I read a lot of middle grade novels, and in the past year, I read like 4 novels from this author. She is good - I have to give her that.
Original Title: The Prank List
Series: The Dirt Diary #2
Author: Anna Staniszewski
Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
Release Date: July 1st 2014
Source: Review copy from the publisher
Genre: Middle Grade
Rachel never thought she'd fight for the right to clean toilets, but she has to save her mom's business. Nothing can distract her from her mission - except maybe Whit, the cute new guy in cooking class. Then she discovers something about Whit that could change everything. After destroying her Dirt Diary, Rachel thought she was done with secrets, but to save her family's business, Rachel's going to have to get her hands dirty. Again
After what Rachel has faced in the last book and how it ended, you would think she will be happy with her 'altered' life. But, no, she still has no boyfriend, although Evan seems to like her. And her pastry class seems like a total failure, considering how much she wants to take this class to prove herself. Her pastry chef thinks she is totally dumb. And her mom is going to lose her cleaning business, because of the new competitor and a rumour spreading in town..about Rachel. If they are losing their clients so rapidly, then they are going to sell their house and move elsewhere, where there will be no Evan or her only true friend, Marisol. She is not ready to give up her only two happy elements in life..no, not yet. The worst thing is she has not given up on her irresponsible dad. Her life is a disaster..again..now, even more nastier!
If you remember Rachel from "The Dirt Diary", she seems to have grown up a little in this book. But, I have to admit she is still childish and still have a lot of growing up to do. And I also understand it takes time to give up some things and take certain decisions in her age. But, it's fun to watch her make mistakes and learn from them. It's sad to watch her trying to do anything to make things and her mom's mood improve.
And then there are these other characters. Marisol, the 'good' girl of the novel, wants to play bad once in a while and she enjoys it..I liked her. :) Evan - I want to kick this guy; okay, there is a lot of mistakes from Rachel's end, but can't they just talk? Anyway, in spite of his irritating shyness, he is a good guy for Rachel. Other minor characters like Brianna, Rachel's mom and others - they did their parts very well too.
I am not going to ruin the little mystery part for you, although it's not a mystery, once you rule out the one character, we all voted as bad for most of the novel. And the plot is pretty simple and it's good enough for a middle grade novel. I enjoyed it and I will definitely be going back to the third installment to see where Rachel ends up again in another light read.
Recommended for middle graders, who want some fun and parents, who want some decent novel for their kids.
2. The Prank List