Book Review Unit 10: Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontal Snogging

402013

Illingswoth, S. (1999). [Cover art of Angus, thongs and full-frontal snogging}. Copyright 1999 by Howard Huang. Reprinted with permission.

Book Summary: The only thing 15 year-old Georgia wants more than her first kiss is for her parents to stop being a total embarrassment. Other than her charming affection for little sister, Georgia is woefully, hilariously self-involved. Major events like her father’s job loss, ensuing move across the world to Australia, an encounter with a peeping tom, and her friends’ heart rending breakup scarcely register in the face of struggling with her school’s mandatory beret. Georgia even has scarcely anything nice to say about her best friend Jas, because Jas beats her to getting a boyfriend.  Georgia pines away for cute, older Robbie, the so-called “Sex God” while stalking his “wet” girlfriend (the thongs part) and trying to keep her unusually large and aggressive cat, Angus, from attacking the neighbors’ dog.  When Angus goes missing, Georgia notices her life is not exactly going to plan.  She has to decide whether going along with shoplifting and increasingly dangerous acts of the rough girls is really her style, and if worrying about boys is the most important thing.

APA Reference of Book:

Rennison, L. Angus, thongs and full-frontal snogging: Confessions of Georgia Louise Nicolson. New York, N.Y.: HarperCollins.

Impressions: At first, Georgia seems like the absolute worst role model: she is repeatedly disrespectful to her parents and teachers, could not care less about school, cuts class, is insensitive and sometimes downright cruel to her peers, obsesses about boys, and exceedingly vulgar.  However, these qualities make her tremendously human and remarkably similar to freshman girls I have taught over the years.  Because she is so imperfect, she connects with readers who are still figuring out who they are and may not have the intrinsic motivators that make them well-behaved straight-A students.  Whether a “behavior issue” or class president, girls will appreciate Georgia’s insecurity and need to grow up as fast as possible.  As she discovers doing things just so you have accomplished all the major teen milestones is ultimately unsatisfying, teens will receive an authentic  lesson on the downsides of trying to grow up too fast. The reader sees that underneath all her amazing humor, bluster, and filthy mouth, Georgia is trying to figure out her identity in a quest for love and acceptance.

Professional Review:

 

 

 

Brash, heedless, and extremely-sometimes even intentionally-funny, Georgia is sort of a British version of Naylor’s Alice absent mature authorial guidance. In this time-dated first-person narration (clearly nothing so formal as a diary or any other written communication), Georgia tells of her daily existence at home (where she’s got an unhousetrained but affectionate younger sister and parents unworthy of their blossoming daughter), at school (where education is the enemy and uniforms the blight of her life), and in between (where there’s a Sex God working at the greengrocer’s and a boy down the street who’s interested in Georgia). With high– spirited and exhausting intensity Georgia flings herself from one crisis to another, helplessly authentic and helplessly humorous in her escapades: there’s her employment of the services of a professional kisser whom she drifts into dating, a relationship helpfully severed by a friend who informs Mr. Kisser that Georgia’s a lesbian; there’s her breach with that friend who’s embarking on romance with the Sex God’s brother and who can’t be forgiven for succeeding with a family member when Georgia fails. Also authentic is Georgia’s brutally dismissive tone towards adults, imbued with casual youthful cruelty in discussion of appearance and manners. While some adolescents aren’t going to be able to find adolescence as funny as the book makes it, the transatlantic separation will assist readers who need a bit of distance between themselves and Georgia. The U.S. edition has wisely tucked a glossary in the back rather than attempting to take the inherent Britishness out of the book; this means that some references will go over readers’ heads, but they’ll be having too much fun to care.

Stevenson, D. (2000). Angus, thongs, and full-frontal snogging: Confession of Georgia Nicolson. Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books 53(9), 329.

Library Uses: This book would form a fantastic part of a banned books week display in which books are covered with butcher paper and some salacious, or in this case, sidesplitting, quotes and complaints by challengers are written on the front to attract potential readers.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s