Review: Tales from a Not-So Fabulous Life by Rachel Renee Russell

DorkDiaries1Source: Book Store Inventory
Publisher: Aladdin
Series: Dork Diaries #1
 Paperback, 282 Pages
 Middle Grade Humor
Purchase: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository*
*I receive a small monetary kickback from Amazon purchases
Rating: 1/5

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 series!

New school. New mean girl. New crush. New diary so I can spill about all of it…

I put a lot of really personal stuff in this diary along with my sketches and doodles.

But, mostly it’s about how TRAUMATIC it was transferring to my new private middle school, Westchester Country Day.

And, 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, maybe…


And, 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 😦 !

The Dork Diaries series one that I’m asked about at least once a week. It’s pretty popular, and I finally got book one into the store…so i figured what the hell, I’d give it a shot and see why so many kids want it. I won’t say I wasted time reading it because it only took me about an hour to blow through it, but I’m sort of…disappointed.

Tales from a Not-So Fabulous Life is the typical overly dramatic look at middle school life, where kids worry a ton about fitting in and having the new ‘it’ items. I’m not trivializing those issues, because they do exist…but some of this book was so over the top it was a bit cringe worthy. I vividly remember middle school (it won’t go away, mind bleach needs to be invented) and yeah…dramatics happen, awkwardness definitely happens, and bullies unfortunately happen. But some of this stuff, just doesn’t even make sense. Who makes plans to run around to live in a library as a viable project for school? A word of advice to middle schoolers worried about their friends possibly running around to take up being a library hobo, don’t worry…It’s not a very good plan. I also found most of the characters bratty…which is…age appropriate for some but this girl (Nikki) takes the cake. Who actually spends gift buying money on themselves?! The parents are just sort of there as a means of complaint for Nikki, and while they do seem really nice they don’t really take up much page time.

The over all moral of this particular story seems to be that popularity doesn’t really mean anything, it’s superficial and you don’t need a bunch of expensive stuff to be a better person or have more friends. I actually like that, but I feel like it was lost to all the dramatics. I did like the art though and I thought that was a nice touch to the storytelling,and some of the jokes which feel flat mostly were helped a bit by the illustrations.

I’m not impressed with this series, but I will say it does seem to fall into the book “junk food” category and it could be a great treat for those who really hate reading or need a break from their normal stuff.

1 star

This entry was posted in Book Reviews (2016) and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Review: Tales from a Not-So Fabulous Life by Rachel Renee Russell

  1. This is a popular series for kids? I’m so out of the loop these days. I doubt I would’ve wanted to read this when I was younger, though.

    • Yeah, it’s been one of my most asked for middle grade titles. I wouldn’t have liked it at all when I was younger, I’m much more patient with books now then I was then so I can easily see a young Michelle cussing it out and chucking it in some donation box somewhere.

  2. And there you have it. Ha ha. Thanks for the review. 🙂

  3. 4ameliagrace says:

    lol its spelled wrong…. Dark diaries

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