About Blog

About You Know What I Mean, Right?

The aim of You Know What I Mean, Right? is to engage young adult literature as just that: literature. There is a troubling line often drawn between young adult and adult literature as to its seriousness, value to society, and ability to touch on the universal truths of humanity or "real life." People dismiss young adult as books written for kids, as though books written for kids won't tackle "tough stuff" because "kids" don't think about tough things. But that is patently false. Growing up is no cake walk. In my experience, children and teens alike think about the deeper things of life a lot more than adults think they do, and I think their literature reflects this.

It is my hope that this blog can eventually become part of the answer to all those naysayers who say young adult books have nothing "of value" to contribute.

"A New Kind of Book Blog"?
Okay, I admit it may be a bit presumptuous of me to label my blog "new" as if this has never been done before. I'm sure it has been. But in my explorations on the Internet, I have not found a book blog that focuses solely on discussing books in an academic sense. Wait! Before you run away, screaming, here me out. When I say "academic," I don't exactly mean how you talked about, say, 1984 or The Great Gatsby in your high school English class. You know, looking for motifs, use of irony, and quotes you can put into literary analysis essays to prove that the shoe in Cinderella is actually a symbol of the vagina (looking at you, Bruno Bettelheim). What I mean when I say "academic" is discussions that delve deep into the text to pull out its essence, the meat of what it's saying, because I do believe that all stories stem from the author's desire to say something. And that something, more often than not, is something that a lot of of people can relate to. And if you understand that something, wouldn't it tell you why a book affects you the way it does?

What will you find here?
This blog focuses less on offering reviews of books, and more on looking at what those books have to offer us, what makes certain books great and others meh, what keeps us coming back time and time again to some books and keeps us from even finishing others. As an aspiring writer myself, I am always looking for examples of great writers whom I can emulate to improve my own writing.

Some of these books will be books that have been out for a while, some will be new. I'm less interested in being the first on the scene with a review about the book and more interested on what we can take from it. In my current vision, I imagine tackling about a book a week in two different posts, one which addresses my reaction to the book and the second which addresses what we can take from the author to try and apply to our own writing.

I don't have the answer to anything that I'm going to talk about; it's sort of slippery subject to get your hands around. These are mostly just musings to get a discussion started, so I want to hear from you guys in comments, in emails, on Twitter, Goodreads, even tumblr, which I will figure out how to use. If it crosses your mind, tell me! (Even if you think it's nothing.)

Where did You Know come from?
I love to read (obviously). When I was kid, I would devour books like nobody's business, but as I got older, I had less time to read so I wanted to spend more time appreciating the words I was reading. I tried to do the normal book blog thing when I first started (this is actually a reboot of an old blog), and I really didn't like it. I felt like I wasn't able to ingest the words on the page like I wanted, and suddenly, reading became a chore. By the end of my sophomore year, I have pretty much stopped reading entirely. I went off to Tokyo with a heavy heart, feeling lost and very unfulfilled.

It was there that I rediscovered my love of reading and that I realized why I loved reading in the first place: being transported anywhere in the world (or sometimes to completely new worlds!), curling up on my couch and daydreaming for hours on end, having conversations with the characters in my head (I'm not crazy, I promise), and, mostly, savoring well-written stories. Well-written stories come so few and far between these days that I didn't want to ruin them by speeding through them and not being able to appreciate the rare art form of good writing done right.

As a senior, while interning in Hollywood in script development, I started thinking about what attracted me to certain scripts and not others. I noticed that you can tell when a script is going to be really good almost from page 1, and when it will be pretty bad by around page 5. How? Why? What kept me thinking about other scripts long after I'd finished reading them? At the same time, I was taking a Children's Literature class at school, and my boss at my internship wanted to start pursuing YA books for potential screen adaptations. So the leap from thinking about scripts to books was pretty much made for me. And thus, this blog was born.

You really didn't care about any of that, but if you read it, you deserve a cookie!


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