My Fat, Mad Teenage Diary By Rae Earl

Title: My Fat, Mad Teenage Diary

Author: Rae Earl

First Published: 2007

Publisher: Hodder


It’s 1989 and Rae is a fat, boy-mad 17-year-old girl, living in Stamford, Lincolnshire with her mum and their deaf white cat in a council house with a mint off-green bath suite and a larder Rae can’t keep away from. This is the hilarious and touching real-life diary she kept during that fateful year – with characters like her evil friend Bethany, Bethany’s besotted boyfriend, and the boys from the grammar school up the road (who have code names like Haddock and Battered Sausage). (From Goodreads, 22nd March 2013)


After watching the E4 TV series ‘My Mad Fat Diary’ when it was aired at the beginning of this year and seeing this book when I was book shopping I knew I had to pick it up! I am glad I did! It was absolutely hilarious! It is very different from the TV series which in some ways is a blessing, but in other ways disappointed me slightly. In the TV series we find out much more about her mental illness and she meets with her therapist/psychiatrist named Kester regularly, thus giving a more in depth understanding of Rea’s character. This is completely absent from the novel and the novel is more about her love life – or lack of it – and her life at school and home.Written in a diary style based on Rea’s diary as a teen makes this fast moving and easy to read. It is much less ‘heavy’ than the TV show as it doesn’t deal with her time in a psychiatric hospital with only brief references to it. I think this is a frank portrayal of a teen in the 80’s dealing with her insecurities just as many of us do! A witty and funny diary for fans of the TV series and those who need some rest-bite, laughter, and escapism from/in their lives. This will make you laugh out loud!

4 out of 5!

Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares By Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

Title: Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares

Author: Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

Publisher: Harlequin (UK) Ltd

UK Publication Date: 5th October 2013


Ive left some clues for you.
If you want them, turn the page.
If you dont, put the book back on the shelf, please.

Lily has left a red notebook full of challenges on a favorite bookstore shelf, waiting for just the right guy to come along and accept its dares. But is Dash that right guy? Or are Dash and Lily only destined to trade dares, dreams, and desires in the notebook they pass back and forth at locations across New York? Could their in-person selves possibly connect as well as their notebook versions? Or will they be a comic mismatch of disastrous proportions? Rachel Cohn and David Levithan have written a love story that will have readers perusing bookstore shelves, looking and longing for a love (and a red notebook) of their own.


Having heard so many good reviews of this book I knew I had to get my hands on a copy. I am glad I did. The only thing I regret is not reading it sooner, and not reading it just before Christmas. This novel is set at Christmas time which is captured beautifully, and why I feel reading just before Christmas would have made it even more magical. Dash’s dislike for the holiday and Lily’s love of it. Both characters are well developed – slightly bizarre characters and extremes but both loveable and intriguing.

This book takes us on the journey of the two teenagers journey to find out about one another through the red notebook which the communicate with. The dares are amusing, and not the typical dares you would imagine. You will find yourself flipping the pages waiting to know what happens, anxiously awaiting them to meet. To find out if they could be friends, more than friends.

A well developed novel that will capture the interests and emotions of many readers.

5 out of 5