Thursday, 23 October 2014
Review: Dork Diaries - Once Upon a Dork by Rachel Renee Russell
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Children's
Released: September 25th, 2014
After a bump on the head, Nikki has a wild dream in which she, her BFF's Chloe and Zoey, her crush Brandon, and mean girl Mackenzie all end up playing the roles of some familiar classic fairy tale characters. Will Nikki's dream turn into a nightmare?
I can't believe this is the eighth instalment in the hugely successful tween Dork Diaries series, but it is and it's just as good as the rest! Rachel Renee Russell delivers her trademark wit, heart and artwork with Nikki's latest diary entries, and once again it makes for an utterly brilliant middle grade read.
In Once Upon a Dork, the majority of the story takes place in a fairy tale world after Nikki gets knocked out playing dodgeball. Fairytales are rewritten and star Nikki and her friends, and she learns a few things about herself and her family in the process of regaining consciousness in the real world. Before that she suffers yet more embarrassing moments at school, mostly thanks to little sister Brianna, and endures the usual horrid attitude from archenemy Mackenzie.
The format of this book is a bit of a departure for this series, and I wasn't sure whether I liked it at first. Dork Diaries prides itself on being realistic for middle schoolers, and so taking Nikki out of that familiar school/home setting seems to be a risk that has luckily paid off. Her trip into fairytale land takes the story into in chartered territory, though somehow it works and allows for some fun fairytale retellings. That's not to say I won't be glad to resume normal service with the next book!
Once Upon a Dork is another great book in this series and one that I read in one sitting. There's something about Nikki and her friends that has held my attention for eight books, which is quite an unusual occurrence when it comes to me and my reading habits. I've followed Nikki for almost five years now, right from the beginning, and I still hope there are many more books to come. As long as they're written, I will be reading them!