Most Misleading Cover Ever: Girl Talk 11, Mixed Feelings

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Not being able to find for this book a cover image created by someone more artistic and tech-savvy than myself I photographed this one myself. That stuff at the edges? My bedsheets.

Here we have Katie looking very pretty in an outfit I’d possibly wear today, a broad-shouldered Michel shooting an intrigued look at Katie and poor Sabs looking quite desperate and juvenile (compared with the other two) while making puppy-dog eyes at Michel. This coupled with the informative text bubble (which I see I’ve accidentally cut off– it says “Do Katie and Sabrina like the same boy?”) makes the plot of this book seem like an open-and-shut case; Katie and Sabs will both crush on Michel, Michel will get a boner for Katie and either Sabs will be the graceful one and give Katie and Michel her blessing or Katie will be graceful and say “no boy is worth messing up our friendship!” Seems like there won’t be much to say, but I will recap on.

Mixed Feelings begins with Katie preparing for hockey practice. With her hair tucked into her jersey and the fact that all the boys on the team refer to her as K.C. now it’s hard to tell Katie’s still a girl! Despite this masculine appearance Scottie Silver still peeps into the locker room where Katie’s changing, but Katie get Scottie by squirting him in they eye with a water bottle. Dude, what a pervert. I hope S.S. never crosses Chris Hanson’s path.

Katie goes on and on about her times on the hockey team thus far. Somehow she’s been made left-wing. What the hell happened to the 8th grade kid who was playing left-wing before? Maybe Katie kicks so much ass that other kid was kicked off the team and forced to join the flag team. And because Katie kicks so much ass she wants this radical pair of hockey skates for her upcoming birthday. But I doubt that will figure into this plot at all.

Once the team is assembled on the bench Coach Budd announces they’ll be getting a new player. This is met with much moaning and groaning as it’s near the end of the hockey season and, well… who the fuck gets a new player once the season’s already begun? But this kid is super-great… he was an MVP on his team in Canada. Oh la la! His name is Michel Beauvais, which makes the kids snicker until brilliant Coach Budd explains that Michel is “French for Michael”. Uh, why don’t any of the kids know that already? They live in Minnesota which I’m told (I suck at geography) borders Canada, and wouldn’t some of the kids be taking French class, anyway? Oh, well.

Practice commences and, as we all expected, Michel rules the rink. Afterwards Katie’s the first one out of the locker room and Sabrina’s waiting for her in the bleachers. The rest of the team emerges and Michel gets accolades from everyone, including Katie. Michel says it’s nice that Coach Budd allowed Katie to watch the game, then Flip points out that Katie was IN the game! Michel didn’t realize K.C. and Katie were one in the same, thus making K.C. a girl… with a vagina!

On the way to Sabs’ house Sabrina is gushing over what a hottie Michel is. He happens to catch up with the girls as they walk. Michel asks is Sabrina goes to Bradley Junior High, too. Sabs says she does and they’re all giddy about maybe having some classes together and Michel meeting everyone at school!

Once S and K have dropped Michel off and reached their destination they find Randy and Allison are already there! They were discussing something but stop abruptly when they see Katie. What’s going on here? I know they couldn’t be trash-talking because we learned in book #9 that Katie and her crew don’t dig that shit.

Randy is supposed to be wearing a “wild” outfit here: a long-sleeved black t-shirt underneath a long, dark purple knit jumper. Not impressed with this one.

Sabs diffuses the stituation (Randy and Al clamming up when they see Katie, not Randy’s outfit by talking about Beauvais. All of a sudden Mrs. Wells pops in with a menu. Something’s fishy here and I just can’t put my finger on it!

Katie’s mom’s not home so she decides to have dinner at Sabrina’s. It sure is odd that Katie’s mom’s been working so many late nights. Eh, banking is tough. Anyway, some of Sam’s friends show up and along with Randy (Al had to go home, thank God) everyone has a wicked bitchin’ and fun dinner despite the fact that Nick acts like a jealous tool when Michel is mentioned. It almost smells like an “If I can’t have you, NO ONE CAN” type Lifetime movie a-brewin’.

The next day at school our girls find Stacy and her cronies waxing poetic about Michel. How typical. Homeroom starts and just as Sabs is fumbling to give an answer on how she liked the ending of A Separate Peace (which seems a tad advanced for seventh grade), Michel shows up for the class. Yay! Oh, Canada!

Michel ends up having to sit next to Katie… and having to share her book. WooOOOoo! Michel asks if he can eat lunch with Katie and friends and at Sabrina’s insistent eyebrow wiggling Katie says “yes”.

In the cafeteria Katie passes the hockey team’s table. They encourage her to load up on carbs so she’ll be ready when the team faces the Mongols (another hockey team). Scottie Too Hottie Silver invites Katie to sit down but, duh! Everyone knows she has to sit with Sabs, Ran and Al. The hockey team then invites Michel to join them but, surprise! He, too, must sit with Sabs, Ran and Al… and Katie. This does not sit well with Scottie!

Katie decides Michel’s an OK guy. He explains that when he found out Katie was a girl he was surprised because in Canada girls have their own ice hockey teams. Can anyone tell me why I live in the US? Michael Moore? Anyone?

