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Jay's Journal

3.29  ·  Rating details ·  5,294 ratings  ·  471 reviews
Jay was a sweet, bright high school student who cared about his grades and his friends. He had ambitions. He was happy. And he thought he could handle anything.

He was wrong.

When Jay falls in with a crowd that's dabbling in drugs and the occult, he finds himself in over his head and doing things he never thought possible. Fascinated by the dark arts and in love with a dange
Paperback, 192 pages
Published November 15th 1990 by Pocket Books (first published 1979)
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Michelle K. *Get off my lawn!* The introduction of my edition (ISBN: 987-1-4424-1993-3) says Jay's mother contacted Beatrice Sparks (the "editor") in 1978, and the final journal…moreThe introduction of my edition (ISBN: 987-1-4424-1993-3) says Jay's mother contacted Beatrice Sparks (the "editor") in 1978, and the final journal entry and a following letter from Jay's mother are both dated January of 1977.(less)

Community Reviews

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3.29  · 
Rating details
 ·  5,294 ratings  ·  471 reviews

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Feb 09, 2010 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: nobody
Recommended to Lynne by: some Mormon college friends (I was a practicing Mormon at the ti
I probably should add a "Mormon Propaganda" shelf for this book.

Alden Barrett was a sensitive young man, a leader on his high school debate team, a poet (his own poetry is on his headstone) with a genius level IQ who suffered from depression and committed suicide at the age of 16. He was also politically left-leaning and against the Vietnam War, unforgiveable in a small Utah town. Since that wasn't interesting enough for Beatrice Sparks, she took excerpts from only 21 of Alden's 226 journal entr
Jan 17, 2008 rated it did not like it
There is a possibility -- and not a faint one -- that this is the stupidest book ever written. To begin with, as with all Ms. Sparks' books, she did not "edit" the book; unless there happened to be some central office in Pueblo, Colorado or somewhere, teaching all the teenagers of the day to write in precisely the same voice with precisely the same stylistic tics, she wrote it herself, as any seventh-grader (as I was when I read this book) can glean from a three-second comparison of this one to ...more
May 19, 2013 rated it did not like it
This book was based on the journals of Alden Barrett, a teenager who killed himself at 16 1/2. The following information is more interesting than the book itself.

"Two years later, his grieving parents contacted a psychologist in Provo, Dr. Beatrice Sparks, editor of the allegedly "real-life" journal 'Go Ask Alice,' who told them she would edit and publish Alden's journal as a warning to other teenagers suffering from depression. The book's publication in 1979, as 'Jay's Journal,' shocked his fam
Grady Hendrix
Sep 02, 2018 rated it did not like it
Your enjoyment of this book depends on your tolerance for reading laughably bad Satanic Panic literature written by underqualified therapists who misrepresent their credentials and exploit real life dead children in order to make a quick buck. My tolerance for that shit is zero.
Feb 11, 2008 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: no one
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
Sep 15, 2007 rated it did not like it
Shelves: burnit
Oh Beatrice, if only Go Ask Alice wasn't soooooo goooooood. But your "editing" of Jay's Journal, quite frankly, SUCKED ASS. Plus now I'm scared that just by having read the book I am also a devil worshipper, and I can't turn out the lights because of the little trolls Jay kept whining about are coming to take my soul too.
I'm a little lost lamb. baaa.
Michelle. D.
Jan 06, 2011 rated it it was ok
Lemme just get one thing straight to some people out here. The main chracter, Jay, WAS NOT ADDICTED TO DRUGS.
Sure he was a user during some moments of his life, but he was not addicted.

SO I am going to talk about some things that happened, o occures, or came up, or annoyed me from this book. This is a lesson. Not a review, but a lesson.

