Love is a Many Trousered Thing by Louise Rennison

“It’s always tough to hurt someone and tell them the truth. I know that. You’re a really lovely girl. Lovely . . . mad . . . but
lovely. I’ll always like you. Don’t worry.”

Synopsis from GoodreadsThe original Sex God has re-landed, Masimo the Italian Stallion wants to be her boyfriend, and Dave the Laugh is still a regular snoggee. How will Georgia cope juggling all three boys of her dreams? Have her days on the rack of love really gone for good? Or will this just lead to confusionosity and merde?

Feelings:  I decided to once again go for the audiobook version. This book had a different narrator, so it isn’t narrated by the author. It was still narrated really well and I think this reader really captured Georgia’s personality and spirit.

Georgia always makes me laugh, but for some reason this book in particular made me laugh out loud multiple times. Literally – out loud, on my own, just laughing. For example, there’s a scene where Gee is complaining about a documentary they have to watch at school about bees. When it’s over, she’s talking about how awesome it was and how they wanted to watch two queen bees in a bitch fight a second time. So great and so classic Georgia.

Issues: The only thing I really have to say about this book is that it kind of dragged sometimes. The tempo of the story slowed down quite a bit at times, but then it would pick back up and I’d be interested again.

Characters: One thing I thought was really funny was how Georgia kept referring to her love interests as desserts. She just kept going back to that cake shop of love and switching things up – so funny to listen to. Ever since I started reading this series, I’ve mentioned I want Georgia to grow up some more. I’d say we see that in this book more so than the others, and I’m HERE for it. We’ve only got 2 books left, so I’m allowing myself to hope for some maturiosity.

I feel nothing towards Masimo. I don’t find him to be a particularly interesting character and I’m ready for Georgia to move on from him. I get that he’s foreign and has that accent…but being from Pizza-a-gogo land isn’t doing it for me. Surprisingly, I was okay with Robbie being back! That surprised me, but it’s probably mostly because I was bored by the Italian Stallion. Still rooting for Dave the Laugh, I have to say!

I enjoyed the scene where Jas puts her new found acting skills to use, role playing as herself talking to Tom. It seemed like Georgia was noticing that Jas isn’t completely useless, as she’s stated many times, but then NOPE. Back to complaining about her “best friend”.

Final thoughts: I think this is a good series and I enjoy it. It’s not deep, compelling literature for the ages, but it’s entertaining and fun. It’s also nice as a buffer between serious novels or non-fiction. Georgia lightens things up and I like that about her!

Goodreads rating: 4.15/5

Amazon.com rating: 4.7/5

My rating: 4/5

Happy reading! – Caitlyn

Startled by His Furry Shorts by Louise Rennison

“Oh Goddygodgod, am I never to be free from my own bonkerosity?”

Synopsis from GoodreadsGeorgia is in quite a predicament. Dave the Laugh has declared his love for her (at least she thinks he was talking about her), leaving her in a state of confusiosity. And then when she finally decides to give Masimo an ultimatum — to be her one and only — he tells her he needs to think about it. To distract herself from her romantic woes, Georgia throws herself into Mac-Useless play rehearsals and planning a Viking wedding, and tries to avoid all thoughts of boy decoys, Italian-American dreamboats . . . and let’s not forget guitar-plucking Sex Gods!

Feelings: This particular book didn’t have an Audible.com option, so I went to the Kindle book. I have to say, this may be my favorite book in the series so far. It just finally felt like things were happening! Georgia has multiple love interests and real, tangible things are developing with each one, which probably means the next book is going to be really cram-jam full and I am HERE for it.

Issues: If you’ve been following me as I journey through these books, you’ll know that I’m really not a big fan of Robbie (aka The Sex God). Their relationship always seemed empty and bland to me. However, in this book he wrote her a letter and it showed very real interest in her. I don’t know how to feel about him coming back into her life, so it’s under “issues” because I’m worried he’ll throw a big wrench in her life…again.

One of the downfalls of listening to audiobooks (for me) is that I can miss details. I’m not an auditory learner so I can tend to zone out and then totally not know what’s actually going on. For example: Who the devil is Mabs? Where did she come from and how did I miss her? This may not be an actual “issue” of the author throwing in a new character without fanfare and just be me missing something because I listened to the last two books. So take this “issue” with a grain of salt.

