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Monday, October 04, 2010

YA Bloggers Want...A Lasting Impression: The Story Siren

To kick off the What YA Bloggers Want series (plus prizes!!!), I have veteran book blogger Kristi from The Story Siren here to chat about the genres she adores...as long as they leave a lasting impression.

I'm especially excited to welcome Kristi because she was one of the very first bloggers to talk about TELL ME A SECRET in her 2010 Debut Author Challenge, so I'm not only grateful, but I'm very happy to turn the spotlight over to her and her amazing book blog. And I was so lucky to get to meet Kristi in person at the 2010 Teen Author Carnival.

Welcome, Kristi!

I love all genres. I’m still firmly riding the paranormal train, choooo-chooo! It seems like the majority of titles hitting the shelves are paranormal these days, but... I. LOVE. IT. And the genre has especially exploded in Young Adult literature after the popularity of Twilight. (I guess that’s one good thing that sparkly vampire book has made happen, perhaps the only good thing.)

Although my bookshelves and reading piles may be packed with those paranormal titles, I enjoy reading other genres. In fact, the majority of my top favorites aren’t the paranormal genre at all......

Top five favorite YA novels:

1. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
2. The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson
3. Just Listen by Sarah Dessen
4. Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling
5. Ballads of Suburbia by Stephanie Kuehnert

Honestly.... these probably change periodically, but usually contemporary fiction always tops my list. I’m not sure exactly why that is. A book that leaves a lasting emotional impression on me, is something that I find hard to forget, and all of the books listed above did that.

A genre/subject that I would love to see more in Yound Adult listerature is historical fiction with elements of magic. Two great examples that I can think of off the top of my head are The Gemma Doyle series by Libba Bray and the Leland Sisters series by Marissa Doyle. I love both of those series and I would love to have more of those types of novels.

Thank you, Kristi!

Oh, wait, you want to win prizes?!
Are you a blogger, a reader, a writer, or any/all of the above? Then tell us what you think! Every comment throughout October gets a chance to win the weekly prize (prize post coming later this week), plus a big mondo prize pack at the end of the month. So comment away!

(one comment per post to be counted toward prize, shipping to US addresses only)

Happy YALSA's Teen Read Week and National Book Month!


  1. Thanks for a great post! My top five are not in the paranormal genre either! Love the Gemma Doyle trilogy as well. I love books that are interesting and attractive to teens but can also educate and be about "something". Speak is a great example.


  2. My absolute favorites are contemporary novels, but I enjoy reading most other genres as well. I haven't read the Gemma Doyle or Leland Sisters series yet, but they're on my list. Great post!

  3. Great post! I go through periods of addiction to different genre's, but my top books seem to be all over the place- a little contemporary, some historical fic, with a bit of paranormal mixed in! Right now I'm on a paranormal run...but I'm feeling the need for some historical fiction :)

    areadersramblings (at)gmail (dot)com

  4. I love dystopian fiction, but what I wish we'd see more of is Steampunk. I so loved Scott Westerfeld's "Leviathan." I'd love to see some more Steampunk go mainstream. :)

  5. Great fav books, Kristi! Glad that this starts off with you. :) You said such great things...my top books are contemporary, as well. Though there are quite a few paranormal that are 4-4.5.

  6. I would love to see more historical fiction too. With or without the magical influence is good with me!

  7. Great post Kristi and I totally agree that Speak is at the top of my list as well! I have to say that was one of the most powerful books I have ever read and it stayed with me for a long while after I read it. I'm not to sure about the historical fiction but I cant really knock it because I haven't given it a real chance yet.

  8. I loved the guest post by The Story Siren today. It's always fun to see lists of books by avid readers. Her top 5 makes me want to go out and read the ones that I haven't gotten to yet. :]

  9. I'm still firmly on the paranormal train as well, but I tend to always have a few contemporary in my top 5 as well!

  10. I am definitely NOT on the paranormal train - I am trying to be okay with them more, but I'm a contemporary girl.

  11. I am so shocked that Kristi didn’t mention Dysopian-era books! Though Jenna Fox can sort-of count, depending on how you look at it; I think I would call it future-era more.
    Books that leave a strong impression, hmm…I loved The Hunger Games because the books featured a heroine who was battling the realisitc pain of living in her own world, her own time, in her own mind. I loved to read of her strength and her love for her male counter-parts. The Books of Bayern, the Uglies series and all of Sarah Dessen’s books fit here for me.
    Holly, I just got your book! Hooray!
    Gabrielle <3

  12. Great Post, Kristi! I think I tend to be the same way, I love Paranormal, but the books that make a lasting impression tend to be Contemp. I just finished an AMAZING book called TAKE ME THERE by Carolee Dean, and I would recommend it to everyone!

  13. With so many books out there to read these days, when you come across a good writer with a good story that speaks to you, there's just no comparison. No matter what genre you tend to read, thought provoking stories will always win in the end. I think you chose a great guest with Kristi, she's well read and deserves some attention. Thank You! I love your blog!

