Teen & Young Adult Memoirs – Top 8 Best Books About the 90s
Whether you were born or grew up in the 1990s or you are simply fascinated by those times, a few insights into that insane decade will give you a better understanding of what it was like. No touchscreen, no Google, no Netflix and an almost wild-wild-west feeling of life overall. But we are alive, we grew up (somehow) and we are here to tell you shocking stories from our past.
There are many books out there providing more clues about those years, but some memoirs for teens tend to stand out in the crowd. All in all, here are some of the best books about the 90s seen from a teenager's perspective.
I Was a Teenage Know Nothing, by Ryon Ownbey
Ryon Ownbey brings back some good memories from the 1990s. Starting with his dating experiences, moving on with motorcycle and car races and ending with a plethora of adventures specific to that decade, this book has a bit of everything – lots of suspense, spicy details and exciting memories.
The book brings in some good lessons that the author has learned in the 1990s. It explores some of his emotions back then, but it also discusses a few happenings that failed to provide a positive outcome. Things may seem a bit too dramatic at times, but this is just part of the teenage experience.
Take a trip back to some nostalgic times. Back then, people were not used to smartphones or online shopping. Everything was clean and simple. People were less stressed. There was more optimism and less hassle back then – a great incursion into an amazing decade.
On the Fence, by Dheep Matharu
This book is about to become a TV show. Coming from a prolific author, the memoir brings in shocking experiences and raw memories from a teenager's struggle during the 1990s. During the day, Dheep is the perfect Indian daughter – she does what she is told to do and follows some strict rules.
During the night, things change to 180 degrees. She gets a brand new face, as she escapes the strictness of her family and sneaks out. She ends up attending raves and parties. She drinks and does drugs and becomes a common figure on the social scene during the 1990s.
She ends up experiencing a bit too much. She has some issues with the police, deals with groping men and even heart related problems. Apart from these crazy memories, the author also discusses the cultural conflict associated with an Indian teen growing up in England.
Party of One, by Dave Holmes
An outsider trying to fit in will always make a great memoir and Dave Holmes' masterpiece makes one of the most appreciated memoirs for teens, especially for those who want to know what it was like to grow up in the 1990s. The unique perspectives on life make this book stand out in the crowd.
Dave Holmes knew he was gay while a teenager. He was in the closet and tried his best to hide his sexual preferences. He ended up studying in a Catholic high school populated by all kinds of people – most of them straight. Fitting in was definitely a challenge, especially back then.
The author's story is authentic and intriguing. It shows how he has successfully managed to handle his life with goods and bads. The story is written in a hilarious way and it has both optimistic and negative events. It is a journey of self-discovery that anyone can learn something from.
Memoirs of a '90s Schoolboy, by Michael Sleggs
This book may seem irrelevant at times, but some of its stories will make your days better. If you grew up in the 1990s, this book will transpose you to the past and bring back some great memories. It will take you to your childhood years, as well as the ups and downs associated with it.
The book describes some hilarious situations with ridiculous outcomes, but it can also get pretty serious at times and discusses sophisticated points of view. It is honest, pure and well written – it will make you laugh at times, but it may also make you feel nostalgic and sad. There is a bit of everything.
Based on the profile of this book, you will most likely find yourself in some of the stories. You will remember your best friends, your colleagues and your first crushes. Most importantly, you will have a good laugh – there are no further introductions required.
Blue: A Memoir, by John Sutherland
This book is about life, struggles and hassle. John Sutherland has successfully managed to join the Met in the 1990s. He was still a teen during that decade, but he has dreamed of becoming an officer since he was a kid. That is when his life has actually started, as challenges kept coming one after another.
His life has changed to 180 degrees. He ended up saving people's lives, he found lost people and gained notoriety while moving on from one rank to another. He experienced some of the best parts about being a police officer, but he also went through some harsh situations.
The book recalls many of his memories from the 1990s, but also the sadness and major breakdown he went through in 2013. His memoir is about life as it is, as well as a few struggles, friendships, failures and recovery times. It is honest and brutal at times, but it is totally worth your time.
A Stolen Life, by Jaycee Dugard
You might remember this case if you used to watch TV back in the 1990s. In the summer of 1991, an 11 year old teenager – Jaycee Dugard – was kidnapped from a bus stop just yards away from her home. It happened in Tahoe, California. Everyone believed she was dead, as no one could find her.
In the summer of 2009, a lady and a man – Phillip Craig Garrido – showed up in a police station to discuss with a parole officer. The behavior was quite unusual, so the police got suspicious. Since the lady could not be properly identified, a further investigation was started – it was Jaycee Dugard.
It turns out that over the past 18 years, Jaycee lived in a tent behind Garrido's home. She gave him two children – the first one when she was 14 years old only. The book is brutally honest and covers her time during the 1990s – the hardest part, as well as her more recent years.
Following on, by Emma John
Back in the early 1990s, most people were hooked up on Oasis. In terms of cinema, Keanu and Kate were always in the news. But Emma was a bit different. She was 14 years old in 1993 and she was not obsessed with any of these glamorous celebrities – instead, she simply loved the English cricket team.
She had pictures and posters pretty much everywhere. She used to collect the classic Panini stickers and put them in an album, but she also followed all the games and news. She knew she had a passion that no one else at her age would share, but she was not put off.
Her obsession targeted Michael Atherton. He was a pretty captain who promised England some well deserved glory. However, things were different in reality, as England struggled and lost in a shameful and hilarious manner. A few decades later, Emma John is digging into her past and tries to figure out why she used to support such a team of losers.
Travels with Lizbeth, by Lars Eighner
This is by far one of the most intriguing books about the 90s. It is not seen from a teenager's point of view, but from a homeless man's perspective. It comes with some fine and brutally honest first person stories that you are less likely to forget too soon. The author spent three years of his life on the streets – literally. It was mostly around Austin, Texas.
This adventure starts in the late 1980s, but it moves on throughout the 1990s. He ended up losing a bunch of jobs and dealing with killer migraines. He wrote a touching document that describe the homeless life, the opportunities and dangers associated with it. Unlike most expectations, his years on the streets were not about drugs, begging or alcohol.
He wanted dignity, so he refused such activities. He ended up reading a lot. He ended up endangering himself while living in a dumpster. It could be a motivational book if somehow you feel low, but at the same time, it is a deep insight into what it feels like to be homeless, especially in the USA during the 1990s.
As a short final conclusion, these are some of the most appealing memoirs for teens and young adults. Some of them are written in a hilarious manner and depict interesting stories. Some others are more sophisticated and can seriously challenge your points of view. No matter what kind of story you are after, chances are any of the above mentioned titles will give you something interesting to read about, have a good laugh or learn something new about life.