January 2, 2014

The Dirt Diary by Anna Staniszewski + Guest Post

The Dirt Diary
The Dirt Diary by Anna Staniszewski
Series: N/A
Source: Publisher for blog tour through Netgalley
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Publication Date: January 7, 2014
Eighth grade never smelled so bad.

Rachel Lee didn't think anything could be worse than her parents splitting up. She was wrong. Working for her mom's new house-cleaning business puts Rachel in the dirty bathrooms of the most popular kids in the eighth grade. Which does not help her already loser-ish reputation. But her new job has surprising perks: enough dirt on the in-crowd to fill up her (until recently) boring diary. She never intended to reveal her secrets, but when the hottest guy in school pays her to spy on his girlfriend Rachel decides to get her hands dirty.

The Dirt Diary was a surprisingly cute read for me. Rachel was a sweet girl, but I'd like to say right off that she had some growing up to do. I definitely do think that she grew throughout the novel, which was a nice surprise. I was actually expecting her to just... not.

I liked that she had a hobby, cooking. I don't want to make you guys hungry or anything... but this book makes me so hungry! Brownies, brownies, brownies - all the time! And good sounding ones, like sea salt brownies, or triple chocolate. They sound so good and were described so well that I could literally taste it.

The dirt diary thing was just not as capitalized on as I expected it to be, though. There were a few things that made it out of the diary, but for the most part it stayed under lock and key. I liked the fact that Rachel made new friends through the course of the story.

All in all, The Dirt Diary was a cute read... but I really don't have much to say about it, unfortunately.

Guest Post:
It might not surprise you that the author of a book about a shy, awkward 8th grade girl was once a shy, awkward 8th grade girl. If my character Rachel were to dig up a few secrets about middle-school me and put them in her Dirt Diary, here’s what she’d write.

1.The nerdy secret. I owned a pair of enormous purple glasses which I refused to wear because they were hideous. (And enormous.) That means I spent most of my time squinting and tripping over things. Anything was better than donning those purple monstrosities!

2.The embarrassing secret. Even though I was a self-proclaimed band and theater geek for most of middle and high school, I must admit that I often secretly wished I was one of the cheerleaders. They were pretty, popular, and seemed to have such easy lives. They definitely never had to worry about wearing ugly glasses!

3.The swoony secret. I had a crush on the same guy all through middle school—and no, I will not tell you his name! Of course, he didn’t know I existed. He probably still doesn’t. Don’t worry. I’m over it. :)

Okay, I’ve shared my middle school secrets. Now it’s your turn. What secrets would be in your middle school “dirt diary”?

Haha, that's something for another day. But I'd love to know everyone else's! ;)

Anna Staniszewski
About the Author:

Born in Poland and raised in the United States, Anna Staniszewski grew up loving stories in both Polish and English. She was named the 2006-2007 Writer-in-Residence at the Boston Public Library and a winner of the 2009 PEN New England Susan P. Bloom Discovery Award. When she’s not writing, Anna spends her time teaching, reading, and challenging unicorns to games of hopscotch. She is the author of My Very UnFairy Tale Life series, published by Sourcebooks Jabberwocky. Look for the first book in Anna’s next tween series, The Dirt Diary, in January 2014, and visit her at www.annastan.com.
Connect: Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter


  1. It's kind of sad that in today's books, we've come to expect zero growth from certain types of books :/

    Yeah, I can see how you're not trying to make us hungry. My stomach is totally not grumbling now #sarcasm
    Thanks Mags. Thanks a lot. It's almost eleven pm. I can't eat this late. But now I want to. Good things we have no cookies/brownies at home, or I would've broke down and ate :(

  2. That makes me slightly sad too, but I can't help it. There are some books that I just DON'T expect anything from.

    Hahahahaha I'm so sorry. In my defense, I was hungry when I wrote this... probably why it's so awkward. All I could think about was food! Hahahaha I really am sorry. I suddenly have a craving for brownies, just thinking about it. :/

  3. It makes me wonder why we read them, if we expect nothing :/

    It's not awkward; it's appetizing...
    Turns out I should've just broke down and ate xD Spent the night in a deserted waiting room (waiting rooms are creepy at 3 am...) feeling soooooo hungry lol

  4. It makes me wonder why we read them, if we expect nothing.... :/

    It's not awkward; it's appetizing...
    Turns out I should've just broke down and ate xD Spent the night in a deserted waiting room (waiting rooms are creepy at 3 am...) feeling soooooo hungry lol

  5. This does sound super cute, but I'm sorry it didn't blow you away. I did enjoy the guest post very much! And Megan -- you can talk brownies with me anytime *om nom nom* Wonderful post, lovely *squishes you*

  6. I don't have a clue. It's because we hope for the best, I guess.

    Hee hee. It's not like eating matters, I mean it's a normal function... and I could really go for some brownies at pretty much any time, LOL. I hope you're out of the waiting room now!

    (well, I didn't get it twice, so you're good!)

  7. It was pretty cute! And I love that guest post too! Hee hee, brownies are always a good topic, right? ;) *huggles* Thank you!