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High School

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From the iconic musicians Tegan and Sara comes a memoir about high school, detailing their first loves and first songs in a compelling look back at their humble beginnings. High School is the revelatory and unique coming-of-age story of Sara and Tegan Quin, identical twins from Calgary, Alberta, who grew up at the height of grunge and rave culture in the ninetie From the iconic musicians Tegan and Sara comes a memoir about high school, detailing their first loves and first songs in a compelling look back at their humble beginnings. High School is the revelatory and unique coming-of-age story of Sara and Tegan Quin, identical twins from Calgary, Alberta, who grew up at the height of grunge and rave culture in the nineties, well before they became the celebrated musicians and global LGBTQ icons we know today. While grappling with their identity and sexuality, often alone, they also faced academic meltdown, their parents’ divorce, and the looming pressure of what might come after high school. Written in alternating chapters from both Tegan's and Sara’s points of view, the book is a raw account of the drugs, alcohol, love, music, and friendship they explored in their formative years. A transcendent story of first loves and first songs, High School captures the tangle of discordant and parallel memories of two sisters who grew up in distinct ways even as they lived just down the hall from each another. This is the origin story of Tegan and Sara.


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From the iconic musicians Tegan and Sara comes a memoir about high school, detailing their first loves and first songs in a compelling look back at their humble beginnings. High School is the revelatory and unique coming-of-age story of Sara and Tegan Quin, identical twins from Calgary, Alberta, who grew up at the height of grunge and rave culture in the ninetie From the iconic musicians Tegan and Sara comes a memoir about high school, detailing their first loves and first songs in a compelling look back at their humble beginnings. High School is the revelatory and unique coming-of-age story of Sara and Tegan Quin, identical twins from Calgary, Alberta, who grew up at the height of grunge and rave culture in the nineties, well before they became the celebrated musicians and global LGBTQ icons we know today. While grappling with their identity and sexuality, often alone, they also faced academic meltdown, their parents’ divorce, and the looming pressure of what might come after high school. Written in alternating chapters from both Tegan's and Sara’s points of view, the book is a raw account of the drugs, alcohol, love, music, and friendship they explored in their formative years. A transcendent story of first loves and first songs, High School captures the tangle of discordant and parallel memories of two sisters who grew up in distinct ways even as they lived just down the hall from each another. This is the origin story of Tegan and Sara.

30 review for High School

  1. 4 out of 5

    Lea (drumsofautumn)

    DUDE WHAT A TEGAN AND SARA MEMOIR????????? MOVE I'M GAY

  2. 5 out of 5

    Elyse (retired from reviewing/semi hiatus) Walters

    Tegan and Sara’s story - identical twins - begins in grade ten - at Crescent Heights High School, in the suburbs of northeast Calgary, Alberta, Canada. ( just blocks away from where our daughter lives now). I kept seeing this book pop up, and was curious. The library had it available. I downloaded it thinking I would take a peek...then inhaled it: enjoying their stories and adorable photos. I had no idea who Tegan and Sara were: musicians, and songwriters. A Canadian indie pop band. O Tegan and Sara’s story - identical twins - begins in grade ten - at Crescent Heights High School, in the suburbs of northeast Calgary, Alberta, Canada. ( just blocks away from where our daughter lives now). I kept seeing this book pop up, and was curious. The library had it available. I downloaded it thinking I would take a peek...then inhaled it: enjoying their stories and adorable photos. I had no idea who Tegan and Sara were: musicians, and songwriters. A Canadian indie pop band. Openly gay, advocates for LGBTQ equality, as well as music education, literacy, and cancer research. They wrote this memoir together - alternating chapters about their ...teenage chaotic - coming of age years. They highlighted their personal struggles, family life, self discovery, drugs, sex, and Rock ‘n’ roll,.... insights into their sister relationship, friendships, lovers, music, and their rise to fame. I enjoyed learning about these two women. I can certainly understand the heart-support-connection that Calgarians, feel! I’m a new fan myself. Not knowing anything about these ladies until reading this book... inspiring, and enjoyable... Sara and Tegan have just turned me onto their music.... downloaded now on my favorite playlist. 🎶🎤🎸📚 Totally wonderful.... entertaining...and moving! Great storytelling to boot!!! “Explain this: Your ‘sister’ spent the last hour in the garage with Kayla—‘Rollerblading’”. “Strumming those first chords made my whole body of the guitar vibrate against my chest, sending waves tingling up through my wrists and along the veins in my arms. The weight of the wood felt intimate, touching almost all of me at once”.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Lucy Dacus

