November 12, 2013

BSC #126, The All-New Mallory Pike: The New Mallory Doesn’t Have a Backbone Either

Posted in books tagged , , at 8:27 pm by Jenn

Mallory looks eight years old

Mallory looks eight years old

Summary: We’ve been hearing about it, and the day is finally here: Mallory’s off to boarding school. Riverbend is all girls, with an emphasis on fine arts. She’s nervous from the start, since it’s her first time away from home and she’s not sure she’ll fit in. In fact, she’s not sure the school will be any different from SMS – what if she has the same problems at Riverbend as she did back in Stoneybrook?

Mallory’s new roommate, Alexis, doesn’t help things. She is, in a word, crazy. She makes rules that Mal has to follow, and doesn’t make any room for Mallory’s stuff. We all know Mal is a little mouse, so of course she doesn’t say anything. She’s also pretty bad at reading people and doesn’t get that Alexis doesn’t like her, so she’d be better off keeping her distance instead of trying to become her friend.

Things get worse, and Alexis goes full-blown nuts. She’s like Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction in teenage form. She gets mad that Mallory never spends time with her, not realizing that Mal is avoiding their room because she never gets any time alone, and because Alexis is annoying. Alexis also reads Mallory’s diary and borrows her earrings without asking. Mal’s new friends let her know that Alexis has already scared off two roommates (one of whom, Jen, is now friends with Mallory).

Mallory keeps trying to make things work, but doesn’t get anywhere. When she and Alexis discuss things with their dorm prefect, Alexis paints herself as the victim. Things keep getting worse, and finally Alexis snaps, actually trashing the room. Finally the prefect and the dean of students realize that this rooming situation isn’t going to work out, and that Alexis probably shouldn’t be around people, actually. They give her Jen’s single room and move Jen in with Mallory. So now Mal has friends, a non-psychotic roommate, and…eh, I don’t care enough to think of a third thing.

Back in Stoneybrook, the Pike kids are revolting because Vanessa’s now the only person in the house with her own room. Each of the kids tries to make a case for changing room arrangements, and Mr. and Mrs. Pike are all, “We’re so sick of parenting. We don’t even care anymore. Let the dog have the room.” Of course, the BSC girls help them work things out. Byron is fine with living with Nicky, and Vanessa admits to being lonely without a roommate, so the girls move into Nicky and the triplets’ room, Jordan and Adam room together, and Nicky and Byron room together. When Mal comes home for vacations, I guess she has to sleep on the couch.

Thoughts: So you see, kids, if you ever have problems at school, just run away and everything will be okay!

Mallory’s self-esteem issues are painful. I wish her parents had kept her in Stoneybrook and sent her to therapy.

If Alexis is so horrible to her roommates, they should stop making girls who don’t know her live with her. It’s a mean way to introduce them to the school. Riverbend’s administration is no better than SMS’s.

And that’s it for Mallory! I…won’t miss her.


  1. catherine said,

    Do they really write her out of the series at this point? I aged out of the books before they got to this point, and I never liked Mallory much (like everyone, it seems), but I didn’t know they actually wrote her out.

    • Jenn said,

      I think she’s mentioned again, but she’s pretty much out of sight, out of mind. There are only a few books left, though.

  2. sjsiff said,

    Alexis should have been kicked out of the school. It was ridiculous that she ended up with a cushy private room.

    • Jenn said,

      Agreed. Trashing the room should have been the last straw.

  3. Ramie said,

    I always felt bad for Mallory she got treated like crap by everyone. But I didn’t like that her way of dealing with stuff at SMS was to switch to a new school, it felt like she was running away from her problems. Its an odd message to girls being bullied and stuff at school. Then again if her parents had any brains or cared about their daughter they would have been all over that stuff.

  4. Laura said,

    When Mal comes home for vacations, I guess she has to sleep on the couch.

    When Mallory comes home she’ll be sharing the boys’ old room with her sisters and sleeping in the fourth unoccupied bunk bed.

    • Jenn said,

      Ug, I’d rather sleep on the couch.

  5. Rebehah said,

    I am 30 years old. I have curly brown hair, glasses, and had to wear braces for three years (it was supposed to be two years but the orthodontist added an extra year even though my teeth were perfect after two years – it turned out that he was a scammer and frequently extended the amount of time for people because you had to pay each month you had them on).

    I was severely bullied (called “Scary Terry” even though my name isn’t Terry nor is it close to Terry) and switched schools because of it too (but one of the bullies that were at my former school started attending the new school – the bully got his friends to bully me and even though I ignored it the crap still spread like wildfire). I don’t know what I did to make people bully me in the first place. The staff would ALWAYS let the bullies away with it (even if they witnessed it) yet if I defended myself or if someone lied and said I said or did something (even if I didn’t) I would be punished. Mallory and I were both made scapegoats. I ended up developing Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder from it. Mallory might have too.

    Like Mallory, I also love to read and write (but I’m not a fan of horse stories). I even volunteered at a day camp, like her. I was even made secretary and had to take minutes for meetings for something I was a part of, like her.

    I was born in 1989. It’s like Ann M. Martin wrote my life for me – the only differences I noticed is that I don’t have seven siblings and my best friend isn’t black.

  6. Marianna Escalante said,

    I don’t understand why people didn’t like Mallory. I liked and her and felt sorry for her. My favorite was Stacey because she was so fashionable and cool, and my 9 year old self reading the series for the first time always tried to copy her outfits. But Mallory was my second favorite. The first BSC book I read was Mallory and the Ghost Cat. I hadn’t heard of the BSC before then (this was in 1994 when I was in 3rd grade) but one of my classmates was reading that book, and the cat got my attention. I liked Mallory because she was an aspiring writer, like me. I’ve always loved writing. Plus, I felt sorry for her because she seemed to miss out on a lot of things. But I really don’t get why people didn’t like her. All the girls had their flaws… so why is it that she was the one that people seemed to like the least?

    • Jenn said,

      I think one of the many recent Buzzfeed articles about the BSC nailed it: We all thought she was dorky, but we also secretly feared we were just like her.

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