Monday, March 17, 2014

Blogoversary Celebration Day 2: Interview with the lovely Italian book blogger of Offbeat YA +15.00 amazon gift card giveaway

As you know the world wide web makes the blogoverse seem so small!

We're able to connect with other all over the globe.While we @Twinja Book Reviews follow many "International" book blogs, our favorite to date is a blogger by the name of Roberta, who blogs @ Offbeat YA. Other than being from the beautiful "Italia",what's cool about her book blog is that she seems to have an insane, unhealthy obsession with Christopher Pike and makes a conscious effort yo review books outside of the "mainstream"realm. 

It's refreshing to read a blog that reviews books that aren't so popular. Some book blogs tend to look the same after a while, so this is why we chose to highlight Roberta for our Blogoversary celebration! Sit back and get to know this lovely Italian blogger!

What are some cool (or not so cool) things to know about you?

Cool? Define "cool" (*laughs*). Let's see...I host two different shows on a local radio station, which probably sounds way cooler than it really is (it’s my job, after all…). Not surprisingly, along with books, music is my other consuming passion. I love police-procedural TV series, but also a few supernatural ones - while I hate reality TV and soap operas. In an ideal world, I'd sleep at least ten hours a day. I love black and strong colours (talk about extremes). Conformity and bigotry are my most hated things in the whole world.

Give us some insight about your blog, what books you like to review and read and the theme of your blog?

I've been reading YA books for a few years, though I'm well past the right age! At the time, I didn't know I weren't alone. Then I discovered a whole world of "mature" readers who enjoyed that type of books, and even blogged about them...this ultimately inspired me to take the plunge and start reviewing YA lit. myself. I also review adult novels occasionally, but both them and the YA ones must be quirky, unconventional in some respects.

Why did you start a book blog and what inspired the name?

I had been reading and enjoying a few books that, in my opinion, weren't getting the attention they deserved. I would go on Goodreads and notice that they hardly got any review, compared to some largely-hyped releases. I loved them so much that I wanted to give them a spotlight. So I thought I'd start a book blog. The name came naturally, because I wanted a word that would convey the peculiarity of those books. (Of course, I may stumble on the occasional mainstream book sometimes – but only if it feels right for me…).

What are your favorite types of books to review?

I have this huge thing for afterlife books - you know, the ones where the MC is, well, dead. And time travel is another favourite subgenre. But my faves, when it comes to reviews, are probably the books that, regardless of their genre, turn out to be even better than I thought, or manage to take some common trope and pull it off. Because then I strive to convey their awesomeness in my reviews, and to make people understand that they deserve a chance.

We have to know.......were you Christopher Pike in another lifetime? Because you seem to be reallllllly drawn to his work! What is about Mr.Pike that has you obsessed?

Haha, you have a point here. I'm "slightly" obsessed with the man. After all, he's the reason why I re-started reading YA after my teen years were long gone...I came across a blurb of "Remember Me" and it got me curious. So I went and bought the book, thinking it would be a one-off. Boy, was I wrong. It both started my Pike obsession and my (likewise) unhealthy fascination with afterlife novels. Now, what I like about Pike is...he writes these really weird books where supernatural, horror, sci-fi, spirituality, murder, aliens and a little bit of everything collide and actually make sense. Well, I'm not saying it always works for me (*cough* "Monster" *cough*), and there are some books he wrote that I actually don't like. But when it works, it makes for some really exciting rides. He may not be the most accomplished writer I know, but he manages to draw you into his stories.

In previous discussions you mentioned taking part in a LGBT month that bloggers can participate in. Can you tell us a little about it? What books are you planning on reading to celebrate this month?

LGTB Month is an interesting idea Laura @ Laura Plus Books and Cayce @ Fighting Dreamer came up with. They're hosting several events through the month of April, and the cool thing is, one can be involved on as little or as many of them one feels like. I plan on reviewing a couple of books and post an article about what I’d like to see more in the genre, but of course, I will also be delighted to participate in Laura & Cayce’s discussion posts! If someone is interested in joining this event or knowing more about it, I wrote a post about it . You can check it out right here!!!

You also mentioned being passionate about disability in books. What draws you to this theme and which disabilities do you wish they put focus on? Which disabilities tropes do you wish they did away with?

I’ll admit that dealing with the physical disability of a close person helped raise my awareness of the problem, and my interest in seeing it tackled in books. I find it difficult to find YA stories with disabled characters though. I’m not sure if it’s a taboo thing, or it’s because most stories have a setting that requires physically fit characters (like sci-fi or dystopian novels, where they often have to run for their lives or to save the world). But even in contemporaries, there’s usually a plethora of characters dying of cancer, and hardly any disabled one. I guess the cancer thing is easier for the authors to pull off. Don’t get me wrong, those stories and scenes are probably very hard to write, but mostly from an emotional angle. I’m talking about focusing on a disabled teen instead, and recounting her/his everyday life and struggles, as opposed to dealing with a character who is “simply” going to die at the end of the story. 

What are some ways others can connect with you and learn more about your blog?

Er…I’m a lazy old girl LOL. You won’t find me on Facebook, Twitter, Google + and the likes. I know that social networks can help gaining followers and contacting authors, but they can be very time- consuming as well - and besides, I don’t feel comfortable with using them. I do have a Goodreads account though, because it’s less’re welcome to visit me here! Also, if you like talking books and we have some in common, feel free to drop me a line!

Thank you girls for having me! It was lovely to answer your questions and being featured on Twinja Book Reviews. We have a lot in common after all…both strive for diversity in books, in our own way. And thanks everyone for putting up with me ;).

Check out Roberta's Book Blog, Offbeat YA. You won't be sorry y'all!And don't forget to enter our giveaway for this month! Everyone is welcome!Even the interviewees!

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