February 8, 2012

BSC #95, Kristy + Bart = ?: The Friend Zone

Posted in books tagged , , at 9:43 pm by Jenn

I love the look on Kristy's face

Summary: We all know Bart has been Kristy’s “sort-of boyfriend” for a while, and now he wants to be her actual boyfriend. He lets her know by trying to make out with her during a movie, inviting her to a school dance, and introducing her to friends as his girlfriend. Kristy’s semi-clueless, since she thinks they’re in agreement about just being a little more than friends. She also isn’t sure she wants to be more than a little more than friends.

Bart drops by the Brewer/Thomas house one evening to watch a baseball game while Kristy’s babysitting. They get caught kissing, and Kristy realizes too late that she’s broken her mom’s rule about having a guy over when no adults are around. (It’s never been an issue; it’s always just been that Sam and Charlie couldn’t have girls over.) Since Kristy doesn’t think of Bart as her boyfriend anyway, she didn’t think about the rule. She gets grounded and blames Bart, even though he had no idea there was any rule.

With some help from Mary Anne and Jessi, Kristy decides to tell Bart how she feels (I know! A novel idea!). He tells her he wants a real relationship, not just one where they hang out and are really just friends. Kristy admits that she’s not ready for that. She thinks things will go back to the way they were, but it sounds like things are a little awkward instead. Poor Bart, stuck in the friend zone.

Kristy’s involved in the B-plot as well, as she comes up with a Guinness Book-like project for kids. It’s actually a good idea.

Thoughts: Kristy sure is a drama queen. Wait, why am I surprised? She’s also really annoying in this book; she comes across very arrogant and full of herself. And as mature as she tends to come across, at least in terms of watching kids, she really isn’t. Though I guess I have to admire her for admitting that she’s not quite ready to date. Of course, then the question is, why am I admiring a fictional character?

Grounding Kristy for breaking a rule is reasonable, but making her stay in her room the whole time is a little much.

Kristy calling Jessica for advice about boys seems kind of random, but I get the feeling that Jessi gives good advice.

Kristy gives Bart a hilarious written speech to tell him how she feels:

“Hi, Bart, how’s it going? I realize I hung up on you and that was rude. So I would like to clarify my position in terms of my feelings and in regard to the breakage of the house rule which you already know about. First of all, I have and will like you in the sense of being a friend, but I felt that the pressure which I was feeling from you was changing the way that I conceived of our friendship but maybe not in the direction that it was meant to happen in my own mind, and not in the sense of measuring up to what you expected in terms of me being a girlfriend or not.”

Girl, back away from the thesaurus.

Lindsey DeWitt has a dead fly collection. Someone please get that child some help.

January 10, 2011

BSC Super Special #10, Sea City, Here We Come!: They Had to Leave Stoneybrook to Be This Boring

Posted in books tagged , , , , , , , , at 10:11 pm by Jenn

Seriously, who invited Logan?

Summary: The Pikes and Barretts head to Sea City for two weeks, with the Pikes hiring Mallory (sort of) and Jessi as mother’s helpers, and Mrs. Barrett hiring Stacey. Then, for some reason, the Pikes invite the other BSC girls for the second week of vacation. Logan comes for the weekend, for no apparent reason.

Mallory lands herself a date with Toby, the guy who kind of hooked up with Stacey the last two times she and Mary Anne were in Sea City. Except right before they’re supposed to go out, Mallory talks to Ben on the phone and realizes she doesn’t want to go out with anyone else. She tells Toby nothing’s going to happen between them, and he asks if she can hook him up with another cute girl the next time they come to Sea City. Then he writes her a postcard and asks if Jessi’s single. Wow, that one’s a charmer.

Stacey‘s totally jealous of Mallory and does a very poor job of hiding it. She also has trouble dealing with Mrs. Barrett, who’s kind of annoying.

Mary Anne runs into Alex, her guy from her previous trips to Sea City, and Logan gets jealous, even though Mary Anne obviously has no feelings for the guy.

Before the trip, Kristy struggles to find substitute Krushers for a game against the Bashers, since she refuses to just postpone it and let Bart gloat, or something. She gathers some kids from her neighborhood who have no experience playing softball (and some of them don’t exactly want to do it), and they play the weirdest game of softball ever. Sadly, it’s the most interesting part of the book.

In the nothing-happens category, Claudia goes to summer school before going to Sea City, Jessi babysits a lot while they’re there, and Dawn and Mary Anne run a mini day camp.

There’s a hurricane while everyone’s in Sea City, but nothing happens. NOTHING HAPPENS IN THE WHOLE BOOK.

