Interview with a Snarky/Cynical 16 Year Old

I happen to live with a teenaged sister who loves to read. While our tastes in books often overlap, she’s a bit more critical than I am. Which often means I lend her a YA book and she hates it. An opposing view can be a good/amusing thing so I invited her to do some future posts with me. As a way of an introduction, I did an “interview” with her. So, meet Barbara, a girl who rarely answers any questions completely seriously.

What kind of books do you most like to read?
Um, I don’t know. I just don’t fucking know, dude. Oh, well, comic books. I guess.

What is the best book you’ve read recently?
Maus. The n*zi thing. That’s the only thing I can remember.

[Anna’s Note: Babs says she feels like calling it “the n*zi thing” was insensitive. Actually her exact words in the email were “also now that i looked at it reducing maus to a nazi thing seems pretty insenstivie fuk.” (She demanded she read how I transcribed things before I posted it.)]

What was the worst book you’ve read recently?
Huckleberry Finn. The Adventures of. Which I didn’t really read. I sort of read it.

Do you have a favorite author?
God is the author of my heart.

[She laughed after this and made me take it out because she didn’t want people to know she was laughing, but I’m just putting it in this note instead.]

For real though…
I don’t know any authors. Maybe like….. I don’t think I’ve consistently read one author in my life.

What is your biggest book pet peeve?
Hmm. There’s a lot. Love triangles. When they don’t describe things like setting or anything like that. You know? It’s just not good. Just books in general.

Do you have a favorite character?
I guess Laika, the first dog to go to space.

She technically doesn’t count because she’s real.
No, she counts. She’s still a character… I can’t think of any characters I like. I can’t really think of any books I like. I don’t remember the past three years of my life.

[I originally called Laika a “he” which she yelled at me for, so I fixed it. Then I got yelled out via email for editing my mistake. “also you called laika a he dont fuckin deny it.”]

What’s a book you are excited to come out?
The next “Shadowshaper” book.

[One of the rare occasions where we both loved the same YA book. Good job, Daniel José Older, you won over a cynical af teen.]

What do you like most about “Shadowshaper?”
Just like the overall concept, I guess. I don’t know. She’s just like “yeah I fucking paint stuff.” That’s nice I guess.

[This is called being purposefully difficult.]

Actually I want you to make my favorite author, Jesse Moynihan. And my favorite character, Serapis. It’s in Moynihan’s comic “Forming.”

Do you have a favorite book trope?
Give examples. There’s a lot of tropes. There’s a dictionary of tropes.

I don’t know. Just anything you like in books.
I like when.. I like bugs. Any mention of bugs. At any point. At any time. It makes me happy. And hopeful, you know?

Has any book other than The Book Thief made you cry?
That’s very personal. I don’t think so. Anna, I don’t want people to know I cried at The Book Thief.

[I didn’t put this in without her permission. She accepted it after.]

What do you think about my taste in books?
I think your taste in books and media in general is bad. And I don’t think people reading your reviews should trust you.

I want to change my favorite trope. I like when there is character development. And bugs.

That’s not a trope.
I don’t give a shit.

What is your favorite nonfiction book?
The Poop Book.

I’m not putting that in.

I’m serious. It’s actually informative. And don’t edit my words.

Any final thoughts?
Shout out to Persepolis, even though everyone knows about it, I want to give it a little shout out. Shout out to my fans. Shout out to my family and friends. Shout out to bugs. Don’t step on bugs. And if you hear someone screaming, call 911 and don’t listen to your family. [Apparently she heard someone screaming earlier.] Don’t treat OCD like it’s a cute habit where you just like to organize things. It’s a serious illness. Just chill the fuck out. Who cares? That’s it.


And there you have it. Words on books and such from a real life teen. Look out for future interviews/reviews where she is certain to frustrate me.

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