Friday, 23 May 2014

Lit Nerd Recommends: The Nostalgic One

A while ago when I was musing on my habit of comfort reading I was trying to think about which books I have read and re-read for their comfort value. Many of the books that popped into my head were books I had read multiple times when I was a teenager. I had really bad insomnia when I was younger so I used to spend my nights reading book after book after book. I'll never actually know if it was the books that caused my insomnia or the insomnia that caused the reading...

Most of you will know that I am not a big YA/teen fiction reader. I did it to death when I was in the age range and was happy to move in to the big wide world of classics and adult fiction. Yet there are still so many of those books lingering in my mind and, as I'm feeling unusually nostalgic today, I thought I'd recommend my favourite teen/YA reads from way back when.

1. Witch Child by Celia Rees

This is the first book that comes to mind. It was my favourite for so many years and sparked a life long interest in the Salem Witch Trials. I've never read a bad book by Celia Rees (she is brilliant) but this is definitely my ultimate favourite. The sequel, Sorceress, is pretty amazing too.

2. The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants by Ann Brashares

Hello, teenage tears.

3. Adrian Mole by Sue Townsend

My brother and I adored this series when we were younger and I have re-read them all since. I remember reading the slightly off the wall boyish bits to my friends during break times and gigging like the school girl I was.

4. The Noughts and Crosses Series by Malorie Blackman

This is a series set in a racist dystopia and it is so good. I haven't yet read the final instalment but I may start re-reading them this year so I can get to it. Although to be fair, I can still remember huge chunks of the story. And obviously, Malorie Blackman is a complete wonder woman.

5. The Doomspell Trilogy by Cliff McNish

I was obsessed with this for so long. Even now whenever I hear Linkin Park's Hybrid Theory album, I'm thrown straight back to this trilogy (love a bit of music memory).

6. Old Magic by Marianne Curley

Magic, a fit boy and a vaguely historical setting at points...basically sums up my teenage reading.

7. Mercy by Caroline B. Cooney

I think I was quite a dark teenager as this is about an Indian tribe attacking a settlers village - it's pretty violent but pretty amazing.

8. Feeling Sorry for Celia by Jaclyn Moriarty

This is a novel told through letters and is probably the reason I am obsessed with the epistolary form.

9. Heaven Eyes by David Almond

David Almond's novels had me completely mesmerised but this one sticks out the most. Skellig is also pretty fantastic. Both are so other worldy but at the same time really human and 'normal'. 

10. Raider's Tide by Maggie Prince

Ok, I was either super dark or really romantic. As with Mercy this is all about raiders/violence etc. but there is always a love story in there somewhere.

11. Absolutely anything and everything by Jacqueline Wilson

I remember when Midnight came out in hardback I was given it for Christmas and I  had finished it before we sat down for our Christmas lunch. All other presents could wait. I was also given the Jacqueline Wilson Diary every year. Ah...the good old days.

Have you read any of these? What was your favourite book as a teenager?



  1. I love nostalgic reads! I literally just posted about childhood & teenage books I wish I still had, but have given away over the years :(

    I still enjoy YA, so I might have to check some of these out. I read Witch Child & The Sorceress only a few years ago and enjoyed them very much. I find the Salem Witch trials fascinating and have recently started watching a new show (oh-so-originally-titled) "Salem" -- I think it's only airing in the US at the moment -- so far so good, though I do have a bit of a pile-up of episodes on the DVR!

    1. Ooo, I haven't seen that - I'll go check it out.

      I think I may reread some of these. I've kept all my favourites so I'd be interested to see what I think of them now. Salem sounds interesting - fingers crossed they bring it to the UK!

  2. I loooooved Witch Child and The Sorceress when I was younger! I would like to reread them now and see if I still do, but alas my copies are halfway around the world. Boo!

    1. Writing this post has made me want to reread them. Thankfully, mine are only a couple of hours away!

  3. I loved the Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants series when I was younger! It felt like they were dealing with real issues (death, parents remarrying, grief) instead of just teenage stuff! I also love re-reading comfort reads : )


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