Coming of age stories have long been a staple within speculative fiction genres, but in the last decade, we have seen an explosion of popularity in what publishers and booksellers refer to as YA – young adult – literature. And within that bracket, nothing is more popular than dystopian YA.

We live in an increasingly dysfunctional world where the very future of the planet is at stake. Is it really any wonder that adolescents are gravitating to these dark stories where they overcome isolation, a lack of control over their futures, and a society that doesn’t care about them or their futures?

In today’s episode, we are joined by debut novelist Melissa Welliver to discuss the ways in which power and agency play out in dystopian YA.

Texts and authors mentioned in this episode include:

  • The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
  • Divergent by Veronica Roth
  • The Twilight Saga by Stephanie Meyer
  • The Boy I Am by K.L. Kettle
  • Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
  • The Worst Witch by Jill Murphy
  • The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkein
  • Alex Rider series by Anthony Horowitz
  • David Eddings
  • Star Wars: A New Hope
  • Star Wars: The Phantom Menace
  • Dave Rudden
Melissa Welliver

Melissa Welliver writes speculative fiction about how the End Of The World is never really the end of the world.

After studying MA Creative Writing under Jeanette Winterson at the University of Manchester, she went on to complete Curtis Brown Creative’s Writing for Children course. Her work has been listed in Bath Novel Award, Mslexia, the Hachette Children’s Novel Award, and the Wells Book for Children Competition. She has been published in two short story collections and is an avid member of the Twitter writing community.

Born in Stockport, she now lives in the High Peak with an assortment of doggy friends.

The Undying Tower is her first novel.