Y'all better worship me for this. I could be watching Futurama with RNL, but nooooo. I'm sitting in front of my rad computer writing about the nerdiest retard in all the land: Mal.
Ah, the cover...Mal's teacher looks a bit like my 6th grade teacher, Mr. Fox. Yeah, and all the girls thought he was dreamy. Not just a clever name...
Also, the boys on the cover actually look vaguely age appropriate...sort of. I would've thought they were younger than 6th grade, but at least they don't look like they shave daily.
This book tries to shove three separate plot lines into 150 pages. It does not succeed.
"Plot" number 1: There's this whole thing about "Short Takes" classes. Apparently, "for several weeks at a time, everybody at SMS studies one subject intensively. It's usually a subject that regular classes don't cover." Right. So, this time around, everybody's studying kiddie lit. [Mainly so ANM can spew forth some bullshit in her little letter at the end of the book.] And Mal's wicked psyched cause she loves children's books. Seriously, it's mentioned in every fucking book in the damn series. And she's also psyched cause her teacher is going to be this hip young stud named Damien Cobb...I shit you not. Anyway, the class turns out to be a real bummer, cause Damien's favors the rowdy boys, and Mal isn't comfortable with a discussion style class. Or some shit like that. Finally, she confronts him and wins the day!!!!
"Plot" number 2: The entire 6th grade class does a week's worth of fundraising to raise money for some sort of gift to the school. Mal's in charge, and she sets up this whole FUN-raiser (I'm not making that shit up.) and there's going to be a different money-maker every day (every previous year, it was a week-long candy sale). And she finds out that a class a few years back had donated a grand to create a student lounge in the library, but it never happened. Blah, blah, blah, fake drama. Turns out the school had to use the $$$ to make some necessary repairs. And everyone's all outraged, cause the roof got fixed instead getting a new lounge. So, the 6th grade officers stand up to the principal, and they get him to agree to match funds. Typing this is boring me. You get the idea. They make enough money. I don't think I've read any book after this before, so I don't know if it ever materializes.
"Plot" number 3: Seriously. Sucks. Ass. Um, Buddy Barrett makes up a marching band so he can march in the Memorial Day parade. And instead of getting in trouble for making shit up, the BSC decides to put together a makeshift marching band for 50 million childrens. And they make instruments, but it sounds terrible, so they decide to hide kazoos in all the fake instruments. And the parade is a mess, cause there are too many kids and the parents are all irresponsible. And for once, the BSC bites off more than they can chew. Woo. Fucking. Hoo.
Now, for the fun(?) stuff...
- Mal doesn't want to brag. But she does anyway. She's an excellent student. And she fucking loves to study. And write papers. And do homework. And she'll never get laid.
- Mal's the only person to get straight A's on her midterm eval. And everyone's freaking out cause she's a braniac or something.
- I have never heard the expression stair-step kids. I guess it means far too many children born too close together. Or, "We don't know how to use a fucking condom."
- This book should totally have been called "Mallory Pike, Miss Know-it-all."
- Has Justin and "his 'cutest boy in sixth grade' grin" ever made an appearance before?
- "I knew that I had only a few more seconds before I would be tardy." Too late, already tard-y.
- "When I went home that Friday afternoon, I wasn't walking--I was floating." And spewing forth terrible, terrible cliches.
- Seriously, I can't include every example of Mal's nerdiful dorkitude.
- Why would you think that "such a powerhouse person would be tall?" Ever heard of the Napoleon Complex? I got one.
- Ah. The "best thing about [Logan] is he likes to baby-sit." Poor guy must not have much going for him then.
- Pretzels and Cheez Whiz. Yum? Doubt it.
- Claudia "was wearing denim overall shorts, a short black T-shirt, red-and-white pin-striped stockings that came over the top of her knees, red thick-soled patent leather shoes, and a black felt derby." I can't believe I'm going to say this, but this outfit almost works. Of course I could just be distracted by the shoes, cause WANT!!!!
