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Tales from a Not-So-Fabulous Life (Dork Diaries Series #1)

Tales from a Not-So-Fabulous Life (Dork Diaries Series #1)

4.4 2120
by Rachel Renée Russell

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Meet Nikki Maxwell! She’s starting eighth grade at a new school—and her very first diary packed with hilarious stories and art in this SUPER SQUEE updated edition of Book One of the #1 New York Times bestselling Dork Diaries series!

Nikki confesses all in her first diary ever: her epic battle with her mom for an iPhone, meeting her new


Meet Nikki Maxwell! She’s starting eighth grade at a new school—and her very first diary packed with hilarious stories and art in this SUPER SQUEE updated edition of Book One of the #1 New York Times bestselling Dork Diaries series!

Nikki confesses all in her first diary ever: her epic battle with her mom for an iPhone, meeting her new soon-to-be BFFs Chloe and Zoey, falling for adorably sweet crush Brandon, dealing with her zany little sister Brianna’s antics—and the immediate clashes with mean girl Mackenzie, who becomes Nikki’s rival in a schoolwide art competition.

Nearly 30 million books in print worldwide!

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Suzanna E. Henshon
Have you ever felt like a dork? In Dork Diaries, Rachel Russell has created a humorous account of the middle school years. If you have ever been left out of a clique, not invited to the party of the season, or wondered where to sit in the school cafeteria, you will understand how Nikki Maxwell feels when she starts classes at a new school. She does not know a single person and her outfit is not cool enough to fit with the popular girls. What can a dork do to win friends and influence people? While Nikki does not make it to the top clique at Westchester Day School, her account of surviving the perils of middle school is hilarious. She makes friends, creates a sensation with her amazing tattoos, and connects with a cool boy named Brandon. And even though she is not the most popular girl in school, Nikki remains true to herself and to her ideals. Young readers struggling through the middle school jungle will love Nikki Maxwell immediately. After all, what reader can resist a charming, inquisitive, self-proclaimed dork? Reviewer: Suzanna E. Henshon, Ph.D.
School Library Journal
Gr 5-8–Fourteen-year-old Nikki J. Maxwell has been awarded a scholarship to a prestigious private middle school as a part of her father’s bug extermination contract. Her angst as she deals with the resident mean girl, her embarrassing parents, her crush on the hot boy, and making new friends are all recorded alongside numerous sketches of her life. Although occasionally amusing, Nikki is not a very likable character. She is shallow and self-centered and fails to show any growth in the book, even as she one-ups popular and cruel MacKenzie in the end. In fact, Nikki, who steals her neighbor’s hearing aid and plays pranks on her little sister, is somewhat of a mean girl herself. All the other characters are underdeveloped, including Nikki’s family and her new BFFs, Chloe and Zoey. Black-and-white drawings, which are often witty, appear throughout the text, which is printed on lined pages as though from a diary. Fans of Jeff Kinney’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid (Abrams) may enjoy this book, but it’s an additional purchase.–Terry Ann Lawler, Phoenix Public Library, AZ
Kirkus Reviews
When her father barters enrollment in a prestigious private school in exchange for his bug-extermination services, Nikki suddenly finds her life in turmoil. At Westchester Country Day, Nikki encounters uber-snobbish MacKenzie, the archetypal mean girl and her pack of "CCP"-Nikki's acronym for the cute, cool and popular-friends. Nikki chronicles all of her new-girl angst and trepidations as well as her fledgling crush in her diary. Russell's narrative deftly captures the winsome vulnerability of a girl perched on the cusp of teenhood. The comical sketches, executed a la Diary of a Wimpy Kid, add an element of self-deprecating humor to the tale. An abundance of up-to-the-minute pop-cultural references threatens to date this novel quickly. Nikki's ultimate realization that she needs to be true to herself comes across as genuine rather than contrived, however, so despite its modern trappings, Nikki's journey of self-discovery will appeal to preadolescent readers struggling to find their places in the world. (Fiction. 9-13)

Product Details

Publication date:
Dork Diaries Series
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Sales rank:
890L (what's this?)
File size:
32 MB
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Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

Read an Excerpt



I just had the most HORRIFIC nightmare!

The worst in my entire life!

I’m soooo FREAKED OUT I can barely write this.

I’m having cold sweats, my heart is pounding, and my brain is … numb with such intense … anguish it feels like it’s about to, um … EXPLODE!



YES!! At SCHOOL!! Like, how CRAZY is THAT?!

The weird thing is that it seems like it actually happened. Because as soon as I woke up, all these detailed memories came flooding into my head, making me feel even more confused.

I can’t imagine NOT writing in my diary! It’s like I’m addicted or something.

In my dream I was so desperate that I found Brianna’s old doodle book at the bottom of her toy box and started writing in that instead.

But mostly I was FRANTIC that someone would find my diary and read all the SUPERpersonal, SUPERembarrassing, SUPERsecret stuff about


That was me screaming.


Because if I’m writing in BRIANNA’S DOODLE BOOK, that can mean only one thing….





© 2011 Rachel RenÉe Russell

Meet the Author

Rachel Renée Russell is an attorney who prefers writing tween books to legal briefs. (Mainly because books are a lot more fun and pajamas and bunny slippers aren’t allowed in court.) Rachel lives in Chantilly, Virginia.

