Monday, August 1, 2011

The Super Nostalgic Book Flashback Challenge: Round 7 Part 2 Reviews

Are y'all ready for some more Karen Brewer? Are you super gigundoly excited? Me neither but lets go ahead and muddle through this shizz.

EvilEva reviews...... Baby-Sitters Little Sister #110: Karen's Swim Meet by Ann M. Martin.

Circa: 1999.

Dissecting The Cover:
Because you can judge a book by its cover!
*There isn't really anything all that snarkworthy about this cover. Ugh boo and bullfrogs!
Perhaps that's because this one was published on the cusp of the millennium and the peeps at Little Apple finally figured out how to make a non-shitty cover. You go, Little Apple! (Although Dissecting The Cover now totally hates your guts.)

Lets Review:
This summer The Three Musketeers will be split up. Hannie and Nancy will be out of town doing who really cares what cos they're secondary characters and no one gives a shit how they spent their summer vacation, after all this book is called Karen's Swim Meet NOT Hannie's Whatever or Nancy's So What.
So while her besties are away doing whatever besties do when the center of their universe (i.e. Karen) is taken away, Karen is stuck in Stoneybrook with nothing to do. Then she finds out that some hot shot Olympian dude who's originally from Stoneybrook has come back and he's gonna be the coach for a swim team at the community center this summer. So, of course, Karen wants to join.
While she's there, she sees Terri, a girl from her school that isn't a Musketeer and is thus not on her radar. But Karen decides that Terri will do as a replacement friend for the summer. She also meets Kristin, a really good swimmer that can only enter the pool by cannonballing.
Now that she has made two new summer friends, Karen is ready to swim and have fun!
There's only one problem though. Her Olympian dude coach is a total hardass. He doesn't want any of this silly giggling shit. You better dig deep, 7 year olds! (P.S. What is up with the time frame in Ann Martin's books? I just finished reading book #20 and this is book #110 and this bitch has yet to graduate to the third grade! You're telling me that in 90 books the school year hasn't ended? WTF!?)
Coach DouchePants totally humiliates Terri, making her show her shitty breaststroke to the entire class. Then he has the audacity to tell Karen that her flip turns are not all that. So Karen does what anyone whose coach is giving them pointers on how to improve themselves would do, she TELLS ON HIM!
Yeah. She tells her daddy that instead of telling her how great she is and constantly showering her with praise, he's a gigundoly meanie-mo. Obviously her words, not mine. I would have said that he was being an Olympic-sized cocksucker. But that's because I'm not a mere second grader without a colorful vocabulary at my disposal.
Anyhooskies, the coach gets in trouble for accidentally teaching these kids to swim competitively. He resigns from his coaching job and says that he should probably teach older kids instead. Uh DUH!
So Karen and her summer Musketeers regain control of the community center pool and can now swim however they'd like and giggle to their hearts content!
Moral of the story? Don't fuck with Karen Brewer. And if you do? Don't tell her her flip turns are for shit because you'll be out of a job faster than you can say gigundoly screwed.

Say Whaaat!?!:
And the most ridiculous line in the entire book goes to...
Coach DoucheMagoo for introducing himself to the kids thusly:
"I had my first real swimming lessons at summer camp," he said. "As soon as I learned to swim properly, they could not keep me out of the water. I am a very competitive person and always do my best when someone is trying to beat me. I want to teach you to swim right and swim to win."
Uh, take it down a notch, buddy. You do realize you're teaching 7 year olds, correct? I think somebody might wanna test Coach for steroid use cos this fucker seems like he might be off his rocker.

EvilEva reviews...... Baby-Sitters Little Sister #111: Karen's Spy Mystery by Ann M. Martin.
Circa: 1999.

Dissecting The Cover:
*Karen is Rear Windowing it up. Or, if you're a Shia Labeouf fan which I hope you're not since he's a giant turd, she's Disturbia-ing it up.
*I hope Karen's window isn't facing the Dawes' bedroom. Awk-Ward!
*The tagline says:
Something strange is going on next door.
That's why Karen has a copy of the Kama Sutra close by---for research.

