Nostalgic Bookshelf

Snarky recaps of nostalgic media, including Making Out, Baywatch, Blyton and Baby-Sitter's Club
11
Dec 2018
My Little Pony (Gen 1)

My Little Pony (Gen 1)

Title: Puppy Pony

Summary: When the Ponies discover Clifford the Big Red Dog a huge puppy has mysteriously been dumped on the doorstep of Paradise Estate, they set out to make the animal abandoner pay! No, no they don’t. They make friends with said puppy and build it a huge dog house for the winter.

Grade: Read to Find Out!

Initial Thoughts:

Welcome back for another installment of My Little Pony ‘n Various Characters-of-the-Week That You’ll Never Remember. I swear, Dove and I are fervently slogging through these, regret clouding our minds every single step of the way. THE EPISODES ARE NOT GETTING ANY BETTER, PEOPLE. [Dove: This episode may be the greatest example of “you can never go home” in history.]

We’ve finally reached one of those single episodes, a one-shot that doesn’t require us to split it between two recaps. A quick glance tells me there’s four more one-shots after this, but about a billion multi-part episodes on top of that. Oh mysterious creators of Dream Valley, be merciful and end my suffering quick.

(It’s kinda hard to go from a rewatch of all seasons of Vikings to pastel-coloured talking cartoon horses but here I am. If only Floki would show up and yell nonsense about the pagan gods and blood sacrifices at Shady. I would watch that.)

After that misleading GLASS PRINCESS crap, I am not holding out hopes for this episode being any good. Setting the bar low early on! Let’s watch.

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27
Nov 2018
My Little Pony (Gen 1)

My Little Pony (Gen 1)

Title: The Glass Princess (Parts 3-4)

Summary: A narcissistic pig named Porcina has ponynapped Heartthrob, Gusty and Lickety-Split with the intent of shaving them and fashioning their hair into a magic cloak so she can turn everything into glass, so she can look at herself all the time. Because apparently you can’t buy mirrors in Ponyland. And the word “mirror” is synonymous with “glass”. The ponies have had makeovers that make the bright red Mimic custom project look like a good idea, and Porcina intends to turn all of Ponyland into glass.

I will refer to My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic as FiM, to save typing it all the time.

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15
Nov 2018
My Little Pony (Gen 1)

My Little Pony (Gen 1)

Title: The Glass Princess (Parts 1-2)

Summary: Pony Olympics! Yes, it’s the Pony Olympics! With no explanation about why! Can’t make it up. (Although, I guess the writers did.) More ‘villain of the week’ crap; this time it’s Porcina and the Raptorians, who are after magic to use in order to repair Porcina’s magic cape. Dove’s favorite, the Sasswoolies, return for more madcap adventures with the Ponies.

Grade: D-

Initial Thoughts:

Hello and welcome, again, to this continued semi-nightmare road trip of childhood nostalgia that is the first season of My Little Pony ‘n Friends. I’m sad that I can’t say this is the halfway point through season 1, since that won’t be until episode #25, and we’re quite a ways off from that, still.

Anyway, Dove and I are doing our best to get through these poorly crafted/written episodes involving Ponies and their, um, friends. On deck today is the first half of “The Glass Princess”, which I honestly do not remember. I keep confusing it for the episode when the Princess Ponies show up, but that’s not for a while. The fact I remember nothing — and probably won’t even when I’m watching it or will suddenly something will trigger my memory? — should be interesting.

[Dove: I also thought this was about the Princess Ponies. Clearly we’re so frazzled that we can only react to a single word in the title. This is further evidenced by my confusion over The Ghost of Paradise Estate being the episode where furniture comes to life.]

Let’s just get this over with.

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14
Nov 2018
Making Out #10: Nina Shapes Up by Katherine Applegate (and Michael Grant)

Making Out #10: Nina Shapes Up by Katherine Applegate (and Michael Grant)

Title: Nina Shapes Up

Front Blurb: At first Nina thought Ben was fooling around with Aisha. But then she discovered the truth: Ben’s facing a decision that could change his life for ever and she’s scared he’ll leave unless… Nina shapes up. [Dove: That is literally fuck all to do with this book. That’s a recap of the last book, and a throwaway line in this one.]

