Who I Am (Diary of a Teenage Girl Series #3)

Who I Am (Diary of a Teenage Girl Series #3)

4.2 22
by Melody Carlson
     
 

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It's challenging enough to be a normal high school senior — but Caitlin O'Conner has a host of new difficulties to deal with in the third book of Melody Carlson's widely popular and fascinating teen series.

Time is critical to help the orphans in Mexico, missions-minded Caitlin believes, but Mom and Dad are set on her attending college. Meanwhile, her

Overview

It's challenging enough to be a normal high school senior — but Caitlin O'Conner has a host of new difficulties to deal with in the third book of Melody Carlson's widely popular and fascinating teen series.

Time is critical to help the orphans in Mexico, missions-minded Caitlin believes, but Mom and Dad are set on her attending college. Meanwhile, her relationship with Josh takes on a serious tone via e-mail — threatening her commitment to "kiss dating goodbye."

When Beanie begins dating an African-American, Caitlin's concern over dating seems to be misread as racism. One thing is obvious: God is at work through this dynamic girl in very real but puzzling ways. A soul-stretching time of racial reconciliation at school and within her church helps her discover God's will as never before.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781576738900
Publisher:
The Doubleday Religious Publishing Group
Publication date:
03/01/2002
Series:
Diary of a Teenage Girl Series
Pages:
224
Sales rank:
555,907
Product dimensions:
5.17(w) x 8.22(h) x 0.65(d)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER ONE

Tuesday (after the missions conference)
It’s a brand new year, and it seems appropriate that I should begin a new diary today. And yet, to be perfectly honest, I don’t feel much like writing. I know that seems crazy since so much has happened in the last few days—like I should be blabbering on for pages and pages. But I guess I’m feeling a little bummed right now or maybe just confused. And even that doesn’t make sense, because I’ve had such an unbelievably awesome time here at Urbana. I mean, I’ve heard and seen more about worldwide missions than I’d ever imagined possible. And it almost blows your mind to see how many organizations exist! Still, that doesn’t exactly explain this weird mix of emotions I’m having. To start with, I feel pretty small and insignificant at the moment (and I realize how self-centered that sounds). But it’s the truth, and I guess it’s because I’m just one among thousands of young people who God might be calling to some sort of missions opportunity somewhere around the globe.
 
I know it doesn’t make sense. (I should be glad that so many kids really want to serve God.) Maybe I’m just tired and ready to go home. Or maybe I’m feeling a little slighted that Josh Miller has been so obsessed with the conference that he acts as if I don’t even exist. Now how’s that for shallow? (On my part, I mean.) Not to mention painfully honest! Okay, I know, I’ve made this big commitment not to date, and I’m trying really hard to stick to it, but, sheesh, how does it make a girl feel when  someone like Josh won’t even give her the time of day? Wasn’t it just a year ago that Josh (my number-one hottee) was first getting interested in me—little Miss Nobody? And look at us now. It’s almost funny. And yet…
 
Thankfully, we’re about to hit the road! But before I sign off on New Year’s Day sounding so gloomy, I must admit I do feel somewhat hopeful too. And I did get the chance to talk with several missions groups who focus on helping the most impoverished children, kind of like the kids at the dump in Mexico. As it turns out (sad as it seems) children who live at garbage dumps aren’t all that uncommon (especially in Latin America). And so, I gathered up all these brochures and e-mail addresses and stuff, and I’ll be communicating with the missions groups for more information and advice (not to mention praying that God will lead me!). And that all seems pretty worthwhile.
 
And if it wasn’t for that, I’d probably be feeling pretty discouraged right now. There were times when I actually wondered why I’d come to this conference. Because almost every missions person I spoke with kept saying, “You need to go to college before you seriously consider going to work in Mexico or anywhere else.” One old guy practically read me the riot act; he said it was “inexperienced people like me that gave missionaries a bad name,” thank you very much! Well, let me tell you, that really made my day.
 
Still, one nice woman suggested I might invest my summer vacation down in Mexico and continue my college studies throughout the rest of the year. That was a little encouraging. But for the most part, I just sat there in the stands, a face in the crowd, looking out upon all these thousands of kids (most of them partway or even finished with college). And the embarrassing truth is I now feel like this teeny, tiny droplet in a great, big ocean. And I wonder what possible difference little old me can have on anything? But then again, I’m probably just tired, and I do have a cold that’s making me feel kinda down too. So, I suppose it’s times like this that I need to remember my verse about trusting God with all my heart.
 
I must admit, I’m looking forward to seeing Josh and the other guys during our trip back home. Naturally, they stayed in one of the men’s dorms. (I was in the women’s.) And like I said Josh mostly ignored me—okay, he completely ignored me. But I suppose that was a good thing. It did allow me to focus my attention on missions without being distracted by his great Matt Damon good looks, although I did notice a few other girls looking as well as what appeared to me to be flirting! Okay, okay, I’m not jealous. Well, not exactly. I think I’m mostly just tired and need to go home. Man, I can’t wait to sleep in my own bed!
 
