You Might Be the Protagonist of a YA Dystopia If...

10:06 AM




(So, ahem, apparently I scheduled this and it posted this morning but I forgot to finish it? Do forgive me, if you saw that. xD) 

You are a girl. You are sixteen, or almost sixteen.

It is almost time for your Choosing Ceremony. Don't worry if your society doesn't have a ceremony of this name; it always has the equivalent.

Everything is named by using capitalized nouns in this Society. Don't ask why, it just Is. It's the Way.

You do not have high hopes for your Choosing. You see, you are ordinary, which in your Society apparently means a cardboard cut-out with no real personality or talents or hobbies. Unless you're good at either music or art, which you probably will be.

You have a crush on your probably blond male best friend, who despite hanging around you all the time has never noticed you.

That's okay, though, because at your Choosing you will find out that you are, in fact, special, abnormal, and then everyone will notice you.

Despite your modest upbringing, timid nature, and hatred of standing out, you Choose something incredibly special or risky to do. Everything thinks this is a stupid decision. Everyone is right, but you don't care, because you are inexplicably Special now and therefore every decision you make is the right one.

Including that one hot, dark, morally skewed guy.

You release a breath you didn't know you were holding.

Hot Dark Morally Skewed Guy is pursuing you. You are appropriately disturbed, but intrigued.

Nice guy that you've crushed on and trusted all your life warns you to stay away from him. You ignore him.

Hot Dark Morally Skewed Guy kisses you. You like it, and then spend 100 pages feeling guilty about that before you decide to forget everything else and acknowledge your mysterious Connection to him.

You will spend the rest of the inevitable trilogy obsessing over his hair, eyes, and abs.

Perks of being Special: You get to ignore all rules, you're allowed to whine all the time, and you gain immediate skills you didn't know you had in combat or strategy or something.

Somehow, in the middle of being conflicted over both guys but knowing you'll choose Dark Hot Morally Skewed Guy 'cause Reasons, you find time to discover and join a Resistance.

The Resistance quickly makes you a leader. You are young, inexperienced, emotionally imbalanced, and there are many others who would do much better. Naturally you are considered perfectly qualified and no one complains. If they do, Dark Hot Morally Skewed Guy beats them up brutally.

You find his temper attractive and not at all concerning. After all, he has a dark and sad past that excuses his moods, actions, and abrasive way of treating you when he's not making sappy speeches.

The end battle begins. You are Special and therefore instantly good at whatever you're doing during it. Who's traumatized by battle, anyway? You're sixteen, emotionally wrecked, and hardcore, dang it.

A family member dies.

You make out with Dark Hot Morally Skewed Guy to ease the pain.

The book closes with a dramatic speech about Hope and helping Society.

Everything is sad, but don't worry, the sequel promises to come back to you as a hardcore, emotionally dead, deadpan shell of your natural self.


How do you feel about YA dystopians? Which one is your favorite, and why? What's your least favorite dystopia stereotype? Comment away. 

35 comments

  1. Well I must have missed my Choosing. I'm too old now ;_;
    If there was a hot (<-subjective), dark, and morally skewed man who tried coming onto me, I'd probably land him in the hospital. I hope.
    I have no blonde boys who are my friends, so therefore, I cannot crush on them.
    You have destroyed all chances of my being in a dystopian fiction ;-;

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    1. Well, you're one of the few girls who would, apparently. xD *sighs*
      And that's a shame...you'll probably die with all the other meaningless side characters. :P

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  2. I think the concept of YA dystopians started okay, but then they grew to be really popular and then *everyone* began writing them and they just grew less and less original, all having basically the same storyline.

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    1. Oh, definitely. Personally I'm a fan of real dystopians (think 1984 or Brave New World) and I did like the way it was done in Hunger Games. Unfortunately, Hunger Games brought on a whole new crop of copycats and they're all the same it's just a mess. xD I'd like to see more original ones.

