On Becoming Me | Critical Book Review

In the pages of On Becoming Me: Memoir of an 80s Teenager by Kirsten Hegberg Pursell, readers are invited on an intimate journey through the tumultuous years of adolescence. Madeline Barbush delves into this memoir, exploring the raw and unfiltered experiences of a young girl as she navigates the challenging path to womanhood.

A Time Capsule of Adolescent Turmoil

Kirsten Hegberg Pursell’s memoir is a poignant compilation of diary entries spanning from 1977, when she was a ten-year-old, to 1986, marking her transition into adulthood. Through this literary time capsule, we witness the evolution of a young woman as she gradually unearths her true self.

Unveiling Vulnerability

The strength of On Becoming Me lies in its simplicity and sincerity. It offers a window into the innermost desires and thoughts of a teenager, unfiltered and unedited. Kirsten not only shares her diary entries but also includes letters exchanged with friends and the poetry she turned to when prose could not capture her emotions. As readers, we are privileged to step into what is typically a private and sacred space.

The Journey from Innocence to Wisdom

Throughout the memoir, Kirsten candidly recounts her first experiences, from the comical anxieties of her first French kiss to the more profound complexities of relationships and emotions. The memoir reflects upon the significance of perspective and the wisdom that comes with age. Kirsten encourages readers to consider how memory shapes our understanding of pivotal moments in life, and she advocates for the therapeutic power of journaling.

A Rollercoaster of Emotions

Reading Kirsten’s innermost thoughts is a rollercoaster of emotions, at times amusing and cringeworthy, and at others, dark and brutally real. Her diary entries, from quirky musings to self-criticism, remind us that the teenage experience is often shared, even if it feels uniquely personal.

A Sanctuary for Teenagers

In a world dominated by adult concerns, On Becoming Me becomes a sanctuary for teenagers seeking solace and understanding. Kirsten’s openness and vulnerability may offer reassurance to those who fear being misunderstood or silenced. It provides a momentary escape from the weight of their own troubles.

An Unbalanced Emphasis

While Kirsten’s candidness is admirable, there are moments when readers may wish for a more balanced narrative. The heavy focus on matters of love and relationships may not resonate with all young readers, some of whom may have different priorities or have faced more significant challenges in their lives. Nonetheless, Kirsten’s diary entries can still provide a sense of relief and escape.

The Enduring Relevance of Journaling

Ultimately, Kirsten’s memoir serves as a compelling call to embrace journaling as a therapeutic practice. As an amateur journalist herself, she underscores the transformative power of revisiting one’s past. It can be painful, yet it offers invaluable self-reflection and perspective. On Becoming Me invites readers to reflect on their own formative years, fostering gratitude for the growth and evolution that brought them to where they are today.

In closing, On Becoming Me may be set in the 80s, but it raises questions about the enduring challenges and universal experiences of growing up. Kirsten Hegberg Pursell’s memoir is a testament to the power of personal reflection and the resilience of the human spirit.

Modern Book Details:

PublisherGenrePrint LengthISBN
IndieBookViewNonfiction / Memoir310 pages978-1737770503

In the pages of On Becoming Me: Memoir of an 80s Teenager by Kirsten Hegberg Pursell, readers are invited on an intimate journey through the tumultuous years of adolescence. Madeline Barbush delves into this memoir, exploring the raw and unfiltered experiences of a young girl as she navigates the challenging path to womanhood. A Time…