They Wear What Under Their Kilts?
The cover of They Wear What Under Their Kilts? has to be one of the cutest I¹ve ever seen. Better yet, its perfectly manicured hand mischievously lifting up the edge of a male’s kilt fits the light-hearted, outrageous tone of the story.
Emily is the teen narrator and her story is told entirely via witty and often snarky email messages to her BFF (best friend forever) Dru, family members, and other assorted friends and boyfriends. This is Emily’s second book, the first being The Year My Life Went Down The Loo where American Emily now living with her family in England is introduced. This entry finds Emily in Scotland, land of Scottish hotties in kilts (or Schottie’s, if you’re Emily), there for a month-long work experience program she thinks will look impressive on her transcript. If you haven’t read the first book, I’d recommend doing so because I felt like I was missing big chunks of back story and found myself confused and lost on more than one occasion (especially when two boys arrive near the end). Though the email format could be the culprit, I think my abrupt entry into Emily’s world mid-series is more than likely the cause.
Emily’s decision to spend the month on her Aunt Tim and her older but still hunkalicious Uncle Alec’s sheep farm in the Highlands was simple. After all, who wants to spend time working in a library where the hottie quotient is nil when one can spend time drooling over kilted men? Even better, Emily gets to take her best friend Holly along to peek under some kilts. Emily is in for a shocking surprise when Alec enforces the “work” part of the work experience program (and loses tons of hottie points!) and insists the girls get way too close to his stupid, stinking sheep.
Consolation is on the way in the form of Ruaraidh, a six fingered farmhand, or as Emily dubs him “hottalicious Scottish love god.” (Emily’s poor dad nearly keels over as he imagines twelve fingered grandchildren on the horizon.) Because both Emily and Holly want Ruaraidh in a bad way, they decide to indulge in a little competition. Each will do their best to be the first to snog him proper with tongues and all out groping, while still remaining friends, of course. Then the madness begins.
Emily is a bumbling disaster and what follows is a whole lot of over-the-top fun. Emily would much rather be “malling” than chasing around dense sheep and is completely unprepared for life on a farm (think a sweeter, funnier version of The Simple Life). She’s virginal, but you¹d never know it from her outrageous antics, get-ups, and man-chasing ways. She struts around in feathered baby dolls, micro-minis, and clouds of perfume as she gets into one painfully funny scrape after another. She’s a little wicked, extremely sassy, but likable despite it all. She speaks a cutesy version of slang using words like “coolio,” “nummy,” and “Omicrod,” and her observations are often amusing. Gems like this thought about Ruaraidh – “I can’t help but wonder what it would be like to hold hands with him. I mean, what does the extra finger do?” – kept me turning the pages to see what she’d spout out next. She’s also a thoughtful friend to shy Holly when another girl puts the move on their “Scottish god of hunky thighs.”
You¹re probably thinking, what’s with that minus symbol then? Well, laughs are great but they can only take you so far. Due to the brevity of the emails we don’t get to know any of the characters beyond the surface except for flaky Emily. Rather shallow and lacking memorable emotion, the book features a little teen angst of the “does he or doesn’t he like me like in that way” sort, and Emily over-analyzes every word and gesture her boy of the moment emits, but that’s about it. Also, this book is clearly part of an on-going series and the end leaves you wondering if she’s made the right choice.
Reader’s looking for depth and a smidgen of emotional growth won’t find it here but if a few laughs and some wacky antics out in the Scottish Highlands sounds like a good time you’ll likely enjoy They Wear What Under Their Kilts?.