    Whether you're a lifelong Tegan & Sara fan or not, the book is fantastic. Technically could exist in the 'sex, drugs, and rock and roll' category of musician memoirs, but there's so much heart, honesty, and keenly accurate accounts of growing up queer and frustratingly hopeful.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jenna

    Admittedly, I came to this memoir not actually super familiar* (I thought) with the music of Tegan and Sara; however, I AM familiar with, not to mention increasingly, foolishly nostalgic for, the experience of being a self-identified alternative 1990s high schooler. My inner adolescent felt extremely validated at the opportunity to reminisce, for instance, about Nirvana- and Smashing Pumpkins-induced states of bliss (the thrill of cracking open that beautiful, chunky Mellon Collie and Admittedly, I came to this memoir not actually super familiar* (I thought) with the music of Tegan and Sara; however, I AM familiar with, not to mention increasingly, foolishly nostalgic for, the experience of being a self-identified alternative 1990s high schooler. My inner adolescent felt extremely validated at the opportunity to reminisce, for instance, about Nirvana- and Smashing Pumpkins-induced states of bliss (the thrill of cracking open that beautiful, chunky Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness double CD!). Granted, maybe because I grew up primarily on the other end of the decade than Tegan and Sara did (the end that makes me even older than they now are, and of a perhaps more heavily DARE-influenced developmental trajectory), my own high school experience featured approximately a 200% reduction in drug- and alcohol-induced raptures as compared with theirs. However, the strictly music-oriented ecstasies and other aspects of their 90s high school experience were quite relatable. Above all, this book really makes you feel like you are right there with them in their adolescence, watching episodes play out in real time; it feels as though the teen Tegan and Sara have time travelled from the past to tell you and show you their story. I love reading about musicians’ passion for music, how it develops and expresses itself and insistently makes itself known to self and other, and in that regard, this book also delivers pretty well, much in the way of Kristen Hersh’s Rat Girl (still a favorite of mine) or Carrie Brownstein’s Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl. Similarly, all three of these books capture the elaborate embrace and entanglement of love and conflict/rivalry that can apparently be found in intense relationships with sisters, best friends, and/or band mates, and which in this book was seemingly intensified and complicated by issues of twinship and simultaneous-yet-separate coming-out journeys. Indeed, I think it is as a coming-out memoir that this book most succeeds (another favorite in this and recent years is Too Much is Not Enough by Andrew Rannells). In particular, for me, in a poignant episode, the book captured concisely and beautifully how Nirvana and Kurt Cobain in particular served as LGBTQ advocates and allies during a critical transitional time. The book also captures passionate and supportive friendships between a network of young women (and a couple of enlightened, Cobain-esque young men), and the beauty, power, confusion and sadness inherent in the madness of sorting out one’s sexual and gender identities within the hormonal maelstrom of all this. The other really spellbinding aspect of this book for me was reading about the sheer, untaught, naturally outpouring musical prodigiousness that Tegan and Sara, also like their icon Kurt, seemingly possessed.** I don’t want to spoil too much about how Tegan and Sara initially transition from bus riding, suburban door-slamming, oversized Value Village hoodie-wearing kids to musical superstars and icons, but it really does read like a marvelous yet grounded fairytale. In particular, the evolution of and interaction between their connection/communication style as twins and their style and form of musical collaboration was really fascinating, and also well echoed in the back-and-forth alternating narrative chapters of the memoir that seamlessly build upon and enhance one another. I guess this must have been one of the factors that either empowered or compelled me to read this book in one sitting, overnight: something that I hardly ever do and which many other reviews here also mention. Finally, as I’ve already discussed at length in my review of the Brownstein book, while I hate being and getting older, one consolation is that I will forever be in love with the “DIY” aspects of alternative 90s coming of age, and this book captures well the worthy effort we had to make in the interest of entertaining and expressing ourselves. No Kylie memes of the week here: just snagging that last Mellon Collie CD before the store sold out, coming up with actual cash to fork over to do that, hours of copying music from the radio or other people’s cassettes onto your own, drawing and photocopying and hand lettering to make your own cassette covers, and allll those endless trips to Value Village to acquire all those voluminous hoodies and striped sweaters... waiting in line at the record store for Green Day tickets made of actual paper, surviving the mosh pit thereof, folding and passing all those school notes, sharing those land line phones with their spirally cords stretched out under bedroom doors... and calling answering machine recordings to find the secret weekly location of a rave! Not to sound too “I walked ten miles through knee deep snow in my bare feet to get to school” about it, but it’s true: I would sometimes like to be young(er) again (and not much has made me feel as old as acknowledging that Tegan and Sara, somehow eternally adolescent in my mind, are now basically 40) - but not enough to give up the muddied, frayed, second hand straight leg jean hems of my walkabout, hands on, Doc Marten boots on ground, rode hard and put away wet 90s sort of coming of age - which is now beautifully immortalized in this book among others I’ve mentioned. *I listened to a lot of Tegan and Sara on Spotify (see, I do like some things about it no longer being the 90s) after writing this, and I discovered that I was actually more familiar with their music than I realized, and also that their catalog of music as a whole is awesome, and fully complements/is complemented by the experience of reading their memoir, so do check it out! Their new album, “Hey, I’m Just Like You,” features reworked songs that they wrote between the ages of 15-18, found on old cassettes unearthed during research for this book (see my ** note below!), and that are mentioned in the book, and it’s a very cool concept: according to them, they wanted to transform them into songs that they could not have fully created either as teens or as adults. **The Audible audiobook also features samples of the earliest recordings that Tegan and Sara made at home and school when they were beginning to create and perform original music! Amazing. What the hell was I doing when I was 15?!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Meike

