Guest blogger: Girl talk

Guest blogger Neek1981 covers a Girl Talk book, something I would never touch. Apparently I missed out.

To those of you out there who missed out on the Girl Talk series, it was fuc***g amazing!
The books were about four BFFs who lived in Acorn Falls, Minnesota, which was about as wholesome as Sweet Valley. Up until a few years ago, I thought Minnesota was a wholesome, happy state (until a lady I worked with who was from MN told me it was a sh*thole filled with unemployed people who talk like Frances McDormand in that movie Fargo).
Anyway, the books were about four best friends in the 7th grade. Here they are:

Sabrina Wells, the overzealous girl who loves to shop, read horoscopes, and giggle. One disturbing thing about Sabrina is that she’s obsessed with fashion magazines and subscribes to them religiously. Throughout the series she sometimes says she has baby fat, and even goes on a fruit-only diet at some point, however, she is always described as being petite, and NO ONE else in the books ever calls her overweight. I think she’s a prime candidate for body dismorphic disorder. She reminds me of Jessica Wakefield because she’s such an attention seeker.

Katie Campbell, a blonde, straight A student who color coordinates her socks to match her hair ribbons. Sound like anyone you know? (Ahem, Liz Wakefield, come on dooowwwn!)

Randy Zak, the hip New Yorker with a spiked haircut who dresses like Claudia Kishi but has the personality of Julia Sugarbaker. She always talks about how awesome New York is. I live in NYC, and I don’t think it’s nearly as awesome as people have made it out to be.

Allison Cloud, the exotic-looking girl who is quiet and shy. Can’t think of anything snarky to say about Allison. I like that she’s Native American ’cause I like diversity. I also like her ’cause she’s not conceited about how she looks, even though everyone tells her how gorgeous she is, and she almost became a fashion model in one book (of course!). She reads Elizabeth Barrett Browning and campaigns for saving the earth’s natural resources.

Each book is told in first person from one of the fab four’s perspective. Face Off is told by Katie Campbell who begins the book by describing the perfection of her older sister Emily (kinda reminds me of how every SVH book has at least a dozen paragraphs about the Wakefield gene pool). Emily looks like a Barbie doll and has perfect blonde hair and perfect blue eyes and even her chin is perfect. What the hell is a perfect chin anyway? According to Katie, it’s one that’s not too pointy and not too round, which pretty much describes almost EVERYONE’S chin, but I digress. Aside from being perfect-looking, Emily dates the captain of the football team, and is a pom-pom girl….Oh, hell. Just once, I’d like to read a f*cking kids’ book where the ‘perfect girl’ is NOT a blonde cheerleader. Why can’t she be a hairy legged feminist? Or even better, the perfect girl could be a non-white, non-cheerleader.

Katie is a 7th grade flag girl (which is like a cheerleader in the making). Basically she bounces up down and waves a flag around, however, Katie’s heart isn’t set on flag waving. Her true love is…ice hockey! So after her friend Randy Zak goes all girls-are-just-as-good-as-boys in the cafeteria in front of half the hockey team, Randy coaxes Katie into trying out for the team.

Scottie Silver, the guy Katie has the love jones for, is the captain of the hockey team. He has, get this, blonde hair that curls up around his hockey letter jacket and eyes that crinkle in the corners when he smiles (a.k.a. crow’s feet).

When Katie goes to try out for the team, Coach Budd (yep, that’s what they call him) tells Katie that she cannot try out because there has never been a girl on the team and they aren’t going to have one on there now, damn it!

Katie’s friend Allison, turns all Martin Luther King and basically gives Coach Bud a Let Freedom Ring speech about how Title IX says Katie has some freakin’ inalienable right to try out.

The Coach lets her try out and the guys all gang up on her. Even the ones on her team during the scrimmage hide from her so that she has no one to pass the puck to. Even worse, they beat the s*it out of her! They hip check her, slam her into the boards, and pretty much do everything short of beating her with their sticks in an attempt to scare her off. She goes home black and blue, but survives the tryouts, which last about three days.

One day when Katie is leaving tryouts, Scottie Silver (Mr. Crow’s Feet) comes up to her after having knocked the holy hell out of her on the ice. He says the most hateful things to her about how she should man up if she wants to play a man’s game. She tells him off and says he doesn’t scare her.. And then, he leans over and kisses her. WTF???

After the kiss, he runs away and she walks home with her hand on her cheek and actually considers never washing that cheek again. She calls Sabrina and they talk about the kiss and what it could mean.

Now, one thing I HATE about Girl Talk is the phone conversations. They’re written something like this:

Katie calls Sabrina.

Katie: Hi, can I speak to Sabs?
Sam:Sure. (yells) Blabs, phone for you!
Sabrina:Hi, Katie. What’s up?
Katie:Hi, Sabs. …Well, Scottie SIlver kissed me
Sabrina:AHHHHHH! OMG!!!

