I'm going to go out on a limb and say anyone reading this has definitely watched Full House. But, do you remember the spin-off book series that had Stephanie and Michelle Tanner as the stars? Because when I remembered, I never wanted to forget again.
Stephanie's series (my series of choice) centered on her life in middle school, and they are considered part of Full House canon, though the school and her group of friends are different from in the show. Sadly, this means there is no Gina. The series begins with Phone Call from a Flamingo, as Stephanie completes a series of dares to try to join with the popular girl clique, the Flamingos. This clique shows up several more times through the series as Stephanie's fierce rivals.
Why Did We Love The Stephanie Books?
Though Michelle's series had more books to choose from, I'm a middle child and I definitely went straight for my favorite Tanner middle child. (Still not clear why DJ didn't have a series, because her friends Kimmy and Steve were far more part of canon, but I digress.) If you could not get enough of the Tanner family on your television, it was only natural to want to devour whatever else you could get your hands on related to Full House. So just like New Kids on the Block bobbleheads and bed sheets, Full House had its own line of merchandise, and books probably just seemed like, well, hey at least it's reading.
But boy, did I get invested in Stephanie and the cool girls' clique, The Flamingos. The cover of the first Stephanie book, which is seriously the only one I can remember at all, asks "Are the Flamingos a cool club or bad news?"
I'll give you one guess.
In order to join the Flamingos clique, Stephanie had to go through some hazing rituals, which included completing a series of dares. And I'm going to tell you the end result of this, but buckle up because it's probably the most '90s sentence I will ever write:
The Flamingoes dare Stephanie to steal phone cards, so Stephanie is taking Danny's, when DJ busts in on her and she tearfully explains what's happening. (In my head there was that sad, we're-learning-a-lesson music.) Turns out, the Flamingos wanted the phone cards so they could call their boyfriends for free.
Why Do We Still Love Them?
I'm not ashamed to say that I've stolen a funky style tip from Stephanie and the Flamingos. To show that they were part of the cool girls clique, each Flamingo painted only their pinky nail pink. I'm sorry, but this is such a great secret society idea. I think I walked around with one pink pinky nail for months. And now that I remember this, I'm experimenting with one painted nail, and I think I like where this is going.
So of course these books weren't the most educational or worthwhile reads, and I'm not going to pass them along to my imaginary children, but boy was it a fun exercise in nostalgia to dig into them again, and I think that's enough.
If You Loved The Stephanie Books, Try Reading...
1. My So-Called Life by Catherine Clarke
Ride the '90s nostalgia train to its inevitable end with the My So-Called Life spin-off novels, which included this and its sequel My So-Called Life Goes On. Oh, if only the TV series went on, if only.
2. The Carrie Diaries by Candace Bushnell
The Sex in the City spin-off novel, turned spin-off TV show, tells Carrie's high school back story. If you're a Sex in the City completest, it's a must-read.
3. The Thousand-Dollar Tan Line by Rob Thomas and Jennifer Graham
Another cancelled-too-soon series Veronica Mars is finding new life on the bookshelves, with creator Rob Thomas' new mystery series set in the Neptune, California universe. The Thousand-Dollar Tan Line is up for a Goodreads Choice Award for Best Mystery or Thriller of 2014, so this is one book series spin-off that might be worthy of its original show.
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