Cover Image: High School

High School

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Member Reviews

LOVED this book! While I've been a huge fan of Tegan and Sara for many years, I didn't actually know too much about their journey to get where they are today. I loved the in-depth look into their early years and woah! - what a blast to the past having grown up in the 90s myself, just 3 hours north of them. The pop culture references from that decade were fun to relive. It's amazing how their music came to be. It still blows me away that their band developed from almost no musical background and that despite how awful they were to each other in their teens, they continued to make amazing music together. 

A must read for any Tegan and Sara fan out there!
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no shock to anyone, i really enjoyed this book.

i was a big tegan & sara fan in high school and into university, as were a lot of queer folks who were working to understand their individual identities -- they were visible queer canadians in the media, and became role models for me.

this book follows their life in calgary through grades 10-12, and finishes with the release of their first album, "under feet like ours." told in alternating chapters, this story doesn't hold back in its display of familial tensions, sexual awakening, and use of drugs; the story is raw and untethered, but in the best way possible.

thank you netgalley and simon & schuster canada for a free review copy of this book!
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"The stories we tell about ourselves are always in one way or another myth. When you’re famous, self-mythologizing is essentially a job requirement. Most musicians’ memoirs reach into the past to make a case for the present, searching in the life of the unfamous person who once existed for evidence of the exceptional, inevitable star to be.

High School goes the other way. Tegan and Sara cede center stage and give up their mics to Sara and Tegan Quin: bored, closeted, talented teens with plenty to scream and cry and whisper about. And no doubt the results will strike some readers as banal: Who cares about the fight with your mom, the class you ditched, the friend who hurt your feelings? Who wants to read yet another story about getting high?

But what if we saw this not as precious or self-important, but generous, humble, and, dare I say, political: loaning out the powers of adulthood and fame to someone young and disenfranchised. Treating her ideas, her aches, and her art as meriting serious attention. Recognizing that person’s existence as worthy. The political valence of this gesture has special meaning in the context of two queer coming-of-age stories. The Quins are not just reaching back to a time before they were famous, but before they were fully out, even to themselves — when they each battled uncertainty and shame and fear about whom they loved...."
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A queer coming of age story I would’ve killed to have in high school! These women did an exceptional job telling their story and I’ll be singing the praises of this book from the roof tops. I already have this title set to be on our staff picks shelf. I hated having to put this book down, and I wish for it to be accessible in all high school libraries. If any parents question the content I hope they realize their kids will learn about drugs and partying no matter what, and hearing someone else’s story they might relate to will help them more than trying to protect them from reality.
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Amazing book! Can't recommend highly enough. An honest, heartfelt coming of age story about what it means to find yourself and being comfortable with who you discover.  Tegan and Sara have crafted a unique autobiography, and the alternating chapter structure brings to it a perspective unlike anything I've encountered.
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This book felt more CanLit than I expected. Definitely relatable for millennials who grew up in Canadian winters. It's a straight memoir of the authors' high school years, their music and their queerness. CW for more drug and alcohol use than you might expect. Full review will be published on my blog in September. www.booksbeyondbinaries.blog
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This memoir goes through Tegan and Sara's teen lives: endless parties and drug trips, girlfriends, coming out (sort of), and finding their music - and miraculously succeeding with it. While it wasn't the most outrageous thing out there (I can only read so many drug stories), I couldn't put down the constant carousel of crushes, confusion, and teen clumsiness in acknowledging - then accepting - their sexuality. There were many parts in there that I could connect to more than any piece of LGBT+ fiction. (Especially having a sibling who seems to be 'copying' your sexuality.)

While I've mainly just admired these two for being Canadians Who Actually Did The Thing, I tore through it, so I think this will really be perfect for fans - seeing how they got their start not exactly by being scrappy and ruthless, but by being determined, supported by their family and friends, and just damn talented (and with a very good but now-incomprehensible system of recording things onto cassettes).
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This is a autobiography/memoir written by indie rock twins Tegan and Sara. While I didn't know much about their music I was very interested in this story because I know a few songs and I couldn't wait to see about their lives. To see how they grew up and the normal twins became a internationally famous indie rock group. The book switched points of view between both girls however it was nice to see the different view points and it really gave a complete feel to the story because you were seeing the whole picture through both of their eyes. This book showed how the girls grew up, what they went through as teenagers with drugs, and exploring their sexuality etc, but it also showed about their lives when they got signed to the record company, and when their stardom started to explode onto the main stream. Not only was I interested in the lives of these rockers but it was very interesting to see how they thought of things from a twin point of view. Not being a twin myself I find this ineradicable, the closeness and intense connection that the sisters have with each other. This book was short but very compelling. What I liked the most was all of the normal struggles that they went through. Their normal childhood was very interesting because it made them seem more human instead of famous rockers. Each chapter was told very quickly and to the point. I think that this is a must read not only for fans of the band but also for people who like musical biographies. This one won't disappoint.
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This 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.
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I have been a fan of Tegan and Sara's music since the early 2000s, so I was thrilled when I heard that they were writing a memoir. High School was a fantastic behind-the-scenes look at their high school years - their relationships, discovering their sexuality, and of course the music. The stories they shared were real, raw and very relatable. I really enjoyed reading the digital copy, and I will be buying it in hard copy once it's released so that I can see the pictures. A definite must-read for any Tegan and Sara fan!
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