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

4.17  ·  Rating Details ·  32,895 Ratings  ·  2,330 Reviews

It’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid for girls in this hilarious novel!

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

New school. New mean girl. New crush. New diary so I can spill about all of it…

I put a lot of really personal stu

Hardcover, 282 pages
Published June 2nd 2009 by Aladdin (first published 2009)
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Pragati Simply by holding it in our hands and putting our eyes at work.
Harmony Sanderson She bragged about her mother giving her $30 to spend on a Father's day gift and spending $27 on herself. She never hesitates to call Mackenzie mean…moreShe bragged about her mother giving her $30 to spend on a Father's day gift and spending $27 on herself. She never hesitates to call Mackenzie mean and stupid. She treated her only friends like trash. She made fake vomit to stay home from school. Is there really no punishment in store for her? That sends an awful message to tween girls.(less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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The Holy Terror
This is about an incredibly materialistic, shallow, melodramatic preteen who is whiny and annoying. This is not something I'd tell anyone in this book's targeted age range to read. I thought I was getting Diary of a Wimpy Kid for girls but it's basically a whinefest with no substance. And the way the kids talk is nowhere near natural. Everything is over-the-top drama and none of it is funny. Plus the whole thing is supposed to be a diary written by the girl but everything plays out in real time. ...more
May 04, 2009 Betty rated it it was amazing
You will love Nikki Maxwell! Cute, cool & captivating!

The heroine of this YA story is eighth-grader Nikki Maxwell, a cute, cool and captivating girl you will fall in love with. Although the word cute is not a cool vocabulary choice for today's kids, I use it here because I love that word; it means much more than cool. To me it encompasses looks, personality and sincerity, while cool is...well "cool" can be a pose with some kids. So our NIkki is not only cool to her friends, she's also c
Feb 19, 2013 Isabella rated it it was amazing
Dork Diaries is a great book. I recommend it to all girls who like excitement and longer books. Once you have read the first book you will want to read all the others
Avery Bryson
Apr 14, 2009 Avery Bryson rated it it was amazing
I'm a 4th grade teacher and have been longing for a book for the girls in my classroom that was comparable to "Diary of a Wimpy Kid." While "Wimpy Kid" is hilarious, the girls in the book are very minor, undeveloped characters at best. After discovering "Dork Diaries: Tales From a Not-So-Fabulous Life," I finally got my wish for His and Her books. I think this book will also be great for my reluctant readers.

Nikki Maxwell is just starting the year at a snobby, private middle school. Not only do
Jun 29, 2012 Terryann rated it did not like it
Gr 5-7 – The Dork Diaries details the life of 14 year old Nikki J. Maxwell over a period of 6 weeks. Nikki has been awarded a scholarship to the prestigious, private middle school, Westchester Country Day as a part of her father’s bug extermination contract with said school. Nikki’s angst as she deals with the school’s 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 amusi ...more
John Winston
Oct 10, 2015 John Winston rated it it was ok
I’m going hard on this one. I’m a huge proponent of quality children’s literature, and this one just doesn’t do it. I know that most children like these stories and the consensus is, as long as they’re reading something, that’s a good thing, right? Wrong! There is enough quality contemporary literature out here that children shouldn’t have to settle for this. C. S. Lewis said, “A children's story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children's story in the slightest.” Those words a ...more
Mar 16, 2013 Kennedy rated it it was amazing
Tags:Romance,Realistic Fiction
Lexile Score:890L
Book Review: Rachel Renee Russell's Dork Dairies:Tales from a not-so fabulous life expresses the real life of a teenage girl. A 14-year-old girl has to experience romance,drama,parties, and balancing her friends.
Plot Summary:Nikki Maxwell is a 14-year-old is an example of your average teenager that is facing many different problems. She is in love with her crush, she only has two best friends, a click of girls that hate her for no reaso
Amy (Books, College, and Other Random Things)
Tales from a Not So Fabulous Life is the first book in the Dork Diaries series by Rachel Renée Russell.

Nikki J. Maxwell is an eighth grader that recently changed schools and is now going Westchester Country Day, a private school, because her dad has an extermination contract with the school. She wants to become a part of the CCP girls, Cute, Cool and Popular girls, and she believes a new cell phone will help her do just that. She thought that her mom got her one but realizes is just a diary.

