Tuesday, March 13, 2007

And this little Blankie will fit into your purse; or, BSC #54: Mallory and the Dream Horse

Sorry this is late, guys...I had a busy weekend, and it took me for fucking ever to read this lameass book.  Plus, laundromat.  But it's here, so cease your hand-wringing and frantic checking of your RSS feeds.

So, in this train wreck, Mallory finds out that this farm on the outskirts of town is offering English-style riding lessons.  And she and Jessi decide to take them, only Jessi's parents veto that idea.  But through "bargaining," Mal can take the classes if she pays for half.  So, she does.  And not far in, she falls off the horse!!!! But she gets back on!!!! Though, undercutting the uplift aspect of all this, she's miserable and scared shitless.  But she sticks with it.  Or something.  And she tries (unsuccessfully) to make friends with the rich kids in her class.  Finally, she makes it through, and she even wins 6th place (out of twelve) in the class horse show/competition/whatever.  Oooh. 

Subplot A: The Pike kids are putting on a neighborhood talent show.

Subplot B: Nina Marshall (4) is having trouble at preschool, cuz she brings a giant (titular) blanket everywhere she goes, and the other little shits make fun of her...

There was far too much "Aw, shucks, aren't kids cute/clever" and "Aw, poor kid...how can we help where her parents obviously can't" in this book.  I hate when she pulls that shit.  Did anyone really read these books to read about the little kids?  Bring on the middle school drama, bitch!!!

Anyhoo...

  • Book's tagline: "Mallory's gone horse crazy!"  Skank has always been crazy.
  • Also, from the summary on the back: "But then the lessons begin and Mallory discovers that dreaming about horses can be a lot more fun than actually riding them."
  • Okay, so all of the stupid stuff about Mal & Jessi loving horses reminds me of that line in Lost in Translation: "I tried taking pictures, but they were so mediocre. I guess every girl goes through a photography phase. You know, horses... taking pictures of your feet."
  • Um, what do "graceful fingers" have to do with ballet dancing? 
  • I really doubt that Mal would always be so amused by the shenanigans of her brothers and sisters.  Um, she's an awkward adolescent.
  • "Well, Dawn is sort of dating Logan's cousin, Lewis.  Sort of.  It's hard to call it dating since he lives in Louisville, Kentucky.  But they write each other and, as Dawn says, they definitely have a strong friendship."  I love when one-off boys get mentioned again.
  • Who wants an outfit?  "Claudia can put together strange combinations of clothes--like one of her father's old shirts over tie-dyed tights, with a big belt and a funky vest--and look like she stepped out of a fashion magazine."  Or a zit cream commercial.
  • Did you know that Stacey is the reigning "Queen of Dibbleness?" 
  • Seriously?  These girls do not know more than their charges' parents.  Especially when they spend all of an hour every few weeks with the kid.  Yet they solve all their fucking probs.  My ass.  And probably yours too.
  • Plus, I'm sure Kristy would understand if Mal were late to a meeting because she had to talk to Mrs. Marshall about Nina's issues. 
  • Heh.  "Just like Star Search."
  • Oh, and there's this whole Jessi is jealous and Mal is a brick wall and can't understand why Jessi's acting all weird when she starts to talk horses subplot thingy.
  • Oh, yeah!  One of the girls in Mal's class is Allison Anders.  Though I'm sure it's not this Allison Anders: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0025978/
  • Okay, so after Mal falls off the horse, her mom takes her to the hospital.  And Mal's doctor meets them there, fresh from the golf course wearing the outfit of the week: "bright yellow pants, an electric blue polo shirt, and a visor." Yup.
  • Okay, Claud can't even spell "laugh" when she's writing a joint entry in the club notebook, and Stacey just fucking spelled it for her.
  • "At first I thought I'd go wild, like Claudia, with tie-dyed tights and a bright purple oversized T-shirt knotted at the bottom, and maybe a big red belt.  But then I decided since I didn't know the kids well I really should dress more conservatively...I was wearing a gold-and-brown kilt, a matching gold cotton sweater, and penny loafers."
  • Oh, so the solution to the Nina/Blankie drama?  Blankie gets destroyed in the dryer, and Dawn accidentally tears it apart.  But, because Dawn's so quick on her feet, she shows Nina how to hide the pieces. Blah.
  • Apparently, D-Day is actually of "Dying-of-Embarrassment Day." Sure, I'll bite.
  • Oh, and Mal's obsessed with Pax, the dream horse.  In fact, according to Jessi, "He really is the most beautiful horse in the world...You're so lucky to have known him, even if it was for a short time."  Because Jessi is a 45-year-old mother. 
  • Um, Nicky Pike can use stilts? 
  • Oh, and there's this whole lameass "We're so good at solving problems" thing where all the BSCers are, like, congratulating themselves for something or other.  Boring.