  14. I don't have a US shipping address, so this doesn't count as an entry, but just wanted to say - if you like historical YA with magic, you should totally read Sorcery and Cecelia (and its sequels, although the first's still my favorite) by Patricia Wrede & Caroline Stevermer. It's Victorian England with magic, and it's awesome!

  15. The Adoration of Jenna Fox and Speak are my top two. Havent heard of the Ballads of Suburbia, will have to check it out. :)

    This was a really fun post!!!

  16. This is a really great post! I'm very much the same way: I love the paranormal books, but the books that stay with me the longest tend to be the contemporaries. How to Say Goodbye in Robot, Some Girls Are, anything by Elizabeth Scott.

    I'd like to see more steampunk/gothic-victorian.

  17. What a neat idea, Holly. To be honest, contemporary books are only recently starting to make their way to the front of my reading list. I generally favor paranormal, science fiction, and fantasy books because I have an overactive imagination that needs tranquilized at times. But, that's my gift and curse. :D

    I have Tell Me a Secret on my TBR list and am excited to read it. :)

  18. Thanks to everyone for stopping by! I'm so pleased to see the discussion of what is good and what you want in YA lit. Keep the favorite books and ideas coming!

  19. Great post. I agree regarding the Gemma Doyle series. I love historical/magic book. Marisa Doyle also writes great ones.

  20. I've been a blogger for a little over a year now and what I've noticed most about blogging was the diversity of books I now read. I went from a strictly fantasy/sci fi girl to a girl who reads just about anything! Although I'd have to say my favorite books are definately 1) Hunger Games 2)GONE 3)Maximum Ride which are mostly sci-fi.

  21. Thanks for Hosting Holly, Great top five Kristi.
    Humm my fav five (series) at the moment are
    1. The Black Dagger Brotherhood by JR Ward
    2. Wicked Lovley Series by Melissa Marr
    3. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
    4. Need by Carrie Jones
    5. The Lords of the Underworld by Gena Showalter

  22. I definitely agree with you! Paranormal/fantasy books can be very entertaining and enjoyable...but it is usually the realistic fiction that leaves a lasting impression.

  23. Paranormal/Fantasy is a huge deal these days. my current WIP is a paranormal/fantasy. I love your fave 5! HP and Just Listen and Speak are the only ones I've read but I've heard the others are great too!

  24. Yay for starting off with Kristi! She's awesome and what a great little guest post. I love her Top 5 picks, though I've yet to read two of them (HP- yes, I know! Don't hurt me!- and Ballads).

    Not a contest entry, by the way. Just wanted to show my support for Kristi and this series! What a fantastic idea, Holly!

  25. I'm more of a sci-fi and fantasy type of person. I especially love them when there's tons of action and fantasy violence!

    My top five have to be:
    1.The Hunger Games
    4.Leven Thumps
    5.Anything by Scott Westerfeld!

  26. Here is my top five favorite YA novels that have left a lasting emotional impression on me:
    1. Ballads of Suburbia by Stephanie Kuehnert
    2. I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone by Stephanie Kuehnert
    3. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
    4. Vampire Academy (series) by Richelle Mead
    5. Just Listen by Sarah Dessen

  27. Great post. My top five is just one: The Bartimeaus Trilogy. I love it so much =D

    I also like Harry Potter and i'm reading right now Eragon.

    Btw, i am writing a YA Book called "Angels War" and the experience of write it is wondefull.

    Forget my englishs mistakes please.

  28. I listened to a excerption on audio from the your book Tell Me Secret and just loved it. I'm so excited to see what else comes along from What YA Blogger Want

  29. Great post! I'm reading the Gemma Doyle series right now and so far I love it!

  30. I like historical fiction but also dystopia. All I want is something that holds my attention and won't let me put it down.

    - Nancy

    ntaylor228 at yahoo dot com

  31. What an awesome event/contest! I will definitely be tuning in all month.
    I, too am happily riding the paranormal train and don't plan on getting off anytime soon. But I am trying to keep an open mind toward other genres as well.


  32. Great post. I love the historically based fantasies like Marissa Doyle and Libba Bray's series, too. This will be fun to check out every day this week - to see what other bloggers are loving.


  33. I loved the Gemma Doyle series too! I hadn't really thought about it, but I think it is that combination of Victorian England and magic that I love so much. That's definitely why I loved Clockwork Angel! Great post, Kristi!


  34. I really love it when I find a book that leaves a lasting impression on me. It tells me that the author did her/his job of telling me a story! I would also love to see some more historical fiction with a magic twist! thanks so much for the post!

    Scarrlet Reader


  35. Interesting post. I myself seem to always enjoy the books that have a paranormal edge to them, though really none of them make it into my top 5. My top five consists of novels that tug at my heart-stings & make me challenge a way of thinking. In a way a lot of the books I was required to read for schooling back in high school are still my favorites. Though to be honest 'Lord of the Flies' will always be my favorite, I think I just love it when authors take concepts and turn them on their heads. I like to be surprised.