Nov 16, 2011 Maliha rated it it was amazing
Shelves: book-review
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Emilee O.
Oct 10, 2012 Emilee O. rated it it was amazing
I think this was a good book.! It was about a girl named Niki Maxwell who transferred to a new school. She didn't like it at first because she had no friends. Soon she found 2 great friends named Chloe and Zoey. There was a girl named Mackenzie that at first made Niki miserable, but in the end Niki tried to ignore Mackenzie so she had a better school year. She had a secret crush on a boy at her school, his name was Brandon Roberts, soon they became good friends. Niki also entered a drawing conte ...more
Jun 07, 2012 Cassie rated it it was ok
Shelves: kids, realistic, humor
This is obviously a quick cash-in on the Wimpy Kid craze, and it shows. Oh, it SHOWS. Though derivative, I honestly wouldn't have minded a Wimpy Kid from the female perspective, but then I remembered - we already have that in the Amelia series by Marissa Moss, which is much better written and illustrated, and not to mention heartfelt.

The Dork Diaries is painfully vapid and shallow, and our protagonist Nikki is not particularly likable. I'm really not a fan of how she blames popular Mean Girl Mac
May 14, 2010 Emma rated it it was amazing
As I was looking around books, I came across this book. I have not read The Diary of a Whimpy Kid series, which I'm thinking the books may be similar, except one is more for boys and one for girls.

Either way, I got the book from my public library for my niece, who will be going to middle school next year (where has the time gone?) She went outside to play, so I started reading the book and really enjoyed it. It had me cracking up the whole time. I think many kids, especially in middle school can
Rachel Reads Ravenously
DNF AT 11%

If this is how the youth of America think and act, we are doomed.
this book is for 9yo, but am 19 and i really enjoy reading it.
Sharra Thomas
May 20, 2015 Sharra Thomas rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Karita Coleman
Jun 17, 2013 Karita Coleman rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Girls 8 and above, especially Tweens and higher; Parents
Recommended to Karita by: My Mother (who recommended this to me a while back)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 23, 2013 Jeepz rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2013, m-read, bookmobile
M picked up the first book in this series two weeks ago. She devoured it, and just finished the second book last night. I came here to look at some of the reviews, and I get the sense that they are not tween kids reading/writing them. While I think reviews from parents (and avid YA book readers in general) are a good thing, for something like this I have to go to the source: my kid.

Let me first say that M really didn't like Diary of a Wimpy Kid. She read the first one, liked it well enough, but
Jaiseth Zubia
Sep 17, 2012 Jaiseth Zubia rated it it was amazing
Dork Diaries is about a eigth grader that has a no so fabulous life. She is not popular(at all).She has a secret crush and she is always having a meeting with her friends in the SUPPLY CLOSET.She draws really awesome and then she sees a drawing contest and...

One morning Nikki woke up had an idea to convince her in buying her an iPhone so she made breakfast for her mom. Nikki walks in the kitchen and makes pancakes,orange juice and toast. She walks in her moms room and says,"Good morning mom" Nik
Dec 29, 2012 Paige rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Pre-Teens and early-Teens
Recommended to Paige by: aunt
Last year, these books were actually my favorite series. I enjoyed reading stories of a tee- aged girl, who had to go through numerous ups and downs due to her level of unpopularity. In addition,this other really popular girl HATES her with all her life. Staying in this school has become a problem fro Nikki since her father is actually a pest control guy with a truck that has a huge bug on top of the truck- another reason she hates her life in this school. And the worst part is that she is in th ...more
Mar 02, 2013 Julie rated it it was amazing
A.W.E.S.O.M.E. Wow. LOVED. IT.

Well, to start off, it's about a dorky teen in eighth grade named Nikki Maxwell. She has two friends named Chloe and Zoey, whom she both met while on the job as a library shelf assistant (putting books back into their proper places on the shelves). She has a crush on the school reporter, Brandon Roberts, but feels like she's too lame for him to like her. There's a mean girl at her school, apparently the most popular, named MacKenzie Hollister, and the two are, prett
Apr 13, 2015 Kayleigh rated it it was amazing
Do you like drama, exaggeration, or art?
Well this book has all of it. Dork Diaries is a great book for tweens/teens girls. You should read this book because the art work is amazing and the story line has a great story to tell. This would be perfect for people who don't fit in that much with the crowd. *Spoiler Alert* There is a boy that Nikki (main character) likes and ends up with being boyfriend and girlfriend. *More Spoiler Alerts* Nikki has " friends" that ditch her because of going with th
Oct 01, 2015 Mya rated it it was amazing
The book that started the obsession in the first place.
Nov 21, 2011 Chynna rated it it was amazing
Shelves: diaries
Dork Diaries: Tales from a Not-So-Fabulous Life
by Rachel R. Russell
Reading Response by Chynna

