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I reviewed the last of the seven Rachel Riley diaries by Joanna Nadin on this blog a few weeks ago, as part of the review work I do for the Amazon Vine programme. I loved the book so much I have now bought all of the books in the series and was waiting for an occasion where I would be uninterrupted so I could crack open the first book and read it from cover to cover.

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This occasion happened at the weekend, when my husband and I managed to steal away for a weekend without the children. We filled a suitcase with books, settled down with pyjamas, alcohol, a kettle and a ready supply of biscuits and read until our eyes fell out.

I did indeed read My So-Called Life from cover to cover, and hooted my way through the whole thing. It was hilarious. I have been waiting for a series of books as good as the Georgia Nicolson books by Louise Rennison for a long, long time, and I have found them.

The Rachel Riley Diaries are not suitable for primary age children by the way. Think more Adrian Mole than Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Sex, teenage pregnancies, ASBOS, drug taking they’re all here. All handled in such a way as to make you cry with laughter, but not for younger children certainly. They are definitely for girls, although it is a shame boys don’t get anything as good as this. It’s been a long while since Adrian Mole, great though he is.

Rachel lives in Saffron Walden where nothing ever happens to her. Her family unit is secure, her life is happy and her home is pristine thanks to her mother’s obsession with Stain Devils and a list of banned substances including Ribena.

Rachel is bored. She wants to be Sylvia Plath. She wants to be tortured. She wants life with a capital L. Her best friend Scarlet, has an abortionist and sex counsellor as parents. Her other best friend Sad Ed might possibly be gay, and is determined to be depressed and die tragically young. Why does nothing like this ever happen to her?

Spend a year in Rachel’s life, thoughts and diary entries. I did. It was an absolute pleasure and I laughed my socks off.

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