Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Dear Teen Me: Authors Write Letters to Their Teen Selves” as Want to Read:
Dear Teen Me: Authors Write Letters to Their Teen Selves
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Dear Teen Me: Authors Write Letters to Their Teen Selves

3.71  ·  Rating details ·  620 ratings  ·  145 reviews
Dear Teen Me includes advice from 70 YA authors (including Lauren Oliver, Ellen Hopkins, and Nancy Holder, to name a few) to their teenage selves. The letters cover a wide range of topics, including physical abuse, body issues, bullying, friendship, love, and enough insecurities to fill an auditorium. So pick a page, and find out which of your favorite authors had a really ...more
Paperback, 192 pages
Published October 30th 2012 by Zest Books
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Dear Teen Me, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Rose not sure... it could be a bit quirky in some parts, but by the looks of things there isn't anything too inappropriate...

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.71  · 
Rating details
 ·  620 ratings  ·  145 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Dear Teen Me: Authors Write Letters to Their Teen Selves
Jun 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, own
We all wonder what high school would have been like if we knew then what we know now. Or at least I do. I would not have been so hard on myself, for one. But on the other hand, if you could change any part of your high school experience, would you risk losing where you ended up?

This novel is filled with high school anecdotes; from funny to heartbreaking, we get snippets of these authors lives that are honest and raw. It's such a unique and amazing experience to be able to learn more about so ma
Mar 26, 2012 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
I'm this anthology with a ridiculously personal letter to my 16-year-old eating disordered self. You should read it and judge me quietly. God knows I do.
Sep 07, 2012 rated it liked it
Check out more of my reviews at ***Singing and Reading in the Rain***!

Dear Teen Me is the first nonfiction books I've probably ever enjoyed. It's perfect for any teen out there who needs a little inspiration in their lives after they've been through some hard and difficult things. It was certainly really emotional to see these authors tell their younger selves to stay strong, to stay focused, and to stay themselves.

Dear Teen Me is a nonfiction novel and can be read by a wide number of people, ho
Jen  Bigheart
Jul 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc

I am so thrilled to talk about this book and encourage everyone to read/buy/scrapbook. I have been reading the Dear Teen Me blog for....a long time. When word came out that it was being made into a book I was thrilled for the editors and contributors! The day I got the book in the mail I read all the way through. I cried, literally laughed out loud, blushed, and said the word "awe" a lot. I read a few stories to my husband and kids and eventually my 14-year-old read th
Kimberly Russell
Jun 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I love Dear Teen Me so much, and not just because they let me do an entry for them a couple of months ago.

I think the premise is genius and I love that I get a little insight into my favorite authors. I am so happy I won this from Zest Books*! Thank you!

I really could have used this book as a teen. Seriously. There isn’t a single issue that I can think of that wasn’t address in this compilation of letters. Any issue a teen will be confronted with was spoken about. I
Paul  Hankins
A powerful collection of letters written by some of today's most successful young adult authors to their teen-aged selves.

Among the letters and doodles found in the book are: Tom Angleberger, Cheryl Rainfield, Ellen Hopkins, Geoff Herbach, Ilsa J. Bick, and Riley Carney (hey--wait a minute--Riley just stopped being a teen, but what she has to offer is a universal struggle for many gifted and talented students today. I'm glad she's here).

Carrie Jones and Mike Jung are in the collection as are S
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
Originally posted on A Reader of Fictions.

Dear Teen Christina,

Life sucks right now, and, I'm not going to lie to you. High school is awful, but at least middle school is over, and, so far, that exists as the nadir of your life, and I hope that does not change (it hasn't yet). Also, in junior year, you'll make a friend, a real one, the kind of friend you'll still talk to when you're unspeakably old (aka 25). Also, teen self, you should know that your fantasies of showing up at your ten year reuni
Gretchen Hohmeyer
Oct 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc, reviewed, on-amazon
You may notice that this book has no rating. Certainly it will have to have one on Amazon, Goodreads and the like because they demand it, but Dear Teen Me is, to me, a book that transcends ratings.

What is a rating, anyways? It is a mark of sometimes good technical storytelling, other times it is because of a person’s simple like or dislike of a book. With Dear Teen Me, the former aspect especially holds no place.

