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Dear Diary

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3.36 of 5 stars 3.36  ·  rating details  ·  1,430 ratings  ·  155 reviews
A collection of a girl's funniest diary entries from 12 to 25 years old. She updates each entry by tracking down the people involved and asking awkward questions like, "Do you remember when I tried to beat you up?" Sometimes old friends apologize. Sometimes they become new enemies. No matter who she talks to about the days we all discovered sex, drugs, and rock 'n roll, on ...more
Hardcover, 232 pages
Published June 1st 2007 by Vice Books
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Mary
Jul 29, 2007 Mary rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: people who enjoy a good bout of the dry heaves
Shelves: ya
Lesley Arfin must be stopped. When the pathologically hip Williamsburgers of Vice magazine were content to live in their overpriced lofts and vacation at their neo-plantations in Costa Rica and judge one another with their peculiar brand of fashion fascism, they were good for a laugh. But now Lesley Arfin has taken it upon herself to, as she puts it in an excruciating interview with her father, reach out to "another girl, somewhere in Minnesota" who "might be going through the same thing."

She m
...more
Pilouetta
Feb 06, 2008 Pilouetta rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommended to Pilouetta by: tema
maybe it's just me. maybe we got off to a bad start when she said she was punk in 1993 at the age of 14 (i thought it DIED when i was 15 in 1983). and maybe i can't relate to a 27 year old whose parents supported her so she could go to hampshire college, and become a heroin addict. i found her book boring and self indulgent which, i think, is exactly what a diary is, interesting to arfin and her friends ONLY. her fucking isn't that hot, her writing is ... well, she's no anais nin. her best line: ...more
matt. singer.
Lesley Arfin is not an extraordinary girl. She grew up a Jewish American Princess in Long Island, endured the same cattiness and extreme self-consciousness all teenagers suffer through, became a punk, then a raver, then went off to college — and became a full-blown junkie.

How does someone go from kick line and crushes and mosh pits to Ecstasy and crystal meth and heroin? That’s what Arfin, now 28 and “straightedge,” would like to know. "Dear Diary" is an extension of the column she writes for hi
...more
Liza Miller
Full disclosure: There is a lot (A LOT) in Lesley Arfin’s “Diary” to which I straight-up cannot relate. I don’t know what it’s like to do heroin (is that how you say it? “do heroin?”). I’ve never been to rehab. I never had a raver phase. (Should I be upset about that?) But I do remember what it’s like to write in my diary as a pre-adolescent girl about how terrifying and strange it felt to start 6th grade. And, unlike Arfin, I never want to show my diaries to anyone, let alone publish them for t ...more
Valerie
Sep 10, 2007 Valerie rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: people who aren't interested in drugs
ah gahd heroin heroin heroin. being a girl. feeling like shit. terrible horrible wonderful. yes yes yes.

i stayed up all night reading this horrible shit. i'm tired and pissed and i want drugs now. it's really good.

i've been keeping diaries as long as this chick and mine are way more interesting. way.
Kelly
I was looking through the bookstore purchasing materials for my vacation (rare treat to self) when this book on display jumped out at me. Recommendations on the back made it seem like it would be enjoyable, funny, and a speedy read.

Well it was speedy.

In this book Arfin takes diary entries from elementary school up to the present and pokes fun at them. She also goes back to talk to people she wrote about to find out if they're still jerks or whether they've mended their ways.

The problem is that A
...more
Kate
2.5 stars

I'm on the edge with this one and it's not of glory either. (Lady Gaga fans put your paws up!)

I liked the format a lot. I liked that she took the entries straight out of her personal diaries and then reflected upon it from her older self and interviewed the people involved with those entries. That was what made me stick with it and read it to the very end because Lesley Arfin has some big cajones for airing her personal laundry for all to see and read.

But (and it's a big one) I didn't l
...more
Colleen
self-indulgent to say the least.

i found a lot of it rather boring and the quality of writing was poor. [does she really think it's okay to publish a book using abbreviated forms of words such as "btw" and "jk?"-i get it. and it makes me embarassed for this aging hipster.]

