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On My Own (Diary of a Teenage Girl Series #4)
     

On My Own (Diary of a Teenage Girl Series #4)

4.4 12
by Melody Carlson
 

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University life isn't what Caitlin expected. Her roommate Liz is hostile to her faith -- tormenting her with raunchy music and sleazy boyfriends. Worst of all, suddenly Caitlin doesn't understand herself anymore. Why has she regressed to being the shy, insecure girl she was in junior high? She doesn't even fit in with her new Christian fellowship group! Caitlin tries

Overview

University life isn't what Caitlin expected. Her roommate Liz is hostile to her faith -- tormenting her with raunchy music and sleazy boyfriends. Worst of all, suddenly Caitlin doesn't understand herself anymore. Why has she regressed to being the shy, insecure girl she was in junior high? She doesn't even fit in with her new Christian fellowship group! Caitlin tries not to envy Josh and her friends at Christian colleges, but suddenly all she has are questions and few answers. In the story of Caitlin O'Conner's soul, this frustrating year is the most significant one yet, as the homesick freshman eventually remembers there is one companion she can always trust. Clear, stylish typeset.

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up-In this addition to the series, Caitlin, a devout Christian, begins college and meets her bold and brazen roommate, Liz. This mismatch provides the backdrop for Caitlin to seek God's help and guidance. Her fundamentalist attitudes prevent her from dating, kissing, or even allowing any kind of openness to new friends and situations. Expressions are odd and dated: "the fur did fly" when two girls fight over a boy; arguments lead to "cussing"; arriving at a square dance, Caitlin squeals, "we three arrived in high spirits." Liz's mom is portrayed as a distraught woman; she sobs about her prayers that a good Christian girl would straighten out her sinning daughter. Meanwhile, Caitlin and her old friend Josh enter a pre-engagement covenant (not SWAK) to eventually marry. Carlson's heavy-handed tone turns this diary into a fundamentalist treatise, not a novel to inspire and savor.-Linda Beck, Indian Valley Public Library, Telford, PA Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780613858557
Publisher:
Demco Media
Publication date:
07/01/2002
Series:
Diary of a Teenage Girl Series
Pages:
260
Product dimensions:
5.43(w) x 8.16(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

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.


From the Trade Paperback edition.

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On My Own (Diary of a Teenage Girl Series #4) 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Caitlin just graduated from high school and is going to be a freshman in college. Everything seems good until she meets her roommate, Liz. At first Caitlin thinks she¿ll be okay but then Liz starts to really get on her nerves. She goes through many hard times just trying to understand Liz but Liz is so stubborn. Will Caitlin be able to live a whole year with Liz? Or will she change roommates under Liz¿s pressure? Read ¿On My Own¿ of the Caitlin series of the Diary of the Teenage Girl Series. What I liked about this book is how Caitlin does everything. How she understands Liz and also Josh Miller. What I didn¿t like about this is how Caitlin can get really preachy. Sometimes it¿s all she talks about in a chapter and it gets a little annoying. This book is part of the Diary of a Teenage Girl Series. It is the fourth book in the series. There is also other Diary of a Teenage Girl Series with the Kim and Chloe series. I think that teenage girls would enjoy these books. If you enjoy reading any of the other Melody Carlson books you will probably enjoy this series too.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A girl, Caitlyn, goes to college as a lonely little freshman. She enters her room to find out she has an evil roommate named Liz. Liz is a mixed up girl without Jesus on her side. Caitlyn gets picked on all the time because she is a Christian and in Liz¿s eyes a ¿Little Miss Goody Two Shoes.¿ On the other hand she is now in college and her high school boyfriend also goes there she is so tempted to ask him out but she made a commitment not to date. Open this book and discover the temptations of love and commitments! One thing I didn¿t like about this was the dialogue the narrator was talking and all of a sudden they start talking. One thing I like about this book is that it is suspenseful and it keeps you hanging off the edge of your seat and asking questions like: What will happen next? Why? What For? Will they ever become friends? This book is number four in the series the first three in the series is: Becoming Me, its My Life, and Who I Am. This book cannot be read unless you have read the first three this book sort of reminds me of Full House. The Author is Melody Carlson and she also wrote the color series where they have colors such as: Green, Black, and Orange I have not read this series and I plan to eventually.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Alone. On my own. ( Ok thats all I got for the song. ) I think I made a new friend Jethro. But I am not shure. He reminds me of someone but I dont know who. Hmm. I will think of it. Pat and my Sister Star are together. Star is a snooty stuck up spoiled rotten Brat. But I cant say that to her. Its not who I am. I am a shy laid back kind of person. The oppsite of Star. We are twins but nothing alike. ( End of this page next res for next page )
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As a college student I was able to relate to this book. Especially the homesickness and the loneliness.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ifyou enjoyed eading jis bok or any oher melody carlson books try the christy miller and sierra jensen seires by robin jones gunn. They are awesome!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lexianne Howell More than 1 year ago
This book was so good!i had the first 3 but not the last two.i love melody and her wrk is so great.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
AMAZING! Love the whole series. Can't wait to read the next!
Guest More than 1 year ago
this book was awesome! i love it! it totally helps me to be closer to God. melody carlson is my favorite author.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Wow, this was a great book. I couldn't put it down. I can totally relate to what Caitlin is going through. I finished it in, like, three or four days. Two thumbs up!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was great. I'm not in college yet but it I could cope with some of the stuff Caitlin was going thru. I love reading all about Caitlin! And the things she goes through aren't out of the ordinary. They're real life problems that could happen to anyone! And you pretty much fall in love with Caitlin, Josh, Byrce, Steph, lil Clay, Jenny, Beanie, and Anna. I love them all as much she does. This book as well as the series is great! :)