Thursday, November 24, 2011

The Super Nostalgic Book Flashback Challenge: Round 11 Part 2 Reviews

Time to head back to Stoneybrook to catch up with our favorite babysitters! Are you ready? Here we go.....

EvilEva reviews...... The Baby-Sitters Club Mystery #5: Mary Anne and the Secret in the  Attic by Ann M. Martin. 

Circa: 1992.

Dissecting The Cover:
Because you can judge a book by its cover!
*OMG! Mary Anne is actually in her attic hidey hole! At least her daddy allowed her to have a flashlight. Mary Anne's lucky she's an only child. If you find a creep named Christopher up there you better haul ass, Mary Anne!

Let's Review:
It's time for Heritage Day in Stoneybrook! Heritage Day is a made up holiday in which we celebrate our ancestors moving to Stoneybrook by making the elementary school students do research papers, write poems, perform skits and other assorted shit. While that sounds like one of the dullest holidays ever to me, the BSC is crazy excited about it. Except sad sack Mary Anne.
Because unlike the rest of the Baby-Sitters Club, Mary Anne's mother died when Mary Anne was just a baby and her dad is super controlling and refuses to tell her anything about her past. And Mary Anne is too much of a sad sack chicken shit to actually woman up and just demand that her dad tell her what she wants to know.
So Mary Anne roots through boxes in the attic to find anything she can about her past. What Mary Anne finds are pics of herself as a baby with two old people she's never seen before and letters written by these old people to her father. Mary Anne finds out that after her mother died of this mystery illness that no one ever names, her father sent her off to live with her mother's parents. So Mary Anne thinks that her dad didn't want her and instead of, i don't know, ASKING HIM ABOUT IT, Mary Anne mopes around for a week or so.
Then she accidentally picks up the phone while her father's talking to someone on it. That someone is Mary Anne's grandmother! And she wants Mary Anne back! But Mary Anne's father didn't have that hidey hole in the attic where he stores Mary Anne when she's not baby-sitting built for nothing! So G-Maw can suck it! Mary Anne gets super emotional as she is wont to do. But again, doesn't confront her dad.
Meanwhile, the BSC decide to make a booth for Heritage Day. They're gonna make giant cardboard cutouts of famous Stoneybrookians and take people's pictures with them and give the proceeds to the historical society. Cos the BSC are such fucking goody-goodies.
Well while making the cutouts, at Mary Anne's house natch, they spill paint and Logan is suddenly topless and music is blaring and it's all just a big ol' mess. Then the doorbell rings! Mary Anne answers it and thinks the lady is a social worker sent by her evil G-Maw to prove that Mary Anne's dad is an unfit parent! Oh noes! Loud music, a messy household, and a shirtless 13 year old boy in the house will not make a good case for Mary Anne's dad!
Mary Anne worries about this now. Again, not telling her dad any of her thoughts or fears.
Finally it's Heritage Day! And seeing everyone else's non-jacked up family's proudly displaying their non-jacked up family trees, Mary Anne finally breaks down and tells her dad that she snooped through the boxes in the attic. She finally tells him that she feels like a part of her is missing cos he never talks about her mom or their past. 
So Mary Anne's dad finally explains all the shizz about her grandparents. When her mother died, Mary Anne's dad sent her to live with her grandparents so he could get his shit together. Then when he finally got his shit together he immediately wanted her back but the grandparents weren't sure he was ready. So they kinda fought over Mary Anne and her dad won. And since her grandparents were kinda douchey, he never let them see her again.
Now her dad is butt hurt because Mary Anne feels incomplete. So he gives her a letter from her mom that he was supposed to give her on her 16th birthday. 
Mary Anne's happy but still upset that she's gonna be shipped off to live with her evil grandmother that she doesn't even know. 
Her dad explains that her G-Maw doesn't want custody. She just wants Mary Anne to visit. 
But what about the social worker?
Well it wasn't a social worker at all. It was just a census taker wanting to know how many people lived in their house! Oh how stupid Mary Anne feels! 
But she would like to visit her G-Maw now that she knows she's not an evil old lady that wants to kidnap her. 
So Mary Anne heads to Iowa and writes the most boring correspondence EVER. But we wouldn't expect anything less from sad sack Mary Anne!

Say Whaaat!?:
And the most ridiculous line in the entire book goes to...
We'll just give it to Ann M. Martin herself for this racy nugget of inappropriateness:
Logan got the worst of it: his shirt was nearly covered with paint. "This is ridiculous," he said. "Every time I move, I get more paint on me." He unbuttoned his shirt and pulled it off.
"Woo!" said Kristy.
What are you Wooing for Kristy? We all know you wish it was Shannon taking off her shirt.

