The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
As a lifelong, persistent reader of YA, there is something quite strange about re-reading a book that I read when I was actually a teen. I can see the gaps in my reading – things I missed, things I thought were one way but ended up another. And sometimes books disappoint – fatal flaws, annoyances, show themselves to Adult Jessica where Teen Jessica didn’t notice. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, however, does not disappoint. This was my third reading, and it’s such a small, thoughtful, complex little book that stands the test of Teen Jessica.
Someone Like You by Sarah Dessen
A few years ago I decided I wanted to re-read the Sarah Dessen oeuvre, but I severely overestimated my free-reading time during grad school. I could sneak in a book here or there, but 10 books? Consecutively? No. So my re-read project is now taking a number of years. This is another Re-teen Re-Read, one that actually improved upon a re-read. More about that here. And I really need to get a new hobby other than Dessen-gushing, I know. I’m a sad soul.
Reluctantly Alice by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
What’s weirder than a Re-teen Re-Read? Re-reading books you loved when you were eleven-years-old. Oh, Alice. I don’t know why I decided to pick this up a few months ago – I’ve tried to re-read Alice before and never made it further than the first two, so I thought I’d jump in where I hadn’t been in years. And gee golly, I just like Alice an awful lot. She is smart and punchy and nervous and fun. She invites her seventh grade English teacher on a date with her Dad, for goodness sake! Yes, the series kind of morphs into an elongated YA after-school special, but these early Alice books are still golden in their own retro kind of way.
The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin
I am really not going to bore you with any more Happiness Project related analysis, complaints, conversation, championing, etc. You can get that here, here and even here. I will just say that I decided to re-read this book at an excitingly stressful time of my 2012, and it made feel more grounded, in control, and yes, happy.
Up next… KIDS’ NONFICTION! Get excited.