Friday, January 2, 2015

The Baby-Sitters Club #89: Kristy and the Dirty Diapers

It's that time of year again, time for everyone to start eighth grade again for the 780th time. It's also time for another standoff between the Bashers and the Krushers. After the Krushhers win the very first game, this older guy named Mr. Davis comes up and introduces himself. He owns a diaper service and wants to sponsor the team. He'll give them new uniforms, equipment, the whole nine yards. After talking it over with the BSC, Kristy decides that it's the best choice for her team.

Mr. Davis then sends her a box of new uniforms, but they now all say Davis Diapers. Kristy isn't happy about losing her name, but she still thinks it was a good idea. The rest of her team doesn't necessarily feel the same way. Half the players won't wear the uniforms, and Mr. Davis gets annoyed when he comes to the game and sees them wearing other stuff.

At the same time, they see some activity going on in a mansion down the street. It turns out that someone bought the house who has twin girls Kristy's age. After stalking the house for a few weeks, she finally sees the new family. They showed up before the utility companies turned things on in the house, but Elizabeth insists that they spend the night at their house.

Abby has allergies and talks constantly, while Anna is more quiet. Since Abby is allergic to dust and animals, Kristy, Sam, and Charlie clean the guest room and make it perfect for her. When Watson brings in baked clams, she almost gets sick and runs from the room. Kristy quickly decides that she likes Anna way more than she likes Abby. It doesn't help that Abby does "funny" impressions of everyone, including Watson, and makes friends with pretty much everyone in school on her first day.

While all this is going on, Mrs. Porter comes over to talk to Watson and Elizabeth. Her daughter and son-in-law are divorcing, and she has to take care of her granddaughter Dru for awhile. Dru eventually joins the Krushers, but she hates sports a lot. Anna gives her music lessons, and she ends up forming a band to support the team.

Abby kind of takes over Kristy's role in a lot of ways. When they see a group of girls playing softball, Abby jumps in and starts playing with them. She gives David Michael baseball lessons, and Kristy hates the way that she keeps joking around while working with him. She also shows up at Krushers practices and kind of takes over coaching, and she comes to all the games.

Mr. Davis lets his true colors show when the team starts losing. He constantly complains that they aren't playing well. He tells Suzie what to do with her hands, lectures Nicky on how he won't make it to the majors, and makes it clear that he wants to see everyone in their uniforms. The more he comes around, the more games they lose. Kristy finally snaps and tells him to take everything back. Once they become the Krushers again, they win the series.

Dawn is back in California for good but people keep calling. Shannon let them know that she can't take her place this time because she's so busy with school. Kristy brings Anna and Abby to a BSC meeting and introduces them to everyone. Once they all agree, she asks them to join the club. Abby agrees right off the bat, but Anna turns them down because she'll be really busy with school and her music.

*Even though the last time there was a "world series," Kristy and Bart decided that one game was enough for the kids, they now make them play five games. That's a little crazy.

*Abby is allergic to tomatoes, so instead of having spaghetti with marinara sauce like everyone else, she eats it with soy sauce and olive oil. That sounds nasty.

*When two of the more popular guys make up nicknames for Abby, Kristy makes a snarky comment about how she must be good at a lot of things. Is it wrong that I thought she was calling her a slut?

*Watson once again calls Kristy his/our daughter in this book. It's really sweet, but it stinks that the only time she calls him dad is when he almost dies of a heart attack.

*Shannon sits at the beginning of the book, but then when she sits a few chapters later, she says it's been so long that she missed sitting. How much freaking time passed??

*The twins' mom must be super rich. I love how in the later books she was so broke when their dad died that she had to give up her cooking career to go into publishing. In this book, she has so much money that not only does she build a new addition and completely renovate her mansion, but she buys brand new furniture for every room.

*I'm not a big Abby fan, and this book makes me even less of a fan. There's something really grating about her. She always has to be the center of attention, is constantly making people focus on her, and never seems to shut up.

*All the BSC members worry that her asthma will keep her from being a good sitter. Kristy points out that it's no different than Stacey having diabetes. In the next book, she's the one who freaks out when Abby has an asthma attack.

*Kristy trying to force a friendship with Anna seems really out of character. She knows that they have nothing in common but is constantly trying to push something just because she doesn't like Abby.

*The whole uniforms thing is just ridiculous. Claudia points out that Kristy won't be happy with another name on her uniforms, but she says she just wants what is best for her team. She then gets upset that he puts his company name on them. He already pointed out that it was free publicity for him, so what did she expect?

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Fear Street Super Chiller: Cheerleaders: The New Evil (R.L. Stine)

Part One: Party Time

It's now been god knows how long since the evil finally left the cheerleaders alone. Corky, Kimmy, and Hannah are out for a drive when they get into an accident and Hannah goes through the windshield. The other two girls go to the hospital to see her and ask how she's doing, but her parents just burst into tears and her mom runs from the room.

