've read The Giver by Lois Lowry, How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff, and The Diary of Pelly D by LJ Adlington. And though I prefer stand alone books to multi book stories, I also read The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins.
How do you define the dystopian genre? And if you have any recommendations on YA dystopian stand alone novels, please let me know.
P.S.--Sommer, no worries. I'm working my way up to Cormac McCarthy's The Road.