I mainly used the public library as my source, and frequently the bookmobile. Maybe lack of variety can explain some of the selections:
- I was heavily into Nancy Drew books and a series called Sweet Dreams, which I'm guessing correlates to something like Harlequin Teen these days. They must have been true easy reads because I was burning through a couple books a day at some points (according to the helpful chart in my diary. I was years ahead of Goodreads!) Other series I read were Babysitters Club and some Sweet Valley High, which I distinctly remember reading due to lack of options and never really cared for them.
- Sunset Island by Cherie Bennett - OK, looking at this cover, I REMEMBER it. I recall zero details about the book, but I think the cover says it all anyway: bright colors, seashells, hot dogs, shirtless guys. Classic literary work, here. It looks like I read several in the series.
- Spellbound by Christopher Pike - A bit formulaic, but edgy for me at the time. I read several of his other books, including Remember Me.
- A series called River Heights - This cover looks vaguely familiar, and painfully dated. It's the same author as Nancy Drew, so you can see my loyalty.
- The Babysitter by R.L. Stine - Lighter than Christopher Pike, but the same horror/mystery deal.
- Jilly's Ghost by Dian Regan - I remember loving this book despite knowing it was not that great. Considering my taste in books at the time, credit for branching off into supernatural subjects.
- Call of the Wild by Jack London - at least school was making me read something worthwhile. I also read Ann of Green Gables and Little Women around this time.
- Jacob Have I Loved by Katherine Patterson - also for school (thank you, school!)
- House of Dies Drear by Virginia Hamilton - I definitely don't recognize the cover art, it's a later edition, but I remember liking the story and being fascinated by the underground railroad.
What were some of your favorite series and books from pre-teen to early teen years? One thing is certain from looking over my list, kids have better options in fiction these days. So much better that even adults are reading YA books. I can't imagine any childless adult reading the Sunset series unless they were dared to.