Observations by Jess – The Books Of Our Adolescence


Recently a childhood friend contacted me and asked, “do you remember The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants?’ Of course I did! The romance, the friendships, the self-discovery and OH! The pants! How could I forget? Not to mention, my jealousy towards any woman who can find a pair of jeans that fits perfectly.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with The Sisterhood, I am referring to the young adult series written by Ann Brashares, which has since been made into a movie starring Ugly Betty and Rory from the Gilmore Girls. Back in the day (circa 2003), The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants was one of my favorite series. Remembering this really got me thinking about my favorite young adult books. Luckily, I got a little help last weekend when my parents asked me to clean out my childhood bedroom and I was then forced to dig through my old book collection.  Just as a good song can bring you back to a time and a place, books can do the same. I think people relate to characters on different levels at different stages of their lives, so books will never lose their relevance. So, with that being said, here is a list of my favorite young adult books I found in my old bedroom:

1. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares

2. Someone Like You by Sarah Dessen. In my pre-teen/teen years I became a bit of a Dessen groupie. Her books were always an easy read with plenty of drama and romance.

3. Here’s to You Rachel Robinson, Just as Long as We’re Together, and Blubber by Judy Bloom. I love pretty much everything Judy Bloom has ever written. She is the queen of the YA genre as far as I’m concerned.

4.  The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot. I began reading the series before Anne Hathaway made her debut as Princess Mia, but you bet I had my mom take me to the movies to see it on opening weekend!

5. Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes. Whether you are a pre-teen reading this book for English class or an adult, I think anyone can appreciate this beautiful and heartbreaking story that explores the true meaning of “intelligence” as well as the human condition.

Now that you’ve read my list, I want to hear from all of you. What are your favorite young adult books that made a big impression on you at a young age? Leave your comments below and let’s reminisce together!

11 thoughts on “Observations by Jess – The Books Of Our Adolescence

  1. I didn’t read much for fun in my adolescent years (early to mid 90s) but I did like S.E. Hinton books. I read The Outsiders (the entire book) aloud to my best friend over the phone one day. I also liked To Kill A Mockingbird and The Secret Garden.

    • The Outsiders was one of my favorite books as a child. My teacher read it to our class in 5th grade and it was one of the books that made me fall in love with reading 🙂

  2. Great topic! I was obsessed with LJ Smith’s Vampire Diaries and The Secret Circle as a teenager. I read a lot of paranormal/horror books, like Christopher Pike and Melissa Marr’s Fingerprints series.

    I also read a lot of my mom’s old books–Elizabeth Peters/Barbara Michaels and Mary Stewart.

  3. The book “Number the Stars” by Lois Lowry left a big impression on me about what it means to be brave. It really revealed to me how “brave” people aren’t always born that way, and they might not even realize that what they’re doing is brave until later on, they just do what they feel is right.

  4. Fantastic trip down memory lane here, thanks! Only discovered Flowers for Algernon in adulthood, left an incredible memory. Definitely Judy Blume books for me and anything I could get my hands on at the library – I used to love The Secret Garden. I remember trying to read classics like Lorna Doone and failing miserably (still never finished it!).

  5. Thank you for the Flowers for Algernon reminder. I, too, was a HUGE Judy Blume Fan. I pretty much read anything I could get my hands on. I loved the Sweet Valley High books and thought I was getting away with something when I’d get my hands on a Jackie Collins saga. I also got into the classics, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Diary of Anne Frank, The Chosen (I had a little mid-twentieth century obsession). Most of all those books cemented my love of reading.

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