Ally Condie basically needs no introduction since last year's release of her novel "Matched." And yeah, we're pretty honored that she agreed to write for us about the genre she's partially responsible for making the next big thing. So, as Dystopian Week comes to a close, here's her very enthusiastic two cents:
When MTV.com first asked me to write for them on this subject, I thought, "Easiest post ever!" All I have to do is write the words:
THE HUNGER GAMES
But then I decided to delve a little deeper. Here are a few more reasons why I, both as a reader and a writer, think dystopian rocks, and why it resonates with us:
Just like your first kiss, you never forget your first. Mine was "1984." (No, not my first kiss. I am not that old). But the first dystopian novel I read was that wonderful book by Orwell. When I finished it, I was crying my eyes out, and I thought, "What on earth was that?" Like a first kiss, a first dystopian changes things. The world looks a little bit different when you've finished reading/kissing— or, the world can look the same, and that's unsettling too.
We all have something huge we have to fight. We don't all have Big Brother or cruel governments wanting to keep us down. But we do all have something we have to push back against, to break free from—whether it's societal constraints or physical or emotional hardship or the ache of our own fears and weaknesses. When we read dystopia, we root for these people to break free because we are these people; hoping and fighting against things that are bigger than ourselves.
It makes us feel alive. There's nothing like reading about a world that feels dead to throw your own beautiful, colorful life into sharp relief. This, some might argue (and they would be right), can happen with all good stories. But I think it's extra poignant when one reads dystopian novels; when you see what can be lost, you know what you, personally, would refuse to lose.
If all of this doesn't convince you that dystopian novels rock, all I have to say is
THE HUNGER GAMES.