Thursday, April 29, 2010

Review: The Aqua Net Diaries

High school in middle America in the 1980s: this is Jennifer Niven's memoir of high school in suburban Indiana. Like any other high school student Jennifer angsts over her weekend dates, spends hours on the phone, and is profoundly embarrassed by her parents. She spends time dreaming up ways to cut school and acquire alcohol. In other words, this is the story of an entirely unremarkable high school experience. Most of us will find plenty in Niven's narrative that sounds familiar. Reading this book is quite a bit like reminiscing about high school with one's old friends at a reunion. That said, I'm not sure that there's anything more to this book. I absolutely loved Niven's novel, Velva Jean Learns to Drive, but I was disappointed in this memoir. The memoir was neither as deep nor as interesting as the novel. This is a light and entertaining read, but there's not a lot more to it.

Jennifer Niven, The Aqua Net Diaries: Big Hair, Big Dreams, Small Town (Gallery, 2010) ISBN: 1416954295


Rebecca :) said...

Thanks for the honest review. I haven't read anything by this author, though it sounds like Velva Jean Learns to Drive is the place to start.

Jessica said...

Thanks for an honest review. I was checking this one out the other day - now I think I'll skip it, too many other books I want to read.

MicheleS said...

I just finished this book, and while the subject matter was interesting, I found her writing to be juvenile and became quite frustrated by her seemingly "still in high school" mentality. If she'd written it in a more grown-up fashion, and allowed for the fact that she was a silly girl back then, I could have accepted it. I kept thinking thoughout the entire thing that *I* could have written it better! :-)