Available in Digital and Paperback
Publication Date: May 25, 2011
Publisher: Doin It Publishing
Growing Pains: Kendra’s Diaries
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!
Author’s Biography: K.P. Smith has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Xavier University in New Orleans, LA. She also has a Masters in Business Administration with a Concentration in Marketing from Loyola University in Chicago, IL. K.P. Smith has a successful 13-year career in the Insurance Industry.
She has been an avid reader since her youth. Writing has always been a passion of hers. Her first novel is titled Growing Pains. She currently resides in New Orleans, LA with her two sons.
Thoughts on Growing Pains: Kendra’s Diaries:
While devouring Growing Pains: Kendra’s Diaries by K.P. Smith, I felt myself having flashbacks to a time in my life when growing up was taking place. I laughed at a good bit and I was in tears at times. K.P. does a great job at capturing the common emotions in growing up even though the story is very different from our own.
The setting is New Orleans and the year is 1984, K.P. helps us figure that out when she drops a subtle hint that it’s two years after Michael Jackson released his hit album Thriller. Kendra is an eighth grader who wakes up at first to the sounds of birds chirping on a calm, peaceful morning until the argument growing from next door overtakes whatever calm Kendra was enjoying. Patrice, Kendra’s younger sister, comes to her door and asks if she can climb in bed with her so they can drown out the noise together. Their parents arguing in the room next to hers has obviously become commonplace.
But, her parents arguing in the morning is not the only thing that is going on in Kendra’s mind. We soon learn that she is trying out to be a cheerleader, which is tough for her since an embarrassing accident had taken place two years earlier and she hadn’t returned to try again until now. Not only that, but everyone seems to be on her about deciding on which school she will go to when she begins high school. Applications have to be submitted and the school Kendra really wants is a little out of reach financially if she doesn’t get a full scholarship.
Everyone in her life is telling her to be open to other options, except for her best friend Katrina who keeps trying to reassure her she’ll get the scholarship to the Academy just like she keeps reassuring her she’ll make it as a cheerleader. Katrina is the kind of friend to have. She’s always there when Kendra needs her and she’s been through everything with her. So, she knows her best.
But, there is a big difference between Kendra and Katrina. Katrina is going to the Academy. Even though Kendra and Katrina have been making these plans all their lives since they first met in the first grade, Katrina is the only one between the two who knows she is going. Her mother is a lawyer and her father is a doctor. They have a maid who keeps house. Katrina’s life is very different from Kendra’s. Katrina doesn’t need a scholarship to go to the Academy. All she needs is an acceptance letter.
Kendra, on the other hand, has a mother who works full time and a father who can’t keep a job. When her mother is staring at a promotion, it causes a stir in the family since her father doesn’t like the idea of his wife making more money than him. Kendra’s mother decides to take the promotion and hide it from him. She opens up her own account and has the bank statements sent to her parent’s home. She lets Kendra in on the secret, and even Kendra figures out real quick that it’s not a good idea.
But, Kendra has her own problems to deal with and tries to keep going despite all of the problems coming up at home. Kendra is confused about whether or not a boy named Jamie likes her. She’s trying to keep up with the demands of being a cheerleader and maintaining her friendship with Katrina. She’s received acceptance letters and scholarships from every school, but the one she wants. All of this while her father and her grandparents are at each others’ throats and her mother is trying to keep her secret from making it all literally explode.
How much can one little eighth grader take while she seems to be the mini-mom taking up the slack while her mother is working extra hours on a “special project” and everything is falling to pieces around her? Some readers will be able to directly relate while others will find the story to be a little too far-fetched. I, myself, find it very believable having heard of plenty of children who have been forced to step up to the plate while it seems no one around is putting them first.
Kendra has to learn the tough lesson that life doesn’t always work out the way you want, but there is always a silver lining. This lesson, she learns from her friend Katrina whom she almost lost in a fit of rage while she was only thinking of herself. But true to friendship, Katrina is able to help Kendra pick up the pieces and even get a new perspective on life after Kendra reveals that deep down inside, she’s jealous of her friend’s perfect life. What Katrina has to say is nothing short of miraculous and it speaks volumes for such a small person who is wise beyond her years!
Enjoy Growing Pains: Kendra’s Diaries as you relive a time in your life that may or may not be so special. Either way, you’ll be able to feel Kendra’s “pains” at every turn when you look back on your life and recall common emotions you once had. We don’t all get to live the same life, but we can relate to others when we hear their story and share common themes such as “fear of rejection,” “feeling helpless” and “life not turning out our way.” K.P. Smith masterfully weaves these themes in and out of the story as you lose yourself in Kendra’s world. This is a book you won’t want to put down!
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The NOVEL that sold a thousand cases of Jack!