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45 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A completely moving book
In this book Annie, a naive 14 year old, describes her painful realationship with her boyfriend, her unexpected pregnancy, and the birth of her child. Annie pours the truth into her diary. Although I am not(and have never been)as naive as Annie is, this book opened my eyes to the facts about abusive relationships. Annie struggles over the fact that premarital sex is...
Published on December 18, 1999

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49 of 54 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Rot.
Annie's Baby is, to put it simply, a waste of paper. To begin, I don't believe for an instant that it is THE ACTUAL DIARY of a 14-year-old girl. I myself am a 14-year-old girl, and I have honestly never met a girl my age as immature and ridiculous as "Annie". Words like "kadoodle", "dizzy-fizzy", "billion-zillion-kat-tillion" show either the mental capacity of a...
Published on November 12, 2005 by Ana


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49 of 54 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Rot., November 12, 2005
By 
Ana (New Jersey) - See all my reviews
Annie's Baby is, to put it simply, a waste of paper. To begin, I don't believe for an instant that it is THE ACTUAL DIARY of a 14-year-old girl. I myself am a 14-year-old girl, and I have honestly never met a girl my age as immature and ridiculous as "Annie". Words like "kadoodle", "dizzy-fizzy", "billion-zillion-kat-tillion" show either the mental capacity of a six-year-old or an absurd attempt to make the writing sound younger. Annie repeats herself constantly and speaks almost entirely in youth-group cliches.

"Hey, wait.. either he'll like me FOR ME or not at all!!! Right?!"

"Can PLAIN ME possibly be good enough for AWESOME, RADDER-THAN RAD HIM?!"

"I'm going to dedicate my life to helping HIM be the BEST HIM he CAN BE!!!"

and my favourite,

"Did he REALLY MEAN IT when he said 'EVERYONE IS DOING IT'?"

To make it even more unbelievable, she speaks to her diary quite literally as if it were another person -- to the point of having arguments and TANTRUMS with it.

"Annie": "Danny's right; I'm just being a little girl, booby baby boob tube."

"Daisy Diary": "I don't think so."

"Annie": "HA...you CAN'T THINK!! you're just paper."

"Daisy Diary": "AM I? Or am I your conscience?"

Asserting her independance comes down to capslocking at her diary that SHE DOESN'T NEED ITS ADVICE ANYMORE. It is understandable that Ms. Sparks thought using and overusing capital letters, italics and multiple exclamation marks would make this sound authentic, but she does it all wrong. Try reading some of these sentences aloud; they don't line up. No one would speak this way, and no one would write it either. Teenage girls deserve more credit than "Annie" gets for knowing their minds and understanding people and motives and consequences of actions. Even when she lies to her mother, she feels excruciatingly guilty in a way that, honestly, no one feels after the age of eight. Even after it becomes clear to the reader that Danny is gutterscum -- within approximately ten seconds of the introduction of his character -- she continues to insist that he is a beautiful sensitive soul and couldn't possibly have meant to hurt her or use her.

Also! Read the Note from Ms. Sparks at the beginning of the book. Notice how she has patronisingly written in the EXACT tone her protagonist uses throughout the book? So are the supposed-to-be informative Q&A at the end. Hmm.

The writing style of this book was so ridiculous in itself that I hardly reached the point of analysing her actions. Annoying though "Annie" undeniably is, she cannot be faulted for some of the things she does. Many girls do stay in abusive relationships, although it's much more common for to deny the situation altogether than to talk every action to death, and then decide it happened a different way. Many girls are raped or hurt by boyfriends and keep it quiet out of shame or "love" for them.. and so forth. I just think this was a wasted opportunity to bring some of these issues to light in a fresh, not-preachy way.

