Thursday, 9 March 2017

Review: Confessions of a High School Disaster (Chloe Snow's Diary) by Emma Chastain

Told in 365 diary entries over the course of Chloe's freshman year of high school – a year in which her mother leaves and Chloe falls in love with the (very taken) most popular senior boy, lands the lead in the school play, and feuds with her best friend. 

Expected publication: March 7th 2017 by Simon & Schuster Export 
Genre: Young Adult/Contemporary

Kristine's Thoughts:

** I received an advanced readers copy from Simon and Schuster Canada in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!**

Just when I thought that perhaps I'd had my fill of YA, along came Confessions of a High School Disaster. I've always enjoyed YA but lately I have felt like the genre has been letting me down. Either the story is too far fetched or just too cute to be relatable. Confessions of a High School Disaster was none of those things and rang so completely true to the demographic who's story it was telling.

Chloe's story was told through an entry in her diary every day throughout her first year of high school. Some entries were little more than a paragraph and others were pages long. She wrote about her absentee mother, boys, kissing, sex, friendship, her musical and everything else that happened during that scary first year of high school. With the diary method, it was easy to read and even easier to get lost in. Just one more entry and then I'll put it down was my mantra!

Be warned...

Chloe wasn't always easy to like. She made a huge amount of bad choices and she hurt people along the way. She thought about sexual experiences a lot and she drank alcohol at parties. Chloe also used poor judgement when it came to her love interest. She was obsessed with social media and was often selfish. Chloe was only 14.


I'm not that far removed (well maybe I am) from my high school experience to know that this was a realistic depiction of what high school life is like. Kids are going to parties at this age and they are drinking or worse. They are glued to their phones and social media. They are obsessed with the opposite sex and some are even having sex at this age. For the most part, it is a very selfish age and time for young people. Poor judgement and bad choices are a constant and lessons are learnt on a daily basis. This is part of the teenage experience. So I very much appreciated the realistic and sometimes hard to take teenage girl named Chloe. She was struggling along just like millions of other high school students do.

Chloe wasn't just dealing with the typical teenage angst. On top of trying to figure out who she was and where she fit in, she was dealing with a split in the family. What started out as her mother leaving for only four months to write her novel turned into a whole lot more. She was struggling with a lot. Even though it took her way longer than it should have to realise and admit the similarities between situations I still appreciated the journey she took.

Being a teenager isn't always easy and it can often be quite ugly. Chloe's path was often ugly but it was filled with lessons that she needed to take in order to learn and grow. I think teens of a similar age would be able to relate and understand her struggles.

I liked that Chloe messed up a lot, that she was hard to like and that she was selfish the majority of the time. Finally I was able to read a realistic story that wasn't all rainbows and unicorns. Messy is sometimes good and very much appreciated.

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