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3:05 PM: I Just Read Georgia Nicolson And It Was Double Cool With Knobs

A review of Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging by Louise Rennison, the first book in the Georgia Nicolson series.

3:05 PM: I Just Read Georgia Nicolson And It Was Double Cool With Knobs

BOOK REPORT for Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging by Louise Rennison

Cover Story: Pick Your Poison
BFF Charm: YAY!
Swoonworthy Scale: 5, but also -5
Talky Talk: Bridget Jones Lite
Bonus Factors: Disloyal Pet, Precocious Toddler
Anti-Bonus Factors: Audiobook
Relationship Status: Long Lost BFF

Cover Story: Pick Your Poison

There are a variety of covers to choose from, and none of them is particularly good. I usually opted for the British cover in my youth, but that was less because I thought they were better and more because they were released much earlier than the American versions, and I forced my cousins across the pond to bring them to me on holidays so I wouldn’t have to wait. It was a good choice, because a headless cartoon body is better than a headless actual body.

The Deal:

Georgia Nicolson is fourteen years old and has many things wrong with her life. School sucks, her parents suck, not having a boyfriend sucks, and she went to a costume party dressed as a stuffed olive. If only dreamboat Robbie Jennings would dump his heinous girlfriend and date Georgia instead, her problems would pretty much be solved. Georgia tells her story through her diary, as she and her best friend Jas try to navigate the treacherous waters of adolescence.

BFF Charm: YAY!

I’ll be honest, I did not think I would like Georgia as much as an adult as I did when these books first came out. By the time the last books were released, I found her to be insanely irritating. But truth be told, all the qualities I ended up disliking in Georgia--her shallowness, her self-obsession, her fairly offensive commentary, and her judgemental nature--kind of made her charming here?

For one, I don’t think she’s actually as bad as she makes herself out to be in her diary. She has a very really sweet relationship with her little sister, and there are even moments when she’s not completely horrible to her parents. And when I get concerned by her mental slut-shaming of classmates or her complaints about her mortifying family, I remember that she’s 14 years old, writing in her diary. 14-year-olds are supposed to be angsty little shits writing in their diaries!

And mostly, Georgia is hilarious. I found myself laughing out loud, in public, like a crazy person, as much today as I ever did. She wore a stuffed olive costume to a fancy dress party! Can we talk about all the regrettable food-related halloween costumes I have attempted in my life? YOU MIGHT BE MY SOUL MATE, GEORGIA NICOLSON.

Swoonworthy Scale: 5, but also -5

Georgia has several non-romantic romantic endeavors before properly pursuing Robbie Jennings, the hot musician slash vegetable shop worker that she’s obsessed with. But Robbie is pretty dreamy, and seems to like Georgia because of her weirdness, rather than in spite of it. Unfortunately, one of the ways she pursues him is by stalking him and his girlfriend. And I know we throw the word stalking around loosely sometimes for any kind of vaguely Edward Cullenish behavior, but no, I mean actual stalking. Like, at one point, she and Jas hide in the bushes outside Robbie’s girlfriend’s bedroom window and watch her get dressed. No, Georgia. You’re doing it wrong.

Talky Talk: Bridget Jones Lite

Georgia, much like her older literary counterpart, is ridiculous. She over-documents her life in a completely implausible way and manages to be even more trivial than Bridget Jones. But I’m willing to give her a pass because she’s only 14, where as Bridget is a sad sack 30 something who really needs to get her shit together. Also, Georgia makes me laugh way more than Bridget ever did. For instance, when her Dad tells her he’s going to New Zealand for a job:

“I’ll be staying there for a month or two to get a feel for the place, and try out a new job opening there. Then, when I get settled, your mum and you and Libs can come and see what you think!”

“I know what I think of New Zealand. I have seen Neighbors.”

Mum said, “Well, that’s set in Australia.”

Is this a family crisis or a geography lesson? I continued patiently. “My point is, Mutti and Vatti, that it is very far away. I am not from there, all my friends are here. Or to put it another way, I would rather be adopted than set foot on New Zealand soil.”*

*Note: I might have gotten the punctuation on this quote wrong, as I had to transcribe it from the horribly over-dramatized audiobook that you will learn about shortly.

I almost gave this book a Straight Up rating, despite feeling like the book was completely unrealistic, because I was at my parents’ a couple weeks ago and found some teenage diaries in my closet. All the good stuff had already been destroyed, but there was a particularly telling passage about how UNREASONABLE my mother was being, only allowing me to pack a bathing suit, a pair of pajamas, five pairs of underwear, an athletic outfit, three pairs of shoes, a dress outfit, a pair of jeans, three shirts, and two pair of socks for a five-day trip to visit my grandparents. She wasn’t even going to let me bring my discman on the plane! The injustice of it all! So maybe Georgia’s constant whining and over-documenting was not too far off the mark, after all.

Bonus Factor: Disloyal Pet

Lucifer

Georgia has a pet cat who is half Scottish wildcat, the titular Angus. He’s giant and menacing and is constantly terrorizing the neighbor’s poodle, which is fabulous because poodles are the worst. Angus is anything but loyal, but that’s also what makes him so great.

Bonus Factor: Precocious Toddler

Michelle Tanner

Libby, you slay me with your adorableness! Georgia’s little sister is SO EFFING CUTE. She also wreaks havoc on everything around her and causes all sorts of problems for her big sister, like when she meets Robbie for the first time and announces “Georgia did a big poo this morning!” But unlike everyone else in her life, Georgia never resents Libby, and they have a really sweet relationship.

Anti-Bonus Factor: Audiobook

Audiobook

I didn’t have a paper copy, so I made the really unfortunate decision of listening to this on audiobook. I don’t know why they didn’t hire an actual British person, but the narrator’s faux English accent makes me want to club baby seals. You may think I’m exaggerating its badness, but I assure you, I am not. Just go to this link and click the sample button underneath the image. It is testament to my love of this book and my dedication to you, dear readers, that I made it through the whole thing, and even then, I had to put it on 3x speed. This both made the book go by faster and gave the hilarious impression that it was being narrated by drunk Katharine Hepburn.

Casting Call:

This was already made into a movie, but I’m pretty sure it was crappy, so let’s just ignore that for a second.

Zac Efron circa 17 Again as Robbie Jennings

Because he’s pretty much the dreamiest almost-teen I can think of.

I have no idea who to cast as Georgia. Who is teenage, preferably British, has impeccable comedic timing, and a big nose?

Relationship Status: Long Lost BFF

Book, we were best friends in middle and high school, and then we drifted apart. I went away to college, and we haven’t seen much of each other since then. I mean, I stalk you on facebook from time to time, and you put up those embarrassing photos of us from 7th grade a little while ago, but we haven’t really talked. So when I ran into you again, I was a little concerned we’d be too different now. But then I had a really excellent time with you! I’m not sure we’ll ever be as close as we once were, but for now, reminiscing about all the antics we used to get up to is enough.

Alix West's photo About the Author: Alix is a writer and illustrator who spends way too much time reading Jane Austen retellings of varying quality.
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