Posted in My Little Pony

My Little Pony: The End of Flutter Valley – Parts 1-2 (S01E01-2)

The End of Flutter Valley (G1 Cover)
The End of Flutter Valley (G1 Cover)
The End of Flutter Valley (G2 Cover... why?)
The End of Flutter Valley (G2 Cover… why?)

Title: The End of Flutter Valley (Parts 1-2)

Summary: The ponies are on their way to Flutter Valley for the Sun Tuesday celebration with the Flutter Ponies. Meanwhile, the Witches from the Volcano of Gloom are busy hatching a plan to destroy Flutter Valley and the ponies, allying with an army of giant bees to get their revenge on the Flutter Ponies. The bees steal the precious Sun Stone, and if the Flutter Ponies can’t get it back, their home will be destroyed.

Grade: This will be given when bat and I finally reach the end of this 10 part epic. *sigh*

Recap:

Just so you know, instead of running around like headless chickens and trying to recap 2 hours’ worth of episodes between the two of us in a single post, we have decided to do this in two-episode batches, so bat’s recap will cover Parts 3-4.

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Posted in Making Out

Making Out #6: What Zoey Saw by Katherine Applegate (and Michael Grant)

Making Out #6: What Zoey Saw by Katherine Applegate (and Michael Grant)
Making Out #6: What Zoey Saw by Katherine Applegate (and Michael Grant)

Title: Making Out #6: What Zoey Saw by Katherine Applegate and Michael Grant

Summary: Zoey broke up with Jake after she fell in love with Lucas. Claire used to go out with Lucas, but now she’s with Jake. Are Zoey’s feelings for Jake really gone? Is Lucas totally over Claire? Their hidden desires are about to explode, all because of…What Zoey Saw.

Initial Thoughts

My god, the front of book summaries are kind of terrible and terribly dramatic, too.

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Posted in The Baby-Sitters Club

Baby-Sitters Club #7: Claudia and Mean Janine by Ann M. Martin

The Baby-Sitters Club #7: Claudia and Mean Janine by Ann M Martin
The Baby-Sitters Club #7: Claudia and Mean Janine by Ann M Martin

Title: Baby-Sitters Club #7: Claudia and Mean Janine by Ann M. Martin

Summary: Claudia’s participation in the Baby-sitters Club is curtailed when Grandmother Mimi suffers a stroke and Claudia finds herself “Mimi-sitting” and fighting more frequently with her sister.

Tagline: Claudia’s sister is an impossible person to live with!

Initial Thoughts

I really love this book, despite the fact that it has some heartbreaking moments and also, I adore Janine. The cover I have, Claudia looks like she’s thirty, what the hell, cover artist? And that is not the right kind of teapot. And why do they have stained glass windows? I think I’m focusing on the wrong things here.

[Dove: That’s Claudia? I thought it was her mom!]

Enjoy the fireworks, USA! And remember: the Kishis would be screwed under our current political regime, so let’s celebrate what we could be and fix the shit that we actually are.

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Posted in My Little Pony

My Little Pony: The Movie (1986)

My Little Pony: The Movie (1986)
My Little Pony: The Movie (1986)

Title: My little Pony: The Movie (1986)

Summary: Capture the magic and escape to Dream Valley to join all your favourite Little Ponies! Take a magical journey to Ponyland just as the Little Ponies’ annual Spring Festival is about to begin. While the ponies enjoy their festive spring party, the evil witch Hydia is up in her gloomy home, the Volcano of Gloom, plotting to turn Ponyland into a wasteland. When her first attempt fails, she decides to cutterover Ponyland with a purple ooze called the “Smooze”. It looks like the end of Ponyland, unless all the magical creatures of Dream Valley answer the Ponies’ call for help!

Grade: C (it would be an F, but that Smooze song is sooooo damned catchy.)

My Little Pony: The Movie (1986)
My Little Pony: The Movie (1986)

Notes: You could do a drinking game with this movie. Every time there is merchandise to be bought (aside from the ponies themselves), take a shot. But you’ll die. Like really die. Instead, have a carrot stick. Or something. I don’t know. I’m not good at health and safety warnings.

Second Note: Several times I refer to My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. To avoid having to write out this title over and over, I’ve abbreviated to FiM.

Timeline: I never really understood the order of this series, because the first episode of season 1 has everyone meeting the Flutter Ponies, who they didn’t meet until the movie, but the movie references things – without explaining them, ffs – which feels like it should be in the TV show. I’m really hoping bat will help me out on this, because she’s seen the whole show multiple times.

[bat: Basically with My Little Pony the toys came first, which were then shilled in two cartoon television specials: My Little Pony (aka “Rescue/Escape From Midnight Castle” or “My Little Pony in Dreamland” if you were in the UK) and Escape from Catrina (or Katrina, people seem to argue about this) before this feature length film was released in 1986. Subsequently, the G1 cartoon series followed. The television specials were chopped into pieces and added to the cartoon series, at the end of both seasons, respectively.]

