So, this book’s a lot of fun.
Mary Anne’s on the yearbook staff, which means Cokie Mason is her editor. (Technically, she’s a co-editor with Rick Chow, but he’s pretty irrelevant to the story). Cokie wants to have “class bests” in the yearbook (most likely to succeed, funniest, etc.). Mary Anne thinks they could use the space for something more original, but she gets out-voted. Cokie makes some crack that Mary Anne must just be upset she and Logan won’t be able to get best couple. Mary Anne can’t think of a good comeback at the time, and is annoyed at herself for that later.
Cokie continues to be her bitchy self, and Mary Anne gets more upset about the whole thing and about feeling so meek. Then Cokie starts a rumor that Mary Anne begged Logan to take her back and left so many messages on his answering machine his parents were thinking of changing their number. And that he’s dating someone new. Logan, makes a point of telling Mary Anne that he’s telling everyone it’s not true, but admits to Mary Anne that he’s sort of seeing someone new, Dorianne Wallingford. We’ve heard her name before, but I can’t remember anything about her.
Mary Anne and Kristy both are annoyed with Cokie and make lists of things to do for revenge. Before they can implement any ideas, Cokie makes another crack at Mary Anne and tells her how she looks totally awful. Mary Anne snaps at her and says how she must know what that’s like since she’s such an awful person. Cokie just walks out of the room, cause she’s not used to people standing up to her.
Anyway, Mary Anne, Abby, and Austin Bentley are in charge of counting the votes for all the class bests. They’re surprised when Cokie comes out the winner in multiple categories, but then Mary Anne realizes that her ballot isn’t in the pile. Abby says the same thing, and they don’t see any ballots with Kristy or Claudia’s handwriting (which they both would recognize). The teachers who collected the ballots recorded how many people were in class during the vote, and they count up the votes and discover they’re short over 20 ballots. They tell their advisor who decides they need to have a revote. Cokie’s obviously pissed off.
Mary Anne decides not to let Cokie walk all over her, so when people ask why there’s a revote she tells them the truth, that someone messed with the ballots and it was probably Cokie. Everyone believes her over Cokie (who was telling people Mary Anne tried to fix the election). Because clearly, the students at SMS have brains. Kristy suggests they consult Cary Retlin for advice on how to get revenge, since they still hadn’t gotten around to implementing their lists.
The Cokie throws a party and invites the whole grade, even Mary Anne. She obviously expects Mary Anne not to show, but Mary Anne says she’ll be there. She starts revising her revenge plan to do something at the party. She has dinner at Kristy’s house while they are plotting and forgets about her curfew. She gets home late and then argues with her dad when he yells at her, so he grounds her for two weeks. This sounds extreme, but Mary Anne had been acting moody lately and argued with him when they went on some house tour thing to get decorating ideas for their new place. So, I think he was reacting to that.
Mary Anne decides to sneak out to go to the party because she can’t let Cokie think she won. At the party her friends are suggesting they start one of their schemes, but Mary Anne says no. But Cokie continues to be her pleasant self, so finally Mary Anne tells her off. She says she’s a mean and petty person and everyone knows that, and she’ll never succeed because of that. Kristy and Abby start to clap, as does Logan (and his new girlfriend), then the whole room. And Cokie just yells at everyone that it’s her party so they can’t act like this. Then stomps out of the room. It made me wish this was a TV show cause I would love to see that.
Oh, and Mary Anne’s dad’s really angry when she gets home, but Sharon comes in and says the two of them have actually been fighting because they’re both still traumatized by the fire (Mary Anne had been having nightmares throughout the book). And so they have a big talk about it. And Mary Anne totally gets away with sneaking out. Richard says instead of being grounded for a full two weeks it’s just for one more day. I think the two weeks was originally too harsh, but he basically rewards her for sneaking out. I guess if your house burns down you can get away with crap like that.
- I was surprised that Abby was on yearbook, considering she quit the BSC to have more time for sports, but Mary Anne said she was surprised about it too. Apparently, Abby did it to make sure sports got enough coverage. Sports were one thing that never had to worry about getting coverage in my yearbook, but at least they addressed it not seeming like Abby’s thing. And it was nice to see Abby.
- Mary Anne gets annoyed at her dad when he orders furniture for their new house without consulting her, but then gets annoyed again when he wants them to go on a house tour for decorating ideas. Richard’s seemingly baffled by it, and Sharon tells him that she’s 13…of course she’s going to be moody. You’d think Richard would have picked this up in the first few years he’s had a teenager, but I guess Mary Anne has usually been pretty good.
- This isn’t the first time that we’ve seen hints of Mary Anne not wanting to be so easy-going and meek. I think it’s realistic, but wish we’d gotten to see some long term change in her after those books.
- When talking about movies and how they shouldn’t remake TV series as movies, they mention the Brady Bunch movies. Kristy and Mary Anne liked them….me too. But those were good because they weren’t remakes, they were spoofs.
- An old school Claudia outfit: “She was wearing wide-legged purple pants cut off at the ankle, flat black shoes, striped socks (purple and white), and a white cropped top over a purple camisole. She’d pulled her hair back with papier-mâché decorated combs that she’d created herself: two little figures were holding onto the combs as if they were being blown backward.” Papier-mâché in her hair? And she didn’t win Style Setter?
