Releases in the UK on 7th May
Kelly Ann doesn't understand why all her friends are suddenly getting love-crazy. Personally, she'd prefer to play football or video games than talk about boys. But as everyone else is getting boyfriends/girlfriends and leaving less time for her, she decides that she needs to find a boy too. Unfortunately for her, all her attempts seem to land her in trouble. Fortunately for us, the trouble she lands in is pretty hilarious. As Kelly Ann goes from thinking love just makes people do stupid stuff to having her first crushes to attempted dates, she also meets a favourite celebrity, forgets she's wearing pants on her head, and goes on a mission to get herself expelled.
Apparently this is a prequel to Liz Rettig's other Kelly Ann books – My Now or Never Diary and My Desperate Love Diary. I hadn't read either of these, but as it was a prequel this didn’t cause any problems. I'm looking forward to reading more about Kelly Ann.
First off, Kelly Ann is a straight-talking, no-nonsense character. While quite often she's completely wrong about things, she's never afraid to speak her mind, and Liz Rettig has vocalised a young teen's fairly well. At times however, she seems a bit immature for fourteen. With best friends Liz, who is always trying to analyse her, and Chris, who recently seems to be acting differently towards her, Kelly Ann does get into hilarious scrapes.
By the end of the book, which spans a year, Kelly Ann has grown a lot. She's still interested in football and video games, but she's also interested in boys and 'girly' stuff. I liked that it wasn't a complete change, and either/or situation, that she changes while also remaining the same. Liz Rettig has created a fresh young voice in a story full of entertaining scrapes and misunderstandings. I think this will be a hit with many younger teens, for fans of similar books such as the Georgia Nicholson series.
'Why can't we read interesting stories for a change? Like ones that have plots where stuff actually happens without a hundred pages of description just to tell you it's raining. And then another hundred to tell you how the character feels about the fact that it's raining.' – page 46
This was exactly how I felt about English in secondary school, I think most teenagers will relate to feeling this at some time or another. It's a good example of how great Rettig is at catching a teenager's thoughts and putting them onto paper.