Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Happiness is...a good book. (Summer Reading edition #2)

Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontal Snogging: Confessions of Georgia NicolsonAuthor: Louise Rennison
Pages: 247
Age Range: 14+
Published: 1999
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Cover Score: ***
Overall Grade: ***

This is Bridget Jones for the teen set.  14-year-old Georgia has a 3-year-old sister who leaves dirty diapers in her room, a mother who may or may not be cheating on her father (who is in New Zealand trying to find a job) with the interior decorator, a 'best' friend who doesn't know the meaning of tact and is obsessed with a certain boy,a mad cat the size of a Labrador (Angus) and a knack for getting herself into embarrassing situations involving stuffed olive costumes, tennis rackets, kissing cousins and her best friend's crush's gorgeous older brother she's dubbed the Sex God.

Written in diary entry format we follow Georgia's exploits on her quest to impress the Sex God while suffering the typical teenage angst, confusion, frustration and melodramatics all with a British accent! The slang abounds and Georgia's dry and (one imagines) straight-faced delivery add to the charm of her voice and character.  (There is a handy glossary at the back to aid the American readers who might not understand that 'snogging' means 'kissing', 'joggerbums' are sweat pants, 'naffs' are basically nerds as are 'swots'.)

Her unabashed self-deprecating comments will be recognizable to any teen who feels she herself may be 'too ugly to ever get a boyfriend', yet her actions are strong and basically independent.  She stays true to herself and laughs in the face of popularity and expected behavior, if not always on purpose. She's a highly endearing character. 

As with the Bridget Jones books the focus tends to be primarily on the male/female relationship. There is some mention of sex but most of the talk revolves around kissing and it's various stages (simple closed mouth, open mouth, tongue, etc.) though there is a bit of talk about fondling and breasts (both her hopes that she'll actually grow some and then the subsequent fondling of them by various boys in her life.) And she constantly wonders if she might actually be a lesbian, although she has no idea what that really entails. All in all a humorous read but possibly not for everyone.

This was also Printz Honor (think Newbery for Young Adults) book back in 2001.

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