Authors: Melody Carlson
“As I read
&I felt as if I had been given a gift—a “backstage pass” into the life and heart of Caitlin O’Conner. It is a wonderful and mysterious ride as we are allowed a rare chance to travel alongside a teenage girl as she lives in the real world. This is a unique and refreshing read—fun and entertaining, while at the same time moving and insightful. Read and learn.”
“Creative and impactful! The
drew me in as my concern for Caitlin and her friends grew stronger each page I turned. It gave me the inside story relative to issues I see in my own life—and among my friends and peers. I recommend this book to every teenage girl going through the struggles of peer pressure, dating, and other temptations we face in life.”
“As a teacher I found
to be a realistic look into the lives of Caitlin O’Conner and her friends. This book is dynamic, challenging, and fun!”
MOTHER AND FORMER HIGH SCHOOL TEACHER
Diary of a Teenage Girl
, Melody Carlson captures the voice of teens today in a character we can all relate to. This book sends the message every parent, youth pastor, and wise student wants to share. The unique peer perspective makes it very effective. Integrating the crucial message of the gospel, it forces us to weigh issues and causes us to look at a young person—in reality, ourselves—objectively. It challenges, convicts, and leaves us with hope for the future. I highly recommend this book.”
TUDENT AND DAUGHTER OF
“Melody Carlson writes with the clear, crisp voice of today’s adolescent.
Diary of a Teenage Girl
is sure to please any teenager who is struggling with peer pressure, identity, and a desire to know and understand God’s will. A moving, tender story that will be remembered…and loved.”
UNT, AUTHOR OF
IFE AS A
“From the first page,
Diary of a Teenage Girl
captured me. I couldn’t stop reading! This is a brilliant, well-crafted imaginary journey to the heart of a sixteen-year old. I can’t wait for the sequel!”
BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF THE
ERIES AND THE
I heard somewhere
that when you write in a diary you should pretend that you’re writing a letter to a really good friend, someone you trust completely, and you know will never laugh at you. So that’s what I’m telling myself, because to tell the truth I feel kind of silly writing about my life in this dorky little book. And it’s funny because I’ve actually had this diary for several years now, and suddenly it hits me—like hey, I’m sixteen! According to some people this should be one of the most memorable eras of my whole life. Well, I’m not too sure I even want to remember everything about being sixteen, but on the other hand, things seem to be looking up lately, and it might actually be fun to track how the rest of my junior year goes. Especially considering the first few months have been pretty dull so far.
But first of all, let me say this: Being sixteen is not really that sweet. And furthermore, it’s not terribly
exciting either—at least not for me (although I’m certain that some kids my age are having a really great time). Take last night, for instance, I wanted to go to a New Year’s Eve party with my friend, Beanie Jacobs. But do you think I got to go? Yeah, right! To protest, I stayed up in my room most of the night, until my mom literally begged me (using her famous it’s-a-holiday guilt trip combined with the promise of double-dutch brownies) to “come join the family.” And then we watched this really lame video about a bunch of stupid kids who got lost in the woods. And then we stayed up until midnight and watched our neighbors shooting off (what are supposed to be illegal) fireworks. Well, big whoopdee-doo!
But back to being sixteen and how it’s not so sweet. What some people don’t realize is that sixteen comes with its own set of problems. Like, take driving for instance. I was all excited when I got my license the end of last summer (on my birthday, no less!), and I thought for sure my parents would want to get me a car now. Naturally, I didn’t expect a new car (although I wouldn’t mind having one of those cool VW Bugs with the little flower vases on the dashboard—maybe in yellow or blue), but I would have settled for almost any old thing with four wheels, as long as it ran decently. But do you think I could get them to spring for a car (even though I patiently explained how they’d never have to haul me around everywhere, and how I would even give my little brother rides to his stupid ball games not to mention run an endless amount of errands for them)?
Well, think again!
don’t want to deal with
kind of responsibility yet, Caitlin Renee,” Mommy says ever so sweetly. (I’m pretty sure she even patted me on the head!)
Honestly, sometimes my parents treat me like I’m still ten years old! And, of course, they say it’s because they love me, but I think the truth is they don’t really trust me. They probably think if they give me just the tiniest taste of freedom that I’ll run hog-wild, get a tattoo, and start smoking dope or something equally disgusting! Why can’t they believe in me—just a little? I mean, I’ve never given them a single reason not to trust me (at least nothing of any real significance). It’s just not fair. About the only thing they willingly let me do is to go to our church’s high school youth group functions—and, man, let me tell you, there are some kids in there who are pretty bad news. Not exactly a great “influence” as my dad likes to call any teenage kid he doesn’t quite get (take my best friend, Beanie, for instance, but I’ll get to her later). Anyway, the thing is, I don’t even tell my parents about the kids in youth group who smoke and drink and God only knows what else—or I’d never get to go
until I turned twenty-one!
