It’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by the wonderful blog at The Broke and the Bookish! This week’s topic:
Ten Book Recommendations for X, so I chose 80s/90s kids!
I’m not a big historical fiction person but I do love some time-specific novels! There are a few books I’ve read that take place in the 1980s and 1990s that seem silly to call historical fiction and yet they’re also not contemporary, having taken place 20-30 years ago. So I’m sharing some recommendations based on those eras today!
Side note: I have a list of these books on Goodreads and there are literally only 10 books on it so far so if I have the same author multiple times, you’re getting the same author multiple times!
Second side note: This list is more books that have been written recently that take it back to these eras rather than books we read growing up in these eras. Because that’s a whole different kind of nostalgia!
BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS FOR KIDS OF THE 80S & 90S
THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER by Stephen Chbosky
Okay, so this book actually did get written in the 90s (1999 to be exact) and I actually remember reading it as a teen! My next-door neighbor had a copy and I borrowed his and no, I still haven’t seen the movie. I meant to do a re-read before I watched the movie and I never did. This just reminds me so much of my very early teen years and it’s on my Goodreads list so you get it on your Top Ten Tuesday list!
ONE DAY by David Nicholls
Yes, this is another book that got turned into a movie. No, I still have not seen the movie. Yes, I read it before it was even a movie. I don’t even remember how I ended up picking up this book. I think it was truly a day in BORDERS (yes, Borders. RIP.) where I would wander around and just pick things up, and I picked up this one. It takes place over 20 years so there’s a little of the past and a little of the present.
ATTACHMENTS by Rainbow Rowell
I 100% remember this book being something I randomly picked up and bought at Borders, I think in a clearance sale. It looked cute, funny, and like something I would relate to. Who knew I’d be reading one of my favorite authors before we even knew who Rainbow Rowell was? It’s so funny because I totally didn’t love it when I first read it but on my re-read, I appreciated it so much more, just being older, having a better perspective of that office world-view, and being able to relate to it so much more!
TIME BETWEEN US by Tamara Ireland Stone
TIME BETWEEN US is a mix of romance and sci-fi, the sci-fi part being a time-traveling teen. I really loved this book and I loved how the past only went back to the 90s and not to an era too far away. I was able to relate and it was a lot of fun!
ELEANOR & PARK by Rainbow Rowell
You’ll start to see a trend here with Rainbow Rowell, which I love. She seems to revisit time periods that she knows, this one being the 80s. I loved see this this story progress and this is still my favorite Rainbow Rowell book. I need to give it a re-read sometime soon too.
LANDLINE by Rainbow Rowell
Surprise! One last Rainbow Rowell book in this list, this being LANDLINE, which takes place in the present-day but this magical telephone allows the main character to talk to her husband back in the past. This was probably my least favorite of Rainbow’s books (because magical telephone) but it was still fun and had some wonderful life-lessons. Plus, a character cameo from a previous book!
ALTHEA & OLIVER by Cristina Moracho
This book was very real and very gritty, and I really enjoyed it. It takes place in the 90s and it’s not laden with nostalgia but it has just the right amount of 90s feel to pull you into the era without over doing it!
ONCE UPON A KISS by Robin Palmer
This was a little silly but a lot of fun! It was like Freaky Friday meets 13 Going on 30 where the main character wakes up in her own life, except her own life now takes place in the 80s instead of in the 2000s.
A GOOD IDEA by Cristina Moracho
Another Cristina Moracho book set in the 90s, which I love, except this one is more mystery/thriller. I love when things are set in the 90s because it really takes away the immediacy to answers with the use of technology. Little to no cell phones, little to no internet — people have to make phone calls and drive places and have land lines. It keeps things interesting! How do authors write mysteries when technology makes getting answers so easy?
FIREWORKS by Katie Cotugno
I was actually really hoping for more 90s experience in this book and I was kind of disappointed! There were music references but really that was about it. For a book set in the 90s, I was hoping for more of a 90s vibe!
BONUS | These books weren’t set in the 80s/90s but have a good vibe!
READY PLAYER ONE by Ernest Cline | GREAT for 80s kids! Some stuff went over my head (I was a 90s kid) but soooo many pop culture references and such a blast!
KILL THE BOY BAND by Goldy Moldavsky | Not set in the 80s or 90s but had that boy band concept that made me think of *NSYNC and the Backstreet Boys… and Making the Band with O-Town! A little more early 2000s but totally will bring you back to the boy band days.
Those are my nostalgic 80s & 90s recs that were written (mostly) in the past few years! Do you have any more recommendations like these? I’d love to read some more!