December 2010 archive

Review: The Other Side by J.D. Robb et al


The Other Side I picked up this anthology because I love J.D. Robb’s Eve Dallas series and was particularly intrigued by the Eve Dallas novella included in this anthology. Have you ever wondered what Eve Dallas would be like if she were possessed by a 90-year-old Romanian woman? She even learns how to make goulash! This definitely does not disappoint. The ones by Ruth Ryan Langan and Mary Kay McComas are cutesy ghost stories, but Patricia Gaffney’s contribution to the anthology—a ghost story, yes, but so beautifully written that it made me miss the splendid Wyckerley novels she wrote back in the days. *Sigh* The one story that intrigued me and made me chuckle at the same time, however, was the novella contributed by Mary Blayney— a Freaky Friday gimmick that involves the switching of the bodies of a husband and wife… in Regency England. I don’t know if there are any books that contain this trope in Romancelandia—and please, give me some titles if you can think of any—and this might be the first time I’ve ever seen in it. Good times. Anyway, let’s break it down.


Review: Mary Anne + Too Many Babies by Ann M. Martin


Mary Anne + Too Many Babies The tag-line for this book is “How much trouble can a bunch of babies be?” Oh, Mary Anne, you’re a professional babysitter. You know exactly how much trouble they would be. For those of you who don’t know who Mary Anne Spier is, she is the best friend of the founder of the Babysitters’ Club, Kristy Thomas, and one of its original members. What is the Babysitters’ Club, you ask? The BSC was a business venture hatched by Kristy Thomas when she saw how hard it was for her mother to find babysitter. Kristy figured, why call around looking for a babysitter when you can call one number and reach all seven at once? The original members of the BSC include: Kristy Thomas (the Innovator, softball coach, and lover of turtlenecks, jeans, and baseball caps), Claudia Kishi (junkfood junkie, slob, fashion plate, “not very good at school,” Token Asian), Stacey McGill (sophisticated, diabetic, fashion junkie, best friend to Claudia, New York native), and Mary Anne Spier (dead mom, best friend to Kristy, the first one in the BSC to have a real steady boyfriend, former wallpaper, suffers from self-esteem issues). The four of them are all thirteen years old, in the eighth grade, and attend Stoneybrook Middle School. They are FOREVER going to be thirteen years old and in the eighth grade. They will never grow up, go to college, get out of the babysitting gig and Stoneybrook… *sobs* The BSC later on expands to include Dawn Schaeffer (displaced Californian, dirty hippie, healthfood junkie, possibly token Democrat), who is Mary Anne’s step-sister; there is also Jesse Ramsey (ballet dancer, former babysitting charge, Token Black Girl), and Mallory Pike (redhead, braces, oldest child in a family with eight kids, loves ponies, best friend of Jesse). The members of the BSC meet on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, from 5:30 to 6 PM; the meetings are held in Claudia’s room because she is the only one with her own phone (with its own phone number and line), and every week, Stacey the club’s treasurer collects dues from the other girls, which they compile to buy things that the club needs like junk food, paying for Claudia’s phone bill, and replenishing the Kid Kits (another one of Kristy Thomas’ bright idea). They don’t have to share the money they get from their babysitting jobs, but they do have to pay taxes dues. Got it now?