Amanda is now 18, and will graduate from high school this Thursday night. Before she steps from her high school life into college life, and from college life into the big world, I wanted to bring her back again to share her perspective about YA books. Even if you don't write YA lit, it's cool to take a peek inside the teen mind.
Ok, folks, here we go:
After our last interview, Angelina C. Hansen asked, "How do you choose which books you'll read?"
I hear about books from friends. I don't go to the stores and choose. I also go by suggestions from my Seventeen magazine. I've read a few books off their suggestion list.
LTM asked Amanda, "Who's your favorite YA romance author?"
I don't necessarily have a favorite author of any type, and I don't choose books based on the author. And I don't choose "romance only" stories. My favorite books have another story, but with a little romance mixed in. If I had to choose a favorite author, it would be Suzanne Collins.
How have books shaped your view of the big world out there?
When I read books about characters caught up in the real world, I become nervous, curious, and excited about what's out there. I'm also inspired to make a difference.
Do girls and/or guys at school talk about books? Or is that just a YA writer's dream?
No, we don't usually talk about books at school, unless it's about a book a teacher's assigned. Sometimes me and my friends will discuss a book if we're reading the same story, but it's not our usual topic of conversation.
How has your taste in books changed through your school years?
When I was younger, I loved reading picture books, or light books about adventure. But now I like reading bigger books that are more intricate, with a lot of symbolism and deeper meaning.
In the YA books you've read, how accurately are the lives of teens reflected? What could be improved?
Teen life is not always interpreted correctly in books. If authors want to portray true teens, they could interview multiple teens to gain perspective. Not only the popular people, but also the not-so-popular people, too. The girl doesn't always get the guy. It's hard out there, and real endings aren't always happy. But we like reading about happy endings, so it's a catch-22.
What types of books do you wish there were more of?
I wish there were more books like Matched, Crossed, and Hunger Games. And I wish there were more books with older teens as the main characters. It's fun to read about characters who do crazy things, and I love a big twist.
And finally, what advice could you offer YA authors?
Teens like books about relatable things, such as family. We like books with deeper meaning, and with symbolism. Teens aren't shallow, and we don't want to read about hair and make-up. We don't always want to read about school and grades.
Teens are still getting used to big books. We're growing into our own, and figuring things out. We're still maturing and growing. It's nice to read about characters who are going through the same things.
Writer friends, thanks so much for welcoming Amanda. Did any of her answers surprise you? What are your thoughts about teen readers today?