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There's A Book

Dear Teen Me: Authors Write Letters to Their Teen Selves by E. Kristin Anderson (Editor) and Miranda Kenneally (Editor)
Published by Zest Books
Pages: 192
Ages: Young Adult
Buy It: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Powell’s Books | Indiebound | Book Depository
Publishers Summary:

Dear Teen Me includes advice from over 70 YA authors (including Lauren Oliver, Ellen Hopkins, and Nancy Holder, to name a few) to their teenage selves. The letters cover a wide range of topics, including physical abuse, body issues, bullying, friendship, love, and enough insecurities to fill an auditorium. So pick a page, and find out which of your favorite authors had a really bad first kiss? Who found true love at 18? Who wishes he’d had more fun in high school instead of studying so hard? Some authors write diary entries, some write letters, and a few graphic novelists turn their stories into visual art. And whether you hang out with the theater kids, the band geeks, the bad boys, the loners, the class presidents, the delinquents, the jocks, or the nerds, you’ll find friends–and a lot of familiar faces–in the course of Dear Teen Me.

Have you ever wanted to press rewind on your life? To take a moment to, as your future you, visit your past self and give a few words of advice or encouragement? In Dear Teen Me a group of authors do that very thing. Through their letters to the teenage versions of themselves they poke fun, inspire and encourage, reveal past experiences and share with readers in a way that connects each of us to each other. The band geek, the Trekee, the football jock, the book nerd, the quiet one, the cheerleader and on and on. Through this collection of letters authors and readers connect and bring deeper meaning to the phrase “it gets better.”

Dear Teen Me is a project I became familiar with first through the Dear Teen Me website. For the last year or so I’ve been reading through the numerous letters written by some of my absolute favorite authors to their teen selves. Authors like Christopher Healy and Lisa Burstein. It’s been a wonderful way to not only connect with these great authors, but also a way to stroll down my own memory lane. We all have things we wish we could relive or change, but it’s something else entirely to know we aren’t the only ones who feel that way.

This new anthology was a fantastic way to experience some of my own memories as I thought back to my own teen years and also a great way to get to know these fabulous authors. Some of the authors I’d read before, but others were completely new to me and I’m excited to read more of their books because of it. As for beyond those of us who have already lived through those early years I’m positive that Dear Teen Me will also provide a great source of comfort, laughs and tears to a number of teen readers. This is a book to be read and shared with anyone and everyone who has ever or is currently a teen. Dear Teen Me will no doubt provide countless hours of laughter, hope, tears and inspiration.

The1stdaughter Recommends: Ages 13 and up. Anyone who is or has ever been a teen will likely find a letter or two or three or fifteen to connect with in Dear Teen Me. This is an inspirational, yet funny and often moving anthology.

Now to expose myself thoroughly, my very own Dear Teen Me letter along with accompanying high school photo which I couldn’t do without including my two teen arch enemies (ie. my younger sisters):

Dear Teen Me,

First of all, see those two girls on either side of you in the picture? Those are two of the most incredible people you’ll ever know. Ever. When you’re struggling to figure out why yet another of your long line of high school crushes turns out to be interested in guys instead of you, take a chance on talking to your younger sisters. They’ll understand better than anyone else in the world. And despite their sometimes annoying little sister qualities they turn out to be your best friends as you get older, realizing that those annoying things were more you than them.

If there was one other major piece of advice I could give you, outside of trying not to pine after guys who would much rather prefer the company of other guys, it would be…stick with playing your flute. When your senior year comes you’ll get all sorts of crazy scholarship offers and people sending you letters asking you to attend schools, there’s even talk of moving to New York to play. Don’t be scared, be brave. Don’t let it go and instead run off to Texas to play nanny. You’ll regret it. Even if the experience proves to teach you a lot, you would be happier not waiting until you have kids to try and juggle being a mom, writing and finding time to play in local orchestras.

Remember that high school is only for a short time. There’s so much more to life than kids teasing you about your frizzy hair and taste in guys. When the kids decide to take shots at you by calling you a lesbian remember to lean on your sisters and those great guy friends who know exactly how it feels to be picked on for something you may or may not be. Don’t let it destroy your spirit. You’re not a lesbian, but know that the part about the teasing that bothers you the most is that it’s not something to make fun of people over. Stand up for your friends and remember that you know who you are. In ten years, those idiots making fun of you will still be stuck in that piddly town with lame jobs and backwards thinking, nothing of the life you have now.