- I do admire Logan for telling people Cokie was a liar and for giving Mary Anne a heads up about dating Dorianne, especially since Mary Anne’s the one who ended things.
- Why the hell do they keep using a cover picture of Mary Anne that looks nothing like how her hair is supposed to look? Seriously, how hard is it to get right?
- Mary Anne’s votes: Claudia – Best Artist, Stacey – Class Style Setter, Abby and Logan as Best Athletes (female and male), Cary Retlin as Most Likely to Travel to the Moon, Kristy as Most Likely to Succeed. I don’t think that’s all the categories, because when we hear the winners later they don’t all line up. Which is kind of annoying.
- Here’s the full text of Mary Anne’s first comeback to Cokie (after being told she looks awful): “Well, it takes one to know one, doesn’t it, Cokie? And you of all people ought to know about awful, because in my opinion, when they were handing out awful, you were first in line.”
- Ha, Abby knows her ballot isn’t there because she voted for herself six times.
- I bet the reason they would recognize Kristy and Claudia’s handwriting is the BSC notebook. I guess it’s good for something.
- Cokie’s an idiot. If the teachers record how many votes there were, why not replace ballots instead of stealing them? Maybe she did both, but she really should have made sure the total worked out. OR not replaced the votes of two people counting the votes. They’re anonymous, but surely Cokie knows Mary Anne’s handwriting and could guess the only person who would vote for Abby six times is Abby.
- Mary Anne’s list of revenge ideas: Put glue in her locker lock, glue her books to her locker, put glue in her gym shoes, put a dead rat (or 2) in her pack, and give her laxative gum. That last one is just about the only decent one.
- Kristy’s list for revenge: Convince her she’s won the lottery then let her make a fool out of herself, drop a snail in her drink at lunch, write fake letters to the love advice column of the paper signing her name, write fake letters from Logan to her, and hide her homework. (As if Cokie ever does her homework). A little more complex than Mary Anne’s but none of them are really things she could accomplish. These girls need to call Emily Thorne to get some real advice in this matter.
- Cary’s first idea for revenge? Signing Cokie up for multiple subscriptions to a ton of magazines. He and Mary Anne fill in all these subscription cards. Then he says not to send them yet, just to hold onto them so she has confidence knowing that she can drop them in the mail whenever she wants. I sort of get the confidence thing, but that’s not exactly a major prank. Plus, they spent ages filling out the cards.
- Can you really subscribe to magazines like that? After they send one or two they’ll send a bill and when Cokie doesn’t pay they won’t keep sending the magazines and it won’t affect her. Although, they’ll probably send her weekly letters encouraging her to subscribe or saying they miss her or something.
- Kristy talks about sneaking out of the house when she did her softball initiation, but I thought she just lied about where she was going for that. That’s not quite the same as sneaking out when your parents think you’re upstairs asleep. Lying about where you’re going is WAY easier.
- All we hear about Alan and Claudia’s that they went to a dance together and the girls don’t know what will happen with them next. But Claud does defend him when Kristy insults his prank style.
- It’s interesting that Kristy keeps suggesting Cary help them out with things. In the last book it was about getting into Alan’s locker and this one it was to get revenge on Cokie.
- The back of the book says that even though Cokie’s never been nice, Mary Anne has always tried to be nice to Cokie. But she wasn’t nice in books 17 or 46. She set Cokie up to look like an idiot in agraveyard, and let Cokie look dumb giving a major presentation that didn’t match the group. I’m not saying she didn’t deserve it, but it definitely wasn’t nice.
- Actually, Mary Anne can be quite bitchy when pushed. She would get mean when she was mad at the other girls in the BSC too.
- The girls refer to the ORIGNAL Parent Trap. Which means this is after the new one came out, which makes me feel old. But it figures they would still talk about prank ideas from the original one, these girls loved old movies. It’s clearly a plot device so Ann M. Martin could work in all HER favorite movies.
- Mary Anne’s awesome speech to Cokie at her party (this is right after Mary Anne hears Cokie referring to her as pathetic): “I’ll tell you the truth. You are mean. Why? Why do you work so hard at being nasty and saying horrible things about people? There’s no reason for it. Making fun of people and spreading rumors about them doesn’t make you look cool. Do you think it does?….It doesn’t make people like you. It makes you look stupid and petty and mean. And you know what? If you keep acting like this you will never be Most Likely to Succeed. You won’t be likely to succeed at all…because people will see the read Cokie. They’ll know you for what you really are.”
- I don’t know if 13-year-olds would really applaud a speech like that, but I thought it was still pretty awesome.
- Cokie’s parents were around for the party, I’m surprised they wouldn’t step in when Mary Anne was talking to Cokie and everyone clapped. But apparently everyone left after that.
- The actual winners of the vote. Again, it’s annoying that we don’t get to hear all of them: Claudia – Best Artist, Abby/Logan – Best Athletes, Emily Bernstein – Most Likely to Succeed AND Most Intelligent,, Kristy – Most Likely to Get Elected President, Cary and Alan (tie) – Wittiest, and Stacey – Most Likely to be Seen in Beverly Hills.