Thursday, February 7, 2013

The Baby-Sitters Club #109: Mary Anne to the Rescue


Dawn and Jeff are on their way back to town because this book marks the 700th time that summer started since Dawn moved back to California. Sharon spent the week getting the house ready and buying a bunch of junk food, and everyone decides to go to the airport. Richard seriously agrees to let the whole BSC go with them.

The flight is delayed, so they head over to the cafeteria. Everyone gets a bunch of salads and healthy stuff, except for Claudia who gets chocolate cake, ice cream, and Ring Dings. Totally off topic, but am I the only one who will miss the heck out of Hostess? I love those little banana nut muffins and Ding Dongs, both of which went out of stock around here weeks and weeks ago.

Kristy sees a family and wonders if they are from Stoneybrook. She seriously contemplates walking up to them and telling them about the club, but the girls talk her out of it. Mary Anne hears the man making a fuss and thinks he's being rude, but he's actually choking. Everyone stands around in shock, and Sharon rushes over and gives him the Heimlich. Everyone talks about how she was so strong, and Mary Anne cries because she didn't know what to do.

There just so happens to be a class on safety and first aid taken place for teens, so the BSC decides to enroll. Their teacher Shelley mentions one of those random “annual” events that we only here about once. This time, it's a firefighters fair, and she announces that they want to add a safety day to the event and have everyone in class participate.

As part of their class, they have to take a tour of the hospital. Mary Anne is so nervous that she almost decides to stay home, but Dawn talks her into going. Dr. Johannson, who I'm pretty sure doesn't work in the emergency room, gives them a tour of the ER. Two parents rush in with their son who passed out, and she has to work on him immediately. Mary Anne flips out yet again, but she feels better when Dawn calls and they give her an update on the boy's release, which I'm pretty sure is against the law.

Safety day arrives, and Mary Anne tells everyone that she doesn't want to take part. Abby skips the event when she finds out that they're doing a car crash replica, and Mary Anne gets all sad again. Dawn volunteers her for the fake car crash, and since she's Mary Anne, she never tells anyone that she doesn't want to do it, but pouts and mopes over being “forced” into it. Jamie Newton sees her on the ground and freaks out because he thinks she's actually dead.

She goes home and throws a hissy fit, being slightly rude to Dawn and acting like a brat. When she finally tells her why she's ticked, Dawn acts like she had no clue. She then apologizes to Dawn who also says that she's sorry. Then there's a random story about how Claudia takes Jamie and Lucy to the fair, and they both get scared by the fire trucks and the fact that clowns literally set a fake house on fire. A bunch of people get pissy with her for taking young kids there.

Dawn gets a job sitting at the Kormans, and she brings Mary Anne with her so they can lounge around the pool. Timmy Hsu and the Papadakis kids come over, and the adult neighbor heads over to his house for a new drink. Timmy swims into the deep end and starts drowning, but Mary Anne jumps into the water and saves him. Mrs. Hsu is so happy that she sends a cake to her class, and everyone praises Mary Anne as a hero, and she wins an award or some crap for being so brave.

The subplot is all about Logan. His dad decides that he should go to a boarding school for boys like he did, and he wants to send him to a boot camp for the summer. Dawn and Mary Anne suggest that he talk to his mom, but he just wants to mope around and say there's no way his dad will change his mind. He finally tells his dad how he feels, and he agrees to let him stay in Stoneybrook. Lame.

*Seriously, this summer comes after Carol marries their dad, but before they have a kid or they take the trip to Hawaii!

*I love how Claudia tolerated Dawn and Stacey in the early books, giving them pretzels or crackers. Every time Dawn comes back, she buys something really fancy (organic mint tabouli and multigrain bread). I wonder if Stacey ever gets pissed about that.

*Alan Gray, Pete Black, and some other guy make a joke to the teacher, whose name is Shelley Golden. She makes a comment about how they need to use their gray matter before they wind up black and blue and miss a golden opportunity. The guys get all embarrassed, Abby bursts into applause, and I want to punch something.

*The ghostwriters obviously have no clue how fairs/festivals actually work. It's literally like two weeks beforehand, and Shelley's group JUST took their plans for a safety day to the city. Of course, it gets approved right away without any real discussion or anything.

*Mrs. Pike gives Claudia a ride home from the fair, which is weird. Why the heck would Mrs. Pike have a car seat for Lucy? Then again, the Newtons are horrible parents in this one. Jamie still thinks Mary Anne is dead and had nightmares from safety day, but they let Claudia decide whether or not to take him to the fair.

