Girl, Going on 17: Pants on Fire [NOOK Book]


It's never fun when a great summer comes to an end.

Particularly when one argues with one’s adorable, but grossly insensitive, boyfriend the night before school starts. It’s such a terrible fight, Jess doesn’t know—are they broken up? Should she apologize? Too bad Jess is spending all her time in detention and can’t talk to Fred to figure it out. A sadistic new English teacher has decided Jess needs an attitude adjustment, and Jess can’t seem ...
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Girl, Going on 17: Pants on Fire

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It's never fun when a great summer comes to an end.

Particularly when one argues with one’s adorable, but grossly insensitive, boyfriend the night before school starts. It’s such a terrible fight, Jess doesn’t know—are they broken up? Should she apologize? Too bad Jess is spending all her time in detention and can’t talk to Fred to figure it out. A sadistic new English teacher has decided Jess needs an attitude adjustment, and Jess can’t seem to stop making terrible mistakes. When she ends up pantless in her own backyard, Jess is left to ask herself: Where did she go wrong? And what can be done to make it up to Fred and salvage this horrible, horrible year?

From the Hardcover edition.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Girl, Going on 17, Pants on Fire by Sue Limb hones in on Jess Jordan, introduced as the Girl, 15, Charming but Insane (which PW said was "sure to leave readers in stitches"). The day before school starts, Fred proposes that he and Jess only be seen together at school "in disguise," and things just go downhill from there. The previous title, Girl, Nearly 16 Absolute Torture, is now in paperback. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
VOYA - Lois Parker-Hennion
In this hilarious sequel to Girl 15, Charming But Insane (Delacorte, 2004/VOYA August 2004), and Girl, (Nearly) 16, Absolute Torture (2005/VOYA October 2005), the all-too-human heroine Jess is now approaching her seventeenth birthday, and a new school year is about to begin. After spending a delightful summer holiday with her boyfriend, Fred, they get into a huge argument (or, as the British say, a "row") on the day before the new school term, and although Jess is certain that Fred should apologize so that they can make up, days, weeks, and eventually even months pass, and he ignores her completely. Jess's plans to create comedy skits with Fred for the Christmas show are ruined, and to make matters worse, she learns that the comedy show has been cancelled by the new teacher, Miss Thorn, who insists on performing Twelfth Night instead. Miss Thorn is quite unreasonable and does not appreciate Jess's tardiness nor her sense of humor. In an effort to avoid embarrassing situations, Jess leaves school, forges a note, and tells a series of lies that results in being assigned to detention in Mr. Powell's office. Jess is a typical British teenager and readers will identify with her insecurities and laugh out loud at the situations she ends up in. Fans of the author's previous books and other stories about British teen girls, such as Louise Rennison's Georgia Nicolson, are sure to like this book and will hope for another installment as Jess turns eighteen.
Children's Literature - Cindy L. Carolan
Sometimes bad things happen in groups of three, or is it four or five? For Jess, it seems that the number of unfortunate events is infinite. First, Fred, the almost perfect boyfriend with whom she spent a most wonderful summer, breaks up with her right before school starts! Second, her mother (who is divorced; dad turned out to be more comfortable in a relationship with a man than a woman) starts going out with the Japanese gentleman she is attempting to tutor. Third, an evil witch in the form of a new English teacher has taken it upon herself to make Jess' life miserable and places her in detention for the rest of her foreseeable life. If that's not enough, the love god of the school suddenly takes a liking to Jess, but as she is so confoundedly heartsick over Fred, she doesn't even care! Thankfully Jess has a cool best friend who is always there for her and an even cooler granny (who is obsessed with homicide shows on TV) to help her figure out how the talent show she and Fred were going to do can still go on if a) they are splittsville, and b) he has a part in the boring old Shakespeare play. Includes lots of goofy British humor and is a nice clean read. Part of the "Jess Jordan" series of books (including the titles Girl, 15, Charming but Insane and Girl, Nearly 16: Absolute Torture) from this author who has written numerous books for children and adults. She lives in England in a rural part of Gloucestershire on an organic farm. Highly recommended.
School Library Journal
Gr 7-10-Ever since Jess Jordan surprised readers by stuffing bags of minestrone soup down her bra to create the perfect filler in Girl, 15, Charming but Insane (Delacorte, 2004), the laughs haven't stopped. This third book about the teen does not disappoint. Jess's boyfriend, Fred, is great. Her best friend, Flora, is super supportive. She gets along with her librarian mom and she has made peace with the fact that her father is gay and living in Cornwall with his lover. In fact, she keeps planning out how to best introduce that newly unearthed fact once school starts. On the last day of break, Fred suggests that perhaps they can keep their relationship a secret so as not to ruin his reputation as a loner. An incensed Jess abruptly rushes home, knowing that Fred will call to apologize shortly. He never does. In addition to starting out the school year with this black cloud, Jess's favorite teacher has been replaced by a woman who takes an immediate dislike to her. As Jess muddles through the first few weeks of school without Fred, she finds herself in nonstop odd predicaments that will keep readers entertained. Another fun, funny tale of teen angst, British style.-Emily Garrett, Naaman Forest High School, Garland, TX Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Things could not possibly get any better for Jess. Madly in love with Fred, and still reeling from an exciting holiday, she is almost looking forward to starting back to school when Fred ruins it all by telling her he is not sure about taking their relationship public. Things go from bad to worse when school starts the next day. Jess's favorite teacher is out for the semester, replaced by an angry first-time instructor. As if that's not enough, Jess's mother decides to start dating, her granny feels ill and Jess somehow keeps losing parts of her wardrobe at inopportune moments. This third installment in the story of Jess's tumultuous life follows the same rollicking trail, finding her stumbling into trouble again and again only to stumble out a few pages later. This one will surely satisfy old fans and will encourage new ones to laugh along. Silly fun. (Fiction. 10-14)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780375891755
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 10/12/2010
  • Series: Girl, 15 Series
  • Sold by: Random House
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 1,240,088
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Lexile: 740L (what's this?)
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

Sue Limb's writing career started in London around 1980, with various assignments for magazines and newspapers. She recently completed a prequel to Girl, 15, Charming but Insane, which Delacorte will publish in Spring 2008. She lives in England.

