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Paperback Crush
Paperback Crush: The Totally Radical History of '80s and '90s Teen Fiction | Gabrielle Moss
84 posts | 38 read | 77 to read
A hilarious and nostalgic trip through the history of paperback pre-teen series of the 80s and 90s. Every twenty- or thirty-something woman knows these books. The pink covers, the flimsy paper, the zillion volumes in the series that kept you reading for your entire adolescence. Spurred by the commercial success of Sweet Valley High and The Babysitters Club, these were not the serious-issue YA novels of the 1970s, nor were they the blockbuster books of the Harry Potter and Twilight ilk. They were cheap, short, and utterly beloved. PAPERBACK CRUSH dives in deep to this golden age with affection, history, and a little bit of snark. Readers will discover (and fondly remember) girl-centric series on everything from correspondence (Pen Pals and Dear Diary) to sports (The Pink Parrots, Cheerleaders, and The Gymnasts) to a newspaper at an all-girls Orthodox Jewish middle school (The B.Y. Times) to a literal teen angel (Teen Angels: Heaven Can Wait, where an enterprising guardian angel named Cisco has to earn her wings "by helping the world's sexist rock star.") Some were blatant ripoffs of the successful series (looking at you, Sleepover Friends and The Girls of Canby Hall), some were sick-lit tearjerkers la Love Story (Abby, My Love) and some were just plain perplexing (Uncle Vampire??) But all of them represent that time gone by of girl-power and endless sessions of sustained silent reading. In six hilarious chapters (Friendship, Love, School, Family, Jobs, Terror, and Tragedy), Bustle Features Editor Gabrielle Moss takes the reader on a nostalgic tour of teen book covers of yore, digging deep into the history of the genre as well as the stories behind the best-known series.
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Eyelit
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Daria! This was such a lovely surprise. 🥰 Thank you for the fun and fabulous #galentinesday gift. I hope you had a Happy Galentine‘s Day yesterday (such a great holiday, yes?) #kindlitsy 💜📚💜

dariazeoli Enjoy! 2w
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Andrea313
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Pickpick

Paperback #Crush was such a fun trip down memory lane! As an 80s/90s kid, I devoured The Baby-Sitter's Club, Sleepover Friends, the Camp Sunnyside Girls, and the Fear Street series like nobody's business. This book also reminded me of a bunch of fun one-offs that I wish I still had. Highly recommend the nostalgia! #FebruaryFeels @Eggs

Eggs Sweet💖💖 3w
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megnews
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Pickpick

Drumroll please! Paperback Crush is my last book of 2019. For a book I wasn‘t sure I was going to commit to at the moment, it sucked me in & was a delightful trip down memory lane, visiting the books & authors that solidified my life as a reader. The interview with Christopher Pike in the last chapter was intriguing.
My first book of 2020 is my January book club selection, The Tattooist of Auschwitz (unless a comic book sneaks ahead).

#lastfirst

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megnews
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Confession:
I was 10 when the first Babysitters Club came out. I gobbled up the series. We moved to a new neighborhood when I was 14. Lots of young kids. Inspired by BSC I made a sign with pull off tabs with my name & phone # & posted it at a nearby Convenient. I babysat almost every kid for blocks & had full time summer jobs for years. And since there were no other teens in the neighborhood, I didn‘t even have to share my profits with a club!

MelissaSue81 I wanted to babysit so badly because of those books! 2mo
Megabooks But did you make Kid-Kits??? There were too many teens and not enough little one around me! 2mo
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megnews
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Too true. Too true. 🤣

Sace I loved this book! 2mo
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megnews
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I‘m not embarrassed to admit that Babysitters Club and Sweet Valley Twins & High were as much a part of making me a reader as Little House on the Prairie and Anne of Green Gables.
I‘m not sure I‘m going to commit to this book right now but I wanted to check it out. Love this highlight.

Hooked_on_books I really enjoyed this book. It was such a fun trip down memory lane. So many books I had forgotten about. 2mo
Soubhiville I had fun reading this too 😊 2mo
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sparingqueen
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So much nostalgia!

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Soubhiville
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Pickpick

This is a fun and nostalgic romp through the books that populated my pre-teen years. It‘s full of the covers of Sweet Valley, Fear Street, And Christopher Pike books. (To Name just a few!) The author discusses the different themes common in teen fiction, and reminds us of tons of our favorites.

