Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging, by Louise Rennison, is the first in a series of ten books about Georgia Nicolson, who is fourteen and obsessed with two things: her looks and boys. When her best friend Jas develops a crush on a local grocery clerk, Georgia finds herself falling for his dreamy older brother, "sex god" Robbie. Obstacles to Georgia uniting with Robbie and living a decent life include her uncomprehending parents, the fact that she shaved off her eyebrows, the way that boys always say "see you later" without indicating what it means, a best friend who can be cruelly unsympathetic, the fact that Robbie thinks she hates him, the fact that one feels one must have kissing lessons in order to learn how to do it properly, and the way that her cat Angus (a Scottish wildcat) is always terrorizing the poodle next door.
I found the book entertaining and eye-rolling at the same time. Many of the vignettes are quite amusing, but I never quite found the sympathy for Georgia as a character that I felt I was supposed to have. While listening to Georgia's trials and tribulations, I realized something frightening: I sympathized much more with her parents than I did with her. I'm not sure whether it's because I never had a boy-crazy, makeup-wearing, obsess about looks phase, or whether I am suddenly mature and unsympathetic. I do hope that it's the former. Reading this book did, however, make me feel pangs of sympathy for teenage girls everywhere.
The way that Georgia convinced Jas to break up with Tom was oddly Pride and Prejudice-y, which would make her Darcy, which would be . . . very odd. The book also reminded me of a British version of The Princess Diaries, what with the diary format and the breathless pace of narration. I think that Mia is a bit more socially conscious than Georgia, however, whether that is realistic or not.
I really enjoyed Georgia's relationship with her three-year-old sister; it seemed to be the time that she was most human and unguarded.
I listened to the audiobook version, which made it easier to get into Georgia's world (and accompanying British slang) with the help of the narrator's delicious accent. However, the audio format doesn't let itself very well to a diary format with lots of short breaks.
ETA: I haven't seen the movie (renamed Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging), should I?
Dead Mother: No
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