Friday, February 18, 2011

Love is a Many Trousered Thing by Louise Rennison

Let's see . . . we've got Robbie home from Kiwi-a-gogo land, hoping to spend time with Georgia just as Masimo decides he wants to be Georgia's one-and-only. What's a girl to do?

I don't know what Georgia will do (okay, actually, I do know, having finished not only this book but also the remainder of the series, but still), but I am going to start off with one of my favorite Libby-related bits from this book:

A lot of thumping on the stairs.

"Come on dollyboy, Josh boy, bring pussycat in here lalalalalalalala. Pussycat pussycat where have you beeeeeen, I've been to London to see a sardine!!! Hahahahahahaha."

My door crashed open and a very red-faced sister loomed round. She had Gordon by the neck and he was struggling like billio. Yeah, good luck, furry chum. She had her other chubby little arm around the neck of her "boyfwend" the unfortunate Josh. Libby lobes Josh. She treats him just like the rest of her toys (Pantalitzer doll, Angus and Gordy, Scuba-diving Barbie, Jesus, Sandra, me), really really badly. The only difference is that as yet she hasn't been able to remove bits of his body. Pantalitzer doll is quite literally just a head now.

"Heggo Gingie, my Gingie, I LOBE my Gingie. Kiss Joshie the dollyboy."

"No, Libbs, I don't think that Josh wants a kiss, and you are holding him too tightly round his little neck his head is going read, isn't it, Joshie?"

Libby smiled her alarming smile. Lately she has taken to opening her eyes really wide when she does it and sticking her teeth out, like a bonkers hamster who has just seen a really big carrot.

"He laaaikes it."

And she dragged them off into her room. . . .

Went down to run myself a bath and as I passed Libby's door I could hear her talking.

"Now then, a bitty lit of lipstick. Mmmmmm."

Josh is going to look like a toddler drag queen by the time his mum picks him up. Still, if she bans him from coming round it might save him from something far, far worse.
The end result of this particular makeover is more humorous (and horrifying) than you might expect. Unless, of course, you've also been reading these books, and then it's still hilarious, but not nearly so unexpected.

Let's see what other story elements we have here:

1. An embarrassing public meltdown/escape/traincatching event

2. A lengthy game of "is you is or is you ain't my baby?"

3. Snogging – with Robbie, Masimo, and Dave the Laugh. Naturally.

4. A rather hilarious if semi-profane retelling of Cinderella.

5. The Viking bison dance. (You know you want to try it.)

6. A Stiff Dylans gig, complete with dancing, heroics, mad Sven, and Wet Lindsay.

7. A school camping trip, involving crazy bus driving, a hilariously unfortunate episode in which a teacher is seen in her nuddypants, a visit from Dave the Laugh, a fall in the river, a broken bottom and a terrifying encounter with a vole.

With only two books to go, the plot thickens very much upon us indeed. And I begin to have every confidence that my Georgia/Dave OTP prediction will come to fruition. Here's why I think so:

ATTENTION WRITERS: Louise Rennison is the master of "show, don't tell". I have now finished reading the entire series, and I can tell you that Georgia NEVER overtly comes to the realization that her readers pretty much cannot avoid, which is that Dave is the best match for her because she can simply be herself with him. The books are seeded with "be yourself" remarks – her mother says such things to her, and Georgia remarks on how Rosie is completely her own (mad) self with Sven and likes him for who he is, and how Jas is her own (somewhat uptight/nerdy) self with Tom, who likes her for who she is.

In order for Georgie to date Robbie (the Sex God) or Masimo (the Luuurve God), she has to pretend to be something she's not. She has to act more mature, or more dignified, or cooler, or whatever. Also, she often feels awkward and/or censors herself when talking to either Robbie or Masimo, but not when talking to Dave. She is simply and comfortably herself with Dave the Laugh (aka Dave the Biscuit, aka the Hornmeister) – at least most of the time, apart from occasional unresolved sexual tension moments – and he quite apparently likes her just as she is. And this is something that becomes pretty apparent in this book and carries through the next two to the end of the series. (With one exception in the last book, where she holds something back so as not to hurt Dave's feelings, which (by then) represents a step forward in Georgia's thinking.)


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