Nostalgic Bookshelf

Snarky recaps of nostalgic media, including Making Out, Baywatch, Blyton and Baby-Sitter's Club
Mar 2018

Title: Mermaid Saga Part 3-4 – The Village of the Fighting Fish

Author/Artist: Rumiko Takahashi

Initial Thoughts

This immediately isn’t one of my favorites stories in the series. While two of the characters are pretty cool, it doesn’t really have the same horror feel as the other tales. The tone and setting comes across similar to Takahashi’s other series, “Inuyasha.”

It also seems weird she’d do a story about Yuta’s past, long before Mana was in the picture, as the immediate second tale after the opening two parts.

I’m not sure how you’re gonna feel about this one, Wing. I don’t think you’ll like the ending, but I do think you’ll like the bad guy.

[Wing: It does seem like a strange choice to do a backstory so soon after the series begins.]


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Mar 2018
Dungeons & Dragons Series 1 Episode 2

Dungeons & Dragons (TV Series 1983–1985)

Title: The Eye of the Behoder

Summary: Led by a cowardly knight named Sir John, the children must seek and destroy an evil monster known as The Beholder to find a gateway back to their own world.

Initial Thoughts:

Oooh, exciting! The Beholder is a classic DnD monster. For those not in the know, it’s basically a massive eyeball and chompy mouth with snakey tentacles coming off it. Here’s a classic image:

Dungeons & Dragons Series 1 Episode 2: Beholder


Pretty much a hulked-out Mike Wazowski.

I’m sure that the Dungeons and Dragons cartoon series will show this stellar enemy in a rightfully respectful light.


[Dove: I love this series. And even I want to kick the writers quite often.]

Read more »

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Mar 2018

Famous Five 2: Five Go Adventuring Again by Enid Blyton

Title: The Famous Five #2: Five Go Adventuring Again by Enid Blyton

Summary: Spending Christmas at Kirrin Cottage, the Five were not expecting an adventure. But they found one – and became involved in a tense running battle underground.

Tagline: Julian, Dick, George, Anne and Timothy the dog

(Okay, that’s not a tagline, but it’s the closest thing this book has to one. Note the absence of Oxford comma, and try to imagine my irritation.)

Initial Thoughts:

I know this was one of my favourite Famous Five books when I was young, but for the life of me, I can’t remember why.

I’m also SHOCKED that there was an era in publishing in which someone could write a series book set at Christmas and not mention Christmas in the title or have a Christmas-themed cover. This was published in 1942, and you’d think they’d have pulled out all the stops to play on people’s nostalgia for non-war Christmasses, but no. You can’t tell from the front or back cover that this has anything to do with winter at all. [Dove: That’s very un-Christmassy. To the point where I always forget this one is set over Christmas holidays.] [Raven: I was once Christmas shopping in Leeds, and one shop was playing Sunny Afternoon by the Kinks to fly in the face of the usual jingle bell fare. Loved it, it’s now part of my Christmas Song Rotation.]

There are roughly a billion variant covers. Here are two non-awful ones in which no one is wearing bell-bottoms.

[Wing: I am utterly charmed by this one, too! It’s not quite as fun as the first book, but I love George so, so much.]

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Mar 2018

Image result for molly learns a lesson

Title: Molly Learns A Lesson, a.k.a. “A Lesson In Te-Am Work”

Author: Valerie Tripp

Illustrator: Nick Backes

Summary: Molly is determined that the third-grade girls will win her school’s Lend-A-Hand Contest to help the war effort. Instead, they choose an idea that Molly knows will never work out. So she talks two friends into planning their own project and keeping it a secret from the rest of the girls in the class. But the secret project turns out to be harder than Molly thought it would be. She begins to worry that it might not win after all and decides to spy on the other girls to see how they are doing. When Molly and her friends get caught peeking in a window, they learn some important lessons.

Initial Thoughts

Here’s our second foray into the world of Molly. I can safely say there’s no underwear or cultural appropriation in this one, but it’s probably gonna leave you craving bread.

[Wing: There’s something off about her face on that cover, but I’m not sure what. Proportions? Location of eyes? If you figure it out, dear readers, let me know.]

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Mar 2018

Title: Graveyard School #7 – Slime Lake, a.k.a. “Protect The Environment! Or I’ll FUCKING KILL YOU!”

