Becoming Me (Diary of a Teenage Girl Series: Caitlin #1)

Becoming Me (Diary of a Teenage Girl Series: Caitlin #1)

by Melody Carlson


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In the fictional Diary of a Teenage Girl, sixteen-year-old Caitlin O'Conner reveals the inner workings of a girl caught between childhood and womanhood ... an empty life without Christ and a meaningful one with Him. Through Caitlin's candid journal entries we see her grapple with such universal teen issues as peer pressure, loyalty, conflict with parents, the longing for a boyfriend, and her own spirituality.

Follow Caitlin O'Conner, a girl much like yourself, as she makes her way from New Year's to the first day of summer -- surviving a challenging home life, changing friends, school pressures, an identity crisis, and the uncertainties of "true love."

You'll cry with Caitlin as she experiences heartache, and cheer for her as she encounters a new reality in her life: God. See how rejection by one group can -- incredibly -- sometimes lead you to discover who you really are...

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781576737354
Publisher: The Crown Publishing Group
Publication date: 08/07/2000
Series: Diary of a Teenage Girl Series , #1
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 260,940
Product dimensions: 5.16(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.61(d)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

Melody Carlson is the bestselling author of more than seventy books for teens, women, and children with total sales over 1 million. She has two grown sons and enjoys an active lifestyle of hiking, skiing, and biking. She lives in the beautiful Oregon Cascade Mountains with her husband and Labrador retriever.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One
Monday, January 1 (a rather uneventful new year, so far anyway)
I heard somewhere that when you write in a diary you should pretend that you’re writing a letter to a really good friend, someone you trust completely, and you know will never laugh at you. So that’s what I’m telling myself, because to tell the truth I feel kind of silly writing about my life in this dorky little book. And it’s funny because I’ve actually had this diary for several years now, and suddenly it hits me—like hey, I’m sixteen! According to some people this should be one of the most memorable eras of my whole life. Well, I’m not too sure I even want to remember everything about being sixteen, but on the other hand, things seem to be looking up lately, and it might actually be fun to track how the rest of my junior year goes. Especially considering the first few months have been pretty dull so far.
But first of all, let me say this: Being sixteen is not really that sweet. And furthermore, it’s not terribly exciting either—at least not for me (although I’m certain that some kids my age are having a really great time). Take last night, for instance, I wanted to go to a New Year’s Eve party with my friend, Beanie Jacobs. But do you think I got to go? Yeah, right! To protest, I stayed up in my room most of the night, until my mom literally begged me (using her famous it’s-a-holiday guilt trip combined with the promise of double-dutch brownies) to “come join the family.” And then we watched this really lame video about a bunch of stupid kids who got lost in the woods. And then we stayed up until midnight and watched our neighbors shooting off (what are supposed to be illegal) fireworks. Well, big whoopdee-doo!
But back to being sixteen and how it’s not so sweet. What some people don’t realize is that sixteen comes with its own set of problems. Like, take driving for instance. I was all excited when I got my license the end of last summer (on my birthday, no less!), and I thought for sure my parents would want to get me a car now. Naturally, I
didn’t expect a new car (although I wouldn’t mind having one of those cool VW Bugs with the little flower vases on the dashboard—maybe in yellow or blue), but I would have settled for almost any old thing with four wheels, as long as it ran decently. But do you think I could get them to spring for a car (even though I patiently explained how they’d never have to haul me around everywhere, and how I would even give my little brother rides to his stupid ball games not to mention run an endless amount of errands for them)? Well, think again! “You don’t want to deal with that kind of responsibility yet, Caitlin Renee,” Mommy says ever so sweetly. (I’m pretty sure she even patted me on the head!)