I did begin to get bored with the plot summaries by the end, but to be fair, a lot of these books were pretty similar!

tpixie Fun concept!! 8mo
bookandcat I loved this book! 8mo
Hooked_on_books I loved this one. Such a great nostalgic romp. 8mo
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Soubhiville
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Froedrick has decided it‘s time for a break from reading. Okay buddy, I can give you a little lovin‘s now.

LauraJ Froedrick, you gorgeous beast!🖤 8mo
wanderinglynn Aw, what a cutie! ❤️🐱 8mo
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Leftcoastzen Love his cute wrinkles! 8mo
hermyknee I love the look on his face 😹 8mo
ruskigurl16 😻😻 8mo
Hooked_on_books What a look! Bindi will climb on my lap and collapse down, making me quickly grab the book out of the way lest it be crushed. They really know how to express themselves, don‘t they? 😂 8mo
Soubhiville @Hooked_on_books they sure do. Froedrick is very demanding and pushy. Igor is more likely to just stare at me longingly and just hope I notice and pet him, he wouldn‘t go this far. Bindi‘s a big girl for lap collapsing! She certainly could crush a book 😂. 8mo
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Soubhiville
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I think when two of your Litsy friends send you “book nerd” book marks for your birthday, it must be true. 💕 @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks and @Mitch

Currently reading for #LLB2019, #LittenLoveBingo2019, for the prompt “picked by @LibrarianRyan

LibrarianRyan You picked a good one. 9mo
Mitch Hahaha that‘s so funny. All power to the #booknerds 💕🏆💕🏆💕🏆💕🏆 9mo
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks Hahaha!!! 😘😘😘 9mo
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Gnora
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Pickpick

I devoured this one with the same dedication and fever I devoured these tweenybopper books of my youth. So much fun!!

#nonfiction #BooksAboutBooks #LitsyLovesLibraries

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Oryx
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I've been reading the tagged book (it's bringing back lots of memories of awesome and some less awesome 80s/90s teen fiction), and found a new book for your tbr @TrishB

TrishB 😂😂 I absolutely did want to be PM in my teens....then did a politics degree and ran a mile. But the urge has come back in recent years , either because I‘ve developed a thick skin or I am now convinced I could do a better job!! I love this pic though..... 10mo
Oryx @TrishB we can use this for your campaign posters 10mo
TrishB Lol 😂😂 no one will ever recognise me then ! 10mo
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NotCool
Pickpick

I never read widely in the genres covered in this history. But it was interesting learning where the books that made up such a big part of Children‘s Department of the local library of my youth came from, what forces created those pastel covers.

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Brie
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Pickpick

This was a fun, nostalgic history of those popular mass produced paperback series geared towards teens in the ‘80s and ‘90s like Sweet Valley High, Goosebumps, etc. I remember reading a lot of the books mentioned. It‘s organized by genre and there‘s lots of cool vintage covers to look over. I just wish it had an epilogue at the end to wrap things up, because it just sort of trails off.

Megabooks I enjoyed this as Well! Nostalgia! 10mo
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Bookwormjillk
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Pickpick

This was a fun bit of nostalgia.

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Bookwormjillk
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Some nostalgia and #Litsylove to end the day. ❤️

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elizabethlk
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Pickpick

Paperback Crush is entertaining, funny, fun, nostalgic, and critical, and it is all of these things in the best possible way. This was a great exploration of teen fic from the 80s and 90s and I had a ton of fun walking down memory lane with that critical eye and sense of humour Moss brings to the book. Definitely recommended!

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KimmyM
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I'm about halfway through this one and it's so fun! I remember reading soooo many of the books mentioned! I'm really enjoying this so far.
#CurrentlyReading #Nonfiction

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karajay
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Pickpick

🌟🌟🌟🌟
This book was a fun flashback to so many books that I loved while growing up. It reminded me of so many books and memories I had during that time. I recommend this to anyone who always wanted to be in the BSC, to live on Fear Street or wanted a twin like the Wakefields.

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TheLudicReader
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As if I was walking out of the bookstore without this book today! I wish there was one that looked at books from the 1970s, but still....nostalgia!

Hooked_on_books I loved this one! 12mo
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Megabooks
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Pickpick

If you were a Scholastic book fair lover in the 80s and 90s like me, this is the book for you! Extremely well researched and very hilarious, Moss takes a look at the gamut of YA/MG novels available to tweens and teens in that era. Love the color covers in the ebook.

I had Baby-Sitters Club 1-88ish plus the Super Specials, and my mom gave them away about 15 years ago. But these Gymnasts books remained!

