Allison Bailey's Reviews > Withering Tights

Withering Tights by Louise Rennison
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Jul 09, 11

Read on July 04, 2011

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.
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Reading Progress

07/04/2011 page 87
25.0% "I told my Gma I was having trouble following the slang in this book and I'm pretty sure she used the word "tosser.""
07/05/2011 page 134
38.0% "This is very much a coming of age story- it reminds me of Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret (I just noticed what a long book title that is.)"

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