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The Moth Diaries Hardcover – 22 Jan 2004

25 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 260 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber; New edition edition (22 Jan. 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571219705
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571219704
  • Product Dimensions: 19.8 x 13.2 x 2.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 809,312 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


‘Genuinely gripping: a brilliantly original tale written in a completely believable adolescent voice.' -- Kirkus Review

From the Back Cover

At an exclusive girls' boarding school, a sixteen-year-old girl records her most intimate thoughts in a diary. The object of her growing obsession is her roommate, Lucy Blake, and Lucy's friendship with their new and disturbing classmate. Ernessa is a mysterious, moody presence with pale skin and hypnotic eyes.

Around her swirl dark rumours, suspicions, and secrets as well as a series of ominous disasters. As fear spreads through the school, fantasy and reality mingle. What is true and what is dreamed bleed together into a waking nightmare of gothic menace, fuelled by the anxieties, lusts, and fears of adolescence.
And at the centre of the diary is the question that haunts all who read it: Is Ernessa really a vampire? Or has the narrator trapped herself in her own fevered imagination?

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My mother dropped me off at two. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By M. Dowden HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 16 May 2012
Format: Paperback
I must admit that I read this book shortly after it came out, but until now I had never read it since. What we have here is an unnamed and unreliable narrator who gives us a foreword and afterword to her journal that she kept at boarding school.

We are taken back to the early Seventies as we read the journal of a sixteen year old. One of the boarders at a school, she is set apart to a degree because she is in a minority, being Jewish, amongst the WASPs. Being an all girls school obviously the nature of all girl friendships are a lot more intense than if the school had been mixed. Our narrator definitely has a 'pash' for Lucy, and this is taken as normal by the other girls. Of course things become a bit different, when Ernessa comes to the school, upsetting the dynamics between Lucy and the narrator. As friendships alter our narrator, who is still upset about the suicide of her father, starts showing signs of over possessiveness. With teenage angst, madness, obsession and envy this does have a lot to offer. Our narrator becomes obsessed into believing that Ernessa is a vampire, probably caused by her hormones and feelings for Lucy, as well as the reading material she is taking for her class.

Ultimately the idea that Ernessa is a vampire is the weak point, as only the narrator seems to see this. This is a good read, but it lacks the ambiguity of something like 'The Turn of the Screw' which would have made this a great novel. When deaths come into this book, we don't get any feeling reading this that Ernessa is really the cause of them, only the narrator's fevered imaginings that she is. This book won't be for everyone, but is worth reading if you are looking for something a little bit different.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Gregory S. Buzwell VINE VOICE on 15 July 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Moth Diaries takes the form of a journal kept by a sixteen year old girl, whose name we never know, while she is studying at an exclusive school. Initially the journal is taken up with the usual thoughts and fears of teenage life: the reading lists for her English class (heavy on the Gothic, the vampire-laden and the macabre); her friendships with the other girls and with one, Lucy Blake, in particular; her sense of not quite belonging because of her Jewishness and her hopes for the future. What rather upsets the gentle nature of her observations, however, is the arrival in the school of a new girl, Ernessa Block. Ernessa is somehow aloof from the other girls, a figure who inspires admiration in many due to the manner in which she seems able to bend the school rules without ever getting into trouble and fear in others because of her intelligence and her ability to discern the thoughts and desires of those around her. Also, from our narrator's point of view, Ernessa spells trouble because Lucy, having previously been inseperable from her, now seems to find Ernessa much more interesting.

What I loved about The Moth Diaries - and I genuinely did love it - was the fashion in which the tension escalates one notch at a time. Secrets creep from the woodwork. Both Ernessa and the narrator have fathers who took their own lives. Ernessa, according to the narrator although no-one else ever comments, never seems to eat anything. The narrator claims to be giving up her dabbling with illicit substances in one journal entry only to declare that she has never been so stoned in her life in the next. Nothing is quite what it seems and the narrator's observations although spot on in many instances seem to go dangerously, almost insanely out of kilter when it comes to Ernessa.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A reader on 23 Oct. 2006
Format: Paperback
The Moth Diaries is unquestionably a sublimely written book. It keeps the reader on the edge of their seats at all times and shocks and surprises frequently. I am sure that theur is a heated debate going in on the writing world as to whether or not the author is perfectly sane and Ernessa is really a vampire, or if the author is undergoing a slow descent into depression and psychosis as a result of her father's untimely death and the 'loss' of her best friend to the new girl. There are so many excellent features of this book; one entry it is describing average teenage issues, and the next the diarist is describing a scene of gothic horror.

However, my only qualms with the book is that whilst most of the subject matter is fine for young teenagers, there are some theories in the book, like the ones about philosophy that would not be understood by this audience. Even so, this adds atmosphere to the book. As the diary was set about 30 years ago and the girls are in their penultimate year at a top boarding school, there are obviously going to be some references that the reader will not completely understand.

Regardless of this, The Moth Diaries can be interpreted in many different ways, which is the true excellence of the novel. It can be a psychological thriller, a dark and gothic horror story, or simply a tale about a girl with friendship troubles. I would reccomend The Moth Diaries to anybody who is interested in something that is a little unusual. Overall, a gripping, strangely fascinting and unpredictable debut novel.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Janie U VINE VOICE on 25 Sept. 2006
Format: Paperback
This book was read by my 13 year old daughter and looked interesting - so I thought I would read it as I try to be up to date with the sort of books she is reading.

Initially it appealed on an Enid Blyton boarding school book level having read all of those as a child myself, but I very quickly realised that this was a lot deeper.

The book reads well as a diary and you can hear the narrator clearly describing her thoughts.

She wildly flits about from loving to hating the personalities around her and feels strongly about everything, which very well describes the teenage mind.

She seems to want to find something to hate in Ernessa and ends up creating an aura of fear around the fellow pupil, among a group of girls at emotional period of life, all with some sort of trauma having happened - parents dying, parents moved away, difficult realtionships with step parents, etc.

I got a bit hung up on the fact that the narrator's name is never mentioned. Not sure what effect this is trying to give, but I found it a little distracting.

As the book progresses elements of madness creep in, although they are not overplayed initially and the reader can easily believe the development of an overactive teenage imagination to the strange events going on.

In the end I found myself looking forward to the end of the book but was glad that I had read it
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