Friday, August 22, 2014

Flashback Fridays: Totally 80's

Katie puts on her acid-washed jeans to bring us back to the 1980s.

Want to take a trip back in time but not too far back? I give you the 1980s and all the things that come with that fascinating decade--the good, the bad, and the ridiculously awesome.
The Berlin Wall: Going Over by Beth Kephart brings 1980s Berlin alive. A Berlin that was still divided by a wall, tearing apart families, challenging the brave to escape. It is a love story, a story of survival, and a beautiful glimpses into life on both sides of the wall. I loved it. (see our full review)
Mixed Tapes: If you’ve never known the joy of a mixed tape in a walkman, find yourself a copy of Eleanor & Park ASAP. And maybe a walkman just for good measure. Rainbow Rowell has crafted a book that celebrates a decade, celebrates the power of love, embraces misfits, and boldly tackles the darker sides of family and the challenging decisions we sometimes must make for ourselves. But yeah, my favorite part is the music. (see our posts)
Thirty-Five Cent Candy Bars: This used to be a thing, guys. I’m sorry if you missed out. Candy bar inflation is one of the 21st centuries great injustices. But you can live out this dream vicariously through Dana Reinhardt’s The Summer I Learned to Fly. It’s the summer of 1986, and 13-year-old Drew Robin Solo is waiting for life to happen. That something turns out to be a someone in the form of Emmett. And this book is not just about a decade but about summer in all of its glorious possibility.
Arcade Games: Okay, so Ready Player One by Ernest Cline is the opposite of historical fiction. It’s actually set in a dystopian not-so-distant future (2044), but it belongs on this list because tucked away not-so-subtly in the plot of a young dude on a supremely nerdy cyber-quest involving virtual reality and old video games is so much 1980s pop culture trivia you might want to read it with Wikipedia close at hand. This is an incredibly fun book that somehow captures--in between the nostalgia for the past and the future it creates--some very important truths about the world we live in today. (see our reviews)

New York City: This is not the city you may have come to know from weekend trips up I-95. 1980s New York was a rawer version of what it is today (or so I’m told). And it’s that city which is explored in Jennifer Banash’s White Lines. Cat is 17-year-old “club kid”. Despite having her own apartment and plenty of money, she isn’t exactly living the fairy tale. Her coming-of-age story, which wouln’t be complete without a Ramones-loving boy, is every bit as gritty and challenging as the place and time in which it is set.

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