Friday, February 22, 2013

Review: OMG! Is This Actually My Life?


OMG! Is This Actually My Life?Author: Rae Earl
Release date: February 7th 2013
Publisher: Walker Books
Genre: contemporary, Middle Grade

Paperback, 336 pages
Source: Publisher for review
Buy: The Book Depository



Middle Grade books seem to be falling straight into my lap lately, but I’m not complaining, not yet. OMG! Is This Actually My Life? caught me completely off guard. I can’t remember the last time I laughed myself into stitches.

Fourteen-year-old Hattie Moore is just like every other fourteen-year-old girl on the planet. She worries about boys, school and friends, obsesses about the changes on her body, worries about her braces and her “jaws of death”, hates her older sibling and despises the most popular girl in school. But on top of all that, Hattie doesn’t know her real father, she doesn’t even know his name, and she dreams he’ll show up one day to solve all her problems. Like every other girl in the history of girls, Hattie pines for a boy she barely even knows and fails to see what’s right in front of her. She is an extremely relatable character.

Just done my weekly tit test in front of the mirror. When I jump up and down they STILL don't move. Goodnight, breasts. Please grow a bit overnight so I can bounce to school.*

OMG! is a diary novel that reminded me, in some ways, of Adrian Mole (whom I adored while growing up) and Bridget Jones (whom I never particularly liked). It wasn’t just the format that made me think of Adrian and Bridget, it was the combination of that, the fabulous British humor and some character traits Hattie shared with one or the other. Although OMG! was an endless source of hilarity, I really liked that Earl found a way to push some seriousness between the lines, mostly through Hattie’s non-existent relationship with her father, and her tense and resentful relationship with her mother. Those things were, of course, wrapped up in her great sense of humor, but they were there to give the readers something to think about.

OMG! has an array of colorful characters. Hattie’s two best friends, Weirdo Jen and Dimple, are both very supportive, each in her own way. Her grandmother insists on texting dirty jokes to everyone, including her dentist, and asks for a ‘Britain’s Hottest Firemen’ calendar each Christmas. Her archenemy is the prettiest and meanest girl in school, Ruby aka Miss Gorgeous Knickers. There is, of course, McFittie, a server in Bertie’s, whom Hattie never really spoke to (other than him offering her a biscotti), but whom she’s desperately in love with nevertheless. And last, but not least, there’s Goose, Hattie’s first neighbor, her oldest and most supportive male friend and an all around awesome guy who spends time with her stepfather and cheers her up when things go terribly wrong.

Dimple is UBER gorgeous. In fact, I’m a bit annoyed her parents aren’t arranging her marriage because it means she’s shopping in the snog supermarket at the same time as me. ”Love IS a battlefield” – so one of my mum’s CDs says.*

What stopped me from fully enjoying Hattie’s diary was her excessive use of caps. They served a purpose, of course, they reflected Hattie’s flair for the dramatic, but the overall effect was a bit jarring. I’m not sure younger readers would feel the same, though, so please don’t take my word for it. I really think this book is an excellent choice for younger teens and more patient adults.

*Quotes taken from an uncorrected proof.


21 comments:

  1. OMG ! THIS SOUNDS SOOOOOOO CUTE!!!! I'm beginning to enjoy reading about 14 year olds and their obsession with boys, make-up and their hatred of the popular kids! It's so funny :P Excessive use of caps tend to annoy me as well (okayy...I'm a bit hypocritical here since I ALWAYS type in caps.) *shrugs* Glad you enjoyed this Maja<3

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  2. This book reminded me of Are you There God, It's Me, Margaret, by Judy Blume, especially the first quote. Margaret's chant was "I must, I must, I must increase my bust" lol, after all these years I still remember that :) She was only 11 though, I think. I probably wouldn't read this book myself now, but it does sound like a really fun read for the younger teen. Awesome review Maja :)

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  3. This book reminds me SO much of Georgia Nicholson. I love those books and I've read them a couple of times, because the humor is hilarious. These are those kind of books you need to read when you are a bit stressed. Funny, easy books. I'm putting this on the list!

    Mel@thedailyprophecy.