    This immersive, fun memoir, told in 46 short chapters alternating between the viewpoints of Tegan and Sara, gives us the story of how the Canadian indie pop twin sensation came into being: After a short set-up we meet the Quin sisters at the start of grade 10 and follow them until their 18th birthday, the day they signed with PolyGram. We hear about their family, the trials and tribulations of high school life, what it means to be a twin, how they discovered and learnt to accept their sexuality This immersive, fun memoir, told in 46 short chapters alternating between the viewpoints of Tegan and Sara, gives us the story of how the Canadian indie pop twin sensation came into being: After a short set-up we meet the Quin sisters at the start of grade 10 and follow them until their 18th birthday, the day they signed with PolyGram. We hear about their family, the trials and tribulations of high school life, what it means to be a twin, how they discovered and learnt to accept their sexuality (both sisters are gay), and how they started to make music - and while this book addresses serious issues like self-acceptance, drugs, discrimination, bullying and even violence, it's a blast to read all those vignettes and look at the numerous photographs that illustrate the written memories. Unsurprisingly, the viewpoints of Tegan and Sara do not always align, so their statements are not always congruent, plus the fact that the chapters are crafted like flashlights leads to the effect that things and people appear, disappear, and re-appear without explanation, but that's part of the concept. The memoir also conveys the stories behind some songs, and I guess most of them will be on the upcoming album "Hey, I'm Just Like You" (release date 09/27/2019) which is announced to contain "lost" songs from the time they were in high school. Until then, you can check out the Spotify playlist "Class of '98" that accompanies the book (and that I particulary liked because I am not that much younger than Tegan and Sara, so I could relate to the music on that list and the overall cultural moment they are describing in the book). If you want to get an idea of how much work and love has apparently gone into this memoir, check out the website for the book - and here are some of the most outrageous book blurbs ever! :-) “High School provides a purview of the queer adolescent experience. It is a story of two resilient young women who found their voices through authenticity, connection to others, music, and apparently a lot of experimentation with psychedelics.” - Mom "This is the best account of my life I've ever read!" - girlfriend from high school "Tegan and I did a project on Mussolini in high school and we spelled Mussolini wrong - hope they hired a good editor!" - best friend from high school

  6. 5 out of 5

    Julie Ehlers

    Tegan and Sara's High School is divided into five sections: tenth, eleventh, and twelfth grade, with shorter sections for the summers in between, and the twins take turns writing the chapters within each section. I'll admit to some initial uncertainty about whether this memoir was for me: There was a lot of acid-dropping in tenth grade, and their depiction of being bullied and their general misfit-ness was surely authentic, but the whole thing was bringing me down. Fortunately, this all changed when the Tegan and Sara's High School is divided into five sections: tenth, eleventh, and twelfth grade, with shorter sections for the summers in between, and the twins take turns writing the chapters within each section. I'll admit to some initial uncertainty about whether this memoir was for me: There was a lot of acid-dropping in tenth grade, and their depiction of being bullied and their general misfit-ness was surely authentic, but the whole thing was bringing me down. Fortunately, this all changed when the sisters finally found their stepfather's old guitar and started writing songs. The book came alive as Tegan and Sara themselves came alive when they started making their own music. The descriptions of their very early songs led me to YouTube to listen for myself, which led me to their more contemporary stuff to fill in the gaps of my Tegan and Sara knowledge (I'd been a very sporadic fan over the years). This musical education reminded me that Tegan and Sara are like no one else in the world of contemporary music, and this appreciation further bolstered my enjoyment of the rest of the book. In the end, reading it was a joyful and (dare I say) cathartic experience, and I was sad when it was over. I recommend doing what I did: Read this book with copious doses of Tegan and Sara's music. It'll be like no other reading experience you'll have this year, and that's precisely what will make it great. Edited to add: I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway, and my ARC came with a spiffy High School–themed mirror to hang in my locker, if only I still had a locker. (Thank god I don't.) Thank you to the publisher. :)

