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Who I Am: Diary Number 3 (Diary of a Teenage Girl) [Kindle Edition]

Melody Carlson
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)

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Book Description

It's challenging enough to be a normal high school senior -- but Caitlin O'Conner has a host of new difficulties to deal with in the third book of Melody Carlson's widely popular and fascinating teen series.

Time is critical to help the orphans in Mexico, missions-minded Caitlin believes, but Mom and Dad are set on her attending college. Meanwhile, her relationship with Josh takes on a serious tone via e-mail -- threatening her commitment to "kiss dating goodbye."

When Beanie begins dating an African-American, Caitlin's concern over dating seems to be misread as racism. One thing is obvious: God is at work through this dynamic girl in very real but puzzling ways. A soul-stretching time of racial reconciliation at school and within her church helps her discover God's will as never before.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Books In This Series (5 Books)
Complete Series

  • Editorial Reviews

    About the Author

    Melody Carlson is the bestselling author of more than seventy books for teens, women, and children with total sales over 1 million. She has two grown sons and enjoys an active lifestyle of hiking, skiing, and biking. She lives in the beautiful Oregon Cascade Mountains with her husband and Labrador retriever.

    Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.


    Tuesday (after the missions conference)

    It’s a brand new year, and it seems appropriate that I should begin a new diary today. And yet, to be perfectly honest, I don’t feel much like writing. I know that seems crazy since so much has happened in the last few days—like I should be blabbering on for pages and pages. But I guess I’m feeling a little bummed right now or maybe just confused. And even that doesn’t make sense, because I’ve had such an unbelievably awesome time here at Urbana. I mean, I’ve heard and seen more about worldwide missions than I’d ever imagined possible. And it almost blows your mind to see how many organizations exist! Still, that doesn’t exactly explain this weird mix of emotions I’m having. To start with, I feel pretty small and insignificant at the moment (and I realize how self-centered that sounds). But it’s the truth, and I guess it’s because I’m just one among thousands of young people who God might be calling to some sort of missions opportunity somewhere around the globe.
    I know it doesn’t make sense. (I should be glad that so many kids really want to serve God.) Maybe I’m just tired and ready to go home. Or maybe I’m feeling a little slighted that Josh Miller has been so obsessed with the conference that he acts as if I don’t even exist. Now how’s that for shallow? (On my part, I mean.) Not to mention painfully honest! Okay, I know, I’ve made this big commitment not to date, and I’m trying really hard to stick to it, but, sheesh, how does it make a girl feel when  someone like Josh won’t even give her the time of day? Wasn’t it just a year ago that Josh (my number-one hottee) was first getting interested in me—little Miss Nobody? And look at us now. It’s almost funny. And yet…
    Thankfully, we’re about to hit the road! But before I sign off on New Year’s Day sounding so gloomy, I must admit I do feel somewhat hopeful too. And I did get the chance to talk with several missions groups who focus on helping the most impoverished children, kind of like the kids at the dump in Mexico. As it turns out (sad as it seems) children who live at garbage dumps aren’t all that uncommon (especially in Latin America). And so, I gathered up all these brochures and e-mail addresses and stuff, and I’ll be communicating with the missions groups for more information and advice (not to mention praying that God will lead me!). And that all seems pretty worthwhile.
    And if it wasn’t for that, I’d probably be feeling pretty discouraged right now. There were times when I actually wondered why I’d come to this conference. Because almost every missions person I spoke with kept saying, “You need to go to college before you seriously consider going to work in Mexico or anywhere else.” One old
    guy practically read me the riot act; he said it was “inexperienced people like me that gave missionaries a bad name,” thank you very much! Well, let me tell you, that really made my day.
    Still, one nice woman suggested I might invest my summer vacation down in Mexico and continue my college studies throughout the rest of the year. That was a little encouraging. But for the most part, I just sat there in the stands, a face in the crowd, looking out upon all these thousands of kids (most of them partway or even finished with college). And the embarrassing truth is I now feel like this teeny, tiny droplet in a great, big ocean. And I wonder what possible difference little old me can have on anything? But then again, I’m probably just tired, and I do have a cold that’s making me feel kinda down too. So, I suppose it’s times like this that I need to remember my
