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Mortified

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3.69 of 5 stars 3.69  ·  rating details  ·  1,128 ratings  ·  192 reviews
Share the shame.

In the days before blogs, teenagers recorded their lives with a pen in top-secret notebooks, usually emblazoned with an earnest, underlined plea to parents to keep away. Since 2002, David Nadelberg has tapped that vast wellspring of adolescent anguish in the stage show Mortified, in which grown men and women confront their past with firsthand tales of the
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Paperback, 416 pages
Published November 28th 2006 by Gallery Books
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,033)
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Laura
May 16, 2008 Laura rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: humor
These excerpts from kids' diaries might make you flash back somewhat uncomfortably to your own teen and pre-teen years when the most pressing matter was whether Gordon just liked you, or whether he liked you liked you. But despite the title, I found all these diary entires sweet, even when they're completely bizarre. Example from the diary of an eighth-grade girl:

"Ever since I recommitted my life to Christ on Saturday, I've been having such a good life. I kind of like this guy named Andy. Later
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Lisa Vegan
Nov 11, 2007 Lisa Vegan rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everyone who remembers being a teenager & a kid
First of all, I have to say that as I was reading this book, I had to go back and change my rating of Anne Frank’s diary from 4 to 5 stars.

This is a really fun & easy read. A lot of these kids’ diaries/letters are mediocre, at times even boring because of the repetitiveness, but right in the middle of one of those, there’d be an entry where I’d start laughing out loud, and that happened numerous times.

I do think this material probably works even better as a stage show. Was slightly disappoi
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Caris
Dec 02, 2009 Caris rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2009
Dear Mr. Belvedere,

When I was a kid (from about ages six to nineteen), I delighted in stumbling across a folded up piece of paper on the ground. Often it was a scrap of homework, more often it was a receipt, but sometimes...sometimes...it was a note. And not just any note, but a note between a couple of people I didn't know. I can't really explain the allure. There was something about the anonymity. These people could say anything, ANYTHING, and there would be no consequence. There could be all
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Megan
Dec 04, 2009 Megan rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Megan by: Caris
This book brightened my day. A lot. I enjoyed this peek into teenagers' lives. Kids are so funny, even when they're embarassing themselves, or wallowing in their own desperate thoughts. Reading it made me think of the stuff I wrote when I was a kid, and cringe to think of it in book format - but I appreciate the authors of these various pieces for sharing their own.

Two things, though - I disliked that all of the contributors seem to be in show business and would have preferred examples from peop
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Lilly G
Mar 14, 2007 Lilly G rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everyone. anyone who needs to be cheered up.
Oh. My. God.

Imagine if someone took your most personal writing, your diary entries from when you had a crush on Tony or totally hated Dana*, your fan letters to Kirk Cameron, or your list of ways to improve your wretched, self-hating teen incarnation of you.
And then they edited it for form and published it in the BEST BOOK EVER.

Just imagine.

I heart this book so so so much. I don't remember the last time I laughed out loud like this. I was cracking up with abandon on the subway, in line at the ai
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Carolanne
Okay, after seeing Mortified in person, I am giving the book a second try and am VERY happy! Its pretty funny. The Porn Story- "Well, Brad and I sat in his car and did in the back seat while 'Ice Ice Baby' was playing on the radio. He unzipped my leather jacket and frenched my boobs and squeezed my butt" hahahahahahah.

"To whom it may concern,
Last week I read a story that Ringling brothers circus turned a goat into a unicorn. I think that is one of the meanest things you could do to a goat. Now
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Caroline
Teen angst ain't all it's cracked up to be. Yes, Mortified had it moments. But it simply was not mortifying enough.

