Saturday, January 19, 2008

The Gymnasts #1 The Beginners

Ever since I was little, I have loved watching the gymnastics competitions on TV. I remember my best friend when I was in grade school and I playing gymnasts on my swingset. So, I was thrilled when a box of old books arrived from my cousins containing 8 Gymnasts books. I totally loved them, and now wish that I hadn't given mine away. What the hell is wrong with me?

Anyway, my crappy library still had a few of this series left, so I decided to start at the first one. This book isn't as great as the rest of them because it's mostly just introducing the characters, but there's still some bitchy Becky tricks. Awesome.

So, this book is narrated by Lauren Baca, and opens with her in the car being driven to her first gymnastics class by her best friend Cindi Jockett's older brother. Lauren informs us that Cindi's whole family is athletic, but that she (Lauren) isn't really. She says that she and Cindi used to take gymnastics lessons together, but she worried she wouldn't be good enough so she quit. Lauren also claims that everything is a proven fact. I don't know how I feel about Lauren, she's kind of annoying, but not too bad. Lauren describes herself as short and not skinny, but not fat, more muscular. She has her hair in a short pixie cut. Cindi, however, is really tall, which sucks for a gymnast. Haha, for once my lack of height would come in handy for a sport!

Blah blah, they arrive and the place looks like a total secret child molester factory, being that it's a dilapidated old warehouse. They meet a tall black girl named Darlene in the front. Lauren describes Darlene's hair as really short on one side, but long on the other. Hawt! Darlene is also wearing purple lipstick and nailpolish. It's a proven fact that she might look like she got in a fight with some grape juice, but Lauren thinks she looks sophisticated. Uh-oh, Ann M. Martin's favorite word!

Anyway, they go and change and Lauren is wearing by far the sexiest leotard ever, no joke. It's pink with gold and green butterflies, but Lauren describes them as not sweet little butterflies but "giant flying insects parading across her chest." Super sexy! It's a proven fact that I love giant flying insects on my boobies! Not.

So the trio comes out of the locker room and immediately get a video camera shoved in their faces. If you think that sucks, wait until you read about the biotch on the other side. That biotch would be Becky, who is really pretty, really awesome at gymnastics, and a complete asshat. I can totally picture Becky as having bitchface. Indeed, it's a proven fact that Becky has bitchface. Also, her last name is Dyson, and I totally picture a vacuum cleaner every time. Hee.

The girls meet the fourth member of their team, a girl named Jodi whose mother is the other gymnastics coach there. It's a proven fact that nepotism will get Jodi on the team. Eh, maybe, not, Jodi's supposed to be good but just has no control. It's a proven fact that Jodi has some attention issues, as she feels she basically needs an engraved invitation when Lauren invites the other girls to her house later on.

Patrick, their coach, sounds pretty hot. It's a proven fact that I'd hit that. He tests the girls on their abilities, and Lauren sucks, but Patrick thinks she has potential. He forms the four girls in one team, which he calls the Pinecones, because they're the lowest level at the Evergreen Gymnastics Academy. It's a proven fact that the name is half clever, half dumb.

At a different practice a few weeks later, Becky hands Lauren a tape she made of all the times she messed up. Becky sucks. Lauren turns it around on her, though, by telling Becky it was a great learning experience and making all of Becky's friends jealous. It's a proven fact that Lauren kind of rocked there. Darlene confesses in private to the other Pinecones that her father is some fictional famous football player and he uses tapes of his mistakes to learn from all the time.

The Pinecones work harder, and soon it's time for their first exhibition for their parents, showcasing what they know. They'll also be evaluated and given scores by judges. Becky the ho tells Lauren to bends her arms during the vault and to use lots of chalk. It's a proven fact that bending your arms will not propel you over the vault and that lots of chalk dust will cause you to slide. Lauren doesn't fall for the first one, but does for the second. She slides and totally crashes. I'd kick Becky in the face, but Lauren just gets up and does her second vault awesomely. I guess that's good revenge, too, but a kick in the face is sometimes necessary. Lauren does get Becky back by putting tons of chalk dust on her hands and slapping Becky on the ass of her green leotard right before she has to perform. It's a proven fact that now everyone knows Lauren groped Becky, but they all laugh because of the chalk mark instead. Becky slips on her ass, and I laugh.

Front cover. From left: Jodi, Darlene, Cindi, and Lauren. Cindi has some massive side ponytail, man. She is rocking that thing. Darlene's hair looks all the same length to me, which is disappointing. Lauren is totes Cindy Williams.

I guess what looked on the front cover as a half ponytail on Jodi is really just a super perky full ponytail. Also, she's pretty stacked for an 11 year old. Cindi looks way ugly in the face, and has something weird going on with her vag. Lauren looks about 5, and has some weird ass bumps all over her body. She should get that shit checked out, yo.

Sorry the spacing's messed up on this, Blogger's being dumb.


troy steele said...

That one girl on the back cover really knows how to have fun

It's really sort of amazing that a children's activity that only parents watch/care about is the subject of a series of books. Scholastic was really in the "Release Anything" mode in the early 90s

snappleaddict said...

I guess the "Release Anything" mode is the only way to explain Lurlene McDaniel books!

P.S. Love the Goosebumps blog!

Lauren said...

I loved this series! It was just kind of frustrating because I was the same age as these girls when I read these books, and I was taking gymnastics and was obsessed with the sport, and it KILLED me that everything came so easily to them. I felt like a freak because even their struggles made my best days look bad.

snappleaddict said...

True! They never really talked about the girls not being able to do something, and if they did, then the girls got it down in like a week. They're the fastest learning gymnasts I know!

I was into dance, and it amazed me that Jessi from the BSC could be starring in so many shows at the age of 11.

Rita said...

Oh My God. I read this long ago and had forgotten all about it! Except while I was reading your recap, I thought about a chalk handprint and lo and behold I got to that part and was really excited that it was in that book! That's the only part I remembered.

Anonymous said...

Heeeeeeee!!!! This is fucking AWESOME!!!

I read these books before I started studying Japanese, so it's only now I'm rereading them that I'm realising that Lauren's last name is Japanese for "dumbass".

Cindi looks like the girls in . And I used to be wicked confused over who the redhead was, because in the book where Jodi gets all pissy at everyone because her mum's getting remarried, people joke that "red hair = hot temper".

It's a proven fact that I love giant flying insects on my boobies! Not.


Anonymous said...

The fuck?

I was trying to say that Cindi looks like the girls in this retardedass advert for Japan Railways.

Anonymous said...

Also, Dyson vacuum cleaners totes make me think of Becky.

Anonymous said...