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It Happened to Nancy: By an Anonymous Teenager, A True Story from Her Diary
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It Happened to Nancy: By an Anonymous Teenager, A True Story from Her Diary

3.88  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,152 Ratings  ·  321 Reviews
The editor of the classic GO ASK ALICE has compiled the poignant journals of a 14-year-old date-rape victim who contracted AIDS and died.
ebook, 304 pages
Published June 22nd 2010 by HarperCollins (first published December 28th 2004)
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May 10, 2008 Ola rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is the "diary" of Nancy, a teenager who was raped by a 24-year-old and got the HIV virus, which soon morphed into AIDS.
It's depressing (no duh) to see a 16-year-old suffer from rectal ulcers and stuff. I guess that's the reality of AIDS.

Personally, I'm a little doubtful of thinking that this is an actual diary. The "Editor" is Dr. Beatrice Sparks, who also "edited" Go Ask Alice, which I've read. I also read excerpts from some other book of hers. Point is, every diary author has the same fuc
Jul 08, 2011 Summer rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Beatrice Sparks is a Fraud

Read the Controversy Section

Sparks' other book, Go Ask Alice, is also fictional

In another stunning display of sensitivity, Sparks lied about the life of a boy who committed suicide

I'm shocked to see so many good reviews for this book. The dialogue is laughable, and the AIDS facts are severely outdated. Lying to kids is the best way to lose their trust. Shame on Beatrice Sparks for profiting off these falsehoods.
Feb 05, 2009 Cynthia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In it Happened to Nancy,edited by Beatice is about a young teenage girl that gets the AIDS virus after she gets raped by Collin. Collin was Nancy's EVERYTHING.But one day they were soo happy, they went too far and Nancy said NO! And she meant it. But Collin didn't listen to her. So he raped her! He said, "So you don't love me?" She said he loved me but that they weren't willing to go too far. She kept thinking in her head that he wasn't a rapist, But the truth is he was a rapist for raping her. ...more
Livia Blackburne
Some quick googling will reveal that the "true story" designation is highly questionable. The clueless girl is painful enough to read if you think it's a true story. Reading it knowing it's fiction just makes it seem like a scare tactic infomercial that they make you watch in awkward sex ed classes. The Q&A at the end about AIDS with all caps warnings like ONCE YOU GET AIDS YOU CAN PASS IT ON TO EVERYBODY AND YOU WILL DIE don't really help either. If you really want a made-up cautionary tale ...more
May 02, 2009 Shayla rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
After I read "Go Ask Alice" and hated it, I found out that Beatrice Sparks had written (oops! I mean "edited") some other books. I decided to give the author (oops! I mean "editor") a chance to redeem herself. So I got this book from the library. I was fourteen at the time, and I was purely disgusted that another fourteen-year-old was doing such stupid things. I mean, she "fell in love" with a college guy after knowing him for about a week. Nancy gives fourteen-year-olds a bad name. If I hadn't ...more
Feb 06, 2008 Nancy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: teenagers
Recommended to Nancy by: teacher
This book is a book that i have really enjoyed reading throughout this time. This book is a real life story of a girl named Nancy. The names and the places in the story changes due to the victims parents. She is a girl who thought that she had found love at the age of 14. She dates a 24 year old named Colin and they have a lot of fun and like every couple they spend a lot of time together with each other. All those moments made her think that this was the perfect guy and that they were meant fo ...more
Feb 01, 2014 Jasmin rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Easily the wost book I have ever read in my life.

Let it be said now that I am a true believer in good tragic, yet poetic novels. Unfortunately, this book is only tragic.

I truly understand the tragedy of the situation, its utterly awful for a 14 year old, or really anyone for that matter, to go through the pain and suffering of having the HIV/AIDS virus, not to mention the physiological damage that was a result of her sexual assault.

I am very aware that there are people like 'Nancy' out there, I
Nov 29, 2007 Julie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Teenagers
This was my second time reading this book, and I really enjoyed it. It's about this girl, who thought she found true love, but then the guy actually lied to her about his life. Later on, he rapes her and then leaves her with the AIDs. The entire book is actually a diary from this girl, who got the AIDs. Some words, names and places has been changed, since the parents of the victim wants their daughter to be stayed as anonymous. Basically, in the entries, it is first about how she found her true ...more
Feb 24, 2015 Amy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
1 of 5 stars

When a 24 year old man, pretending to be younger, seduces 14 year old Nancy, she thinks she's in love. Then he rapes her and infects her with the HIV virus. She chronicles her journey in her diary.

