Here are some of the responses from the interviews that I did with YA book bloggers. I want to thank all the girls that participated; your responses were so valuable to my research and so much fun to read! If you would like a copy of my seminar paper please contact me at email@example.com
Participating Bloggers were: Lauren’s Crammed Bookshelf, The Book Cellar, Book Fanatics, Hope’s Bookshelf, The Book Shopaholic, Just Blinded Book Reviews, Simply Books, Book-lover Carol’s Reviews, Read Darling Reviews and Melanie’s Musings.
1. What type of books do you enjoy the most?
“Real life novels. I read every genre, but I tend to like reading those books about girls (or guys) that are just like you.” – Hope’s Bookshelf.
“I enjoy a lot of different types of books, but I primarily read realistic fiction and historical fiction.” – Simply Books
“I read chick-lit, romance, fantasy, paranormal romance, and historical fiction, as long as it’s Young Adult Fiction, the genre doesn’t really matter.” – The Book Shopaholic
Lately, I’ve been enjoying historical fiction the most, especially that which is set in the late 1800’s.” – Melanie’s Musings
2. Do you talk about what you are reading with your friends?
“Yes I do. I sometimes even let them borrow the books so that we can discuss them.” – Book Lover Carol’s Reviews.
“Frequently. I got a lot of my friends into reading by letting them borrow books of mine, so we talk about books a lot.” – Hope’s Bookshelf.
“Yes, we do. A lot actually. If one of us reads a good book we just pass it around and then we’ll talk about it. We don’t do anything official, like have certain times that we talk about books. Nothing like a book club. But we will talk about books during lunch at school or if we’re just hanging out.” – Book Fanatics
“Definitely, most of my friends read, so I often recommend books I’ve read.” – The Book Shopaholic
“ Sometimes, but most of the time they don’t really care. It’s the plain and honest truth. Me and my friends are more into movies, music, etc. But I love reading and I guess that’s kind of different for some of them.” – Read Darling Reviews.
3. Describe a main character that you really liked or identified with?
“I really like Gemma Doyle from the Gemma Doyle trilogy by Libba Bray. She was smart, brave and funny and I felt like I could relate to her even though she lived in the 19th century (that book takes place in the 1890s)” – Simply Books.
“One character that I really enjoyed reading was Audrey from Audrey, Wait! By Robin Benway. She was fun, crazy, and sarcastic, someone I could see myself being friends with and she had great taste in music.” – Just Blinded Book Reviews
“I love Terra from North of Beautiful. She was just so down to earth. There’s so many characters out there who are very on cloud nine, bet Terra was very sensible.” – Book Fanatics
“One of my favourite main characters of all time is Parker from Cracked Up to Be. She’s a really strong character, and I think that’s part of why I like her so much. Plus she goes through so much and you can still relate with her step by step through the book. Characters that you can relate with all along the way are my favourite.” – the Book Cellar
4. What is most appealing to you in a book? Setting, Character, plot or language. Why?
“The most appealing for me is character and plot. If the characters are too clichéd or bland then I won’t enjoy the book, and if the plot is too predictable or done-before then I won’t enjoy it as well.”- Book Lover Carol’s Reviews.
“Character! In my opinion, you can have the best story out there but if your characters fall flat then you have nothing. The Character is what the reader identifies with and if your characters aren’t interesting to read about then why would I read the story?” – Just Blinded Book Reviews
“To me, I must say character is the most important. Plot and language, and even setting , are very important too, but if I can’t connect with the character than I just can’t get into the book.” – Book Fanatics
“It would be a mix of character and plot because I like books that are fresh and new, not having the same story as bestsellers. Also if the character is not perfect and you can relate to them that is when you know the author has some talent.” – The Book Shopaholic
“I have to like a character in order to enjoy a book, for the most part. Great Characterization is appealing because if I like them I’ll eventually start rooting for them. This gets me even more excited about the other important parts of a book.” – Melanie’s Musings
5. Do you ever read books that are targeted for adults? If yes, please list some titles you’ve read recently.
“Yes I do. I recently red and loved Some Girls Bite by Chloe Neill. On the Edge by Ilona Andrews was really good as well. The Sookie Stackhouse series is Ok, too. The few adult books that I read are mainly paranormal books.” – Book Lover Carol’s Reviews.
