Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Things Dystopian Novels Have Taught Me

Dear blog,
I'm one of those people who worries about the end of the world. A lot.  I am also one of those people who reads a lot of dystopian novels, perhaps as a way of preparing myself for the future state of mankind.
Thankfully there are a lot of books that serve as an entirely handy guide to surviving rising sea levels/nuclear kersplosions/creepy governments/insert other grim demise of humanity here. 
Here are some of the words of wisdom that I think are particularly essential, from some of my favourite novels of the dystopic variety.
Be warned: There are a few spoilers here, so proceed with caution.
Life as we Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer
You need food.
And water.
If you're not sure if you've got enough, obtain more of these things.

The Dead and the Gone by Susan Beth Pfeffer
Cities are the worst place to be in an apocalypse.
For the love of God, don't go in a lift when the electricity system in your building is unreliable.
No matter how many inhalers you have, they still cannot ultimately save you from your asthma.

Gone by Michael Grant
Kids are very creepy when they want to be.
Do not live near a nuclear power plant.
You are probably a superhero mutant freak waiting to happen.

Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
Life sucks.
Ultimately there is no hope for humanity.
You are either going to die or go slightly crazy on an island. But probably both.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Wasps are the most efficient way of killing off your enemies. But make sure you're out of the way first.
Despite the fact your government is evil and corrupt, there are always plenty of shallow hair stylists you can hang around with to lighten your mood.
Your dead villains will come back to haunt you as mutant wolves. 

The Carbon Diaries 2015 by Saci Lloyd
Being an English teenager in the years to come will be pretty harsh.
Carry a torch with you at all times.
Keep pigs.  They're amazing.

The Declaration by Gemma Malley
There will always be a slightly too-good-to-be-true boy available to sweep you off your feet and tell you how bad the world is.
Life's not fair and everyone hates you.
There are probably a ton of revelatory secrets about you/your family that you do not know.

Siberia by Ann Halam
Your cute little critter companions may be the one thing that will save your life when you're on an epic trek across a bitterly arctic Europe.
Sweden, the place roughly described as Sloe's ultimate destination, is the place to be (Also, I have proof, because I went to Sweden when I was eleven and it was amazing).
You should listen to everything your mother tells you.

Riding Tycho by Jan Mark
Knitting gets boring very quickly if you have no Ravelry to supply you with fresh exciting patterns, and you are eternally doomed to knit stockings all your life.
Your friends are superficial, two-faced and not worth your time.
Especially when there are Welsh singers available who can open your eyes to the wider world.

Delirium by Lauren Oliver
See The Declaration.
Don't sweat it if you're worried about your authoritarian government stopping you from having a good time; as a general rule, you should be able to sneak out to the country for a party.
You need a motorbike for the ultimate escape to be achieved.

Exodus by Julie Bertagna
If you're unsure if you live on high enough ground to escape the rising sea levels, move higher up.
Do not eat raw fish in unclean waters.
If possible, befriend or fall in love with the son of one of the most powerful men in your city.

Zenith by Julie Bertagna
Greenland is the place to be when the sea levels rise.
Do not get pregnant when you're having a hard enough time fighting for your own survival.
There is always a light at the end of the tunnel.


  1. The Host by Stephenie Meyer is a great dystopian novel also! C:

  2. This made me giggle so much. Loved Siberia - fantastic book. May gradually make my way down this list!


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