Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Review: The Eightes: A Bitchen Time to Be a Teenager!

The Eighties: A Bitchen Time To Be a Teenager!Title: The Eighties: A Bitchen Time to be a Teenager!
Series: Standalone
Author: Tom Harvey
Publisher:  Just Load the Wagon Publishing
Published:  May 1, 2012
Genre: Memoir
Format: Kindle
Pages: 258
Source: Free Amazon download
Read: March 31-April 12, 2013
My Rating: 4 Stars
Goodreads:  Add To Your TBR Shelf

The decade of the 1980s has been called the Decade of Decadence. Decadence is defined as "the act or process of falling into an inferior condition or state; deterioration; decay" or my favorite, "unrestrained or excessive self-indulgence." For a decade that brought us Cabbage Patch Kids, Garbage Pail Kids, leg-warmers and New Wave, was it really self-indulgence?! For one kid growing up in the Central Valley of California, it was a time of self-discovery . . . a transformation from a kid, to a teenager, to a young adult . . . his growing up years. At times utterly hilarious, at times poignant and powerful, Tom relives his teenage years in this true-to-the-last-word memoir. Where were you when John Lennon died? When the Space Shuttle blew up? When Lawrence Taylor ended Joe Theisman's career on live TV? When the Loma Prieta earthquake rocked Game 3 of the 1989 World Series? Tom will tell you where he was and what it meant to him. You'll also hear about first kisses, first loves, a joke about your Uranus, avoiding fistfights, the joys of minimum-wage jobs, college roommates, and WHOLE LOT MORE. If you're one of the 70 million Americans who can claim at least one teen year in the decade, you can relate to the era . . . if your kids can't understand your fondness for your Breakfast Club and Princess Bride DVDs, this book may teach them a thing or two about YOUR growing up years. Go ahead, say the word "bitchen" outloud. Yeah, it was a bitchen time, the Eighties...

Melissa's Musings:

This book touches on all things great about the 80's. The movies, music, and events of the time, all while adding the wonderful element of personal anecdotes in Tom Harvey's recollection of his teenage years. I happen to love books like these because they feel more real. The details and experiences make the books more approachable, more personable. And that was definitely the case here.

I wasn't a teenager until well into the 90's but that didn't stop me from enjoying this book as I have a special place in my heart for all things 80's.My favorite movie of all time is The Breakfast Club. It came out in 1985, the same year that I was born. Some people might think it's strange to love a movie that's considered "before your time" but I don't care. I first saw TBC when I was in high school myself, and I think that's one of the reasons I love it so much. I could place people that I knew into each of those different characters, and relate it to my own life.

It's the same with this book. I can read along with the author's memories, and play through his experiences just substituting my own. The added bonus is I get to read about 80's culture and events from a first hand perspective.

Another great thing that made this book easy to relate to is that the author lived in one of the towns I've lived in and even went to (for a short time) the same university that I did, so it was really neat to hear about how some things never change, like the fact that there are so many thousands of students on a campus that's only a few miles wide (not counting additons etc). I'm curious to know whether they had the infamous chickens back then, too.

One of the great things about this story is the clarity and vividity that are shown in the memories. I'm a bit sad to say that I don't have quite as clear or nearly as exciting memories of my teenagehood as Tom Harvey does.

This is a great book for people wanting a nostalgic dose of 80's culture, as well as those just looking for a fun memoir to read.


Rachel said...

The '80s was definitely a very distinct time. I'll keep this in mind if I was a flash back of the past. Great review, Melissa. :)

Tom Harvey said...

Thank you so much for the review Melissa!

Tom Harvey said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tom Harvey said...

Oops comment was listed twice!

Melissas Midnight Musings said...

@Rachel: Thank you!

@Tom: You're welcome!