Wednesday, May 28, 2008

If you don’t do your initiation, you don’t play……BSC # 74 Kristy and the Copycat

Memory Reaction

Eh, this is probably when I REALLY started to hate Karen. The main sublplot is about Karen being annoying. As opposed to when she just happened to be annoying independently from the rest of the action.

I never really liked the softball plots. I hope I realized it was kind of lame that Kristy just got away with everything in this book. Because thinking back, I know even before rereading that that the entire book ends up being for nothing. Although, remembering my personality as a kid, I was probably both horrified that Kristy actually performed a hazing and relieved she didn’t get in major trouble.

Revisited Reaction

First of all, the title to this book makes no sense. The “copycat” part is in reference to Karen being an annoying brat, who suddenly wants to be a grown-up (meaning 13), and goes around copying various BSC members. The back of the book description implies she is imitating Kristy, but she’s not. She imitates Mary Anne, Stacey, and Claudia, but barely even shares a scene with Kristy until the end. At that point, she bugs Kristy until Kristy snaps and tells her to act her age. But Karen never actually tries to copy her.

But that whole thing is stupid. AND just the subplot. Let’s get to the main idea, which is that Kristy decides she misses playing softball. So, she tries out for the school team and makes it, obviously. She is one of four new girls, and the rest of the team decides to haze them, by making them spray paint an old shed. Kristy is against it, but eventually gives in because the rest of the team keeps making her look bad on the field. The night they do the spray painting, two of the other new girls light up cigarettes. Kristy basically walks away, because she is a goody-goody and all, but the next morning we find out the shed burned down and some guy was hospitalized while trying to put it out.

The rest of the book consists of Kristy freaking out and feeling really guilty. At one point, she gets letters threatening to tell on her if she doesn’t confess like she is in I Know What You Did Last Summer, but nothing comes from that. It turns out it was one of the other new girls trying to get the rest of them to confess because she feels guilty but is too chicken to do it herself. Meanwhile, the boys’ baseball team is wrongly accused, which makes her feel even more guilty. There is a lot of guilt in this book. Finally, Kristy tells the rest of the BSC and they support her and she plans to turn herself in. Before she gets a chance, some high school kids admit to starting the fire, so Kristy is off the hook. It’s kind of a lame ending.


  • Claudia and Stacey volunteer to coach the Krushers while Kristy is playing, and it is like something out of Amelia Bedelia. Claudia keeps taking things literally, like thinking call for the ball means trying to get the ball to come like it is a dog. I think it is supposed to be funny. It’s not.
  • These books always had the line “Maybe I should stop and introduce myself.” For the longest time I thought that was a sign of good writing.
  • Um, Logan is not an alternate member of the BSC. He is an ASSOCIATE member. What is Kristy talking about? Honestly, did Scholastic throw any money towards copy editors?
  • Outfits! “Stacey had her premed blonde hair back with a leopard-print scarf tied under one ear. She was wearing one of her favorite pairs of earrings, gold-leaf-shaped ones. She was also wearing a black wrap long-sleeve top, a short, low-slung brown skirt with a big black belt, black tights, and leopard flats.” Not TOO bad.
  • Now we get to Claud: “A big yellow shirt with red X-shaped buttons, enormously baggy white pants, and big red Doc Martens double-laced with black and yellow shoe laces braided together. Her earrings said ‘stop’ and ‘go’ – ‘stop’ in her left ear and ‘go’ in her right.”
  • Claudia, you are 13. I don’t think you can talk about how hard it is to be a grown up. Besides who feels like an adult at 13? I am 26 and still don’t feel grown up. Of course, maybe that is because I am reading books meant for third graders.
  • One of the senior members of the softball team calls Kristy and the other new girls the “four musketeers,” and Kristy really likes the nickname until she realizes it is a joke. Then she feels like a dork. As she should.
  • If anyone from the BSC should have stepped in for Kristy as a softball coach, it should have been Mal. When they are talking about softball at the meeting, she is the only one who knows what Kristy is talking about. But Mal is lame and doesn’t get real plots, so scratch that.
  • When Kristy spray paints the shed she dresses in all dark clothes and actually rubs burnt cork on her face. It seems a little extreme for a prank. But then, I never did anything like that, so who knows.
  • Okay, Stacey and Claud coaching outfits:
    • Caudia: “a red satin baseball cap, purple sweatpants that were cut off just below the knees, purple high tops with neon pink laces, red and white striped socks, and a red and pink tie-dyed crop top shirt.” Do you think maybe she is colorblind? It would explain so much.
    • Stacey: “Black bicycle shorts with neon yellow racing stripes down the sides, a pair of Nikes with matching yellow swooshes on the sides (but ordinary white laces) an enormous white v-neck T-shirt, a black jog bra, and a Brooklyn Dodgers cap, turned backwards.” Um, A Brooklyn Dodgers Cap? In 1994?
  • Later, Karen copies Stacey’s outfit. But she uses a black bathing suit top since 7-year-olds don’t wear sports bras. And she wears a plan baseball cap, not a Dodgers one, because as annoying as she is, Karen knows the Dodgers have not played in Brooklyn since the 1950s.
  • Even if Kristy isn’t responsible for the stupid shed burning down, she still spray painted the thing. And yet, all her guilt basically goes away when she finds out someone else actually set the fire, and she no longer feels the need to confess. Way to advocate kids getting away with hazing, ghostwriters.
  • The next book is called “Jessi’s horrible prank.” That should really be the title of this one (only it would have been Kristy’s horrible prank, obviously).

