Alright guys, settle in. This post is going to be a long one.
This month’s Monthly Recommendations topic, Oldies published before 2010 (see my post about it here), got me thinking about a lot of the books I loved in high school. You see, I graduated from high school in 2010. And while I don’t necessarily read all of the newest books, I really don’t pick up that many these days that were published pre-2010.
Looking through lists of books published before 2010, I realized there are a number of them that I was totally obsessed with in high school, but that I haven’t read in such a long time that I didn’t feel comfortable recommending them in my Monthly Recommendations post. But I had so much fun on my trip down memory lane that I wanted to share some of my old loves. You’re going to see some interesting books on here, so remember: I couldn’t tell you without rereading them whether I would still recommend them to you.
And of course, this doesn’t include some of the classic series, like Harry Potter, Sabriel, or any of the other honorable mention series from my Oldies post.
Simon Pulse / Harper Teen Romantic Comedies
Did anyone else play gotta catch ’em all with these series? I remember it being a lot of fun to collect all of these! Some of my absolute favorites were Major Crush and The Boys Next Door by Jennifer Echols, Summer in the City by Elizabeth Chandler, and The Boyfriend League (which featured a protagonist named Dani!) by Rachel Hawthorne.
Avon True Romances
In the same vein, I remember putting a lot of effort into tracking down the entire Avon True Romance series. I don’t remember the individual titles that well anymore, but I think Samantha and the Cowboy and Amelia and the Outlaw, both by Lorraine Heath, were two of my favorites. I wonder if I still have the full collection in my closet at my parents’ house…
Sweep by Cate Tiernan
Sweep was another series I collected. I’m pretty sure I had all 15 of them in the original covers! I couldn’t tell you anymore what they’re about or why I liked them, but I remember being a big fan of the love interest, Hunter. I think I started switching some of these out for the three-book bindups (I’m not normally a fan of bindups, but these books are so small that the bindup was normal length and the covers were much better), but I don’t remember if I wound up collecting them all. Does anyone else remember these books? Is it worth going back and making sure I have the whole collection?
Hawksong by Amelia Atwater Rhodes
I was OBSESSED with Amelia Atwater Rhodes’ books in middle/high school. I really enjoyed her vampire books — Demon in My View and Shattered Mirror were my favorites. But then she came out with Hawksong, and nothing else she wrote mattered anymore! It was one of my absolute top favorites. The sequel, Snakecharm, was just ok, though, and I don’t remember caring much for the third book, Falcondance. I vaguely remember the series getting weird after that and I stopped reading, but that never took away from my love for Hawksong.
The Mediator / 1-800-Where-R-You by Meg Cabot
So I was never that into The Princess Diaries, but I somehow stumbled across two of Meg Cabot’s other series: The Mediator, about a girl who can see ghosts, and 1-800-Where-R-You, about a girl who winds up with the power to find missing people after being struck by lightning. They both had such strong and smart-mouthed protagonists, and I remember being in love with both of the main love interests. I wish I had the new covers, because they’re so much better than the old ones, but I think I have a mismatched set that I cobbled together from library sales and thrift stores. Regardless, I had so much fun returning to The Mediator series when Meg Cabot released a seventh book last year!
Blood and Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause
Another book I was in love with in high school! Again, I don’t remember much about Blood and Chocolate, but I know I reread it over and over. I never saw the movie, but I heard it was horrible.
Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles
Am I overusing the word obsessed? Because, again…I was obsessed with the Perfect Chemistry series in high school. I can’t say I remember all that much about the specific storylines, but I remember loving the romances. And those covers!
Megan Meade’s Guide to the McGowan Boys by Kate Brian
Megan Meade’s Guide to the McGowan Boys is another high school romance that I remember loving, but I couldn’t tell you much about anymore. I’m sure it’s still sitting in a box at home.
Alex Rider by Anthony Horowitz
Now that I think about it, it’s interesting that most of the books featured on this list are teen romances. I guess because I still generally like a lot of the fantasy I read in high school? And I read a lot of classic series, like Sabriel and Harry Potter, that I still love. But Alex Rider is another series I really enjoyed when I was in high school but haven’t read in years. And I thought the movie for this one was great. It definitely sparked my high school crush on Alex Pettyfer! And it’s another series that I have in mismatched editions, though I think the newer covers are way cooler. I kind of want to go back and read these, actually, now that Anthony Horowitz’s new book, Magpie Murders, is getting a bunch of hype.
Violet Eyes by Nicole Luiken
I’m sorry, I’m really a broken record at this point. I reread Violet Eyes so many times in high school and remember having to put in a ton of effort to track down the sequel…but I don’t remember much of what it’s about.
I’m just going to group these three together since I don’t have an awful lot to say about them. I remember absolutely hating the end of Pearl Harbor, 1941. Spoiler alert: they get married on his deathbed and you don’t know if he lives or dies! Terrible, terrible ending. I also remember a line from A Company of Swans (though it could have been one of Eva Ibbotson’s other historicals) about not wanting someone like Romeo who didn’t think to use a feather to double check whether or not Juliet was still breathing before deciding to kill himself. And I think the title of To Catch a Pirate says it all.
Anyways, I think that’s plenty for one post! Of course, it doesn’t include the romance novels that I read obsessively in high school (think Jude Deveraux, Johanna Lindsey, Mary Balogh, Julie Garwood, and Lisa Kleypas) or a lot of the fantasy (see my Oldies post). And it’s far from exhaustive. I think there was a fairy tale retelling series that I collected. Oh, and I read all of The Dragonriders of Pern. And Twilight! How could I forget Twilight? But yeah, it definitely gives you an idea of some of the books I loved as a teenager.
Have you read any of these books? What did you read when you were in high school? Let me know in the comments!