Wednesday, 3 February 2010
Review: My Totally Secret Diary - Reality TV Nightmare by Dee Shulman
Released: February 4th, 2010
Grade rating: C+/B-
Polly Price didn't think it was possible for her actress mother, Arabella Diamonte, to be any more embarrassing than on the trip to San Francisco last summer. That is until she agrees to take part in a television program called Celebrity Home Watch and a camera crew arrives at their home to film. Her mother lacks volume control at the best of times, so this is truly a reality tv nightmare - with no escape for Polly!
My Totally Secret Diary: Reality TV Nightmare is a quick read that will really appeal to younger readers who like their books to be a little more interactive. It's filled with eccentric characters, quirky drawings and real photographs depicting people and places mentioned in the story.
My favourite character was Vanilla, Polly's mum's crazy life coach. She was really into astrology and tarot, and wow did she talk some cosmic rubbish! If I was Polly, I would have been seriously miffed at the prospect of sharing a house with this woman, so all things considered, I think she handled it very well. If I ever see a lady resembling Vanilla, I'll be running in the opposite direction, that's for sure.
I occasionally had a bit of trouble with the layout of the pages, as they're very busy, with a lot going on. Having to stop and check I'd caught everything briefly disrupted my flow of reading, and proved to be a bit of a distraction. I'm sure younger readers will have no problem with it at all, and will highly approve of the packed pages.
The story itself was a bit far-fetched, but I think that added to the humour and tone of the book. Everything that can go wrong does go wrong, and poor Polly is left to avoid being teased by older boys and being humiliated in front of her peers. It's not an easy life, but then being a teenager never is. Dee Shulman has a created a book that is fast and fun, and is guaranteed to be a hit with fans of the diary-and-drawing format.