Whew.  Look at the pretty horsie!



30 comments:

K said...

Bwhahahaha I am so glad you mentioned "He really is the most beautiful horse....you were so lucky to have known him...even if it was only for a short time." That is completely one of the LAMEST comments ever in any/all of the books. Props to Jessi for temporarily dethroning Mal as BSC member operating on insufficiently few brain cells.

Juliet said...

this: http://www.sharingmachine.com/nd/ndsearch.php?search=horse&searchtype%5B%5D=title

always made me think of this book

Marissa said...

Mal looks even more heinous on the cover of this book than she does in my imagination. And that is saying something.

randiradio said...

I always wondered how in the hell Mallory could have thought a gold-and-brown kilt, matching gold sweater, and penny loafers would have impressed the kids at the party. It would have been impressive if it was a church party full of grandmas.

Anonymous said...

My favorite ensemble in the book was the one Mallory wore for her first class, the same one she wore when riding at Camp Mohawk. A red-checked shirt and jeans, and I think her mom's old driving gloves. Hott.

PoBaL said...

You ever get the feeling the other BSCers were totally rolling their eyes and talking shit behind Mal and Jessy's backs?
And that Stacy only kept them around for the ego boost?

k8theGr8 said...

I ride horses, and I remember being so upset that Mallory's instructor didn't force her to get back on the horse in the same lesson, and also that she went to the hospital for no reason. Usually you KNOW if you have broken something. Or sometimes not. A horse once stepped on my toe and broke it and I didn't realize until 3 days later when my toe turned black. Mallory's a wuss and fugly.

k8theGr8 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Melissa said...

Hey Tiffany,
I'm a student at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and am writing an article about women in their 20s and 30s who still hold a torch for The Baby-Sitters Club books. I've spoken with another woman who re-read the series, as well as a woman who refers to Claudia's clothes on a British fashion website, among others.
The story is for the Columbia News Service, which is part of The New York Times' syndicate newswire. Wire stories are sent to 400 newspaper editors across North America.
I'm really interested in speaking with you (Tiffany...or any of the frequent comment posters/readers) about your continued appreciation for the BSC books. Why have these particular books had such a lasting impact on women? Is it the characters, the plots, the frequency with which books were released in the late 80s/early 90s, or something else?
I'm also fascinated by your musical, Tiffany...
Please send me an e-mail so we can schedule some time to speak.
Thanks,
Melissa
msk2135@columbia.edu

Anonymous said...

I just found your blog and my life is now complete. I used to love BSC books when I was younger! I am totally bookmarking your blog. :)

Library Lady said...

Natlie Dee rocks my world.

Alyze said...

Seriously, Mal is a freaking moron. If you're shelling out money for horse back riding lessons (pretty expensive!!) wouldn't you KNOW before hand whether you were going to be riding english or western style??? But no. Dumbass shows up looking like an extra from a John Wayne movie. MAL YOU SUCK AT LIFE!

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad your review mentions the Lewis/Dawn "relationship"! I remember one of the lamest books of all time that I read was the one where he actually came to visit Dawn in Stoneybrook, and Dawn decided to do a "makeover" (i.e. wearing too much makeup and acting "aloof"). In the end, she learns the valuable lesson of being herself because he likes the real Dawn. It's a little hazy, but I'm pretty sure Dawn wore some particularly heinous outfits that are beautifully described during her makeover period. Terrible! (but so terrible it's great)

Stephanie said...

i agree with k8theg8's comment about falling off the horse - i took lessons through my college, and when i fell off, once i was able to breathe again, my instructor had me get right back on. as it turned out, i actually did break a rib. none of this crap about sending me to the hospital immediately. (of course, when later in the lesson my saddle slipped and i landed on my butt, she decided that since there were only 15 minutes to go, i'd better leave before i hurt myself again.)

so, yeah. Mallory is angsty and needs to be slapped around or something.

Katie Gillet said...

Somehow I think Nicky and the stilts is the least odd part of it all...they're not hard to learn and it's a perfectly plausible toy.

