Leslie's JournalBook - 2000
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.