On Friday you asked, and today our teen spies and analysts answer!
Asked by another teen: I've been feeling the Emotions and the Angst a lot lately. How do you guys handle it?
Lissa: I've always been a very anxious person, so you'd think I'd have a solid answer for you on this one... What I normally do, if it's an Emotion thing, is take some deep breaths so I can get myself to think clearly, maybe have a drink of water or find a quiet place to think. Then, when I'm not overcome with allthefeels, I try to merit the source of my problems -- is it worth getting worked up over? is it something I need to talk to somebody about? etc. -- and then think of steps to deal with whatever the issue is. If it's an angst thing...normally I'll try to remember that a lot of people aren't as fortunate as I am and that the petty things I worry about won't mean so much to me in the future, but often when I'm having an OHMYGODICANTTOOMUCHANGST moment, I take a day off school/being a friend/flirting with that guy, and I just try to think of things that will get me moving forward in the situation. The best advice I have for you? Try to find the source of your problems and find ways to make yourself feel better, but ask for help if you genuinely need some.
Chihuahua Zero: Music. Believe me, I had to use it on Saturday, and it helps. Oh, and running.
Lennon: You don't handle it. You try to bottle it up, then you end up exploding on people.
Lexie: You live. You keep pushing and doing and being no matter how much things suck, or how much you think things suck. There isn't one sure method for coping; you just do. You survive, and eventually, it gets better.
When it comes to series, do you prefer a series with a smaller number of books (say, five or ten) or one with a very large number of books (like the old Babysitters' Club and Sweet Valley series)? Do you prefer your books in a series or trilogy to be stand-alones, with their own set of story lines, or more of an interlocking story, where each book leads into the other?
Chihuahua Zero: I don't have a burning preference, but I seem to like the smaller series, with books that lead to one to another.
Riv Re: I feel like 5 is actually a pretty big number. I never read Babysitter's Club or Sweet Valley, but I almost never see longer series anymore. It's usually duologies and trilogies, nowadays. You can't capture a reader's attention for so many years, usually. (Well, unless you're George R R Martin....) When I found out that Maggie Stiefvater's Raven Boys Cycle would be five books, I thought "that's a lot."
I don't necessarily have a preference when it comes to series or stand-alones. It depends what the story needs. If it needs more than one book to tell its tale, so be it. BUT, don't make book 2 the "filler" book, in which nothing happens besides bringing you to book 3.
Lennon: I don't really care. I think it's more the story than anything else for me. However, if something is in a series and I want read say the third book, I like it when the reader is given some background knowledge going into it.
Lexie: Frankly, I can't give a definitive answer for that, because I think all the different types of series you listed have their merit. It all depends on the story itself, the world, and how it's pulled off. I can like any type, so long as it's done well.
Erica: I don't really have a preference as far as number of books in a series, I have series that I love that are a smaller number as well as larger number series. I prefer the books in a series to be an interlocking story where each book leads into the other.
Lissa: I definitely prefer smaller series, and by small series, I'm talking 6 books or less; I'm not a fan of when authors drag out plotlines or character arcs to the point of exhaustion. Still, it really depends on the story and the characters, when you talk about stand-alones or trilogies. For example, I generally believe contemporaries should be stand-alones, but then sometimes a companion novel works, too, or a few books that span over a designated time in someone's life, like in the case of the Ruby Oliver series. And then in the case of the Hunger Games, I believe that story actually DID need to be expanded over several books, because there was enough plot to go around and each book represented something different and marked a certain part of Katniss's and Panem's journey. I think writers need to consider, when determining how far to expand their story, if a multitude of books is necessary, and if the story is even interesting enough to keep readers engaged beyond one or two books.
Do you like graphic novels? What kinds of subjects/genres are your favorite?
Alyssa: I'm not a huge fan of graphic novels of any genre. Intense visualization and snippets of writing doesn't mesh with me, for some reason.
Lennon: I've never really gotten into graphic novels. If I get anymore nerdiness in my system, my nerd to snark ratio will get thrown off, so it's probably for the best.
Erica: I've read a few and I don't dislike graphic novels, but I don't think they will ever be a high priority for me. As far as genres for graphic novels go, fairy tale or middle grade are always my favorite.
Chihuahua Zero: I used to read a lot of shonen manga (D. Gray Man, Shaman King, etc.) Not anymore. I'm not sure why.
Lexie: I don't read graphic novels. It's just not my thing.
Riv Re: I'm not a comic book fan, so much as a manga one. I'm not an avid reader either, though when I find a manga I love I become a die-hard fan. I'm more into shonen, which is "boy manga." (More violence, and action, instead of focus on romance, for example.)
Are there any fairytales, folktales, or myths you'd love to see retold? Would you be interested in a retelling of a traditional story that most Westerners might not be so familiar with, like The Ramayana or a Chinese fairytale?
Erica: I love pretty much any retelling so I don't have a particular one I would really like to see retold. I would love to see retellings of traditional stories Westerners may not be as familiar with - that would be fascinating!
Lissa: I really enjoy retellings and I'd definitely be interested in a retelling of a lesser-known myth/story. Those are usually the best kinds!
Lexie: This isn't specific, but I'd like to see some more focus on Norse mythology, because I think it often gets left behind. And that's definitely something I'd be up for reading; I love reading about unfamiliar mythology and seeing how it's reworked.
Lennon: Yes! Any fairy tales need to get retold. I love the older Brother's Grimm stories, so any retellings, I adore. My favorite was Red Riding Hood and there are many of those around, and I've read the majority of them.
If you could miss school for a day and do anything you wanted, what would you do?
Lissa: Aha, I should consult my bucket list!
*goes to consult bucket list*
There are just too many options, friend, too many options. Still, I think I'd like to travel as a roadie for a famous band for a day. That'd be interesting, right?
It'd be better than math class, anyway.
Riv Re: I've actually done this. In a way, my school supports taking an "R+R" day when you've been working too hard. I wake up late, go to the city (ie Manhattan, I live in NYC) with my sister (if she's around) or I'll just lounge around the house, write a bit and mostly chill.
Lennon: If I could miss school for a day, I'd obviously be sleeping until anything later than six in the morning and loving it. Then I would probably raid Barnes and Noble or read or work on my NaNoWriMo novel, which I am so pathetically behind on, it's almost laughable.
Erica: I'm a bit boring and I would say sleep :)
Lexie: Sleep, sleep, and sleep, with maybe a bit of sleeping on the side. (I'm just a little bit tired right now.)Thanks so much to our awesome teens for answering! And if you missed out, or if you've thought of something else to ask, stick around! This is a monthly feature here at YA Confidential :)