It's less than a month until my fateful 18th birthday comes around and, while the last hope that my awkwardness will be explained either by obscure prophetic revelations or a revealed genetic relation to some fantastic supernatural creature, the prospect is slightly terrifying.
Luckily for me, the Notebook Sisters are putting on a month of awesome interviews, games and contests, which makes just about everything better. Speaking of which, you totally shouldn't go on over and check it out. Namely because I want to win all the prizes myself.
In lieu of this extreme competitiveness, and the fast-approaching shadow of adulthood, I have pitched myself face-first into today's fabulous game of Pass the Parcel - which does not so much involve parcels as ten questions about the best thing in life after oxygen and chocolate. Books.
1. Name your top 5 favourite YA authors!
I have to confess, I'm not a great reader of the YA genre, nor am I entirely sure exactly what defines it, but some of my favourite authors who seem to appear frequently in reference to it include:
- Laini Taylor (she and her gorgeous prose have manged to both simultaneously tittilate and slaughter my emotions on multiple occasions)
- Holly Black (see above, but with fairies)
- Garth Nix (I blame his Abhorsen series for my twitchiness at the sound of bells)
- Cornelia Funke (if any books confirmed that I wanted to be an author, her Inkheart saga were them)
- Suzanne Collins (because I'm still not over it, and I never will be)
2. What's the last YA book you read and what did you think of it?
The last truly YA book I read was Days of Blood and Starlight, by Laini Taylor. The fact that it took me half an hour to re-adjust to the normal world at the end of it should be testament to its effect on the remains of my humanity.
3. What's your favourite YA genre? (Dystopian, romance, sci-fi, contemporary, etc.)
I'm not so much picky about the genre as I am about the story arc. It can be any genre it likes, but if I see one more "ordinary boy/girl meets mysterious boy/girl and discovers their destiny is to be the biggest cliche' the world has ever known" story arc, I'm going to start eating puppies.
4. Let's talk characters! Pick a character you love and tell us why?
Anyone who says Dustfinger from Cornelia Funke's Inkheart books wasn't the best character is lying. Not only does he breathe fire, terrorise the bad guys, and steal things just because he can, he is also capable of making you want to strangle him, and then causing you to break down and cry in the very next chapter. By turns vulnerable, loyal, manipulative, and more cunning than a box full of the world's assorted foxes, you'll probably find yourself loving him before you even mean to.
5. Top YA villain?
Dolores Umbridge, from the Harry Potter series. Because how one bundle of fluffy pink toxicity inspired such rage-fuelled plans for assassinations that would probably warrant me being incarcerated in a mental institution remains one of my life's greatest mysteries.
6. Top YA couple?
Karou and Akiva, from Laini Taylor's Daughter of Smoke and Bone saga. I'm not normally the first reader to be affected by romance, but these two are so achingly sad and sweet that I don't know how my tear ducts are still functioning.
7. With dystopian on the decline, what do you think will be the next hot-trend in YA?
I can't say - we've been through the supernatural critter stage, and now dystopian, but given the genre's breadth and flexibility, it could start centering its plots on the lives of sentient sea cucumbers for all I know!
8. What's the next YA book on your to-be-read pile?
The funny thing is, there doesn't seem to be one. The genre doesn't hold a massive amount of interest for me any more, especially since I never stayed in it for long. The wider world has got me, and my reading list, between its teeth, and it doesn't look like it wants to let go any time soon.
9. What's the fastest time you've ever finished reading a book in? (And what was the book?!)
I finished a book called Black Swan Green in under two hours. It was my brother's set text for his English lesson at school. I still like to gloat over the fact that it took him two weeks against my two hours.
10. (And now for the burning question) Do you think books should be sorted according to colour or title? (This matters.)
I can't say I follow either of those methods. I always put my series together - even if I do have one book whose cover is different from the others, which happens so woefully often it's a wonder I'm still sane - but other than that, it's simply a matter of where they fit on my bookshelf, and what else I have to evict to fit them in.
~ Charley R