  7. 5 out of 5

    Holly (The Grimdragon)

    "We cavorted and coalesced under the microscope of infatuation, making even mundane facts seem riveting and essential. A spectrum of colors and feelings and tastes and a kind of touch that I'd only just figured out existed surged through me. I had never considered what it would be like to be in love until I was in it." I thought about writing this entire review by quoting through Tegan and Sara's extensive lyric catalogue. I mean.. they literally have a lyric for every single emotion known t "We cavorted and coalesced under the microscope of infatuation, making even mundane facts seem riveting and essential. A spectrum of colors and feelings and tastes and a kind of touch that I'd only just figured out existed surged through me. I had never considered what it would be like to be in love until I was in it." I thought about writing this entire review by quoting through Tegan and Sara's extensive lyric catalogue. I mean.. they literally have a lyric for every single emotion known to human-kind, basically. There is so much I want to say, to express. This is a gorgeous book. Truly! It's brimming with so much beauty and hurt. Pain and passion. High School is the debut coming-of-age memoir from twin duo, Tegan and Sara Quin. Told through alternating chapters between the two, High School is an introspective look at their formative years growing up in Calgary, dealing with their sexuality, drugs, friendships, bullying, divorce, desires and music. It's about identity and figuring out who the hell you are as an individual.  As openly queer women in a band, Tegan and Sara have always been vocal in supporting the LGBTQ community. This is their story about coming out and becoming musicians. It's like a yearbook. A moment in time of memories from grade 10 until they turned 18. Experiences that shaped them into the people they are now. How each of them viewed certain sparks in time. Sometimes those viewpoints conflicted, other times the recollections are almost as though it happened to each of them in the exact same way. As if they experienced it through each other. Identical twin energy is intense, after all! "And in the dark, pressed against the receiver, I found it easier to talk to her than anyone I had ever known. She pried without being pushy, unraveling me slowly. Unsatisfied with an answer I might give to a personal question she had asked, she'd laugh and press me to be more honest. Her directness was disarming, and I wanted to be disarmed. Bit by bit, I passed pieces of myself to her through the telephone lines connecting us, and she did the same." Books like this that explore things we deal with firsthand and have questions about are incredibly important. It's about not feeling so alone. It's about feeling seen. Heard. Valued. Representation and visibility is crucial.. I wish I had this book back in high school as a bisexual teenager who was struggling to figure out who I was. Where I belonged. Going over some of the same experiences and realizing that I'm not the only one. Y'know? When I did read nonfiction, it was always about creative types. The misfits and the rebels and the weirdos and the nerds. The ones who didn't fit into any narrow box. Who had to find their place in this world themselves. Who maybe are still struggling to find their place even now. Tegan and Sara are only a handful of years older than me and are Canadian, so I felt like I related a lot to the time period they reflected on, as well. This could almost have been a trip down memory lane for many of us, I imagine. You know - minus the becoming indie rock badasses and what not! "My heart has never beat for you the way it did for her." I hungrily tore through this. It's compulsively readable! This is a band that means so fucking much to me. They are insanely important to my existence. They've been a part of my life for nearly 20 years now. Through the good times and the lowest of the lows.  Nostalgia and heartache and music. I couldn't get enough of High School (the book, not the hellscape institution. Fuuuck.) I sincerely hope that Tegan and Sara plan to write more books, because I would especially love to read about their early days in the music industry. I just can't get enough of the authentic, raw way that these two icons write. ALL THE SENTIMENTAL STARS!! (Endless thanks to Simon and Schuster Canada for sending me a copy!) **The quotes above were taken from an ARC & are subject to change upon publication**

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jenny (Reading Envy)

    Last year would have been the 20 year high school reunion for Tegan & Sara, making them two years behind me in age. Their memoir of those years alternates between the sisters as they tell stories of their family life, fighting over friends, discovering their sexuality, finding a musical voice, and drugs, so many drugs, mostly acid (and they are attempting to be drug-positive, not the usual message!) The pictures are uncanny in the sense that they could have been my classmates in clothing and Last year would have been the 20 year high school reunion for Tegan & Sara, making them two years behind me in age. Their memoir of those years alternates between the sisters as they tell stories of their family life, fighting over friends, discovering their sexuality, finding a musical voice, and drugs, so many drugs, mostly acid (and they are attempting to be drug-positive, not the usual message!) The pictures are uncanny in the sense that they could have been my classmates in clothing and hairstyle, even though they lived in Calgary. The memoir accompanies an album that comes out the day I posted this review (September 27, 2019,) and I also enjoyed the Spotify playlist of the music they listened to in 1998. I read another musician memoir earlier this year that was super disappointing but this one is not. It is well organized, personal, and gives an insight into their musical beginnings that I think will be interesting for their fans. And even for people who aren't already fans, the story of twin sisters who both come out in high school and take a lot of drugs is bound to be interesting. I had a copy from FSG through Netgalley and the book came out September 24, 2019.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Sam

