Friday, March 29, 2013

“These will create a wonderland effect”………BSC # 121: Abby in Wonderland

Memory Reaction

I’m sure I wouldn’t have a memory even if I did read it as a kid.  I started reading it last night, but had to start over this morning because I couldn’t even remember what I read.  I should add that I was completely exhausted and had just taken melatonin when I read it. But the book’s also ridiculously boring.

Revisited Reaction

Abby and her mother/sister are going to stay with her grandparents (Gram and Grandpa) at their house in the Hamptons.  Apparently it’s an annual thing.  While there, they help the grandparents plan their big anniversary party, which is also an annual thing.  The parties always have themes and this year it’s Alice in Wonderland.    I didn’t really catch why.  Maybe because “Abby in Wonderland” sounded like a cute title?

Anyway, Abby notices that her grandmother’s upset that some people in the family aren’t going to be able to make it to the party.  Abby also notices that Gram seems to be acting a little different than usual (mostly just resting more), and she overhears a conversation where Gram sounded upset.  Then while looking for the menu for the party, Abby accidently sees a brochure about dealing with breast cancer.  So, Abby assumes Gram is sick and worries about what will happen, but doesn’t want to say anything.  She wants to help, so she calls all the people who couldn’t come to the party to say how much it would mean to Gram if they came (and so they all do).  At the party Abby ends up crying during her grandmother’s speech thanking everyone and runs inside.  Gram follows her and when Abby admits what she found, Gram tells her they found a lump but she’s waiting for tests to find out if it’s cancerous.   And that’s the freaking end, we never find out if she actually has cancer.  I think they were going for the message of our family will handle whatever comes up, but it’s still annoying to leave it up in the air.  And I think this is the last Abby book, so I doubt it gets addressed again.

Meanwhile the Pikes cancel their vacation to Sea City because Mr. Pike’s car broke down and they need to spend the money fixing it.  So, the BSC helps them have a beachy stay-cation type thing, where they set up wading pools in the yard and play in a sandbox, and other similar stuff.  It causes about 3 chapters of hijinx, and everyone’s happy at the end.  


