A Midsummer Tights Dream, by Louise Rennison
Reviewed by: Lori Twichell
Genre: YA Comedy
Publishing Date: June 26, 2012
Tallulah Casey is back at Dother Hall studying performing arts and she’s not a newbie anymore. She knows most of the people, the layout of the school and understands (for the most part) how things run. So this time, she’s ready and there’s a lot more at stake.
One of the girls has gotten discovered by a Hollywood producer and is off to find fame and glory. A couple of the other girls have boyfriends and Tallulah has gained some of her own “additions” that look like they’ll make this semester rock. Not to mention that the boys they met last time at Woolfe Academy are also back. Yes, it should be a very interesting semester for our fated heroin indeed.
Unfortunately, things are not all perfect and sweet at Dother Hall. Though Tallulah’s ready to make her mark on the world, the tax collectors are ready to shut the doors on her favorite school. With a roof that’s falling in (one of the girls is convinced that the dead pigeon next to her bed committed suicide) and the bathrooms not in proper working order most of the time, the school is in danger of disappearing completely – before Tallulah is even famous! Of course, the girls must come up with a good idea on how to raise money to keep things going.
Once again Louise Rennison has created a fun character with a lot of fantastic adventures. Growing into her size, and her shape, helps Tallulah learn more about who she wants to be and the girls she surrounds herself with are friends that anyone would love to have. Faithful, encouraging and always eager to help, these are girls that stand together and give Tallulah all of the support she needs as she works through the changes in her life – and her body.
Unfortunately, once again, I wish that we could have skipped some of the references that really didn’t need to be in there such as references to lesbianism, practice snogging on each other’s legs and boys touching their bottoms. They aren’t on every page, but there were enough of them for me to make note. As an adult, I got a kick out of the book and laughed about the story, but I couldn’t see handing this to a 12 or 13 year old – which is the age group that these books target. (We also chose this series to cover because, as mentioned in the first review, it is highly recommended by several school sources, major national outlets and already has a huge number of reviews on Amazon.com.)
Louise Rennison is well known for her previous series, Confessions of Georgia Nicolson. However, this series doesn’t seem nearly as ‘raunchy’ or ‘cutting edge’ most likely since Tallulah’s character is much younger than Georgia Nicolson.
All in all, I like Tallulah. A lot. I’d love to follow all of her misadventures and see what she eventually turns out like. I just can’t hold her up as a role model for 12-13 year olds. I’d gear the book more toward 14-16 year old age range – at least.
Rated PG-13: This is a HARD PG-13 again. I’d go so far as to recommend it for 14-16 year olds with the number of references that are questionable and some of the dialogue.