    Tegan and Sara were the soundtrack of my middle school and high school years. I’ve always been deeply attached to their songs and lyrics, their vulnerability and honesty. This memoir is such moving insight into their relationship with each other as well as their artistic collaboration. I didn’t want this book to end, I became so immersed in their world.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Lindsay Loson

    "But the older I got, the more I saw the men leaving as irrational, and the women's emotions as the only sensible reactions. From the women, I learned to speak up about the things that were important to me. To brandish my emotions with pride. My voice mattered." First off, thank you so much to FSG/MCD for this ARC, out 9/24!! Tegan & Sara's music has meant an incredible amount to me over the years, and when I heard that they were coming out with a memoir I was ecstatic! Even though their songs are ve "But the older I got, the more I saw the men leaving as irrational, and the women's emotions as the only sensible reactions. From the women, I learned to speak up about the things that were important to me. To brandish my emotions with pride. My voice mattered." First off, thank you so much to FSG/MCD for this ARC, out 9/24!! Tegan & Sara's music has meant an incredible amount to me over the years, and when I heard that they were coming out with a memoir I was ecstatic! Even though their songs are very emotional and vulnerable, not much is known about how they came to be as a group, and how they eventually went on to (and still) have a lot of success in the music industry. I really enjoyed this memoir, and loved that every chapter switched between Sara and Tegan, and that their original band name was Sara & Tegan, not the other way around!! I found it so interesting that Sara was the one who identified with her sexuality first, and more openly pursued it than Tegan did. This memoir showed the sisters' fears of their sexuality, the impact of their home life on them, and the impact of the people they surrounded themselves with in high school, including the fact that they were identical twins. I can't imagine how hard it must have been being twins but also realizing that you both like girls, and how it made Sara feel as if Tegan was copying her. I also had absolutely no idea how much they fought and often disliked each other growing up, because you never would guess from how they are with each other now. This memoir was eye opening for me, in that the people we tend to idolize struggle with all of the same day to day things we do, and also all the heavier things. I think its amazing that they decided to write about this specific period in their life, but I do wish they had expanded a little more into the people that they are today because it felt like it just ended without any kind of real resolution. I wanted to know how they reconciled with each other and became who they are now, but maybe there will be another book in the future!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Kate

    A candid, poignant and insightful coming of age memoir. • For thoes who don't know Teegan and Sara they are a Canadian Indie pop duo. They are also twin sisters. In High School, their first memoir they recount their own high school experience. Sharing stories that highlight their individual struggles with teen angst, family, twin life, identity, self esteem, drinking, depression, drugs, first loves, longing, the confusion and acceptance of their sexuality (both are gay), bullying, musi A candid, poignant and insightful coming of age memoir. • For thoes who don't know Teegan and Sara they are a Canadian Indie pop duo. They are also twin sisters. In High School, their first memoir they recount their own high school experience. Sharing stories that highlight their individual struggles with teen angst, family, twin life, identity, self esteem, drinking, depression, drugs, first loves, longing, the confusion and acceptance of their sexuality (both are gay), bullying, music and more. • Really enjoyed this one! I loved the alternating chapters between each sister. Both with a distinct voice. It was interesting to hear how each of them recalled certain circumstances and what they were each thinking when certain events were transpiring. The writing is good. It really transported me back to my teens and the recklessness of youth. Fans of theirs will obviously enjoy this one but its just an overall captivating read. Whether you enjoy memoirs, queer lit, and or celebrity autobiographies. Readers will recognize themselves in these pages. This will be available September 24th! • Thank You to the publisher for #gifting me this #ARC opinions are my own. • For more of my book content check out instagram.com/bookalong

