Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: Where Were You When I Needed You?

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme 
With it being back to school time I'm using this week's Top Ten Tuesday to share the books I wish were around when I was in school. I was in junior high and high school in the 80's and it was like the Dark Years of YA. There was not the amazing variety of YA awesomeness that there is now. That was around the time the Sweet Valley High book series started but for some reason I never read a single one. Instead I went for the Sweet Dreams teen romance books (so cheesy and squeaky clean) but my go-to authors were Norma Klein and Lois Duncan and some Lois Lowry. It wasn't until years later that the YA genre really exploded and became more inclusive, more realistic, more wide-ranging. I'm so envious of those who were actually the target audience when the YA genre exploded and became what it is now. Here are some of the books I wish were around when I was still in school.

Twilight - Stephenie Meyer
Oh to have experienced this a teenager. I'm sure the feels would have multiplied exponentially. On the downside, book fandoms were not exactly a thing back in the day so I would have missed out on fangirling with others about important things like Team Edward or Team Jacob. (The correct answer was Team Edward, obviously.)

Eleanor & Park - Rainbow Rowell
Had I read this when I was in school I think I would have fallen in love with Eleanor & Park just as much as I did as an adult. Eleanor's awkward encounters at school and on the bus would have struck a chord with me and I would have wished madly for a Park in my life.

Sloppy Firsts - Megan McCafferty
This book, and the entire Jessica Darling series, would have been such a "me" book back then. I would have totally related to Jessica's conflicting feelings of not wanting to conform to the shallowness and pettiness of the school cliques but also feeling left out. 

Pushing the Limits - Katie McGarry 
I swear if I'd had Katie McGarry's books in my life when I was in high school I might have been a happier girl. Katie's books would have given me a look at lives far different from my own and provided a reality check. Plus they are just amazing stories that I would have loved.

Everything Everything - Nicola Yoon
I'd love to know what a teenage Tanya would have made of Maddy's story in Everything Everything. I'm wondering how my feelings about her illness, her outlook and her mother might have been different.

Obsidian - Jennifer L. Armentrout
Raise your hand if you're surprised at this one. I mean, hello, do you know me at all? Daemon Black could have been my book boyfriend before I knew there was such a thing as book boyfriends. 

Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging - Louise Rennison
I think I would have loved reading about Georgia Nicolson and her adventures. I don't remember reading too many truly funny books in school so this would have been a much needed break.

City of Bones - Cassandra Clare
Yes! I just know that I would have fallen in love with this series had it been around when I was in school. I would have been utterly captivated by the Shadowhunter world and my imagination would have latched on to this series and not let go. I'm betting I would have become a bit obsessed with it. :)

Emmy & Oliver - Robin Benway
For some strange reason I had quite a fear of being kidnapped as a kid (don't ask, I was a strange kid) so Emmy & Oliver, with its tale of parental abduction, would have caught my attention. My heart would have hurt for Oliver and I would have been envious of the amazing friendships. 

My Life with the Walter Boys - Ali Novak
I'm fairly certain I would have fallen hard for My Life with the Walter Boys. I would have envisioned myself as main character Jackie - a tragic character (in my teenaged mind, not actually in the book) that was recently orphaned (horrific!) and sent to live with a family with 11 sons (equal parts horrific and dreamy!). I would have placed myself in the starring role and daydreamed endlessly about which boy would fall madly in love with me. (I had a flair for drama, in case you couldn't tell.)
What book do you wish had been around when you were in school - or just have read earlier in life?



20 comments:

  1. The ones I read from here I really enjoyed. I want to read Sloppy Firsts and have seen it a couple times today. Great list!!

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    1. The Jessica Darling series (5 books) by Megan McCafferty is really something special, Grace. It's starts as YA when Jessica is 16 and by the final books she is in her mid-twenties and navigating adulthood. The books are smart and funny and just unlike anything else. I highly recommend the series.

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  2. ♥ your list and totally agree! Especially as to Sloppy Firsts (oh Marcus Flutie!), Angus and Obsidian!

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    1. I feel like the Jessica Darling series never get talked about but whenever I do mention I find that a lot of people have read it and loved it. And Marcus Flutie... wow. Such a complex character. Loved him!

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  3. I kinda missed the YA explosion too, and Rainbow Rowell would have been such a great read as a young person. I used to browse the sci fi aisle and I don't think I really appreciated the depth of the YA shelves until I started blogging.

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    1. Oh yes, having some Rainbow Rowell as a teen would have been fantastic. She has an incredible talent for being an adult that still gets it. Like she's somehow able to still tap into all those feelings.