“Yes, I do if they seem interesting. Some of the ones I’ve read recently are Best Friends Forever by Jennifer Weiner and The fidelity files by Jessica Brody. “ – Laurens Crammed Bookshelf
“No I don’t read books that are targeted just for adults. I don’t enjoy them as much…the characters are really hard to identify with and, for the books I’ve tried to read that were adult books, the writing seemed a lot more forced than it does in young adult books.” – Hope’s Bookshelf.
“ I do read some adult fiction – one of my favourite series is an adult series (The Sword of Truth by Terry Goodkind) – but for the most part I read Young Adult.” – the Book Cellar
“Occasionally you’ll find me reading some of those but not often. The author of the Notebook is one of my favourites. It’s just something about his titles.” – Read Darling Reviews
“I’ve just recently began reading YA books. Before that I read many adult books. Some adult books that I’ve read recently: The Postmistress by Sarah Blake, Under this Unbroken Sky by Shandi Mitchell and a Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks.” – Melanie’s Musings
6. Do you prefer books where the main character is a girl or doesn’t it matter?
“For me it doesn’t matter. Sure, I will probably relate to a girl main character a bit more, but I do enjoy reading from a guy’s point-of-view; it’s refreshing.” – Book Lover Carol’s Reviews.
“ I do prefer books where the main character is a girl because it’s easier to relate to her problems.” – Simply Books.
“It doesn’t really matter to me. I’ve read amazing books where the main character is male, like What They Always Tell Us by Martin Wilson or the Dark Corridor by Jay Bennet or Beautiful Creature by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. Though the YA world seems more geared to females there are a lot of books out there for males.” – Just Blinded Book Reviews
“It doesn’t matter to me if the main character is a girl or not. Most of the books I read the main characters are girls, but that doesn’t mean I don’t mind them with boys, too. I actually kind of like getting in the mind of the opposite sex for a while.” – Book Fanatics
“Sometimes I’ll prefer a girl for a story for commonness, but sometimes getting inside a guy’s point of view isn’t so bad. It doesn’t really matter though.” – Read Darling Reviews
7. Other than books, what else do you enjoy reading?
“I enjoy reading magazines such as People and Time a lot. Also, I’ll read the newspaper from time to time. Oh, and I love online blogs too!” – Laurens Crammed Bookshelf
“I real a lot of magazines such as Seventeen and Cosmo Girl.” – Hope’s Bookshelf.
“Magazines. Not gossipy ones, but ones like Seventeen and such with all the tips and advice. That kind of stuff.” – Read Darling Reviews
“Magazines! My family has a subscription to Time, and I’m really enjoying reading a few articles about of each one. I also have a subscription to Horse and Rider, and I get great tips from it on a monthly basis.” – Melanie’s Musings
8. What factors turn you off of a book?
“Not too many factors turn me off about books, but there is still one major one that does: unoriginality. Simply, because why waste time reading a book that you’ve read different versions of a million times before (yeah, Gossip Girl copycats I’m looking at you) when you could be reading a book with a whole new premise.” – Laurens Crammed Bookshelf
“I think the biggest thing that turns me off is cheesy writing. When you can tell the writer is trying to appeal to teens and he or she fails.” – Simply Books.
“When an author isn’t original, sometimes while reading a book I’ll think that I’ve read it somewhere else before and I have…. in a different book. The whole idea of writing is to be creative, imaginative, unique and I can’t stand it when a writer doesn’t take advantage of it. Also, I don’t like it when you can tell when an author is trying too hard, whether it be to sound like a teenager, or to try and make the world they created sound somewhat realistic. I know writing is a lot of hard work, but it’s also supposed to flow from you and the readers can tell when it doesn’t.” – Just Blinded Book Reviews
“Characters that I can’t relate to and books with really slow beginnings.” - Hope’s Bookshelf.
“Horrible writing, gruesomeness, and characters not well developed.”- The Book Shopaholic
9. Is cover art important?
“Cover art is important for drawing readers in. I’ve picked up books because I’ve liked the cover and ignored books with bad covers.” – Simply Books.
“Yes. I love covers! If it has a cover I’m not crazy about, I most likely won’t buy it unless the story is just WOW. Covers are a big part of what makes me decide which books I buy.” – the Book Cellar
“Definitely, its the first impression of the book to the reader, it may attract the reader or not.” – The Book Shopaholic
“Cover art is very important. Although a portion of the books I buy come from recommendations from friends and online reviews, the majority come from just browsing in a bookstore. If a book has an amazing cover, I’m much more likely to pick it up and find out more about it.” – Melanie’s Musings
10. Describe three of your favourite books and explain why you like them.
To save space I’m only listing the respondent’s favourites, many also included reasons for why they liked them.
