This Thanksgiving week, we are so grateful to the connections we’ve made to other bloggers and their sites. We’re so thankful for bloggy pals like We Heart YA and are thrilled to once again feature one of their writers. We happen to agree with almost everything that Kristan says, especially in regards to her literary crush and her love of Melina Marchetta’s books and characters.
Name, if you’re out about your addiction: Kristan
What you do: Mostly? Attend to my dog’s every whim. He he, but seriously, my dream is to be an author, so right now I’m editing my first YA manuscript and hoping to snag an agent.
How long have you been reading YA: Not that long, actually. Harry Potter was my gateway to YA, but because I tend to be anti-hype, I couldn’t bring myself to start that series until the final book was released. So… about 5 years? And I’m not the fastest reader, but trust me, I’ve worked hard to make up for lost time.
Who are some of your “must-read-everything-they-write” authors: To be honest, I’ve been let down many times by books that I thought would be great simply because I had loved what the author previously wrote. So now I try to judge every book on its own merits — i.e., premise, word-of-mouth/reviews, and sample pages. That said, there are certain authors who I trust more than others, and whose projects tend to excite me because they’re in fairly line with my tastes. In YA, I would put Laini Taylor, Stephanie Perkins, and Kristin Cashore in that category. In non-YA, Nora Roberts tops the list.
Favorite fictional boyfriends: Sean Kendrick from “The Scorpio Races.” He’s gentle but tough, honorable, hard-working, smart, and not afraid of his feelings. Plus he’s good with horses — even the kind that eat people! So yeah, a pretty great guy to have around.
Favorite kick-ass heroine? I’m happy to report that this is a very difficult question! Happy, because it means that I have a lot of good choices.Since she’s fresh on my mind, I’ll go with Evanjalin from “Finnikin of the Rock” by Melina Marchetta. (Sorry, Sarah, I know she’s your girl-crush too!) The thing about Evanjalin that I love is, she does whatever she thinks is best, regardless of other people’s criticism or skepticism, and often regardless of the risk to herself. She’s driven by faith and hope and love — motivations that contrast sharply with the fear and selfishness and ambition that drive so many other characters (and people in real life). Do I always like or agree with Evanjalin’s decisions? Definitely not. But I admire her conviction. For someone so young and small, she carries many terrible burdens, and somehow she bears them with incredible strength and grace.
What’s the last YA book that blew you away and why? On the Jellicoe Road, also by Melina Marchetta. Though she keeps the reader confused for the first 100 or so pages, Marchetta makes up for that with her amazing characters. They kind of drive you crazy, but by the end, your heart aches and you’re bawling for them. (Or at least I was!)
Which YA books will you forever keep on your bookshelves:
- “Harry Potter” and “The Hunger Games” (duh)
- “The Host” by Stephenie Meyer (already reread twice)
- “Daughter of Smoke and Bone” by Laini Taylor (and, I’m assuming, its sequels)
- “The Scorpio Races” by Maggie Stiefvater
If you could force Hollywood to adapt one YA book into a movie, which would it be? Well, I think Hollywood is adapting pretty much everything already, so…
What’s at the top of your TBR pile? “The Raven Boys” by Maggie Stiefvater, and a couple non-YA titles: “Cloud Atlas” by David Mitchell and “Life of Pi” by Yann Martel. (The movie trailers for those two totally hooked me!)
Which literary YA couple’s love story do you think is the most swoon-worthy? People are either going to applaud or skewer me for this answer, but truthfully? Bella and Edward in “Twilight.” That book captures the intensity of young/first love so well.