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Dear Nobody: The True Diary of Mary Rose Hardcover – Apr 2014

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 36 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Thought-provoking and gritty 23 April 2014
By KTBrison - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
*I was given a free copy of this book in return for my honest opinion*

What I loved about Mary Rose's story was how from one entry to the next she seemed like a different person. It reminded me of my own journals as a teen, when one week a boy would be the all-encompassing thing I wrote about and the next it would be something bigger or smaller, but totally unrelated to the boy. There were things in Mary Rose's diary I could totally relate to and things that completely shocked me. One moment being full of confidence and on top of the world, the next moment feeling like the ugliest, lowest person on the planet... that's just being a teenager. But some of the situations she put herself in... it made me realize my own teen angst was not so bad. The truly intriguing thing for me was getting a true description of cystic fibrosis from someone actually suffering from it. No antiseptic doctor speak here, just a girl trying to deal with a terminal illness in the best ways she knew how. The gritty reality of teen drinking and drugs, of a family that couldn't quite get it together, and of first love with all its pain and glory... Mary Rose wrote of these things with an honesty and a beauty far older than her years. I have to thank her mother for allowing this look inside Mary Rose's life. I hope that young women who read this book will see that they are not alone in their ricocheting feelings, that it is really normal to have such highs and lows. And I hope Mary Rose inspires people with CF to fight the good fight with all they have. A truly beautiful look at the life of a normal teenage girl dealing with abnormal circumstances.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Heartbreaking 4 April 2014
By Karin L Wilcox - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
I received a copy of this book from Netgalley and Sourcebooks Fire in exchange for an honest review.

Dear Nobody: The True Diary of Mary Rose is a story of a girl struggling to escape her demons. It is a very raw story of a very real girl who suffered through some traumatic issues and tried to find an escape through drugs. Mary Rose was handed a s***ty hand of cards and tried to play them the only way she knew how. Having read Go Ask Alice I expected something like that, but this book is in a whole different league.

I found this book to be absolutely heartbreaking, as no one should have to go through what Mary Rose did. My only issue with it is that it is a diary and not a novel, so it jumped around a bit. There wasn't much of an introduction to every new person, and at times I felt as if I didn't know who Mary Rose was talking about. None of that prevented me from getting wrapped up in Mary Rose's life though.

This story made me cry, not during the book, but after I was done reading and was thinking about it. Throughout most of the book Mary Rose is starting her diary entries with "Dear Nobody", clearly thinking that she didn't have anyone who would ever care to read it. Yet obviously there were people that cared about her enough to go get this published. I found it to be a great tribute to her as she mentioned how she would someday like to be an actor or an author.

I would suggest this for any teenager, anyone who has ever struggled with disease or drugs, anyone who has ever suffered a loss of a loved one and anyone who has ever felt alone in this world. I think we all go through times in life where we feel unloved, lonely and sad. But after the book is over it is clear that there were people that cared about Mary Rose, even if she didn't see it.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Gritty and raw but lacked the strong connection I wanted 2 April 2014
By Love at First Book - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
Dear Nobody: The True Diary of Mary Rose is the real, gritty, and honest diary of the teenage lost soul, Mary Rose.

Mary Rose totally got the short end of the stick. She has an absent father, a not-so-fabulously-behaved mother, and her mother’s boyfriend is abusive. Mary Rose also happens to have cystic fibrosis and seems to have a hard time making friends. So what does Mary Rose do?

She turns to drugs and alcohol, the only things that will make her feel normal and “fit in” with the crowd. But of course, addiction isn’t known to solve many people’s problems.

Dear Nobody is addicting to read – I could not put it down, and didn’t, until I was finished. It was heart-wrenching and devastating at times.

With that said, the book fell a little flat for me. I know it sounds strange since it’s a true story, all in Mary Rose’s real diary entries, but I wasn’t as emotionally hooked onto Mary Rose as I expected to be.

Have you read books like this, like Go Ask Alice or something similar?

Thank you for reading,

Rebecca @ Love at First Book
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
{review} 27 May 2014
By Zapkode Marie - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
{my thoughts} - {Though the Internet existed in 1997 when Mary Rose was in high school, it was not yet accessible to everyone. Most high school kids still wrote by long-hand, passed notes on paper, and called their friends from a landline. Parents couldn’t track you via social media. If you were walking alone, at night, in the rain, along a desolate highway, you probably didn’t have a cellphone to call for a ride home.}

Mary Rose is an interesting character. She has a way about her writing that just makes you want to instantly fall in love with her. There is no denying just how wonderful of a person she is within this book. She is more or less your typical teenage girl that has typical teen age problems. However, she also has other problems that most teenagers are not forced to deal with on a regular basis.

