more big girl books!

Believe it or not, I do find the time to read some age- appropriate books. I read a few lately that may be of interest to this commuity.

I love James St. James. His memoir Disco Bloodbath was entertaining but wasn’t exactly a literary feat, so I was skeptical about his first fiction novel. The main character, no doubt based on the author, is an extremely flamboyantly gay teenager who is beginning school at an ultra-conservative, WASPY, private school. Basically Sweet Valley High. The observations and interactions are of course wuite entertaining, but he is violently harassed, which, not too funny, but it addressed, albeit satirically. Finally he befriends the popular boy in school, who it turns out has a touch of the gay. Billy’s perceptions of the ultra-white, ultra-perfect schoolmates are pretty dead-on. Kind of turns the idea of SVH on its head. I don’t usually laugh out loud while reading.

Mortified is a collection of writings, memoirs, letters, etc. from various people’s teenage years. Mostly people’s exerpts from their journals. Since a lot of you enjoy reminiscing (and cringing) about our pre-teen years, this is more cringe material. Again, incredibly hilarious and also a little but sad. The best ones are one miserable boy’s correspondence with his parents from camp, some embrassing Duran Duran fan fiction, and unsent love letters. I think this is also based on a stage show.

Paul Feig’s Superstud is one of the best memoirs I have ever read. He recalls all the awkward points of childhood and dating with excruciating detail. Also, he gives a complete minute-by-minute play-by-play of when he lost his virginity, and it’s less vulgar and more hysterical, because he writes what everyone thinks but usually doesn’t write about. Hilarious. And kind of touching.

Blake Nelson is also a great writer. His books are set in high school, but his writing is pretty astute and appealing to adult readers. His novel Girl was basically my autobiography. Well, not really, but maybe a little.

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13 thoughts on “more big girl books!

  1. Eliza says:

    Oh, dude, my friends and I were totally addicted to Girl. We passed it around like it was Wifey or something, except for the part where we felt totally understood. I actually just got a copy from the library and reread it.

  2. Susan says:

    I like Nelson, but I still can’t figure out what New Rules of High School was about. And Gender Blender was the most fucked up book I ever read (and I am a YA Librarian). A boy and girl switch bodies.. she (he) gets her period, he (she) gets morning wood.. sooo wrong.. lol

  3. maybeimamazed02 says:

    Y’all should try Megan McCafferty’s Jessica Darling books if you haven’t already. They start when she’s in high school and follow her through college…absolutely hilarious and heartbreaking. Megan’s really cool, too–my sister and I have both emailed her at separate times and she sent very long, detailed answers to our questions.

  4. Robyn says:

    Girl has always been one of my favorite books. I was always on the hunt for my Todd Sparrow. But I haven’t read any of his newer books. But the other books on this list sound interesting, so I’m going to have to check them out and get out of my YA rut…

  5. sarah says:

    Wow, Girl…I read that book when I was 16 (I’m 29 now), and was totally creeped out that a grown man was writing basically a non-rape version of Lolita. How fetish was that book? I’ve heard that Blake Nelson is a good author (Paranoid Park and all that), but Girl had be so off, I never could see his name without needing to use my Purell.

  6. arienrod says:

    I’m surprised all these books you mention are memoirs about men. There are so many wonderful, amazing memoirs by women (and most readers of memoirs and fictions are women, by a long shot). Try “Without a Map,” “The Kiss,” “West with The Night,” “Truth and Beauty” and “Girl, Interrupted.” That’s just to name a few great reads.

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