11 Books About The '90s That Will Totally Fuel Your Childhood Nostalgia
2017 has been a big year for '90s kids. From the 20th anniversary of The Backstreet Boys to the announcements that Hey Arnold! will be returning to screens and Rugrats will be made into a comic book, there is much to celebrate when it comes to '90s nostalgia in pop culture. And in a year that has been otherwise difficult for many reasons, harkening back to simpler times in our lives can be a much needed respite. And in between binge watching all those television revivals and listening to all of those old albums, why not pick up a few books that will give you the same feels?
No, these are not your childhood favorites (though you should definitely reread a few of those right away), but instead books that are either set in the heart of the 90s or that explore pop culture of the era, for reads that will not only feel familiar and comforting, but will teach you things about your favorite era you never knew. Grab some of the 11 awesome picks below (trust me, I'm not buggin' they're all totally da bomb) for a fun TBR that will help you escape 2017 for a little while.
'As If: The Oral History Of Clueless' by Jen Chaney
In the first book of its kind, acclaimed pop culture journalist Jen Chaney has compiled an oral history of the making of the iconic film, Clueless, using recollections and insights collected from key cast and crew members involved in the making of this endlessly quotable, ahead-of-its-time production. Get a behind-the-scenes look at how Emma influenced the script, how the stars were cast, what was involved in creating the costumes, sets, and soundtrack, and much more.
'Fireworks' by Katie Cotugno
Everything changes when Dana tags along with her best friend Olivia to Orlando for the weekend, where superproducer Guy Monroe is holding auditions for a new singing group, and Dana is discovered too. Next thing she knows, she and Olivia are training to be pop stars in 1990s Orlando. It should be a dream come true, but things between Olivia and Dana start to shift...and there’s only room at the top for one girl. For Olivia, it’s her chance at her dream. For Dana, it’s a chance to escape a future that seems to be closing in on her. And for these best friends, it’s the adventure of a lifetime—if they can make it through.
'The Perks Of Being A Wallflower' by Stephen Chbosky
The Perks of Being a Wallflower follows observant “wallflower” Charlie as he charts a course through the strange world between adolescence and adulthood. First dates, family drama, and new friends. Sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Devastating loss, young love, and life on the fringes. Caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it, Charlie must learn to navigate those wild and poignant roller-coaster days known as growing up.
'Paper Airplanes' by Dawn O'Porter
It's the mid-1990s, and 15 year old Guernsey schoolgirls, Renée and Flo, are not really meant to be friends. Thoughtful, introspective and studious Flo couldn't be more different to ambitious, extroverted and sexually curious Renée. But Renée and Flo are united by loneliness and their dysfunctional families, and an intense bond is formed. Although there are obstacles to their friendship, 15 is an age where anything can happen, where life stretches out before you, and when every betrayal feels like the end of the world. For Renée and Flo, it is the time of their lives.
'Love Is A Mixtape: Life And Loss, One Song At A Time' by Rob Sheffield
In this stunning memoir, Rob Sheffield, a veteran rock and pop culture critic, tells the story of his musical coming of age, and how rock music, the first love of his life, led him to his second, a girl named Renee. Rob and Renee's life together—they wed after graduate school, both became music journalists, and were married only five years when Renee died suddenly on Mother's Day, 1997—is shared through the window of the mix tapes they obsessively compiled. There are mixes to court each other, mixes for road trips, mixes for doing the dishes, mixes for sleeping—and, eventually, mixes to mourn Rob's greatest loss.
'Althea & Oliver' by Cristina Moracho
Althea and Oliver have been best friends since they were six. Now, Althea has begun to want something more. Oliver, for his part, simply wants life to go back to normal, but when he wakes up with no memory of the past three weeks, he can’t deny that something is seriously wrong. Then Althea makes the worst decision ever, and her relationship with Oliver is shattered. He leaves town for a clinical study, while she gets into her car and drives after him, determined to fix what she’s done. Set in the mid-1990s, this is an achingly real story about identity, illness, and love.
'Attachments' by Rainbow Rowell
Beth Fremont and Jennifer Scribner-Snyder know that somebody is monitoring their work e-mail. But they can't quite bring themselves to take it seriously. They go on sending each other e-mails, discussing every aspect of their personal lives. Meanwhile, Lincoln can't believe this is his job now...reading other people's e-mail. When he applied to be "internet security officer" he pictured himself building firewalls and crushing hackers. When Lincoln comes across Beth's and Jennifer's messages, he knows he should turn them in. But he can't help being entertained by their stories. By the time Lincoln realizes he's falling for Beth, it's way too late to introduce himself. What would he say?
'X vs. Y: A Culture War, a Love Story' by Eve Epstein and Leonora Epstein
Seen through the eyes of siblings 14 years apart in age, X vs. Y is a smart, funny, visually driven anthology that compiles and compares their two generational cultures. It’s a story told through lists, infographics, essays, anecdotes, and images, with chapters devoted to fashion, TV, music, technology, dating, books, and movies. Through musings on topics such as leg warmers, Clueless, Sassy magazine, and MTV, along with mixtapes and TV characters, X vs. Y paints a portrait of two intricately entwined generations.
'Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers: Volume 1' by Kyle Higgins
After escaping Rita Repulsa’s mind control, Tommy Oliver, the Green Ranger, joins the Power Rangers to combat the onslaught of evil attacks plaguing Angel Grove. Any semblance of a normal life is gone for Tommy now, but with his newfound family there lies hope for a brighter path. These are all the same chracters you loved from the show as a kid, but with expanded plots and backstories that will appeal to you now.
'Ghost World' by Daniel Clowes
Ghost World is the story of Enid and Rebecca, teenage friends facing the unwelcome prospect of adulthood, and the uncertain future of their complicated relationship. Clowes conjures a balanced semblance, both tender and objective, of their fragile existence, capturing the mundane thrills and hourly tragedies of a waning adolescence, as he follows a tenuous narrative thread through the fragmented lives of these two fully realized young women.
'Slimed!: An Oral History of Nickelodeon's Golden Age' by Mathew Klickstein
Slimed! tells the surprisingly complex, wonderfully nostalgic, and impressively compelling story of how Nickelodeon, the First Kids' Network, began as a DIY startup in the late 70s, and forged ahead through the early 80s with a tiny band of young artists and filmmakers who would go on to change everything about cable television, television in general, animation, and children's entertainment. Get the real back story about all of your favorite Golden Age Nick shows, from such classics as You Can't Do That On Television, Out of Control and Double Dare, to early 90s faves like The Adventures of Pete & Pete, Clarissa Explains It All and more.