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I love the Rachel Riley Diaries series. I started with the last volume first, reading it for Amazon Vine reviews, and promptly went out and bought the preceding six novels as soon as I’d finished that one. I am eking them out slowly, because I already know there won’t be any more. I save them until I am feeling miserable and then read one as a huge treat.


I got back from my holidays on Friday and spent the entire of Saturday with a hideous migraine, which only really let up at about 11.00 last night. When I was finally out of the woods I decided to treat myself with the second volume of the Riley Diaries: The Life of Riley.

It was a wise move. I snorted my way through the entire thing, glad that I was the only person up to hear me laughing. It is not a book to read in company unless everyone is very tolerant, or wears earplugs.

The Rachel Riley Diaries are like a cross between Louise Rennison’s excellent Georgia Nicolson series and the equally excellent Adrian Mole novels by Sue Townsend. They have the utterly stupid humour of the Rennison books and the obsession with sex and social clumsiness of the Mole books, and I love them for it. Each book is a year in the life of Rachel Riley, who is desperate to be dark, mysterious, literary and edgy. Unfortunately she lives in Saffron Walden in a perfectly normal family unit, if you call a mother obsessed with Cillit Bang, a perpetually vomiting dog and a savant brother normal. Not to mention her grandfather who has run off with his care worker Treena, and who has a baby son called Jesus Harvey Nichols.

There is no subtlety here. There is no finesse. It is just very, very silly and very funny indeed. I love it.

These books are suitable for teen/Ya readers only because they are rather full of sex and swearing and drugs and alcohol and everything else you don’t want to be talking to primary school children about. They are written for girls and I can’t really see them appealing to boys, which is a shame, because they’re hilarious, but there you are.