by Lisa M. Stasse
My boyfriend said something to me yesterday. He said, "I think that most people in our generation are now actually looking forward to a dystopian future." My response? "I think that means we need to reevaluate what dystopian means." And it's true.
We've become so fascinated by this idea of the dystopian future that it's really lost all meaning. I love a good dystopian novel as a counterpoint to the life we're living, and a political statement about the kind of life we could be living. However, we've lost the true point of the dystopian setting - those things are horror stories, not something to envy. From our "outside-looking-in" a dystopian future looks fun. It wouldn't be.
'Dystopia' is the opposite of 'Utopia.'
Just because the heroes in dystopian stories change their world for the better doesn't mean that we need to wait for the dystopia to happen before we can create utopia. It may make a good story, but it would make for a shitty life. And as a culture we're currently too fucking obsessed with the genre.
That being said, this novel was a nice surprise.The Forsaken, made me think of the Pretties series. It was decent, popcorn, predictable dystopia. In this world, when you are a junior in high school, there is a test brain scan that looks for abnormalities that would indicate you as a future criminal, rapist, etc. etc. If you are flagged as this "Untethered Soul," you are sent to this island, that is only full of other teens that have been flagged as future miscreants. The average age of survival on the island is only 18 because of the violent personalities that are sent there, the kids never form society.
Futuristic Lord of the Flies!
Obviously that's all a load of crap. Our heroine is a normal girl, with pretty poor self-esteem, who finds herself on the island. She falls in love, they try to take down the government. You know, pretty average dystopia YA.
It's a fun read, though. And isn't the cover beautiful!?