WHAT HAPPENED TO NANCY is an ok read, it held my interest. The reason I'm giving the book only 1 star is primarily because of the outdated HIV/AIDS info. It would be bad enough in an adult novel, but in a YA book it's inexcusable.

Reasons I don't recommend:

-Clever marketing has convinced so
I see a lot of reviews that say a lot of people googled this book only to find out the diary was a fake or a work of fiction.
People say Beatrice Sparks is a fraud because this "diary" was written from her own imagination. How?? On the inside cover it clearly says:
This is a work of nonfiction. It's based on the actual diary of a teenage girl who was infected with the AIDS virus as a result of date rape. Names and places have been changed at request of "Nancy`s" parents.
So that's made up too? I r
(B) Archer at KIPP
Feb 15, 2008 (B) Archer at KIPP rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to (B) Archer by: Sabrina Fuentes
Shelves: girls-have-read
Dear Mr. Gowen,
I'm reading "It Happened to Nancy". I showed it to my mom and she read up to the part where he rapes her. She said she wanted to read it when I'm done with it. Right now I'm half way through the boook. It is really good. Sometimes, I can'tput it down. I have a questionto ask. In the book Nancy writes, "I don't want to grow up! I want ot go backwards!" I thought about that alot. Going backwards would mean having my old father back, but that would also mean having my dad beating my
Maria Gjieli
Sep 13, 2010 Maria Gjieli rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Carmen Lopez
Dec 01, 2011 Carmen Lopez rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Adolescent Girls
Recommended to Carmen by: My friend, my older sister
"It happened to Nancy", is a story about a young girl named Nancy who gets raped by a man named Collin, who ends up giving her AIDS/HIV. At first, Collin seems sweet, he is nice to Nancy and pretends to be her friend who cares and understands everything she is talking about, and treats her like a princess. But one night, while Nancy's mother is away, Collin comes over and reveals what the true side of him is like. He rapes her, and had only cared about getting what he wanted. Nancy is shocked an ...more
Sep 19, 2013 Zoe rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 04, 2011 Madelin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I Like this book Because it is about a girl named Nancy who met a boy named Collin in a Concert. She met him because she had a Asthma attack while there was a big rumble , Nobody payed attention to her only but Collin. He bought her a Coke and they Started talking about their Life. Nancy's Uncle never Came to pick him up so Collin took her home. They kept on talking and he had called to see if nancy was Okay. From there on they started talking until they were meeting up in a park. Nancy had cut ...more
Another good "journal" written, I mean edited, by Beatrice Sparks. The voice sounded very similar to Go Ask Alice with the younger, immature, pie-in-the-sky girl who gets knocked down to reality after something brutal happens to her.

Nancy contracts AIDS after being raped by the man she's in love with...yes a man while she's only a girl. It's a very sad story and something I'm sure happens more than reported, proof that you can never be sure of anything and can only trust yourself.

If you liked th
Mar 19, 2009 Jamie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: teenagers
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 22, 2016 Clark rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Nancy is a fourteen year old teenager who keeps a diary. Her diary entries are in precise narrative form and cohesively depict a two year period of her life (ages 14-16) with no references to anything or anyone that is not central to the plot development. Every sentence is grammatically correct, every entry is well-formatted and dated (often with not only the date, but the time as well), and every detail presented builds on the emerging story. In other words, the book is a novel - written like a ...more
Nov 17, 2014 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Read/Finished October 2014
5 out of 5 stars
Book Review #2

The book It Happened to Nancy by an anonymous teenager and edited by Beatrice Sparks. Tells the story of 14 year old Nancy who falls in love with a guy, named Collin, but ends up raping her and leaving her infected with the HIV virus. With only months left to live she decides to write her feelings down in her diary to prevent others from getting hurt like she did.