Katie comes home from a rough hockey practice to find Ma Campbell cooking lasagna. Mmm-mm good! Music’s playing, flowers decorate the house… sounds pretty fucking fancy. But the most fancy of all is Ma herself in a new red dress, matching pumps, matching red lipstick, matching nail polish… this really was written in the ’80s, wasn’t it? I’m getting flashbacks of Victoria Jackson’s makeup infomercial. Emily and Katie are concerned about Ma’s new look. I say what’s to be concerned about when there’s hot lasagna on the table?

Emily’s kind of a bitch during dinner. She asks Ma how work’s going and she mentions how she approved a mortgage for a very nice man. I wonder who recently bought a house in Acorn Falls. Emily puts two and two together and tells Katie’s dumb ass that Ma must have met a men because she usually doesn’t mention approving mortgages for specific people. And as if that’s not evidence enough Ma Campbell announces she’s invited the nice man from the bank over for dinner on Sunday. Soon much?

On Saturday morning Katie gets up early because she’s so excited for the big game against the Mongols. In the kitchen there’s a big package which happens to contain the new skates Katie wanted! I hate to admit that I saw a good portion of that ice skating movie with Michelle What’s-Her-Name and Samantha from Sex and the City and in that movie I learned a valuable lesson: never compete on new skates because they’re too stiff and you’ll totally hurt yourself. Is this true for hockey as well or just figure skating? Maybe Katie will break the skates in enough by going to Elm Park.

Bon matin! Turns out Michel decided to go skating at Elm Park, too. He says he misses skating outside and that he had a pond in front of his old house. Classy, classy! They skate around a bit and Michel says Katie and her friends are very nice and he’s glad to have met such good people. Awww 🙂

For some reason our girls are having brunch at Katie’s before the game. Well, i guess it makes sense. I know I’d want to eat a big, greasy meal before getting banged around a hockey rink. Randy is wearing a somewhat more impressive outfit: leopard print leggings, oversized black sweater and black granny boots. I think she wears that outfit in just about every book, but I love it, anyway. Mrs. Campbell has prepared FIVE kinds of pancake batter for this brunch. Even I find that excessive.

Finally the big game has arrived and all the guys are like “Nice skates!” except for Scottie who for some asshole reason thinks Michel bought the skates for Katie after they had a marathon session of butt sex. No one mentions the ice skate stiffness thing so I must have been wrong about that. And I might be wrong about the butt sex, too. Then the coach is all “This is a big game, blah blah blah. WIN!”

The Mongols are huge and play a very physical game, but the Bradley team doesn’t do too badly. Michel is especially awesome. Then in the second period the Mongols score a goal and douchebag Scottie makes some comment about Michel being Katie’s boyf. Urrrgh! When Katie finally gets the puck she passes it to Scottie and he scores! Yeeeeeaaaah!

In the third period the Mongols come “back with a vengence”. You’d think after her stunning steal Katie would chillax a bit but instead she struggles to get a piece of puck. One of the Mongols ends up slamming Katie hard into the plastic guard. She blacks out for a moment and when she comes to she finds that her face is sticky and Scottie’s standing over her. No, no– that come ut wrong. I think the sticky stuff is blood and Scottie is concerned.

Katie’s lip is split, her chin is busted and her cheek is bruised. She needs stitches for the chin and of course must sit out the rest of the game. Mon Dieu!

On Sunday morning every part of Katie’s bod hurts and she doesn’t even know who won the game! Katie hobbles downstairs to grab the Sunday paper. It’s right about now that I realize Randy was absolutely right and that Acorn Falls is a backward town. They have fucking middle school hockey scores in their paper’s sports section? Good lord.

Bradley won, bitches! Nothing like a team’s only female player getting busted up to motivate the players! Ma Campbell tells Katie to go rest on the couch so she can enjoy another heart-healthy breakfast. Following aid breakfast Ma and Em go to church. They return with Sabs in tow and Sabs explains that Scottie was going buckwild on the ice after Katie got injured. Sabs says she thinks Scottie likes Katie and Katie’s all “nuh-uh”. She says Scottie thinks Michel likes her, but that’s totally dumb because there’s nothing between Katie and Michel. Sabrina is relieved at this and both girls agree they’re glad that Michel moved to Acorn Falls: Katie because of Michel’s awesome hockey skills, and Sabrina because of his tight ass.

Allison and Randy show up with a horror movie. Ma makes popcorn because everyone likes a little salt on her split lip. After the move Katie’s friends leave and reality sets in; the “nice” man from the bank is supposed to be coming for dinner. Well, surely he can’t come now because Katie’s bruised and banged up. At least any normal mother would cancel the date…

Ma Campbell, however, announces that their guests will be arriving soon and could Katie go up to bed so Ma can straighten the living room? K, thanks, bye. Dinner’s at six and Ma wants Katie to sit at the table. Bitch. Katie agrees to this and Ma suggests, since regular clothes will be uncomfortable, Katie should wear the green robe Grandma gave her. How ridiculously fug!

