I first discovered Rennison’s writing as a sixth grader in middle school. I picked up her Georgia Nicolson book from the library and fell in love with the outrageously hilarious situations the girl seem to land in with her schoolmates. By the time I had finished the book I was hooked. When I learned Rennison had started another series, I had to pick up Withering Tights. I fervently hoped the same level of funny and awkward would be brought to this spin-off series and thankfully, it was!
The hilarious situations only multiply when Georgia’s 14-year-old cousin is sent to Yorkshire Dales’ performing arts program for the summer. She hopes to make new friends, land her first kiss and grow a pair of boobs (all in all, not too different from her cousin Georgia). What she doesn’t expect is to fall in love with her temporary new school, an evil neighbor who likes to make out with girls under her bedroom window and to fall in lust with a delicious older boy named Alex that is so out of her league.
Wow. This is it. This is me growing up. On my own, going to Performance Arts College. This is good-bye, Tallulah, you long, gangly thing, and helloooooo, Lullah, star of stage and. . .owwwwooo. Ow and ow.
The train lurched and I’ve knocked myself out on the side of the door. I’m bound to get a massive lump. Oh good, I can start college with two heads. . . .
Tallulah is a lot like Georgia, except the lack of bosom (or corkers, as she calls them). Although I can’t relate to any of her body issues personally, we’ve all experienced them and it makes her easily relate-able to teenagers everywhere. It also made her easy to emphasize with, even though she does odd things like messaging her boobs into growing and writes musicals with bicycles.
For some reason, before I started Withering Tights, I had the idea that Tallulah was college-aged, but nope she is actually 14. I wasn’t put off by this because she was such a fun main character and I loved her admittedly strange ways. Rennison really creates the most… unique and entertaining heroines!
I’m not generally a huge fan of drama in my fiction, but the way Rennison brings the drama is so different from your average young adult author. It’s pretty much like watching a trainwreck that you can’t help want to watch over and over. That’s actually a pretty accurate way to describe the entire book. Withering Heights was a nostalgic, bizarre, and utterly amusing experience for me. I had a blast reading it and though I feel like Tallulah and I speak completely different languages, I can’t wait to see what she does next!