{And yet, the experiences and struggles that Mary Rose had are no different than the ones teenagers face today: loneliness, shame, sexual insecurity, shyness, depression, bullying, drug and alcohol problems, breakups, divorce, abuse.}

Mary Rose like many teenagers her age and going through any phase in life really just wanted to fit in. When you think about it, when do you not want to fit in, want to have friends, want to be liked by all those around you, want to know that you are accepted. She faced one of the biggest issues being an outsider was that she was too different and no one wanted to accept her for who she was.

{I follow people, hoping for affection, acceptance – a home. From clique to clique, group to group, I follow, only to be kicked aside – and at the end of the day, I am always left alone, droopy-eyed, and miserable – like a lonely, unloved puppy with its tail between its legs, and misery in its heart.}

I remember when I was in high school, grade school even. All I ever wanted to do was be accepted. I was always the oddball out in grade school because I belonged to a family that was more or less considered social outcasts in the town in which we resided. I was always made fun of and when that wasn’t the case I was blatantly ignored. When I went to high school I moved to a different town however, the same struggles occurred. I wish they hadn’t but they had, I became really shy, kept to myself, focused on homework and ignored most those around me. No one paid much attention to me and I didn’t pay much attention to them. I did become friends with this one girl and she and I are still friends to this day 15 years later.

I remember the first guy that paid attention to me as well. Like with Mary Rose and Geoff, it was a guy that was a few grades ahead of me. He paid attention to me when no one else would. I longed for that so much that accepted his affection even though it was misleading. I can relate to how Mary Rose felt when Geoff paid attention to her because that was one thing that she longed for more than anything and it was one thing she felt she deserved in life.

The one thing I cannot relate to in this book is Mary Rose’s illness. I have not dealt with a chronic illness nor do I ever wish to, but I do admire her strength throughout her entire ordeal.

{I hate sickness. If one thing in the world could be erased, I’d pick sickness. Then all the money spent on research and healthcare could be used to cure hunger and poverty. After that, it could be used by organizations that would help animals and women, children, or the defenseless. After that, it could be spent on improving the educational system. (And whatever is left over could be used for space exploration).}

Mary Rose had such an understanding of things beyond her years. She knew how things could be done and had an ideal of how to do them. I think if more people had the understandings that she did there would be fewer issues in the world we live in today.

{My friend from the hospital died today. Her name was Jennifer – and like me, she had Cystic Fibrosis, too. Jennifer looked just as healthy as me.}

I actually lost a really close friend to this a few years ago and I watched him get worse and worse. I can only imagine all the pain she went through as an individual dealing with the illness and the pain of losing her close friends.

{The average life expectancy for my type of disease is thirty two years old – and that’s if you take care of yourself, which I never do.}

I am sure she would have cared more about herself if those around her showed they cared more about her. It didn’t help that her mom put everyone before her and that her dad had walked out on her.

{With Cystic Fibrosis it’s different. You cannot run from Cystic Fibrosis. Fighting back at Cystic Fibrosis with treatments and hospitalizations is all – consuming – and in most cases – futile.}

I can understand how she could view it like that seeing as she has rarely seen anyone that was able to beat the illness. The one thing she seems to want more than anything is to be loved, to have someone love her and want her. Despite her illness she wants to be accepted and know that she matters and she doesn’t seem to get that. It’s said knowing that she didn’t get that, but she left behind these wonderful journals that showed what kind of person she was even though she was misguided and lost so often she still had a good head on her shoulders.

I do believe that even though I disagree with all the bad language in this book, many individuals could learn a thing or two from this girl. She had such an interesting outlook on life and a vibrant way of showing it in her writings. She had the ability to pull you into her world through her writing and to help you better understand her and where she was coming from as an individual that was constantly at war with herself, her body and the illness that was destroying her.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Dear Nobody is the memoir of a girl who died ... 29 July 2014
By nils grevillius - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Dear Nobody is the memoir of a girl who died young, with much on her mind. Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain have winnowed out the banal and merely bizarre from Mary Rose's journals, and present the observations and ruminations of a girl defiant in the face of death. Legs gravitates toward personalities who might be overlooked, delivering a resonant narrative. This work goes from pointed to poignant, hitting ever compass point except maudlin. This is a another worthy work from the expositive duo of Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain. Bravo!
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