Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Wish I Had Read As a Teen

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly linkup of book bloggers hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl! This week's subject is technically books that I wish I'd read as a child, but I haven't read an actual children's book in quite some time. I have, however, read quite a lot of books I suspect teenage me would have absolutely adored, so here are some books I wish I'd come across as a teen!

Sloppy Firsts: This is an easy choice...it's very much a young adult book, about a sarcastic teenage girl whose best friend has just moved away. I very much liked this as an adult lady, so I think teenage me would have been even more into it!

Jane Eyre: I think I would have struggled with this a bit because Jane is kind of a drip in the early going, but once I pushed past that and she got to Thornfield, I bet I would have been extremely into brooding Mr. Rochester in a way that adult me would find embarrassing.

Pride and Prejudice: I didn't read my first Austen (Persuasion) until I was in my late 20s! I found P and P kind of teenager-y when I read it, and suspect that high school me would have adored Lizzy Bennet's sharp wit.

High Fidelity: Somehow I neither read the book nor watched the movie until my mid-to-late 20s! I would have loved the stuff with the "top 5" lists and music snobbery (though I had no business being music snobby with anyone, I listened to A LOT of Top 40).

The Namesake: Teenagers do, of course, enjoy reading about the experiences of other teenagers, and I know I for one liked stories about going away to college because I was very much looking forward to leaving my small town...which makes this narrative about growing up something I would have eaten up as a teen!

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie: This is a very short read, and has a kind of implicit warning about the cult-of-personality teachers that you often find in high school that my cynical self would have found highly appealing.

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn: Francie Nolan is kind of nerdy and bookish, but she's more well-rounded than that and with all the female-centered coming-of-age type stories I read at that age I can't believe I missed this one. It's fantastic!

Stardust: This is the kind of well-told story that works for any age, so this one is mostly about wishing I'd gotten into Neil Gaiman sooner.

The House of Mirth: I completely fell in love with The Age of Innocence reading it in my 20s. I did not love The House of Mirth as much, but while I was reading it I kept thinking that its message would have really resonated with me in high school and how I wished I had read it then!

Spoiled: This is another book that is actually really meant for young adults, and the only one published after I myself would have been a teen. I saw some tone issues with it when I read it a couple years ago, but it has the kind of humor that I would have absolutely loved earlier in life (to be clear, I also enjoyed the humor now).


  1. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is amazing!

    My TTT .

    1. I'm re-reading Tree right now and it's so wonderful!

  2. I read Jane Eyre and P&P in my early 20s. I agree that I would have found the male characters a lot more appealing if I’d been younger.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

    1. There's a certain brooding thing that like only a teenage girl thinks is romantic and an adult lady does not have time for

  3. Sloppy Firsts... I need to go check that one out. It sounds good. I hadn't heard of it before.

  4. Replies
    1. Yes, read it! I hope you love it!

  5. I tried to read Pride & Prejudice at 17, and it was tough for me to get through. Read it again for class 5 years later -- all the difference in the world.

    Strangely enough, I did not have the same issues when I read and loved House of Mirth at 16, which to my mind now is the more difficult book. Was I just THAT charmed by being able to picture Gillian Anderson as the lead? (and in retrospect, was the fact that the Keira Knightley P&P movie came out between my Austen readings what made the difference??)

    1. I think House of Mirth is really one of those books that can be read very differently depending on where you are in your life! It's more subtle than P&P, though they're both great!