Interviews with our work experience students
Over the next few weeks we’re participating in a work experience program with students from high schools across Melbourne. Here, Tess Devine-Hercus tells us about her favourite books.
How would you describe your taste in books? Do you like romance or adventure, science fiction or history, etc?
My taste in books is incredibly diverse. I’ll read pretty much any genre, as long as it’s good, and I love books, whatever the area, that leave a lasting impression on the reader. Science fiction is one of my favourites, and so are adventure, crime and classics.
The two things that I absolutely can’t stand are clichéd romances and poorly-written female characters.
Tell us about one of your favourite books. When did you first read it? Have you read it more than once? Did you have a different favourite book before now?
This is really hard question as there are a lot of books I’d consider my favourites. In saying that, one of my absolute favourites would be The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. I first read it on a holiday at Seaworld when I was eleven and I can remember finishing it just as the sun came up. Out of all the books that I’ve read, it has had the most impact on me - the almost poetic way that Zusack describes books and reading has definitely changed my view on books for the better.
Do you and your friends share books with each other? What is one your friend has liked, but you haven’t?
At the beginning of this year I started up a ‘Library Locker’ in one of the spares lockers at my school. I have about thirty of my books that sit in there and these are lent out to other people in my year level. This is how I got nearly half of them to read Divergent before the movie came out, which led to many, many lengthy discussions on actors and characters.
A book that a few of my friends liked but I didn’t was Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. Many people found it good because of its ability to relate to the reader, but this is exactly what I found annoying. It felt as though the author was writing for the demographic, rather than putting the story first.
Melbourne has a lot of different literary festivals. Which international authors would you like to see come to one?
Eoin Colfer is one of my all time favourite authors, and I’d really like to see him come to a literary festival in Australia. I loved the Artemis Fowl series but the book Benny and Omar is the one that really stuck with me and is another absolute favourite of mine.
What is a book you’d love to see made into a film?
I think that, if done right, the book Legend by Marie Lu could be made into a good film. It is a classic young adult fiction novel, complete with a dystopian world and romantic subplot - a ‘winning formula’, as it seems of late. I feel as though a movie could take the idea of it and make it more different to other stories that have been popular in recent years (Divergent, The Hunger Games, etc.).