  12. 4 out of 5

    Gordon Ambos

    oh. my. god. This just became my most anticipated release of 2019. I love Tegan and Sara to death and I cannot wait for this memoir!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Bronwyn

    his book is so, so important. Tegan and Sara's writing is beautiful, haunting, and oh-so-relatable. It's those moments as a queer person where you feel doubt, love, longing, regret. It's those moments as a teenager where you live recklessly, make mistakes, yearn for something more than your high school and your town. As someone who also came of age in Calgary in the 90s, it captures the essence of that particular place and time, of grubby C-Train platforms and cold river plunges, and his book is so, so important. Tegan and Sara's writing is beautiful, haunting, and oh-so-relatable. It's those moments as a queer person where you feel doubt, love, longing, regret. It's those moments as a teenager where you live recklessly, make mistakes, yearn for something more than your high school and your town. As someone who also came of age in Calgary in the 90s, it captures the essence of that particular place and time, of grubby C-Train platforms and cold river plunges, and the icy dark of winter. It captures hours spent on the landline phone, talking to friends and lovers and those who are both and not quite either at the same time. It captures the experience of a queer awakening (well, two, really), in a place and a time in which it was not normalised, and when things passed between others unsaid. Full disclosure: while I don't know Tegan or Sara personally, I do know some of the people featured prominently in the book, and seeing them through their lens is just so, so interesting and wonderful. I knew I would love this book, but I didn't know that it would be perhaps the best memoir I've ever read.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jay Gabler

    Almost ten years ago, I asked Sara Quin, of Tegan and Sara, about the way "your songs about relationships never demonize the person you're singing to, or about; there's always a sense of care even in the wake of something painful." She responded, "I think that's very accurate as a summation of our music, and how we are as people too. Probably to a fault in my own personal relationships I've struggled with this overpowering compassion." At the time, she implied that she was trying to toughe Almost ten years ago, I asked Sara Quin, of Tegan and Sara, about the way "your songs about relationships never demonize the person you're singing to, or about; there's always a sense of care even in the wake of something painful." She responded, "I think that's very accurate as a summation of our music, and how we are as people too. Probably to a fault in my own personal relationships I've struggled with this overpowering compassion." At the time, she implied that she was trying to toughen up a bit, to overcome a sense that one always needs to make someone feel "happy" and "forgiven," no matter what's happened. Having just read her new memoir, co-written with her sister and bandmate, I have a new appreciation for the roots of that compassion. In our interview she cited the friendship her parents developed even after a divorce, and the book touches on that. Also, though, it gave me — as a cis straight guy — a new appreciation for what it might feel like to be in a relationship with someone when you're both surrounded by people who casually mock your right to feel what you feel, and love who you love. The authors describe the memoir as their "origin story," and it's of course a must-read for their fans...but it's much more than that, a book you'll want to recommend to everyone you know. It's enlightening, it's entertaining, it's important. It's beautiful, it's maddening, it's unforgettable. I reviewed High School for The Current.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Books Around the Corner

    I cannot say enough incredible things about this memoir. For a girl who started listening to Tegan and Sara and met them in a bar when I was 15 and to have this come out now is so incredibly perfect. I will say you have to LISTEN to this book. I felt warm tears running down my cheeks with a smile across my face when I heard the first few notes of the very first recording they did in their room. I love so much that they chose to share the progression of their music even before their first album. I cannot say enough incredible things about this memoir. For a girl who started listening to Tegan and Sara and met them in a bar when I was 15 and to have this come out now is so incredibly perfect. I will say you have to LISTEN to this book. I felt warm tears running down my cheeks with a smile across my face when I heard the first few notes of the very first recording they did in their room. I love so much that they chose to share the progression of their music even before their first album. If you are a fan or know one LISTEN NOW.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Tasnim Azad

    I devoured this book as I have consumed anything Tegan and Sara since age 16. I enjoyed reminiscing and feeling nostalgic about my own high school years. I think some of the memories are ubiquitous to growing up in the suburbs, gay, or both, like passing notes carefully folded in class, long phone calls as your family demands use of the landline, your parents, cool or not, asking you to be honest about where you got that hickey from. I laughed at the absurdity of the teens’ big feelings and time I devoured this book as I have consumed anything Tegan and Sara since age 16. I enjoyed reminiscing and feeling nostalgic about my own high school years. I think some of the memories are ubiquitous to growing up in the suburbs, gay, or both, like passing notes carefully folded in class, long phone calls as your family demands use of the landline, your parents, cool or not, asking you to be honest about where you got that hickey from. I laughed at the absurdity of the teens’ big feelings and time wasted, and I teared up when their family went through painful changes. I loved this book as I do Tegan and Sara, but I have a feeling that anyone who thinks about and enjoys music and memoirs and reflections of youth will too. At least I hope so because I’m requiring my girlfriend to read it.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Dana