-- Ana.
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45 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A completely moving book, December 18, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Annie's Baby: The Diary of Anonymous, a Pregnant Teenager (Mass Market Paperback)
In this book Annie, a naive 14 year old, describes her painful realationship with her boyfriend, her unexpected pregnancy, and the birth of her child. Annie pours the truth into her diary. Although I am not(and have never been)as naive as Annie is, this book opened my eyes to the facts about abusive relationships. Annie struggles over the fact that premarital sex is against her values. She loves Danny though and keeps coming back to him, even though he raped her, even though he beats her.
When Annie discovers she is pregnant, it makes her situation go from bad to worse. Unable to face the fact for months, Annie does everything posible to keep from seeing her boyfriend. When she gets up the guts to tell her boyfriend, she is faced with the horrible truth:he never loved her at all. Annie's mother supports her dission to have her baby. But when Lil'Annie is born, Annie discovers how hard a baby is. She asks her self this question:Can she really raise her baby? This is an exellent book, every girl age 10 and up should read it!
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42 of 48 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Aaaarrrghh, August 6, 2005
By 
Madisen (Fruita, CO United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Annie's Baby: The Diary of Anonymous, a Pregnant Teenager (Mass Market Paperback)
I started reading this book because of the concept. I thought it would be an interesting look into the struggles of teen pregnancy. Unfortuneately, I never even got to that part. Annie's personality is just so annoying that I wanted to scream. For one, she is constantly caught up in a whirlwind of confusion, teen angst, and puppy-dog-ish eagerness, so much so that you want to tell her to take a tranquilizer and calm down. She repeats the sentence "I HAVE to help him be the BEST he can BE!!!" at least three times when writing about her boyfriend, even though it's as plain as daylight to readers that he is a jerk. Plus, she is always arguing with "the diary" (a.k.a. herself), having entire conversations with it...ugh.

The decisions she makes are even more baffling than her bizarre thought process. After being brutally raped by aforementioned boyfriend, does she call the police? Tell an adult? No. Instead, she runs home, and when her mom questions her messed up appearance, she replies (and I quote): "Well, I was jogging, and a car hit me, but please don't call the police, because I wasn't on the sidewalk, and I was kind of running towards it!!!" WTF!?!? Even more crazily, she then says that she's going to stay with her boyfriend, because the rape just proves that he needs someone to help him be the "BEST he can BE!!!" At this point, I tossed the book down in disgust. Next time I want to read about the struggles of teens, I will choose a book with a more sane and mature narrator.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A real diary? I don't think so., July 7, 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Annie's Baby: The Diary of Anonymous, a Pregnant Teenager (Mass Market Paperback)
I just completed "Annie's Baby" less than ten minutes ago, and was so disgusted with its amateurish attempts at 15-year-old vernacular that I rushed over to the computer. And, yes, I AM in a position to comment -- I am, actually and truly, 15 years old. First, plain and simple, nobody talks like that. Writing, maybe, but when the suppposed "tape transcripts" were added in? Not only did the syntax of the words not line up, the "conversations" were never meant to be spoken. (I won't even mention that the Q&A at the end of the book, supposedly informative, held many of the same writing styles as the body of the text.) Second, Annie manages to experience a textbook case of every symptom of low self-esteem, depression, abuse, and every other blight associated with teenage pregnancy known to man, not to mention that she is, and is surrounded by, one-dimensional characters that could never exist in real life. I'm sorry that this second attempt at a novel is so poor, since I loved 'Go Ask Alice" (whether it is fiction or not.) At best "Annie" is an amalgam of several actual girls who have gone through a teenage pregnancy, put together shabbily by the author. Dr. Sparks better hope that her readers are as stupid as she has made her heroine out to be.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Poorly-written propaganda, December 16, 2007
By 
Anyechka (Rensselaer, NY United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Annie's Baby: The Diary of Anonymous, a Pregnant Teenager (Mass Market Paperback)
Maybe it's because I'm now past the target age for this book, and because I now know about how Dr. Sparks in all probability just makes up these books instead of using real teen journals, but I didn't believe for one blessed moment that this book was a real teen journal, nor that Annie was a real person. I was a teenager of the Nineties myself, and am a nearly-lifelong journaller, and nothing about Annie (her personality, thought process, writing style, etc.) rang true. She and everyone else in this book come across as one-dimensional stereotypes and clichés, like they're all characters in some over the top morality play or afterschool special. It's so suspicious how the teens in all of Dr. Sparks's "real-life diaries" have the exact same writing style and moral preachiness, holding rather conservative views in line with her own. I don't begrudge her her sincerely held beliefs even though they're radically different from mine, but it's just morally irresponsible to push these beliefs on impressionable teens by pretending they're from peers instead of some over-the-hill ultra-conservative psychiatrist. There are far better ways to teach teenagers to not do drugs, have unprotected sex at young ages, get eating disorders, have an affair with a teacher, or join a gang than lying to them and trying to scare them straight.

