Blogger of the Week:
Steph at Reviewer X...
In March of this year, Steph, then a 14-year-old sophomore at "a freakin' hard prep school" started her blog, Reviewer X, to talk about books.
"You'll often hear me say I started a book blog because I readreadread and I'm opinionated, which breeds a review site," says the now 15-year-old junior. "The real reason, though, is because I wanted to interview authors I admire (like Libba Bray, Megan McCafferty, Annette Curtis Klause and Melina Marchetta) and get away with asking questions like, 'What is your favorite curse word?' (Which I totally asked Megan McCafferty.)"
She also feels that reviewing helps develop her interpretation and critical thinking skills. "I study at a hard prep school and we're given so much schoolwork in so many subjects all at once, it's almost impossible to truly learn without memorization, let alone discern—in lit classes—what works for you. It's a great school, don't get me wrong, but a bit laconic at times. My mantra is: book blogging + private lit classes = my conditioning."
Reviewer X readers will mostly find reviews on Steph's blog, as well as the occasional interview and guest post. She recently departed a bit from her routine posting, however, for Girl Week. "I'm big on feminism and this was my way of showing it: a whole week devoted to feminism and strong YA characters. I don't do many theme weeks—in fact, this is my only theme week—but I plan on bringing it back annually. It's gotten an amazing turnout and I can't wait to do it again next year!"
Since it's the holiday season, here are Steph's recommendations for all you last-minute shoppers looking for books for the teen readers in your life:
- If it's soulful you're looking for, then definitely Melina Marchetta.
- Philosophical, cute, and kind of catastrophic? John Green.
- Historical feminism? Libba Bray.
- Snarky coming-of-age? Megan McCafferty.
- Vampires? Rachel Caine.
- Other authors to watch for are CK Kelly Martin, Laurie Halse Anderson (whose 09 release Wintergirls is just amazing), Stephanie Kuehnert, Christine Fletcher, Maureen Johnson, Melissa Walker, and Robin Benway.
- If they're looking for something super different, The Dust of 100 Dogs by A.S. King. It's a February 2009 debut and it's fantastic, with a lot of crossover potential. Should appeal to both teens and adults.