Characters: One thing I’ve been watching for with Georgia is her ability to have an actual relationship with her parents. She has a lot of love for her little sister Libby, but talks crap about her parents and ignores them most of the time. In the last book or two, that started to shift just a smidge. In this book, though, we finally see something real. Part of it is probably because Georgia is getting older and maturing a tiny, minuscule bit, but it’s also partly because Georgia finally has something that she values her mom’s input on.

Jas and Georgia are back with their weird friendship. They ignore each other, love each other, then repeat. It’s classic teenage girl, really, but it gets old. Georgia hasn’t been as rude to Jas as she has in the past, though, so RESULT! Rosie is probably the weirdest friend character I’ve ever read. And her relationship with Svan is truly baffling. And poor Ellen. She’s like the sad little puppy of the ace gang. I’m curious as to how Georgia will fill Ellen in on her past with Dave the Laugh, considering Ellen is like obsessed with him. Then there’s Jools, who, like Mabs, seemed to come out of nowhere. All I know about Jools is that she’s with Rollo…but don’t ask me anything concrete about Rollo. So many friends, so little details.

Final thoughts: While things finally were developing in our storyline, it’s all still the same old Georgia: parents, boys, friends, and self-image. These books are silly and hilarious with this particular book at the top.

Goodreads rating: 4.13/5

Amazon.com rating: 4.3/5

My rating: 4.25/5

Happy reading! – Caitlyn

Then He Ate My Boy Entrancers (audiobook) by Louise Rennison

“What in the name of Beelzebub’s stamp collection are you on about?”

Synopsis from GoodreadsHilariously funny author Louise Rennison’s fabby sixth book of the confessions of crazy but lovable teenager Georgia Nicolson. Guaranteed to have the nation laughing their knickers off! Laugh your socks off at Georgia’s tales from her trip to Hamburger-a-gogo land, and her attempts to entice Masimo, the Italian stallion. Can Georgia become the composed sex-kitten she aspires to be!? Surely not!

Feelings: Once again, I chose the audiobook. I’m just finding it to be more enjoyable! 

I have to say…I’m getting “over” wanting Georgia to mature. She’s experiencing some very real realities of growing up (as well as some really extreme and weird situations.) When I decided to stop analyzing these books like they’re classic literature, I found myself really…finally enjoying the story. It’s like I’m really starting to get it: the appeal and draw of Georgia. And I’m a fan. 

Issues: I think the only part of this story that I had an issue with was when Robbie showed back up again. It seemed like we were headed towards two other love interests, but then the Sex God poked his head back in and reminded Georgia he existed. So now she’s got 3 guys in her life and a lot of feelings to navigate through. I don’t know…I guess this is a stretch for “issue”…it’s more like a personal annoyance. 

Characters: In both this book and the one before it, I found myself enjoying Georgia much more. I thought it was really funny how while planning out her trip to America, she thinks it should be simple to get from Memphis to Manhattan so she can track down Massimo. There are multiple problems there, but her teenage girl mind doesn’t see them. I was also really happy to see her having a very real moment with her mom and actually enjoying herself! Hoping mom’s advice plays out in Georgia’s favor!

We started to see a different side to Jas when she and Tom decided to take a break, but she was almost unrecognizable in this book. She was so down in the dumps! But then she started to come out of it, but I’m glad she experienced this. It’s good for her. 

Narrator: If you missed my review of book five in this series, I talked about how the audio books are narrated by the author, Louise Rennison, and it makes ALL the difference. Obviously, nobody understands her characters the way she does so she hits everything on the head. In this book, she does some American accents and it’s pretty hilarious.

Final thoughts: Again, I’d recommend the audio versions of these books. They’re just really fun and enjoyable. However, the print copies of these books are still good reads. The style it’s written in makes it easy to read. As for Georgia herself, I’m enjoying her more and more and I’m ready to continue on with her adventures…which is good because we’re only halfway through!

 

Goodreads rating: 4.09/5

Amazon.com rating: 4.1/5

My rating: 4/5

Happy reading! – Caitlyn

Keep the Home Fires Burning, Part One by S. Block

Synopsis from Goodreads1940, Great Paxford, Cheshire. In Britain’s darkest hour, an extraordinary community of women strive to protect the Home Front. When a plane crashes in the village, every one of their lives will change forever . . . The women of Great Paxford are no strangers to hardship and the extraordinary power of what women can achieve when they work together. But the most testing moment of their lives so far is hurtling toward them. Can Frances, Sarah, Pat, Steph and the women of the WI survive their greatest challenge yet?

