Charley's Reviews > Withering Tights

Withering Tights by Louise Rennison
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Oct 13, 10

bookshelves: things-that-disappointed, young-adult
Recommended for: chick-lit fans, anyone looking for some teenage problems to have a giggle at
Read in October, 2010 — I own a copy, read count: 1

Withering Tights is your typical made-for-teenage-girls type of book, right up to the cover. Covered in shiny kisses and stripy tights, it's the story of Tallulah Casey. Tallulah's your every day, slightly bonkers fourteen year, who's never been kissed (and dying to change that), and is heading off to an arts college in the exotic land of Yorkshire. To the middle of nowhere in Yorkshire, no less, where she ends up staying with the somewhat nutty Dobbin's and their interesting children. To top it off, there are no boys to be seen...except for Alex (and Seth). What's a girl to do, eh?

But, oh, where has this been done before? In the Confessions of Georgia Nicolson? For ten books? Oh yeah. Tallulah reads exactly like Georgia does, particularly in the earlier diaries, which is all well and good if a first time reader of Rennison's books is picking up Withering Tights for a quick read, but for anyone else? It's been done before, and it's not as if Wuthering Tights does anything new with the narrative. If anything, it's a step backwards - I honestly didn't find this as funny as Rennison's other books and it took me a week or so to actually get through the book, whereas with her other books I could put an evening aside and willingly read the whole thing.

I suppose I'm labouring the "but in her other books..." point a little. I'd bring this up less if, again, Withering Tights wasn't more or less a carbon copy of Dancing in My Nuddy Pants. Oh, no, I tell a lie: Tallulah is fourteen and is at a drama school. It's totally different. Incidentally, Tallulah is Georgia's cousin, which I think was shoved in so the author had an excuse to re-use Georgia's slang. ARGH.

Maybe I'm being a bit harsh with the rating as it's not a particular bad book, but I genuinely did not particularly care for Tallulah or her 'mad' mates. There are some funny moments in there and the book picks up quite a bit towards the end, but the humour does feel slightly forced. It's mostly a lot of "oh, look how WACKY the countryside is" and "see how WACKY art schools are!"...and not much else. It just feels stale after a while and, seeing as Withering Tights is obviously a book carrying itself on humour and madnosity, it's a pretty big deal to find parts of it boring.

Haven't read one of Louise Rennison's books before? Give this a miss and head straight for the Confessions of Georgia Nicolson - they're twice as good and much more engrossing. If you're a fan of Rennison's humour, I'd recommend giving this a borrow from the library to see if you can get into this style of writing.
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