How my Private, Personal Journal Became a Bestseller by Julia DeVillers

Review by Emily, 14 years old, from Georgia, USA

I recommend this book for girls ages eight and older. The main character in this book is Jamie Bartlett, a fourteen-year-old girl. She wants to be like the people in magazines: beautiful, perfect, etc. She knows that those people have problems and aren't really the great people they're projected as, but she still wants to be like them. Her best friend, Harmony, is happy with herself the way she is and tries to keep Jamie from becoming something she's not. Jamie is an ordinary student until Harmony accidentally turns in Jamie's journal entry instead of her English essay. Her teacher sends it to a literary agent, and suddenly Jamie is a famous author. She has to deal with book signings, celebrity parties, award ceremonies, meeting stars, and being on television and radio - while still juggling her usual routine of friends and homework. But as she befriends a favorite celebrity of hers and is noticed by the hottest guy in school, she begins to forget the values that her journal-entry-turned-book is centered on. Will she learn a lesson from her own book and remember her friends? Or will she become yet another life wasted away by fame? This book is wonderful for dreaming authors; it encourages and it inspires. The vocabulary is limited, but makes it easier for younger readers to enjoy and understand the storyline. The plot is fast-paced and flows nicely. Although the situation is a bit unrealistic, the author acknowledges this and keeps things in perspective. Positive messages, good role models, and realistic characters and events are well-rounded and fit well in the general aspects of the story. Overall, I rate it 4.

Posted on 2010-12-18