Our latest YA Junkie has been a friend of mine for a long, long time, but we’ve never actually met. We met each other through an online message board turned LiveJournal support group more than 10 years ago. We’ve gone from blushing brides to newlyweds to new moms together, but it wasn’t until the final “Harry Potter” books were coming out that I realized just how cool Allison’s job was as a teen services librarian in California. Now that I’m a zealous YA convert, I rely on Allison for spot-on recommendations. She always nudges me in the right direction and knows exactly what I would love (like Kristin Cashore, Gayle Forman, Kiersten White, and John Green, to name just a few authors).
When she’s not making her library’s teen lit section rock, Allison posts on her own blog: Reading Everywhere, and her podcast, Authors Are Rockstars. You can follow Allison on Twitter if you love librarians as much as we do!
Name, if you’re out about your addiction: Allison
What you do: Teen Services Librarian
How long have you been reading YA: Since I was about 9 years old, starting with the literary greatness of Francine Pascal’s series, Sweet Valley High. I always wanted a lavaliere…
Who are some of your “must-read-everything-they-write” authors: Shannon Hale, Libba Bray (And they once went on book tour together! I’ll always mourn the fact that they didn’t come anywhere near my city.)
Favorite fictional boyfriends: Peeta Mellark, from “The Hunger Games.” Romance AND bread? Sign me up! Gilbert Blythe, from “Anne of Green Gables.” “Carrots.” Do I really need to explain this?
What’s the last YA book that blew you away and why? “Code Name Verity,” by Elizabeth Wein. It’s about two incredibly strong young women during WWII. It’s amazingly well-researched, and the narrative structure is incredible. It starts out with one of the girls captured by the Nazis in Occupied France. She’s forced to write down everything she knows about the British War Effort, and when she runs out of information, they’ll kill her. To say more would spoil an incredible story. It has strong crossover appeal for adults, and I think it’s a definite contender for the Printz Award.
Which YA books will you forever keep on your bookshelves: “I Capture the Castle,” by Dodie Smith, because it’s a classic, and I’ve got a lovely old copy I bought in a used bookstore in London when I was in college, so it has sentimental value. And of course I keep all the books autographed by the fabulous authors I’ve been fortunate enough to meet.
If you could force Hollywood to adapt one YA book into a movie, which would it be? “Paranormalcy”, by Kiersten White. It’s such a fresh take on paranormal romance- a genre I’m almost thoroughly bored with, but this book and its hilarious main character brought back the fun for me.
Oh oh oh, can I choose second book? Can I? Yes? Why, you’re too kind… “White Cat,” by Holly Black. The idea of magic-using mafia families is such a great premise, and this is such a brilliantly plotted story. I’d LOVE to see those crazy cons play out on screen!
What’s at the top of your TBR pile? “Thumped,” by Megan McCafferty; “Purity,” by Jackson Pearce and “In Honor,” by Jessi Kirby