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Della says: OMG! – Keris Stainton

“Dan?’ I whisper. I can feel my face heating up.
‘Didn’t I tell you he was coming?’ Maddy says brightly, as she starts tugging my shirt off me. 
‘You know you didn’t,’ I say. I pull the shirt off and throw it back into the bottom of my wardrobe, then pull the vest over my head and drop it on the floor. 
‘You should take better care of your clothes,’ Maddy says. She glances down at my chest. ‘ Have you got a Wonderbra?'”

With a mum who’s an ex-model and a big sister who is out-going, crazy and beautiful too it’s easy to feel below par. Della has been putting up with “omg is that your mum?!” for as long as she can remember and sometimes gets it about her sister too. So when her sister has a going-away party Della can’t believe that the cute boy she’s been crushing on since her first day of primary school not only flirts with her but ends up in her bedroom kissing her!
In a state of shock at the party’s events she awakes the next day to find her diary missing. She has a range of suspects, including cute boy, Dan. She thinks of anyone who could have gone in her room and taken it and she’s sure its Dan or his friend, who hates her, Gemima. As the summer goes on however Della finds herself getting closer to Dan and quickly works out that he didn’t take the diary. When certain, very hugely embarrassing diary entries start turning up in people’s pockets, via emails and text messages and even on her parents car Della starts getting really scared. With Dan and her best friend Maddy around to calm her down the piece together the clues and a theory is formed, but Della just can’t understand why.
Ok first of all I loved this book. It was hilarious and so amazingly pure to character. I loved Della, so much; she was just, well, a 17 year old!! I am certain that’s what I was like at 17 and I really do think if I’d read this book back then it would have been my bible! Let’s see, Della likes cute boy, cute boy likes Della, first reaction: HE MUST BE UP TO SOMETHING! That is totally how I would have reacted back then, I would have thought he was just after sex or it was a joke or a bet or something too! I, like Della, had severe lack of confidence… However at 16/17 I was a mega goth so it probably would have been a wind up if a nice cute boy came to ask me out!
The humour elements running through Della says OMG! is brilliant, I loved Della’s parents! They are exactly how I wanna be when I have kids and although Della thought they were embarrassing sometimes you could really tell that she loved them, and thought herself lucky to have such awesome parents, at the same time! I was cringing when her dad was on about condoms though, that was totally wrong but I was howling at the same time. I think some people might be a bit, sceptical about parents like these, thinking that those sorts of parents don’t exist but to be honest, my parents were a very toned down version of this and I know for a fact that one of my friends had parents just like Della’s when I was at college, so they do exist!
Della says is quite obviously a coming of age book, although it is hilarious it deals with such serious issues, but in the same way that 16/17 year olds do, through humour, sarcasm and avoidance! There’s one very serious part of the book where Della refuses to do something, avoids it because she’s scared and I really don’t blame her, I probably would have done the same! I loved that the book tackles things that I have never read about anywhere else, especially female masturbation. I remember that was just something at my school that no one ever talked about and if someone mentioned it all the girls would just be like “ewwww that’s minging!!!” this was evident even in college too, the girls would talk about Ann Summers parties and going in the shops and stuff but we would never discuss the vibrators. I’m happy that that’s gone away with age! I will happily sit and discuss things like that now but I do have one or two friends who are not as open and honest about the whole scene!
The whole first time thing was big in Della says too, and I liked the way it was handled. You see Della experiencing her first kiss, her first date, her first fumble and eventually another big first! I love that the humour was still evident here, making the whole thing a bit more light-hearted, you could tell Della was scared but sure and the humour was there to smooth over the nerves!
The relationships came across as strong the whole way through the book too, Della’s parents quite obviously had a great relationship and Maddy was exactly what every girl needs at that age; a best friend who was there as soon as you needed her, who you were there for and who you know, no matter what, will always be around. I loved that Maddy was Della’s push, the “let’s just go for it” attitude that radiated from her was awesome! But even Maddy, as a kinda background character had her own thing going on and I really enjoyed that, too often you get friends who just have no character of their own but you could tell Maddy was going through some things behind the scenes!
The whole mystery thing of the Diary was a good plot running through the book too. I nearly choked when I realised who had it and I just know that I would have been freaking out if someone had stolen my diary at 16 (and cringing all the way to my room, where I would lock myself in and never come out knowing the things that I wrote in there!) I guess that as the whole story moved on you could tell that Della was gaining life experience and, with the help of Dan, trying to get over the fact that someone had it. I had a hard time working out how old Della was in parts of the book and as it turns out she’s 17 but I think that she’s a young 17 and this book shows her becoming more mature. I was expecting more of the whole internet thing going on but it wasn’t a problem that it wasn’t a huge theme of the book. I really enjoyed the part that the internet and facebook played in, teenagers spend half their lives on their computers (trust me, they really do) so it was good to know that the author obviously knew what teenagers were like and featured the dangers of having profiles such as facebook and stuff (i.e. Della talking about hackers and only having friends she knew) I thought that really brought the book into the present.
I gotta add that, after my small rant on Saturday about Rachel Hawkins’ Hex Hall not having any swearing in it, Della says totally makes up for it! It had swearing in all the right places, especially Dan; boys always swear when they don’t know what else to say and this was put across brilliantly by Dan, his response to Della’s diary going missing; “Shit.” – just the right reaction from a guy!
I could totally relate to this book, Della’s crazy thoughts about why Dan wanted to go out with her, her embarrassment of her parents, Maddy’s dilemmas and Della’s worries about her diary being somewhere for all to see. I think the serious issues tackled were so totally in line with the humour and they worked in sync with each other so well. I really loved this book and as I say, if I was 16 again it would totally be my bible! 

Della says OMG! was recently shortlisted for the Lancashire Book Of The Year award 2011 and is available to buy here.Keris’ next book is due out on July 7th and is entitled Jessie <3’s NYC. 

7 Comments

  • Clover

    What a really in depth review! You discussed all my favourite bits. The honesty and openness of topics generally avoided, the humour, the fun parents and it’s relatability! How much did I love this one? 🙂

  • Raimy-rawr

    Haha, thanks… I thought that maybe I was waffling too much so that makes me feel better!! It was such an awesome book and has got me SOOO excited for Jessie!! x

  • Raimy-rawr

    Keris: I’m glad you liked my review!! 😀
    and don’t worry I have high hopes for Jessie even if it doesn’t have any swearing! I cant handle that!

    Viv: sorrryyyy! lol You’ll read it soon, but in the mean time I’ll taunt you some more… ITS AWESOME!!! 😀

  • Julianne

    Great review, I also related to Della’s reaction to Dan’s interest. The first time I heard a boy liked me, I was like ‘No way, this must be a joke, or he’s suffering from temporary insanity’.

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