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It’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid for girls in this hilarious novel Meet Nikki Maxwell She's starting eighth grade at a new school—and her very first diary packed with hilarious stories and art in Book One of the #1 New York Times bestselling Dork Diaries seriesNew school New mean girl New crush New diary so I can spill about all of itI put a lot of really personal stuff in this diary along with my sketches and doodlesBut mostly it’s about how TRAUMATIC it was transferring to my new private middle school Westchester Country DayAnd how a lot of the CCP Cool Cute Popular kids were really SNOBBY and made my life TOTALLY miserable People like oh I don’t know maybeMACKENZIE HOLLISTERAnd it just so happened that I got stuck with a locker right next to hers I could NOT believe I had such CRAPPY luck I knew right then and there it was going to be a VERY VERY long school year


10 thoughts on “Tales from a Not So Fabulous Life

  1. says:

    This is about an incredibly materialistic shallow melodramatic preteen who is whiny and annoying This is not something I'd tell anyone in this book's targeted age range to read I thought I was getting Diary of a Wimpy Kid for girls but it's basically a whinefest with no substance And the way the kids talk is nowhere near natural Everything is over the top drama and none of it is funny Plus the whole thing is supposed to be a diary written by the girl but everything plays out in real time Like she'll talk about writing in her diary in the janitor's closet and then her friends come in and they leave but she's still telling the story like she wasn't just writing everything down It's weird and hard to explain but you can't have something going on in the present when it's all supposed to be a diary written by the character Even though the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books decline a bit as they go I'd recommend those instead They're funnier and better written though share some of the same characteristics both good and bad with this series It's really a shame this turned out to be so awful because I liked the premise and I do like girly stuff and drawing but this was pretty much just a big failure


  2. says:

    You will love Nikki Maxwell Cute cool captivatingThe heroine of this YA story is eighth grader Nikki Maxwell a cute cool and captivating girl you will fall in love with Although the word cute is not a cool vocabulary choice for today's kids I use it here because I love that word; it means much than cool To me it encompasses looks personality and sincerity while cool iswell coolit can be a pose with some kids So our NIkki is not only cool to her friends she's also cute to us parents the kind of girl every decent kid wants for a friend every parent wants for a daughter And I predict she will captivate everyone who reads this book young and old alikeBut Nikki thinks of herself as a dork because rich snooty MacKenzie Hollister and her wannabe followers go out of their way to make her appear that way After one too many klutzy accidents––caused by the despicable MacKenzie of course––Nikki starts writing the Dork DiariesAnd what fun diaries they are This honest precocious girl writes EVERYTHING in those pages illustrating her tales with humorous drawings These drawings by the author enhance this book making it an unforgettable reading pleasureI admire the way Nikki handles all the set backs in her life; she never loses her temper attacking MacKenzie as many girls would Instead she remains calm and works things out in her own way That girl has self confidence than she knowsWhile Nikki doesn't follow the dictates of the Fashionista Police she dresses cute and flattering Enough so to attract the attention of Brandon a school photographer that MacKenzie has set her cap forSo what does MacKenzie do when Brandon repeatedly helps Nikki? And what do tattoos have to do with Nikki suddenly becoming so popular that even MacKenzie pretends to be her friend? Does Nikki fall for it? Do her best friends Zoey and Chloe desert her for MacKenzie? And what does Nikki do when MacKenzie finally learns that her father is the local bug exterminator driving around with a huge roach atop his truck? How embarrassing is that to our heroine?And does she ever get the coveted iPhone that she thinks she needs to be cool?The final showdown between Nikki and MacKenzie is a big school project Nikki has much talent skills as they call it but will MacKenzie win through trickery? But to learn about our Nikki you will have to read for yourself and follow along with the illustrationsEven though author Rachel Renee Russell's writing flows easily I had a hard time reading this book––through no fault of hers Each time I put it down my granddaughter grabbed it and when I wanted to read a chapter I had to search for it I told that girl I would pass it on to her Can't she wait? But she's a lot like NIkki so I can see the appealA side note about this author As I was reading this story it was obvious the writer knew and understood the teens' mind so I felt as though I were actually reading a diary written by a teen I was surprised to learn that Russell is an attorney who prefers writing children's books to legal briefs After reading Dork Diaries I can see why I look forward to many books by herThis review is from an ARC sent to me by the authorReviewed by Betty Dravis May 2009Author of The Toonies Invade Silicon ValleyCOMING IN MAY DREAM REACHERS a compilation of inspiring celebrity interviews including Clint Eastwood Jane Russell Ted Kennedy Shawn Richardz Dozie Darcy Donavan Jenny McShane Kiara Hunter Jennifer Wilkinson Barbara Evans Jason Seitz and INSPIRING INTERESTING


