Month: April 2014

Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging by Louise Rennison

402013247 pages
Published May 31 2000 by Harper Teen
Source: Purchased

Synopsis: There are six things very wrong with my life:

1. I have one of those under-the-skin spots that will never come to a head but lurk in a red way for the next two years.

2. It is on my nose

3. I have a three-year-old sister who may have peed somewhere in my room.

4. In fourteen days the summer hols will be over and then it will be back to Stalag 14 and Oberfuhrer Frau Simpson and her bunch of sadistic teachers.

5. I am very ugly and need to go into an ugly home.

6. I went to a party dressed as a stuffed olive.
In this wildly funny journal of a year in the life of Georgia Nicolson, British author Louise Rennison has perfectly captured the soaring joys and bottomless angst of being a teenager. In the spirit of Bridget Jones’s Diary, this fresh, irreverent, and simply hilarious book will leave you laughing out loud. As Georgia would say, it’s “Fabbity fab fab!”

Review: I’ve had this book on my to-read list for a long time, based on strong reviews from many book bloggers. I don’t know what took me so long to read it, but it was really cheap as an e-book and I thought I would take the plunge. I’m so glad I did, because I actually did snort/laugh out loud a few times at this book and I don’t normally laugh out loud while reading. Georgia is one of the great teenage protagonists. She is funny, sharp, snarky and though she isn’t a perfect character, I can imagine that she is a riot to be around. Her voice is also compelling. She makes the mundane and the boring sound really interesting, and she also sounds like a teenager, albeit, an English teenager, as she points out in the beginning of the book. I loved her descriptions of her cat, Angus, the half Scottish wildcat and also the descriptions of her family. She both loves and is horrified by her family at the same time and I remember those feelings all too well. I finished the book quickly, but I loved being in her world with all her colorful descriptions.

I did enjoy the book, but don’t have a lot to say about it, as while it was a fun read, it was also fluffy. Hopefully I can continue reading the rest of the books to see what kind of hijinks Georgia finds herself in.

Advertisements

A Tale Dark & Grimm series by Adam Gidwitz

7825557 I read the book A Tale Dark & Grimm many years ago and loved it. Again, I love anything to do with fairy tales. I recently found out that the book was not stand-alone, but actually the first in a trilogy. Of course I had to quickly reread the first one and then I zoomed through the last two.

The first book, A Tale Dark & Grimm follows Hansel and Gretel as they walk through many other fairy tales from the Grimm Brothers. The second, In a Glass Grimmly, follows Jack and Jill as they again wander through the vast world of fairy tales. In the final book, A Grimm Conclusion, Jorinda and Joringel again wander from fairy tale to fairy tale.

I loved all three books. What I appreciated most about each book was the way the narrator interacts with the reader, as if he is right there telling the story. I think this gets at the importance of fairy tales, that they are stories to be told and shared and oh, yes, as the narrator constantly reminds us, they are gruesome too. I also like the way the author takes inspiration from fairy tales and other legends and creates a new story. And makes connections between the books, such as with the crows and the interactions with hell and the dvil. I think this is in line with fairy tales coming from an oral tradition and by creating these new stories, the author is definitely in line with the oral tradition. I also like his addition at the end where he writes about sharing these stories with his classes.

I like so much about these books, but the last thing I want do add is the message in each book that the children learn. I won’t reveal too much, but many of the messages boil down to family and love and being honorable and doing the right thing.

These are perfect books to see fairy tales in a new light and I’m just sad there are only three books.