Thursday, July 14, 2011

Withering Tights (YA)

Withering Tights. Louise Rennison. 2011. HarperCollins. 288 pages.

Wow, this is it. This is me growing up. On my own, going to Performing Arts College. This is good-bye, Tallulah, you long, gangly thing, and helloooooo, Lullah, star of stage and ...owwwwooo. Ow and ow. The train lurched and I've nearly knocked myself out on the side of the door. I'm bound to get a massive lump. Oh good, I can start college with two heads...

Tallulah, our fourteen-year-old-heroine, is such a delight. She is on her way to a performing arts summer program in Yorkshire. As she was the last to sign up for the course, she won't be staying in the dorm, there wasn't enough room, but a local family, the Dobbins, has welcomed her into their home. As a reader, I must admit, I'm GLAD there wasn't room for her in the dorm. Else we would have missed out on this quirky family and the squirrel slippers. And Tallulah may not have caught so many glimpses of local bad boy, Cain, outside her window. Not that she likes him likes him.

So what is Withering Tights about? It's about her summer. It's about her going to summer school and taking all these classes. It's about her failing to make a great impression with the teachers, and making a funny impression on her classmates. It's about her making some GREAT friends: Jo, Vaisey, Flossie, Ruby, etc. It's about her meeting a couple of guys and getting her first and second kiss...not that either is perfect. Are the guys worth swooning over? Maybe. There's local bad boy, Cain, whom Tallulah does NOT like in that way, not even a little bit. There's Charlie and Ben, two friends of Jo's crush. There are a group of guys that like hanging around with this group of girls. (No one is exactly pairing up and getting serious.) And then there is Alex. He is THE ONE that makes Tallulah swoon the most. He turns her silly--or should that be sillier. He's also Ruby's older brother.

What did I love about Withering Tights? Well, I loved Tallulah. I just loved her. She was such a fun person to spend time with. I did enjoy Alex. And Cain. And Charlie. (Ben didn't thrill me all that much.) I loved Tallulah's friends. I think Ruby may just be my favorite--she is a bit younger than Tallulah. But there was just something about her that made me smile. The great thing was that none of these friends annoyed me. (One of my biggest annoyances with the Georgia Nicholson series was Georgia's friends. I'm not sure if I found them annoying because Georgia found them annoying. Or if they were just super-obnoxious all on their own.) I loved the humor! I did! For example, ONE of the assignments in this drama school was for them to put on a musical based on Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights.

Here's one of the songs she writes:
I'm out on the moors, the wild moors,
Let's roll about in rockpools.
Oh, it gets lonely without you,
I hate you, I love you.
It's Cathy, trying to get in your Windoooooow ow ow ow... (171)

I'm out on the moors, the windy moors,
Let's roll about in mud pools,
Or sheep poo, I hate you, I love you, tooooo.
Heathcliff, it's me, tap-tapping on your windooooow. (220)
Of course, that's just a small part of the Bronte humor!

So I'd recommend Withering Tights for anyone who loves funny romances. Of course, anyone who loved and adored Georgia Nicholson should give Tallulah a try. I actually liked Withering Tights more than most of the more recent Georgia novels. There was nothing tired about it.

© 2011 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


Ash 10:51 AM  

Thank you so much for the review! I'm totally ordering this from the library right now:)

~ The Tuckerbag ~

BookJunkie 12:13 PM  

I think I'm going to read this! Thanks for the review!

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I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

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  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
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I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

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