Oh Taffy, you don’t have to buy your friends.

Continuing on with our favorite crooked-bicuspid blonde.


In this one, Jana gets blackmailed by Taffy. I know right? Totally unexpected. Jana finds Wiggins’ wallet in the girl’s room and Taffy sees her. She makes Jana do her homework for her and then even sit with her in the cafeteria and walk around with her. In a sick way to maybe make Jana her friend. Turns out Mona Vaughn stole the money to buy a new sweater so maybe Taffy would want to be her friend. Everybody wants something they can’t have! Jana is also angsty about Randy Kirwan who, if that’s him on this cover, I am really disappointed.

In other news, Jana’s deadbeat alcoholic father needs money and I don’t know why Jana’s mother feels obligated to give it to him? He also tells her that he may need to move in with him, and again, not sure why Jana’s mother allows it. At the last minute he finds a job and doesn’t come, and Jana is disappointed. Boo hoo. I just had a thought. Wouldn’t it be awesome if Jana’s deadbeat Dad was also Kristy Thomas’ deadbeat Dad and he had two families going? They both live in Connecticut. Hmmmm…


Whoa. Ten times of awesomeness. Definitely on my top ten of all time. Firstly, the cover. I thought Melanie was sooooo gorgeous. Not sure if you can see it well. She has her hair in that style where you pull back the sides, then push it forward a bit, so it’s kind of puffy. I always had really thin hair, so I could never do it. Plus, her dress is the kind with the tight bodice and the layered, flared skirt. I HAD to get one like it for my sixth-grade graduation. Except mine had a bolero jacket to go with it. Hot. Taffy actually not looking all that.

Ok, so Melanie has lost some weight, and of course that means she can now be obsessed with boys and clothes. And she starts hanging with Taffy, because Taff knows those things, and there’s tension and of course Jana and crew are kind of jealous. But, newsflash! The local department store will be offering modeling classes for pre-teen girls. Wow! Way to raise self-esteem! Jana doesn’t think her mom can afford it, but her mom is all, you should do it, it will be great for you! Which, if it were my mom, I would be insulted. It is taught by Laura McLeod, world-famous model, and she teaches the girls how to frame themselves in the doorway, how to walk into a room, and how to do jumping jacks for exercise. Uh, I’d want my money back!

Melanie and Taffy strut their stuff in their fancy dresses in school and Jana is all jealous that Randy will find them more glamorous than her. Shut up, Jana. Taffy then claims she knows “model’s tricks” to get thin and proceeds to stuff her face during lunch in front of Jana while the gang eats carrot sticks and hard-boiled eggs. Jana catches them barfing the bathroom. Oh Taffy…just no. Finally she tells someone what Taffy and Melanie are doing, and Taffy gets in trouble. Melanie comes to her senses and dumps Taffy’s ass. Although that was shitty of Taffy, did she know better? And really, she just wanted to keep Melanie as a friend.

Meanwhile, the Fab Five decide to do a charity case on poor ugly Mona Vaughn, and do her hair for her. Randy sees what a caring person Jana is and admits to Jana that he was afraid she would become too glamorous after going to modeling school and not have time for him. Excuse me, but..BWAHAHAHAHA. And when he sees that Jana is reaching out to Mona, he sees what a caring person she is and Jana is “so happy I thought I’d die”. So Jana makes it all about her and not Mona. What a little brat.

At the last modeling class, Laura McLeod does a big speech about inner beauty. Too little too late, Laura. If it were about inner beauty, you’d be out of a job.

15 thoughts on “Oh Taffy, you don’t have to buy your friends.

  1. jordanbaker says:

    I could be completely off base on this–it’s been 12 years or so since I last read this book (which, still, is probably 7-10 years more recently than I should admit to having read it)–but wasn’t the big scandal that Taffy wasn’t purging, but she’d talked Melanie into doing it?

  2. Abby says:

    Yeah, I don’t think it was ever concluded that Taffy was doing it herself. She did eat a lot of junk food in front of the girls, but I don’t think they ever said if she was following through on the puking. Maybe she was.

    All I remember from the bulimia book was that I think Melanie was found out at school, and the nurse called her mother and Melanie left school for the day. When her friends called to see how she was, Melanie said her mother’s first order of business after discovering her daughter was throwing up on purpose was to bake a batch of brownies and force Melanie to eat some. So smart.

  3. Rio says:

    I never read any of the Taffy Sinclair books, but I got the impression from reading The Fabulous Five that she actually WAS the alpha bitch of Mark Twain Elementary.

    I think I may have been a little wrong on that.

