Reader Paparazzi: An Interview with a YA Book Reviewer

It’s Reader Paparazzi time.

 

YA readers interview

It’s research, not stalking.

Reader Paparazzi is my Q & A series spotlighting YA readers (if you missed any previous interviews, click here or on the tab in the header above).  I spend a lot of time inside the mind of fictional teens–writing and reading, so it’s great to get a little real YA world perspective to help with character inspiration, or to learn what holds a teen’s interest, or simply find a new book to read.

But it’s not only teens reading Young Adult novels.  The popularity of YA spans the generations.  Wikipedia says the typical age range is from ten to twenty-five, but I know plenty of adults are reading it.  Plus, the categories of New Adult or Upper YA throw off the typical range also.

More than half of the eighty books I’ve read this year have been YA.  Although I guess I don’t count since I also write YA–and because I’m just barely over twenty-five.

🙂

Anyhoo, today I bring you an interview with a college student.  Ancient, I know.  But Amanda is a prolific YA reader.  She blogs about the books she reads over at her site Born Bookish.  Check it out.  You can find great reviews and segments like Breathtaking Book Covers and Wordlover Wednesday.

 

 

A big Reader Paparazzi hello to Amanda!

Amanda, what book are you reading right now?

You actually caught me in-between books! I started The Rise of Nine by Pittacus Lore a couple of months ago but have been so busy with review books I haven’t been able to finish it. Next up, is Social Suicide by Gemma Halliday.

 

the rise of nine

I am a fan of The Number Four series! Of course, every time I go to your blog, I find new titles for my to-read pile!

Okay, now let’s get serious.  What did you eat for dinner last night?

Macaroni & Cheese. Not the kind out of a box, I actually went out to eat and got fancy schmancy Mac & Cheese.

 

Yum!  What was your favorite book when you were younger?

I can only pick one? Wow, that’s hard. I’m going to go with Abby: South Sea Adventures series by Pamela Walls.

 

What do you hope you will be doing five years from now?

I hope that I will have a job in the field of Graphic Design, one that I will enjoy doing everyday.

 

What are you most looking forward to right now?

My trip to London that I’ll be taking over Winter Break!

 

Sounds amazing.  London is definitely on my bucket list. 

What would you like to learn how to do—that you don’t know how to do?

So many things . . . American Sign Language is something I’ve always wanted to learn–and how to play violin.

 

What fictional character would you most like to meet and why?

I have to think about this one for a minute . . . Cammie Morgan from the Gallagher Girl series by Ally Carter because she is a spy, and what girl didn’t dream of being a spy when she was little?!

 

out of sight out of time

 

Yes, but all that intrigue can make a spy girl hungry!

So back to food.  What is your favorite comfort food?

Chicken and stuffing

 

Top 3 songs playing on your iPod?

Small Bump- Ed Sheeran

Red- Taylor Swift

The Writer- Ellie Goulding (I just bought concert tickets for an Ellie concert tonight! I’m SO excited!)

 

You have a great blog segment on book covers—how important is the cover to you when choosing a book to read?

So important! If a book has a great cover it is pretty much guaranteed that I will at least pick it up, read the synopsis and decide from there. If I dislike a cover I won’t even bother reading the back. I know that’s horrible, but it’s the designer in me. I just can’t read a book if I hate the cover.

 

If you could Skype with anyone—who would you pick?

Does Perry the Platypus count? No? Okay. Then I would choose Taylor Swift.

 

 

Quick fire fill in the blank:

I fear: Heights

I need: Chocolate

I love: Family

I am inspired by: Nature

Favorite word from your Wordlover Wednesday series: Lollygag

As in enough of. Got it. 

Thank you Amanda!

Now, because Reader Paparazzi gets me feeling extra stalkerish and curious, tell me, what did YOU have for dinner last night?

 

I did NOT have Halloween candy for dinner.  

Have an awesome week!

 

 

 

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Unforgettable Books: Dreams Wrapped in Words

 


I am not even going to begin to pretend I understand MEMORY. That awesome, fickle power that likes to ditch me as I step into another room (or as Billy Collins says in his poem Forgetfulness, retires “to a little fishing village where there are no phones”).