I find it hard to believe that Dr. Sparks is that respected of an adolescent shrink, since she seems so profoundly out of touch with how real teens write, behave, talk, and think. But chances are, if she'd used a real diary from a pregnant teen she had worked with, it wouldn't have had the desired holier than thou moral preachiness, anti-abortion and anti-welfare rants, childish writing style, stereotypical characters, sense of shame and guilt for something like having sex or lying to one's mother, or depiction of all teen moms as terrible parents who are just setting their kids up for a lifetime of problems unless they do the responsible thing and place the babies for adoption. Teenagers are a lot smarter, more mature, articulate, and self-aware than she gives them credit for. Real teen journallers also don't over-analyse everything, use babyish expressions worthy of a six year old, use excessive italics and exclamation points, FREQUENTLY WRITE IN ALL CAPS (those sections were so annoying, irritating, and distrating I found myself just skimming over them), feel guilty for engaging in normal teen behaviors (like going to parties or lying to one's parents about their whereabouts), or apologise for having used the occasional curse word in their own journals. Annie also acts really bipolar, the way she's all happy, excited, and bubbly one moment, then depressed, angry, frustrated, and confused the next. The way she often talks to her journal like it's an actual person, even going so far as having entire back-and-forth conversations, arguments, and tantrums with it, would also seem to suggest a serious mental problem.

While there are a few things about her character that ring true, such as how many teen girls are in abusive relationships and how many young teen moms do feel overwhelmed when the baby arrives, those details are cancelled out by all of the over the top clichés and stereotypes littered throughout the rest of the book. The "relationship" with Danny develops way too fast, for instance, and she's already acting like he's her soulmate before she even knows his name, and then thinks they have some serious relationship when they've only had a couple of dates and hung out at school a few times. As the relationship wears on, she seems to deliberately put herself in bad situations and do the most foolish things possible, like going back to him after he first tries to rape her and then actually rapes her. I could see if this were a longer-term relationship, but making excuses, blaming herself, and wanting to stay with him for the sake of some minor fling at age fourteen? I never felt anything for anyone in this book, not even at the supposedly dramatic moments, like when Annie stages some elaborate ruse to trick her mother into thinking she was hit by a car instead of raped, or when she tries to abandon her baby. The characters and situations were just too unbelievable.

A real teen journal would also have a lot more mundane chit-chat, like about hanging out with friends, a movie she just saw, schoolwork, that sort of thing, not this obsessive focus on the "problem." And where are all of the details a normal teen girl would make sure to write about, like how she got the birth control pills or just how Danny was roughing her up during sex? How are we supposed to get accurate mental images of these people and things if all we're given are generalities? Unless of course this were deliberately written as a fictional teen journal about a specific issue and not really drawn from the pages of a real teenager's journal, something she never dreamt would be published. I also found it really hard to swallow how Annie is switched to an "unwed mothers' home" in her town. Such places do still exist, but they're far and few between anymore. How convenient one of the few still in existence is in her area. And what American teen of the Nineties would actually use the term "unwed mother"? What is this, the Fifties? Annie also looks down her nose on most of the "unwed mothers" in the school, particularly because they're planning to use welfare. I found the anti-welfare rhetoric to be even more offensive than the anti-abortion rhetoric. (And how is her baby allowed to leave the hospital after only about two weeks when she's two months premature? Don't most babies born at seven months need to spend at least a month in the hospital?)

