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Dork Diaries: Tales from a Not-So-Talented Pop Star (also known as Pop Star) is the 3rd book in the Dork Diaries series. It was released on June 7, 2011.
Nikki Maxwell knows her reputation will be destroyed if anyone at school finds out her Dad works as the school’s exterminator in exchange for her academic scholarship. So when it looks like her secret might be leaked, Nikki is willing to go to zany and wacky lengths to protect the truth. The timing seems perfect when a major talent competition is announced with a school scholarship offered as the top prize. Nikki loves to sing and dance, but of course hijinks and misunderstandings aplenty ensue, along with more hilarious and heartwarming moments with all our favorite characters in this ultra-popular series. Also Nikki Might go out with her love Brandon.
Friday, November 1
Nikki is happy that she got to go to the Halloween dance since she got to hang out with Brandon and she believes he might actually like her, but also thinks it's impossible since she's a total dork and not a CCP like MacKenzie. She waits for Brandon to call, but there is little to no chance of that happening.
Saturday, November 2
Nikki is upset that she has to watch Brianna for a while at the mall when she wanted to hang with Zoey and Chloe and talk to them about her situation with Brandon. Brianna fishes out loose change from the fountain, and the two of them decide to get lunch at Queasy Cheesy. While they're eating pizza and drinking punch, their waitress calls their table to come and sing the "I Luv Queasy Cheesy" song on stage. Nikki doesn't want to, but Brianna refuses to pay for lunch unless they sing. Nikki, seeing no way out otherwise, gives in and the two of them perform together. Unfortuantely, MacKenzie happens to be there and catch every moment on her phone. She says she'll upload it to YouTube for the world to see. Nikki is not sure if MacKenzie would go that far, but she has to make sure. Her mom soon gets a new toaster and Nikki just wants to go home.
Sunday, November 3
Nikki waits online checking to see if MacKenzie would or did upload that video. All seems well until 9:00 where she learns, to her horror, that she did.
Monday, November 4
Nobody seems to know about the video, much to Nikki's relief. She, Zoey and Chloe plan to perform at the school's talent show on the 30th. The winning act gets to be on the TV show "15 Minutes Of Fame" by producer Trevor Chase. The girls just haven't thought of an act yet. Later, Brandon tells Nikki he can't sit with her at lunch because he's teaching a new photographer-in-training. Also, there appears to be a bug infestation, and Nikki is worried that Principal Winston will call the exterminator, AKA her dad, to take care of that.
Tuesday, November 5
MacKenzie plans to enter the talent show with a dance act that she calls Mac's Maniacs. Nikki thinks she might be recruited in and she and MacKenzie can finally put their adversity aside until MacKenzie just wants Nikki to find her some students who dance well, specifically, Zoey and Chloe. Nikki refuses to let her have her friends and MacKenzie threatens her not to enter the contest; otherwise, she WILL show the others the video she uploaded or tell them about the real reason she attends WCD. Nikki doesn't feel that bothered on the outside, but she's fretting on the inside. She decides not to enter the talent show.
Wednesday, November 6
While Nikki worries about what will happen if the others see the video, a bug gets on her head and she starts to freak out and the others may know the true reason she attends WCD. Her father got her there as a scholarship in a deal for his job as the school's exterminator. The only one who knows about it is MacKenzie who caught her a couple of days before the avant-garde art competition. But for some reason, she hadn't told anyone about it at all.
Thursday, November 7
That morning, Nikki hears the phone ring and Nikki answers it. Principal Winston is calling to tell her dad about the infestation that had recently appeared at the school and Nikki leaves a message, realizing the embarrassment her dad would bring unto her if he were to come to take care of the problem. So, she decides not to tell him.
Friday, November 8
Nikki disguises herself to avoid being detected by Principal Winston, who sends her to the guidance counselor for four hours. Thankfully, her dad did not show up at all.
Saturday, November 9
Nikki's parents decide to have some Family Sharing Time to really bond with one another. Nikki suggests they go bungee jumping, but they decline on that. Instead, they go canoeing in a busted old canoe her dad bought without any paddles. When they take it out on the lake, they get lost and have no way of rowing back. Eventually, the coast guard shows up and brings the family back to shore. After that, Chloe and Zoey call Nikki to ask her about any plans for the talent show.
Sunday, November 10
Nikki is going shopping for new clothes because Brianna ruined her wardrobe with her paint. But that was mostly because Nikki wanted her to do that so she can get more stylish outfits. Later, she returns Zoey and Chloe's call.