The next day, Corky tells her coach that the doctors got the internal bleeding under control but that she won't be out for the hospital for awhile. That totally sucks because they have some big competition coming up, which means they have to find a replacement. Corky then goes to see her boyfriend Alex who is a total asshat. She asks him for a ride to the lake, he makes a big deal out of why she wants to go, and his friend Jay pops up to do some mild flirting and be pretty much adorable. If he turns out to be evil, I'll be super sad.

Alex takes her to the lake, she sees a hole in the ice, and decides that it means the evil escaped. We then get to see Alex taking her out on a date and flirting with Deena from across the room. Oh, and he stands her up for a date on the last second on Saturday night. I think I know where this is going. She heads over to Debra's house and interrupts a séance or something that she's doing with Kimmy. Turns out that they want to call upon a good spirit to help protect them. Something happens in the room, they all freak out, and Debra swears that she felt a positive spirit in the room.

We then cut to tryouts for the new cheerleader. They narrow it down to three girls: Rochelle, Ivy, and Lauren. While talking about how Rochelle is their top pick, they see Ivy standing outside the room and listening to them. She claims she didn't hear anything and runs off. When they go to tell the girls who they picked, they find Rochelle dead in the gym with a screwdriver stabbed in her neck.

The paramedics come, and Corky notices that Ivy has an evil smile on her face. Before they can barely look at Rochelle to say that she's still alive, Ivy wants to know who made the squad. Lauren flips out and says that she didn't make it because of her and Alex. Alex naturally denies that anything happened between them and says he just helped her with her homework. Hm, didn't know they teach whoring around in high school now.

A few days later, they hear that Lauren is now the alternate for the squad. Even though they never had one before, she went to the coach and convinced her it was a good idea. She comes to all the practices just in case anything happens to another girl. This naturally leads to the confetti cannon backfiring on some chick named Heather and nearly knocking her out. Another girl has a misfire (haha) with a fire baton and can't cheer anymore, which puts Lauren on the squad.

Our three friendly gals Corky, Debra, and Kimmy follow the other two girls to the lake and see Ivy skating around in a pattern with Lauren watching her intently. They decide that this means Ivy is the evil, and Debra says they need to drown her. They plan a big party to do the deed. Alex comes over, gets Corky alone, and tells her they need to talk. Uh-oh. But then Jay shows up and nothing happens. Alex is still an ass though. He doesn't really care about her party and makes up and excuse as to why he can't pick her up.

The girls throw a big party at the lake and everyone goes ice skating. I'm pretty sure I would skip this party because I'm pretty sure I would fall on my ass 786 times. Corky sees Jay, who wants to skate with her and does some more flirting. When she asks him what's up with Alex, he makes up some excuse and takes off. She then sees some guy dressed as Santa coming towards her with a sharp icicle in his hand. It's just Alex though. He thought she would appreciate him coming as Santa to a Christmas party.

Corky somehow still likes him, which I just don't understand, but she needs to meet up with the other girls. Debra brings some random witchcraft book, they go out to the lake, and make sure no one is around. When they start chanting, something happens in the lake. They first think they did something right, but they they realize that they just called forth the evil.

Part Two: Game Time

The basketball team and cheerleading squad end up at two different hotels for some big tournament thing. Kimmy and Corky end up sharing a room with Ivy, and the other girls are on the other side of the hotel. They run into this girl Lena from the other team who is amazing. Ivy gets really weird around her and clearly doesn't like her.

During the first game, they set off the confetti cannons and hear people scream. Someone filled the cannons with black tar, but somehow no one ended up hurt. A bunch of other stuff happens too. Ivy gets pissy about Lena again, Jay picks a fight with the coach, and then someone kills the coach. The girls find him with one of those professional water bottles shoved down his throat. At the makeup game, Lena does a bunch of backflips and can't stop. A bunch of players end up holding her down to get her to stop. Oh and Alex comes over to apologize and admit that he hasn't been around because he's been seeing a tutor. Corky catches Jay spying on them and then Jay stops talking to her.

This all leads up to Corky seeing Ivy sneak out of the room. She wakes up Kimmy to follow her and sees her and the other cheerleaders meeting up with the basketball team. They follow them into the woods and Debra catches up with them. All the others form a circle, start chanting, and do some weird slow dance. The girls realize that when they released the evil, it must have went in everyone else. To make things worse, the others practically cripple a dog before Corky realizes that they can see them.

Part Three: Good-Bye Time

All three girls take off in opposite directions with the group behind them. Corky gets back to the hotel, but the office door is locked. She finds a phone booth that doesn't work, and then Alex comes out of nowhere and grabs her. He tells her that she needs to come back to the lake with him and that they'll have oh so much fun, which is oh so creepy. She escapes from him in the woods and makes it to the lake, but when she slips and falls, she sees Kimmy's dead body trapped under the ice.

They basically chase her deeper into the woods and keep trying to get her to come out. It's really random too. They tell her that the coach wants to see her, that it's time to go to the arena, and other normal stuff. When they finally leave her alone, she sneaks out of the woods and goes back to the hotel, where she sees everyone laughing and joking around as they get ready for the game.

