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I have been aware of the Rachel Riley Diaries series for a long time, and have been deliberately avoiding them. I am a fan, you see, of Louise Rennison’s; Georgia Nicolson series, and was convinced that the Rachel Riley diaries would be one of those weak, copy an idea, sort of series that annoy me intensely. I hate it when publishers jump on a band wagon, and you get the Harry Potter syndrome, where in an effort to out Bloomsbury Bloomsbury, every publisher in a two hundred mile radius churns out books about misunderstood wizards until you are sick of the sight of them.

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This is, I admit, often unfair on authors, as there will always be other authors who are just as good, if not better, than the first, ground breaking one, who finally get the audience they have been working hard to reach, except me, who won’t read them unless forced, because I am sulking.

Such is the case in this instant. I am forced to take back everything I thought about Joanna Nadin. I am a fool.

I was sent: The Time of My Life: The Rachel Riley Diaries, as a review copy. It is the last of seven books about Rachel Riley.

Last night, after having spent a most enjoyable few days over Christmas reading exactly what I pleased, I decided I must get another review under my belt and went for The Time of My Life, because it looked like an easy read.

It is an easy read. It turns out that it is also brilliantly funny, and very well written, and extremely good.

If you like the Georgia Nicolson books then you will like this, as they do have a lot in common. Firstly it is a first person narrative by a slightly deranged teenage girl with all the insecurities that come with the package. Secondly it is largely about their hopeless quest for love in all the wrong places. Thirdly the book has a fantastic supporting cast of utterly lunatic people, all of whom are funny.

The differences are that Rachel Riley is much more grown up than Georgia, in this book anyway. There is a fair amount of swearing and what my mother would call crude language. The word ‘knob’ pops up a lot. There is a fair bit of sex too. This is definitely a book for teens. The book deals with illegitimacy, criminal activity and extremely blended family situations.

I wouldn’t recommend it to the under twelves. It is also not a book for boys. It is however a book that made me hoot with laughter, and at one point choke on a mouthful of tea. Very, very funny indeed. I am going to buy the first book and wade right in from the beginning now.

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