Monday, November 11
During their LSA duties, the girls wonder what they're gonna do for the talent show. Chloe suggests they dress up like worms, do a breakdance routine, and call themselves the Break-Dancing Bookworms. Not only does Nikki think it's a little out there, but she tells them she's not entering the show. Because of that, Zoey and Chloe decide that they won't enter either. Nikki wants to tell them why she won't enter, but can't. Her friends are crushed.
Tuesday, November 12
Nikki finds a jar of crickets inside MacKenzie's locker. She tries to get a better look by moving things around in there with a ruler only to knock it over. Nikki is still hesitant on letting her dad find out about it. She talks to Principal Winston about the crickets while trying to come up with an excuse for why he shouldn't call her dad to come in and take care of it. It works. Meanwhile, in the cafeteria, the crickets come out of MacKenzie's purse, making her freak out, proving Nikki right.
Wednesday, November 13
MacKenzie tries to get Chloe and Zoey to join Mac's Maniacs for the talent show, but they turn her down at first. At that moment, MacKenzie tells them that Ryan and Jason, their crushes, are in love with them and really want them in the show. They fall for it and join up, much to Nikki's disbelief.
Thursday, November 14
Nikki is in a serious bind. Yesterday, when she got the mail, she discovered that the school sent her a tuition bill. The reason? It's quite obvious. She didn't tell her dad about the extermination appointment. Nikki realizes that MacKenzie was using her dad's job there in a completely different way. Rather than have him come and embarrass her, she made sure Nikki would not let her dad know about it and so she would be kicked out for failure to pay the bill. After spiraling, Nikki reads the flyer for the talent show and finds out that they're giving scholarships to the school as one of the prizes. Desperate to win and save her life at WCD, she decides to enter the talent show.
Friday, November 15
Nikki has to talk to Brandon because he's the only one who can help her since Zoey and Chloe are too busy dancing in Mac's Maniacs. Nikki goes to the newspaper office only to find that the photography trainee he mentioned is MacKenzie. She joined up even though she doesn't read the paper. Feeling betrayed once again, Nikki leaves in a huff.
Saturday, November 16
Nikki decides to confess to her parents what happened, but they're too busy getting ready fora a Family Sharing Time activity. They're going to roast s'mores out in the backyard. Unfortunately, her dad gets his pants on fire and his wife manages to get it out. But their neighbor, Mrs. Wallabanger wants to know what's going on and, misunderstanding Mr. Maxwell's explanation about having an accident, calls the police. Thankfully, they sort it out and all is fine. They take a s'more photo and call it a night.
Sunday, November 17
Nikki contemplates on her experience at WCD. Some good thanks to her friends, and some bad thanks to MacKenzie. She'll have to either transfer to a new school or find some way to pay the tuition bill, like robbing a bank. Instead, she decides to hold auditions for a band she's putting together for her act.
Monday, November 18
While MacKenzie and her dance group practice, Nikki puts up flyers for her band and tries to catch up on her homework, while coming up with a self-help book on excuses for not doing it. Brandon comes by to try to talk to Nikki, but she doesn't want anything to do with him right now. MacKenzie comes by to talk to Brandon about her group. Brandon doesn't know why Nikki is acting the way she is.
Tuesday, November 19
The day of auditions has arrived, and Nikki awaits the people wanting to join up. She thinks there are lots of auditions waiting n the music room, but it turns out to be the glee club. They leave while Nikki waits for anyone, but nobody shows up except Violet. She asks Nikki why she canceled the auditions, which Nikki doesn't understand. She finds that her poster had been tampered with a false cancellation. She already knows MacKenzie is responsible and decides to lash at her. While Mac's Maniacs performs, and very well, Nikki bumps into the trash cans and gets covered in garbage. Everyone except Zoey and Chloe laugh at her. They find out that Nikki is entering now and Nikki tries to explain, but can't. They feel betrayed.
Wednesday, November 20
Nikki is playing Basketball in gym class and gets picked on a terrible team. She decides to just write in her diary and gets hit by the ball so much. Unbeknownst to her, she scores the winning basket all while seeing Chloe and Zoey hit the showers and still feeling bummed about what they found out.
Thursday, November 21
Not having studied for social studies, Nikki gets stuck with a question she does not know the answer to. After class, Violet and Theo come by and ask Nikki if they can be in her band. Theo's band, SuperFreaks, ended up joining MacKenzie's team because she told them that some of the cheerleaders were attracted to them, similar to how she got Zoey and Chloe to join. Nikki welcomes them to her band, but they still need a drummer. Theo knows someone who can fill that position. With that, they now have their band.
