This has got to be one of the best Girl Talk books, not because it's actually good, but because it's so easy to make fun of. I laugh so hard every time I read it, seriously. Even the author knows that Randy is really a man, because the insinuations are numerous.
Randy really isn't my favorite character, but I don't hate her as much as Allison. She just has a lot of things about her that I find annoying, and seems too much of a stereotype of a non-conformist badass. Except she's not a badass. I don't know, you'll get it more as the book goes on.
The book opens with Randy's Italian teacher yelling at her for drumming in class. Randy's all pissed about it, but come on. Banging the desk with pencils during class would be annoying as shit. I get it that Randy's a musician and all, but if a member of the band pulled out their trumpet and started randomly blaring it in class it would be super annoying. Funny at times, I'm sure, but still annoying. So Randy - STFU.
Anyway, Randy decided to take Italian class because she used to see Italian films with her video and music director dad and because she likes Italian food. I've seen My Big Fat Greek Wedding a million times and love gyros, but I'm not about to learn Greek. Randy's dumb. The author agrees, because as soon as Randy leaves class she meets up with Sabrina. Yay! I find that I love Sabrina even more in books not about her, because she totally saves the book. Sabrina is all excited about the upcoming Battle of the Bands, which gets Randy thinking about what it would be like. She and Sabrina leave for their separate classes, and Randy spends all of Miss Munson's class daydreaming about the Battle of the Bands, hereby known as BotB. Her old school in New York never had one, so it can't be that cool. Another thing that pisses me off about Randy: she always talks about how New York is so much better than Acorn Falls. Go live with your dad then, ho!
Oh crap. Randy meets Allison in the hallway after class. Katie's there too, and they start talking about the BotB. Katie asks Allison if she's going to go, and Allison says she doesn't know because she may have to be spending that night reliving the time when she read over 100 books during the summer. Okay, she really said she just hadn't thought about it, I lied. I think my dialogue for Allison is better than what she really says, though. Randy tells her she can't sit at home and be lame, so Katie decides that they're all going. Sabrina the Fabulous joins them then and is super happy to find out that they're going. She asks Randy is her friend Spike's band is going to play. Randy doesn't know. Spike was one of the first people that Randy met when she moved to Acorn Falls, and she says his band is surprisingly good. Why surprisingly? Because they're in Acorn Falls, that's why. Good bands can only come from major cities, didn't you know? That's why Violet had to move to New York from New Jersey in Coyote Ugly. She knew that any songs written in New Jersey would not be accepted.
End sarcasm. Randy says there's only one other decent band in Acorn Falls besides Spike's band, and that's a band called Iron Wombat. If you are in a band, please name it that. I'd love you forever. Randy wonders if the BotB will be any good.
Randy is at home after school preparing to leave for the supermarket when her mom, M, calls after her and asks her to get more newspapers. Yes, she calls her mom M and her dad D. I call Randy L for LAME! M is an artist and she's in a papier mache phase right now. Is she building a jaguar? Can Tess help? They live in a converted barn that actually sounds pretty cool. I'd rather live in an old warehouse like my ho Alex Owens and run in place to "Maniac," though.
Randy skateboards to the grocery store, which is just so dumb. Who takes their skateboard there when they're going to be returning with bags of groceries? Stupid Randy. She sees Sabrina and her dad in the produce section. Sabrina is on a new diet, where she only eats kiwis and mangoes for 10 days. Fun? I'd rather have a cheeseburger diet. Sabrina is horrified to hear that Randy has gone grocery shopping while she's hungry, but Randy doesn't see the big deal until she almost buys a frozen pizza. Oh, the horrors! M doesn't like them to eat anything that isn't healthy. Pizza can be healthy! Sabrina's dad meets her at the checkout and asks if she wants a ride home. Randy declines because she wants to skateboard while it's still clear out. Dummy. As they are all exiting the store, Sabrina sees an ad for a guy named Troy Tanner, who is looking for a drummer for his band. Troy is the lead guitarist and singer for Iron Wombat! Sabrina makes Randy take one of the slips with his number on it, even though Randy says she's not into groups and clubs and stuff. Stop being a loner, Randy. She skateboards home and thinks about Iron Wombat. Their music is awesome, but their lyrics are awful. She decides that she would rather play drums by herself.
Randy gets home, and M tells her that her friend from New York, Sheck, called. Randy calls him back and tells him about the BotB and Iron Wombat. He convinces her togive Iron Wombat a chance and at least audition. She relents, and decides to call Troy Tanner after dinner. Sheck totally wants Randy, btw, you can so tell. Anyone who has read all of these books, do they get together later on? If not, then they need to. Well, if Randy was a girl, that is.
M drives Randy after school the next day to Troy Tanner's place for her audition. Troy answers the door, and is shocked to see that Randy is a girl. Well, at least dressed like one. He assumed she was a man because or her name and because she has a really deep voice. I totally choked I was laughing so hard after I read that. Troy doesn't want a girl in his band, but the other members convince him to let Randy at least audition. Don't worry, Troy, Randy's not really a girl. Troy's also 14 and insists on calling Randy "kid" even though she's just 2 years younger. Shut up, Troy. Randy kicks ass on her drums and impresses everyone, and is asked to join the band.
