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Guest Post!! Zoey Fools Around, Part 1

July 22, 2009

Hey everyone, I’m recovering from surgery so I’m handing the gauntlet over to my beloved Book!Sarah for a post or three.  Enjoy her recaps of Katherine Applegate’s, uh, masterpiece? Zoey Fools Around.

***

Hello there! My name is Sarah and I will be you tour guide on a lovely trip to Chatham Island, Maine.

Zoey Fools Around was originally published in 1994 as a part of the Boyfriends/Girlfriends series in 1994 and republished in 1998 as Making Out. The more you know and all that rot.

The book starts with a handwritten essay-type thing (remember the BSC notebook entries?) written by one Zoey Passmore. Zoey is writing about love, how love is awesome and totally true except for when it isn’t because people are usually checking out other people when they’re with someone “Don’t lie. You know you have,” says Zoey. Then, she goes off on this weird tangent about how love could be like yogurt, with a short shelf-life, or peanut butter which seems to last forever…or not. Seriously, girl is confused, but it’s okay because she’s just 17 and has just begun to understand the War of 1812. Ummmm, okaaaaaay. Then, Zoey admits she knows jack about love, but knows more than she did two years ago.

Then, the Flash-Back-O-Matic takes us back two years ago. Isn’t that nice?

Zoey is smacking the hand of Jake McRoyan for trying to steal bites of her ice cream. No, that’s not a euphemism. They briefly argue over what to call the waffle cone. Zoey on the side of “waffle”, Jake on the side of “cone”. Reminds him of his head, I guess. [Editor’s note: It IS a cone.  What the hell?]  Jake then feels the need to comment about how sexy it is when Zoey licks her ice cream and she’s terribly embarrassed about this. She asks Jake why he’s feeling so shpadoinkle and he explains that it’s because Lucas is going to jail. Jake blames Lucas for killing his brother, Wade. Jake leaves to help his dad at the marina and Zoey is left alone. She wanders around for a bit and then she sees Lucas and feels bad because nobody came to see him get carted off to jail. She basically plants one on his lips and gives him the rest of her ~waffle~. [Editor’s note: Sarah!!!  Dirty!]  Lucas says that it’s his favorite part and walks away.

Now, we’re treated to a newspaper article detailing the car accident that killed Wade. Wade McRoyan died, Claire Geiger was injured, and Lucas confessed to driving and somehow managed to escape unharmed.

PRESENT DAY

We stumble onto Nina Geiger, Our Lady of Ripped Fishnet Stockings and Unlit Cigarettes. She’s angsting that there are five more days until school to Zoey and Zoey is totally provoking her in that way good friends are allowed to do. Nina gives examples of the three-part comic tautology rule and they back-and-forth about Fig Newtons and breast size and how Claire (Nina’s sister) once compared Zoey’s chest to the Great Plains…in front of the class while doing an oral report. The conversation continues and Zoey mentions her dream of writing romance novels to a teacher who was none too thrilled with the prospect. Zoey and Nina part ways and on her way home Zoey notices a guy standing on the Cabral’s house deck. Why, it couldn’t POSSIBLY be Lucas, right?

Zoey comes home and chats with her dad about how she would never do the stuff he did in the ’70s and an argument he had with her mom about weight. Zoey decides that this is entirely too much information and skedaddles to Jake’s. On the way, she composes this letter in which she ditches Jake for one of the Baldwins. Jake, suddenly sidles up to her in his truck. Can you imagine what would have happened if he had heard her? Awk-waaard! They argue about Jake wanting to get into Zoey’s pants (again) and decide to chill out at Zoey’s place.

I have to ask, is it normal to constantly think about dumping your bf in high school? [Editor’s note: Yes.]
Hand-written entry: Zoey reminisces about how she and Jake started dating when they were thirteen. They have the perfect relationship because Jake makes her feel safe and everyone thinks they belong together.