    verse about trusting God with all my heart.
    I must admit, I’m looking forward to seeing Josh and the other guys during our trip back home. Naturally, they stayed in one of the men’s dorms. (I was in the women’s.) And like I said Josh mostly ignored me—okay, he completely ignored me. But I suppose that was a good thing. It did allow me to focus my attention on missions without being distracted by his great Matt Damon good looks, although I did notice a few other girls looking as well as what appeared to me to be flirting! Okay, okay, I’m not jealous. Well, not exactly. I think I’m mostly just tired and need to go home. Man, I can’t wait to sleep in my own bed!
    Thursday, January 3 (after a grueling trip)
    Sheesh, I thought we’d never get home. A nasty snowstorm blew up shortly after we took off, and we had to go painfully slow and be careful. We took turns driving around the clock for two and a half days. Thankfully, Josh had a cell phone so we remained in touch with our families. But everyone got so tired and grumpy that I was afraid we might slide right off the road and get stuck in a snowdrift and end up just like the Donner party! Well, I doubt we actually would’ve turned into cannibals, but we might’ve killed each other off. Suffice it to say, I am quite glad to see the old homestead again. And it makes me wonder just how serious I really am about going down to Mexico to live. I mean, that’s a long ways from home. Something to think about, I guess. But maybe I’ll think about it tomorrow…after I’ve slept for about, say, nineteen or twenty hours! By the way, I don’t think Josh and I exchanged more than a few sentences the entire time. Oh, well, I guess I should be thankful.
    Friday, January 4 (back to the norm, whatever that is)
    Even though I was kind of exhausted, it was something of a relief to be back at school today and back around kids my own age, who are just doing ordinary things like complaining about the basketball team’s latest losing streak or soggy french fries in the cafeteria. Although, at the same time, it did seem slightly odd that no one here talked about saving the lost or feeding the hungry or getting Bibles to some third world tribe. And I suppose it all seems just a mite shallow in contrast to where I was only a week ago. But naturally I kept these thoughts to myself.
    At least my best friends Jenny and Beanie seemed really glad to see me. And I think they were actually relieved to hear that I wasn’t planning on dropping out of school my senior year and hitchhiking down to Mexico to save the world or something equally absurd. I wouldn’t be surprised if they both thought I was about to go off the
    deep end and do something totally weird and fanatical.
    But speaking of weird, here’s what’s got me scratching my head today. It seems that Beanie has this new “romantic interest” in her life (Joel Johnson). And this has got me a little concerned. Not so much because I thought she and Zach Streeter would ever get back together or anything, because I know they’re only “just friends” now, and Josh even told me that Zach probably has a girlfriend at college. (Although I don’t think Beanie knows this—or maybe she does!) But the thing is, it’s been only about six months since Beanie promised God she would abstain from sex, and I suppose I sort of thought that meant she wasn’t going to date either. And she hasn’t. Well, until now, that is. And, of course, it’s her life—and it’s her decision—and I have absolutely no right to judge her. But, sheesh, this guy isn’t even a Christian. And quite frankly I just don’t get it!
    Jenny told me that Beanie had been talking about Joel a lot last semester (and I’m wondering where was I?), and she said she wasn’t a bit surprised when they finally went out—to a movie on New Year’s Eve, as it turns out. But then, how could Jenny understand my concerns about Beanie? I mean, Jenny still thinks it’s okay to date  and stuff. I’m not even sure where she stands on the abstinence issue. And she and Trent Ziegler have been going out since before Christmas, and he’s not a Christian either. But it’s really none of my business, right? So why should any of it even surprise or bother me?
    Maybe it’s just that I’m feeling a little like the odd man out right now. You know that old fifth wheel thing. Or maybe I’m just afraid that we’re all going to grow apart or that Beanie and Jenny might stop taking God seriously. Already it seems like those two are living in their own little world. I mean, they live together and work together and the fact is, I feel kind of out of it just now. So how can I possibly step in and say that I’m all worried about their spiritual conditions without sounding like a total nerd? I mean, it seems like I should be able to tell my two best friends how I feel, but I’m not so sure. What if they see me as some kind of religious fanatic? (Am I a fanatic?)
    Oh, maybe I’m just overreacting to what is simply normal high school behavior. To be perfectly honest, I feel pretty confused right now and I’m thinking I better just pray about all this stuff and try really hard to keep my big mouth shut before I’m really sorry. (Now, wouldn’t that be a good exercise in self-control!)