    I thoroughly enjoyed this journey, written in alternating chapters from the perspective of each sister. A very detailed look into their lives with a focus not only on their individual struggles, but the obstacles they also faced together. Navigating their sexuality, the secrets, relationships, drugs, etc. I found the look into how they got started with their music career fascinating. Writing their songs, performing for friends, the first gigs. Amazing. Overall I just loved how honest and raw thi I thoroughly enjoyed this journey, written in alternating chapters from the perspective of each sister. A very detailed look into their lives with a focus not only on their individual struggles, but the obstacles they also faced together. Navigating their sexuality, the secrets, relationships, drugs, etc. I found the look into how they got started with their music career fascinating. Writing their songs, performing for friends, the first gigs. Amazing. Overall I just loved how honest and raw this memoir was. They truly poured their hearts and souls into this and it shows. A huge thank you to Simon & Schuster for my review copy and for Tegan & Sara for giving us a look into their lives.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Derrek Wallaby

    I've been a superfan for 18 years, and they've made so much art that is so important to me. When I first saw them on MTV at the crack of dawn one day when I was 14 years old it was so profound to me because these where the first queer people, close to my age, that I had ever seen who were presented as cool, and smart, and funny, and not a caricature. That was really important for me to see as a queer kid. As for the book, it's so funny, and well-written, and touching. Even if you're not a fan of I've been a superfan for 18 years, and they've made so much art that is so important to me. When I first saw them on MTV at the crack of dawn one day when I was 14 years old it was so profound to me because these where the first queer people, close to my age, that I had ever seen who were presented as cool, and smart, and funny, and not a caricature. That was really important for me to see as a queer kid. As for the book, it's so funny, and well-written, and touching. Even if you're not a fan of their music, or don't know their music, this is an amazing read that I would recommend to any queer person.

  19. 4 out of 5

    vanessa

    Tegan and Sara were special to me during my own high school days (Sainthood was everything), and I still love their music. A lot of this memoir covers their crushes, family, school life, drugs (lots of drugs!), and partying during their high school years. A very small fraction covers the first time they picked up a guitar or started making their own music on cassettes or started playing their own gigs. Personally those were my favorite parts and I wish there was more about the music. It's not to Tegan and Sara were special to me during my own high school days (Sainthood was everything), and I still love their music. A lot of this memoir covers their crushes, family, school life, drugs (lots of drugs!), and partying during their high school years. A very small fraction covers the first time they picked up a guitar or started making their own music on cassettes or started playing their own gigs. Personally those were my favorite parts and I wish there was more about the music. It's not to say I didn't enjoy learning about their teen years, I just felt that the way they described their youth wasn't incredibly introspective. Their pains and drama in high school are told in a very literal way: this happened, then this happened, then this happened. It left a bit to be desired. I really liked the last 100ish pages as it was more about them getting their music career started. In their interview at the end of the audiobook they mention that one day they might write a book about their careers; I look forward to that.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Rick Brose

    As someone who is five months older than Tegan and Sara, I could relate to large portions of this memoir. We grew up on the same music, technology, and fashion. At first, I was a little bummed about how much the Quins talked about doing drugs, but that did not last long. By the end, I was crying along to their successes and failures. As music artists, Tegan and Sara have produced a catalog of outstanding work. This book illuminates how that all came to be. With chapters alternating between siste As someone who is five months older than Tegan and Sara, I could relate to large portions of this memoir. We grew up on the same music, technology, and fashion. At first, I was a little bummed about how much the Quins talked about doing drugs, but that did not last long. By the end, I was crying along to their successes and failures. As music artists, Tegan and Sara have produced a catalog of outstanding work. This book illuminates how that all came to be. With chapters alternating between sisters, there is humor, heartbreak, teen angst, secrets, and sibling rivalries. For anyone who is a fan of Tegan and Sara, this book should go to the top of your read pile.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jordan

    High School centers around an incredibly important time of Tegan's and Sara's lives in which they discovered who they were, grew distant from one another, engaged in high risk behavior, experienced insecurity and shame, began to understand their sexual identities, and started their career. I am all about coming of age stories, so I knew this would be right up my alley. I want to thank Tegan and Sara for inviting the readers in and for sharing vulnerable parts of themselves with us. Th High School centers around an incredibly important time of Tegan's and Sara's lives in which they discovered who they were, grew distant from one another, engaged in high risk behavior, experienced insecurity and shame, began to understand their sexual identities, and started their career. I am all about coming of age stories, so I knew this would be right up my alley. I want to thank Tegan and Sara for inviting the readers in and for sharing vulnerable parts of themselves with us. Their writing is captivating, real, and heartfelt. I found it incredibly easy to get into High School. Tegan's and Sara's most painful moments resonated with me, and I could feel the magnetic energy of their joy and excitement about music jumping right off the page. After you read this, you will want to sit both of them down and make them tell you millions of stories about their entire lives. Maybe they'll tell us more someday. (full review at jdreads.com)

  22. 5 out of 5

    Hayley Robertson

    This. Was. Perfect. I don’t have much to say besides, if their music has touched your heart and made you not feel so alone in your feelings, you need to read book. Safe to say T&S will be what I’ll be listening to in the car for a while again now.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Karla Strand

    Juicy, delicious, and queer AF. It is exactly what you want it to be. Tegan and Sara let us in to their high school years: the secrets, the loves, the hurts, the fights, the drugs, the photos, the sex, the music, the songwriting. It’s candid brave loving tenderness wrapped in 350 pages. And I am here for it.

