Thursday, 5 August 2010

Review: My Rocky Romance Diary - Liz Rettig

Acquired: Sent for review by Random House

Published: August 5th 2010, Random House

Pages: 314 pages, paperback

Series?: Yes, this is the fourth instalment in the Kelly Ann Diaries series.

Summary (from back cover): Of course I love Chris. He’s, well, my soul mate I suppose. We’re meant for each other. He’s the only guy for me. Definitely – Kelly Ann.

Hmm, so if you’re so loved-up then how come you’ve been drooling over the fit new boy? Not that you’re the only one. Let’s face it, a guy who plays in a rock band and rides a motorbike is bound to be popular. And, oh my God, I just looked over and he’s totally staring at you. Maybe he fancies you too? – Liz

Don’t be stupid, Liz. Of course he doesn’t. And even if he did, I would NEVER look at another boy, even if he is pretty hot and...oh God, is he coming over? – Kelly Ann.

What I liked: I’ve always been a big fan of teen diaries – especially the Georgia Nicholson series, which I devoured and adored in my teen years (although I do still love them now). When I was offered a copy of My Rocky Romance Diary for review I jumped at the chance. I’ve heard so many great things about Liz Rettig but I’ve never read one of her books before so I was excited to see if she lived up to all the hype.

The short answer? Yes, she does. Rettig’s humour is fantastic and her characterisation is impeccable. Sometimes in teen fiction I find so many characters are introduced so quickly that it’s difficult to remember who was who but I had no problems in My Rocky Romance Diary, even though I hadn’t read the first three books in the series.

In this instalment we see Kelly Ann and her friends mature a lot as the story progresses. They experience and experiment with love, sex and a couple of hash brownies (by accident, of course) and I love the way Rettig makes everything feel so realistic. When Kelly Ann and her friends are chatting about boys the dialogue is spot on and it’s clear she knows her target audience so well.

The tension in My Rocky Romance Diary was great as well – would Kelly Ann stay with Chris? Would something happen between her and the gorgeous Matt? Would Liz ever be able to stick to her diet?

We’ve all gone through the issues facing Kelly Ann and her friends and that’s one of the brilliant things about this book – we’ve all wondered if maybe the grass is greener on the other side so we all know how Kelly Ann feels. The whole journey I went on as a reader was so entertaining and I’m desperate to read the first three books in the series now.

What I didn’t like: My only grumble about My Rocky Romance Diary is that it felt a little long in places and started to repeat itself slightly. I felt there was a lot of repetition at the end of chapters and I lost count of the amount of entries that ended in something similar to: ‘But I loved Chris and I would never cheat on him with Matt...would I? Nothing will ever happen between me and Matt...will it?’

It just seemed a little forced to me and Rettig’s writing is so top notch and she shows her audience so much through so many little details that being told everything outright wasn’t necessary.

Final thoughts: This was my first time reading Liz Rettig and I’m a huge fan. These books stand up there perfectly against the Georgia Nicholson Diaries – which is a huge statement coming from me!

First line: ‘First day of term and Mum woke me up at eight but I’d two free periods first thing so I mumbled, ‘Leavemealoneandgoaway.’’

Read if you liked...: The Georgia Nicholson Diaries by Louise Rennison

Plot: 4/5
Writing: 4/5
Characters: 5/5
Cover: 3/5
Total: 16/20 (B+)

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