Thoughts: For some reason, I love Claudia having the BSC girls (and logan) taste-test Heath and Skor bars.

Setting aside the fact that there’s no way Logan could get a job in a restaurant, why would he need to? With three of the BSC girls out of town, wouldn’t he have his pick of sitting jobs? Also, what do BSC clients do when everyone in the club is out of town? Do they have to – gasp! – actually spend time with their children?

Dawn tells little kids a ghost story involving murder. Way to go, Dawn.

Dear ghostwriter, Franklin’s last name is not Harris, it’s DeWitt. Moron.

“Somehow, Kristy had devised a way to convince the grown-ups to take the kids for a half hour.” When a 13-year-old has to ask you to spend time with your children on a family vacation, YOU HAVE A PROBLEM.

Mallory writes a postcard to Stacey’s mom. I don’t get it.

Since when is Sea City on an island?

January 2, 2011

BSC Mystery #9, Kristy and the Haunted Mansion: Spoiler – It’s Not Really Haunted

Posted in books tagged , , , , , at 4:34 pm by Jenn

You should definitely send Karen in there first

Summary: Kristy, Bart, and Charlie are accompanying a bunch of Krushers and Bashers (AKA the Krashers) home from an away game when a huge storm hits. The group is stuck in some nearby town thanks to a washed-out bridge, and they decide to find a place to spend the night. They come across a huge mansion kept by a caretaker who says they can spend the night there. They start looking around the house and read a diary, which belonged to a girl named Dorothy who lived there back in the 30s. She disappeared when she was 18, the day before she was supposed to elope with a guy named Will, who her father disapproved of.

There have been stories about the mansion being haunted, so the kids are a little freaked out (as is Kristy), and knowing that a person who used to live there may have died under mysterious circumstances doesn’t help. I’m not sure who people think haunts the mansion anyway, since Dorothy didn’t die in the house. But it doesn’t really matter, since nothing really weird happens anyway. The story’s more about the fact that Kristy and everyone disappears and their families don’t know where they are.

In the morning, the group figures out that Will is the caretaker. He confirms this and admits that he bought the house and kept it exactly the same as it was when Dorothy lived there. Later on, Karen admits to Kristy that she swiped a picture of Dorothy from the mansion, and when the other BSC girls see it, Mary Anne recognizes Dorothy as the woman who owns a nearby sewing shop. The BSC girls and Karen go to see her, confirm that she’s Dorothy, and hear her side of the story: On her way to meet Will so they could elope, she decided she liked her freedom so much that she took off alone. (Girl power!) The girls tell her where she can find Will, because they just can’t help playing matchmaker.

Thoughts: I’m not sure I’d let my eight-year-old ride in a van driven by a 17-year-old, who happens to be the oldest person in the group.

Trivia: Kristy’s afraid of lightning.

Bart doesn’t come home, so his father calls…Claudia? Huh?

“Charlie was turning out to be great.” I believe I’ve been saying that for months.

Why does Kristy care if Karen reads a diary from 1935? She didn’t seem to care about someone reading another person’s decades-old diary in Mallory and the Mystery Diary.

Patty, one of Bart’s Bashers, says that when she grows up, she wants to be a carpenter, ride a motorcycle, and be president. Rock on, Patty.

August 28, 2010

BSC Mystery #4, Kristy and the Missing Child: Another Traumatizing BSC Book

Posted in books tagged , , , at 2:31 pm by Jenn

Whoever that blond kid is, he/she has the world's worst haircut

Summary: One of Kristy’s Krushers, Jake Kuhn, disappears on his way home from a game. His mom worries that her ex-husband has grabbed him, since he was angry that she wouldn’t let Jake go on a trip with him to Europe. The BSC girls and some of their sitting charges think Jake might be stuck somewhere, so they go out looking for him. Kristy takes charge (of course) and organizes search parties. Other kids think Jake was kidnapped and do a little panicking (though not much, considering the situation).

On one of their jaunts to look in places Jake might be, Kristy, Bart, David Michael, and Matt and Haley Braddock visit a construction site and discover that Jake fell through the floor and has been trapped there. He’s fine, and Kristy is named a hero, even though Matt was the one who thought they should look there. And then at SMS’s Awards Night, she gets a mini umbrella and the title of Class Protector a plaque.

In the B plot, Mary Anne is flunking home ec, but she salvages her grade by inventing Jell-o Jigglers.

