One thing I love about living in Utah is that there are oodles of fabulous writers around the area, having oodles of fabulous events. For example, last week I got to hang out with my crit group at Dan Wells' signing of his new YA sci fi, Partials.
Dan's books (the I Am Not a Serial Killer series) are some of my favorites, and I was excited for Partials to see what he was going to do with it. I was also excited because...it's sci fi! And I read sci fi! And write sci fi! And from what I'd heard, there was actual sci in this fi! I couldn't wait.
I tell you, my friends, this book did NOT disappoint!
"Nope," he said. "I've already read that book. But here's what I could write for you."
And they told him to go for it. And it's one of the things I loved most about this book.
It does have the hint of a love triangle, true. It does have crazy action and a dystopian setting a la The Hunger Games. But it is something that, to me, stood out from the pack. The worldbuilding especially was BRILLIANT. There are a lot of dystopians lately that I've loved, but this one felt real, like we could wake up tomorrow and that could be our world. The main character, Kira, was intelligent, sensitive, and fiery. The science-- oh, the science!-- was well thought out and easy to understand, and was an important part of the well-paced and twisty-turny plot.
LOVED this book, my friends. LOVED.
The lesson for us writers? You can write a brilliant, "new" book even in the midst of a popular trend. Know what the trends and tropes are, and when you use them, do it purposely-- and push them beyond the usual. Then, delve even deeper. Find what's been missing, the element that you can add, and don't be afraid to add it. Be brave. Be smart. Be different.
So, my friends, read this book! I hope this doesn't sound like I think all dystopian books lately are boring parts of a trend. I've loved many of them. This one just stood out for me, and now I'm curious. What's a book that has stood out from the pack to you lately? Something that went above and beyond what you expected? How do you make your own writing stand out from the crowd?
P.S. Thanks to my crit buddy and friend Chersti for sharing her pictures of the event! She's jumped back into the blogging world with some great posts-- and a great giveaway with lots of books! Ya'll should go say hi. :)