October 30th 2012
by Zest Books
Amazon † Barnes & Nobles
Dear Teen Me includes advice from over 70 YA authors (including Lauren Oliver, Ellen Hopkins, and Nancy Holder, to name a few) to their teenage selves. The letters cover a wide range of topics, including physical abuse, body issues, bullying, friendship, love, and enough insecurities to fill an auditorium. So pick a page, and find out which of your favorite authors had a really bad first kiss? Who found true love at 18? Who wishes he’d had more fun in high school instead of studying so hard? Some authors write diary entries, some write letters, and a few graphic novelists turn their stories into visual art. And whether you hang out with the theater kids, the band geeks, the bad boys, the loners, the class presidents, the delinquents, the jocks, or the nerds, you’ll find friends--and a lot of familiar faces--in the course of Dear Teen Me.
"Dear Teen Me" gives you a great inside peek at the lives of the authors we all know and love. Their high school days felt like I was watching a different version of "The Breakfast Club". Their stories are all real and many of us can connect with them. I know my high school days weren't glamours. In fact, I'm a short. I'm 5 ft tall even but yet I had someone shorter than me picking fights with me in high school. Can you believe that? Well all these stories will make you laugh, chuckle and some may even jerk a tear from you.
All the stories were so real. It actually makes me wish I can go back and tell myself, "Hey, I don't think that's a wise decision." These authors let you inside their private worlds with their stories. A few stories stood out to me, not because they are better but because I can connect with them or it tugged at my heartstrings.
I really enjoyed "Lauren Oliver's & Elizabeth Miles" story which they wrote together. Last year, GCR was invited to Simon & Schuster for brunch and we were able to meet Elizabeth Miles and Lauren Oliver was there supporting her friend. And as Elizabeth Miles was talking about her new book called "Fury", Lauren Oliver was in the back making comments to Elizabeth. I remember laughing because clearly that's the way their friendship works. But what I didn't know is that Lauren & Elizabeth has been BFF'S since high school. So it was really cool reading their story as teens. But what made this story much more unique was that Lauren wrote her "Dear Teen Me" letter to Elizabeth and Elizabeth wrote hers to Lauren. And it's funny because they were both clueless as teens on each girl felt about the other. In this story you can see how much they love each other and how much they meant to one another.
Other stories that stood out was Carrie Jones and Miranda Kenneally. I felt really sad for Carrie because as a teen she went through a rough time. She was really kind to her teen self and explained to herself that she'll get through the things that are happening. That it's okay for her to feel the way she does. I really liked her letter. Miranda Kenneally's letter to me was like reading "Stealing Parker". I wasn't aware that her books were based on some life experiences. Pretty cool Miranda.
This book is a definite must buy. You will get a glimpse of what our favorite authors lives were as teens. "Dear Teen Me" is a definite Good Choice for Reading. And since this book was about teen letters to ourselves, below you'll find a teen letter to myself. Hope you like.
Dear Teen Me,
Hey Wanda, I think you are such a remarkable young lady and you have so much potential. But a few things are going to happen that will set you on the "not so right" track. For one, that guy you meet when you're 17 years old, leave him alone. I know he's an older guy and he's so darn sexy. But he's not the one for you. Continue to have fun with your friends and go to school. Trust me, you'll be better than okay without him in your life. And secondly, maybe you should spend a little more time with your dad. He's so much cooler than you think he is. If you listen to his stories, they will have you laughing so much. He's a really funny character and he loves you more than you can imagine. So believe me when I tell you, that spending a little extra time with him will help you a lot in your adult life. I'll tell you a little secret, you're going to be a really good mom. So keep your head up no matter what. Life is rough but you are strong.
Love yourself, Wanda