I have been an avid reader my entire life. From the moment my MawMaw first took me to the library and introduced me to the literary wonderland inside, I've been hooked. My first chapter book was Anne of Green Gables, followed swiftly by Nancy Drew, and then I dove headfirst into my neighbor's collection of Sweet Valley High. Dear Elizabeth was always horror-adjacent. Her sister joined a cult, her bestie got in a plane crash — it was always very dramatic. Now, thanks to the fine folks at Always Fits, you can relive every moment with this '90s mystery book pack that they've designed full of teen books from the early '80s to the early '90s.
For millennials, the '80s either took place when we were babies, or just before we were born. However, because of the nature of how we were raised — garage sales and bookmobiles — many of these books were the first young adult books we ever read. To have Always Fits send you a mystery three-pack of any of these would be a joy. For $18, it's totally worth it to remember just how bananas they were. Shipping is just $5 if you don't buy anything else, but the site has loads of vintage-inspired goods to tempt you, and if you spend more than $49, the shipping is free and only takes a few days. Typically, between six and 14 days as per their website.
I remember reading Girl Talk or Sweet Valley alongside Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone during study hall. I'd switch back and forth between them depending upon the level of drama in the books. Dead wizard leeching life by living on another professor's head? Switch to that time when Jessica spiked Elizabeth's drink at the prom and then allows her to drive home with their friend Sam, and they get into a car wreck. Sam is killed instantly and Elizabeth spends the night in jail with a sex worker. Then switch back to a dude drinking unicorn's blood. It worked great.
Each set of three in these mystery packs is a set of randomly chosen classic originally stamped prints — not reprints. That means that, of course, some of the pages may have once been dogeared. Someone might have drawn hearts on the inside of the cover with "I LOVE JTT" inside. There's almost assuredly one that still contains a dried flower or two, and they'll smell fantastically of 30-year-old books. It will be a blast through time back into the world of Judy Blume and Francine Pascal.
How could the writers possibly know that in 35 years we'd be rereading about that time when one of the twins dated a werewolf, or stole precious jewels for her indigent boyfriend?
It's true that chances are you're never going to let your kid read these books, because, let's face it, some of them are pretty rough and full of sketchy activities. But you can totally reminisce with your friends about them. Host a book club. Drink punch that you know was spiked and take an Uber pool home instead of driving with your friend in the car. Talk about how on earth Jessica and Elizabeth didn't kill each other, or how The Stepsisters really should've hated each other more, not less. I mean, Katie totally stole Jake from Paige. Ovaries before brovaries, ladies.
And bonus, these books will look adorable on your shelf or framed in a shadow box. How cute would it be to have a bunch of framed books from the '90s in your hallway or den? It's definitely a conversation starter. With this '90s mystery book pack, you may not know which three books you're getting, but you know you're getting magic.