  • Abby mentions how she likes sleeping in, but I could swear there’s another Abby book where she says she’s an early riser.
  • Claudia outfit:  “She had on orange leggings and a long yellow tunic on which she’d sewn wild zigzag patterns of tiny beads.  Her dangle earrings were also handmade, from a combination of clay beads and the same sparkly beads she used on her tunic.  Her shows were a deep aqua.  She looked like a human sunset.”  Anything that starts with “orange leggings” can’t end well. 
  • When I read the Europe Super Special, I thought that this book must be before it, because it seemed like that book referenced things in a book I hadn’t read.  But this actually takes place right after the trip to Europe.
  • I’m surprised the Pikes could get a full refund for that house they always rent. 
  • Abby says her grandfather recently had heart surgery.   I guess that happened in the one Abby book I have left to read, but I could be wrong about that. I’m sure I’ll find out soon though.
  • Abby’s grandmother hasn’t spoken to her sister in years.  This family sure has its share of drama, doesn’t it?  Her mother and sister hadn’t spoken in years either.
  • Speaking of Abby’s aunt, she and her baby show up at the beach house as well.
  • Who has a costume party for their anniversary?  A theme costume party no less.  For Alice in Wonderland.  No wonder some people didn’t want to go.
  • One day, a friend of Anna’s from Long Island comes to visit.  I like hearing about Anna having friends and not just being dragged into BSC events.  Her friend’s apparently some super-smart music genius because she could tell the music book Anna was using had a mistake in the score/notes/whatever you call it. It was really random.
  •  I feel like this plot would have worked better for another character.  I like Abby well enough, but I certainly don’t care about her family drama or her grandmother who’s barely mentioned before.  If it was Kristy’s grandmother who might have cancer, I’d be more invested.
  • Abby’s mom says the grandmother was mad at the sister because she revealed a secret.  But later Abby’s aunt tells Abby, the “secret” was that the aunt told Gram (in front of other people) how Weight Watchers must be going well, when Gram didn’t want people to know she following it.  Yes, totally worth not speaking for years.
  • Gram is making a family tree for the party and Abby tells her about computer software for building family trees online.  But the computer isn’t at their beach house so they have to start it by hand. But Gram and Grandpa are very excited about buying “fancy equipment” like a scanner to put the thing together.   Because there’s not much that’s fancier than a scanner.
  • We also hear about an outfit of some friend of Gram’s: “She was wearing a red-and-orange tie-dyed outfit with flowing sleeves.” I can’t tell if Abby’s complimenting it or insulting it, but it totally sounds like something that would end with: “But on Claudia it looked great!”
  • Most of the BSC members are watching the kids at the Pike’s party, but they say it isn’t a real sitting job because Mr. and Mrs. Pike are home.  But they’re going to be staying in their bedroom the whole time.  Not just staying inside, but actually staying in the bedroom.  Interesting.
  • We hear about the stuff going on in Stoneybrook, because Abby says that Mallory called and told her about it.  It seems kind of weird that Mal would call her on vacation about that. It’s not like Abby was gone that long or that she and Mal are BFFs.  Why not just say she heard about the Stoneybrook stuff later on?
  • Okay, so Abby says she’s going away for eight days, and she leaves on a Friday.  Then she says Kristy’s coming to stay with them for their second weekend.  But eight days after Friday is a Saturday, so there shouldn’t really be a second weekend.  But they’re all still there Saturday night, so it clearly wasn’t an eight-day trip.
  • I’m not even sure the point of Kristy showing up is.  She really didn’t do anything or have any interesting conversations with Abby.
  • The Pike kids all invite guests to the beach party thing.  Vanessa invites Charlotte and Becca.  Margo invites the Arnold twins, but weren’t the twins actually friends with Vanessa?  I can’t remember what book it was in, but Marilyn’s all jealous that Carolyn keeps hanging out with the other girls without her?  But they let her join in at the end?
  • Claire invites Hunter Bruno, which seems like an excuse to have Logan show up at the party.  Which would be fine if Logan had anything significant to do, but he doesn’t.  And really, has Claire ever interacted with Hunter before?
  • When they’re looking at pictures from Gram’s childhood, Abby sees a picture of her grandmother’s brother who died when he was 18 and asks what happened t him.  It turns out he was killed in World War II.  Wouldn’t Abby have heard that story before?
  • The triplets start a water balloon fight at the party and accidently splash Mrs. Pike through the window.  She comes out, pretending to look mad, but hits them with a SuperSoaker.  Nice.
  • I’m not totally sure how they accidently splash Mrs. Pike through her bedroom window.  They say that Adam was attempting to hit David Michael who was standing under her window. But if the bedroom’s upstairs, he must have been really off.  No way David Michael’s that tall.  Also, why was the window open if they were trying to stay away from the party?
  • So, when Abby ‘s calling relatives to get them to come to the party, she calls Gram’s sister, who’s all, I wasn’t invited to the party.  It’s kind of awkward. But then she gets her grandmother to call and actually invite her.  Isn’t it great when a BSC member can resolve a years-long feud with almost no effort?
  • The beach party thing includes a night under the stars.  The sitters helping out at this event are Stacey, Claudia, Jessi, Mallory, and Logan.  Ben Hobart’s also present.  But Mallory’s super strict parents have no problem letting this coed sleepover happen.  And Mr. Spier’s either okay with the arrangement or doesn’t know about it.
  • Stacey remembers that the Pike’s like going to town in Sea City, so she arranges a trip to downtown Stoneybrook.  Since there isn’t much to do there, she arranges a tour of the fire station and police station.  Which seems…odd.   They should have taken the kids to a place with miniature golf.
  • Whoever owned this book originally filled out the questionnaire thing in the back.  One of the questions is what you would change about the book, and she said she’d change the part about Abby thinking her grandmother had cancer.  Which made me laugh, because that’s basically the main plot of the book.
  • In the questionnaire she also says that the character she’s most like is Kristy, because she’s always grouchy.  Which isn’t a word I would have used to describe Kristy.  Oh, and if she was throwing a party her theme would be Spice World.  It was 1998.
  • I was watching Grimm while I wrote this and it’s opening shot was of a person tearing a page out of an Alice in Wonderland book.  Weird coincidence.


Anonymous said...

I applaud you for getting through this book. It was sooo boring I only read it once. Spice world party sounds fun.

Elise said...

Wow I have completely no recollection of this book...the beach party thing sounds dumb tho. But 'Anything that starts with “orange leggings” can’t end well.' Classic ;)

Anonymous said...

Based on your summary, it sounds like Grams is quite the grudge-holder! Not talking to someone because they mentioned you were on Weight Watchers? Maybe be annoyed at how socially inept the person is, but don't stop talking to them! I could see Kristy ending up like that.

SJSiff said...

Abby does have another book after this, Abby's Un-Valentine, but you're right, we don't really find out anything about the diagnosis.

I love it when I have used book that someone filled out the back of!

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty positive the book where the Arnold twins are fighting because Carolyn won't let Marilyn hang out with her and her friends is "Mallory on Strike." I had it, but I think I lost it some point after I moved out :( Too bad, because it used to be one of my favorites!

Anonymous said...

Wow even at a "home" vacation the Pike parents still don't do anything with their kids. Why did they even have them?

I just wish there had been a yes or no to whether she had cancer or not. Its just so weird that there wasn't even an answer.

SAHM said...

I'm pretty sure the book where the twins are fighting about friends is #30 Mary Anne and the great romance. Gozzie Kunka, baby!

KeenTeaThyme said...

First off, love that you also watch Grimm. :)

Second, this is one of my fave books in the BSC and one of my least faves. I love the Alice theme, but I can't stand the forced plot of the stupid party and the cancer scare. I agree that if it was someone else's grandmother - I'm thinking Mary Anne, to bring up all the memories of her mom - I'd care more. But it's Abby and she always seems to annoy me. And I think she would have bad breath. I don't know why I think that. It's random. Anyhoo, another great read! :)