Tales from a Not-so-fabulous Life
by Russell, Rachel Renee






Fourteen-year-old Nikki Maxwell writes in her diary of her struggle to be popular at her exclusive new private school, then of finding her place after she gives up on being part of the elite group.





Rachel Renée Russell is an attorney who prefers writing tween books to legal briefs. (Mainly because books are a lot more fun and pajamas and bunny slippers aren’t allowed in court.) Rachel lives in Chantilly, Virginia.





When her father barters enrollment in a prestigious private school in exchange for his bug-extermination services, Nikki suddenly finds her life in turmoil. At Westchester Country Day, Nikki encounters ber-snobbish MacKenzie, the archetypal mean girl and her pack of "CCP"-Nikki's acronym for the cute, cool and popular-friends. Nikki chronicles all of her new-girl angst and trepidations as well as her fledgling crush in her diary. Russell's narrative deftly captures the winsome vulnerability of a girl perched on the cusp of teenhood. The comical sketches, executed la Diary of a Wimpy Kid, add an element of self-deprecating humor to the tale. An abundance of up-to-the-minute pop-cultural references threatens to date this novel quickly. Nikki's ultimate realization that she needs to be true to herself comes across as genuine rather than contrived, however, so despite its modern trappings, Nikki's journey of self-discovery will appeal to preadolescent readers struggling to find their places in the world. (Fiction. 9-13) Copyright Kirkus 2009 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.






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