This book always kind of made me sad, because around the time it came out my own best friend and I were drifting apart. We never had a huge blow out like Stacey and Laine do in this book, we just ended up in different classes and were involved with different activities. But I always kind of wanted Laine to come back and be friends with Stacey again. Even if she was kind of bitchy in this book.
Stacey’s friend Laine has a week off from school and Stacey convinces her to come visit Stoneybrook for a week. Stacey has school, but she figures Laine will have enough fun that it doesn’t matter. When Laine shows up, she starts by totally dissing Stoneybrook for being too small and out in the “country.” Stacey did this when she first moved to Stoneybrook too, so it isn’t that big a deal. But Stacey notices that Laine is acting more snobbish than she used to, and she can’t stop talking about her 15-year-old boyfriend and how everything is so much better in NYC.
Stacey introduces Laine to some of the kids at SMS. Pete Black gets this huge crush on her and invites her to a Valentines Day dance. Laine agrees, but only making it obvious that middle school dances are totally beneath her. But, while at the dance Laine is rude to Pete, and then tells him she doesn’t want to dance, only to run off and dance with some other dude three seconds later. This is the straw that breaks the camel’s back for Stacey, and they get into a huge argument – eventually leading to the girls leaving the dance early and Laine going back to New York early.
Stacey knows deep down that this isn’t just another fight, it is the end of a friendship…and even writes a letter to Laine sending back the friendship necklace Laine gave her when she moved to Stoneybrook.
Subplot: The BSC is planning a Valentines Day dance for the kids they sit for. It is a Valentines “Masquerade” where the kids are supposed to sign their names with code. The Arnold girls are all into it because they both have crushes on someone, and the BSC thinks Carolyn likes Nicky Pike, and think Nicky likes her back and spend all this time discussing how cute it is, and wondering what they do for “dates.”
- Stacey says she and Laine had a fight when Laine didn’t understand her diabetes and just thought it was gross. But, I thought they didn’t tell the Cummings about her diabetes until after moving to Stoneybook?
- Every once in awhile they reveal more depth to Stacey than the “loves boys and shopping” type. Like, her pig collection. I know it is referenced in other books, and it makes another appearance here.
- Stacey’s outfit to meet Laine: “A purple shirtwaist top over flowered leggings, [her] cowboy boots…a purple hair ornament made from shoelaces, and long dangly silver earrings.”
- Laine’s outfit for arriving in Stoneybrook: “A jean coat with a fur collar…black Capri pants edged with lace, very chick black ankle boots, and on her head, a brillant red oversized-beret.” Capri pants with ankle boots? And capris in February?
- Stacey has a sleepover with the BSC and Laine and it is a little tense. They finally relax when they find out that To Kill a Mockingbird is on TV and decide to watch it. Now, don’t get me wrong, it is a fabulous book and movie. But would 13-year-olds really be excited about watching it?
- Stacey gets permission for Laine to come to school with her, and expects Laine to be excited about it.
- Apparently Stacey and Mal have this code where Mal hangs a white towel out her window if she can walk to school with the BSC and a red one if she has to walk with her family. It is built off a phone code Stacey/Laine had when they were ten, but Laine makes fun of it now.
- Laine is surprised that students can’t leave SMS during the school day. Seriously? It is middle school.
- What the hell is a gossamer? Pete tells Laine her hair is like a gossamer.
- Laine’s boyfriend calls her “Babe” and she calls him “Heart”…his real name (or at least what we are told is his real name) is King, so the “Heart” refers to the King of her Heart.
- When King calls the McGills, he actually says, “How’s Babe?” Then Laine is all, “Hi, it’s me, Babe.”
- The Hobart boys are originally planning on wearing suits and neckties to the Valentines Day party. First, how many boys would be excited about it? They are 4, 6, and 8. And second, are their parents that out of it?
- Mallory and Ben Hobart have a fight while studying together. It is about…whether is to look things up by subject or author in the card catalogue. That makes it seem like so long ago.
- Stacey makes this big deal about tells us that Laine goes to the Friday BSC meeting with her. But then they all act like it is the first time she is there. So did she just leave Laine home alone Monday and Wednesday.
- When Kristy hears about Laine’s older boyfriend she asks, “Can he drive? Vote? Then what’s the point?” (Paraphrased). I kind of see her point. If you are going to brag about dating an older guy, you might as well get something out of it.
- Laine tells the BSC baby-sitting is not a “real job” and the girls should be getting regular paychecks like adults. Why? Don’t rush into needing a regular job.
- Laine also makes fun of the BSC for sitting around talking about the love life of little kids. I will agree with her on this one.
- Laine’s dance outfit: “Black leotard, long black jacket, black leggings over black stockings, black shows.” Why would you where leggings over stockings? Am I missing something?
- Stacey’s dance outfit: “A red top and a very short jean skirt.”
- Mrs. McGill tells Stacey and Laine they look 15, and Laine is all “people tell me I look 18." I really doubt she looked that old.
- Laine is shocked that Mrs. McGill is driving them to the dance, and they are meeting the guys there. Stacey points out that even King can’t drive, so I am not sure what Laine was expecting.
- The BSC all agreed to meet at the door to the dance and go in together. Stacey tells us they sometimes like to stay together like a pack. Sometimes?
- Laine is horrified that Pete wears sneakers with his suit to the dance. Personally, I am shocked about the suit. In middle school, the only really dressy dance we had was our eighth grade graduation one. Sometimes girls wore dresses, but not fancy ones and boys never wore suits. Even in HS, the only dressy dances were “Holiday” dances and prom.
- On Valentines Day (to the kids party), Stacey: “Red leggings, red ankle boots, a bulky red sweater, and red barrettes.”
- At the kids party, it turns out that Nicky and Marilyn Arnold like each other, but first there is this weird misunderstanding because he thought her name was Marylin. Now, I don’t know about anyone else, but I generally think knowing my name is a strong requirement when deciding whether to date a guy.
- It turns out Carolyn liked James Hobart, and he liked her, so there are happy endings all around for the kiddie scene.
- Do eight-year-olds even exchange cards like that on Valentines Day? Really? Aren't kids still in the "they have cooties" stage at that point?
- Stacey writes a “good-bye” type letter to Laine where she says she didn’t make Laine come to Stoneybrook. But…she kind of did.