Della has had a huge crush on Dan since they were both just four-years-old and he gave her a brand new box of crayons (awww!); so when at her sister's going-away party, he starts to show an interest and invites her out, Della is not completely sure what to do but assume that he's just having her on, but after some reassurance accepts his invitation. And then she kisses him. Dan Bailey. Della kisses Dan BAILEY. Everything after is just a blur. (by the way, I didn't mean it was a blur to ME, I meant to Della =D) An exciting blur, though.
All except she hasn't seen her diary since the party. And she can't find it. Anywhere. And then these mysterious (and v. private) scans start appearing in places she would never have expected..like Facebook..and Dan's mobile..
It's obvious somebody has it, but it never really occurred to Della that they could do something like this to her..the worst possible nightmare in your teenage years..but can Della still keep the blossoming romance alive between her and Dan, whilst worrying about all of her precious secrets?
I was expecting a great deal from this novel, and I definitely wasn't disappointed! Della was a fabulous character, such a sweet and innocent teenager, but I have to say my favourite characters were her really down-to-Earth parents; they were really cool and hippy-ish, the kind of parents we only dare to dream of..although pretty much everyone was so lively and animated! Also, I think I kinda fell a little bit in love with Dan..didn't everyone?!
This inspiring, coming-of-age story is full of that weird teenage anxiety we all get (or got), honesty, and reminds us that, next time, we must remember to HIDE our diaries before a party. Della Says: OMG! is a (hilariously) witty and extremely (fantastically!)-written novel!
Della says: OMG is the debut novel by Keris Stainton and it was released on May 6th 2010.
17 year old Della has liked Dan Bailey since forever. At her sister's going away party, he finally takes some notice of her and asks her out. The morning after the best night of her life, Della realises that her diary has gone missing, ruining her good mood.
Whoever took her diary is using it against her, revealing some of her deepest secret thoughts on facebook and through notes. Dan was the only other one in her room that night but surely it can't be him can it? He seems genuine enough but what does he really see in Della? The things that have been revealed about Della's life have been pretty embarrassing so far but will she be able to figure out who's doing it before it gets much, much worse?
What I thought
This is one of the first YA novels that I have read that hasn't been in the fantasy or paranormal genres so I was slightly worried about what I was going to think of it. Thanks to Rhiana who passed on a copy of this book to me.
I was actually really surprised at how much I enjoyed reading this book. It is told completely in first person through Della's point of view which really made me connect with her quickly and feel for her because of what she was going through. Della is quite the average teenager with many hang ups about herself and she is far from confident and beautiful. Finally, someone has written a normal teenager. I do hate those teenagers in books who are beautiful and popular but still find something to whinge and moan about. In this book, Della has every reason to feel insecure, not because she isn't pretty, but because her mother and sister get so much more attention than her. This was a part of her character that I could relate to as my sister was always prettier than me and everyone always seemed to like her a lot more.
The relationship between Della and Dan was lovely to discover. I was so happy that Della finally got her chance at happiness and having something that she had wanted for such a long time. The way the two acted around each other, going from awkward to slowly getting more comfortable, really brought back some memories for me. Going out with someone for the first time is nerve wracking, no matter what age you are and I can remember feeling very much like Della did. I can only imagine how scared she was about going out with Dan considering how long she had been obsessed with him for.
Everything about the way that the teenagers in this book were written makes them so believable. There is a fair amount of swearing and as much as some people will moan about this, I think it is a common occurrence in teens in the UK and not using this kind of language would only have made the characters seem like they were in a fairytale. I probably wouldn't recommend this book to anyone under the age of 14/15 though due to some of topics regarding sex as they are somewhat explicit. Again though, normal behaviour when I was 17.
There was a fair amount of comedy throughout the story, especially with Della's parents. Both best friend Maddy and Dan totally loved her Dad and so did I. He wasn't your average teenagers Dad which was what made me love him immediately. At least he wasn't one of those Dads in these kinds of books that think his daughter/s are little angels that don't drink, don't fool around with boys and don't swear. Della's Dad was very realistic.
