This book picks up a couple months after the one that ended with Sunny and Dawn’s fight, and the two haven’t made up since. Dawn’s still mad at Sunny because she doesn’t think she’s being there for her mother. She also thinks she’s changed into a whole different person. I think most 13-year-olds would change if they had to watch their mother slowly die a painful death. But I guess Dawn has no empathy.
Dawn angsts a lot about how hard it is to not be speaking to Sunny, since she isn’t as close to any of her other friends. She’s known Maggie a long time but Maggie doesn’t like to talk about her problems. And she considers Amalia to really be Maggie’s friend. She doesn’t mention Ducky when she’s angsting about all this, but she does talk a lot about how Ducky has more patience than her and maybe that makes him a better friend to both Sunny and Alex.
Anyway, when Dawn isn’t judging her supposed friend, she’s acting like a brat about her soon-to-be half-sister. Carol’s still on bed rest, but is due any day now. Dawn keeps writing in her journal how the baby will only be her half-sister so she’s not that excited about it. Now, this is the same person who always called Mary Anne her actual sister instead of step-sister, so whatever. Dawns also notes that with the age difference she’ll barely get to know her before going to college and then she’ll probably never live at home again. But, yeah, Sunny’s the one who’s not there for her family.
Carol does actually have the baby, a girl that they name Elizabeth Grace. Jeff nicknames her Gracie. Dawn tells us how she knows more about taking care of babies then Carol because of all her baby-sitting, and so she helps out. How nice of her. Dawn does seem to warm up to the idea of Gracie once she arrives. But it’s also the end of the school year and Dawn’s getting ready to go back to Stoneybrook for the summer. She feels really weird about it, because of leaving the baby and because she has never left California without saying good-bye to Sunny.
- Dawn says she doesn’t understand why Sunny’s turning into a different person. And here I thought she was kind of smart. Her mother’s dying. She’s acting out as a way to deal with it. This isn’t rocket science.
- Dawn says that she told Maggie to tell Sunny she wanted to talk, and Sunny said “All it takes is an apology, a diamond necklace, and three years of servitude.” Or something like that. But in Sunny’s book she said that after Maggie told her Dawn was trashing her to their other friends, and she said she didn’t care but if Dawn wanted to be friends again all it would take was…..I believe Sunny.
- Whenever Dawn’s with Maggie she’s either pointing out how thin she is or saying how she never eats. So, topic for the next Maggie book is going to be anorexia.
- We get an appearance by Jill, who hasn’t been mentioned in ages. Dawn’s feeling lonely, so she goes to have a soda with her, but then trashes her in the journal. Poor Jill commits the awful crime of wearing a sweatshirt Sunny and Dawn gave her for her 11th birthday. It has a dog picture on it. I can’t take any of Dawn’s clothing criticism seriously. The girl thought Claudia was a good dresser.
- Hey, Dawn. You’re the one who moved away from 6 girls you were super-close with and who all DID share their problems with you. Remember them? So the whining about lack of friends kinda bugs.
- Also, way to be a bitch by dropping a friend for one mistake. Dawn says she can’t stand Jill because Jilllet it slip to Carol that Dawn told her she was pregnant. Which was mostly Dawn’s fault because SHE was the one that broke her word. Now, sometimes friends just grow apart, and I think that’s what happened here. But Dawn makes it seem like Jill is this horrible person.
- I actually am going to forgive Dawn for her attitude about the baby, because it’s gotta be weird to get a new sibling at that age, especially when a stepparent is involved. You have to feel a little like your father’s creating a new family and you’re not as important anymore.
- Dawn says how she thinks her relatives were worried she’d be jealous of the baby. And how that’s silly since she’s 13. But, I think she kind of was jealous. Not the way a younger kid would be jealous, but still jealous in a way.
- Mr. Schafer spends a long time calling relatives on the phone to tell them about the baby. I forgot people had to do that before Facebook.
- Dawn comments about how Maggie had to get a diet cola while she and Amalia got regular cola. Um, since when does Dawn drink soda? Isn’t eating healthy food one of her defining characteristic?
- Jeff wanted a brother. He even ordered a Michael Jordan poster to hang in the baby’s room. He hangs it anyway after Mr. Schafer tells him he can treat a sister the same as he could a brother. Everyone laughs, but tell him it’s great. Am I a bad feminist if I would be upset at hanging a Michael Jordan poster in my hypothetical baby’s room? It would not go with the décor, even for a boy’s room.
- Hey, we get to hear about what someone wears. Maggie: “A black linen miniskirt, scoop-neck purple T-shirt, blue suede sandals, and a trendy short haircut.” Dawn thinks she looks lame with her T-shirt tucked into her jeans. I don’t think I’ve ever tucked a T-shirt into jeans. Of course she looks lame.
- Ducky has been friends with Dawn for almost a year and has to ask if she’s close to Carol?
- Ducky tells Dawn he thinks she’s really mad at Sunny because Sunny isn’t there for her (with the baby thing, I guess). Which Dawn hadn’t thought of, but she decides she’s just mad at Sunny not letting her help her. Yes, Dawn. Because you are being totally altruistic here.
- When she sees a note that Carol’s in labor at the hospital, Dawn tries calling Ducky for a ride, but ends up going with Maggie in her limo. But she complains about Sunny always using Ducky for rides. I know, it was special circumstances. But still.
- Dawn’s friends give Gracie this little T-shirt, that say’s “I’m Here” on it. That’s kind of adorable.
- Dawn brings Mrs. Winslow to see Gracie (since they’re both in the same hospital) and Mrs. Winslow calls the baby her “namesake.” This is because Mrs. Winslow’s first name is Betsy (short for Elizabeth). But Dawn thinks her dad didn’t pick the name because of her. Which feels kind of awkward.
- I was thinking that Dawn going to Stoneybrook for the summer would put them at the end of the Friends Forever books. Which was probably silly, since that would have meant Dawn and Sunny had to make up and Mrs. Winslow die by the end of the book. Which didn’t happen. I realized it wasn’t going to when Dawn talked about not needing to pack a ton of stuff since she had clothes in Stoneybrook (making it pre-fire).
- I wonder if these girls will be in eighth grade again next year. It would be kind of weird since they made a big deal about the 8th graders moving into the HS building.
- This book was published in 1998. In BSC-world, Dawn came home for the summer in this book leading up to the European Super Special. I don’t remember any mention of the Sunny drama in that one, but evidently they mentioned the baby.