Wednesday, March 8, 2017

CHLOE SNOW'S DIARY: CONFESSIONS OF A HIGH SCHOOL DISASTER BY EMMA CHASTAIN - BOOK REVIEW

Hello everyone,

I am back with another review, Chloe Snow's Diary: Confessions of a High School Disaster by Emma Chastain. Thanks so much to Simon and Schuster Canada for providing me with this book for an honest review. As always, all opinions are my own.


** Just a fair warning, this review is more of a rant - perhaps directed more at aspects of society itself than the book - but consider yourself warned **

I really wanted to like this book. I really, really really wanted to like this book. It had all the makings of a perfect story, a cute maybe romance, told in the form of diary/journal entries, with a promising parent figure and one who is going after her dreams. It could have been so good... but no matter where the story goes, everything hinges on the narrator.

And let me tell you, Chloe was probably one of the most annoying narrators I've ever read. At least in recent memory.

I genuinely think that this story is not bad - but Chloe's narration is just so annoying I could barely get through the story. I almost DNF'd this one a handful of times because of her voice.

I think the biggest problem with Chloe is that she is too young. I was expecting an energetic 16/17-year-old, and what I got was an ambitious 14-year-old. Yup. Starting her freshman year of high school. Double yup. Most of her issues with life came across as irritating because she (is) sounds so young. If these were the thoughts of someone a little older, I'd be okay with it, but it was just annoying and sometimes a little uncomfortable.

Like there's this guy, Mac Brody. Chloe likes him. But this is problematic for many reasons but I'll stick with two. 1) He has a girlfriend. Now say what you want about teenagers, but if you aren't mature enough to understand what cheating is, maybe you shouldn't be doing it, mmkay? And 2) He's eighteen years old. 18. YEARS. OLD. I'm not one to talk about 'proper' age gaps, but this is wrong on so many levels. And like no one in the book sees it as problematic. Chloe's dad doesn't like Mac - but that's because he's rude, not because he's old enough to have a crime stay on his permanent record.

Maybe I'm putting too much pressure on a 14-year-old, surely she doesn't really know what she's doing. BUT NO ONE STOPS HER OR HIM. Sure, rumours go around, but does that deter, you can bet the farm it doesn't.

Okay, so let's look at Chloe as a product of her parents. Her mom is a 'free-spirit' artist who decided that she needed to be in another country in order to work on her novel. Her dad is a lawyer, painted as a boring penny-pincher by her mother, but otherwise a decent guy. The real problem lies, I believe, with her mother. Not only does she abandon Chloe when she needs her most - life struggles, puberty, guys, etc. but she isn't exactly the best role model romantically either. We find out pretty early on that she's probably not coming home anytime soon, and if she does, she might bring her friend, the matador. Ok, so Chloe doesn't exactly have a good role model for monogamy. Her dad's not perfect either, he spends a little too much time with Chloe's drama teacher.

BUT WHEN CHLOE COMPARES THESE ACTIONS OF HER PARENTS WITH WHAT SHE IS DOING, SHE SEES NO PROBLEMS.

And this, I think, is what irritated me the most about Chloe. She was a major hypocrite. She knows Mac has a girlfriend, but she decides she's too pretty to be affected by him cheating. What? How does that even make sense? Chloe just keeps telling herself that it's fine, Sienna doesn't matter, doesn't care, doesn't exist. It takes her 288 pages (of a 338 page book) to see that what she is doing is the same as what her parents are and that it's not okay. And I wanted to rip my hair out for 288 pages.

I almost put this book down twice. The first time was closer to the beginning when Chloe and Mac are doing shots together at a party. Yes, you read that right. The second time was the first time that Chloe rationalized her relationship with Mac. But I kept going because I hoped that it would turn around.

I suppose in putting aside my personal feelings, this book was okay. If you can handle Chloe's whining, the books not terrible. But for me, I couldn't overlook those things that made me uncomfortable and her narration.

Overall, some may find it cute, but I was not a fan.