November #RdgWl

November is NaNoWriMo and it’s got me thinking about my current WIPs.

I’m planning work on my sequel to Alice in Wanderland, but I also have a SciFi retelling that I’m playing around with too.

So far though, writing SciFi is HARD. I mean, I love Science Fiction movies and I am all about the genre, but  HOLY MOLY, zombies are much easier for me to work with. HOWEVER Peter’s story must be told. So I must research. My November #RDGWL?

Science Fiction, baby.

 I have spent the past few days scouring my Goodreads to find the next 5 books to add to my #RDGWL installment. There were SO many fascinating options, but ultimately my heart (and audience) rests in the YA genre so I decided to keep my list in that age range. Adding those parameters made it easier for me to narrow down my list. Here’s what I came up with:
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Ender’s Game –  Orson Scott Card
Andrew “Ender” Wiggin thinks he is playing computer simulated war games; he is, in fact, engaged in something far more desperate. The result of genetic experimentation, Ender may be the military genius Earth desperately needs in a war against an alien enemy seeking to destroy all human life. The only way to find out is to throw Ender into ever harsher training, to chip away and find the diamond inside, or destroy him utterly. Ender Wiggin is six years old when it begins. (Goodreads Synopsis)
I’m not going to lie to you. The main reason this ended up on my #RDGWL is because I have every intention of using it in a Book vs. Movie segment. I have never read the books (obviously), but I absolutely LOVE the movie. The concept, plot, and characters absolutely captivated me and once I found out it was also a book, I knew I had to read it. This November, it’s on.

For those of you who don’t know, there is a bit of controversy surrounding Ender’s Game because of its author. Now, I fall into the belief that, like you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, you also shouldn’t decide whether or not to read a book (SOLELY) because of it’s author. So instead, I went to the reviews. Positives listed for Ender’s Game were that it had a strong main character who is very relatable to the audience. It is also described as fast paced, intriguing, and thought provoking. Some of the negative points given describe the plot as repetitive with little character depth and growth. As much as I liked the movie, I find that hard to believe, but we shall see.

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Uglies – Scott Westerfeld 
Tally is about to turn sixteen, and she can’t wait. In just a few weeks she’ll have the operation that will turn her from a repellent ugly into a stunning pretty. And as a pretty, she’ll be catapulted into a high-tech paradise where her only job is to have fun. But Tally’s new friend Shay isn’t sure she wants to become a pretty.
When Shay runs away, Tally learns about a whole new side of the pretty world– and it isn’t very pretty. The authorities offer Tally a choice: find her friend and turn her in, or never turn pretty at all. Tally’s choice will change her world forever… (GoodReads Synopsis)

I’ve noticed this book on store shelves for years. The concept is intriguing to me and the cover is beautiful. I have always been drawn to it, but for some reason it has never made it into my shopping cart. But now, in the month of Sci-Fi, the wait is coming to an end. Dystopian society focused on appearances alone? Sounds plausible to me.

Readers who loved this book claim a strong, narrative voice immersed in excellent world building. They also praise Westerfeld’s thought provoking and ‘dark’ plot. Critics of Uglies cite plot confusion and simplistic writing style that leads to a question of the main issue in the storyline. Overall, I have been intrigued by the book long enough that I am willing to give it a chance.

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I Am Number 4 – Pittacus Lore
Nine of us came here. We look like you. We talk like you. We live among you. But we are not you. We can do things you dream of doing. We have powers you dream of having. We are stronger and faster than anything you have ever seen. We are the superheroes you worship in movies and comic books–but we are real. Our plan was to grow, and train, and become strong, and fight them.
But they found us and started hunting us first. Now all of us are running. Spending our lives in shadows, in places where no one would look, blending in. We have lived among you without you knowing. But they know. They caught Number One in Malaysia.Number Two in England. And Number Three in Kenya.They killed them all. I am Number Four. I am next. (Goodreads Synopsis)

I Am Number Four is another book that has made it to my Sci-Fi Wishlist because I fell in love with the movie first. Again, I had no idea that it was a book first, but when I found out it was, I knew I needed to read it. If it is anything like the film (or better, as books so often are), it will be well worth the read.

Reviewers who gave Number 4 high ratings said they enjoyed it because of its strong writing- specifically citing ‘Lore’s’ strong pacing, action scenes, and suspense. They also mentioned that even though it did not have the strongest cover, the story itself more than makes up for the lackluster appearance. (In case that will sway your vote). Number 4 received low ratings from readers who thought that the characters in the story seemed cliched and shallow, and suffered from poor dialogue. Again, since I loved the movie so much, I am willing to overlook the negatives and give it a shot. 

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Matched – Ally Condie
In the Society, officials decide. Who you love. Where you work. When you die. Cassia has always trusted their choices. It’s hardly any price to pay for a long life, the perfect job, the ideal mate. So when her best friend appears on the Matching screen, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is the one…until she sees another face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black. Now Cassia is faced with impossible choices: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she’s known and a path no one else has ever dared follow—between perfection and passion. Matched is a story for right now and storytelling with the resonance of a classic. (Goodreads Synopsis)
First off, the cover for this book is gorgeous. It absolutely captured my attention. After finishing the overview, I knew this was a story that I wanted to read. Mixing SciFi, Romance, and YA makes it a book that is definitely up my alley. 

Matched received excellent ratings from readers who said they loved Condie’s writing style and that her imagery and language were absolutely beautiful. And while most said they enjoyed the protagonists’ strong character, she was also listed as a negative by some readers. Critics also mentioned pacing issues throughout the story, with some parts of the plot seeming to drag. I am interested to see how I feel about the main character – love her or hate her. Apparently, there is no in between. 

PictureThe 5th Wave – Rick Yancey
After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one. Now, it’s the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs
from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth’s last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie’s only hope for rescuing her brother-or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up. (Goodreads Synopsis)
Funny thing: this story is also a book to film adaptation. That makes 3 out of 5 on this list. But I had NO IDEA this was an adaptation until I was searching google images for a picture to include with the caption. Only then did I realize it was a movie- and one that I had seen (and really enjoyed, coincidentally). Interesting that I chose the 5th Wave based on both its book AND film credentials – the only one on this list like that. Winner.

Readers who read and positively reviewed the 5th Wave stated they enjoyed Yancey’s writing style and narrative voice. They claim he has good humor, pacing, tension, and plot twists. Readers with less than positive reviews felt the opposite, claiming the romance in the story seemed out of place and awkward, and also that the characters were unlikeable. Based on the fact that I was doubly drawn to the movie, I am definitely going to find out for myself .

There you have it: my reading wishlist for the month of November. If anything, it has further validated my love for the SciFi genre, which is encouraging. After all, they say write what you know, and it turns out, I know a lot more Science Fiction than I thought I did. Get ready world, here comes Neverland!
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Are you a SciFi afficionado?
What do YOU recommend?
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