Thoughts: I loved this book when I was younger, even though it kind of freaked me out. This series has a way of slipping slightly traumatizing events into books. A missing dog? Okay. A missing child? Not really age-appropriate.

Mary Anne skips an emergency club meeting to work on a home-ec project. That girl clearly does not have her priorities in order.

Speaking of the whole home-ec subplot, doesn’t Mary Anne seem like the club member most likely to do well in that class?

Kristy isn’t sure how to help find Jake at first, since she doesn’t have walkie-talkies like the police do. Uh…what?

Mary Anne panics over a test about Jell-O. Why would a home-ec teacher test students on how to make Jell-O? First of all, a six-year-old could do it, and second of all, memorizing the process isn’t going to get you ahead in life. It’s on every box anyway. Why don’t they teach the students how to roast a turkey or balance a checkbook or do a load of laundry – you know, stuff they’re going to have to do later in life?

I’m not really sure why Bart’s in this book. He kind of just hangs out. And almost kisses Kristy. Wow, way to keep your mind on the missing child, Bart.

Pete Black is expected to be named class clown? I didn’t think Alan Gray had much competition in that department.

July 18, 2010

BSC Super Special #7, Snowbound: This is What Happens When You Ignore the Weatherman

Posted in books tagged , , , , , , , , , at 4:58 pm by Jenn

Maybe Mallory wouldn't feel so dorky if she didn't wear such dorky glasses

Summary: The weather forecast calls for snow. Everyone ignores it and gets stranded. That’s what they get.

Stacey and her mom are on their way back from the mall when they get lost on a back road and run out of gas. They’re faced with spending the night in the car and trying not to freeze to death, but some random guy finds them and takes them to his house (don’t worry, he’s married and has a kid, so he’s not a serial killer or anything).

Kristy has invited Bart over for the afternoon/evening, and he gets stranded with her entire family. Karen is at her most irritating. Kristy doesn’t want Bart to see her as a mess in the morning, so she gets up super-early and curls her hair and puts on makeup. Her brothers make fun of her, which she totally deserves.

Jessi is at dance class when the blizzard hits, and there are a bunch of little kids there (they’re rehearsing for a production of The Nutcracker), so she gets to put her sitting skills to good use. Quint is coming to town for a school dance, and he winds up walking to the dance school when Jessi’s dad can’t make it to pick him up.

Mary Anne and Mallory are watching the Pike kids while Mr. and Mrs. Pike go to New York for the day. They run out of food, so Logan brings some over on cross-country skis.

Dawn and her mom go to the airport to pick up Jeff, but his plane is rerouted to D.C. and they have to spend the night in the airport. Dawn whines a lot.

Claudia is sitting for the Perkins girls and winds up having to spend the night with them.

The premise of the book is that Kristy wants the newspaper to publish an article about the BSC girls’ experiences during the blizzard. I’m pretty sure no one cares, Kristy.

Thoughts: The girls’ parents are apparently totally okay with their 13-year-old daughters spending the night taking care of kids. Are they even allowed to spend the night on their own, without other living beings depending on them?

Kristy’s totally invading Mallory’s territory by trying to write a newspaper article. She’s also annoying – she says to the editor, “If you want to pay me, I wouldn’t mind. How much do reporters earn? (I won’t be too picky.)” Shut up already.

Claudia spells disappointed “disapperntened.” Oh, come on, she’s not that stupid.

Claire hears about all her parents’ plans for their day in New York and asks,” Will you ever get to go to the bathroom?” Love it.

I call bull on Mrs. Pike almost running out of food. Wouldn’t she buy everything in bulk and have more than enough?

Bart looks nothing like I imagined. He looks kind of like the guy who played Alan Gray in the BSC movie. So I guess Kristy has a type.

All of the Pike kids sing in the morning. I would kill them.

I’m sure it’s totally a coincidence that Dawn and her mother, who are vegetarians, hit a mailbox shaped like a cow.

Apparently no one in Stoneybrook takes weather forecasts seriously. Around here, people mob the grocery store and stock up on rock salt when even an inch of snow is predicted.

“There was ice cream, too. It was behind the pie, where no one could see it, but Sam sensed its presence.” Heh.

Sharon says Mary Anne’s one bad habit is worrying too much. So crying all the time is a lovable affectation?

Quint, whose parents most likely don’t know where he is during the blizzard: “If my parents want to worry, that’s their choice.” Quint’s kind of a jerk.

Mallory seems to think global warming means it’ll never snow again. Stop talking, Mallory.

Hold up – David Michael, Karen, Andrew, and Emily Michelle all share one bathroom, and Charlie, Sam, and Kristy share another? In that ginormous house? I don’t think so.