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Where would I find another baby-sitter as good as Mallory….BSC #47 Mallory on Strike

Memory Reaction

This is embarrassing. When I was little…I …I liked Mallory. Please don’t think less of me. Actually, liked might be the wrong term. She certainly wasn’t my favorite BSCer. But I identified with her because I wanted to be a writer. So, I remember being really impressed with her in Mallory on Strike because she wrote a really "long" story and won an award. The longest thing I had written at that point was a couple pages.

None of this means that I didn’t realize Mallory acted like an idiot in this book. Just that her writing a story impressed me.

Revisited Reaction

This book is all about Mallory being a martyr. Stoneybrook Middle School is having a Young Author’s Day. This is sort of a combination writing contest/writing workshop.

Mal only has four weeks to write her story, which she doesn’t think is enough time, especially with bratty siblings around. She should try writing a whole novel in that time. She also has issues because her mom completely takes advantage of her. Mrs. Pike asks Mal to baby-sit at the last minute or make lunch for the other kids. Because Mal is too dumb to think of going to a library or someplace quiet, and because she doesn’t know how to say, “sorry I can’t right now Mom, I am working on this important project for school,” she can’t get anything done. She ends up turning down a bunch of BSC jobs so she has time to write, but won’t tell the other girls why. Again, because she is an idiot and a martyr and wants her friends to be pissed at her.

Finally, by chapter 11, we get to the part where Mallory goes on “strike.” Which is really just her being immature and announcing she is not going to do anything but write. Since her parents are actually reasonable people, they tell her of course they won’t bother her when she has an important project to do. Then they give her a “special day” to make up for taking advantage of her. After she finishes her story, she wins an award and feels great. But then she feels guilty for acting like a bitch to her siblings and gives them their own “special day.” There is way too much use of the words “special day” in this book.


