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]
This could be the 'Go Ask Alice' of this millennium ... Gripping reading for a mature audience. (Marilyn Payne Phillips School Library Journal
Stratton captures the rhythms of teen speech, and the subject matter is treated subtly enough. (Horn Book Guide
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
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