May 31, 2010
Summary: Sandra Bacon (the chick who didn’t want her so-called best friend to join PBA) is secretly dating a guy named Manuel Lopez but doesn’t want her parents to know because they’re huge racists and Manuel is Mexican. She tells her parents she’s going out with friends, then hangs out with Manuel and expects her friends to cover for her. She also keeps telling Manuel that she’ll tell her parents they’re dating, but never does.
Sandra wants to go out on her boat (yes, she has a boat) with Manuel but doesn’t technically want to lie to her parents (especially her mom, the most bigoted woman in Sweet Valley), so she says she’s going with Elizabeth and then invites her along. The engine explodes, Sandra is injured, and Manuel saves her, but even after a near-death experience, Sandra’s still worried about her horrible, bigoted parents’ reaction, so she tells everyone that Elizabeth saved her. Then when the police accuse Manuel of tampering with the boat to make the engine go boom, Sandra denies knowing him. Yeah, she’s a keeper, there, Manuel. Finally she wises up and spills everything, and of course, everything will turn out all right. Except for Sandra’s mom, who will probably end up in Hell.
In the B plot, Lila won’t shut up about her upcoming birthday and how much she wants her friends to throw her a party, since she’s always the one who throws parties for other people or events. Or on days that end in Y. Seriously, there are a lot of parties in this series. Jessica decides to drive her a little crazy first and enlists everyone to pretend they’re not planning anything so she’ll be doubly surprised. It’s Lila, so it works.
Thoughts: Jessica plans to throw Lila a surprise party the day after her birthday and tell everyone to pretend they don’t care about her birthday (though for some of them, I don’t think they have to do much pretending). Part of me loves the idea of Lila being tortured like this, but part of me fears the wrath of Lila.
If Sandra’s parents are so racist, why do they have a Spanish-style house?
Everyone keeps mentioning how much prettier Sandra is now that she’s dating someone. Because only ugly girls are single. Except Jessica, of course.
If Lila’s so rich and snobby, why does she lower herself by going to public school?
Are Bruce and Amy still together? That’s so messed up!
Sandra should have told her parents that Manuel saved her life – then they would have to be nice to him. Though probably Mrs. Bacon would wear a mask around him so as not to contract the Mexican.
May 30, 2010
Summary: Jessi gets the lead in a dance school production of Sleeping Beauty (yes, even though she’s only 11), then starts receiving threatening notes and having weird mishaps. Someone steals her toe shoes, cuts up her leotard, and spills water on the dance floor to make her fall. Jessi and the BSC girls go all Nancy Drew on the situation and narrow down their short list of suspects, settling on a girl named Hilary who has a really annoying stage mom. When confronted, Hilary comes clean and admits that she wanted Jessi’s role to please her mother. She winds up quitting ballet and suffers no consequences, because there’s no such thing as follow-through in this series.
In the B plot, a bunch of the club’s sitting charges put on a pet show, which is half pet talent show, half dog show. It’s one of the more boring B plots.
Thoughts: “Karen’s always got her nose in everyone’s business. She’s kind of like a young Kristy.” Wow, Jessi, tell us how you really feel about your president.
Jessi has a conversation with a picture of Mikhail Baryshnikov. So…yeah.
Emily can say actual words – in her second language, no less – while Marnie speaks gibberish, yet Emily’s the one who’s language-delayed?
Why do the BSC girls call the note-writer a phantom when they know they’re dealing with a real person? Do they just not know what the word “phantom” means? Though I guess Andrew Lloyd Webber doesn’t either, since the Phantom of the Opera also wasn’t really a phantom. Okay, I’m going to stop saying “phantom” now.
Ug, the BSC girls are everyone-gets-a-trophy people. And what the heck kind of a prize is “shortest legs”?
Stacey wears a tux. Why, Stacey, why?
May 28, 2010
Summary: The twins get internships at the Sweet Valley News (that makes sense for Elizabeth, but not the other one), and Jessica tries to get the attention of a journalist/novelist by making up stories for him to write about. It keeps getting her in trouble until she actually witnesses the aftermath of a murder, seeing a guy carrying a woman’s body through a parking garage.
Steven’s college friend Adam is accused of the murder, since the victim was his girlfriend Laurie and a letter has surfaced that makes it seem as if Adam was going to get rid of Laurie because he was in love with Elizabeth. Jessica actually wrote the letter, wanting to get Elizabeth and Adam together, and you’d think that now that one of her harebrained schemes has almost ruined someone’s life, she’d stop messing around, but of course she doesn’t.
