If you are looking for a light, very funny Chick Lit read, you may want to give Liz Rettig a try with her debut novel, My Desperate Love Diary. I couldn’t put it down! It is written in the first person in diary format, and tells of the ups and downs of sixteen year old Kelly Ann’s life in Glasgow, Scotland. The novel, gave me lots of laughs with it’s painfully honest, day-to-day account of Kelly-Ann’s teenage life. It reminded me of the very witty Adrian Mole Diaries by Sue Townsend and also Angus, Thongs and Full Frontal Snogging by Louise Rennison. My Desperate Love Diary, however, has a very distinctive Glasgow flavor with hilarious, gritty humor and lots of earthy characters.
Ms Connor, the feisty English teacher, especially moody since her husband left her for a blond has taken to teaching about mad feminist literature and gives Kelly Ann’s class a thousand-word essay on “Are Men Really Necessary Now That the Future is Female?’ Discuss.” Ms Connor goes on to tell her class that Robert Burns, the famous Scottish Bard, in her opinion was a dissolute, drunken womanizer whose poetry is completely overrated and had her class study The Female Eunuch, instead!
Mr. Dunn, a new teacher for religious studies begins teaching at the school. He arrives in black leather biker’s gear, with studs pierced in every part of his body – announcing that he was only teaching religion to keep him off the unemployment. Mr. Dunn’s classroom is next to Ms. Connors’ which result in consequences.
Kelly-Ann’s mother is going through a mid-life crisis at the thought of turning forty and being thrown into being a grandmother when Kelly Ann ‘s sister Angela becomes pregnant to her nerdy boyfriend. The mother starts to go clubbing. “It can’t be right when your mother dresses even more tackily than you do” bemoans Kelly Ann. Her mother then decides to have a holiday in Spain but stays on with a Spanish waiter she meets there. The local newspaper gets wind of this story, comparing it to the Shirley Valentine movie and splashes it on the front pages for everyone to see, much to Kelly Ann’s mortification.
Kelly Ann’s own story of unrequited love with the unintelligent, cheating, hot boy G at her school threads throughout the book. Liz Rettig’s experience as a teacher is reflected in her knowledge of high school culture, in Scotland. The diary goes on to reveal how they all survive and eventually sort their lives out, that is until the sequel – soon to be in the WRL catalog, too:
My Now or Never Diary.
YA novel, suitable for ages 14 and up.