Monday, January 31, 2011

Review: "Mary Anne Saves the Day: The Baby-Sitters Club #4"

Mary Anne Saves the Day: The Baby-Sitters Club #4 by Ann M Martin

4 out 5 stars

This is the first book starring Mary Anne and the cover is typical for her, up to this point…braids, turtleneck and longish skirt. Blegh. I always thought of her with glasses though, but apparently she only needs them to read? Weird.

Also on the cover is Jenny Prezzioso, the brattiest 3 year old in the whole series. I had a mini-epiphany in this reading though: I had always pronounced their last name Prez-ziz-io in my head, but it’s actually Prezi-oso. Lol…(it’s Levi-OH-sa not levi-osa :D) Jenny’s outfits are right up there with Claudia’s in regards to ridiculousness. “…Jenny seemed a bit overdressed for an afternoon of stories and games and fun. She was wearing a frilly white dress trimmed with yards of lavender lace and ribbon, matching lavender socks, and shiny black patent leather Mary Janes. Her hair had been curled, and was pulled back from either side of her face by barrettes from which long streamers flowed. Really, her mother ought to just pose her in a display case somewhere.” Uh, yeah you think?

I always liked Mary Anne best of all, maybe because she was the most like me. Quiet, shy around new people, liked to read, wore glasses. But I bet she didn’t have awesome red Sally Jesse Raphael glasses like me! Hah! (This is my mom and I in 80s-tastic clothes and haircuts!)

Up until now, we’ve only seen shy, meek Mary Anne. But in this book she really lets loose and gets wild…okay not really, but she gets a backbone and stands up to some people!

This book starts out in typical fashion, at a BSC meeting, with Claudia rummaging in her pajama bag for some Ring-Dings. What, might I ask, is a pajama bag?? Seriously, never heard of such a thing. Anyway, I’m sorry to say there aren’t any “What Claudia is Wearing” in this one, but we do get a sort-of “What Stacey is Wearing”, so here ya go! I had to take some liberties this time, because it was impossible to find a “sophisticated” island shirt. Yeah. And also, I found that super cool charm bracelet that I just knew Stacey would wear. J

Stacey is glamorous. She’s very sophisticated and is even allowed to have her hair permed [btw, the word permed is not in my spell-check lol, guess it’s TOO 80s], so that she has this fabulous-looking shaggy blonde mane, and she wears the neatest clothes-big, baggy shirts and tight-fitting pants-and amazing jewelry, like parrots and palm trees.” “Just once, I’d [Mary Anne] like to go to school wearing skintight turquoise pants, Stacey’s “island” shirt with the flamingos and toucans all over it, and maybe bright red, high-top sneakers. I’d like to create a sensation.

Okay, so they’re at the meeting and everything is cool, until Kristy takes a sitting job for Jamie Newton and new baby sister, Lucy…which is a huge no-no in BSC rules. Everyone gets pissed and suddenly they’re all yelling and calling each other names: stuck-up job-hogs, bossy know-it-alls, shy little babies, conceited snobs. And bam! There you go, the BSC’ers 1st BIG fight.

So, most of the book is about the girls fighting, ignoring each other, being super snarky in the Club Notebook, nearly ruining Jamie’s birthday party (with a funny part where Mary Anne pours punch in Kristy’s lap hah!), etc…But we do get to meet a new character, Dawn Schafer, who is described as “…a tall girl with the blondest hair I had ever seen. It was so pale it was almost white, and it hung, straight and silky, to her rear end.” Dawn’s a California girl who moved here after her parent’s got divorced. We find out that her mom and Mary Anne’s dad knew each other in high school and, are you ready for this? They DATED! And! They were in Looooove!

We also get to officially meet the Pike family, who is by far, my favorite family in the series. There are 8 Pike kids, because Mr & Mrs Pike don’t know how to control themselves or they’re Catholic or something: Mallory who’s 10, the triplets Byron, Adam & Jordan are 9, Vanessa 8, Nicky 7, Margo 6 and Claire 4.

Then there’s the main story of when “Mary Anne Saves the Day”…she goes to babysit Jenny, cause Mr & Mrs are going to a basketball game (Mrs P is wearing a black silk cocktail dress), Jenny has a fever of 104, Mary Anne calls everyone she knows, including Dawn, no one’s home except Dawn, they call 911, get an ambulance and go to the emergency room where Jenny has strep throat but is okay thanks to Super-Sitter Mary Anne! Oh and she gets an extra $10 as thanks for saving their precious little princess, woo!

