It seems that every YA book I pick up nowadays has one thing in common (two if you count the over predominance of love triangles) and that is they take place in dark dystopian universes with a clear delineation between good and evil, black and white. I don't have to ask what brought about this obsession. I'm as big a fan of The Hunger Games Trilogy as the next person and when I finished that book I was clamoring for more. The books since have been hit or miss, some with fully fleshed out worlds, conflict and characters others merely an illusion of what could have been. As someone who is working on a story that might be considered to fall into this category I found myself longing to step back and think about this trend and what is perpetuating our new YA mantra: the darker the better.
I stumbled upon a piece in the New York Times called "The Dark Side of Young Adult Fiction" in which readers, writers and professors had an opportunity to share their own thoughts about the trend. The contributors, some of which have written dark dystopian YA novels themselves, provide insight and bring new perspectives to the topic that I found intriguing. And though the article is more than a year old, it is incredibly relevant to the types of work that is still being published. In fact the last three out of four books I read were YA Dystopian novels. The interesting thing, was that the non-dystopian novel was the best out of all three. Perhaps the sub genre is headed the way of the witches, weres, and vampires. Too much of a good thing and all that jazz.
Check out the article and let me know what you think. Do you like the new YA take on Dystopian Fiction? What are your must reads in the genre?