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Dianne Salerni : Writer of Teen and Middle Grade Fiction | My MG Reader Switches to YA!

My MG Reader Switches to YA!

How did it happen? My voracious little MG reader has suddenly gone completely YA! Gina has reviewed many a book here on my blog, but today I’m interviewing her as a newly converted YA reader.

1. Gina, thanks for visiting my blog today! Can you list the YA books you’ve read in the last month?
The Fault in Our Stars, Looking for Alaska, The Twilight saga, Champion by Marie Lu, The Darkest Evening of the Year by Dean Kootz, Countdown by Michelle Rowen, and Mind Games by Kiersten White.
2. What do you think all these books have in common that draws you to them? (Except for the John Green books, it seems to me that most of them are speculative fiction. Am I right?)
I do enjoy dystopian novels the best, which makes up a good portion of the list above. I really love seeing a whole new world and form of society crafted into a story. I like books that have enough action, not necessarily fights or anything like that, and romance.
3. I was surprised to see you recently reading Kiera Cass’s Selection trilogy, because I thought that was primarily YA romance. (The girls are competing for the prince, right?) So, are you into romance now, or is there something else that drew you to those books?
I don’t have anything against romance related novels, in fact I quite enjoy them, but The Selection wasn’t entirely romance. I once saw a review that said it was like The Hunger Games without all the killing. Which is pretty accurate. It’s just a good book.
4. You saved your money and bought your own Kindle at age 10. Then you proceeded to devour MG books as fast as you could buy them and download them. Now, you’ve upgraded from a second generation Kindle to a Kindle Fire, and suddenly, I notice you only read physical books. What happened? Is the Kindle Fire not as good for reading? Or is there something about YA books that makes you want to hold them (and their gorgeous covers) in your hands?
I don’t particularly enjoy reading on a kindle for several reasons. For one, you don’t get the feel of the book. I enjoy physically having them. Also, it’s much harder to take notes for school or find a scene you are looking for. And in my school, if I try to read on my kindle, I get so many people saying that I’m not allowed to have a kindle in school. Even though I am, in fact, allowed. And even if I tell them that, they bug me endlessly and accuse me of playing games. It’s just much simpler to have the physical books. I only usually buy something on kindle if I want it so badly that waiting a few days just won’t do.
5. I don’t think you completely answered my question there, because you used to read TONS of books on your old Kindle.  (Gina shrugs at me.) O-kay, moving on … What’s the biggest turn-off to you in a YA book?
Well, in the case of the Selection series, the MC’s name was almost enough to make me not buy it. America Singer? Why? And guess what — she sings. It took me a really long time to get over that. Don’t name characters such cheesy things. PLEASE!
6. What book or series do you wish there had been more of?
This is a hard question. For most of the books I’m thinking of, it simply would not work for more things to happen after it is over. It would have to be in the middle. My two favorite series were The Legend Series and Divergent. I would have loved to see more from those series. Although not just retelling of scenes I’ve already read from another character’s point of view, which is what the author of Divergent is doing.
7. Now it’s time for a shameless plug. Do you recommend THE EIGHTH DAY – and why?
Hmm, I think it’s a good book, but I’ve heard the author is a real pain. (Oh, very funny.) But I mean in all seriousness, I was unable to put The Eighth Day down for almost half the book, while in most YA books only a few chapters are usually that way. I thought it was extremely well written and filled with enough action to keep the story moving on, and makes you want to keep reading.
Gina, thanks for being here today! You’ve heard it folks: Don’t give your characters cheesy names. Don’t retell your novels from another character’s POV and call it a new book. And write more dystopian despite agents and editors telling you that genre is dead!

And now, my other daughter Gabrielle will reprise her role as the Cue Card Girl from this weekend’s high school production of Hairspray to announce the winner of a copy of Marcy Hatch’s debut novel, WEST OF PARADISE.

Amy Makechnie, you are the winner! Yay! I will be in touch!

12 Responses to My MG Reader Switches to YA!

  1. T. Drecker says:

    Great interview! I had to laugh, my own daughter flipped that change fast at around the age of 12. But she doesn’t like paper books (so sad!) and devours them on *cough* my KIndle at the moment. Glad she loved The Eighth Day – I’m sure she’s the hardest (And best) critic 😉

    • Tonja, you got that right!
      And she doesn’t bother to sugar coat her critique of a manuscript. She’ll come out and tell me: That character is flat. I hate that line. This part is boring.

      Apparently, she feels no need to coddle mom!

  2. Angela Brown says:

    Congrats to the winner of West of Paradise. They’re getting a great book.
    I agree with Gina regarding The Eighth Day, about it being a good book. I don’t know about the author being a pain. I’m guessing Gina has some inside information?? 🙂
    And I appreciate this interview for many reasons, especially the reader recommendation to avoid the cheesy MC names 🙂

  3. Robin says:

    So fun. And congrats to Gina on “graduating” to YA. I couldn’t get over the name America Singer, either. On the old kindles vs. kindle fire (at least for me) I’ve kept my old kindle because I prefer the looks like paper, easy on the eyes, read. The fire feels more like a toy with lots of distractions.

    I’m glad she liked THE EIGHTH DAY. I’m excited to review it soon on my blog.

  4. Ha, ha, you two are so cute- tho apparently you’re a real pain sometimes, Dianne…? And here I thought you were so nice! 😉 My most recent character is named Tam Sullivan. I hope that doesn’t get the cheesy rating from, Gina! =)

  5. Rachel says:

    Great interview. I have a recommendation for Gina – ASHFALL by Mike Mullin is a YA “dystopian” (I put in quotes because it is really a contemporary with Yellowstone exploding and how this kid has to deal, so it’s not really dystopian society). It’s great and the author did a lot of research (his character, Alex, does tae-kwon do so he learned/took lessons, he drove the distance of how Alex would walk from his house to try to get to his cousins, he even consulted some science-y people on Yellowstone erupting and what that would be like). I really love this series–the last one comes out in a few weeks… and I think they are really underrated.
    Again great interview guys 🙂 🙂 Too cute!

  6. Robin says:

    If you want the truth, ask a kid. If you want some praise with your poison, ask an adult.

    If you can take the truth, the kid will help you revise your MS faster. Now, where do I get one of those???? Ha!

    Great interview. Your daughter is an avid reader. I remember reading like that when I was her age. ::awesome::

  7. Ha ha, fun interview, especially that last bit. 🙂 And great cue card carrying! (*Applauds*) I’m really impressed with how much Gina read this month. But I’m especially happy to hear she prefers paper books now. As one of the last holdouts to buying a Kindle, I’m cheering. Gina, you might like the Uglies series by Scott Westerfeld.

  8. Love this interview : )

  9. mshatch says:

    I have to agree with Gina regarding her review of The Eighth Day; it rocks! And congrats to Amy for winning a copy of my book!

  10. Ha! How did you manage that clip of Gabby? lol. And I’m about to embarque on the DIVERGENT journey, too. Hadn’t read them yet because I was completely saturated in dystopian a few years back and needed a break, but now I want to see what all the hype is about:)

  11. Linda G. says:

    Great interview! You’re lucky to have such an astute beta reader for your novels, Dianne. 🙂