What to do when you have two fifteen-year-olds sitting at your table eating pizza? Turn them into a focus group and interview them about books, of course. I asked my daughter Tanzie and her friend Nika a few questions about recent books they've read.
What's the last book you read?
T: The Gardener by S.A. Bodeen ( Interviewer's note: this book will be out June'10. Tanzie was home sick one day when I had the first pages for the novel. Thus, the first teen reader of this book.)
N: Hunted by PC Cast, Kristin Cast
Thumbs up or down?
T and N: Up!
What genre do you like to read the most?
T: fantasy, fiction
Is there anything you don't like in books you read?
T: I don't like it when you can't relate to the characters. I hate stories that start out boring or confusing and you can't get into the story.
N: I don't like when something happens that could just happen every day, and it's just a lot of drama. I like things that are unique, like flying unicorns, you don't see those every day.
What is one of your favorite books you've read in the past year and why did you like it?
T: Looking for Alaska by John Green
It kept me reading and the characters were really interesting.
N: Seven Tears into the Sea by Terri Farley
I could really relate to the girl, she was a lot like me.
Think of a book you didn't like and describe it.
T: Too many twists. You didn't even like the character. You have to like the character. The story was just too confusing. They forgot the basic story line because they added so much.
N: ( talking about same book as T) You didn't even know what to believe. It got confusing.
Describe the perfect book.
T: I have no idea.
N: The main character would be a really strong girl, who could take care of herself, and she would go on a big adventure to do something. Along the way she'd meet people and be betrayed and tricked and stuff. And fall in love with like an unexpected type of person.
So there you have it. Some very candid opinions about books by a couple of real teens.