Book Review: DEAR TEEN ME

DTMfinalcoverwithbleeds2Edited By: E. Kristin Anderson and Miranda Kenneally

Number of Pages: 192

Publisher: Zest Books

Release Date: October 30, 2012

“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.”


Let me start off by saying that I was forced to read this book for my summer English assignment- in fact, everyone in my high school was. My first reaction was to question this (Aren’t the seniors supposed to be at a different reading level from the freshmen? And what happened to reading classics?) but I tried to go into this book with an open mind. I thought the concept was interesting, but I was disappointed that I wasn’t familiar with many of the authors. My hopes were not very high for this book that I had to read.

My opinion did not change as I progressed through this book. It was extremely mushy, cheesy, and sentimental. I understand and appreciate what the makers of this book were trying to accomplish, but for me it fell flat. Lower than flat, to be honest. I feel really bad for the guys who had to read this because most of the letters were written by girls and about boy troubles. There were some interesting and inspiring letters, but most of them just repeated the same cheesy things that we teenagers hear all of the time. You know, “Be Yourself!” and “Life gets better!” and “Stay strong!” Which is nice in moderation, but this was major overkill.

Overall, the concept of this book was great, but the execution of it was not. I believe that my school could easily have picked a better book for us all to read.

My Rating: :0) :0) :0) 3 out of 5 smileys.

Would I recommend it to a friend?: I would recommend this to a friend who was having difficulties with self-image, depression, fitting in, etc. However, if they were not experiencing these feelings then I would not recommend it to them.




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