Leslie's Journal Review

Leslie's Journal
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Playwright Allan Stratton's first novel for teens, LESLIE'S JOURNAL, is a cautionary tale about teenage love gone drastically wrong. It all starts with Leslie, an angry, confused, rebellious girl in need of validation. Her days in school are numbered, she has problems at home, and her behavior just may alienate the only friend she has. But just when things couldn't possibly get any worse, she meets Jason --- the totally handsome, totally cool new kid on campus. And when he suddenly kisses her in front of her friends, she's the envy of all her female classmates.
Jason asks Leslie out, and she's on cloud nine, agog with love. On their first date, he takes her to his parents' house instead of the movies and plies her with booze, something she hasn't had much experience with. But she has even less experience with what happens next. Jason follows up his act with apologies, smiles, and flowers; and Leslie is soon on a roller coaster ride through relationship hell with an abusive control freak at the helm.
When Jason isn't forcing himself upon Leslie, he is hitting and threatening her. And when she decides that she's finally had enough, he threatens to blackmail her and even begins stalking her. On top of that, things go from bad to worse when a substitute teacher actually reads the journal Leslie is keeping for her English class. The journals were supposed to be private, but the teacher didn't know. Out of concern, she brings the journal and Leslie's story to the attention of the principal, who doesn't believe one word of it --- she believes the wealthy, upright Jason, not the rebellious, attention-getting Leslie. When Jason gets wind of the latest turn of events, he threatens to kill Leslie.
With nowhere to turn, Leslie's world collapses and she turns to Katie, the only friend she has, sharing everything with her. Together they vow to bring Jason down --- if he doesn't get to Leslie first. She holes up in her apartment and hopes for a miracle, but when Jason's threats increase, she takes things into her own hands. Fast paced and suspenseful, bordering on nightmarish, LESLIE'S JOURNAL will have you on the edge of your seat, white-knuckled all the way.--- Reviewed by Tammy L. Currier

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