  • These books could never keep track of what color Mal’s hair was. In this one, it is chestnut brown, but I know in others she complains about her red hair.
  • It really isn’t fair for Mal’s mother to always expect her to help out. I understand her kids are brats and it is hard to deal with, but that is Mrs. Pike’s own fault for not using birth control.
  • “Claudia can wear anything and it looks great. Like she’ll wear polka dot leggings with a short red skirt. Then she’ll wear a long-sleeved T-shirt with a black vest (covered with cool pins that she made herself) over that.” That sounds like something Minnie Mouse would wear. And trust me, no one looks good when dressed like Minnie Mouse.
  • Claudia makes her own jewelry, and “sometimes she’ll wear a pink flamingo in one ear with a palm tree in the other, and then put a tiny gold monkey on the top of the palm tree.”
  • Mallory’s dad asks her to make PBJ sandwiches for Claire to have a doll tea party with. Who makes real food for their five-year-old to play tea party with?
  • I wonder if Mal’s parents pay her when they ask her to drop everything at the last minute and baby-sit?
  • There is this scene where Claud talks about how good all these fancy French dishes are at Chez Maurice’s. It seems a little inconsistent with her being clueless at the French Restaurant she goes to in the California Super Special.
  • Mal wants to impress her teacher so she wears her “navy blue wool skirt and knit sweater vest with a white starched blouse and penny loafers.” Just to clarify she is trying to impress the teacher by looking studios, not hot. This is Mal, not Stacey.
  • There are only ten people in Mal’s creative writing class. She was specially invited to join because of her writing talent. Would a class like that exist at the sixth-grade level?
  • How come Marnie Barrett, who is two, is essentially a baby, while Gabbie Perkins, who is two-and-a-half, speaks and walks like an eight-year-old? I realize those are important months, in terms of development, but it still seems like to sharp a contrast. Kind of like the difference between 3-year-old Angelica and 2-year-old Chuckie on Rugrats.
  • Claire and Margo make up a play called “Mean Old Mallory,” because Mal is so bitchy about not having enough time. Jessi cracks up through it, which is kind of surprising. But later she claims watching the girls try to dance was the funny part. She is totally lying, though.
  • Mal ends up taking a couple weeks off the club to write, and Jessi almost cries. Those girls are way too close.
  • Kristy gets offended when she is sitting for her siblings, and the parents of David Michael’s friend don’t want to leave him there without parental supervision (and don’t think Kristy qualifies). Shocking, some sane parents in BSC-world
  • Mal, if you want people to treat you with respect, you should try acting like an adult. That means not making posters that say “Mallory on Strike” and wearing them over your shoulder.
  • On Mal’s “special day,” her parents basically just take her to the mall to go shopping with Jessi - the out to lunch and to a movie. They don’t pay for anything except lunch, so I don’t see why it is a huge deal.
  • Mal’s shopping outfit: “my jean skirt and jacket, bright red tights, sneakers, and multicolored earrings that Claud had made for [her].” Red tights? Uber-mature.
  • Jessi’s shopping outfit: “a new purple jumpsuit with a gold turtleneck, which made her look taller and more like a dancer than ever.”
  • Mal’s too chicken to try on clunky boots at Zingy’s (a punk store that shows up in a bunch of these books), so she asks Jessi to. Because she wants to know how they feel, and thinks Jessi trying them on will accomplish that.
  • The special day Mal sets up for her siblings is sort of lame. It would probably impress Margo and Claire, but none of the older kids. She takes them to a “circus” put on by the Barrett kids and then takes them to the park where she buried “clues” that lead them to “treasure.” By treasure, I mean a cardboard box of trinkets.
  • For the stupid treasure hunt, Mal and Jessi hide the clues in the park in the morning and bring the kids back later. Wouldn’t a park be crowded? With people who move the clues? And if you hide the treasure in the sandbox, wouldn’t some other kid find it and take it?
  • Mal wins best overall fiction for the sixth grade, which can’t be as impressive as it sounds. Not all the kids in the sixth grade entered, and the ones that did, didn’t all enter in the “overall fiction” contest. I am thinking she beat out about 20 kids. At most.

Friday, May 16, 2008

What could be so bad?…..BSC Mystery #23: Abby and the Secret Society

Memory Reaction

Since this is an Abby book, it was obviously a later one, which explains why I only remember things about it I didn’t like. At some point, things that didn’t bother me in the earlier books suddenly seemed embarrassing to read about. Like, in this book, Abby is bored and decides to start this new project helping out at a country club or garden or something. Instead of just going and doing it, she gets approval from Kristy for the whole club to do it. None of the girls ever did anything without being a representative of the BSC. It is so annoying.

It is also a mystery, and I have all these memories of the girls running around with that cop they were friends with and thinking, “this guy should get fired.” I mean, a police officer taking 13-year-olds on investigations with him? Seriously? That sort of thing happened in some early books, and I thought it was cool, but by the time I read this one, I thought it was awful. That is probably why I only read a few more books after this one.

Revisited Reaction

The basic plot is that Abby is bored and things are slow at the BSC. She sees a sign at school looking for help setting up this new country club in town, which it turns out is actually a remodel of an old super-exclusive (meaning racist) country club where shady things happened twenty years ago. Abby gets the whole BSC to sign up with her, and the girls, along with a few other kids from SMS start helping out. It turns out Nikki (the owner) used to live in Stoneybrook and went to the club as a kid, until she realized what an awful place it was.