#somethingyoupick #nonfiction2019

Bookwormjillk I really need to read this 12mo
Riveted_Reader_Melissa I‘m just a bit older, the Sweet Valley High generation....I had tons of those! 12mo
bunny OMG I remember these! What a blast from the past. 🤸‍♀️ 12mo
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Megabooks @Bookwormjillk It‘s awesome! 12mo
Megabooks @Riveted_Reader_Melissa oh those are definitely in there!! It covers a lot of early to mid-80s. I‘d say about ⅔ 80s and ⅓ 90s. 12mo
Megabooks @bunny 😁😁😁 12mo
Bookwormjillk Have you listened to the Baby Sitters Club Club podcast? It‘s my favorite. 12mo
Megabooks @Bookwormjillk No, but I will check it out! I don‘t listen to podcasts much. Any BSC is 👍🏻😁😁😁👍🏻 (edited) 12mo
Purrfectpages I can‘t wait to read Paperback Crush and I remember this series! 12mo
Megabooks @Purrfectpages Yay! Fantastic! 🎉📚 12mo
Reviewsbylola I‘m not familiar with the Gymnast series but it looks like one I would have liked! 12mo
Megabooks @Reviewsbylola It didn‘t run very long, but I loved it. Not as much as BSC, though 😉😁 12mo
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Megabooks
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How did I miss this book!? 😵😵😱😱😱

EKonrad I added several books to my TBR after reading this book! 😆 12mo
Megabooks @EKonrad I totally should have done that! Are you able to find them? 12mo
EKonrad I actually was able to track them down through the library because they have so many older titles that are out of print. 😊 12mo
Megabooks @EKonrad Oh that‘s awesome! 12mo
Reviewsbylola I would have been all over this. 😂 12mo
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Expandingbookshelf
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Guys! GUYS! There I was, reading “Paperback Crush,” about the teen fiction I grew up reading. Then I find out... WE‘RE BRINGING BACK THE BABYSITTERS CLUB 🎉🎊💫
Nine year old me is losing her fucking mind. Now give us the Sweet Valley High movie, you cowards.

Erinreadsthebooks 😂😂😂 Yes! We want our Sweet Valley movie NOW!! 12mo
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Megabooks
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Look what I checked out for funsies! I hope it is nostalgic as it sounds!

Cinfhen Fun 💕💕 12mo
Megabooks @Cinfhen I hope so! 😁 12mo
EKonrad Loved this one! 😊 12mo
Hooked_on_books I thought it was a ton of fun! 12mo
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megnews
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As seen on the library shelf tonight. How did it take so long to write this? A nostalgic trip down memory lane including Babysitters Club and Sweet Valley High. I didn‘t get it tonight but I‘m sure to be back for it.

callielafleur This cover is amazing. 12mo
megnews @callielafleur isn‘t it? 12mo
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KimmyM
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karajay
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Is the pinnacle of book obsession? Reading a book about books? 🤷‍♀️ #paperbackcrush

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Cityofamber
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Pickpick

This was more of skim, but I‘m counting it. 😂🤷‍♀️

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Kmatti
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Ready for all the nostalgic feels with this one. On to book 2! #24in48 #readathon

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SeeJanRead
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Pickpick

Nostalgic and wonderful! Brought me back to my Junior High-High School Days, when I had a paperback with me at all times. #24in48 #youngadult #yalibrarian

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SeeJanRead
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#24in48 is underway!

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SeeJanRead
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Getting ready for #24in48. Excited to curl up with a good book.

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SeeJanRead
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Presently reliving my teenage years! #ya #yabooks #80skid #90steen

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Hooked_on_books
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Pickpick

What a fun wander down nostalgia lane! I have fond memories of many of these books and appreciate the various asides like the above discussion of creating covers and the interview with Christopher Pike. I think anyone who enjoyed 80s and 90s YA would get a kick out of this book.

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Hooked_on_books
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I read SO many of these Sunfire books! I don‘t remember them as romances, just as historical fiction featuring a teenage girl, and I thought of them as the “name” books. I loved them.

This book is already a fun romp down memory lane.

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JoScho
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Amy thanks so much for this amazing #giveaway. This book is so great! It is bigger and more beautiful than I even expected. Thanks for all the extra goodies-love those fuzzy socks, sticky notes and bookmarks. Thank you so very much! 💜😊💜

bookish_wookish Youre very welcome! Enjoy it! ☺️ 13mo
rubyslippersreads Those socks! 😻 13mo
Velvetfur The ickle sockies are so cute!! 🐱 13mo
See All 8 Comments
tracey38 Nice! 💜 13mo
erinreads This was such a fun read! 13mo
JoScho @rubyslippersreads @Velvetfur so cute and so soft!!! 13mo
JoScho @erinreads I have only flipped through it but it is awesome! 13mo
JoScho @tracey38 😊💜 13mo
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quirkyreader
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I found this in the free box at the Mason, MI library. Oh the memories. And the irony is, I checked out a bunch of the listed books from the Mason library.

