Anyone else love books where you can unfold notes or flip a picture over and read the writing on the back? Interactive books like this automatically gAnyone else love books where you can unfold notes or flip a picture over and read the writing on the back? Interactive books like this automatically get some love because it's so rare and still so awesome.
That said, the book earns all four stars based on the trivia and knowledge crammed in the best way into the book.
It's written by the six main ghouls (Frankie, Ghoulia, Cleo, Draculaura, Lagoona, and Clawdeen) with frequent visits from Toralei and other guest stars. It's a bit like a slam book only with happy entries. Everyone has the proper voice, there are plenty of the monstery puns the franchise is known for, and everyone is given a moment to shine. ...more
The Birthday Girls is a strange series. It begins with each girl (Jill, Ceegee, and Nancy for this book) going to a birthday party for all the kids boThe Birthday Girls is a strange series. It begins with each girl (Jill, Ceegee, and Nancy for this book) going to a birthday party for all the kids born in the same hospital on the same day twelve years ago. At the party, one of the kids is a brat and insults everyone, and the rest of each book deals with the fallout of that injury.
In Nancy's case, she finds out that her parents aren't who she thinks they are. Well, her mother anyway. It turns out that Nancy's birth mother died after giving birth to Nancy and that a couple of years later, her mother's sister, Sharon, married Nancy's father and the two just never found the time to tell Nancy the whole story.
Unfortunately for them, they waited a little too long since Nancy started learning a bit about genetics and realized that her eye color meant that she wasn't her parent's biological daughter. Well, half right, kiddo.
Anyway, Who Am I, Anyway? gets a star knocked off for the repeated use of "real mother" which feels like it's something that even in 1992 might not have been the best way to phrase things. Otherwise, it's an interesting look at how it feels to be caught up in being so hurt and mad at someone and yet still wanting to reach out but feeling unable to do so, and consistently making the choice to hurt someone else in an effort to make your own pain go away. ...more
**spoiler alert** Oi. This book. This book, why? WHY, book, WHY?
The Birthday Girls is a strange set up for a series considering these girls have never**spoiler alert** Oi. This book. This book, why? WHY, book, WHY?
The Birthday Girls is a strange set up for a series considering these girls have never met before their ill-fated birthday party and then don't speak to one another until the very end of the book, but the back of the books makes it seem like they've bonded and become best friends or something. Which, btw, totally not the case.
Instead, Ceegee's mother gets the idea to throw a birthday party for all the babies born on the same day at the same hospital as a sort of reunion. Five other families show up to the party and one of them is a mother/daughter duo who go out of their way to be nasty and cruel to everyone at the party. The rest of the book deals with the fallout of their incredible rudeness.
In Jill's book, I'm Not Telling, Jill finds out that her uncle Duffy, whom she adores and admires and so does everyone else because he's the fun uncle, went to jail the day she was born. She spends the rest of the book bemoaning that fact and wondering how he could be so dumb and why is he ruining her life with this one stint in jail and oh god, it's been awhile since I wanted to tell a fictional character to shut up but yeah. Jill? He went to jail because he parked in the wrong spot and then got sassy with the officer who ticketed him. (Important life lesson there about not provoking cops.)
She's being blackmailed by her lockermate and rude Maggie's cousin and will not believe her friend who tells her NO ONE CARES ABOUT HER UNCLE. No one. At twelve, would you care that some random kid's uncle went to jail twelve years ago? I mean, once you found out it wasn't for anything interesting? I'm thinking probably not. But because he's a doctor and Jill's so insecure about middle school already, she's in a panic and it's just... ugh.
I liked other things about the book and the cover's pretty, so it gets two stars since I'm not the intended audience and didn't read it when I was. ...more
Triple Trouble is an odd duck. The previous three Whitney Cousins books manage to not really have the cousins interact in person all that much, whichTriple Trouble is an odd duck. The previous three Whitney Cousins books manage to not really have the cousins interact in person all that much, which is interesting considering Erin moves in with Amelia, and this book somehow manages to keep that trend even with all three living together for a summer.