Anyway, even with eyewitness testimony that Adam’s innocent, the police keep him in jail because otherwise there would be no plotline. Since Jessica knows for sure that Adam’s innocent, she teams up with the journalist/novelist, Seth, to find out who the real culprit is. It’s unsurprisingly an unstable guy named Tom who Laurie’s family wanted her to marry. He saw Jessica in the parking garage, and everyone’s worried that he’ll come after her (or Elizabeth, since, you know, they look exactly alike), but no one really goes to any extremes to protect them. Probably because nothing bad ever happens in Sweet Valley, so no one knows how to react. Also, because the officer assigned to the case, Sergeant Wilson, is the worst cop ever.
Tom winds up at an office party with Jessica and they both recognize each other. As Seth heads off to call the police (and takes his sweet time about it), Tom starts to leave but runs into Elizabeth in the parking garage. He thinks she’s Jessica and manages to knock her unconscious, which would be kind of scary if you thought they might actually kill off one of the twins. Jessica arrives on the scene and the twins try to battle Tom, with Elizabeth ultimately doing something that’s actually smart by pulling the fire alarm to draw attention to them. Tom goes to prison, Adam is freed, and Jessica kind of gets the guy. Who’s 22. Ew.
Thoughts: From “Adam’s” love letter to Elizabeth: “I love you. I can’t live without you. You’re all I really want in this whole world, and if I can’t figure out something soon, I may have to do something drastic.” Does Jessica want Elizabeth to fall in love or get a restraining order?
So first Seth thinks Jessica might be on to something when she says a restaurant fire might have been caused by arson. Then he believes her story about a bank robbery, not even bothering to check her sources before trying to get the story published. Then, when she calls after seeing Tom with Laurie’s body, and tells him she’s scared and needs him to come over, he again believes that she’s telling the truth. How did this guy graduate high school at 16 and get a master’s in journalism before the age of 22? He’s a moron! Which means he and Jessica were made for each other.
Adam is arrested and charged with first-degree murder within a couple of hours, and a grand jury will indict him the next day. And yet that’s not the most unrealistic thing to happen in this series.
The Sweet Valley police have an eyewitness saying Adam is innocent and they choose to completely ignore her. To paraphrase Principal Snyder, the police of Sweet Valley are deeply stupid.
Apparently there have been zero murders in Sweet Valley in the past 25 years. Aren’t there a lot of murders (or at least attempted murders) later in the series? I blame the twins.
Ned grounding Jessica for a week for breaking a rule is considered strict. And then she’s allowed to go to the work party. Then the Wakefields ditch the twins, who may be the target of a psycho killer (qu’est-ce que c’est?), and let them go off with a 22-year-old guy they don’t know. Yep, I knew the Wakefields sucked as parents.
This Sergeant Wilson guy is really skeezy, with his secrets and sweet talk. He’s really sergeant of something other than the police department, right? Like a circus?
May 22, 2010
Summary: Logan has become really clingy and controlling, and since Mary Anne is physically incapable of expressing her opinion or standing up for herself, she keeps giving in to whatever he wants. (If they were older, she’d so be pregnant and/or dead in a ditch.) Mary Anne’s father notices that they’re spending a lot of time together and it’s affecting her schoolwork and her relationships with other people, so he asks them to cut back. However, Mary Anne has already decided that she wants to cool things off a little, so she tells Logan that they need to take a little break.
Logan waits about five seconds before being annoying again, not getting the hint that Mary Anne might want their “break” to be permanent. She finally realizes that she has to, you know, say stuff to get what she wants, so she tells him they’re not the way they used to be, and they’re done. It would be sadder if they weren’t freaking 13 years old and he wasn’t so irritating.
In the B plot, Jenny Prezzioso is struggling to adjust to the idea of having a new baby sister, so the BSC girls try to help her out. Things end up turning out fine, so that was a waste of a plot. Also a waste of a plot – Karen makes a brief appearance, moping about her second-grade boyfriend, and then promptly disappears.
Thoughts: No way does Jenny have ratty sneakers. Stupid ghostwriter.
Who calls babysitters to plan a baby shower? And 13-year-old babysitters, at that? I can only imagine how my 13-year-old self would have decorated for a party. I’m sure posters of Jonathan Jackson would have been involved.