Anonymous said...

Yeah. I love it how the babysitters think they know more about kids than the parents. Cause, like, the parents haven't been around for decades longer than the BSC. And haven't been parents or years or anything. Psychos.

Michelle said...

Hee, I love it! This site is great, I check it everyday to see if you've updated it. I actually had a BSC dream last night--I found a bunch of my old books and I was checking out the covers. A few of the real ones were there, "Claudia and the Phantom Phone Caller" sticks out in my mind, but then there were others that I had made up in my dream. I remember "Mary Anne and the Cat", "Kristy's Best Invention", and my absolute favorite, "Young Lady Stacey". That's right, "Young Lady Stacey". I don't know what the hell my warped little brain was thinking when it came up with that! The best part was the plot--Stacey gets a job at a tuna fish restaurant (No salmon! No flounder! Just all the tuna you can eat!) and finds it's really hard. I even remember the cover--Stacey's dressed as a chef and she's standing between two male chefs. She also has short black hair. The only other book I remember is a Super Special called "Kristy's Teacher". On the cover Kristy's sitting a little too close to one of her teachers and they both look lovestruck. The gross part is that the teacher's at least fifty and has a stringy moustache...

In my defense, I've been really sick so blame it on the pain killers!

Anonymous said...

Angelina Jolie adopted another kid and named him Pax.

Anonymous said...

Hey, i used to love the BSC books, i read this one recently just cause i was bored....OMG you're right they are so LAME! your reviews made me laugh they said exactly what i was thinking, like where Claudia cant spell laugh and Stacey "just fucking spelled it for her"! hahahaha you're a genius!

Anonymous said...

why on earth did Stacey go to ZINGY'S- a punk shop- for a posh dinner at her Dad's promotion?

Anyone knows what happens to Laine after
no.51, Stacey's Ex-Best Friend?
And, oh yeah, it's really mature sending back a BF bracelet and writing a letter saying
you are my ex best friend to say that your friendship is over. She could at least phone.

Anonymous said...

Did anyone read the friends forever spinoffs or no.131; The Fire at Mary Anne's house?

Sara said...

I have been reading these, laughing my a** off but OMG if I read one more outfit description with oversized anything or leggings, I will scream!

nichole said...

I found your blog today and have been reading from your first post on up. I loved BSC when I was tween. I actually thought about it last week and wondered where all those books went to (probably where all of my Sweet Valley High books disappeared too - who knows?). I agree with PoBal - I think Stacey kept Mal and Jessi around for the ego boost.

As for "graceful fingers"...I was a former ballet dancer and as fingers are an extension of the hand and the hand an extension of the arm, the gracefulness has to extend all the way down. Otherwise the fingers would look like claws.

Paige said...

I actually kind of identified with Mallory in this book, because when I was in like 5th grade I signed up to go to horse camp, and i was super excited, but when i got there i was totally scared and i hated it, and i felt bad because my mom used to own horses and i wanted to love them as much as she does...

But yeah, the clothes are bad. And Mallory's lame.

Josephine said...

I just found your blog and this is hilarious. I'm so glad you did this book, I've ridden and shown horses my whole life and this book drove me nuts. Especially the cover, which is soooo inaccurate. The ribbon on the horse's bridle is for 5th place, 6th is green. The clothes and the saddle are for different disciplines too (hunt seat and saddle seat, respectively, in case you're wondering). Plus, not matter what discipline she's riding, her frizzy hair sticking out from under the helmet made me throw up in my mouth a little bit.

Tash said...

^ That's funny, in my old riding classes 6th place was pink and 5th was green. I know this because I came 6th place. :(

Anonymous said...

I'm sure Kristy would understand if Mal were late to a meeting because she had to talk to Mrs. Marshall about Nina's issues...

Really? Cause I think Kristy is a mega bitch that would make you choose the BSC over family, other friends and school.

Laura said...

Mallory's parents have eight kids and are on a single income. How the hell can they afford golf and riding lessons? Also, how can Mallory pay for half? I made $4/hour babysitting back in those days. She must have several clones babysitting for her.

Anonymous said...

OMG i hated the fact that Claudia spelled "laff" right after Stacey just spelled it the right way! I always liked Claudia, but holy shit, she really is retarded.

Anonymous said...

oh and by the way, ANM really should have just killed Mallory off or something. like in that book when she got mono...what a missed opportunity. i always hated the Mallory books, she's so boring and whiny.