Monday, August 31, 2009

#59: Mallory Hates Boys (And Gym)

Tagline: Boys and gym. What a disgusting combination!

Cover: Mallory doesn't actually look too bad, as far as covers go. The uniform isn't hideous, and it's baggy, but I remember when that was in. The guys come off less favourably. Who likes short shorts? That guy out in front likes short shorts. The guy in the back is rocking some sort of mullet, and the guy in the back is oddly proportioned.

Plot: Mallory is having trouble with gym class. It's gone co-ed, and she doesn't get along with her gym teacher, and it's all a big mess. But then it turns out that she's good at archery, so everything works out in the end. Meanwhile, all the guys she knows, including her brothers and the guys in her gym class, are acting like jerks.

Points to consider:
  • Mallory just read about the word 'pandemonium,' and now she has a chance to use it in her daily life! Imagine that!
  • The rest of the Pikes turn this word into a game: Nicky thinks it's a disease, Claire thinks it's a panda, Vanessa thinks it sounds like dishwashing detergent.
  • We get another 'Byron-is-different' reminder.
  • Mrs. Pike asks Mallory to watch Claire while she makes some phone calls. Mallory kind of overreacts and gives us a speech about how her parents take advantage of her. She practically tells her mom to ask her during BSC hours. Also, does Mrs. Pike really need to arrange for care for Claire while she makes some phone calls? Couldn't she just like, I don't know, suggest Claire and Margo play together for while? Or set Claire up with a puzzle or something? It must be an important phone call.
  • Ben is totally Mark Darcy - he like Mallory just as she is.
  • Mallory's brothers start pulling pranks and stuff, so they go over to Ben's house, where she eats his chocolate cake. Dirty?
  • For once, Mallory points out that she and Kristy have the same amount of people in their families but she gets to live in a mansion. Work that indignation, Mallory!
  • Logan's mom calls to get a sitter from the BSC, and ends up with...Logan.
  • Mallory wears a one-piece denim jumpsuit to school.
  • I hated gym, so I kind of sympathize with Mallory. Kind of.
  • Heh. On her way to join her team, she suddenly becomes really aware of her arms, and isn't sure how to move them. Do you think 30 Rock writers were secret BSC fans?
  • By the end of Chapter 3, we have our central theme set up: Mallory hates boys. And gym.
  • Mrs. Newton gets her hair highlighted.
  • Mallory gets into a battle of wits with Jamie Newton. And loses. Poor Mallory!
  • Between gym class and babysitting, Mallory starts thinking that all boys are pains. And that's enough for her to come up with a theory - boys are pains.
  • I hated gym, but I was really good in volleyball. At least at an elementary grade level.
  • At least Mallory has the presence to realize that in the big picture, none of this matters.
  • At the next game, Mallory benches herself and refuses to play. So she gets detention. Why don't these girls ever TALK to anyone about their problems? I mean, not that it would do any good in this case, but at least it would mean that she would stop coming up with ridiculous plans.
  • After acknowledging that Ben, the rest of the Hobarts, and Logan aren't jerks like the rest of the guys she knows, Mallory decides that only guys native to Stoneybrook are pains. But what about Logan's brother? He was described as being a pain, too. This theory has flaws.
  • And then she decides to blame it all on gym. Does Mallory have this poor of a grip on reality in all of the books she narrates?
  • Mallory commits mail fraud when the detention notices start coming to her house; she hids them from her parents.
  • Ms. Walden, the gym teacher, tries to talk to Mallory about her problem with gym, but Mallory decides she'd rather take detention. So Ms. Walden has Mallory wash all of the pinneys. And that's what I remember most from this book.
  • Stacey comes up with a mathematical way to say that Mallory's theory is full of crap.
  • People are always shooting people a Look in these books. What's with the random capitalization?
  • The Pike boys and the Hobart boys (minus Ben) switch places, and Mallory thinks that she'll have a night of peace and quiet. Instead, the boys act wild. There goes your theory, Mal! I can't believe there was a whole book about this.
  • While over at the Hobarts, Adam discussed the plight of the Zuni people (no, those are not my words), Byron talked about the Pike lending library, and Jordan played piano, and Nicky loved Mr. Hobart's slideshow of Australia. I wish we'd seen those chapters.
  • Mallory goes to Ms. Walden and asks for extra help in gym. Ms. Walden shoots her down, because she doesn't want to take anyone out of the game. Why would it be during gym class, though? Couldn't it be like, after school? Couldn't someone like Kristy do it?
  • Volleyball is over about one class after Mal and Ms. Walden talk. Then it's archery. In the first class, one guy gets his finger sliced open by an arrow...and Mal says she can sympathize, because she's had a paper cut. Uh, what?
  • SMS has an archery team?
  • Anyway, Mallory tries out for it and makes it, and when she gets home the Pikes have a cake for her and it says CONGRADULATIONS. And that messed me up on spelling it for a long time.
Final thought: Despite having a lot of the Hobarts, there is a remarkable lack of "Australian" talking (where the writers try to spell out "roit" or "Hoi Melry."


Sarah said...

Haha! Thanks for the 30 Rock reference. I totally got a flah of Jack walking awkwardly around the room when I read that. Now I want to go watch that episode.

Emily said...

I was terrible at volleyball, and I wish I'd thought to pull some Mallory-like stunts when I had to play it in gym! Seriously, the whole thing was a nightmare...

nikki said...

On my last post, I commented about how Claudia and Mean Janine is a terrible title, because it's not true to the book. Probably the best thing you can say about Mallory Hates Boys (And Gym) is that at least the title isn't a lie.

Also, I love when we get to hear,'Byron is different.' Because Gay Byron IS canon.

Sadako said...

"Logan's mom calls to get a sitter from the BSC, and ends up with...Logan."

I know. Wouldn't, "Hey, [Mallory/Logan/Kristy/Jessi], would you mind watching the kids Saturday when we go [antiquing/rose gardening/shopping for a birth control that works]?" be acceptable?

I love how uber stereotypical the gym teacher is. :D