Jay's Journal (1978)

Anonymous (ed. by Beatrice Sparks)
Pocket Books

Purportedly the diary of a teenage Mormon who became involved in witchcraft and the occult before committing suicide at 16, but most assuredly a steaming pile of made-up horseshit. Therapist Beatrice Sparks came to fame in 1971 as the editor of Go Ask Alice, still read in many high schools as a cautionary tale about drug abuse. Apparently attempting to recapture that publishing magic, Sparks has since made a career happening upon other "real" diaries of troubled teens, including It Happened to Nancy (1994: raped/HIV); Almost Lost (1996: rap/occult/drugs); Annie's Baby (1998: domestic violence/rape/pregnancy); Treacherous Love (2000: sex with teacher); Kim (2002: bulimia): Finding Katie (2005: sexual abuse/foster care). There was apparently a real "Jay," but his family claims that Sparks wildly distorted his story to make it more marketable, so much so that Jay's brother later wrote his own book, A Place in the Sun: The Truth Behind Jay's Journal. Anyone who was actually ever a teenage boy will recognize almost immediately that this is a work of fiction. The occult angle is laughable, and the texture of teen boy consciousness is absurd. At one point, for example, Jay dreads getting up early the next morning to meet a cute potential girlfriend for an Egg McMuffin at McDonalds. As if any 15-year-old boy would dread pursuing an opportunity to get laid AND eat a delicious breakfast sandwich.

Popular Posts