Sunday, February 6, 2011

“It’s not that he wouldn’t be interested in you”…..BSC Super Special # 10: Sea City, Here We Come!

Memory Reaction

I think I’ve said before that I liked the Sea City books, so I was glad to see a super special set there. But, I remember thinking how this book made it more obvious that the girls didn’t age. I mean, I knew they didn’t age and I understood why. I didn’t even mind (too much) that they had multiple summer vacations. But a third trip to Sea City in 8th grade was a bit hard to accept.

The specific thing I remember is how Logan’s self-conscious about meeting Alex, and there’s a scene where he and Mary Anne are walking on the beach (or somewhere), and she says how she doesn’t miss being a mothers’ helper “now.” Then they run into Alex and Toby, and Mary Anne keeps pulling Logan’s arm around her tighter, which Logan interprets as Mary Anne wanting to make it clear he’s her boyfriend.

I also remember getting a Buddy chapter, and how when he’s helping a cop pick up trash on the beach, the cop keeps calling him “Buddy.” But he meant it generically and didn’t know it was his actual name.

Revisited Reaction

So, this year the Pikes’ mother’s helpers are Mallory (because she apparently doesn’t want a vacation) and Jessi. Stacey’s still going to Sea City, but working for the Barretts who are staying next door. But the Pikes invited the rest of the BSC (including Logan) to stay with them for the second week of the vacation. Franklin (currently Mrs. Barrett’s fiancé) is going down for a few days in the middle of the trip, so he’s driving the whole gang down. When he leaves, Logan will go with them so he can work back in Stoneybrook, and everyone else will stay with the Pikes.

Because Sea City = boy drama, Toby and Alex are also down there at the same time. Stacey’s trying to act like it doesn’t bother her that Toby “dumped” her back in the last book. Alex is eager to see Mary Anne, even though they are now supposedly just friends. Anyway, Toby starts flirting with Mallory, talking about how different she looks now that she’s 11-years-old and grown up, as opposed to the time she went to Sea City when she was 11 and still a kid. Meanwhile, Mrs. Barrett’s driving Stacey crazy, and Jessi’s trying to be the best sitter ever, because she wants to prove she’s as good as an older sitter.

Back in Stoneybrook, the rest of the BSC gets to have their own boring stories before leaving for Sea City.

  • Claudia’s finishing summer school, and has made a couple friends. Then she’s almost upset to find out she can’t go to a barbeque one of them is having to celebrate the end of school.
  • Kristy’s dealing with the fact that more than half of the Krushers are on vacation. So, she doesn’t have enough players for an upcoming game. She doesn’t want to forfeit, so she walks around her neighborhood ringing doorbells to recruit new team members. She gets enough players for the game, but they totally suck and lose.
  • Mary Anne and Dawn are having a “mini-camp” in their backyard. They go on a trip to a nearby farm and have a sleepover in the barn. Dawn makes up a lame ghost story about her secret passage.

Anyway, when they finally all arrive in Sea City. They go to the beach, play miniature golf, go to some circus that’s in town, etc. But then a hurricane hits. They try to drive inland for the storm, but the causeway to town floods and they are stuck. They end up spending the storm in the gym of a local elementary storm. Afterwards they don’t have power, but stay back at their house for the last few days of the tip.

Back to the boy drama – Toby ended up asking Mallory out for Friday, the last night of the vacation. She says yes and gets Claudia and Jessi to help her get ready. (Stacey’s barely talking to her at this point). But then Mal starts thinking about Ben Hobart and how it’s her family’s last night in Sea City. She tells Toby she isn’t going on the date, and he’s all, “okay, well let me know if you or any other cute girls will be around next summer.” Then she and Stacey make up.