While the girls are working “mysterious” things start to happen. I use the quotes, cause there is really nothing mysterious about it. The old mayor of Stoneybrook shows up and tells Nikki how it is horrible to reopen the club and let anyone in. Some guy who works at the club doesn’t talk or smile a lot so the girls think he is a bad guy. Nikki’s father (who she hasn’t spoken to since she got married to a Korean man and moved out of Stoneybrook) starts showing up to get a look at his grandson. None of this is particularly mysterious, just kind of shady, but try telling 13-year-old detectives that.

But THEN, Sergeant Johnson shows up at the club and tells Abby how twenty years ago some reporter friend of his was investigating a secret society at the club that was involved in extortion, blackmail, and other fun things. Before the friend could publish anything, he drove his car of the road and died, and Sergeant Jonhson has also believed he was killed. Abby and the rest of the BSC decide, who better to look into a decades-old mystery where the last person to investigate was murdered than the seven of them?

Fortunately for everyone, the BSC does have success. Shocking, I know. They find a clue that the Sergeant’s friend left in the country club that leads to another clue, than another, etc, until they reach a dead end. So, they tell Sergeant Johnson and with his approval, Abby writes an anonymous letter to Armstrong, the old mayor/secret society ringleader, telling him about the clue so they can follow him to the next one. Because it is not entrapment or anything, for a cop to be in on that. And it is also not unprofessional for a cop to let teenagers be part of a set up like that. Not at all.

Armstrong shows up, realizes it is a trap, and tries to use Nikki’s son as a hostage. But, then Nikki’s father shows up, and stands up to Armstrong and saves his grandson. He decides his family is more important than his old racist ways, and all is forgiven with him. Then Sergeant Johnson arrests Armstrong, and the BSC find where the last clue was leading. They uncover a bunch of evidence about the old extortion ring the reporter had collected before he died. He hid it so Sergeant Johnson could find the evidence if anything happened to him. Now that it is in the open, no one really cares. Even though this old mayor confesses to murdering the reporter, we are told he won’t spend much time in jail. But no one is really upset about that. The country club opens and everyone loves it and Nikki is reunited with her father. So, happy endings all around. Sort of.

There is also a lame subplot where the BSC is baby-sitting for Nikki’s kid, but he is really shy so it is hard to make friends, but he blames it on being half-Korean (he should sooo meet Jessi). It all works out in the end though and he makes friends, then is never heard from again. Also, he and the neighborhood kids all are making their own mini country clubs in their yards. But, I am guessing no one really cares about that.

Wow, mystery plots take a long time to summarize.


