Friday, 7 June 2013

Introducing Our Reviewer

Elizabeth and I love reading YA books. And we review them when we can. But it's that pesky "when" factor that always trips us up. In addition to keeping up with our writing deadlines, we've both got to practice good time management to handle our jobs, our families, and this blog. Don't get me wrong, we love it. But we often get requests to do reviews, and that's a little hard for us to fit in sometimes. So we've decided to take on a reviewer to join the blog.

And we found a great one!

We'd like to introduce you all to Sandra Fenton. She'll be reviewing YA books for us: some from blog tours and some of our own choosing. We asked Sandra what she likes about YA, and here's what she had to say:

I never really thought about why I like YA before. Thank you for reminding me of how it started.

When I was eleven, I was at The Library with my father. I'd been there before a few times, but not often. It was three stories of winding stacks, locked meeting rooms, looming machines and unpredictable stair cases. I'd never spent much time outside the children's section, but I had a mission that day. Oceanography: find all the books. I had a report to give, after all.

Predictably, I got lost, and that was a good thing. I discovered an entire section devoted to music, a section devoted to film, and on the main floor, tucked into a corner of the children's library, something I'd never heard of. Young Adult.

What was this section that didn't belong in any region of my literary schema? I sunk down behind the end of a bookshelf, so as not to be seen by the librarian, and pulled a slender volume off the shelf. Faery Flag, by Jane Yolen. I opened the book and started to read it, only to find one of the most wonderful groupings of short stories I'd ever found, all meaningful and fanciful.

I was hooked, from that moment forward. Here was this genre in which anything was possible, and even in the most dire of situations, there was an underlying optimism. This was an area where the fiction didn't treat me like a baby, rather it expected I could take some serious scrapes along with the main character, and opened up an entire world in which young people could resolve their own problems and be better for it than if they'd just asked mom and dad to solve it for them.

Now that I'm an adult, I still love those qualities, and moreover I like being able to dig in to a good YA novel, then talk to my 14 year old daughter about it. I love that it's something we can share and that she's always open to discussing. For some reason, my attempts to draw her into deep conversations about gardening haven't yet been successful. I have to rely on my 4 year old son's interest for those conversations.

When I'm not reading or in the garden, I'm probably sewing (rag dolls, sock monkeys, steampunk couture), designing fabric, at rehearsal (I sing), or writing.


Tonja Drecker said...

Hi, Sandra :) Looking forward to reading her reviews!

Elizabeth Holloway said...

Welcome aboard, Sandra! We are delighted to have you!

chris said...

Sandra, you seem just perfect for the YA review slot. Good luck to you and happy reading/reviewing. I'll have two for you very soon as soon as we sign the contracts--or decline them, as the case may be.