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3.72  ·  Rating details ·  1,453 ratings  ·  207 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
Paperback, 416 pages
Published November 28th 2006 by Gallery Books
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3.72  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,453 ratings  ·  207 reviews

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Nov 06, 2007 rated it really liked it
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
Mar 13, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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
Aug 02, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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.
Jan 03, 2012 rated it liked it
I only made it to page 142 before it was due back at the library and returned it but here is my review so 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
Aug 13, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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.
Feb 24, 2008 rated it liked it
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
Krissy Delovely
Mar 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
I love the idea of this collection and I had a lot of fun reading it. Mortified reminded me of how overdramatic and filled with ennui teenagers are. And it made me wonder where my old diaries were--and what kind of hilarious drivel I penned when I was a yearning, hurting young thing.

The nice thing about this book is that it's broken up into easily readable sections and it's pure fluff so it was a nice break from reading the information-heavy books I'm currently in the middle of. There are lots
Lisa Vegan
Nov 11, 2007 rated it really liked it
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
Kelly Machado
Oct 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This was such a great read. It is still in my bookcase because I want to lend it to everyone!!
When we are young, we all think our crushes/parents/school issues are the WORST and NO ONE understands. The thing is, it happens to ALL of us and this book along with the stand up videos it has created, make you realize, you weren't alone.
Everyone went through the same crap. We just didn't think anyone else knew our pain.
May 29, 2011 rated it it was ok
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 ...
Jun 11, 2007 rated it liked it
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.
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.
Andrea Frohman
May 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
How humiliating would it be as a teenager to know that strangers (or anyone) is reading your deepest darkest secrets and your thoughts! How horrible and the stuff of nightmares. As an adult reading these excerpts and looking back through the lens of life experiences, the humor of what was taken so seriously as a teen is so funny! This is amazing, and a reminder that things aren't as dreadful as expected, and your life isn't as dire as you think.
Nov 24, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Dec 22, 2008 rated it liked it
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
Aug 25, 2011 rated it liked it
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
Jun 03, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-in-2008, humor
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
Nov 24, 2008 rated it liked it
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
Sep 02, 2011 rated it liked it
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
Karen Germain
Jan 04, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Sep 23, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: people that admire self disclosure for the sake of humor
Shelves: nonfiction, funny
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
Jan 18, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
Sep 25, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
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
Oct 20, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: humor
The word cringe-worthy was coined for this book. My reaction to reading this book evolved in stages:
1) I was grouchy / touchy because it brought me back
2) My sense of humor and the hilarity of it all grew as I read
3) I laughed at things that were so horrible, I felt like a monster
4) Finally I believe there are people out there who are just as messed up as I am. Why am I not in comedy yet?
5) I'm so relieved that time of my life is over.

Jun 04, 2007 rated it really liked it
I looove Mortified. I participate in it, too, ok? God. Anyway, I was worried that the diary entries wouldn't be as funny if they weren't read on stage over cocktails, but I didn't need to worry, because they are. Fav entries: Black History Month, Duran Duran fan fiction, and the pornographic fantasy featuring Umbros and a "pushing hump."
Oct 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
Hilarious and disturbing in nearly equal measures, this book of "real words, real people, real pathethic" is a fantastic glimspe into the childhood and adolescent moments of awkwardness and obssession, danger and futility of people brave enough to share them with us. I honestly can't believe that any of us survive puberty given the lunatics we become!
Jun 24, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2008, dewey
Mortified is a collection of journal entries from random people. The journals were written when the writers were teens or younger. There were a few entries that were really amusing, and others that were quite disturbing. It's interesting to see where their priorities were. Mostly they were trying to get a bf/gf or get laid.
Aug 11, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Journal keepers
Recommended to Michelle by: Saw it at B&N
This book is great if you, like me, wrote in a journal throughout your life. I especially like the letters to and from summer camps—absolutely hilarious although I’m sure they weren’t meant to be at the time. Teenagers are such tools and it’s so much fun to laugh at them. It’s a good thing I was never one!
Jan 17, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2007
The editor collects people's embarassing adolescent writings--such as diary entries, poems, and love letters--and prints them here for our amusement. My favorite was a girl's short story about meeting Simon LeBon and John Taylor from Duran Duran in a hospital after her parents were killed, then having sex with both of them.
Jan 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
"'Mortified' the book 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 the jacket blurb of the paperback edition). Part of what makes this book so funny is that these stories are ours...we have all been there...we have all been mortified.
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