Kids books · Sequels

The Rachel Riley Diaries The Life of Riley

By Joanna Nadin.

I am not ashamed to say that I am reading a book aimed at 14 year olds. It is an ironic look at growing up in a dysfunctional family with weird grandparents and an even weirder family. And not forgetting the crazy dog who wants to mate with anything that can stand still for long enough. While Rachel navigates her teenage years, it is set against the background of a backward little Essex town called Saffron Walden.

I don’t know if its a criticism or not but this book – with its dry, laconic humour which seems a bit too forward for an ironic 15-year-old girl – thrives on stereotypes. You have the atypical heroine, the hero, the Fat Girl, the Thin Girl, The Fat Boy, The Goth. Need I go on? While at times this adds to the humour, it can at times be somewhat repetitive. The modern political references are interesting, because apart from that there is no set ‘time frame’ apart from the obvious fact it takes place over the course of 365 days.

I can’t remember which book this is in the series but the books themselves have the verve in them to continue onwards in the time-frame. Because even though there is a time to end a series, I don’t think I’m ready to say goodbye to Rachel just yet.

MY RATING: 4.5 / 5.


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