    Product Details

    • File Size: 3331 KB
    • Print Length: 256 pages
    • Publisher: Multnomah Books (February 4, 2009)
    • Sold by: Random House LLC
    • Language: English
    • ASIN: B001RLBWL2
    • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
    • X-Ray:
    • Word Wise: Enabled
    • Lending: Not Enabled
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #564,456 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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    Customer Reviews

    4.4 out of 5 stars
    4.4 out of 5 stars
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    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Who I am: Diary of a Teenage Girl April 5, 2003
    Author: Melody Carlson

    This book is an autobiography of Caitlin O' Conner, a 17 year old girl (going on 18) in her senior year at high school. It is the 3rd book in the series Diary of a Teenage Girl. Her two best friends are Jenny and Beanie, but Caitlin soon makes a new friend Anna. Caitlin lives with her mom, dad and little brother, Ben. She has recently given up on dating, since she has given her heart to God! Her x-boy friend who has also stopped dating is Josh. His little sister, Chloe, is starting to become a little to mature for her age and dressing like she was 18. He is concerned about her, so he asked Caitlin to become friends with her and try to teach Chloe about God. Caitlin's uncle, who is also her pastor at church, helps her and her friends in the many problems they face! Caitlin is a person who likes to be in control, and think what she does is what her friends should do. Her friends get annoyed of her trying to run their life's and trying to get them to stop dating and forget about boys! Caitlin is trying to work on that, and she learns a very good lesson at what she should say! She is struggling with issues such as teen suicide, racial prejudice, and her own judgmental heart, but the only thing to keep her going is her faith! Being her senior year, Caitlin is trying to decide what to do with the rest of her life! Not being accepted into the college she really would like to join (unless she wants to pay full price), throws her whole life of balance. Go throw this amazing journey of courage and guts with Caitlin, as she struggles to make the right decisions! It is a never-ending adventure of a 17 year old trying to follow God's pathway and deal with the rest of the world! I really enjoyed this book and hope you check it out!! Especailly if you are a teenager and cant decide what to do with the rest of your life!
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    3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars My review December 8, 2002
    By A Customer
    I loved this book because it really was real. I liked the way it can apply to a teenage girls' lives. I liked the way it kept you on the edge of your seat.I loved this book because it taught you how to be a good friend. The book also taught people to not judge others becuase Caitlen(the narrator)met so many people and helped so many of her friends change their lives it's really amazing.The book taught me to be open and also be a good listener at the same so that your friends can talk to you about lots of things. I enjoyed this book and I hope you will enjoy it too. So if you're a teenage girl I hope you read it enjoy it.
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    2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars Great read if you ask me....... March 28, 2002
    By A Customer
    Well like the other books in the series you will not be able to put it down(like me who read it in two days or less).you take a another 6 month journey in the life of Catlin O'conner, in this time Catlin manages to incounter racial issues, dating issues, and any other issue that comes around in a teenage girls life. But with her continuious faith in God and in herself she triumphs.
    So if you haven't got on the Diary of a Teenage Girl bandwagon then what are you waiting for, not only will you find it entertaining you will find a piece of yourself in Catlin as well (I know I did). Oh yeah I have to give a lot of credit to Melody Carlson for her terrific work and mention that the 4th installment of the series will becoming out july 2002 titled "On My Own"
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    1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
    3.0 out of 5 stars The Weakest of the Series So Far October 23, 2012
    Caitlin continues to tell her tale through diary entries in this third installment of the series. This time she is a senior, dealing with race issues, suicide, dating, and other typical teenage woes. Some of the references and situations felt a little dated, namely the prolonged "name dropping" of the prayer of Jabez.

