Happy Friday, Delight seekers! I hope you all have had a fantastic week. My sister, Beth, asked me to step in this month for the extended reading portion of her virtual book club! As a self-professed expert and undercover anthropologist of the adolescent and teenage psyche, I jumped at the offer to put my knowledge to good use.
Why undercover, you ask? Well, it’s not difficult to see that I can slip into the world of teenagers very easily. I look young. Just last weekend I was asked if I would prefer a child’s menu at a restaurant. In one month I will begin playing a role which is a whopping 10 years my junior. I get carded every time I try to go to an R-rated movie. Therefore, it is incredibly easy for me to slip into the pubescent mind set and see firsthand the effects it could have on an individual. I can’t even count the number of times I got the up and down look from high school girls at the mall while shopping for an Easter dress just yesterday afternoon! Being a 23 year old woman, it didn’t affect me (“Honey, in 8 years you’ll want to wear an old man sweater, too,” my mind said with a hearty chuckle…), but imagine if I had been the 16 year old that they believed they were judging! It could tear a girl down! I am using this research and my own experiences to write a musical about a girl’s battle to find her true self. And we all know that I am utterly obsessed with coming of age stories. I believe they are one of the great human connections that bring us together as a species, because every one of us has gone through the trying time that is adolescence. Therefore, reading this book has been a (wait for it…) DELIGHT, and I would be honored to share with you some extended reading to further enhance your experience and knowledge. Let us journey together through the cafeteria fringe…
Let’s start with some further reading about the book and Robbins’ Quirk Theory from around the web:
An interview with Robbins on Live Science, an educational website targeted at students.
A review on the book by New York Times reviewer and Journalism professor, Jessica Bruder.
And of course, NPR has nothing but good things to say!
Now on to my literary bread and butter…coming of age stories that highlight personal discovery and becoming comfortable with who you truly are:
Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli
An Abundance of Katherines by John Green
The Virgin Suicides by Jeffery Eugenides
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
Not feeling like cracking the spine of a novel? That’s ok too:
Queen Bees and Wannabes by Rosalind Wiseman – The book that launched a thousand gifs by inspiring the CLASSIC movie, Mean Girls. Forever one of my favorite works of cinematic genius. Thank you, Tina Fey.
The Realm of Possibility by David Levithan – I read this collection of poems while I was performing Spring Awakening every night…talk about getting me in the right state of mind! Angst! Heartbreak! Drama!
Spring’s Awakening by Frank Wedekind – I could write a 30 page paper about…oh wait. I did that my senior year of high school. Just read it and then listen to the cast recording of Spring Awakening the musical and let your inner 14 year old laugh and cry along. Because it really is just the bitch of living.
The Metal Children by Adam Rapp
Speech and Debate by Stephen Karam
And finally, Alexandra Robbins has many more books for you to read, because life actually does go on after high school! I know which one I’m checking out of the library next:
Pledged: The Secret Life of Sororities
The Overachievers: The Secret Lives of Driven Kids
Quarterlife Crisis: The Unique Challenges of Life in your Twenties
Secrets of the Tomb: Skull and Bones, the Ivy League, and the Hidden Paths of Power
Happy reading, and CONGRATULATIONS! If you’re reading this, I am proud of you. Why? Because you got through the trying time that is adolescence. It was probably really hard. It probably changed how you acted and how you viewed yourself. You probably lost friends. You probably felt some really intense and angsty things, and probably acted on them. But you made it, and you became an incredible, ever changing human being.
Thanks so much, Katie! Wanna get involved in the Finding delight. book club? Email me: firstname.lastname@example.org. Let’s talk books! ❤ And tune in next week for my final review.