From the Hardcover edition.
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Read an Excerpt


honor thy father and thy mother,
particularly thy father,
because if you don't,
nobody else will

Fred and Jess were sitting under their tree in the park. They'd worked a bit on their latest script, based on the Queen delivering her Christmas message as a rap artist. They'd shared a chocolate ice cream the size of a small piano. A cute dog had visited them and refrained from pooing. Everything was just about as perfect as it could be, except that they had to go back to school tomorrow.

"Did your dad send you a Commandment today?" asked Fred. Jess located it on her mobile and handed it over. Fred read it and laughed. "It's ironical, really," he said. "Your dad is just about the least commanding guy I've ever met."

"True," said Jess. "If you were looking for somebody to play God in a bad mood, Dad would be the last person you'd choose."

"You'd probably choose Irritable Powell," said Fred thoughtfully. Mr. Powell, universally known as Irritable, would be their new head of year when they got back to school tomorrow. A treat in store.

"I hope I never irritate him," said Jess. "His shouting fits can cause structural damage."

"I wish we were back in St. Ives with your dad," said Fred. "That was such an amazing trip. I was astounded that he accepted me as your . . . gentleman companion. And, frankly, rather disappointed. I was expecting him to horsewhip me or throw me into the sea."

"Yeah, it was a brilliant holiday," sighed Jess. "I sort of hoped that Dad would be OK about us. But even my mum seemed to tolerate the idea. It was immensely cunning of you to compare her to Jane Austen, you ruthless charmer!"

"We learnt that in our first week at gigolo school," said Fred. "It's an appealing career choice, I'm sure you'll agree."

"Just make sure the next old lady you fascinate is a tad richer than my mum," said Jess. "God, it was so embarrassing when Dad and Phil had to pay for the birthday curry!"

Jess's sixteenth birthday had been celebrated the previous week among towering piles of pappadams and seven different vegetable dishes in an Indian restaurant. Her mum, however, had behaved badly by losing her purse and having a panic attack. The purse had turned up later that night, back home under a pile of dirty laundry.

"Thank God Phil had one of those flashy gold credit cards!" said Jess in rapture. "In fact, he's completely divine. What could be better than a camp stepfather with a boutique and a boat? I can't wait to get back to school tomorrow and boast about my dad being gay."


"I don't know how to say this," said Fred suddenly. There was an odd, sad note to his voice. Jess's heart missed a beat. He looked up at her, his head resting on his hand.

"What? What?" said Jess. "You're not ill or something, are you? You're not going to die? I have nothing to wear that would be suitable for your funeral." Inside, she was suddenly really worried.

"You're going to hate me for this," said Fred.

"I already hate you more than anyone else on earth," said Jess. "So go for it! Spill the beans."

"The thing is . . ." Fred rolled over onto his back and stared up through the branches of the tree to the sky. "I have real problems about going back to school."

"God, don't we all?" said Jess, though she really was looking forward to it. It would be so cool. Her dad was gay, which would enormously increase her prestige. And even more wonderful, everyone would know she and Fred were together. She was going to be so immensely proud, she might just have to sell their story to the newspapers.

"No, I mean . . ." Fred hesitated and rolled back onto his stomach. "I don't mean just the routine back-to-school nausea and boredom stuff. I mean, I have problems, with . . . you know, our so-called relationship."

An invisible spear hurtled down through the air and pinned Jess's heart to the earth.

"What do you mean?" She tried for a lighthearted tone but somehow it came out in a desperate gasp, as if she was a fish that had suddenly found itself out of its beloved water and trapped in the horrible dry burning air.

"I'm sorry to be such a prat," Fred went on, not looking at Jess but staring instead at the grass just below his face, "but the thought of everybody at school giving us a hard time . . . You know, the ridicule . . . the jokes . . . Foul! The thought of it makes me want to walk over to the railings over there and hurl my recent lunch into the nettles."

"Don't be stupid," said Jess. Her hands had started to shake. "Nobody'll be even the slightest bit interested."

"It's just," said Fred, suddenly taking refuge in a silly posh voice, "that I've got my reputation to think of, my dear. My identity, you know? I'm the--how can I put it? Eccentric loner. I am historically unable to form relationships. If everybody knows that we're together, I shall lose whatever street cred I ever had and be despised as a doting nerd."

Jess's heart was now pumping at maximum. Her fight-or- flight mechanism had kicked in. How could Fred be saying these horrible heartless things? Had she never really known him after all? Did he really care more about his so-called glamorous loner's identity than his relationship with her?

Everything glorious that they had shared that summer suddenly took on a sad, slanting, doomed kind of air. The fabulous time at the seaside with her dad and Phil and Mum and Granny. She was so proud of Fred, she couldn't wait for everyone at school to know they were together. But it seemed he wasn't proud of her. Oh no. He was ashamed of her, apparently.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 8 )
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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 5, 2013


    Havent read it but wohoo love it! ?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 8, 2006


    A nonstop action filled book that makes you worried, scared, upset, embarrased, thrilled, jumping around the room screaming for Jess! I just couldn't put the book down until I was regretting I had already reached the end-A reading LOVER! (trust me, I have read many books and this series is one of my favorites!)

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