Angus, Thongs, and Full-frontal Snogging by Louise Rennison (Rest in Peace) (247 pages) is hilarious. I have seen this book on library shelves forever, but have always passed it, for one reason or another. The last encounter I had with Angus, Thongs, and Full-frontal Snogging was when I watched a commercial for it on Nickelodeon. It has taken an assignment to show me what a gem of a book this is.
The story is about Georgia Nicolson, a sarcastic fourteen-year-old girl who is worried about her body and is treated like a child. She’s a bit jealous of her dense but beautiful best friend Jas, and the attention she attracts from boys. Jas, her schoolmates, and she go through numerous boy-chasing adventures, and each one of them is fun and cringe-worthy. Sometimes, Georgia is lusting after an older boy, trying to get away from a kissing monster, or terribly masquerading as a French girl. An example of the great humor is when Georgia gets kissing lessons. Let’s not talk about how creepy it is for a seventeen-year-old boy to have thirteen-year-old girls lining up at his door before his parents are home no less, for kissing lessons. Still, that entire situation kept me laughing. It perfectly captures the essence of “doing teenage stuff you have no business doing.”
I found Georgia’s narrative whiny, but her witty and judgmental attitude makes up for it.I think the author, Rennison, writes in the vein of a basic teenage girl well. Maybe it’s because Rennison was once a teenage girl herself.
One of my favorite quotes and a shining example of Georgia’s thoughts:
“I have no other foundation or money. I may have to kill her.”
Even with no context, that is just funny. The entire book is made up of one-liners and paragraphs determined to withdraw a laugh out of your funny bank. In this story, the humor is my favorite part.
What I did not like about this book was, again, Georgia’s whining. I understand most teens think their parents are unfair and dumb, but Georgia hates on her parents for every little thing. Her Dad can’t even ruffle her hair and kiss her good night without her wanting to gag. I did not like the age difference in a lot of the boy escapades. Why does an almost grown, college-bound boy want an immature middle school girl? Although these type of relationships persisted throughout the whole book, the author did acknowledge it. I also did not like how some of the boys were too touchy-feely with Georgia. Raging hormones are one thing, but some of the actions almost teetered on “you need to ask for consent” territory. To give you an idea: One boy put his hand on Georgia’s
barely there breast without asking, and she, of course, had no clue how to handle that. I would have preferred the book not being told through journal entries, but that is more of my personal preference.
Georgia knows she is
thirsty desperate, but she absolutely embraces it. She is both the one sabotaging and coaching her friend’s relationship with a boy. She is obsessed with lesbianism and jokingly thinks her lack of boy interaction makes her gay. She goes to an all-girl school, so all her boy activity is outside. Georgia also wishes her father was more masculine in the traditional sense and ridicules him for wearing aprons often. She dotes on her little sister Libby and gets along well with her mom.
Jas, which I assume is short for Jasmine, is one of those infuriating characters everyone loves. I like how simple Jas is. She is the type of friend you tell a secret and find your business all over the school the next morning. But, she’s also the type to help you stalk a chick and keep you company.
The rest of the characters are interesting and play their parts in the story well. From uptight teachers, cute boys, and bad girls who hang around Georgia, this book has it all.
In real life, I probably wouldn’t like Georgia, as she seems like the type to be a man-stealer and forget about your friendship once she gets her boo. However, inside the book universe, I want this girl to get all her desires in life. She’s not the cookie-cutter nice girl, but she isn’t a total spoiled brat either. I like this book a lot to the point, I want to check out the sequels. I could read about Georgia and her roulette of boys forever. If you like laughing and a little romance, then this book is for you.