The narrators voice often sounds much younger than 17, then there is talk about sex to make him seem older. Sometimes his thoughts remind me of an 8 year old. Also the timeline began to degrade with his flashbacks. That could be the author trying to show the discontinuous thoughts of someone feeling grief and guilt.
As far as the "journaling/noveling" goes this writer apologizes for her bad writing far too often through the narrator and tries to use her extensive knowledge of the "great books" to brush over it. Over and over it's like, "Hey, I kind of suck, but these guys don't, if you don't like me just read them." I'm paraphrasing, but I want to say to the author if you think you suck that badly, and point it out repeatedly, your story will suck, and all of us will agree with you.
pg.79 "You could write about that, a poem about writer's block." I love the idea of turning your problem into your solution. This is said by the English teacher in the story, Haley Avis Dovecott. She is also the focus of the main characters affection. She is fresh out of college and has intense interaction with the lead character, she is much better written than Is Male.
Also what is this hidden identity thing. While journaling he says just call me Is Male, but he paste in papers from his English class and repeats comments from peers with his actual name. What is the point of making up an identity if you constantly reveal yourself?
The only other line worth remembering in the book: "You have to stop and freeze the moment..." You have to make yourself remember by repeating it in your head over and over. You have to write to preserve your sanity." There you go, now you don't have to read it. Skip this because all that's left is baseless guilt, a self-effacing and ingenuine narrator, and better secondary characters.
*This is a 2011 Debut Author Challenge book, click here for more information about The Debut Authors in 2011