Author: Tom B. Stone, a.k.a. Nola Thacker, a.k.a. D.E. Athkins

Cover Artist: U.S. – Cam DeLeon, U.K. – ??? [Wing: That UK cover is something else!]

Tagline: “You’ve Been Slimed!” (U.K. Version)

Summary: Don’t Go In The Water!

Marc and his twin sister, Terri, are excited about spending the summer at their uncle Nicholas’s lake house. Even though their uncle is an old grouch, Marc and Terri enjoy the lake and their summer friends in Grove Hill.

But this summer is different. Suddenly the once placid lake has motorboats, fishermen, and crowds. Even worse is the gross green slime that’s been popping up on boats and docks and swimmers. When Terri goes for a swim and doesn’t return, Marc wonders what exactly is lurking under the water…

Initial Thoughts

Hey Wing, so a little good news/bad news for you. The bad news is this book doesn’t have werewolves. The good news is it’s got your other favorite thing, twins!

(Terri and Marc by zackdoesalotofstuff)

[Wing: I think you may be overestimating my excitement for twins at this point, thanks to Sweet Valley, but Terri and Marc are super cute!]

This is the first and only book in the series to have twins as the main characters, and it’s also one of the books that heavily feature a message about environmentalism.

Slime Lake was previously referred to in the last book, “Camp Dracula,” but now we’re gonna find out just how gross it really is!


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Mar 2018

Wing, Raven and Dove talk about Sweet Valley Twins 43: Elizabeth’s First Kiss. They also discuss Bleak Valley and how the book ties into this theory.

Music is provided by Stuart Taylor, who can be contacted on if you wish to commission music.

You can read our recaps at Sweet Valley Online, tumblr or visit us at Facebook or Twitter (follow @SweetValley_)

Sweet Valley
Mar 2018

Last Vampire 3 - Red Dice by Christopher PikeTitle: The Last Vampire #3: Red Dice by Christopher Pike

Summary: Alisa and her former FBI partner, Joel, learn of a government plan to capture them in order to steal and analyze their vampire blood for the purpose of duplicating it, and when Joel is caught, Alisa risks her life to free him.

Tagline: This time the world hunted her…

Initial Thoughts

I remember nothing about this book. I know I’ve read it. I’ve probably even read it multiple times, though not since my early 20s, if not even before that. But I have no idea what the plot is here, or even who, besides Alisa, is around.


Let’s do this.


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Mar 2018
Making Out 3: Nina Won't Tell by Katherine Applegate (and Michael Grant)

Making Out 3: Nina Won’t Tell by Katherine Applegate (and Michael Grant)

Title: Nina Won’t Tell

Front Blurb: First Zoey fooled around with Lucas and Jake found out. Then Claire broke up with Ben to be with Jake, and ended up alone. Now Nina is thrilled because she’s always loved Ben, and she’s finally got her chance. Only they’ll never get together if… Nina Won’t Tell.

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 won’t tell that she’s in love with Ben. Ben used to belong to her sister, Claire, and who knows what Claire would say if she found out. But even worse, if Nina discovers that Ben doesn’t love her back… it will break her heart.

WARNING: This book and recap contain references to sexual abuse of a minor. If you have triggers, proceed with caution or not at all. This is the only warning you will get. I will be as tactful as I can, but you never know for sure what can trigger someone, so please consider this warning. If you see “A Note From Nina” as a heading there may be some of Nina’s dreams. Some may find the imagery triggering. I have labelled the dreams with a header, but they’re not hidden behind spoiler tags (as we don’t have such a thing on this site).

Initial Thoughts:

This was one of the last – if not the very last – in the series that I read. As I’ve said in my previous recap, I bought these in piecemeal in the pre-internet days. There was usually a selection of about five available and I would buy at least one, based on which sounded most interesting. However, this one I wanted desperately, because it was about Nina, and she was my best friend, because I didn’t have one in real life, and we already had so much in common (Guns N’ Roses, smoking, fashion choices that made me people roll their eyes, being inferior to family members, etc.) I just had to read this book. Our only difference is that she thinks highly of Benjamin. [Rosey: This book was the one I had the clearest memories of, coming into this re-read. because Nina! but also because Nina :,(]

Read more »

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Mar 2018

Friday the 13th The Final ChapterTitle: Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984) (aka Part IV)

Summary: After being mortally wounded and taken to the morgue, murderer Jason Voorhees spontaneously revives and embarks on a killing spree as he makes his way back to his home at Camp Crystal Lake.

