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Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontal Snogging: Review

Synopsis: She has a precocious 3-year-old sister who tends to leave wet nappies at the foot of her bed, an insane cat who is prone to leg-shredding "Call of the Wild" episodes, and embarrassing parents who make her want to escape to Stonehenge and dance with the Druids. No wonder 14-year-old Georgia Nicolson laments, "Honestly, what is the point?" A Bridget Jones for the younger set, Georgia records the momentous events of her life--and they are all momentous--in her diary, which serves as a truly hilarious account of what it means to be a modern girl on the cusp of womanhood. No matter that her particular story takes place in England, the account of her experiences rings true across the ocean (and besides, "Georgia's Glossary" swiftly eradicates any language barriers). 

The author, Louise Rennison, is a British comedy writer and it shows. Whether Georgia is dealing with wearing a bra ("OK, it's a bit on the loose side and does ride up round my neck if I run for the bus"), pondering kissing and how to know which way to turn your head ("You don't want to be bobbing around like pigeons for hours"), or managing the results of an overzealous eyebrow-plucking episode ("Obviously, now I have to stay in forever"), she always cracks us up. Georgia struggles with the myriad issues facing teen girls--boys, of course being at the forefront--but she does it with such humor and honesty it almost seems like a good time. This refreshingly funny book is ripe for a sequel, which readers will await in droves.
Details: Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontal Snogging by Louise Rennison, 247 pages, 3.87 stars on Goodreads
Why I Picked This Up: I won a mad libs contest, where I had the choice of 2 out of 3 possible books. I clicked each one and read the Google preview, and while choosing between the last two was near impossible for me, as soon as I read the first page of Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontal Snogging, I knew I absolutely had to read it. Even the first few paragraphs were enough to crack me up, and I watched the mail closely over the following weeks. As soon as this one arrived, I tore the box open, brushed my current read aside, and read.

Characters: It must be said: Georgia is absolutely hilarious. I also have to say that I hate her. She's full of herself and constantly checking her reflection, trying different products and ideas. Her only worry in life, basically, is looking beautiful, and she's always worried about her eyebrows and nose. Actually, she spends a good deal of the book discussing how she sucks in her nose. How does one go about doing a thing like that? Too bad that part wasn't talked about in more detail. Just saying, it could be rather useful.

Being vain isn't the only personality flaw for Georgia. She's also a major drama queen and she's rude to her friends. She insults them and thinks poorly of them, and yet she complains when "tragedy" strikes her life and they're not bowing to her every wish. It's beyond irritating, and there are many points where I wanted to grab her by the shoulders, shake her, and scream, "Grow up, already!"

So yes, it's safe to say that I dislike Georgia, and if I met her in real life, I would probably despise her, but my God, she is so freaking funny, I didn't even mind that during the whole book I didn't like her. Her observations are HILARIOUS. So many writing tips advise you against creating characters no one will like, but in Angus, Thongs, and Full Frontal Snogging, it actually works!

Plot: If you're looking for a deep, thoughtful read, then I'm not sure exactly why you're reading even this review. Georgia makes only shallow observations. But if you're up for a nice, light read, this has got to be right up your alley. I considered putting a sample of the book here to show you just how awesome this is, but I had so much trouble deciding on just one part, I gave up. You'll have to read it yourself to see!

Cover: I dislike the cover. I suppose it fits the book's light tone, but it isn't something that would really draw me in. I think something playing with the whole diary idea (since this book is, in fact, in diary format) would be much more interesting, like showing a notebook opened to a page with the title written on it, surrounded by representative doodles, or something similar.

First Lines: Dad had Uncle Eddie round, so naturally they had to come and see what I was up to. If Uncle Eddie (who is bald as a coot) says one more time, "Should bald heads be buttered?" I may kill myself. He doesn't seem to realize I no longer wear romper suits. I feel like yelling at him, "I am fourteen years old! I am bursting with womanhood, I wear a bra! Okay, it's a bit on the loose side and rides up around my neck when I run for the bus...but the womanly potential is there!"
Overall: If you want a laugh, you absolutely have to read this book. Practically every page is guaranteed to get at least a smile out of you, and you'll probably be doubling over enough times to require all your fingers and toes to count. Georgia may be annoying in several places (or fine, maybe the whole book), but it actually works well in the story!
Plot - 3/5
Writing - 4/5
Characters - 4/5
Impact - 5/5
Inability to put it down - 4/5

Total - 76% = B+


Katie Edwards said...

Somehow I managed not to read these books. I think the titles made me feel a bit embarrassed. Now as bookseller I'm amused when mums and occasionally granddads come in asking for books with titles such as "Knocked Out By My Nunga-Nungas" and a lady came in, went on a mini-rant about how rubbish the series was - while purchasing books eight, nine and ten. For herself, not her kids. :D :D I want to read these.

Anonymous said...

I am absolutely in love with these books. I found it almost impossible to put the books down! I disagree completely when you say that you hate Georgia Nicolson as she is full of herself, she is a typical (yet overly humorous) teenager. By even THINKING about the books I want to read them again. Great book, great characters and most of all, a great laugh!

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