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Leslie's Journal [Paperback]

Allan Stratton
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)

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Paperback, Sept. 2 2000 --  

Book Description

Sept. 2 2000 Doghouse books

In this novel, Stratton takes us into a teen world that reverberates with the emotion and tension of a relationship gone wrong. Here is a book that examines the adolescent girl's deep need for affirmation as a sexually attractive being and how the drive for that affirmation can lead to unimaginable consequences.

For Leslie, grade nine was trouble-filled and grade ten is worse. The V.P. is constantly on Leslie's case for skipping or wearing 'inappropriate' clothes.

Enter Jason McCready, new at school and ultra-cool. He gives her a wink the first time they bump into each other. When Leslie approaches Jason to prove to the girls they have met, he gives her a kiss -- in front of everyone! Leslie is in love!

She is the envy of all the girls when Jason asks her out, but on their first date he takes her to his place instead of to the movies. He explains that his parents are away and begins pouring scotches, then beers. The lights get dimmer, the music louder, and things get fuzzy. Time seems to stop for Leslie, when suddenly Jason is throwing her clothes at her, stuffing money for a cab in her hand and telling her to get going because his parents are on their way home. It isn't until later that she realizes what has happened.

So begins Leslie's first relationship. Telling Leslie he loves her one minute and teaching her some hard life lessons the next, Jason begins to control Leslie's every move. How is it possible to be so lonely when you are in love? Thank god she has her English-class journal, where she can record everything. It helps to get her feelings on paper. But when Ms. Graham gets ill and the substitute reads the private journals, Leslie's world collapses.

Words like rape and abuse surface. Jason's behavior becomes even darker, and he has pictures he is threatening to show. The principal doesn't believe her anyway and there is no way she will tell her parents. Leslie's nightmare keeps growing. In the end, she must find the strength to fight back to set things right.

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Product Description

From School Library Journal

Gr 8 Up-This could be the Go Ask Alice (Avon, 1976) of this millennium. In a journal written for an English assignment, 10th-grade Leslie is completely honest; after all, Ms. Graham has promised never to read her students' work and to keep it in a locked cabinet. The language of this often irritating, often heartbreakingly naive young girl is right on target. Her life could be straight off the WB network; she has a single mom whom she loves but can't communicate with; a dad who recently moved in with his girlfriend; and a wild older boyfriend with whom she is totally obsessed. Fortunately, she has Katie, a steadfast friend who listens to her and believes in her. The relationship with Jason goes bad early on; he gets her drunk, rapes her, and takes Polaroid pictures of her. He is every parents' nightmare: insufferably polite up-front and rich enough to buy his way out of trouble. His behavior becomes increasingly abusive. When Leslie tries to break up with him, he stalks and threatens her. A new English teacher reads the diary and brings it to the attention of the principal, who takes Jason's side. Leslie fears for her life and runs away. This cautionary tale is not easy to read; few of the characters are likable. Most of the adults seem beset with their own personal problems. However, Leslie's voice demands to be heard and readers may learn to avoid her pitfalls. Gripping reading for a mature audience.-Marilyn Payne Phillips, University City Public Library, MO

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.


An appealing protagonist ... her problems are real ... her emotions ring true. (Judy Sasges VOYA [Voice of Youth Advocates] 2001-02-01)

This could be the 'Go Ask Alice' of this millennium ... Gripping reading for a mature audience. (Marilyn Payne Phillips School Library Journal 2001-04-01)

Stratton captures the rhythms of teen speech, and the subject matter is treated subtly enough. (Horn Book Guide 2001-01-01)

I came to appreciate Stratton's ability to capture the way a girl like Leslie might succumb to a relationship the reader knows from the get-go is bad news ... This book will cause any parent of young daughters to lose sleep. (Marvin Hoffman Houston Chronicle 2001-03-11)

Leslie's Journal is a realistic and thought-provoking glimpse into the mind of a frightened and desperate teenage girl. The writing style reflects Leslie's thoughts and can, in turn, be condescending, derogatory, profane and anti-establishment. Teens will relate to her struggle for independence and her cry for help. This is an exemplary first young adult novel for actor and playwright Allan Stratton.... It fills a gap in the market for books that deal with the dark side of relationships. It is a story of hope and conviction, and one that could give inner strength to any reader suffering from similar circumstances. Recommended. (Carole Marion Canadian Materials 2001-02-16)

