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My Name Is Chloe
by Melody Carlson
288 pages
©2002, Multnomah Publishers, Inc.

A “gothed up” outsider, an African-American preppy, and a wannabe witch hook up to form an all-girl band that takes second at a local Battle of the Bands and seems destined to break into “The Industry.” A quaint summary of Melody Carlson’s My Name Is Chloe, the fifth book in the “Diary of a Teenage Girl” series, but, in truth, the angst, confrontation, and soul-searching that fill the pages of main character Chloe Miller’s “diary” reveal as much teenage turmoil as you’d expect from a “Behind the Music” on Avril Lavigne. The redeeming difference: intermixed with typical talk of drugs, school violence, and sex, Chloe and her friends talk about their search for and eventual faith in God.

Carlson creates a memorable portrait of a teenage doubter turned believer who uses her music first as an escape and later as an outlet to express the joy and freedom she discovers in her newfound relationship with Christ. Using articulate yet accurate teen language, Carlson captures the contradictory emotions and continual struggles Chloe faces in her day-to-day search for meaning. Complete with “diary-only” poetry and brutally honest self examinations, My Name Is Chloe is an engaging “rockumentary” detailing a young person’s faith walk.

Keep an eye on the shelves this July for the next book in Carlon’s series, Sold Out, in which Chloe and her bandmates in Redemption encounter the sometimes disillusioning inner workings of the recording industry.

Greg Adams 4/21/03



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