What do you wish adults remembered about what it's like to be a teen?
But, as usual, we didn't always stick super-close to the topic, so read on for our Spies’ opinions on what adults just don't get about being a teenager, the author/blogger battles on Goodreads, and the worst books they've ever had to read.
Cristin: What do you wish adults remembered about being a teenager? What don't parents/teachers/authors get about your lives?
Alison: My daughter just answered the question: "how to lighten up.”
Scotie: The fact that people are allowed to make mistakes. And have opinions. And think for themselves. And can do things without help. And that a simple grade isn't the end of the whole freaking world. Most importantly, that nothing is going to last forever. Why stress about something that you won't care about in a year? I mean, yeah, you should try your hardest but once you've worked your butt off, screw it and let the pieces fall where they may.
Erica: I always wish people would understand more that people are all different. I’ve always been very driven and know what I want to do, yet I feel like different people think I'm too young to have made decisions and baby me all the time.
Alexandra: What are you driven towards?
Erica: Just like what I want to do with college and my plans for the future. I've had the same plan for 4 yrs and every time I deviate from it, I end back up on the same path.
Cristin: So you wish people could see that not all teenagers are lost and directionless and still trying to figure out what they want from life?
Scotie: Okay, my inner activist has to throw this out there: the elderly people seem to have problems with people who are different than the norm when it comes to sexual attraction.
Cristin: Do you think that's because they've gotten more conservative with age, or just because they grew up in a different time?
Scotie: I think it's both. I know from experience, in my family and in my schooling. I'm for gay marriage and when I told my grandparents that they got all upset and said it was against God's will and all that crap and how I shouldn't feel that way. First of all, no one, NO ONE, can tell me what I should believe in, feel, think whatever, I don't care how freaking old you are. I can think for myself.
Rebecca: I agree with Scotie. I'm Catholic, anyway. Quite often my dad brings up things about gays and marriages, and he's even friends with this guy at work who’s gay, but I know he doesn't agree with it. I know he's old-ish and older people just don't really get it but I think us younger people are more open about it, at least I am.
Scotie: I understand what you are saying, Rebecca. A lot of people weren't raised to think it was okay, so they carry that with them. However, the younger generation has either been raised differently or just do certain thing to piss of the people who call us satanic freaks who will rot it hell. Not saying names...
Rebecca: Sometimes I wish the characters authors write were more realistic. I'm reading a book now and the girl is just falling over herself for this boy. It's quite ridiculous, considering one minute he's being nice and the next minute a jerk.
Cristin: So would you say that author is mischaracterizing teen girls?
Rebecca: Yes. I'm not saying we aren't boy-crazy, but it's a bit over the top. It also feels really rushed, like it has to happen right now. I wish the author had written the relationship slowly-slowly.
Erica: I agree with Rebecca, so many books I feel like there's no build up to a relationship. I feel like there's lots of examples of instant love where it's two pages later and the characters are massively in love.
Rebecca: I can tell it's not going to last. At times the boy is nice, and then the next minute he's all snarky and making fun of the girl. Girl, can't you put your hormones aside and see this guy is mostly an ass!
Scotie: Well, a lot of my friends, including myself, are drawn to the idea of love. The possiblity alone can make us think that we are in love with someone when really it's more being in love with the idea of a perfect love you read about all the time.
Cristin: I think love at first sight is an interesting concept that I would LIKE to see done well in a book, but I’m not sure I have.
Alexandra: As the resident unromantic, I think love at first sight is called pheromones that got too frisky. What I do think is possible is love at first conversation.
Gracie: I've never seen love at first sight done well either... and I don't believe in it, but one of my friends suggested that there could be like, knowing-this-is-the-person-for-you at first sight.
Copil: I like the concept of Love at First Sight. And I think people think they are in love at first sight but the love develops later.
Rebecca: I agree with Alxandera. If it's love at first sight, it's based purely on attraction.
Erica: The book I've heard that did it well was Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight.
Cristin: I liked Statistical Probability a lot. I wouldn't say they actually fell in love in the book, but the seeds of it were definitely there.