Honestly, sometimes my parents treat me like I’m still ten years old! And, of course, they say it’s because they love me, but I think the truth is they don’t really trust me. They probably think if they give me just the tiniest taste of freedom that I’ll run hog-wild, get a tattoo, and start smoking dope or something equally disgusting! Why can’t they believe in me—just a little? I mean, I’ve never given them a single reason not to trust me (at least nothing of any real significance). It’s just not fair. About the only thing they willingly let me do is to go to our church’s high school youth group functions—and, man, let me tell you, there are some kids in there who are pretty bad news. Not exactly a great “influence” as my dad likes to call any teenage kid he doesn’t quite get (take my best friend, Beanie, for instance, but I’ll get to her later). Anyway, the thing is, I don’t even tell my parents about the kids in youth group who smoke and drink and God only knows what else—or I’d never get to go anywhere until I turned twenty-one!
Now I’ll try to say something nice about my parents (just in case they’re reading this). And if they are—I will take back every single word of it, and never, ever speak to the old snoops again! Okay, for the most part, my parents are pretty cool (and not the kind of people to read other people’s diaries!). For one thing, they’ve managed to stay married to each other for almost twenty years (a pretty big deal when everyone else’s parents seem to be splitting up); and my dad has a pretty interesting job at an advertising firm downtown, while my mom teaches first grade. I guess I could’ve done worse as far as parents go. Like my best friend, Beanie Jacobs, her dad was a cocaine addict who left her mom with nothing but overdue bills when Beanie was still in diapers. On top of that, her mom’s kind of freaky and irresponsible, plus she drinks too much and forgets to pay her bills. I know she got married really young, but it’s kind of like she never grew up. But she actually makes Beanie act like the parent most of the time, which is pretty weird, if you ask me.
Of course, the one good thing about that whole Beanie situation is that she gets to do whatever she wants whenever she wants. And I kind of envy that. Oh, sure, I know it has its down side too. Let me tell you, Lynn Jacobs (Beanie’s mom) can be pretty scary sometimes, and I’ve seen her tear into Beanie like she’s a dog or something less than human. As a consequence I try to never get on that woman’s bad side (which lately seems to be every side). Anyway, Beanie’s been my best friend since sixth grade (when we both discovered we were totally hopeless on the violin). I could tell right off she was really smart, and she had this really dry sense of humor. Plus, I liked that she wasn’t afraid to speak up and say how she felt (at least around anyone but her mom).
Now, I’ll be the first to admit that Beanie Baby (she goes absolutely nuts when I call her that, which I rarely do, except if I’m ticked at her about something) tends to dress, well, shall I say, outlandishly (I’ve been reading Jane Austen books lately and sometimes I wish we still talked like that)? But back to Beanie and how she has this rather interesting sense of style (you see, her mom never gives her any money for clothes, so she has to come up with all these creative ways of dressing—and she actually shops at Goodwill, and then she even sews some of her weird stuff together). And sometimes she even dyes her hair some pretty wild colors like magenta or midnight blue. Normally it’s almost black and very curly which she says is because her dad was Jewish, although she doesn’t practice his religion.
But Beanie’s pretty fun to hang with, and I’m glad she’s my friend. My parents didn’t like her at all at first. But then I got her going to youth group with me. And now they think she’s okay but strange, and I don’t think they quite trust her. Beanie’s actually very pretty (in a sultry kind of way) and one time my mom (trying to be helpful) wanted to give her a complete makeover—but that’s another story. Let’s just suffice it to say that when Mom was done, Beanie looked like a Mary Kay poster child. Poor Beanie. Well, I guess that’s enough for one night. So, now, you can see how my life is just so terribly exciting. Like, wow, maybe they’ll make this book into a movie some day! Not!
Wednesday, January 3 (back to school)

I need to say that I read back over my first entry in this diary and had to laugh. I mean, I sound like such a blabbermouth. And in real life I’m not even like that. In fact, some people think I’m rather quiet and reserved. My grandma says that’s a good thing because there’s a Proverb that says something like “even a total fool can appear wise if she keeps her mouth shut.” Anyway, I guess the way we express ourselves in writing isn’t always the way we express ourselves in real life (and I notice I use a lot of parentheses too). But that’s okay—I think writing is fun. Now back to my life…
Okay, today I’m thinking about the pros and cons of popularity (well, mostly the pros). And believe me, I realize (as much as any sixteen-year-old possibly can) that popularity is highly overrated and it’s not like it’s ever been my primary goal in life. But I guess I never wanted to be a total geek either! And it’s not like I am. Not really anyway. Okay, I’m not popular, but I’m not such a loser. I guess I’m just not much of anything. I mean I’m not in any particular group in school—not a geek or a freak, not exactly an academic, and certainly not a jock! Mostly I just hang with Beanie, and sometimes with some of the kids from youth group (but then they can act pretty geeky    at times, and we don’t always like being connected with them, not that anyone would really care since we are basically nobodies anyway).
But just because we’re “nobodies” doesn’t mean that kids who think they are “somebody” should put us down. Does it? I mean, I don’t think I put other kids down (even if I think they’re total geeks), but I suppose if I was being really honest (which was my original goal in this diary, so I better stick to it)…well, I suppose I might act just a little superior sometimes. I mean, it’s not like I really think I’m better than anyone else or anything—but I suppose I might act a little bit snooty, especially when I’m afraid that someone else is going to put me down anyway. I know that’s not very nice, but it’s the truth.
So, back to the question of popularity. I have to admit that when I was a little kid I used to think it’d be so cool to be the most popular girl in the whole school. Like my Aunt Stephie—she’s my mom’s baby sister, but so much younger she could almost be my big sister. Anyway, I remember how Grandma used to complain that the phone
“rang night and day” for Aunt Stephie. She was a cheerleader and had this really cool boyfriend who looked just like Tom Cruise (Tom was more popular back then,
although I still think he’s pretty cool).
Anyway, all that popularity stuff seemed pretty great to an eight-year-old kid, and I remember thinking that when I was in high school, I wanted to be exactly like Aunt Stephie. Not that her life has turned out all that great as a grownup, at least not according to my grandma (she’s always on poor Stephie’s case) and I’d have to admit Steph does have some fairly serious problems (like a baby and no husband plus she freeloads baby-sitting from Grandma). So I guess, in some ways, all that popularity didn’t do her a whole lot of good in the long run. But just the same, I still sometimes wish that I was one the coolest girls in high school. Now, how’s that for honest?
At the same time, I’d like to think that I’m more mature than that, and I’ll admit that Beanie and I sometimes make fun of the “popular” kids (behind their backs, of course!). And like I said, it’s not like I’m a complete loser either—in fact, I got my braces off last fall and my skin is almost completely clear now. I got my hair cut in this really cool style during Christmas break, so that it kind of swings back and forth when I walk. And Aunt Stephie said I look just like Gwyneth Paltrow (of course, she wanted me to baby-sit Oliver at the time, and she might’ve said anything to seal the deal). I’ve got a magazine with Gwyneth’s photo on it, and I studied my face in the mirror, and I do think there is a slight resemblance. And since I got my haircut, it suddenly seems like other people are looking at me differently. Perhaps even some pretty cool people are actually looking my way (unless it’s my imagination). But even so, it feels kind of good. I mean all these years before I just felt kind of invisible (which wasn’t so bad; I mean, it was better than sticking out in a crowd).
Now I know I must be sounding all lame and desperate to go on like this (not to mention totally shallow); like all I care about is getting some airhead approval from a bunch of kids who aren’t all that nice in the first place. And, like I said, it’s not like I don’t already have any friends. I mean there’s always Beanie. There’s a few others too. Okay, I admit it, they’re mostly from the youth group! But at least I know they’d stick by me through the very worst. I think some of the nicer ones would. I seriously doubt if those popular kids would be like that. Not that
I’ll ever have a chance to find out. But on the other hand, I guess I’d be willing to find out, if I had the chance.
Okay, is that so terribly wrong? Is it so wrong to want some different friends for a change? To want life to change and become more exciting? Last week our youth group leader said that if we don’t have something that we really think we need, we should pray for it. I wonder if it would be wrong to pray to become popular. I guess the worst that could happen is that God could say no. It might be worth a try. I don’t know why God wouldn’t want me to have more friends; we’re always being told to “reach out” to those around us. Hey, I’m willing to do some reaching here.
Well, all this wondering is probably just a big, stupid waste of time, because I’m sure the popular kids don’t want to hang with me anyway. I’ve heard them make fun of the geeks and nerds and freaks before—as if we’re all deaf and can’t even hear them. Or maybe they think we have absolutely no feelings at all. In fact, now that I think about it, I can’t even believe that I’ve sat here and actually considered hanging with kids like that in the first place. But I’m supposed to be honest here. And the truth is, I would hang with them if only they would let me. But, I ask you, is that so terribly wrong?

