Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Series Review: Dork Diaries 1-6

Tales from a Not-So-Fabulous Life (Dork Diaries, book one)
By Rachel Renee Russell
Published 2009 by Aladdin

Tales from a Not-So-Popular Party Girl (Dork Diaries, book two)
Published 2010 by Aladdin

Tales from a Not-So-Talented Pop Star (Dork Diaries, book three)
Published 2011 by Aladdin

Tales from a Not-So-Graceful Ice Princess (Dork Diaries, book four)
Published 2012 by Aladdin

Tales from a Not-So-Smart Miss Know-It-All (Dork Diaries, book five)
Published 2012 by Aladdin

Tales from a Not-So-Happy Heartbreaker (Dork Diaries, book six)
Published 2013 by Aladdin

Dork Diaries tells the story of Nikki Maxwell, who is starting at a new school and worries that she won't fit in. Each book features a new major drama for Nikki to deal with, as she struggles to balance her dorkiness (self-proclaimed) with fitting in, making friends, and meeting boys.

In the fall, I signed up to host a Dork Do-Gooder event at my library (my write-up for that program is clearly long overdue). Since I think it helps to have at least some knowledge of the topic you're presenting and since I knew these would be fairly quick reads, I read all six of the books that had been published immediately prior to my program. I should have just given up after one.

I did not enjoy these books at all. My enjoyment of the equally popular Diary of a Wimpy Kid series has waned as the series has continued but these Dork Diaries? I hated them right from the beginning. They are patently ridiculous, full of melodrama, and a lot of very convenient misunderstandings that keep the plots moving along. I didn't enjoy any of the characters - in fact, I'm pretty sure I was rooting against Nikki most of the time, simply because she was so annoying. As I mentioned, nearly all the drama and plot developments hinge on coincidences and misunderstandings. I just found the whole thing to be an exercise in tedium and eye-rolling. But, they are insanely popular with kids, so I guess I just have to grin and bear it. I wouldn't recommend them, though.

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