Thursday, June 27, 2013

Review: Diary of a Real Payne Book 1: True Story by Annie Tipton

True Story! . . . These pages from EJ Payne’s diary will have you ROTFL as you witness her spunky personality and well-meant-but-often-misunderstood antics. You’ll fall in love with this first release in the Diary of a Real Payne series as EJ records her thoughts and feelings about living in little old Spooner, Wisconsin (snooze!), eventually leaving her hometown to do big things when she’s all grown up (oh glorious day!), and having to star in the role of lead angel in the Vine Street Christmas pageant (are you kidding me?). This colossal-fun series is overflowing with humor and memorable life lessons.
There are a number of books out there written in diary-like form, so what makes this book different?

In Diary of a Real Payne, EJ gives us a peek into her life and adventures. The start of each chapter contains EJ's diary entry while the rest of the chapter tells the story of the adventure from a third-person point-of view.

At first, I thought that the entire book would be told in diary form, ala Bridget Jones' Diary. However, after a couple of chapters, the style started to grow on me. It made more sense anyway since it's unlikely that EJ would go into that much detail in her diary anyway.

EJ is an interesting character. She's funny, imaginative and not perfect. I don't know how realistic it is, though, that she would tend to lose awareness of her surroundings whenever she daydreams. I daydream a lot too, and the world does kind of fade out a bit, but I never act out my fantasies at the same time as my daydream, the way EJ does.

I did like that this chapter book has chapters that can stand alone. This way, parents can read the book a chapter at a time to their kids, or kids who are just learning to read can read a chapter a time.

Thanks to NetGalley and Barbour Books for the e-ARC. Publication date of Diary of a Real Payne Book 1: True Story is on September 1, 2013.


  1. A lot of kids may find EJ easy to relate to.
  2. The stand-alone chapters make it a good choice for bedtime reading.
  3. EJ's adventures are interesting.


  1. I'm not sure how likely it is that EJ could be acting out her daydreams in real time without being vaguely aware of her surroundings.

The family sat around the table, a big, delicious-looking turkey on a platter, surrounded by sides: mashed potatoes, gravy, orange-cranberry Jell-O salad, homemade rolls, Mrs. Winkle's new casserole invention, and Mr. Johnson's addition of Pringles, arranged neatly on a serving plate.

  1. You like diary-type books.
  2. You are looking for chapter books for your child.
  3. You are looking for a bedtime book for your child.




Note: This post contains Amazon and Book Depository affiliate links.


  1. I can't keep notebook novels on the shelves, so I will have to take a look. Too bad it's only in paperback.

  2. Hi Ms. Yingling. It's definitely worth a read.


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