Sabrina has tons of questions next day at lunch about Troy. She thinks he's hot. Randy tells them about what a pain in the ass he is and crushes her dreams. Sabrina then asks what a wombat is, and of course Allison knows because she read over 100 books the past summer. She also knows how to properly eat a mango, which Sabrina did not. In fact, the only thing she doesn't know is how to be interesting.
Band practice. Troy bitches because Randy makes little changes to the drumming parts of their songs as she goes along. The other two members, Alton and Jim, tell him to lay off because she sounds better than their last drummer did. Troy says it's his band. Shut up, Troy. He also likes to flip his hair around a lot. What a girl. Randy gets him off his high horse by telling him that his lyrics suck, and he freaks out. The quiet band member, Jim, speaks up and says he agrees with Randy. Randy took a songwriting class back in New York, so Alton says that Troy can write the music and Randy can write the lyrics for their new song. Troy is pissed, and acts like an asshole for the rest of practice.
Troy calls Randy a week or so later and says he finished the music. He offers to come over to play it for her so she can hear it before she writes the lyrics. She's pissed because he took so long that she'll only have a few days to write the lyrics and then only a week for them to learn it before the BotB. Troy comes over and actually doesn't act like a jerk and he and Randy talk a bit. He brought his guitar over and he plays the song for Randy. She studies him while he's playing, and if she were truly female I'd think she might be getting a crush on him. She tells him the song was awesome, and he says she got him so mad the other day that he wanted to write something that would blow her away. She thinks about this as they join M for a dinner of Chinese food. M thinks pizza is junk food but eats Chinese takeout? I don't think fried wontons are exactly healthy. Delicious, yes, but healthy, not so much.
Randy writes the song and Iron Wombat practices like crazy. She's coming home one day and she runs right into Sheck. Sweet! I like Sheck, even if he has an unfortunate name. He says he couldn't miss her performance at the BotB. Sheck totally wants to get into Randy's pants, but I have a feeling he won't like what's in there. There's a little bit of Randy's thoughts that kind of make it seem like she may want him, too. They go to the video store to get a horror film while M makes them pizza. Yes, that's right, she's making them pizza. I think M may be crazy. Possibly because she gave birth to Randy.
The next morning M starts telling Randy how proud she is of her for writing the song and being creative and shit. Sheck wakes up and asks Randy if anyone is working her sound boards. Randy says no one, and Sheck volunteers to do it. They go off to Troy's for band practice. Alton and Jim are cool with Sheck, but Troy starts acting all possessive and shit. Randy's HIS man, Sheck! He tells Sheck he can't work the board and that they're having a closed practice so he needs to GTFO. Randy gets understandably pissed, tells Troy she quits, and leaves.
Telephone Talk: Randy tells the girls what happened at practice, and both Alton and Jim call her and convince her to come back.
The night of the BotB, Sheck starts cooking Thai food for Randy. Is Thai food good? I've never had it, but I'd like to try it sometime. Randy's all nervous and hyper, so Sheck puts on a tape for her and she drums along with it. The girls come ovr with some surprises for Randy. They made posters that say "Iron Wombat is #1!" and used a silk screening kit to put "Iron Wombat" on the back of jean jackets for Randy and themselves. Sheck tells them the food is done, and Katie is shocked to see that there are chopsticks instead of silverware. Sabrina knows how to use them, though, because she learned after she had heard that famous actresses use them, so she teaches Katie and Allison. They all eat, and it sounds pretty good, but maybe I'm just hungry. M surprises Randy with a chocolate cake for dessert. Chocolate cake is definitely healthy. The thought of it is also making my tummy growl. Randy hurries up and eats, because she has to get ready and leave soon. Sabrina's brother comes and picks up the girls and they leave.
BotB! Randy thinks Sheck is looking mighty fine, but not as sexy as herself. She's wearing a black sleeveless minidress, black and white tie-dyed tights, and black oxford shoes. Not hot. Troy asks to speak to Randy alone backstage, and apologizes to her for being a dick. Then he asks her out. She's shocked, and says she'll think about it. Ouch. Sheck comes over to her afterwards and asks if he asked her out. She says yes, and he gets all sad. She says she doesn't know if she'll go, because dating (guys) is not really for her. Sheck is happy, until Randy says she still might go. Then he's sad again. Poor Sheck. Iron Wombat takes the stage, and kicks ass. Randy is proud, and says it doesn't matter if they win or lose the BotB. I guess it really doesn't, because we never find out if they do or not since the book ends there.
Randy's spiky mullet looks especially bad on this cover, and she also looks especially manly. Katie's face looks kind of weird, Sabrina looks sexy as always, and Allison actually looks kind of hot. I love how Katie's making the jackets, Allison's making the posters, and Sabrina's just sitting there talking on the phone. That's my ho!
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