i won't say that i disliked it though. i'm a pop-culturist and this is pop-culture at it's best. the author is only a few years older than me so it was nice little trip down memory lane. a fun, quick read but i don't think it w
...more
MariNaomi
This book gave me a peek into what it might have been like, had I run rampant with my adolescent/early adulthood drug use. Oh, and had I not been terrified of needles. Lesley Arfin's journal entries (and especially her observations from an older age) really rang true to me, capturing the insecurities and desperation to please that I think all young girls go through. This book felt honest, thoughtful, and her writing style made me laugh aloud numerous times. Special excitement bonus points for th ...more
Brisbride13
Simply did not like this book and wish I could give it less than a whole star. When I picked it up at the library, I didnt know anything about it, I was just attracted to it because I have always been a huge journal keeper. I didnt care for the cover too much, but just assumed it was there because the author was still so young and immature. The original diary entries just didnt strike me as genuine; there was something that didnt feel right about them. But then when I was a teenager struggling w ...more
Renee
if you do not understand irony, please do not read this book. this 'memoir' (can you really write a memoir when you're 27 and the only life experience you have is going to college and doing copious amounts of drugs?) has aspects that kept me reading- blatant juiciness and bad-girl behavior written in a straightforward manner that makes you feel like you're having a conversation with your (pretty annoying) friend.

arfin is obsessed with cool vs. lame which makes me think she is perpetually thirte
...more
Julie - Book Hooked Blog
I picked this one up at McKays because the cover reminded me a lot of Mortified (edited by David Nagel), which I enjoyed. I also needed a book for a quarterly challenge my NBC girls do that is in diary form and the premise for this book sounded hilarious. The book is made up of entries from the author's diary from middle school through her post-college years. She also includes updated commentary on her diary entries and interviews some of the people she wrote about. The back cover blurbs all tal ...more
Naomi
Aug 21, 2008 Naomi rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: no one....
Oh where do I begin...

I guess I will begin with I was very disappointed with this book. I read reviews that compares this book to "Go Ask Alice"... ha. Whoever wrote that needs to re-read that book and then re-read "Dear Diary".

I think this book may have been able to be something great, well expect that Arfin lacks any seriously writing ability. And that fact this junkie lived off of her parents money for years... I mean you can't hate on someone for that, shit that would be the life. But then t
...more
courtney
i have a "thing" for diary-type books. either real of fictionalized, even if they are schlocky airport fare i can never say no. luckliy, this book isn't - lesley writes this memoir that is half diary entries from her personal journals and half commentary on those entries and where she was in her life when she wrote them like a letter to an old friend from back home. it helps that she has led an interesting and adventurous life thus far- and dear diary reflects that in its smart yet snarky recoll ...more
Katy Graham
In this book with Diary pages that have dirty secrets that come funny and clever talk about Lesley’s life story and everything she likes and does in her teen and young adult stages. She talks about just everything possible you could imagine and things that would be way out of your mind to think about. The main focus in Dear Diary is talking about how Lesleys repeated mistakes lead her into drugs and how her drug addiction got stronger, she ended up going to rehab twice. Lesley’s main point for e ...more
Christine
I'm sorry to say this, because I thought I would like this book, but it sucked. Even though it is based on real diary entries, none of it felt very genuine or reflective in a meaningful way. There is something about rich girls whose parents pay for their college, multiple rehab stints, and apartments in Alphabet City that I will always find unappealing. Maybe if they actually had to work for something (besides sobriety), they wouldn't be so smug and self-obsessed. Like, am I supposed to care tha ...more
Lori
The author is shallow and full of herself....basically, she's the person who just wants to go on and on and on because she likes hearing herself speak.

There is nothing useful or helpful here, the writing is weak, undeveloped, and juvenile; the author seems very proud of herself for what she was involved in--and what info there is of that is very sketchy. Even as I was reading this five-minute story, I found myself wondering why this book had been published at all.
Eliza
I was so intrigued by this book - it has the dramatic trifecta: sex, drugs, and rock and roll - that it's hard to believe how bored I was reading it. Even with all of the crazy things that were going on it wasn't fun to read. Lesley is hard to relate to. I felt like she was trying to impress us. I guess it comes down to the fact that I don't know her and she didn't manage to make me care about her story. I couldn't even finish the book.
Georgina
I was going through a stage when my favourite novels/memoirs were books set in NYC and generally involving a heroin addiction or a stint in a band. Obviously this ticked the boxes, especially as it helped me indulge in nineties nostalgia. What I liked about Lesley Arfin's tour through her teenage and university years, including many years consuming too many recreational drugs, is her analysis of teenage friendships, particularly between girls. Even when they embraced cool or alternative music sc ...more
Julia
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lila Dobbs
my cuz wrote this !
Amelia
I came across this book at a really cool bookstore in Baltimore where John Waters apparently picks up his fan mail. I'd not heard of Lesley Arfin, but apparently she writes for Rookie and I adore Rookie and the aforementioned bookstore was also selling copies of Rookie Yearbook One.

