‘Just Stay Beautiful’ by Amanda Loveless

“I tried to remain humble and grounded. If someone said something about me that I didn’t want to believe, my response was first to look for the truth in their statement. If true, I tried to be honest with myself, and make myself better. If the statement was not true, I tried not to allow it to upset me.”

Just Stay Beautiful begins in the end of middle school, illustrating the innocence of youth. As the story progresses, the protagonist has her innocence tested. She questions how to believe in God when her own priest violated young boys; she experiences sexual violation at her place of work; and has to navigate a depression that she never anticipated. She grapples over what to do about sex and the opposite gender; how she fits in to a class that dabbles in drinking and drugs; how to trust people after having a best friend turn on you. She has her faith tested, and she learns to overcome. She learns what it feels like to be strong from the inside out, and that strength turns to confidence and a sense of purpose in the world.

Just Stay Beautiful is enhanced by diary excerpts, poems, quotes and lyrics. It is raw, relevant, & real, weaving together an unconventional memoir, with a tenderness and honesty about what it means to come of age as a girl in the 21st century.

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