Originally reviewed here
.Why I Read It:
I became a fan of Louise Rennison about three summers ago when I devoured her Georgia Nicholson
series. I was very happy and excited when she released the first book of her Tallulah Casey series, Withering Tights
. While I didn't love the first installment in this new series quite as much as Georgia
, it was enough to make me want to come back for more. So shortly after this second book was released, it was brought into my public library and I promptly signed it out. Spoiler-free review ahead.
Before starting out to write this review, I checked out my review of Withering Tights
, just to refresh my memory on some thoughts I had on it and to see how they compared to what I thought of this installment in the series. And what I found is that they were mostly the same: this is a fun, light-hearted series, but it lacks characterization and isn't quite as funny as Rennison's Georgia Nicholson
I mentioned in my first review that Tallulah isn't quite as funny as her cousin Georgia, but definitely more likable and relatable. That remains true in this story as well, as well as the fact that while Lullah is certainly curious about boys and would like to find a boyfriend, she isn't boy-obsessed. Actually, I was really happy with the way that Rennison dealt with some of the situations Lullah found herself in with some boys, case in point, the kiss Lullah and guy-friend Charlie shared at the end of the first novel, only to be told that he already has a girlfriend. I'm not going to go into any further detail, but I applauded the way Tallulah handled the situation; she's obviously awkward and doesn't know QUITE what to do, but she also holds her head high. And when the time comes to really talk about with Charlie, the two learn to become friends and she doesn't hold a grudge (though I think the relationship between the two of them will further explored in future books.)
However, while Tallulah is an enjoyable character to read about, her friends at the academy lack depth and characterization. One of my complaints about Withering Tights
was that I couldn't differentiate all her friends from one another and it holds true in this book as well. The only thing that helped me keep some of them straight was one defining trait (ie. Honey having a lisp; Jo being very short; other than that, I couldn't tell you who was who) and nothing else. Where this affects the story is that when things happened to the girls as a group, such as Honey being scouted and moving to Hollywood, it was hard to bring myself to care because I still don't know these girls. BUT, it is nice to read some YA (even if it's the younger spectrum of YA) where female friendship is featured so prominently.
The plot this time had a tighter focus, and was a little more than Tallulah going to school and kissing boys. This time, the fate of Dother Hall is at stake, and the novel takes place over a much shorter period of time, which made for a tighter and more focused plot. It's still fluffy and fun and ridiculous, but it still felt more fine-tuned than Withering Tights
. Some of the developments in this book, mostly regarding asshole bad-boy Cain, were predictable, but still entertaining and leading to some funny moments. It'll be interesting to see what happens in the next book, because while I do have my reservations, I'm definitely coming back for more.Final Verdict:
Most of my complaints/reservations that I had for the first book in this series still stand in this second volume: while I really like Tallulah as a main character, her friends at Dother Hall lack characterization to the point where I can't even tell them apart unless they have one glaring trait that's impossible to ignore. The plot was much tighter and focused, which was nice, and there were some interesting albeit predictable developments that I found quite amusing. I plan on continuing the series, and I'm excited to see where Tallulah ends up next -- I just hope I get to know some of the secondary characters a bit better in future volumes.