So what highbrow reading did I do this weekend? Some literary criticism? A scholarly monograph on Jane Austen? A well-footnoted work of epic history or biography?
Oh, blimey hell, I might as well admit it: I spent the weekend reading a book titled Stop in the Name of Pants!, by Louise Rennison. Yes, it is a "young adult" book. Yes, other entries in this series including titles like Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontal Snogging, Knocked Out By My Nunga Nungas, and Startled by His Furry Shorts. And I have loved them all, do you hear me? I have waited for this ninth book in Louise Rennison's series featuring her teenage British character Georgia Nicolson for months, so you can bet I read it first thing when I got it home from the library.
It's a pretty basic series to sum up. Georgia Nicolson is a very silly British girl who spends most of her time trying to decide which boy to like, applying make-up with her friends in the bathroom at school (which they call the "tarts' wardrobe"), and being annoyed by her parents, little sister, and fuzzy and violent cat Angus. Think Bridget Jones, only for the middle school set.
And I loved it. I love Georgia, I love that she can't decide whether she likes the hunky guys or the one who makes her laugh, the appropriately named Dave the Laugh (who stands as one of my favorite male characters in literature ever). I love her crazy little sister Libby and I love the British slang. To use a phrase from the book, it is vair vair marvelous.* Come on, you've got to love the word "brillopads" (in place of another word I wish I was British enough to use: Brilliant!), as well as "nunga nungas." Don't let the titles scare you. These books are absolutely harmless. Actually, if you could steer your pre-teens away from Gossip Girl and toward these books, you'd be a lot better off.
All of that said, Ms. Rennison, please end this series. I can't keep waiting for your books this way. And for god's sake, let Georgia date Dave the Laugh. I can't take it anymore.
*I also owe Rennison for the phrase "nippy noodles," which I use whenever it starts to get cold outside.