*The Timmy thing is so freaking lame. He SWIMS into the deep end, and then when someone says he can't swim, he suddenly starts drowning. How the heck did he get into the deep end? On top of that, he is flailing in the water, and Mary Anne tells Dawn to call 911 before jumping into the pool. In the five seconds that it took her to do that, Timmy is now at the bottom of the pool and unconscious. I call bull shit.

*Dawn and Jeff surprise her with lunch for her favorite “gourmet Chinese restaurant,” Mr. Ed's. Yup, nothing says gourmet and Chinese like a talking horse.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Sweet Valley High #140: Please Forgive Me


I only have a few of the “newer” books, and I found this one in a thrift store, so I figured I should recap the last one, which is does at the beginning. Apparently, Elizabeth “I-never-cheat-on-my-boyfriends” Wakefield surprisingly enough cheated on Todd with some random new hottie named Devon. They worked together in science class, and she fell “in love” with him. When Todd found out about her affair, he proposed to her. Devon saw, they fought, and she stormed off because, what woman would want to see two men fighting over her?

Elizabeth is so disgusted with them that she avoids talking to them both. Enid tells her that her cousin went on a trip with Project Adventure, which is a total rip-off, and she thinks it sounds interesting. The trip ends with each person left alone in the middle of the wilderness to fend for themselves overnight. Since Ned and Alice are without a doubt the worst parents alive, they agree to let her go.

Elizabeth is currently not speaking to Jessica because her sister “betrayed” her. Todd started dating Courtney to get back at Liz, and Jessica knew that they were meeting. She called Courtney and Devon, which led to the big fight. Jessica thinks that the best way to get her forgiveness is with a bitching party. She gets all her friends together, and they convince the guys to help.

Todd mopes over Liz constantly because she is the great love of his life. He sees some random dude named Keith, who goes on and on about how nature is the best cure-all for everything. He decides to go with him and his buddies on a mountain biking trip, and he likes it so much that he rushes out and buys a new bike. He also gets all of his friends involved, and they spend so much time outside that they ignore all the party planning. Todd even asks Devon to join them, but Devon just snaps at him and whines about how crunchy things are in California.

Elizabeth goes with her group, which is 100 percent adults. She naturally makes a bunch of brand new friends, and tells them all about her big problems and how she's in love with two men. Suddenly, it's time for her solo trek through the wilderness. She starts imagining that she's seeing things and feels like she's losing her mind. They gave her a beeper to call for help, and she contemplates using it.

Jessica and the girls keep trying to track down the guys, but they act all cagey and weird about what they've been doing. She finally organizes the girls into two groups, and they follow the guys into the woods. Oh, and by this point, Devon has decided to go ahead and join the group. He and Todd even make a deal to stay away from Liz until she makes her own choice. The girls eventually run into Liz who thinks she's imagining the whole exchange. Jess invites her to the Dairi Burger, but she decides that she's strong enough to finish out the day.

Suddenly, it's one day later and time for the party. Jessica wants to get to the lake early, so she asks Liz to pick up the deli platters. Todd shows up and tells Liz that he understands why she cheated (god I hate him) and that he forgives her. He then offers to pick up the platters for her, and they trade cars. Devon decides to stop by and see her too, but he sees Todd leaving. They have an ugly confrontation, and Todd points out that he and Liz were friends for years and he wanted to make sure they could remain friends, before he speeds off.

Jessica calls and flips out when she hears the news because oh-noes, the brakes on the Jeep are faulty! Liz tells Devon, who suggests that she go with him on his motorcycle. She briefly flashes back to her traumatic accident before hopping on his bike. They find the Jeep barely sitting on the edge of a cliff with Todd trapped inside. Devon manages to pull Todd out while Liz holds onto the back for stability. WTF?

Everyone rushes to the hospital to see Todd, but they will only let in family. The doctor calls Liz over because his parents called and said that they wanted her there until they could get to the hospital. She spent so much time crying over him that Devon thinks she loves Todd, and he tells her that she made her choice. She then asks him to go in with her because Todd would want that. Seriously, WTF? And then the book ends with Liz deciding not to date anyone. Seriously.

*Here's what pisses me off: one of the people in the nature group is there because she just went through a divorce after her husband CHEATED ON HER WITH HIS SECRETARY. She literally tells them this on the same page that Liz starts moaning about her big problem. Everyone tells her that it's oh-so-serious and offers suggestions, including the same woman! She even AGREES that you can love two people at once. I would have totally bitch slapped her up and down that mountain.

*I thought Liz didn't remember her accident. Here, she not only remembers the accident, but she also remembers what it was like in the coma.

