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review 2018-10-22 20:23
First Date by R.L Stine
First Date - R.L. Stine

Here we are again with body shaming, and shaming curly hair again as well (come on, what is so wrong with curly hair R.L Stine!?)

 

R.L Stine is huge with rape culture in his teen books. Yikes. I did not notice this when I read them as a preteen/teenager. It happens three times in this book. With the boys in the car, two guys in Chelsea's workplace and that scene with a drunk Sparks. (more details below) These are terrifying real-world situation that no person wants to be in. There is also an instance where they call another girl a tramp, so we've got slut shaming, too.

 


Body shaming:

The mom going "you're attractive... if you lost a bit of weight...and put on lipstick"

Um NO... you can call a person pretty, regardless of their body weight. That is a good way to mess your kid up. I can relate to having someone in the family always bringing up weight. It is really painful when the shaming comes from the last people who should ever shame you and can leave lasting damage.

I can also relate to having someone always trying to get me to put on makeup. "Oh hey, if you just put on a little makeup." or "Here, let me show you how to fix your hair." No, mom, you might mean well, but I'm fine the way I am, thanks. I'm an adult now, so I think I can figure out how I want to do my hair or if I want to wear makeup or not. (Spoiler, I don't 99% of the time!)

 

Don't do this. If you try to force someone to change their looks (by adding makeup..etc) when they don't want to, you are basically telling them they are not good enough the way they are.

Throughout the book, her weight and looks are mentioned. There is also a scene where she compares her lunch (a normal size lunch!) to Nina's lunch of yogurt and an apple, saying "Nina is going to think I'msoooo fat, but if I only eat what she has, I will be starving!"

(spoiler show)


Rape culture:

I'm not writing this word for word... but you get it.

Boy: How about a date?
Other boy: Plenty of room in here.
*boys laugh and make kissing sounds*
Boy: We're great. We're really great.
Other boy: Bet you're great, too.
Chelsea: Leave me alone!
Boy: Aww, that's not friendly?
Other boy: Don't you want to be friendly?
Chelsea: I'm warning you!
Boy: Aww, she's getting steamed
Other boy: That's not friendly!

This is rape culture. You know what these boys are doing and what they wanted to do to Chelsea, whether they would go through with anything or not is beside the point. It is disgusting that anyone would act like this.

Also, two guys do about the same thing to her when she is alone in her workplace.

Happens again later on when Sparks tells her to "be friendly" while he's basically chasing her around her workplace, saying and doing creepy things. He is also drunk.

(spoiler show)

 

Slut shaming:

Nina (The main character's oh-so-skinny friend) believes her boyfriend is going to leave her, because she sees him talking to another girl named Suki. Oh, the horrors! You know, he could have been asking help with homework, or Suki could be his friend, but no, jump straight to "he's cheating"

Nina says "Suki is such a huge tramp!" (I read another R.L Stine book that has Suki mentioned. She is kind of a stereotypical "hard rock bad girl" or maybe Goth (I can't remember) and acts/dresses differently and apparently has a reputation for sleeping around but it only feels this is so because of how Suki is stereotyped. In the other book, she is also treated the same way.)

(spoiler show)


I still love these books; yeah, I have a blind spot for them. I know they are outdated and problematic by today's standards. I'm reading them through nostalgia-colored glasses.

 

Afterthought: I just want to point out that the main character is mentioned as being "chubby" and the bad guy says she is "dark and chubby. Not real pretty but she's okay." The book talks about "fixing" her up by straightening her hair, wearing makeup and losing a few pounds.

 

These 80s & 90s teen books probably made a lot of people feel bad. Or if you were like me, you would just overlook the problematic stuff; it just went right over my head.

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text 2018-10-04 13:00
~The Babysitter~

"Girls, I am not sure it is a great idea to read this book to you while I'm babysitting!"

 

 

 

"Who brought the random head?"

 

 

"I guess we can read this, but you sure you don't want to pick another book?"