Her dad is very impressed by her responsibility and finally lets her take her hair out of those dang braids, although I’m sure the damage is done and she’ll have wavy hair til she’s 30, lets her extend her babysitting hours and lets her take the stupid Humpty Dumpty pictures off her walls and hang up some real posters of cats hanging on a clothes-line or something. Also, Dawn joins the BSC and the two former lovebirds meet each other again after however many years it’s been and instantly fall in love again. Hello, foreshadowing, nice to see you already! Oh yeah and the BSC’ers realize they were being estupido and make up, again.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Review: "Best Friends Forever"

Best Friends Forever by Jennifer Weiner
2 out of 5 stars

Nope, this isn't a BSC book...sounds like one, kind of wish it was. :/ I originally gave this book 3 stars, but after thinking about it some more and reading some of the other reviews on GR, I had to knock it down a star. I've read lots of Jennifer Weiner's books and I think there's a reason I always end up selling them back. I labeled this a "Pink Book", meaning it's a fluffy, chicklit read that usually has a pretty, pink cover...this book is trying to be in that category, but it falls short.

This is about a pair of childhood BFF's, Addie and Valerie, who go their separate ways in high school and come back together in adulthood due to an almost accident. Addie is the outsider fat girl with the weird family: way obese mom who eerily reminds me of the mom in "What's Eating Gilbert Grape", the dad who's gone wackadoodle from the war and now makes puppets, and the used-to-be popular brother who got in a bad accident and suffered brain damage. Valerie is the new girl turned super popular cheerleader with the deadbeat dad who doesn't want her and the neglectful, wild mom with the string of boyfriends.

The 2 girls become friends when Valerie moves in across the street as kids, but by the time high school rolls around, they are barely speaking. Something major happens to Valerie and they stop speaking completely, until she shows up on Addie's doorstep as an adult saying she's done something horrible. The story goes on with their journey of how to fix this "something horrible" and their friendship at the same time.

It all ends happily of course, but it doesn't feel like it. One of the major themes is Addie's weight and how she can't/won't be in a relationship or have a real life until she's skinny and once she is, she'll of course be happy! Only she's not. I'm okay with those kind of books usually, being a fluffy girl myself, but this one was depressing. Like really. If you have some of Weiner's books on your shelf already, I'd say go ahead and check it out from the library...if not, don't bother!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Yay for Half Price Books!!

So I decided after last week's post about the BSC Mystery series that I DID need to get them or my collection wouldn't be complete! :) And you know what that means? A trip or fifteen to Half Price Books! Woo!! My sister was totally excited...not.

Well, we took our stepsis' out for a birthday shopping trip on Saturday and I got to stop in at one and found 5 of them right off the bat! Then...we were near another one later on and I ran in (they refused to go in that time, I don't know why lol) and found another 8 PLUS the Logan's Story I was missing! Woot woot! I did get one duplicate though, so annoying. I need to list them in my phone now so I will know.

So here they are...the first 10 minus 5 (which I thought I was getting with the dup grrr) and a couple of others! Yay! And I also noticed that the sales guys tend to look at you funny when you (a 30 year old) bring a big stack of BSC books to the counter. o_O The girls, not so much, they're usually "OOoohhh! I loved these when I was a kid!" :)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Etsy Hearts Reading Too!

My Etsy faves are centered on one thing at the moment...books, books, books! :)

"Imagination: Reading is Cool" Print by Dazeychic --I love this print! It's sold out right now, but I hope they get it back soon!

"Dr Seuss Book Charm Bracelet" by CreateHappiness --so cute! My favorite Dr Seuss book was "Wacky Wednesday" :)

"Library Due Date Set of Cards" by DonandLina --am I the only one who misses these in library books? I always wanted to make my own as a kid too lol.

"Read Bookends" by KnobCreekMetalArts --I need these! Love!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Review: "The Runaway Dolls"

The Runaway Dolls by Ann M Martin
4 out of 5 stars

This is the final book in the Doll People series and was as good as the other two! Although, I must say, it reminded me a LOT of Toy Story this time.

The book starts out with some great illustrations again of a long, lost package being delivered to Annabelle & Tiffany's humans, which they leave unopened until they get back from their vacation in two weeks.
The Dolls & Funcrafts are excited to have their own vacation and run of the house (luckily, The Captain is locked up in the laundry room). Things change though when Annabelle & Tiffany discover that the package contains Annabelle's little sister, Tilly, who has been lost for a hundred years. The Doll grownups forbid Annabelle to let her out, claiming it could cause them all to go into Permanent Doll State.

Annabelle and Tiffany are so distraught over the thought of poor Tilly being locked away in that box (I don't know why, she's been in there for 100 years, what's another 2 weeks? lol) that they do something super drastic and uncalled for and once again, adventure ensues...