  3. says:

    DNF AT 11% If this is how the youth of America think and act we are doomed


  4. says:

    Dork Diaries is a great book I recommend it to all girls who like excitement and longer books Once you have read the first book you will want to read all the others


  5. says:

    I’m going hard on this one I’m a huge proponent of uality children’s literature and this one just doesn’t do it I know that most children like these stories and the consensus is as long as they’re reading something that’s a good thing right? Wrong There is enough uality contemporary literature out here that children shouldn’t have to settle for this C S Lewis said “A children's story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children's story in the slightest” Those words are profound and I think the reason for the success of series like Harry Potter They perform on many levels Unfortunately this one does not I’ve been teaching middle school for 16 years and the language in Rachel Renee Russell’s novel is in no way authentic Check this “The SNOBBY CHIC phenomenon is uite a mind boggling thing Hopefully Congress will allocate funding for scientists to study it” Not the language of a middle schooler but maybe of an attorney which the author happens to be And then the inappropriateness of this line on the 4th page “While hordes of celebrity party girls regularly FORGET to wear undies not a single one would be caught dead without her cell phone” OK some middle schoolers may talk this way but some middle schoolers do andor sell drugs have sex and commit heinous crimes Should we also include that subject matter in the literature for our 5th 8th graders Writing wise oftentimes Dork Diaries feels like high school than middle school Jock football players sitting at a lunch table Two girls plan to get tattoos All the talk of dating Again I know hormones begin to rage in middle school but to put it in the literature I’m just not seeing it For two thirds of the book it seems like Russell struggles to make the story interesting as the 14 year old protagonist Nikki Maxwell rambles on about nothing most of the time One minute she’s shallow the next she’s deep and introspective a major flaw in character development Speaking of character development there was virtually none especially with the supporting characters and Nikki just wasn’t a likable character Isn’t that important for the main character in a story? Toward the end Russell makes a run at pulling everything together but in the end everything falls apart once as there is no internal change or growth in Nikki but a change in her situation and all is conveniently well with the world again What happened to the flawed protagonist our kids can learn from that decides it’s better to do the right thing than be popular the hero that takes one for the team the heroine that finds something within to succeed against overwhelming odds We have to do better than this with our kids as far as literature is concerned I know I’m in the minority on this and that’s alright But parents you need to read this one first


  6. says:

    Gr 5 7 – The Dork Diaries details the life of 14 year old Nikki J Maxwell over a period of 6 weeks Nikki has been awarded a scholarship to the prestigious private middle school Westchester Country Day as a part of her father’s bug extermination contract with said school Nikki’s angst as she deals with the school’s resident mean girl her embarrassing parents her crush on the hot boy and making new friends are all recorded alongside numerous sketches of her life Although occasionally amusing Nikki is not a very likeable character She is shallow self centered and fails to show any growth in the book even as she one ups the popular and cruel MacKenzie in the end In fact Nikki who steals her neighbor’s hearing aide and pranks her little sister is somewhat of a mean girl herself All other characters in the book are shallow thin and underdeveloped including Nikki’s family and her new BFFs Chloe and Zoey The numerous illustrations while well drawn and periodically witty are much too sophisticated to be believable as drawn by a 14 year old Fans of Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney may enjoy this book as an adventure in déjà vu but from the girl point of view Recommended for libraries with large collections


  7. says:

