Kate and Lauryn are back to basics and regularly-scheduled programming with their discussion of Mallory and the troublesome, terrorizing twins – Marilyn and Carolyn Arnold. Despite the trouble and terror, it’s a light book to ease everyone back into the regular series discussion. Mallory has some significant plot ignorance that causes her to completely forget that her identical triplet brothers are different people with distinct personalities until it makes sense for her to remember in time to have the realization that maybe the twins are also different people with distinct personalities who don’t want to be dressed in identical infantilizing outfits with identical lives. We cut Mallory some slack since the story called for it and she brings it around in giving Marilyn and Carolyn the opportunity to realize and act on their own agency. And Mallory is even inspired by them to do the same for herself – with respect to ear-piercing and hair-cutting. Yep, it’s the one with the obsession with twinning and piercing, as multiple charges dress identically for fun and the BSC goes “malling” to get a total of nine holes pierced. We discuss how the new BSC series has or has not impacted our reading, the movie versions of Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings being the definitive versions of each, and our own feelings and experiences on twinning and ear-piercing before taking a more on-topic tangent than you might expect into influencer culture and children’s rights to consent or object to their parents’ (or others’) posting of them on social media. And as always, we remind ourselves just how great Mallory is along with how much we appreciate Ann M. Martin for the care and thought she puts into writing each of these books and capturing each girl’s distinct voice and personality.
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