Annabelle and Tiffany decide to run away with Tilly until they can figure things out, so they go OUTSIDE into the world. Eek! There are some funny parts with cute little Tilly asking tons of questions, like "What's a cat toy" and getting excited by ladybugs on her toes. The girls hitch a ride on the neighbor boys' wagon and end up in a local park where things take an ugly turn. They get lost and dirty and realize that this was a BAD idea...and then they find out that the 2 doll brothers have followed them into the world also!

The dolls decide they should make their way back home, but since they are hopelessly lost, they end up in the downtown area and finally a department store. There they are discovered by a sales clerk and whisked back to the toy department where she thinks they belong. Here is where the "Toy Story" part comes in...each night, all the dolls come to life and have a big 'ol party. :) This part seemed to go on too long for me...Annabelle and Tiffany were so busy partying each night, that they kind of forgot they were supposed to be heading home!

But then something happens to Annabelle and she ends up broken and in the Doll Hospital, where she comes across the most terrifying thing ever...
Yep...Mean Mimi!!! Well, Princess Mimi. And she is in baaaad shape
There's a very scary dream sequence where Mean Mimi throws her loose leg at Annabelle and scares the crap out of her! Luckily, it was just a dream and turns out this Princess Mimi is already in PDS.

Annabelle gets fixed and returned back to the toy section, where they FINALLY make a plan to get back home. It all works out because these are some super smart and resourceful little dolls and they make it home before the humans. Of course, the kids are in BIIIG trouble but they are all so happy to see them, it ends up being okay.

As for Tilly? They decide to tape her back up in her box (now that's traumatic!) and hope for the best. When the humans get home, Grandma recognizes the name as her father's or somebody really old, opens it up and gives the Doll Family their baby at last. Don't worry though, Big Baby Betsy or whatever her name is, is still a part of the family too! hah!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Review: "The Truth About Stacey: The Baby-Sitters Club #3"

The Truth About Stacey: The Baby-Sitters Club #3 by Ann M Martin
2 out of 5 stars

Boy this book has seen some wear and tear hasn't it? Maybe I tore it on purpose to break up that ugly, ugly outfit she's wearing? Seriously, that is not the smart, sophisticated Stacey we all know and love!

This book belongs to Amy Spier by the way...which I'm assuming is me! Lol.

Okay, I really didn't like this book. The basic plot is okay: some older girls set up a rival babysitting club and start getting all the BSC's business. The BSC'ers are p.o.'d and try all kinds of drastic things to keep their clients. (Housekeeping? No thank you!) Turns out these new, older girls are crappy babysitters (watching TV! Gasp! And not paying attention to the kids, letting boys come over, smoking etc...) so the BSC'ers have nothing to worry about.

It's the sub-plot with Stacey that I have a big problem with. What's "The Truth About Stacey"? She's diabetic. Duh, we already knew that way back in book 1. They should have had her be "on a diet" in book 1, maybe a little fainting spell in book 2 and THEN tell us she's diabetic in this one. I find it really hard to believe that her parents didn't tell their close friends & the parents of their daughter's BFF why she was so sick and ultimately why they were moving! I don't care if it is 1986, it just doesn't make sense! And I always thought Laine was a stuck-up snob anyway, so I double didn't like this plot. ;)

And the other reason I didn't like this book? No "What Claudia is Wearing"!! None! *big sad face* Not even a "What Stacey is Wearing"....I'm very disappointed. So I made my own. :D Presenting, the first ever and probably not the last, "What Claudia Should Have Been Wearing":

Claudia was wearing a black tank dress with a sheer black zebra print dress over it and purple tie-dye leggings. She had on her favorite hi-tops: hot pink with lime green trim. Claudia was all about the accessories today: a pink leopard print scarf, Swatch watch, sunglasses and lip earrings. She also had on a bunch of different bangles and was carrying a bag she had made last spring, a white tote with big, orange fake flowers glued all over it. Very Claudia.

And there you have it! :) Did you enjoy it? I hope so, because I did!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

TILT: Libraries

Things I Love Thursday! :) I always think the TILT's on Flickr are so much fun, so I decided to do one this week! And what do I love today? Libraries!! Our local central library is pretty cool, but check out these! So much neat architecture. And I just realized, I had one personal library sneak in, lol...and a cutey little Blythe doll. :)

You can click on the picture (hopefully) or go on my Flickr to check this out full-sized and for the links to all the original photographers! What are you loving today?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

BSC News!

No BSC review today, sorry! Although, I have read the 3rd one and should have it up this week. :) BUT! I had some news and links and stuff that I wanted to share.