Have fun! Try not take everything so seriously. No need to take a dive off the deep end, but remember to live a little. When your friends ask you to hang out at Denny’s for the billionth time or cruise the orange groves or drive up the mountain to look at the stars, do it. Life is short. You’ll learn this the summer after high school when a close friend dies and changes your perspective on everything. He’s the risk taker. Be sad for him, but listen to him. He’s the one always trying to encourage you to be a part of that elusive group of happy-go-lucky people. He dies doing that very thing, risking it all and having a great time, living life to the fullest.

Don’t worry so much and know that in the end you’ll have the most amazing life. You’ll end up married to the most incredible guy who teaches you that sometimes you have to pick a few wrong ones before you end up with your perfect match. There are also these two kiddos you’ll end up with that flip your life on it’s head, but teach you even more than you can imagine about yourself and what it means to truly love. But, until all of this…live! Enjoy life and don’t be afraid to show people who you really are. The people who really matter, your true friends, will love you for it.

All my love,
Danielle xoxo


Thanks to the publisher, Zest Books, I have one print copy of Dear Teen Me: Authors Write Letters to Their Teen Selves to giveaway to one There’s A Book reader! Thank you! Be sure to follow along the other stops on the Dear Teen Me Blog Tour for more great reviews, interviews and giveaways.
This giveaway is open to US/Canadian residents and to enter, be sure to fill out the rafflecopter form below. Good luck!

Find Dear Teen Me: Authors Write Letters to Their Teen Selves at the following spots:
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14 Responses to Book Review and Giveaway: Dear Teen Me – Authors Write Letters to Their Teen Selves

  1. A letter to my teen self? I’d tell myself to stop being so boy crazy (so hard, right?!?!) And to enjoy every moment of my summer job as a camp counselor!!

  2. That was awesome.
    Isn’t it funny how we both would tell each our teen selves to take it easy and assure ourselves that we will marry awesome guys and have awesome kids.
    (not an entry)

  3. Teresa says:

    Danielle, that is a fantastic letter. There are so many things I would tell my teen self. The most important one is not to worry so much about the “nerd” label because one day you’ll think its pretty cool to me a nerd.

    I’d also have to agree about boys. The right one will eventually come along. You don’t have to worry about it. He will love you like no other and it won’t seem so difficult.

    • Lori Clark says:

      I think this is an amazing book idea and I have a few things I would love to write to my teen self. Not that I would have listened anyway. But those boys you think you’ll never find someone as great as? Yeah. You will! Even better.

  4. Cathe Olson says:

    I would tell my teen self to relax and be myself and not be so worried about what everything thinks or really what I think everyone would think if I did.

    I’ve just started working as a high school librarian and can’t wait to read this!

  5. PragmaticMom says:

    I would tell my Teen me not to stress out so much and to pursue things you like instead of resume building.

  6. bn100 says:

    Have more fun

  7. Fiery Na says:

    l would tell myself to live more in the moment and not be so anxious to grow up. Life passes by so quick as it is.

  8. Amy Bizzarri says:

    I would tell Teen me: “Hey, you’re beautiful just the way you are. Don’t waste ONE OTHER MINUTE worrying about the way you look. Get out there and focus on discovering the world!”

  9. Maureen says:

    I would tell myself to worry less and enjoy your time with no responsibilities.

  10. Victoria Zumbrum says:

    Enjoy life to the fullest.

  11. Diana says:

    I’d say, just chill. Everything will work out and you’re not a terrible person. You’re you and you exist. And that’s a-okay. Especially to the little daughter you’ll have someday.

  12. Randi M says:

    I’d tell my teen self to stop worrying so much about what other people think. After all, six years post-high school, it turns out the only people who really mattered are the ones still by my side. 🙂

  13. Gina says:

    Agreed on the magnitude and awesomeness of this one…and kudos to you for the shared letter. *hugs* Sounds like sound advice indeed. ^_^

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