Friday, 28 September 2012

YA Interrogation with Guest Blogger Cicely Loves Books!

This week we are delighted to welcome Cicely from Cicely Loves Books as our guest on the Edge …  

Cicely with Karen Mahoney
Hello, EDGE-y people! I’m Cicely and I blog over at Cicely Loves Books (you can tell I toiled over that one). I blog pretty much solely about YA, and have been doing so for about a year and a half now, (and LOVING it). I’m also a pretty big fan of the old Caps Lock/exclamation point, so forgive me if I come across as being incredibly excitable. I’m not *always* like this, I promise. Just when I’ve been at the ole’ caffeine, (Which, I guess, is all the time…)

So, Cicely, WHY do you read and write about YA books?
I read and write about YA mostly because, well, I am a teenager. So it only really seems appropriate, right? Also, it makes me feel pretty normal when I’m reading a contemp and the characters are like me and I can just relate and it makes me feel a bit less, well, weird. Makes me feel less alone sometimes, I guess. As does the awesome community!

We're big fans of weird at the Edge! So what are the most ORIGINAL YA books that you've read?
Hmm, most original? That’s a tough question, but surprisingly some of the most original YA (in my opinion) are retellings of things. I think it really takes an original perspective to take something familiar and turn it into something brand new, so books like Shadows on The Moon and Long Lankin, and Nevermore (which is all just kind of based on Poe’s work). Also, anything that takes on a new format in storytelling, I guess, and uses a new style to tell the story like Stolen and The Perks of Being A Wallflower.

OK, but what is a TURN OFF for you in YA fiction?
Ugh, INSTA- FREAKING-LOVE. It needs to be less frequent. I’m not saying it should stop, it should just appear less. Please.

But what makes for a GREAT YA book?
Originality. Interesting characters, or at least relatively realistic/relate able ones. An interesting plot line. Stuff that makes any book great, I guess?

Side-stepping reality for a moment, which YA characters would you most like to take OUT TO DINNER and why?
What YA characters would I most like to take out to dinner...? Katniss Everdeen, because I reckon we’d both have equally bad table manners and I wouldn’t have to pretend I knew why there’s about 7 different types of fork. Plus her tales from the Arena would be pretty interesting, if not off-putting. But if we’re talking date-dinner, probably Will Herondale: witty, tortured, and permanently dressed in Victorian clothing. Perfect dinner companion!

On a similar theme, who is your ideal YA HERO / HEROINE and why?
My ideal YA heroine is probably Korra from the Legend of Korra. I know she’s already fictional, but I don’t care, I want her in a book now please. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen this show, but it’s AMAZING and I love Korra and I can’t wait to see her character development and I really shouldn’t have brought this up because now I won’t stop talking about it. *deep breath*

(Half an hour later …) What makes you uncomfortable or question THE BOUNDARIES of YA?
Nothing, really, apart from gratuitous sex scenes I guess. Not that I’ve even come across stuff like that in YA, ever. Yeah… But sex is cool as long as it isn’t really into detail, drugs are cool as long as they’re being represented realistically and not advocated, swearing – well, I swear and I am a teen, so that’s fine. Yeah.

What would you LIKE to see happening in YA fiction over the next five years?
Less paranormal romance, more horror/suspense paranormal fiction. I want scary things to actually be scary. And more high quality YA comtemps! And UK YA!

But what do you think will ACTUALLY BE the next big thing in YA?
Hmm, there’ll still be this thing with Dystopia going on for a little while I think, but I think there’ll be more high fantasy over the next few years, too.

So, give us your TOP FIVE YA/Teen books.
Only five?! But it changes all the time! Okay, I’m going to try. At this very minute, my favourites are:

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky (so excited for the film!) 
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Everything by Sarah Dessen ever
Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowely
Chime by Franny Billingsly

Finally, could we ask for a recommendation – if you read one book this year, read THIS … 
Perks of Being a Wallflower. I only read it for the first time this year, but it’s just really good. If you’re not a big reader, it’s short and simply written, but it’s really honest and melancholy and it’s just a really good book, regardless of it being YA or whatever.

OK, that's a few more books to add to the Edge bookshelf! Thanks for being this week's guest on the Edge Cicely and for taking the time to answer all our questions so thoroughly!

Thanks for having me! 

Don't forget to check out Cicely's own blog over at Cicely Loves Books.


  1. Great interview, Cicely! John Green's Fault in Our Stars was one of my faves too, as is Looking for Alaska! Haven't read Perks of Being a Wallflower, but I'd better read it before the film! And I've never heard of The Legend of Korra - what have I missed?!

  2. Thank you for having me! :) And the Legend of Korra is the spin-off series to Avatar: The Last Airbender, and I highly recommend watching them both. It's just SO GOOD.

  3. Thanks for the recommendation, I'm going to read Perks of Being a Wallflower asap!

  4. Great comments and answers Cicely - thanks for being so honest and forthright about everything. I'm making notes!!

  5. Thanks again for being such a great guest Cicely, and for all the recommendations. More books to add to the pile!