Last night I was finishing up The Accidental Masterpiece by Michael Kimmelman and I got to thinking about other books I'd read and decided to google the titles this morning.
As a tween I devoured Victoria Holt novels, Harlequin Romances, and other, er, bodice-rippers. (Strangely enough I never got into Danielle Steele.) If I read Dark Summer Dawn again I'm sure my feminist sensibilities would make me cringe. But this was exciting (and illicit) reading for a twelve year old. If I recall correctly, this novel involved forbidden love between step-siblings, an unexpected pregnancy, a car accident, engagement to someone who was not the baby's father, a successful modeling career, industry barons in the English Midlands, and a final confession of love in someone else's bathroom. Heady stuff.
Another pre-adolescent favorite was the poetry anthology Pictures that Storm Inside My Head edited by classic Young Adult writer Richard Peck. I could probably trace my fascination with confessional poets such as Sylvia Plath back to this volume. I don't think I ever got rid of it; I'm sure it's molding in my parents' garage.
Both are available on amazon.com for the bargain price of $0.01 each. I'm tempted but the thought of paying more for the shipping than the actual item is a little disconcerting.