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.