Meet Our Editors: Jason Gallaher
There are several official Editors (staff reviewers or Review Ninjas, if you will) at Young Adult Books Central, and they all have their own taste in books. While one might give a certain book 5 stars, another might only give it 3. We like that kind of diversity here, because we know every reader is different. Every reader's opinion is valid.
But we also know it's helpful to read reviews by those who share your same interests, especially when you're looking for recommendations.
So which YABC Editor has your taste in books? Find out in this new blog series, Meet Our Editors! Each month, I'll be spotlighting one of our editors. When you find one that shares your same taste in books, movies, TV, even food, then make sure to check out the books that editor has reviewed favorably.
See how it works? Great!
First up, I did a Fast Faves interview with Kim Baccellia, who has been with YABC the longest.
Then we did a Fast Faves interview with CJ Redwine.
Here is the Fast Fave with Megan Kelly.
This month's Editor is Jason Gallaher, our new YABC Intern. Actually, Jason is our first intern ever, and I couldn't be more pleased that he's around. He's an amazing and enthusiastic writer and reviewer, and I'm always impressed with his proofreading skills. I don't think I've caught a single typo in his reviews yet. That alone makes me want to bake him a truckload of cookies. He has a natural gift for easily explaining what worked for him in any given book, and I think YABCers are going to love his take on middle grade and "boy" books. I've already added a ton of his recommendations to my TBR pile. And I'm secretly devising a way to keep him working for YABC indefinitely. *maniacal laughter*
Tell us a little about yourself, Jason.
I started reading to outsmart Maggie Yates in kindergarten. She was certain she could read faster than I could, and I was not about to be shown up by this smarty pants. For the record, Maggie won, but I haven't put a book down since! I now plan to turn my book nerdiness into a career, hopefully as a children's book agent or publisher. I can't think of a sweeter life!
Which types of books are your favorites to read/review?
I love reading Middle Grade books in the fantasy/sci-fi genres. I love how these books get young readers' imaginations rocking, and how a developed fantasy MG world can provide such a whimsical and healthy escape. On the opposite end of that spectrum, I love literary works with a male protagonist. I think so many boys today are challenged by gender stereotypes to not express their feelings, and reading literary works are such a great way for teenage boys to get in touch with their emotions in a more private way.
Which types of books do you hate to read?
I'm such a book nerd, it's hard to pick a genre I hate. I just love the act of reading! I don't hate the genre, but I'd say my least favorite genre is graphic novels that focus on contemporary life. I feel the art of a graphic novel is intended to express the action, fantasy, and spectacle of extraordinary events, so to just have a graphic novel set in a high school or in everyday life seems kind of dull.
What do you think about writing negative reviews?
Just say no. It goes back to that age old cliche, "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all." You don't want to be known as a grumpy guss mean reviewer. If you don't like a book, just don't write anything about it. I think an absence of reviews in the media can signify to readers that maybe people aren't jazzed about a particular book.
I think readers relate way more to reviews from other people just like them as opposed to the book reviewer of a major newspaper or publication. Book tastes are so subjective, and it's much easier to find others with your similar taste online than it is in a newspaper. I love geeking out with other online reviewers who have the same tastes as me. Anytime I find somebody who has a love for "Animorphs," I go ballistic!
Now it's time for Fast Faves with Jason!
Most loved – "Mean Girls"
Most hated – "Saw 2" - There was just so much blood!
Haven’t seen, but probably should – "Casablanca"
Can recite by heart – "Mean Girls" and "The Little Mermaid"
Wish more people had seen it – "Anonymous" directed by Roland Emmerich. It's a brilliant story that suggests William Shakespeare was not the author of any of his stuff!
~ Books From Childhood ~
Most loved – Every single "Animorphs" book ever!
Most hated – "American Girl" books. I just couldn't relate.
Haven’t read, but probably should – "Big Nate" books. They're such a big MG craze right now. I need to catch up!
Can remember where you were when you first read it – "The Perks of Being a Wallflower." My favorite, favorite, favorite book of all time!
Wish more people had read it – Anything by Linda Sue Park. I have such a historical fiction crush on her. She teaches about such important moments in history that are barely taught in school. For example, I had no idea that Japan occupied Korea until I read Park's "When My Name Was Keoko."
~ Foods ~
Most loved - Steak. I'm a red meat kinda guy.
Most hated – Uni - I don't understand why I should be eating sea urchin.
Haven’t eaten, but probably should – Fried butter. I don't know how it fries without melting, but I'm in!
Would eat anytime, anywhere – Again, steak. I like it rare, so I pretty much could eat it anywhere!
Best fuel for writing – I'm a coffee guy through and through. I've probably burned a giant hole in my stomach from how much coffee I drink.
~ TV Shows ~
Most loved – "Alias!" I miss my weekly dose of undercover Jennifer Garner so bad!
Most hated – "Dance Moms." I just can't. I'm sure they're all wonderful women, I just can't watch them.
Haven’t watched, but probably should – "Homeland"
Can remember where you were when you saw it – The very first airing of the very first episode of the very first season of "Survivor."
Wish more people had seen it – "GCB!" I am so sad this got cancelled after one season. The writing was brilliant!
~ Items in Your Closet ~
Most loved – Shoes! I go crazy for flashy loafers!
Most hated – If I hate it I give it away. I love everything in my closet!
Haven’t worn in forever, probably should throw it out – I honestly wear everything I've got! Is that crazy? That's my Type A personality coming through. I always clean out my closet.
Wish you’d never thrown them out – A onesie I wore one Halloween dressed as Rose from "The Golden Girls." It was hilarious!
Why do I have so many – Random buttons?! I have this stockpile of extra buttons that I'm not sure go to anything I own. But I'm keeping them just in case!
~ Life ~
Best moment/memory - Moving to Los Angeles from Spokane, Washington. That was my dream my entire life, and to move here when I was 22 was so overwhelming I cried!
Worst/most embarrassing moment - My swim shorts split open in the back at a water park! I was flashing my cheeks to everybody!
Haven't accomplished yet, but one day I'll - be associated with a New York Times Best Seller. Whether I'm the agent, publisher, or writer, that's what I want!
Childhood toy you'll never get rid of - Uh oh. They're already all gone.
Wish I had more time for this guilty pleasure - Each Kardashian series. I love those ladies! I just can't keep up with them all! (I didn't mean for that to be a pun just now, but now that I see it, I'm definitely keeping it!)
Tweet Jason: @JasonGallaherLA
So? How much do you have in common with Jason? Let us know in the comments. And stay tuned next month for another editor interview!
I do too! And he's reviewed quite a few that I've never heard of. Like Destiny, Rewritten? Totally have to have that.
Alright I love Mean Girls and I see why you wouldn't be able to relate to American Girls, I loved them but I read them with this lady who worked with me because I had a hard time reading when i was younger and then i learned and ever since have really been into reading. I like Steak too! Love my shoes! A lot of you I haven't but should were ones i have never heard of. I don't think i would like Uni, i'm not a fish person and it sounds so exotic and fishy.