Not only did Katie have to drag her ass down for dinner, she had to answer the fucking door, too. And I’m sure you’ll all be shocked to know that Michel was standing at that door! That’s right, Ma Campbell is a sexual predator! Oh, wait, she’s dating Michel’s dad. Naturally this is hella awkward.

The dinner actually goes fairly well and Jean-Paul (the new beau) is totally sexy and hip. It bugs me, though, that he was not able to attend his kid’s hockey game yet he found some time to plow Ma Campbell. Isn’t that always the way, though? During this dinner we find out that Michel thinks Sabs is cute. WooOOOoo!

Emily pokes her head in Katie’s room and asks why Katie didn’t mention she’d met Jean-Paul’s son. Katie says she didn’t know Michel was Jean-Paul’s son. Em and Katie both agree that Jean-Paul rocks but they have a nagging feeling that Ma is betraying The Late Pa Campbell somehow.

On Monday Katie decides to go to school because she’s a total moron. Sabs expresses some concern over this, then Randy comes over to Sabs and starts to talk about somthing. Sabs cuts her off and when Randy sees Katie she clams up again. What the hell could they be keeping secret from Katie? The suspense is KILLING ME! Katie’s pissed about the witholding and storms off.

There’s a hockey meeting after school where the coach tells Scottie he was being a dickhead on the ice. Michel suggests that maybe Scottie was just concerned about Katie. But Scottie says no, he was just being a dickhead because if Scottie Silver wants to be a dickhead he damn sure will. Suck that, bitches! Katie feels as if everyone’s acting like a dickhead.

Telephone Talk:

Michel calls Sabrina

Michel: Katie’s acting weird. What the fuck is wrong with her?

Sabrina: I don’t know. If you want to go have sex with her just call her up and rent a room at the EconoLodge.

Michel: Oh, I don’t want to make the sexy time with Katie. I, uh, nevermind…

Sabrina: You don’t? HOLLA!

Michel: Katie’s still acting weird, though.

Sabrina: What happened on Sunday?

Michel: Oh, the same old. My father and her mother are dating, so–

Sabs: WHAT? Why didn’t that bitch tell me?

Michel: I don’t know. Maybe she has PMS.

Sabs: Probably.

Michel: Come to the Playoffs.

Sabs: OK! Bye!

Sabs calls Allison

Sabs: Hi

Al: Hi

Sabs: Shut up, bitch. Just tell me what the fuck is wrong with Katie.

Al: I’ll need more information before I make one of my classic insightful observations:

Sabs: You are so fucking demanding! OK–Katie’s mom is dating Michel’s dad and that bitch didn’t bother to tell any of us. Now make sense of this situation or die.

Al: Sabs, don’t be a dumbass. Obviously Katie was too upset to tell us about her mom getting her groove back. Oh, by the way, did Michel make a pass at you?

Sabs: Sort of. How did you know?

Al: I was part of a secret government experiment… uh, nevermind.

Allison calls Randy

Randy: Yo!

Al: Hi, I’m boring.

Randy: Obvs. What’s up?

Al: Sabs is worried about Katie. Katie’s mother’s dating Michel’s father, blah blah blah.

Randy: Why are we being so fucking gossipy about this?

Al: I don’t know.

Sabs calls Katie

Sabs: Are you OK, Katie?

Katie: Yeah, whatevs.

Sabs: You can talk to me about anything.

Katie: Yeah, whatevs.

Sabs: Michel likes me!

Katie: Who gives a fuck? I have to go do housework now.

this concludes Telephone Talk

Katie’s mother forgot her birthday! What a slut. Katie decides to go to Elm Park to blow off steam. Al shows up there expressing concern for Katie. Als ays Michel told the gals about Sunday night. Katie’s all “NO ONE UNDERSTANDS” then Allison points out that Randy may understand because her parents are divorced. Duh, Katie. Other people have shitty lives, too! They talk about how Katie’s dad would have wanted Ma to be happy… the usual sitcom-type shit. Katie feels better and they head back to her house.

Oh, my god, guys! There’s a huge surprise party at Katie’s house! Even Coach Budd is there! That’s what all the whispering was about all the time. The hockey team gives Katie a varsity jacket. Score! Michel and Jean-Paul give Katie a hockey stick. Heh, heh… stick. Even Scottie’s at the party and he spouts some shit about being jealous of Michel until he took his head out of his ass and realized nothng was going on between Katie and Michel. Then Scottie says he was really scared when Katie got hurt. Apparently he stopped asking Katie about because he was afraid having a hot love affair would distract him from his hockey. But Scottie realized NOT having a hot love affair can be just as distracting. This shit is too deep for middle school, y’all. Scottie gives Katie a quick kiss and asks if she’d like to go to the movies sometime. Of course she would! Huzzah!

So, if you’ve made it through this whole post you’ve realized Katie and Sabs never really liked the same boy and Michel never gave Katie thost lusty looks. Still, if we ignore this lie of a cover Mixed Feelings manages to be as predictable as all get-out. This was the kind of comfort I appreciated as a young reader. Now it makes me feel like I’m some kind of super-genius.. which is a nice change from feeling like a super-lameass.

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