Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Readalong: Away Laughing on a Fast Camel

I can't believe we're already on the fifth book of the Georgia Nicholson Readalong! (More on Paper Trail Diary's idea here.) I had been feeling a bit blah about the series for the last couple of books - mostly getting more annoyed with Georgia's immaturity and wondering if anything was actually going to happen in the books. Happily, I found myself getting back into the groove with Away Laughing on a a Fast Camel. Sure there are still many issues but I had more fun reading this one than I had with the last couple.

Here's the synopsis:
The Sex God has left the country, taking Georgia's heart with him. So she decides to display glaciosity to all boys -- a girl can only have her heart broken so many times.
Until she meets Masimo, the new singer for the Stiff Dylans. The Sex God is gone, but here comes the Dreamboat, and Georgia's away laughing on a fast camel (whatever that means).
I remember always liking Dave the Laugh when I first read the books but I'm not liking him as much as I used to. I know I'm older now so that has a lot to do with it, but it's still frustrating to read about a boy telling a girl he clearly likes that his Cosmic Horn (basically: liking and wanting to snog many individuals instead of dating and snogging just one person) is due to his teenage boy hormones. I mean, he's not lying, but he just keeps falling back on the "I'm a teenager! I'm full of hormones! My need to date and make out with everyone is not my fault!" and it gets a bit tiresome. I do, however, appreciate that he realizes Mark (who Georgia dated briefly back in book one) was way off base when he tried to shame Georgia and called her a tease for not wanting to have sex with him when all they were doing was kissing.

Actually, this is a moment I want to explore more. To set the scene a little bit: Georgia had run into Mark and he told her to meet him later that evening. She goes even though she doesn't have any particular feelings for him. They end up kissing and then Mark sticks his hand down Georgia's shirt:
[I]t gave me such a shock that I jumped back and Mark was left off balance; he stumbled into the bushes. He came out a minute later covered in twigs. He didn't look pleased.
He said, "What did you do that for?"
I said, "Well. Er, it was all a bit...I don't know that I want you to..."
He lit a fag and said, "What did you come here for...a chat?"
I said, "Well...I..."
What did I come here for? Very good question. Excellent point, well made. Boredom mostly, I suppose. I didn't think I should say that. Mark seemed really angry. He said, 'Do you go all the way or not?'
I said, "Well, no I..."
Mark started walking off. "Girls like you make me sick."
And he was gone. I was left at the top the hill alone. What had I done now? I felt really weird. And lonely.
I'm glad Rennison included a scene like this in the book because it's something that happens in real life. What I don't love is that Georgia doesn't get to have a moment where she realizes that it's not her fault. She didn't do anything, even though she thinks she has. Mark's anger is never discussed and the whole problem is dealt with by Dave beating Mark up. Maybe I'm expecting too much of a YA book but I just feel that the whole situation could have been dealt with better. Which brings me to another issue that's tied into this one...

Georgia is starting to worry that she's doing something to lead on boys (again: she's not. She just apparently attracts idiots. But who doesn't when they're in high school?). It doesn't help that Jas, Georgia's very best friend, continues to have troubling views on this matter. She kinda sorta slut shames Georgia and it drives me bananas. Kissing lots of boys is not a problem and I hate that Georgia's friend is making it seem like it is. (OK, I might be projecting a bit because I definitely kissed a lot of boys in high school and I know some of my friends thought negatively of me. This may be the only thing from high school I have yet to let go of...11 years after graduation...lol.) Anyway. I don't like to see girls judging other girls like this, especially not when they're supposed to be best friends.

I found myself giggling a lot more in this book than I had with the last couple. I don't have any specific examples, since I was read a lot of this book at the gym (it's hard to take pics of good lines when you're doing cardio, let me tell you). Georgia continues to come up with the most outlandish ideas (like spying on The Stiff Dylans and their new singer during their rehearsal and having to tuck her skirt into her knickers when she climbs a box to look into the venue) and has tons of cringeworthy moments (note to self: never reapply eyelash glue while out at a concert otherwise you might end up sticking your eyelashes together).

Overall, I definitely had fun reading Away Laughing on a Fast Camel and am feeling excited about this readalong again. Yay! Coming up next is Then He Ate My Boy Entrancers. We'll be chatting about book five on July 5...and hopefully reminding myself that the "he" who ate the boy entrancers (fake eyelashes, as we learned in book four), was Georgia's cat Angus or kitten Gordy and not any human he.

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