Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Mystery #14: Stacey and the Mystery at the Mall
There's so much going on in this picture - all of it bad. Stacey's bangs have that distinctly crispy look to them (anyone who can remember the late 80s and early 90s knows a thing or two about crispy bangs), Claudia's flares are too short (sure, so were mine when I was a teenager, but I wasn't a baby fashionista who should really know better), and Zingy's is selling pink floral jumpers paired with long-sleeved white blouses. Isn't Zingy's supposed to be the Forever 21 of the Washington Mall? Not even Mallory would consider these duds trendy.

"She believes clothes should do more than cover our bodies and keep us warm. Instead, she sees dressing as one more creative outlet, and it shows. She always looks fabulous, and she never looks just like everyone else. She'll pair a long white shirt with a colorful vest, accessorize with handmade jewelry, pull her hair up into an outrageous ponytail, and look like a million dollars."

Girl slow down. What the heck is an outrageous ponytail? Is she wearing a Jem & the Holograms scrunchie? And where are her pants?

"'One of these days we're going to have to stay a little late and do some serious shopping,' said Claud, eyeing a white lace baby-doll dress. 'I'll ask my dad if he can pick us up one day next week.'"

Dude, can you even believe this book has the nerve to promise shopping and not deliver? You'd think you'd get at least one actual shopping trip in a Mystery at a Mall. But no. We get one lousy sentence about Stacey gazing "at a pair of black lace-up boots and wonder[ing] how they would look with this old-fashioned floral-print dress my mother had given me."

Not great. Now get shopping.

"The next day, Sunday, my friends and I headed over to the mall for the painting party. Charlie drove us in Watson's van. 'You guys sure look different from the last time I saw you,' he said as he dropped us off. It was true. That afternoon, we had been dressed in our best clothes. This time we were wearing stuff we'd found in the rag-bag. Claudia, for example, had wrapped a neon-pink bandana around her head, and she was wearing a humongous pair of overalls over an ancient striped T-shirt."

I don't know, Stace. That sounds like a pretty typical Claudia outfit to me.


  1. Not Kidding... the reference to Jem and the Holograms made my day. Not sure if that is an indication of an pathetic day or how freakin awesome Jem is.

  2. OK LOL at the "outrageous ponytail"
    Why had I not noticed that oxymoron before.

  3. WOW Stacey looks like a total she-dude in this cover.

    Epic fail, McGill.

  4. Sadly Hodges' covers never add up to the descriptions in the books. And yeah, what the hell is an outrageous ponytail? Aren't ponytails considered kind of a safe hairdo?

  5. Okay, I know I've mentioned this before, but I think it bears repeating. Why do the girls always look so ridiculously startled on the Mystery Series covers? Like... they're in the mall. What could they possibly be witnessing that has them so spooked? They always look like they've just spotted their grandma walking around... who has been dead for ten years.

  6. I always considered Zingy's to be more like a Spencers Gifts than Forever 21. Either way, the floral jumpers = not good.

    As far as outrageous ponytails go- I thought it was a nod to that stupid hairstyle that showed up in late 80s/early 90's YA where the girl will put her hair in a ponytail and then divide the tail into little braids. Or maybe they mean that Ashley/Mary Kate Olson circa 1997 look where they put their hair up then added a ton of bedazzled bobby pins to it.

  7. Watson drives a van? Times a little tough at the Brewer mansion?

  8. I too love the Jem reference - it's so true! Floral jumpers are definitely an epic fail.

    I always dislike how awful the illustrators made the girls look on the covers. Fashion plates? I think not!

  9. Zingy's is a punk clothing store at Washington Mall. The front half of a bright red convertible sits in the center of the store, and a fake brick wall separates the sales floor from the inventory.

    In #47, Mallory on Strike, Mallory coerces Jessi into trying on some black leather steel-toed work boots, but they have to leave the store before the salesman brings the shoes out.


    I love the comments as much as the blog posts. :) I read a few BSC books when trying to come up with a teen fiction novel idea once. Anyone can really write them as long as they know all 7 personalities and have a semblance of a plot. The characters are fairly well drawn.

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