First thing to know. Do NOT immatate the rituals done in this book. If you do(and you're human) than you are just CRAZY. Completely insane. If you ever decide to
Jay Gowen
Feb 29, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I read this when I was in high-school and remember being so engrossed in the story I could barely put it down. It's a favorite with many of my students (once they get past the initial girlfriend plot and into the second witchcraft one). I feel as though I need to read it again to update my initial reaction. Especially knowing that most of the story is fabricated....
Gypsy White
I have loved all of these Anonymous books, so when I saw all the bad reviews of this one I was sure everyone was wrong and I was going to love it. Oh. Oh man. Was I ever the wrong one. Let me just tell you that this is the diary of a 15/16 year old boy who writes like this:
"Tomorrow during lunch period Mom's going to pick me up and take me to the bank, then to pick up my car! MY CAR! It's like saying MY WORLD! It's a clean little critter. Green as a little fat toad and just as cute!"
Now I do
May 18, 2008 rated it really liked it
I read this book in high school, I am pretty sure more than once. I just glanced through other's reviews of it, and it appears that if you read it in high school, you think it's awesome, and if you read it as an adult, you think it's totally stupid. So maybe my 4 star rating should be only for teenagers. Which none of my friends are. Man, I'm old.

It was about a Mormon kid (I recall that it never ever once specifically says he was Mormon, but man oh man, I sure seem to remember a bazillion refere
Jul 24, 2007 rated it did not like it
Shelves: young-adult
This one is hilariously bad. An obvious work of fiction, Jay's Journal describes the downward spiral of a teenage drug addict/Satanist who descends into madness & finally kills himself. Published in the late '70s, when an unfounded fear of Satanism was plaguing middle-class Americans, the book played off these concerns & became almost as successful as editor/Mormon youth counselor Beatrice Sparks' other "diary," Go Ask Alice. The real Jay, Alden Barrett had committed suicide, but there's ...more
Feb 23, 2014 rated it did not like it
Color me angry. I bought this book a year ago at Barnes & Noble from the YA section. Its description on the back of the book sounded interesting, if flamboyant: this is the journal of a boy who got in over his head with drugs and the occult before killing himself. All right, I'm interested.

So today, 23 February 2014, I finally picked it up to read. I was moving along quite quickly, being that the journal format leaves a lot of white space on the pages. But I stopped at page 100, ready to put
Christina Taylor
May 14, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya
Jay’s Journal is one of several heavy-handed adolescent cautionary tales by the questionably "Dr." Beatrice Sparks who purports to have encountered this factual information as part of her field work and to have edited and assembled it in order to benefit the reader. According to his supposed diary, Jay is a naturally-gifted, well-intentioned high school student who is led astray after “falling in with the wrong crowd.” Fascinated, Jay finds himself spiraling deeper and deeper into a world of dar ...more
Zoey Becker
Sep 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
Enter the world of Jay, a 16 year old high school student who starts out with high ambitions- he is on the debate team and is asked to speak at countless events for his school. He thinks he's got everything under control with the help of his best friends Brad and Dell. But of course, Jays life soon spirals downward into a world of drugs and an obsession with the occult. We already know Jay doesn't make it out alive- that is clear from the back of the book. The question is, how do days of A's and ...more
Bryckelle Webber
“Jays Journal”, the author is Anonymous although it is edited by Beatrice Sparks, it is a book about a depressed teenage boy who becomes involved in drugs and satanic rituals. He soon starts to believe that he is being haunted by a ghost named Raul. This book is an biography and is based on “true” events. Jay is going through a lot and with all of this happening in his life it eventually drives him to kill himself. It's a pretty heavy book. And I can't say that I recommend it to anyone.
I don't
Dec 14, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2018-books
These books are just kinda bleh to me.

Please stay tuned for a review I promise I will catch up on my reviews this month don’t block me
Laura  Hernandez (TheVoluptuousBkDiva/YABkDivas)
Though this was an interesting read, I found myself more often than not wishing that the book would hurry up and end. I guess this one just wasn't meant for me.
Owen Spencer
Jul 21, 2011 rated it really liked it
I wondered on multiple occasions while reading Jay’s Journal if it was true – if it was actually written by a teenager between ages 14 and 16-and-a-half. My skepticism did not stem from the story itself, but from how well some of the entries were written, and by the depth and profundity of several passages. If this is a real journal from a teenager (and there is a lot of evidence suggesting that it is) then that young man had an unusual gift of verbal intelligence. Jay’s Journal is peppered with ...more
Jul 27, 2014 rated it liked it
This purported journal presents as a first person account of a teenaged boy’s growing involvement with the occult, which leads to horrifying supernatural events and ultimately to the boy’s suicide.

