I was out with some girlfriends last night and naturally, our conversation turned to books. (That happens with everyone’s friend groups on a regular basis, right? If not, you should probably get some new friends!) Actually, it turned to books that we read growing up. More specifically, how terrible some of those books are when you reread them as an adult.
One girl mentioned that her husband recently picked up a Boxcar Children book again. Oof. Those may have been amazing adventures when we were kids but they are pretty painful to read now. Not exactly great literature.
My disappointment recently was Nancy Drew. I must have forgotten my Kindle on a visit to my parents a few months ago because I pulled one off the shelf. Sheesh. They may have been popular for generations but I wouldn’t say they are well written. (Although this article kind of cracked me up…)
It’s always shocking to me how poorly done some of these books are. Just because they are geared toward a young adult audience, doesn’t mean they need to be dumbed down. And who decided you could devote a chapter in every single book of a serious to telling you the back story of the series (ala Babysitters Club)? It’s a series. You can reasonably assume the reader has read some of the other books, can’t you?
The girls and I had a good laugh last night while discussing our favorite authors from middle school. One specifically remembered reading books about children and teens who were dying of cancer. She described sitting in her room, bawling, her mother not understanding why she would keep reading them. I knew the author well…
In fact, she visited my school when I was in middle school. As I told my friends last night, I was the nerd who helped organize the visit and then catered the lunch for her. When you’re the person who shows up with fancy ham sandwiches for every party as an adult, you’re pretty cool. Not so cool when you’re an 8th grader.
I admittedly haven’t picked up a McDaniel book in years. But you better believe I’ll grab one next time I visit my parents. I just know it’ll be so awful that I’ll cry… and not just because every gets sick and dies.