“Graceling and Fire by Kristen Cashore, Just Listen by Sarah Dessen, and the Vampire Academy Series” – Laurens Crammed Bookshelf
“Graceling by Kristen Cashore, Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder and Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.” – Book Love Carol’s Reviews.
“The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory, The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown and the Host by Stephenie Meyer.” – Simply Books.
“Such a Pretty Girl by Laura Wiess, The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong and Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson.” – Just Blinded Book Reviews
“Just Listen by Sarah Dessen, Willow by Julia Hoban, 20 Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler” – Hope’s Bookshelf.
“Willow by Julia Hoban, Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins and Bloom by Elizabeth Scott.” – Book Fanatics
“A Great and Terrible Beauty, I’d Tell you I love you, but then I’d have to kill you and When it Happens.” – the Book Cellar
North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell, My Soult to Take by Rachel Vincent and Days of Little Texas by R. A Nelson.” – Melanie’s Musings
11. Do you get more books from the bookstore or the library?
“I don’t go to the library anymore since I’ve read many of the books there, so I get more of my books from my bookstore. I try to buy 2-3 books a week”. – Book Lover Carol’s Reviews.
“I think its split in half. Most of what I read comes from the library, but I go to the book store more often. I don’t know which one I like more either. I love the library. I mean, you can get as many books as you like and it’s free! But sometimes it’s good to own books, too.” – Book Fanatics
“It’s probably a pretty even ration, maybe tipping slightly towards the library. It all depends upon what books are coming out, and whether they’re hardcover or paperback.” – the Book Cellar
“I acquire all my books by shopping online (it’s cheaper for me).” – The Book Shopaholic
“The library. My libraries get new releases a week or two after it comes out.” – Read Darling Reviews.
12. Describe a typical book directed towards teen girls.
“Now it’s a paranormal book in which the girl is an average teen who meets and falls in “love” with an otherworldly guy.” – Book Lover Carol’s Reviews.
“A current typical read towards girls would be one that contains “sparkly” vampires, romance and a heroine in trouble. “ – Laurens Crammed Bookshelf
“The protagonist is a girl in high school and usually there is a boy the girl likes. A popular theme is girl likes the popular guy, gets popular guy, then realizes that she likes the next door neighbour that has had a crush on her for a few years.” - Simply Books.
“I think that a typical book directed towards girls would be something fun and girly (no duh, right?) There’s a lot of those coming of age stories. There’s also always a guy involved.” – Book Fanatics
“For the most part centred around romance.” – The Book Shopaholic
“A book with a bad boy, love, good characters and totally swoon worthy.” – Read Darling Reviews.
“A prime example would be any of Sarah Dessen’s books. She has a regular teen girl with some family issues, and there’s always a guy.” – Melanie’s Musings
13. There isn’t a lot of research available about what teen girls read, but there is lots about what guys read, why do you think this is?
“I think this is because there’s this huge confusion, I guess, over what guys read simply because researchers think they have it figured out what girls read when in all truth they haven’t. So, I feel that there should be more equality in what boys AND girls read out there.” – Laurens Crammed Bookshelf
“Really? I thought it would be the other way around! I find that teen girls are the ones more eager to read and that boys ten to shy away from books. I mean, the majority of bloggers out there are female (of course, there are a few boy bloggers!) and, in my experience, most of the YA authors out there are female. So truly, I don’t know why that is.” – Just Blinded Book Reviews
“Because girls read more of EVERYTHING than guys do. Many guys don’t read so I think there is more research about what guys read so people can help them get reading more. However, girls read a lot, and we have a lot of different genres, sot here isn’t as much research.” – Hope’s Bookshelf.
