Do you ever look back on the books you used to love and just cringe? Do you ever think about the crushes you used to have on characters – the crushes that you wouldn’t admit to anyone – and wonder why you ever liked those people in the first place? Did you enjoy reading some pretty questionable books when you were younger?
Well today, my friend Casey and I are going to be talking all about the cringe-worthy books we loved as tweens and the characters we swooned over! Find out who was on #TeamEdward and #TeamJacob, whether we shipped Katniss with Peeta or Gale, and what qualities we looked for in a potential bookish crush. Oh, and there’s a pretty horrific story about an infinity tattoo inspired by The Fault in Our Stars…
Enjoy laughing at our embarrassment!
S: Hi Casey! Thanks so much for joining me! Today we’re going to be talking all about our cringe-worthy reads and first loves! But first – tell me a bit about yourself! Get some of that self-promo in.
C: Hi Sarah! Thank you for having me 😀 Ah all the cringe from teenage hood is now going to be out there for the world to see *hide* I am a coffee addict from Melbourne who loves to read and go on adventures with my pups! Oh I also blog over at adoptabookaus…
S: What’s your go-to coffee order? I always order either an ordinary soy latte or a nice soy chai latte! And YES! All the cringe will be there for all the world to read! I’m excited but also kind of scared to admit to some of the things I’ve read and the crushes I had, you know?
C: Seriously anything with caffeine I’m not fussed but I can’t go wrong with a latte or an iced coffee. I definitely know also just so we don’t have any problems I’m going to admit from the start I was #teamjacob… until Breaking Dawn and all that the imprinting business that is. Seriously though that scene where he takes off his top? Teen Casey was all for that.
S: Oh goodness, I was always #TeamEdward! Which… I’m ashamed to admit. I’ve always gone for the more lanky, awkward guys in books? I honestly don’t know why. Though Jacob was very nice to look at in the movies, I must admit. Oh, and I thought being a vampire was sexy. Duh. Was Jacob your first real YA crush, or was there someone before him?
C: My first book crush was actually a character you’ve probably never heard of before, Nico from the Chances series by Jackie Collins, he was the main character’s crush and I crushed right along side with her, technically that book is adult, romance (smut) but they were in their teens so I’d count it! Jacob is still up there with one of the first. How about your first cringe worthy crush? Edward or was there someone before him?
S: You’re right – I haven’t heard of that character! And I think Edward was my first! I can’t believe I’m admitting this, but Twilight was probably the first actual YA book I read. I know. I KNOW. And then I found The Hunger Games where I crushed on Gale and was ready to fight anyone on Team Peeta. Please tell me you were on Team Gale with me?
C: Thinking back to high school Twilight was one of my firsts to but I went back to adult reads after it and didn’t find The Hunger Games until 2015! As much as I have a thing for bakers I was team Gale all the way, I mean that first scene where they have a picnic in the woods and shoot things? Fave, sorry Peeta. Asides from the obvious Twilight that I am dying to reread but refusing to as well because of how cringy I know it’s going to be what other books did you love that are cringy? Give me all the dirt.
S: YAS! I’m so happy you were on Team Gale too! Apart from me being vegan, I’d totally love that too. Thankfully, a lot of the other YA books I read in my early teen years weren’t that cringy. Of course, I adored Jace from The Mortal Instruments and Will from The Infernal Devices, and I couldn’t forget Patch from Hush, Hush! I think probably the thing I’m most hesitant to admit now is that… I may… have… had… anobsessionwithTheFaultinOurStars. I’m such a cliched teenage girl, I can’t stand it! I owned about four copies of that book, one signed, and I was adamant that I would get the infinity sign tattoo on my wrist. Thank GOODNESS I grew out of that phase. I mean, I still have a TFIOS poster on my wall… only because I know the paint will be damaged if I take it down. At least, that’s what I keep telling myself. Did you read any of the books I mentioned? Or did you have even cringier crushes?
