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Withering Tights

Review

Withering Tights

Fourteen-year-old Tallulah Casey is given a choice: either she goes on a camping trip with her little brother, who just happens to enjoy offering her bug sandwiches, or she attends a summer course at a performing arts boarding school in the quaint Yorkshire countryside. Guess which one she chooses.

Not sure quite what to expect, Tallulah jumps in with excitement. Here's her chance at freedom and the opportunity to reinvent herself. Right away she meets some new friends, like her classmate Vaisey and next-door neighbor Ruby. There's even a boys' school just down the road. Though the classes are challenging and the teachers demanding, Tallulah finds herself loving the entire experience. She takes classes in acting, singing, art, and even mime. And while in the beginning she chose the school to avoid a camping trip, she now desperately hopes she will be deemed worthy and chosen to enroll in the fall term. Unfortunately, her midterm scores don't look so good. At this rate, she won't be asked to stay. It's time to buckle down and figure out what she has to offer the school.

In the meantime, she and her group of zany new friends take advantage of having the boys' school next door. Tallulah goes on her first date and gets her first kiss, neither of which are quite what she expected. But she's willing to keep trying. The party planned with the guys in the secrecy of the forest sounds promising. Now if she can just trade in her knobby knees and crazy long legs for a normal pair, she just might survive the summer.

Bestselling author Louise Rennison offers an exciting new series about a teen attending a performing arts school. WITHERING TIGHTS is absolutely hilarious! Tallulah Casey performs the main role with style and charm. She's quirky, loveable and funny, and her flaws only add to her personality. In fact, all of the characters in this story gush with personality, from Tallulah's friends to the eccentric townsfolk and the unpredictable teachers. Each one offers strange and surprising individuality.

Another outstanding feature is that Rennison writes with a unique style that seems to invite the reader into the story, not just observe it from the outside. Some of the British slang is a bit challenging, and the glossary at the back helps, but the language just adds to the allure and ambiance, offering a refreshing dip into another culture. Readers will long to join Tallulah at her art school and will impatiently wait for more tales of her survival.

Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman on June 28, 2011

Withering Tights
by Louise Rennison

  • Publication Date: June 28, 2011
  • Genres: Fiction, Humor, Young Adult 13+
  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTeen
  • ISBN-10: 0061799319
  • ISBN-13: 9780061799310