Thursday, November 14, 2013

Review of "The Aqua Net Diaries- A Memoir, Big Hair, Big Dreams, Small Town" by Jennifer Niven

This was such a great book! If you went to High School in the 1980's, it is a MUST READ! A TOTAL MUST READ! Like, Totally!

This is the story of Jennifer Niven McJunkin. She moved from her old town to a new one when she was just in forth grade, and she had to get used to her new town in Richmond, Indiana. Before you knew it, Jennifer was navigating her four years in Richmond High School. It is funny, you feel her turmoil, her ups and downs, her good time and her "tragedies", and her yearning to be anywhere but this little town. But it is interwoven with so many good times you have to stop and fondly remember your own good times in High School.

Her narrative also gives you an inkling of the fact that she always knew she would go on to do great things. Boy, I had kept a notebook, well more than one, of where my friend Jenna and I wrote notes back and forth to each other, just like Jennifer and her friend Joey did. And I laughed until my side hurts when I read what they wrote, then again when I remembered what Jenna and I wrote! We wrote about most things, but inparticular, our Latin teacher. She got the brunt of everything we were mad about that day. I decided to those note books a few years back - BIG MISTAKE! But I can still fondly recall most of what was written there.

All of the 80s references were fun for me to relive. Honestly, it is a great book on its own. But, again, if you were in High School in the 80s, you will love Jennifer's book just that much more.

There are so many things that she did with her friends that I thought my friends and I only did! I nearly fell off the bed a few times from laughing so hard. Plus the utter shock of someone thinking to do the same thing my friends and I did. I hope you find this true for yourselves as well. In a time with no computers and x-boxs, cell phones, etc...the things we did to amuse ourselves were so ridiculous but oh boy did we have a blast!

My only teeny problem was the narration jumping from say Freshman year, to Junior year, and back to Sophomore year, and eventually Senior year. But the friends were the all the same. The times were fun, and Jennifer always was planning a way out her her dull town to move onto the bigger and better things she knew she was meant for.

There is no way to sum up this book other than it is a well told story about a girl in High School having good times. She may not have seen herself in the popular crowd, but she had good friends, a lot of boys that asked her out, she was very pretty, and very intelligent, and had fun.

I remember reading a review that gave the book I think 1 on a 1-5 scale and called the author "full of herself" and "popular and playing it down" I, having been almost done with the book by than, was so angry that this person was completely missing the message of the book! I commented back. Obviously, this person had some High School issues that came rushing back to her when reading this book. I felt bad for her. But do not put that on the author.

I was not the popular girl either but I got along with everyone. I felt such a connection to Jennifer on so many levels. From the posters on my wall, to the boys, to not being a popular girl but having some of the best friends a girl could have, plus gliding through the different groups of kids ie the burnouts, the popular girls, the sports players, oh geez what is the pc term now? and the band geeks, having guy and girl friends, and goint to parties and doing all the silly things High School kids think of to do when they are bored.

Nothing else in life is ever as important as life, right then and there, at that point in High School.

The author did a wonderful job of making this a fun and easy read. Again a happy trip down memory lane. This is "fer sure" on of my "totally tubular" books on my shelf now.