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Becoming Me (Diary of a Teenage Girl Series: Caitlin #1) 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 110 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wasn't sure if I liked this book at first, but be sure to stick with it, because it gets better. Seriously. I almost cried at some parts. Read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a very inspirational and uplifting book and i'm excited to read the rest of the series i love this book so much i'v read the first and the second book twice very encouraging:)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Read couldn't put it down! This is coming from a teenage girl. Any teen girl who is lost or confused sould, no, NEEDS to read this book!
dramaqueen1644 More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! I am currently doing two projects on this book. That is how much i love this book! 
Hilnotsoduff92 More than 1 year ago
I read these books as a teen girl. They were AMAZING! This is coming from a girl who doesn't really like to read either. So take my advice & if you have the chance, pick these up & read them!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book showed so many challenges a person in middle / high school would go through. Wanting to do things the right way I felt this book really lifted my spirits and showed to rely on god totally!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you are wondering if this is the book for you to read the answer is yes. I'm in 7th grade and I'm not really the reading type of person and when my friend made me try these books it just was so easy to read. I didn't have any problems of tryig to find a good book to read when i finished the kim books and i wont any time soon. I givethis book and all the rest in this series a two thumbs up
harmonyturtle More than 1 year ago
When I was in high school The Diary of a Teenage Girl series was huge. I remember I even did a book report on one of the books in the series in the 9th grade. For the first time I was reading a Christian teen book that was candid about the struggles encountered. Becoming Me is the first book in the whole series, and features, Caitlin. Caitlin is in high school, and she is beginning to realize how the world her parents raised her in is actually nothing like that. She discovers problems in her parents' marriage, and how her friends haven't stuck by the same lifestyle she thought was so easy to maintain. Not only that, but the guy she has a crush on turns out to have his own problems with playing the field. This book deals with so many topics that are ahead of how Christians still struggle to approach them including infidelity, pregnancy, and much more. I remember reading this book I found Beanie to be very intriguing. She is Caitlin's best friend, I figure it was her artsy nature that stood out to me. I still remember the rough time she had with her boyfriend, who was a runner in the book. When I think of how long ago it's been since I first read this book, and how much I still remember from it, it causes me to realizes how much of an impact it had on me. I definitely recommend this book for teenagers, particularly girls, since it provides a very good, real, role model. This book does advocate, I Kissed Dating Goodbye, which I've always had mixed feelings about though. Girls can't expect their dating life to be like Caitlin's and everything fall in place when it needs to. I figure dating casually, or seriously, gives you insight about yourself you wouldn't otherwise have. If you're looking for a good book that is a quick read, or you're a teenager then I would say you've found your book. I really enjoyed this novel as a teen, and it still stands out to me to this day. This book was provided by Glass Road Public Relations in exchange for a review.
AmyLeeBell More than 1 year ago
Becoming Me by Melody Carson follows the story of Caitlin, a teenage girl who has just decided to pick up a pen and diary and record the events of her life. Immediately, we are transported to a world of youth groups and high school, friendships and cliques. She struggles with each new relationship and many old ones, and in the midst of everything, she searches for the answer to her existence. I haven't finished a book that quickly in YEARS! It arrived in the mail on Wednesday. Even while juggling homeschooling, laundry, and dishes, I still managed to finish it on Thursday. The author has amazing insight into the mind of a teenage girl. So many of the topics and feelings she brought up seemed to come straight from my own teenage thoughts and experiences. It was great to revisit some of these feelings, looking back on them with a little bit of humor and a whole lot of contemplation. I kept wishing that the diary were a real one, instead of fictional. The story meant a great deal to me, and the characters seemed like living and breathing people. I yearned to be able to shoot Caitlin an email to see how she's been doing lately.
Erin94 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I really liked this book, can't wait to read the next one.
nm.fall07.e.ramon on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Diary of a teenage girl was a really good book.I really liked how its about only a teenage girl and it dosnt go off topic. i liked it because she is a teenage girl and so am i so i can relate to her in some weird way. the way she talkes about the boys is true, we only want the guys to look at us and if we like some one we would do stupid things for them and then later on we regret what we did. i would recomend it to all the girls that like to read about teenage love.