The only real thing going for this work of fiction are the supplemental sections in the back. There are quizzes to find out if one is in an abusive relationship, a Q&A on birth control and teen pregnancy (which continues with the anti-welfare rhetoric and the downright offensive view that teens are automatically sub-par parents who are putting their kids at risk for all sorts of problems if they don't do adoption), and some resources for things like STDs and rape. Funny how the writing style in this section, as well as in the author's note, is the exact same one used by Annie all throughout the book, down to the FREQUENT CAPS. So it's not totally useless. I don't know whether to feel more sad, amused, or scared that apparently many teen girls believe this book was written by one of their own instead of an elderly shrink pretending to be some whiny immature self-absorbed holier than thou teenager.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Beatrice Sparks spins web of fiction, November 30, 2006
This review is from: Annie's Baby: The Diary of Anonymous, a Pregnant Teenager (Mass Market Paperback)
She was the editor of Go Ask Alice and that was proven to be fiction as were several other of her 'diary' books. But they continue to publish this woman's works of fiction as non-fiction. Do the research, find the truth.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The original James Frey, February 1, 2006
This review is from: Annie's Baby: The Diary of Anonymous, a Pregnant Teenager (Mass Market Paperback)
Brought to you from the author of Go Ask Alice... yeah, right.

This is probably not the first great hoax in publishing history, but I'm sure it's one of the most successful.

In spite of the fact that the actual source of this book has long been revealed and known, the publishing company continues to brazenly assert that this is a genuine document. It's as ridiculous as the continuing insistence that The Amityville Horror is a true story, too.

It should take any literate adult no more than one and one half pages to determine that this is neither the language nor the syntax of an adolescent/young adult.

It is a known fact that this shameless propoganda was the work of Beatrice Sparks, a Mormom activist who created an entire series of these books, in which children are destroyed by the evils of homosexuality, premarital sex, drug abuse, satanism, etc.

Without diminishing what positive impact this book, or any of the others, may have had on impressionable youth, and without condemning its good intentions (is anyone in favor of having AIDS?), these books are complete rubbish.

Like Mr. Frey, the intentions are not the point.

The point is that these books are being published as nonfiction.

And they are lies.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Annie's Baby, February 17, 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Annie's Baby: The Diary of Anonymous, a Pregnant Teenager (Mass Market Paperback)
Annie's Baby is a wonderful example of a 14 year old girl who became pregnant. It shares her deepest agony and pain going on in her life through diary entries. She was a normal teenage girl, leading a normal teenage life, with normal teenage friends, until the day she met Danny. He was wonderful to her, everything that a young lady would like. He fooled her shamelessly, tricking her into loving him and not being able to live without him. This story tells in great detail the ways she fought out her life through stress and writing. I recommend this book to any teenagers, especially those who might be possibly going through this trauma. You will appreciate it greatly.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Hardly helpful..., March 21, 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Annie's Baby: The Diary of Anonymous, a Pregnant Teenager (Mass Market Paperback)
I bought this book because I am a pregnant teen trying to inform myself. This book bothered me because it is written at a third grade reading level, and all Annie does is complain. She never ONCE says she even cares about her baby, let alone love her. It is the epitimy of all the bad things that can happen in teen pregnancy.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Wow, is this ever bad., March 18, 2010
This review is from: Annie's Baby: The Diary of Anonymous, a Pregnant Teenager (Mass Market Paperback)
This is a BAD book. As fiction it would be barely passable, but marketed as nonfiction it's a complete affront to the reader's sanity. Read three pages into it and it's easy to see that it's not a real diary. That's just not how real people write, especially when they're writing to themselves. The characters aren't real, either. Take a list of possible signs of an abusive partner, and the abusive partner in this story has ALL of them BLATANTLY, unlike in real life where abusers are human, and subtle, and dangerous because of being human and subtle. Although the book does make some good points about how much easier it is to get into an abusive relationship than it is to get out of one, overall it's not only fake, it's not even informative. For the most part, it's told from an extremely heavy-handed conservative point of view. "If you have sex, you're going to get an STD, you're going to get pregnant, and the rest of your life and the baby's life and society will be totally ruined if you don't give the baby up for adoption." Welfare is repeatedly called "something for nothing" and the term "unwed mothers" is repeatedly used even though the book was published in 1998. I wouldn't mind all of this if it were either balanced out by other points of view, or marketed as fiction, but it presents itself authoritatively. I cringe at the thought of my daughter reading something like this before she's old enough to evaluate it.
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Annie's Baby: The Diary of Anonymous, a Pregnant Teenager
Annie's Baby: The Diary of Anonymous, a Pregnant Teenager by Beatrice Sparks (Mass Market Paperback - December 28, 2004)
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