Walking the halls of Sweet Valley High with Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield.
Remember them? Ooh, I do. Drinking in the fruits of their oh-so-cool chronicles under my rainbow sheets with a flashlight stolen from my Dad’s toolbox. Their antics were ones I was sure I’d never experience in my lifetime and go figure, I was right.
No, I wasn’t a cheerleader, popular or athletic. I was never sun-kissed or striking. I can’t even claim to have been an Academic. The captain of the basketball team never did ask me out (He’d have to have known I was alive, and even then…) I was never crowned Queen of the Prom and after seeing Carrie, I didn’t miss out.
If you’re starting to get teary-eyed, I should tell you, none of the above was show-stopping. I’ve lived to tell the tale and, surprise…am none the worse for the wear.
But, I digress. My initial point is this; those books were peachy keen. The most shocking things to smear the pages weren’t in fact, all that shocking. The most handsome boy in the school realizing that Jessica wasn’t the girl for him, or heaven forbid, the serene and mild-mannered Elizabeth got a little out of sorts, meh, it was all in a day’s read.
Today, YA consists of vampires wanting your blood and kids killing kids for food and entertainment. Aaand, we love it. Yes, me included. I read The Hunger Games series with wholehearted fervour, after lifting my son’s copy out of boredom one afternoon. I admit, the guilt was there as I rooted for Katniss to kill Cato but I was only slightly concerned by my new outlook on youths taking each other out at the knees.
The only thing that even came close when I was a kid – Flowers in the Attic.
I’m sure I wasn’t the only sicko to devour those. I recall burying my nose between the pages, hiding behind VC Andrews’ twisted mind, hoping no one would ever ask what I was reading. After all, having to admit it was about child imprisonment, abuse, rape, incest, and Grandmas poisoning their Grandbabies for cash would’ve been a little too exposing. Ok, maybe we weren’t all that innocent.
But, whether you enjoy drinking blood, winning beauty pageants or being a whiz with a crossbow, I wish you impassioned reading and of course, may the odds be evah in your favah.