I’m starting to think I need to lay off the dystopian young adult novels. The problem with reading too many books in the same genre is that you stop appreciating the truly great ones as much, because they all start to seem very similar in your mind. You start to identify “themes”.
The token female protagonist with some kind of personal issue. The token love interest with equally, though different, personal “issues”. The oppressive government/parents/friends/person to convince. The internal struggle to join the movement against said oppressor.
This book has all these elements. What sets it apart, however, is its relevance to today’s society. Even though it is set in the year 2060, the possibility of this becoming our real future isn’t all that surprising. Which is maybe why I didn’t like it as much as The Hunger Games and its ilk – I liked the idea of the oppressive dystopian future, because it still seems more or less impossible.
Maddie is almost 18 and lives her life on her computer. Literally. No one goes out anymore. You rarely see your neighbors, school is all online, chatrooms and digital movies are filled with holograms so you are alive but not really living. Maddie thinks this is the only future until she meets Justin, whose unlikely connection to her past fills her with doubt and worry and of , excitement. He opens up a new world to her, and she finds out soon enough that she needs to return the favor.
Another dystopian series (the sequel is set to release next fall), but one that is more grounded in reality. For better or worse.