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

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Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging by Louise Rennison is a hilarious and an uncompromisingly accurate diary of a 14-year-old girl. This book is as entertaining, realistic, and comical as a book can get. It captures all the superficial, melodramatic, and boy-crazy thoughts that could ever possibly pass through a young teenager girl's mind.

Snogging is the first book of the Georgia Nicolson series. Rennison based many of the scenarios in the book off of her own childhood experiences, my favorite being the scene where Nicolson pays a young boy for "snogging lessons" or kissing lessons.

Rennison grew up in West Yorkshire, England, with her family. She had always wanted to be a performer, and in her twenties she decided to pursue it. In the‘80s she wrote and performed a successful one-woman show called Stevie Wonder Touched My Face. It won several awards at the Edinburgh Festival and was featured in a BBC2 special.

Along with writing her books, Rennison still performs and tours around the country on radio shows and has also written for many well-known comedians. Her comedic experience is evident when reading her stories. She turns the world of an average 14-year-old girl into a stand-up routine.

The lead character in Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging is Georgia Nicolson. Nicolson spends much of her time thinking about boys, worrying about her appearance, conspiring against her enemies, and recovering from the embarrassment of her family.

Georgia lives with her family in England with her three-year-old sister, Libby, and her untamed cat, Angus. She spends most of her time with her best friend, Jas, chasing after two brothers that work at the grocery store.

Georgia is determined to get Robbie, the son of the grocery store owner and lead singer of a band, to fall in love with her. She will do whatever it takes, even if that means declaring war with his current girlfriend, Wet Lindsey.

Obsession takes hold of Georgia's life. She and friends become frequent attendants of Robbie's concerts, and find new reasons every day to take a trip to the grocery store. When Georgia finally gets what she wants, her parents inform her that they are going to move, which only leads to more humorous dialogue in the mind of a young teen.

Georgia is constantly juggling boys and going to drastic measures to improve her appearance. Her friends, Jas and Rosie, are the constant commentary and sense of realism in the dramatic world that takes place in Georgia's head.

The only criticism I could claim against the book is the jargon used. For an American reader, the book could be completely incomprehensible, even in context. However, this problem is solved because Rennison provides a layman’s terms dictionary for all the British words an American reader may not understand.

This is the first book in a ten book series, written primarily for girls about 12-years-old and up, but I think women at any age will love it. I finished this book in one day, but went to the bookstore immediately after finishing it to buy the next nine books in the series. The first two parts of the series have been made into a motion picture that was released this past March to DVD.

I would recommend this book to women of all ages. However, girls around 13 or 14 years of age will particularly enjoy it. For those who like this book, I would also recommend All-American Girl by Meg Cabot and The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares.

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