I am currently reading DELIRIUM by Lauren Oliver, and it’s so good. I relate easily to Lena, the romantic plotline is compelling, and it’s gorgeously-crafted, but the premise is still needling at me all the way through. I am finding it hard to suspend my disbelief. I’m really enjoying the story, but Oliver is charged with making her readers believe that this Brave New World is possible, and that’s proving a hefty task.
I think what’s bugging me is that a great dystopian story should feel just a hair too close to home. Like, what if we ran out of oil—a depleted natural resource? What if the world’s nuclear bombs were released and we ended up living through the fallout? What if the reality TV shows that bombards our networks became even crazier or more violent in order to grab our collective attention? These scenarios, to me, are not so far-fetched. With a little less regulation and a little more groupthink, our real world could easily slip into a similarly perilous situation.
Hell, I’m even open to scenarios that have little hold in reality but serve a higher symbolic purpose—like that recent Justin Timberlake movie where everyone has to pay for things with time. Minutes and seconds being as precious as gold. Though heavy-handed, I can still get behind it.
But a society that has banned love? That brands love as a disease? I WANT to believe. I want to fall into your story like a warm blanket and snuggle with it until its satisfying conclusion. To eagerly await the sequels and snatch up pre-orders with the enthusiasm of a starved stray dog. But every time I step into this new world, I can’t keep one word from circling my brain: Really???
I’m only half-way through, so maybe it gets more believable as time goes on, but I am just having a hard time believing that a scientist could somehow cut out the parts of our brains that love–let alone encourage an entire society to ascribe to his methods like a religion.
Does anyone else take issue with some of the dystopian scenarios out there or is it just me?