Thursday, November 10, 2011

Review: "Mallory & The Trouble With Twins: The Baby-Sitters Club #21"

Mallory & The Trouble With Twins: The Baby-Sitters Club #21 by Ann M Martin
5 out of 5 stars

Oh I love this one: twins and tons of outfits and secret languages and ear piercing fun! Even though on the cover, the twins are incredibly creepy lol. I always wanted a twin. My sister and I are four years apart and in the last couple of years, people have started asking us if we are twins ALL THE TIME. Seriously, it's pretty funny when they start looking back and forth between the two of us and you can see the question coming. Of course, we never go with it, because we're dumb and don't think that fast. Sometimes we practice saying, "Yes, we ARE twins". :) Ally made this mosaic a while back for us...I'm the (older and shorter) one on the left in the majority of the pictures. We don't think we look that alike at all, what do you think?

Okay, on to the BSC! The Pike family is on it's way to the mall to buy new shoes...did you hear the Duggars are having another baby? I think the Pikes would be like that by now if they weren't fictional characters. Mallory wants cool pink shoes with green trim, but she has to get boring old loafers instead. Poor, deprived Mal. After she's humiliated in the shoe store, she takes Claire & Margo to watch a girl getting her ears pierced because Mal desperately wants hers done. When the gun punches the girl's ear, Claire freaks out, almost causing the girl to get a nose piercing instead and Margo almost barfs. Mal is humiliated yet again. You'd think she wouldn't get embarrassed so easily after 11 years with that family, but no.

At the BSC meeting, which Logan is attending btw so no bra talk!, Mal is still obsessing over earrings (Claudia has red sneakers) and she gets a regular job for 8 year old twins Marilyn and Carolyn Arnold. For some reason, I always called them MariLINE and CaroLINE in my head. I know that's not right, but I couldn't help it. Mar-Car (as I will now call them) were the epitome of twin-ness, thanks to their bow-obsessed mother.

Both girls were wearing blue kilts with straps that went over their shoulders, white blouses with lace edging the collars and sleeves, white knee socks, and black patent leather Mary Jane shoes. Their brown hair was cut in a bowl shape, framing their faces, and each twin had put on a blue headband with a blue bow on the side of it. Also, each wore a silver ring on the pinky finger of her right hand, and a beaded identification bracelet on her left wrist. The bracelets were the only difference between the twins.

Their mother is even worse....I just couldn't bring myself to make a polyvore of her outfit, so you'll just have to picture it on your own. She was wearing two necklaces, a pin, bracelets on each wrist, rings, earrings, and even an ankle bracelet. Her stockings [which means the ankle bracelet is OVER her stockings!] were lacey, and she was, well, as Claud might have said, overly accessorized. [Hello Pot, meet Kettle] Practically everything she wore had a bow attached. There were bows on her shoes, a bow on her belt, a bow in her hair, and a bow at the neck of her blouse. Her sweater was beaded, and she hadn't forgotten to pin a fake rose to it. Whew! [You’re telling me sister!] As for cute, her earrings were in the shape of ladybugs, one of her necklaces spelled her name-Linda-in gold script, her pin was in the shape of a mouse, and the bow in her hair was a ribbon with a print of tiny ducks [DUCKS!!?!?!] all over it. Seriously...there has to be something wrong with this woman. How does her husband feel being married to that?

Anyway, Mal starts out okay with Mar-Car until she mistakenly calls them "bookends" and they flip out. They abandon the name bracelets and start talking in their made-up language. And her easy-peasy sitting job turns into a nightmare after that. The girls completely ignore Mal the whole time, they play hide-and-seek and one twin gets 2 snacks instead of 1; just being brats in general. They also get Claudia in trouble when she sits for them, by sending the wrong twin to her music lesson. Claudia realizes that these girls really are rotten and it wasn't just Mal being a bad sitter lol. The BSC'ers try to figure out a solution at their next meeting, instead of you know, going to the parents. They don't really come up with anything, but Mal gets a chance to ogle their super awesome outfits...

