Title: Withering Tights (Misadventures of Tallulah Casey #1)
Author: Louise Rennison
Publication Date: July 2nd, 2010
Fourteen-year-old Tallulah Casey is spending the summer at a performing arts college in Yorkshire. After receiving some advice from her cousin Georgia (yes, that Georgia,) she heads up North to Dother Hall, which the brochure claims is “world-renowned for its excellence in the Arts. This magnificent centre of artistry is set amongst the beautiful Yorkshire Dales. With its friendly northern folk offering a warm welcome to visitors, think Wuthering Heights but with less moaning!” After applying too late for the dorms, Tallulah is staying with the Dobbins family in a very squirrely bedroom. Free for the first time from her parents, she quickly makes friends with a group of eccentric girls and meets some cute boys as well. Despite some disastrous acting attempts (including an Irish jig and a bicycle ballet) she finds herself loving Dother Hall, even though she only applied in the first place just for something to do. Some of the summer attendees will be selected to attend the college permanently, and Tallulah doesn’t know what she will do if she’s not chosen. But how will she possibly be selected when she’s not as talented as the other girls and has freakishly long legs and knobbly knees? Will she be able to prove her talent in a comedic production of Wuthering Heights?
Withering Tights is the first book in Louise Rennison’s new series, Misadventures of Tallulah Casey. Fans of Georgia Nicolson will not be disappointed by the antics of Tallulah and her mates. Like Angus, Thongs and Full Frontal Snogging, this book is hilarious and bizarre in the best way possible. With a great cast of characters, I was quickly drawn into life at Dother Hall. I actually ended up liking the tree sisters better than the ace gang (although the boys in this book can’t rival Robbie and Dave the Laugh.) Tallulah’s friends are completely mad and I love it. When she was introduced as Georgia’s younger cousin, I was a bit worried that Tallulah would be a carbon copy of G. However, this wasn’t the case at all. I love Georgia, but Tallulah is a lot nicer than her. And less self involved. They have completely different personalities (despite the fact that they’re both insane) and I love them both. Rennison’s unique writing style and brand of humour is ever present in this book, and it definitely succeeded in making me laugh.
If you haven’t read any of Louise Rennison’s books yet, I should warn you that there will be a lot of slang used (there’s a very funny glossary in the US edition). This is one of the things I really liked, since some of the slang used really adds to the humour of the book. This book doesn’t have much of a plot, but it never really mattered to me. The characters and the humour were enough to keep me reading. One criticism I have is that it was a bit too similar to the Confessions of Georgia Nicolson series, with body troubles, crazy mates and boys. There were a lot of similarities, and hopefully the other books in the series will show more originality.
Overall, this was a promising start to a new series. Although targeted at younger teens, this book can be enjoyed by anyone who loves a laugh. I’m in my twenties and I loved it. If you’re looking for a fun and quirky read, I’d really recommend Withering Tights.
"He was soooo lovely. And well, gorgeous. He had everything a dream boy should have. Back, front sides. Everything. A head. And all in a boy shape."