EvilEva reviews...... The Baby-Sitters Club Mystery #11: Claudia and the Mystery of the Museum by Ann M. Martin.
Circa: 1993.

Dissecting The Cover:
*Huh. Claudia's actually dressed like a semi-normal human being today.
*What is up with that suit of armor? That must have been a very ill-shaped knight. His legs are teeny tiny and his arms nearly reach the floor. 
*That security guard doesn't look too concerned with the broken display case. He looks mad because Claudia's outfit isn't nearly "wild" enough.
* The tagline reads:

What kind of crook would steal art?
Um, an art thief?

Let's Review:
Claudia's super excited about the new museum in Stoneybrook! It'll be a great place to take her baby-sitting charges, plus it has some pieces by her fave sculptor, Don Newman. 
So Claudia rounds up some art-loving kids and takes them to the museum. While they're there the museum is robbed! Someone steals ancient coins! 
Because of her Nancy Drew obsession (my girl!) Claudia thinks she can totes solve this mystery. She starts by looking at museum-goers as suspects. There's a Brownie troupe, a custodian, a few families and a questionable guy with one blue eye and one green eye. Clearly that's the sign of the devil. So this guy must be the culprit. 
Claud tells the rest of the BSC about the robbery and how she wants to solve the case. 
The BSC puzzles til their puzzlers are sore. When suddenly Mallory has a flash of genius! Whoever stole the coins must have hidden them somewhere in the museum because shortly after the alarm bells went off everyone was patted down. The girls decide to head back to the museum to look for clues. Claudia sees the man with one blue eye and one green eye again! The BSC tails him throughout the museum until he gets annoyed and leaves. The girls think it's very suspicious that this guy got all annoyed that a group of girls were following him around while he tried to enjoy the art. So blue eye/green eye is definitely a suspect. 
Claudia goes back to the museum again to see the Don Newman exhibit. Stacey goes with. 
While molesting one of Don Newman's sculptures, Claudia gets the feeling that it might be a fake. So she marches to the curator's office to tell him so. The curator thinks Claudia's full of shit but humors her by checking the sculpture. He seems to think it's fine. Claudia doesn't. The curator acts kinda douchey. So now he's bumped blue eye/green eye to suspect #2 and taken his place as suspect numero uno. 
And since he was being so douchetastic and Claudia completely doesn't trust him anymore, she swipes one of his resumes which he just so happens to have lying about on his desk. 
So the girls hit the library to research the no good curator and find out that there have been multiple robberies at various museums he's worked at.
And Claudia can't get the sculpture out of her head so she dials up information and gets Don Newman's home number. She calls and tells him that she thinks his art may be a fake. Don Newman is the opposite of douchetastic and invites Claudia to a fancy soiree at the museum which he'll also be attending. He tells her they can check on the piece together. Don Newman is being super nice to Claudia. EvilEva wonders if Chris Hanson needs to be summoned.
So Claudia dons a fancy kimono and attends the fancy formal event. She meets up with Don and they go to check out his sculpture. But it's gone! It's been packed up and ready to ship to his next show. So Claud and Don head to the storage room. Before they can get inside a custodian walks up. So they hide. The custodian goes into the storage room, finds the sculpture and pulls the stolen coins from a hidden compartment inside the sculpture and drops them in his mop bucket. Don tackles the custodian and blue eye/green eye tackles Don! Turns out blue eye/green eye is a special agent that deals with art thievery! And the curator was hired for his special robbery-prevention skills! And the custodian was gonna sell the coins to a museum in Switzerland! Who are supposed to be neutral!
But Claudia saved the day! Even though it was by dumb lucky and she originally thought the good guys were the thieves!

Say Whaaat!?:
And most ridiculous line in the entire book goes to...
Claudia, for attempting to describe the reason behind Mary Anne's dad's new laid-backness:

Remember I mentioned that Mary Anne's father had loosened up a little? Well, we think it may have had something to do with the fact that he fell in love again with an old high school girlfriend, and then married her.
It also might be because he's getting laid now on a regular basis.

Oh, and also there's this:
Claudia describes why every other Kishi is a piece of shit:

They also wish I would a) stop eating junk food and b) stop reading Nancy Drew books.
Fuck you, Mr. and Mrs. Kishi.

That's all from Stoneybrook for this month. I can't believe that I only have one more round of super book nostalgia to get through before the year is up. *sigh* But don't worry. I plan on revisiting the BSC in a big way next month! Hint: it'll be Super Special! ;)

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