Thoughts: Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging, by Louise Rennison

I don’t always put children’s books on my list, but I must confess, I stalk the Goodreads of all of my friends and I have a friend or two who received these books very kindly so I put it on just to see how it would be.

Okay, okay, it wasn’t what I expected and it was pretty much entirely my fault. I was expecting/hoping for an Adrian Mole style two-tiered humour thing, but Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging doesn’t cater for more grown-up humour and it never really promised to, so there you go.

Anyway, my thwarted expectations aside, I found the book was written really convincingly in a young teenage style (the main character, Georgia, is fourteen). The voice is great, and the slightly run-on sentences and sort of stilted language reminded me a lot of my early efforts to keep diaries and write sensitively about my feelings. And the way she develops her own personal in-jokey slang gave me a heavy case of the nostalgia. I also loved her use of school French – we used to nerd around in the exact same way, rearranging the perfectly sensible French we learned into hilarious nonsense. And once it hits its stride it has some genuine comedy gold.

When it got a bit cringy it was mostly just because it’s aimed at a much younger audience than me, to be honest. The little sister bits I wasn’t a huge fan of, I guess because I feel like the weirdness of children in fiction is a bit easy. Do you know what I mean? You can basically make them say any old non-sequitur because kids are weird. I know this is all terribly unfair to judge a middle-grade book on. The lesbian jokes as well I was a bit ehhhh on. I know it’s just the way kids grow up and this is a diary (though not a real one) where Georgia is confessing her private, not necessarily appropriate for company feelings, but whyyyy. They weren’t necessarily bad, just… really, why. Just don’t put them in. No one would notice. Promise.

The other thing that did genuinely surprise me was the age difference between Georgia and Robbie (the Sex God). That’s a real complication in the romance (at least at this age) and I am sort of interested to know how it was resolved or not in later books. I was also surprised that Angus was a wildcat – I thought he would be a boy.

So, this is really just the diary of a madcap girl in a family that embarrasses her as she tries to get through life, navigating school, friends and the first stirrings of love. Her attempts to do so are full of shenanigans and bad advice, and in general it’s a pretty good-natured romp. I do wish I’d read it at the right age. I think we’d have got on.

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