Book Review: Confessions of a High School Disaster by Emma Chastain

Title:  Confessions of a High School Disaster
Author: Emma Chastain
Publisher: Simon Pulse / Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Release Date:  March 7, 2017
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Fiction

In the tradition of Bridget Jones’s Diary, a lovably flawed high school student chronicles her life as she navigates the highs and lows of family, friendship, school, and love in a diary that sparkles with humor and warmth.

I’m Chloe Winter, and my life is kiiiiind of a disaster.

On the plus side, I got the lead in the musical!

On the down side…

1. I’m a kissing virgin (so so so embarrassing).

2. My best friend, Hannah, is driving me insane.
3. I think I’m in love with Mac Brody, the most popular senior guy, whose girlfriend is so beautiful she doesn’t even need eyeliner.
4. My dad won’t stop asking me if I’m okay.
5. Oh, and my mom moved to Mexico to work on her novel. But it’s fine—she’ll be back soon. She said so.

Mom tells me everything is copy. So I’m writing down all the horrible things that happen to me in this diary.

This is the worst year of my life so far, unless maybe it’s the best.

Confessions of a High School Disaster is written in the form of a diary of our main character, Chloe Snow. The author, Emma Chastain had done a great job in allowing readers to get into the head of Chloe, but be warn, it does not mean you will like her. I didn't. When she said she was a disaster, she was not kidding. She's fourteen! Freshman in high school and she's already talking about marrying the hot senior that talked to her in the hall or getting drunk with said senior or jealous that her friends are having sex before her. Granted, she was literally abandoned by her free-spirited mother whom she has a high regard for, and looks up to most of her 14 years of life. I get the dysfunctional dramatization of her need to fit in, but she was not nice. Her self-denial of things and actions that just doesn't benefit her is selfish and makes her more drama-queen than anything.  Yet, this is a confession of her inner most thoughts, so maybe it is pure honesty. Despite all that, Confessions of a High School Disaster is well-written and honest in speaking about the minds of teens. However, I would find the mindset more for juniors in high school, but as freshmen, a tad far-fetched. 

A teen novel that's raw and quite ridiculous as its comparison, Bridget Jones Diary, but as such, entertaining.  With nods to Jane Eyre, and a message of friendship, familial realities and self-realization, Confessions of a High School Disaster, is not for all, but still engaging in the can't help but laugh way.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the author/publisher. I was not required to write a positive review, and have not been compensated for this. This is my honest opinion.

For my review policy, please see my Disclosure page.



Photograph by Amanda Castle Photography
Emma Chastain is a graduate of Barnard College and the creative writing MFA program at Boston University. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and children.

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