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A 16-year-old girl in an isolated Boarding School of Horrors full of tension, fear and emotional issues begins to write in a diary, confiding her growing suspicions of the dark-eyed new girl, Ernessa, and unrealised crush on her roommate and longtime friend, Lucy. The series of ominous disasters that occur throughout the academic year cause paranoia to spread through the school, until reality and dreams mingle together into a corrupted blend of the anxieties, lusts and neuroses of adolescence. At the center of the story, written in diary form, is a question that gives the book its undercurrent of gothic menace - is Ernessa really a vampire, or is it all part of the narrator's imagination?

Originally a book by Rachel Klein and published in 2002. A film adaptation was released in 2012 directed by Mary Harron.

Tropes used in The Moth Diaries include:
  • Abstract Apotheosis: Ernessa, representing sublimation, sex and the future.
  • Afraid of Blood: Beth, the "little mouse" who feebly attempts to kill herself for attention and interrupts the narrator's sleep.
  • Aloof Ally: Dora.
  • Anger Born of Worry
  • Animal Motifs: Moths, who cluster in Ernessa's room trying to get to the moon. The narrator also reminisces about one evening with her father:

 "One night, in a tangle of wild honeysuckle that grew over the fence and buried us in its scent, we saw a pale green moth with two long tails that fluttered like ribbons in a little girl's hair. The luna moth was as large as a bird. The yellow eyes on its wings gleamed in the light . . . Finally, we went to bed, but I couldn't sleep. I listened to the whirring wings and insect bodies banging against the screen. Every sound outside was the green luna, trying to get into my room to show itself to me one more time."

 "My father died too. Has everybody forgotten that?" I shouted."

  "I had to learn how to have friends. To be normal."

  • Girls Love Stuffed Animals: Lucy, who even after her return from the hospital and the brink of death talks about her new ones all the time; partially lampshaded when the narrator comments on how Lucy seems to have not changed at all from her experience.
  • Go Mad From the Isolation: The narrator's diary entries are noticeably more distressed and insane in periods of isolation from her fellow pupils.
  • Gossipy Hens: Most of the girls.
  • Groundhog Day Loop

 Ernessa's old, old. Her life repeats itself like Lucy's horrible record, skipping over and over, always at the same spot. The moon shadow. She's waiting for my life to become stuck like that.

  • Growing Up Sucks: For Sofia physically, who suffers from extremely heavy periods, and for a good deal of the other characters emotionally, including the narrator in her wish to return to her childhood before her father's suicide.
    • Averted, however, where a younger narrator compares her body to that of her fellow students in the changing rooms.

  "In ninth grade, when I had to change with older girls for swimming, I couldn't help staring at them. My eyes were always drawn to that dark curly patch of hair between their legs, above the soft flesh of the thighs. On a little girl's body, the smooth fold of skin is no different from an eyelid. It's the hair that transforms it. The coarse hair hides the entrance to a secret place. My breasts were pathetic little mounds, and some of these girls had big round breasts with huge nipples that were pink and purple and brown. They had the bodies of women. They would catch me looking and accuse me of staring at them. Then everyone would look in my direction and see my puny body."

 "I was thinking about hair streaming out in the water like golden seaweed. The drowning Ophelia, with hard pink breasts."

  "It's too late to see Lucy, ever. I don't think I can cry anymore. There are no tears left. When Mrs. Halton came out to check on us at quiet hour, I was waiting for her outside her sitting room. At first she tried to deny that anyone had been allowed to see Lucy, but when I said that I knew Ernessa had been to the hospital, she admitted that Ernessa had visited, but only twice, and very briefly each time. "Lucy asked for her." She said it in a very mean way. She knew she was hurting my feelings. When I insisted that she allow me to see Lucy, she said, "If we must continue this conversation, come into my room.""

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