First and most I was adding the first couple of books to my Goodreads list, I stumbled across an amazing thing: The Summer Before: A Babysitters Club PREQUEL!! Squeeee!!! It's been out since last year, how did I not know this existed?? It comes out in paperback in April, and there is no way I am buying one book out of 200 in hardbound, (that is a HUGE pet peeve of mine by the way!) so I will get it then and read it at the end like it's supposed to be. Eeeee!!

And second...I realized I'm missing one of Logan's Special Edition books. Because apparently he had 2? annoying. And also, I've come to the realization that I need to get the Mystery series books. But holy crap, there's like 40? Really? I haven't read any of the Mysteries, so you tell me, should I get them?

And last...some other blogs devoted to the BSC that I've found in my research. :) Since I'm not just reviewing the BSC books, I thought it'd be fun to check out what others are saying!

BSCrevisited has some great reviews of the books and I love their snarky revisited reactions. The only thing I don't like is that they aren't in order, but that's probably just my anal side lol.

Entropificus which I mentioned before, but definitely worth a repeat! Awesome drawings of Claudia and some of the other girls' outrageous outfits.

What Claudia Wore but not just about Claudia! :)

Claudia's Room everyone loves Claudia lol...maybe a bit too snarky for me, but I enjoyed it!

Okay, that's all for now...this blog post has been brought you by "the ellipsis" know...I used a lot of them! Hehe...

Review: "Polly & The Pirates"

Polly & The Pirates by Ted Naifeh
3 out of 5 stars

My dad had told me about this book a while back and it looked interesting, so he got it for me for Christmas. (Mostly because he wanted to read it too! hah!) It was a cute, quick read but I wish it had been longer. I hope it at least is going to have more volumes in the future.

Polly Pringle is a prim and proper young girl at a boarding school in England until she and her bed are kidnapped by pirates in the middle of the night! Lol...I thought it was amusing they took her straight out the window, bed and all.

Understandably, Polly is a little perturbed at being stolen away to a pirate ship by a bunch of crazy old men with claw hands and really bad accents.
Plus they, uh, pirates. Luckily, it turns out they don't want to besmirch her innocence; they just want her to become the captain of their ship!

Polly decides they're cuckoo-bananas and escapes back to her boarding school.
Hehe...until that night, when the pirates once again steal her away. Adventure and mayhem ensue, but I'm not going to give too much away!

This was a good read, the illustrations were well done...except for those odd claw hands I mentioned earlier. Apparently the author has issues drawing hands? (I'm not one to criticize though, I can barely draw stick figures!)
And also, Polly's feet. She has funny little nubs for feet. I kept noticing it in every picture lol...

Whew...this was picture heavy for such a short review! I guess that's what you get for a graphic novel review though! Enjoy! :)

Monday, January 17, 2011

Review: "Claudia and the Phantom Phone Calls-The Baby-Sitters Club #2"

Claudia and the Phantom Phone Calls: The Baby-Sitters Club #2 by Ann M Martin
3 out of 5 stars

I'm going to give Claudia the benefit of the doubt and say she wore that sweatshirt because she knew she was babysitting and didn't want to wear a good outfit. o.O The second book of the BSC series is narrated by the VP of the club, Ms. Claudia Lynn Kishi (hey, my middle name is Lynn! We're connected! I need to read all her books now! Lol...).

It's close to Halloween and very "gloomy and windy, with rain streaming down from heavy clouds that blocked the moon." Claudia wants nothing more than to read her latest Nancy Drew book and eat some licorice whips (hidden in her desk) and daydream about Trevor Sandbourne, the "most gorgeous boy in the entire seventh grade". He writes poetry. What 7th grade boy in his right mind writes poetry, much less admits to it?? Anyway, that's what she WANTS to do, but nooo...she has to be responsible and do her stupid homework. Luckily, it's Mimi's, her grandmother, turn to help keep her on track so it's relatively painless.

We start this book out pretty quickly with a "What Claudia is Wearing" and I tried my hardest to make a Polyvore for this one, but just couldn't get the right look together. :( But don't worry, I have something even better! In researching the books, I found this awesome blog, Entropificus, that has started drawing their own renditions of Claudia and some of the girls' outfits! They are doing a great job, so I decided to use their drawing of Claudia's outfit this time, which is as follows:

"...purple pants that stop just below my knees and are held up with suspenders, white tights with clocks on them, a purple plaid shirt with a matching hat, my high-top sneakers, and lobster earrings. Clothes like these are my trademark."

Lobster earrings?? Really? Why not clocks? Some cool steampunk clock earrings like these ones from CicadianRhythm would have worked much better!
So, the whole book is about the girls being worried about the "Phantom Caller Burglar", who is this dude that calls rich homes, sees who is home and then robs them when they don't answer. Claudia and Kristy keep getting these hang-up calls while they are babysitting, so they are massively freaked. This is a pretty spooky book...lots of jumpy kids and weird ringing phones and dark, stormy nights with the power going out.