Through the course of the book, high school student Jay meets a new girlfriend, Tina, who introduces him to occult practices such as levitating small objects, performing rituals that insure success in school, putting voodoo curses on people that actually work, and joining a coven. In time, Jay becomes
Ildeany Lopez
Dec 13, 2011 rated it it was ok
Witchcraft. Drugs. Alcohol. Depression. These were some of the things the main character had to deal with throughout his journey. A journey, which was recorded in his personal diary and then edited by author, Beatrice Sparks.

In the book "Jay’s Journal", the author tells the story of a teenage boy who suffers from depression, which leads him to drug abuse and the practice of witchcraft. Jay, the main character is a very intelligent young man who not only is in the debate team but enjoys writing p
Emily Dean
Apr 19, 2019 rated it did not like it

I remember reading all of these books in middle school and liking this one the least, but I didn't remember anything about it as an adult.

This is... quite the story.

TLDR; if you're a good Mormon kid, you'll get all your mom's homemade bread and the lead in all the school plays. If you're a bad Mormon kid, you'll sell your soul to the devil to be the best basketball player and let your whole family down.

Sorry. I mean, your whole precious, wonderful, loyal, perfect, amazing family.

"And dear...
Saira Gonzalez
Oct 27, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I honestly hated this book so much that I would rate it 0.5 stars. I guess the theme of this book is insolence because in this book, fifteen year old Jay talks about how much his life sucks and how he regrets all the terrible things her has done such as stealing drugs for his girlfriend from his father's pharmacy and how he is obsessed with drugs. He commits suicide at age 16 because he "was tired of all the hassles and didn't want to do anything that living people do". Every time he is always d ...more
Jan 23, 2012 rated it liked it
I choose this book because a worker at Barnes and Noble suggested it to me when I asked for a good book. It is an anonymous journal written by a teenage genius who struggles with depression, drugs, and gets involved with witchcraft, which eventually leads him to kill himself. My favorite quote is at the very end when he says, "I don't want to be sad or lonely or depressed anymore, and I don't want to eat, drink, eliminate, breathe, talk, sleep, move, feel, or love anymore", because even though i ...more
Dec 06, 2018 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
I liked this book a lot. It had a a lot of insight on Jay's life, while he experimented with witchcraft and drugs. Along with Go Ask Alice, it really shows how drugs and other influences can affect your mind and relationships. True story or not, I do think it was a great book overall and I am excited to read other books like this such as Lucy In The Sky. I recommend this book for all people who are curious to see the life of Jay, and hopefully everyone finishes the book with the realization of h ...more
Jun 21, 2008 rated it it was amazing
i read this book with my teenage son. he was so into it, he read it in less than 3 hours and did not leave the couch until he was done. i really loved it as well- it was a great lesson for us all that a child does not tell you everything and that they can easily go down the wrong road even if they started off as happy children.
Yvhyel Tavizon
Jun 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sergio Pallas
Oct 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
I liked how the author wrote the protagonist's feelings and thoughts (maybe because the diary is real).

At some points, the plot seemed very dramatic or slow but it gained speed immediately. It's interesting how the plot goes, I don't think its traditional (at least it doesn't feel like that).

At some points, the book felt overdramatic or unrealistic that's the only thing I would criticize but I liked it overall.
Mar 12, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Well that was pretty much atrocious.
Aug 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I’ve recently read Jay’s Journal and it is fantastic. It has an interesting story line and is very entertaining with lots of twists and turns. The novel is not slow either, unlike other books that seem like you are reading endless pages of boring nonsense that’s unimportant or irrelevant. Rather than having chapters or parts, Jay’s Journal is written as if you are reading someone's diary. It is not that long too, just about 230 pages, but the words aren’t extremely small and should be somewhat o ...more
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HMSA Summer Reading: Book Review: Jays Journal 1 2 Aug 21, 2017 08:05PM  
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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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