Welcome back to a monthly meme here at Let Me Tell You A Story: Reader Interview! April's reader interview is a week late, but that's okay, because we've got Von P. (aka, Mr. Book Wonder)!
Hi, Von! Thanks so much for being this month's interview-ee! :)
Thank you so much for inviting me! I feel so honored!
Tell us a little about what got you into reading YA.
I will always remember how I got into reading YA. Always. It's a very important memory for me.
Most readers would say how they got into reading YA or reading in general was because of either Harry Potter or Twilight. Mine was tweaked differently. I came to know the Harry Potter and Twilight books because of the film franchises. Too bad I never got to read them as a kid or teen because we can't afford the books and books were a regarded luxury here in the Philippines, plus people here, as far as I know, hardly read before. I was only able to read them when I am old enough to afford to buy books. (I still have to read years 4, 5, and 6 of the Harry Potter series though; and Eclipse and Breaking Dawn too.)
What really got me to reading YA was this book called Blue Bloods by Melissa de la Cruz. It was lent to me by a friend (who eventually became my best friend because of our love for books and YA). I was ecstatic and intrigued to know that the author was a Filipino so I had to borrow it. It was probably around the time when Twilight reigned in the bestsellers list and the box office that vampire books were a big hit to the readers. I read the books, bought copies for myself and now I have all the Blue Bloods books. I started buying other books too. I remember buying the first book in the Kane Chronicles series by Rick Riordan which also got me to reading his other books. More books quickly filled up my shelves especially when I discovered Goodreads and the book blogging community and now I have over 200 books (not to mention the 400+ eBooks in my Kindle) and almost half of it are still unread. Then, as they call it, the rest was history.
Thinking back on all of the YA books you've read, Von, is there one that's stood out to you above the rest? If so, why?
(Oh, trick question! You're basically asking what my favorite book is! Smart move Jessica! Smart move! LOL.)
Hehehe! I’m so tricky! :D
There are a lot of books that really stood out for me. LOTS!
There's the Hunger Games series that was totally mind-blowing and the first dystopian series I'd read and turned me into a dystopian buff. Colleen Hoover's Slammed series that turned me into a fan of contemporary romance and New Adult books. Lauren Oliver's Before I Fall & Delirium series made me fall in love with words even more. John Green's Looking For Alaska & The Fault in Our Stars almost made me cry. Cassandra Clare's Clockwork Angel that made me realized my fascination for historical fiction.
What's the first thing you do when you get a new book in your hands?
Ah. Honest to goodness the first thing I do is sniff the pages! I am a proud book sniffer! I don't care if others are giving me weird looks but it's probably one of the best feelings in the world! LOL.
Do you organize your books?
I have an OCD when it comes to organizing and cleaning so apparently I'm very good at organizing books. Need someone to organize your books for you? You can definitely hire me!
Who are your favorite male and female MCs?
Thank God your question isn't as hard as the second one. I've got loads of favorite MCs! Who doesn’t?!
Samantha Kingston in Before I Fall. Alaska Young in Looking For Alaska. Theodore Finch and Violet Marky in All the Bright Places. Augustus Waters and Hazel Grace Lancaster in The Fault in Our Stars. Gray Weathersby in Taken. Tris Prior in Divergent. Alina Starkov in Shadow and Bone. Lochan Whitely and Maya Whitely in Forbidden. Need I say more?!
That’s a pretty impressive list!
If you could be friends with one secondary character in real life, who would it be, and why?
Oh, I'd love to be friends with Sturmhound aka Nikolai Lantsov from the Grisha series. I love his sarcasm, his charm, and the way he can disguise himself! I'd learn a lot from this guy for sure!
Some readers want everyone to read their books; others like to keep their copies to themselves. Are you a book pusher, hoarder, or a bit of both?
Probably, I am a 90% hoarder and 10% pusher. I'm a proud hoarder and I only have a few friends to share my books with. Besides, I am one out of some percent of readers that wouldn't let anyone touch their books. I even provide a set of rules before I lend a book to anyone. If ever they break one of the rules, I'd turned into a hulk for sure. LOL.
A lot of authors write to music. Is there a book you'd love to hear the soundtrack of (or one you've heard that you loved)? What makes that book so special?
Oh, I'd love to hear the soundtrack of Tabitha Suzuma's Forbidden! I'd love to hear Tabitha Suzuma's writing playlist. Forbidden, I think, was a hard book to write and perhaps one of the hardest books to read. It's so emotional and there were too many heartbreaking scenes. I'd love to hear those songs.
Do you have a favorite line or book quote?
YES! BUT THERE ARE SO MANY!
*unfurls a long scroll of quotes*
Okay, I think I found one.
“Don't take life too seriously. Punch it in the face when it needs a good hit. Laugh at it.” -- Colleen Hoover, Slammed
I like to ask readers if they could choose one book to see on the big screen, what would it be?
I'd like to see Shadow and Bone in the big screen. I'd like to see how filmmakers are going to adapt it. Of course, they'll have to use special effects and I'll definitely love to see those in the big screen. But I doubt it that filmmakers would stay true to the story. It's a fantasy story so it is full of complex elements. In which case, I think a television series is a better option for Shadow and Bone. A television series means more episodes and more Shadow and Bone fanboying moments.
What elements in the book would you look forward to seeing most?
I'd like to see more elements of surprise, like heart-shattering, mind-blowing twists that would haunt me in a very good way or something that will throw me out of my seat!
Tell us about a book you thought you wouldn't like, but were pleasantly surprised by.
Lynn Weingarten's Suicide Notes from Beautiful Girls surprised me big time! I picked up this book from a random set of eARCS not expecting anything from it at all. Then lo and behold, this book killed me. Lyrical, beautiful, and so damn twisted! It definitely liven up to its Gone Girl meets 13 Reasons Why pitch! It was everything I want in a book!
Why don’t I have this on my TBR yet? *rushes off to Goodreads to add it*
Unique formatting can make a book stand out and leave a lasting impression. Are there any books you've read that had that unique quality lately?
Shatter Me has one of the most unique formats I've seen thus far. The cross-outs?! I am in love with it! It adds a certain charm to the prose that only Tahereh Mafi could pull off.
The Book Thief has also a very unique format. The way it is narrated puts The Book Thief on the map of most unique formats. (I still have to read it though.)
Name a character you'd hate to be stranded with on a deserted island.
I am torn between Dolores Umbridge and Dolores Umbridge.
What merits a book making its way to your favorites list?
Oh, another tough one!
As long as the book can hit me hard on all the feels along with a great set of characters and a gritty storyline, it's enough to be considered for my favorites list!
Most recent book that made you laugh:
Jenny Han's To All the Boys I've Loved Before is the one!
Worst book hangover:
Tabitha Suzuma's Forbidden gave me my worst book hangover! I was on the brink of crying by the end of the book! The story is just too emotional! I couldn't seem to stop thinking and caring about the characters for days after finishing the book! What will happened to them now? How will they survive without him? They felt real to me, you know!
Are there any upcoming releases you're looking forward to reading?
*unfurls another long scroll*
Vengeance Road, The Invasion of the Tearling, An Ember in the Ashes, A History of Glitter and Blood, A Court of Thorns and Roses, Illuminae, Six of Crows, The Heir, Truthwitch, The Last Leaves Falling, Dumplin, Made You Up, November 9, P.S. I Still Love You, Extraordinary Means and many more! It's an endless list!
Thanks so much for being here, Von! :)
Phew! Those questions are tough! But I enjoyed them a lot! Hope you enjoyed my answers too! Thank you so much again for having me, Jessica!