Friday, November 22
Brandon tries to talk to Nikki again, but Nikki, feeling he'd rather hang with MacKenzie, just shoves him off as politely as possible. Later, she fills out the entry form for her band and realizes they didn't come up with a name. So, she puts down "Actually, I'm not really sure yet." The band still needs a drummer and, to Nikki's surprise, Brandon is going to be the drummer. They get together and practice until they sound really good to the point where they believe they can actually win this. Nikki also comes up with a secret love poem about Brandon's position as drummer.
Saturday, November 23
It's Family Movie Night, and Nikki has no choice but to watch a really boring movie she's seen a million times.
Sunday, November 24
Nikki has to look after Brianna while their parents go out to dinner. Brianna takes full advantage and plays around to annoy Nikki. Brianna is not allowed to leave the dinner table until she eats all her broccoli. When Nikki has her back turned, it seems the broccoli was gone. Suspicious, Nikki checks and thinks Brianna actually did eat her broccoli and sends her to bed. But she soon discovers that she fed her broccoli to their pet fish and she's gonna be the one to have to clean it up.
Monday, November 25
At lunchtime, Nikki discovers a horror unlike any other. MacKenzie has shown the video of her and Brianna performing at Queasy Cheesy! Now, Nikki is beyond humiliated. Chloe and Zoey come by to comfort her despite the circumstances that have been going on between them lately. MacKenzie thinks it's just "Dorkalicious" of Nikki to perform like that and orders her friends to come back. Chloe and Zoey drop out of Mac's Maniacs and join up with Nikki's band, saving their friendship.
Tuesday, November 26
Thanks to MacKenzie's put-down, the band decides to call themselves Dorkalicious. After mingling about being dorks, they begin playing a song that they wrote. Nikki begins making their T-shirts.
Wednesday, November 27
Nikki contemplates some more on her secrets that she's been keeping from everybody and what the consequences could be.
Thursday, November 28
It's Thanksgiving and Grandma Maxwell is visiting for the day. She tells the family some bad news. She's not gonna be able to be with them for Christmas. Not because she's dying, but because she's going to Vegas with her friends. She leaves them a family heirloom: an old-fashioned ice cream maker. Brianna and her dad like the bucket with ice cream dripping out and get their tongues stuck.
Friday, November 29
It's the day before the talent show, and Dorkalicious is ready to perform. However, MacKenzie tells the producer, Sasha Ambrose, that they have an incomplete form. Sasha asks them if it's true, and Nikki answers that it's not. Sasha informs them that the form says that under the name of the act, Nikki put "Actually, I'm not really sure yet", meaning they didn't put in the official name of the band. And for that, she disqualifies Dorkalicious from the show. Everyone else is slightly upset, but they're not gonna let it get to them. But Nikki is beyond devastated because now she can't compete and save her scholarship. She feels incredibly guilty about everything all because she didn't tell her dad.
Saturday, November 30
As if matters couldn't be any worse for Nikki, she just doesn't want to get out of bed. Her grandma and Brianna come in to see her, but she doesn't want to put up with it. Grandma finds the entry form for the talent show and sees what's been going on with her. After a bit, Nikki gets an idea that could get her act back in the show. She calls up her bandmates and they return to the auditorium and tell Sasha that they are not Dorkalicious, they are Actually, I'm Not Really Sure Yet, much to MacKenzie's frustration. The talent show begins and all the acts compete one after another. Mac's Maniacs gets quite the applause and a standing ovation. Next, it's time for Actually, I'm Not Really Sure Yet to perform. They perform their song and everyone is starting to really get into the groove. It seems they were guaranteed to win. Unfortunately, Trevor announces that the winner is Mac's Maniacs. Not only did Nikki lose the talent show, but she lost her final chance to save her scholarship. She goes to the bathroom only to run into MacKenzie. However, MacKenzie accidentally blurts out that she knows about Nikki's tuition bill, revealing that it was a fake she and Jessica created to throw Nikki into her episode. So, it looks like everything was alright. Her friends tell her that Trevor's show is actually a talent boot camp for acts he finds mediocre, and that's why he picked MacKenzie's act to appear on it. Actually, I'm Not Really Sure Yet performed so well, they were too good for the show. He wants to release their song after the holidays. Meanwhile, Principal Winston talks to Nikki's dad about the big problem and they schedule an appointment sometime next week. Nikki now appreciates what her father does for her, and she will never butt in on his business again. She and Brandon begin to have a moment...which Brianna interrupts. Nikki gives Miss Penelope a kiss and is happy that she will stay at WCD.
Amanda: [to Brianna] I've never met a real, live pop star before! Can I have your autograph?
Brianna: [beams] Sure! You can have it for free! And I'll draw a picture of my real, live baby unicorn too! I can ride him if I want. He flies in the air!
—An exchange between Amanda and Brianna