One of the main themes of the story is to never talk to strangers. Even when
 704 Shamia
Oct 14, 2012 704 Shamia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't know how or why but this is the third book this year with the something good happens, then something bad happens pattern. i think that even though many books have that pattern, they each end up differently and they each are unique. Also, people aren't always optimistic or pessimistic in life. there are bumps in the road and Nancy has a big bump. she was... uh... (spoiler-alert) raped by a guy 4 years older than her. yeah, now you see what i mean by a BIG bump.
Preview- My non-fiction book i read was called “It happened to Nancy”. Right away I knew something was going to happen to a girl named Nancy. As I read the back of the book, i was thinking in my head, “yeah, this is the book I want to read”. On page 37, on diary entry Friday April 27th at 4:59 p.m. she said “the lights have all gone off again. I can’t believe it! I must have made a mistake somewhere.” It automatically got me thinking about what her mistake could have been.

Using Prior Knowledge-
Konstance Smith
Nov 20, 2013 Konstance Smith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a true story written in a girls journal about a 14 year old girl who falls in love with a boy she barely knew and then was raped by him. If that isn't bad enough, she later learns that he also gave her AIDS. The story is heartbreaking and endearing at the same time. I would recommend this for anyone.
Nuvia Urbina
Sep 01, 2009 Nuvia Urbina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I really enjoyed this much a lot. It was very interesting and it was very easy to compare with, not that anything like that ever happened to myself but with a friend, yes. I would very much recommend this book to many teen girls!!
Katie wenzel
Aug 27, 2007 Katie wenzel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book as an impressionable young preteen and, at the time, I was completely devastated and shocked by it. I don't think I would feel the same if I had read it more recently.
Cliffside Park Public Library (NJ)
This book is about a 14 year old girl who finds out she has AIDS after she thought she was in love with a boy four years her senior (supposedly). As a reader you learn Nancy's daily struggle emotionally and physically. The book enlightens you of any questions you may of HIV/AIDS. While reading you can tell that Nancy gets weaker and weaker. I feel that the book teaches you that being aware of people's intentions is crucial in life since it can help you avoid life threatening situations. I would ...more
Apr 25, 2014 Andrea rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nancy had fell in love with a college student Collin. She falls for his charms. She builds her life around him. So one night she has the house to herself and she invites Collin over. He made diner for both of them. Collin was getting aggressive with Nancy. She was fighting him back so he would get off of her. Nancy couldn't get out of her mind that he raped her. She never told nobody she kept everything to herself. After a while she notice that she didn't feel right. She goes to hospital and get ...more
Taylar T
Nov 04, 2011 Taylar T is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
"this book sticks with my roots"
Black Carrie
Nov 08, 2014 Black Carrie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this book twice in a row at fourteen and cried at the end both times, after having earlier scoffed at the book because of how stupid and naïve Nancy acted. It's really upsetting to find it may be largely or entirely a fraud, that this sweet courageous young person may have been made up or had her life made into something that was largely the creation of Dr. Sparks. A lot of girls are like Nancy and don't see anything fishy about an older man wanting to date them or letting an older boyfri ...more
Beatrice Sparks’,It Happened to Nancy is a book about a fourteen year old girl named Nancy that falls in love with a college student, Collin, that acts very kind and loving towards her. Collin then rapes Nancy and leaves her with the deadly AIDS virus. Nancy then has to deal with the horrible symptoms that come with the virus such as fatigue, uncontrollable bladder, vomiting and much more. Nancy and her mother figure out how to deal with the disease and bond as well. Nancy prepares for her deat ...more
Oct 19, 2009 Shantal rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Shantal by: My Friend
This book is great Nancy is a 14 year old girl who is Catholic and just by meeting one guy had changed her whole life forever. Nancy meet a guy named Colin who help her when she got lost in a concert with her friend and Aunt He was was 18 years old. After that day they both became more and more closer to each other they call each other brothers and sisters. He told her that he in collage, So one day She invited Colin to her house when she was home alone. Both of them were at her house drinking ...more
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Beatrice Sparks was an American therapist and Mormon youth counselor who was known for producing books purporting to be the 'real diaries' of troubled teenagers. The books deal with topical issues such as drug abuse, Satanism, teenage pregnancy or AIDS, and are presented as cautionary tales. Although Sparks always presented herself as merely the discoverer and editor of the diaries, records at the ...more
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