3 S.R. Johannes: Teen Panel - Part Two

Monday, July 26, 2010

Teen Panel - Part Two

Today is Part Two this quarter's Teen Panel. You can still view Part One.

  • Age: 15; State: NY
  • Age: 18; State: Ohio; Chelsea
  • Age: 18; Michigan; Tirza
Do you have a preference when it comes to reading about kids who are like you? Do you like reading about kids whose lives are much different than yours less? Different cultures, races, societies?

  • I enjoy reading more about people whose lives are different or whose settings are similar to mine, but they have an extraordinary set of circumstances that makes things very different from my life. Reading about other cultures, races and societies makes me think more and really wraps me into the story- it's just fascinating to see how different social settings can completely change a person's views and give their life a whole different direction.
  • I like both. I love being able to relate to a character, but I also want to be in someone else's shoes. It's nice when there's a combination of both in one book. Like having a character who hates reading (very unlike me), but who has an addiction to coffee (very like me). Or someone who's a spy (unlike me (or is it?)) but loves animals (like me). It's awesome to be transported to a new time period or society or culture, but it's also awesome to have a grounding in my own life that I can relate to.
  • Like I mentioned above, I would love to read historical fiction set in different countries, so I love learning about different cultures. Obviously there needs to be something in the story or the character that I can identify with, or that will motivate me to read the story, but I am always up for learning something new while reading. I adored the Girls of Many Lands series when I was young, and I wish there was a similar series of books for YA readers. And reading about people like me is also always nice. It's cool when I can put myself into the story I am reading.
Do you like a book written from the pov of 2 main characters? Do you prefer first person or third person?
  • I think it's difficult to write from the POV of multiple characters, but if it's done correctly, that can be one of my favorite styles of writing. The characters need to have distinct voices so they don't blend into each other. I mostly prefer first person literature because it tends to get you into the head of the main character better.
  • I prefer first person because it allows you to get into a character's head more. For that same reason, I prefer one-person POV novels. I really want to connect to a character, and depending on the length of a novel, it's hard to do that when you only get half of the face-time in a character's mind, which is what happens when a book is split into two POVs. But, if it's done the right way, it can be great. It all depends on the author, but if they nail both character's POVs, two thumbs up.
  • This is a bit of a subjective question...I've read books that alternate between points of view (and even between first and second and third person) that were well written and quite engrossing, and I loved it. However, I've also read books with 4+ points of view, and at that point, it felt like just too much. You only really brush the surface of each character, and don't really get into them and who they were. So, I guess what I am trying to say is...I don't mind either way, as long as the story flows well, the characters are developed, and the message is well conveyed.
How do teens felt about the whole vampire situation? Are you all “dead set” on the sparkling vampire shown in the Twilight saga? Or would you be interested in reading a book about more monstrous vampires like those from Anne Rice and Dracula? Or has it all been done!
  • Vampires have just been used so much by now that I'm worn out of them. Even if they're used in conjunction with other beasts/demons/beings or taken from a different angle, it's not as intriguing anymore. I'm sure there are plenty of teens out there who still love the vampire situation, but to me, it feels like one of those songs that they overplay on the radio and then you can't enjoy it until you havn't heard it for a few years.
  • I love creepy vamps. No sparkling for me. I mean, I enjoyed Twilight when I read it, but the sparkling thing was beyond ridiculous. I like books like the MorganvilleCaine, where the vampires are evil and scary and roar. But reading a book from the POV of a vampire is interesting, too, because they're older and have lived in different time periods and they just have the opportunity for a completely different perspective on humanity. That's why I want to read Thirst by Christopher Pike so bad - 5000yo vampire as the main character? I'm in. Despite what everyone says, I really don't think the whole vampire thing has been overdone. There are a lot of different sides and lores to vampires that have yet to be explored. That said, I would still love to see a different creature become more predominant, like ghouls or something. I'm all for creepy ancient lore.
  • Short answer - The always-good vampires like the Cullens seem boring, and we tend to find the not-always-good/not-always-bad vampires from Buffy the Vampire Slayer and The Vampire Diaries more entertaining. Long answer - A lot of eye-rolling goes on with my friends when vampires are mentioned. I think for the most part, vampires have become trite to us. We were all die-hard Twilight fans when it first came out when we were in eighth grade, but now as we are graduating and moving on, we've moved beyond sparkly vampires and tend to mock them more than rave about them. That being said, we don't completely hate them. Many of my friends saw the New Moon movie (we credit Taylor Lautner for this), and we are huge, huge fans of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Buffy could kick both Bella and Edward's butt, and Angel is far sexier than any guy in Twilight). I am also loving TV show version of The Vampire Diaries right now (Team Stefan!), much to my own surprise. However, when it comes to reading about vampires...I'm going to need an excellent hook and/or a bit of convincing to get me to read it.
Here is last quarter's teen panel:
Part 1
Part 2


Melissa Sarno said...

Thanks so much for posting this! I really enjoy your teen panels. Such an interesting perspective. I wonder, do you ever ask if older teens read adult books and what kinds of adult books they read if it's not required reading? I remember reading a lot of adult books as an older teen and I wonder what might appeal to them today in the world of publishing in general, not just YA.

Jemi Fraser said...

Another terrific panel! It's great to hear from the target audience. :) Thanks so much everyone for the input!

Natalie Aguirre said...

Great interview. It's so interesting to hear what your teen panel thinks. It's interesting that they all prefer first person POV.

Melissa's question is a good one. Do they like adult fantasy more than YA? Do they think it's different for their friends that are boy?

Amanda Borenstadt said...

Super questions and it's so helpful to get the perspective of various teens.

Kelly Polark said...

Another fabulous teen panel! Love hearing what they honestly think!

Unknown said...

So interesting! And I especially love the signs that the vampire fad is dying out.

Paula said...

So great to hear from those we write for.

Tere Kirkland said...

Lots of great insights from this panel, as always! Thanks, Shelli and the gang.