  • Abby hates February because it is too cold to play summer sports and too warm to play winter sports. Which, really? In Connecticut? I live in New Jersey, and in February it is just as much winter as it is inJanuary – it snows and drops below freezing. I could see if she was talking about March, where it is a weird in between month that could be really warm or really cold depending on the day. But February is full on winter. Plus, when you are in school, most places have a winter break that month, which, yeah!
  • Abby tells us all about her first reactions to the BSC: Kristy = bossy, Mary Anne = shy, Claudia = wacky/a flake (hee), Stacey = a good dresser and not much else, Jessi = only caring about ballet, and Mallory = serious, Logan = wow, and Shannon = studios. And even though she hasn’t met her, Abby has a reaction to Dawn: that she is mellow (ha) and health-conscious.
  • Fortunately for the readers, Abby has since learned there is much more to the rest of the BSC, which means someone told her all the boilerplate descriptions to put in Chapter 2. I would have much rather read more about her thinking Claudia is a flake, but I guess that wouldn’t have been allowed. Do you get the feeling Ann M. Martin came up with Abby because she was bored with the BSC and wanted a character to start pointing out the ridiculousness of it all?
  • What Claudia had on when Abby first met her: “some mixture of tie-dyed items, thrift shop finds, and homemade jewelry.”
  • You know the country club was “bad” back in the day, because it was called, “Dark Woods.” What kind of name is that for a country club?
  • I don’t really get why Nikki decides to buy and reopen the country club. She hated the club when she was a kid because it was exclusive and moved out of town years ago. If she wanted to open a country club, why not do it in the area she was living? Why uproot your family to move back to a town where you have unpleasant memories? Especially, if you don’t get along with your family that lives there?
  • Okay, I really can’t see this happening. While they are gardening, Abby and Mary Anne start singing “Stop! In the Name of Love.” First of all, Mary Anne? Sing outside where anyone could hear? Second, this book was published in 1996. Why are the teenagers singing Supremes songs?
  • I don’t know many four-year-olds, but I am guessing very few go around calling people by their first and last name. Especially random people who have baby-sat them a few times.
  • The girls see Nikki’s father creeping around the club watching her son, and they…actually TELL her. I am so impressed. Normally, they would try to figure things out on their own.
  • How is “Cokie” a nickname for Marguerite?
  • Kristy just happens to trip on the floor and find a clue that Sergeant Johnson’s friend had left. No one found it for over twenty years, but Kristy literally stumbles across it in about a day.
  • The first clue was written on a floorboard with wine. But to figure that out, the BSC spends several hours at Claudia’s writing with various liquids on wood pieces. (They don’t actually try wine, they use grape juice and make the connection). But, they get away with this whole experiment because Claud’s parents are working late. Honestly, Claud’s parents were always home early, but the one day the ghostwriter need the girls to have free run of a kitchen, the Kishis’ work late.
  • Ha. I think I love Cary Retlin. He and Alan Gray overhear the girls talking about the mystery, so they plant a “clue” telling them to look for penguins. So, Abby, Jessi, and Stacey spend the whole day acting like idiots trying to figure out what penguins could be referring to.
  • Would a town as small as Stoneybrook really have three World War II memorials?
  • The girls are cleaning the old golf clubhouse and find a pair of “black-and-white checkered knickers.” Stacey rightly makes fun of them, but Claud likes them and actually wears them later on. But don’t worry, they look totally cool on her.
  • Who hires middle school kids? If Nikki wanted teenagers to help her out because they are cheap, why not go to high school kids? They would be better workers, and would be able to get themselves there. Instead, she has a van drive students who are working for her to the club, which seems like a waste.
  • I don’t really see all these people in Stoneybrook just deciding to join a country club because a new one opens in town. Do you really see the Pikes joining a country club?
  • At this point in the series, the BSC has a mystery notebook. But they just start writing in it when no mystery exists. Like, “Oh Mr. So-and-so sure is unfriendly. Maybe it is a mystery!” Or maybe he just doesn’t smile? (Which is actually why the caretaker doesn’t smile. Nothing mysterious about that). On the other hand, if they ever got stuck on a deserted island where weird things happen, they would not have the same communication problems that some plane crash survivors do.
  • None of these girls stop and think that they are investigating people who killed someone. Wouldn’t you think someone would step back from a mystery when murder is involved?
  • I can’t believe Sergeant Johnson is allowed to be a cop. He is on an investigation and lets seven teenage girls follow him around? Even if that was appropriate, it would just be bad technique – eight people are easier to spot than one.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Was I growing out of the Baby-sitters Club?……BSC # 83: Stacey v. the BSC

I was inspired by the latest poll results to do this awesome book:

Memory Reaction

This is another one of those times when I was shocked something actually happened. Stacey quits? Unheard of. I always did kind of agree with her, though. But at the time I thought the BSC acted more ridiculous in this book than any others to drive Stacey’s plot point. Maybe it just took this book to make me realize it.

Revisited Reaction

This might top Mary Anne’s Makeover in terms of bitchy-cat-fights. The basic idea is that Stacey is daring to spend time with her boyfriend and some of his friends. They are much cooler than the BSC, and Stacey realizes she has a much better time with them. She blows off a couple sitting jobs, shows up late to meetings, and does all sorts of other things that will send her straight to hell.

It all come to a head when she throws a party and doesn’t invite any one from the club except Claud. But of course, they find out about it anyway. In an attempt to avoid confrontation she blows off this lame talent show the girls are organizing, which completely breaks the heart of desperate for therapy Charlotte Johanssen. After that, Stacey has a huge fight with the other girls and ends up quitting. It is awesome. Later Kristy (and everyone else) will try to say she quit and was fired at the same time, but that is total crap. Stacey quits, and then Kristy jumps up and says “You can’t quit, you’re fired.” And Stacey is all, “whatever, bitch.” But just for the record, Stacey does quit first.