[Claudia's] long hair was fixed in about a million braids which were pulled back and held in place behind her head with a column of puffy ponytail holders. She was wearing a T-shirt she'd painted herself, tight blue pants that ended just past her knees, push-down socks, and no shoes. From her ears dangled small baskets of fruit. She'd made those, I knew. Sitting next to Claud on the bed were Mary Anne and Dawn. Mary Anne was wearing a short plum-colored skirt over a plum-and-white-striped body suit. The legs of the body suit stopped just above her ankles, and she'd tucked the bottoms into her socks. I don't know where her shoes were. The neat thing about her outfit was that she was wearing white suspenders with her skirt. [Apparently, everyone in Stoneybrook wears suspenders all the time. I never had them! That makes me sad now!] I immediately decided to use some of my hard-earned Arnold money to buy suspenders. And maybe a pair of push-down socks like Claud's. Or, if I became rich, to copy Dawn's entire outfit. [I don't know why, I think it's pretty darn ugly and as you can see, I took generous creative licensing on it.] Dawn was wearing this cool oversized (really oversized) blue shirt. One of the coolest things about it was that it was green inside, so that when she turned the collar down and rolled the sleeves up, you could see these nice touches of green at her neck and wrists. She was wearing a green skirt--and clogs. I'd never seen a person actually wearing clogs, just photos of people in Sweden. Dawn was the only kid in school who could get away with wearing them. She is so self-possessed. [What the heck does that mean??]

Mallory finally figures things out at Mar-Car's birthday party, where they get identical presents from everyone except Mallory. She gives them individual gifts based on their interests and they LUV them and suddenly they're BFF's. Okay not really, but they chill out a little. Even more (or maybe before the party) when Mallory teaches them Pig Latin so they can have a real fake language. My dad taught us Pig Latin when we were kids. It-hay as-way awesome-hay. ol-lay. ;) She sits down with the girls after the party and they tell her how much they hate being "THE TWINS" all the time now. So Mal agrees to talk to their mom with them. Cause that's what every parent wants, for their 11 year old baby-sitter to tell them they don't know how their own kids feel. But it works, because it's BSCLand, and Mrs. Bowalicious agrees to let Mar-Car dress differently and even use some of their birthday money for new clothes.

Mrs. Bowtastic drops Mar-Car and Mal off at the mall one afternoon to do some shopping and the twins take this seriously, looking at everything in all the stores before going back and buying stuff. Smart. Very smart. Carolyn ends up with a neat white sweat shirt with a glittering yellow moon and two stars on the front, cool jeans and yellow push-down socks. Marilyn bought a cute pink jeans skirt and a ruffle white blouse which cost at least three quarters of her money, knee socks with hearts on them and pink barrettes. They're mom has a mini-freakout when she sees them, but then she's cool with it.

This whole "talking and communicating with your parents" thing gives Mallory the bright idea to talk to HER parents and see if she can get her ears pierced. Well actually, she first asks for: a haircut, pierced ears, contact lenses, and a new wardrobe. Selfish much. Her parents agree to a haircut and pierced ears and to let her spend some of her money on new clothes. Totally reasonable. I didn't get contacts til I was 18. I don't really get the pierced ears thing though. I had mine done when I was pretty little and then my mom and I got our 2nd holes together when I was 12 or 13. She did have a fit over the cartilage piercing when I was 18 but after about a week she wanted one too lol.

Anyway, Mal is super excited and talks Jessi into begging her parents for earrings too and they agree. And then Claudia decides to get another set of holes in her head too. So they decide to make it a day at the mall. I love when they go to the mall, it reminds me of when our dad would give us "going away money" (yes, I'm being serious here) and we'd hang out at the mall for hours just wandering around being nuisances to the sales people. Mal & Jessi get their ears pierced with no problem. (With no parents' permission btw.) Miss "I have 2 holes already and I'm an old pro at this" Claudia almost faints when she gets her's done. Hah! And then Dawn decides last minute that she wants earrings too and calls her mom, who agrees to not one but two holes in each ear! Kristy and Mary Anne are wusses, so they don't get any. They do buy secret presents for each of the other 3 though and there's a big earring gift giving meeting towards the end of the book. Studs in the shape of California, gold loops with oranges hanging from them, artists' palettes, ballet shoes, horses, books, and weird kitschy ones Claud made with miniature Coke cans, eyeglasses, forks, animals, feathers and beads. So dibbly. Oh wait, they haven't invented that word yet, have they? My bad. :)

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