  24. 4 out of 5

    ashley lloyd spanton

    When I think of sex, drugs, rock and roll, Tegan and Sara aren't the first to come to mind, but after reading their memoir about their high school years and rise to fame, well, they prove to have the grit, grime and drug use of any seasoned rock star. Their indie-pop, singer/songwriter music has been the soundtrack to every stage of my life since high school, but outside of their usually quite honest song lyrics, I didn't know much about their upbringing or childhood. Maybe that's bec When I think of sex, drugs, rock and roll, Tegan and Sara aren't the first to come to mind, but after reading their memoir about their high school years and rise to fame, well, they prove to have the grit, grime and drug use of any seasoned rock star. Their indie-pop, singer/songwriter music has been the soundtrack to every stage of my life since high school, but outside of their usually quite honest song lyrics, I didn't know much about their upbringing or childhood. Maybe that's because they seemed to keep that information close to their chest. Until now. This intimate and graphic account of their high school years brought me right back to that time in my life, when I was just starting to get into them as a band and struggling with my own teenage things. It brought back a lot of anxiety and self reflection, but their mere presence created a safe space to feel and experience those emotions again. I listened to this as an audiobook, read by the authors, which was really the only way to do it. Hearing them read their words made me feel like I was sitting in their bedroom with them, angstily reflecting. Not only that, though, but there were snippets of recorded audio from their childhood; demos of songs, the girls fooling around on tape. So many extra treats that you just don't get with the physical book. It really gave an intimate look into their past and a unique experience. The essay-like chapters were a mixed bag; sometimes they seemed a little unfinished, or that they ended abruptly, and I wasn't entirely sure what we got from it. But other essays were very powerful and had a huge impact. I especially loved them relaying their discovery of the guitar for the first time, and the first song that they wrote together. These are the fundamental moments of a band I love, which is special and not something you often get to witness, but it was also just very touching and moving to hear the passion and natural instinct that came to them in those moments. I was very moved by these passages and found them very inspiring. I've said it many times before, but I grew as their music grew, and as they gained more confidence and self assurance as women, I was able to channel that into my own being. At this point, they feel almost like friends, and being able to sit down and listen to them talk about their life was comforting. And hey, as it turns out, they really are just like us.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Hannah

    Absolutely recommend the audiobook - nothing better than Tegan and Sara narrating their high school experiences with original recordings interspersed and the Canadian "sorry". I'm a huge fan of Tegan and Sara so I'm not sure if non-fans would be nearly as excited by this but I adored this book. They're true high schoolers and they do dumb things and fight with each other and their parents and eventually through all of the anguish of adolescence come out the other side with the seed of a music ca Absolutely recommend the audiobook - nothing better than Tegan and Sara narrating their high school experiences with original recordings interspersed and the Canadian "sorry". I'm a huge fan of Tegan and Sara so I'm not sure if non-fans would be nearly as excited by this but I adored this book. They're true high schoolers and they do dumb things and fight with each other and their parents and eventually through all of the anguish of adolescence come out the other side with the seed of a music career and better understandings of their own sexuality.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Emily D'Angelo

    Soo good!! Read a lot of celebrity memoirs lately and this is by far the best one I’ve ever read. Excellent writing and very interesting to hear two perspectives of the same stories. So sweet and sad and authentic.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Misha

    This is already feeling quite nostalgic for me. Tegan and Sara may have been born 6 years later, but we both grew up in the 80s/90s alternative music scenes, listening to the anthems of disaffected queer & questioning youth, with easy access to LSD, and the suburbs burning a hole in our understanding of the possibilities of what life had to offer.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Dani

    A memoir? Tegan and Sara? Sign me up! I loved the look into their adolescence and could deeply relate to many parts. This is for fans of Tegan and Sara, people who love memoirs about sex, drugs, and music, and of course, the young queer looking for themselves in wherever they can find.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Alessandra

    I just want to curl up in bed and cry. This book was so good I have all the feels.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Frenchy Faith

    This was such a quick and enjoyable read! Hard to put down at night as you tell yourself "just one more chapter". Sitting with my book felt like sitting with Tegan and Sara and listening to them talk. It's their banter without the concert and their songs in story form. I hope they plan on a "sequel" about their 20s.

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