The Book & Reader forums is a place designed for users of all ages to discuss books. Within the forums of this website there is one forum described as being intended for children and young adult books. This forum seems to receive a limited amount of traffic. A search using the forum’s search feature revealed that since the beginning of the year there have been 33 posts. While some of these posts were written by adults, I also a detected several that appeared to have been written by teens. The forum does not require members to post their age; however, in older posts I noted that several teens mentioned their age. Posters are only able to be identified by as much information as they are willing to share, so it is difficult to determine exactly who is posting at times.
Much of the interaction in this forum is by individuals, presumably teens, asking for book recommendations. Other users or staff members of the site give their opinion on what book would best fit the request that the user has made. Occasionally a user will offer their opinion in the form of a book review, although it is informal and still often takes the form of a recommendation. Perhaps the best example is a post from November of last year concerning The Faults in Our Stars. In the post, the author comments on how much she enjoys the writing of John Green and how she feels “…like I connected with the characters and became very emotionally attached to the characters in the books”(bookwormlife, 2013). The conversation develops between this author and another as they discuss the book. As I found individuals that were apparently teens I checked their posting record and was surprised to find that they frequently posted in other forums. Often they posted in the general chat forum or in the forum dedicated to book recommendations. Occasionally I found that rather than posting in the young adult forum, teens would post in the forum dedicated to the type of book they were reading. It is possible that the site has divided up the forums too much and that the lack of traffic in the young adult forum has led teens to post elsewhere. Also, individuals on this forum often reply to original threads started years ago. Unlike some forums, this is actually encouraged by the staff members, but it makes following a thread difficult at times.
Compared to Traditional Reviews
The reviews I read on the forum were less concerned with a succinct, comprehensive overview of the book like one would expect in a professional review on a site like Kirkus. Rather, they focused on an emotional attachment to the book as a reason to review or recommend it to others. ...