This book is the first in the Dork Diaries series that currently consists of Dork Diaries: Tales from a Not-So-Fabulous Life, Dork Diaries: Tales from a Not-So-Popular Party Girl, and Dork Diaries: Tales from a Not-So-Talented Pop Star.
This is Nikki's diary. Through sketches and diary entries, Nikki tells about her struggles being the new girl (/dork) at her brand-new private middle school (that she
Sep 05, 2011 Eden rated it it was amazing
Nikki has started a new school and for starting a new school her mom gets her a diary. It definitely wasn't the cell phone she wanted, but she writes in it anyway.
Nikki doesn't think she fits in at the school and has to deal with the popular girl at the school, who is pretty mean to her. How much worse can life get for Nikki?

I've read the first few books in The Diary of a Wimpy Kid series and loved them. When I found out about this series, I decided to give it a try since I greatly enjoyed The D
Massie Block
Jul 13, 2011 Massie Block rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Awesome book! See my review below from :

If you like books that are similar to "Diary of A Wimpy Kid" you will love this book! A girl named Nikki Maxwell recieves the oppurtunity to go to a private school, since her dad has an exterminator contract with the school. As if being new to a school and not having friends was bad enough, things get WAY worse. Tons of drama begins: the popular girls at her school, Mackenzie and her friends, try to destroy her by h
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Marta Morrison for

Nikki Maxwell is going to a new private school. She wants to be accepted into the popular group but she believes that in order to do that she needs an expensive cell phone, a new wardrobe, and a new family.

She finds out the hard way who her real friends are and how her mad skillz in art can help her be accepted.

My fifth grade boys love DIARY OF A WIMPY KID, and this is a series I can introduce to my girls, which is written in the same style. Nikki i
Leinissa T
Feb 27, 2015 Leinissa T rated it it was amazing
Grade/interest level: Elementary/MS
Reading level: Middle school 6-8th
Genre: Fiction
Main Characters: Nikki Maxwell
Setting: School,
POV: First person

This book was good because I could understand her life is going and there's some funny parts of her on the story. It was about this girl name Nikki Maxwell, that was starting 8th grade in a new school. She didn't want to move to a new school and a new home, she wanted her all friends back and her home. When you start reading this book, it will kinda
Andrea Lepe
Mar 23, 2015 Andrea Lepe rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 12, 2015 Dyani rated it it was amazing
This was the first Dork Diary I've read and I really liked it because the main character which is Nikki Maxwell tells her experience throughout her adventures and family moments and their real problems that could happen in someones life and she says how she feels and what she thinks of the situation so this book is basically a diary based on a girls life having good moments and bad moments with her family,friends even and her worst enemy and if you liked this book there's a whole series you coul ...more
Mar 16, 2013 Gideon rated it it was amazing
I. would. say. this. is. a diary. of. a. whimpy. kid. parady
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DORK DIARIES vs. DIARY OF A WIMPY KID.... 158 528 Jan 03, 2017 04:54PM  
Teen books.: Whats your Favourite thing about this book? 1 2 Dec 22, 2016 11:13AM  
dork diaries book 1 2 5 Dec 18, 2015 08:43PM  
thingymajiggy 18 22 Dec 15, 2015 09:13PM  
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Rachel Renee Russell is the #1 New York Times Best Selling author of the book series, DORK DIARIES, and the upcoming, THE MISADVENTURES OF MAX CRUMBLY to be released on June 7, 2016.

For more about Nikki's world visit

For more about Max's world visit

More about Rachel Renée Russell...

Other Books in the Series

Dork Diaries (1 - 10 of 11 books)
  • Tales from a Not-So-Popular Party Girl (Dork Diaries, #2)
  • Tales from a Not-So-Talented Pop Star (Dork Diaries, #3)
  • Tales from a Not-So-Graceful Ice Princess (Dork Diaries, #4)
  • Tales from a Not-So-Smart Miss Know-It-All (Dork Diaries, #5)
  • Tales from a Not-So-Happy Heartbreaker (Dork Diaries, #6)
  • Tales from a Not-So-Glam TV Star (Dork Diaries, #7)
  • Tales from a Not-So-Happily Ever After! (Dork Diaries, #8)
  • Tales from a Not-So-Dorky Drama Queen (Dork Diaries, #9)
  • Tales from a Not-So-Perfect Pet Sitter (Dork Diaries, #10)
  • Tales from a Not-So-Friendly Frenemy (Dork Diaries, #11)

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“So many FREAKS and not enough CIRCUSES!” 61 likes
“Let your inner DORK shine through.” 40 likes
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