It’s wintertime in this book, but two books ago it was nice enough for people to go swimming (though in the book before that, it was Halloween). It’s Bizarro Connecticut.
“Dawn had gone over to Claudia’s to learn how to make jewelry.” Put the beads on a string, sprouts-for-brains. There, you’re done.
Claudia asks, “How come we always fall in love when we’re out of town and the relationship can’t last?” Because you’re all silly little girls being controlled bya predictable ghostwriter?
Karen tries to hire the BSC girls to watch her stuffed animals, since she thinks they get lonely, so Kristy suggests that she introduce them to Andrew’s stuffed animals. Okay, that was cute.
May 21, 2010
Summary: Molly, the chick who threw the party where Regina died, is now an outcast (oh, that’s where that came from!) because everyone blames her for Regina’s death. The only person who will talk to Molly is Buzz the drug dealer, who’s on the run from the cops. For most of the book, people ignore, insult, or talk trash about Molly; in a memorable (well, relatively) scene, Nicholas even yells at Molly while they’re at Regina’s grave. Even Elizabeth is a jerk about the situation until she realizes that Molly has feelings, too, and St. Elizabeth needs to be nice to her.
From there things just get stupid. Molly decides to skip town with Buzz. Elizabeth goes to her friend Justin to try to get him to talk to Molly. He won’t, because…actually, I’m not really sure. This isn’t exactly what you would call a well-written book. Anyway, Elizabeth catches Molly taking a bunch of money out of her bank account and tells Justin, who goes to stop her from running away. There’s a car chase and an attempted stabbing, and then Justin knocks Buzz out. I guess everyone lives happily ever after? I don’t get why I’m supposed to care about these people.
In the B plot, Jessica has a heart! She wants to do something nice in Regina’s memory, so she gets PBA to create a scholarship in Regina’s name. See, Elizabeth, you can do something other than involve yourself in other people’s business.
Thoughts: The Wakefields do some actual parenting, telling their kids not to do drugs. Of course, they waited until their kids were 16 and 18 before doing this parenting….
How did Enid get inducted into PBA? I thought Elizabeth was the only person who liked her.
“The hope drained from Molly’s heart like water from a broken glass.” Look at the ghost writer, all writerly!
Am I the only person who thinks of the principal from Back to the Future whenever Principal “Chrome Dome” Cooper makes an appearance?
Elizabeth sucks at writing. Avoid the passive voice, Ms. Perfect!
May 16, 2010
Summary: Claudia does some major studying for her math class, in preparation for a test, and gets an A- on it. But then she’s accused of cheating off of a girl named Shawna, though it’s clear that Shawna’s the cheater. Claudia and the BSC girls decide to take matters into their own hands and prove that Shawna’s lying about the cheating, but they can’t come up with any good ideas. It’s Janine who manages to save the day by convincing Claudia’s teacher and the principal to let Claudia retake the test. She does, getting an even better score, and proves that she wouldn’t have cheated because she knew the material. Confronted, Shawna has to ‘fess up.
In the B plot, the Pike triplets are grounded after one of them breaks a window and none of them will tell who was responsible. Mallory has them reenact the incident and show that it was an accident. (Did the Pikes think they broke the window on purpose? I know they’re wild, but they’re not juvnile delinquents…or are they?)
Thoughts: Shawna really is dumb if she thinks cheating off of Claudia would be helpful.
Thanks to the word problem on the first page, to this day, when I hear the name Gertrude, I think of chocolate.
A 94 is an A-? Grading at SMS is tough.
Claudia describes Mallory as “kind of quiet.” Not as quiet as I’d like.
Apparently Claudia can always remember what she was wearing on any given day. There’s a skill you wish you had on your résumé.
Mary Anne doesn’t believe Claudia when she says she didn’t cheat, then cries when Kristy chastises her. How did I never realize before how annoying Mary Anne is?
Claudia tells the BSC girls that her parents wanted to talk to the principal about the cheating accusation, and Kristy says, “I think it’s best if we handled this ourselves.” And the Kishis are cool with that? Wow, they really do love Janine more than Claudia.
Mary Anne thinks gossiping is mean. You know what else is mean? No believing your friend when she tells you she didn’t cheat. Keep gossiping, girls.
Dawn suggests looking for evidence in Shawna’s locker. Stacey says it would be breaking the law and Mallory asks if they would need a search warrant. Why is everyone in this book a moron except Claudia and Janine?
