Sunday, June 29, 2008

Books I didn't love

Dancing in My Nuddy-Pants and Away Laughing on a Fast Camel, by Louise Rennison. I have mixed feelings about these (numbers 4 and 5 in the Confessions of Georgia Nicolson series). On the one hand, these two seem a bit better than the ones before, but they still leave quite a bit to be desired. First, I would not have guessed that the character was supposed to be 16. Of course, the series started back when she was 14-ish, so I should have figured it out, but she certainly doesn't seem 16 to me.

My major complaint is that the author (the character) makes up silly words, when perfectly nice existing words would do just fine-- or would serve better, in most cases. Perhaps the author is trying to reach out to her readers, to be more silly and less brainy and intimidating? I don't know why she does it, but I think it's incredibly dumb.

Here is a selection of the new "words" you will encounter in books 4 & 5: admirationosity (book 5, pg 211), amusingosity (book 5, pg 78) beautiosity (book 4, pg 136), bonkerosity (book 4, pg 155) casualosity (book 4, pg 145), cheeriosity (book 4, pg 182) cleverosity (book 4, pg 169), confusiosity (book 5, pg 148) courageosity (book 5, pg 10), craposity (book 5, pg 1) dignitosity (book 5, pg 163), dignosity (book 4, pg 100) ditherosity (book 5, pg 129), exhaustiosity (book 5, pg 177) funosity (book 4, pg 96), geniosity (book 4, pg 116) glaciosity (book 5, pg 57), happinosity (book 4, pg 161) hilariosity (book 4, pg 103), humorosity (book 4, pg 136) imaginosity (book 4, pg 126), individualosity (book 4, pg 94) lividosity (book 5, pg 99), maturiosity (book 4, pg 60) meaningosity (book 5, pg 29), miserablosity (book 5, pg 245) ointmosity(book 5, pg 8), pridosity (book 4, pg 162) reverencosity (book 5, pg 19), sadnosity (book 4, pg 76) seriosity (book 4, pg 80), sophisticosity (book 4, pg 59) subtlosity (book 5, pg 97), suspiciosity (book 4, pg 100) sympatheticositisnosity (book 5, pg 188) tensionosity (book 5, pg 239), wisdomosity (book 4, pg 93)

The author (or character) is perfectly capable of using the regular words (stupidity, bk 4, pg 84; hilariously, bk 5, pg 29), just chooses not to. I am going to continue reading the series for a bit more, to see if it picks up. I certainly wouldn't recommend this to a 16-year-old; maybe a 12-year-old.

On a side note, apparently Away Laughing on a Fast Camel was originally titled And That's When it Fell Off in My Hand. On the same note, the second book, On the Bright Side, I'm Now the Girlfriend of a Sex God is called It's OK, I'm Wearing Really Big Knickers over in Billy Shakespeare land. According to a blurb in the front of Away Laughing, the title of the second book was changed for American readers because 15-year-old girls can't be expected to figure out what knickers are, but the author was asked to change the title of And That's When... because it was too provocative for our delicate American readers. Talk about censorship! Know what fell off in her hand? Her fake eyelashes. 

Farther Along, by Donald Harington. This book started out with great promise-- I absolutely loved the first third of it. Maybe I'm not deep enough to understand the true meaning of the later sections; I wasn't sure if it was getting philosophical or religious or something else. None of the characters have actual names, which can get rather confusing at times. I loved elements of the author's style (sentence structure, lofty writing with coarser elements thrown in), but the plot and structure were either over my head or just weird. Sadly, I cannot recommend this in the slightest.

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