Friday, November 16, 2012

Dear Teen Me Book Review

I have never written an official book review, but my love of books and my teenage years compelled me to take a dive.  I'm not quite sure what my expectations were when I signed up to join the blog tour.  It was something new and exciting for sure.  I tend to like reading about people reflecting upon their pasts and knowing that whatever their journey that it was all worthwhile.  They say hindsight is 20/20.

Dear Teen Me reminded me that we all have interesting stories to tell.  We have all experienced ups and downs and many uncertainties.  We have all lost and loved at early stages in life. Reading these stories took me back to my own teen years and allowed me to realize that all the thoughts I had and trials I went through were normal.  As teens we tend to hide in a shell and imagine that we are the only ones going through puberty, fights with friends, difficult parents and tough decisions about the future.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Robin Benway's letter.  And true to her word, high school does stop mattering as soon as its over.  Sounds so simple right?  All those people you tried to impress, you won't see them until you sign up for Facebook or about 12 years later.  Similarly my ideal life is to live somewhere sunny and be able to write whenever I feel.  Yep, just waiting to hit the lotto :) I too chose some amazing friends that I have had for a lifetime, that make me laugh until my stomach hurts.

Even the Q & A was fun to read.  I think everyone has either accidentally lost a piece of clothing or fallen.  My most embarrassing moment was in 6th grade.  My very playful former classmate from elementary hit me and I chose to chase her in the rain.  Our classes were outside and I ran across the grass without a second thought and slid in the mud.  Oh my God, my face was warm with embarrassment.  And to make matters worse I had to walk to the nurses' office through the school and call my mom to pick me up.  In my mind I was leaving for the day, but my mom instead bought me a change of jeans and I had to stay at school.  Low and behold I go change bottoms and the jeans are "highwaters" (too short).  I literally cried.  I seriously won't ever forget that day.  Even though I laugh about it now, I still cringe when I think about it.

I read several letters about abusive parents and how these teens were left to fend for themselves at an already confusing time.  The stories are a true testimony that tough times don't last forever.  Most teens don't realize this at the time.  It's important to hold on and have a strong support system of friends or teachers when there are issues at home.

Teens deal with so many issues, it sometimes amazes me that productive adults are the end result in most cases.  Peer pressure, pressure to use drugs, pressure to have sex, pressure to be popular, pressure to be smart..and the list goes on.

I am so proud of Jessica Burkhart for leaving.  It was a blessing that Kate came into her life when she did.  It took a strong person to leave and start a life without their family and it also takes a strong person to be a friend and give someone the strength they need to leave at such a young age.  I hope her younger brother is doing okay. Wishing her much success on her new life!

This collection of letters is a great read.  It's witty, heart-wrenching, honest and refreshing.  It isn't all bubblegum and popcorn, it reflects stories of real teens with real issues.  I would recommend that parents read this book to remind them of how difficult the adolescent years can be.  And I would definitely recommend the book to teenagers to help them realize that whatever they are going through will not last.  And that everything they are going to go through someone else already has.  I will also be sharing this book with my own teen son.

Stay tuned for my own Dear Teen Me letter (which I hadn't planned on writing)!! My teen years are such a big part of the woman I am today.

To order a copy of this book:
For more info about the Blog Tour:
For Dear Teen Me events:

A special thanks to Zestbooks for allowing me to take part in this blog tour.
For more info:

And to the editors E. Kristin Anderson and Miranda Kenneally thanks for coming up with such a great idea!
You rock!!