Saturday, July 9, 2011

Owls, Bad Boys, and Corkers: Review of Withering Tights by Louise Rennison

Withering Tights
Misadventures of Tallulah Casey, #1
Louise Rennison
Spin-off to Confessions of Georgia Nicolson
June 2011

Love this cover!  The tights pattern, the title font, and the cute owl
give the reader a good idea of what's inside!

Teaser:  "The boys didn't get off at their stop because Phil said, 'We'll escort you ladeez to your homes in case of carriages going by and sloshing your evening gowns.'
What is he talking about?
Phil said, 'We've been doing Jane Austen at Woolfe, so we can get inside the female mind.'
I said, 'What is inside our female minds, then?'
Phil said, 'Well, for instance, should one of you want to climb up a staircase on the way home, we lads would have the training to quickly get behind you and walk up the stairs, bracing ourselves.'" Page 140

Tallulah Casey is Georgia's younger cousin.  Fourteen and a half years old, to be exact, and every bit as hilarious, with extremely long legs that she's very self-conscious about.  Tallulah has been accepted to a Performing Arts College Summer School in the moors of Britain- basically in the middle of nowhere.  Because she applied late, she doesn't get to stay in the dorm.  Instead she stays with a funny family in town with two little mischievous boys.  The family is a bit odd, and they put her in a small wooden room and give her handmade furry squirrel slippers.  Tallulah has a bit of a hard time adjusting to the school- disaster after disaster occurs as she tries to discover her talent and earn herself a permanent place in the program.  Meanwhile, she makes some crazy friends- tiny but strong Jo, loyal Vaisey, and boy-magnet Honey, among others.  Tallulah and her friends meet up with some boys from a nearby school, and they discover that teenage boys aren't quite what they had expected.  Tallulah also tries to avoid Cain, a local boy who reminds her strongly of Heathcliff because of his deplorable manners.

The title, Withering Tights, acknowledges the desolate setting, crazy Cain, and the musical version of Wuthering Heights that the school puts on at the end of term.  One of the most fun things about this book is the local pub-owner's daughter, Ruby, who follows Tallulah around like a younger sister.  Ruby and Tallulah find some owl eggs and get to see the chicks!  Ruby also has an older brother named Alex, who is going away to a performing arts school in Liverpool.  Tallulah, of course, has a secret crush on Alex, but Ruby finds this to be disgusting.

There's also a very helpful dictionary at the end of the book which helps with the slang.  Here's an example: "corkers: Another word for girls' jiggly bits.  Also known as norkers.  Honkers, etc.  Cousin Georgia calls them 'nunga-nungas.' She says because when you pull them out like an elastic band, they go nunga-nunga-nunga.  I will be the last to know whether this is true or not."  This dictionary is funny even if you don't need to look up the words!

I really enjoyed this book- it was definitely zany and cute.  Four stars!  The only downside was that it really reads in a fourteen-year-old's voice, so it was like spending a lot of time with my younger sister.  Because of this, I would recommend it mostly to middle school girls, but fans of Georgia Nicolson would probably enjoy it a lot, too.  The references to Wuthering Heights add to the depth of the story, but you probably don't need to have read Wuthering Heights to enjoy this book- some info is included in the dictionary.

The publisher's website also includes a link to the first chapter!

Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

1 comment:

  1. I loved Louise Rennison's Confessions of Georgia Nicolson series so when I heard about this book I was pretty exited. I haven't read a lot of reviews on it though. It's nice to know you enjoyed it ^-^