In a way, YA “saved me” as a reader. I grew up reading everything I could get my hands on, but at the time there was little that would classify as “YA”. Then I hit college and as an English/Theater major, all of my reading was for class and I just couldn’t get invested in any fiction.
I’m currently reading a non-YA autobiography (Stephen Fry), but here are the books I have lined up waiting for me:
· Simon and the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
· The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord
· A Darker Shade of Magic by Victoria Schwab
When and where do you read?
I work two part time jobs and have a husband and a daughter so what little free time I have, I try to use for writing. That being said, I always read before bed. It both quiets my brain and helps me to brainstorm my own work. Other than that, it’s really stolen moments. I always have my kindle with me just in case.
What draws you to a book?
If I’m in a bookstore, I definitely am drawn in by covers and then give the blurb a try. If that works, I’ll read the first couple of pages. Otherwise, I’m forever downloading free samples onto my kindle and sorting them into “buy/borrow” categories. I have a lot of books that I’ve been carting around through two international moves, so I’m very selective about what I acquire as a physical book as opposed to electronic.
Do you ever reread books?
All the time! When I truly love a book, I find that on my first read I’m racing through it find out what happens. Then, I read again to study the actual words. Sometimes, I also reread a book immediately because I don’t want to leave the world and can’t imagine reading anything else.
Which YA books has had the most impact on your writing?
This is such a difficult question for me. Obviously, as I mentioned, Melissa Marr’s Ink Exchange really opened my eyes to what was possible. Maggie Steifvater’s Shiver really nailed home that it was possible to be poetic while telling a good story. There are many books that I’ve actually studied just to see how authors I love handled certain conflicts or emotion or scenes. I don’t have a very visual view of the world overall, so that’s something I’ve really had to try to learn (and continue to try to learn).
Favorite lists are so difficult. But books that I fell in love with immediately and still bash people over the head with, include: TEETH by Hannah Moskowitz, BOY TOY by Barry Lyga, THE DREAM THEIVES by Maggie Steifvater, DON’T LET ME GO by J.H. Trumble, THE MARBURY LENS by Andrew Smith, and EVERY YOU, EVERY ME by David Levithan, which I think is the most underrated of his books.