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  4. I was definitely one of those people who experienced Twilight as a teenager! which is why i think i am still so attached to it! there was actually a big reunion in Forks this year where the movies were filmed, and some of the cast was even there (minor roles, but it still would have been cool to meet them nontheless!) I SO wanted to go but it was doing the fall school summer and it is really hard to take off of class once you get to college! and i was like, what professor of mine is ever going to take me seriously again if i tell them the reason i'll be gone for a few days is because I'll be at a Twilight Convention? LOL. especially since the Twilight series is highly frowned upon in the "academic" world/English department. *rolls eyes. so annoying. but hopefully one day they will have another one and ill be able to go! in the meantime i'll just be rewatching Twilight once a week to get my fix! :)
    And i think that's horrible that YA wasn't as big as it was now so that you could experience some of these books when you were growing up! because i know they definitely helped me in my younger years! but i am glad to see that you are still enjoying these books (as am i) in our adult years!
    I recently Everything Everything and really liked it! couldn't quite believe the ending though! i didn't even realize it ahead of time!
    Emily @ www.rabbitholereviews.com

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    1. I think it's so great that you were able to experience books like HP and Twilight at the times they were popular or when you were actually in the target age group. I think books are likely to make much more of an impact on you that way. I was already over 30 when I read the Twilight series. And it was actually my older sister that convinced me to read them. I remember her calling me and telling me I just had to read this YA series about vampires and I was like what?? LOL Little did I know! We got so hooked on the books and the movies - except she was Team Jacob and I was Team Edward. So I was right and she was wrong. LOL

      I guess it would have tricky to say you were taking off a few days for Twilight. I can definitely see the halls of academia turning up their noses at that!

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  5. Now thinking about it, I wonder how I would have felt about Madeline's Mom. I probably would have hated her. Great Top Ten ! :D My Top Ten Tuesday!

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    1. I'm with you. I'm sure I would have hated Maddy's mom, too. As an adult I can try to empathize and understand (not that it makes anything she right!) but as a kid I think I would have just considered her a villain.

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  6. I read Twilight and The Mortal Instruments when I was 12, I think, and adored them SO MUCH. Twilight, basically, made me addicted to fantasy, and it was actually what made me pick up TMI in the first place. Obsidian and Pushing the Limits I read much later, but still before I turned 18 (though, I only continued the Lux series this summer, as you know, and I'm 19 now, but that's close enough lol). I wasn't a huge fan of Emmy & Oliver, but I'd have loved it when I was around 14, I think.
    Great list, Tanya! :)

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    1. Oh how I wish I could have experienced Twilight and TMI at that age. It would have been epic. :) And anytime is a good time for the Lux series. LOL

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  7. I love Sloppy Firsts and the first Georgia Nicholson book. I really need to reread them though and finish the series! I read these out of high school though, I believe, so it might have been nicer to read them at a younger age. While I grew up with a lot of books, I feel like I read out of my age range a lot. Also, I joined an online book club where all the books were adult titles or classics, which I loved because I liked the books and finding new things, but it did mean I didn't read as much YA probably until I started blogging.

    -Lauren

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    1. I would loved to have read Sloppy Firsts and the rest of the series in high school. I think it would have made a big impact. Awesome series. I read the first two Georgia Nicolson books (two or three) and while I doubt I'll continue the series there were just so much fun. I know what you mean about reading out age range. Back in my mid to late teens I was reading Danielle Steel and Harold Robbins (ack!) and now I'm mixing in YA with the rest of what I read. Funny how it works that way sometimes. :)

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  8. Hmm, I'm thinking we're the same age, Tanya! ;) I have said this same thing so many times...I've told my kids too, there just weren't any really good YA books around when I was a YA! So I've made up for that lost time by reading so many in the last 15 years...4 of which made your list. ;) When I was a teen, I was stealing things from my mom's shelf (Kathleen Woodiwiss, VC Andrews, Jude Deveraux and the like) as well as reading classics. I first fell in love with Mr. Darcy when I was 12! We're lucky to be able to enjoy the YA books of today though...they're sooo good! :D

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    1. Hm, maybe we are... although I'm betting I'm still a bit older. LOL I'll be 48 this month. (Didn't that used to sound old? Now "old" is getting older all the time. Haha.) You jumped into romance novels early on - I kind of did, too. I remember my mom and grandmother passing Danielle Steel novels back and forth and sometimes I would read those. And I so agree, we are so lucky to have the YA selection that we do now!

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  9. Jessica Darling was on the cusp of making my list this week too. Love that series! Wish I read it in HS too. Although YA wasn't really a thing/my thing during my HS years.
    I still got into TMI and Twilight as an adult. But yea, to experience them as a teen would have been something else. Totally agree.

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    1. Did you read something other than YA in HS? Or were you not reading much then at all?
      I wouldn't mind rereading the Jessica Darling series at some point but I'm just not a rereader. Too many books I want to read to spend time on rereading. :)

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    2. I read adult fantasy. Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings were pretty much constant rereads.
      I keep thinking about rereading it. Especially with the middle grade series that sees Jessica in middle grade. #imaginethat I liked the first book but haven't continued on because I feel like I should just reread everything first. #booknerdproblems

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    3. I've never read LotR or seen the movies. *gasp!*

      I read the first book in that Jessica Darling mG series but I didn't love it. If I do a reread it'll just be of the original 5 books - not the newer series.

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