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High School

4.31  ·  Rating details ·  4,373 ratings  ·  608 reviews
High School is the coming-of-age story of Sara and Tegan Quin, identical twins from Calgary, Alberta, who grew up at the height of grunge and rave culture in the nineties, well before they became the celebrated musicians and global LGBTQ icons we know today. While grappling with their identity and sexuality, often alone, they also faced academic meltdown, their parents’ di ...more
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published September 24th 2019 by MCD
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R yes but it is incredibly time specific so you may or may not be able to relate to the material

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Average rating 4.31  · 
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 ·  4,373 ratings  ·  608 reviews


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Lea (drumsofautumn)
[pre-read review: DUDE WHAT A TEGAN AND SARA MEMOIR????????? MOVE I'M GAY]

I'm no longer gonna give star ratings to memoirs unless I feel very strongly about something and I just don't feel strongly about this one. I enjoyed it and I think it's gonna be an especially interesting read for long-time fans of Tegan & Sara. I personally loved getting the perspective of growing up queer as a teen in the 90s and of these two kids laying the foundation of their musical career.
I would highly recommend rea
...more
Elyse  Walters
Oct 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Tegan and Sara’s story - identical twins - begins in grade ten - at Crescent Heights High School, in the suburbs of northeast Calgary, Alberta, Canada. ( just blocks away from where our daughter lives now).

I kept seeing this book pop up, and was curious. The library had it available. I downloaded it thinking I would take a peek...then inhaled it: enjoying their stories and adorable photos.

I had no idea who Tegan and Sara were: musicians, and songwriters. A Canadian indie pop band. Openly gay, a
...more
Jenna
Admittedly, I came to this memoir not actually super familiar* (I thought) with the music of Tegan and Sara; however, I AM familiar with, not to mention increasingly, foolishly nostalgic for, the experience of being a self-identified alternative 1990s high schooler.

My inner adolescent felt extremely validated at the opportunity to reminisce, for instance, about Nirvana- and Smashing Pumpkins-induced states of bliss (the thrill of cracking open that beautiful, chunky Mellon Collie and the Infinit
...more
Lucy Dacus
Sep 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Whether you're a lifelong Tegan & Sara fan or not, the book is fantastic. Technically could exist in the 'sex, drugs, and rock and roll' category of musician memoirs, but there's so much heart, honesty, and keenly accurate accounts of growing up queer and frustratingly hopeful. ...more
Meike
Aug 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: canada, 2019-read
This immersive, fun memoir, told in 46 short chapters alternating between the viewpoints of Tegan and Sara, gives us the story of how the Canadian indie pop twin sensation came into being: After a short set-up we meet the Quin sisters at the start of grade 10 and follow them until their 18th birthday, the day they signed with PolyGram. We hear about their family, the trials and tribulations of high school life, what it means to be a twin, how they discovered and learnt to accept their sexuality ...more
Julie Ehlers
Tegan and Sara's High School is divided into five sections: tenth, eleventh, and twelfth grade, with shorter sections for the summers in between, and the twins take turns writing the chapters within each section. I'll admit to some initial uncertainty about whether this memoir was for me: There was a lot of acid-dropping in tenth grade, and their depiction of being bullied and their general misfit-ness was surely authentic, but the whole thing was bringing me down. Fortunately, this all changed ...more
Jenny (Reading Envy)
Last year would have been the 20 year high school reunion for Tegan & Sara, making them two years behind me in age. Their memoir of those years alternates between the sisters as they tell stories of their family life, fighting over friends, discovering their sexuality, finding a musical voice, and drugs, so many drugs, mostly acid (and they are attempting to be drug-positive, not the usual message!) The pictures are uncanny in the sense that they could have been my classmates in clothing and hai ...more
Holly (The Grimdragon)
"We cavorted and coalesced under the microscope of infatuation, making even mundane facts seem riveting and essential. A spectrum of colors and feelings and tastes and a kind of touch that I'd only just figured out existed surged through me. I had never considered what it would be like to be in love until I was in it."

