We're thrilled to introduce Jeann Wong as one of our Love YA ambassadors for 2018. Jeann is a massive YA fan, and you can read all the reviews, interviews, and celebration of other YA goodies on her blog at Happy Indulgence Books.
Jeann will be posting blogs, offering reviews, and appearing on the ground at BWF (maybe even taking over a few BWF accounts on the day!).
What do you love about YA literature?
When I read the Twilight Saga a few years ago, I knew YA books were something I had been looking for all my life. YA wasn’t around when I was a teen and I’m so glad that teens and adults these days can enjoy such a wide spectrum of these books.
I love the creativity of YA books and how they feature such empowering messages for teens, whether it’s exploring female empowerment, mental health, LGBTQIA issues, cultural representation, historical fiction, growing up, falling in love or just everyday life.
Why and when did you start your blog?
I started Happy Indulgence Books in 2012 as a way to share my thoughts on the books and the things that I enjoy in my own little corner of the internet. One of my very first posts was actually a rant on a very popular book series, which I felt was overhyped at the time. The title says it all - “50 Shades of Bad Writing”.
Since then, Happy Indulgence Books now comprises of three bloggers (Aila in Atlanta and Jenna in Sydney) and has expanded across multiple social media platforms including Instagram and Youtube. It’s a busy corner of the internet but I wouldn’t have it any other way!
What’s your favourite thing about being involved
with the YA community?
Not many people I know are readers, much less readers of YA books, so I’m really glad that blogging has connected me to so many like-minded people – some of which I call my best friends today.
The YA community is filled with such passionate, creative and inspiring people who have come together over their love of books. On any given day, you’ll see the YA community discussing important topics in publishing, making incredible artwork, creating book clubs, hosting bookish events, taking book photos and filming book videos, starting book-based businesses and so much more.
I’ve met so many amazing people in this community from all over the world, who really understand what it’s like to be obsessed with books!
What’s your favourite BWF / Love YA memory?
BWF and Love YA are definitely one of my favourite events which I look forward to every year! Since attending the first #LoveYA event in 2014, I’ve met so many of my favourite #LoveOzYA and international YA authors, including Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff, Laini Taylor, Cassandra Clare and Holly Black.
My favourite memory was meeting Laini Taylor in 2014 – I was so starstruck when she was signing my books that I was standing there in stunned stupor. I’m pretty sure the words “I can’t believe you’re here” might have been said. I’m not quite sure, because the last thing I remember was being dragged away (ie. saved) by my friend who was accompanying me.
Since that first encounter, I’ve always been prepared with what to say at author signings. Sometimes it doesn’t always go to plan, like when I got the chance to interview Cassandra Clare and Holly Black for the Brisbane Libraries ibrary blog, and the first thing I said to them was “I can’t believe you are visiting our small town of Brisbane!” I think they thought I was being funny (*whispers* but
I was actually serious, because these famous authors couldn’t actually be visiting Brisbane, could they?)
Where and when do you read?
I fit in reading whenever I can outside of work – on the daily commute, on weekends and at night. I’m a fast reader though (I read about 10 books a month), so I manage to fit in blogging as well.
Who be your top 4 dream dinner guests (real
authors or fictional people)?
Starr Carter from The Hate U Give, Inej from Six of Crows, Sevro from Red Rising and AIDAN from Illuminae, simply because they would have such an interesting conversation. In fact they’ll probably discuss how to overthrow the patriarchy in the most conniving of ways.
What books in 2018 are you most looking forward
A Thousand Perfect Notes by C.G. Drews
LIF3L1K3 by Jay Kristoff
From Twinkle, With Love by Sandhya Menon
Record From a Spaceborn Few by Becky Chambers
I’ve been reading…
The Medoran Chronicles by Lynette Noni, I’ve just finished the second book called Raelia and I’m addicted!
I’ve been watching…
Riverdale which I still don’t know whether to take seriously, and Black Mirror which freaks me out (in an intriguing way).
I’ve been listening to…
Audiobooks actually (surprise surprise), currently listening to Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeymoon.
Book I most often recommend…
Definitely the Illuminae series by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. It’s got everything you could ever wish for – spaceships, alien parasites, epic space battles, wormholes and crazy A.I. along with a pair of starstruck lovers, and lots of witty, hilarious banter. Keep an eye out for my name in Obsidio!
Last live YA event I attended….
The last YA event I attended was the Graevale launch with Lynette Noni (check out my vlog and author interview), but I went to the Penguin Random House showcase last week with Fleur Ferris and Jodi McAllister (there wass also a screening of Love Simon)!
Last moment of professional or creative envy…
Instagram is one of the most aesthetic and creative parts of blogging, just check out these amazing Aussie based bookstagrammers:
I wish I knew more about…
I’m great at reading books, but not so much at writing them! Maybe someday :-)