Kristy gets super spooked babysitting Karen & Andrew by Morbidda Destiny..."No wonder Karen thought she was a witch. An old, whiskery face with snappish little eyes sat under a mop of frowsy [what the heck does frowsy mean??] gray hair. And sure enough, she was wearing a long, black dress."

The funniest part though was when Mary Anne, who was babysitting David Michael, was so spooked that she set up "alarms" by all the doors. A big stack of pots and pans, a bag of marbles attached to a string on the doorknob and a tape deck set to play "Poundin' Down the Walls" by the Slime Kings at top volume. The Slime Kings sound awesome. I would totally buy that tape to play on my pink boombox. :) I had the double decker tape deck too, so I could record stuff off the radio. Oh yeah....badly spliced together remixes of "Ice Ice Baby" and "U Can't Touch This". Lol...

Anyway, turns out all the hang-ups where from Alan Gray, "the most disgusting boy in this whole solar system." (Even Pluto, cause it was still a planet back then!) He was trying to get up the nerve to, *gasp*, ask KRISTY to the Halloween dance!! ZOMG!! I thought this was weird, because I don't remember them really liking or even tolerating each other in any of the other books. Oh well, I guess I'll see later. And oh yeah, the awesomely romantical poet, Trevor Sandbourne, was doing the same to Claudia because he liked her.

And then the Phantom Caller Burglar was caught in some other town, everyone but shy, plain Mary Anne went to the dance, Stacey and Claudia wore "baggy jeans and new bulky sweaters"?? Whaaaa???? Seriously? Eh...the end! :)

Friday, January 14, 2011

Review: "Kristy's Great Idea-The Baby-Sitters Club #1"

Kristy's Great Idea: The Baby-Sitters Club #1 by Ann M Martin
5 out 5 stars

Okay, how could I not give 5 stars to the book that started it all?! No, it's not the best writing (omg, I almost put "righting" lol). Yes, it's extremely repetitive. Yes, it's extremely repetitive. hehe...sorry! But it's the start of something magical, a series that lasted 14 years and over 200 books! I grew up reading these books. *sigh* Okay, enough cheese, on to the review!

All the pictures of the books are from my own
collection...need proof? :D Yep, that's me. Probably from 4th or 5th grade...when do you start learning cursive? I dunno. Anyway, it was probably after a reread at one point. Also, can I just complain about how cheap books used to be? $2.50? Man, you can't get a magazine for $2.50 now.

The book starts out with Kristy, our narrator, getting in trouble in class. Typical. *Shakes head* We meet Kristy and Mary Anne, her BFF, and she starts telling us about her family and friends. Kristy is a tomboy and Mary Anne is super shy but they've lived on the same street all their lives, so proximity BFF's and all that. The girls are in the 7th grade and are close friends with Claudia Kishi, who also lives in their neighborhood, but lately "the gap between [them] seems to have widened just since school started. Even though [they're] all seventh-graders, Claudia suddenly seemed...older. She talks about boys, and spends most of her time adding to her wardrobe and talking on the phone." Plus, "she's wearing a bra." Lol...

Kristy lives with her mom and 3 brothers; their dead-beat dad ran out on them when they were younger so Kristy's mom is struggling along. She is constantly looking for a babysitter for David Michael, the youngest Thomas kid, which gives Kristy the idea of the Baby-Sitters Club. Also, Kristy's mom is dating Watson, a millionaire, which annoys the crap out of Kristy.

Kristy tells Mary Anne all about the BSC and they decide to ask Claudia to join, which begins my favorite part of the BSC books: "What Claudia is wearing". I decided to make this even more fun by coming up with my version of some of her outfits in Polyvore. (I tried my best! lol)

"She was wearing short, very baggy lavender plaid
overalls, a white lacy blouse, a black fedora, and red high-top sneakers without socks. Her long black hair was carefully arranged in four braids. I felt extremely blah compared to her. [Who wouldn't!] .... There was blue stuff on her eyelids, gold stuff above her eyes, and magenta stuff on her cheeks."

Claudia is so awesome. She's got a genius sister, Janine, and is actually pretty smart herself but just can't apply herself. Been there, heard that. Claudia is super creative though too, hence the crazy outfits.

So, Kristy tells them all about her plan for the BSC. "...make one call and reach a whole bunch of us at once." Claudia is down with it and agrees to have the meetings in her room, cause she's like, totally awesome and has her own phone line. And she suggests the new girl, Stacey McGill, to join the club with them. They decide to meet the next day at 5:30 SHARP and hey! Here's another "What Claudia is Wearing"!

