I am the first to admit that this is a book for die-hard Twin Peaks fans only, but doesn't that kind of go without saying? I doubt anyone else would even consider reading this book or even know of its existence. So this review is from the perspective of a Peaks fanatic.
This book grabs you from the start. I received it in the mail when I got home from work last night around 5:30, and I had it finished by 11:00--it's about 180 pages. Its conversational tone makes it a fast read, for sure, but it's Laura's completely unusual, fascinating experiences that really get the pages turning. The great thing about it is that it gives you further insight into the world of Twin Peaks, specifically Laura Palmer, obviously. TP is a very layered, complex "world" that requires multiple viewings to truly appreciate. Fire Walk With Me provided much appreciated insight into Laura's final week, but this diary goes so much further than that and highlights Laura's life from the age of 12 and off and on until 17, when she died. It is genuinely fascinating to see Laura change from a generally happy, if somewhat "different" 12-year-old into a tormented soul who welcomes death. The influence of Bob increases over time, though he had always been there. The pain seems so real, you can't really blame her for some of her outrageous and even hurtful behavior. I'm not going to give away anything specific, but suffice it to say that there is ample support for Dr. Jacoby's statements in the first season: To Agent Cooper that Laura should not be faulted for her cocaine addiction, and to Bobby that she didn't mean to hurt him, she just had no control over her own life.
Speaking of Bobby Briggs, this book goes into quite a bit of detail about their relationship. Although he softens considerably over the course of the show, this diary cements the idea that he was always misunderstood. If there was any doubt that Laura's relationship with Bobby was actually much deeper than her relationship with James Hurley, this book puts that doubt to rest for good. Here Bobby emerges as someone who understands Laura better than almost anyone, even though he didn't know her "secret." But he sensed it was there.
There are some pretty surprising revelations in this book, quite a feat, really.
Jennifer Lynch really succeeded in capturing the essense of Laura Palmer's struggle with Bob. I'm guessing she was briefed by her Dad beforehand--David Lynch has said that he has the world of Laura and Twin Peaks mapped out in his mind, and that TP will always be there, just no one is pointing a camera at it right now.
I must also comment on one poster's assessment of Bob's speaking through Laura as "dumb." How is it dumb if that was the reality in Laura's life? As for the poster who suggested that Jennifer Lynch was working through her own issues in writing this book, that is just uncalled for. Nothing in this book is inconsistent with what we already knew about Laura Palmer. Was there any doubt that she was one seriously screwed-up chick?