Tagline: Jason’s Back, and this is the one you’ve been screaming for.

Note: The more I look at this poster, the more I remember it from childhood. It makes sense, because along side Nightmare on Elm Street, this was one of the major horror franchises that did huge home viewing business in the 1980s when I was still of an impressionable age. It’s weird how I didn’t recall that until I went looking for the poster for this recap, but it’s true. Independent video rental stores were everything when I was little and they always had posters displayed of new and/or popular titles. I will stop now before I start a “kids these days…” style rant about digital downloads and Redbox. [Wing: In contrast, I don’t remember this poster at all. How in the world did I miss it? We rented movies often.]

Initial Thoughts

If only I could quit you, Jason Voorhees. But no, I committed myself to this goddamn series and I’m going to see it through! [Wing: And we appreciate it greatly!]

Hello and welcome again to the fourth round of Let’s Do It! Yeah, I know, we’re only part way into the deep, twisty franchise that is Friday the 13th, and you’re all wondering how I can possibly not know what goes on in all the films by now, being that this is 2018 and we have The Internet™ to tell us everything.

Willpower, my friends. That and total lack of interest. I’d rather not know, because that’s half the fun. And I’m supposed to be a virgin (duh) when I watch these. I’m actually actively going out of my way to avoid spoilers at this point. It’s really hilarious. I read something last Halloween and instantly was like “NO NO STOP” and had to close the tab because it gave a big plot point away.

Because it’s been 34 years since this was released and I’m expected (at my age) to have seen this by now. Whatever. What about all the teens that weren’t born in the last century, huh? You just fill Wikipedia with spoilers for them so they never have to sit down and suffer through it like I did back in the Dark Ages??

Ahem. Moving on.

Let’s glean what we can without getting into the plot. This installment was released in theaters on April the 13th, 1984. Ooo, bummer, I’m a month early! Roger Ebert hated it. Good to know.

The more I read, the more I have to stop, because spoilers everywhere. Guess I’ll just come back to that stuff in the Final Thoughts part. Damn it.

Oh, and this is pointedly meant for me: Corey Feldman (who I knew was in one of these films but not which one) and Crispin Glover (who I didn’t know was in this film or that he was in this franchise what so ever) both went on to act in films with Kiefer Sutherland in 1986. (Stand By Me and At Close Range, respectively.) I’ve never seen At Close Range but I know the two-bit part that wasn’t really a part was the reason Schumacher called Kiefer in to read for The Lost Boys.


Wait, where am I? Oh, right, Camp Crystal Lake! Here we go. Again. For the fourth time.

(Save me, Kevin Bacon! Save me!)

Important note! Remember, I am rolling over the body count from each of the previous films recapped, so that will be reflected in the counter and final tally.


Friday the 13th ,
Mar 2018
Sweet Valley Twins #43: Elizabeth's First Kiss by Jamie Suzanne (Katherine Applegate and Michael Grant)

Sweet Valley Twins #43: Elizabeth’s First Kiss by Jamie Suzanne (Katherine Applegate and Michael Grant)

Title: Elizabeth’s First Kiss

Tagline: Elizabeth is in love!

Summary: Elizabeth Wakefield has known Todd Wilkins since she was a toddler, but she’s never noticed how cute he really is, until she sees him dancing with her sister, Jessica. Now Elizabeth can’t stop thinking about him—and everywhere she goes, Todd turns up, too. Could he actually like her as much as she likes him? Elizabeth wishes she knew more about boys. But when she finally asks her twin for some advice on the subject, she makes a terrible discovery: Jessica has a crush on Todd, too!

How can Elizabeth fall for a boy that her sister already likes? There’s only one honorable thing to do: forget Todd and never let Jessica know she cares. But that’s not going to be an easy thing to do

Initial Thoughts:

THAT’S Todd Wilkins?! But he’s about eight!

I dunno, I expected the Glorious Todd Wilkins to be… cool? Dashing? At least “blonde”, for some reason. Not this nervy looking gimp, dressed as a tomato and carrying the Horn of fucking Gondor.


Sweet Valley