Now I’ll try to say something nice about my parents (just in case they’re reading this).
And if they are—I will take back every single word of it, and never, ever speak to the old snoops again!
Okay, for the most part, my parents are pretty cool (and not the kind of people to read other people’s diaries!). For one thing, they’ve managed to stay married to each other for almost twenty years (a
pretty big deal when everyone else’s parents seem to be splitting up); and my dad has a pretty interesting job at an advertising firm downtown, while my mom teaches first grade. I guess I could’ve done worse as far as parents go. Like my best friend, Beanie Jacobs, her dad was a cocaine addict who left her mom with nothing but overdue bills when Beanie was still in diapers. On top of that, her mom’s kind of freaky and irresponsible, plus she drinks too much and forgets to pay her bills. I know she got married really young, but it’s kind of like she never grew up. But she actually makes Beanie act like the parent most of the time, which is pretty weird, if you ask me.
Of course, the one good thing about that whole Beanie situation is that she gets to do whatever she wants whenever she wants. And I kind of envy that. Oh, sure, I know it has its down side too. Let me tell you, Lynn Jacobs (Beanie’s mom) can be pretty scary sometimes, and I’ve seen her tear into Beanie like she’s a dog or something less than human. As a consequence I try to never get on that woman’s bad side (which lately seems to be every side). Anyway, Beanie’s been my best friend since sixth grade (when we both discovered we were totally hopeless on the violin). I could tell right off she was really smart, and she had this really dry sense of humor. Plus, I liked that she wasn’t afraid to speak up and say how she felt (at least around anyone but her mom).
Now, I’ll be the first to admit that Beanie Baby (she goes absolutely nuts when I call her that, which I rarely do, except if I’m ticked at her about something) tends to
dress, well, shall I say, outlandishly (I’ve been reading Jane Austen books lately and sometimes I wish we still talked like that)? But back to Beanie and how she has this rather interesting sense of style (you see, her mom never gives her any money for clothes, so she has to come up with all these creative ways of dressing—and she actually shops at Goodwill, and then she even sews some of her weird stuff together). And sometimes she even dyes her hair some pretty wild colors like magenta or midnight blue. Normally it’s almost black and very curly which she says is because her dad was Jewish, although she doesn’t practice his religion.
But Beanie’s pretty fun to hang with, and I’m glad she’s my friend. My parents didn’t like her at all at first. But then I got her going to youth group with me. And now they think she’s okay but strange, and I don’t think they quite trust her. Beanie’s actually very pretty (in a sultry kind of way) and one time my mom (trying to be helpful) wanted to give her a complete makeover—but that’s another story. Let’s just suffice it to say that when Mom was done, Beanie looked like a Mary Kay poster child. Poor Beanie.
Well, I guess that’s enough for one night. So, now, you can see how my life is just so terribly exciting. Like, wow, maybe they’ll make this book into a movie some day! Not!
I need to say that I read back over my first entry in this diary and had to laugh. I mean, I sound like such a blabbermouth. And in real life I’m not even like that. In
fact, some people think I’m rather quiet and reserved. My grandma says that’s a good thing because there’s a Proverb that says something like “even a total fool can appear wise if she keeps her mouth shut.” Anyway, I guess the way we express ourselves in writing isn’t always the way we express ourselves in real life (and I notice I use a lot of parentheses too). But that’s okay—I think writing is fun. Now back to my life…
Okay, today I’m thinking about the pros and cons of popularity (well, mostly the pros). And believe me, I realize (as much as any sixteen-year-old possibly can) that popularity is highly overrated and it’s not like it’s ever been my primary goal in life. But I guess I never wanted to be a total geek either! And it’s not like I am. Not really anyway. Okay, I’m not popular, but I’m not such a loser. I guess I’m just not much of anything. I mean I’m not in any particular group in school—not a geek or a freak, not exactly an academic, and certainly not a jock! Mostly I just hang with Beanie, and
with some of the kids from youth group (but then they can act pretty geeky at times, and we don’t always like being connected with them, not that anyone would really care since we are basically nobodies anyway).
But just because we’re “nobodies” doesn’t mean that kids who think they are “somebody” should put us down. Does it? I mean, I don’t think I put other kids down (even if I think they’re total geeks), but I suppose if I was being really honest (which was my original goal in this diary, so I better stick to it)…well, I suppose I might act just a little
superior sometimes. I mean, it’s not like I really think I’m better than anyone else or anything—but I suppose I might act a little bit snooty, especially when I’m afraid that someone else is going to put me down anyway. I know that’s not very nice, but it’s the truth.