Dear Teen Me is not a story. It is a conglomeration of personal, nonfiction storie
Nuzaifa - Word Contessa
"And yes, It does get better.Much better"

Anthologies are not something that I enjoy but I came across Dear Teen Me during Zest Books Blog Tour.There were a lot of positive reviews and I thought I'd give it a try.Dear Teen Me i a collection of letters from YA authors to their younger selves.I loved the format-mostly it consisted of letters but there were a few Q & A sections and some of it was narrated in the form of comic strips.Another feature that makes Dear Teen Me a cool read is the pho
Oct 25, 2012 rated it really liked it


This book is a collection letters written by popular young adult authors to themselves as teens to tell them that essentially, life does get better. Well, in some cases, it does get way worse than better, but eventually, things do look up. There are all kinds of confessions involved here, some of my favorite authors have dealt with illness, abuse and more adversaries that make my life look like a fairy tale. Most have been threatened by bullies, a lot have had family members d
Jenna D.
Oct 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
DEAR TEEN ME is a book that I would recommend as required reading for all teens entering high school. That’s right teachers, librarians, principals, school boards – make note: All students should read DEAR TEEN ME during their freshman year of high school. A note to teens: That is not to say this book in any way resembles a text book. It does not. In fact, I believe that you will find that reading entries about your favorite authors when they were teens will be just about the coolest things you ...more
Sep 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I love the premise of this anthology. Well known, and not so well known, Young Adult authors write letters (including some comic strips) to their teen selves with photographs from their younger days. In their writings they remember loves won and lost, bully troubles, weight struggles, suicidal thoughts, fears of coming out, physical, mental and emotional abuse, as well as other hurts and indignities suffered by their teen selves.

Read the rest of my review at: http://shouldireaditornot.wordpress
Mar 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2012-reads

Where was this when I was in high school? Really enjoyed the letters & cannot stop thinking about how far I've come since those confusing high school years.
Nov 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A Bookcase to Heaven™ review.


For those who know me, I never ever ever read non-fiction. And all the way until three weeks ago, I had not the slightest inclination of ever breaking that rule.

But, you know, when I saw this book with all the familiar names of authors like Jess Rothenberg (The Catastrophic History of You and Me), Jessica Spotswood (Born Wicked) and Nancy Holder (who wrote so so many dear novels in the Once Upon a Time series), I suddenly had that impossible urge to know what insec
Shelley (Bella)
I received this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion.

What can I say about Dear Teen Me? Well, first off...where the hell was this book when I was a teen? Oh right! A few of the authors were going through their "things" at the very same time- and some weren't even born yet. ;) Nonetheless, I really could've used a book like this back then. I found it helpful even now. I think it's really important kids understand they are not alone- in any given situation. Someone else is goi
Cathy(The Crazy Bookworm)
Nov 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Dear Teen Me is the book that keeps on giving. It gives you hope, inspiration, happiness and encouragement. Hours of content that will just fill you with so much emotion.

Authors like Ellen Hopkins, Lauren Oliver, Carrie Jones and so many more share their embarrassing moments, their deepest secrets, the triumphs and their failures. They bare it all to us, for one reason, to tell you that you are not alone. To show you that you are in wonderful company. You have a band of brothers. To know that s
Ashley Chen
Oct 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
First off I like to say how the idea of such a book is just fantastic. I would definitely recommend to all YA to read it, especially for those who like to read Chicken Soup books. It really remind people that authors are people. I know all these authors are all well-known and if you are a book lover like me, you kind of worship them on this high pedestal of epic awesomeness. But this book really made me brought these authors down to levels where I can connect with them. It made me realize that t ...more
Book Whales
Nov 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
Originally posted @ Book Whales

First of all, I’m not really a non-fiction type of reader but this book became my first ever from the genre. I enjoyed it so much. I even brought this book to work which is a no no. I save people’s lives; the fact that I’m reading it during my shift is bad! But this book had completely taken my stress away. I’m in my early twenties; I’m not a teen any more. This book made me a bit nostalgic.

I only know few authors from Dear Teen Me, and I got to know new writers th
Nov 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I've been a frequent follower of the Dear Teen Me website since its start. Therefore, when I heard about the Dear Teen Me book I was beyond excited! I couldn't wait to see what letters and other fun tidbits they would include. Luckily, it was everything I expected, and lots more.

Let me list the reasons why I LOVED it:

(1) The format: I loved the way they presented each letter with the letter itself as well as a picture of the author as a teen and their bio. It was cute, and I just adored all the
Oct 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
The idea of writing a letter to your teen self is a wonderful idea. If only I could've done this and learned from the very letter that I addressed to myself... So many times you come across teens that "know" everything. Wait, I think that's all teens! And truth is, I probably wouldn't have even listened to myself. Reading Dear Teen Me brought up a very wide range of emotions. I found letters that I could cope with, letters containing mad humor, and letters with deep and heartfelt thoughts and su ...more
May 06, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: ya, non-fiction
I reserved this book from the library thinking it would be interesting to read authors letters to themselves as teenagers, I thought perhaps it might give me some insight into teenage lives, but I found most of the letters...a bit dull. If I had looked more closely at the contents before reserving the book I would have realized that I had not read a single one of the contributing authors.