    - Rachel
    rachel.melinda.yarbrough[at]gmail dot com

  36. Great post and tops favs. Paranormal books seem to have become really big these days. I myself love them too, but there isn't a paranormal book on my top 5 favorite either.

  37. Nice post! I have to agree, I'd love to see more books like the Gemma Doyle ones. It's fun to dive into history with a bit of a twist ;)

  38. Wow Holly, what a great idea for this month.

    Kristi, I love your blog. You not only have great reviews but also so many other interesting features, like answering bloggers questions about the basics of how to set up a blog.

  39. Kristi is fabulous - I've met her a few times in person and we chat online often. I agree that the books that keep you thinking are the ones that leave a huge impact emotionally.

    I have to say my top five are:

    1. Dangerous Angels by Francesca Lia Block
    2. Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
    3. Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer
    4. His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman
    5. Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins

    All of those are series though. ;)

  40. What I'd like from authors are strong heroines. We do get that but mostly we get heroines whose lives seem hinged on the boys they love. Don't get me wrong, I do love the romance but what I'd like to see more of is how fantasy elements in a book, in a heroine's life helps her become who she can be. Character development and growth without an excess dependence on the boyfriend/love interest to define the heroine. Suzanna Collins did a good job with her heroine in The Hunger Games and Princess Ben was awesome.

  41. Great post! Wow that is a big dog :D Most of the genre I read is ya paranormal so...


    Ashley's Bookshelf

  42. I really enjoy YA paranormal, too. I'm slowly breaking into contemporary and really like what I'm finding, though!

    aka The Nerd's Wife

  43. I really like paranormal, but I'm burnt out on vampires and werewolves. There has to be some new ideas out there in the paranormal genre. I do wish for more historicals in the YA section. I loved The Luxe series and Wildthorn was great too.

  44. Speak definitely left an emotional impact on me. Harry Potter not so much (a tad bit of frustration perhaps) and I haven't read the others books you mentioned.

    I would love to see more historical fiction with magic! Or even historical fiction about time periods we don't learn about in history class (less civil war, more wild wild west, etc.)

    Currently my five favorites are (no order)

    1. Bleeding Violet by Dia Reeves (paranormal/supernatural?)
    2. A Wish After Midnight by Zetta Elliott (fantasy)
    3. Whale Talk by Chris crutcher
    4. Saving Maddie by Varian Johnson
    5. Dark Goddess by Sarwatt Chadda (paranormal)

    ok I lied, the first 3 are always in the rotation of favorite books!

    I love the idea for this feature!

  45. I love the paranormal/supernatural genere!

    I find it hard though to find a book that will leave a lasting impression on me. I can enjoy the book, especially lately, I find it hard to find one that afterward I want to read again and again.

  46. Just like Kristi, I too loved the Gemma Doyle trilogy. The third book was a touch disappointing for me, but overall it has all the elements I love in a book.

    Mockingjay was probably my least favorite conclusion to a series. I can't believe how upset it left me. For so many reasons!

    Long before the current YA trends, I was reading whatever books I could find that had mermaids, vampires, fairies, and the like. I am absolutely thrilled to have so many more choices!

  47. Oh, yeah - paranormals all the way!

    And I loved SPEAK. I tend to gravitate towards books that say something.

  48. Speak is on my list to read this winter. I enjoy books that I put shut but still think about over the next few days. That's a good read to me.

  49. Awesome guest post! :D

    I must admit that I'm on the paranormal train, too. I'm enjoying it, though. Most of my favorites right now are paranormal (Vampire Academy comes to mind). Magic, vampires, werewolves, faeries, pixies, mermaids... Whatever it may be, I love them all! I also love that authors have different renditions of their supernatural creatures. :)

  50. I am a big fan of paranormal but I also love the stories pull at your heart and cause you to think. I loved Perfect Chemistry which I probably wouldn't have read except one of my students couldn't stop talking about it. It was grittier than what I like in my YA but I enjoyed it all the same.

    I agree about more historical with a pinch of magic. I have Wildthorn and the The Twin's Daughter in my TBR file.


  51. Nice special posts Holly! I admire Kristi and her work as a blogger. Besides, YA should get all the attention it deserves :)

  52. I love historical fiction. Even when there's some sort of magic or magical realism added to the storyline, other time periods and places and ways of life come alive through this genre. I remember more about geography and history when I read a book like The Book Thief or Wildthorn or even Clockwork Angel because I am so invested in the story that the facts just stay in my mind. Reading about a variety of time periods also make me want to learn more about them. I found myself googling all sorts of facts about the Victorian time period while reading Clockwork Angel. It's pretty awesome to read and learn like this all at the same time.

  53. You all are just the best, stopping by to chat about the wonderfulness of YA. And so many great books to talk about! I love it.

  54. Ooh, thanks for the shout-out, Holly and Kristi! I'm still loving the Regency/Victorian period (and LOVE "Sorcery and Cecelia"!) but agree that there's a lot more history out there that could provide the setting for some amazing stories.