  • Claud outfit, yeah! “She was wearing this super-baggy man’s shirt that must have once belonged to a sumo wrestler, enormous light wool black trousers gathered at the waist with a silken sash, and old work boots.” The book was published in 1995, so it is not THAT out there. But there are still way too many adjectives used in that sentence.
  • Stacey is just as clothes-conscious as Claudia, but less funky. That is a new description.
  • Claudia is making a painting of Stacey, which she calls Anastasia Fantasia. She makes Stacey poise for hours for it, even though it is completely abstract and you can’t even tell it is a person.
  • Stacey thinks Mal and Jessi are immature because they start laughing at the fact that Claudia answers the phone, “good afternoon, Baby-Sitters Club.” That isn’t immature, that is stupid.
  • Stacey claims that Mr. Spier was strict with Mary Anne because of that time when she was a baby and her grandparents wanted custody that they made up in one of the mysteries. He got scared he would lose her and tried to be a perfect parent. That is lame. He used to just be strict. I am calling total retcon on this exposition.
  • Stacey wants to go to dinner with Robert so she calls and asks Mary Anne to cover a sitting job for her. Lame Dawn follows Stacey to the pizza parlor and spends the whole night watching her. They don’t explain how she does this, considering Stacey’s mom drove her to the pizza place. Also, creepy.
  • Wow, when Stacey sees Dawn at the pizza place, she is all, WTF? Dawn basically screams out to the whole restaurant, “Mary Anne has a boyfriend too, but at least she honors her responsibility to the Baby-sitters Club?” Someone takes herself a little too seriously, huh?
  • Hee. Stacey's cool friends have the same reaction as me, word for word.
  • Dawn outfit: “her hood, her six-foot knit scarf, her down coat, and her L.L. Bean boots, Dawn looked like Nanook of the North.” You know it is a sign of becoming an adult, when you don’t think it is “uncool” to where a hat/scarf in the winter.
  • Adam Pike is disappointed Stacey isn’t sitting. All the boys love Stacey. I wonder what was in her kid kit?
  • Turquoise, light-wool slacks? To go out for pizza?
  • Pineapple pizza? That is what Stacey’s cool new friends eat. I don’t get it.
  • Stacey is embarrassed by Mary Anne having a sticker on her backpack that says, “I [heart] my kitty.” It does seem a little juvenile for an 8th grader.
  • Stacey sits with Robert and his friends at lunch and the BSC gives her the stink eye the whole time. Don’t they also claim they are not a clique?
  • Would you eat something called a regrub? It is a burger where they fold all the toppings inside, instead of outside. I can’t picture what that looks like.
  • Kristy sticks straws up her nose in a restaurant? And they don’t ask her to leave?
  • Stacey’s new friends think the BSC are babies because they giggle at the sight of a cute guy.
  • It is sort of bitchy to invite Claud to a party and tell her she can’t talk about it to the rest of the BSC. Claud even says she is not comfortable with that and doesn’t want to go, but Stacey insists. There is nothing wrong with not inviting the BSC somewhere, but don’t put Claud in the middle unless she is okay with it.
  • Stacey is sitting for Jamie Newton, and he keeps complaining of a stomach ache. She basically blows him off, tells him to go to bed, and talks to Robert on the phone for awhile. Of course, Jamie throws up macaroni and cheese all over the place and she has to clean it. Ew. I didn't need that imagery.
  • Mrs. Newton finds out Stacey was on the phone all night and tells her not to worry about it. Then she calls Kristy and says she should make a special request that the club not make long phone calls. That is really lame. If she had a problem with Stacey, tell her. It is not like Kristy is her mother. Or does Mrs. Newton just think that highly of Kristy that she knows she will make the other girls do what she says?
  • Robert is such a guy. He says it will be okay to have a party at his house, but doesn’t ask until after they have invited everyone. So, of course they say no and the party moves to Stacey.
  • You would think Stacey would be embarrassed about her mom hanging out at her party with a backwards baseball cap, while dancing all over the place. But the other kids seem to think she is cool, so maybe that helps. Teenagers are not known for individual thinking.
  • A middle school party where everyone dances. I call bullshit on that.
  • Mary Anne and Dawn find out Stacey is having a party, so they show up in the middle and act passive aggressive going, “Hey want to hang out….oh wait, you look busy.” Then Mary Anne cries. It is a pretty sad display.
  • Ooh, this book has an accidental spoiler. Stacey tells us what happens at the talent show, with the explanation that Claudia told her much later "when they were friends again." But when the book ends, Claud and Stacey are not friends. Maybe that is just bad writing.
  • The BSC meeting after the party/talent show is full of great lines. I am going to quote a bunch of them, so sorry if this gets long.

