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It's January 1, 1996, and high school junior Christine wants more than anything to be that cool girl everyone notices, like her gorgeous best friend, Landry. She usually hates New Year's resolutions, but this year she vows to be that shiny kind of girl-and record it all in her diary through prose, illustration, and comics. When Landry drops her, Christine is surprised to discover just how much she doesn't miss her and her drama. But a misguided kiss with film-obsessed Paul, her only other close friend, also causes a rift, and she finds herself facing a long, lonely summer. With nothing to lose, Christine finds a new sense of courage. She gets a job at her neighborhood video store, experiments with her art, and becomes romantically entangled with her next-door neighbor Whit, who's either the coolest guy ever or a total jerk. In spite of all this, she doesn't quite feel shiny-until a shocking betrayal shows her the value of the words and drawings she hides in her diary, and she finally understands that she doesn't need to be cool to be noticed-she only needs to be herself.