Travis asks "Is there a certain genre that you don't particularly like?
What book has been the biggest surprise for you (i.e. one that didn't sound like something you'd enjoy, but you ended up loving)?"
1) I'm pretty open to everything and will read all different genres. If it's YA and sounds interesting, I'll probably read and enjoy it.
2) There was a book that I wasn't expecting to like as much as I did, but I can't remember it right now. I know that I put off reading Sarah Dessen for a while because all I'd heard of her was that she wrote sad books. At the time, I was all about the comedy and happy books. But finally, I was persuaded to read one of her books, so I picked up Just Listen, breezed through it and absolutely loved it. Now I'm a huge Sarah Dessen fan.
Mariah asks "What is your favorite part about blogging?"
I won't lie, getting the ARCs is a HUGE perk and one that I'm grateful for. But honestly, it's mainly the community that keeps me happy. I love all the friends I've made online, whether they be a fellow blogger, an author, or a reader of my blog. I love sharing my thoughts on various books and getting comments that extend the discussion and also get my readers thinking more about whatever book I'm reviewing. It makes me happy to see comments where someone says "Your review has made me put the book on hold at the library/move it up on my TBR pile/go buy it." It's an amazing feeling and I so hope it never fades.
Another aspect of that includes meeting up with others for book events. Like Susan wrote last week for my blogoversary, being in central VA does not lend itself to too many book bloggers nearby. But through her, I've found a few more (Meaghan and Monica- looking at you!) and it's so much fun to hang out with them at events like BEA and ALA and just regular book signings.
Rebecca asks "What would you like to see more of in YA fiction? What trend are you sick of and you wish it would go away?"
I'd love to see more mainstream GLBT fiction. I go to Lee Wind's blog every so often and notice that a lot of books mentioned there are from smaller presses or even self-pubbed. It's heartening to see GLBT characters more and more in YA books as supporting characters, but I want to see them take the spotlight more. Maybe I'm just not looking as hard or something but it seems like GLBT main characters are fading away. Gay YA authors like Brent Hartinger, Alex Sanchez, and David Levithan haven't published much in the way of GLBT literature in the past few years (aside from Levithan's collaboration with John Green on Will Grayson, Will Grayson, which was amazing and I was happy to see it made the NYTimes Bestsellers list, apparently a first for a gay YA book). I was happy to see in the Little, Brown YA bag a book called I Am J by Cris Beam, which features a transgender protagonist and looks really interesting.
I recently started on my own gay YA story (what I dub my "Funny Gay Paranormal") and am loving writing it. My goal, of course, is to get it published, but I also hope to write gay romances published by a mainstream publisher. I'd love to write Simon Pulse Rom-Coms; recently, they published the first African American rom-com in that series of books, and I'd love to be the author of the first gay rom-com for them. But I'd be happy anywhere. What I just want to do is give hope to GLBT teens that they can find love just like everyone else. It's hard to realize that with little representation.
OK, I think I've rambled enough. I didn't think it would be this huge, lol. As for the second question, I honestly don't mind any trends going on, so I'm not like "WHY WON'T VAMPIRES GO AWAY?!" or whatever. I read such a variety of books that it doesn't seem like that many books following a particular trend.
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