Diary of a Girl Next Door: Betty

Overview

Everyone’s favorite girl-next-door dives head first into high school and extracurricular activities.  Betty can do it all—but can she get by WITHOUT a little help from her friend? Freshman year is off to a rocky start with some major BFF drama!  Betty’s longtime best friend Veronica is rich, ruthless and snobby—the total opposite of Betty. And in high school, where social status means EVERYTHING, it seems like Betty and Veronica can’t be besties anymore. Luckily, Betty is armed with her trusty diary to ...

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Diary of a Girl Next Door: Betty

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Overview

Everyone’s favorite girl-next-door dives head first into high school and extracurricular activities.  Betty can do it all—but can she get by WITHOUT a little help from her friend? Freshman year is off to a rocky start with some major BFF drama!  Betty’s longtime best friend Veronica is rich, ruthless and snobby—the total opposite of Betty. And in high school, where social status means EVERYTHING, it seems like Betty and Veronica can’t be besties anymore. Luckily, Betty is armed with her trusty diary to document her ups and downs. Read about them all in this heartwarming and funny diary about the scariness that is starting high school!

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"DIARY OF A GIRL NEXT DOOR is a fun and funny read that gives us a special peek into the heart of the Archieverse's most lovable character. The format should prove popular with young readers, and the Archie comics brand will mean quality to their parents." " —Jimmy Gownley, NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author of AMELIA RULES! and THE DUMBEST IDEA EVER

"Really charming." —MCCLATCHY NEWS SERVICE

"I think quite a few young ladies—and maybe a few lads as well—will recognize themselves in the hopes and dreams of the girl next door." —MCCLATCHY NEWS SERVICE

"Although these may be familiar places and nostalgic characters for some of us, they are brilliantly recreated by Archie Comics for today's young adult readers." — DIAMOND BOOKSHELF

"You remember what it was like to be a teenage girl, right?

OK, clearly I was never a teenage girl, but I’m pretty sure if I had been, I would have wanted to be Betty Cooper. Smart, pretty, ambitious, full of dreams. Blond with a ponytail.

Sure, Betty’s not the most popular girl in school (that’s her middle school best friend Veronica) and she doesn’t have this high school thing completely figured out (particularly her crush on a certain Archie Andrews). But this girl is genuine and kind and pretty darn funny. She’s everything you’d expect, and yet still feels like a real live person.

A youth-oriented novel with simple and fun illustrations by artist Bill Galvan, DIARY OF A GIRL NEXT DOOR: BETTY is the first in a series of prose titles aimed at the tween market who, if I had to guess, may not give comics a second look. Designed to stand tall next to Disney Channel programming and young adult novels, Betty surpasses its peers in quality and depth, delivering a book that not only would appeal to kids (maybe not even just girls) 10 to 14, but can be enjoyed by adults as well (that’s me!).
Author Tania del Rio provides a beautiful, first-person narration of Betty Cooper’s first two months of high school in classic “Dear Diary” style, but still manages to engage the reader thoroughly from entry to entry. Each passage is treated like its own story, featuring Betty’s interactions with best friend Veronica, the dreaded Glossies (Veronica’s new ultra cool friends), her next door neighbor Jughead, her parents, and of course, best guy in the world and dream boat extraordinaire — Archie.
The feelings we get from Betty aren’t trite or overplayed, and they’re somewhat self-conscious without resorting to being maudlin. Del Rio rides the line very carefully by infusing a wonderful humor in Betty’s thoughts and speech, as well as a good sense of how she’s learning from herself from start to finish. As this is but a brief swatch of young Betty’s life, we don’t get a radical growth into womanhood, but the confidence she has by the end of the book finally catches up with her ambitions. It’s heartwarming, quite honestly.

Galvan’s doodle-style drawings, meant to mimic Betty’s own illustrations (why doesn’t she ever consider becoming an artist? Huh.), are really so adorable, it’s hard not to grin from ear to ear when you page through the book. The ones gracing the cover and outside spine, in particular — Betty herself with a word balloon saying “That’s me!” — make me smile every time I open the book.

As much as I love what Archie Comics has done here, and as much as I am looking forward to the inevitable follow-up starring Veronica, I have a confession to make. I’m not keeping my copy. No, I have to ship it immediately to my niece, because if there’s anyone in the world who’s going to like it more than me, it’s someone Betty’s own age (or younger even).

Buy this book for your little middle-school girl. She’ll feel like she’s getting a peek into the wild sophisticated future of high school, and you can be assured that what she’s really getting is the most genuine experience of a good kid who has a great heart that I’ve seen in a long time. Congratulations, Archie Comics. You’re about to make another new generation fall in love with you.

The Verdict: 10/10

—Matt Santori-Griffith, COMICOSITY

Kirkus Reviews
2014-05-14
Riverdale's favorite good girl, Betty Cooper, is reimagined in a Dork Diaries knockoff. Betty Cooper, a perky, blonde go-getter, is ready to tackle her freshman year at Riverdale High. Her on-again, off-again best frenemy, Veronica Lodge, has taken up with the Glossies, a clique of older mean girls determined to make Betty miserable at every opportunity. Veronica and Betty are both crushing on the cute and freckled nice-guy Archie: Whom will he choose? Her melodramatic social woes aside, Betty is forever trying new things: BMX bike riding, becoming a dog walker and joining school clubs. While she does attempt lots of new things to figure out what she likes, most times it's really only to get Archie's attention. For the most part, she's blandly vanilla, though she occasionally comes into her own when she loses her temper (usually with Veronica) and shows a bit of dimensionality. With prose interspersed with cutesy drawings, del Rio and Galvan attempt to give Betty a modern feel, but at times these efforts fall flat; cellphones are not nearly as prominent at Riverdale High as they are in real life, for instance. Think of this as a watered-down Dork Diaries meeting the pleasant forgettability of Saved by the Bell. High on pep, low on memorability. (Graphic/fiction hybrid. 9-13)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781936975372
  • Publisher: Archie Comic Publications, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 8/5/2014
  • Series: Riverdale Diaries Series
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 325,574
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

TANIA DEL RIO has been published in TOKYOPOP's RISING STARS OF MANGA ANTHOLOGY. She worked for Archie Comics as the writer and artist of SABRINA THE TEENAGE WITCH: THE MAGIC WITHIN graphic novels, an American Manga take on the characters and stories. She also wrote Archie's highly publicized "Reversedale" story and has worked on their JOSIE & THE PUSSYCATS and SONIC THE HEDGEHOG comics as writer and artist. Tania has also written SPIDER-MAN/ARAÑA: THE HUNTER REVEALED for Marvel. She is currently writing the Young Adult Supernatural Fantasy novel WINTER WILDER.

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