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  3. Also I'm not a huge fan of YA Dystopia, Red Rising was alright, but that's about it. All of them, as illustrated by your quiz, seem about the same.

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    1. I like it if it's done well - Hunger Games, Legend, etc. And Red Rising, of course. xD But most of them ARE stereotypical and patterned and sucky, which is sad because there's so much more opportunity.

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  4. *headdesks repeatedly* This is too true. Sadly. WHY MUST THERE BE SO MANY STEROTYPES!? It drives me nuts.
    And I often find that the 'in' color is white for dystopian.

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    1. Right??? There's so much room for opportunity and different things and I wonder a lot how authors don't see that they're doing THE SAME THING AS EVERYONE ELSE. *sighs*

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  5. The love triangles. URRRGGGGGGHHHHHHHH. You can make a love triangle without a blond, caring, kind, gentle guy and a tall, dark, handsome, fighting guy. There's such a thing as a side character getting caught in one, or one with one guy choosing between two girls. Grrrrrrrrr. This is why I don't watch/read romances.

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    1. PREACH. Honestly I can handle a love triangle if it's done well and, you know, makes sense and isn't just thrown in there for REASONS. But the two guys, one nice and one dark, just doesn't work for me. KILL IT WITH FIRE.
      And I'd LOVE to see a love triangle with one guy and two girls, really.

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  6. I don't even read much dystopia fiction, but I do recognize these cliches from the ones I have read and blurbs I've read. I hate the "abandon the trusted friend and go for the hot bad boy" subplot that is often in dystopian fiction. It doesn't even make sense. I do like the special protagonist part cliche, though. I think that it works really well in a lot of the stories and makes it so much easier to root for the protagonist;

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    1. I read a ton of it, trying to find some gems, but I don't usually have much luck... *deep sigh* Dystopia could easily be my favorite genre if done right - there's so much to explore - but it's sadly handled badly a lot of the time.
      Ah, I think that's where we disagree...I'm really done with the special protagonist most of the time, but that's just me. :P

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  7. "It's the Way." Oh, this is hilarious!

    But sadly so true. Why does dystopian have to be so formulaic?

    And what is with the guy who constantly is around but never notices? What kind of cruel irony is that? (Is this one of the Reasons they always stay with the dark questionable guy?)

    And why does dystopian capitalize on love triangles? I mean with so much going on, the world ending and all, who has time to quibble over love interests? It's kind of shallow in comparison to the circumstances, just saying.

    I just finished The Giver! It is so much genius! But I'm a huge Divergent fan too (no love triangles, yes!).

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    1. Right??? There's so much room for deep thoughts in YA dystopia, so I'm forever confused by why love triangles have to be such a main part of it. And I'd DEFINITELY like to see the good guy win more often, because um, that's smarter by a long shot? xD I'd also like to see more where they're too busy not dying and such for romance to be a big part of it. Just throwing that out there.

      Ah, The Giver! I'll confess to not being a huge Divergent fan, but to each his own. :) I actually just reread The Giver recently...

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  8. This. I cannot. Even. Describe.
    I laughed so hard. XD

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  9. I can't decide if this is brilliance or just a posterboard or tragedy. Who cares? IT MADE ME LAUGH. Even though it was about YA Dystopian girls, though, it actually made me think of "The Giver" by Lois Lowry. I mean, it's MG, has a main character boy who is a little too young to be feeling super romantic for anybody, to be honest, but beyond that, it feels very similar. Same with "Gathering Blue," in the next one.

    Anyway, this is just more specific and a level up and aimed at girls instead of boys, I guess.

    To be fair, I don't really read Dystopias like this. I got bored with Hunger Games, never picked up Divergent, and since I'm not in those circles I'm not really familiar with branchoff series. I'd say my favorite is The Unwind Dystology, which includes various elements you mentioned (as you probably know) but at the same time, there are more characters so it has a slightly different feel.

    Anyway, this was hilarious, and I loved it. It reminds me of a similar post I have about another genre in my to-do folder that makes me nervous to post because of content, and also I'd feel like stealing from you maybe. I don't know. *face blanches* Goodbye.

