So in a very un-Nori kind of way, I only just realized that Louise Rennison’s last Georgia book was the 10th one. I was under the impression that this book was a Georgia book. Sadly, Georgia’s series is over. Fortunately, her cousin, Tallulah, is just as interesting! If that was at all confusing for you, go pick up Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontal Snogging by Louise Rennison right now! That’s the first in a beautiful series of coming of age British hilarity. Really, each book this woman writes makes me laugh out loud. I’m pretty sure my facebook profile has had a quote from one of her books in it since I made my profile many years ago.
These books do lean toward the girly side. And there’s a lot of British phrases, along with some made up words that are all defined in a glossary in the back. And what makes these books so good is their blatant honesty. Rennison is not afraid to make her main character conceited, or even a little bit stupid. She obsesses over boys, and makes fun of her family all the time, but she is so real! Rennison gets how an adolescent mind works, and she’s not afraid to leave in all the negative parts.
You don’t need to read her other books to read this one. Withering Tights is about all different people. Though, Georgia is mentioned every now and then and there’s even a letter from her at the beginning of the story.
This book is about 14-year-old Tallulah going away to an arts college (like an American high school) for the first time. She leaves home for a summer program there, and all students are meant to find out by the end of the summer program if they are accepted into the school. Tallulah quickly makes some amazing friends with kids in the school and in the small village her school resides in.
Tallulah is also desperately afraid of not being able to get into the school for good because it is clear from the beginning that there are a lot of things she can’t do: ballet, tap, singing, etc. And all her friends are good at something. Though, it’s clear from the beginning to the readers that Tallulah is good at coming up with ideas and she’s excellent at making people laugh. Thankfully the new drama teacher recognizes this in her by the end, and helps Tallulah learn to love the stage.
Between hanging out near the woods to the boys school, hatching owl eggs, exploring the village of crazy-talking British people who all seem to work with sheep, going on first dates, receiving first kisses, creating bicycle ballets, and performing in the hilarious production of a musical version of Bronte’s Wuthering Heights as Heathcliff…, the needing to fit in, and the growing up that only happens when leaving home for the first time, Tallulah is so much fun to read about!
And Tallulah quite possibly is even easier to love than Georgia because she seems a little bit nicer. Georgia, while amazing, at times was a bit mean. Tallulah is her own person, but in a good way. And like Georgia who hated her nose, Tallulah obsesses over her knees. And I guess girls do focus on one or more things to be insecure about. I also loved that school was important to these girls, yet despite it’s importance, other things always managed to come first (like dates and friendship).
I loved the characters, I really loved Tallulah, I loved the setting, I loved the school, I loved the boys, and I loved all the laughter this book caused. Really, my friend kept asking me what was so funny. We both had some books out at the beach, and all I could keep telling her was, “My book is just too hilarious!” I give this a 10/10. And I really hope that Louise Rennison never stops writing.