I’ll talk to anyone about books. No perfect stranger at the dentist’s office is safe from my enthusiastic recommendation of the page turner currently keeping me up at night. My 12 year old daughter is a different story. She loves books as much as I do, but is happiest keeping her opinions to herself. When she walked in to my book club meeting last month and recommended the Fault in our Stars to a dozen women she’d never met before, I knew that it must be a very special book.
Once my book club heard that the book was about teenage cancer patients, they were immune to Bella’s enthusiasm and quickly moved on to cheerier topics. But I had to know what had moved my daughter so much. A week and much heavy sobbing later, I too was a Fault in our Stars evangelist.
The Fault in our Stars is a cancer book, but that’s not what defines it. It’s also an incredibly romantic book, about the perfection and desperation of doomed young love. I sobbed so hard reading this book that I needed to lock the door to my bedroom to get my emotions under control, but it was a great cathartic cry, one filled with nostalgia as well as grief.
As he read, I fell in love the way you fall asleep; slowly, and then all at once. – John Green, the Fault in our Stars
Since finishing it, I’ve been thinking about the big romantic books and movies of my teenage years, the ones that made me cry and shaped my young notions of love. I turned to Clan of the Cave Bear and Sweet Valley High for sex ed, but beyond Flowers in the Attic and the Outsiders, I can think of no great examples of contemporary true love teenage stories.
Help jog my memory… what were some of the great love stories that made you cry as a young teen?