Everyone has a first love.
Book love, that is.
You know what I mean. It's that book that you had to buy a second copy of because you wore out your original. The one with passages you can still recite by heart. The one that makes you squeal like a crazy person when you find someone else who loves it just as much as you do. It's the one that shatters your soul when you see anything but rave reviews for it on Goodreads.
For me, that first book love was Judy Blume's Tiger Eyes.
Tiger Eyes is the single most influential book of my life. I first picked up a raged copy for--and I remember this as clearly as if it were yesterday--50 cents at Powell's Books at the old Beaverton location. It was the summer between by freshman and sophomore years of high school.
I'd read most of the typical Judy Blume books a few years previously, but not this one, which I managed to overlook at my public library. (It's possible that my conservative hometown's library didn't even have this oft-banned book, or that it was shelved in the adult fiction so sixth-grade Sarah didn't have a chance to discover it along with Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret.)