Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Teen Roundtable: THE BEST OF

It’s time again for our monthly Teen Roundtable with our Teen Spies! Check out our previous discussions about banned books, the paranormal genre, and what high school’s really like.

Since it’s December, we decided on a Wrap Up flair for this month’s roundtable and asked our SPIES about their favorites this year: favorite book, favorite YA relationships, favorite characters. Here’s what our SPIES had to say.

Relationships are usually a big part of YA books, so what would you say was your favourite relationship this year?

Alison: Katniss/Peeta will forever have my vote, but don't let that sway you.

Laura: I second that, Alison!

Katie: Katnis and Peeta

Lennon: Tris/Four, Peeta/Katniss, and gotta true, Bella/Edward

(Agent A note: Ooops)

Alexandra: So, what is it about Katniss and Peeta, y'all?

Alison: unconditional love

Cristin: And it wasn't instant or easy. Plus, for me, it's the trust thing. The fact that they were a partnership.

Lennon: um, the same reason I like Edward. It's more passionate, real, complex, dangerous, sexy, it's what every girl wants

Laura:I fell deeply for Peeta Mellark's buns.

Cue incessant LOLs

Cristin: So besides Katniss and Peeta, were there any other couples from books this year who you got passionate about?

Lissa: Tom Mackee and Tara Finke from The Piper’s Son (Melina Marchetta). They’re relationship was so perfectly crafted, and their dialogue and chemistry floated off the page.

Laura: I really loved the relationship between Tris and Four. Though Tris annoyed me at first, together they just complimented each other so well. He brought out the best in her, you could say. Then there’s Lena and Alex(Delirium) – ooooh, Alex! For the same reasons as Tris and Four, I loved this couple.

What about writing? What's the most beautifully WRITTEN book you read this year?

Lissa: The Book Thief was just so complexly written and gorgeous that it brought me to tears and made me love each and every one of the characters. Also, I’d like to mention Entwined (Heather Dixon) because the writing was nearly flawless to me, just as beautiful as the cover of the book.

Katie: Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Laura: The most beautifully read book I’ve read this year would definitely be Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson. Her words seized me from start to beginning and left me breathless and craving. I love her.

Any books you're particularly looking forward to next year?

Lissa: The Golden Lily (Bloodlines #2), The Calling (Darkest Rising #2), Froi of the Exiles (Lumatere #2) and John Green’s new book of course!

Lennon: The second Divergent


(Cue massive speculation tangent on Veronica Roth’s possible title choices for book three)

Lennon: oh, and the final Bad Girls Don’t Die book

Alison: I know which book Lynsay's waiting for.

Alexandra: which?

Lynsay: GG5! (The next Gallagher Girls Book)

Cristin: Ally Carter's Heist Society books are some of my favs, soooo fun.

Lynsay: I heart all things Ally Carter

Laura: I've got the first Gallagher Girls book and Heist Society waiting for me patiently in my bookshelf right now. Oopps!

Cristin: Read Heist Society! It's like Ocean's Eleven with teenagers.

(Agent A note: Are you guys sold on that one yet? I was!)

Round up on fave characters…

Favorite villain?

Laura: I have heaps! It’s so weird, but I’m usually Team Villain in a lot of young adult novels, especially romance. Is that bad? Villains usually have a lot more depth than most characters, even when they’re not well described or even explained. Answering the question, one of my favorite villains this year is Queen Sia in Sapphique. I imagine her as this big, puffy white cloud of disguised evil with her creepy white eyes and diabolically genius plots.

Lennon: Aralt or Sarah- Bad Girls Don't Die

Lissa: The best villain…I’m going to have to say Avari from The Soul Screamers series (Rachel Vincent). The guy made me wanna throw my book.

Fave BFF?

Lissa: Zuzana from Daughter of Smoke and Bone (Laini Taylor) – she made me laugh constantly and she was an incredibly thoughtful friend.

Laura: Josh and Emma were a great combination in The Future of Us. So real! I just loved reading about them.

Lennon: Megan- Bad Girls Don't Die

Favorite Main Character?

Katie: Sabriel in the Abhorrsen series

Lissa: Kaylee from The Soul Screamers series, or possibly Cassel from The Curse Workers (Holly Black)

Laura: Katniss, duh! I know this seems like an easy answer, but she really is! She taught be how to be strong and brave. I’m forever indebted. Also, I have a girl-crush on Jennifer Lawrence. She is just remarkable!

Lennon: Tris/Katniss/Lexi/Kasey(Bad Girls Don’t Die)

Alexandra: So Bad Girls Don't Die must be pretty awesome, then, right?

Lennon: um, yeah! its amazing! add Carter/Lexi to the couples list

Funniest character?

Katie: Scout in To Kill a Mockingbird

Lissa: Anna from Anna and the French Kiss (Stephanie Perkins) because dayum did that girl make LOL.

Speaking of funny, What was the FUNNIEST book you read this year?

Lissa: Anna and the French Kiss wins by a landslide.

Laura: It wasn't exactly a comedy, but I did read two John Green books this year. Looking for Alaska definitely ranked higher for me than Paper Towns.

Katie: I don’t really read funny books. If I had to pick on it would be To Kill a Mockingbird.

Anything change for you as a reader or writer this year? Like, did you start reading more ebooks or following author's blogs or anything like that?

Laura: Well, I bought a Kindle so I've been reading HEAPS of eBooks this year.

Cristin: Has having a Kindle changed your mind about ebooks and the e-revolution at all?

Laura: It’s more…convenient. More space. But there’s nothing like physically holding a real book in your hands.

Lennon: This blog changed a lot for me as a writer and a reader. I cant do ereaders, they bug me.

Lissa: As a reader, I’ve fallen into the online-loop of the reading a world a little more, and then fallen back out of it around the middle of the year. My time management sucks, so the best I’m usually able to do is keep up (barely) with my reviewing, and check out Goodreads and YA Confidential. My blog has taken a huge downfall because I just haven’t had time to maintain it this year, but I’m hoping to get some work done with it next year.

Review-wise, I’m very happy with how much I’ve grown as a reader/reviewer. I can happily admit that I can totally tell the crap from the good stuff for sure now.

This last discussion led to tangents on Halo, fangirl love for Taylor Kitsch, and television shows. Hee. Imagine that. ;)



Lissa: GOSSIP GIRL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Or Vampire Diaries, take your pick

Laura: Aww, I've gotta be loyal and say Heartland.

Katie: CHUCK! I’m a huge Chuck fan. A new show that I think I’ll watch next season is Terra Nova.

What is your fave movie adaption or movie or TV show that you think would make a good book?

Lissa: Breaking Dawn was pretty awesome. I’m SO FREAKING EXCITED to see Hunger Games next year, you have no idea. Also, I’d love to see If I Stay as a film.

Katie: I think a good movie that would be a great book would be Inception.

And there you have it. Our SPIES (ahem…and Operative) faves of the year. I hope you enjoyed this month's round up of their favorite characters, TV shows—

Hold up. I forgot one super important topic!

Favorite Book of the Year?!?!?!

Our SPIES had a lot to say on this one. So many books, some seriously tough choices.

Laura: Best book I've read this year? Just one book? Oh, boy.

(Cue massive list)

Laura: Okay. So I can't just choose one book

And just what books did Laura and the rest of our SPIES choose? Tune in tomorrow when Agent Fem hosts a best book wrap up with our SPIES and ANALYSTS!

Got an idea for a Teen Roundtable you’d like to see? What are some of your favorites from 2011? Let us know in the comments!


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