Instead of having the book divided up and chapters told by each cousin, we spend our time with Erin who has mellowed considerably since her book. I guess this makes sense since Amelia and Heather both had their love stories chronicled and Erin's book did have a sort of romance but it's said to have never really gotten off the ground by the time Triple Trouble starts. Plus you could argue that Erin's book was really about her finding out that she was worth being loved at all, by anyone.
It was an interesting read, though it kills me that the cover shows Heather being pretty blonde and yet the only time we see Heather not running around doing things for the Centennial, she's bemoaning not being blonde, which leads to the important lesson of not bleaching your hair without at least one person actually knowing what they're doing.
There's no happy ending for Erin, as she has to leave her first love behind, but I like to think that they found each other again. ...more
Never read this one as a kid though I wanted to. I'm guessing the library either never had a copy or I always missed it or maybe it went missing. WhoNever read this one as a kid though I wanted to. I'm guessing the library either never had a copy or I always missed it or maybe it went missing. Who knows. In any case, it's been something like twenty years of wondering what happened in the other Whitney Cousins books, so I might have rounded up on this one. Still, Erin's book is pretty nifty as it is, and while some part of me is a little disappointed that she's still very much an outsider in her family, it also makes sense. I love the friendships she does make and when she's called out on some of her more questionable behavior. ...more
When I was younger, the local libraries seemed to only have Amelia's book though I have vague memories of maybe seeing the cover of this one. I neverWhen I was younger, the local libraries seemed to only have Amelia's book though I have vague memories of maybe seeing the cover of this one. I never did get to read it until a friend sold me her copies of the books.
That said, if I'd read them in the proper order with Heather being first, I'd probably have liked Heather (the book and maybe the character?) more. As it is, she spends the whole book being upset that things aren't the way she imagined them to be instead of working with what she has, maybe getting things closer to what she'd hoped for. Which is probably fairly realistic but it's maddening to read at times....more
I'm torn on this one just a bit. I really enjoyed the last third of the book, but I spent the first two thirds of the book actually fussing at it outI'm torn on this one just a bit. I really enjoyed the last third of the book, but I spent the first two thirds of the book actually fussing at it out loud. The cat had to calm me down, okay?
But a miracle happened in that last third and I feel it needs to be appreciated.
So we begin with the bad, I suppose. The dialog in Theo books is always a little off, but I try to overlook it because for all I know, maybe I'm just not hanging around the right Charlestonians. I mean, you'd think after thirty years I'd have found them but still. I don't buy that Max would say "Gosh" for anything and mean it. Sarcasm, sure, but not actually "Gosh!" when discussing things like being possibly accused of murder. Just... no. This is a 30-something guy, right? Not buying the sincere use of gosh. Maybe from Drayton or something.
Theo and Delaine calling Delaine's aunt "Aunt Acid" where the woman could overhear. Nothing this woman says in the entirety of the book makes the nickname make sense from Theo's perspective (I'm totally willing to buy that a relative of Delaine's is going to have a caustic tongue. I'm not willing to buy that Theo wouldn't also think it was an inherited trait.) and I cannot imagine that Theo was raised to not respect her elders at least to a point.
Max himself. I dunno, I liked the last boyfriend until it became obvious we were exchanging him for Max, but as of right now I couldn't tell you a thing about Max's personality. I also found it hilarious (not that it was likely intended this way) that Theo takes a bad situation regarding Max's job and makes it worse whenever she runs into his still sort of boss. If you don't want your boyfriend to move out of the area for work then don't antagonize his boss while trying to save boyfriend's job.
