Friday, January 14, 2011

Get to Know the Reviewer: Jessica of Novel Reaction

Welcome to Jessica of Novel Reaction Book Reviews, our first book reviewer interview on JDP NEWS! I'm so excited to have Jessica here. Let's jump right into our Getting to Know You questions!

JDP: Did your mother read to you as a child?

NR (Novel Reaction): My mother read to me a lot when I was a child, which I think is very important for children. I also saw both of my parents reading while I was growing up and I think this helped shape my love of books. There were always books lying around with bookmarks in them and full bookshelves of interesting books to explore, everything from fiction to biographies. I think it important for children to see their parents reading instead of just watching television all the time because children learn by example.

JDP: Do you remember a favorite book from your childhood?

NR: My favorite books that my mother read to me were by Bill Peet, his use of words are great and he was one of the main animators for Disney for several films including Sleeping Beauty and The Sword in the Stone. My favorite is Cowardly Clyde about a warhorse that is afraid of his own shadow but must overcome his fear to save his knight. After I started reading to myself I devoured The Boxcar Children and The Nancy Drew series. My all time favorite author from my younger years is Robin McKinley, I reread The Blue Sword every year and usually reread a few more of hers such as Beauty and The Outlaws of Sherwood. Her Pegasus was a great read this year and made my Best of 2010 list.

JDP: Name a favorite author as an adult

NR: One of my favorite authors as an adult is Lynn Kurland. She writes great time-travel romance novels that start with A Dance Through Time but she doesn't sugarcoat what medieval Scotland was like, she describes it in all its smelly detail. I also really enjoy her books because they are clean romance novels, the tension is there between the main characters but without all the sex.

JDP: Share a book you’ve read multiple times.

NR: I am a big rereader of books and there are several authors I try to hit each year because I love them. Georgette Heyer is one, my favorites of hers are: Sylvester, or the Wicked Uncle and The Grand Sophy. I also enjoy fantasy novels (even though they don't usually get reviewed on my site) and love David Eddings' The Belgariad and The Elenium series.

JDP: Followers of JDP NEWS will know what a HUGE fan I am of Georgette Heyer! I hit several on my reread list last year, too. But back to the interview. Kindle, Nook, or good old hard copy?

NR: There is something about the texture and smell of a book that I love but since I got my Kindle I find myself using it more and more because of the ease of transporting multiple books all at once. Also, it is SOOO much easier balancing my Kindle while I am lying in bed reading than a hardbound copy of a book but it hasn't stopped my purchasing of hard copies. My husband has admitted he likes my Kindle because it will be a whole lot easier to move the next time we do so than my other books are. I have over 5,000 books in my collection and they can be a pain to move, as all my family and friends have informed me. Before I got my Kindle I regularly had an ink smudge on my pinkie finger from where I would hold open the book with it and I kinda miss that mark on my hand but I LOVE my Kindle!

(Jessica with a few of her 5,000 books)

JDP: 5,000 books? Wow! And I thought my bookshelves were overflowing! What’s your favorite place to read?

NR: I read just about anywhere but I really love lounging in bed reading away with my cat curled up next to me or, if the weather is nice, swaying in my hammock in the shade. I also enjoy reading in the tub and luckily have only dropped one book into the water so far *knock on wood*.

JDP: What are your three favorite reading genres.

NR: I read a little bit of everything but I find myself drawn the most to romance, fantasy and young adult novels.

JDP: What’s the last book you read?

NR: Against the Law by Kat Martin which is the third book in The Raines of Wind Canyon and is available in February from Mira books. I will be posting my review around the release date.

JDP: What are you’re reading now?

NR: I am currently reading Digitalias by Ronie Kendig (Kindle) and Sizzle and Burn by Jayne Ann Krentz (Paperback) since I always seem to have more than one book going at a time and because I am terrified I will drop my Kindle in the tub so I always have a paperback going because it is cheaper to replace if dropped. :)

JDP: If I ever get a Kindle, I’ll remember that tip! What’s next on your reading list?

NR: To Tempt a Rake by Cara Elliot and The Mysterious Lady Law by Robert Appleton.

JDP: What you would like to read more of? (author, genre, etc)

NR: I would like to read more fantasy novels but I am finding it hard to fit them in around my review commitments, not that I am complaining there just always seem to be more great books I want to read than I have time to read.

JDP: Share a favorite book that you’ve read in the last 12 months

NR: Beastly by Alex Flynn and Dead People by Edie Ramer. At Novel Reaction there are three other reviewers not including myself and we posted a Best of 2010 where each of us listed our favorites of 2010 and of all time. I admit I really struggled to limit myself to ten favorite novels of all time but I was able to do it, you can read it .

Thank you, Jessica!

