Tuesday, February 01, 2005

British Tales of Teenage Angst!

Next up on my "books I read last year" tour, we bring you tales of teenage angst all the way from Merry Ole England!

We have:
Dancing in my Nuddy-Pants Louise Rennison
Knocked out by my Nunga-Nungas Louise Rennison
On the Bright Side, I'm now the Girlfriend of a Sex God Louise Rennison
Angus, Thongs, and Full Frontal Snogging Louise Rennison
Adrian Mole from Minor to Major Sue Townsend

All the Louise Rennison's will be taken first. I had already read Angus... and On the Bright Side... but it had been over a year, so I decided to reread them before I tackled the other two, so I could remember the subleties of the plot. (This is a joke, there's nothing really subtle in these books.) I read all four in a weekend. Maybe a day. They're really quick and pretty funny. I had thrown out my back and was a bit loopy on pain killers and these were the perfect books for such a time!

So, this is a series about a teenage girl named Georgia Nicholson who lives somewhere in England. I don't think we ever find out where, but I secretely think it's Eccles or Sale. Ok, not really, but I do think she lives somewhere around Manchester. It could very well be Eccles or Sale or even Macclesfield or one of the other bajillion towns and communities that have grown over the years to smoosh together and become the greater Manchester area. She doesn't live in Manchester, but close enough that the bad girls can go into Manchester to go clubbing.

Except they go to Fifth Avenue (I think). What a waste of a club. Except it's the perfect place for people like the Bummer Twins to go to. Just saying.

I like the American prints of these books over the British for the sole reason that there's a glossery in the back of each one that's fabbity-fab-fab and full of hilariousity (as Georgia would say). The British versions, on the other hand, have most excellent titles, such as It's OK, I'm wearing really big knickers (On the Bright Side...) and the new one Away Laughing on a Fast Camel (which I haven't read... I'm waiting for it to come out in paperback) in England is And that's when it Fell off in my Hand. Apparently And that's when it fell off... is too rude for American audiences and well, we don't refer to our underpants as knickers, so the other one didn't make much sense...

Of couse, On the Bright Side... as a title did have its own problems! (For any worried parents out there-- there isn't any sex in these books. "Sex God" is British for "really hot".)

Anyway... back to Georgia. She's really shallow and her whole diary is full of boys, makeup, and getting into trouble at school. High brow, it is not. Hilarious and absolutely silly, it definetely is. Read them order. Angus... is still the longest, but Away laughing... looks promising... and I hate to admit it, but man, I hope she ends up with Dave the Laugh. It will never happen though, because she's too shallow. *sigh*

Oh! They're also available in adult editions! They include 2 books in one and have tamer covers and really boring names (The Confessions of Georgia Nicolson).

Moving on to Adrian Mole. Also a diary. Also British. Also funny, but in a darker way. And Adrian's a boy, whereas Georgia's a girl. Adrian's humor comes from Townsend's hilarious characters. This is still light reading, but not the complete fluff of Georgia. From Major to Minor is a four-book collection. The first book, The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, aged 13 3/4, is the best. After he goes off to college, eh. However, there are more books not in this book, such as The Cappucino Years that my sister highly recomends. I'll try and check them out sometime!

Also, I think that the Adrian books were written more for adults, and Georgia was written for 13-year-olds.

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