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Literature / Girl, Fifteen, Charming but Insane

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Girl, Fifteen, Charming But Insane is the most memorable title in a series of young adult books by Sue Limb. It is a British Coming of Age series about a young girl named Jess who must struggle with A-Cup Angst, a Love Triangle between a gorgeous, mysterious loner boy and her best friend. Sometimes affectionately referred to as Junior Bridget Jones, most of the plot lines revolve around romantic and endearingly embarrassing plot lines told from a teenager's perspective.


The series consists of the following titles.

  • Girl, Barely Fifteen, Flirting England
  • Girl, Fifteen, Charming But Insane
  • Girl (Nearly) Sixteen, Absolute Torture
  • Girl, Going On Seventeen, Pants On Fire

Contains examples of:

  • A-Cup Angst: So severe that when she attends a party, Jess stuffs her bra with minestrone soup. Hilarity ensues.
  • Adorkable: Fred. Jess sometimes qualifies.
  • Affectionate Nickname: Flora calls Ben "BJ".
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Hinted at with Ben but it is questionable HOW bad he really is.
  • Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: Jess gets sidetracked constantly, usually by imagining bizarre scenarios.
  • Attention Whore: Flora, particularly in front of boys.
  • Beautiful All Along: Jess.
  • Berserk Button: Don't call Mackenzie short.
  • Betty and Veronica: A gender-flipped version; Fred is the Betty, Ben is the Veronica.
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  • Brainless Beauty: Ben. Subverted with Flora, who is very smart and pretty.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: Jess is actually quite clever, but mostly uses her wit for comedy purposes, and her history tracher gives her a lengthy lecture at the start of the first book about her underachieving ways.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Jess has a bit of this going for Fred, and he knows it, so he deliberately pretends to have lots of girls flirting with him to get her jealous, because he "likes it when she gets angry."
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: Jess, Fred and Granny.
  • Companion Cube: Jess' teddybear, Rasputin.
  • Control Freak: Mackenzie turns out to be this. It's why Flora dumps him.
    • Hinted with Flora's dad.
  • Crazy Jealous Guy: Mackenzie for Flora.
  • Cute and Psycho: A minor example with Jess' Granny, who is a sweet old lady who happens to enjoy films like Crocodile Dundee or Pulp Fiction and seems to be a bit fixated on death and carnage.
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  • Cute, but Cacophonic: Flore is decribed as incredibly pretty, but she can't sing to save her life. Which makes it hilarious that she's the lead singer of the garage band with Ben and Mackenzie.
  • Dumb Blonde: Averted with Flora.
    • Also averted with Ben- he's Book Dumb and tends to speak very slowly, but he's not stupid.
  • Elmuh Fudd Syndwome: Jess' history teacher cannot pronounce her 'R's, so it's hard for her students to take her seriously.
  • Everyone Loves Blondes: Everyone in Flora's family is blonde. Even the dog.
  • Fake Boobs: See above.
  • Gosh Dang It to Heck!: Granny.
  • Green-Eyed Epiphany: Jess realises she likes Fred when Flora admits she fancies him.
  • I Call Him "Mr. Happy": Jess' breasts are named Bonnie and Clyde. She gives them pep talks.
  • Incompatible Orientation: Jess blames this when Ben loses interest.
    • Also her parents have this; her dad is gay.
  • Just Friends: Jess treats Fred like this, while constantly complaining to him about her "boy troubles" with Brad.
  • Lovable Alpha Bitch: Flora.
  • Love Triangle: Ben/Jess/Fred.
  • The Napoleon: Mackenzie.
  • The Reveal: Happens in Absolute Torture, The reason Jess's parents split up? Her dad is gay.
  • Running Gag: Jess' body hang-ups, particularly her arse and her eyebrows.
  • The Quiet One: Ben Jones.
  • Spoiled Sweet: Flora, plus her two sisters.
  • Stern Teacher: Miss Thorn in "Pants on Fire".
  • Sweet Tooth: Flora.
  • Trash of the Titans: Jess's mum knows the video she has in the first book isn't a copy of the Twelfth Night, because she can see it sticking out of Jess's schoolbag.
  • Unlucky Childhood Friend: Fred until the end.
  • Unrequited Love Switcheroo: Jess spends a lot of the first novel wondering if Flora fancies Ben. She's wrong- Flora fancies Fred. Fred, however, likes Jess.
    • In the first book, Jess has a crush on Ben for a large portion. In Pants on Fire, it's hinted that Ben might have developed a crush on her.
  • Verbal Tic: Granny has "Dear".
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Jess calls out Fred at the end of Pants on Fire for suggesting they keep their relationship a secret from everyone and pretend they're deadly enemies.
  • With Friends Like These...: Surprisingly enough, Jess has shades of this to Flora, not the other way around. It's pretty much all in Jess' mind and motivated by jealousy, but in the second book she spends a lot of it wondering if Flora secretly hatched a plan to go to Riverdene with Fred, accidentally gets Flora thrown out of the play in "Pants on Fire" and often has an Imagine Spot of something unfortunate happening to Flora. Then again, Flora IS a bit of an Attention Whore and did have a crush on Fred for a while.

Example of: