Kelly Ann is fifteen and desperately in love with G – the biggest idiot in school. Her best friends Liz and Stephanie can see how awful G is – and also that Kelly Ann’s quietly gorgeous friend Chris is madly in love with her. But Kelly Ann stumbles along blindly, unable to see what’s right in front of her eyes. Navigating her way through teenage embarrassments, sick-filled parties, awful love poetry and green condoms, Kelly Ann is a hilariously endearing character and one every female reader, whatever age, will be able to relate to.
***** “A must-read!”
“Once I started reading it I couldn’t put it down! Liz Rettig is an amazing writer who has written this book to really relate to any 15/16 year old girls! The only problem now is that whenever I try to read anything else, nothing measures up to it so this book is a must-read!”
Maddie (UK), Amazon, September 17, 2006
***** “Like a Teenage Bridget Jones”
“This book is AMAZING!! Kelly Ann goes through every little thing that a 15/16 year old worries about, I could really relate to her. It was like Bridget Jones for kids!!!”
Hannah Whiteley (from my house), Amazon, January 3, 2006
***** “Good enough to be read over and over again”
“I’ve read so many books like this over the last few years but this book is one that is good enough to be read over and over again. The storyline is so true and happens to every girl sometime in their teens.”
irish_blondie (Cork, Ireland), Amazon, August 7, 2005
“This book is EXCELLENT! It is about a girl called Kelly-Ann who is head over heels in love with G but she doesn’t realise her best friend Chris has a massive crush on her too! Liz Rettig certainly knows what its like to be a teenager! A superb book.”
Tania, W H Smith
“…this is so cool. Kelly Ann rocks.”
“An Adrian Mole for teenage girls”
“This book is brilliant! An Adrian Mole for teenage girls. Made me laugh out loud!”
Heather (Cork, Ireland) – Book Review for the Trowbridge branch of Ottakar’s (now Waterstones)
***** “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!”
Morag, Williamsburg Regional Library, Virginia, USA, January 2008
“Chris is in love with Kelly Ann. Kelly Ann is in love with G. G is in love with anything in a skirt. Will Kelly Ann make the right choice or will her obsession with the boy she can’t have lead her astray? Equally at the forefront of her thoughts are her acne, flat chest, and non-blond hair. Taking a back seat are her unmarried sister’s pregnancy, her mother’s midlife crisis and affair, the subsequent deterioration of her parents’ marriage, and her father’s alcohol-induced solace. Kelly Ann weighs emotional family drama in terms of “What will G think?” demonstrating a level of delusion that only a teen can get away with. Thankfully, good friends are on hand to be the voices of reason, even if Kelly Ann’s not listening. All of the commotion in this 15-year-old’s life is recorded in diary entries told over the course of one eventful year. Rettig combines quirky humor, comical British slang, witty observations, and endearing self-deprecation to create a Bridget Jones for the teenage crowd. Teens will shake their heads over how much of a total sucker Kelly Ann can be and how blind she is, not only to the boy who truly cares for her, but also to the events unfolding around her. The story line and characters are familiar, and readers will easily relate to the daily struggles and embarrassments of teen life. Casual infusions of partying, drinking, and sex (including a hearty laugh at the abstinence assembly speaker) make this book realistic. Louise Rennison’s Georgia Nicholson casts a large shadow, but Kelly Ann can shine on her own.”
Erin Schirota, Bronxville Public Library, NY, School Library Journal, July 2007
***** “…a hilarious tale of unrequited love written in diary form… The book’s snappy narrative and litany of mishaps should keep readers in stitches. Ages 14-up.”
Publisher’s Weekly, June 2007
***** “If I were blonde, the flat chest and spots wouldn’t matter so much.” So begins Brit chick Kelly Ann’s comical chronicle of her devoted if misguided love for fellow high-school student G, (as he’s pseudonymously dubbed in Kelly Ann’s diary). G isn’t the only problem in Kelly Ann’s messy and disorganized life: her mother falls for a Greek guy during a vacation away from Kelly Ann’s father; her sister Angela is pregnant; her best guy friend has been acting strangely around her lately; and her best girl friends think G is a “tosser.” A year’s worth of diary entries detail the ups and downs of Kelly Ann’s attempts to snag G, as all the while she misses every signal sent by Chris, the sweet boy who lives nearly next door. Rettig freshens a standard story through clever humor and subplots involving quirky feminist teachers, steadfast friends, and a dysfunctional family. Although this is a busy book plotwise, she is careful not to overload readers, filtering and contextualizing everything through Kelly Ann’s angsty but amusingly adolescent voice. Girls who can’t get enough of the cheeky British humor in Sue Limb’s ‘Girl, 15, Charming but Insane’ (BCCB 10/04) will find more giggles and a snort or two here.”
The Bulletin for the Center for Children’s Books, July / August 2007
Where to buy the book
The US / Canada version is now available. Click on the book cover above to order it from Amazon.com.
In South Africa, it can be ordered over the internet from Kalahari.
In Australia, it can be ordered over the internet from Abbey’s Book Shop.
The Danish version can be ordered from Saxo.com by clicking on the book cover above.
The Portuguese version can be ordered from Ediçôes ASA by clicking on the book cover.
The Dutch version can be ordered from BOL by clicking on the book cover above.
The Czech version can be ordered from Eruditus by clicking on the book cover.
The Italian version can be ordered from BOL by clicking on the book cover.