Shoplifting is like drinking beer before you're 21, everyone's tried it once. So in the spirit of reckoning with the past, we asked our favorite young adult novelists to share the details of the first time they broke the law.
Libba Bray, The Diviners
Though I certainly had a misspent youth, alas, shoplifting was never one of my crimes. In fact, when I was nine, I was shocked—SHOCKED—to witness my friend's older sister lift some candy from our local Circle K. I confessed this to my mother, who, of course, reported it to the girl's mother. This prompted shoplifter's mother to narrow her eyes at MY mother before issuing [...]
The conclusion of a two-week series on the pull of bad influences in our lives and in the culture.
Summer camp: you’re in the middle of nowhere, it’s hot, there are bugs, and you’re being overseen by “adults” who are just five years older than you. There are bound to be mistakes, disasters, and bad decisions being made. At the time we accept these counselors, with their quirks and rules, as givens of the camp experience—sometimes we even looked up to them as role models of young adulthood, only later realizing they had no idea what they were doing either. We asked friends to share some of their stories [...]
First book crushes: The feelings are so strong and obsessive. The books seem smart, sophisticated, cool; the characters in them say and do such great things, they seem like guides sent to teach you how to be that way too. But then the crush goes, and the object of one's former affection becomes an embarrassment—or at least the memory of you quoting them so seriously does. To explore this phenomenon, we asked an assortment of literary-inclined people to revisit the books they loved back in the day, the ones that make them absolutely cringe today.
Sam Anderson, New York Times Magazine
Oh man, I suspect you're going to [...]