Zoey is home and talking to her brother, Ben. Nina is coming over to read for him later. Benjamin has picked The Plague by Camus and Zoey worries about Nina’s state of mind. Ben says that Nina’s low self-esteem comes from living with Claire. Zoey counters that nobody is forcing him to date Claire. Benjamin says Claire has a great voice. Zoey goes back to Jake and they discuss the end of summer blues, and Nina’s calling Jake “Joke.” Zoey talks about how she feels the whole island gang has been stuck in a rut and Joke is all “Bwuh?” Zoey is for some reason looking out the window at the Cabral domicile. Is it just me, or does that seem kind of a tasteless thing to do considering her boyfriend practically has a blood-feud with Lucas? Anyway, she tells Joke that she thinks Lucas is back, which causes Joke to get his rage on and snarl “He’s back!”

Claire is out on her widow’s walk, wondering if falling off the widow’s walk isn’t a secret hope. Yes, Claire is depressed. She is also obsessed with the weather, which makes perfect sense as she’s planning on becoming a climatologist. Nina appears from Claire’s bedroom window and tells Claire that Lucas is back. Did I mention that Claire was Lucas’s girlfriend at the time of the accident? Claire isn’t thrilled with the re-emergence of her ex-snugglebunny and says that she doubts he’ll feel very welcome.

Hand-written thingy. Claire’s hand-writing is really hard for me to read, but ymmv. She reminisces about the good ol’ days that quickly turned to crap when Wade died. Wade had bought some beer and all three of them were pretty tipsy. Wade was moping about some girl he’d broken up. Claire and Lucas decided to steal away to frolic in a chaste and virginal manner. Oh, I’m lying. They totally made out. Shocking, I know. She doesn’t remember all the gory details of the accident, just that Lucas confessed, Wade was dead, and Claire had a broken wrist. Joke came to the hospital to basically talk a bunch of smack about Lucas. Claire feels that she, Wade, and Jake were victimized by Lucas.

Zoey is at Joke’s Laff Shack and is greeted by Joke’s mom, Daisy. Daisy is basically June Cleaver Redux. She’s a housewife and happy about it, dammit! After talking about baked goods and Zoey’s inability to call Daisy by her first name, Zoey heads downstairs in search of Joke. She isn’t sure where he is and she’s starting to get nervous (I think we’re supposed to think he went after Lucas in a fit of homicidal rage or something) then BAM! The bathroomn door opens and she’s treated to the rather dubious pleasure of Nekkid Jake, who is wearing nothing but shaving cream. He tells her that he cut himself. Dude, seriously? If that’s how you’re going to react when you’re girlfriend sees you naked, just give it up. Your sex life is going to SUCK! Joke uses his grievous wound to make out with Zoey and then, of course, tries to get in her pants. Joke, take up stamp-collecting, okay? No matter how much blood you shed, Zoey doesn’t want to have sex!

Zoey has this thing where she finds a quote she likes, writes it on a Post-It note, and slaps it on the her bedroom wall. Two quotes from her collection are “Imagination is the eye of the soul” by Joseph Joubert and “A man can stand anything but a succession of ordinary days” by Goethe. She adds “or a woman” to the latter quote, which makes me absurdly happy for some reason.

Next morning: Zoey is chatting with her mom, Darla, and Benjamin over breakfast. Darla tries to traumatize her kids by talking about her and Jeff’s (their father) sex life. Zoey tells her to stop and Darla makes a snide comment about Daisy and Fred McRoyan. Zoey is horrified because well, what if Joke had heard? That would be no laughing matter! Darla’s all “Pffffft.Whatev.” and goes back to her newspaper. Naturally, the conversation turns to Lucas and his mother’s baked goods. Zoey wonders if things will change now that Lucas is back.

The Island Posse is congregating at the center of Chatham. Claire is surprised that the talk is not about Lucas. Here’s a line from the book  that has always bothered me: “Lately the black guy, Christopher, had dropped by from time to time, obviously not sure whether he was being invited to join the group or not. Hopefully, having seen Aisha, he knew he wasn’t being given the cold shoulder because of his race.” I have no idea why that bothers me so much, but it really does. Hmmmppphhh.  [Editor’s note: Holy crap, that’s an awkward sentence.  “The black guy”??]

Anyway, the conversation is basically that the most of the islander kids are seniors this year, aand therefore a dying breed. Joke shows what a tool he is by suggesting Benjamin would be happy if Zoey flunked. Claire defends Benjamin and the conversation turns to Lucas and what should be “done” about him. Joke says that Roy Cabral will probably throw Lucas out because he’s “proud.” Joke then convinces the islanders that they should give Lucas the cold shoulder because the islanders have always stuck together (except for Lucas, I guess.) and Claire realizes she feels relieved.

