Reviewed by Gisela Dixon for Readers' Favorite
Growing Up Panicked by Joselyn DeLoncker is a non-fiction memoir mostly written through the journal entries of a young teenager. Growing Up Panicked reminded me of Anne Frank’s diary—while the circumstances are obviously very different in both cases, the idea and the narrative are similar in the sense that a young girl is journaling her daily experiences growing up in her own words. The book starts off with a basic introduction to Joselyn herself, and then continues with some background about her parents and how they both came from dysfunctional families themselves. The story then continues as they meet, and struggle to survive as poor teenagers with kids, and then Joselyn’s story as she chronicles frankly the events in her life - including poverty, abuse, drug use, dysfunctional family dynamics, her relationships with her family and with guys, while maintaining a voice of hope and optimism throughout.
I enjoyed reading Growing Up Panicked by Joselyn DeLoncker because the format of the book is so simple and yet unique in a certain way. Most of the book consists of her handwritten journal entries interspersed with her own adult commentary. I also felt that difficult subjects such as mental illness, alcoholism, and drug abuse have been discussed frankly, and hopefully will help to alleviate the stigma that is still attached to these conditions in today’s world. The writing is genuine and engaging and is even inspiring because of the note of hope in Joselyn’s outlook on life. This is an instructional autobiographical book that is definitely worth reading!