hooray on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Having kept journals throughout my teenage years and re-reading them from time to time, I can soundly affirm that this dreck is indeed typical of a teenage girl's diary. Unrealistic, falsely omniscient, and very typically American in it's everyone lived happily ever after ending. What disturbed me is this girl thinks about nothing except her social life and her relationship with god. She doesn't read, she doesn't ponder, she doesn't seem to think beyond omphaloskepsis. And by your senior year, that should not be the case.
olym02 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I love this book. It totally related to me, it also helped knowing there are others struggling with their christian walk and there is help
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved it!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was awesome! I couldn't put it down. I recomend this book fo everybody! Helps you learn more about God.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Omg i just loved this book i couldnt wait to find the second one but i cant figure out were to find it yet because i got this nook from the library were i live and i have to take it back but i love this book
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book it was really good,if you havent read it than i beg you to get it. It is a really christian book it has help me alot! ;)
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved reading this book! I like how it is in the form of a diary. It teaches many good life lessons and much more! I can't wait to read the next one!!
Heart2Heart More than 1 year ago
If you have ever wondered what the average high school girl would write about in her diary, then look no further than Melody Carlson's, Becoming Me: Diary of A Teenage Girl, Caitlin #1. The reader is taken into the diary of Caitin O'Connor, a sixteen-year old Junior in high school dealing with all the things a typical girl would and chronicles her journey in a diary. From what it's like with her best friend Beanie, who has been with her through thick and thin, dealing with a father who was addicted to cocaine and subsequently left her and her mother, Beanie is the friend, who Caitlin believes will always be there for her. Until she wonders what it would be like to hang out with the popular kids. When Caitlin is involved with Jenny Lambert, cheerleader and the most popular girl in school, during a honor society task for decorating for the Valentine's day dance, Caitlin, soon discovers that life on the other side isn't always greener. Choosing to ignore her friend Beanie, rather than risk introducing her to the popular group she is now a part of, she finds life is a whole lot different. When Caitlin is invited to a birthday party of Heather's boyfriend and her parents agree to let her go, simply because she is attending it with Jenny, she finds out that the parents aren't home and alcohol is now flowing. Even though she knows better than to drink at the party, fearing what may happen to her if her parents find out, she nonetheless agrees to let Jenny driver her home, after Jenny swears she's fine to drive. She writes that even her parents have cautioned her against under age drinking, she tells that no one told her how to avoid what to do when a friend is drunk and you have no way home. I received this book compliments of Glass Roads Public Relations for my honest review and think that both parents and teens should read this book together. It definitely gives parents an idea from a teen's perspective on what they think and what is important in their lives growing up in high school. It provides an outlet that parents and their teens can open discussions up to what they can do when faced with any of this situations and create a more open communication with their kids. I would rate this book a 5 out of 5 stars and highly recommend it to anyone who wants to know what is going on with our kids today and what they are thinking.
Icecream18 More than 1 year ago
The best quality this book contains is the main character. She was really easy to connect with, very likable. She is brave and intelligent, she experiences a lot of "life" in the short span of this book; some of it is unfortunate, some is makes the reader cheer, and others are more neutral. Caitlin is the readers' guide in the book, speaking in the first person-making it even easier to connect with her too. It is hard not to experience everything through Caitlin's eyes as if it is happening to you too. The author manages to make each scene and feeling dynamic and all to real. She questions God, after all what kind of a God would let some of these events happen to her? Her father has an affair, her crush falls in love with her best friend, etc... Rather than petty, Caitlin's feelings come across as raw and unhurried. The reader doesn't get overly involved with secondary characters, but in this novel that kind of quality would simply bog the plot down. This book is fairly fast-paced, there is plenty of action/drama/intrigue, and the ending isn't really an ending-perfect. This book is recommended for young adults/teens.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago