Must love (teen) books.

21 Feb

So, there are about one million and a half book blogs out there, so I figured, why not! I’ll make another one. Contrary to a friend’s advice, I am not going to make my book blog unique by doing nude video reviews in which I rate books with varying degrees of my exposed body. Funny as it would be to give a book “two tits out,” I do like being employed in a capacity that involves working with youth, which means I’m going to have to rely on my witty and unique voice to win me some readers. Plus, you know, blackmailing my friends into promoting me and stuff.

Why should anyone care what I think about a book, ever? Well, you shouldn’t, but! As a librarian I make a living from engaging with the wide world of bookwormdom, I read a shit ton, I write a shit ton, I have a degree in English,  and I just plain like writing about books. In other words, I’ve spent enough of my life thinking and talking about books to make what I believe to be valid judgments of other people’s work, and I don’t really care whether any of you anonymous readers agree with me. OR DO I???

This particular book blog is going to be focused on the wonderful world of young adult literature. Why YA? One, because I love it, and two, because I can usually read it a hell of a lot faster than stuff written for olds. After a long day of staring at a computer and dealing with the public often the last thing I want to do is slog through heavy prose that doesn’t tug at my heart strings. I read a pretty wide range of stuff, but these are some of the characteristics/genres/whatever I have a soft spot for:

a) CHARACTERS. One of my teens recently asked me what she could do to make the adventure novel she’s writing better. I told her that, for me, the most important selling point of just about anything I read is the characters. If I don’t care about your characters, then why would I care about whether they live or die, find love everlasting or spend the rest of their fictional lives broken and alone? What makes a good character, you ask? Dimensions. They should not be the sum total of their clumsiness and obsession with glittery immortals. Ahem. Details. For me, what makes the people in my lives special are those tiny behavioral details that you only notice after spending oodles of time loving on each other. A good writer knows their characters well enough to give them the kind of detailed presence that makes them jump off the page and into my heart.

b) WELL THOUGHT-OUT DYSTOPIAS. There’s been a whole slew of dystopias in recent years, not all of them good. A dystopia isn’t just a world gone to shit scenario. A good dystopia is a future that reflects back on our present. That said, I do like a generally crappy future, but I that’s something else entirely.

c) SLOW-BURN ROMANCE. Now, I’m not saying that I absolutely have to have romance in my books. In fact, I really only like romantic sub-plots, the key word here being “sub.” I can’t handle straight up romance for the most part. If it’s going to be a SUB-plot, I really like to bear witness as the romance develops. The whole insta-love thing is, for me, super hokey and boring to read about. I mean, half the point is all that sexual tension during the build-up, right? That great existential question, WILL THEY MAKE OUT OR NO, is way more fun when it’s drawn-out and smoldering.

d) THE FANTASTIC. Do I really need to explain myself here? I love fantasy. Always have. I read realistic stuff too, but if there are fairies and dragons or some crap I’m way more likely to pick it up.

If you like these things too then maybe my reviews will be worthwhile. If not, well then you can stuff your sorries in a sack, mister.

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2 Responses to “Must love (teen) books.”

  1. steph February 22, 2012 at 2:01 am #

    yay! new blog! yay! inaugural post! can’t wait to read more!

  2. Katherine Martinelli February 24, 2012 at 8:50 am #

    Congrats on the new blog!!! It looks incredible and you are already my go to person for all YA book recs, so it’s perfect. I can’t wait to follow you and read more.

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