For most adults, few things are as deeply ingrained in our memories as the pop culture we loved as teenagers. Whether it was the movies we watched, the TV shows we adored, the albums we bought or the books we read, the entertainment we devoured in our adolescence provides some of our strongest emotional bonds. What 20-something doesn't spot a Dashboard Confessional CD and immediately flash back to high school? Can anyone who remembers the '90s flip by an episode of Friends and resist taking a look? In some way or another, no matter what genres you preferred, the pop culture you consumed as a teen has likely affected you for the rest of your life.
Out of all the forms of entertainment, though, books — novels, in particular — are what tend to have the biggest impact on our memories. Regular readers or not, everyone can name at least a few books for which everything from the cover to the characters is still lovingly familiar, regardless how many years have passed since your last read. YA books, especially, have this effect; try walking past a copy of Harry Potter or Sarah Dessen's latest work without being instantly reconnected with your 14-year-old self.
Now that YA is so in style, it's not uncommon to be just as familiar today with the details of the Judy Blume book you read as a kid as you were when it was first introduced into your life. In honor of YA's impact, I surveyed 100 people to find out their feelings about the teen-led books that mattered most. The results might not be what you expect — well, unless you're still shedding tears over Dobby and Hedwig eight years later. Take a look:
Image: Lindsay Johnson