Is this a golden age of nostalgia, or have adults been so damaged by relentless bad news, a pandemic, job instability, wage stagnation, racism, homophobia and a million other societal issues that looking back on is, at the very least, a way to feel less bad? It’s hard to say, but even as a person who isn’t very sentimental, it was hard not to like remembering the pop culture of my own youth. Exploring the teenage horror of the 1990s, for example, reminded me of how one of my instructors influenced my reading habits.
Some interesting facts I learned this year made me think of franchise and liaison novels. First: RL Stine, under his Jovial Bob Stine name, posted the novelization of Space Balls in the ’80s, and beloved Baby-Sitters Club author Ann M. Martin was behind a Clue tie (yes, as in “Flames alight” the side of my face, “the perfect 80s movie). Film novels for tweens and teens seem to have run out of steam over the past two decades; Jobs related and franchises, however, appear to be more stable than ever.
It was fun peeking through old teen magazines and children’s magazines, thinking about how getting some in the mail or at the local newsstand would be a highlight of my week. These little pleasures meant something back then and remind us to seek that kind of joy now, decades later.
The novels, for those who are not familiar, are the film in book form. Think of it like a book adapted into a film, except backwards: the film, which came first, is adapted into a novel. Usually it’s as close as it gets, making concessions where something in the movie wouldn’t translate into the book.
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- You May Have Forgotten Those 90s Franchises & Connection Books
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