Welcome back to the Georgia Nicolson Readalong!
Quick refresher: in honour of our dearly departed Teen Queen Louise Rennison, I started a readalong so that we could read (or re-read) her classic Georgia Nicolson series. Every three weeks we’ll post about the next book in the series. You’re invited to join in at any time!
You can catch up with posts on Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging, On the Bright Side, I’m Now the Girlfriend of a Sex God, Knocked Out By My Nunga-Nungas and Dancing in My Nuddy Pants.
Please note that if you haven’t read this book yet and intend to, there are spoilers!
We are now halfway done the Georgia Nicolson Readalong! It’s going by so quickly!
After a couple duds, Away Laughing on a Fast Camel put a little zing back into the Georgia Nicolson series. For most of the book, Georgia is realizing the power she can have over guys and is figuring out how to use it. When the book starts, she is mourning losing Robbie the Sex God to New Zealand, but still can’t stop thinking about Dave the Laugh. But Dave soon falls to the friends-with-benefits zone once Georgia sets her eyes on the Stiff Dylans’ replacement singer, Italian-American Masimo.
I found it a bit odd that Georgia has so easily written Dave into ‘Horn Advisor’ territory, but is so casual about ‘oh then why did we snog?’ – I think she’s just choosing not to see what’s there, and likes having attention from multiple guys. She also knows it would be upsetting for her friend Ellen if she made another public move on Dave, who is clearly a boy version of Georgia – goes out with other people while still into someone else. Georgia is at the point in her teens (at this point she is 16) when she’s really only focused on how sexy a guy is, not so much on what’s inside his head. But she does start to realize that guys are usually focused on the same thing. To Georgia, Masimo is yet another confusing heartbreaker of a rock star, whereas Dave can see a true version of Georgia and be enamoured by it.
This quote was quite serious in a book of comedy, after Georgia is feeling a bit traumatized by advances from her neighbours.
Jas said I am being all mean and moody because of Dave the Laugh, but what she doesn’t know is that it’s not just Dave the Laugh, it’s Oscar, and now Mark Big Gob as well. I feel all ashamed somehow. Like I am tainted love.
I really liked reading Georgia’s relationship with her friend Rosie in this book. While she still dubs Jas her best friend, even though treating her horribly, Georgia and Rosie have more of what you’d expect from a best friend relationship. They are more frankly supportive of each other, listen to each other and have fun together. Georgia just always makes fun of Jas and never listens to her. Though that’s put to a test a bit once Jas’ boyfriend, Tom, Robbie’s brother, decides he also wants to go to New Zealand.
Georgia’s family is still in a continuously hilarious ‘ditherspaz,’ which I love reading because it’s so bonkers. But you do get some clues that her parents can be unhappy but she doesn’t care. Libby is still the weirdest kid ever, who walks around the house singing “Sex Bum, Sex BUM, I’m a Sex Bum” and calling the broom “bloody thing, bloody thing.” Interesting things she picks up! Another new character in this book was Gordon, one of Angus’ fur babies. Georgia’s little sister Libby forcefully adopts him and he becomes a point of humour throughout the book – the father and son cats who love getting into trouble.
Away Laughing on a Fast Camel also provided many beautiful quotes, such as “I feel like a bean in a bikini, tossed around on the sea of life,” “I am exhausted by trying to get along with the Lord,” and “over the shoulder boulder holder.”
Some problems we noticed in the other books such as Georgia’s obviously confused homophobia is still there, unfortunately. It makes me wonder what Louise thought, if this book was such a mirror of her life. I would say at this point these books don’t fully stand the test of time, but they can still provide a bunch of dumb laughs.
What did you guys think of the book? We will reconvene for Then He Ate My Boy Entrancers on July 5.