Claudia was "...this time wearing a baggy yellow-and black-checked shirt, black pants, red jazz shoes, and a bracelet that looked like it was made from a telephone cord. [Do you remember those bracelets? They always pulled my arm hair! lol...and I'm not like gorilla-hairy either just so ya know!] Her earrings were dangling jointed skeletons that jumped around when she moved. I noticed she wasn't wearing any makeup."

Stacey is at the meeting too and I would have done a "What Stacey is Wearing" but I ran out of time and would I find: "a pink sweat shirt with sequins and a large purple parrot on the front; short, tight-fitting jeans with zippers up the outsides of the legs; and pink plastic shoes."? Stacey is tres-chic because she's from NEW YORK CITY! Oooohhh...and also, she's got some secret that she doesn't divulge til the 4th to last page. (Pssst...she's diabetic. Don't tell!)

They all agree to the rules and decide to celebrate. With candy and junk food of course. Claudia is the master hoarder of junk food and I just need to know: why doesn't this girl ever get a zit? And why doesn't she weigh 300 lbs? Yikes. Here's a brief list of the food she has hidden around her room (in book #1 ONLY!):

Peanut M&M's-under her pillow
Bubble Gum-underwear drawer
Chocolate Bar-behind the encyclopedias
Twinkies-desk drawer
Wint-o-Green Lifesavers-piggy bank (what? loose like coins? ??)
Gummy Bears-pencil case
Jawbreakers-box labeled "Sneakers"

Okay, this is turning into the longest post ever and I can't decide if that's bad or good? What do you guys think? Do you prefer lots of detail and thoughts or just a short synopsis? This blogging thing is hard.

So for the sake of making this shorter, let's make a brief list of the highlights thru the rest of the book:
-Kristy babysitting Pinky & Buffy who turn out to be gigantor dogs
-Claudia babysitting for Jamie Newton (Hi-Hi!) and a bunch of other bratty kids and calming them down by reading Where the Wild Things Are which is my very favorite children's book ever!
-Stacey babysitting for David Michael and meeting Sam, Kristy's older brother, who is a "gorgeous hunk" and thinks Stacey is a "foxy chick". *Snort*
-Another Stacy outfit: "matching top and skirt made of gray sweat shirt material with big yellow number tens all over it. Her hair was pinned back with clips shaped like rainbows. Little silver whistles were dangling from her ears."
-Mary Anne babysitting for Watson's kids, Karen & Andrew,
and meeting Boo-Boo the big scary cat and MORBIDDA DESTINY aka Mrs Porter, the old lady who lives next door who Karen is convinced is a witch and I secretly agree!
-The BSC members tallying up their wages for the week and coming out to $26.75 which is enough for a pizza party! Yeah! Not!
-Kristy's mom & Watson get engaged and Kristy gets over her irrational hatred for the rich guy.
-The BSC members have a mini-fight and make up almost immediately.
-The Baby-Sitters Club was a success....awww....
-And finally, who wants to join me in forming my very own
Baby-Sitters Club??? I always wanted to do this. And hurry! The offer expires on June 30, 1987!! ;)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Review: "The Meanest Doll in the World"

The Meanest Doll in the World by Ann M Martin
4 out of 5 stars

Holy cow, this is one scary doll! Lol...this is the 2nd in the Doll People series and was actually pretty suspenseful at times. Again, it has some great illustrations, right from the beginning...I love
the "ads" for the Dolls and the little troll guys in the corner. Up in the right hand corner you can just barely see a little hand peaking out with a wand...intriguing yes?

Well watch out! Because it's Princess Mimi, aka: The MEANEST DOLL IN THE WORLD!! Yikes!!
I have to say, truthfully, this made me jump when I turned the page and saw her! Eeep...and, she defaces library books! For shame, Mean Mimi, for shame.

Okay, anyway...we don't actually get to see Princess Mimi for a while. The book starts out at "Miami Beach-A-Go-Go" which is younger sister Nora's bathtub. :) The Funcraft Family and Annabelle from the Doll Family are having a raucous good time...well the Funcrafts are. Poor Annabelle is stuck on lifeguard duty since she's all vintage and fragile. (Or fradge-ee-lay as Dory would say it) Life is back to normal at the Palmer's house (the humans that care for the Funcrafts and Dolls) now that Auntie Sarah is back home and Annabelle is getting a bit bored and unsatisfied again.

