This was one of the first BSC books I owned, and didn’t just get from the library. I read so many times the cover fell off. I can’t exactly remember what I thought the first time I read it; it is more like a collective memory. I know I liked it, but I liked most Mary Anne books. So here goes.
There is a huge fight with the BSC members and everyone stops talking to each other. I think at some point Claudia and Mary Anne make up, but then start fighting again. I also thought it was such a big deal when Mary Anne has to bring Jenny Prezzioso to the hospital.
The girls are real bitches in this book. Like I thought, they have this stupid fight about “job hogging” and then insult each other. Then, they spend the rest of it not talking. This actually goes on for weeks and they conduct meetings with only one person going at a time, because they can’t stand the sight of one another.
Since Mary Anne is lame and has no other friends, she sits alone at lunch and meets Dawn, who has no one to sit with because she just moved to town. It is really sad, actually, because the only reason she talks to Dawn is to make Kristy jealous. I guess they always forget to mention that in “Chapter 2” of later books. But at the end, Mary Anne decides she really does want to be friends with Dawn, and when the BSC makes up, they invite Dawn to join. Somewhere in there, Mary Anne sits for Jenny Prezzioso, who gets a fever of 104 and has to go to the hospital. It is a really minor point in the book, despite what I remember and, you know, giving the book the title. (I suppose the title could come from Mary Anne having a part in the rest of the girls making up, but I think it is mostly Jenny).
Oh, and the Claudia/Mary Anne thing is that Claud hears Mimi call her “My Mary Anne” and flips out.
- In this book, Karen is five and Andrew is three (and all the BSCers are twelve). So, how come when everyone ages a year and freezes in time, Karen gets to be seven, while Andrew is four, and the BSCers are thirteen. What the hell is so special about Karen that she gets two birthdays over the course of the series?
- There is all this contrived stuff where Dawn and Mary Anne forget to ask their parents if they knew each other in high school until they find an old yearbook, which, is we all know, is when they found out they were in love, and blah, blah, blah.
- Sharon and Richard both get completely spacey when they find out the other is in town/single. I am not really sure how believable it is.
- Sharon and Richard also wrote really embarrassing things in each other’s yearbooks: “Dearest Richie, Four years weren’t enough. Let’s start over, How can we part? We have one more summer. Hold onto it.” What seventeen-year-old writes stuff like that?
- Dawn must really be an idiot. Mary Anne keeps telling her all her friends are absent. And this goes on for weeks. Weeks!
- When the BSC helps out at Jamie Newton’s birthday, their fighting actually makes him CRY. You would think Mrs. Newton would call the girls less after that.
- Of course, you would also think Mrs. Newton would not hire twelve-year-olds to sit for her eight-week-old baby.
- What kind of lawyer is Richard supposed to be? In this book, he talks about how he lost a case because the jury let someone get away with grand larceny, which would make him a prosecutor. But I have this really vivid memory of Dawn and the Impossible Three where I distinctly remember him saying he started his own law firm. Wouldn’t that make him a defense attorney? How hard is it to have continuity between books that come right after each other? I think Ann M. Martin was still doing the writing herself then.
- Since when are Mary Anne and her dad religious? MA says how they pray before all their meals/before bed/etc.
- Mary Anne is so impressed with Dawn because….she has a VCR.
- This book had 16 chapters. I guess it was before they became completely formulatic, but it completely weirded me out.
- Another case of continuity issues with various BSC back stories. Mary Anne says how Claudia only sometimes walked to school with her and Kristy, but there are a bunch of later books with flashbacks and they say that the three of them always walked together.
- Also, Mary Anne says her mom grew up in Maryland, but later we are told it was some farm in Iowa.
- Richard tells Mary Anne the Pikes raise their kids too liberally. They apparently let Claire run around the house naked and let the kids eat whatever they want. Which actually sounds right, when you read about the Pike kids. So why is Mallory always complaining about how strict they are?
- Want to hear what Richard thinks a double standard is? When a fourteen year old is encouraged to date and a 13 year old is not allowed. Hmmmm, I guess encouraging an 11-year-old baby sit while a ten year old needs a sitter, is COMPLETELY different from that, though.
- MA can really be a bitch. She writes these notes to Kristy and Stacey:
“Dear Stacey, I’m really, really sorry you called me a shy little baby. I hope you are sorry too…”
“Dear Kristy, I’m sorry you’re the biggest bossiest know-it-all in the world, but what can I do about it? Have you considered professional help?”
- She writes one to Claud too, but it is actually a real apology.
- In this book, Dawn talks about how organized she is. Which I always remembered about the early books, but later doesn’t it change and talk about her being relaxed and hating what a neat freak Richard is?
- Mary Anne lets Jenny Prezzioso paint in her lace dress. That is just asking for trouble.
- Does anyone who would “like to go to school wearing skintight turquoise pants, Stacey’s island shirt with flamingos and toucans over it, and maybe bright red, high-top sneakers” have a right to make fun of how her father looks in his high school year book? I mean, really.