Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Away Laughing on a Fast Camel by Louise Rennison

Away Laughing on a Fast Camel was released in England as And That's When It Fell Off in My Hand, only "apparently that is too rude for Hamburger-a-gogo land" (the U.S.). It picks up about a month after the last book (Dancing in My Nuddy-Pants) ends – a kindness, really, since the Sex God left for Kiwi-a-gogo land (New Zealand, obviously) at the end of the prior book, and I'm sure Georgia has spent the full month in mourning. More or less.

The good news starting our book is not Georgie's, but Rosie's: Sven is returning from Sweden, and there's to be a teen werewolf party to celebrate. (The fish party from a couple books back was hilarious, although I neglected to mention it in my review - Sven wore a condom on his head as if it were a hat and there were fishticks everywhere.)

Early on in the book is one of my favorite Libby bits:

my bedroom in my bed of pain (quite literally)
10:00 p.m.

Libby's bottom is bloody freezing. If I didn't know better, I'd say she'd been sitting in a bucket of frozen mackerel. Still, she has been round to Grandad's, so anything could have happened; he is, after all, the man who set fire to himself with his own pipe.

10:05 p.m.
She might have a cold botty and be mad as a snake, but she looks so lovely when she is asleep and she is my little sister. I really love her. I kissed her on her forehead and without opening her eyes she slapped me and said, "Cheeky monkey." I don't know what goes on in her head. (Thank God.)
Georgia reads a book she finds stashed in her mother's knickers drawer entitled How to Make Anyone Fall in Love with You, and ends up telling her friends some of the techniques described in the book, which proves just as funny as you might expect. She works a bit of her magic on boys at the werewolf party – one she calls "the Dame", just for fun, and Dave the Laugh for reasons she can't articulate to herself. On the plus side, Dave calls her "Sex Kitty"; on the minus side, well, there's a girl Rachel who attaches herself to his face. Poor Georgia.

Georgia is propositioned by a 12-year old boy from across the street, and actually finds herself snogging Mark Big Gob (from the first book) again, only to have him try to feel her up and then call her a tease. Her friend Rosie is quite a consolation to her in the ensuing distress, but then so is Dave the Laugh, who tells her that Mark the Gob "really is an enormous twit of the first water". Then he's exceptionally sweet to her (no snogging, but a sweet kiss), and then "As I walked off, he called back to me, 'Don't worry about Mark Big Gob. I'll have a word.'" (A word that ends with a split lip for Mark Big Gob and an apology to Georgie.) *swoon* Of course, you all know I've been calling Georgia and Dave the Laugh as my OTP all along, yes?

There is, however, a fly in the ointment: a large, gorgeous Italian/American fly named Masimo, who arrives on a Vespa, saying "ciao" (cue my fave Eddie Izzard routine, Dress to Kill) and being generally hot. To say nothing of Rachel. Although at one point, Georgie and Dave have a conversation, during which Dave explains boys quite well:

"What is the explanation, Dave?"

"I like snogging you and I have got the General Horn."

"But . . ."

"It's my age. I'll grow out of it when I am about forty-five."

"But I . . . "

. . . He said, "It's nothing personal. It's just my hormones, tell them off."

I just looked at him.

He said, "Look, girls and boys are different. Girls like to be touched twenty times a day in a nonsexual way to feel good about themselves—that is why I tickle you and link arms with you—but boys think about sex, snogging and football, and also snogging whilst playing football. Simple."
I think Louise Rennison is onto something here. Also, she's a really convincing writer because I was about to give Dave the Laugh full credit for this, despite him being a fictional character, because truly, he seems quite real to me these days. He later gives Georgia some additional advice regarding boys that is spot-on (and brilliant), and I like him ever so much. Not that there's any reason not to like Masimo, Georgia's new obsession, as well.

This book involves one of Angus's kittens (named Gordy), who is saved from a trip to the other side of the rainbow bridge through the clever intervention of Georgia (by way of manipulating Libby). It also involves a clown car, a badger hole, WWII goggles, a day spent with Dr. Clooney and the elderly mad, and mention of an upcoming trip to America. I know from M's reading of these books that I can expect hilariousity over the word "fanny" to ensue.

I can hardly wait to read the remaining books.


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