So I said, "What the hell" and decided to read it.

And what a goddamned waste of time it was.

Maybe I'm missing something. Maybe I'm boring. Maybe I had the world's most uneventful adolescence. But this book pissed me o
...more
Hannah
I wanted to love this book. I had placed it on "hold" at the library almost a year ago, and when I finally received it, I could not wait to start reading it. I was disappointed, and I almost stopped reading about halfway in because it was pretty boring. I mean, the concept is very interesting: girl takes her diaries from ages 11-28 or so and posts exact entries from years ago, along with an update from now with additional information. She also interviewed people from the entries asking them ques ...more
Tiffany
Aug 10, 2008 Tiffany rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: people who want to read it
Recommended to Tiffany by: vice magazine
i read reviews of this book and of course 944 and vice and all the usual suspects loved it but my friends and general online "real" people hated it. so i didn't have very high expectations b/c if the only people who like your book are your friends and the people in your book then chances are it's not actually any good. it read a lot like vice (the author writes very much about themselves and their opinion on something as the only correct way to perceive the topic). at least she admits several ti ...more
Megan
I give the memoir, Dear Diary by Lesley Arfin 4 out of 5 stars.

Arfin takes us deep into her life from 6th grade to present day with extraordinary detail, showing us the ups and downs of drug use, being cool, and teenage phases. She explains how horribly great it is to be a teenager, even if like her, you are a little lost.

I am in love with the way Arfin writes this no nonsense piece of text with wit, humor and a good attitude about her past. Arfin makes it real for the reader, not some made up,
...more
Shay Carolan
My rating for Dear Diary by Lesley Arfin is a 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Lesley started a diary when she was 12 years old and continued writing in it until she was 25. She later used those entries to write this book showing what she wrote. She also got in contacts with people that she wrote about and did a little catching up and asked them questions about things she wrote in her diary. This book also tells about the troubles that she went through and got into as a young teen to her twenties.

What I like
...more
Ken

When I first picked up Dear Diary from a stack of vacation reading, I thought it was going to be a funny read. The idea/gimmick is that the author goes through the diary she kept through her teen years, comments on the entries, and tries to track down the people she knew at the time to get their perspective on things.


Once I got a better look at the book, I realized that it was not just for laughs or nostalgia: the author descended into heroin addiction during her teen years, and she uses the dia

...more
Hailey
For what it was (just another book about some girl who couldn't keep her shit together), the book is alright. The format is different and interesting enough to mostly keep a reader's attention until the end, though anyone could anticipate what's on the next page. The book is basically be summed up on the back cover, leaving nothing of any further interest inside.

Mostly, it was confusing. She names multitudes of people she's come in contact with over the span of fifteen years, but all the names s
...more
Laura
What is fair to say about "Dear Diary" is that while severity of bad decisions varies, a discomforting similar topos is evident. This overriding principle of insecurity threads through most young women's development. Self-loathing dismantles any objective criticism outward and inward. Lesley takes what would otherwise be stale diary entries and includes later commentary plus fascinating conversations with players years subsequently to get answers that many of us still fabricate worst case scenar ...more
Maziel
This book was about a girl named Lesley who troughout her life, she has experienced crazy and werid things. This book is a collection of her funniest diary entries from twelve to tweenty five years old. Every time she updates her diary entries, Lesley writes about and to her old friends from middle school, high school, and college. She asks them awkward questions like,"Do you remember when we started using heroin?"and "Do you remember when I tried to beat you up?" I really liked this book becau ...more
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Disappointing, 3 51 Jun 30, 2009 04:52AM  
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Lesley Arfin has been writing professionally since 2001. She graduated from Hampshire College and immediately started an internship at Vice magazine, where she then went on to write a number of articles, as well as her own column, "Dear Diary."

In 2007 her book, Dear Diary, based on the column, was published by Vice Books/MTV Press. The introduction to the book was written by Chloe Sevigny.

Lesley i
...more
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“Ever notice how amused people are when you point out one of their mannerisms or a funny quirk about them? They start laughing and getting happy because they're thinking, "People notice me! I'm relevent!" It's OK to have these instincts, but you have to suppress them a bit. There are 6 billion people here, so it's not all about you. You need to let other people talk for a while and pay attention to their world for a sec.” 5 likes
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