Feelings: I am SO EXCITED about this, friends. This is part one in a new four part series of ebooks that will be published one per month from July-October. In October, you’ll be able to purchase the four parts together as one novel. This series picks up after the TV series Home Fires ended. If you’re unfamiliar with this series, you need to stop reading this blog and go binge watch it. Go now! I’m obsessed with it. Unfortunately, the final season was left on a HUGE cliffhanger because they were anticipating another season…but then they got canceled. So our story gets to continue in written form – yes!

This particular book starts literally at where the show left off and relays to us the scene we remember. Then we backtrack, setting it up, which is good if you haven’t seen the episode in a while or if you’ve never seen it at all. In fact, I’d say that more than a third of this book is spent giving us back story. I didn’t mind it that much because it was helpful to remember who everyone was, but I also knew that this was just the beginning of this four part story. So there’s plenty of upcoming pages for new things to happen!

Issues: There’s one character, Annie, that I remember not really liking in the series and that feeling continues in this book. She’s fine on her own, I just don’t like how she’s starting to confuse Teresa and make her question her decision to marry Nick. Teresa has committed to him, so I need Annie to back off a little bit. T’s got her own issues and doubts without Annie adding more.

The way it was written makes sense to me, but nothing really actually happened since where the series ended. This book was just kind of setting the stage and leaning into the next book. I get it and I think it was necessary, but again…it made it where nothing new took place.

Characters: Because of the way Block backtracked in most of this book, we didn’t get any real character development just yet. However, there are some new changes that’ll impact the characters in the very near future. Most likely what I’ll do for each installment is focus on a few characters. This story has a large cast, so covering all of them would take a lot of space!

Joyce – Oh, Mrs. Cameron. I didn’t care for her when the TV series started, but she really grew on me. I loved how she went off with Miriam and the others when M started going into labor. She’s really taking on a new role in their community, really being part of their lives. I’m also really grateful that Pat and Bob are living with her for the time being. Pat needs someone to lean on other than her jerk husband. But Joyce’s fawning over Bob needs to stop. I’m hoping Pat will open up to her so that she sees Bob for who he really is.

Sarah – She was a character that I couldn’t quite figure out and the book has helped me. Being in her head and seeing what she’s thinking has shown me how afraid she is about where Adam could be and what her true feelings were during her time with Nick. I hope she gets closure about Adam’s whereabouts, whether he comes home or she gets reliable information.

Miriam – I was worried about Miriam when David went missing during his time at sea. She was so convinced that everything would be ok that she was almost delusional. Then when she got pregnant and David came home, all really was well, other than David’s war wounds. The plane crash and the traumatizing rescue are a new obstacle for Miriam, both mentally and emotionally, as well as physically. In this book, she started to seem again like the Miriam that worried me.

Final thoughts: I would definitely recommend watching the series before picking up the books, however it’s not completely necessary. Block does a good job of giving us background information and character histories, so you could pick up the story with these books and have a full understanding of what’s going on and who these people are.

Pick this up if you liked:

Call the Midwife by Jennifer Worth (books or TV series)

Goodreads rating: 4.57/5

Amazon.com rating: 4.7/5

My rating: 4/5

Happy reading! – Caitlyn

Away Laughing on a Fast Camel (audiobook) by Louise Rennison

“Americans…they call knickers ‘panties’. That is not really speaking English, is it?”

Synopsis from GoodreadsThe Sex God has left the country, taking Georgia’s heart with him. So she decides to display glaciosity to all boys — a girl can only have her heart broken so many times. Until she meets Masimo, the new singer for the Stiff Dylans. The Sex God is gone, but here comes the Dreamboat, and Georgia’s away laughing on a fast camel (whatever that means).

Feelings: This is #5 in this series and I’m slowly, but surely, making my way through Georgia’s (mis)adventures. The last book or two was starting to feel repetitive and I was turning against Georgia a bit. So for book 5, I decided it was time to try out the audiobooks. Granted, not all 10 books have audio adaptations. I am SO glad I made the switch for this book. The narrator is Louise Rennison, the author, who adds so much life to her own written words. Actually, what’s funny is that after I started listening, I still didn’t realize somehow that the author was the narrator and I kept thinking, “Wow, this narrator really understands Georgia.” Well of COURSE she does.

This particular book had a large number of funny scenes. There’s one scene in particular where Georgina finds herself at a church. She sees a place with candles being lit and assumes it’s the Cosmic Request Shop and accidentally sets an old lady’s head scarf on fire. They get in a handbag fight and it’s greatness. To me, these are the quinticential Georgia kind of scenes and I love that we got more than a couple of these in this book.