I thought that I read enough teen lit that there would be at least a couple whom I would recognize, but sadly
Aug 10, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2015
"Life isn't about finding the one thing you're good at and never doing anything else; it's about exploring yourself and finding out who you really are on your own terms and in your own way.
Letter: Just be yourself! by: Stephanie Pellegrin"

Pick an issue. Any issue that you struggled with or are struggling with during your teenage years. Have one in mind? Good. You will find at least one author that experienced something similar to yourself. Almost anything that I could think of, any topic had a
Kaethe Douglas
Jul 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
Tempting though it may be I am not going to extrapolate from these letters, not to authors at large, not to anything. This is a collection of letters from mostly still quite young authors, offering advice, encouragement, support, and insight to their younger selves. Everyone had bears to cross, some were finding love, others were bad hairstyles, some were alcoholic, absent, or abusive parents. For all of these writers, it did get better: they found their voices, their people, their partners, the ...more
Cathe Olson
Oct 24, 2012 rated it liked it
As a high school librarian, I was excited to read Dear Teen Me so I could share it with my students, especially as many of my favorite authors were included in the collection. I found the book just so-so, however. I was hoping for more advice for teens but this seemed more authors just summarizing events in their lives, and many were like private messages understand only to the author. While many of the events were of interest to teens, the short treatment didn't allow the reader to be really pu ...more
Aug 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
Wow. The whole time I was reading this I was constantly thinking of friends that might get a kick out of this too. An amazing collection of stories that have the ability to make you feel comforted and hopeful, even when the going gets tough.

Even the bios were fun to read... and I probably have about 100 books to add to my TBR because so many of these authors are new to me.

I definitely could see high school kids getting a kick out of something like this. It could even fit into the college environ
Oct 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This was such a neat book to read. I can easily say this is my favorite anthology I've ever read. I loved reading all the different letters. I laughed, I cried, and sat there thinking "awwww" to some of them. This is one of those books I want to shove into the hands of some teens I know who are struggling, so they can see that things do get better and how some of the things that seem like the biggest deal in the world end up not being so or may even have a positive effect in the future. The page ...more
Lisa Lunney-Boyd
Oct 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I read an ARC copy on Netgalley.

I loved this. I wish there was something like this out when I was a teen. As a teen the only book that was remotely similar was Go Ask Alice. I love that this book covers so many different issues, and makes you feel like you're not alone. This should definitely be assigned reading for all teens in schools. It is a book that every reader will benefit from.
Rebekah P
Sep 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Personally, I think it’s very sad that this book didn’t get better reviews! Dear Teen Me was an amazing book, and the stories it told were so inspiring, considering all the authors who became successful after having bad experiences as teenager. It was a quick read as well. I’d definitely recommend it!
Gabrielle Carolina
Mar 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
If there is ever a Dear Teen Me 2 I want to be included! I'm putting that out in the universe right now.

It is amazing how many authors share a similar, discouraging, origin story.

Makes me want to reach my hands out through the years, "Hold on little fighter(s) it's all about to be brighter!"
Jessica Burkhart
Jul 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I was lucky enough to contribute to this anthology. I can't wait to read the other essays and am so grateful to be part of it!
« previous 1 3 4 5 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Goodreads Librari...: Not listed as author in DEAR TEEN ME ANTHOLOGY 5 53 Oct 20, 2012 11:05AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Side Effects May Vary
  • Toil & Trouble: 15 Tales of Women & Witchcraft
  • In the Country of Women
  • Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between
  • Neverhome
  • 5 Conversations You Must Have with Your Son
  • Aida Mollenkamp's Keys to the Kitchen: The Essential Reference for Becoming a More Accomplished, Adventurous Cook
  • Deadly Deceit (DCI Kate Daniels, #3)
  • Bone Crier's Moon (Bone Grace, #1)
  • The Field Guide to the North American Teenager
  • Almost American Girl
  • How to Hack a Heartbreak
  • The Comeback Season
  • The Beauty and the Beast
  • Hope and Other Punchlines
  • Momentous Events in the Life of a Cactus
  • Camp
  • The Beholder (The Beholder, #1)
See similar books…
E. Kristin Anderson is a poet and glitter enthusiast living mostly at a Starbucks somewhere in Austin, Texas. A Connecticut College graduate with a B.A. in classics, Kristin’s poetry has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. Kristin co-edited the award-winning DEAR TEEN ME anthology and is the editor of the literary anthology COME AS YOU ARE, an anthology of writing on 90’s po ...more

Related Articles

Diverse voices and sparkling debuts dominate today's contemporary short story collections. For this roundup, we took a look at the ...
82 likes · 8 comments