The BSC girls seem to think they tricked Cokie into incriminating herself in Mary Anne’s Bad-Luck Mystery and Kristy’s Mystery Admirer. (Why do all these books have “mystery” in their titles?) No, girls, she was dumb enough to incriminate herself all on her own. Of course, Claudia thinks that making Shawna incriminate herself involves saying “copy” a bunch of times to see if she can get a reaction out of Shawna and writing, “If you can read this, you are a cheater and you might as well admit it.” in her notes, so maybe they just don’t know what that word means.
Claudia’s supposedly wild outfit with a sea theme is actually her tamest ever.
May 14, 2010
Summary: Amy decides she wants to steal Bruce from Regina, and since Regina doesn’t bother to stand up to her and Bruce is a teenage boy who will go wherever he might get sex, it works. Jessica, Elizabeth, and various others are no help; they know what Amy’s up to but don’t a) try to stop her or b) warn Regina that someone’s after her boyfriend. What nice friends. Poor, lonely Regina starts hanging out with a guy named Justin who’s friends with a bunch of druggies, and they wind up at a druggie party one night. Again, everyone knows about it, but no one meddles enough to stop Regina from going to the party. (Not that I’m blaming Liz, per se. But seriously, the girl can’t stop interfering in other people’s lives, and this is the one time she doesn’t.)
Nicholas learns of the party and heads over to get his sister, but he’s pulled over for speeding and taken to the police station since he also doesn’t have his license with him. Meanwhile, Regina gets mean-girled and peer-pressured into drinking a bunch of beers and trying cocaine, which – who knew? – is bad. Nicholas arrives with the police just minutes after Regina starts suffering the ill effects of two hits of cocaine, namely a rapid heartbeat that eventually leads to her death. So everyone’s sad and blaming themselves for her death, but Molly, some chick who was at the party, just wants Justin to talk to her again. Dear ghostwriter, no one cares about Molly. So let’s never speak about her ag – wait, she’s in the next book? Not cool!
Thoughts: A lot of YA books and movies overdo the drugs-are-bad-mmmkay? theme, but I thought it was handled well here. Regina’s always been known as a “good girl,” but sometimes good girls do the wrong thing. And it’s not just the hard-core drug-users who can overdose or suffer consequences; even one hit can be your downfall. So as cheesy as this series often is, this book is actually a little meaningful. I’m sure things will go back to normal in a manner of pages.
Bruce tells Amy, “I’d kind of forgotten how much fun it is to spread the wealth – to share the old Bruce magic with more than one girl.” I’m gagging and vomiting. I’m gavomiting.
Elizabeth told Regina about her motorcycle accident. Wonder if she happened to mention that Bruce tried to rape her.
There’s a Justin Belson, a Jan Brown, and a Jay Benson. Aw, they all have my initials – I could be a druggie, too!
Sweet Valley’s resident drug dealer’s name is Buzz. Hee.
Regina believes that cocaine isn’t addictive and alcohol won’t alter its effects. What kind of crappy drug education does SVH promote?
As she’s dying, Regina asks to see Elizabeth. To help speed things along?
“First the choir sang a chorus from a German mass that Regina had always loved.” You mean in the four months she’s been able to hear?
May 10, 2010
Summary: The BSC girls win the lottery (…just go with it) and decide to spend the money on a two-week trip to California. It’s a super special, so everyone gets a storyline:
Dawn is really frustrated with Carol, her dad’s girlfriend, who hangs out with the BSC girls the whole time, in some ways acting like a teenager. Carol eventually acts more like an adult and Dawn realizes that she’s much more likable that way. She tells her father that she’d be okay with him marrying Carol, and even writes Carol a letter telling her all of her feelings.
Claudia meets a guy named Terry who, as she describes him, is basically a male Janine. They have a couple of awkward dates because Claudia feels dumb compared to him, but when she finally relaxes and is herself, things click. Of course, they’re only 13 and live on opposite sides of the country, so this will never go anywhere.
Stacey takes up surfing and hangs out with a bunch of high schoolers. They get into a car wreck because the driver is a complete idiot, and she realizes that she was doing unsafe things. (No one mentions that she was spending her whole vacation with people who weren’t the friends she came to California with, but whatever.)
Mallory wants to be a California girl so badly that she dyes her hair blond. She still gets overlooked, including by a casting director, and her friends have to beat it into her that they liked the old Mallory better. No word what they’ll do about her apparent body dysmorphic disorder.
