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Jessica Cluess on the Dystopian Future of YA Fiction

Jessica Cluess (1)

SPARTA, NJ, UNITED STATES, December 13, 2021 / -- Jessica Cluess is a successful young adult fiction (YA) writer. In her work, she deals with youthful romance, fantasy, magical realism, and interpersonal drama. Unique within her chosen genre, she has found a loyal base of youth readership.

With the popularity of YA titles such as The Hunger Games, dystopian narratives and themes have been growing in popularity in recent years. Many have speculated about the mindset of the fans of this trend in the genre, and where it might lead the fans of work like that of Jessica Cluess. We asked Jessica what she foresees for the future of YA fiction. Here is some of what we discussed.

Jessica Cluess on the Dystopian Future of YA Fiction
Dystopian literature has been popular for well over a century, and it could be argued that it has been popular for much longer than that. But the rise of the sub-genre's influence over what some consider to be a form of children's fiction may unsettling to some.

Like many drastic cultural changes of the last two decades, the rise of dystopian YA literature can be attributed largely to the influence of the Internet. With more access to information than ever, young people are getting better acquainted not only with their Amazon accounts, but with history, current events, and much more, Jessica Cluess explains.

As many online readers will have learned in recent years, it takes just an hour's worth of education in history to learn that many of the most frightening events developing on the world stage appear to be a rehashing of the lessons of the past. One great example is the similarity of Rome to the United States and the similar fashion in which the U.S. appears to be on its way toward dissolution.

According to Jessica Cluess, the lessons of history are often unsettling, especially when we find analogs of bygone disasters in the present. A developing interest in darker themes is often the first response to this kind of phenomenon. Even more often, we find readers retreating into fiction, particularly fiction that reflects what they feel they have learned or are learning. For youthful readers, this frequently leads to an interest in dystopian ideation.

Indeed, we have seen a spike in interest in this sub-genre in recent years, particularly since 2015 when politics took center stage in the minds of many. Jessica Cluess quotes a 2020 article by Natalia Nazeem Ahmed which outlines the through-line from tech anxieties, the Internet, the challenges of adolescence, through to postmodern fears- which have arguably always been with us.

Jessica Cluess reassures us that these trends could be seen as the mental growing pains of young readers as they transform into mature readers. Their stint with dystopian material will be temporary in some cases and lasting in others. Either way, she believes it is not a surprising development to see in a demographic that is growing up perhaps faster than it would wish to.

Caroline Hunter
Web Presence, LLC
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