Recently, I've been noticing a trend in Young Adult, particularly in Science Fiction and its sub-genres Dystopian/Futuristic Fiction. There seem to be more and more books that revolve around a central political idea: over-reaching government.
Take Matched by Allie Condie, Possession by Elana Johnson, The Giver by Lois Lowry, The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness, Birthmarked by Caragh O'Brien, Delirium by Lauren Oliver, The Maze Runner by James Dashner, Gone by Michael Grant, Little Brother and For the Win by Cory Doctorow, The Tomorrow Code by Brian Falkner, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, and I could come up with others if I had more time. I'd also mention Divergent by Veronica Roth and Wither by Lauren Destefano, since they seem to be political based on their blurbs, but I haven't read those yet so I can't say for sure.
As you may have noticed, many of those are quite popular (*cough*The Hunger Games*cough*), and in addition, many of them seem to be rather anti-government. The Giver by Lois Lowry seems to be the exception, though it could still be taken as anti-government, since POTENTIAL SPOILER ALERT one of the central characters is influential in preventing pain within the city--this, of course, also leads to more control, but everyone besides a certain few are oblivious to suffering.
Another element that repeats itself is revolutionaries/the resistance. In almost all of the above books, the main character joins or helps an organization (whether paramilitary or not) that, in turn, has some kind of showdown with the omnipresent government.
Now, while I don't mind politics in books, the constant battering of "Government Is Evil!" is beginning to make me wonder why it's cropping up so often.
Is it the political climate today, with a bad economy, constant protests, the Arab Spring, the war in Afghanistan and very recently Iraq? Is it a response to the perceived "rise of China" and Communism, the nuclear capabilities of other countries that might not have the Western world's best interests in mind?
Or is that reading too much of it, and it's just an attempt to appeal to teenagers that feel oppressed by their peers, their parents, society in general? But then again, it's not just teenagers reading YA; it attracts a wide range of readers.
What do you think?
And do you mind politics in the books you read? Is it something you're attracted or repelled by, in general?
-----The Golden Eagle