R.I.P Louise Rennison

See Author Appreciation: Dear Louise Rennison

When I saw Louise Rennison’s name trending on twitter last night I was filled with that familiar sense of warm excitement, was she coming out with a new novel?! When I clicked on her name I was devastated to find the report that she had passed. An instant cloud of remorse hung over me. There are writers whose work has the power to save you, Rennison did that for me.

Middle School and High School weren’t my best years, I struggled a lot with being a young adolescent woman and Louise Rennison provided a hilarious escape for me with her series The Confessions of Georgia Nicholson. Though I lived in small town Ohio, I felt connected to that girl in London and with every novel I was able to step out of the dark angst that could be, at times, too much. When I felt like no one understood me, Georgia was there. When I needed a laugh, Georgia was there. When I needed a love-life to live vicariously through, Georgia was there. Louise Rennison was there. As a young adult I found myself returning to the Georgia Nicholson series, fulfilling the nostalgia for when life was far more simpler. I even kept up with Rennison’s series, The Misadventures of Tallulah Casey, another laugh-out-loud exploration of what it meant to be young and quirky.

No one wrote for young girls like Rennison. She was funny, no, HILARIOUS! She was witty. She an amazing talent, with a gift for making the growing pains of being a teenager a bit less painful.

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Dear Louise Rennison,

In 10th grade I wanted to drop out of high school and move to England.

When my friends asked me why, I slammed this book on the table:

louise rennison

“No, I do not want to gaze upon gothic architecture, I do not want to see Big Ben, nor do I want to take a spin on the London Eye,” was my response,

“I want to go to school with Georgia Nicolson and the Ace Gang, who are tasked with the daily trial  of surviving Hawkeye’s ferret-glare and her Nazi-Youth minions. I want to drive old Mr. Atwood mad and be the girlfriend of a Sex God!”

Ok…perhaps I didn’t say those exact words, but something to that effect.

The Confessions of Georgia Nicolson was to me what Ninja Turtles were to teenage mutant boys. The 10-part series of diary entries were jammed packed with enough adventure, angst, and melodrama to make me wish my teenage years were half as interesting. I remember the first time I saw the cover of Knocked Out by My Nunga-Nungas, I remember thinking what the hell are “nunga-nungas” and instantly needing to find out.

According to the Georgia Nicolson glossary, Nunga-Nungas are:

Basoomas. Girl’s Breasty Business.

In my head, I was Georiga; the quirky girl who was trying to fit in and making embarrassing mishaps along the way. I felt as if she were living my very life in some alternate reality for I too had a mother that was prone to walking around the house nude, My best friend was as completely maddening as Jas, and I also had a younger sibling whose affection bordered on the thin line of abuse.

It was this notion that Georgia was me that led me to speak in a terrible British accent and force my friends to use words from Georgia’s glossary.

Though I never got too high on the snogging scale and never met a guy as frustratingly funny as Dave the Laugh, I did make it to England (but it was only for a school trip), and I felt as if I grew up right there with Georgia and the Ace gang.

Even in my twenties, I’m not ashamed to admit that I still read your novels with the same enthusiasm and envy as when I was a teenager. I am keeping up with the adventures of Georiga’s cousin, Tallulah in your Misadventuresof Tallulah Casey series.

Thank you for showing that it is ok to be clumsy, to be smart, to be funny, and to be slightly over-the-top melodramatic. Thank you for an honest depiction of teenage life and for giving me something to laugh at amongst my own dealings with angst, puberty, and pimples.

xoxo

Stephanie