Thursday, January 3 (after a grueling trip)
Sheesh, I thought we’d never get home. A nasty snowstorm blew up shortly after we took off, and we had to go painfully slow and be careful. We took turns driving around the clock for two and a half days. Thankfully, Josh had a cell phone so we remained in touch with our families. But everyone got so tired and grumpy that I was afraid we might slide right off the road and get stuck in a snowdrift and end up just like the Donner party! Well, I doubt we actually would’ve turned into cannibals, but we might’ve killed each other off. Suffice it to say, I am quite glad to see the old homestead again. And it makes me wonder just how serious I really am about going down to Mexico to live. I mean, that’s a long ways from home. Something to think about, I guess. But maybe I’ll think about it tomorrow…after I’ve slept for about, say, nineteen or twenty hours! By the way, I don’t think Josh and I exchanged more than a few sentences the entire time. Oh, well, I guess I should be thankful.
 
Friday, January 4 (back to the norm, whatever that is)
Even though I was kind of exhausted, it was something of a relief to be back at school today and back around kids my own age, who are just doing ordinary things like complaining about the basketball team’s latest losing streak or soggy french fries in the cafeteria. Although, at the same time, it did seem slightly odd that no one here talked about saving the lost or feeding the hungry or getting Bibles to some third world tribe. And I suppose it all seems just a mite shallow in contrast to where I was only a week ago. But naturally I kept these thoughts to myself.
 
At least my best friends Jenny and Beanie seemed really glad to see me. And I think they were actually relieved to hear that I wasn’t planning on dropping out of school my senior year and hitchhiking down to Mexico to save the world or something equally absurd. I wouldn’t be surprised if they both thought I was about to go off the deep end and do something totally weird and fanatical.
 
But speaking of weird, here’s what’s got me scratching my head today. It seems that Beanie has this new “romantic interest” in her life (Joel Johnson). And this has got me a little concerned. Not so much because I thought she and Zach Streeter would ever get back together or anything, because I know they’re only “just friends” now, and Josh even told me that Zach probably has a girlfriend at college. (Although I don’t think Beanie knows this—or maybe she does!) But the thing is, it’s been only about six months since Beanie promised God she would abstain from sex, and I suppose I sort of thought that meant she wasn’t going to date either. And she hasn’t. Well, until now, that is. And, of course, it’s her life—and it’s her decision—and I have absolutely no right to judge her. But, sheesh, this guy isn’t even a Christian. And quite frankly I just don’t get it!
 
Jenny told me that Beanie had been talking about Joel a lot last semester (and I’m wondering where was I?), and she said she wasn’t a bit surprised when they finally went out—to a movie on New Year’s Eve, as it turns out. But then, how could Jenny understand my concerns about Beanie? I mean, Jenny still thinks it’s okay to date  and stuff. I’m not even sure where she stands on the abstinence issue. And she and Trent Ziegler have been going out since before Christmas, and he’s not a Christian either. But it’s really none of my business, right? So why should any of it even surprise or bother me?
 
Maybe it’s just that I’m feeling a little like the odd man out right now. You know that old fifth wheel thing. Or maybe I’m just afraid that we’re all going to grow apart or that Beanie and Jenny might stop taking God seriously. Already it seems like those two are living in their own little world. I mean, they live together and work together and the fact is, I feel kind of out of it just now. So how can I possibly step in and say that I’m all worried about their spiritual conditions without sounding like a total nerd? I mean, it seems like I should be able to tell my two best friends how I feel, but I’m not so sure. What if they see me as some kind of religious fanatic? (Am I a fanatic?)
 
Oh, maybe I’m just overreacting to what is simply normal high school behavior. To be perfectly honest, I feel pretty confused right now and I’m thinking I better just pray about all this stuff and try really hard to keep my big mouth shut before I’m really sorry. (Now, wouldn’t that be a good exercise in self-control!)
 
DEAR GOD, PLEASE HELP ME NOT TO COME DOWN ON MY FRIENDS (OR ANYONE ELSE FOR THAT MATTER). AND HELP ME NOT TO LET THEIR CHOICES INFLUENCE MY DECISIONS. I KNOW HOW YOU’VE ASKED ME TO LIVE AND I DON’T WANT TO COMPROMISE. I WANT TO STAY STRONG FOR YOU. AMEN.

Meet 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.

