Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Review: Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontal Snogging by Louise Rennison

There are six things very wrong with my life:

1. I have one of those under-the-skin spots that will never come to a head but lurk in a red way for the next two years.

2. It is on my nose

3. I have a three-year-old sister who may have peed somewhere in my room.

4. In fourteen days the summer hols will be over and then it will be back to Stalag 14 and Oberfuhrer Frau Simpson and her bunch of sadistic teachers.

5. I am very ugly and need to go into an ugly home.

6. I went to a party dressed as a stuffed olive.

In this wildly funny journal of a year in the life of Georgia Nicolson, British author Louise Rennison has perfectly captured the soaring joys and bottomless angst of being a teenager. In the spirit of Bridget Jones's Diary, this fresh, irreverent, and simply hilarious book will leave you laughing out loud. As Georgia would say, it's "Fabbity fab fab!"

Language: Mild (British slang)
Violence: Very Mild
Sexual: Mild/Moderate (descriptive kissing)

When I picked up Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontal Snogging, I was hoping for a light read that would make me laugh my head off. It was a light read, I can assure you, for nothing besides the “drama” of everyday life and the trials of growing up and learning that not everything will end perfectly or the way you imagined, but in other ways, it dragged on in some parts and showed the story rather than letting us see it through our imaginations.

It wasn’t that I necessarily dislike the book, but I just felt it to be very juvenile on some things and too mature on others. For instance, Georgia’s list was a bit too…much for me. It was vague, but I didn’t really appreciate it. Obviously the details in it were not vague, but it never went further than kissing. Nonetheless, most of the story was about Georgia learning how to kiss, deal with life, boys, and other things that caused all kinds of refreshing angst.

Cover: I will be honest when I say that I am not a fan of this version of the cover. Yes, it shows some of her uniform, plus the cat at the bottom is a nice touch, but it’s too cartoony for my taste. Once the cover jacket is off, however, it is a plaid design, and I do like that one much better so I shall uncharacteristically put it up on my bookshelf in that way.

Setting: UK.

Characters: I am not going to go through all of the characters in the story, because of how many there were and this is a quick review, but I will say that many of them were whiney and troublesome in their own ways. For example: all Georgia seemed to care about was herself and what she wanted and who she wanted to be with (this was the case with many of the characters). Her parents were hardly in the story at all, merely mentioned at times, but it was odd how she saw them, considering how they had the mental ability of her toddler sister, in her eyes.

Storyline: A coming-of-age story about a girl who feels the need to show the world she is grown up, and in doing so acting immature as she discovers the world of boys, kissing, real friends, and dealing with her parents and little sister who poops in the secret corners of Georgia’s bedroom.

Writing: The writing style is all right. You can definitely tell that the author is trying to write from a na├»ve fourteen year old’s point of view, in an amusing manner.

Surprises: There weren’t a whole lot surprises, but that was probably because I decided it was a “good idea” to watch the movie beforehand (although I watched it around two months ago). Where there weren’t many surprises, it was replaced by a lot of amusing moments.

Overall: 3 stars. Although it wasn’t the most intellectual read, it was pretty funny at times and seeing Georgia mess up and her friends be corky and amusing was pretty entertaining to read about. So whether or not you have the right sense of humor for this novel, there has to be on aspect of it you can appreciate.

Recommended: I recommend this one to all people who want a funny and entertaining read, whether you are young or just young at heart.

“Look, I can't go out with you, because...because...because I'm a lesbian.” 

“When uncle Eddie does his impression of 'Like a Virgin' it's like Madonna is coming out of his body!'
Christ what an image.”

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