My (Not So) Simple Life (Rachel Riley) by Joanna Nadin

From TheBookbag
Jump to navigationJump to search

My (Not So) Simple Life (Rachel Riley) by Joanna Nadin

Buy My (Not So) Simple Life (Rachel Riley) by Joanna Nadin at or

Category: Teens
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Zoe Morris
Reviewed by Zoe Morris
Summary: Broken hearted after a break up, Rachel Riley makes a Simple Life pact with her friends. But is living the simple life going to be as simple as she thinks?
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 272 Date: April 2009
Publisher: OUP
ISBN: 978-0192728340

Share on: Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Instagram

Rachel Riley, whom we first met in My So Called Life, and hooked up with again in The Meaning Of Life is back. What's more, she's back to basics. Boy chasing is out, platonic relationships are in, and in general everything nasty and complicated is to be swapped for something nice and simple. Life from now on is going to be easy and hassle-free, just like life should be. Does that mean a boring six months in this latest instalment of her diary? Quite the contrary, because despite one's best intentions, things don't always go to plan. Think the stress of GCSE results, the hassle of a minimum wage job, the worry of a quasi-suicidal friend and the nervousness brought on by the entry into her life of a rather delicious home help whose very presence threatens the staying away from all men part of the friends' pact.

Teen diary books are ten-a-penny on the market at the moment, so for any one to stand out it has to have something special, and I think the Rachel series does, with this latest release being no exception. Rachel is likeable because she's real, because she manages to find amusement in the smallest things and because she's not all that material. Maybe it's part of her new simple life drive, but there is a definite emphasis on friendships and family relationships in the book, in place of the latest must-have purchases.

In this book, Rachel finally discovers Facebook, as neatly explained by the fact that her school are rather behind when it comes to sites like this. As an avid user of the site, it infuriates me when books try to refer to it, but fail to capture the essence of the place, perhaps because the author themself is not really familiar with it. This is not the case in the book, and from the status updates littered throughout the entries, to a smart bit of cyber stalking, to the tongue in cheek look at the useful and less useful features of the site, you do get the impression the author has her own profile, and has explored the site a bit.

Mr Wilmott is wrong. Am utterly talented and gifted as have just scored 100 per cent on the Name That Thundercat! Facebook quiz.

The tone of the book is chatty, and though as in the entry above, you get brief statements at times rather than full sentences, it never resorts to txt spk or anything equally annoying. I laughed my way through it, despite being ten years older than Rachel, and even my mother (forty years older) chuckled and said it was a 'perfectly readable beach book'. The diary style works well because you get chapters (by month) but also smaller segments (by day) so it's easy to pick up and put down. Though previous books in the series are mentioned, you can enjoy this as a stand-alone title too. I've read only the first and now this, the fourth, and the only thing I didn't quite understand, and had to make assumptions about, was why the school had sheep on its playing fields.

This book is pretty tame in terms of the topics it covers, so would be suitable for younger teens. There are a few references to Rachel's latest obsession (Wicca) and to a few trouser-shaped figures but any action is strictly PG.

Thanks go to the publishers for sending this to The Bookbag. We also have a review of The Facts of Life (Rachel Riley) by Joanna Nadin.

Though I think this will appeal to a variety of ages, older readers might prefer The WAG's Diary by Alison Kervin.

Please share on: Facebook Facebook, Follow us on Twitter Twitter and Follow us on Instagram Instagram

Buy My (Not So) Simple Life (Rachel Riley) by Joanna Nadin at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy My (Not So) Simple Life (Rachel Riley) by Joanna Nadin at Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy My (Not So) Simple Life (Rachel Riley) by Joanna Nadin at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy My (Not So) Simple Life (Rachel Riley) by Joanna Nadin at


Like to comment on this review?

Just send us an email and we'll put the best up on the site.