What I Like About Me + DIY Journal Ideas

Posted April 27, 2020 by shooting in Book Review / 28 Comments

What I Like About Me by Jenna Guillaume

copy for review; all opinions are my own

Official Summary (add to Goodreads): The last thing sixteen-year-old Maisie Martin thought she’d be doing over vacation is entering a beauty pageant. Not when she’s spent most of her life hiding her body from everyone. Not when her Dad is AWOL and her gorgeous older sister has returned to rock Maisie’s already shaky confidence. And especially not when her best friend starts flirting with the boy she’s always loved. But Maisie’s got something to prove.

As she writes down all the ways this vacation is going from bad to worse in her school-assignment journal, what starts as a homework torture-device might just end up being an account of how Maisie didn’t let anything, or anyone, hold her back.

Review: From the summary, you might be getting Dumplin’ vibes, and while there are some similarities, I think What I Like About Me definitely stands on its own. Honestly, I liked it more than Dumplin’! Maisie Martin is on a beach vacation with her mom, best friend, and eventually her sister and her sister’s girlfriend. I had to keep reminding myself that Maisie lives in Australia, and there Summer is the United States’ Winter, because this beach vacation takes place over Christmas/New Year’s.

I could definitely relate to Maisie in a lot of ways – really liking a guy but not having them be interested in you (and then them being interested in your skinnier, prettier best friend) – oh yes, this has happened to me. I understand Maisie’s frustration, but she also wanted her friend, Anna, to be happy, so she couldn’t kick up a fuss and tell Anna to not hang out with Sebastian. However, because of Anna and Sebastian pairing off, this leads to Maisie kind of growing into a new person. She meets someone new on the beach, who ends up encouraging her to enter the local pageant (which Maisie’s sister had won years before). Maisie also becomes closer to Beamer, Sebastian’s best friend, who comes on vacation every year with Sebastian and his family.

I will say that Maisie is a bit clueless at times, and I really wanted to shake her and be all “open your eyes, girl!” Alas, she eventually gets there…with some bumps in the road. A lot happens in a short period of time, but nothing really felt rushed or like it was too much. I was also a big fan of the secondary characters, who were well-written and felt realistic.

Finally, I should note that Maisie is writing her story in a Discovery Journal for school, but it didn’t feel like a typical diary-as- novel, so if you’re weary of those, you should still give this a shot! Each chapter starts with at least one thing Maisie has discovered, but then it goes into the story and flows like a typical novel.

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Craft Time

With everyone stuck at home, I thought it would be fun to find craft ideas for certain books. For What I Like About Me, I went with the idea of creating a journal since that’s how Maisie tells her story. Besides, a journal or diary could be really useful these days!

Page Flutter shares how you can turn a composition notebook into a Stylish DIY Journal.

Mindful Art Studio gives you a breakdown on how to start your own Art Journal.

The Curious Planner shows you how to create a Bullet Journal in 2020.

Natalie Linda has another guide on How to Start a Bullet Journal.

The Positive Author shares 10 Journaling Techniques for Mental Health.

Sunny Day Family offers a Free Daily Writing Journal printable for kids!

Coffee, Pancakes, and Dreams shares How to Start a Gratitude Journal for Kids (and Families!)

Which of these journals would YOU make? 

28 responses to “What I Like About Me + DIY Journal Ideas

  1. I am so thrilled you adore this book! Jenna is an absolute gem and everyone should read this! Which one of these journals would I make? I like bullet journals, and I’m still trying to find out what my perfect bullet journal format is, so I’ll keep trying!

  2. This sounds great. I had started a bullet journal but then I turned to my planner. I just got a new one since mine ends in June so I will be working on that.

  3. I’ve always wanted to try out a bullet journal, maybe now would be the time! Lol! I like how this book is different from Dumplin’, but with some of the same vibes. I saw Dumplin’ awhile back, but never read the book.


    • shooting

      I really liked this one more than Dumplin’, though I loved the movie version of Dumplin’ a lot.

  4. This is a book I have for my summer reading list (LOL, even though its technically Christmas). I love the turning a composition book int a journal idea.

    • shooting

      It’s definitely a good summer read! And I think turning composition notebooks into journals is such a cute, easy way to get started.

  5. That book does sound fun, and it did make me think of Dumplin (which I loved) when I read the review. I have been loving my bullet journal this year, and I love that you included some kids journaling ideas too!

  6. I loved Maisie so much, and I smiled my face off as I read this book. Oddly, I get people wanting to group it with Dumplin (which is not a bad thing), but there was a bigger family and friendship dynamic in play in WILAM. It was fantastic, and her journal was a great format for telling her story

    • shooting

      I liked this one so much more than Dumplin’ but I think the initial summary kind of screams Dumplin at first, so I figured I’d mention it!

    • shooting

      I used to have an actual journal where I’d share everyday thoughts/recaps on life in general, but I haven’t had one in ages now. I wish I’d kept up with it!

  7. Jen

    Oh, this looks awesome! I am going to grab this one for the older daughter and myself. Thank you for sharing with us!

  8. That sounds like a good read and it sounds interesting how the main characters develops throughout the book. And it’s always nice when the secondary characters are well written and realistic too.

    You included some great ideas for making a journal.

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