High School (book)

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1st edition Canadian hardcover.

High School is a book of memoirs by twin sisters Sara Quin and Tegan Quin, known from their band, Tegan and Sara. The book was published on 2019-09-24 and includes numerous memoirs written by Tegan or Sara Quin about their formative years in high school while growing up in Canada in the mid-to-late 1990s. Their memoirs discuss going through puberty, dating and discovering their sexuality, partying and using drugs, their parents' separation, their love of music, learning how to play, and forming a band.

Personal

Own?Hardcover, USA, 1st edition, signed by the authors.
Read?Hardcover, USA, 1st edition.
Finished2022-03-05

Knowing I was a fan of the band, my wife bought me a signed hardcover copy of this book for my birthday in 2020. It sat on my shelf for almost two years while I worked through my existing pile of books, but I finally began reading it in 2022. I was surprised to discover that this was one of the few books I've read that I had a hard time putting down. I would recommend it to any fan of the group, but also to anyone who might be raising gay or rebellious teens.

Review

Overall:

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Good

  • The various stories are interesting and give a mostly uncensored peek into the life of a teenage girl in the 1990s. Both Quins speak candidly about their drug use, sex lives, divorced parents, and coming to terms with their lesbianism in a culture that hates the LGBT. I found this to be very intriguing.
  • Reading through all the bullshit the girls went through was a bit eye-opening for me. Although my own teen years were pretty traumatic, the fact that I was a straight male meant that my life was practically charmed compared to theirs.
  • Because the sisters are the same age as I, I remember all of their references to pop culture. However, most of what they embraced, I eschewed, so it was interesting seeing it from the other side.
  • The book includes dozens of photos of the girls and their family and friends which are really helpful for picturing how their looks changed as the book progressed.

Bad

  • As is common with most memoirs, especially those dealing with childhood, I question the veracity of a lot of these stories. I don't think either woman is purposely being deceptive, but some of the memories seem far too detailed to be trustworthy. A lot of research into memory has taught us that, the older our memories get, the more likely they are to get confabulated. I think a lot of the details are not so much accurate, but used more to convey a feeling. Luckily, the girls had various sources like diaries, photographs, video recordings, to help jog their memories.
  • Since the authors are musicians and not writers, some of the word choices they use are forced.
  • The memoirs will often include a person who won't be described in detail until a later memoir. This results in a lot of blank faces in my head of people I can't picture. It would have been nice if each person was described before being included in a memoir which focused on them. However, while Tegan and Sara are used to having their lives on public display, I doubt their friends are, so I understand why they are left vague.
  • The labels for the included photographs are in the very back of the book which requires a lot of flipping back and forth to read and see. It would have been a lot nicer if these notes were with the photos, or, at least on a nearby page.

Ugly

  • Nothing.

Media

Covers

Videos

Teaser.
"Garage Warz" from chapter 37.

Link

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