REVIEWS OF 'TINA'S DIARY: 1997':
Tina is a fifteen year old girl living in an orphanage home. She is an angry and rebellious girl, but very resourceful. She drops out of school but is quite clever and streetwise, and carries a lot of resentment toward her parents for her predicament. Tina’s mother was a drug addict and alcoholic who over-dosed when Tina was ten and her philandering father had long gone, and remarried. Tina has an estranged and resentful relationship with her cheating, alcoholic father who typically visits her once a year at Christmas, and occasionally on her birthday, to leave her money and whatever stolen goods he may have acquired that she may be able to use.
Tina doesn’t like rules and uses her bedroom window to escape out at nights for dates with all the wrong kinds of shady characters. She’s also quite clever and learns how to make some spending money on the side, because it’s a ‘short stint for a decent payoff’.
This story begins as a diary of Tina’s life in the home, and then all the little plot twists that come along in her life, keep us turning the pages.
The author did a marvelous job of writing Tina’s story in this epistolary style of writing, and writing from the mind of a lonely, angry, and confused young teenager facing situations and decisions at an age with adult-sized problems. Tina’s shenanigans with a twist of paranormal make for an interesting read.
5 Stars on Goodreads by Pete Springer
Despite her sometimes surly attitude, Tina has a kind heart, I rooted for her to turn her life around. Fortunately, she finds others who serve as positive role models and we see her grow as a human. One thing author Stevie Turner did particularly well was capture the voice of a troubled and angry teen. Tina develops a deep resentment toward boys/men, which seemed plausible, given her circumstances. I was glad to see that she realizes that not all men are scum after spending time with her loving grandfather. Another unique subplot to this story is the paranormal aspect as Tina's mom returns as a ghost to offer wisdom so that Tina doesn't repeat some of her same mistakes.