Monday, May 07, 2007

I have been somewhat reluctant to write about How Sassy Changed My Life: A love letter to the greatest teen magazine of all time by Kara Jesella and Marisa Meltzer because while I loved Sassy, I came to it late and never fully connected with it before it was gone. I didn't subscribe until after I'd graduated from high school and left home because I wasn't allowed to. Wait, I take that back because I never specifically asked for a subscription, but I knew the answer would most likely be no if I had because my mom had made her dislike of teen magazines perfectly clear by the time I hit junior high ("waste of money" - which obviously didn't stop me from sneaking off to buy Tiger Beat with my babysitting money when I could). The fact that Sassy was different from all those other magazines (read: more liberal) would have just been even more reason for her to say no. So I have only a few memories of the late, great Sassy, most of which involve me feeling helplessly uncool when faced with its DIY indie culture (something I was glad to see the authors acknowledge). This book outlined the rise of the magazine, what made it so successful (which was a surprise to me as I'd always assumed it wasn't), and what brought it down. But more importantly it dug deep into just why it was necessary, how quickly and intensely its readers connected with it, and how it pretty much single-handedly influenced the rest of the teen lifestyle magazines and dragged them into the modern age. I enjoyed being reminded of some articles I'd forgotten, and some I hadn't, even after all this time. I remembered again how mad I was when all of a sudden I started getting Teen in the mail. Or how I eagerly subscribed to Jane, hoping it would be everything and more I missed from Sassy, only to find that was so not the case. And I loved how they made the case that Lucky is the true successor to Sassy, because I've always secretly kinda thought that myself.

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