Friday, September 12, 2008

Behind the Blog: The Book Muncher

Behind the Blog: Reviewer Speak Week
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Two more to go! Today we're hanging out with
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The Book Muncher
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The Book Muncher is a blog I kept on seeing and hearing about. When I finally visited, I was so impressed by both the design and thoughtful, critical nature of the reviews. Apart from her blog, the Book Muncher also keeps up an impressive listing of current YA contests... who doesn't love a free book? I'm so glad she could join us!
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INN: Why did you start reviewing online?
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Book Muncher: I've always been an avid reader and liked to discuss my opinion on the books I read. But it wasn't until December of last year when I realized I could but that to good use. That was when I stumbled upon a couple of book reviewing blogs, The Page Flipper and Book Chic. So, with a little help from Chelsea (The Page Flipper) and a hunger for books, The Book Muncher was born. I started with no previous experience whatsoever, but now I get to do what I love (and the free books are just another plus!).
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INN: What are your pet peeves when it comes to teen fiction?
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Book Muncher: Anything to do with unoriginality bothers me. For example, I hate stereotypical characters because then I feel like I've heard it all before. Repetition with character traits or plot and predictability are big turnoffs because then the story feels like it's going around in circles or I will be able to guess the outcome, which pretty much defeats the purpose of me reading the story. Other things I dislike are when stories try too hard to be deep and then fail, or books that are both long and boring.
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INN: What's the best book of 2008—two if you can't pick?
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Book Muncher: That's really tough because I usually like most of the books I read. But I will force myself to choose by pretending this is a life-or-death situation, and even then I'm only able to narrow it down to two. My favorites (so far) would have to be Sisters of Misery by Megan Kelley Hall (suspense, mystery, and family secrets, oh my!) and The Host by Stephenie Meyer (technically an adult novel, but it can be enjoyed by anyone because it's such a fantastic story).
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INN: Are there any trends you've noticed in YA this year or last—in theme, style, setting, etc.
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Book Muncher: Well, there are just so many young adult books in existence that I may or may not have read, so it's hard for me to make generalizations (besides the fact that I hate making generalizations). Anyway…there seem to be an abundance of vampire novels being published due to the wild success of Twilight. I've also noticed more books with fairies/faeries, royalty, spies, or depressing futuristic situations (although these do happen to make great stories), though usually not all of the above.
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Plus there are a ton of books about spoiled elite teens that take place at snobby boarding or private schools. But I'm totally guessing these things happened in the last couple years; they could've been occurring for centuries for all I know! Oh, and lately, there seem to be a lot of movies made out of teen novels.
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INN: Any advice for fellow teen reviewers?
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Book Muncher:
-Don't be afraid to write what you think! It's called "your opinion" for a reason.
-Read whatever you like. It doesn't have to come from a reviewing program, agent, or publisher; it came be from your library. All that matters is that it's a book.
-Don't accept all books for review being offered to you or you will probably get overwhelmed. And prioritize the books you do accept based on review deadline (if any) and when you got the book to review (it's better to review the books you get first to avoid any angry/impatient people).
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Thank you *so* much, Book Muncher!
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It's our last Behind the Blog tomorrow with the indefatigable, unstoppable Miss Erin!

4 comments:

keri mikulski :) said...

Great interview! :) You guys know the YA genre inside and out. Good stuff. :)

YA Book Realm said...

I've noticed a lot more vampire novels too! And I know how you feel about reading books that seem unoriginal. And great advice.

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Btw, I must say Gabrielle, the Behind the Blog are an awesome feature. I love the advice question so much. So helpful for teen reviewers.

Gabrielle said...

Thank you so much! I'm so glad you've enjoyed all these different interviews. As a a teen reviewer myself, it's been so helpful. I love how everyone recommends being honest; I hesitate to say negative things, especially as we're more or less "in the public eye."

I'll be putting together a compilation of the reviewers' advice and of their top recommended books later next week. And we'll definitely be repeating Behind the Blog in three or four month, with different reviewers.

Book Chic said...

Awww, thanks so much for mentioning me as an inspiration! That means so much to me. Great interview, and your blog rocks!! :)