Jessi has pretty much the same plot she did in Jessi and the Superbrat, even down to having Derek Masters in the story. Nothing happens.
Mary Anne is a walking guide book. She also babysits for a girl named Stephie who has asthma, and freaks out and becomes overprotective, a lot like her father. The girl does eventually have an asthma attack, but it’s after Mary Anne has already calmed down about the whole thing, so she’s able to handle the situation well.
Kristy wants to show up the We ♥ Kids Club, Dawn’s friends’ sorry BSC rip-off, so she accepts a sitting job with two little hellions. She proceeds to suck at keeping them under control. I always knew she was all talk.
Thoughts: I’m sad that there are no ridiculous pictures in this super special. That’s what usually makes them so special! And super!
Even though I’ve never been in her situation, I understand Dawn’s feelings toward Carol. I’m sure a lot of 13-year-old daddy’s girls would find their father’s new girlfriend annoying. But Dawn shows a lot of maturity in starting to accept Carol and even respect her.
Why would you buy a lottery ticket for your 13-year-old daughter? And why would all of the BSC girls’ parents let them spend their $1,428.57 each on a trip instead of college or something? Especially Mary Anne’s father or Mallory’s parents, who just had a bout of unemployment and have to send eight kids to college?
Claudia wears a red shirt with sombreros and cacti on it, blue and white striped pants, polka-dotted suspenders, an engineer’s cap, and cowboy boot earrings. Where did she get an engineer’s cap?
Dawn asks for chicken on the plane. Shoot the ghostwriter.
I’m sorry, Mallory knows how a mortgage works but not what asthma is? And she knows who Marilyn Monroe is but not who Alfred Hitchcock is? You guys, Mallory’s a moron.
Ten-year-olds listen to the Grateful Dead? Really?
The girls keep going to the mall. They’re spending their lottery winnings at the freaking mall. This is why teenagers shouldn’t have access to so much money.
If I were Mr. Schafer and my daughter’s friend dyed her hair without her parents’ permission while she was in my care, I would be on the phone with her parents so fast, it would reverse the Earth’s rotation and we would travel back in time to before the dye was ever purchased.
Jessi thinks Derek will have her picked up in a limo, and she plans to say, “This is just like the one at home.” Jessi’s imagination rivals Karen’s.
Kristy thinks the We ♥ Kids Club has a stupid name. Well, yes, but it’s not like the BSC has the most original name.
Claudia describes Universal Studios as “a theme park like Disney land but it isn’t Disneyland.” Who says Claud is dumb?
Mary Anne corrects Jessi’s grammar. Shut up and read your tour books, Frommer’s.
What’s up with Terry being 13 and liking French restaurants and foreign films? That’s just…not normal.
Jenny Prezzioso wants to name her new baby brother or sister Yucky Toilet. Now that is realistic for a four-year-old.
Every time I hear something about Elaine Stritch, I think of this book, since she appears on Derek’s TV show. I’m weird.
Why does Stacey have to tell her parents she was in a car accident but Mallory doesn’t have to tell her parents she dyed her hair? It would be much more in keeping with Mallory’s ongoing loser-ness for things to happen the other way around.
May 7, 2010
Summary: The Oracle starts running personal ads, and Penny Ayala, the uppity, antisocial, no-fun editor, decides to run one as a joke. I’m shocked she has any kind of sense of humor. Someone named Jamie responds to her ad, but there’s no one at SVH named Jamie, so Penny isn’t sure who her mystery guy is. It turns out it’s a group of guys, led by Kirk Anderson (the jerk briefly introduced in Leaving Home), who are just having fun. Well, Neil Freemount isn’t having fun – he’s actually in love with Penny, but doesn’t want to tell her because then Kirk won’t find him cool.
If you’ve ever read a teen book or seen a teen movie, you can guess where this is going: Neil stands up to Kirk and reveals himself to Penny, she’s briefly upset that he answered her ad as a joke, and they end up happily ever after. Except Kirk, who Elizabeth gets revenge on by pretending to set him up on a date with her model cousin (not really her cousin) and then laughing when he gets stood up. As revenge goes, it’s extremely weak, but the fact that Elizabeth’s being mean to someone at all shows she’s not as pure as we’ve been led to believe.
