My So-called Life – The Tragically Normal Life of Rachel Riley – Joanna Nadin

Saturday 25
Christmas Day
Christmas Presents asked for:
Mobile phone
OC Complete First Season boxed set on DVD
Chanel No 5, as worn by Marilyn Monroe”
Rachel Riley’s mum has a ban on Ribena and the OC, her little
brother a Hobit fascination and a grandpa who is dangerously close to being
kicked out of his old people home for bad behaviour. Life is a bit crazy before
you take into account her dad who goes along with what her mum says and the
crazy grandparents on her mum’s side who refuse to accept any change, including
leaving their beloved Cornwall.  Come on
in to find yourself involved in one strange year of her otherwise normal life.


I’ve wanted to try this series for a while as I’ve always
loved the diary style of writing. I was obsessed with the Georgia Nicholson
series when I was younger and wanted to see a bit more of a modern take on
things. I’m glad I tried the first in the series as it was hilarious but I found a few things off putting.
The story is funny but very predictable. I saw everything
coming well before Rachel did, but I have a feeling that was the point. I think
you were meant to be an outside observer looking in on Rachel’s life and realising
how naive and non-observant she is! I did enjoy the story but sometimes I was
just like “really Rachel, how can you not see that!?!?!”
The characters in the story are what make it worth
reading. Sad Ed is hilarious, Scarlet and her whole family, including Jack, are
amazing and to be perfectly honest… I would rather go for Jack than Justin any
day!! The school that Rachel went to was weird and I didn’t understand the
whole Criminals and Retards thing… I thought that was a little harsh to be
perfectly honest but I guess that’s what they’d be referred to when I was at
school too!!
I did not like how much of a pushover Rachel was and to
be honest I would have preferred to read about Scarlet’s life and stuff but never
mind, there were some hilarious situations that Rachel got herself into due to
being a pushover and I think that is what made me carry on reading.
The series is at the minute is a six book series and I
think they would be brilliant for teens around the same age as Rachel is in
this one, 14. However I found it a little off putting that she was so young and
naive and as I said, I probably won’t carry it on unless I find it for cheap…
though saying that the first one leaves you on a bit of a cliff-hanger and I
think I need to know if Rachel ends up… well lets just say I think I do need
to read the next one, or find something out from the next one!!
I know I would have preferred reading this one as a teen
so don’t let my review put you off. It 
did transport me back to my teens years quite well at times but I think I’ve
become too old and cynical now to enjoy it as much as I could! I honestly think
14-16 year old girls would enjoy this series and it does contain some hilarious
words for the rude places on your body! Haha
My So-Called Life is the first in the Rachel Riley series
and was Joanna Nadins first YA novel. It was published in 2007 by Oxford
University Press. My copy was purchased on Kindle. 


  • Liz. R

    I’ve been meaning to read this for a while as well, because it’s been compared a lot to the Georgia Nicolson series, which I love. Glad you liked the characters, even if you did have a few problems with the story. Great review!

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