Georgia Nicholson, our teenage Bridget Jones stand in, is back (in her words) “on the rack of luuuuuuuurve”. She’s in limbo between Robbie, the aforementioned “Sex God”, and Massimo, the “Luuuurve God”. Robbie left England to study in New Zealand, and sends wistful letters her way. Massimo replaced Robbie in his band, the Stiff Dylans, and is not ready to commit to being anyone’s boyfriend. Also, both boys were previously involved with Wet Lindsey, Georgia’s sworn enemy and past stalking target.
So much of the girl-on-girl hate from this series stems from Georgia’s relationship with Lindsey; at first she was just a rival for attention, but she has now bloomed into a full-on villain. She’s needlessly combative, rude, aggressive, and cruel not just to Georgia, but to her friends as well. Has this change in behavior bloomed from criticism, or has this change occurred as a (logical) response to the Ace Gang’s shenanigans? I’m here to ask the big questions, folks.
Speaking of Big Questions- Georgia has another suitor looming about the edges – Dave the Laugh is back, folks, and less creepy than the last outing but just as over-the top as ever. His character has also course-corrected a bit, thank goodness, and he leads the charge on some school-project-gone bonkers adventures: sending the entire auditorium into pitch darkness during an already disastrous performance of Macbeth, attempting to sell an entire school, and sneaking both boys and pizza to our girls during a mandatory camping excursion.
Luckily, Georgia has friends to help her though the madness that is being a teenager. The Ace Gang (Jas, Mabs, Jools, Rosie, and Ellen) have been with Georgia since the very beginning, and although Gee has always been the narrator (these are her diaries, after all) we finally get to see more of the goings on and personalities of these merry madwomen. Mabs is here for the snacks, Jools is always up for a party, Rosie wears a good deal of fake beards, Ellen is the resident space-case, and Jas (she of the very large knickers) is our voice of reason.
Thank goodness for Jas and her reason, because Georgia would be even more ridiculous without her. Jas is on hand to guide Georgia through the hard choices, and Jas is the only one of the group that knows about her (many) dalliances with Dave the Laugh. Ever have that person that you never really date, but they are always around and you are always accidentally making out? That’s Dave and Georgia, and Jas is trying desperately to get Georgia onto the straight and narrow.
Speaking of both straight and narrow, this series is disappointingly hetero-normative. I know it’s “of another time”, but the only glimpses we see of anything even mildly queer is still, unfortunately, gay panic. Ugh. I still have two more books to re-read…maybe there is still some hope for positive queer representation!
Happily, no matter how down and out Gee or her pals may be at any given time, the Ace Gang is always on hand to liven the show up. Whether they are practicing their Viking HOOOORN Dance (Rosie is “engaged” to Sven, a giant foreign exchange student who wears furry shorts and is king of the disco), seeing how long they can hang bubblegum off their noses without getting into trouble, or substituting the word “pants” for nearly every other bit of Shakespearean dialogue, the Ace Gang cannot be split. They are a force (of silliness) to be reckoned with, and it is impossible to imagine their friendship waning over the years.