Edit: For reference, I recapped this first, and then bat emailed me and said did I want a tag team partner for MLP, and if so, would I consider doing things in the right order? (*grin*) Thankfully, bat knows which order the episodes go in, so I did this recap, then watched Nightmare/Midnight Castle then Catrina/Katrina. But I stand by my questions. This is a stand-alone piece of media, there shouldn’t be so many unanswered questions.

Initial Thoughts

I think my thoughts about this (and, by extension, the Smooze episode of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic) are the very definition of “what could have been” at TV Tropes.

Let’s look at this objectively. A bunch of fundamentally nice characters are having a perfectly nice time when a tsunami of purple ooze crashes over their home, obliterating everything in its path, and hardening to a solid shell when it is finished, forcing the survivors to go on a quest to find a way of de-smoozing their home and friends. When the Smooze hits a living creature, that creature becomes grumpy and disagreeable. If the Smooze has hardened, there is a good chance that when they de-Smooze, they will find the corpses of their suffocated friends.

That, my friends, is horrific.

[bat: But it was the 1980s and all us kids watched Artax drown in the Swamps of Sadness in The Neverending Story yet he was resurrected without a scratch at the end of the film, which was released two years prior to this Smooze-fest… Okay, 1980s “children’s” movies messed up the lot of us.]

Instead, we get this…

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Posted in Fear Street

Fear Street Super Chiller #6: The Dead Lifeguard by R. L. Stine

Fear Street Super Chiller 6 The Dead Lifeguard by R L Stine
Fear Street Super Chiller 6 The Dead Lifeguard by R L Stine

The Author:

Like RL Stine needs any introduction. The incredibly prolific author of such series as Goosebumps and Fear Street, not to mention the Fear Street Reboot and some adult titles as well, Stine’s been around for a while and integral to the formation of horror love for many people my age. Sometimes ridiculous, sometimes creepy, always some of the most excellent deaths in YA, Stine is a mainstay in the young adult horror world and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

The Blurb:

The lifeguards at North Beach Country Club know they’re lucky. While other kids are flipping burgers, they’re sunning themselves by day and partying by night. So what if some people say the place is cursed, haunted. This is the life!

And then, one by one, the lifeguards start to die horrible deaths. Someone – or something – evil is stalking them. They all know how to save other people’s lives . . . But who will save theirs?

DUN DUN DUN.

The Place:

North Beach Country Club in Random Place, USA, with a cameo appearance of Fear Street for about a nanosecond. Where is Fear Street supposed to be, anyway? I’m under the vague impression it’s Long Island, but I could be really wrong there.

[Wing: There is a lot of debate about this. The consensus seems to be Ohio most of the time, but that often doesn’t make sense in the summer books that involve a beach.]

READ AT DEVIL’S ELBOW

Posted in Fear Street

Fear Street Super Chiller #12: High Tide by R.L. Stine

Fear Street Super Chiller 12 High Tide by R L Stine
Fear Street Super Chiller 12 High Tide by R L Stine

Title: Fear Street Super Chiller #12 – High Tide, a.k.a. “Wave Race: Blood Storm”

Author: R.L. Stine

Cover Artist: Bill Schmidt

Tagline: A lifeguard’s job can be murder…

Summary: Blood on the water…

Adam Malfitano still has nightmares about the night his girlfriend, Mitzi, died. He sees the blood. He sees her in the water. He is a lifeguard, and he can’t save her. He wakes up screaming.

Even worse, he has begun to see Mitzi while he is awake. He knows it is impossible… but she looks so real. He can see her face decaying. What does she want from him? Why won’t she leave him alone? He tried to save her – doesn’t she know that?

Initial Thoughts

IT’S SUMMERTIME AND YOU KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS GONNA HEAD DOWN TO THE BEACH GONNA DO SOME BEACHY THIIIIIIIIII-

Gaaah!

I, I’m so sorry for that.

Anyway, for the first day of summer I proposed doing a recap for one of the summertime Fear Street novels. I picked “High Tide” because I’ve re-read this one a few more times than the other Super Chiller books, but apparently my memory was shoddy because WOW. The narration is shared by two characters in this book and one of them is about as frustrating as Darryl Hoode from the “Fear Hall” books. Had I remembered him I would’ve suggested something else, but I’d already re-read the book for the recap. And I’ll be honest, the big fight scene at the end is fucking ridiculous and amazing.

And as a special note, for the first time ever I will be using the phrase “The Muffin Man,” a time-honored Point Horror tradition, to refer to a character in an incredibly frustrating segment since they’re never referred to by name.

[Wing: Happy summer! Happy birthday, Sister Canary! Happy Needlessly Dramatic Cliffhanger Chapter Endings. (I assume, I haven’t read it yet at this point.]