*I don't like Devon. This is the only book I read with him in it, and I really disliked him. He literally spent the entire book moping over Liz, thinking about Liz, riding his bike to get away from Liz, and the talking to Liz/wondering why Liz won't talk to him.

*You have to love Bruce. He never rode a mountain bike before, but he owns two of them.

*The whole thing with the Jeep is that it's about to go over the cliff, and Todd's body is what's holding it up. I'm pretty sure that Liz sitting on the bumper is not going to stop it.

*Someone suggests that the boys were abducted by aliens, and Maria says that if Winston uses that excuse, he better be ready to show her the probe marks. LOL.

*I don't get why the boys are so secretive in this one. They've surely done worse things before, but they act all embarrassed about mountain biking.

*Jessica's date for the party? Aaron Dallas. Remember him? The guy that Sweet Valley Confidential tells us numerous times that she never liked or found attractive.

*Speaking of SVC, Jessica tells Liz that she has to love Todd for the way that he loves Liz. Ha!

*Liz is such a bitch. She literally sits in the waiting room, thinking about the time she spent in the hospital and how hard it was for her and how Todd was always there for her. Yet, when she gets the chance to see him, she makes someone else go with her. She doesn't really know that they made up/are friends, so why the hell would she do that?

Monday, February 4, 2013

Goosebumps #18: Monster Blood II


Evan now lives in Atlanta where he gets ridiculed all of the time by a bully named Conan. Mr. Murphy, his teacher, apparently doesn't give a shit because he totally lets the guy run loose over his classroom. When Conan tells Evan that he can punch him once, he hits him in the stomach, and the teacher sees. He blames Evan and punishes him by making him take care of the class hamster Cuddles every day.

Luckily, his friend Andy just moved to Atlanta to live with her grandparents while her parents spend a year working in Germany. She brought a can of monster blood with her, but Evan begs her to get rid of it. Conan sees them and tries to take the can, but Evan drops it and pretends like he never had it. After he leaves, they bury it under a tree in the woods.

Conan continues being a huge jerk. Evan tries out for the basketball team, and Conan throws the ball twice in his face and he and his friends trip him constantly. After Conan stuffs him in the hoop, the teacher (who is also the coach) tells Evan that he's just too short for the team. Andy suggests feeding Conan some of the monster blood, and they sneak back into the woods to discover that he found the canister and stole it.

They decide to sneak into his house and get back the monster blood. They manage to find the can in his bedroom, but he and his parents come home. They basically climb out on the window ledge and drop to the ground to get away, and even then he almost catches them because Evan dog follows and starts barking. The monster blood started growing in the canister so they agree to bury it again.

Andy suggests feeding Cuddles some of the monster blood, but Evan disagrees. When he gets to school the next day, Mr. Murphy lectures him on overfeeding the animal, which suddenly looks a little bigger. By the next day, the hamster is the size of a small dog, and Evan leaves him tied up to the teacher's desk. The teacher is surprisingly happy, thinking that the hamster will make him famous.

Andy admits that she fed him a little monster blood, but only because she wanted to make Evan laugh. Cuddles keeps growing until he's nearly ten feet tall. Luckily, Evan's dad was working on a new sculpture that looks like a giant hamster wheel, and he entered it into a contest at the school. They find it and drag him back to the science lab, but Cuddles just picks it up and tears it apart.

Evan goes with Andy to her locker where she stored the monster blood. It's now taken over her locker, but he still manages to eat it and grow as tall as the hamster. He starts fighting with Cuddles and it looks like the hamster might eat him, but then they both shrink to their normal size. Andy discovers that the expiration date on the monster blood was that day, so the magic disappeared.

Mr. Murphy feels bad for how he treated Evan, so he comes by his house and presents him with Cuddles as a gift. Andy comes over and drags him away, saying that she has a surprise. It turns out that her parents sent her a new can of monster blood from a toy store in Germany. She leaves it on his desk, and when the book ends, they discover that Cuddles escaped from his cage and is eating the new monster blood.

*I know I said this earlier, but Conan is a real dick! He literally squeezes Evan's hand until it looks like raw hamburger, and he does it multiple times!

*Mr. Murphy is clearly the worst teacher in the world. He believes everything Conan says, including the time where he says that Evan threw the hamster out of the window and a car almost ran it over...on the playground.

*I also find it hard to believe that Evan is the only person who had a problem with Conan at that school.

*Evan is kind of a dumbass though. He tells everyone at his new school, including his teachers, about the monster blood and how it works, and then he doesn't understand why they all think he's a moron.