Today’s Anonymous Teen Reader is code-named Kevin. I love her already because she adores Coldplay and would sing along to all the songs like we did when we saw them in concert and because she’s always wanted to go to Africa. When I was in high school, all the girls wanted to go to Paris or Rome, but I was dying to go to Africa, India, and Egypt.
Kevin sounds like a fascinating person. I hope you enjoy getting to know her as much as I have!
Current country of residence:
Male or female? Female
Age: 16…17 in three weeks!
How many books, on average, do you read a month? I try to read as much as I can, but I tend to get caught up with school work. I usually get through a few each month.
Favorite kind of book and why: I don’t know how I could possibly choose my favorite kind of book. I tend to gravitate more towards fantasy and historical fiction, but anything that holds my interest is worth reading.
Name the single most important factor in your decision to purchase a book: First is the synopsis, but I’m a very visually-oriented person, so I often make a decision based on the cover design and formatting.
What makes you feel like you’re reading or have read a truly amazing book? When I take something away from it that’s larger than the story itself. I think a truly amazing book provides a unique view of the world. However, a story also has to entertain. For me, an amazing book holds my attention, has unexpected twists, and makes me think about things from a different perspective.
How important is a friend’s recommendation in your decision to purchase a book? It really depends on the friend. Everybody has different tastes. I have several friends who enjoy many of the same books I do, so I tend to base my decisions more on their recommendations than on those of other people.
Thing you’d like to see more or less of in the YA genre: I would love to see more YA fantasy oriented around non-Western cultures. There are so many fantasy stories that feature white characters, with creatures and settings reminiscent of European mythology. I would love to read about a fantasy world based on African, Asian, or South American cultures.
What’s your biggest pet peeve in a book?
Sappy paranormal romances. First it was vampires and werewolves, now there seems to be a fallen angel trend going. I don’t mind romance in a book, but I don’t care for stories where the romance replaces the plot.
Paperback or hardcover? Hardcover. There’s something beautiful about a hardcover book. It’s so much more satisfying than owning a paperback, even if it’s more expensive.
Series or stand-alone? Series are nice because they allow you to connect to the characters over a longer period of time. On the other hand, as a slightly OCD person, I compulsively finish every single series I start regardless of how much I enjoy it. Sometimes it’s a relief to read a stand-alone book, without having to invest a huge amount of time.
ALL ABOUT YOU
What music do you most often listen to? I listen to everything, from folk music to rap. My mom sings in a Celtic band, and I absolutely LOVE their music.
Name your favorite band: I am in love with Coldplay. I know every word to every song. I’m also a Beatles gal 🙂 (She loves Coldplay! I ❤ her!)
Best movie of all time?
-Lord of the Rings. Let’s face it, those movies are epic.
-Stick It. This movie is hilarious. I began training rigorously as a competitve gymnast at the age of seven. Eventually I quit, but this movie brings back some of the harsher realities of the gymnastics world.
-I am Sam. It still makes me cry, no matter how many times I watch it. Sean Penn is AMAZING.
Without naming names, tell us a little about your group of friends: One time we build a leaf bag monument. In other words, we stacked about 300 bags of leaves on an island in the middle of the road, then had a grand, rather unattractive photo shoot of us rolling down the side while people in passing cars gave us weird looks. That’s probably the story that most accurately describes my friends.
What’s your biggest concern about the world right now and/or the people in it? The environment. If we continue doing whatever we want, with no consideration for the planet, the impact of human activity will eventually destroy the world’s resources. The human race will not be able to survive in the long run if we do not learn to conserve nature.
Someone gives you a million dollars, no strings attached. What do you do with it? I scream. I hyperventilate. Once I’ve calmed down, I buy myself a book, an ice cream cone, and give the rest to relief organizations for third world countries. I’m 16. What on earth would I do with a million dollars if I decided to keep it for myself? There are others who are much more deserving than I.
You can live for one year in any place in the world. Where do you go and why? Africa. I’ve wanted to go to Africa ever since my Kindergarten class learned about African beadwork. I love the culture, the wildliffe, and the climate. Living in rural Kenya would be a dream come true for me. (A girl after my own heart. I’ve wanted to go to Africa since I was in Middle School)
Have you ever “Hidden” someone on your Facebook feed? If so, why?
Do you get along with your family? Either way, tell us why. I get along wonderfully with my mom, because she is a very patient, open person who really knows how to connect with teenagers. My dad and I disagree often. He is more impulsive than my mom, and we find it difficult to communicate. My sister and I fight pretty much 24/7.
What is one thing most people don’t know about you? I speak Irish Gaelic. It’s a beautiful language, but it’s pretty much useless, considering only about 3% of people in Ireland speak it.
Name your biggest secret fear. Being alone, and failing.
Name something you like about yourself. I like that on summer mornings, I climb the tree outside my house and sit up in the high branches to watch the sunrise. I’ve always been one of those monkey children, those kids who freak parents out because they manage to climb fifty feet in the air. I love trees. The tree outside my house is named Kia. Sitting near the sky in her branches is where I get my best ideas, and it’s where I feel the most liberated. I suppose climbing a tree seems an insignificant occurrence, but to me it is a defining aspect of my person.