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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Why are teenagers attracted to dystopian books?

Being a teenager myself, I hope that I can clear this up a little.  Dystopian books have been a short time YA popular read.  (Before it was vampires and werewolves).  Meaning, they haven’t been very popular in past years, but have seemed to pick up in popularity greatly.  We even have the Hunger Games Series (a very popular YA dystopian series) coming out as a movie.  So why are teenagers attracted to such a thing as the end of the world as we know it?  Well, I have a few theories and ideas. 
Obviously, I don’t know the exact reason why teens love dystopian.  I wish I did.  But everyone is different, and therefore reads it for a different reason. 
Theory number 1: The differnece between teens and other human beings
Teens, like myself, feel a distinct disconnection between regular society and themselves.  Yes, we are all alone.  And maybe that’s why the dystopian genre appeals to us.  Most dystopian books are about teens that are different than anyone else, but somehow they make it through the end of the world.  They’re different, dystopian is different, we’re different—I’m seeing a connection.
Theory number 2: The law of attraction
My next theory is that teens just love the gore and battles and general weirdness that comes along with dystopian.  Really.  It can be that simple; we’re just weird.  We loved vampires for how long, why can’t we love a little killing (in the metaphorical sense…I think)? 
Theory number 3: We have strong stomachs
Let’s face it.  Our bodies are stronger.  We have strong stomachs.  Once you get older, that will surely leave you.  But for now, we’re good and ready to read about the blood and the gore.  If you’ve read novels such as The Hunger Games, where there is killing, or Across the Universe, were it talks about cryogenics (which is awesome!), then you know things can be pretty graphic when it comes to dystopian novels.  Not many people can handle that.  But I would bet that most of the people who can, are teenagers.
So now that I’ve repeated myself numerous times, and probably haven’t made any sense at all, what are your feelings on the whole teen/dystopian love?  Do you have a theory of your own?  Let me know!


melissasmeanderings said…

Coming from a non-teen:
I like your reason number one…I'd hazard a guess that it's the sense of purpose and power that a teen can hold in a dystopian environment(as opposed to being grounded and hounded in regular life) that holds a big appeal.
As to the strong stomach bit…I think that's pretty much anyone under 40…something to do with the advent of video games in the 80's and a subsequent lack of reaction to blood and guts.

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