From School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up-Caitlin, introduced in Diary of a Teenage Girl (Multnomah, 2000), continues to use her diary as a sounding board. Now 17, she writes, "Can a girl who loves cool clothes and thick, glossy fashion magazines ever learn to accept people for who they really are underneath that veneer? I think, with God, I can." She needs to, since the people in her life turn to her for help with an overwhelming variety of problematic situations. When her psychology class gets to codependency, even Caitlin herself is appalled at the list: "I must admit that over just the last year, I've made myself almost sick with worry about others from time to time-there was my mom and dad and their marriage problems,-Aunt Steph, then Beanie with her pregnancy, Josh just because he's Josh, and for a while I was worried about Andrea, and then Zach with his drug problems, and lately it's been Jenny." Fortunately, just one prayer session with Caitlin is enough to straighten anyone out-including Beanie's abused, alcoholic mother and Jenny with her eating disorder. The diary format is almost too realistic-there is a lot of detail that doesn't move the plot forward, and Caitlin's style is difficult to take in large doses, especially her prayers in screaming capital letters. The teen alternates radically between helpful, caring actions and selfish, childish worries. Some of her decisions (not to date, to become a missionary) are interesting, but complex problems are created and resolved too quickly.
Amy A. Healy, Loyola Academy Resource Center, Wilmette, IL
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