dianne salerni author
dianne salerni author

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!