Aisha is headed home and sees Christopher on her front porch. Christopher hands her some flowers and then asks her out and is shocked when she declines. It comes out that Aisha has been pestered by some people about dating Christopher because they’re the only unattached people of color on the island. Christopher then tells her she’s a bitch and Mrs. Gray comes out and Christopher cons her into hiring him to plant tulips for the motel’s garden. Then, he tells Aisha that it’s fate that they date with each other. What a douche.  [WHAT???]

Hand-written entry: Lucas. Yay! The writing doesn’t hurt my eyes! Lucas talks about Youth Authority (YA) and how he came across some articles that Zoey had written for the paper’s youth page. He clipped them and kept them on the wall for the duration of his sentence.

Zoey and Nina are tanning in the Passmore’s backyard. They’re  discussing kissing and groping. Apparently, Nina kissed some guy who went past tonsil hockey and joined the ranks of liver-licking. Eugh! Nina gets up to use the bathroom and then Lucas shows up and tells Zoey to inform Claire that he keeps his promises.

Zoey leaves her parents’ retaurant to hang out with the island crew on Joke’s dad’s boat. They’re headed to Big Bite Pond, so named because Chatham Island looks like a croissant with a bite taken out of it. They anchor the boat to a dinghy and Zoey challenges Claire to a race to pick up firewood. Claire cheats so Zoey cons Aisha and Nina in to help her collect the firewood.

Zoey and Joke are enjoying the fire until they decide to talk about Nina and Aisha’s lack of relationships. Zoey claims that they “need” relationships and Joke is astounded that Aisha is not dating Christopher because she has a “nice bod and a pretty face.” Zoey is understandably miffed that Joke reduces her friend to looks and Joke tries to defend himself by accusing Zoey of trying to “bust” him. Hey, Joke? The reason she’s trying to “bust” you is that you’re an asshat. Shut up and enjoy the fire. Then, Joke digs himself deeper in the hole by asking if he’s expected to stay at first base until they get married. No, Joke! You’re expected to die! On the bright side, at least he didn’t go <a href=”http://trappedintheattic.wordpress.com”>as LOWE as ARDEN and claim that he had blue balls</a>, right?

Jake tells Zoey that he does love her, but he has this image in his head of what their life would be like. Zoey asks if they can’t just be irresponsible teenagers and Joke says he’s no good at that. (Ha! Just wait until book four). Then Joke mentions that it’s Wade’s birthday and Zoey feels like a ginormous tool for not thinking of it and talking to Evil, Evil Lucas. Zoey happens to look over at Benjamin and Claire and notices Claire is watching Joke rather intently. Cuh-reepy!

Hand-written: Aisha. Aisha used to live in Boston. She was in junior high when a bunch of bigoted freaks decided to overturn the school bus she was in. Her mom stumbled across an inn for sale and decided to move to Chatham Island. At first Aisha thought that the islanders were racist morons until she confronted Zoey about it. Zoey was shocked that Aisha could think she was racist and explained that it was just because Aisha was from “away”. Now, Aisha doesn’t entirely trust people from “away”, not until they’ve been on the island for at least a year or so.

***

(Your editor here again.)

Up next: …I don’t know.  Sarah didn’t tell me and I’ve never read the series.  Probably more of Jake’s assholeishness, Zoey’s restlessness, and more racist crap.  Just a guess.  More from Sarah soon!  And a big thanks to her for recapping while I’m recovering from my appendectomy.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. July 22, 2009 6:08 pm

    I LOVE the Making Out series! And in a totally non-ironic way! I know, I deserve to be tied up and forced to listen as Gilbert Gottfried reads the entire Fear Street series to me. But something about those books just rocks my world.

  2. July 22, 2009 6:09 pm

    By the way — Alana, I hope you feel better soon, lady!!!

  3. November 16, 2009 3:51 am

    Well, I stumbled onto this quite accidentally, but it’s a good kind of accident. This synopsis is quite humorous, and I found myself smile more than once(an occurrence few have seen). I’m going to try to navigate your space here in hopes of similar content! Good stuff.

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