I thought about writing this entire review by quoting through Tegan and Sara's extensive lyric catalogue. I mean.. they literally have a lyric for every single emotion known to hum
...more
CaseyTheCanadianLesbrarian
This was an entertaining if a bit underwhelming memoir about Sara and Tegan Quin's years in Calgary grades 10-12. It focused more on their relationships with friends, first girlfriends, and parents than on their discovering playing and writing music, which surprised me. I wanted more details about how they wrote their first songs, especially given that they didn't have any formal training. I think for some people this will evoke memories of their own high school years, but this didn't really hap ...more
Sam
Oct 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Tegan and Sara were the soundtrack of my middle school and high school years. I’ve always been deeply attached to their songs and lyrics, their vulnerability and honesty.

This memoir is such moving insight into their relationship with each other as well as their artistic collaboration. I didn’t want this book to end, I became so immersed in their world.
Lindsay Loson
Aug 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019-reads
"But the older I got, the more I saw the men leaving as irrational, and the women's emotions as the only sensible reactions. From the women, I learned to speak up about the things that were important to me. To brandish my emotions with pride. My voice mattered."


First off, thank you so much to FSG/MCD for this ARC, out 9/24!! Tegan & Sara's music has meant an incredible amount to me over the years, and when I heard that they were coming out with a memoir I was ecstatic! Even though their song
...more
Kate
Aug 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A candid, poignant and insightful coming of age memoir.

For thoes who don't know Teegan and Sara they are a Canadian Indie pop duo. They are also twin sisters. In High School, their first memoir they recount their own high school experience. Sharing stories that highlight their individual struggles with teen angst, family, twin life, identity, self esteem, drinking, depression, drugs, first loves, longing, the confusion and acceptance of their sexuality (both are gay), bullying, music and more.
...more
Bronwyn
Aug 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
his book is so, so important.

Tegan and Sara's writing is beautiful, haunting, and oh-so-relatable. It's those moments as a queer person where you feel doubt, love, longing, regret. It's those moments as a teenager where you live recklessly, make mistakes, yearn for something more than your high school and your town. As someone who also came of age in Calgary in the 90s, it captures the essence of that particular place and time, of grubby C-Train platforms and cold river plunges, and the icy dark
...more
vanessa
Tegan and Sara were special to me during my own high school days (Sainthood was everything), and I still love their music. A lot of this memoir covers their crushes, family, school life, drugs (lots of drugs!), and partying during their high school years. A very small fraction covers the first time they picked up a guitar or started making their own music on cassettes or started playing their own gigs. Personally those were my favorite parts and I wish there was more about the music. It's not to ...more
Gordon Ambos
oh. my. god.

This just became my most anticipated release of 2019.
I love Tegan and Sara to death and I cannot wait for this memoir!
Jay Gabler
Sep 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Almost ten years ago, I asked Sara Quin, of Tegan and Sara, about the way "your songs about relationships never demonize the person you're singing to, or about; there's always a sense of care even in the wake of something painful."

She responded, "I think that's very accurate as a summation of our music, and how we are as people too. Probably to a fault in my own personal relationships I've struggled with this overpowering compassion." At the time, she implied that she was trying to toughen up a
...more
Dana
Sep 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: review-copies
I thoroughly enjoyed this journey, written in alternating chapters from the perspective of each sister. A very detailed look into their lives with a focus not only on their individual struggles, but the obstacles they also faced together. Navigating their sexuality, the secrets, relationships, drugs, etc. I found the look into how they got started with their music career fascinating. Writing their songs, performing for friends, the first gigs. Amazing. Overall I just loved how honest and raw thi ...more
Books Around the Corner
I cannot say enough incredible things about this memoir. For a girl who started listening to Tegan and Sara and met them in a bar when I was 15 and to have this come out now is so incredibly perfect. I will say you have to LISTEN to this book. I felt warm tears running down my cheeks with a smile across my face when I heard the first few notes of the very first recording they did in their room. I love so much that they chose to share the progression of their music even before their first album. ...more
Tasnim Azad
Sep 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I devoured this book as I have consumed anything Tegan and Sara since age 16. I enjoyed reminiscing and feeling nostalgic about my own high school years. I think some of the memories are ubiquitous to growing up in the suburbs, gay, or both, like passing notes carefully folded in class, long phone calls as your family demands use of the landline, your parents, cool or not, asking you to be honest about where you got that hickey from. I laughed at the absurdity of the teens’ big feelings and time ...more
Sarah
Feb 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book was a joy to listen to.
Hayley Robertson
Sep 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This. Was. Perfect.
I don’t have much to say besides, if their music has touched your heart and made you not feel so alone in your feelings, you need to read book.
Safe to say T&S will be what I’ll be listening to in the car for a while again now.

