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Dear Diary Paperback – August 7, 2008
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Top Customer Reviews
There are definitely some sections - particularly her middle and high school entries - where I felt like "OMG, that's EXACTLY how I was feeling at that age." And her updated commentary on some of those passages is really spot on and, in some cases, very funny. I also thought her description of her first time in rehab had some bittersweet, and in one case, hilarious, moments.
But on the other hand, as another reviewer mentions, I have a really hard time with her claim that she published the book to let girls know they aren't alone in what they might be going through. Nothing in her "update" commentary is particularly dissuading about drug use... or even tormenting your friends, for that matter. She seems to have taken thinly veiled delight in the fact that, although her middle school friends tormented and ousted her, they were also tormented and ousted by each other.
While she is a decent writer, and the entries aren't quite as boring as one reviewer would have you believe, I was ultimately left with the feeling that I really don't like or care about Leslie that much. She may be sober now and she may have gone through the school of hard knocks like a real champ but she still comes across like an immature, spoiled upper middle class Gen-Xer. Ironically, she pretty much admits this.
Once I got a better look at the book, I realized that it was not just for laughs or nostalgia: the author descended into heroin addiction during her teen years, and she uses the diary entries to track her journey into drug use.
The book was a disappointment. The author tries to juxtapose her adult self with her teen self, but she actually comes off as as self-absorbed adult who thinks she's much more interesting than she is. When she tracks down childhood friends (and enemies), she doesn't get much out of them -- nothing you can't experience firsthand by finding your old classmates online and asking them what they remember about you.
It's hard to form a solid criticism of Dear Diary, because there's not enough substance there to critique. It tries to be funny, deep, even a cautionary tale, but it really doesn't hit the mark on any of these things. I was left feeling glad that Arfin got her drug addiction under control, but not so glad that I'd spent time reading her book.
But what I liked most about this book is that it's a truthful, accurate portrayal of what young girls in America go through and are still going through. Girls in this country are so unbelievably confused and constantly making poor choices because, well, I blaim society. America breeds head-cases. America breeds drug addicts and under-age sex machines. And this book, or most of it, is what most of the young girls in America are going through right now and have been going through for a while and it isn't healthy, but it sure is nostalgic for me!
I really loved this book, it hit so close to home. I actually plan on giving it to an old friend I was a teenage head-case with so she can feel nostalgic too because I know she was going through the exact same thing aswel.
I suggest his book to all girls in America who's life wasn't perfect...which is all of them. But I warn you I don't think there is a man alive who will understand this book, or anyone under 16.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This could have been my life. Being that we are the same age and grew up in Tri-State area, I found it so relateable it was scary. Read morePublished on January 14, 2014 by Jenny E Lundgren
I should've read the author's articles or blog beforehand. Unfortunately I was underwhelmed by Arfin's writing style, of course not the "diary entries" alone but the whole story... Read morePublished on November 6, 2013 by LKC
Havent read anything in years and I read this in 3 days. Very easy to read. I love how the diary entries realy give you a glimps of what goes on in the mind of an addict. Read morePublished on October 16, 2013 by Ramona L.
What a charming premise and well done at that. This book had me laughing, pausing and taking notes of my own memories. Read morePublished on September 4, 2013 by KMHD
I loved this book! There were many relatable situations and it was hilarious and awkward to read the authors perspective as an adult.Published on March 2, 2013 by katie
I could not stop laughing! The author really pulls at your heart strings and if you're over the age of 25 you'll be experiencing some real nostalgia. My boyfriend loved it too. Read morePublished on January 28, 2013 by Sharon
I thought this book was great. I loved the diary entries and her narrations that followed taking place during present time. Read morePublished on January 4, 2012 by Aubrey
This book is terribly written. Whoever edited this did a horrible job, the writer jumps all over the place and references way too many people and it gets exhausting to read after... Read morePublished on July 1, 2011 by Liz
I'm a fan of anything Lesley Arfin, this book is interesting, funny, sad, and I promise you'll have to finish it in one sitting!Published on June 12, 2011 by Esther