Back Blurb: They’ve all grown up together on a tiny island. They think they know everything about one another… but they’re only just beginning to find out the truth.

Nina shapes up because she’s desperate to keep Ben’s love. She’s terrified that if he regains his eyesight, he won’t need her any more. And if Ben can see Nina, will he still love her? [Dove: as before.]

Initial Thoughts:

This is where everything starts to blur together for me. The titles, beyond Zoey Fools Around, Nina Won’t Tell, and Aisha Goes Wild, don’t really have much meaning, to be honest.

I’m going to tell you right now: Nina does nothing that comes close to shaping up in this book. But in her defence, she wasn’t unshaped to begin with.

Don’t get me wrong, I continue to love the hell out of these books. I just find the titles to be word soup. $name $verb $thing [Rosey: The blurbs and titles are so inaccurate for the most part. I get that they had a formula they want to stick to, but surely they could have come up with things that actually reflected the book?] [Wing: I wonder if the person writing the blurbs wrote them early on, without having read the books and only a synopsis of the overall series.]

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12
Nov 2018

Image result for molly mystery light in the cellar

Title: A Molly Mystery – The Light In The Cellar, a.k.a. “Molly and the Mystery of the Horrible Hoarders”

Author: Sarah Masters Buckley

Cover Artist: Jean-Paul Tibbles

Summary: Molly wishes she and her friend Emily had an exciting volunteer job that really helped in the fight to win World War Two. Instead, they’re magazine delivery girls at Oak Knoll Hospital. Soon, however, Molly and Emily start to suspect something very un-patriotic is going on at Oak Knoll – and their snooping leads them deep into trouble!

Initial Thoughts

I’ve really let myself slip with these reviews and I’ve no one to blame but myself. I apologize again for holding up the schedule and I promise I’ll work harder next year to bring consistent reviews and articles.

It’s incredible good luck I was able to review this book for the website. I found it at the freebie rack at my local library, but I pulled it before I planned to do reviews for the website. This is a change of pace for the other Molly books, being significantly longer (at least three times as long) and has no illustrations. It focuses more on Molly’s friendship with Emily Bennett and sheds some more harsh truths about the effects WWII had on people back then.

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23
Oct 2018
My Little Pony (Gen 1)

My Little Pony (Gen 1)

Title: The Great Rainbow Caper

Summary: In an almost incomprehensible turn of fate, a pair of monkeys called Gizmonks take Danny and Surprise prisoner until Megan turns over the Rainbow of Light to them.

Grade: C

Initial Thoughts:

I literally have no recollection of this. Let me arrogantly quote myself and bat over chat:

Dove: I’m doing Rainbow Caper now. I have no recollection of this one at all. If we’re looking for a silver lining… I guess that means it wasn’t so awful I was scarred for life, right?

bat: That’s probably true, we were young enough to repress it and move on

However, it’s a one-parter, so I can only assume that the storytelling will get to the point significantly quicker than Flutter Valley or Ghost of Paradise Estate did.

I know, I know. Ass. U. Me.

Got it.

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17
Oct 2018

Famous Five 8: Five Get into Trouble by Enid Blyton

Title: Five get into Trouble

The Famous Five #8: Five Get Into Trouble

Summary: Curious about the big house on Owl’s Hill, the Five go into the grounds one night….only to find that the big wrought-iron gates have closed mysteriously behind them.

Initial Thoughts:

Everything about that summary is wrong. For one thing, they don’t go into the grounds because of some random curiosity about the house; they go LOOKING for the house for reasons. For another, more important, thing, that ellipsis should have three dots, not four, because the sentence doesn’t end during the dot part.

Anyway. I remember loving this book, and my own copy is incredibly battered and soft.