I don’t know why some things stick, like the thirty plus year old memories of being a kid trying to fry an egg on the summer sidewalk or dig a hole to China, as opposed to what happened in oh I don’t know, the entire year of 2009 (there had to be something significant, but right now I can’t think of anything).

Some memories stay locked up tight, while others eventually slip out of one of those dusty, creaky memory doors.

 

 shirley plantation store house open door _opt

Nowadays when something does stay with me, I’m thinking there’s magic involved (or dessert–dessert can be quite memorable).

And I especially LOVE when I read a book with that kind of magic, that special something that manages to capture prime real estate in my brain.

Ever read an unforgettable story?

 

We wrapped our dreams in words and patterned the words so that they would live forever, unforgettable.”

― Neil Gaiman, Fragile Things

 

 

 

Happy Monday!

 

 

 

 

YA Interview: A Teen Talks Books & Liam Payne

 

Since I spend a lot of time inside the mind of fictional teenagers, I thought it might be nice to get a little perspective from the real world.

I decided it could be fun to interview readers.  Specifically teen (and tween) readers.  

 

teen interview series

 It’s research, not stalking.

 

So a big hello to Lydia.

Lydia is 16, plays piano, dives competitively and is on her school’s gymnastic team.  Would you believe she made me do a round off dismount off the balance beam before answering any of my questions?

I didn’t think so.

 

 

 Lydia also has an infectious laugh to go with that smile.

 

What book are you reading for school right now?

A book of my choice: Reviving Ophelia

What was the last book you read for fun?

The last Hunger Games book–Mockingjay.

So I have to ask . . . Peeta or Gail?  Peeta.

Okay so besides Peeta, what makes you keep reading a book?

When I get really into a book and forget about other things that are going on around me.

Reader Zen!

What was your favorite book when you were younger?

Olive’s Ocean, by Kevin Henkes.

What is your favorite thing to do after school?  Least favorite?

My favorite is watch TV or go running, least is homework.

What did you eat for breakfast today?

Krave cereal

Chocolate cereal.  Yup, it’s a fave in our house too.

Top three songs playing on your iPod?

More than this-One direction

Crash Into Me-Dave Matthews Band

Country Girl-Luke Bryan

What was the last movie you saw?

The Vow

If you could Skype with a famous person, who would you pick?

Liam Payne from One Direction

Excuse me while I Google . . .

 

 

skype with liam payne_opt

Someone looks good in Skype mode!

 

What’s your favorite class in school?

AP US History

Are you wearing nail polish right now?

Yes, silver.

What advice would you give your parents?

None, I think they did a pretty good job with me. 

*A collective “aw” for Lydia’s parents*  🙂

And last question: What do you hope you will be doing 7 years from now?

I hope to be finished with college and finishing the professional school of my choice (Grad school, Law school, Med school, whichever I decide).

Thanks so much Lydia!

 

So dear readers, I couldn’t decide which photo to use to represent these interviews–which one do you like?

1.  Reader Paparazzi (above) 

2. The Real YA of the EC

The Real Young Adults of the East Coast

3.  The Real YAs

 

 

I’d love your opinion! And if there any questions you would like to see answered in future interviews for YA/MG readers, let me know!

The Freedom and Adventure of Taking to the Road in YA

 

“All I wanted was to go somewheres; all I wanted was a change.”

~The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

 

Travel has always been a popular theme in YA fiction.  There’s something about that opportunity for change, freedom and adventure that can be so exciting.

I love road trips and remember them being especially enticing when I was a teenager (way back when I didn’t give much thought to flat tires, tired motels and greasy food).

It’s all about the fun and possibility.

YA adventure food travel _opt

 

Foreign food is part of the adventure too.

 

That’s my daughter creating her own YA adventures 6,000 miles from home.  She is meeting new people, learning a new language, eating different food and enjoying a journey that is more than just a trip from home.

 

 Because just like in real life, a great fictional trip is not just about the geography.

 

Heart connections in the Caribbean.

 

A road trip and the mystery of emotional distance.

 

Self-discovery in Italy via undersea archaeology

 

What YA journeys have you loved (real or fiction)?