Teen Reads Week Oct. 13 – 19, 2013

Me, age 13, and my favorite book back then.

Me, age 13, and my favorite book back then.

What was your favorite book when you were a teen? Who were you, back then — and what does that person look like, when you look back at them from today?

These are all the questions I asked myself recently, when a writer friend of mine posted a picture of herself as a young teen, along with her favorite book when she was in middle school.

So I did the same. (True Confessions time! No wonder my mother hated my hair style.)

And my favorite book — or actually, the first book of my favorite trilogy. I pulled it off my bookshelf and am re-reading it now. It’s still beautiful and powerful. No wonder I loved it so much!
There wasn’t very much worth watching on TV, and I’d discovered the joy of reading very early on. Walter Farley’s Black Stallion books were other favorites of mine, since I was horse-mad at the time, but fantasy was my first love. I worked my way up from fairy tales to myths and legends, to high fantasy and science fiction. I read the Lord of the Rings when I was 14, and I still have the 4-book boxed set of the trilogy and The Hobbit that I got back then. The paper is crumbling and yellow, but I still read the stories now and again.

So yes, a dreamy and bookish kid. But when I look back at myself, my feeling is that I did the best I could. Don’t get me wrong — I wouldn’t want to repeat those years, but it wasn’t the Dark Night of my Soul (that came later).

But for others, the teen years were rough. Was that you?

When you look back, do you like what you see? Do you remember your teen years with fondness or loathing? Would you do those years again?

And what were the books that sustained you during that time — I’d love to know.


13 thoughts on “Teen Reads Week Oct. 13 – 19, 2013

  1. Pingback: Richard Armitage Legenda 95: Stuff worth reading | Me + Richard Armitage

  2. In my pre-teen/early teen years it was The Hobbit after I had read the LOTR trilogy (I’m a backwardes sort of person) and the LOTR rip offs of the Original Shannara Trilogy (starting with The Sword of Shannara). Attempted Pride and Prejudice but found the dialogue difficult to follow and gave up, went over the Brontes with Jane Eyre (hated it then and hate it now) and then fell in love with the super confusing and super dysfunctional Wuthering Heights. I think the Wuthering Heights phase and the continuous reading of it really messed up my view of love and relationships for quite a few years. I’m proud to say that now I see it for how dysfunctional it is and have moved on. I just wish I would have stuck with Austen, my expectations from relationships would hopefully have not been as dysfunctional but likely quite distorted as well waiting for my Mr. Darcy. 😉 I also read all the Hercule Poirot stories and had quite the thing for murder mysteries.

    • Isn’t it funny how the books we read when we are young tend to warp our ideas of how love and relationships are supposed to play out? It happened to me too, but mostly from the Georgette Heyer novels I adored. Very unrealistic! But in my own defense, I didn’t have much in the way of real-life examples when it came to functional love relationships. :/
      I love mystery novels, too!

      • I don’t think I understood WH the first time I read it (I was a junior in high school, and we read it for course). Very very weird book. 🙂

      • I was in 8th grade and read it for “fun”. Didn’t understand it, re-read it and mapped out who everyone was. agreed on the weirdness.

      • There’s a new perspective on it that comes from post-colonial theory that Heathcliff is really somehow native / black. That made a lot of sense to me / explained some of the oddness of the book, but it’s not something that’s easy to see in the text.

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