Top Ten Teen Books I Read in the ’80s

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and The Bookish.

Today’s top ten revolves around throwback freebies – books from any time in our lives that made any impact. I chose teen books from the 80s. Back then, books geared toward teens weren’t called Young Adult (YA). They were called Teen, or if I borrowed from the library, a special section marked by age hosted them. With their colorful covers, often real-life pictures, stories of “normal” teen lives entertained me. Granted, once in a while, I read stories with controversial themes (e.g. sexuality, violence, drugs) as they were much harder to sneak access, but typically nothing harder than heartbreak and hi-jinks filled our reading experiences.

Please allow this old-head to moonwalk down memory lane as I share my top ten teen books read in the mid to late 1980s. Bring your Jellies, crop top shirts, and side ponytails!

Double Love (Sweet Valley High, #1) The one that started my Sweet Valley High love. I preferred Elizabeth to her twin, Jessica.

Trying Out (Cheerleaders, #1) Cheerleaders offered a series of the comings and goings of a high school cheerleading squad. Drama and hilarity ensued. Along with Toni Basil’s number #1 hit, “Mickey”, this book pushed me to try out and join my high school’s squad, which, coincidentally, had Mickey Mouse (the only high school with permission still to this day) as its mascot.

Ten-Boy Summer (Sweet Dreams, #18) I remember this girl possessing a list of boys she owned crushes on, almost like the To All The Boys I Loved Before series by Jenny Han.

Heaven (Casteel, #1) I read Heaven before I read Flowers in the Attic. Yeah. I know. But, still the book’s scenes burn fire in my soul.

The Truth About Stacey (The Baby-Sitters Club, #3) My relationship with the Babysitters’ Club went in and out when they debut. I read the first four in order and then randomly afterwards. I drew bored of reading about babysitters (though I became old enough to become one) and moved to tastier fare, ahem, Heaven and Flowers in the Attic.

Dawn (Cutler, #1) Unlike Dawn from The Babysitters’ Club, this Dawn kept my attention. Carry on.

Forever... This story is one of two MAJOR classics I’ll never forget. The odd thing is that I always manage to reread this book at least once every decade. I’ve read it in the 80s, 90s, 00s and 10s. I easily place this in my top ten life-changing book list…forever.

Love Match Team Love. Set. Match. I remember buying this book from our school book fair. I think she fell in love with the coach, who was a college student.

Change of Hearts (Couples, #1) I read a lot of teen romance. A LOT! I developed unrealistic notions about relationships. How did I survive?

Flowers in the Attic (Dollanganger, #1) Come on. You should have expected this one. Mind blown.  What was they thinking marketing this to us? Classic.

Judy Blume and V.C. Andrews made the most impact of my 80s’ reading years. Along with neon, leg warmers, and side ponytails, I adored reading teen novels. Sure, some mustered neon pink corniness. But, I loved them, and like any teen bookworm, cherished them as friends.

Do you remember your special throwbacks? Share your comments.

Happy Reading!



Author: Crafty Scribbles

Lover of Words. Mother. Teacher. Traveler. Writer. Bionic woman against ignorance. Finding the balance between words and reality. M.Ed. built to school you.

15 thoughts

  1. I was born in the mid-90s so I’ve heard of a few of these but haven’t read them. I’ve been meaning to check out Judy Blume’s teen books for a while now because the only book of her’s I’ve read is Superfudge. Great list 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Totally snatch Judy’s work. She made a major dent in my early life and I cannot recommend her enough. Try “Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret.” The protagonist’s highly relatable in any decade.


  2. I’ve read all of these! I even still have a Cheerleaders book because Christopher Pike wrote one (I believe it was the 2nd one called Getting Even). I was a Sweet Valley fan in the extreme (although weirdly I started with #31 and then went back to the beginning) and I credit the book where Regina Morrow dies of a heart attack after trying cocaine for the first time as the reason I am terrified of drugs. Francine Pascal scared me straight before I could even start. 😉 I also loved Heaven because I had a huge crush on Troy Tatterton and never got over him. And while I read quite a few of Babysitters Club books, I was also balancing them out with Stephen King and Victoria Holt novels.

    My Top Ten Tuesday

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Omg! Omg! I read Getting Even and had no idea Christopher Pike wrote it!!!

      Yeah, the anti-drug era scared me straight for the good.

      I also balanced the cute stuff with Stephen King. I remember getting an entire book set and watching my mother “worry” about me. lol Good times.


  3. I just read Forever… and it was WAY different than I remembered as a kid. I thought I had read it, but maybe I hadn’t. It’s really interesting because in so many ways it’s still so revolutionary. But then in other ways it’s like WOW, this really was the 80s!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha! She wrote it in the 70s, and by the 80s, some things still applied. I get that the book may seem hokey to younger generations. But, I must say that the themes of first love and sexual experiences still apply. I’m glad you read the book.


  4. Such a blast from the past! I loved the Babysitters Club series, and I read a good number of the SVH book too. I remember loving Flowers in the Attic too, but looking back, I can’t believe they were marketed at teens!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Back then, teens got away with seeing moments way above our heads. Oh, well! They entertained us. I’m glad you enjoyed the blast.

      Liked by 1 person

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