The B plot is way more interesting, mostly because it ends with Jessica and Lila being humiliated. They have a discussion about the personal ads, with Lila thinking it’s best to write about the kind of person you’re looking for while Jessica thinks you should write about yourself. They decide to each submit an ad and see who winds up with the best guy. Jessica thinks she’s won when she lands a sociology major named John who seems completely obsessed with her. In fact, he responded to a bunch of personal ads – including Lila’s – so he could conduct a study about how people present themselves in the ads. Kudos to the ghostwriter for that clever twist.
Thoughts: Jessica thinks she can get college guys through the personals because Steven reads the Oracle (I bet) and there are always cute guys in his room. So why doesn’t she…go to his room and meet some cute guys?
Here are Lila and Jessica’s ads in their entirety. First, Lila’s:
Glamorous, sophisticated, mature high school girl looking for someone with the right stuff. I like fast cars, caviar, and the Caribbean. Don’t talk to me about commitment – I’m looking for excitement, not a bridge partner. If you can keep up with me, I want you. Kids need not apply.
How old is she, 30? Here’s Jessica’s:
Are you devastatingly handsome? Are you romantic and wild? Do you like girls who aren’t afraid of danger? Are you the type of guy who goes for what he wants? Are you in college? If you answered yes to all the above questions, drop me a line. I’ve been looking for you.
I think it’s safe to say Jessica has a nice future ahead of her doing ads for those late-night chat lines.
Enid’s response when Elizabeth tells her Penny’s a loser when it comes to guys: “But she’s so funny and smart and everything! She might even be valedictorian this year.” Because when most guys describe their dream girls, “valedictorian” is usually at the top of the list.
The stakes of Jessica and Lila’s bet: The winner takes her guy to a school dance, and the loser has to go alone. Wow, the loser might as well just kill herself to bypass all that horror.
Mrs. Wakefield says she’d like Jessica’s bikini better on someone else’s daughter, then says it’s “a knockout” and lets her wear it. Nice parenting there, Alice.
Mr. Collins wants to dance with Penny. SVH did a background check before they hired him, right?
May 2, 2010
Summary: Mallory’s father loses his job, so she and her brothers and sisters try to earn some money to help out their parents. They also have to put up with some of their friends making fun of them for possibly becoming poor, because children are truly horrible creatures. (Not the kids the BSC girls sit for, of course. They’re all angels.) Then Mallory’s dad gets a new job and everyone’s happy. Riveting stuff, I know.
The B plot is sort of part of the A plot: Mallory takes a month-long sitting job with the Delaney kids (as in Amanda “My Cat Cost $400″ Delaney), who are also dealing with figuring out who their real friends are. They have a new swimming pool and kids keep coming over to swim, but when Amanda and Max want to do something else, the kids refuse. Mallory helps the kids figure out who really likes them and who’s just using them for their pool.
Thoughts: This is one of those books that I liked as a child, but as an adult, the lesson puts me off. Mallory tells off her supposed friends, and then the BSC girls place prank phone calls as revenge for them being mean. So the lesson is that if people are mean, you can tell them where to go and then annoy them? Somehow I don’t think that’s what the ghostwriter meant to accomplish here.
BSC slang explained: “Dibble” is short for incredible, “distant” means the same thing, and “stale” means the opposite. Don’t you feel enlightened?
Why do the Delaneys have two tennis courts? In case they lose one?
Also, are they really the only family in the neighborhood with a pool? And why did it take them so long to get one? Were the kids swimming in the indoor fountain before that?
Mallory tells Amanda that she hurt a boy’s feelings, and Amanda replies, “Well, he deserved it. He hurt mine once.” That kid’s going to grow up to be Lila Fowler.
As annoying as Karen can be, she’s a good friend to Amanda in this book, showing that she doesn’t just come over to swim in the pool. She also manages to make a suggestion for a game rather than control the activities. Aww, our little Karen’s growing up.
Mallory understands what a mortgage is but not any other aspect of finances? What a weird girl.
Jessi eats a pizzaburger and chocolate cake. Jonathan Reeves would be SO displeased.
Kids pay Vanessa to braid their hair? Are they crazy? Nine-year-olds are supposed to do each other’s hair for free. It’s part of being a girl.
If the Pikes had money from Mr. Pike’s severance package, why did they accept Mallory’s sitting money? I hope they paid her back later.
Best example of why this book wasn’t written recently: Mr. Pike is only unemployed for a month.