Lets Review:
Karen's bestie/next door neighbor, Nancy is going to Seattle for two whole weeks! ( Didn't this bitch just go on vacation in the last book?) So the Dawes' will need a house sitter. Karen thinks she'll be perfect for the job. But Ma and Pa Dawes are like "bitch please! You're only 7! What you thinkin?" So Karen is disappointed because the Dawes are stupid enough to defy her. Then I assume she shoots red lasers from her eyes.
So, as not to get on Karen's bad side, they tell her that even though they've already picked AN ADULT to house sit, she can help by giving their new kitten eyedrops every afternoon. This job is gigundoly important.
So Karen excepts, the Dawes leave and the house sitter, a man named Bill Barnett, comes to sit in the house.
When Karen meets Bill, she becomes suspicious of him as he is not immediately charmed by her annoying face. So she starts spying on him. And he does A LOT of weird things, like he stays up late and invites his girlfriend over. These are very odd behaviors, indeed. You know, unless you're an adult or something.
Anyhoosies, Karen starts snooping even more. She goes through Bill's notebook which she's seen him writing in (through her binoculars, natch) and finds a weird list of words including the word "withdrawal" and "$1000." This obvs means that Bill is up to no good. So Karen, of course, tattles. She tells her mom about the notebook, the withdrawal and the $1000. Her mom's all "maybe he's withdrawing $1000 from his own account, stoopid." Karen's all "I didn't think of that."
However, this seems like too reasonable of an explanation and so Karen disregards what her mom has said and continues to fancy herself Veronica Mars. She suckers her baby-sitter into taking her to the bank where Bill works so that she can make a deposit in her own recently acquired bank account. Really though she wants to spy on Bill at the bank and see if he's doing anything shifty there. I forgot to mention that Nancy's dad is the head honcho at the bank and Bill works there and that's how he got the house sitting job.
Anyway, Bill doesn't act shifty at all. But Karen cannot let her suspicions go. So she again suckers her baby-sitter into going to the same restaurant that she saw Bill enter. He met up with his girlfriend (who has a penchant for dressing in black) and paid--- WITH A HUNDRED DOLLAR BILL!!! This makes Karen even more suspicious since only a criminal mastermind would pay for lunch with a hundred dollar bill.
But whenever Karen tries to tell anyone about the dastardly Bill, they just think she's completely crazy pants. So she decides to take matters into her own hands. One day, right before Bill is due home from work, Karen breaks into the Dawes' house, goes in Mr. Dawes' study and turns his tape recorder on. Soon Bill comes home to the Dawes' and is joined by his Back To Black girlfriend. They're in the study! At the computer! Talking! Karen can see all of this through her binoculars!
The next day, while Bill is at work, Karen and Hannie go to filch the evidence. Then they go to Karen's house to listen to the tape to see if they got a confession or the convo of two people fully immersed in World Of Warcraft.
It's a confession! What luck!
Karen hands the tape over to her mom, who then gives it to the police.
It turns out Bill and his girlfriend were using Mr. Dawes' computer and password (which Karen's dumbass oh so helpfully gave them) to steal money from various accounts. They stole nearly 20 grand. Why? Because Bill and his girlfriend wanted to get married but her parents wouldn't let them (P.S. Based on the pics in the book, Bill looks like he's in his 40's. There aren't any pictures of Back To Black girlfriend but unless she's a minor, why did they need her parents permission? And if he is 40 and she is a minor- Ewwww!) Anyhoo, they needed the money so that they could go away by themselves. Also known as, the dumbest reason to rob a bank EVER!
So Karen solved the world's lamest bank robbery and the bank threw her a party because she was the only one to notice that 20 large had been withdrawn from various accounts at the Stoneybrook Stealing and Loan. They also gave her a check for her stellar sleuthing skills. Which she then deposits at The Worst Bank That Ever Was! Nice job, Sherlock.

Say Whaaat!?!:
And the most ridiculous line in the entire book goes to...
We have a four way tie! And they all came from Karen! Karen is fighting herself for most ridiculous line. Cos she's an overachiever, y'all.
First we have Karen doing her classic over share with Bill (much to the detriment of Mr. Dawes' password security.):
Bill and I talked for a long time. He did not seem to want to finish mowing. In fact, he wanted to know all about Nancy: what her stuffed animals were called, what she liked to read, what songs she liked to sing. I was very proud I could answer everything.
Apparently Ms. Colman has yet to cover the chapter on "red flags" in class. Did he also ask you if you'd like to take a ride in his windowless van? I bet he has candy!
Karen's ridiculousness continues with this little nugget about some strange info she discovered while snooping through Bill's Dastardly Notebook of Dastardliness:
Then I saw that Bill had written down the names of Nancy's stuffed animals. How strange. Maybe he was writing a story about Nancy.
How I wish Harriet the Spy would come along at this moment and punch Karen in the throat.
Even more Karen stupidity. Here's her thoughts about what it'd be like if she got caught going through Bill's personal belongings:
What if Bill were a dangerous criminal? He knew where I lived. He probably even knew my bank account number.
Yeah. I'm sure Bill's totally coming after that 35 cents. You're 7! Even if he cleaned out your account how much money would he get away with?!? Enough to buy a Happy Meal!?!?
And finally, here is Karen's reaction to seeing a man get taken out of her best friends house and carted off to jail:
I watched from my window as the detectives led Bill out the front door in handcuffs. I never had the chance to ask him if he had stolen money from my account.
Bitch, calm down about your bank account! You've had it for like 5 days! And you're only 7, for fuck's sake! Even though your dad is a millionaire, he never gives you any money. You're worried about money earned polishing bracelets and giving eyedrops to a kitten! Relax!

Breathe a sigh of relief, y'all. We're done with the likes of Karen Brewer. At least for a while. I feel like I need to bleach my brain to get the word gigundo out of it. Even so, don't let that discourage you from coming back in August for even more why-did-I-like-this reading fun!

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