  4. Megan says:

    These were my favorite books growing up and actually still are. I always hated that bitch Taffy, but mostly because ppl always wanted to jump on her bandwagon since “all she wanted was to have friends!” I lost all sympathy I may have had her for her when I read “The Truth about Taffy Sinclair.” Truth is, oh…yeah, she really was a bitch. Jana wasn’t perfect either and there were lots of times during the book when I’d be like, “oh, why would you do that?!” but she was certainly no worse than Taffy. It’s just so much fun for us to put our noses up at ppl who don’t like someone just cause they’re pretty. Because none of us were ever that immature in middle school. Give me a break.

    Also laughable that Jana is the narcisstic one when again, read “The Truth About Taffy Sinclair” and she seriously makes everything about her too. Really, after reading that book it was no wonder to me that the girl had no friends.

    If only all of these girls could have been mature adults in middle school! !

    The one thing I agree on: if that’s Randy on the front of Blackmailed…yeah, completely lame.

  5. Abby says:

    Taffy WAS a bitch in grade school. Yeah, she was ostracized by a bunch of jealous girls, but it’s a chicken and egg scenario- did they hate her because she was bitchy to them, or was she bitchy to them because they obviously hated her? Who knows, but there were several books were Taffy was pretty friggin snotty. That being said, I never thought Jana was any fucking prize either. She also went through a period where she thought she was pretty hot shit, and as far as I could tell, NEVER had anything to back that theory up, other than the inexplicable admiration of the clearly gay Randy Kirwan. Really, Melanie was the only normal one in that group. And what the author called boy crazy, I would call, normal preteen girl.

    By the time the Fabulous Five series came around, both Jana and Taffy’s characters were softened up.

  6. Vanessa Saxton says:

    I was so hopped up on Sweet Valley High that I never gave this series a chance. As Jessica Wakefield would say- “Rats!”
    Speaking of the Wakefields, ihatewheat, please re-cap Party Weekend. It is so awful. And, Jessica’s legs are enormous compared to Liz’s. We must snark on the Daniels twins!

  7. Lisa says:

    omg, i loved Jana too!!! i had every one of those books and was so pumped once she and Randy were “dating” (whatever that means in grade school ha!) Those were awesome books and the Fabulous Five series was even better! I think both Jana and Taffy were unfair to each other, and it was cool that they finally became friends in 7th grade. Taffy usually looked fug on the covers of the Taffy books EXCEPT for the Blackmailed one! totally hotness there!!

  8. Jade Wu's Toe Shoe says:

    I can’t express how excited I get at the sight of a Taffy recap, so two just about made my day. Round of applause to ihatewheat!

  9. Nicole says:

    Speaking of Taffy…I LOVED, absolutely LOVED, “Taffy Sinclair and the Romance Machine Disaster” when I was younger because it was so romantic to me back then. But I reread it recently…and I was dismayed, disappointed, and annoyed this time around. It sets an awful message for young girls.

    Although predictable, I did love that Randy had Jana’s name all along. But The Fabulous Five series is much, much better than their time at Mark Twain Elementary and I’m glad Betsy Haynes made them more mature. However, don’t get me started on Melanie’s 7 tips for flirting.

  10. Jemgirl83 says:

    Another great recap IHW!!! I was obsessed with these books when I was younger. I never realized what a manipulative little brat Jana was until I re read this series as an adult. I think there were like three books written from Taffy’s point of view (Taffy Sinclair goes to Hollywood, Nobody likes Taffy Sinclair and The Truth about Taffy Sinclair) and she was pretty bitchy in all of them but at least she didn’t try to hide her bitchiness. What’s up with the name Taffy anyway? Was it cool in the 80’s to name your kid after candy or was that a nickname or something?

  11. Krysten says:

    I was in those type of modeling classes. We spent a class learning to walk up stairs and sit. Time well spent. While I was wasting my life doing that someone was trying to cure cancer

  12. mandy_Reeves! says:

    found this site from google when looking up beauty pageants….Love it! wanted to say that the bitchy girl who took Taffys place..laura mcall? they mentioned all the time about how she would flick her professionaly done french braid. lol!

  13. CNJ says:

    I always loved Katie and Beth the best of the five…I also liked Mona Vaughn and Tony Calcaterra. I have this idea plotlet where Tony and Katie are both attorneys in Washington, DC, but haven’t seen each other since high school.

    Poor Tony is sterile; he can’t father children and wants to adopt, but his live-in girlfriend is reluctant to; she wants to go for all kinds of surrogate sperm. Tony becomes depressed for a long time about his inability to have children and he and the girlfriend break up.

    Katie and Tony re-meet again by chance; maybe Katie is divorced with two daughters…they later adopt two or three other kids and later marry.

    Just thoughtsI had on them.

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