Here we are, the first post in the #GeorgiaNicolsonReadalong!
Quick refresher: in honour of our dearly departed Teen Queen Louise Rennison, I wanted to start 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!
So, Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging is the epic start to a hilarious series. We meet British 14-year-old Georgia Nicolson who is obsessed with boys, always in some kind of drama with her friends and can’t stand her silly family. One of the best things about these books is the characters – Georgia is spunky, snippy and a know-it-all, while her mum and dad seem clueless to her, her little sister licks her, her best friend Jas seems to say more wrong things than right and then there’s Angus, the Scottish wild cat who chases poodles.
The books are written as if they’re Georgia’s diary. She often writes updates logged every few minutes, such as this time when she accidentally shaved her eyebrows:
4:00 pm – Cracked it. I’ll use Dad’s razor.
4:05 pm – Sharper than I thought. It’s taken off a lot of hair just on one stroke. I’ll have to even up the other one.
4:16 pm – Bugger it. It looks all right, I think, but I look very surprised in one eye. I’ll have to even up the other one now.
I think that reading this when I was a teenager influenced me in trying to write the same way in my diaries.
I always giggle at interactions with her sister Libby:
10:00 pm – Libby has woken up and insists on sleeping in my bed. It’s quite nice, although she does smell a bit on the hamsterish side.
midnight – The tunnel-of-love dream I’ve just had, where this gorgey bloke is carrying me through the warm waters of the Caribbean, turns out to be Libby’s wet pajamas on my legs.
Change bed. Libby not a bit bothered and in fact slaps my hand and calls me “Bad boy” when I change her pajamas.
In reality, it would be hard to keep up a diary like this, but we believe it because it’s funny.
Georgia is awkward navigating her new teenagedom but the boys still are interested in her (which she doesn’t quite realize yet). She fights with her parents about wanting a bra and blonde hair, she has no idea how to kiss a boy and she shows up to a party in an olive costume (which Jas convinced her to make, but then she couldn’t fit in the car so she had to trot along while her dad drove Jas).
“What would I be doing walking the streets at night as a stuffed olive – gate-crashing cocktail parties?”
^ Georgia provides real LOLs. I laughed quite a lot re-reading it, over a decade after my first read!
This is also where we get the infamous quote from Jas.
“Georgia, you thought it was funny and I thought it was funny, but you have to remember that boys don’t think girls are for funniness.”
I first read Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging in high school – it was quite popular then, I remember all the girls reading it and the boys trying to sneakily read it so they could find out what all the girls were giggling about. That is power. Louise most certainly based Georgia’s story around her own upbringing. She’s admitted to lifting experiences right out of her life, even the stuffed olive costume. It is such a gift that Louise could share her awkward teenage years with us through Georgia – so many girls around the world identified and finally found something that wasn’t like all the perfect made up girls they saw everywhere else. Georgia showed us it was okay to be a bit weird and silly and to go after what we want.
A lot of Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging revolves around Georgia’s crush on Robbie ‘the Sex God,’ who she meets through Jas, who is dating Robbie’s brother, Tom. Robbie is dating “Wet Lindsay” though, which Georgia just takes as a challenge.
Another shining thing about Georgia is the fantastic lingo she provided us. And cheeky HarperCollins UK thought it was a smart idea to include a Georgia-written glossary in the back for North American readers (it was). Some gems:
bloke – You must know what a bloke is . . . it is a person of the masculine gender. Hence the expression “my bloke” – as in “I am dumping my bloke because he is too thick.”
nuddy-pants – Quite literally nude-coloured pants, and you know what nude-coloured pants are? They are no pants. So if you are in your nuddy-pants you are in your no pants, i.e., you are naked.
shirty – Flustered and twitchy and coming on all pompous.
stroppy – Stroppy is a very useful expression and is a state in between having a nervy b (nervous breakdown) and a tantrum. For instance you would get stroppy or “throw a strop” if your mum would not let you borrow her Chanel handbag for no reason other than she says you would lose it. You would note quite have a nervy b because it is after all just a handbag. Hower you are perfectly entitled to get stroppy if you can’t have what you want.
I do have to point out though that while I still find Georgia hilarious, there are a few moments in the book that are racist and homophobic, which is upsetting. For example, at the beginning, she makes a lot of comments about how god forbid she doesn’t want to “end up” as a lesbian, and fears her supposedly lesbian gym teacher just likes all the girls, though towards the end of the book she seems more accepting of queerness. I don’t remember how the rest of this plays out in the rest of the books, so we’ll see.
Overall minus that, I thoroughly enjoyed re-reading Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging, and can’t wait to move on to the next: On the Bright Side, I’m Now the Girlfriend of a Sex God (spoiler!) We will reconvene on April 12!
What did you guys think of the book? Share your favourite moments and quotes in the comments!