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Tales from a Not-So-Fabulous Life (Dork Diaries Series #1) 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2120 reviews.
pretty_reading_girl More than 1 year ago
I got this book and my friend picked it up,read a page and said "I need this book".This book was brilliant with some humor added in there.I reccoomend this to the girls who read dear dumb diary but need something more advanced now.
Kooper Dawson More than 1 year ago
I loved this book it was super funny i recommend it to people ages 9 to maybe 15
KayleeCN More than 1 year ago
Best journal book out there for girls!The book is funny and is east to relate to!!! Great for girls of all ages!It will always be one of my favorites!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My daughter is 7 & just got this book she hasn't been able to put it down. She's very girly & liked the whimpy boy series but wished he was a she when we spotted this book it was great & she is enjoying every moment. I would recommend this to any little girl...
Balina More than 1 year ago
this book was very good. love the illustrations. Can't wait to read the next.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Bought for my 6th grade daughter to due her monthly book report on. She not only enjoyed it, but also had a blast reading it. She laughed throughout the whole book and is looking forward for the next one to come out.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Dork diaries is a great and funny book. Its great for children around preteens. I really liked this book.
MustLoveBooks14 More than 1 year ago
I picked up this book yesterday, and it's really hard for me to put it down! The characters are cool, and Nikki, the main character, is a character that most likely all girls could relate to. The author (writing as Nikki), writes with charm and hilarity. The illustrations are super cute, and the whole diary-style set-up makes for a quick, entertaining read. I recommend this book to girls ages 11 and up. It's really good!
24girl More than 1 year ago
Eighth grader Nikki Maxwell candidly shares with us the journaling of her no-so-fabulous days at her new private school Westchester Day School. Nikki's father, being the new exterminator, earned her a scholarship to a school where she doesn't fit in with the rich and snobby CCP (Cute, Cool & Popular) clique led by the snarky Mackenzie. Nikki knows that in order to dazzle the new crowd into accepting her she needs a new iPhone but her `rents stubbornly refuse to buy her one. Her Mom even goes so far as to tell her that if she really wants one she'll have to save up and buy it with her own money. Ugh! Just when everything seems to be doomed the school announces a school-wide art competition where the first prize is $500!! Nikki knows she's totally got this since she's an artist with plenty art camp experience. Nikki runs to the school office to sign up and who does she run into??? None other than Mackenzie. No way is she brave enough to compete against the queen bee of WDS. Can she turn one disaster after another into triumph? Dork Diaries is simply fabulous! I've been in Nikki's shoes a time or two as I changed schools 8 different times while growing up so I can totally sympathize with being new girl on the block. At least my Dad didn't drive me to school with a giant roach on top of his van. The entire book is Nikki's diary filled with hilarious stories and amazing drawings (also illustrated by Rachel Renee Russell). It's the perfect read for young girls who agonize over not being part of the in-crowd like I used to. Nikki goes from the zero to a hero and then finally settles nicely into her niche as a typical teen. I recommend this read for all YA lovers.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A must read,good funny book we can all relate to. (:
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is an outstanding! Once you read it you cant stop!
jim tsai More than 1 year ago
I have read this book and it is amazing to me. It is one of my favorite books. I usually bring it every where!
Robert Tindell More than 1 year ago
This is an amazing book and im 9 and i would totly recomend this book
bobbyjpeace More than 1 year ago
i love this book it is awesome. it's a really good book. the author actually understands the reader. once you start reading the book you cant stop. it's just so interesting. I hope that there will be another Dork Diaries!!! :-)=)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
you should totally get it it is so awesome you can read it over and over!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Chloe Estes More than 1 year ago
This is the funieist book ever I rank it #1000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I feel sooo much like Nikki J. Maxwell!!! My life is almost exactly like Nikki's!!! This book is soooo realistic. Ok so I'm a 12 year old girl living a dorky life with cooku parents. I get bored one day and so I grab a book of my bookshelf and I started reading it and then BABAMM I am just like sucked into the book like dirt in a vacuum cleaner. And geuss what book I was reading. Yup. I was reading Dork diaries. I read and read and read that book to the end. And before you know it I have lots of friends,and a sweet boyfriend named Brad Decklin. My name is Mia Shelltek and life is great now and it is all because of Dork diaries.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!* *a lot
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a realy good book it talks about family relationships and school and what to except. So i reccomend this book to you my friend. Thanks for reading my review!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love dork diaries! It is like dairy of a wimpy kid for girls!!! I know its alot if of money but its worth it!!!!!!!! You will love dork diaries!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!p
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a greet book and if you read them you should start with the first book or you will not understand this book!
rmcclimond More than 1 year ago
When I first saw it Iwasnt so sure about the book but then as I was reading it was super funny
Mayline Outlaw More than 1 year ago
Best book ever read in life
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is completley stupid and unrealistic. First, nikki is so snobby and stupid. All she cares, no thinks about is her clothes, her crush, ( I have one but all nikki thinks about is her crush!) And how her familiy is retared! What the freak? Who calls their mom brain dead? And nkkki is so selfish! She only wants a phone! Because "all" the "cool" Kids have one. Also the author was trying to be a middle schooler and she did not sucseed. Also this book had swears all over it! Like "girl, ima gonna slap yo face off yo little @#$%&!" This is not a book for kids.it is so stupid. And also the author could have been more creative with the plot and the characters names. There was also no character deveelopment at all. The last sentence in most of the books is: omg I am such a dork! It was like the author didn't know what to say at the end
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Who does mackenzie think she is.she is the dork not Nikki Nikki should be the most popular in school and still be niceso she could remain top all the time and now mackenzie on the other hand should be the biggest dork in the city i mean she may be a beaut but she could never beat the nicest in Nikki and mackenzie will ABSOLUTLY NOT EVER GET BRANDON NO MATTER HOW MUCH MAKE UP OR LIPGLOSS SHE BUYSOR JOW MUCH FLIRTING OR ASKING OUT BECAUSE BRANDON WILL ALWAYS LIKE NIKKI NEVER U MACKENZIE now i finaly pulled myself together now back to busniss i could give this book more than five stars i would do it the old fashion way go in between the & and - in the middle of top to bottom of 6 and ; got it? Okay now *****************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************