    I'm a 4th grade teacher and have been longing for a book for the girls in my classroom that was comparable to Diary of a Wimpy Kid While Wimpy Kid is hilarious the girls in the book are very minor undeveloped characters at best After discovering Dork Diaries Tales From a Not So Fabulous Life I finally got my wish for His and Her books I think this book will also be great for my reluctant readers Nikki Maxwell is just starting the year at a snobby private middle school Not only does she not fit in with the fashion forward girls there she lives in dread of someone finding out that she is attending the school on a scholarship Her so called pity scholarship was arranged by her father as part of his contract as the school's new bug exterminator And if all of that wasn't bad enough her father's work van has a huge 5 foot long roach bolted to the top of it Nikki gets assigned a locker right next to MacKenzie the most popular girl in the school who labels her a Dork So Nikki hatches a plan that will launch her from dork to diva All she has to do is win the annual school art show which should be easy enough seeing as she is a very talented artist and has spent the past 5 summers at art camp However her dreams are uickly dashed when MacKenzie signs up to compete in the art show and is rud to be the frontrunner in the competition At the last minute Nikki loses her nerve and instead of signing up for the art show she signs up to becomes a library shevling assistant The story takes off from there Nikki shares her fears dreams wishes and frustrations with readers through daily entries in her diary and her funny drawings The excellent artwork is a variety of manga inspired comic strips doodles and drawings of the events she is writing about I would say the artwork is probably similar in style to The Absolute True Diary of a Part time Indian than the simple comic strip panels in Diary of a Wimpy Kid My favorite artwork from the book? When an English lit homework assignment reuires Nikki to provide a physical description of Shakespeare's character Puck from A Midsummer's Night Dream her imagination runs wild and she turns in sketches of Puck as Justin Timberlake Corbin Bleu and Nick Jonas with huge elf like ears Priceless The girls in my classroom always try to add their favorite pop star crushes to their homework assignments Nikki is an imperfect but endearing character Her bratty little sister Brianna upstages her a few times and is another great character The book was so funny that I found myself laughing out loud numerous times I can't wait to share this book with my class There were also a lot of references to teen pop culture that girls will enjoy If you don't have an appreciation for wry humor based on the angst of middle school then you probably won't like this book or Wimpy Kid for that matter However if you want a uick witty very funny Tween girl read then THIS is the perfect book


  8. says:

    This is obviously a uick cash in on the Wimpy Kid craze and it shows Oh it SHOWS Though derivative I honestly wouldn't have minded a Wimpy Kid from the female perspective but then I remembered we already have that in the Amelia series by Marissa Moss which is much better written and illustrated and not to mention heartfeltThe Dork Diaries is painfully vapid and shallow and our protagonist Nikki is not particularly likable I'm really not a fan of how she blames popular Mean Girl MacKenzie for a lot of her problems especially her fear to register for avant garde art contest and I'm just tired of the Mean Girl trope anyway Nikki's new friends Chloe and Zoey seem interesting to me but Nikki is oddly dismissive of some of their interests and is a worse friend to them than they are to her Nikki's sister Brianna has a lot of personality too it's really Nikki herself that seems to fall the flattest and my guess is that she's probably an empty shell mostly to appeal to the largest swath of the tween population as possibleThey're no doubt popular and Nikki and her friends have streaks of creativity but it's still junk literature The only positive thing I can say is that Nikki recognizes she doesn't really want to be part of the CCP cool cute popular cliue after all so at least MOST of the messages being sent to readers are positive There's an awful lot of materialism to contend with though and a colleague's description of these books as whining about First World Problems was spot on


  9. says:

    GenreFictionTagsRomanceRealistic FictionLexile Score890LBook Review Rachel Renee Russell's Dork DairiesTales from a not so fabulous life expresses the real life of a teenage girl A 14 year old girl has to experience romancedramaparties and balancing her friendsPlot SummaryNikki Maxwell is a 14 year old is an example of your average teenager that is facing many different problems She is in love with her crush she only has two best friends a click of girls that hate her for no reason a dream of becoming an Artist annoying little sister and lastly two big parties that she promised to go to on the same night and time When Nikki promises her little sisters teacher to volunteer for a party she doesn't know that it is on the same night as her eighth grade dance At Nikki's little sister party she is dressed up as a rat because it is a costume So Nikki is going back and forth from party to party to complete both promises Eventually Nikki's biggest enemy Mackenzie Figures out what she is doing and takes her bag that has her dress inside of it Nikki has no choice but to then go into the dance to get her bag back from Mackenzie Mackenzie comes behind Nikki and snatches off the rat head she had on Everybody including Nikki's friends and crush sees her and are very unhappy that she lied to them After all this happened Nikki and her crush hooked up her friends were told the truth and all misunderstandings were cleared


  10. says:

    The book that started my obsession in the first place