1. First, Stacey laughs when Claud asks her to “explain herself.”

2. Then when the other girls tell her she didn’t act like “this” before Robert, she says: “Like what? Like a person who wants to have a life outside the Baby-sitters Club? Like someone who goes out with other friends from time to time? You’re all like that somewhere inside. Maybe you need to grow up and find out – “

3. Then they call HER immature.

4. Stacey gets another great line out: “This is not a discussion! This is a firing squad. I can’t believe I am sitting here taking this. You don’t want to be my friends. You want to control my life.”

5. Kristy thinks that is the stupidest thing she ever heard, even though it is TOTALLY ACCURATE.

6. So, Stacey tells her how she is tired of meetings, rules, talent shows, fairs, etc. etc. She wants to hang out with people who act their age and don’t just talk about kids. It is awesome.

7. Then she quits and walks out.

  • At the end, they try to fake us out, by Stacey leaving her new friends house at 5:15 on a Friday to go somewhere. But it is just to a recital for Charlotte Johanssen. I want to know how Stacey promised to go to this recital at the beginning of the book, when it would have meant missing a meeting. But whatever.
  • Anyway, Stacey thinks her new friends rock, they get along great, and she has no regrets about quitting. For now anyway.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

What had happened to me in our relationship....BSC #41 Mary Anne vs. Logan

Memory Reaction

I must have really hated change as a kid, because I think I kind of hated this book. I am not sure though – I read the book where Mary Anne and Logan get back together more than I read this one. Again, proof that I hated change. The thing is, I couldn’t believe Mary Anne and Logan broke up. I was always so shocked whenever any big event happened to the BSC – Mary Anne and Dawn’s parents getting married, Dawn going to California, Stacey moving away, etc.

Revisited Reaction

Sometime leading up to this book, Logan changed from being “super-sensitive, wonderful guy” to being your average asshole. Mary Anne recalls some fights they have had recently, and says she has learned she and Logan don’t always trust each other and she can’t always count on him in a crisis. It is a good thing those are such minor issues in a relationship, or she would really have a problem. Anyway, Logan keeps ordering Mary Anne around and she gets so annoyed, blah, blah, blah. She finally tells him they should cool things down. Logan reacts by not talking to her for a couple weeks and then does a complete 180 and surprises with her with a romantic Valentines’ Day dinner. Mary Anne is pissed that he didn’t even talk to her about heating things up again and at the end, breaks up with him. Until about five books later, anyway.

Meanwhile, Mrs. Prezzioso is about to have a baby. Since she obviously knows her first child is a brat, she buys a bunch of stuff to bribe Jenny into being good about the new sister thing. Jenny is still a brat though. At the end, when the new baby is born, Jenny sees the baby and gets all mushy about her sister. I am totally sure that will last too.

Also: For some reason, Mary Anne and Dawn know that the Prezzioso’s are having a girl, and no one else in the BSC does because they want to be surprised. Does that even happen? Usually, if the parents know the kid is going to be a girl/boy, they tell people. I have never heard of people giving their friends the option, especially if they have a baby shower. The BSC actually helps out at the shower, and you would think some people would be giving little pastel dresses or something. Plus, you know Mrs. P decorated that nursery with a ton of pink. So, I don’t get how the rest of the BSC can just decide they don’t want to know the gender of someone else’s baby.


