Happy #FearStreetFriday podcast friends!! This week we're talking about our favorite 90's books-- or basically what we were reading in the 90's. Most of them were published in the 90's, but we have a few late 80's books that crossed over.
**don't judge our taste in 90's books-- we were mostly tweens while reading this stuff!!
- Forbidden Games by LJ Smith - A game that comes to life, German mythology, cyberpunk bad boy gods, and the last book takes place in Kennywood, what more could you want in a YA trilogy? How about a MC who goes from subdued doormat who defines herself by her boyfriend to total independent BAMF who saves her friends and doesn’t sacrifice her empathetic nature to do it? Yeah, it’s got that. It’s also got creepy fey, bugs, evil clones, and a whole host of other disturbing imagery to keep you going. Seriously, there is a reason why this is still one of my favorite trilogies of all time.
- Nightmare Hall by Diane Hoh - I love horror and stories that are set in the same place with a cast of different characters every time. Add in a few Easter eggs from previous books and I’m sold. These books took place at Salem University so you know everyone’s doomed from the beginning. Add in a haunted dorm, several serial killers and chemistry experiments that go horribly wrong and you’ve basically written my all of my favorite things. I’ve recently been re-reading these books and some of them hold up very well 20 years later.
- Trick or Treat by Richie Tankersley Cusick - Technically this book was published in 1989, but I read it for the first time in the 90s and I was hooked. The delightfully old-fashioned named Martha has just moved into the creepiest house ever and is quite content to spend her days making friends and avoiding her new step-brother. Then the phone calls start and she swears someone is in her room at night. This book has all the classic horror tropes and I love all of them.
- The Babysitter's Club by Ann M. Martin - Does this one even need an explanation? It was a right of passage for tween girls (and boys!) in the 90s to declare that they were a Stacey or a Kristy or a Claudia and to try to start their own BSC even though nobody ever called the number they dutifully printed onto 100 flyers and then stapled them to every phone poll in the town without their parents’ permission. Don’t lie. You did it too. And just so we’re clear, I wanted to be a Stacey, but I will never be as NYC Cool as she is.
- The Immortal Series by Tamora Pierce - Listen, I understand Allana is the end-all be-all and I agree. She’s BAMF as hell, but I love Veralidaine Sarasi. She is my favorite Tamora Pierce heroine (Tess is a very close second. I love ginger’s with bad attitudes) and I’ve read this quartet so many times they’re falling apart.
- The Carnival Ghost (Sweet Valley Twins Super Chiller #3) by Francine Pascal - I read every Sweet Valley series from Kids to University (and even the Sweet Valley Senior Year), but this book was a particular favorite of mine. It was one of the scariest books I had read at the time. Elizabeth meets a girl at a traveling carnival and ends up spending all her time with her. Little does Elizabeth know that Claire is a ghost who wants Elizabeth to be FRIENDS FOREVER...mwuahhahaha.
- Buffy The Vampire Slayer by multiple authors - Buffy was the defining series in my life. It helped make me into the feminist I am today so of course I read the books! These books started as short little episodes that fit neatly into the Buffy series wherever you wanted them to, but as the show developed so did the books. Some of my favorites are the Slayer Anthologies and With Malice, the Faith book, but there’s a special place in my heart for the one where Pike returns!
- California Diaries by Ann M. Martin - This was the edgier, more realistic spin-off to the Babysitter’s Club. It takes place after Dawn moves back to California, but the We <3 Kids Club is dead and the girls are dealing with sick mothers, anorexia, and new friends. I don’t think this series lasted very long, but I loved it. Maggie was my favorite.
- American Girl books by Many - what adolescent girl in the 90's didn't love the American Girl books and dolls. These were the books that made me a reader. I was obsessed with them. I read every last one. And of course I owned a doll. Kirsten. My sister had Molly.
- Dear America series by Many - These were similar to American Girl but each book was a different character and a different time period. I very specifically remember the one of the Mayflower, Oregon Trail, and Titanic. Apparently as a kid I liked journeys.
- Babysitter's Club by Ann M. Martin - Obviously I loved the Babysitter's Club. I wanted to start a babysitter's club, or just babysit which was not as fun as this book made it out to be. But I never started any club because I thought I was a Kristy but really I'm a Mallory.
- Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Walker - I was obsessed with this books. Whenever I went exploring in the woods behind my house I always hoped I would find an abandoned boxcar that I could live in and solve mysteries.
- Goosebumps by R.L. Stine - I may not have read any Fear Street books but I did read plenty of Goosebumps. I remember checking every last book out of the public library and being so entertained by them. I remember Welcome to Horrorland, Scarecrow Walks at Midnight, and The Horror at Camp Jellyjam to this day because I think they gave me irrational fears.
- Choose Your Own Adventure by Many - I mean these were the best. It was so fun following the directions and turning to different pages, only to die because a dinosaur ate you, then turning back to that other page, and then getting annoyed and just giving up. That was reading in the 90's.
- Hatchet by Gary Paulsen - I LOVED this book. I think I had to read it for school but I thought it was totally fascinating and then I chose to read the next books in the series, The River and Brian's Winter. How did Brian survive on his own? I don't know but much respect to him for that. Do you think today Brian has his own Survivor Man type show because I'd watch that.
- Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton - I very specifically remember reading this book in 6th grade as we drove two hours to get our new puppy. I think my teacher was like "you can't read that book, it's too advanced." I was like "shut up, I do what I want" but maybe a little less aggressive.
- The Face on the Milk Carton series by Caroline B. Cooney-- I loved the premise of these books-- basically that Janie sees herself as a small child on a milk carton and realizes her parents may not be her parents for real. It was intense and addicting.
- Witch Saga by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor-- This series was TECHNICALLY published in the late 80's, but I didn't read it until the early 90's. It's about 2 girls that are trying to prove that their neighbor is a witch.
- the Making Out series by Katherine Applegate-- Okay, so the name is weird... but this series was a total guilty pleasure for me. It's about this group of kids that live on an island which you need to ride a ferry to get to from the mainland. It was super dramatic and awesome-- and it was even relaunched a few years ago under the name The Islanders.
- Fabulous Five series by Betsey Haynes-- This is another late 80's series that crossed over into the 90's and I LOVED it. It was a spin-off from the Taffy Sinclair books (which I also loved) and Jana Morgan was legit.
- Beverly Hills 90210 book series by various authors-- I was Beverly Hills 90210 obsessed in the early 90's. So obsessed in fact, that I adored these books written about the series . I can only imagine how terrible they probably were. Brenda & Dylan FOREVER.
- Glass Slippers Give You Blisters by Mary Jane Auch-- This was one of those Troll Book Order or Book Fair books that I fell in love with. It's about a girl who is trying to find her place by being involved in the school's production of Cinderella. I remember being in LOVE with the descriptions of the set and lighting design that she works on.
- Where the Heart is by Billie Letts-- So, I'm skipping ahead to the late 90's when my mom bought this book because it was one of Oprah's Book Club books. I fell in love with the girl who had her baby in Wal-Mart and then when the movie came out, I was even more OBSESSED.
- Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul by Jack Canfield-- Like I said above, don't judge, but I was INTO these books. Actually, they inspired me to want to put together my own anthology of teens' stories that were a little more dark & edgy. Although, I had no idea how to go about doing that and no one would help me :(
What books did you enjoy reading in the 90's?? Were any of these your faves?