Tuesday, June 29, 2010

I Hated Everything But Boys: The Fiction Consumed by Jordyn the Youngling

I'll let you in on a HUGE secret. (Okay, HUGE is a rather unnecessary assessment of the situation.) In the second draft of my book (yeah, I'm writing a book. Did you not know?), my main character is reading a book I myself once read at a pubescent child: Logan Likes Mary Anne!

Yes, it was one of the Baby-Sitters Club books. Number 10, officially. I read those, just like every other woman born between 1978 and 1993 (I'm guessing on those dates). Anyway, it had actually been a very long time since I read LLMA!, so I cheated and looked on the internet for a plot summary and the important details I couldn't recall.

What I found were several blogs dedicated to going through the BSC canon. Others just revolved around YA Fiction in general. Since I'm a copy cat cunt, I'm going to go through what I read in my youth and perhaps discover where some of my tendencies as a [wannabe] writer of YAF come from.

Let's begin with my reading history, because it's so damn fascinating! The first chapter book I remember reading was Little House on the Prairie. I must have been in the second grade or something. I loved the TV show and the books. Therefore, my love of Girl Living During Important Period of American History books began.

Portraits of Little Women. Dear America. American Girl.
This is mostly what I read from second to fourth grade. Sure, there were Nancy Drews and Bobbsey Twins's in there, but it was mostly this kind of thing. I got into the Baby-Sitters Club in a really backwards way. The summer we got Primestar was also the summer I saw the lame BSC TV series reruns on the Disney Channel. Yes, I had seen the movie, but there was something about the TV show that hooked me. Then the second phase began: The Never Ending Series About 4 to 8 Adolescent Female Friends and Their Kooky Adventures.

The Baby-Sitters Club. Sleepover Friends. Camp Sunnyside Friends.
This continued on for awhile. However, before I moved to Oakesdale, I ended up borrowing a few books from the 5th grade library at Quilcene Elementary that never got returned. (Sorry, Mrs. Nelson!) Among them was Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret by Judy Blume, the YAF Holy Grail for unknowing girls. Suddenly, I graduated to more mature themes and began buying up her entire collection.

This is the cover I own.

But more important than Judy Blume (Yes, even more important than Judy Blume) was another book I found in February of 1999. It was called We Hate Everything But Boys. Because I'm going to do a later blog on it, I won't tell you too much other than it was romantically driven.

That was what was lacking from the YAF I read. I liked romance! And usually, there was only a mention of a crush here or there. The biggest part of all these stories were friendships. Don't get me wrong, friendships are incredibly important to me. But my love life was too and until I found WHEBB, there was no book that understood how important. Of course, I stole it and never returned it. (Sorry, Mr. Volland!)
I tried to find other books like it, but my search was in vain. Thus, my career as a YAF author began. If I could not find books I wanted to read, then I would write them. I kept reading YAF for awhile. But after I got to Judy Blume's Forever... all bets were off. I needed sex and there just wasn't enough in books aimed at adolescents. In the summer before 9th grade, I turned to historical romance novels and almost never looked back.

 Worst romance novel to start with. EVER.

But that's a story for another day.

To kick off this grand series, I am going to skip the adventures in Stoneybrook and Judy Blume (just for now!) so I can dissect the Linda Series, the series that is responsible for my current career of choice. Plus, there's a very, very good chance you've never heard of them.

Here is a little background: The Linda Series (also known as The Linda Stories) is a series of 10 (11 if you count one spin off) books about Linda Berman, a girl growing up in New York City. The novels cover her from age 9 to 18 and her romantic development along the way. The books are based on the diaries of author Linda Lewis, so there is some truth here! The first book to be published was We Hate Everything But Boys, but along the way, several sequels (and three prequels) followed.

I'll be honest. I've only read the first half of the series, despite owning them all for well over four years. Part of it is procrastination and the other part will be explained later, so a lot of this is a mystery to me too. I won't lie, I peaked ahead, so I know how it all ends, but I'll keep it a secret until that blog post. Get excited!

No comments: