Wednesday, June 4, 2008

I can’t imagine why I didn’t see these problems before they got married….BSC #31: Dawn’s Wicked Stepsister

Memory Reaction

Is it wrong that the first thing I remember is a glaring error in this book? The previous one was the lead up to the Dawn’s Mom/Mary Anne’s Dad wedding and it was from Mary Anne’s perspective. In that one, Dawn gave Mary Anne a “now we are sisters gift.” And I am sure in this one, Dawn does again, saying she does it because Mary Anne did it before the wedding. But she totally DIDN’T. I think the ghostwriters just got mixed up because they switched who the “I” was.

Actually, this book was continued from #30 with a cliffhanger and everything. The first one ended in the middle of the wedding. I remember how upset I was when #30 ended and did not have a conclusion. It is kind of like how I react now when some TV show airs a cliffhanger season finale and I sit on my couch screaming, what do you MEAN Vaughn’s married/Jack’s flashback is really a flashforward/Locke’s in the coffin?

Revisited Reaction

So, the cliffhanger I was remembering was that Dawn’s mom (I am just going to call her Sharon from now on) threw her bouquet and Mary Anne and Dawn are in front of everyone trying to catch it. Mary Anne does, and Dawn is pissed. She pretty much stays pissed for the rest of the book, but not just about the stupid wedding bouquet. Mary Anne and Richard move into Dawn’s house and things get a little awkward because they are all used to having different lifestyles: Richard is a neat freak, Sharon is a slob, Mary Anne and Richard eat meat, Dawn and Sharon don’t. Etc, etc, etc. Plus, Mary Anne and Dawn are fighting a lot because they are sharing a room – by choice, not because there is a lack of space. But by the end, they all talk things through and agree to start trying harder to compromise. Except Dawn who uses the secret passage to scare the crap out of Mary Anne and get her to move out of her room. Cause she is a passive aggressive bitch who does things like that. You know five years later Dawn is going to get drunk at a party and accidentally tell Mary Anne what happened, and they’ll have a huge fight. Too bad we won’t get to see that.

Also, because the Pikes aren’t pathetic enough, the subplot is the “Pike Plague.” Everyone gets sick: Mallory gets the chicken pox, the triplets get pneumonia, Vanessa sprains her ankle, Nicky breaks his finger, and Margo and Claire get bronchitis. To top it off, Mrs. Pike hurts her playing tennis and Mr. Pike burnt his hand trying to cook for his sick family.


  • The wedding is small, but the BSC does get to come. I think it is weird Sharon and Richard wouldn’t invite any of their parents. Maybe not all of them, but wasn’t Richard close with Mrs. Thomas when Mary Anne was growing up? She helped him out a lot with Mary Anne, right? Also, she married a millionaire, so if you were on the fence about inviting someone, and you know you’ll get a good gift….just kidding. But seriously. I call that a snub.
  • The night of the wedding, Richard and Sharon “honeymoon” in a hotel and just let Dawn and Mary Anne stay alone in Mary Anne’s house. Two 13-year-olds. By themselves. Did anyone’s parent’s let them do that when they were kids? Mine sure as hell didn’t.
  • No, Dawn, there is no rule that a girl has to catch her mother’s wedding bouquet. Think about what you are saying.
  • The BSC is NOT a clique who has to dress alike, think alike, and have boyfriends all the time? Just one that thinks alike and is bitchy to each other when someone talks to anyone else, I guess.
  • “Claudia wears funky stuff like pink sparkly high-topped sneakers, or short flared skirts, over skin-tight leggings or wild jewelry that she’s made herself.” BTW, there are many unneeded adjectives in that sentence.
  • Flying to CA at night doesn’t make sense….if you land at nine, you won’t get home for a couple hours no matter how close to the airport you live. So a ten-year-old would not get a good night sleep at all.
  • Damn, do not piss off Mary Anne. At the BSC meeting, she tells Dawn (who is wearing Mary Anne’s clothes) that they look tight on her.
  • Why would Richard make bacon every morning for Sharon? It is really passive aggressive. And why would he make breakfast at 7:00, when she doesn’t wake up until 10:00 on Saturday. And what kind of newlyweds are they anyway?
  • Dawn doesn’t want to go to a dance without a date. Because she is too much of an individual to go to a school dance alone, I guess.
  • Claudia wears a short pink dress, globe earrings, and a necklace made of candy to the dance. That is an odd combo.
  • This book has the first mention of Carol (I think), Dawn’s dad’s girlfriend. Only here she doesn’t want to get married and have to take care of a family.
  • Anyone who sits for the Pikes has to wear a surgical mask because of all the germs. That is so weird.
  • Did anyone ever really stay in bed all the time when they were sick? Like actually not be allowed to get up for anything and have all their meals taken to them on a tray?
  • The Pikes don’t want anyone in the BSC getting sick, so they decide Vanessa has to bring drinks or whatever to the other kids when there are sitters around. It is really mean of them.
  • Yeah, Stacey. You are the baby sitter, so you should be the one to talk to a doctor about Vanessa’s sprained ankle. That makes perfect sense.
  • Speaking of a sprained ankle, since when is that an excuse to stay home from school? When I sprained mine, I missed one day of school. And that was my parents being nice and letting me stay home, I didn’t actually need to be home.
  • Mary Anne and Dawn do their homework in their bedroom, sitting at their desk. I never studied like that. The only time I ever sat at a desk to do homework was when I needed a computer.
  • Mallory has chicken pox scars in unmentionable places. Jessi knows where they are. …..Just saying.
  • Who thinks Mr. Pike burned his hand on purpose? His wife had hurt her knee and his eight kids were sick. He burns the hand and then is allowed to hand all responsibilities over to the BSC.
  • Also, the Pikes need a lot of sitters in this book considering how sick their kids are. If I had eight kids and five of them were sick, I think I might…..I don’t know….cancel my plans and take care of them myself?
  • Dawn’s “haunting” is really mean. It is also stupid. Because her cover story for not being home is that she is sitting at the Pikes. But what would she have done if Mary Anne got creeped out and tried calling her at the Pikes?


Anonymous said...

Last year, I managed to sprain my ankle three times in a row and get a stress fracture...

And I didn't get to stay home from school. (I also didn't get crutches even though I did sort of need them as I could barely walk, but I digress)

I'm jealous Pikes...

PS. I adore this blog.

Anonymous said...

Wow. Your last bullet makes an especially good point...I didn't think of that. Stupid Dawn.

Mary Anne is awesome when she's not busy crying.

Anonymous said...

Oh man, I totally noticed the error at the beginning of the book right away! I can't believe I remember that! Dawn was such a wretched bitch in this one, wasn't she?

If you want some hilarious (though not always well-written) takes on the future of the BSC, check out some of the BSC writing on (There is one totally dibble story that I'm obsessed with, where the girls just graduated high school, and Kristy is abused by her boyfriend Cary Retlin. It's called Gone. Check it out, seriously it's like a soap opera with the 18 year old babysitters!) Maybe you could write that story about Dawn getting drunk and telling MaryAnne about the "haunting."

Anonymous said...

I remember being conflicted with this book. I used to love Dawn way back when, but a big part of me knew that what she was doing to Mary Anne was so bitchy and wrong. "But ... but ... you're sisters! And best friends! How could you want to scare her like that?" I was (am) a scardy-cat myself, so I identified more with Mary Anne.

ms wendy said...

Okay, LOVING the site. Was looking for a replacement after the BSC Headquarters blog went down and I am so happy I found it! This has nothing to do with Dawn and the Wicked Stepmother (though, I do remember the book), but I was just thinking how much the Logan/Mary Ann relationship screwed me up. I thought I was such a loser for a long time because I didn't have a boyfriend when I was 13. I mean, if Mary Ann can get one, why couldn't I? Poor me....

On another note - why do these BSC stories stick with me, whilst I forget important stuff?

BadKat said...

Oh, GOD, they fought over the bouquet? Lame, totally lame. If you can get me in one of those lines to begin with, I usually step in the opposite direction of those damn flowers.

Richard and Sharon should have really taken a look at the fact that they have nothing in common before they got hitched. It seems almost like a shotgun wedding with no babies. Only teenagers that act like them…

I got to stay home for a week when I had knee surgery! But before (or even after) the surgery, I never got to stay home when it was injured.

Mary Ann said...

Ms Wendy, OMG yes... Logan/Mary Anne really messed me up, too! I always wondered why the hell none of my middle school boyfriends were as sweet, romantic, and dedicated as Logan... I have never met a 13 year old boy that was really all mushy and wanted to take someone out to a fancy French restaurant. Clearly neither Ann M. Martin nor the ghost writers actually knew any 13 year old boys!

Anonymous said...

How much more accurate would this book's title have been if it were "Dawn the wicked stepsister"? Seriously. Also, how is she OK with her mother getting married when she completely freaks the fuck out when her dad announces that he's engaged (I think? I never read that book!)

- E.Maus

Anonymous said...

You know, I always got the feeling that Sharon and Richard would never have got married if Dawn and Mary Anne hadnt shoved them into it. Could you think of a worse reason to get married- especially when they are as different as Sharon and Richard.

Was this the one where Richard is offended that Sharon wont eat his pork or something? (thats sounds dirty!)
Well, duh she's an effin vegetarian, dipshit.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe I forgot to check this blog out until just now. I had been meaning to check it out when Tiff went on hiatus. I am loving it. :)

I'm also about to reread Mary Anne and the Great Romance (I found a bunch of older books at a used bookstore recently), so it was fun to read about the "sequel." I love the idea of Dawn drunkenly telling MA about the haunting when they're older, although I can also see Dawn being a non-drinker and acting all holier-than-thou about it like she is with her health food.

Mary Ann said...

Colleenn-- Yep, Dawn would totally try to be all "straight edge" and shove that down everyone's throat.

LOL, it makes me laugh how we can pick out how all the BSC members wind up later in life!

BSC Snarker, aka Kristen said...

nhbsc the only fan fiction I have ever written is some BSC fan fiction that lives (or lived) on It was a couple chapters of a group story about the BSC going to Vegas:

I actually don't remember which chapter's are mine, which is really sad. Maybe if I read them, I would remember.

But anyway, I am sort of tempted to do the Dawn slipping and revealing the truth story. I'll let you guys know if I do.

Anonymous said...

I freaking love this website. I always HATED this book so much because Dawn is such a bitch. Even more then usual. Mary Anne is crying when they're moving, right, and Dawn is all annoyed when Mary Anne snaps at her and thinks to herself, "She must be one of those people who gets crabby if she doesn't get enough sleep." Ummm... no Dawn... she’s PISSED OFF because she has to move! I would have been just as upset as Mary Anne if I had to move away. And I totally agree with you, Dawn was stupid and immature scaring Mary Anne out of her room. And your comment made me laugh so hard I almost spit water all over the screen. "She didn’t have a date for the dance so she didn’t go, I guess because she's so independent." I HATE how they always talk about how independent Dawn is, when she isn't at all. Like in the super special when they go to California and Claudia gets advice from Carol to change herself for a guy. Dawn thinks this is stupid, yet at least twice she undergoes a huge change for a guy. Hypocrite much? Ok as you can tell I really hate Dawn and was SO happy when she moved back to "Perfect California." I couldn't believe how cruel she was in this book, it's just unbelievable. I have 3 tips for her 1) Stop bragging about being an "individual." The whole CA casual thing has been done to death. 2) You're a bitch. Plain and simple. Stop being a bitch. 3) Just go ahead and kill yourself really, no one would care. Your parents would live, your brother wouldn't notice, and trust me; Kristy could get Mary Anne through it.

Anonymous said...

Oops, I made a mistake. I meant to say I hate how they always talk about what an "individual" Dawn is (Not indpendent, my bad.) And your comment about her not going to the dance was truly hilarious.

edkchestnut said...

Wouldn't Mary Anne know that Dawn was not at the Pike house. She would have scheduled the stupid job and "she never makes a mistake." Just sayin.

metamorphstorm said...

"Wouldn't Mary Anne know that Dawn was not at the Pike house. She would have scheduled the stupid job and "she never makes a mistake." Just sayin.

Actually, Dawn goes through the elaborate process of calling the operator pretending something might be wrong with her phone and asking for the operator to call her back, and she pretends Mal just called her to ask for her help since the Pike parents are too tired (as they usually are to take care of their own kids). So it wasn't a BSC job scheduled in advance; it was just Dawn pretending she would be elsewhere so Mary Anne would think she was alone in the house when all the creepy stuff started happening.

Corey said...

I literally searched for your review on this book because for the past 25 years, I've remembered that error about who bought the "now-we're-sisters" gift. I no longer have the books, so I needed to make sure I wasn't crazy and that I remembered correctly. Thank you for the validation!

bridget ball said...

Love this!! I have a theory that Dawn is not as much of an individual, she just is to other SMS kids that haven't traveled much. I also think Dawn is condescending to MA a lot and MA dishes it back and Daen can't take it