Week 10: Angus, Thongs and Full-frontal Snogging

Book summary: Georgia Nicolson, English teenager, chronicles a year in her life as she deals with her mad cat Angus, crushes on boys and learning to snog, betrayals by her best friend, and the almost criminal antics of a pair of bullyish girls at school. Written in a diary format, Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging shares all of the ups and downs with the audience: the little sister who smells “hamsterish”, the uptight schoolmarms who insist on proper attire and grooming, the “sex god” who flirts with her but is dating another, the trials of making make up look natural, trying to get rid of a monobrow, and the prospect of moving to New Zealand.

My impressions: I laughed the entire time I was reading this book! I’m pretty sure if I had written a journal when I was 14, it would have sounded almost exactly like this (but without the British slang). It’s a sad but expected fact that adolescents, especially girls, tend to think the world revolves around them, and that their problems are tantamount to international crises! But hopefully you make it through, relatively unscathed, and with your sense of humor intact. Having a “friend” like Georgia certainly helps. I especially love how she assumes her parents don’t get anything – I know I certainly thought my parents didn’t at that age – and so she teaches herself about makeup, and grooming her eyebrows (still just about the funniest thing in the book), and boys, and how to (eventually) stand up to the trouble makers at school. I was also pleased that she kindly includes a glossary, so that we “American-type chums” can understand what she’s talking about (even though she’s not sure herself, sometimes). I highly recommend this for girls in high school, especially reluctant readers. Georgia’s humor and the quick pace may encourage them that reading can be fun! I also recommend that parents, especially mothers, of adolescent girls take a peek – they may have forgotten what life was like back then, and Georgia can certainly remind them! Of course your daughters may not be too keen on the idea – I think part of being a teen is feeling misunderstood – but maybe you’ll feel a little less like ripping your own hair out.

Citation: Rennison, L. (1999). Angus, thongs and full-frontal snogging. New York, NY: Harper Collins Pulishers.

Professional review:

“Gr 7-9 –This is the hilarious Bridget Jones-like diary of 14-year-old Georgia, who has a rather wild cat named Angus, a three-year-old sister who pees in her bed, and a best friend who is in love with the vegetable seller’s son. Georgia discusses kissing (snogging) lessons, which she needs because she has just met the “Sex God” of her dreams; what to wear to parties and school; and how to spy on your crush’s girlfriend (this is where thongs come into play). In typical teen manner, Georgia lives in her own world; she thinks she is ugly, is convinced that her parents are weird, positively abhors schoolwork, and has a deep desire to be beautiful and older. Yet she still has time to enjoy the mad antics of her cat and indulge her odd but sweet sister. It will take a sophisticated reader to enjoy the wit and wisdom of this charming British import, but those who relish humor will be satisfied. Fresh, lively, and engaging…”

Reynolds, A. J. (July 2000). Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging: Confessions of Georgia Nicolson. [Review of]. School Library Journal46(7), 109.

Library uses: There are several fun activities that young adults may enjoy – creating a diary or blog, writing up a glossary for their own slang, or even having a British-inspired “fancy dress” party. I would even volunteer to dress as an olive!

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