14 Feb 2016
Ascendancy by Karri Thompson
Published by Entangled Teen Published on November 30th, 2015
Genre: YA Dystopian
What's your fascination with YA dystopian?
I love YA dystopian when the protagonist is a strong, relatable, and believable female with something special and different that she can offer to the dysfunctional world in which she lives.
The most well-known and popular YA heroine of the dystopian worlds is Katniss Everdeen. And why wouldn’t see be? She’s an independent, strong-willed survivalist whose “kill or be killed” philosophy wins her a home in the Victor’s Village. She endures any hardship to protect the ones she loves, and before the games, having spent the majority of her life keeping her family alive, she’s ignorant when it comes to romance despite that fact that two guys are vying for her attention.
Katniss is kick ass with her superior archery skills and the guts to go against the president, but she is also real. There’s no insta-love in The Hunger Games trilogy. Katniss’s feelings for Peeta develop over a series of time and a myriad of life or death struggles. And in the end, there is no living “happily ever after.” While the reader journeys with Katniss on the page or on the screen, there’s weeping, rooting, celebrating, and fighting – everything to keep the reader on edge and entertained.
Veronica Roth’s Divergent series holds the same magical combination of a lethal YA heroine, Tris Prior, who is twisted in a plot of rebellion, danger, and eventually romance – all within a believable, futuristic world.
Katniss and Tris are at the top of my list of favorites when it comes to YA heroines in dystopian worlds. Set within a degraded society that is headed for self-destruction, these mentally and physically tough girls face struggles that today’s females can’t begin to understand.
But at the same time, their hardships parallel that of a 21st-century female, making these young heroines relatable to the reader. Interpersonal relationships are the same in both worlds. Like the modern teen girl, through the good times and the bad, these heroines discover who they can trust, and who they can’t, along with who will support them and who will want to bring them down instead.
Romance and the process of falling in love are also the same in both reality and the written page of the YA dystopians I enjoy, though the stumbling blocks of high-school gossip, step parents, and who to go to the prom with are replaced with crooked governments, the lack of individual independence, and “big brother” – everything to capture our imaginations and take these dystopian teens to the next level.
When I wrote the Van Winkle Project trilogy, I definitely kept all of these factors in mind when it came to creating a unique dystopian world armed with a selfless and bad-ass, take-no-crap YA heroine who, through the unimaginable trials of a dystopian world, will stop at nothing, even risk her own life, to save humanity.
YA dystopians are truly extraordinary with their out-of-this-world challenges coupled with the same personal problems that today’s young adults face. That’s why I love YA dystopians and why I wrote the Van Winkle Project series.
Karri Thompson, a native of San Diego, California, grew up hanging out at the beach, playing sports, and eventually attending San Diego State University where she earned her bachelor’s degree in English and master’s degree in education. When she’s not nerding out at San Diego Comic-Con or watching Star Wars and The Lord of the Rings movies for the umpteenth time, she can be seen doing normal people stuff like teaching high-school English, cooking delicious meals for her family (she attributes all of her culinary skills to the Food Network), and attending her son’s football games. In her spare time, she writes young adult and new adult fiction, her biggest passion, and loves listening to hard rock music and going to concerts. She hopes to live long and prosper, and that you will, too.
Read Below for an excerpt from the book
Michael was the only good thing to come out of my awakening. I didn’t know how long we’d have together, but I realized I wanted to make every second with him count. Twisting to face him, I brought my right leg to the other side of his body and kissed him gently at first, and then a little harder as he brought his hands to my back, massaging his fingers against my shoulder blades. His lips moved to my neck, and he slid his hand through the hair at the base of my head. I lay against him, savoring his warm breath at my throat as his chest pressed against mine.
Cradling my body, he scrambled to the floor, bringing me down with him.
“What?” I whispered.
“I saw something outside. A shadow. It looked like a person.”
“Victoria! I need to get her.”
Crawling on my hands and knees, I entered the living room and picked up my sleeping baby.
“Behind the couch. Let’s go.”
“Watch her,” I said, and rested her on the floor next to Michael. Drawing the laser pistol from my waist, I scooted to the edge of the couch where I could see the back door.
“I locked it,” he whispered, “but any Security guard or SEC can open it.”
The door slid open. I aimed my pistol, my arms and hands trembling.
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