It goes on for a whole chapter with Sabrina calling Allison to tell her the news and then Allison calls Randy, and it’s so retarded. They conclude that Scottie hearts Katie.

Oh, did I mention Scottie hangs out with Stacey “the Great” Hansen and her crowd? Stacey Hansen is the principal’s daughter and she’s spoiled and stuck up. Stacey is thirteen, blonde, has never had a pimple in her life. She already wears heels and diamond earrings. She hangs all over Scottie like Jessica Wakefield on a rich transfer student.

The book ends with the big game. Katie steals the puck at the last minute and passes it to Scottie who makes the game winning shot at the last possible second (cliche much?). The fans go wild and actually chant: Katie! Katie!

After the game, Scottie ignores perfect Stacey and offers to walk Katie to Fitzy’s for ice cream. Katie accepts, of course, because if a guy beats you black and blue, it must be love.

42 thoughts on “Guest blogger: Girl talk

  1. Eliza Evans says:

    Oh, I so remember these. The one where they all tried out to be models really stuck with me for some reason. The tryouts were at the mall, I think, and Allison wasn’t even going to bother, but since she’s BE-YEAU-TEE-FUL of course she got roped in.

    • Neek1981 says:

      Yeah, Allison was my fave character. She was kinda quiet and thoughtful, a bit like me.
      Also, in book# 6, they go on a class trip and listen to an Indian legend where the person telling the legend misrepresents the Native American hero, and then Allison tells the story from the Native American perspective. The conflicting stories made me think about how history is biased, you know?

      I read on wiki (so this tidbit hasn’t been verified) that L.E. Blair, the author of the Girl Talk series, is the pen name of K.A. Applegate, the same woman who wrote the Making Out series and the Animorphs. Anyone read those?

      • Anonymous says:

        Yes, I liked the Making Out series. She also wrote Everworld, which I loved, and the Making Waves books. Did you read either of those?

      • Neek1981 says:

        I think I’m going to try the Making Out series soon. Never read Everworld or Making Waves, but I’m looking them up on Wikipedia as I speak. I’m also gonna try the Canby Hall series.

  2. Colleen says:

    Just for the record, the Twin Cities is the awesomest. Upstate is a different story, just in like in New York and Chicago and every other state that has one huge city and a lot of farms. But I live in California now, and I get “but why don’t you have an accent?” ALL the time. People have questioned my actually being from there because of it.

    Acorn Falls is TOTALLY a Minnesota suburb name though. And out there in the blindingly white ‘burbs. You have about a 1 in 3 chance of being tall, blond, blue-eyed and thin simply because of the gene pool.

    Hockey is like our football though. Or at least it was at my high school (probably having more to do with our football team sucking and hockey team actually being good). And there’s actually a special girl’s league, so they don’t let girl’s play on the boys team.

    • Elizabeth says:

      Colleen’s right. Southeastern Minnesota (the Cities and the small towns around–Northfield, Rochester, Red Wing) are pretty utopian. And then you go north or west and get to the dying farm towns.

    • Neek1981 says:

      Thanks for the info. I’m from rural GA and I’ve never been to MN. These books made me wanna visit though, just to see what it’s like.

  3. girltalkread says:

    I also DESPISE Telephone Talk!!! HATED IT! and oh my blog is called ” Fitzie’s Soda Shoppe” and we do have Girl Talk recaps- www.

  4. Julia says:

    OMG! I so had this book! And I remember LOVING the series when I was younger.

    Don’t break my heart. Lie to me and tell me I would enjoy them just as much if I read them today.

    • Neek1981 says:

      That is the cheesiest thing I’ve ever seen! LMFAO!
      How is it related to the book series, other than the fact that they used the same name and logo? How insulting is it that they seem to think that all girls care about is clothes and talking on the phone?
      I wouldn’t have recognized Sarah Michelle Gellar, though I do like her as a brunette. Did I see Punky Brewster in that video?

      • Lauri says:

        I stumbled over it when I was looking for episodes of Swan’s Crossing. Anyone remember that show? Starring a young Sarah Michelle Geller and a young Jessica Wakefield to be Brittany Daniels?

  5. Vanessa Saxton says:

    This just sounds awful. Completely awful- the plot, the premise, the writing (the phone conversation and Sabs!) WTF kind of a nickname is Sabs??? Oh, I am just cringing thinking about it. Is today’s YAL this awful as it was in our day?

  6. Laura @ Hungry and Frozen says:

    Aw, there were a couple of these books in the public library and I definitely remember reading them. One called Rebel, Rebel springs to mind, which impressed me as it referenced Bowie.