“I’m not really sure, but I do seem to see more girls reading than boys, so maybe it could be something to the fact that girls read more, so they focus on guys reading as they don’t read as much.” – the Book Cellar
“I’m not exactly sure, but I think it’s because guys read a lot less. Instead of finding out what girls read, more people are concerned about just getting guys to pick up a book.” – Melanie’s Musings
14. What types of books are really popular with teens right now?
“Books that contain vampires are definitely the most popular. I mean when you can barely go to a bookstore anyone without seeing a bunch of displays dedicated to those teen vampires. Through, I feel that over the next few years, vampire books will decrease in popularity and be replaced with dystopian/fallen angel/ demon novels which are quickly becoming high sellers in the YA world.” – Laurens Crammed Bookshelf
“Supernatural books (Twilight, Blue Bloods, City of Bones, etc). Down to earth books (Sarah Dessen, Elizabeth Scott, 20 Boy Summer, Willow, etc)” – Hope’s Bookshelf.
“I think paranormal is really hot with teens now. Everyone’s read Twilight, and I think people are starting to explore al the other amazing paranormal books that are out there.” – the Book Cellar
“It depends. Some of us like historic love stories, some hate loves stories, some love vampires. You can’t really pinpoint a type because everyone is different.” – Read Darling Reviews
15. How important are romance and relationships in teen fiction?
“Romance really isn’t important in teen fiction. I mean, yeah, lots of teen girls have dated or are dating, but I really don’t think that romance should be the main focus in a book. Relationships with friends and family are important because they tend to last longer than romance.” – Book Lover Carol’s Reviews.
“I personally like romance in my books, so I think it’s important to have that. Not everyone likes love stories though, so it’s good to have a mix of both on the market” – Simply Books.
“I think they are very important because so many of us girls are at an age are waiting for the romance and relationships, and while we’re waiting we get to fulfill that “dream” with books. Though I’m starting to wonder if I’ll ever find a teen book that doesn’t have any romance in it!” – Just Blinded Book Reviews
“For me, I’d say that romance and relationships is very important. It’s also very popular in teen books right now. Like I said before, I’m a romantic, but I’m a realistic romantic. I love reading about it. It’s all nice in my head, but I know most of the relationships in books are far from reality. And I think that as long as people know this, it’s fine.” – Book Fanatics
“ Very, because its common in real life, so people like to read about it,” – The Book Shopaholic
16. Do you think reading is important for teen girls, why or why not?
“Yes, I do think reading is important for teen girls (and boys too!) because I personally think it allows them to be better educated. Plus, besides that it allows them to see that they are not the only one out there facing problems like friendship, boy and parental trouble.” – Laurens Crammed Bookshelf
“I do think reading is important for teen girls, but also for anyone of all ages. First off, it makes you smarter, by introducing new vocabulary and new ways to write. Books also contain new ideas that make you think. They describe different situations and you can think to yourself, “I would react this way if that happened to me.” – Simply Books.
“Yes, I do because it can help us escape from our lives and get into someone else’s head. We don’t have to worry about our problems for that time when we’re reading, we can look at someone else’s, and always see how that problem is resolved in the end.” – Hope’s Bookshelf.
“ Heck yes reading is important for teen girls. There are so many different worlds in books. I especially think its important for girls to read books with heavy topics. There’s so many issues that those books cover. Still, even if teens read fast fun reads it’s still important.” – Book Fanatics
“I really do. Reading is something that I think is important for everyone. Reading also can open your eyes to the world around you in different ways, different books really have made me think in an entirely different way.” – the Book Cellar
“It’s highly important because it exposes us to a vast array of knowledge, exposes us to think we might never have been exposed to.” – The Book Shopaholic
17. Why do you enjoy reading?
“I enjoy reading because it allows me to escape my world and go to another one.” – Book Lover Carol’s Reviews.
“There are so many reasons I enjoy reading. Though, I mostly enjoy it because it gives me an escape from my world (problems, troubles, etc) and lets me get completely fixated with someone else’s for a while. Plus, it allows me to see that some of the problems I’m facing currently do happen to other teens. – Laurens Crammed Bookshelf
“For me, reading is fun. I like immersing myself in a story, in a different world than I live in. It’s a form of escapism.” – Simply Books.
“Traveling. I love getting to travel to other worlds and lifetimes even if its in my own mind! I love getting to experience things that I would never be able to otherwise. I think it’s also getting to leave your own life for a while and living through someone else’s and just how other people live.” – Just Blinded Book Reviews
“It’s a fun past time. I love reading characters stories. It’s just so interesting.” – the Book Cellar
“It takes me away from where I am or what I’m going through. That sort of thing.” – Read Darling Reviews
“I think a part of why I enjoy reading is escapism. When I read, I can just get away. Plus, the characters in the books get to have adventures that I would never dream of.” – Melanie’s Musings