August 3, 2010

Review and Giveaway! Dork Diaries

Title: Dork Diaries: Tales From a Not-So-Popular Part Girl
Author: Rachel Renee Russell

From Barnes and Noble
Recipe for disaster:

4 parties.
Add 2 friends and 1 crush.
Divide by 1 mean girl out to RUIN Nikki.
Mix well, put fingers over eyes, and CRINGE!

Settled in at her new school and flanked by awesome friends Chloe and Zoey, life is looking up for Nikki Maxwell, especially since her crush, Brandon, asked her to be his lab partner—a seriously awesome development. However, when Nikki overhears mean girl Mackenzie bragging that Brandon’s taking her to the Halloween dance, a bummed Nikki signs on to spend Halloween at a kids’ party with her little sister, Brianna, instead. After she finds out Mackenzie was lying and her dream of going to the party with Brandon could be a reality, Nikki has two events to juggle . . . plus plenty of other entertaining trials and tribulations along the way!
My Review
Last school year I had a bunch of girls read the first book in this series, Tales From a Not-So-Fabulous Life, and they LOVED it.  At the end of the year they had to pick a book and make some sort of promotion for that book.  Several chose the Dork Diaries.  Now I see why they liked them! These are perfect and fun for the tween set. Written in diary form with fun pictures - they are fun and funny BUT they are also full of so much of what a tween can relate too.  Nikki faces everything in the lives of tweens.  She has a crush, but she think he likes someone else.  She's over committed and doesn't know how to deal with it.  She has a fellow student that loves to "ruin her life" as Nikki sees it.  She just wants to have fun, figure out if Brandon really likes her and not make her friends mad.  But life won't let her do that!  Her emotions are on a roller coaster - actually that part would make me laugh because one entry would be all sad and the next super happy!

What I really liked was the dilemma Nikki feels between her friends and Brandon.  She's excited by things he does, but doesn't want to upset her friends when their crushes are working out.  She wants to be at the dance with Brandon, but she doesn't want to make her friends mad by not doing what they originally planned.  This all comes to a head in a hilarious scene involving Nikki rapidly changing in and out of three costumes! I was chuckling and shaking my head at her.  Of course as an adult I thought - JUST ASK FOR HELP! - but of course Nikki doesn't see that as an option.  You know this is something tween girls do all the time! It's clear what's going to happen, but what's not clear is how will Nikki be at the end.

As for that ending - I liked it.  It gave closure to everything without completely wrapping it all up - leaving room for the sequel.  I really liked where Nikki and Brandon's relationshop ends up in this book.  It may not be where all readers would want it to be, but I think it makes the most sense. To top it off, Nikki learns a nice lesson that isn't preachy or over down, just clear and simple. 

Final thought: CUTE! Yes a lot like Diary of a Wimpy Kid BUT unique and fun.
Best for a reader who: is a girl, likes fun kinda goofy books.
Best stick with you image: Nikki in the rat costume
Best for ages: 9-12

Rachel Renee Russell has offered to give one lucky winner a copy of BOTH Dork Diaries books!! Yes both!
But that's not all. 
The winner will also recieve a DIY Lip Balm Making Kit from Kiss Naturals.  Isn't that super cool?

To learn more about Dork Diaires check out the Dork Diary website.  While there you can even make your own comic strip staring you!

To enter fill out the form below. 
Open to U.S. and Canada Residents
Ends Aug. 18th