Thursday, 31 March 2011
Review: The Bad Karma Diaries by Bridget Hourican
Publisher: O'Brien Press
Released: March 7th, 2011
Grade rating: B
Anna and Denise are always planning something, particularly when they need a bit of extra pocket money! They go into business as The Party People, running birthday parties for younger kids in the area, and publicise it on their blog. As a joke, they also style themselves as Instruments of Karma, junior Robin Hoods who take revenge on bullies on behalf of others in their school. But they soon discover that revenge is not always so sweet!
The Bad Karma Diaries is a fun book that I think younger teenagers will love. It's told in diary format which is easy to follow and read, and includes themes and issues such as racism, bullying and internet safety. There's a lot packed into this relatively slim novel!
Anna and Denise, or Bome and Demise - as slightly irritating predictive text messaging names them - are two best friends living in Ireland. They end up starting a party planning business for children's parties which, as you can imagine, leads to some hilarious lough-out-loud moments. In addition to this, they also start a blog chronicling their efforts in getting karmic revenge on their classmates. Taking matters into their own hands doesn't always prove successful, but they do learn a few valuable life lessons along the way.
The Bad Karma Diaries is chock-full of important messages, which is just one reason why it's a good read for teenagers. It highlights the problems with bullying going unnoticed, as well as what happens when people are wrongly accused and a situation quickly spirals out of control. I'm sure we've all been there - I know I have - and we all know school rumours and accusations spread quicker than wildfire. Hourican highlights this very issue, and encourages her readers to seek the help of authority figures - teachers, parents, etc.
Friendship and a sprinkling of romance also feature in The Bad Karma Diaries, which makes it slightly more lighthearted and a break between the serious undertones of the plot. Teens looking for a quick, enjoyable read will find everything they need here, and may even learn a thing or two in the process!