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Dear Teen Me: Authors Write Letters to Their Teen Selves (True Stories) Paperback – October 30, 2012
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Top Customer Reviews
I had no idea that these authors had to deal with these situations while growing up. It is amazing that some survived at all and a lot of them have incorporated their experiences into their work. It is truly eye opening. Some of my favorites were from Carrie Jones where she explains that a horrible encounter with a boy ended with her having epilepsy. The letter from Ilsa Bick was heart rendering as she talks about her father who was the only survivor of a Nazi death camp. There are also a few lighthearted moments where authors name their celebrity crushes. I wish I would have found the tumblr site for this book before it was released. I am going to send it to every teen I know.
You may notice that this book has no rating. Certainly it will have to have one on Amazon, Goodreads and the like because they demand it, but Dear Teen Me is, to me, a book that transcends ratings.
What is a rating, anyways? It is a mark of sometimes good technical storytelling, other times it is because of a person's simple like or dislike of a book. With Dear Teen Me, the former aspect especially holds no place.
Dear Teen Me is not a story. It is a conglomeration of personal, nonfiction stories about the teen years of dozens of YA authors. The concepts of "good technical storytelling" do not apply. The content is just not that kind.
I don't know what I thought when I requested an ARC of this book. Whatever it was, I only know that the book exceeded my expectations. I was certainly expecting a great deal of "Were you an outsider in high school, because it's okay to be weird!" and I got that, but not one of these stories was cheesy. Not one was a cliché of an adult trying to empower a teenager. The topics that these authors went over ranged from self-harm and eating disorders to coming out and dealing with abusive parents--and everything in between. Yes, every story had a happy ending and a moral, but you never felt like you were being told. All of the letters--though in some more than others--I felt as if I was intruding on someone's most personal journal entry, and the that raw emotion on display was not for my eyes.
Dear Teen Me was not a book that I may have picked up of my own volition, simply because I am tired of books where "former teens" share their inspiring stories and tell you how to learn from them.Read more ›
That's the inspiration behind this sometimes uncomfortable, sometimes wonderful, sometimes just-okay book. It's a collection of letters that 70 Young Adult authors (mostly novelists but a few other creators such as a cartoonist and poet) wrote to their teenage selves. While the letters-to-me are obviously personal, they are also vignettes into the lives of teenagers EVERYwhere, most of whom feel they have an awful challenge to overcome or feel like an absolute dork. (Or maybe that's just those of us who became writers.)
I admit that I'm only halfway through reading this book, but I don't want to rush myself, and I can already tell you how cool it is.
The letters usually two or three pages long, so -- like a collection of short stories -- one might be inspiring to read, and the next one merely good. Because the authors are, well, AUTHORS, most of the letters are articulate and well written, sharing enough back-story so that you and I can understand what the author is talking about. It might be an author telling his teen self that it'd be a good idea to admit to himself that he's gay, or another author explaining that her self-image isn't what the other kids actually think of her. Or...Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I love the premise of this anthology. Well known, and not so well known, Young Adult authors write letters (including some comic strips) to their teen selves with photographs from... Read morePublished 16 months ago by SunshineRose
I choose this book because I recognized some the authors in this book. I loved it because of the letters, the stories were funny, heartbreaking and over-all inspirational to read. Read morePublished on June 24, 2014 by Frances
I am reading this book to help my son with his book report,I though I would not like it but I do.This book shows these teenagers that they are not alone, that even us as parents... Read morePublished on August 25, 2013 by c ceir
My daughter had to read this for high school. It was like pulling teeth getting her to read it. I read a few stories and have to agree.Published on August 9, 2013 by julie
Typically, Young Adult authors are adults. Sure, they have lived through high school and their awkward teenage years, but they aren't currently entrenched in them. Read morePublished on July 6, 2013 by OpheliasOwn
"Dear Teen Me" is an interesting concept. Authors write letters to their teenage selves and offer them advice or hope for the future that will come to them. Read morePublished on April 7, 2013 by RCM
I gave this to my daughter for Christmas. She turns 13 this year. I know that kids don't always listen to what adults say, especially their parents, so I wanted to give her another... Read morePublished on February 21, 2013 by MicheleLK
I think this book is more suitable for older or sophisticated teens. Very frank and forthright about the issues girls face "grwing up".Published on February 20, 2013 by Steff
Aptly titled Dear Teen Me, seventy YA authors share advice to teens in this compilation of essays. This format allows today's's teens to reflect on life from advice by these... Read morePublished on February 11, 2013 by Annie Laura Smith