Ok yes I know that it was made into a TV show, but no cameras could capture the awesomeness of this pacific-coast high school. These were the ones to read when you were the same age as the protagonists in Sweet Valley Twins, so you could marvel at the glamour! The excitement! Of American teenagers who could drive. Frances Pascal recently released an update, set in modern-day New York, and you can read the first chapter online. In all honesty, the main reason I might buy a kindle is because I want this book but I don’t want to be seen reading it. It’ll be the first thing I download when I do. Shh.
2. Point Horror
More American teenagers, with their shiny hair and ability to drive... but in these books they get killed and encounter demons. The obvious follow-on for kids dazzled by SVH. Read these recaps and feel the Proustian rush...
3. The Babysitter’s Club
What’s the obvious setting for a series of novels exploring coming-of-age issues? Obviously, a club. For babysitters. These books almost tricked me into babysitting regularly, until I remembered I hated dragging screaming toddlers to bed and went back to trying to replicate Claudia’s outfits instead. Wondering what they’re doing now?
RL Stein wrote both Point Horror and Goosebumps books, but these were aimed at a slightly younger audience. At least, I remember less dismembering. Refresh your memory...
5. Goggle Eyes
Ok, this is only one book and the rest are series, but it defined several years of my life, with the added benefit of being set in a recognisable world.
I was too young for Judi Blume and Jacqueline Wilson passed me by: I’m from the Anne Fine generation.