Monday, 15 July 2013

Dork Diaries by Rachel Renee Russell

OK, I will start with the disclaimer that the thing that made me hate these books at first was the author's irritating name.  Obviously it is not her fault that her name is alliterative, overly-cutesy, and un-necessarily first-name heavy.  However, these inadvertent faults are exacerbated by the font in which they are emblazoned across the front of the books. Think ComicSans MS but more irritating. 

Which brings me on to the covers themselves.  Now, perhaps I am old, but to me a "dork" is a geek.  Someone who one would expect to look at least a little bit geeky.  Perhaps scraggy hair and trousers which end a few inches above the ankle bone.  If there are specs, they would be NHS 80s style ones.  In brown.   The girl on the front of every single glaringly-shaded cover is categorically NOT a dork.  Unless it has completely reversed its meaning, and the girls out of Mean Girls are now what is considered to be a dork.  Somehow I do not think this is the case.

Now, don't get me wrong, I don't exactly like The Diary of a Wimpy Kid.  But at least it was original.  Tom Gates I love, because even though it is a bit of a rip-off of the above-named series, it is actually better.  This might be because it makes more sense to me and the kids, given that it is a British series.  But it is also hilariously funny, to the point where if a child is reading it to me in an independent reading session, I always make them read a little bit longer than the others, as I am enjoying the story.

Second disclaimer.  Unlike Tom Gates I haven't read a whole book of Dork Diaries. This is mainly because, as I rapidly approach middle age, I am keen to hold on to all the brain cells I can.  I could actually feel my brain cells dying as I read the vacuous trash contained within the pages of the first in the series.  It's real "write-a-kids-book-by numbers" stuff. 

A openly admits that the books are "pretty rubbish".  She compared them to junk food. I thought this was completely fair enough.  My junk reading at her age was, as I've said before, Danielle Steele; so I'd rather she was reading this.  Probably.

Originally I told her she would have to borrow them from the library, since I was not wasting hard earned cash on them.  However, the problem with series books and libraries is that it can be difficult to ensure that you can read the books in order, and I acknowledge that this is a problem, even for very rubbish books.  (That said, we did manage, between two school and four public libraries, to borrow the entire Series of Unfortunate Events in order.  But then I was very motivated that A should read that series).  I have bought the set from the Book People, with the proviso that as soon as the books are read, they will be donated to the charity shop.  There's no way I'm giving shelf space up for these.

Admittedly, the three hours of peace that the books brought me on Sunday morning does make them seem worth their £6.99 price tag.  Perhaps worth a buy for filling those hours in the long holidays approaching.  But don't expect great literature.  Or a laugh.  Or a picture of an actual dork.

1 comment:

  1. I've not read them but Maddy has - purely because all her friends have. The fact that she read the whole series in a week did suggest to me that they might be of the "Rainbow Fairies" school of literature though..