Tuesday, September 16, 2008

What Vanessa Reads

As part of Book Blogger Appreciation Week, I'm interviewing fellow book blogger Vanessa. I was thrilled to be paired up with Vanessa because she's part of a growing segment of the book blogger community: teens who blog about books. These young people are articulate and thoughtful and they love, love, love to read! I consider them a beacon of hope for the future of the reading world. I know, I know: it sounds hokey. But read on, and you'll see what I mean.

Vanessa is a 15-year-old tenth-grader whose family moved to Florida from Venezuela when she was 7. She comes from a close-knit family, with 3 brothers ages 12, 1, and negative-one-month (due in October!). Here she is:
Vanessa doesn't just have one book blog, she's all over the web. I asked her to tell us about the different websites she's involved in:

Vanessa: I'm involved in a couple of projects... I can't stop joining... they're all so cool! Well, first and foremost, my book blog at What Vanessa Reads. Then I'm involved in a couple of memes and groups. Teen Tuesday is a blog where you post weekly about what you've been reading and read what other members have been reading, I love posting there. I just recently joined a new meme called Wired Wednesday which is pretty cool, you just answer the questions every Wednesday about how you're feeling and what you're reading, etc. On Thursdays I post on a common meme called Booking Through Thursday. Saturdays are reserved for Young Adult Book Bloggerswhich is where members of the blogosphere who post on YA give blogging tips and talk about cool books. And last but not least, the forum/message board I started at likeomgteensread.com where you can post any day and everyday and join in with many readers around the world to discuss about YA books.

Worducopia: Besides reading and writing, what do you spend your time doing?

Hmm, if I'm not reading or writing I am probably commenting all around the blogosphere. As for outside the internet world I'm really attached to my baby brother Junior and am always playing with him. I also like to chat on AIM with friends. I love to listen to music. And like any other teenaged girl I am a total teen-drama-show-watcher. I'm currently into Gossip Girl (the show, not the books) and 90210.

Does your family speak Spanish at home, or English, or a combination of the two? Did you know English before moving to the U.S.?

My family speaks Spanish and English. I speak Spanglish with my dad, Spanish with my stepmom, and English with my brother. When I talk to my mom on the phone or go visit her we speak English and Spanish. I didn't know English before I moved. Learning English was hard at first but I had a very caring teacher named Mrs. Ruiz who was super nice to me. I remember lucidly asking to go to the bathroom just to hide out there and not be in the class where I felt different since I didn't know the language. Mrs. Ruiz would come get me and try to calm me down if I was crying. I still talk to her to this day and really I owe all my English to her... she helped me learn the basics in like 3 months.

Have you been back to Venezuela, and do you still have family there?

I haven't gone back to Venezuela since I left eight years ago. Money is tight these days so I don't think I'll be going anytime soon. Even if we did have money for a vacation like that it would be a little on the dangerous side based on the conditions Venezuela is in right now because of its president and such. Yes, I have ALL my family there (except my mom who's in Canada). All of my grandmas, aunts, uncles, and cousins are there.

What are some of your favorite characters in books you've read?

My favorite characters include the following:
Elizabeth Holland from The Luxe series by Anna Godbersen
Remy Starr from This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen
Ruby Oliver from the Ruby Oliver series by E. Lockhart
Georgia Nicolson from the Georgia Nicolson series by Louise Rennison
Hannah Baker from Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

How about some books you liked, or hated, that were assigned at school?

Recently I read Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck for school (10th grade). It started slow but picks up and is such an amazing story. I also liked Animal Farm by George Orwell (8th grade). That Was Then, This Is Now by S.E Hinton was super astounding (9th grade)! I liked it better than The Outsiders. That's all I remember... my English teacher this year is making us read 8 books, so this list will probably grow.

Do you feel like authors of YA books have a good sense of what life is like for teens today?

Yes, I absolutely think they do. If they didn't know how teens feel and act then I wouldn't be wasting my time reading their work. I love reading books that center on YA and think to myself as I'm reading "that's totally what a person like that would say/act if they were real and not make-believe". YA authors inspire me because they know what they are writing about, they're writing about situations that could actually happen and are totally credible.

See what I mean about articulate and thoughtful? Vanessa, you're an amazing girl and I'm so glad I got to know you a little bit through B.B.A.W. and am looking forward to keeping up with your blog!


  1. You're right, she is an amazing girl. I am so impressed that she makes the time to keep up with all that. I predict a great future for her.

  2. Oh man! I wish there was blogging when I was a teen - it would have made me so happy back then. :)

    Great interview - Vanessa is fabulous!

  3. How interesting to hear the teen side of things! I enjoyed the interview, thanks!

  4. What an enjoyable interview! I'll be heading over to Vanessa's blog, and then checking out some of the other sites she mentioned. I enjoy YA books quite a lot, and look forward to picking up some recommendations besides the more common chart busters.

  5. So great to read about a young women passionate about reading! It is also wonderful that Vanessa enjoys the "classics"!

  6. That made me smile from the beginning to the end. Thanks so much for writing such nice things about me. :) And thanks to everyone who commented nice things... it really made my day.

    I can't do this interview any rest but let me try... go to this link to see the interview questions I asked Ali:

    whatvanessareads (at) gmail.com

  7. I've been patiently waiting for her to get home from school and post it!: Vanessa interviews me!

  8. Vanessa is one of the nicest person out there! And how she learned to read and write English at the age of 7 is so inspiring. I mean look at her right now, maintaining one of the best book blogs out there! Her approach at reviewing books is great!

    About the last question- I so agree. It surprises me how YA authors capture the feelings of us, teens so well.


  9. ^ ^ ^
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    Yet another awesome teen book blogger, whose blog I just discovered!
    (YA Book Realm)

  10. This is a great interview. Thanks! I've added Vanessa to my Google reading list.