Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging

Louise Rennison, Author HarperCollins Publishers $17.89 (256p) ISBN 978-0-06-028871-6
British writer Rennison's subject matter may be the stuff of Bridget Jones's Diary, but the wit and bite of her delivery shares more in common with Monty Python. In a spectacular YA debut (Rennison is a comedy writer and columnist), the author creates a winning protagonist in the persona of 14-year-old Georgia Nicolson, whose wry observations and self-deprecating humor covers everything from prudish parents and bed-wetting three-year-old siblings to errant cat behavior and kissing (aka snogging) lessons. Teens will discover that nothing is sacred here (e.g., ""Talking of breasts, I'm worried that I may end up like the rest of the women in my family, with just the one bust, like a sort of shelf affair""). Rennison exquisitely captures the fine art of the adolescent ability to turn chaos into stand-up comedy. For instance, when Georgia's father finds a new job in New Zealand, the teen says she's already formed her opinion of the country based on the TV show Neighbours; when her mother says, ""Well, that's set in Australia,"" Georgia thinks, ""What is this, a family crisis or a geography test?"" Written as diary entries, the novel flouts the conceit, as when Georgia reports on a tennis match that she's playing concurrently (""I fall to my knees like McEnroe and the crowd is going mad""). The author bio indicates that Rennison is working on two more Georgia books; readers can only hope this heroine will keep them laughing all the way through high school. Ages 12-up. (May)
Reviewed on: 05/29/2000
Release date: 05/01/2000
Genre: Children's
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