When the bus driver goes back into the hotel, she somehow manages to sneak into the driver's seat and start the bus. She keeps seeing Kimmy's dead body in the water and talking to her and telling her what to do. Corky manages to drive the bus with her head below the steering wheel (seriously) and drives it all the way to the cliff in the woods (seriously again). She basically drives the bus over the cliff and jumps off as it crashes into the lake.

Since she killed them all, she decides that she has to go to the arena and tell everyone what happened. Some random dude picks her up after an hour of walking and drops her off. Corky tries to tell the cheerleading coach that everyone is dead when the team and cheerleaders suddenly show up. Everyone is covered in swamp moss, has bloated bodies, and black sludge pouring out of their mouths. They then turn and start coming after her.

When she turns to run, she sees Debra in the crowd. She briefly tries to run to her and then convinces herself that they got her too. Corky starts to run, falls, and smacks her head. She wakes up in the hospital with a nurse watching over her. The nurse tells her that her parents are on their way and that all her friends are there to see her, which makes her freak out about how they want to kill her.

Corky sees Debra in the hallway but runs from her. She then sees Alex in a hospital room and stops to see his dead body. Turns out that he's totes not dead. He grabs her hand and kisses her. Alex tells her that two guys were ice fishing and somehow managed to pull everyone out of the water. Since the water was steaming for some odd reason, they didn't even get frostbite. Oh, but Kimmy is still dead. Debra comes in, and they tell her that she had a hallucination at the game but no one was actually there. They then realize it's Christmas Eve and they make a joke about it being a white Christmas.

Want to know what pisses me off about this book? Poor Kimmy. Alex literally says, "Oh Corky. Kimmy's dead. I don't know what happened." Exactly two pages later, she's joking about it being Christmas. Why couldn't they just have made that part of her hallucination?

Monday, December 29, 2014

Sweet Valley Twins #79: Jessica's Blind Date

Jessica isn't too crazy about Aaron Dallas as of late. Not only does he wear neon shorts, which went out of style months ago, but he dares to act like a junior high school student sometimes. Gasp! When they meet up at Casey's, he orders bubblegum ice cream with sprinkles, slurps his ice cream, and wears a shirt with Donald Duck on it. The slurping puts her over the edge and she dumps him.

The other Unicorns can't believe she would do something so stupid, especially with Rick Hunter's big party coming up. At the same time Elizabeth decides to run a classifieds section in the paper after having problems finding a tutor for Amy. Jessica begs and pleads for her to let her add a personal ad to the section.

Her ad (Gorgeous Blond) is so popular that they run out of copies. Lila agrees to run her own ad when her boyfriend Jake forgets about their one month anniversary, and other Unicorns decide to run ads too. Before long, everyone wants their own ad in the paper. Liz naturally gets all pissy about how her twin always comes up with great ideas and because so many people want to place an ad. That all changes when she decides to charge a fee for placing an ad and raises almost $200 for the paper.

Most of the ads she gets go right in the trash, but one guy sounds perfect. He says his cousin is Johnny Buck, he travels on the road as a musician all the time, and he's about to turn 16 and buy a Porsche. She agrees to meet him at the Dairi Burger, spends hours getting ready, and heads over. Turns out that it was just Steven pulling a prank on her.

She finally does get a letter from someone who sounds perfect. He calls himself Athletic Guy, and she loves his first letter so much that she writes him back that same day. She doesn't hear back from him until he puts an ad in the paper to let her know that she never included her box number for his response. They send dozens of letters back and forth before he asks her to Rick's party.

Elizabeth asks her twin for help picking out a party outfit because she doesn't want Todd to get sick of her. Jess picks out a short flared teal miniskirt and a black off the shoulder top that makes young Todd's eyes pop out of his head. Jess then spends all night getting read for the party too. When the doorbell rings, she finds Aaron on the other side. He admits that he figured out it was her a week ago but didn't say anything because he wasn't sure how she would react. They both agree that they're glad it was the other person.

The party ends up being pretty lame. Most couples broke up before hand to go with people they met through their ads, but Jess and Aaron were the only happy pairing. They end up skipping the party and heading to the pizza place where they order pineapple pizza. Turns out they both always loved it but didn't know the other did until they exchanged letters. Awww.

*Amy initially doesn't want them to run personal ads because The Sixers is a "serious paper." (A) Big time newspapers did have personal ads and (B) your rinky dink middle school paper is not serious journalism.

*A new computer store just opened in Sweet Valley called Comp America. That made me giggle. How long has it been since Comp USA went out of business?

*Elizabeth tells Todd that she's worried he'll place an ad, and he tells her he has no reason too because he already has the perfect girl. I thought that was super sweet until I remembered the Sweet Valley Confidential books.

*Liz and Amy are really rude about the whole personal ad thing and how it will ruin the reputation of the entire paper. Once again, you're in sixth grade.

*Someone on the staff suggests using the money they make to buy a mini fridge to keep in the office. Elizabeth immediately shoots it down because it needs to be something for everyone. They point out that it would help when they need to stay late after school, and she says it would just lead to students coming in and taking food. Why does she have to spoil everything?

*They end up buying software so they can make the newspaper more interesting. Yay?