But what I DON’T remember is ever being aware of how bloody old Julian is in this. Okay, if book six was set at Easter, and they were thirteen (Anne), fourteen (George and Dick), and fifteen (Julian), and book seven is the following Easter (so…they’re the same ages?), then THIS book, which is Easter again, is another year entirely. JULIAN IS SIXTEEN? In my head Julian is never that old. Even Anne is fourteen by now. [Dove: I think the last book was summer from the comments about the moors being cold in the summer, but it wasn’t clear. But otherwise your maths lines up with mine.]

That…that isn’t how I ever thought of them, when I was young and reading these. It completely changes everything. THE FAMOUS FIVE ARE OLD ENOUGH TO BE POINT HORROR CHARACTERS.

…damn, now I want to read that. Five Find a Body. Five Accidentally Run Someone Over. Five and the Kirrin Island Phantom. Five Visit Fear Street. [Dove: *blink* Well, I think we’ve found Necro’s NaNo project!] [Necromommycon:OMG, that sounds like fun. I think I have to try this. ] [Wing: Well this sounds delightful.]

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11
Oct 2018

Image result for happy birthday molly american girl

Title: Happy Birthday, Molly! – A Springtime Story

Author: Valerie Tripp

Illustrator: Nick Backes

Summary: Molly is excited to learn that an English girl is coming to stay at the McIntires’, and just in time for Molly’s birthday! But Emily Bennett turns out to be different from the glamorous girl Molly pictured. Emily is shy, and she seems unfriendly. Then Molly discovers that Emily is worried about her family in war-torn London, just as Molly is worried about her father, and the girls become good friends. They even plan to turn Molly’s tenth birthday celebration into a real English tea party. But they can’t agree about what’s important, and it takes a special birthday surprise to patch up their hurt feelings.

Initial Thoughts

I’m really ashamed of myself because of how late this is. Between work and getting sick and things just being God awful over here, I really slipped up and now I have to scramble before the year ends.

This one was difficult to re-read because a lot of the characters display a nasty side that wasn’t totally present in the last few books. But it also presents a much more sobering look at what life during wartime was like for these girls, in a manner different than Molly’s fears about her father’s life. But mainly, this book introduces Emily Bennett, who becomes a semi-reoccurring character in the “Molly” books. She even received her own spotlight tale, “Brave Emily.”

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10
Oct 2018
Making Out #9: Zoey Plays Games by Katherine Applegate (and Michael Grant)

Making Out #9: Zoey Plays Games by Katherine Applegate (and Michael Grant)

Title: Zoey Plays Games

Front Blurb: Life was bliss for Zoey and Lucas until Aaron showed up on the island. Now Aaron wants Zoey. Claire wants Aaron and Zoey’s got a secret that EVERYONE is talking about. How long before Lucas finds out that Zoey Plays Games

Back Blurb: Zoey plays games with Aaron and sets off a wave of broken hearts. Because Lucas is in love with Zoey, Claire has vowed to make Aaron her own. But the island is too small for big secrets.

Initial thoughts:

I don’t remember this book. It’s Zoey story, so that’s probably why.

Fun fact- this is the first Making Out book that wasn’t written by Grapplegate – they handed the series over to ghostwriters from book 9. Also, there are also no more reprints for these later books, so it’s firmly nostalgia from here onwards.

[Dove: Oh good, a Zoey book. You know how highly I regard the Passmore family in general, and Zoey in particular. This is the point where I really got sick of her nonsense, I think.]

[Wing: I’m pretty sure life wasn’t bliss for Zoey and Lucas, book, but cool. Coooool.]

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9
Oct 2018
My Little Pony (Gen 1)

My Little Pony (Gen 1)

Title: The Ghost of Paradise Estate (Parts 3-4)

Summary: So far: Paradise Estate was haunted, except it wasn’t, it was a shapeshifting bird called Pluma, who’s on orders from Squirk, some kind of evil red squid with a purple lobster sidekick to… I don’t know, do something. Pluma ties up the ponies, and steals/moves/destroys/something Paradise Estate, but the ponies free themselves, and shit’s about to get real, yo.

Grade: C

I will refer to My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic as FiM, to save typing it all the time.

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