Book Summaries

CONFESSIONS OF A HIGH SCHOOL SURVIVOR: THE FRESHMAN REINVENTION

Pubic-Head, Jew-Fro, Big Brown One…AHHHH! If Jennifer Arnold knew how to make her classmates stop bullying her, to stop breaking her with each nasty name and rumor, she’d do it. If only she were strong enough, courageous enough to believe in herself, but a lifetime of emotional abuse from home and bullying from school have left her hollow and splintered.

Just when she needs her most, Jennifer meets Becca Orlin. Beautiful, self-assured and fearless, Becca quickly becomes her new best friend. While at overnight camp for the summer, Becca teaches Jennifer how to begin to find her inner strength, tackle her body image issues, and accentuate her outer beauty. But will it be enough?

In the fall, when a friendship evolves into a secret romantic relationship, Jennifer grapples with understanding her sexuality, desires and morals. Her Reinvention plan works though, and nearly all bullying at school ceases. Jennifer confronts her burgeoning fortitude when debating whether or not to share her clandestine relationship with her best friends. If she can’t, she will be forced to continue to hide what is quickly becoming the most life altering relationship she has ever known. However, her secret being divulged and resuscitating the now defunct abuse scares Jennifer into a claustrophobic silence and traps her in a cocoon of lies.

Although her relationship soothes her raw soul from years of abrasion, Jennifer’s fragmented psyche could prevent her from knowing true completeness within herself and with another. Her determination to reinvent herself and begin to heal brought Jennifer into this transformative relationship but those issues might also be what drives them apart.