Friday, November 18, 2011

REVIEW: Dear Diary by Allison Cassatta

Normally, I’m not a fan of the diary-style story . . . the self-conscious monologue of one character who dominates every aspect of the story. Dear Diary is a bit different, in that Chris’ narration is a bit more immediate and natural, owing largely to him reciting it into a hand-held recorder, as opposed to writing it all down. A third-person narrator frames the diary entries, giving us both context and distance from the events.

At its heart, this is the story of a young man discovering himself, coming out to himself, and finally learning to love himself. It’s sweet and honest, and delightfully erotic. We don’t get to know much about Josh, other than what Chris relates, and much of that is uncertain (and possibly even unreliable). It makes for an interesting story, since we’re left feeling as awkward and uncertain as Chris, and just as excited as events take some interesting turns.

Definitely a feel-good, empowering story, this takes us from first kiss to first sexual experience, with all of the excitement, doubt, confusion, and joy in between.

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