Now. The good. Mums and I were talking about how Theo doesn't really solve crimes, she just stirs up so much trouble that the villain starts to panic and pounces on Theo when she shows up on a snooping mission or to deliver some T-Bath products or something. If the villain just stayed cool, Theo would need another book and a half to put the clues together, generally speaking. But they panic, attack her, and the book ends shortly thereafter with everyone being thrilled at Theo's sleuthing skills.
This time Theo actually solved the case! She still tangled with the murderer because that's kind of expected in these books, but still! She solved the case! It only took 16 or so books. :p
Also, there's Halloween stuff and I'm a sucker for Halloween. ...more
Do you like your SVT where bad behaviour is punished? Do you enjoy seeing certain Unicorns being knocked down a peg or two? If so, you might enjoy thiDo you like your SVT where bad behaviour is punished? Do you enjoy seeing certain Unicorns being knocked down a peg or two? If so, you might enjoy this.
Jessica and Mandy enter a pineapple contest, only they make the most disgusting combination ever. I'm not really sure why only Jessica is listed as an entrant since it was Mandy's idea and she put in at least half (and let's be honest, you know Mandy did more than half) of the work. Whatever the case may be, Jessica wins and gets to take two friends to Hawaii. She originally plans to take Elizabeth and Mandy (though Lila's the one who lets Jessica know she's won in time for Jessica to claim her prize) but Liz would rather go skiing and see her grandparents since it's Christmas time. So Jessica invites Mary, someone who would likely never have a chance to go to Hawaii. Sometimes SVT Jessica is a sweetheart and I love her.
Lila's not thrilled because not only did she get shafted on the Hawaiian vacation, but her father is dating someone named Bambi and they're serious enough that he's having her over for Christmas. Lila only gets to see her father for one day a year (I don't really recall any Christmases without Mr. Fowler there for at least part of the day) guarenteed and now he's inviting Bambi? Yeah, I can understand the annoyance.
Anyway, Lila convinces her father to take her and the rest of the Unicorns (at least the ones we're remembering at this particular moment, I swear there's a revolving door on this club) to Hawaii at the same time.
While there, Jessica, Lila, and Janet all run into the same two boys who decide to mess with them. The boys convince Jessica that she's being punished for lying*, that Lila's found a bad luck ring that must be returned to Mt. Doom, and that Janet is a long lost princess who can never leave the island or Pele will drown the islands in lava.
I've never found Janet to be all that likable so I cackled each time she tried to convince her friends she was a princess. Only Ellen's sorta buying and even she's not all that invested in the idea, even once Janet explains she's stuck in Hawaii forever.
Lila's bad luck ring is a tacky souvenir that you'd think she'd have noticed everywhere but since Lila's a lot self centered and not interested in tacky souvenir shops, I guess I'll allow it.
Jessica, however, gets the lying explination after she does "embellish the truth" for the boys about why her vacation is merely okay. She's not exactly lying for what she thinks she's being punished for. Part of her prize is a tour of the pineapple company and they keep calling her Jessica Wakely. She's convinced that some poor Wakely person really won the contest and there's been a horrible mixup. Only she tells Mandy and Mandy is having a great vacation so why she buys the lie thing, I dunno. No mix-up, btw. Someone couldn't type and Wakefield turned to Wakely and apparently all the entries to the contest were the same (it's pineapple, guys, what do you expect?) and so they went with the absolute worst of the bunch.
Bambi is an actress who wants to win a role on Jessica's favorite soap opera and eventually she wins Lila over, too. Honestly, if it weren't for the Christmas timing, I'd just think that Lila's father enjoyed hooking up with a hot young thing and that it wasn't anything serious. But Bambi gets the part and is never seen or heard from again, so there's that.
Mary has a fabulous time and Ellen is only a little scatterbrained, so yay for them. ...more
SVH Lila would never make up a boyfriend. However, SVT Lila has always been a different sort of Lila (that having cousins that are never seen or heardSVH Lila would never make up a boyfriend. However, SVT Lila has always been a different sort of Lila (that having cousins that are never seen or heard from again) so I guess I'll allow it.