That all changes after a trip to the attic to study spiders (ugh...again with the spiders?!) lasts a little too long and Annabella and Tiffany have to hide in the first place they can find before the humans see them. This hiding place? Kate's (the older human sister) backpack. Which is on it's way to school, with the dolls inside. Adventure ensues! ;)

The dolls have lots of fun exploring the school, but don't make it into Kate's backpack in time at the end of the day and spend the night. The next day, they make it safely into her backpack to head back home to their families...or so they think! Dun dun dun!!!

Turns out they got in the wrong backpack and went home to a strange new house, for the entire weekend! There are lots of fun new toys there, including some Trolls (side note: when we were kids, there was a Troll store at the mall. It was so awesome. Lots of clothes and accessories for your Trolls and you could get your name tattooed on their butts! haha!) and Paper Dolls and a child-sized baby doll that reminds me eerily of Big Baby from "Toy Story 3" who is unfortunately under the rule of....MEAN MIMI!!

Mean Mimi "was dressed as a princess. She wore a glittery lavender dress, and lavender slippers with silk ribbons that twined and criss-crossed up her legs. On her head sat a lavender crown studded with plastic rubies and emeralds. And in her hand was a wand topped by a sparkling star." So basically, she's this sadistic ruler with a shiny hat and stick on a power trip. She makes all the other toys in this new house miserable, including Annabelle and Tiffany. The humans of the family go away each weekend, allowing Mimi's reign of terror to last days at a time. And she doesn't care about the "Doll Code of Honor", leaving huge messes and broken toys all over the place for the humans to find. Tsk tsk...

Annabelle and Tiffany help the toys overtake Mimi and get her minions to realize she's just using them. They manage to get safely hidden back in the child's backpack by Monday morning and are carried away back to the school and away from Mean Mimi....or so they think!! Lol...sorry, I couldn't help myself.

Once back home safe with their families, who were worried sick!, they are horrified to realize that Mean Mimi has hitched a ride to terrorize a new house since her's no longer cares. She's got some classic reckless behavior going on and is just begging to be caught...throwing toys all over the clean floor for Kate to find in the morning, calling Kate's name in the middle of the night!
In the end, it seems poor Mimi just wanted to be loved (aaawwww) and realizes no one will. So, in one last desperate act, she launches herself off Kate's bookshelf in the middle of the day and is caught by both Kate and Nora which puts her immediately into Permanent Doll State. Terrifying, isn't it?

This was a great book, maybe better than the first even. May be a little too suspenseful for the younger kids or weenie adults. ;) I can't wait to read the last one in the series! And I leave you with the back cover art, just in case you want to purchase a Princess Mimi doll of your own...although I don't know why you would.

Monday, January 10, 2011

My Bookshelf...

Okay, I do have reviews to put up but I've just run out of time today! I'm still recovering from being sick and we had no extra spending money, so we stayed home all weekend long...and it was wonderful! :) I cleaned up my room, and reorganized my bookshelf as promised and read 4 books! So I should have at least one review up tomorrow, maybe more.

Anyway, on to the's my before. Yuck right? I've had this bookshelf forever, since I was a teenager. And before that, it was my parents! So it's old. It creeks and don't touch it too hard, because it will start swaying! O.o But, I do kind of love it.

My biggest pet peeve about bookshelves at like Ikea and such is that 1. They are super wide. I like my shelf to be only wide enough for my biggest book, not have all that extra space at the front or have to pull the books forward. Ugh. And 2. They're boring. I like all the varying heights and lengths of the shelves on this bookcase. I even like the varying stacks and rows of books. It makes it feel like an old cramped bookstore full of treasures. :) So that's the 2 reasons I haven't replaced it yet. Please tell me I'm not the only one this picky about bookshelves!! So, since I haven't found a good replacement, I end up stacking books on the trunk next to it too.

And here's the after...a bit better right? Right! ;) I even have room to I need an incentive to buy books! And, yes that bottom row is all Baby-Sitters Club books. Plus a small stack on the far right right above it. And OMG! I realized I'm still missing one of the reader's specials for Logan. Dagnabbit!!

And a closeup of my trunk...there's another stack of Christopher Pike books in that middle section. Also, I realized while I was fixing these up that I am missing the Vampire Series by him!!?? Um...where did they go?? Did I sell them? I don't see that happening, but I don't know what else I could have done with them. Weird.
Okay, so there's my bookshelf. What does your's look like? Do you like it? What's your dream bookshelf? Mine's a full wall (or 3) of shelves, custom built, all different heights, all the way up to the ceiling, crammed full. :)

Friday, January 7, 2011

Getting organized and a schedule??