Best entry: 'Duran Duran Fan Fiction'. It could've been written by me when I was Fourteen. And, no, I'm not shamed to admit that ...
Jackie "the Librarian"
Oddly dissatisfying. Too many similar entries, not enough follow up on what happened to these people. I guess I had a pretty sheltered childhood, as I had trouble relating to the more graphic entries. I can see that this would work better as performance art.
Jaye
Aug 13, 2007 Jaye rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone who ever went to middle or high school
Remember back before blogs, IM and MySpace? You know, notes and diaries? Well, here a bunch of 30-somethings get together to share their most humiliating notes and journal entries. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll go find your 7th grade diary.
MeganM
Freaking hilarious. Sometimes painfully so. The 'sex' fantasies about Duran Duran hit a little too close to home for me - really brought me back to being 13 again and truly believing I would some day marry John Taylor.
Sara
If you read this, you will feel so much better about how big of a dork you were in middle school. These people are BRAVE to share these stories and let people laugh at them. I burned everything that my pencil touched at that age.
Leenda dela Luna
Very funny collection of excerpts from teen/tween diaries. Not quite as hysterical as the live show - but a great read if you don't have performances in your area - just remember to do so in an highly angsty teen voice.
Dana
I only made it to page 142 before it was due back at the library and returned it but here is my review so far...in teen diary style.

February 3, 2012
This is so annoying! In the middle of reading a great book I have to return it. I mean this book is super funny and I like to have it around to read a few entries in between novels. Then I had to go and open my big fat mouth and tell Alexa about it and then she went and put it on hold and now I have to wait until she is done with it until I can finis
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Alissa Bach
Ah, being a teenager... The drama! The angst! The ab-so-freaking-lute tragedy that was your daily life! The (grossly mistaken) confidence that YOU and YOU ALONE were smarter than everyone--especially your parents--and knew absolutely everything there was to know about the world! ( care for a shot of overcompensation, anyone?) One day you were at the heights of happiness and the next saw you in the depths of despair ( Note: the later was an actual phrase used by my best friend and I when we were, ...more
Robin Conley
This book had its moments, but in the end I was slightly disappointed. From the back and the description I expected Mortified to be funny, and it was in a few parts, but mostly it was just nostalgic. It reminded me of being a kid and the stupid things I did, but I didn't find myself laughing throughout. Maybe I just expected too much, or the wrong thing.

Still, I enjoye the book. It was interesting to see all these snapshots of other peoples' childhoods, and to see how many reminded me of myself
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Sarai
Amazon product description:
Mortified takes real childhood journals and documents and edits the entries into captivating, comedic, and cathartic stories, introduced by their now older (and allegedly wiser) authors. From letters begging rescue from a hellish summer camp to catty locker notes about stuck-up classmates to obsessive love that borders on stalking, Mortified gives voice to the real -- and really pathetic -- hopes, fears, desires, and creative urgings that have united adolescents for ge
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Danny
Jan 12, 2009 Danny rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone who used to keep a "serious" diary as a teen
I picked this book up after attending a live performance of the Mortified show and quickly working my way through it.

The premise of the book/show is to take old diary entries, love letters or similar from those who have now grown out of adolescence and can only look back on their own shallowness/lack of understanding with abject mortification. Then it publishes these works for all of the rest of the world to gawk and laugh at. If you haven’t kept a journal/diary or whatnot during your youth, yo
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Ciara
Dec 22, 2008 Ciara rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: keepers of angsty journals, junior high graduates, people who need a laugh
the concept behind this book is that real people allowed the editor to re-publish their youthful diary entries & other confessional writings (love letters & such forth). the result is hilariously awful. this book seriously made me laugh out loud more times than i can count. so why only a three-star rating? probably just because you can buy this book at urban outfitters, & i am reluctant to give anything with such faux-hipster cachet a terribly high rating. it's the snob in me, which ...more
Jessica
While there were a few laugh out loud excepts in this book, they were few and far between. The remainder of the excerpts were either pretty pedestrian or exceptionally sad, heartbreaking, and scary cries for help. There are entries written by 12 and 13 year girls who are doing cocaine, having sex, and dating men in their 20's. There are endless of entries of girls with low self esteem who have the most heart wrenching view of the world and boys they like. There is an entry by a teenage boy who t ...more
Karen Germain
I received this book as a Christmas present and read it in less than a day. This collection of read teenage diary excerpts is impossible to put down. Admittedly, some of the entries are far more entertaining than others, but at only a few pages each, it's easy to easy to forgive the less interesting chapters.