Issues: I don’t think I actually had any issues with this one! (It could be because I’m not a auditory learner. I never get as much from audiobooks as I do from actually reading the words…so I always miss stuff. But it could also be that I’d have the same reaction if I’d read the physical book! Guess we’ll never know!)

Characters: In my last couple of reviews, I’ve talked about how Georgia is rude and becoming more and more so as the books go on. She didn’t come off nearly as mean in this book and I think that has a LOT to do with the way Rennison narrates her character. She took out a lot of the “bite” I was adding to Georgia’s words in my own head and I ended up liking her a good deal more. The way I was reading her had a different tone, so I’m glad to be getting the author’s perspective and intention. That doesn’t always happen!

We started out being obsessed (still) with Robbie the Sex God and wondering about Dave the Laugh…then we got a new boy! Finally we’re shaking things up! I’m also really glad to see Georgia and Dave having an actual friendship. Everything happened quickly between her and Robbie, so it’s nice to see her having conversations and really connecting with someone without too much snogging going on in between.

This book didn’t have as much about friendship as some of the others. Although I have to say, I’m ok with Tom and Jas not being cuddly duddly all the time now. It’s healthy for them to be separated and to figure things out, so I’m glad we’re getting to see them experience that. I think it’ll be good for Georgia and Jas’ friendship, too. Maybe. It’s Georgia, so…who knows?

Final thoughts: This may be my favorite book in this series so far. Maybe because Robbie wasn’t really in it – not a fan! I would highly recommend these audiobooks narrated by the author. They’re funny and quick – each are 4 or 5 hours only! (That’s pretty short for me, compared to the books I usually reach for.) Georgia is growing up a little bit more and I’m excited to continue this series to see what else she gets herself in to!

*See my review for book four, Dancing in my Nuddy-Pants, HERE!

Goodreads rating: 4.06/5

Audible.com rating: 4.4/5

My rating: 4.25/5

Happy reading! – Caitlyn

Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare

*This review will contain spoilers, especially if you haven’t read the first book: Lady Midnight. However, I won’t give any spoilers away from THIS book.*

“Fiction is truth, even if it is not fact. If you believe only in facts and forget stories, your brain will live, but your heart will die.”

Synopsis from Goodreads – click the link to read it!

Feelings: Cassandra Clare does a lot of things well, but for me there are two stand out skills: character writing and plot twists. She writes beautifully complex characters that make me fall in love and go through a gambit of emotions. We go on these incredible journeys with them and these stories are so full of twists and turns, I literally have no idea where a story will end up. Ok…one more thing she does really well is dual stories. She can take us back and forth between two major events seamlessly. This happened a couple of times in this specific book and it kept me on the edge of my seat!

This book’s ending…I can’t. It was so beautifully, painfully well written and I had legit tears falling from my eyes as I read. So powerful in so many ways and it really set up the next book.

Issues: About halfway through the book I realized that almost every character had multiple possible love interests. Clare’s books always involve long, drawn out love triangles, but this one seemed to have a lot going on. I didn’t dislike it, necesarily, it was just a lot to process.

Characters:  I LOVE that we got to see some of our old Shadowhunter friends. There definitely had bigger roles in this story than they did in Lady Midnight and I am thrilled about it.

In my review of Lady Midnight, I said that Emma seems like the perfect combination of Clary and Jace and I stand by that. She’s sarcastic and confident like Jace, while also having the best qualities of Clary. I love that they were both around for her in this book, too. She had to make some tough decisions and will continue to, perhaps her hardest choice of all is coming soon! While I enjoy reading about her, I don’t know that I necessarily connect with her.

JULIAN. What a dynamic character. He is such a hero and he may be one of my favorite characters in the Shadowhunter universe. The way he defends those he loves and feels things so fiercely…love him.

In the first book, I wasn’t sure what to think about Kit. I especially didn’t know what to expect from his big reveal at the end. In THIS book, though, I think he comes to terms with his new life at a very realistic pace, which I appreciated. Sometimes in YA, characters embrace life changes very quickly and it can be hard to buy in to. I think Clare write Kit’s experience really well.

Ty is a character that I’m loving more and more. I love his confidence; he knows he’s different BUT he knows WHO he is. He’s surrounded by such a loving family who embrace him as he is, which has given him a really strong foundation. I can’t wait to see the direction his story takes, but I’m nervous about how he’ll be affected after the way this book ended.

