August 11, 2021 7:41 AM EDT

Reading 1999’s Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging could be an unbearable source of secondhand embarrassment if Louise Rennison’s novel wasn’t so outrageously hilarious. This teen cult classic is written as a collection of intimate, no-holds-barred journal entries from 14-year-old U.K. student Georgia Nicolson, and hyperbole is par for the course. In her own irreverent and delightful way, Georgia describes all the challenges of navigating school, surviving unrequited love and facing many more tribulations of being a modern teenager. Angus landed on the American Library Association’s list of commonly banned and challenged books from 2000-2009 for its sexual language, challenge of authority and references to queerness. The book, a critical and commercial success, garnered multiple American Library Association awards, a Michael L. Printz award and a big-screen adaptation in 2008. For Rennison, it was only the beginning: she followed it up with nine sequels, collectively called the Confessions of Georgia Nicolson series. —Cady Lang

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