 

"What are you whispering about, Belle? Pay attention! You guys asked for this, after all."

 

"Hope, Alice... this is too scary for you, right? Fine...fine, I'll read it!"

 

 

The dolls are:

 

Aimerai: Belle (1/6 Scale) - Name: Alice


Doll Love: Fuyumi (1/6 Scale) - Name: Annabelle



IslandDoll: Aurora (1/3 Scale) - Name: Lucy



Gem of Doll: Yummy 1 (1/12 Scale) - Name: Hope

 

Doll Family H: Xiao Xin (1/3 Scale) - Name: Cole [Needs Body]

(spoiler show)

 

 

 

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text 2018-09-06 17:57
Happy Go Read A Book Day!

Today, Sept 6 is "Read A Book Day."

 

Don't you know every day is a read a book day!? *cough* unless I'm "procrastinating". Go read a book! I finished a book, so I successfully celebrated the holiday. lol

 

It is also funny that today is also "Fight Procrastination Day" (Success here, too, considering I finished my book!)

 

The book I finished today was Bad Moonlight by R.L. Stine for the Horror Aficionados Goodreads group: R L Stine Fear Street Challenge group buddy read. There aren't very many of us doing this buddy read. I'm sure we'd all like more fresh blood reading along. We've got books picked out for the rest of the year and are probably going to continue to read books next year. I'm always the one behind on the challenge, but I'm caught up now!

 

176343

 

Other random holidays of today:

 

Barbie Doll Day (Barbie first went on sale on this day in 1959.), Coffee Ice Cream Day, Great Egg Toss Day, and on a more serious note, Stillbirth Remembrance Day.

 

Interesting history of this day:

 

1870 - A Woman casts her Vote in the US for the first time.

 

Louisa Ann Swain voted during state elections in the state of Wyoming. Although women weren’t extended the right to vote in the US until 1920, the governor of Wyoming, John A. Campbell, had signed a bill that gave women the right to vote on December 13, 1869. This meant that women could vote in local and state elections, but not country-wide elections.

 

 

For some reason, I ended up looking up random things and here we are. You're welcome.

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text 2018-08-16 21:24
Recently Read
Halloween Party - R.L. Stine
The Secret Bedroom - R.L. Stine
milk and honey - rupi kaur
Frindle - Andrew Clements,Brian Selznick
Coraline - Neil Gaiman,Dave McKean
And Tango Makes Three - Justin Richardson,Henry Cole,Peter Parnell
Julia’s House for Lost Creatures - Ben Hatke
The Sleepwalker - R.L. Stine
This Star Won't Go Out: The Life and Words of Esther Grace Earl by Earl, Esther Earl Lori Earl Wayne (2014) Paperback - Esther Earl Lori Earl Wayne Earl

For anyone curious, here is my most recent read books!

176271 Halloween Party by R L Stine [3/5 stars]

I'm really torn on what to rate this book. In many ways it is outdated and problematic, but the nostalgia factor hangs on really tightly to me. I've probably read it at least a few times since I was a preteen. This read through was the slowest I've ever read one of these books; it wasn't engaging me.

Started: July 2 Ended: Aug 2

Read for R L Stine: Fear Street Challenge (June book - was behind)

176577

 

The Secret Bedroom by R L Stine [3/5 stars]

I read it in one day. Some of his books are like candy, though that might be the nostalgia speaking. I felt a lot more engaged in this book. I really must say that I hated the mean girl aspect, which seems to show up in most RL's books. Also, why do the mean girls have to be redheads?! (Are we really seen as mean, stuck up people?)

Started: Aug 2 Ended: Aug 2

Read for R L Stine: Fear Street Challenge (July book - was behind)

23513349

milk and honey by rupi kaur [4/5 stars]

I started this one on a whim after getting the Scribd subscription. I listened to the author "perform" these poems with the audiobook while reading the physical copy. That heightened my enjoyment of the collection. Some are very hard to hear/read and deal with abuse, sexual abuse and other things people might find triggering.