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty Good June 16 2006
I enjoyed reading Leslie's Journal and I hope it serves as a lesson to young girls who are too naive to recognize when they have gotten into a poisonous relationship. My only qualm with the book is its credibility - why would Leslie risk putting her entire life, in such detail, into a school journal that had the possibility of being read by a teacher? There are a few minor details concerning her relationship with Jason that I found to be a bit off as well. Overall, though, a good read.
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3.0 out of 5 stars A scary, gripping read� April 20 2004
I'll admit I didn't have the highest hopes for this story about Leslie, a daughter of divorced parents, who starts to write her most personal thoughts in a journal assigned to her by her English teacher. It seems like Leslie's only outlet, and since her teacher promised never to read it, what's the harm in putting down personal stuff, like the fact she likes Jason? Jason isn't exactly your average boyfriend however. His first "date" with Leslie involves too much alcohol and it isn't until later that Leslie realizes she's been raped. Leslie continues to see Jason after this, seeing something in the much older and richer guy. His behavior just starts to escalate, and then a new English teacher turns over Leslie's journal to the principal. Leslie's scared for her life and so are the readers in this disturbing story of teenage relationship violence.
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5.0 out of 5 stars leslies journal Jan. 19 2004
By A Customer
I would like to start off by saying that i really enjoyed this book! As i read it, it seemed like i had grown with the character as she went through her trying times with the boy Jason! I feel that most girls between the ages of 13 and 17 can sort of relate to the problems that Leslie went through in some manner. Maybe not as extreme as Leslies but the peer pressure really is a issue in high school! The only thing i was dissapointed about in this book was the ending! In the end you start to think, hasn't she gone through enough... i guess the author thought different! But overall this is a really good book and i would recommend it to any girl between the ages of 13-17!!!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Book That Got Me Reading Books Sept. 17 2003
By A Customer
Before I read this book I wasn't much of a reader. When I discovered Amazon.com I looked at the books for teens and this book seemed very interesting. I ordered the book and when I got is read it in one sitting.
This book was so amazing it had everything I needed it had suspence, drama, action, and conflict. I would reccomend this book to any Young Adult reader.
Leslie's Jornal is about an angst ridden teen who's parents were going through divorce. She kind of a bad A$$ and wanted to impress these girls that she hated. so she started going with Jason(the new kid)and the first night she had to much to drink and passed out the next thing she finds out is that he had sex with her passed out body. He starts to get abusive and controlling giving her pills and making her have sex. When she brakes up with him he starts to stalk her and tells her he has pictures of her passed out naked at his house. She went into his house and found her picture along with other girls pictures....I don't want to give away anymore....hope i didn't give away too much . Read it!
Also recommended: Smack, The Torn Skirt, Breathing Underwater, Forged by Fire, Darkness Berfore Dawn, Born Blue, Night, If I Should Die Before I Wake, Speak, I Have Lived A Thousand Years, The Cage, Everytime A Rainbow Dies, Black-eyed Suzie, Monster, Go Ask Alice, The Giver, and Gathering Blue!! Read them All!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Leslie's Journal Rules! Sept. 5 2003
This is definitly one of my favorite books! I couldn't put it down. The characters are very realistic and relatable! It's great for the middle school and high school age. Leslie teaches us to stand up for ourselves and handle a hard situation with help from her best friend, Katie. A lot of girls struggle with date rape and abuse, and this book really gives the reality of it with a believable set of characters you'll get to love and respect. There should be a sequal!
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5.0 out of 5 stars What it means to stand up for yourself. Aug. 27 2003
Sometimes it is hard to stand up for yourself or your beleifs. It takes much courage to face something very tragic. Learning to listen to your friends is an important factor in life. Sometimes it takes a big event to realized what friendship really is. Leslie's journal is a suspenseful, fast-paced story about love, friendship, and what it means to stand up for yourself.
Leslie is a normal teenager who hates school and wants to be popular. Everyday in school she writes in her journal and tells about her life. Her parents are divorced and she has a hard time getting along with them. She feels like popularity is more important than friends and family. Leslie meets a new popular guy named Jason at school one day. She thinks he is perfect even though her friends tell her different. The first night alone with Jason, Leslie and him go too far. Because of drinking too much that night, Leslie wakes up not knowing what happened to her. She asked Jason and he tells her that she was the one that wanted to go all the way. She feels weird about it but believes he is telling the truth. As time goes on, Leslie writes in her journal about how Jason starts abusing her. She lies to her friends and family about the bruises. She starts realizing she needs to get out but Jason wont let her go.
As Leslie's life spins out of control, she learns how to stand up for herself. Her only hope is her best friend and family. Through it all, Leslie realizes what is really important in life.
This book is great for teenagers everywhere. It is a great example about how to make the right decisions. You will not be able to put it down after you start reading it.
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Most recent customer reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Dont trust reviews
I wrote a very long review about why I didnt like this novel, and why it was written for grade 6's with content for grade 10+
Unfortunatly, it was removed.
To sum it up. Read more
Published on July 10 2005 by Sparkky
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Book Ever!!
This book was great . a must read for teens !! she gets raped and her boyfriend is abusive! read this book!!! Wroth every penny!!
Published on June 18 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars Leslie's Journal
Leslie is a normal teenager who hates school and wants to be popular. Every day in school she writes in her journal and tells about her life. Read more
Published on Aug. 27 2003 by kandis noe
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book!
I thought this book was a great booke. It's abouu a real life situation that could happen to anybody. I just thought that it was a really good book. Read more
Published on July 2 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars Thriller
I was on the edge of my seat. I couldn't stop reading this book because I needed to know what would happen to Leslie next. Read more
Published on June 23 2003 by Damonica Partin
5.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting
"Leslie's Journal" is the typical story of a teenage girl whose boyfriend abuses her. Though the story has been told so many times before, this one is especially good. Read more
Published on April 27 2003 by Willow
4.0 out of 5 stars Engrossing!
The book Leslie's Journal grabbed me from the start of it..It sounded like a typical teenage girl living with her problems, and all of a sudden she meets this boy, Jason... Read more
Published on July 29 2002
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