  • Stacey outfit: “This white T-shirt that hung practically to her knees…white stretch pants…to mid-calf, a tan leather belt over the T-shirt, and leather-strap sandals.”
  • They say, last time Mary Anne was in Sea City, she and Alex became pretty friendly, but it didn’t turn into anything serious. However, Stacey and Toby “actually dated.” They were in Sea City for two weeks. How much “dating” can you do?
  • Claudia says how summer school teachers make students miserable because they would have preferred to have the summer off too. Which, I’m sure is true, but at least the teachers get paid for teaching in the summer.
  • Claudia became friendly with a summer school classmate who lives near her and also likes art. And of course we never hear about her again.
  • I can see the Pikes inviting the BSC to stay with them in the beach house, since it’s big enough and not a huge extra cost. Plus, they know the girls will help with the kids. But they also rent a van so they can bring everyone back, which seems like a pretty big expense to take on. Also, can you really fit that many more people in a van than a station wagon?
  • I don’t remember noticing this when I was younger, but the BSC likes to make a point of describing Mrs. Barrett as gorgeous.
  • Mary Anne and Dawn’s mini-camp took a trip to visit the fire department. We don’t see it, but it seems a little unbelievable that 13-year-olds could arrange that visit.
  • Kristy lists the remaining players on the Krushers, and there are seven of them. But then later she refers to Marilyn Arnold pitching, who wasn’t on the original list, but wasn’t mentioned as a new player either.
  • Kristy finds her new players by ringing doorbells in her neighborhood. But wouldn’t the kids around there be the people on Bart’s team? Also, it seems kind of weird for Kristy to talk to kids about joining a team, and getting their phone numbers/addresses without talking to any parents.
  • Apparently, Claudia once brought her VCR remote to school, thinking it was a calculator. Now….seriously?
  • I have to give them some credit for SOME continuity. There’s a picture of Karen playing softball in the chapter about the Krushers game, and her shirt has “Crushers” written on it. Even though there’s no actual text reference to how she insisted on spelling it that way on her shirt.
  • I remembered this scene, but I didn’t realize it was this book until I was in the middle of it. The Krushers are getting killed in the game, but somehow after Gabby got a hit, a Basher through it in the stands. Then Charlie hides the ball and everyone cheers for Gabby scoring.
  • The back of the book says that Mary Anne shows Logan the sites, including the Tunnel of Luv. But in the actual book, the Tunnel of Luv’s closed, and they have to make do with a haunted house ride.
  • We get a Margo chapter in this book. She finds a tide pool and tries to make it into a “beach zoo,” and charge people fifty cents to look at it. It’s a waste of a chapter.
  • Jessi answers a question about sandpipers, and Margo’s all, “Jessi is so smart.” Then later, Jessi tells Mallory to “follow her heart” about whether to go out with Toby. And Mallory’s all, “Jessi is so smart.” I remember noticing that when I was younger, and wondering if that was on purpose.
  • We also get a Buddy chapter in this book. He refers to his sisters as “The Uglies” and is upset he didn’t get to see any dead bodies or houses blown away by the hurricane. It’s another waste of a chapter.
  • I find it interesting that Logan was invited to Sea City, and that Mary Anne’s dad had no problem with the two of them staying at the same beach house. (I know Mr. and Mrs. Pikes where there, but still). But I guess they needed him there to add to make the Alex encounters more awkward.
  • Jessi hardly gets any time in this book. Her storyline’s supposed to be about how she’s trying to be a super-sitter, but all we really see of her is taking care of Claire, Margo, and Suzi. The girls want to enter a sand castle contest, and Jessi’s all worried because there are adults planning to enter the contest who take it very seriously (and will obviously demolish the girls). But the contest in cancelled because of the storm. It’s even less exciting then it sounds.
  • Even though the BSC’s traveling with the Pikes, we get a Karen chapter. She gives us the Stoneybrook point of view of the storm, even though nothing interesting happens. It’s the third waste of a chapter. They should have given us Alex or Toby’s perspective, or at least more of Stacey/Mallory fighting.
  • I wonder if Franklin and Mrs. Barrett share a room when he’s in Sea City. Don’t ask me why I think of things like that.
  • Mallory writes a letter to Stacey’s mom, addressed to “Mrs. McGillicudy,” as a joke I guess. But it seems kind of weird that she would write to her friend’s mom at all. I guess it was just an excuse for an “I Love Lucy” reference…I know Ann Martin was a fan.
  • Dawn’s actually helping to take care of Franklin’s kids, so she stays at the house the Barretts are in. And there’s a scene where Stacey freaks out about how Dawn used the wrong towel, but Dawn tells her she didn’t, it must have been one of the kids. And I swear it’s the exact same thing that happened in the last Sea City book. Only in that one the towels were yellow and blue (or maybe white) flowers. And here they are solid pink and blue.
  • Franklin and his kids are referred to as the “Harrises.” Even though later on they are the DeWitts.
  • Only Claudia would have a dilemma when packing to evacuate during a hurricane. She was wearing, “These overdyed navy jeans [and]….a loose black cotton sweater over a white tank top.” And she was worried that her next warmest clothes – purple Hawaiian shorts and an orange striped shirt – would clash. I didn’t know Claudia knew the meaning of the word clashed.
  • A quote worthy conversation – Mrs. Barrett: “They say the road was fortified”; Mr. Pike: “They said the Titanic was unsinkable”; Claudia: “Is the Titanic going through the marsh?”
  • Mallory’s date outfit (even though she didn’t go), “a short, flared, white-on-blue polka-dotted skirt…a white, ribbed tank-top…and a long, royal-blue men’s shirt with the tails tied in front.” Then she wore flamingo barrettes (that were “cool”) and pins with the faces of Virginia Woolf, Jimi Hendriz, Stephen Hawking, and Janis Joplin. Now that outfit I remember.
  • Logan has a horse and buggy waiting to drive Mary Anne home from the Pikes (when they get back). That doesn’t seem like something Mary Anne would like, since it makes her the center of attention, but she says it’s romantic.


