Growing Pains: Kendra’s Diaries (#1) by K.P. Smith

Published: 26th March 2015Goodreads badge
 Doin It Publishing
Pages: 207
Format: ebook
Genre: Young Adult
★   ★  – 2 Stars

Growing Pains; Kendra’s Dairies is the first book in the series chronicling the journey of Kendra Foster from adolescence to adulthood. I aspire to encourage, entertain, and inspire young adults. Life has its ups and downs, its bumps and its bruises. But with perseverance, determination, and faith you can be all you were born to be. Never Give Up!

Note: I was provided with a copy of this book from the author for review.

This was an interesting story to read, the idea was sound but fell flat slightly in its execution. While dubbed a YA novel (and may well become one in future books), at the moment it is more suited into that ambiguous tween age group type of story.

One of the first things that I noticed is that I couldn’t settle into Kendra’s voice that well. I know she is only thirteen but the narration doesn’t read naturally and there were inconsistencies in Kendra’s behaviour that didn’t help either. At times Kendra sounded like she was older and other times she was quite immature, whether this was representative of the balance between being a child and almost an adult I don’t know, but it didn’t quite work though I could see Smith’s intentions. Kendra looks after her sister a lot because of her parents arguments so she has a mature and responsible side, but she is also selfish and childish which reflects her age and desire to want everything her own way.

With Kendra narrating we are at the mercy of her voice, experience, and thoughts and as a result there are a lot of opinions about things around her. There are a lot of descriptions, some that don’t blend too well within the story, and Kendra has a tendency to over describe as well. When she discusses friends they are over described and almost critical at times, which again I think is a reflection of her age but it stood out and felt clunky and unnatural. Having Kendra as a selfish thirteen year old was not the issue, but how this was expressed wasn’t quite right, Smith needs to blend description and expression more seamlessly to make this work.

By the end of the story I expected a change to happen to Kendra, be influenced and affected by the events around her but there wasn’t as much as I had hoped. She remains selfish and while there are times when you think she is about to have an enlightened moment she fails just before reaching that point. She does grow up in a way, she accepts her friends a bit more and learns to forgive her parents and see they are trying, but there needed to be a bit more, especially given what happens in the story.

The main things I wanted coming to the end was having Kendra realise what she has, understand what people around her are doing, and be ok with her situation, more so than what she actually is. After the fuss she makes about going to her desired school I was after an acknowledgement of sorts about the entire thing and while Smith touches on Kendra accepting her situation, there wasn’t that reflection or admission about any of it, or even regret.

This is the first book in a series so hopefully as Kendra grows up more the writing and her story will evolve with her. With a bit more editing this book could be a great introduction into Kendra’s life and her journey into growing up and discovering who she is.

You can purchase Growing Pains: Kendra’s Diaries via the following


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