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Last Updated on January 12, 2022, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 997

Author: Louise Rennison (1951–2016)

First published: 1999

Type of work: Novel

Type of plot: Epistolary novel

Time of plot: The late 1990s

Locale: United Kingdom

Principal characters

Georgia Nicolson, the fourteen-year-old narrator

Bob Nicolson, her father

Connie Nicolson, her mother

Libby Nicolson, her three-year-old sister

Jas ...

(The entire section contains 997 words.)

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Author: Louise Rennison (1951–2016)

First published: 1999

Type of work: Novel

Type of plot: Epistolary novel

Time of plot: The late 1990s

Locale: United Kingdom

Principal characters

Georgia Nicolson, the fourteen-year-old narrator

Bob Nicolson, her father

Connie Nicolson, her mother

Libby Nicolson, her three-year-old sister

Jas, her best friend

Robbie, her crush, whom she calls "the Sex God"

Tom, Robbie's brother and Jas's boyfriend

Lindsay, Robbie's girlfriend

The Story

Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontal Snogging is the first installment in British novelist Louise Rennison's Confessions of Georgia Nicolson series, which consists of ten novels told in diary format published between 1999 and 2009. At the start of the book, fourteen-year-old Georgia bemoans the approaching end of summer break as well as the numerous other things that are wrong with her life, including but not limited to the antics of her annoying parents, Bob and Connie; her strange three-year-old sister, Libby; and her cat, Angus, whose supposed Scottish wildcat heritage makes him the terror of the neighborhood. Perhaps her most pressing concern, however, is the fact that she recently attended a costume party dressed as a stuffed olive, a costume that seemed amusing to Georgia but failed to win over any boys. In preparation for the start of the school year, and particularly for seeing boys while walking to and from her all-girls school, Georgia attempts to reshape her eyebrows but succeeds only in accidentally shaving them off. This mishap is typical for Georgia and is one of several that occur throughout the novel as she attempts to make herself appear more sophisticated and mature.

While accompanying her friend Jas to a shop in town where Jas's crush, Tom, works, Georgia meets an older boy named Robbie, Tom's brother. She becomes infatuated with Robbie, whom she nicknames the Sex God, and is unhappy to learn that he is dating Lindsay, an older girl who attends her school. Scheming to capture Robbie's attention, Georgia takes kissing lessons from a local boy named Peter, and they begin dating. However, she breaks up with Peter after the two of them embarrass themselves in front of Robbie and Lindsay at a party. A similarly short relationship with a boy named Mark likewise ends quickly, and Robbie remains the object of Georgia's affections even as her attempts to win him over continually backfire.

In December, Georgia's parents announce that her father has been offered a new job in New Zealand and that he plans to spend some time there to test out the new position. Although opposed to the idea of eventually moving to New Zealand, Georgia hopes that her mother will allow her to dye her hair while her father is away, as she believes that having blond hair, or at least a blond streak, will help her be perceived as older and more mature. Over the next months, Georgia attempts to focus on self-improvement rather than boys and begins practicing yoga. Her crush on Robbie continues, however, and she comes into conflict with Jas, whom Robbie invites to get coffee with him. Georgia later learns that Robbie only wanted to talk to Jas about Tom, and the two friends make up.

Georgia's pursuit of Robbie takes a new turn in June, when she and her friends attend a concert by Robbie's band, the Stiff Dylans. During a break in the concert, Robbie finds Georgia outside, and the two kiss. Although he tells her that he will call her, he remains in a relationship with Lindsay, who later confronts Georgia about the night's events. Although Robbie and Lindsay soon break up, Robbie tells Georgia that they cannot date, as he is too old for her. When Angus goes missing, however, Robbie is the one to find him, and he plans to return the cat to the Nicolsons' home. When he does, the two again kiss, and Robbie suggests that they begin quietly seeing each other. Georgia is elated by this turn of events, but her mood soon changes when her mother announces that they will be traveling to New Zealand to visit Georgia's father over summer break, a trip that will put an abrupt end to Georgia's dreams of summer love.

Critical Evaluation

Rennison's debut novel and the first installment in a long-running series, Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontal Snogging proved popular among young-adult readers who identified with its protagonist. As an epistolary novel consisting of a series of diary entries, the novel provides an in-depth view into Georgia's perspective and understanding of the world around her, lending its narrative a sense of realism despite the absurd or otherwise heightened qualities of some of its characters, such as the ferocious housecat Angus. In combining diary entries discussing relationships and personal insecurities with humorous writing and situations, the novel builds on the popularity of earlier works such as British author Helen Fielding's Bridget Jones series, which is geared toward adult readers but shares numerous thematic and stylistic similarities with the Confessions of Georgia Nicolson series.

The popularity of Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontal Snogging among readers sparked the creation of nine further books in the Confessions of Georgia Nicolson series as well as the three books in Rennison's Misadventures of Tallulah Casey series, which follows the life of Georgia's younger cousin through similarly comedic diary entries. In addition to inspiring a long-running series of books, Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontal Snogging was adapted into a film in 2008. Titled Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging, the film was based primarily on the first book in the series but also incorporated elements from the second book published in 2001, On the Bright Side, I'm Now the Girlfriend of a Sex God (published in the United Kingdom as It's OK, I'm Wearing Really Big Knickers), as well as some original plot elements.

Further Reading

  • Official Georgia Nicolson Website, HarperCollins, 2013, www.georgianicolson.com/index.html. Accessed 31 Dec. 2016.
  • Johnson, Joanna Webb. "Chick Lit Jr.: More Than Glitz and Glamour for Teens and Tweens." Chick Lit: The New Woman's Fiction, edited by Suzanne Ferriss and Mallory Young, Routledge, 2006, pp. 141–58.
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