April 25, 2010

BSC #38, Kristy’s Mystery Admirer: Her?

Posted in books tagged , , , , , , , , , at 5:19 pm by Jenn

Yeah, I can see why all the boys love Kristy

Summary: Kristy starts getting love letters (I know, right?), and at first she’s flattered, but then she gets creeped out because they turn dark. Her mystery admirer says he/she will remember her when she’s dead, and other weird stuff like that. Kristy and Shannon (who’s barely been mentioned since Kristy and the Snobs and is possibly featured more in this book than in any other) think Bart’s writing the notes to psych Kristy out since their teams will soon be facing off for a World Series.

Poor Bart gets the silent treatment from everyone until he finally confronts Kristy about the situation. It turns out he did write the love letters, but not the creepy ones. Those were from Cokie Mason, who wanted revenge for the events of Mary Anne’s Bad-Luck Mystery. Kristy’s only revenge is to tell everyone at school what Cokie did, then write her a stupid fake love note of her own. That’s weak, even for Kristy.

A lot of the other stuff in the book has to do with the World Series, which is really only one game, and not even a nine-inning game at that. And Kristy and Bart are pretty much officially dating now, which makes her the second girl in the BSC to get a steady boyfriend. Her? Yes, her. Also, Buddy Barrett develops a crush on Shannon, but that doesn’t go anywhere. Probably because Shannon is as boring to the ghostwriter as she is to the readers.

Thoughts: Seriously, Shannon is bossy and has no distinguishing personality. No wonder she barely appears in the series.

This book is so tame. If it were written today, Shannon would turn out to be the secret admirer and Cokie would be arrested for making death threats.

Kristy says that Shannon isn’t “gorgeous like Dawn or even attractive like Stacey. She’s more…interesting-looking.” Look, just because she’s not your type….

One of Kristy’s notes says she’s “as beautiful as a snow-covered mountain.” Frigid and insurmountable?

Stacey wears a fedora. Oh, sorry – a “distant” fedora. Also, Kristy and Bart go to a school Halloween dance dressed as lobsters. You read that right.

Mallory comes to a Krushers practice but apparently Stacey and Shannon don’t talk to her. Thus begins the dweebification of Mallory Pike.

March 28, 2010

BSC Super Special #4, Baby-sitters’ Island Adventure: The One With the Shipwreck

Posted in books tagged , , , , , , , , , , at 1:19 pm by Jenn

"Uh...what are we waving at?"

Summary: Dawn and Claudia have been taking sailing lessons, and they decide to have a little race. It ends in a tie, and for their rematch, they agree to race to an island a few hours away and have a picnic with Jeff, Jamie Newton, Becca Ramsey, and Haley Braddock. A storm hits while they’re racing and the six end up stranded on an island. Yes, really. We get everyone’s perspective on the event so Dawn can keep it all for posterity. Because I’m sure she would want to remember every detail of a traumatizing experience.

Dawn takes care of Jamie, who’s sick, while Claudia takes charge of the other kids (with lots of help from Jeff). Claudia also proves that she’s smarter than she seems by rigging up a system for collecting rainwater, which saves everyone from dehydration, and using a mirror to signal a plane, which rescues everyone.

Mary Anne has a big fight with Logan, accusing him of standing her up, which turns into a fight with Dawn, who was supposed to give Mary Anne a message telling her that Logan wouldn’t be showing up. Mary Anne tells Dawn that she never wants to see her again, so when Dawn vanishes, Mary Anne feels guilty. She manages to hold it together a lot better than you’d think Mary Anne would, though.

Jessi is left in charge of Becca and Squirt for the weekend while her parents go away (more on that later), and after the boating incident, she calls her aunt Cecelia, a really annoying woman who seems to think she should be in charge of her brother’s children. Jessi spends most of the rest of the book complaining about Cecilia, and will spend most of the next book, Jessi’s Baby-sitter, doing the same.

Stacey is in New York with her father when the six are shipwrecked, and she wants to go back to Stoneybrook to help everyone search for them, but her father won’t let her go. Even though his daughter’s best friend could be dead. Shut up, Stacey’s father. She winds up standing up to him and going home anyway. Yeah, that’s about it.

Kristy is her typical take-charge, let’s-solve-this-problem-ourselves self, but she gets stumped when she realizes that there’s an upcoming game between her Krushers and Bart’s Bashers. She decides to cancel the game, which makes Bart accuse of chickening out. Apparently that’s what passes for conflict here.

