A Utopia of Dystopias

utopia - 1 ( usually lowercase ) an ideal place or state.
            2 ( usually lowercase ) any visionary system of political or social perfection.

Dystopia - noun, a society characterised by human misery, as squalor, oppression, disease, and overcrowding.

I can't help noticing the influx on the YA (young adult) reading scene of the 'dystopian novel'. It seemed to catch fire (see what I did there?) with The Hunger Games and has continued with the Divergent series. Both sagas have been made into films.

There are so many of these novels on the shelves now. Uglies, Matched, Gone, I'm sure you could name dozens. 

Of course dystopian novels are nothing new. There was 1984 and Brave New world. The brilliant Do Androids dream of Electric Sheep (filmed as Blade Runner) and Fahrenheit 451.

But lately two things have struck me. The first is that they are very firnly aimed at young adults rather than adults and the second that they seem to also be aimed at girls. Female leads and heroines have been popular for a long time, Mina Harker in Dracula, Julia in 1984 to name a couple. But suddenly it seems the female lead is back with rather a bang!

Suddenly the 'feisty' (I hate that word!) female is the norm, the woman that notices the rot in the supposed utopia, revealing the horror beneath. The young girl  that dares to kick out against the society that controls everyone including her.

Is this only a blip? Or are our authors (male and female) seeing the important role the female lead can have in society?

Or maybe, they just realise that it's still the girls that do the most reading...

What do you think?

(and are there any great Dystopian Novels I've missed, with excellent female leads?)


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