IT WAS AWESOME. AWESOME. AWESOME. EVERY. SINGLE. MOMENT.
Okay, for more coherency:
The theme music
Absolutely loved the way they meshed the Spiderman and Marvel music.
Peter and Ned’s friendship
Their banter throughout the movie was absolute gold. Funny
and moving. Loved their genuine enthusiasm and joy. And Ned’s very real concern
for his friend. Love that at the end after Peter saves the day, it’s Ned
gushing about his role in saving Peter’s life and Peter lets him. It’s such a
sweet moment between them.
I loved that they didn’t go down the cliché cheerleader
popular-kid/ popular-bully route. It was a more realistic portrayal of
dynamics. I love that everyone were nerds. The girl Peter wants is a nerd, the
guy teasing Peter is a nerd. The loner on the periphery is a nerd. And they
showed that just because people have these similar traits that doesn’t mean
they can’t be wildly different. There can be this entire microchasm within a
sub-culture. It generally depicted High School really well. (Not that I have
any idea of what American High Schools are like).
I absolutely adore and love all of these characters.
Short opinion: This is one of those books where the only thing more terrifying than the alien invasion is the planet the aliens are trying to invade.
Although it’s not my favorite of the series, this book has a lot of really cool moments, both light (Marco referencing the Ramones, Cassie’s dad making her pick up the skunk, GRAPE JUICE) and dark (Cassie’s panic after killing the termite queen, everyone’s near-death in the logging camp battle). This plot also nicely resolves the question of why the yeerks aren’t doing more to find the “andalites” allegedly living in the area through showing that, although humans might destroy forests and shoot skunks, humans also do a lot to protect their own planet.
Another thing I love about this book: Marco and Jake’s interaction. It only gets mentioned a few times in this book (and comes up again a couple times later in the series), but one of my favorite Little Things from the series is Marco and Jake’s ongoing Batman vs. Spider-Man debate. I am really fascinated that Jake argues in favor of Batman and Marco is so in favor of Spider-Man, given that Jake is a tactician who fights primarily through quick hit-and-run attacks (like Spider-Man) whereas Marco is a strategist who fights by thinking ahead of his opponents and coming up with creative ways to have them solve his problems for him (like Batman). Maybe it’s a matter of mutual respect for one another’s abilities, or a tendency to discount their own abilities. After all, Marco tends to describe his strategic perspective as “simple” and “clear,” whereas Jake continuously underestimates his impact on the team no matter what it is.
Then again, maybe Jake is such a fan of Batman because Bruce Wayne is (like him) a pensive, privileged justice-fighter focused on working hard to teach himself the skills he needs to be effective at his job. And maybe Marco sees himself in Spider-Man, since Peter Parker’s a goofy kid who gets thrown into a situation way over his head and spends the next several years flailing around trying to rise to the occasion. Or maybe they just played too many arcade games. Maybe they just need to watch this.
The other scene from this book that I really love is the one where Jake finds Cassie after she falls asleep in skunk morph protecting the baby skunks and he yells at her for being careless. She tells him she wants out of the war and that humans suck so much they might as well get taken over by yeerks; Jake calmly shuts her down when offers to go explain to Tom that he deserves to be enslaved by the yeerks according to Cassie’s philosophy. Cassie tells Jake that she’s saving the baby skunks no matter what, to which Jake responds that in that case they’d better recruit the whole team.
I love this scene for a couple different reasons. For one thing, it’s refreshing to see Cassie being wrong for once. In the series as a whole and in this book in particular there are several moments where she makes relatively dumb decisions that end up working out for her anyway (trusting Aftran, refusing to help with Taylor’s plan, letting Tom’s yeerk take the morphing cube, letting Aftran infest her, etc). In this instance, however, Cassie nearly gets herself trapped in morph over some baby skunks, and she risks her friends’ lives when just a few minutes ago she was angry with Tobias for killing to survive. She’s wrong, and both she and Jake acknowledge it.
