'This is not some true-crime tell-all. This is my actual journal, with everything I wrote at the time, edited by me. The revisions are minor; I only changed things when I felt that I wasn't really thinking something that I wrote at the time, and probably would have thought something else. After all, I was only eighteen then.'
Meet Flannery Culp, a world-weary high school senior. She is primed to taken on the few remaining obstacles that stand between her and the rest of her life: the SAT, college applications, the autumn term... Mercifully, there are a couple of distractions:
1) her friends: Kate (the Queen Bee), Natasha (less like a high school student and more like an actress playing a high school student on TV), Gabriel (the kindest boy in the world and in love with Flan), Lily, Douglas, V– (her name has been deleted to protect her prominent family), and Jennifer Rose - the Basic Eight.
2) Adam State, a well-groomed, polite young man and the object of Flan's affections.
If only things hadn't gotten out of control. If only Flan had stayed away from the absinthe. Then she wouldn't be a topic on daytime talk shows, or on the cover of tabloids, or incarcerated, or have time to edit her journals... The supremely talented Daniel Handler has perfectly captured the absurdity of school life in this wickedly funny, dark-as-can-be novel.