  • Logan calls Mary Anne on a Friday night and wants to go to dinner. Mary Anne tells her she is baby-sitting and he tries to get her to pawn off the job on Dawn. Then he keeps calling her at the Prezziosos.’ Doesn’t he know the rules of good baby-sitting prevent Mary Anne from talking on the phone at a client’s house?
  • Would new clothes really act as a bribe for a four-year-old? It seems like toys would work better. Clothes didn’t get me excited until I was closer to middle school.
  • Kristy is from the most unusual family Mary Anne knows. But how is it more unusual then hers? They both lost a parent as a kid, had their single parent get remarried, and moved to a new house. Granted, Kristy’s family is bigger, and her story involves a millionaire, but really, they are pretty similar.
  • Do Kristy and Mary Anne really have a lot in common? Besides the family stuff I just said, and I guess baby sitting, they have nothing in common.
  • “A typical Claudia outfit might be black leggings, a baggy black-and-white shirtdress, low black shoes, and big wild earrings for her pierced ears.” What is a shirtdress?
  • During a BSC meeting, Mary Anne sees a brown stain on Claudia’s bed, and everyone gets all grossed out. Claud smells it and declares it is chocolate. The scene leaves a really disturbing image in my head.
  • Mary Anne outfit: “blue print pants that were wide on top but narrowed to the cuffs at the ankles, and a short-cropped T-shirt with the sleeves rolled up and this acute picture of a cactus wearing a cowboy hat.” She thinks she looks like a nerd, and I can’t disagree.
  • Acute is another word the BSC made up for cool. Apparently, they do that all the time, so they can say things and no one else knows what they mean. That’s….mature. Although, Acute is a better word than “dibble.”
  • “Claud was wearing an oversized raspberry-colored shirt, a short black skirt and black leggings (the layered look). On her feet were black cowboy boots, and dangling from an earcuff was a huge collection of beads and stones.” Good thing Mary Anne was specific. I would have though Claud wore the boots on her ears and the beads and stones on her feet.
  • Logan drags Mary Anne to the park in the middle of winter. When she gets cold, Logan is all, “I’m not cold, so clearly you can’t really be cold.” A real prize, that Logan.
  • So, Karen is all sad because she had a fight with her fake-boyfriend and doesn’t think they are getting pretend-married anymore. I total remember that Little Sister book. I wonder if it showed her having the conversation with Kristy. (Like I have said before, I was a sucker for that cross over crap).
  • Logan wants to see Halloween III at the movies. That movie came out in 1983. This book was published in 1991. And they talk about it like it is a new movie. It was also rated R, so I don’t even know why 13-year-olds seeing it in a theater is an option.
  • Okay, well, Mary Anne wants to see the Music Man, which is even older. But at least that is explained by the existence of an oldies theater.
  • Mary Anne’s dad tells her she might be spending too much time with Logan and that he misses her. It sounds creepy to summarize, but I think it was supposed to be sweet. I hope, anyway. Anyway, she agrees, and it gives her the idea to tell Logan they should cool down.
  • Mary Anne doesn’t tell any one from the BSC about her and Logan for over a week. So much for best friends.
  • When she finally does tell them, they are all: “OMG, I thought you guys were going to get married!” First of all, that is pretty insensitive. But typical for these girls. Second of all, who really thinks about their friends getting married in 8th grade?
  • Jenny also gets a doll so she can learn how to change a diaper. Isn’t she a little young to help out with that stuff? I am the youngest in my family, so I have no idea what older siblings really do at what age.
  • While they are “cooled off” Logan calls and asks Mary Anne to baby-sit for his siblings on Valentines Day. The rest of the BSC encourage her to take the job. Why would they do that? If she isn’t talking to her boyfriend, she should not have to go baby-sit at his house on V-Day. They didn’t know he was tricking her into a romantic dinner. Once you look at them through adult eyes, you see how insensitive these girls were to each other.
  • Mary Anne has some really low self-esteem. During their “cool down,” she keeps imagining Logan with some rich blonde chick. Doesn’t she do this in some Super Special too?
  • There is some foreshadowing to this book, when Mary Anne talks about how Stacey seems sick and tired a lot lately.
  • There is a picture of a stork at the Prezzioso baby shower, leading Jenny to ask Mary Anne, Stacey, and Claud about where babies come from. Mary Anne is the only one smart enough to tell her to talk to her parents.
  • When Mrs. P goes into labor they call all the BSC and finally get Jessi on the phone, so she gets the job. I bet Jessi felt pretty bad to know she was the last one they called. And I can’t believe they were counting on the BSC to watch Jenny while Mrs. P gave birth. What if she went into labor during the school day, or late at night?
  • Wow. In the middle of this Mary Anne book, they start talking about Sea City. Stacey says something and then we get this direct quote: “But then Toby came along,” Mary Anne reminded me.” How did that mistake happen? I am thinking they pulled text from some Stacey book and then forgot to edit, but I can’t figure out what book it would have been.