Thursday, October 25, 2012

ARC Review: Dear Teen Me edited by E. Kristin Anderson and Miranda Kenneally

Publisher:  Zest Books
Publication Date:  October 30th, 2012

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.
(Courtesy of Goodreads)

First things first...  I am participating in a blog tour for this book, and my scheduled stop date is October 31st, so stop back then, and read MY letter to my teen self, and enter my GIVEAWAY for a copy of this book!

This is a book that ALL teenagers should read!  What a fantastic idea for a book!  Dear Teen Me is a compilation of letters, written by popular YA and MG authors, to their teenage selves, and it is great!  Really, all you have to do is look at the roster to know this.  I am not familiar with every author on this list, but I will say that I could name at least one book from almost everybody...

E. Kristin Anderson (editor), Jessica Lee Anderson (Border Crossing), Tom Angleberger (The Strange Case of Origami Yoda), Sean Beaudoin (The Infects, which I recently reviewed HERE), Charles Benoit (Fall From Grace), Robin Benway (The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May, and June), Ilsa A. Bick (Ashes), Marke Bieschke, Joseph Bruchac (Code Talker: A Novel About the Navajo Marines of WWII), Jessica Burkhart (Canterwood Crest), Josh A. Cagan, Riley Carney, Tera Lynn Childs (Forgive My Fins), Jessica Corra, Heather David (Wherever You Go), Daniel Ehrenhaft (Friend Is Not a Verb),  Laura Ellen (Blind Spot), Beth Fantaskey (Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side), Caridad Ferrer, Michael Griffo, Janet Gurtler (If I Tell), Kersten Hamilton (Goblin Wars), Bethany Hegedus, Geoff Herbach (Stupid Fast), Faith Erin Hicks, Nancy Holder (Unleashed), K.A. Holt, P.J. Hoover, Ellen Hopkins (Crank), Stacey Jay (Juliet Immortal), Carrie Jones (Need), Mike Jung (Geeks, Girls, and Secret Identities), Stasia Ward Kehoe (Audition), Tara Kelly (Amplified), Miranda Kenneally (Catching Jordan), Stephanie Kuehnert, Mary Lindsey (Shattered Souls), Nikk Loftin (The Sinister Sweetness of Splendid Academy), Katherine Longshore (Gilt), Ken Lowery, Kekla Magoon (37 Things I Love...), Mari Mancusi (Sk8ter Boy), Gretchen McNeil (Ten), Jodi Meadows (Incarnate), Saundra Mitchell (The Vespertine), Hannah Moskowitz (Gone, Gone, Gone), Jenny Moss, Sarah Ockler (Twenty Boy Summer), Lauren Oliver (Delirium), Elizabeth Miles (Fury), Stephanie Pellegrin, Mitali Perkins, Cheryl Rainfield (Scars), Dave Roman, Jess Rothenberg (The Catastrophic History of You and Me), Jennifer Rush (Altered), Amy Kathleen Ryan (Glow), Tom Ryan, Leila Sales (Past Perfect), Cynthia Leitich-Smith (Tantalize), Jessica Spotswood (Born Wicked), Erika Stalder, Rhonda Stapleton, Mariko Tamaki, Don Tate, Melissa Walker (Unbreak My Heart), Tracy White, Jo Whittemore, Sara Zarr (How to Save a Life), Jennifer Ziegler (How Not to Be Popular)

If that list doesn't convince you to read this book, and then pass it to every tween and teen you know, maybe my gushing review will!

Dear Teen Me was a great read.  As an adult, it really brought me back, and made me consider how my life may have turned out if I had done things differently as a teenager.  Some of the letters were really funny, others full of great advice about being who you are, and others, quite heartbreaking (Ilsa J. Bick's letter kind of haunts me).  The common thread that they all share?  They are all real.  The authors dig up long forgotten (or, in some cases, long held) moments and memories, some of which are painful and/or embarrassing,  in order to help the reader be a stronger, smarter, more confident teen.  I found myself relating to a lot of the letters written by female authors, in particular, because I remember doing a lot of the same things (Nikki Loftin's letter really hit home, because I was a bit of a loudmouth too!).  I imagine the same would hold true for boys, with male authors.  One of my favorites was the letters that Lauren Oliver and Elizabeth Miles wrote to each other's teen selves (they were BFFs in high school).  I don't think I would want to publish a letter written to my teen self by my (still) BFF, and I bet she feels the same...  Anyway, there is not much else I can say, other than what I said at the beginning; Every teen MUST read this book, and then take the wisdom of these great, brave authors to heart!  They aren't kidding when they say that hindsight is 20/20!  My daughter will be getting a (signed by as many of the authors as possible) copy of this book for her 13th birthday, and I hope she is smart enough to really pay attention!

My Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★  

Grade Level Recommendation:  This is a GREAT book for middle school and up!  Ages 11 and up (6th grade+).

** Don't miss my GIVEAWAY of THE DIVINERS by Libba Bray as part of the Spooktacular Giveaway Hop!  Click HERE for details!  International.  Ends 11/01/2012 **


  1. As a teenager, I do wonder what I'll be thinking of my choices in 10, 20, 30 years. Maybe this will give me an idea! =)

  2. This sounds like such a phenomenal idea for a book. I can't wait to get my hands on it.

  3. Thank you so much for this kind review! <3

  4. Thanks for a great review! I'll make sure I read this one :)

  5. I love how you really make me want to read this book! Sounds sooo good, tooo many wonderful authors! And you get the mom of the year award for giving your 13 year old a signed by as many as possible copy!



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