    It has been the weakest of the series so far for me, though still worth a read for those vested in the series. Something about the circumstances was a little cookie cutter and idealistic. I feel odd saying that, since some horrible tragedies take place, but even those tragedies felt too polished. I was excited to meet Chloe, since I had no idea that was coming, and am looking forward to quickly moving onto the fourth book.

    As with the first two books, the story is in first-person diary format. There are some sexual situations, though they are dealt with in a realistic and meaningful way that are meant to teach.
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    1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Read April 13, 2002
    By Allyn
    Somehow, this book wasn't as impactful or QUITE as good as the other books in the series. I think it was because Caitlin didn't make the life-changing decisions in "Who I Am" that she made in the previous books.
    Still, it is certainly a good book. Caitlin is a great main character-as always-and you will enjoy hearing about her senior year in highschool-a time of thinking about prejudice, making new friends, and thinking (as always) about the boundaries and definitions of dating.
    "Who I Am" is certainly a worthy sequel-just a LITTLE dull since we are just hearing about the last part of Caitlin's senior year. I think readers will enjoy it-and I predict that the next book in this series, "On My Own" will be a much more "important" and impactful than this one as it recounts Caitlin's first year of college.
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    1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars A revelation April 18, 2002
    Through out our high school years we go through peer-pressure, and beliving if there really is a GOD. I whent through the same experiences that Caitlin did. It is amazing how much God can do for us if we just let him have our heart. For we can do all things through Jesus Christ our LORD who strengthens us. I pray that who ever reads this book... comes to find the lord... and comes to seek him...that they too will come to accept JESUS CHRIST as their LORD and SAVIOR! IN THE NAME OF JESUS!And if they already have, and their lifes have been a continues dead end street with no answeres that they seek and find Jesus and recommit their lifes to him ~AMEN
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    Most Recent Customer Reviews
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    Excellent Christian teen book
    Published 23 days ago by Theresa Hover
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    love it
    Published 3 months ago by Joe DiMaggio
    5.0 out of 5 stars love it!!
    Great book!!
    Published 6 months ago by sonialex4
    5.0 out of 5 stars Good for teenagers
    These books are great for young teenagers. I have a 14 year old niece and she loves all the books from this author.
    Published 9 months ago by Patricia
    5.0 out of 5 stars Great! Daughter loves the series
    My daughter is 12 and loves this series, fell out of love with reading and is now on the 5 the book. She needed something relatable and interesting, she found it here!
    Published 23 months ago by Jd
    5.0 out of 5 stars Daughter Liked It
    I ordered this for my daughter, and she's now read 3 of her books. She really likes this author. Thanks.
    Published on February 4, 2013 by L. Burroughs
    5.0 out of 5 stars The 3rd book in the series.....
    This is the third installment in Diary of a young girl. She is in her senior year of high school and she has her two best friends Jenny and Beanie. Read more
    Published on January 14, 2012 by JesusJuice
    5.0 out of 5 stars BEST BOOK SERIES EVER
    Published on April 17, 2011 by Addy
    5.0 out of 5 stars Very Pleased
    I was very satisfied with the quality as well as purchase price of this "like new" book. My daughter enjoys the reading of the book as well. Read more
    Published on July 26, 2010 by blej
    4.0 out of 5 stars Who I am
    Great teenage stories that draw students to want to read the book. I can't keep the series of books in my classroom. As soon as it's checked in it's checked out by someone else.
    Published on September 30, 2007 by Debra L. Haber
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    More About the Author

    Melody Carlson has written more than 200 books (with sales around 6.5 million) for teens, women and children. That's a lot of books, but mostly she considers herself a "storyteller." Her novels range from serious issues like schizophrenia (Finding Alice) to lighter topics like house-flipping (A Mile in My Flip-Flops) but most of the inspiration behind her fiction comes right out of real life. Her young adult novels (Diary of a Teenage Girl, TrueColors etc.) appeal to teenage girls around the world. Her annual Christmas novellas become more popular each year. She's won a number of awards (including Romantic Time's Career Achievement Award, the Rita and the Gold Medallion) and some of her books have been optioned for film/TV. Carlson has two grown sons and makes her home in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and yellow Lab dog. To find out more about Melody Carlson, visit her website at

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