Study Guide

A Little Less Girl Chapter 4

By Tess Oliver

Chapter 4

Dani

  • Dani explores the new house and thinks of Grammie and Amy as she looks through their stuff. She really misses them.
  • Her mom, however, is less sentimental. She's mostly concerned about where her cigarettes have gone.
  • Dani takes up residence in Amy's room. Amy's things are still there, and one wall is covered in paintings, including a huge one of a guy with long black hair on horseback. Dani finds Amy's diary, too.
  • Maybe, just maybe, this little book has some answers. Dani just doesn't think Amy was the kind of person who would have killed herself. If she reads through her cousin's diary, maybe she can figure out what happened to change her.
  • On the cover of Amy's diary is a little quote referencing Mr. Darcy and Heathcliff from Pride and Prejudice and Wuthering Heights. Amy absolutely loved romance… especially in books.
  • Dani remembers the summer that Amy's mother died. Dani and Amy had always lived by each other, and they were more than just cousins—they were best friends. But when Amy's mom died, she had to go stay with Grammie far away. Bummer.
  • Dani heads over to Amy's window and sits down on the seat to see a clear view of the house down the street—a.k.a. the one that belongs to Jake.
  • Amy told Dani how much she adored Jake; she spent hours daydreaming and obsessing about him. Of course, Jake didn't even know she existed. And then he said something cruel to Amy that really upset her. Dani knows all about it.
  • Dani's mom comes into her room and announces how much she hates this new house. Dani loves it, though, so her mom better get used to it because she's not leaving.
  • After Mom leaves, Dani sees a box of old clothes. They were Amy's from before she lost weight. Dani also finds a whole bunch of paints—Amy was always quite the artist.
  • This is all Dani has left of her best friend now. Well, this plus the diary. Maybe it can help her understand how Amy had become so upset that she'd driven herself off a cliff?
  • That's what the police decided happened, anyway. There were no brake marks at the scene so they concluded it must have been a suicide.
  • And the rest of the town decided it was all Jake West's fault. After all, Amy was obsessed with him and he broke her heart. Though Dani can't shake the fact that this just doesn't seem like something Amy would do…
  • Inside the diary, Amy wrote about all her "Jake sightings" and how he's obviously the hottest guy on the planet; he was dating Katrina at the time, but Amy wasn't impressed.
  • Amy struggled with her weight, and her doctor told her to write down what she ate. Someone in town once told Grammie Amy had a "pretty face," which is about as backhanded as backhanded compliments come.
  • When Dani closes the diary, she wonders if anyone in town knew how amazing and funny and smart Amy really was.
  • She knows one thing for certain: If she wants any answers, she's going to have to start with Jake West.