Lila assumes the boy she's been crushing on for awhile now will ask her to the Valentine's dance. He doesn't, he has the Unicorns do a cheer to ask someone else out, so Lila is doubly humiliated and decides to save face by saying she broke HIS heart when she found someone new. Someone so new that no one knows who he is. She goes on and on about this perfect guy and manages to actually fake out the Unicorns for quite awhile.
It's actually kind of nice that for once the Unicorns don't immediately leap to the conclusion that Lila is lying and that they try and do something very sweet for her at the dance. Alas, there is no guy...
Or is there?
Despite being awful to him, the gardner's grandson (who is pitching in while his grandfather's back has given out) has fallen for Lila. He takes it upon himself to pretend to be the boyfriend and he goes above and beyond anything I'd imagine a middle school boy would ever do. Also, Lila's like, 11, so he can't be more than say, 13, so I really don't see him being able to legally do any yardwork on his own, but it's not like you're reading SVT for the realism.
There is a side plot involving Todd Wilkins being an ass when Elizabeth leaves him an annonymous Valentine and he's sure that some other girl is in love with him. Joke's on Wilkins because all the girls are either interested in someone else or figure he's Elizabeth's boyfriend. When word gets out that he dumped her right before Valentine's, it's not like anyone wants to go near him because he's a jerk. SVT Todd is a weird, weird character. ...more
Somehow I have about three copies of this book and I don't know how or why. And none of them are bright yellow like the cover GR is showing me. Ah welSomehow I have about three copies of this book and I don't know how or why. And none of them are bright yellow like the cover GR is showing me. Ah well.
Anyway, it's vacation time and the Twins, Amy, and a few of the Unicorns are heading off to camp. At the last second, Grace Oliver (isn't she also a Unicorn?) finds out she can't go because her parents have come down with a serious case of "we might be getting divorced" which means that Mom is going to a spa, Dad is going... fishing? I don't really remember, and instead of sending Grace to camp with her friends, they decide she needs to be "with family" and send her to her godmother's. Funny, I bet the camp didn't give a refund and also, I don't get the impression from Grace's reaction that she really considers her godmother family.
Also at the last minute, Lila Fowler decides to jet off to Paris with her grandmother when the ghostwriter realizes a) Lila would not go to camp and b) we're going to need this empty bed later.
Off everyone goes to the buses to head off to camp. Conveniently Grace will also be leaving at the same time to take the bus to her godmother's. I wonder where this is going...
Camp is great, camp is awesome, camp has that one camper who everyone dislikes because she's in a bad mood on day one. Oh no, someone who might not be immediately thrilled to be away from home for possibly the first time! If only someone like, say, Elizabeth had also worried about possible homesickness. Oh, wait...
Not that Barbara is homesick, but not once does anyone ever consider that a possibility.
It doesn't take long for the twins and Amy to find Grace has followed them to camp. Luckily, the the girls of Bunk 7 adore Grace and she fits in during the day so well that the rest of the camp (well, the campers) take turns hosting her for nature hikes, swimming, and other camp activities. Unfortunately this means nasty Barbara also takes notice and she uses the information to blackmail Bunk 7 into letting her move in (remember Lila's empty bed?) and then doing whatever she says... OR ELSE.
Eventually Grace tires of being the reason everyone is miserable whenever Barbara appears, so she decides to actually go to her godmother's house. Of course there's a storm and everyone is forced to confess their secrets when Grace goes missing.
(Turns out Barbara's been hiding in the same cabin Grace sleeps in but the two never run into one another.) We find out that Barbara's parents are divorcing and each write to her often, always with something nasty to say about the other and the hope that Barbara will tell the other one to stop being a jerk. Grace and Barbara bond then have a falling out, there's a lightning strike (of course) and eventually all's well that ends well.
It's a cute book and my favorite random thing about it is that Ellen is included and for once isn't made out to be too stupid to live. Yay!...more