    LOL @ the cliched ending of this…and of course the perfect girl is the blonde cheerleader. I guess why wouldn’t she be? It’s what most pop culture has led us to believe is true…

  7. MT says:

    Hahaha, I remember these! There was a Girl Talk book club you could join. I’m glad to see a blog entry on it as it’s one of several series few people seem to recall except me! Well, most of those series all had the same damned cookie cutter characters anyway! (the “leader,” the tomboy, the fashionable one, the bookish shy one, bla bla bla!)

  8. Magpie says:

    I never touched these books, because the covers look so cheesy they make me want to puke. After reading this, I feel validated in my decision. Great recap, shame about the book 🙂

    When I saw the book was called “Face-Off”, all I could think was how much better it could have been if it had been like the John Travolta movie of the same name, with the kids in the book having facial transplants and being on the run from the law.

      • Magpie says:

        I only just noticed your reply, and trainwreck is exactly the right word for the film! I was watching it late at night, and it was so awful I felt like gouging my own eyes out, but at the same time I couldn’t tear myself away. It was like extreme masochism.

  9. RollingStone says:

    So they talk on and on about “the kiss and what it could mean” but ignore the weird fact that Scottie acted borderline abusive right before it? If I were part of that conversation, I’d tell Katie that he’s probably a misogynistic psychopath that she should stay the hell away from.

    • Neek1981 says:

      I soooo agree with you about advising Katie to stay the hell away from Scottie. He basically tries to keep her off the team just ’cause she has a vagina, and also ’cause there are rumors that she’s a faster skater than him. He’s definitely a candidate for FWBA (Future Wife Beaters of America). The way the guys attacked her on the ice was basically an act of mob violence.
      In the end, Katie is so happy and flattered that he asked her to Fitzie’s, kinda like what IHateWheat pointed out about Robin Wilson dying to be accepted by her tormentors. Katie already has friends who like her and respect her, what does she need Scottie for?

  10. Roger Patman says:

    “I thought Minnesota was a wholesome, happy state (until a lady I worked with who was from MN told me it was a sh*thole filled with unemployed people who talk like Frances McDormand in that movie Fargo).”

    WHAATTTT! I live in MN and nooooo ever talks like that or even is filled with people you’ve described….ooohhhhh wait, ya sure, you betcha!
    Great review, btw…

  11. Pammy says:

    Actually I owned so many of these and have started getting them off ebay lately. It’s so bad but so good, don’t hate me for it, but I agree wholeheartedly about the phone talk chapters.

  12. Nicole says:

    I loved Girl Talk and Canby Hall!! Katie was my favorite character because 1) I loved her room, her clothes, and her family and 2) I really adored Scottie, especially when he takes care of her when she gets appendicitis! The Girl Talk telephone chapters did get to be annoying, though. I much prefer the Canby Hall books with Jane, Andy, and Toby over the books with Dana, Faith, and Shelley.

  13. Melissa says:

    I loved these books. I have about 8 of them at home and whenever I’m bored, I re-read them. They were never at the library and I only managed to buy a few, so I always wondered what happened in the books between – I have the first one and then a few earlier ones (the one where they do Grease, the one where Katie has to synchronize skate with one of Stacy Hansen’s bffs), then the pageant one which is around 26 or so. Last time I was looking at them I was thinking there should have been a tie-in series, and I never knew about the Sarah Michelle Gellar one until I saw the link posted above. They were stereotypical but I did like Allison and Sabrina the best.

  14. A. says:

    Minnesota is one of the most progressive states and Minneapolis/St. Paul is regularly ranked one of the healthiest and most literate metropolitan area in the United States. I almost didn’t want to read the rest of this after your statement about Minnesota. Sorry if I’m taking this too seriously.

    • A. says:

      Okay, I read the rest of the comments and now I know I definitely did take it too seriously. I guess I get defensive about my city! Sorry.

      Great snark. I loved the Girl Talk books, even though the phone conversation chapters were the equivalent of BSC Chapter 2s. Total skimming material. Scottie Silver becomes violent again when Michel shows up and seems to have a crush on Katie. I think he gets suspended from a game for slamming into Michel. What a creep.

  15. Emily says:

    I feel obligated to like Sabrina, because we’re both redheads and both play the clarinet. However, she was so friggin’ annoying.

    Oh, and Randy Zak is a MUCH cooler New Yorker than Stacey McGill.

  16. Tamia says:

    I’m only mildly ashamed to admit that I LOVED this series. They always included a lot of outfit descriptions and I wished like crazy that I had a twin brother like Sabrina did. I figured it would provide some insight into the male mind.

    I remember the flour “baby” book! I tried babysitting my own flour bag until my mom got pissed.
    I favorited the Swan’s Crossing theme song intro on Youtube. Hey, that was some catchy sh*t.


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