Tip of the Day: Stop scratching your mosquito bite. It will only make things worse. Really. Stop it!
In May, I ran a promotion at my library: YA May Days (Help the Teen Librarian Review New YA Books!)
I was so impressed with the results! 34 teens participated with a total of 47 reviews! They read such a wide variety of YA fiction and manga, it was great to see.
And can I tell you how interested I was in the way they answered the review questions? From the standpoint of a Librarian AND a writer, in a word:
Here's some results.
Why they picked up the book?
The cover and the inside flap copy was the top reason (18 teens cited this as a reason)
The second reason was bc they liked other books in the series (10)
Then the title (9)
Recommendation from a friend, Genre, and Read something else by the author each got (2).
Browsing, Quick read, School assignment, and Mom got it for me each had (1)
Their favorite thing about the book?
Specific plot points was the runaway top reason (19)
Then liking the characters (8) and enjoying the Complex characters (7)
Humor (5) tied with Pov/Storytelling style (5)
Action and Descriptions each got (3)
Message and Mystery/suspense each got (2)
The pictures got (1)
Their least favorite thing about the book?
OK, the number one reason SHOCKED me. The teens cited specific character flaws either the MC or another character had that they didn't like. For example, one teen didn't like that the MC was a liar. Another didn't like that the dad wasn't portrayed as bad even though he broke up his family. A third didn't like the way the family treated the MC. WOW! These teens really put people to task -- and I like it! There were (14) of these reasons given.
Next was that the book/idea/ending was cliche (7)
A certain plot point (6)
The pacing (either too fast, too slow, or too erratic) (5)
Not enough description (3)
Too much repetition (2)
Too open ended, Too sad, Unrealistic dialog each got (1)
Would the recommend the book to a friend? Only two teens would not recommend the book they read. All the others, no matter what they said about the books, would recommend them to their friends. This is huge, fellow writersm HUGE! Teen word of mouth is huge.
So what can a writer take away from this?
Teens are SMART. They notice things. They want likable/sympathetic characters. They want something NEW and DIFFERENT.
Guess I better make sure the MC in my MG is less mean for sure after this revision!
What do you think about the teens' results?
Deena, Miss Recently Repped