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Phoebe's Diary

by Phoebe Wahl

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2131,062,687 (3.75)None
"Drawing on her own diaries, Phoebe Wahl presents the illustrated journal of a teenage girl careening through the turmoil and ecstasy of adolescence amid school plays, art projects, favorite bands, blossoming friendships, and new love"--

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I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It took me back to my wild teenage years, where I was full of emotions. The author shares that this book is a fictional story of her own diary entries, where I can see the realistic life of a teenager.

In this story, there is language, sexual content, drug and alcohol use, despite some of the content I would recommend this to older teens. The content would make a great conversation starter for parents with their children on how to navigate life as a teen. ( )
  MrsJones4 | Nov 26, 2023 |
(Full disclosure: I received a free e-ARC for review through Netgalley.)

I've been in a reading slump for going on a year, and I'm sad to say that this book didn't snap me out of it. PHOEBE'S DIARY is the second or third 'diary of a teenage girl' I've picked up on the mistaken notion that it's a graphic novel - when, in fact, it's more of an illustrated prose book. Which is fine, I guess. I just don't fancy reading about awkward, often unrequited high school crushes in such excruciating detail.

I don't know why I gravitate towards these diaries, since they tend to revolve around obsessions with the opposite sex. While I don't begrudge boy-crazy teenage girls - hey, I used to be one! - it makes for somewhat cringey (and boring) reading.

Also, these Harry Potter references? Do not age well.

On the plus side, I enjoyed the illustrations (wish there were more!), Phoebe's friendships, and the stories about her homeschooling (again, wish there were more!). I also loved the look back at the mid-aughts (about a decade after I was a teen), complete with flip phones, MySpace messages, and Trek Video outings. ( )
  smiteme | Nov 26, 2023 |
According to the author's note, Phoebe's Diary is "a fictionalized adaptation of my real-life high school diaries," and that's exactly how it reads - it reminds me so much of my own teenage diaries, although more polished, with much better art, and fewer quotes from punk songs (although a few mixtape track lists are included). Phoebe is homeschooled when young, and in high school elects to be "part-time" homeschooled - she does core subjects at home, but "fun" ones at school (like French, Yearbook, Drama, and Studio Art). In this way, she meets and becomes friends with the drama crowd, and develops crushes on several boys - first Owen, then David, and finally Sam, who she dates. Most of the diary revolves around her crushes, feelings, and romantic life from the end of freshman year through sophomore year, although there are parts about friends, her older sister Roxie, and her parents, as well as her love of Pacific northwest thunderstorms and vintage clothing.


It's best to keep my hopes down, because it's always when I'm not expecting it that exciting things happen. (17)

In 20 years, I'll look back and laugh over this journal, filled with the ranting and raving about the awkwardness of high school. But although I can see past all of this, I still find it hard o believe this isn't important or at all relevant to my life in the future. (76)

I'm worried, because I worry about everything. There's just so much to think about. (78)

I'm tired of living in my stories. And I think that's all I've ever done....It's all fiction. In my head I can be anyone. (99)

And it's not like I'm afraid to be myself (well, maybe a bit). It's more like I don't really know HOW to be myself. It's like I don't really know WHO I am. How does Phoebe act? Around friends? Around boys? (114)

It was one of those movies that I wanted to live inside. It made me ache, it was so beautiful and perfect....I felt like I had seen something in a language that only I spoke, and they'd been able to follow along but hadn't quite GOTTEN it like I had. (153)

It's all so confusing, and so clouded by what I want. Or wanted at the time. I wish it wasn't so awkward just to ask someone how they feel. (170)

Sometimes I forget that I'm a person in the world who other people see and think about. (186) ( )
  JennyArch | Nov 6, 2023 |
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"Drawing on her own diaries, Phoebe Wahl presents the illustrated journal of a teenage girl careening through the turmoil and ecstasy of adolescence amid school plays, art projects, favorite bands, blossoming friendships, and new love"--

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