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Guest Blog: ChinLin Pan, Ultimate YA Reading Group

If you're a Facebook addict like me, you've probably noticed there's a group for everything. (And I mean everything. Tangled Headphones and Pushing a Pull Door, I'm looking at you.) So a lot turned up when I first searched for groups related to YA, but this one in particular stuck out. Why?
1. It's a reading group with over 1,300 members.
2. They actually read. A. LOT.
3. It has a great forum with intelligent posts, reviews, a newsletter, and a monthly Featured Author article.
4. It was created by an actual YA...that is, a teenager.
One thing is clear; ChinLin Pan and her fantastic admins and officers take this group seriously. They are an incredibly well-read group of young adults. I contacted ChinLin as soon as I joined (small world- she goes to school a stone's throw away from my old high school!) and she agreed to jump in on yaHighway to tell us a little bit about the Ultimate YA Reading Group and how it got started.

Hi there! I’m ChinLin Pan, the creator of the Ultimate YA Reading Group on Facebook. One of your fabulous YA Highway bloggers—the great Michelle Schusterman—asked me if I could write a guest blog post about the group and a little bit about me. And I thought why not?

The group:
I created the group 2 summers ago, because I wanted to create a place where bookworms like me can meet, discuss and basically, just have a good time. In the beginning, we had a lot of members (including me) chatting up on the discussion boards, and it was fun. I loved it. Nowadays, though, there is less being discussed, but I hope that’ll change in the near future.
The group has grown a lot these past 2 years. We send out newsletters now to remind our members about stuff that’s going on in the group, we have more authors that have joined (which makes me very happy and flattered that my group is appealing to authors), and the authors list is getting longer and longer (the more authors, the merrier, right?). I think the only direction my group can go is positive. But I couldn’t have done it without my admins!
The group is open to anyone who loves to read and/or write YA novels, so don’t hesitate to join!

Featured Authors:
One of my admins—Liz Miller—came up with the idea of featured authors (FAs). We would pick 1 author to feature each month, the month AFTER his/her new book releases. We have the FA give us a mini-bio and 7 fun facts about him/herself, and then we interview the FA about his/her book. Recently, we moved all FA stuff onto our group tumble-log, which was also Liz’s idea. So far, the featured authors I’ve been in charge of were: Elizabeth Scott, Jordanna Fraiberg, Lucy Silag, and Gayle Forman.

A little bit about me:
I am an aspiring novelist (since the 4th grade) and journalist (for the past year). I read several different genres under the YA category, and occasionally, some adult books. My favorite genres are realistic fiction, humor and mystery. It’s an understatement to say that I have a lot of favorite books and that I love a lot of authors. Seriously, I wouldn’t be able to list them all to save my life. I will, however, reveal my favorite YA authors (in no particular order): E. Lockhart, Sarah Dessen, Jean Ferris, Elizabeth Scott, Gayle Forman, John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Gabrielle Zevin.

My future highway is leading to:
-I definitely want visit New York. It is too much of a fabulous state for a traveler to miss out on.
-I also want to visit a lot of historical cities such as Boston, Philadelphia and Washington D.C.
-Ever since I could remember, I’ve wanted to go to some casinos in Las Vegas, mainly just to try my hand at the slot machines and blackjack tables.
-Going to France is a must. I’ve been taking French for years, and I’ve fallen in love with the language and the culture!
-United Kingdom (London, baby!) <--- data-blogger-escaped-span="">I think that speaks for itself. XD
To conclude this post, I’d like to thank blogger/traveler/author/former drumline teacher Michelle for contacting me and informing me about this awesome Blogspot. It’s worth your time to follow, and there’s something new and interesting to read every day! I enjoyed typing up this guest blog post, and I hope someday in the future, I’ll be doing this more often.
And I’d also like to say something to all YA authors: Keep writing! You are making a generation of young readers very happy. My life wouldn’t be complete without books to read and inspire me. =D

Ultimate YA Reading Group Admins

Name: Brittney Tabel

Ultimate YA Reading Group Role:
Once I agreed to be an admin, I started to update our New Releases section on our discussion board as frequently as I could. (The new releases section basically informs everyone what new young adult books are coming out that month).
We each also try to be in charge of a featured author month every couple of months. That involves contacting an author to be featured on our page for the month, asking them for 7 fun facts, mini-bio, and interview questions, and then posting the information on the page.
So far, the featured author months, I've helped out with are: Sarah Mlynowski, Angela Morrison, and Sarah O’Leary Burningham.

