Thursday, June 12, 2008

I was about going to leave Stoneybrooke forever.....BSC # 126: The All-New Mallory Pike

Memory Reaction

I never read this book when I was a kid, but I do remember seeing it in the store a while after I stopped reading the BSC. I think I even flipped through it to see if Mal really went to boarding school or if she went back to Stoneybrook in the end.

Revisited Reaction

This is all about Mal and her new boarding school. I guess all the details about her applying and deciding to go were dealt with in earlier books, because this book starts two days before Mallory leaves town. The place seems to be right up Mal’s alley – it is all girls and it has an emphasis on writing and the arts. She has a full scholarship, so we don’t have to ask how a family with eight kids could afford this.

Anyway, she gets to the school makes friends pretty easily, loves her new classes, thinks it is great, etc. The only problem is she has a crappy roommate, Alexis, and makes the problem worse by being passive-aggressive and not standing up for herself. But since Alexis is an actual psycho and not just a bitch, she does some physical damage to the room and the dean let Mallory switch to a new roommate. And with that Mal rides off into the sunset, never to be heard from again, I guess.

Meanwhile, at home there is tons of conflict at the Pike house because they all miss Mal so much. Just kidding! Obviously they don’t miss Mal. The conflict is that Mal going away leaves Vanessa in her own room. Vanessa loves this, but the other kids think it is not fair. Mr. and Mrs. Pike actively choose not to deal with it (seriously, they actually SAY they are not dealing with it), but the BSC steps in and come up with a solution. Byron and Nicky get one room, Jordan and Adam get another, and the remaining girls in a (presumably larger) third room.


• So, after her last BSC meeting, Mal is upset that everyone just casually says good-bye and runs out. But, they were just messing with her, they were going to set up her surprise party.

• Mal is allowed one trunk and one suitcase for ALL her stuff. She will be there a good four months, that doesn’t seem like much space. You are allowed as much stuff as you can cram into a dorm room in college.

• There is a chapter early on where the BSC reminisce about a bunch of the old Mallory books, like when she first joined or when she helped with some Arnold twins issue. It is all stuff that really happens, which means the ghostwriters must have done some actual research. Good for them.

• Mallory has her own e-mail address at school. It seems so wrong for the BSC to use e-mail.

• Even worse, instead of handwritten postcards/notebook entries at the beginning of each chapter, there are typed e-mails.

• Claire thinks that her parents are moving to Massachusetts with Mal. When she finds out they are coming home, she stops caring that Mal won’t be. Ha!

• Mallory is starting school in the middle of the year, so when she gets there her roommate already has her stuff everywhere. Instead of asking Alexis to move it, Mal just sets her stuff up in the tiny areas that are left over. THEN gets all upset about not having enough space.

• Alexis just starts making “room rules” like they will sleep with the window open, they won’t wear shoes in the room, and they will only study at certain times. Again, Mallory just says okay, than bitches about it later. Speak up, girl! And be grateful that you are only in sixth grade and don’t have to worry about getting “sexed out” of a room.

• Mallory still sucks at gym.

• Since Mallory hates Alexis, she starts avoiding her room whenever possible. Then doesn’t understand why Alexis is offended by her behavior.

• Mallory is really the only BSC member in this book, so all the outfits are her new boarding school friends/roommate. For instance, Alexis wears “her blonde hair was cut short and spiked with hair gel…she wore a black sweater, a shirt black skirt, and high-tops.”

• Alexis wants to lend Mallory a lime green turtleneck to wear instead of a navy blue sweater. Even Mal knows she is being called boring. But, I would think Mal would also be thrilled to wear something “cool” now that her parents aren’t watching what she puts on every day.

• Mallory’s new friend Sarah is an actress and dresses in “flowing purple clothes – a long skirt and a silky shirt that seemed to shimmer when she moved.”

• Mal also thinks Alexis is cool because she has a purple comforter. What is with the color purple symbolizing cool? The Sweet-Valley Twins did that too (the middle school version).

• All the buildings at Mal’s new school are names after famous females – Sojourner Truth, Amelia Earhart, Marie Curie. I actually think that is kind of cool.

• This school is pretty progressive, the classes are small, things are taught interdisciplinary-style, the teachers let students call them by their first names, etc. Again, I think it would have been pretty cool to go to a school like that.

• Okay, so even though Mal makes the roommate problem worse, Alexis is quite bitchy. She reads Mallory’s journal and then walks around quoting it.

• Alexis had been through two roommates before Mal showed up at the school in January. The teachers/heads knew she was a bitch to live with but stuck Mal with her anyway because she had a big family and they thought she could deal with it better than anyone else. I would be pissed if I knew the school had done that, but Mal just takes it.

• Mal has to do community service as a student of the school, and guess what she gets assigned? Yup, helping in the children’s room at the town public library.

• Hmmm, if Claudia is sending an e-mail to Mallory she has no excuse for spelling errors. It is called spell check. They even had it in the early nineties.

• Alexis gets mad and draws mustaches and devils horns on all of Mal’s pictures of the BSC. I kind of want to see that.

• This book really had no plot.

• I guess it is also the last we hear of Mal, which sucks for her. Even Dawn got books/appearances after she left for California.


Anonymous said...

I think Mal does make some apperances in the friends forever series, but it's mostly that she appears, doesn't say anything really, and does things off stage. make sense?

