Thursday, June 24, 2010

13 Things About The Secret Diary of Ashley Juergens

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

Okay, first off, this post is a day late since I have gotten two jobs in the past week and it's been more than a little hectic. Second, as I hinted at last week, I had the opportunity to receive a review copy of The Secret Diary of Ashley Juergens, and that's what we're looking at today. Don't worry, for those who are excited about the upcoming Drinking Games series, that's to start next Wednesday.

I chose 13 things to list here based on the fact that Ashley is 13 during most of the time she writes in this journal (which I believe will later have a "volume 2" ...).

1. I thought that the formatting in the book was neat. The "chapters" were broken down by the date of the journal entry, and were in script. Within them, they have times, which are "stamped" as if they were the due date on a library book card. The typeface itself is a standard Times New Roman, but every now and then there are little blurbs scripted in the margins, which (to me) indicate that Ashley re-read her thoughts and had additional comments. We later learn she plans to give the journal to John when he's a teenager.

2. The beginning is kinda strange. Ashley knows Adrian, Grace, Ricky, Henry, & Alice by name before she's clearly been introduced to them. I'd buy that she knew who Grace was, but not the rest (especially not Henry & Alice). She does refer to the town being small at one point, but I definitely never got that impression from the show.

3. She's very anti-smoking. She likes ballet, and attended a couple cotillions as a youngster. She also hates keeping secrets... this amuses me, especially considering the title of the show, LoL.

4. Ashley is usually a tough character, but she was jealous that Amy told Madison and Lauren about her pregnancy before she told her own sister. But, she knew first. She's tricky like that. She even phoned Italy and got the scoop on Ben when he was in Bologna.

5. She makes a lot of "wise beyond her years" comments, like mentioning the idea that Amy needs Ashley more than Ashley needs George. Similarly, she passed for 21 when she got that job as a waitress. Oh, and she and the waitress who hired her are friends now...

6. She writes in the journal (for the most part) because it was assigned by her principal, and this is apparent throughout. Not only does Ashley reference Principal Miller, she also explains things much more to an audience than she would need to trigger her own memory about various events. For fans of the show, the dates are probably the most helpful, since they give a timeline to how close certain events were from different episodes.

7. There are a couple continuity/logic concerns. For instance, Ashley seems to know that Adrian bought condoms from the grocery store early on, yet seems to be learning that fact for the first time when NedTed tells her AFTER she bought her own condoms based on the fact that Adrian bought them there. Also, "Hot Cross Buns" is NOT the same as "Three Blind Mice," although they have the first six notes in common.

8. Ashley references her nickname "Little Mimsy," but I can't recall that being mentioned on the show. If it was, oops. If it wasn't, then I think it was a peculiar addition to the book.

9. Ashley and George have an unspoken agreement that she's always the first one he tells things to. Speaking of George, he had a fiance before Grace's mom.

10. The kids in this show all give out their numbers too easily. Jack texts Ashley after they have like one personal conversation. She calls Ben somehow. And Thomas was able to call her immediately, though she doesn't ask for his number for a while. Even the hotel guy in Italy was able to text her more info.

11. She hung out with Ben's driver and they got coffee... he even wrote her a late note for school... that really creeps me out.

12. Ashley heard that Thomas found another bus stop that he likes better... who would she hear this from? Thomas is homeschooled so he wouldn't be a topic of gossip at school.

13. February 6th is John's birthday.

Overall, it was an interesting read. Definitely for fans of the show, and most likely for the younger readers (I imagine I'm about ten years older than the targeted group, LoL). It's also yellow and hardcover, so it looks pretty on the shelf. ;)
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