Monday, September 16, 2013

Dork Diaries: Tales from a Not-So-Smart Miss Know it All by Rachel Renee Russell

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
321 pages

Nikki Maxwell continues writing in her diary and chronicling every detail of her life in the sixth installment of the Dork Diaries series. This time around Nikki is in big trouble for attempting pull a prank on her arch nemesis Mackenzie Hollister. On New Year's Day Nikki and her best friends Chloe and Zoey play truth or dare. When Zoey dares Nikki to toilet paper Mackenzie's house, they decide to do it together as revenge for Mackenzie's antics against them. The girls throw toilet paper all over Mackenzie's front lawn, but they are caught red-handed by Mackenzie.

Over the next few days Mackenzie threatens and blackmails Nikki to either get her an invitation for Brandon's birthday party or risk being suspended from school when she publishes the incident in the school newspaper. Nikki panics and decides to join the school newspaper to prevent Mackenzie from printing the story. During the new staff members meeting Nikki is not given a position by the newspaper adviser Mr. Zimmerman. Nikki is in tears and is too scared to ask Mr. Zimmerman why she was not chosen to be the photo layout assistant when she sees the sign up sheet in the garbage with her name crossed off. Nikki realizes Mackenzie tried to sabotage her once again and has to work up a lot of courage to ask Mr. Zimmerman for a position. He tells her that there are no staff positions left, however he decides to make her the advice columnist on a whim.

Nikki's advice column alias is Miss Know-It-All and she begins  to receives tons of letters after a brief unresponsive period. Her column soon becomes very popular and increases the student newspaper readership by forty two percent. Nikki gets a letter that she believes Brandon wrote about her where he asks how he can tell her the truth about his feelings and his family background. Nikki understands how he feels because she hides her bug extermination scholarship from everyone. Mackenzie is suspicious that Nikki is Miss Know-It-All and still angry that Brandon did not invite her to his birthday party so she sets up a meeting with the principal to report the toilet papering incident. Chloe, Zoey, and Nikki are scared senseless when the meeting is about to begin, but a new student named Marcy comes in and has an exclusive breaking news interview for Mackenzie. Mackenzie believes Marcy is talking about the toilet papering situation, but she actually asks her questions about locking Chloe, Zoey and Nikki in a closet and stealing their costumes during the charity Ice Show last year. Mackenzie is flabbergasted and decides not to say anything at all about the toilet paper prank.

Nikki attends Brandon's party and has a great time, but she is extremely embarrassed that her dad is picking her up in his custom work van that has a giant roach on top of it. She lies to her dad about the address so that he can park a few blocks from the party. After nearly getting caught when her dad arrives at the party, Nikki manages to sneak away without being seen. As her dad drives her home she receives a text from Brandon and its revealed that he knows about her dad's bug extermination van. Nikki laughs hysterically and reflects that maybe she can be honest about who she is like Brandon wants to do with her. Nikki's diary shines when she responds to the distressed students at her private school for the advice column and when she calms down and sees that her life isn't as horrible as she thinks it is.

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