Sunday, February 7, 2010

Guest Megan from Po(sey) Sessions on lesser-known dystopian gems

Naturally it's not possible for me to read or feature every dystopian novel ever written in one month (nor would I try), but thanks to a few dystopian fiction junkies like myself around the blogosphere, I can introduce you to some titles I haven't read during Dystopian February.

My first guest is Megan from Po(sey) Sessions. Megan has been book blogging just as long as I have, and she's gung-ho about dystopian fiction, reading pretty much every title she can get her hands on. Today, she's here to tell us about a few lesser-known gems she's discovered lately.

Stead, Rebecca: FIRST LIGHT (Middle Grade, Standalone, Political Dystopia)
Newberry winning Author Rebecca Stead (When You Reach Me)’s debut novel was 2007’s FIRST LIGHT. It skates the line between utopia and dystopia. Teah lives in a society underground. It is beautiful and mostly peaceful. Her people were forced underground retreating from persecution in England. Now the ancestors live in Gracehope, without fear of the outside world. But as in most seemingly happy places, the people in power abuse their knowledge and hide things from the community.

Meanwhile, on the surface, Peter is arrives in Greenland with his scientist parents. Peter's father is searching for something, but no one really knows what. Peter is not really sure why he was brought along, nor why his mother was there writing a book.

The story is told in an alternating narrative between Peter and Teah. Peter explores further and further from their camp but he never really knows what he is searching for. Teah is searching for something too, following clues in Gracehope to the truth. Teah is the stronger of the two. She doesn't expect to be rescued by others. Peter's passivity towards his situation touches on making him boring. He doesn't ask questions, he doesn't involve himself into the world and into the narrative. I enjoyed the story and writing but it may be too light for other dystopian junkies.

FIRST LIGHT is available in paperback now. Find out more about it at the author's website.

Davidson, Ellen Dee: STOLEN VOICES (Middle Grade, Standalone, Political Dystopia)
As children come into their teenage years, they are masked to keep them from using their voice as weapons. Each teen is encouraged to find their unique talent and cultivate it. But Miri cannot find her talent. She is now at risk of being masked later than her friends. The masking ceremony is a great honor and a symbol of maturity and loyalty.

But Miri begins to see the world around her in new ways. She begins to understand the ways that music has power and also why it is kept muted. I enjoyed the world in the story and so many of the details the author used to build it. Though there are many things about Miri's world that are unsettling, there are things about it that do seem truly pleasant. But to live in a world without music, to have no voice, and little control would be heartbreaking for me.

STOLEN VOICES is availble in paperback now. Find out more about it at the publisher's website.

Adlington, L. J.: THE DIARY OF PELLY D (YA, Companion Novel CHERRY HEAVEN, Political Dystopia)
A young boy named Toni V comes across a notebook while he’s cleaning. The notebook is a diary by a girl named Pelly D, and we experience her story through Toni’s eyes. Toni sees how her world was different from his. How her world would become his. As the story continues, he becomes more engrossed in thinking about Pelly D and what will happen to her. And if the diary will even be able to tell him what happened to her. The world and politics in this story are interesting, but it is the creative narration that makes this book really compelling.

THE DIARY OF PELLY D is available in paperback now. Find out more about it at the author's website.

Thanks Megan! I know my wishlist just got longer. Anyone else have some lesser known dystopian gems they want to recommend? Let us know in the comments.


Suzanne Yester said...

Thanks for highlighting some lesser known Dystopian writing! After reading some Dystopian fiction for a challenge this year, I found out how much I enjoy reading this genre and am always looking for more great titles! Thanks for sharing!

Beth F said...

Great post and I am adding to my wish list.

Alyce said...

Ok, now I have three more titles to add to my wish list! :)

I love dystopian fiction, so I was really excited to see this post.

Danika Dinsmore said...

Thanks for posting these, none of which I had heard of. I'm a fan of books in general, but in particular fantasy, sci-fi, and dystopian fiction. Having just been riveted by The Hunger Games I'm wondering what I can read to keep myself fueled! Perhaps I'll pick up one of these.

Chelsea said...

I want to read ALL of these, especially First Light! Thanks, Megan and Lenore! :)

Neil Patrick said...

Great post

nice sort of information you have provided

Heather Zundel said...

I've never heard of First Light or Stolen Voices. Thank you for bringing them to my attention. However I have really enjoyed The Diary of Pelly D. I was even thinking of featuring it on my own blog in the near future. Shade's Children by Garth Nix is a fairly unknown work of his. Definitely dystopian. :)

Zibilee said...

All of these books look really interesting, and up until now, I had never heard of any of them. This was a great feature and it's inspired me to take a closer look into some of these titles. Thanks for posting this!

The1stdaughter said...

I have been wanting to read First Light for awhile now, but had no idea it fell in the Dystopian category. Yay! Now, I'm definitely going to pick it up sooner.

Great post! I can't wait to add all these titles to my TBR list. Thanks!