Finally, I think Diana’s big secret was handled really well. Others who have gone through similar experiences may think differently and I’d be interested to hear their opinion. However, from my point of view, we knew Diana had something people didn’t know about her and I believe the character she chose to reveal her secret to was well chosen.

Final thoughts: I read this book really quickly. You wouldn’t think it was 700 pages long, but I flew through it…which is the case with all of Clare’s books. If you haven’t joined the Shadowhunter universe yet, I would NOT recommend starting with this trilogy. Read Clare’s books in publication order and then strap in for a crazy ride!

 

Goodreads rating: 4.59/5

Amazon.com rating: 4.6/5

My rating: 5/5

Happy reading! – Caitlyn

Dancing in my Nuddy-Pants by Louise Rennison

Probably because I am such a kind and caring person, Jesus has decided to take me for His sunbeam by letting me off the hook.”

Synopsis from Goodreads: Since Georgia’s been dating the yummy scrumboes Sex God, Robbie, her glossy lips are always at the ready, and her “red-bottomosity” is kept under wraps. Along with Naomi the Sex Kitten’s new litter (thank you, Angus), Robbie’s announcement that his band will be traveling to Hamburger-a-gogo land (Georgia can only hope to go with), and a class trip to France, Georgia is one camper in a state of teenage splendiosity. The small trouble is, Georgia also wonders if Dave the Laugh might still be the guy for her, and when Robbie gives a surprise-ending twist to his travel plans, she gets a “weird feeling of reliefosity” that makes her wonder if she must venture out and bravely use her “red bottom wisely.”

Feelings: Georgia’s back at it again! In this fourth installment of this series, we travel with Georgia and the Ace Gang to Paris, we experience the throes of young love, and the woes of growing up. In the last three books, I’ve hoped to see Georgia mature a little bit more. By book four, we still don’t see much growth on that front. She’s still complaining about her parents, but there may have actually been a little less of that in this book. She’s still mean to Jas, her best friend, but Jas seems to dish it out a little bit more and defend herself here. So while Georgia isn’t changing too terribly much just yet (still hoping), there are SOME changes happening. Of the four books I’ve read, this one was harder for me to get going with. I read the first 20 pages or so and just felt like we’d been there before. It got better by the second half, but I just wasn’t feeling this one as much for a while.

Issues: Jools was mentioned a couple times in this book and I had legitimately forgotten about her. Georgia has the Ace Gamg friend squad and I can only tell you about 4 of the 5 girls. I think that’s a shame!

Has Georgia gotten even meaner? Her attitude towards Pamela Green makes me sad and also kind of angry. When P. Green played Nana the dog in their school production of Peter Pan, Georgia taught her dog tricks to be cruel. There’s a moment towards the end when I was thinking Georgia would grow up a little, but she ended up making fun of both Pamela and her mother.

Finally, I get that Georgia’s whole unique thing is all the -osity she adds to words and the funny phrases she uses. But it got really old, really quickly in this book. Seriosity, maturiosity…I’m over it.

Characters: Georgia’s “Sex God” boyfriend drops an unexpected bomb on her in the last few pages of this book and we see her feelings for Dave the Laugh grow as a result. I’m expecting book five to really develop that choice she’ll have to make. As always, my vote is with Dave. He’s a laugh, after all, and they’re able to be comfortable and just talk to each other. Robbie seems even more distant in this book, for multiple reasons.

I’m all about Jas’ budding confidence. She’s defending herself a little more and figuring out what she excels at. It may be a little nerdier than what Georgia wants for her, but I like that she’s sticking to it. You be you, Jas!

Georgia’s parents are unlike any YA family I think I’ve ever read about. Her parents fight and then make out and then mom flirts with the doctor and then dad does dad stuff. It’s all kind of exhausting. And kind of weird. Especially when Georgia’s mom is flirting with the doctor and taking her daughter to his office because her elbows look weird. Like what even is that?

Final thoughts: I’m glad I decided to read this whole series, but this book just felt like one of those in-betweeners. You know, the type that just serves to bridge us from point A to point B. It didn’t seem like much actually happened, up until the last 10 pages or so. If you’re reading these books in order, then you definitely should read it. Especially considering it’s only 200 pages. But it wasn’t my favorite. Come on, book 5!

Goodreads rating: 4.01/5

Amazon.com rating: 4.2/5

My rating: 3/5

Happy reading! – Caitlyn