Donica said...

This is probably my favorite Mallory book. it's nice to see her independent instead of the oldest of eight kids and junior member of the bsc...

Anonymous said...

Never got to read this book . . . it sounds interesting though.

Sheesh Ann really hates Mal doesn't she? I mean she left SMS after being bullied, then gets stuck with a bitchy roommate. Then she's pretty much gone.

LOL at the messed up BSC pics, that would've been something.

BadKat said...

Sometimes I'm glad I outgrew the BSC early...

Anonymous said...

I agree with you, badkat :)

Anonymous said...

This book is after my time reading the BSC, but I did see it in the public library the other day. I thought about getting it out, but just couldn't quite bring myself to do it. This blog has made it OK for me to not do it now!

Mary Ann said...

I can't believe the BSC went all high-tech with the emails and stuff... weird.

Anonymous said...

This one was past my time... but I've been wanting to track it down and read it someday. But I agree that the BSC writing emails is just wrong.

I love how her "actress" friend wears long flowy purple clothes. Because that's "dramatic" just like her. Similar to how (from my limited exposure to her anyway) Abby's sister Anna always wears wool skirts or dresses because she's a musician.

Anonymous said...

Considering how much crap Mallory had to put up with, I'm really glad she got a happy ending, even if it was obviously just an excuse for the ghost writers to stop writing about her! Whatever happened to her boyfriend (Ben Hobart? How do I even remember this crap?) and Jessi?

BSC Snarker, aka Kristen said...

EMaus I am not sure if they even mentioned Ben in this book. Mal and Jessi do have a "tearful" goodbye scene, so I guess she is still around and still in the BSC without Mal. It must suck for Jessi after Mal left....those two were always lumped as a pair and only had any independent story in their own books.

Lisa said...

I just have to say I *heart* your blog, it's fantastic!

maria said...

I'm so sad that Mallory was kicked out of the series. :( Poor Jessi.
I'm glad she gets a happy ending.

I haven't read the BSC forever books.

I always wanted to see Mal and Jessi as grown up and gorgeous and with the older BSC members being impressed with them. (I know, lame) I always hated that they were always looked at as the young ones and hardly had any input. Even when the BSC had fights, Mal and Jessi stayed out of it.

Anonymous said...

This is when I knew I out grew BSC instead of facing her problems Mallory ran away. I'm not sure what that's suppose to teach you. If the bullying gets bad enough hope for a schlorship to a boarding school?

Sexy Sadie said...

I'm wondering if there was supposed to be a spin-off series about Mallory in boarding school that never went to fruition.

rebecca said...

i used to really like this book, because i used to always identify with mallory... looking back on that now, that's too depressing for words! wouldnt an email claudia sent be like completely different words because if shes apparently too dumb to spell 'how' she'd probably be too dumb to select the right words from the spell check option!!

Unknown said...

this is actually my favorite mallory book because finally the girl gets a much better ending. It seems as if Ann hates Mallory just like Lurlene hating Dawn Rochelle(there's gotta be one character who the author hates the most).

yeAh as i reread most of the later books it does kinda sucked that jessi, mal, shannon, abby, and the others, even cary retlin never get more of a background plot and stuff.

now that i think about it, mallory reminds me an awful lot about pheobe from hey arnold. only pheobe never gets a happier ending.

but im glad mallory has found happiness though in this book. If only they did make a series based on mallory and her life in riverbend. I wouldve loved reading more about her new life in massachusetts.

Anonymous said...

My life is almost exactly like Mallory's, except I have two older half-brothers instead of seven siblings. I have curly brown hair and glasses, while Mallory has curly red hair and glasses. I had braces for three years as well (I was only supposed to have them for 22 months; the orthodontist I had scammed us by not showing up when my braces were changed each month - he didn't show up for an entire year then when the 22 months were up mom asked to speak with the orthodontist and when she did she asked when I would have the braces removed; he then stated that I would have them for another year, even though my teeth were now perfectly aligned! Nobody understood why he did that, my dentist even said the braces should have been off after 22 months) and Mallory has braces as well (probably the same situation I had - an asshole orthodontist who decided to keep the braces on longer than needed).

I also love to read and write, like Mallory, but I don't like horse stories (I am good at writing, my best course in school was English - I always got A's).

And Mallory was called "Spaz Girl" and bullied viciously by her peers. I was called "Scary Terry" and bullied viciously by my peers, even though my name isn't even close to Terry (I don't know where they got that name from). Mallory ended up switching schools and so did I. When I moved, I was not bullied for three months, until one of the bullies transferred to the school I was now attending and told people to call me Scary Terry and even though I ignored it, the name calling and other things (like writing nasty things about me) spread like wildfire. I ended up developing Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder from it. I'm guessing Mallory did too.

I graduated in 2008 and a few years ago I found some of The Baby-Sitters Club books at a store that sells donated items. I got them since I needed a distraction from some things that were going on in my life at the time. I ended up reading the Mallory ones (since she was my favorite character - I didn't read the book that the name "Spaz Girl" started in until 2009, after I graduated High School) and I find it freaky that we have so much in common - it's almost as if Ann M. Martin wrote my life in her books, except my name isn't Mallory nor is it close to Mallory and it doesn't begin with an M either!