ON AUTHORITY FIGURES AND AUTHOR/BLOGGER RELATIONS
Scotie: Can I ask a question? Has anyone had teachers/authority figures that have done or said something that you disapprove of? If so, did you say anything to them and what was their reaction?
Gracie: There've been some teachers I have disagreed with at times, but it's usually little things and I haven't been bold enough to talk to them about it.
Scotie: The only reason I ask is because there has been a LOT of problems relating to authority figures and wondered if anyone else has had that issue, and it related to the topic.
Lynsay: I just have a problem with a person in authority telling me to do something they don't do. I.e. hypocritical
Rebecca: Related to what Scotie said, lately authors have been putting their foot in it and bad mouthing bloggers. It's so disgraceful!
Erica: That whole author/blogger drama is ridiculous. Both parties need to just not be idiots, ha. Bloggers and authors both.
Rebecca: After hearing authors abuse bloggers, I instantly – and I mean instantly – took them off my reading shelf. IT'S JUST NOT COOL! But I wish bloggers didn't have to be so snarky. The authors have no right to abuse bloggers becasue of a bad review, but I wish bloggers would tone it down!
Scotie: I'm going to play the Devil's advocate, but I understand why someone could get upset. I am personally offended when people don't like what I've put a lot of time and effort into. I agree that it was the wrong way to retaliate, but I understand the authors’ anger.
Gracie: I think there's responsibility on both sides. I see reviews that aren't critical at all - just heaps of either negativity or positivity.
Erica: I have no issue, personally, posting negative reviews. If I do write a negative review, I point out what I liked, what I didn't like, and then I usually point out what others would like and why it wasn't the book for me.
Rebecca: Yeah, I do that too. There are a lot of reviews out their that didn't like a book and turn snarky and that's not how I 'd go about I didn't like. I'd be calm and state why I didn't like it AND give reasons. I would also try to say at least one nice thing about the book.
ON TERRIBLE BOOKS
Scotie: Some book about wolves. I read it in like 3rd grade, and I hated reading until the middle of 6th grade. I ruined reading for me. I hated that book.
Gracie: I don't think I've ever hated a book... there are things in books that I hate sometimes, though.
Scotie: You would have hated this. It was like they got a lizard stoned and put it on a keyboard and that book is what it came up with.
Erica: There's probably only been about 5 books I've read that I truly loathed, like Cry the Beloved Country. That book was awful.
Cristin: Oh man, FRANKENSTEIN. I loathed that book. The man kept falling into a swoon and waking up four months later, and I was just like WOULD YOU DIE ALREADY.
Alexandra: Seriously? There were parts of Frankenstein I really liked! Although that entire middle section from the pov of the monster was torture.Cristin: THE PART FROM THE MONSTERS POV WAS THE ONLY GOOD PART!! WHAT'S WRONG WITH YOU??
Alexandra: It DRAGGED LIKE HELLA
Cristin: AS OPPOSED TO THE REST OF THE BOOK? OOH SWITZERLAND IS SO PRETTY, I'M SO IN LUUUURVE WITH MY SISTER??
Alexandra: And EW, JANE EYRE.
Cristin: Seriously?? You have the worst taste ever.
Alexandra: And Omg WUTHERING HEIGHTS. Good god, what the crap. Worst book ever.
Scotie: Really Alexandra? That’s the only classic book I want to read aside from Jane Eyre? Why didn't you like it?
Alexandra: Wuthering Heights is a) a frame story within a frame story--the most IRRITATING narrative contrivance and b) it is a soap opera with zero sympathetic characters
Erica: How can you not like Jane Eyre? I adore that book so much.
Gracie: Haha, I love how subjective books are!
Alexandra: Mr Rochester is a D*CK. A HUGE D*CK
Copil: Mr. Rochester is a D*ck is my new AC/DC cover band!
Aaaaaand, on that note, we thought it best to call it a night!
So teens, what do you wish adults remembered about being your age? Anyone have a most-loathed book (or AC/DC cover band name) to share or a topic you'd like to see our Teen Spies discuss next month? We want to hear from you!