Rainer Maria Rilke

"Live a while in these books, learn from them what seems to you worth learning, but above all love them. This love will be repaid you a thousand and a thousand times, and however your life may turn,-it will, I am certain of it, run through the fabric of your growth as one of the most important threads among all the threads of your experiences, disappointments, and joys."--Rainer Maia Rilke


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Saturday, November 16, 2013

Not-So-Great

Dork Diaries:  Tales From a Not-So-Popular Party Girl by Rachel Renee Russell

Adolescent Chic Lit

This book is for adolescent girls only, grades 4-6.  I can't see it having any appeal beyond this very limited range.  Except I certainly couldn't recommended it for girls of any age.

Nikki is going along in her middle-school life--with her two best friends, Chloe and Zoe; crushing on Brandon; and trying to avoid the wrath of her arch-nemesis Mackenzie.  In this installment, Nikki has to juggle going to two separate parties with three different groups of people without them learning about it.  Somehow, Nikki has to entertain her sister's party guests while on a date with Brandon and simultaneously hanging out with friends and defeating Mackenzie.  Why this is so secretive is not clearly explained.

There are so many things I really dislike about the character of Nikki.  She doesn't learn from her mistakes.  She is repeating the same stupid antics that she did in the first book as if she is clueless what might happen.  She is turning into a really bad friend, one that lies, deliberately misleads her friends, and chooses her own ambitions over their feelings.  She also gives up on her dreams way too often.  I hope young girls wouldn't see this as a coping strategy--it's very destructive.  I'm pretty sure I wouldn't want to be friends with Nikki and, if she doesn't change her selfish, self-absorbed ways, no one else will either.

I do have to give it some props, though.  The illustrations are cute and the style of the book is perfect for reluctant readers.  There's lots of white space on the page and the narrator talks directly to the reader.

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