Wendy's Reviews > Jay's Journal

Jay's Journal by Beatrice Sparks
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's review
Feb 11, 08

did not like it
Recommended for: no one
Read in February, 2008

I'd wanted to read this since I first heard about it--Go Ask Alice, now with more SATANISM!--but it was awful. Unlike GAA, this one has an actual kid's journal behind it--but the real one had nothing about the occult in it. Sparks took a much sadder, more valuable story about depression and instead has the devil make him do it.

It doesn't even have the vague readability/camp value of Go Ask Alice. It's just sad. Especially sad is that I'm certain the editor/author really believes in occult powers and evil demons, and I know the book is presented to poor Mormon kids as fact.

I think I'll just throw it away, unless one of you wants it.
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Comments (showing 1-10 of 10) (10 new)

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message 1: by Kelly (new)

Kelly I almost wish you liked this. How could I resist a book with VALUE-ADDED SATANISM. But alas, if you only gave it one star, I won't bother.

message 2: by Erin (new) - rated it 1 star

Erin I rather liked GO ASK ALICE, but this was just so, so bad. Laughable, really.

message 3: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie I know this book is a total fake, but is Satanism really such a rampant problem as the Christian right would have us believe? Or does their definition of "Satanic" consist of reading Harry Potter, checking one's daily horoscope, and listening to Black Sabbath? What did it consist of for Jay? (Forgive me for asking for a synopsis, but this book looks so wretched that I simply can't bring myself to read the whole thing. A pithy summary would be most appreciated.)

BTW, I heard that Jay's real parents are seriously pissed at the author for twisting his words to meet her own agenda.

Wendy Yes, very angry, and betrayed. His brother wrote a (self-published) rebuttal book.

Satanism-is-evil-and-rampant was a really popular theme in the 1980s (from what I can gather; obviously I wouldn't have known much about it at the time; you probably remember more)--which probably accounts for the success of the book. Is it really a problem? I mean, I don't believe in occult powers, so on that level, no, I don't think so whatsoever. Do idiot and/or troubled people sometimes do horrible things in the name of Satanism? Occasionally, unfortunately. Just recently in this area some parents were convicted of making their kids participate in some horrible rituals. It's the kind of thing I wouldn't believe at all normally, except this time they have very sad evidence.

Christians who think Satanism is a problem, in my experience, look on horoscopes etc as stepping stones to bigger problems.

"Jay" consulted ouija boards, used voodoo to strike down other teens, participated in a violent orgy, ritually mutilated animals and drank their blood, dedicated his soul to Satan, and was eventually possessed by a demon, then shot himself to get rid of it. Oh, and in the meantime, he was a champion debater, devout Mormon, and had a good shot at being elected student body president--see? IT CAN HAPPEN TO ANYONE!

The author claims the parents were fooling themselves when they protested that their son had never been involved with the occult. Uh, yeah.

message 5: by Kelly (new)

Kelly Yeah -- the 80s was the decade of Satan. I remember in 1989 talking to a woman I worked with who was blabbing about back-masking. I finally asked her what the heck she was talking about and she said "obviously you didn't go to a Catholic School." Back-masking is playing the record backwards to hear Satan speaking! Unfortunately, my nuns were much more concerned with their girls getting into good colleges than they were making sure we could identify Satanism at 5 yards.

message 6: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie Lilacway, we must have gone to similar Catholic schools, because all I can remember is having French verb tenses drilled into my pea brain. Nothing about back-masking was ever mentioned. Or maybe all of those language lab tapes were really The White Album played backwards? Now I'm confused.

Wendy, after reading your post, I am so terribly relieved I escaped the clutches of Satan during the 80s. . I always suspected the members of the debating team were headed down a dangerous path :-)
Thanks for the summary, BTW. After reading your description, I think I'll give Jay's Journal a big old pass. Your review is awesome, by the way.

message 7: by Kelly (new)

Kelly I always suspected the members of the debating team were headed down a dangerous path

Ah, see in my Catholic high school it was definitely the NHS that was in league with Satan.

And I agree with Stephanie -- this review is AWESOME.

message 8: by Meaghan (new)

Meaghan Go Ask Alice was actually based on a real kid's diary? That's news to me.

Wendy I think you misread my post--I said that this one IS based on a real diary, UNLIKE Go Ask Alice.

message 10: by Meaghan (new)

Meaghan Oh, okay. Yeah, there were a few real diary entries in Jay's Journal. She took like 12 entries from a real kid's diary and made the rest up.

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