I love Louise Rennison’s books, and Withering Tights is one of my favorites. Rennison writes the most ridiculous and fuss-free novels I’ve ever read, making them ideal warm-weather reads. As it’s now May and my thoughts are turning towards summer, I thought that it was high time I re-read Withering Tights.
What Withering Tights is about:
Tallullah Casey, worried about her knobbly knees but full of enthusiasm for the performing arts, is off to a drama performance school in Yorkshire called Dother Hall—or, as the locals call it, Dither Hall. She’s eager to prove that she’s destined for the stage, but with little talent for anything except gawky Irish dancing and creating messes, her future at Dother Hall is uncertain. Will she and her new friends do well enough to be invited back for a second term? And will she ever figure out what to do regarding boys? Ever?
My thoughts on Withering Tights:
Tallulah Casey is very similar to the star of Rennison’s other series, Georgia Nicholson. Both girls are melodramatic, scatterbrained, fixated on a few specific body parts, and prone to getting into ridiculous scrapes. Georgia and Tallulah are even related; they’re cousins. However, the two characters are different enough to escape my censure.
I actually like Tallulah more than Georgia. She’s a little younger, a little more naïve, and quite a bit sweeter than her cousin is. I love Georgia, but she can be so mean about her friends; Tallulah, on the other hand, thinks her friends hung the moon. It’s nice to see teen girls supporting each other, even if they think their friends are nuts.
The name Withering Tights suggests a spoof of Wuthering Heights, and there is a bit of that involved, too. One can draw loose connections between the characters, especially Cain and Heathcliff; but Withering Tights is neither a direct spoof nor a direct homage to the Brontë classic. It does, however, poke a lot of fun at Yorkshire, the theatre, and the general weirdness of being young and away from home. Tallulah and the Tree Sisters are a fun bunch, and I for one can’t get enough of them.