UPDATE 6/26 I just finished the audiobook and I fell back in love AGAIN. When I saw them in London they read excerpts from the book and played some home movies I never thought I’d be able to experience again. But I was wrong! The audiobook is FULL of goo
...more
Kurt Ostrow
Apr 20, 2020 rated it liked it
I didn't care for the first half of HIGH SCHOOL; it felt a little tedious, serviceable prose depicting drug exploit after romantic friendship drama. I really liked the second half, though, when the story shifted to a couple of key relationships and the early beginnings of their music career. Highly recommend the audiobook, as it includes live recordings from high school of the Quinns both playing their music and just talking. I think high schoolers who love music, especially queer girls, would e ...more
Misha
This is already feeling quite nostalgic for me. Tegan and Sara may have been born 6 years later, but we both grew up in the 80s/90s alternative music scenes, listening to the anthems of disaffected queer & questioning youth, with easy access to LSD, and the suburbs burning a hole in our understanding of the possibilities of what life had to offer. ...more
Yoly
Nov 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is how you do a music memoir!
I'm hoping they write another one, since I would really like to know more about their music career.
This memoir should be consumed as an audiobook to maximize the awesomeness :)
Tamara
Mar 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was a very cathartic read for me. I grew up in the same neighbourbood in Calgary, played guitar obsessively, and struggled with/was confused by my queerness in very similar ways - it felt like reading my own diary. I don’t think it was particularly well written but I loved it none the less ❤️
Alexis
Feb 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020
Actually enjoyed this book more than I expected to. I'm four years older than Tegan and Sara, so the time period that they were talking about was familiar to me. Tegan and Sara wrote a memoir, alternating chapters, and covering three years, from Grade 10 to Grade 12. During this time, they do a lot of acid, drink, get into fights with each other, fall in love with girls, and struggle with their sexuality, and discover their love for music and writing songs.

I enjoyed the queerness of the book, a
...more
Brad Walker
I've been a superfan for 18 years, and they've made so much art that is so important to me. When I first saw them on MTV at the crack of dawn one day when I was 14 years old it was so profound to me because these where the first queer people, close to my age, that I had ever seen who were presented as cool, and smart, and funny, and not a caricature. That was really important for me to see as a queer kid. As for the book, it's so funny, and well-written, and touching. Even if you're not a fan of ...more
Rick Brose
Sep 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As someone who is five months older than Tegan and Sara, I could relate to large portions of this memoir. We grew up on the same music, technology, and fashion. At first, I was a little bummed about how much the Quins talked about doing drugs, but that did not last long. By the end, I was crying along to their successes and failures. As music artists, Tegan and Sara have produced a catalog of outstanding work. This book illuminates how that all came to be. With chapters alternating between siste ...more
Kelly
Jan 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
Audiobook. Holy hell did this give me feelings about being a queer kid and having a horrendous confusing time in highschool! Loved the snippets of song recordings and demos from their teenage years. I was struck by how contentious and creative and bursting to break thru to emotional connection they both were at such a young age.
Sara
Jan 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir, coming-of-age
This was really fun. Tegan and Sara are my age, we liked the same music and have a lot of the same cultural references. Unlike me, they had some wild teenage years, going to raves and doing acid. In some ways, this is a long story of a never-ending party, with some fights thrown in. I enjoyed it, but your mileage may vary.
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During the course of their career, sisters Tegan and Sara have sold well over one million records and released eight studio albums. They have received three Juno Awards, a Grammy nomination, a Governor General’s Performing Arts Award, and the 2018 New York Civil Liberties Union Award. They have performed on some of the world’s biggest stages, from Coachella to the Academy Awards.

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