Now, let's discuss the cover:
1. Mal's not hideous-looking, but those fucking glasses turn her into a 60-year-old single man who spends all his days in short-sleeved polyester shirts. Damn.
2. For gym uniforms, those ain't half bad.
3. Okay, the blond? The most crushed upon guy in my sixth grade class had that haircut, AND he did that thing where he spiked the hair at the part. [I can totally picture it, but it's kind of hard to describe.]
4. That one kid's shorts are wicked short. Did he get stuck with the petite size?
This book has a plot. Sort of. It's just really fucking lame. In case you couldn't tell from the super-retarded title of the book, in this one, Mal hates gym class and thinks boys are evil. Oh, excuse me, pains. Sometimes, I really wish these bitches could've cursed like longshoremen. It would've made the books sooooo much more interesting. So, gym class (which Mal hates already) goes co-ed, and she acts like a brat. She hates volleyball, too, and thinks everyone who's trying is being mean and picking on her. So, she sits out a bunch and gets detentions. And in a sort of subplot, lots of the male children in the 'Brook are acting particularly bad or something. So, Mal concludes that gym class turns Stoneybrook boys into nightmares. Again, she's a friggin' idiot. And the ending? Mal discovers that she's good at archery (thanks to the dreaded gym class) and makes the archery team, an activity that is never heard from again. And everything's hunky dory, with apologies to Bowie. So, so stupid.
There is a lot to destroy in this little Permabound package:
- Mal starts off the book by talking about vocabulary words. And, hate!
- Does playing with a Nerf ball really count as playing ball inside the house?
- Poor, poor Byron. "He's not as athletic as Adam and Jordan." Also, Mal can pick him out of the triplets "just from the way he slouches." Ah, indie rock god in the making.
- Um, Mal, you're their sister! You should be able to (fairly) easily tell the triplets apart!
- Can I blame these books for my tendency to find accents hot?
- Mal's description of Ben: "By movie-star standards, Ben isn't a hunk or anything. (Even though I think he's totally adorable. [That's good, you're actually attracted to your friggin' boyfriend.]) He has reddish-blond hair, sort of a round face, and freckles. He's tall. And he wears glasses. (Which makes me feel less self-conscious about my glasses.) Yeah, that's really selling him.
- Mal keeps calling her siblings geeks.
- Dude! Typo! "leavfjing" is supposed to be leaving. Hee.
- Mal is deluded; she thinks that Ben's brothers are always perfect. Cause she sees them how often?
- "Until I met Ben, I thought making a cake from scratch meant you started by opening a box of cake mix!" Yeah, your mom's got a giant litter of children. Heaven forbid she make cake from a mix. You poor neglected girl. Bitch.
- "Jessi isn't stuck-up about her dancing. Not at all. Everything about her is very normal." Thanks for clearing that up. I was totally worked up thinking she'd be stuck up about her dancing. [Also, is a 10-year age difference between the oldest and youngest kid "very normal?" Not saying it's freakish or anything, but it's hardly 2.54 kids-style normal.]
- "Claudia was waring a pair of soft, balloony, purple pants ["Can't touch this...do do do-do do-do" you get the picture.]; a neon green long-sleeve leotard top [um, where's the rest of the leotard?]; a wide, red braided belt; and a pair of soft, red ballet shoes." Yeah, purple, neon green and red, all mixed up in one nasty, fugly mess. Oh, and according to Mal, "If I wore an outfit like that, I'd look like a lunatic. But not Claudia. She looked like a fashion model." Nope, I can't even see her and I want to burn my eyes out with lemon juice and salt covered hot pokers.
- Wow, an actual example of "California casual!" "For example, today she was wearing black stirrup pants, a long, fleecy red-and-pink rose-print top and black high-top sneakers." Doesn't really sound very Cali to me.
- Okay. This is...yeah. "I fished through the jumble of clothes until, way in the back, I found a one-piece denim jumpsuit. It had been a present for my last birthday. I never wear it. Not because I hate it or anything. It's just not me. It's a little too high-style or something." Okay, for someone who bitches and moans about looking like ass and being treated like a baby, you'd think she'd want to wear something more high-style.
- Mrs. Pike actually considers letting Mal stay home to avoid gym class. The fuck?
- Okay, their gym uniforms aren't that bad! Baggy shorts and a white shirt? It's not like they have to wear the polyester hot-pants/jumpsuits that my mom had to wear in the early 70s!
- Aunt Cecilia irons Jessi's gym clothes. And Mal tries it out, too. Dumbass.
- Pinnies? I always thought they were pennies. You know, the colored mesh things to differentiate the teams?
- Mal ducks and runs away from the ball and doesn't try at all. And then she wonders why everybody on her team hates her. Plus, 10 people on a volleyball team? Are they rotating people in and out? I'm so confused...[I used to play volleyball, so some of this shit totally bugged me.]
- Okay. Why do these bitches always expect their baby-sitting jobs to be easy? If a parent says the kid's all kindsa wound up, you might want to listen. That doesn't mean that it'll be a cakewalk for you! Plus, if you don't like it when the kids are all crazy, why sit at all????? "Oh, that kid's never any problem..." My ass!!! If you do soooo much sitting, then you shouldn't ever be fucking surprised when kids are bad! They're fucking kids!!!!!
- Okay, not every boy in gym class is all crazy competitive. Also, some of the girls are. So, shut up Mal! Your stupid theory is fucking dumb!!!!!
- Also, very little in middle school matters in the long run, not just gym class.
- Suck it up. So, you hate volleyball and you hate gym class. You're hardly the only one. Just do what you need to get through it and shut the fuck up, you stupid twat!!!!!
- Mal's first detention. Awwww...
- Ben and Logan are different. I see. *cough* (GAY!)
- Ben keeps waiting for Mal after detention. Isn't that sweet?
- Logan thinks all the kids are being monsters, but he can't see that only the boys are being monsters because he is, in fact, a boy. And a boy who likes boys, at that.
- Logan flirts by hitting. So do I.
- Mal can't believe that Jessi kinda likes volleyball.
- Mal's theory: "American boys from Stoneybrook were the biggest pains on earth." As opposed to European boys from Stoneybrook? Also, she recognizes that boys from Kentucky aren't pains--I'll buy that.
- Mal never even considers that "benching herself" and getting detentions might hurt her gym grade. Asshat.
- Aw, Ben thinks about Mal. A lot.
- One of Mal's punishments=awesome. She has to wash all the smelly pinnies in the home ec room after school.
- G.I. Joe! Knowing is half the battle!
- Mal hides all the detention notices from her parents, and they're not nearly as pissed as my parents would've been. Hiding the fact that I was getting detentions would have resulted in severe punishment.
- Mal and Ben trade brothers for an evening. AND THEIR PARENTS GO ALONG WITH IT!?!?!?!?!
- Mal's crazy surprised when the Hobart boys are crazy at her house, and her brothers are well-behaved and polite at the Hobarts'. My theory? Mal makes boys into monsters.
- Mal finally talks to her gym teacher about the problems she's having. And the boys' gym teacher asks the boys not to pick on Mal anymore.
- Okay, supposedly neither Mal nor Jessi has ever done archery before their archery unit in gym class. But wait! Wasn't there some mention of archery at Camp Mohawk? Hmmm...
Phew. So much crap. Shut up, Mal.