Anonymous said...

i LOVED this book and i've been waiting for you to write it up.

one of my favorite parts was when Toby sent Mallory a postcard asking if Jessi was single. this guy is a freakin' creep.

Elise said...

'Apparently, Claudia once brought her VCR remote to school, thinking it was a calculator. Now….seriously?'

Haha I loved this, its so true! Even when I was 10 I thought Claudia was an idiot and refused to read her mis-spelled diary entries. Loved this book tho, was a bit sad and all my fave ones were when they went on 'holiday' :)

Paigealicious! said...

I think this book taught me about making hurricane preparations--i.e., putting "x's" on the windows.

EllaBeanie said...

the towel thing totally happened in a previous book! it was the one where mary anne and stacey go back for another year as mother's helpers and stacey spends all her time with toby and blows mary anne off, and steals her night off. stacey accuses mary anne of using her towel. i think it's mary anne and too many boys?

lol. bsc.

Anonymous said...

do you purposely spell like claudia to be ironic?

E N T R O P I F I C U S said...

"'These overdyed navy jeans [and]….a loose black cotton sweater over a white tank top.”' And she was worried that her next warmest clothes – purple Hawaiian shorts and an orange striped shirt – would clash."

What? WHAT? I feel like the description should have those two ensembles switched around... Make that tank top a turtle neck, and she's practically Kristy o_O.

Once again, thank you for your wonderful (and detailed) snark! I illustrated Claudia from your Abby's Book revisit:

Anonymous said...

"Apparently, Claudia once brought her VCR remote to school, thinking it was a calculator. Now….seriously?"

Claudia's intelligence seems to be something of a conundrum for the writers. Sometimes she'd be someone who was just too uninterested to put the effort in because she just wanted to focus on art. Sometimes she was made out to seem dyslexic. Other times, she was barely functional in our society as a normal human being.

BSC Snarker, aka Kristen said...

Anonymous...yess I spelle this weigh two bee ironic.

But seriously, there are only so many hours in the day. I always appreciate people who point out mistakes so I can fix them.

qrratugai said...

OMG! I used to be such a fan of the BSC! I must re-visit them! Thanks for this blog!

Stephie said...

I've been doing a summer unit for uni over the past month (because my degree is 5 years plus 2 more units, not because I failed or anything) & our lecturer seemed even nicer & more sympathetic that we were all stuck at uni, doing a 12 week unit in 4, instead of being at the beach. I'd say Claud's teachers were just mean because they were teaching a class of idiots.

However, I don't think the remote thing is necessarily a sign of Claud's stupidity. One of my friends once brought her family's cordless phone to school instead of her mobile phone (or cell for you Yanks! ;P ) and she got a perfect score in her final year 12 marks (top 0.05% of the state)!

Anonymous said...

Since you're okay with people pointing out mistakes, I'd like to point out that this:

"The Krushers are getting killed in the game, but somehow after Gabby got a hit, a Basher through it in the stands. Then Charlie hides the ball and everyone cheers for Gabby scoring.:

doesn't make any sense. Even if it's supposed to say "threw" instead of "through", it's still confusing. Maybe I just don't understand baseball... er, softball.

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