Sunday, September 09, 2012

Emily's Book Review: A Midsummer Tight's Dream by Louise Rennison

What happens when you plop an ordinary teen girl down in a prestigious performing arts school in the north of England? A Midsummer Tight’s Dream by Louise Rennison answers this question with Tallulah Casey, a young Irish lass who tells us her concerns about the town boys and her own knobby knees in British slang that is so thick and hilarious that it requires Rennison to provide American readers with a glossary in the back of the book. The storyline itself is the stuff of pure, frothy chick lit, and the plot centers around the problems and adventures that many teenage girls face. Is Tallulah a good “snogger” (kisser)? What do the boys from Woolfe Academy mean when they speak in their own indecipherable “boy language”? How does she hide her hated knees and stop her “Tourette’s syndrome of the legs” from making her break out into Irish dances at inopportune times?


Though there were many things I enjoyed about this book, I never found myself fully absorbed in the story. Tallulah’s misadventures were amusing, and I did laugh out loud more than once while reading, but for whatever reason, I did not find myself longing to come back to the book when I put it down. I think, honestly, I would have enjoyed it more if I were still a teen girl myself, and I was disappointed that the book did not in any way mirror my favorite Shakespeare play, despite its title. I did love the British slang, however, though I had some trouble understanding it at first. In fact, my favorite part was the glossary at the end, which contained entries such as “plectrum—Surely you know what a plectrum is? How do you pluck your guitars in America? And I know you do pluck a lot of guitars because I’ve seen old repeats of Bonananza and Dallas. But I will explain… it’s that bit of plastic stuff that you hold in your fingers to stroke the strings so that you don’t chip your nail polish.” Many of the other entries in the glossary were amusing, as was the humorous way Tallulah viewed the world.


I would recommend A Midsummer Tight’s Dream to anyone looking for an amusing way to pass a few hours and especially to teen girls who enjoy British humor or who are fans of Rennison’s previous work.


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