C: I’ve read all but Hush, Hush I actually re-read TFIOS last year and yeah it’s seriously overhyped and cliche but I still liked it! My fave John Green book is Looking for Alaska even if it is an unpopular opinion. PAINT sure… you just keep telling yourself that Sarah, I am extremely glad you restrained yourself from getting the infinity tatt. As for more Crushes I didn’t have as many crushes on the actual characters and more on the whole book (does that even make sense) Oh actually I was weirdly obsessed with Atticus from To Kill A Mockingbird but he is 50 so that might be a bit creepy rather than cringe… I absolutely adored the Heaven series and Flowers in the Attic series by VC. Andrews and those books are the equivalent to a trashy magazine. Have you heard of them before? I actually love trying to sum them up because people just look TERRIFIED by my descriptions.
S: I was too busy rereading TFIOS for the nineteenth time to read Looking for Alaska! And yes, that is… I wouldn’t say creepy, but definitely weird. And no, I haven’t heard of them before! A lot of the other books I read during my early teen years were very mainstream. You know, Beautiful Creatures, Vampire Academy, the books I heard about because they were being turned into movies. How did you get your book recommendations before being a part of the bookish community? I will never be able to thank one of my friends enough for shoving Hush, Hush and Shatter Me into my hands! Even though they aren’t the best books out there, they cemented my love for YA.
C: I was the opposite of mainstream, not because I was a hipster or anything but because I had no internet and no other friends that enjoyed reading 😦 I was lucky enough to have a great school library that recommended I read Twilight otherwise I don’t know how I would have picked it up. My Mum was really the one that gave me books, I read thrillers, mystery, horror, and romance because that’s what she read, she really developed my love for reading. Now that I meet people and they tell me how their parents didn’t let them read Harry Potter or books that have sex and drug scenes I’m grateful my Mum never censored me.
S: It’s so good that she would give you all the books! I’m devastated that my parents didn’t know about Harry Potter when I was younger – I only got to read them for the first time a few years ago! Now I’m listening to them on Audible, narrated by Stephen Fry, and I’m falling in love with them all over again! Okay, last question! If there was one book you could give to your tween self and one book you could take from your tween self before you had the chance to read it, what two books would you choose?
C: TWINS! I had The Chamber of Secrets (yes I had the second book but I still regret not reading it) gifted to me but never read it ARGH child/teen me should have picked it up. The first time I read them was 2015, I so badly want to listen to them on audio Stephen Fry’s narration sounds fantastic.
One book I would give to myself would be Harry Potter I WISH I was apart of the fandom from the beginning and joined in with the book releases and anticipation of waiting to see how it all ends. A book I would take away is really difficult… I’d like to say a random Nicholas Sparks book (I read everyone and remember none) so it wouldn’t be a huge loss.
S: Yes, I would have loved being in the Harry Potter fandom from the beginning! I was massively into the movies throughout my teenage years, but I never thought to read the books until recently? I’m disappointed in myself! I think I’d give myself a copy of Our Own Private Universe – even though it was only published this year… I CAN TIME-TRAVEL, OKAY? It would have allowed me to see that I didn’t have to hide who I was and know that today, in 2017, there are more YA books than ever with bisexual and pansexual protagonists. I needed that book in my early teen years. As for the book I’d take away, I’d have to go with The Fault in Our Stars. I know, it’s like I’m destroying a part of myself, but really, I didn’t have to be that obsessed with it. It was a little excessive, and I could have read plenty more in the time it took to reread it probably about eleven times!
C: I need to read Our Own Private Universe it sounds fantastic! Your answer is actually amazing and I’d also like to cheat and give myself some books with serious girl power and feminism, I regret my view on woman as a teen and it affected a lot of my self confidence and female friendships. It’s been so good reminiscing and thinking about all my teen reads with you!
S: Thanks so much for chatting with me, Casey! I’m excited to have all this awkward tween crush dirt on you haha! We’ll definitely have to have another discussion soon. In the time being, you should definitely download the Harry Potter audiobooks!
C: I will, I will I need to brush up on my Harry Potter knowledge soon anyhow I’m going to go to a HP trivia night and don’t want to look like a fake fan XD Thank you for the chat next time I see you we can debate the pros and cons of Jacob vs Edward hopefully our friendship survives it!
S: Haha I’ll bring cue cards with my rebuttals. Thanks again!
What books have you read in the past that you’re kind of embarrassed about? Did you have any cringe-worthy bookish crushes? Are you someone who also loved Twilight? Who was your first bookish love? I’d love to know!
Gorgeous Hazel drawing in header sourced from Pinterest.