Review: Della Says OMG by Keris Stainton

When you are going through all those teenage teething pains and angsty moments the one source of sanctuary that teens often turn to is a diary.  This generation may have a blog online rather than a hand written journal but I know that I had a diary like Della.  It was red with Winnie the Pooh on the front and had a red ribbon as a book marker.  I’d write all my woes and rants in it like Della but what would happen if someone had taken that diary and then start seeping pages from it online and to my nearest and dearest.  I’d want to die with fear and embarrassment.  Della handles it all WAY better than I would have but I think that she has a strength of character and people around her that makes it OK for her to freak out and be honest too.  I’m just prone to freaking so let’s just say Della is better than me at that age.
Della’s lived her life on the side lines most of the time with her funny and cool dad, ex-model mother and older sister that makes all the boys drool.  Now things are changing as her goal to get the boy she’s been crushing on for years is within reach and her big sister is off to America for the summer, she may be able to have some fun and really live her own life.  Once her diary goes missing then things become more complicated as she has no clue who’s taken it, why and when they’ll next strike out against her.  At least Della has her best friend Maddy to rely on but Maddy’s got her own problems with her boyfriend Sid and his best mate Leo and life being just as confusing.  If only my teen years were as exciting as Della and Maddy’s; I was excited when a new series of The X Files was starting. (Yes I was a geek).
Della says OMG wasn’t what I expected at first because from the title you might assume that it was just your average teen chick lit novel but it has a much deeper edge and a sharper wit than most.  Della is funny and smart even if she does have self confidence issues (but what teenager girl doesn’t in the 21st century).  The family dynamics aren’t the average homely mum and dad and 2.4 kids as the parents are far more interactive and on a younger level as they’ve lived the fast pace life so know the highs and lows that their kids face.  In a way they are a teen’s dream parents because they rarely seem angry at them and are quite carefree and willing to make space for them to grow without being ‘distant’ parents.  It’s a family balance that works for them and that’s fine.  
What I really like about this story was how simple the idea behind it was and how it could happen to anyone.  There isn’t a huge exploding car chase or an alien invasion but it’s the characters that make this story interesting and worth the read.  Della’s friend’s and peers are a great mix of people from quiet to bold and confident that make her world a wonderful blend of marvel and mayhem. I won’t give away weither Della finds her diary or finds out who takes it but its a great twist because the goal at the start for her is just that; to find it and find who took it.  Her life changes through out the book and it’s not the main thing in her world as things happen around her and she becomes confident in herself. Della says OMG is a marvellous read and a superb way of showing that sometimes in life you have to let the small things go and relax into your own life.  Things are hard but they could be worse so why sweat the small stuff because you might miss out of the fun in the real world worrying about it all.  
Rating: 7.5/10 
Published by Orchard Books and available here and all good book sellers


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