Absurd Amusement


Turbulent friendships go awry, procrastination is universal, and perspective begins to arise. Middle School is a seemingly eternal abyss of startling mischief, troublesome drama, and adolescent desperation. Dork Diaries: Tales of a Not-So-Perfect Petsitter by Rachel Renée Russell is an exaggerated glorifier of this ridiculous period of life, taking a view of dreadful hope on the absolute chaos.

Nikki Maxwell is an eighth-grade student at Westchester Country Day, a private school of entitled cliques and insane adventures. After months of enduring emotional catastrophes from the infamous Mackenzie Hollister, the master of popularity, she earns tranquility when the nemesis decides to transfer academies. However, this plan detours, as Mackenzie appears back in her life again, disrupting progression with Nikki’s crush, Brandon, and her closest friends, Chloe and Zoey. And when the task of handling a dog and seven puppies falls into her hands, Nikki might crumble from the endless drama. With the only object she has utter faith in, her diary, will she be able to handle every responsibility?

Though this novel is a dramatization of middle school, it is clearly targeted towards more elementary readers. Nine to twelve year olds, particularly female, will be entertained by the book’s humorous and awkward tone, for its unrealistic “realistic fiction” is quite amusing for young consumers. Written in diary format with various illustrations by the narrator, the composition itself is mediocre, which only contributes to the ideal age of readers. Members of this group often find themselves in situations similar to those in the plotline, including malicious peers, irritating family members, and academic adversities. Fortunately, in addition to its relatability to children, it perpetuates healthy morals that can encourage the younger generation. With an overarching theme of friendship, it demonstrates the benefits of unity and kindness, as the protagonist only succeeds when practicing these philosophies. To recognize this, reading the previous novels( the story is preceded by several others in a series)is recommended. The antecedents have been somewhat independent, however this one definitely requires context.

Dork Diaries: Tales of a Not-So-Perfect Petsitter is, while imperfect, enjoyable for the correct audience. With heart-warming morals engraved within juvenile jocularity, it is an astounding influencer among youth, and odd preparation for the absurdities of Middle School.