Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Book Review - Louise Rennison's A Midsomer Tights Dream

A Midsummer Tights Dream by Louise Rennison
Published by: HarperTeen
Publication Date: June 26th, 2012
Format: Hardcover, 256 Pages
Rating: ★★
To Buy

Tallulah is back on her way north! She was able to secure a position at the "elite" acting school Dother Hall, despite her obvious lack of talent and the hatred of one of the teachers. Yet her mother still thinks she's too young to be living at the boarding school and therefore makes Lulah extend her stay with the Dobbinses. At least this means she's closer to her young mate Ruby, and Ruby's sexy older brother Alex, even if he's off at school, he has to visit sometime... doesn't he? Also, staying with the Dobbinses has the benefit of heat, running water, plumbing. The school has taken a bit of a downturn, economically speaking, they owe more than a little in taxes and might just lose the hall, unless a miracle happens.

Yet, the crisis of the school and their production of A Midsummer Nights Dream, in the middle of December, is not really on Tallulah's mind as much as it should be. Instead she is weighing the merits of boys. Alex, so Mr. Darcy, so much in Liverpool. Charlie, who kissed her and then wanted to be just friends because he has a girl back home. Then there's Cain. The bad boy. The Heathcliff of the town. He's bad, everyone knows he is. He licked a hail stone off Tallulah's face. He LICKED HER! That's not even on the snogging scale... that's just, weird and gross... yet when Cain does take a fancy to her mouth, she doesn't know what to make of her conflicting feelings. The shame of the detestable Cain, the fact that the local girls would beat her up if they knew, the fact that she might have liked it. Still... if they don't save the school, it's not like any of this will matter, because it will disappear as quickly as a dream from waking.

Ug. I had hopes that this book would become something more than the first volume in this new series. I was hoping for, I don't know, some sort of scope. Some expansion. Instead it felt even more contracted and small and plotless than the first volume. We got a girl and her angst about three boys, a band concert and a hurried production of A Midsummer Nights Dream... that does not a book make. Also, the idea of doing such a summery play in winter, it did not work, unless the book had ironically been titled, like A Midwinter Tights Nightmare... I felt like this is a book Rennison has written before, especially now that all the girls are referring to themselves as the Ace Gang... oh wait, I mean Tree Girls, which, when you're reading fast looks like three girls and then you start wondering why there are more than three of them. See, it's just a downward spiral that has made me not look forward to the next book at all.

I also feel a little as if I'm loosing my mind... was Tallulah Irish in the last book? I have no recollection of this being the case, but Irish she is. Also, while I find the Northern accents funny, why doesn't Tallulah have an accent too if she's Irish? Also I can't decide if the parodying of the accents was funny or kind of mean. And in what world does a girl with a severe lisp get talent scouted to Hollywood? And what was with all the Lesbian jokes? They seemed crude. Also, Richard III had a hump, not Richard II, you think she'd get that right in a book about acting and Shakespeare! Overall it was just a forgettable book in a forgettable series written by an author that had once shown promise but is now obviously stuck in a rut. Such a shame, her books used to be my fun little escape and now reading them feels like a chore.


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