As for the mystery aspect of the story, I thought I had guessed who was using the diary against Della quite early on but I was wrong. There wasn't many people that it could have been and who I thought it could be was never even mentioned but something about them stuck in the back of my head. I love being kept guessing and being proved wrong because normally I am right about these aspects of a story. Some of the things that were used against Della were so embarrassing that I know I wouldn't have been able to handle it as well as she did. I think if that had been me, I would have demanded to move schools or something.
I was a little disappointed at how quickly the book ended after everything had been figured out. I would have liked for it to have been drawn out a little more or something extra added to the end instead of the way that it was done. This is the only slight problem that I had with the book overall.
Della says: OMG is a must read for older teenage girls and I think that a lot of adults will be able to relate to it in someway. There are quite a few important lessons to be learnt from this book, like not caring what other people think of you and learning to respect yourself which is something I wish I had been like at 17. I will certainly be putting Keris Stainton n my list of authors to read from now on.
When Della finally catches the eye of her forever crush, Dan Bailey, at her sister's going away party, she can't quite believe it's true.
But her joy is short lived as she realises someone has taken her diary and pages are being scanned onto Face book or left for friends and family to find.
Della is left wondering if her newfound romance is nothing but a joke, or does someone really have it in for her? Dan seems genuine enough, but how can she keep his interest when her deepest and darkest secrets are being revealed to the world? And why would anyone want to hurt Della like this?
What I really loved about this book is that Keris Stainton completely captures the essence of being a teenage girl. It's written in the first person from Della's viewpoint, and this really gives the reader an opportunity to get inside her head. Della is the most believable character who everyone will be able to relate to, whether they're a teen themselves or once were. For me, reading Della's thoughts and feelings was like being transported back in time and when I'd finished I had to remind myself that I was now an adult mother and not a seventeen year old girl about to head of on a nerve wracking date, full of anxiety and self doubt yet fizzling with excitement.
The blossoming relationship with Dan is sweet, painful and so very realistic. I can vividly remember my 'major' crush paying me attention and convincing myself that it was all one big joke and everyone was in on it. I loved how things developed between the two, starting out clumsy and awkward and building into a beautiful and tender romance. The book is filled with subtle little observations, which had me nodding 'yes, I remember that feeling!' and really bring the characters to life.
Stainton also uses language that is believable, meaning it's brutally honest and at times a little cringe worthy, but this just adds to the authenticity of the book. She doesn't sugar coat anything and refuses to patronise her readers; it's so refreshing and I loved this. But the book is also a lot of fun, filled with witty one-liners that had me giggling to myself. Della's friend Maddy is a feisty character while her parents, particularly her Dad, provide comedy with their toe curlingly embarrassing antics
The mystery of who had taken Della's diary and why added some intrigue and kept me turning page after page. Again the emotions and sense of dread Della experienced as she realises someone is using it against her are so realistic, that I myself felt my heart sinking to the pit of my stomach. Della's vulnerability at having her privacy so cruelly violated makes her easy to sympathise with, and really get on her side. I thought I had guessed who was responsible, but I was wrong and it was quite clever how suspicion was directed away from the culprit.
If I had one teeny complaint it would be that once revealed, the book ended quite quickly and I may have liked a little more regarding the fall out. This really is the only slight niggle I had though, and overall this is a fantastic debut novel. It's down to earth, sincere, sweet and fun. Keris clearly understands teen culture and as a result has written a book that will without doubt appeal to and be adored by its target audience (and those out of it.... like me!). I read Della Says: OMG! In almost one sitting and couldn't put it down. Keris Stainton is one to watch out for in the future, and I look forward eagerly for more! I'd actually rate this book four and a half stars if only I could!
~ Other Information ~
Della Says: OMG! by Keris Stainton
Published by Orchard Books May 2010