Friday, February 26, 2010

Portrait of a teen reader: Meet Allison

Some teenagers read only when forced (by gunpoint sometimes.) Some read in spurts, like my 14-year-old daughter who can sometimes read 100 pages a night, and then not pick up another book for a month.

And then there is my daughter’s friend, Allison. I have rarely seen Allison without a book, whether she’s on the soccer field (at half-time, of course) or hanging out with the girls. Usually when we see each other we get this crazed gleam in our eyes and gravitate toward each other; two obsessed book freaks. The other girls, my daughter included groan; there they go again! Allison and I are always exchanging books. I have two of hers now! (and I think she has a few of mine—I tend to lose track).

I thought it would be fun to share some of Allison’s thoughts about books and reading in general, since she is an actual, real life teenager and a member of our target audience.

Welcome, Allison! Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I'm 14 in 9th grade. I play soccer, I like swimming, hanging out with friends.

How many books would you say you read a month?
I would say I read at least two books a month.

When did you become the voracious reader you are today?
The first books I was really into was the HOUSE OF NIGHT series. It was about the time when TWILIGHT was not really popular (two years ago). My sister was reading TWILIGHT and kept telling me how great it was, so I moved onto my next series. Then I didn't read anything for a while. I sort of read the IMMORTALS books, but just as something to read until the next book of HON came out. Then I started talking to Lisa who introduced me to the UGLIES series and the MORTAL INSTRUMENTS series. Now I'm waiting for the next book in most of those series, and reading the Sookie Stackhouse series (the books the show True Blood is based on)

What’s your favorite genre?
My favorite genre would be fantasy, supernatural, teen romance.

Is there any particular book that sparked your interest?
The Mortal Instruments is by far my favorite out of everything I’ve read.

Do you prefer series or stand-alones?
I definitely prefer series over stand-alones.

What do you look for in a book? What keeps you reading?
In every book I’ve read there is always forbidden romance, so that really gets me interested. I like books that keep me guessing and really pull me out reality.

Do you have a favorite book?
My favorite stand alone book is WALK TWO MOONS. That book has no out of the ordinary characters and no real twist, but something about it makes me want to read it over and over again.

What kind of book would you like to see on the shelves in the next year or so?
I’m really looking forward to the next book in most of the series I’m reading. Maybe a new kind of genre altogether that doesn’t have any super natural beings.

Do you ever think you might want to write as well?
I would love to write a book someday but I don’t think it would be any good.

Thank you for stopping by, Allison! And let me let you in on a little writer's secret: None of us are any good when we start. You just need a story to tell and the courage (or insanity?) to keep writing. With each book we get a bit better. Some of us even get published. And we are always afraid we aren't really any good. But that never stops us from writing. So be brave and give it a go! If you start now, imagine how good you'll be by the time you graduate high school!


  1. That was great, Lisa and Allison!

  2. What a great interview! I'm so glad to gather intel from the YA population! Thanks Lisa and Allison!

  3. Fantastic interview! So wonderful to see an avid reader! :) Thank you Lisa and Allison!

  4. Very enlightening, Allison. Thanks, you answered a lot of questions I had.

    Great interview, Lisa!

  5. This was a great interview. I've taught 9th grade for about 15 years and my English teachers would love this kid. :)

  6. Thanks, Tere. Thanks, Sarajane. Who wouldn't love her? She's such a sweetie. (I hope your mom is reading this, Allison——Hi Julie!)

  7. More post like this!

    Love hearing what the younger generation are reading, especially as I'm writing for a similar age-group.

    Many thanks, Allison - and Lisa for being such a great host :)

  8. Thank you, Wendy! I'll try. In the next few months I'll be interview some more published (and pre-published) authors.

  9. Thanks Lisa and Allison. Excellent! We need to hear more from teens. I hope, Lisa, you will be able to find a few more of the worms lurking in the stacks.

  10. Thanks, Bish. I know a few more. Maybe if they're not shy I can get them on here. (wish it were my own kids.) My daughter totally hates YA fantasy! She loves, I guess what you'd call realistic ya romance.

  11. Great interview, Lisa and Allison! And hurray to a serious reader!

  12. Thanks Allison for great teen insight! That was a fun post Lisa!

  13. Thanks, Allison and Lisa! Some good insights there. Now, how to get my teenage son to read?

  14. Thanks, Deb, Kerri and Kate! Kate—sorry—my upper teen son had a spurt of reading and now only reads for school. Well, he does read magazines and newspapers. Does that count?

  15. That was a great interview. I love hearing from the teen readers.


  16. Very insightful, thanks for sharing. It's nice to know what has caught her eye and what she looks forward to.

  17. Thanks, Girl. I asked Allison if she could get any of her friends to be interviewed and she informed me that none of them read. Which is pretty depressing. I know others, though, so I may interview them at some point.

  18. I'm back, and I've left something for you at my Magic Seeker blog. :-D

    It's very sad that Allison's friends don't read. I hope they grow out of it!