Monday, June 20, 2011

WEEK WITH AN AUTHOR - K.P. Smith! Book Review - Growing Pains: Kendra's Diaries by K.P. Smith & GIVEAWAY!


I would like to welcome K. P. Smith, author of Growing Pains: Kendra's Diaries, to Black Diamond's Book Reviews for the entire week!  Make sure to stop in every day!  There will be a giveaway for Growing Pains: Kendra's Diaries every single day courtesy of K.P. Smith!

Today we will start with my review of K. P. Smith's book Growing Pains: Kendra's Diaries!

  • Book Details:

  • Title:  Growing Pains: Kendra's Diaries
  • Author:  K. P. Smith
  • Paperback: 268 pages
  • Publisher: Doin It Publishing (May 25, 2011)
  • Source: K.P. Smith

About the Book:
Growing Pains is a coming of age book by K.P. Smith. It tells the story of one girl's struggle to deal with the difficulties of growing up as her world changes around her. 
From family to boys and everything in between Kendra Foster takes it all in stride.

My Review:

Kendra is dealing with several struggles in her life.  As an 8th grader, she has a big transition coming up.  She has to go to a different school for high school.  She wants to go to The Academy, but it’s expensive.  The only way she would be able to go is if she gets a scholarship.  She also is going to try out for cheerleader.  In 6th grade she had something really embarrassing happen at tryouts and chickened out in 7th grade.  She was hoping that this would be her year.   Her mom had some excellent advice for her:

“Don’t be a quitter.  Life will bring about many difficult situations and the last thing you want to do is start quitting when things get hard. This is a painful, but important lesson for you to learn.  The choice is yours.  That is the most important lesson for you to learn from this life.  Life is about choices and we have to live with the consequences of the choices we make.” P.16 

The other struggle is with her parents.  It’s very hard to grow up in a house where the parents are constantly at each other over money.  Kendra’s younger sister Patrice wondered why mom and dad fight so much.
Kendra was finding out things about her family situation that she might have rather not known.  Her mom was trying to do better things for the family, but in order to do it she was keeping things from her husband.  She also overheard her grandma and grandpa talking about things that they didn’t know she was hearing.   

I know I am kind of going off the main story here, but when Kendra was talking about the school secretary she described her as the typical one who is in her 50’s, and has dark brown hair that is in a bun.  She has thick horn rimmed glasses that sat on her nose and had an outfit on that looked like it was from the 60’s.  Now I am a school secretary and totally do not look like that and hope I never do!

Anyway, Kendra's best friend was Katrina, but things started changing between them when they were not involved in the same activities.    Kendra envies her friend Katrina’s life.  She thinks her life is perfect.  She finds out that maybe her life just isn’t as bad as she thinks.   Kendra may not have had things in her life happen the way she had hoped, but in the end, they didn’t turn out too bad.

I really enjoyed reading this story.  In life there are so many struggles to deal with, but communicating with each other is a big way to get through it.  Keeping things from others is not the way to go.  The only thing that this will do is cause more trouble.  You keep something from someone because you are afraid if they find out, they will be mad.  Well, they will be more mad if you hide something from them because when they do find it, not only will they be mad about what you were hiding, but they will be mad that you lied in the first place.
Not only did K.P. Smith write an excellent story, but she really brought up some important issues in this book.  You have to keep your chin up.  You can't let life get you down.  You may think that you have the worst things happen to you and a terrible life, but  things will work out in the end.  God never gives you more than you can handle.

The story drew me in from the very beginning and kept me hooked until the end.  K.P. Smith has an excellent way of writing that just flows so well.  In the entire book I did not find anything that I felt could have been written any better.  The editing was perfect.  I felt like I really got to know the characters and felt like it was me going through the situations.  I highly recommend this book!

New words I learned:  Lagniappe – a Creole word for “something extra” or a “gift”. P. 28

5/5 Diamonds - Highly Recommend!

K. P. Smith is going to give away a book each day during her stay here at Black Diamond's Book Reviews!

To win, just comment on this original blog post at Black Diamond's Book Reviews.  I will pick a winner via  The deadline to enter for today's giveaway will be 9:00 p.m. tonight.  Make sure you give me your e-mail address so I know how to contact you!

Visit the author's website:

Purchase the Book at:

(you get your copy autographed if you purchase the author's website!)

Disclaimer:  My thoughts on this book were in no way influenced by the author or publicist. They are my personal reflections based solely on MY experience while reading this novel.

© 2011, Cheryl of Black Diamond's Book Reviews. All Rights Reserved. If you are reading this on a site other than, Black Diamond's Book ReviewsUrban Image Magazine, or Cheryl's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.


  1. This sounds like an intresting book. Being that i go through so many difficulties in my life....reading this book will be easy to rsoelate to.

  2. Oh forgot my email

  3. Very Nice Review... I will put this on my to-read list

  4. I am picking a winner right now!

  5. Great review Cheryl...and I hope you never look like that secretary either!!!!!!!!!!!!!