All tagged A.S. King

Episode #31: Chatting Books & Libraries with Molly Wetta

Awesome librarian, Tumblr rockstar, YALSA's The Hub editor and all around awesome human being Molly Wetta was on our "hit list" of dream podcast guests and we're so, so, so thrilled she was finally about to join us for a chat!

This is a pretty freewheeling discussion, with topics ranging from what it's like to work with books professionally (buying books with someone else's money seems like a dream job, but it's also really hard!), library school, how to make book recommendations and some of the more interesting questions she's gotten on Find Your Next Book. It was a whole lot of fun!

I Love... YA

One of the titles on my profile is “YA Evangelist.” A few (ok, maybe none) of you might wonder what that means.

The thing is, couple of years ago, I found myself in a bit of a reading funk. I’d been an avid fantasy fan for years because I loved being immersed in these other worlds and cultures, and they made me consider my own world and culture and how they came to be. (Hey, I’ve always claimed to be a nerd, ok?) But I found myself burned out on their tendency to turn into Never Ending Series.

I was also over my pretentious phase that most people go through during college involving meta books by authors such as Richard Bach and James Redfield. And Very Serious Literature, the kind of books I was supposed to be thoughtfully reading as a 30 year old…bored and depressed the freakin’ hell out of me. I settled for random books that I found on my library’s staff recommendation table that spanned all genres, but there was no denying that the volume of my reading had decreased immensely. Instead of reading at least 50 books a year, I was down to 15-20 (of which I liked/loved maybe 5). Which for me was sad and unacceptable.

Around the same time, I joined twitter to see what the whole “social media” craze that I had thus far avoided was all about (I still refuse to join the facebook). I soon found myself following fellow Blazers fan Sarah, due to a hilarious tweet regarding the semantics of the “melodramatic” (see what I did there, basketball fans?) trade that sent superstar Carmelo Anthony to the New York Knicks. Eventually, I noticed a frequent tendency of others to ask Sarah for book recommendations. I was all,

“Hey. I can’t seem to find books I like on my own. I may as well read something that a fellow Blazers fan suggests. Since Blazers fans are so well known for their rationality and savvy and all.”

So, against my better judgment upon hearing the weird title, I picked up The Hunger Games at the library. After reading, oh, a chapter or so, I went online and put the other two books in the trilogy on hold.

I Love... YA - On Clear Eyes, Full Shelves

So, I then began scouring Sarah’s timeline for other recs whenever I finished a book. Eventually, I stopped my silly covert searches in favor of proper stalking by actually tweeting her for a personalized list. On that list was Melina Marchetta’s The Piper’s Son, which I adored. A few months later came Maggie Stiefvater’s The Scorpio Races, which made me—ME!—late for work. Twice.

Photo Essay: A.S. King at Vancouver Community Library

Laura and I braved the pouring rain and hellacious traffic on the bridge spanning the Oregon-Washington border to see one of our favorite authors, A.S. King, speak at the Fort Vancouver Public Library’s Teen Writing Awards. 

It was an extremely cool event, and we learned a ton about the author, her writing process and the very interesting life she’s led. Here are some photos from the event.

Laura looking pretty adorable with her sassy hat, football-themed handbag and copy of Please Ignore Vera Dietz.

“Everybody Sees the Ants”-themed cupcakes. Aren’t they adorable?

Uhhhhhh… wait a second! These ants are plastic! (Apparently, a library employee was warning people that the ants were inedible.)

Mystery is supposed to be the next paranormal, right?

Well, our latest Book Matchmaker victim participant, Victoria, wants a bit of both, plus some quality contemporary reads— only YA need apply, please. And add in a dash of romance for good measure!

Victoria’s Book Matchmaker Responses

YA or Adult: YA

Genres: Contemporary, Dystopia, Romance, Paranormal, Mystery/Thriller

POV or Narrative Style: First Person, Third Person, Multiple POV, Epistolary, Male POV, Main Character or Narrator, Female POV, Main Character or Narrator

Likes: Patrick Ness, Courtney Summers, Sarah Dessen, JK Rowling… probably my favourite authors EVER!

Dislikes: Instant love

Smut Factor: 2 

Fluff Factor: 2 

Swoon Factor: 4

Gross Out Factor: 3

We had a ton of fun with this matchmaker, since all of us love YA. 

The Results

Stolen: A Letter to My Captor by Lucy Christopher

This is a genre-bending psychological novel that’s very challenging. It’s YA, but mature, and told in second person, in the form of a letter from a kidnapped girl to her captor. It takes place in the Australian outback and the landscape adds to the atmosphere of the novel.

{Buy at Amazon | Add on Goodreads}


When I reviewed The Sharp Time last week, I mentioned that it would be a great gateway young adult novel for people who avoid the YA category. While it’s debateable whether or not that particular novel is a YA or not, I got to thinking about what would be good gateway YAs—particularly contemporary YA, which is near and dear to my heart.

Here are three suggestions (all Printz honorees, which helps your case for reluctant adult YA readers) for contemporary YAs you can trick your friends into reading, taking both plot and cover artwork into consideration (because let’s admit it, some people will never read a book if the cover screams, “I’m a teen book!!!”)

Looking for Alaska, John Green

John Green’s 2006 debut is one I shove in people’s hands all the time when I hear the words, “There’s no way I’d read a book for kids.” While the boarding school setting may turn a few folks off (because YA characters attend boarding school at a far higher rate than normal kids), the dark, literary-looking cover should cancel out any boarding school phobias. Plus, the main character, last words-obsessed Miles, is a fantastic narrator who’s equally angsty and clever. I’m yet to force anyone to read this one who’s regretted the time spent reading it.