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Who I Am (Diary of a Teenage Girl Series #3) 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 22 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I can understand what the kids goin through cause i am like that
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Definetly worth your money.Some of the previous books are a bit better.Loved the book and the message it shares!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was was awesome. I dont agree that it was to preachy or that she was trying to guilt you. And she did talk about God alot. I thought the 2nd and 1st were much better this was kinda boring. Good book though.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Jasmine Noble More than 1 year ago
Love this book...Caitlin is an amazing girl that I hope to be like when I'm older. Melody Carlson is a wonderful author. She is the best!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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4evainHim More than 1 year ago
This whole series is absolutely amazing! The fisrt book captivated me from the first page and I read the entire series within a week! It is completely down-to-earth and you watch the girl grow from a confused and searching 16 year old to a mature, godly newlywed bride. Her adventure captivates the heart and deals with every issue, struggle, and hurt any teen-college student identifies with. You will LOOOOVE this series...well woth every dollar.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Who I Am is a story about a girl named Caitlin trying to figure out who she really is. Through out the book Caitlin is always asking herself if that is who she really is. I think she had to ask herself that so she wouldnâ¿¿t do something she regretted later on. Caitlin is a senior in high school who is being tempted by boys. If their not trying to date her then they are dating her friends. In all of the books she is tempted by boys. When Caitlin is trying to be the better person and tell her friends not to date was a little too dramatic. It was too dramatic because her and her friends always ended up in a really bad fight. They got into fights that little kids would get into. It was like going back through the sixth grade again. After they fought they would automatically be friends again. My favorite part of the book is when Caitlinâ¿¿s mom and aunt got pregnant at the same time, then Caitlin comes home on night and something has went really wrong and all Caitlin can do is blame herself. I think that this book relates to my everyday life. Who I Am is only on of five books about Caitlin. If you want to read this book it might be better off if you read the first and second on because if you donâ¿¿t it can get really confusing. These books remind me of the show 7th heaven. This book is more of a girl book because itâ¿¿s really sad then dramatic. I donâ¿¿t really read books but about a year ago I read the first book and loved them so now I want to read all of them. Once you read these books you canâ¿¿t put them down, well at least I couldnâ¿¿t. This book can help you learn about life lessons.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I truly thought I would enjoy this book. I had read the first two in junior high, and so I thought I would read the rest when I realized that they were available. But this one was just annoying. Caitlin came off as irritatingly preachy and annoying. I did not want to hear a sermon. I think the plot was overdramatized so that the author could preach about her views on how a teenage girl should behave. I'm a devout Christian and this book just plain irritated me. As the target audience is adolescent girls, I don't feel that the book should come across as telling you what to believe. And that is precisely what it did. I think Caitlin's judgmental preachiness gave the wrong impression about Christians. Being a Christian isn't about judging others, it's about loving them. It seemed like Caitlin thought she was perfect even though she tried to disprove that in her diary entries. Overall, this book was just plain annoying. I didn't like it because I felt it was like a sermon on being a moral teenager.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was awesome,let me tell you.I felt like I was reading the pages of my own diary. I laughed, cried, even got mad a couple of times. I went through all the emotions. I felt so connected to the characters as if I knew them personally. I would totally recommend this book to all teengage girls. It's so inspirational!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
From the very first chapter of this book I felt put off. I had read the first two books about three years ago while I was fourteen and I had really enjoyed them. Recently I decided that I should finish the series and so I began reading 'Who I am'. The character of Cailtin seemed to me to be nothing more than another spoiled little hypocrite almost everything she said in the book was a contradiction of something said earlier. I felt that it tried to manipulate the reader into thinking that ONLY christians are good and saved and that any other religion is wrong it also put me off when it came to the issue of race and sexuality I really dont think the subject matter was handled in a responsible way. I wouldnt recommend this to anyone except a deap christian or someone over the age of 18 after they have decided THEMSELVES what is right and wrong because this book has the power to manipulate and guilt people.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was amazing also the other books written by this author. She helps you relate to real life and they actually help you if you need help finding God. You really need to read all the books by this author including Chloe Miller, Kim Peterson, True Color Series, Series of Betrayal, and Series of Guilt. They all were absolutely amazing and you could read them in a day.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love all these books in this series and I can't wait to read the Chloe ones next. Everything she writes seems to tie in with the everyday life of a teenager going through tough times. Reading these books could help you out and help you look to God when in need.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Melody Carlson writes such easy to read and interesting stories about the struggles of being a teen. Caitlyn O'Connor feels that God has told her not to date, but she can't understand why her friends don't have a problem with it nor why God 'lets' them, but not her. This book also explores the choice of segregation among the various groups in schools. Caitlyn attempts to pull everyone together as she explores friendships and questions why the segregation happens.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I laughed and cried with Caitlin as I stuggled with school and a social life and a religious life. So many of the problems Caitlin had were problems that were going on in my life. She showed me what to do, and taught me what to do in similar tough situations. I soon realized also, 'Who I Am.'
Guest More than 1 year ago
It was a very enjoyable book, it is just like my life, but with my own problems, and it is very cool to talk about God all of the time, as christians, it IS okay to be obsessed with God, he is the right one to be obsessed with. This series really got me back into reading, and back into taking my relationship with God more seriously.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It was a good book. I do not agree with the previous viewer on this book though. She doesn't talk to much about God and if you truly love God you probably wouldn't mid hearing about him!
Guest More than 1 year ago
The book was good but not as good as the other three.But I loved the series it was awesome. it was like Melody Carlson wrote about her daughters life cause everything in it is so real!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I liked the book but i dont think it was as good as the second and first one because it gets kind of old how she talks about God CONSTANTLY! dont get me wrong, i love God, but come one.. she was like overly obsessed-- its still a good book tho!