Monday, May 24, 2010

Review: Dork Diaries - Tales from a Not-So-Popular Party Girl

Summary: In this second installment of the instant bestselling Dork Diaries series, Nikki is starting to adjust to life at her new school with her awesome friends Chloe and Zoey at her side. Her crush, Brandon, even asks her to be his lab partner for "Structure of Mitochondria," a seriously awesome development.

But after Nikki overhears mean girl MacKenzie bragging that Brandon's going to take her to the Halloween dance and they're dressing as Edward and Bella, a bummed Nikki signs on to spend Halloween at a kids' party for her little sister, Brianna. It's only after Nikki makes the commitment that she finds out MacKenzie was lying and Nikki's dream of going to the party with Brandon could be a reality. Now she's got two parties to juggle, plus plenty of other trials and tribulations along the way, ranging from creating a fairy repellent spray to ease Brianna's ongoing fear of the tooth fairy to trying to stifle a nasty case of the hiccups at her dad's ex-boss's funeral. Life for Nikki Maxwell is never dull! -- Aladdin

Last year, Booking Daughter and I reviewed DORK DIARIES: TALES FROM A NOT-SO-FABULOUS LIFE by Rachel Renee Russell. We absolutely adored this book and definitely wanted more of Nikki and her friends' escapades in middle school. I am so happy to say that the next book in the series DORK DIARIES: TALES FROM A NOT-SO-POPULAR PARTY GIRL will be available within the next week! I'm even more excited that Booking Daughter and I got to read this book a little early and I can't wait to share my thoughts with you!

Fans of the first Dork Diaries will just love TALES FROM A NOT-SO-POPULAR PARTY GIRL. This graphic novel picks right up where the TALES FROM A NOT-SO-FABULOUS LIFE with Nikki and her friends Zoey and Chloe trying to survive in middle school. Nikki's arch-enemy MacKenzie is back and meaner than ever (if that's possible); and her crush Brandon also returns. I can't say whether I enjoyed this book more than the first one, but I can say that I loved them both in different ways!

In this second installment, Nikki learns that Brandon is going to ask MacKenzie to the Halloween Dance, so she makes other plans to help out at a little kids' birthday party. When she finds out that MacKenzie was lying (and learns that her dreams might come true), she's already overbooked for the night of the dance. Nikki has to figure out how to balance her responsibilities with her friends with her possible boyfriend. Needless to say Nikki has her work cut out for her!

You can't help but love Nikki and the messes she gets herself into. She's just such a sweet girl and represents so many tweens out there. She is a great friend and talented artist, but she still feels insecure and considers herself a nerd! I think every tween girl can relate to those feelings and that's why Nikki's character resonates so strongly with today's girls. I love that Nikki is a good girl at heart, and even when she might make the wrong decisions, she always learns an important lesson.

TALES FROM A NOT-SO-POPULAR PARTY GIRL is extremely funny. The text, which is really Nikki's voice, is absolutely hilarious; and I laughed a lot while reading this book. I especially loved Nikki's "hidden" voice which spells out what she's thinking in her mind and wants to say -- but is too nice to say! However, I think what makes this book even more special are the illustrations. The Dork Diary books are set up like Nikki's journal, filled with cartoons and illustrations. The entire book is absolutely adorable and I think it's one that will be read over and over again in our house!

I just adore Ms. Russell and I definitely think she's created some terrific books for tween girls. She is the mother of two daughters, and there's no doubt she "gets" girls! In fact, when Ms. Russell sent the advance copy of TALES FROM A NOT-SO-POPULAR PARTY GIRL, she included a little goodie bag. As much as I wanted to take a peek (because I am a girly girl at heart), I saved it for Booking Daughter to open. She was just thrilled to find the new book as well as nail polish, popcorn, lip gloss, a ring pop, a hair accessory and Dork Diaries tattoos. She couldn't wait to wear the tattoo and take the book to school to share (or flaunt) in front of her friends.

And that brings me to my point -- the Dork Diaries books are a huge hit at our school. We recently had a book fair and I personally hand sold quite a few copies of the first book. The girls love them, and my daughter has personally re-read her copy quite a few times. When Booking Daughter announced that the new book was coming out shortly, the girls were very excited and couldn't wait to get their hands on one! I have a feeling that TALES FROM A NOT-SO-POPULAR PARTY GIRL is going to be a hit, just like the the first book.

I can't recommend TALES FROM A NOT-SO-POPULAR PARTY GIRL enough. I totally understand why tween girls are so thrilled with this series, and I have to say I can't blame them! I'm already looking forward to more of Nikki and her adorable drawings. Thank goodness Ms. Russell is currently working on book 3 and a book 4 is planned as well.

Thanks to the author for sending me a copy of her novel.

1 comment:

Anna said...

I'm going to have to get this one for The Girl. She really liked this first one, and she's waiting on me to read it so we can discuss it.

Diary of an Eccentric