But for me, I think it comes down to this: Dystopian novels make you think.
"Pearson has constructed a gripping, believable vision of a future dystopia. She explores issues surrounding scientific ethics, the power of science, and the nature of the soul with grace, poetry, and an apt sense of drama and suspense."
I adored this book, not only for the great characterization in Jenna, but the way it made me stop and think.
"Gripping, brilliantly imagined futuristic thriller...The issues raised could not be more provocative--the sanctuary of life, the meaning of being human--while the delivery could hardly be more engrossing or better aimed to teens."
And again, from the School Library Journal:
"This gripping, thought-provoking novel is guaranteed to lead to interesting discussions about abortion, adoption, organ donation, religion, politics, and health care."
As I turned the pages of this book, I found myself not only riveted by the characters and plot, but often I found myself pausing to examine my own thoughts on particular issues.
I think Scott Westerfeld (author of the UGLIES trilogy) says it best in his review of Carrie Ryan's The Forest of Hands and Teeth:
"Zombies have been metaphors for many things: consumerism, contagion in an overpopulated world, the inevitability of death. But here they resonate with a particularly teenage realization about the world--that social limits and backward traditions are numberless and unstoppable, no matter how shambling they may seem at first.
And yet we must try to escape them anyway, lest we wither inside the fence."
His thoughts "that social limits and backward traditions are numberless and unstoppable, no matter how shambling they may seem at first. And yet we must try to escape them anyway, lest we wither inside the fence." are EXACTLY why dystopian novels are riding the tidal wave of popularity. And not just with young adults, but with anyone who dares to think.
What do YOU think? What novels have made you stop and think -- about life, love, the apocalypse?