21. Less Than Zero (1985)
Author: Bret Easton Ellis
Bret Easton Ellis started Less Than Zero when he was a sophomore in high school. When our staff was prompted to think of projects they started in high school, all that most of us came up with were schemes to see girls naked.
Despite the book's success, Ellis describes the novel in the way anyone would describe a high school journal: "...It read like teen diaries or journal entries—lots of stuff about the bands I liked, the beach, the Galleria, clubs, driving around, doing drugs, partying." It just goes to show you "write what you know." Of course, after this novel and Rules of Attraction, Ellis wrote American Psycho, which we desperately hope was not borne out of the same advice.