My Name Is Chloe
My Name Is Chloe
From the Trade Paperback edition.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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Text Difficulty:7 - 12
Monday, September 2
I don't hate my life anymore. At least not today. I guess I consider myself a recovering pessimist. Or at least I'm trying. I used to be completely negative and cynical about everyone and everything, but I found that made it difficult to breathe. So now I'm trying to be more of a realist. That way I can be negative when I choose to, but there's still a little room for hope.
Some people think I am dark. I suppose they're a little frightened by me. By my appearance, or my opinions, or the way I look them straight in the eye without blinking or turning away, or even my music, which can be, I suppose, unsettling. Although I doubt they'd ever admit to such fears. Because no one likes to fess up to being scared.
But I'll admit to it--at least within the privacy of my own journal. I seriously doubt that I'll go take out an ad in the Daily Times and go public with this news. Like anyone would care.
But it's true: I am scared. And sometimes I scare myself. Okay, I'm not talking about when I look in the mirror, although that can be a little frightening, especially on those mornings when I have flattened down bed head and my eyelashes are stuck together with that gluck that gathers in your eyes while you're asleep. But for the most part it's not my appearance that scares me. Although I'm sure I seem frightening to some people--narrow-minded people who want everyone to look the same--like cookie-cutter characters where everyone has a happy face stamped right into their heads.
I've seen people stare at my hair (I cut it myself-- all jaggedy so it can stick out in all sorts of interesting shapes, and I like putting colors on it, such as magenta and lime and purple), and I've seen some people stare at my multiple-pierced ears and belly button and wince or just back away. As if this is something unusual. And I suppose I derive some weird sense of satisfaction from their response. Like, see "I told you so." Does that make sense?
My friend Caitlin O'Conner (about the straightest chick I know) says I use my appearance to keep people from getting too close to me. And maybe she's right, although I've never admitted this to anyone before, except her and then only briefly. But I do sort of enjoy keeping up an exterior that turns some people off--or even frightens them. I figure if they're so shallow that they're threatened by my appearance, well, then who wants to know them anyway?
Besides, if you don't let people get close to you, you lessen your chances of getting hurt by them. Right? And that's something I could sure live without. Not that I'm afraid of pain, because I'm not. Believe me, I'm not! I just don't go around inviting it to come over to visit me on a regular basis.
I guess that's one thing that scares me though--the way I keep shoving people away from me. It's as if it's become this habit that's getting harder and harder to break. In fact, I've gotten uncomfortably comfortable with my isolation. Well, for the most part. I mean, no one really wants to be alone all the time. Do they? But somehow Caitlin just pushed her way past all my barbed-wire barriers and brick walls and actually became my friend. Well, sort of. Actually, I still wonder if she reached out to me because my brother Josh told her I was such a pathetic mess. She probably felt sorry for me too, because she's that kind of person--overly caring and sympathetic--something she needs to be careful of, I think. Too much empathy can get you into trouble.
But besides Josh's involvement, I suspect Caitlin (a Christian who takes her faith real seriously) probably had great hopes of converting me, not that I've ever done...
About the Author-
Melody Carlson is the bestselling author of more than seventy books for teens, women, and children with total sales over 1 million. She has two grown sons and enjoys an active lifestyle of hiking, skiing, and biking. She lives in the beautiful Oregon Cascade Mountains with her husband and Labrador retriever.
January 13, 2003
Carlson has made a name for herself as a CBA novelist who actually understands teenagers; her fifth book in the Diary of a Teenage Girl series demonstrates the strong writing and soap-operatic plot elements that have made the first four novels so successful among young readers. Fans of the series may be initially distressed that Carlson abandons the adventures of Caitlin, the series' erstwhile heroine, in favor of the younger recurring character Chloe, the rebel kid sister of Caitlin's on-again, off-again boyfriend Josh. (Perhaps Caitlin, who has been dispatched to college, has grown too old for the series' core audience?) Just as Caitlin dealt with real problems such as eating disorders and dating woes, Chloe battles with a number of serious issues in this journal-cum-novel: finding Jesus, helping a friend who's messing with witchcraft, and defending herself against female bullies. Readers who agree with Chloe that Caitlin was "the perennial Pollyanna of the new millennium" will delight in this edgier, more intense, electric guitar-playing lead character.
PublisherThe Crown Publishing Group
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