Dork Diaries: Holiday Heartbreak by Rachel Renee Russell

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Dork Diaries: Holiday Heartbreak by Rachel Renee Russell

Category: Emerging Readers
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: John Lloyd
Reviewed by John Lloyd
Summary: Swimming lessons and a lot of floundering in the sea of school-age love feature in this sixth novel in this breezy series for those girls more dubious about picking up books.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 352 Date: June 2013
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Childrens Books
ISBN: 9781471117664

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This being the sixth full-length novel to feature Nikki Maxwell and her crush on Brandon, there is little point in doing a summary or resume at great length. They're still at school, and they're still finding being in any kind of friendship both socially awkward and hampered by the presence of the evil Mackenzie, Nikki's cute but catty rival. All you really need to know is this volume covers an entire February, in order – and manages to finish with the Valentine's night school dance. Yes, it has weird circumstances, Nikki getting embarrassed and jealous, and more. But I haven't told you about the greatest surprise yet…

It was a hardback. Yes, the popular series has managed to cycle through a lot of the pastel shades they could have been dressed in, and settled for a bright red to launch in hardcovers. This change is both major and the only real difference, for everything the fan will expect is here. Now it's in paperback. The cartoons are just as firmly bold as before, the OMGs and smileys are prevalent, and the fun is to be had in quite unsubtle ways.

As for dissecting the plot, it features something that proves a bit clunky, cheesy and awkward, but still manages to pack quite a lot of emotion in with the emoticons. For once there is little attempt at a major set-piece midway through, although there is a comedy make-over early on, and a returning saga of swimming lessons (who knew they were a daily occurrence in the USA? Mind, this is a very WASPish fantasy, with multiple bathrooms springing up in the Maxwell house all of a sudden…).

And so, back to that change. After five novels and a sort of companion volume, and after bundling most of those into omnibus editions, all it proves is that there is more to come to justify it. We already knew the publishers were delighted with this series – they would have stopped bringing these titles across the pond if they were flops, and they're not. So why the redesign now? Is this my sleight-of-hand way to suggest this one actually has a sense of finality to it, but the binding makes me think otherwise, or am I bluffing? Either way – despite some librarians having cause to look down on these as too simple, too easy and too much like text-speak – I would have no problems with the target audience finding out.

I must thank the publishers for my review copy.

You can play catch-up with the series through Double Dork Diaries: Two Tales from a Not-so-fabulous Life.

Dork Diaries by Rachel Renee Russell in Chronological Order

Buy Dork Diaries: Holiday Heartbreak by Rachel Renee Russell at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Dork Diaries: Holiday Heartbreak by Rachel Renee Russell at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy Dork Diaries: Holiday Heartbreak by Rachel Renee Russell at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Dork Diaries: Holiday Heartbreak by Rachel Renee Russell at Amazon.com.


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