    (No really though do another one I loved this post.)

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    1. I'm glad it made you laugh! That was the goal. xD I'm one of the few people who wasn't the hugest fan of The Giver - I mean, I thought it was okay, but there was so much more room for depth in my opinion and it fell a little flat. And there's definitely some elements of this there. *shrugs*

      Ah, that's a shame - Hunger Games is one of the few things I felt did YA dystopia well, actually, but you're forgiven. xD I didn't like Divergent at all, though - it's actually the one I thought of a lot while writing this minus the love triangle. (but including the Dark Hot Morally Skewed Guy. Sigh.) AND UNWIND. UNWIND IS MY FAVORITE.

      Ahem, I needed a fangirl moment. xD
      I don't think it's BAD for a book to have some or possibly even most of these elements, as long as it's done well. My issue is when they're ALL the same, and that's what I tried to parody here.

      YOU SHOULD DO THE THING. Now I want to see it. xD

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    2. Well, I think the thing about The Giver is that it really is MG, and so if you were either above that level at the time you read it, or you were a teen when you read it and had outgrown it, then you would be longing for the depth of YA books but you couldn't because really you're not 10 anymore. :P

      XD Well, I'm so grateful for that forgiveness, then. But at least we agree on UNWIND BECAUSE DO YOU EVEN KNOW HOW DSKLFJSDKLFDJ I FELT WHILE I WAS READING IT?

      But yeah—I wrote a post like this for princesses in September and it's not bad, it's just that it can start to taste like the same cracker after a while... And MAYBE I WILL DO THE THING. I need to get unemotionally attached to it.

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    3. Yeah...I almost wish I hadn't read it again, and just left myself with the illusion that it was perfect...oh well. xD

      THAT LAST BOOK MADE ME SCREAM IN PUBLIC. THERE WERE TEARS. I WILL NEVER LIVE IT DOWN. *wails*

      I'd LOVE to see that, actually. xD

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    4. We all must be disillusioned sometime.

      WHY NEAL WHY

      The princess one? http://semilegacy.blogspot.com/2014/09/you-might-be-stereotype-if-princess.html

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  10. This is beautiful and perfect and hilarious. I love it XDDD

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  11. I love this so much. It's scary accurate for YA dystopian xD

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  12. WHY IS THIS NOT EVERYWHERE.

    I love lots of dystopian stories, and they all tend to have a different world, but the same underlying storyline drives me crazy.

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  13. Thank you for voicing my inner despair! :) Seriously though, this made me laugh so hard. (Also, like Heather, I thought of The Giver.)

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    1. Glad it made you laugh! It's a huge frustration of mine, being someone who really DOES like dystopia done right, so.

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  14. So I'm /not/ the only one who thinks these things. *high fives* I haven't even read a lot of YA Dystopian, but that's just because I read the back and then re-shelf all of the dystopian books I pick up. So, I actually probably can't say a lot about it.

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    1. *high fives* Yeah, that happens to me more and more often lately... "Oh, I've read this a thousand times, I'm not going through that again." There are some good ones out there, but sadly not very often.

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  15. "You release a breath you didn't know you were holding." That, my friend, was genius!
    Okay, I love dystopians, but a lot of this was super true! I think my favorite ones are probably the Hunger Games and the Safe Lands trilogy because, in a lot of ways, those books are unique. They actually have very few of the things on this list.


    Alexa
    thessalexa.blogspot.com

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  16. This is so true, its not even funny. Except it is. Funny. Fabulous post, Aimee
    http://weavingwaveswords.wordpress.com

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  17. This is so true and hilarious!
    Basically any badly written, cliche character annoys me, and YA has them in abundance. The formulaic plot and lack of originality irritates me too.

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  18. Haha, I feel like I could legit go and write a YA dystopia after reading this and become a bestselling author because this is sooo how these books are nowadays!

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