Mallory does pretty much nothing except help with the search effort. Once again, Mallory is the forgotten BSC girl.

Just like in SVH, a near-death experience makes everything okay.

Thoughts: I was more excited to reread this book than any other, because I absolutely loved this book when I was younger. I always thought it was SO exciting. If I’d ever gotten stranded on an island, I would have used tips from this book to survive. (Let’s be honest, that’s still the case now that I’m an adult.) I have a feeling this book is part of the reason I’ve always liked stranded-on-an-island stories (I liked The Swiss Family Robinson, too), which means it’s probably part of the reason I started watching Lost when it debuted.

Jessi’s parents let her sit for Becca and Squirt by herself for an entire three-day weekend. Um, NO. SHE’S 11. I don’t think I spent the night alone in my house until I was 15 or 16, and that was without any kids to look after, especially not a baby. There is absolutely, positively no way this would happen; I don’t care how mature Jessi is.

Mary Anne wishes she never had to see Dawn again just because Dawn forgot to give her a message from Logan. Oh, yeah, that’s completely reasonable. I never realized Mary Anne was such a drama queen.

Why does Kristy make Stacey write about her New York sitting jobs in the club notebook? I thought the notebook was used to tell the other sitters what they might need to know for future sitting jobs. The BSC girls will never sit for the kids in New York. Clearly the power has gone to Kristy’s head.

Claudia and Dawn aren’t sure if Jamie, who’s four, is old enough to know to stay away from a fire. Uh, he’s four, not stupid.

Logan and Mary Anne have this stupid fight about her believing he stood her up, and then after the boating incident, he calls to tell her he’s sorry her stepsister is missing but he still can’t forgive her for the fight. Logan kind of sucks.

Bart sucks, too, for accusing Kristy of cancelling a game because she thinks his team will win and not because she wants to look for her friends. Though at least he apologizes. Take a lesson, Logan.

December 27, 2009

BSC #20, Kristy and the Walking Disaster: Count the ’80s Sports Movie Clichés

Posted in books tagged , , , , , , at 9:24 pm by Jenn

But they're supposed to have matching shirts and mismatched hats! Sigh

Summary: Kristy starts a softball team called Kristy’s Krushers, comprised of kids who are too young/not talented enough for Little League.  The team also consists of Jackie Rodowsky, the walking disaster, as we’re reminded at least 30 times. He’s a klutz, but the kid can hit a baseball, so shut up, Kristy. You put a two-and-a-half-year-old on your team and you’re worried about Jackie?

Anyway, the kids aren’t the best players, but they try really hard, which makes Kristy really proud of them. The team plays Bart’s Bashers, made up of kids who are a little older and a little more talented, and coached by a guy named Bart Taylor, who Kristy develops a crush on. In the end, the Krushers lose, but Kristy gets the guy. Like I said, ’80s sports movie clichés abound.

Thoughts: Other than her constant referrals to Jackie as a walking disaster when the poor kid is really just a klutz with bad luck, Kristy’s not too bad in this book. She’s really patient with the kids when she’s coaching them, and she turns out to be a natural. I think she’s found a calling.

Though she’s dumb enough to let Jackie mix up pink lemonade by himself, so she gets what she deserves there.

Mallory says Claire only has baseball-related tantrums. I know some grown-ups like that. I’m pretty sure she becomes an equal-opportunity tantrum-thrower as the series progresses, though.

Claudia pulls out one of Jackie’s loose teeth. EWWWWWWWW.

Bart has a rottweiler named Twinkle. What’s the point of having a big dog like a rottweiler if you’re going to give it a Disney name like Twinkle?

This is a weird moment: “Thanks to me, Jessi really did have an easy sitting job. But I’m not complaining.” Do you usually complain when one of your friends has a good day, Kristy? I guess not, or you probably wouldn’t have as many friends as you do.

Karen refuses to spell Krushers with a K because it’s wrong. Part of me admires her refusal to use improper spelling, but the rest of me wants her to shut up.

So Marnie is two and still considered a baby (also, the girl never talks, which is weird), but Gabbie is two-and-a-half and basically considered a preschooler? Should I stop looking for logic in Stoneybrook?

No way would Kristy let Bart be the umpire at their first game. Doesn’t the ump have to be, I don’t know, impartial?

A kid calls Matt Braddock a dummy and his sister Haley responds, “If you call him a dummy one more time, I will personally rearrange your face.” How did I forget how awesome Haley is? If only every kid in this series could be that cool.

Kristy says that Dawn’s notebook entry is “pretty meaty.” Hee hee.