Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Tales from a Not-So-Fabulous Life (Dork Diaries, #1)” as Want to Read:
Tales from a Not-So-Fabulous Life (Dork Diaries, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Tales from a Not-So-Fabulous Life

(Dork Diaries #1)

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  61,752 ratings  ·  3,257 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

Hardcover, 282 pages
Published June 2nd 2009 by Aladdin
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Tales from a Not-So-Fabulous Life, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Audrey Rushing 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 an…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)
Pragati Simply by holding it in our hands and putting our eyes at work.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.14  · 
Rating details
 ·  61,752 ratings  ·  3,257 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Tales from a Not-So-Fabulous Life (Dork Diaries, #1)
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 02, 2009 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 cute
Rachel Reads Ravenously
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 19, 2013 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
John Winston
Oct 08, 2015 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 22, 2009 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
Avery Bryson
Apr 12, 2009 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 07, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: kids, humor, realistic
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
Mar 16, 2013 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
Nov 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing
The book that started my obsession in the first place.
Jun 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, reviewed
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 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: book-review
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Dork Diaries Tales from a Not so Fabulous Life is one of my favorite books. This book is more for the girls because it is from a girl’s point of view. This is the first book in this series.
This book is about a girl named Nikki Maxwell who is at a new school and it not going so well. She all ready has an enemy and no friends. She also has a crush on a boy that her enemy also has a crush on. Will she get friends? Will she get the boy of her dreams? Find all the answers to your questions in the boo
Emilee O.
Oct 09, 2012 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
[Shai] Bibliophage
This book series captured my attention because it mentioned that it's sort of like the Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Based on this first book, I think it's a subtle version of the latter and it tackles bullying issues because of the antagonist Mackenzie. I would still finish reading all the books released so far in this series. But for now, I still prefer the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series because adult readers would enjoy them more. This Dork Diaries series is more appropriate for young female kids ages 1 ...more
this book is for 9yo, but am 19 and i really enjoy reading it.
Leslie Martinez
Aug 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The book i am reading is called Dork Diaries well this book is about a girl who wishes to have things but can not have them and it is also about a girl who always is mean to Nikki and that girl is the most popular girl at school and everybody is under her hands because she is the queen of the school and that is why everbody in the school is scared of her.
In Dork Diaries there are a lot of events for example there are a lot of sad events that maybe will make you get tears from your eyes when you
Mar 02, 2013 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
Dec 29, 2012 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
May 14, 2010 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
K. C.
Jun 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Girls 8 and above, especially Tweens and higher; Parents
Recommended to K. 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 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: m-read, bookmobile, 2013
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 13, 2012 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
Mar 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I. would. say. this. is. a diary. of. a. whimpy. kid. parady
Nov 20, 2011 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
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
Apr 13, 2015 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
Sep 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, reviewed
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
Becky Soledad
I imagine this book is what would result if Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Mean Girls had a baby. Nikki has just started out at a brand new private school. She only got in because her dad did some exterminating for the school. She is desperate to become part of the popular crowd, which is hard since she doesn't shop at the hottest mall shops and her dad drives a van with a giant roach on top. Much like Greg from Wimpy Kid fame she tries several different ways to make sure that she joins the popular cr ...more
Massie Block
Dec 09, 2010 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
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
DORK DIARIES vs. DIARY OF A WIMPY KID.... 193 750 18 hours, 49 min ago  
Hi 1 1 Apr 21, 2020 07:49AM  
Hi 1 1 Apr 21, 2020 07:49AM  
what do you think of the dork diaries book? 5 14 Oct 30, 2019 02:57PM  
Greg Heffely vs Nikki Maxwell 10 34 Apr 30, 2019 11:07PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Smile
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid (Diary of a Wimpy Kid, #1)
  • Drama
  • Kristy's Great Idea
  • Ghosts
  • Sisters
  • Rodrick Rules (Diary of a Wimpy Kid, #2)
  • Sisters - Free Preview Edition
  • Dog Man (Dog Man, #1)
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid
  • The Last Straw (Diary of a Wimpy Kid, #3)
  • Roller Girl
  • Dog Days (Diary of a Wimpy Kid, #4)
  • Diary of an Awesome Friendly Kid: Rowley Jefferson's Journal
  • Big Nate: In a Class by Himself (Big Nate Novels, #1)
  • The Ugly Truth (Diary of a Wimpy Kid, #5)
  • Matilda
See similar books…
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


Other books in the series

Dork Diaries (1 - 10 of 15 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)

Articles featuring this book

If you're still looking for books to inspire your young reader, middle grade graphic novels just might do the trick. Perfect for...
54 likes · 21 comments
“So many FREAKS and not enough CIRCUSES!” 67 likes
“Let your inner DORK shine through.” 44 likes
More quotes…