I had never heard of this book before yesterday. But, after debating for 20 minutes, I’m glad I decided to finally buy it.
How My Private, Personal Journal Became a Bestseller starts out with a normal 14-year-old girl who is just trying to survive her freshman year of high school. She has the usual popular girls who pick on her. (“Nice outfit…if you’re color blind!”) She has a crush who doesn’t notice her. And just when she is convinced that her life can never change, it does.
Jamie is assigned an essay for her English class. After finishing, she decides to clear her mind by writing a journal entry. Too bad. She accidentally submits her journal entry instead of her essay to her English teacher.
And that’s how a normal 14-year-old girl with a B+ in English gets her big break.
Sure, the plot may be a bit unrealistic, but it is an incredible book. I finished it in one day, causing my parents to raise their eyebrows. “Since when do you like reading?” they asked. I don’t like reading, I like writing.
I think one of my favorite parts of the book is the fact that a 14-year-old girl managed to get a book published. I guess you can say that has always been one of my secret dreams. Although I doubt something like this would ever happen, especially to me, it’s very cool to read about it, even if it is fiction.
Meg Cabot, author of the Princess Diaries series, said the book was “Wonderful fun! Aspiring novelists will love it.” I think that Meg was exactly right. In fact, that was one of the major reasons I decided to read this book. I love to write. I’m actually inspired to start keeping a journal.
That is the main reason I liked the book but I think that people who don’t even like writing would like the book. It appeals to a lot of different people. One of the main themes is that the popular people will not prevail. Ever.
The book that Jamie ends up publishing is about a superhero (IS), who defeats the evil clique of populars including Myrna (The Queen Bee), The Backstabbor, The Gossipor, The Insultor, The Fashionistor, The Ostracizor, The Dietor, and The Betrayor. I’m sure almost all girls my age have experienced encounters with one of these “evil villains.” One by one, an evil villain falls and IS gets closer to her goal. Sometimes I wish that people like this at high school would fall so my life would be much better.
I also liked how well this book was written. Obviously, the book isn’t really written by 14-year-old Jamie Bartlett; it’s written by Julia DeVillers. I have trouble finding books written by adults that I can relate to.
Let’s face it; it’s been a long time for most authors to remember high school and its horrors. But Julia seems to hit it dead on. With the pressure of school, friends, boys, and popular people who just can’t seem to leave you alone, she seems to remember it well or at least she writes it very well. And although the main character Jamie ends up getting a book published and heads to Hollywood premieres, I still can relate to Jamie and I love that.
I also liked how Julia made some characters surprise you. There are two characters in particular who I really thought were just one-note characters. But by the end they turned out to be very important to the story. I realized that from the beginning the characters had a purpose and every single character was put in for a reason.
Sure, the plot is extremely unrealistic. But I loved it. The plot fed my dreams and inspired me. The characters are, on the other hand, very realistic. I could relate to many of the characters. The way that Julia DeVillers wrote the book was extremely well planned and, overall, very well done. The message was good. I am so telling all my friends to read this book (I’m working on my sister right now…) Wow. I think I just found myself a new favorite book.