Dystopian novels: the new “paranormal romance”?

Maybe it’s just me (please God let it not be just me), but I don’t get the whole “paranormal romance” thing that started with Twilight. The fact that bookstores have a section labeled “paranormal romance” kinda bugs me. I find it to be a rather insipid genre, which I also blame on Twilight. Then again, most YA books seem somewhat insipid to me (this I blame on the tendency to have at least one ditzy-looking teenage girl on the cover of most of them, and back-cover blurbs that always seem to indicate a conflict that centers around boys). What changed that for me was the recent outpouring of dystopian YA novels.

According to the below graphic stolen from BookClubBabe (who stole it from Goodreads), the popularity of dystopian novels has spiked to the highest its been since the 1960s, and The Hunger Games is poised to take over 1984‘s spot as highest-ranked dystopian novel on Goodreads (although I don’t know what the stats are for the rest of the world outside of Goodreads). Why? I’m thinking it’s because these new dystopian YA novels have made the dystopian genre much more accessible by including something that many earlier dystopian novels did not: romance.

I will admit that the romance part annoys me a little bit (I firmly maintain that there does not need to be a romantic element in stories for them to succeed), but that’s what draws the younger readers in—and then, like BookClubBabe says, we give them other stories, like 1984 and Brave New World to read! Personally, I really could have done without the love triangle in The Hunger Games, but without it, do you think there would have been hordes of screaming teenagers at the movie premier last weekend? Of course not!

Anyway, take a look at this graphic and tell me what you think. I’m pretty sure most of these novels are on my TBR list (if I haven’t read them already)! I don’t know about you, but I’m really hopeful that dystopian lit will soon overcome “paranormal romance.” Because really, who likes sparkly vampires anyway?

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3 thoughts on “Dystopian novels: the new “paranormal romance”?

    • Thank you!! 🙂

      The Chemical Garden? I’ve never heard of it! If you want another great dystopian trilogy (or at least the beginning of one), you should read Divergent by Veronica Roth! It’s the first in a trilogy; the second one comes out on May 1. I can’t wait!

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