Monday, March 02, 2009

Mini-Review: The Taffy Sinclair Series

Did anyone else read the Taffy Sinclair books when they were in elementary school? I started thinking about them again after reading a few reviews on The Dairi Burger, one of my favorite book blogs. There are eleven books in total:

1. The Against Taffy Sinclair Club
2. Taffy Strikes Again*
3. Taffy Sinclair, Queen of the Soaps*
4. Blackmailed by Taffy Sinclair*
5. Taffy Sinclair and the Romance Machine Disaster*
6. Taffy Sinclair and the Melanie Makeover
7. Taffy Sinclair and the Secret Admirer Epidemic*
8. Taffy Sinclair- Baby Ashley- and Me*
9. The Truth About Taffy Sinclair*
10. Taffy Sinclair Goes to Hollywood
11. Nobody Likes Taffy Sinclair

and I managed to find seven (*) of them at this awesome used book store I discovered a few months ago. Reading them again was like going back in time.

The premise: Jana Morgan, Beth Barry, Christie Winchell, Katie Shannon, and Melanie Edwards are all best friends, and they all hate Taffy Sinclair, the prettiest and snobbiest girl in their fifth grade class. And...that's about all you need to know. The titles pretty much speak for themselves, I think, and you can probably imagine the sorts of shenanigans junior high kids in the 80's can get up to.

I loved this series as a kid, and reading it now, I can't imagine why. Jana, the narrator, is annoying and whiny. Her friends are all one-dimensional: Beth is loud and dramatic, Christie is the goody-two-shoes principal's daughter, Katie is the liberal feminist, and Melanie is the quiet fat girl. Seriously, more time is spent talking about her weight than anything else about her. It was a little depressing. On the other hand, Taffy is just awesome. I felt more sympathy for her than anyone else in these books (even before The Truth About Taffy Sinclair, which is her side of the story), and I thought she was more complex than the other characters.

Overall, it's not the greatest series in the world, but it's a fun, quick read. I read these for the YA Reading Challenge, and I'm tempted to count them all as one book because they're so short. I'm still on the lookout for the other in the series.


Alea said...

I'd never heard of this series. What fun! And I love that cover!

Care said...

I don't think I've heard of these, either. I don't remember books from those days very well. Once I found Agatha Christie, I had a snobbish attitude toward 'kids books' - I was probably 11 or 12!