This week has been so odd...I was off on Monday for New Year's, then I got sick late Wednesday night and stayed home on Thursday and all of a sudden, it's Friday! I started my review of The Doll People on Wednesday, but didn't finish it in time and was going to post it on Thursday and then do my first Babysitter's Club review on Friday. Well, that didn't happen! :(

So, I think I am going to take this weekend and set up a schedule for the BSC reviews (I can't decide if I want to have them all finished this year which would mean more than 1 a week or just let them continue next year?!) and I really need to check my mail...I probably have 13 packages waiting for me! Okay, maybe not 13, but a lot! I also desperately need to clean up my bookshelf; I sold a bunch of books a while back and never fixed the empty spaces. It's horrible! I will take some before and after pictures too so you can see the horribleness lol...and I want to take some pics of my BSC books. Oh! And I also want to read some, duh! ;) Have a great weekend everyone!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

My First Review! :) "The Doll People"

The Doll People by Ann M Martin
4 out of 5 stars

I actually started this on Dec 29th, but read the majority of it in 2011, so it counts! Lol...I'm going to try to keep the first half of my reviews basic information and spoiler free, so you (as if anyone is reading this haha!) can still enjoy it yourself and then I'll add a spoiler alert at the 2nd half for those who've already read it or just like to ruin their reads beforehand. ;)

I found this series when I was buying the last of my BSC books on Amazon and it popped up in my recommended. Being a dolly/toy freak myself, I was intrigued by the cover. (I always judge a book by it's cover!) I ran out of money to buy them, but when we ended up at the library the other day, I remembered to look for them and checked out all 3 in the series!

The illustrations in the book are great; so much detail and they really add a
depth to the book. This picture was right inside the cover and you can see the Doll Family (that's their name, "Doll") inside their antique dollhouse where they've lived for the past 100 years or so with the same human family. I really enjoyed that the humans passed this dollhouse down each generation to their daughters, so the Doll Family has lived with them all that time.

The story focuses on Annabelle Doll, the 8 year old daughter of the family and her boredom from having to remain still and in "Doll State" during the day and only getting to play when the family is asleep. She is also constantly thinking about her Auntie Sarah, who has been missing for nearly 45 years. When a new Doll family moves in next door (for the human sister's birthday), she suddenly has a new BFF! Tiffany Funcraft is everything Annabelle is not: shiny, modern plastic toys with snap-on clothes, a BBQ and microwave in their house and always ready for adventure!

Okay, there's my spoilers alert him? :)

The Captain, the human family's cat, was one of my favorite characters. He's so intrigued by these dolls that move around at night and he really just wants to play with them! Okay, and maybe chew on their feet a little.

When Annabelle finds her Auntie Sarah's journal in the library (with half real books and half block books lol), she begins to think she might be able to find her and bring her home. I have to say, this was probably my least favorite part of the story. I do NOT like spiders, ugh, and there was one part where Annabelle had to sit still while a spider crawled towards her....ewww!! Auntie Sarah is apparently obsessed with spiders, because there are lots of entries about them and even drawings on some of the pages!

After Tiffany arrives, Annabelle fills her in on the Auntie Sarah mystery and they
decide to go search for her in the big house. They have lots of adventures along the way, including rescuing Papa Doll from The Captain. Eventually, they do find Auntie Sarah in the attic and reunite her with Uncle Doll, who it turns out was too frightened to go out in search of her all those years ago.

I enjoyed this book immensely. The descriptions of the dolls and their houses where great. I loved the dolls-eye view, especially of the cat peaking into their window. I would recommend this book for kids (and adults!) who love toys and dolls and/or who have active imaginations...I can't wait to start the 2nd one! :)

Monday, January 3, 2011

New Year, New Blog!

So, I'm going to try to give this blog thing another try. :) It's just me, Jenn, this time and it's all about something I'm very passionate about...books! I heart reading. One of my favorite ways to spend a weekend afternoon is browsing around a bookstore (or 2 or 3) for hours, picking out lots of different books to look at and selecting a few (or 5 or 6 lol) to buy.

I read lots of different kinds of books, but lately I've been very into vampire (who isn't?!) and YA books. And also lots of rereading old books from my childhood. One of the main influences on my childhood were the Babysitter's Club books by Ann M Martin: I still have all my old books and have the remaining 6 books to complete my collection on their way to me from Amazon right now! So, I've decided to do a massive reread of the whole series. :)

My main goal for this blog is to review the books I'm reading throughout the year. I've been rating my books for the past 3 years on Goodreads (feel free to add me there also!) and have just recently begun actually reviewing some of the books. I feel like this year, I want to get more into reviewing too. I'm also going to do at least 1, possibly 2, BSC book reviews a week. I hope the blogging works out this time and someone (anyone!) enjoys it. =)

Oh, and in case you don't get the reference, my blog title is from the Simpson's =D