Usually, when the BSCers have fights, it’s portrayed in a somewhat positive light – where no one did anything to horrible. But I remember Stacey was a real bitch in this one. She basically lies to everyone and keeps sneaking off to see her boyfriend. Also, the cover of this book tries to make it look like a romance novel, and totally played a part in my unrealistic expectations of teenage boys.
Looking back, I can sympathize somewhat with Stacey, because of the situation with her father. I remember that he surprises her with the fact that he’s dating again, and then Stacey’s left to tell her mother about it. Which, is kind of awkward for her. Stacey was always whining about her parent’s putting her in the middle, but in this book she actually has reason to.
Stacey’s boyfriend Robert gets a job working on the ferry to Fire Island, where his family has a house. He’s going to spend the whole summer there, so Stacey’s a bit bummed about it. However, her father tells her that he wants to take her on a two-week vacation, and she gets to pick the place. So, of course, she picks Fire Island, but doesn’t tell her dad why. She also invites Claudia to come for the whole trip (at her dad’s suggestion), and Kristy, Mary Anne, and Shannon to come for one weekend. However, she doesn’t tell them about Robert either.
Once they get there, Claudia finds out about Robert right away, but Mr. McGill doesn’t. Luckily for Stacey, her dad spends much of his time with Mr. Majors, this friend of his who has a house there. This means that Stacey can run off and hang out with Robert every chance she gets, without letting her father know. Claudia, however, does notice Stacey’s behavior, and gets a little annoyed at always being abandoned. Stacey agrees to have a nice dinner with just the two of them, to make it up to Claud. But some friend of Robert’s invites him and Stacey to go on a “sunset cruise” in his boat the same night. Stacey tries to rush Claudia through the dinner, so she can meet Robert, but Claudia figures out what’s happening and they get in a huge fight. Meanwhile, when Kristy, Mary Anne, and Shannon come out for a weekend, they take Claud’s side. When they leave, Claudia goes with them, because why would Claudia stay on a vacation with someone who keeps abandoning her?
Stacey goes for a walk with Robert and they bump into her father….with some woman. It turns out her dad has a new girlfriend, Samantha, and he wanted her to come to Fire Island. So, he got a second house for Samantha to stay in, and whenever he claimed to be hanging out with “Mr. Majors” he was actually going off to see Samantha. Mr. McGill and Stacey get into a fight about their respective lies. A few days after this, Robert breaks up with Stacey, because he saw her lie to everyone so easily. But, eventually everyone makes up. Stacey talks to her dad about his girlfriend and tries to accept it. Robert also approaches her and says he was a little mad at first, but still wanted to stay together. She and Claudia also make up, but almost completely off-screen.
The subplot’s about Vanessa Pike and Haley Braddock (who are attending a day camp Mal and Jessi are working at). Vanessa and Haley bought the same bathing suit, and are each mad at the other for “copying them.” They make up at the end too, because Mal and Jessi are THAT good with kids. I would give more details, but I don’t want to put anyone to sleep.
- I didn’t remember this until I started reading it, but there’s this scene where Stacey gets all dressed up, describes her outfit, then decides it’s too “summery” out, and changes her clothes. Then we get a whole new outfit.
- Stacey changes from, “A pair of blue tights, black canvas walking shorts, a long-sleeved blue T-shirt, and a pair of black flats,” to “a one piece shorts dress with [a] gold, red and green Aztec pattern…[and] a pair of tan woven flats.”
- I wouldn’t have noticed this if I hadn’t read Jessi and the Troublemaker last week, but both books had a “Mr. Majors” in them. I wonder if the ghostwriters had a list of approved names or something?
- Stacey outfit: “This super cue flowing pants outfit with a sunflower print against a navy blue background. It had a high waist, cap sleeves, and scoop neck, and the pants were long and full.” I actually had an outfit almost like that, but it had tiny white flowers, not sunflowers.
- Claudia outfit: “A long, black, crocheted vest that fell to her knees over a pair of black shorts and a white blouse with ruffles at the collar and cuffs…on her feet, were black sandals with a thick platform sole and white ribbons which laced around her ankles.” Those pieces don’t sound too bad individually, but together it seems like a bit much.
- Hey, a pop culture reference that isn’t totally dated….Stacey said she and Claud think Johnny Depp is cute. Or do 13-year-olds not care about him? I’m clearly getting old, because I’m not sure.
- Mallory and Jessi gets jobs as counselors at the day camp the town’s community center has. They claim they are getting actual paychecks. Can you even get working papers when you’re eleven? I could buy them getting paid under the table or something, but not them getting actual checks.
- At the day camp, the kids all get to make lanyards. Wow, I remember doing that at day camp. It seemed like a lot more fun then, than it does thinking back.
- This is yet another vacation where Claudia convinces all her friends to be in a parade. I’m surprised Claudia, who’s very into appearing “cool” would be so willing to participate in them. But then again…we do know what she wears on a daily basis.
- In order to do the parade, Claudia asks Kristy to bring some supplies when she, Mary Anne, and Shannon come for the weekend. Claud and Stacey need to take the ferry to town so that they can send a fax to Watson. I’m not sure why they couldn’t just call? I know they would have had to pay for a long distance call, but they must have paid for the fax too.
- Stacey says that she visits Robert on his breaks from works, which seem to happen every time the ferry docks on the Fire Island side. But, when she and Claudia take the ferry to town, Robert has a break and gets to sit with them on the way back. I’d like a job with that many breaks.
- Even though Stacey lies to everyone, she doesn’t get into any trouble. She and her dad have a fight, but there are no consequences for her lying and taking advantage of her father’s offer about a vacation.
- Stacey outfit: “This white and blue sundress with a dropped waist and a square sailor collar.”
- It seems kind of weird that Robert’s adult co-worker would invite him and Stacey to go on a “sunset cruise.”
- Stacey really does act like a bitch in this one. She’s trying to rush Claudia through dinner (to see Robert), so she lies and says she needs to eat because of her blood sugar. She thinks this will get Claudia to pick out what to wear faster. Then she gets annoyed that Claud tries to give her a snack before they leave.
- For anyone interested, Claud’s theme for the parade is sandcastles. She builds a big one on a plank that they pull on a couple of attached wagons. That seems really impractical to me, but whatever. Kristy’s the prince, Mary Anne’s the princess, Shannon’s the lady-in-waiting, Claudia’s the court jester, and Stacey’s the dragon. (This is when Claud’s pissed at her).
- Claudia is probably the only person who would willingly dress like a court jester.
- Claudia had been taking pictures of all her sand castles, and when a woman in the local art gallery saw them, she put them up for sale. By the time Stacey sees them, a couple have already sold, and the owner mentions she hasn’t seen Claudia back in the gallery. Shouldn’t the owner have gotten Claud’s home contact info before selling her stuff? I mean, maybe she did have it and would have contacted Claud eventually, but it seems kind of weird.
- Also, is it legal to sell artwork from a 13-year-old?
- Stacey questions what her father would have done with Samantha if she’d chosen a different location for the trip. He doesn’t answer, but I’m really curious as well.
- Mr. McGill says he was originally going to take a vacation with just Samantha, but he worked things out so that he could do “both.” I think it’s a pretty crappy way to treat both Samantha AND Stacey. And I certainly wouldn’t go on a vacation with some guy and his daughter, if the daughter didn’t know I existed.