Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Angus, Thongs and Full-frontal Snogging: Confessions of Georgia Nicolson

Rennison, Louise. Angus, Thongs and Full-frontal Snogging: Confessions of Georgia Nicolson. New York: Harper Tempest, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, 1999. Print.


In Georgia's mind, the nub and thrust of it is all that tutting is "like living in a house full of chickens dressed in frocks and trousers." If she could just ship off her parents, and all the teachers at her school, life would be fabbity-fab-fab. Oh, and off with Wet Lindsay too, she's such a prat.

Justification for Printz: 

Written in diary entries made as frequently as every two minutes, 14-year-old Georgia's stream-of-consciousness entries pour forth in a strong first person voice. One forgets completely this is a work of fiction and soon breathlessly turns the page to jump on the ride that is Georgia's day-to-day existence in England. Completely absorbing, mad-cap British slang litters Georgia's narrative wake like a comedic crime-scene begging to be solved. Thank goodness for the glossary in the back for us mere Americans. Readers will soon be adopting such fabulous words as knickers, erlach, snog, tosser, prat, strop and nervy-b.

Completely absorbed in herself, Georgia disrespects the adults in her life by assigning them all sorts of demeaning nicknames: her mom and dad are Mutti and Vati, the evil neighbors who hate Angus, her even-more-evil cat, are dismissively known as Mr. and Mrs. Nextdoor, the groundskeeper at school is Elvis, and the headmaster is Slim, when her very huge size trembles as anything but. School is aka Stalag 14. Her biggest concerns are her nose, bleaching her hair blond, and learning how to snog properly. Luckily there is a boy offering free lessons, which soon springboard Georgia into snog-worthy readiness for when the Sex God comes along. She just has to get rid of Wet Lindsay.

Georgia's adventures with her mad-cap pals, the Ace-Gang, are a side-splitting laugh-a-minute, as her textbook teen traits: endearing teenage clumsiness, complete lack of filters, and total subversion of authority, are portrayed with groundbreaking British humor, buffing the rough edges off a tough time in life for any teen reader. Angus, Thongs and Full-frontal Snogging also provides insight to any adult trying to scrape clear a dirty, unused and forgotten window of the past for understanding to the trials and concerns of being a teen.

Louise Rennison pulls off much in a funny little book with little pretty prose and no finger-wagging lessons to preach. She allows teens to laugh at themselves at a time that often feels like there is absolutely nothing to laugh about. 

End result: true catharsis.

PS - There are nine more books in the series, each more funny than the last. 

PSS - Georgia actually makes a character arc by the end of them, and grows up and sees the value in what (and who) is right in front of her.

PSSS - You should really read them. Everyone needs a laugh.

PSSSS - Soon you too will be "away laughing on a fast camel."

Genre Categories: Printz Honor/Humor.