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  4. Wow
    I don't really read ANY middle age books I don't know but I think they are too simple, I guess
    But this book definitely has some potential
    LOVE your review, Maja
    Your reader,
    Soma
    http://insomnia-of-books.blogspot.com/

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  5. Love the cover, so cute! And from the sounds of your review, it reminds me of the Georgia Nicolson series so now I HAVE to read this :D

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  6. Glad you enjoyed this! It took my by surprise as well. It's nice to read a quick, fun book once in a while. :) Must admit that I'm quite excited about the sequel now.

    Lovely review!

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  7. I have no idea if I'd have the patience for this, but the prospect of a humorous read is slowly luring me in here. I love to laugh, and this sounds like the perfect book for that, even if it is a little younger than what I would normally be drawn to. Great review, Maja! :)

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  8. "weekly tit test" Heh. This sounds quite adorable, excessive caps notwithstanding. I remember the pencil test... (Just deleted some TMI. You're welcome.)

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  9. This one reminds me a lot of "Agnus, Thongs, and Full Frontal Snogging" by Louise Rennison which as hysterical and brought me out of a really crappy mood. While it may not have life changing epiphanies, it's nice to read a book to make you smile and simply have fun. Glad you enjoyed it despite its flaws.

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  10. This sounds like a fun read with lots of humour and some series notes. I do have to say, cap locks annoy me too so I'll probably skip it, but I'm glad you enjoyed it and I can certainly see the positives for it.

    Great review, Maja! :)

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  11. So. I think I'm a little in love with Hattie's grandmother and the fact that she likes to send dirty texts to everyone. That is amazing and hilarious and I wish my grandmother had been that embarrassingly cool:) I don't read much MG Maja, but this sounds so cute and funny and I could definitely use a book that will make me laugh, I've been reading dark and intense books lately!

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  12. Sounds like a cute and funny book. Hattie sounds like a realistic character dealing with things that most of us have been through coming of age. Her granny sounds awesome and embarrassing at the same time.
    Brandi @ Blkosiner’s Book Blog

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  13. Ha ha! Loved that quote about jumping and down and doing the breast test. I don't mind the caps, it is better than slang and bad grammar. I would love to give this a whirl. I am always up for a book that will make me laugh!

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  14. This sounds super cute and something I would fully enjoy even though middle grade is not my usual choice. Sean Griswold's Head by Lindsey Leavitt sort of reminds me of this and I was laughing my head off. It's also a middle grade. I'll have to pick this up when I need some laughs. Lovely review Maja. :)

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  15. Oh what fun! That Grams sounds too fun as well! I don't go for MG books, but this one looks like I should read it and then gift it. ;)

    Btw, I totally thought that title was talking about me. J/K LOL

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  16. Gosh, this sounds like so much fun, Maja! I really think I'll have to add this to my growing list of MG novels to check out for sure! :D Fantastic review as always, dear!(:

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  17. OMG sounds like so much fun! Puts me in mind of Angus Thongs and Full Frontal Snogging. Great review, Maja, and I like the choice of quotes.

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  18. This sounds so adorable! I absolutely loved The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole growing up. My mom made me buy it for my brother one Christmas and he wanted nothing to do with it, so I read it instead and became completely hooked.

    The grandmother sounds hilarious! Those quotes and the cheeky nicknames and colorful characters sort of remind me of Louis Rennison's Georgia Nicolson books too. I think I'd really enjoy this (and now I have a serious urge to re-read the Adrian Mole books—it's been far too long :D). Fabulous review!

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  19. Oh this books sounds hilarious! I tend to overuse caps, so that might not bother me. I do love reading books like this though so I'm definitely on the watch for it now!

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  20. Haha this sounds awesome and that title is seriously the best thing ever! And all the while reading your review when you put the title I thought for a second you were very excited about what you were going to say lol. I love it! It also sounds right up my alley I love humor in books but I also like that it has some more serious stuff in it too--so it's not a completely fluffy comedy if you know what I mean. Not sure how I'd like the caps though that stuff usually annoys me too. caps and striked out etc (like in Wintergirls I think it's called). Great review, Maja!

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  21. Maja, I cracked up while reading this review because I just kept picturing you saying "OMG!" again and again. :) This sounds like the Georgia Nicholson books that I've been meaning to read. I think I'll save this for a rainy day when I need some fluffy brain candy. Fun review, Maja. OMG! ;)

    -Maggie

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