- Reading level: Young Adult
- Mass Market Paperback: 176 pages
- Publisher: HarperTeen; Avon Books ed edition (May 31, 2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0380808625
- ISBN-13: 978-0380808625
Fourteen-year-old Jennie’s life is turning upside down. Her father has walked out, and her anguished mother seeks solace in pills. Her best friend practically abandons her to be with a boyfriend. It seems like Jennie’s real best friend is her diary. Then she meets Mr. Johnstone, the substitute math teacher. Jennie has never met such a charismatic teacher. She feels honored when Mr. J. seems to single her out for special attention, and begins to fantasize about him as her boyfriend. When Mr. J. first reveals his feelings for her, she is thrilled by the relationship that grows outside the classroom walls. Then, slowly, Jennie’s diary becomes a record of her loneliness, pain, and confusion. Will it also offer her a way to escape from this treacherous love?
This was a book that I wouldn’t normally read. Since I have teenage daughters though, I thought I would give it a go. I found this book to be a little nerve wracking since I am a mom reading this.
I would say 80-90 percent of the book is Jennie writing in her diary. She spills her emotions of her parents fighting and eventually separating. She goes through the hurt, sadness and anger that any teenager would feel when their parents divorce. She sees her mom get addicted to pills, her friends go on with their lives and find boyfriends which leaves Jennie feeling alone. She tries pot and alcohol to try and numb the pain. Then her substitute teacher slowly makes his way into Jennie’s life. She is desperate for someone to love her and the teacher takes advantage of that. It is so sad to think that there are teachers out there that could do this. Being a mother of 3 girls, this scared me. It made me realize that it can happen to anyone’s child.
The part that is keeping me from making this a 5 flame read is how most of the book is just her diary. I wish we could have read more about what she goes through instead of just a couple short paragraphs in her diary.
At the end of the book it lists a question and answer list. It includes hotline numbers and ways to deal with this sort of thing if it happens to you. I really liked how they added that. If one person who is in this situation calls those numbers, then that section is not a waste of paper. It is an answered prayer.
Very Good! Worth Spending Your Money on!