Started: Aug 8 Ended: Aug 8

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Frindle by Andrew Clements [4/5 stars]

Another book I started on a whim after getting Scribd. Nostalgic book. I enjoyed the story very much, but not sure how to rate it. Child me would probably say it is a 5 star. I'm not afraid to admit there were a couple parts that made me choke up in a happy way, especially the ending, which I adored. Is this book farfetched? Maybe, but I love that it might give kids and kids at heart a feeling that anything is possible.

Started: Aug 8 Ended: Aug 8

589836

Coraline by Neil Gaiman [5/5 stars]

I read the 10th anniversrary copy on Scribd. The 10th Anniversary Edition does not really offer that much more, so if you already own a copy of the book, I wouldn't suggest you buy the 10th Anniversary Edition, too. Unless of course you want to collect everything Neil Gaiman (I know some people like to collect multiple copies of the same book...etc.) This is my second time reading it. I still love the story (I even love the movie more. Shh, don't tell anyone.)

Started: Aug 8 Ended: Aug 8

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And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson [5/5 stars]

Ahhhh I love this picture book!

Started Aug 9 Ended: Aug 9

20388087

Julia's House for Lost Creatures by Ben Hatke [4/5 stars]

I am proud to be an adult who still loves and finds comfort in books published/meant for children. I don't think books should have age limits anyway. This little picture book was very cute.

Started: Aug 10 Ended: Aug 10

176690

The Sleepwalker by R L Stine [4/5 stars]

I really liked this one. I read it as a preteen, but I couldn't remember the plot twist. My only reason for not giving it 5 stars is how R L Stine always writesa male characters who think they are entitled to the girl character and how the boy treated the girl when she turned him down. Very problematic element. Rape vibes and abusive treatment.

Especially, considering how she ends up getting back with that boy and they joke around with "maybe I like creepy guys." Uh...no thank you! People, please don't stay with a person who treats you how Link treated Mayra. His actions were way over the line, he even threatened her with the "you'll be sorry" line.

(spoiler show)

Started: Aug 13 Ended: Aug 14

Read for R L Stine: Fear Street Challenge (August book)

17675031

This Star Won't Go Out by Esther, Wayne, Lori Earl, with parts written by friends and family. [3/5 stars]

I don't know how to sum up my feelings about this book. I've read it twice. I started it again this "Esther Day" in her honor. It is hard to read and heartbreaking because you know the end before you start.

5 stars for my feels for Esther for sure. 3/3.5 for the layout/presentation of the book.(All the pictures and drawings were great, though.) It was confusing in parts and if I was clueless about all the references, I'm not sure I would have understood much. I relate to Esther and her Nerdfighter ways, love of Harry Potter...etc. She was a great girl that we lost too soon.

Started: Aug 3 Ended: Aug 16th

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text 2018-08-09 21:08
Paperback Crush - Am I dreaming?
Paperback Crush: The Totally Radical History Of 80’s and 90’s Teen Fiction - Gabrielle Moss
The Dead Girlfriend (Point Horror) - R.L. Stine
Poor Mallory! (The Baby-Sitters Club, #39) - Ann M. Martin
Sweet Valley High Collection: Heartbreaker, Racing Hearts, Wrong Kind of Girl - Francine Pascal,Kate William
The Immortal - Christopher Pike

I haven't been a professional bookseller all that long, but its still easy to get jaded about all the arcs that come in every month, but sometimes something like this book happens!

 

As a thirty-something woman who read everything he could get his hands on growing up, and that included Sweet Valley High and Baby-sitter's Club, this book is pure nostalgic gold. And while they might not have been great, sometimes those pink and lavender covers had some meat in them! Heck, I still will look twice at any old Apple Paperback, etc. title at a book sale just in case its offers up some vintage goodness.

 

This will be a lot of fun and I'm hoping Quirk is planning on a boy-series retrospective, too.

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