I invited Jessica to share a little more about her review site and about herself:

Reader and admitted bibliophile (book collector), I came up with the idea of after I was approached by several friends asking for “clean” romance novels. As we all know, you can’t judge a book by its cover nor can we judge the graphic content of a novel based on the cover. I provide a graphic rating so readers can pick up a novel without having to worry about not knowing the graphic content. Novel Reaction covers just about every genre but focus primarily on romance, young adult and some fantasy.

Not content to just recommend some authors, I decided to create this website to recommend books to anyone looking for a good book. I am not an author, just a reader interested in sharing good books with others. ‘Novel Reaction’ is not just my web title but my approach to reading. I am happy to receive any comments or suggestions!

In addition to book reviews, author visits and giveaways, each month we have a Books-to-Movie Challenge where we read the book and watch a film adaptation and discuss it. February's Books-to-Movie challenge is Beastly by Alex Flynn, which I am very excited about. So sit back, pull up a beverage, and read on knowing that you can without a worry.

(JDP INSERTS: What a fun idea! I’ll have to check this out.)

In addition to Novel Reaction, several months ago I launched

Novel Reaction Kids was created when the reviewers of started to discuss the problem with finding good quality books that you are willing to read to your child(ren) over and over and over again. Because as a parent that is exactly what you will do, read the same books more than once to your child. We decided what better way to share our love of the great books we have found for our children than by creating a website to share them with each other and others who might be interested.

Each child is different and so is their taste in books so covers everything from adventure to holiday, animals to feelings, and everything in between. In addition to talking about our feelings about the books we are reading to our children, we also post our children’s reactions to the books we have read. Also, we have found that a lot of children’s authors have great websites to go along with the books they have written and we discuss them here. So read, enjoy and repeat!

About Me:

Jessica is the main reviewer and creative force behind Novel Reaction. I have a BA in English and am currently a full time law student. I love to be able to read the books I want to read after I finish studying but don't get as much time to read 'the fun books' as I would like (but then would I ever have enough time I wonder...). Having moved from snowy Salt Lake City to Phoenix about a year and a half ago I love the Phoenix winters and enjoy not having to dig my car out of the snow in order to go anywhere. :)

JDP: As a lifetime Arizonan, I say, “Welcome to the land of (almost) endless sunshine, Jessica!” Thanks again for visiting with us today.


Novel Reaction said...

Thanks for the invite, it was great to stop and answer questions instead of answering them all the time. :)

Joyce DiPastena said...

Thanks for visiting my blog, NR! It was so fun to get to know more about you!

kbrebes said...

Wonderful interview! Thanks for posting, Joyce.

Rachel Rager said...

Fun interview!!! Thanks for sharing, Joyce! It's good to get to know reviewers too! :)

Tanya Parker Mills said...

Great interview! Hers is definitely a blog to check in is yours. Thanks for giving us notice! I also LOVE my Kindle.

Valerie Ipson said...

I love that you have interviewed a reviewer, Joyce. Great idea and great interview!

Donna Hatch said...

Great interview. I LOVE Lynn Kurland! Great to meet a fellow fan.
And I sooo have to get a some kind of ebook reader!

Novel Reaction said...

Tanya-thanks for the kind words about checking in with my blog.
Donna-I didn't realize how much I would love my ereader until I got it, now it is the number two thing I will grab in case of a fire, after my cat. :)

Danielle Thorne said...

What a great interview and good information. 5,000 books? Wow--sounds like it WAS time for a Kindle. I find I save paperbacks for the tub these days, too. I love toting my Sony reader around. Much slimmer, less bulky.

Thank you for reviewing and focusing on clean books. We need that in this world, and clean authors need you, too.

Mary L Walling said...

Loved your interview. Also the fact that you focus on good clean books for those of us who look for that. My favorite...a good clean mystery. Thanks for your time, effort and committment. I don't have a portable ereader yet, but I do have Kindle PC and love it.

Laura Fabiani said...

It was great getting to know more about you, Jessica! 5000! And you're a full-time law student. It's impressive that you still find the time to do what you love. Kudos!

Joyce DiPastena said...

Thanks everyone for visiting my interview with Jessica today!

Lisa loves to read! said...

I loved the interview! A little tip that I picked up somewhere about tubs and kindles is that you can put it in a ziplock bag so it doesn't get wet. Even with that tip, I still have never taken my kindle in the tub.

Joan Sowards said...

Great interview, upbeat and positive. Thank you Jessica and Joyce.

Shanda said...

Great interview, Joyce. Hi, Jessica! It was great getting to know a fellow reviewer better. Thanks for all you do to help us find great clean reads!

Shanda :)

Miss Mae said...

It's so nice to meet someone who READS -- thank you, NR, and to Joyce, for having you over! :)