I loved that the childhood pictures accompany the chapters. It's great to have faces to the stories. Months ago, I had received a copy of a "This American Life" CD that had a selection from
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Jennifer Burns
Mortified is a semi-hilarious diaries/essays/journals of youth. Remember when you wrote "notes" during class that started with "Hey, What's up, Dude?" and then rattled on about nothing. That's mostly what this book is made up of. ost kids and people for that matter, just don't have anything interesting to say. There were a few stand outs.

*Sara Barron wrote a porn where she thought you pee when you orgasm. Yep.
*Lisa Fowler was a cotton judger and details "There's more to life than cotton." (I wal
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Erin
For anyone who has ever kept a journal (or a diary) in junior high/high school and read back on it years later, you can appreciate just how silly you were as a teenager. And how everything was SUCH. A BIG. DEAL. Reading similar stories from adults relaying their teenage dramas from back in the late 80s and early 90s made me laugh out loud, as I could relate to: writing the awful romance scenes filled with "famous" musicians (Duran Duran for some of these girls, Color Me Badd [...don't judge me:] ...more
Recynd
Contrary to the author-editor's disclaimer in the introduction, the best part of this book is, in fact, the little pokes of nostalgia scattered throughout...and though the tidbits are refreshingly genuine (each diary entry has, purportedly, been left unaltered)...not contrived like nostalgic retrospectives...there are fewer of those pokes than one might hope.

A collection of diary excerpts submitted by folks both humbled in the face of their own immaturity, and those not so much, it's mostly the
...more
Lady Ozma
Mar 01, 2008 Lady Ozma rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Lady Ozma by: Kate
Shelves: 2008
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Malbadeen
Sep 23, 2007 Malbadeen rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: people that admire self disclosure for the sake of humor
Shelves: funny, nonfiction
These people are my heroes! I love them for saving their self absorbed, dramatic, naive pre-teen/teen writings and being willing to share them with the world. I haven't laughed so hard at a collection of writing since first reading Sedaris.
The range of stories are great: from the 11 (?) year old girl writing a pornographic novel that reveals how she's defining sexual terms and experiences in her mind (i.e. orgasms result in urination and penises are hooks to be unhinged at the right moment) to
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Kaella
When I first saw this book, I was excited to read it. I remember hovering over my diary as a first grader and writing about random events that had occurred during the week. I had sampled a few stories at the store but decided to get the book from the library instead - and boy am I glad that I did. I thought the book was going to let me reminisce about the diaries that I threw out years ago, but instead it led me on too long rants about the most boring subjects ever. The diary entries weren't mor ...more
Tabitha
This is hilarious! Great read for anyone who ever kept a diary, a journal, or passed any sort of notes in study hall. It was really easy to find my self in a lot of these kids.
One that stuck out (painfully) was a sweet young girl about my age with an obsessive crush on none other than Seth Green. Poems, diary entries and my first reason to curse Joss Whedon's name. Yep, sounds about right.
My other favorite thing about this book (besides all the squeamish giggling) are the "Adult Me Says" asides
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Joanie
This book is a collection of diary excerpts written by various people in their teenage years. Each entry is introduced by the now adult writer.

I give these people a lot of credit for being brave enough to let others read their teenage diaries-talk about humiliation! This started out as a stage production where the entries were read aloud-I can only imagine how funny that must have been. Most entries were really funny and brought back vivid memories of what it was like to be totally obsessed wit
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H. Anne Stoj
Just really brilliant and funny. Reading the various letters and journal entries brought back so many memories. Not to mention the pictures, so many girls with the wall of hair. I completely recall friends teasing their bangs as high as possible and carrying about a can of Aquanet in their purses. I was never the best as keeping a journal, though when I've looked through old ones it certainly does help manifest some sort of shame. Simply because I can't believe what I wrote about was actually th ...more
Bunny
Feb 21, 2009 Bunny rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone who's ever kept a journal or read someone else's
Shelves: read-in-09
Everyone go out and read this book.

The hilarity of this book is just...beyond awesome. I tried making little notes for myself to remember things about each "entry", and I stopped halfway through because there was just too much goodness. Oh with the hilarity!!

There were quite a few entries that were exactly me in high school. And some from catholic school, even. Especially the "love you God please send me John Taylor from Duran Duran" entries. Though I was never a Duran Duran-ite. I wanted Jon Bo
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