Review: Withering Tights by Louise Rennison

Determined to make her way in the performing world, English teenager Tallulah Casey begins summer classes at a performing arts school in Yorkshire. Hoping to make this one of her greatest summers ever, she looks forward to new friends, no parents, and the boy’s academy located just around the corner. Awkward at times (though she would attribute this to her too-long legs), Tallulah is still as spunky, cute, and funny as her cousin Georgia, the main character of Rennison’s first and well-known series, the Confessions of Georgia Nicholson.
Written novel-style rather than in the diary entries of the earlier series, I failed to find this book as enjoyable as I had Rennison’s others, but liked it nonetheless. I came to love each of the characters in his or her own way, especially the gangly main character. Both social and witty, reading about Tallulah’s thoughts and actions made me chuckle at times, as did the antics of her new friends.
The only major issue that I have with Withering Tights is that it feels like some things are left out of the plot; it sometimes feels as though Rennison glosses over some parts of the book For example, Tallulah’s bicycle ballet (don’t ask) is narrated by her after the fact, whereas everything else is talked about as Tallulah is experiencing it. A first-person account of the bicycle ballet would have added much-needed humor to a series that is a tad dry compared to Rennison’s earlier laugh-out-loud series. The ending is also a bit flat and could use more detail during one of Tallulah’s performances, seeing as that’s the whole reason Tallulah’s at the school in the first place. The ending is left open for a second book which I plan to pick up based solely in my love for this new (and very tall) heroine.
Overall, those who have enjoyed the Confessions of Georgia Nicholson series may like Withering Tights, should they have a hunger for the “Queen of Teen”’s writing since her first series ended, but those just starting out with her might want to meet Georgia first.

3.5 / 5 Stars

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