Favorite Books/Authors:
I love so many authors out there but my favorites have to be Stephenie Meyer, Sarah Dessen, Elizabeth Scott, Cassandra Clare, and Jane Austen. There are a lot more but those are my top 5! :)

My future highway is leading to:
My future highway will hopefully lead to a life filled with happiness! I definitely want to travel! But mostly I want to see the amazing places I've read about! I hope my highway leads me to:
-visit the battle grounds and ghosts at Gettysburg (You Are Here by Jennifer E. Smith)
-Hertfordshire, England to see the world Elizabeth Bennett knew (Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen)
-build wells in Africa (Bass Ackwards and Belly Up by Liz Craft and Sarah Fain)
-Forks, Washington: where I can search for my own vampire (lol) (Twilight by Stephenie Meyer)
-Zanzibar, California: where I can let the ocean work its magic (20 Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler)

I just want my future highway to lead me to the places where fiction can become reality! :)

Name: Karen McGowan.

Ultimate YA Reading Group Role: Megan Meade from the book Megan Meade's Guide to the McGowan Boys. I'm also an admin.

My favorite books are: A Million Little Pieces, This Lullaby, Twilight, Stop Pretending, and The Lovely Bones.

My favorite authors are: Sonya Sones and Ellen Hopkins (love the poetry style of writing).

My future highway is leading to: Everywhere. I'm fascinated with Egypt the most though.
I also want to backpack through Europe ever since I read 13 Little Blue Envelopes.

Name: Liz Miller

Ultimate YA Reading Group Role: I am one of the administrators of the group with the officer title “Susannah ‘Suze’ Simon” after the main character in Meg Cabot’s Mediator series and for that I have the ever-awesome ChinLin to thank: Thank you ChinLin! It’s been tons of fun these past (almost) two years!
Since being given administration duties I have helped to create two events we hosted (Share-a-Book day and our own Twilight release celebration) and have interviewed 4 of our featured authors including Lisa McMann (our first featured author! :) ) , Deborah Pape Kerbel, Cynthia Leitich Smith, and Catherine Asaro. I also created our tumble-log to which we all now contribute.

Favorite Books/Authors: This is a difficult question, but I’d have to say that my favorite authors are Scott Westerfeld, Meg Cabot, Caroline B. Cooney, William Sleator, Philip Pullman and J.K. Rowling. You can follow my reading habits via Goodreads.

My future highway is leading to: Many, many things. I love film, literature (reading, writing and editing), and much more. The two most important things I want for my future are for me to learn something every day and to simply be happy. My dream job would be to be an actress, but I am also interested in directing, writing, and editing. I am currently a student at UMass Amherst and loving every minute. Ultimately I hope to turn my hobbies into paying jobs, like many of my idols. Oh, and I’m also going to save the world-whatever that means.

Thanks, girls! And for those reading, if you're not a member of the Ultimate YA Reading Group...

Michelle Schusterman

Michelle writes books for kids, screenplays for a tv/film production company, and music for anyone who'd buy a "groove matters" bumper sticker. She lives in New York City with her husband (and band mate) and their chocolate lab (who is more of a vocalist). She is the author of middle grade series I Heart Band - 2014, and The Kat Sinclair Files - 2015 (both from Grosset).

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  1. This is fantastic, Michelle! Thanks! =D
    We really appreciate it.

  2. Wow..some incredible people. I love that a group of YAs is so dedicated to reading/writing. Great post, Michelle. Thanks for taking the time to do this girls!

  3. Thanks for guesting on our blog, ladies! And Michelle, thanks for putting it together:)

    Love the group, too.

  4. No prob....and thanks to ChinLin and her friends for taking the time to post! Love the fb group, seriously.

  5. Ladies, your group is fantastic! Keep reading, keep writing, keep traveling! Good work, Michelle. I loved learning about the group and the awesome teens responsible for it.

  6. Michelle, I also want to pass on my thanks! I agree with ChinLin, this is fantastic. :)


  7. *pumps fist*

    Go young writers/readers! We are slowly taking over the world, I tell you.


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Item Reviewed: Guest Blog: ChinLin Pan, Ultimate YA Reading Group Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Michelle Schusterman