READ AT DEVIL’S ELBOW

Posted in Nightmare Hall

Nightmare Hall #13: Monster by Diane Hoh/Barbara Steiner

Nightmare Hall - Monster by Diane Hoh
Nightmare Hall – Monster by Diane Hoh

Title: Nightmare Hall #13: Monster

Summary: Rumors are flying around Salem U. Stories about a monster roaming the campus. Tales of students viciously attacked in the dead of night. Abby McDonald thinks it’s all nonsense. A fraternity prank. A drama major giving an unusual “performance”. She has too much on her mind to worry about a monster. But she should be worried. Because the truth about the monster is even more horrible than she could have imagined….

Tagline: None

Notes: I will refer to the bad guy as…wait for it…the monster!

Initial Thoughts

Diane Hoh is missing in action again this round, but thankfully, so is Nola Thacker! This time our ghostwriter is none other than Barbara Steiner, who released a few Point horror books (The Phantom, The Mummy, Spring Break) back in the day, but was actually quite prolific in teen YA horror fiction, with a bunch of titles written for the publisher Avon Flare (The Dreamstalker, The Photographer, The Photographer II: Dark Room, Night Cries, Deathline, The Coffin, and the Dark Chronicles trilogy, The Dance, The Gallery and The Calling). I’ve read them all, except for The Coffin and The Calling, and have always found her to be a rather “meh” writer. I remember “meh” being my overall reaction when I read this for the first time in my teens, although I can’t remember much else about it. She can’t be worse than Thacker, though, can she?

[Wing: I liked most of The Phantom, which may be the only book of hers I’ve read, but she did not pull off the ending, so I don’t have high hopes. Especially because with a title and a summary like that, I want this to be a werewolf book. It’s probably not a werewolf book. I’m already primed to be disappointed.]

READ AT DEVIL’S ELBOW

Posted in Sweet Valley

Sweet Valley Twins Podcast 27: Mademoiselle Jessica

Wing, Raven and Dove talk about Sweet Valley Twins 46: Mademoiselle Jessica. They also discuss Bleak Valley and how the book ties into this theory.

Music is provided by Stuart Taylor, who can be contacted on taylorstuart602@gmail.com 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_)

Posted in The Baby-Sitters Club

Baby-Sitters Club #6: Kristy’s Big Day by Ann M. Martin

The Baby-sitters Club #6: Kristy’s Big Day by Ann M. Martin

Title: Kristy’s Big Day

Summary: Kristy’s mom is getting married, and Kristy’s a bridesmaid. The only trouble is, fourteen little kids are coming to the wedding, and they all need baby-sitters. Here comes the Baby-sitters Club!

Stacey, Claudia, Mary Anne, Dawn, and Kristy think they can handle fourteen kids. But that’s before they spend five days changing diapers, stopping fights, solving mix-ups, righting wrongs…and getting sick and tired of baby-sitting!

One thing’s for sure. This is a crazy way to have a wedding. But it’s a great way to have a lot of fun!

Tagline: Kristy’s a baby-sitter—and a bridesmaid, too!

Initial Thoughts

Going in, all I could really remember about this one was that they ran a sort of summer camp for children, and were looking after so many of them at once that they had to divide them into groups.

I wasn’t a very wedding-enthusiastic child. I mean, it wouldn’t have thrilled me to be a bridesmaid, and I found it incredibly tedious to have to attend weddings. Even so, it’s weird how I apparently completely forgot every single thing about the wedding part of the plot.

Also, I’ve read this book probably a dozen times, and only just now noticed how odd that title is; it makes it sound like Kristy’s the one getting married.

[Wing: That’s a really good point about the title. I’m still not a big wedding person, though I’ve had fun at them over the years. I like planning things for them, though. Best wedding story: I set some church drapes on fire once when I was a kid. I’m guessing that’ll be a surprise to absolutely no one.]

[Dove: Well, I hadn’t noticed it before, but now the front cover does hint at child bride too.]

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Posted in Sweet Valley

Sweet Valley Twins #52: Booster Boycott

Sweet Valley Twins 52: Booster Boycott by Francine Pascal
Sweet Valley Twins 52: Booster Boycott by Francine Pascal

Title: Sweet Valley Twins #52: Booster Boycott

Summary: No boys allowed.

Winston Egbert wants to join the Boosters, Sweet Valley Middle School’s cheering squad. No way, the girls say! A boy as a cheerleader? So what if Winston happens to be a terrific gymnast? So what if he makes up fantastic cheers? Jessica Wakefield and the other Boosters vow they’ll do anything to keep Winston off the squad.

At first Winston endures the girls’ nasty pranks, Charlie Cashman’s bullying, and his classmates’ giggles. But something happens to make Winston give up for good!

When the state cheering competition arrives, the Boosters are surprised to see that almost every other squad has a boy as a member. Without Winston, they’re sure to lose! Is there any way the Boosters can get Winston back?

Tagline: Winston Egbert wants to join the Boosters! [Wing: We get it, book. WE GET IT.]

Initial Thoughts

Oh, good, I bet this book is filled with gender essentialism. Y’all know how much I love that. BOYS? In CHEERLEADING? Heaven forbid.

READ AT SWEETVALLEY.ONLINE