Our latest YA Junkie is our very own contributor Jenn Montes, who in addition to having impeccable taste in fiction has an incredible way with words. A teacher, creative writer, librarian and lifelong reader, Jenn is the the kind of woman who can easily read more than 100 books a year and still meet all of her work deadlines and watch her favorite TV shows. She’s quick-witted, kind and is definitely our kindred spirit when it comes to fictional boyfriends! Check out her Editor’s Pick of “Lola and the Boy Next Door,” or her Literary Crush tribute to Peeta from “The Hunger Games.”
Name, if you’re out about your addiction: Jennifer “Jenn” Montes
How long have you been reading YA: A really long time. I loved Judy Blume growing up, and when I was in high school I think I read everything Christopher Pike ever wrote. After reading Harry Potter in college, I was open to reading more YA. About a year ago, I took a YA lit class (for fun) and I was completely hooked all over again!
Who are some of your “must-read-everything-they-write” authors: John Green. I absolutely love everything he’s written. I also love Maureen Johnson, Melina Marchetta, Rick Riordan, and, of course, J.K. Rowling.
Favorite fictional boyfriend(s): I have so many. Too many! I am fictional-boy-crazy! Theodore “Teddy” Lawrence was my very first fictional crush, but Ron Weasley will always be my number one. He’s brave, funny, and loyal, everything a girl could possibly want in a guy! Etienne St. Clair from “Anna and the French Kiss” is right up there, too. Oh my gosh, I wish I’d met a guy like that in high school. Who else? Peeta (“THG”), Jonah (“Jellicoe Road”), Adam (“Where She Went”), Keith (“Thirteen Little Blue Envelopes”), Four (“Divergent”)… See what I mean?
What’s the last YA book that blew you away and why? “Shine” by Lauren Myracle. It was one of the most powerful stories I’ve read in a long time and certainly one of the best I’ve read this year. In the story, the main character’s best friend is beaten and left for dead as the result of an apparent hate crime. The silence surrounding her small town on this subject provokes her to investigate the crime herself. The characters and setting feel so real, and the story really hooks you. It’s really an incredible book.
Which YA books will you forever keep on your bookshelves: I already have an entire shelf dedicated to just Harry Potter. I can’t imagine that will change. The books just have so much meaning to me. The others I will keep are the ones I enjoy reading again and again, such as “Anna and the French Kiss” by Stephanie Perkins, “Jellicoe Road” by Melina Marchetta, “Thirteen Little Blue Envelopes” by Maureen Johnson, and “The Hunger Games” series by Suzanne Collins.
If you could force Hollywood to adapt one YA book into a movie, which would it be? Anytime there is talk of adapting my favorite books, I get a little nervous. But I’d really like to see “Looking for Alaska” on screen, especially if they went low budget with unknown actors. I couldn’t stand to see a big name star like Miley Cyrus as Alaska.
What’s at the top of your TBR pile? I need to reread “Anna and the French Kiss” one more time before turning it back to the library. Then I’m going to read Allie Condie’s “Crossed” and Maureen Johnson’s “Suite Scarlett.” I’m also really excited about reading “The Fault in Our Stars” by John Green, “A Million Suns” by Beth Revis, and “Insurgent” by Veronica Roth in the new year! I cannot wait!