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fandom_hellspawn99
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Thanks for doing this cool giveaway! @bookish_wookish #newyearnewreadgiveaway

bookish_wookish Thanks for entering! 🎆🎇 14mo
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Beatlefan129
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Thanks for doing this giveaway! I have a few books that I started in 2018 that I need to finish, but once those are done I‘ll start 2019 with Becoming, which I got from one of my swaps. #NewYearNewReadGiveaway

bookish_wookish Thanks for entering! 🎇🎆 14mo
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JoScho
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Thanks so much for this giveaway @bookish_wookish This one is at the top of my to be owned TBR. 💜💜
#newyearnewreadgiveaway

bookish_wookish Thanks for entering! 🎆🎇 14mo
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Bkwrm7
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Planning out my #tbr for January starting with the books I have out from the library. I do want to to add a couple I own because I am ridiculous about buying more even with a ton I haven't read yet. Digging the reading planner that came in my Owlcrate last month. Between this and Bookriot's giant spreadsheet, I'm excited to try some new tracking of my reading this year.

TiredLibrarian Love the notebook/planner! 📚📖 14mo
Kelly This planner is awesome! 14mo
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Susannah
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Happy New Year, Littens! I can‘t believe it‘s 2019. 🤭

Here‘s to another great year of reading and continued connections in this wonderful community. Now, back to my tagged book. 🤓📚🎉❤️

#ReadInTheNewYear #2018Wrapup #2019 @hermyknee

LauraJ 🥳 14mo
Simona Happy New Year to you too❣️🍾🥂 14mo
Kaye 🥳 Happy New Year 14mo
31 likes3 comments
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lisakoby
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Pickpick

I thought dreamed up this book. But it‘s real and has stuck with me for 25ish years. I really liked the combo of feminist commentary and chronicle of the tween books from the 80‘s and I can‘t believe how many of them I read 😂. The angst, the agony!

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

#nonfiction #ya #feministread

8little_paws This looks interesting, and it's a humor book? Maybe I read it for #readharder humor book in 2019! 14mo
EKonrad Loved this read! 😊 14mo
lisakoby @8little_paws It‘s funny but more non fiction - could be a cross category read... 14mo
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Andrea313
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bookish_wookish
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Woooo this book is dangerous! My TBR is going to get a lot longer! This book is reminding me of books i totally forgot about! Love it!

rather_be_reading i just read an article abt this earlier this week and added it to my tbr! 1y
bookish_wookish I actually got it from Urban Outfitters!! It was only $8.99! @rather_be_reading 1y
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IndoorDame
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“For those of us who were roused early on weekends for chores or church, or just didn‘t have any friends to sit around eating blueberry-banana pancakes with, Sleepover Friends was the tween equivalent of reading about Gwyneth Paltrow‘s Paris apartment in Architectural Digest.”

LibrarianRyan I loved this book. 1y
IndoorDame @LibrarianRyan I really enjoyed seeing the overview it provided. The nostalgia factor from the handful of things I‘d read personally was awesome, but for me the real draw was the insight into changing views in society as I grew up 1y
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bookish_wookish
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This book!!! This is the cheapest i have seen this book and its at Urban Outfitters! Who knew! I came up here to but a shirt ive been stalking and now i find a book ive been stalking! The big question is do i give in and buy it?!? Oh and i have 10% off my order so its telling me its $8.44!!!

coffeenebula I enable you: get it! 😂 1y
TheKidUpstairs Do it!!! 1y
bookish_wookish The Litsy pressure is real! 😂 @TheKidUpstairs @coffeenebula Oh and i bought it! 😃 1y
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amb
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Pickpick

What lovely nostalgic and informative trip down memory lane! Though this book talked about lots of titles outside of the time I was reading these types of books, I found it so interesting to follow the chronology and hear someone else‘s reminiscence of me preteen faves. My only minor complaint is that it briefly mentions Flowers in the Attic but not how these books were an influence on pre/teen readers as well though not intended audience.

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amb
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Other than the year (I went to middle school in 1988) this is completely accurate as a description of my reading as a young adult. But I also devoured Christopher Pike during those pre-middle school years.

tracey38 Same here! 1y
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