- I really need to read the book where they shove Claud back to grade 7. Because it all seems incredibly implausible. Would any school really send someone backwards in the middle of the year? Why not just hold the bitch back????
- "Abby, the athlete, can usually be found in bike shorts, and a T-shirt, whereas Anna, the musician, would more likely wear a dress." Ah, yes. Because you can't be sporty and dress well, and you can't dress comfortably or be moderately hip if you're a musician.
- Have we ever met Megan Armstrong, the Korean girl, before?
- You want to know about Damien? Here: "Our Short Takes teacher stood at the front of the classroom. He was dressed in a collarless white shirt, jeans, and a black vest. His sun-streaked hair looked great with his deep tan and gleaming white teeth. Was he cool? Totally." Not.
- So, when Mal finds out her class will be discussion based, her "stomach sank. This was starting to sound more like a debate class than a literature class." Just wait until you get to college, sweetie.
- Maybe he's not calling on you cause he can tell you're a dork with no imagination. Just an idea.
- "Claudia wore shorts and a rainbow tie-dyed T-shirt. Her hair was pulled into a thick pony-tail held by a matching tie-dyed scrunchie." Soooo much tie-dye. It hurts. Also, I totally saw Claudia on my way to a Wizards game the other day! Asian-American, side ponytail, terrible clothes. Amazing.
- Also, no one ever asks the parents before setting up the "marching band."
- Good sitting involves tricking the kids into doing what you want. I had forgotten about that.
- They make up names for the fucking cardboard instruments. Names like "google-blaster" and "snorkaphone."
- Um, can the class secretary really decide on a class activity while keeping it secret from the rest of the officers? Don't think so.
- Oh, yeah. Mr. Cobb went to Princeton. As he keeps reminding us...
- Oh, and there's this whole Women's Studies 101 thing about one of the class officers acting all meek and wimpy around the boys so they won't think she's too aggressive. Yep, that's about the age girls start playing dumb for the boys.
- Mal thinks boys might be more confident because they have it easier.
- Vodka and Canada Dry Bitter Lemon = awesome! [Not actually in the book, but in my tummy!]
- Dude, if you can't talk to your friends, you're in big fucking trouble. I recommend therapy. It's fun!
- Are there any meetings that aren't "emergency meetings" in the 'Brook?
- Two grand won't go very far in building (or furnishing) (or decorating) a student lounge.
- Yeah, Sandra's kinda right. Boys won't like her if she acts like a brain. Just ask Pelle Carlberg.
- "Pile on Stacey!" Ah, BSC lezzie action.
- Gawd. Notebook entries are wicked boring.
- Do they really need to mention that Norman is a fattie every time he shows up?
- Okay, I think the ZuZu's Petals (a flower shop in Stoneybrook) name drop is prolly a shout out to the lame-o It's a Wonderful Life, but I got all excited, like, "Isn't that Wife-y Westerberg's name?" Cause I've been obsessed with Paul Westerberg since right around the time I gave up on these books.
- The class discussions are "so one-sided. Boy-sided." Oh, Mal, you're so clever. Good one, Dave. You're a legend, Dave. [Sorry, I'm kind of a lot obsessed with Flight of the Conchords right now. And listening to them. Right now.]
- Sandra is complaining cause her feet hurt. Cause she's wearing chunky two-inch heels. In sixth grade. Also, those don't sound too bad. It's not like these crazy stilettos.
- Mr. Cobb's a dick. And he went to Princeton!
- I think Mr. Kingbridge (that's the SMS principal) has been watching the beginning of Say Anything too much. You know, "Hey world, check ME out." Well, he's all "Yes, we can! Just watch us!"
- The parents just leave their kids for the parade without checking to see if anyone is there to watch them. They are BAD, BAD parents. Shame!
- I think Mal's already been indoctrinated by ALA. She's all "the balance between boy books and girl books."
- So, so sad. Mal's first B.
Yeah, this book was so fucking bad, I had to break it up into two nights. And drink. Mmm. Delicious drink.