Sounds pretty straight-forward doesn’t it!? OR, is it really!? To walk through a genre where you have already set your mind partially against with only a sliver of a door ajar to entertain the smallest of margins that there could be a book out there that could interest you of Dystopian origins? I knew prior to Sci-Fi November taking wing and shape that I would have to avoid all the typical books under this umbrella that I knew would not tempt me nor dissuade me of my pre-set and pre-determined opinion! Novels such as The Hunger Games for instance! I understand its a world-renowned phenom but I am simply not the girl for that kind of story, sorry! Its a champion amongst my friends’ which I fully respect, but as for me!? Sorry. No! I’d rather see Harry Potter IIX!
After making my choice to embark down a road of the unknown, I found myself a bit intrigued by what I was finding as apparently this branch of the genre is a bit more wide encompassing than I previously gave it credit for bearing! So much so, I was quite happy by find the following selection of books:
- Prized by Caragh M. O’Brien
- Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
- Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
- Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi*
- The Postman by David Brin
- Across the Universe by Beth Revis
- Divergent by Veronica Roth
*replaced: All Our Yesterdays as Rinn kindly pointed out I had mistaken this for Dystopian rather than Time Travel!
Previously, when I had seen the film previews for “Cloud Atlas” I all but shrugged my shoulders and rolled my eyes over the insanity of that premise! It wasn’t until I was curating a short list of books to seek out and attempt to read this month for SFN, that I started to approach Cloud Atlas from a reader’s point of view rather than a girl simply turned off by a motion picture trailer! I’ll freely admit that there are occasions where I surprise myself, there are times where I don’t feel keen on a subject or a story at the first look-see, and there are other times where my first impression of a story or character were jolly justified. It all depends. I always strive to keep an open mind, but there are certain elements that tend to turn me off more than allow me to enter into a setting that at first might appear to be the complete opposite of something I’d been keen to get to know on a deeper level. I still might pick up Cloud Atlas and wonder why I even bothered, or perhaps just as plausible I will pick up the book and wonder why I hadn’t read it sooner!?
I hadn’t even felt that The Postman, the beloved film of mine from yesterday’s past would even be considered part of a genre I always have been outspoken against! Talk about a proper wake-up call! I would suppose this would be akin to saying that despite the fact I am not a particular fan of horror, there are elements of my interests that run parallel to the horror genre, yet I do not watch, read, or listen to horror itself! Wells, except for the odd classic motion picture that is considered ‘classic horror’ but for me is more psychologically suspenseful! I am starting to wonder if there was a sub-path inside Dystopian that I have simply overlooked all these years, if I could find seven potential novels to read, whose to say I could not uncover others!?
I’ll admit I have read so many lists by other readers who are recommending their favourite Dsytopian novel that I nearly felt it was going to be a hopeless pursuit! You see, I suppose I wanted to seek out stories that had a bit of hope left inside them, where the dark undertones were not completely overtaking the plot, and where the level of violence would not supercede my tolerance for its inclusion! I was looking for stories that would stand out to me rather than disinterest me merely by plot premise! A daunting task but I like to challenge myself to step out of my comfort zone more times than naught, and this felt like a good challenge to me!
What I am keenly interested in is having this post serve as a conversation opener as I would love to hear from other SFN participants who are more well-versed in this genre than I am, put in their thoughts about the type of story that I am seeking and if they have found any that they think I might appreciate reading myself!? This is merely the start of a quest to seek out books and authors who write Dystopian stories that are gentle enough and engaging enough to draw my interest!
I suppose the Skeptic POV is simply this:
I do not think I’ll become over the moon excited about a Dystopian novel simply because I have had bad experiences with similar authors and books in the past.
I do not think we need to consume books with such darkly lit story-lines in order to learn something of the story.
I do not find it necessary to always walk down such a dark road of disillusionment to step back into the light.
I’m on the fence about whether or not I am going to enjoy the stories or if I’m going to find what I always felt I might if I read Dystopian stories: seriously serious plots in a world that feels like its holding me down with negativity.
Are there any happy endings in a Dystopian novel?
And, there you have it! A literary experiment to unearth if I can find a semblance of enjoyment from a genre I have positively avoided in the past! To see if there are a few authors and stories out there that fall close enough to what I generally find myself fond of reading, to where I can carve out a bit of a niche instead Dsytopian literature! More than even that, to use this post to serve as a stepping stone of conversation to help me further educate myself on the genre I know so little about! Let the reading begin!
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Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2013.