This scene is also one of the many reasons I ship Cassie and Jake: they call each other out on bad decisions and resolve their differences of opinion through talking things out. Jake is wrong to dismiss Cassie’s concerns about the logging permits, as he freely admits later in the book. Cassie is wrong to tell Jake that the fight doesn’t matter in a universe this brutal when (unlike him) she doesn’t have any loved ones on the line in this war. They discuss their differences of opinion and resolve them.
Not only do they discuss their disagreement openly, but they also both make concessions. Cassie agrees that she needs to be a lot more careful in the future, especially with morphing time limits. Jake agrees that (even though he doesn’t see the point) they’ll “save the lousy skunks” (#9). They listen to each other and find a solution. It’s a pattern that comes up several more times over the course of the series: Jake and Cassie are the only ones willing to tell each other when one of them is wrong, but always do so in a way that avoids polarization or passive aggression. (Rachel and Tobias do not do nearly as well with this kind of conflict resolution when the circumstances arise, but that’s a whole other can of yeerks I’m not going to open here.)
Jake and Cassie might not have a perfect relationship—it doesn’t even survive the war, and its passion pales in comparison to what Rachel and Tobias have—but they also have a healthy relationship. Jake mentions a few times that the only time he feels able to drop the whole “I’m the leader, I feel no pain” act is when he’s alone with Cassie. Cassie agonizes over every major decision they make but also never stops trusting that Jake knows what he’s doing when he makes a tough call. Their arguments don’t have a single winner, and involve both of them openly confronting each other with their own points of view. They work to understand each other, since there are a lot of things they do not have in common, and that work might make for less melodrama but also makes for better communication.
Final note: the motif of Visser Three doing dumb shit and none of the human-controllers in the immediate vicinity who must know better correcting him comes up here. It’s another one of those Little Things that K.A. Applegate uses to speak volumes about why the yeerks lost the war just as much as the Animorphs won it. This book shows that it’s a bad idea to behead subordinates who disagree with you, because then you end up surrounded by sycophants who never once mention that you just dyed yourself purple for no reason.
I’m so sorry to hear you’re ill on your berfday! I hope you’re feeling
Know that I’m thinking of you & sending only the best juju your way
so you can get better. I’m with freckledandspectacled: drink lotsa tea
& rest! Hopefully you’ll be better soon & you can eat all the
Spider-Man birthday cake & have a great day.
Thank you! And I shall do! Probably just gonna sit and watch cute animal videos all day, lmao.
Helpful smiles bakery employee here again! This is a fuck management and customers, so sorry for the length. My manager just hired a new baker, so to make up for that, she’s been cutting other hours like crazy. That means scheduling only ONE morning wrapper and 2 for closing. Due to our lack of closers, this means moving the only closing decorator (me) to wrapping shifts. With only 1 morning wrapper, there is way too much product for 2 people to package and close on time. Especially when it’s Halloween and one employee (also me) is by herself for 2 hours. For my entire shift, I was running around getting cookies, slicing bread, and writing on cakes, all while trying to package up 10 racks of product. Most of the customers were really nice and patient. One lady whose order the morning fucked up even apologized for asking me to fix it. But then enters Crazy Cake Lady. She came in and wanted to order 4 cakes. I told her the prices for what she’s looking for, she complains very loudly. On 2 of them, she wants Spider-Man and My Little Pony, so I tell her the only way we can do that is with a decopac or edible image, both of which have an extra charge. She complains about that but decides on the decopac. She wants whipped icing, so I warn her with decopacs we use airbrush, which tends to fade on whipped icing. She really wants whipped so she accepts it but not after more complaining. Then comes the part that still has me confused. She wants chocolate icing on the Spider-Man cake. Chocolate icing, which is brown. Airbrush won’t show up on chocolate icing. Because it’s brown. It took TEN MINUTES for her to finally understand what I was saying. I don’t care if “more people prefer chocolate icing.” No matter how much you argue lady, I can’t change the laws of the universe just so you can have your stupid cake. Two customers who were standing nearby both told me what a good job I did handling the situation, so I felt a lot better afterwards. It was just really bizarre
tl;dr: Management cut back on staff, customer doesn’t get airbrush doesn’t work on chocolate icing, fuck them both