Amanda, what genre of books do you like to read?
"I like romance novels, and dystopian. I read Two Way Street, which was really good. I loved Hunger Games, and I'm now reading Catching Fire. I'm so nervous for Katniss!"
What types of books do your friends like to read?
"They also like romance books, like guy meets girl stories. And they also love a good mystery."
Can you tell us what draws you and your friends to these types of books?
"We get to live vicariously through the characters. It's fun to see ourselves in the character's lives, instead of going back to our own, less exciting lives."
What do you like and dislike in romance novels?
"It's exciting to read about romance, and experience it along with the characters. Graphic sex can ruin it, though. We want to use our imaginations. I like it when the writer outlines what's happening, without going into too much detail."
What's something you don't like in YA novels?
"A bad ending. Like, when an important character that you love dies. If the book doesn't end well, it leaves a bad taste in your mouth."
What might surprise writers to learn about teen readers?
"Maybe it's that teens do love to read, but it takes a special spark to get us hooked. All through school we have books forced onto us that really don't interest us at all. A book needs that certain catch. For instance, a book the school makes us read catches the attention of an adult but not necessarily a teen. Our minds work differently, but if you hit it just right it'll spark our interest. Don't think so much like an adult."
What would you like writers to know about teens?
"We're deep thinkers. We pick up on details and connect them to other parts of the story. We get it."
Amanda, thank you so much!
Writers, did Amanda's answers surprise you? How did they compare with what you already knew about teen readers?
If you'd like to ask Amanda more questions, feel free to do so in the comments. We could do a follow-up post on another date!