Defining Books

During my teenager years, I got to read many books for my classes. While many of them were really good and memorable, like “Flowers for Algernon” and “The Scarlet Letter,” it was the books that picked myself that defined me as a person and what I liked. I have to say that I rather preferred fiction over non-fiction, and I tended to enjoy the supernatural, horror, and science fiction genres more than any others.

Teenagers are saturated with books geared for them these days. “Twilight” (whether we like it or not) has ignited a boost in reading amongst teenagers and even older people. I fully acknowledge that I read the Twilight series. Initially, I enjoyed it and was a minor fan. However, sometimes it’s best to re-read things, I re-read the series and I was horribly put off by them. They are poorly written, shallow, and the last book is garbage (thought it was garbage when I initially thought well of “Twilight”). I am sure this will not earn me brownie points with those that like Twilight, but I want to be honest.

A modern fantasy story based largely on the Scottish ballads "Tam Lin" and "Thomas the Rhymer."

My favorite books as a teenager were Betty Greene’s “Summer of My German Soldier,” Meredith Ann Pierce’s “The Woman That Loved Reindeer,” Dianne Wynne Jones’s “Fire and Hemlock,” and Margaret Mahy’s “The Changeover.” I have other books I enjoyed but these four were my favorites. However, out of the four, the one that I always come back to and have read a dozen times is Margaret Mahy’s “The Changeover.”

This book has had many covers but this is the one I like the most.

It’s a supernatural story that deals with puberty, womanhood, love, and family in a fantastical but thoughtful way. From beginning to end, the dialogue, the transformation of characters, the rise and fall of actions and reactions, and themes are consistent and entertaining.

What book defined your time as a teen?


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