I feel like each categorization has its own strengths. YA's is character development and voice. I love vicariously living through someone else, seeing the world through another perspective, having experiences that I've never had. So when I get to hear a strong voice and live through a dynamic and changing character, I feel like I'm getting an electric charge.
This One Summer by Mariko and Jillian Tamaki, which I am really enjoying.
I pleasure-read at home in big bursts. I will finish around 5 books in 5 days, all in paper -- no electronic. Then will get back to my work-reading: student work, research for my next novel, which I do electronically. So, I read for that anywhere I can bring my computer. Right now, for instance, I'm reading student work while I'm waiting for my daughter in the dentist's office.
Recommendations are generally what draw me to a book now. I understand that covers are marketing choices, not authorial choices and so I pay little to no attention to them. Similarly, the blurbs often give away too much. But I have a group of writer friends whose recommendations I always take. HM Bouwman, for instance, has turned me on to so many good books, including one of my favorites of all time: Code Name Verity. So now, I'll read anything she hands me.
Oh I reread all the time. I'd say more than half my reading is re-reading because when I find a book I love, I want to study it as an author. And, before I teach anything, I re-read it. So I've re-read, say, Code Name Verity three times last year. This year, I suspect I'll be re-reading We Were Liars at least two times.
Probably SPEAK by Laurie Halse Anderson. I learned you could speak directly to kids authentically and not in a sort of Saturday Afternoon Special style. SPEAK got me reading YA as an adult and from that book, I realized I wanted to write YA.
Which books do you find yourself recommending over and over again?
So many! But I'll limit myself to 5 YA titles that I haven't mentioned already.
Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick your Ass by Meg Medina
The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing by MT Anderson
Blankets by Craig Thompson
Bad Apple by Laura Ruby
With or Without you by Brian Farrey