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Jay's Journal by Beatrice Sparks
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Feb 19, 12

Read in February, 2012

I never knew there was a companion diary to Go Ask Alice until I went to Books-A-Million and saw Jay's Journal sitting beside Go Ask Alice on the bookshelf. I was curious, so I purchased Jay's Journal the same day I bought Go Ask Alice.

Let's make some quick comparisons between Go Ask Alice and Jay's Journal...

Some of the similarities:

Both books were copies of a troubled teenager's diary
Both teenagers lived in the 1970s
Both teenagers committed suicide
Both claimed to want to turn from their troubled existences, but neither had the willpower to make the changes
Both converted others to their lifestyle and then regretted doing so later on

Some of the differences:

Jay's Journal is written by a teenage boy, whereas Go Ask Alice was written by a teenage girl (obvious, right?)
Alice was mainly involved in drugs, whereas Jay dabbled in a little bit of drugs (unknown to him) but his main addiction was the occult.
Alice ran away from home, Jay did not

I did like that Jay's Journal covered a different addiction than Go Ask Alice. The occult is a very serious activity to participate in. Often times, it isn't taken seriously enough. While the occult is not talked about as prevalently nowadays (at least from what I see), it is still an ever present danger to people.

The majority of this book sounded more realistic than Go Ask Alice did to me, but there were still parts that I felt like someone took literary liberties with. There are excerpts that just do not sound like something a teenage boy would say ... even in a private journal. Then there were several passages where the dates of the entries just didn't jive for me.

So, overall, I liked this book better than Go Ask Alice, but not enough to recommend it be read by others.
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