November 7, 2010

BSC #60, Mary Anne’s Makeover: Don’t Ever Change

Posted in books tagged , , , , , at 4:47 pm by Jenn

I think Mary Anne and Claudia switched outfits

Summary: Mary Anne makes a New Year’s resolution to be the best Mary Anne she can be (she would watch Oprah, wouldn’t she?), and she starts with a short haircut and trendier clothes. Dawn, Kristy, Claudia, and Stacey don’t like the changes (Mallory and Jessi barely appear in the book and never really say anything), and they make snide comments about Mary Anne’s haircut and generally acting like little snots. Mary Anne spends more and more time with Logan because she doesn’t want to be with the mean girls, and for some reason that makes them even snottier.

Other people at school are paying more attention to Mary Anne, probably because she no longer seems so timid. But then a rumor spreads that a high school guy named Carlos likes her, so people think she’s cheating on Logan. And the BSC girls aren’t talking to her. Sick of everyone talking about her behind her back and/or being nasty to her face, Mary Anne skips a couple of BSC meetings (no repurcussions, amazingly) and keeps dressing the way she wants to dress.

Mary Anne and Dawn get into a fight, in which Dawn is a complete bitca, and Mary Anne decides that she hasn’t been the nicest person either, though I maintain she did nothing wrong, and in fact had more self-control than I would have if I knew Dawn in real life. Mary Anne finally gets Dawn to talk about what her issues her, and apologize for being such a jerk. Eventually the BSC girls follow suit and everything’s peachy again.

In the B plot, Carolyn Arnold builds a time machine. It doesn’t work.

Thoughts: Of course Carolyn’s time machine doesn’t work. She can’t even spell “time machine” correctly. Or “broken.” Or “blanket.” Yet she can spell “curtain.” Shut up, ghostwriter.

“[Richard] can be very conservative, but he knows jazz.” Conservative people don’t listen to jazz? Really, Mary Anne? Really?

Richard lets Mary Anne get a “fiery red, off-the-shoulder crepe dress, with shirred sleeves, a fitted bodice, and a skirt that flared to mid-calf.” I know this series has been going on for a while, but she’s still 13, right? If I say I think that dress is too grown-up for her, does that make me conservative? I mean, I don’t really listen to jazz…

Carolyn: “Noooooo!” Claudia: “I think she means no.” Once again, Claudia brings the funny.

Either Sabrina Bouvier suddenly aged seven years or there are two of them. Or, more likely, the ghostwriter screwed up.

Logan thinks it’s “extreme” for Mary Anne not to go to BSC meetings until the other girls apologize. Maybe, but not as extreme as being mean to someone because she got a haircut.

Not only does Mary Anne have to put up with all her friends’ crap, she also has to read A Separate Peace. Poor girl.

“Oh, go choke on an alfalfa sprout.” New Mary Anne is AWESOME.

November 1, 2010

BSC Super Special #9, Starring the Baby-sitters Club!: Jessi Ramsey is Better Than You. At Everything. EVERYTHING

Posted in books tagged , , , , , , , , at 10:45 pm by Jenn

Is it just me, or does Stacey look like a dude?

Summary: Stoneybrook Elementary, Middle, and High Schools put on a production of Peter Pan, and some of the BSC girls, their siblings, and their charges try out. And then there’s drama. Lots of drama.

Jessi thinks she’s a shoe-in for the role of Peter, since she’s a dancer and has tons of stage experience. She is wrong. Kristy winds up with the role, and Jessi is told by the director, Mr. Cheney, that even though she’s a good dancer, she’s no better at singing or acting than Kristy. Jessi is, to put it mildly, murderous with rage over the turn of events, and when she’s cast as an Indian, she withdraws from the show. She’s further disappointed when the other BSC girls, especially Kristy, refuse to put up with her crap. (It’s awesome.)

Jessi becomes the assistant choreographer, but then gets mad when Mr. Cheney won’t recognize that she’s basically his righthand gal and he would cease to exist without her help. On opening night, Pete Black, who’s supposed to be playing Nana and the crocodile, breaks his nose and can’t play his parts, so Jessi agrees to fill in for him. I’m sure she wishes she’d thought of breaking Kristy’s nose so she could take her place.

Kristy actually wanted to be Nana and the crocodile, so she’s really surprised when she lands the lead. Her plot mainly involves her struggling to memorize her lines, and having to deal with Cokie and her issues. (Cokie’s playing Tiger Lily.) Kristy wins this round, singing all of Cokie’s solo lines with her.

Dawn is cast as Wendy and takes it upon herself to modernize the play, since she finds it sexist. No one puts up with her crap either.

Stacey is Mrs. Darling, and Sam is cast as her husband. He keeps joking around, which drives her crazy, and he finally admits that he was just trying to show his friends how much fun he has with Stacey, since they’ve been teasing him about dating a middle-schooler. They actually solve their problems through communication, which is amazing.

Mary Anne becomes the “backstage babysitter,” looking after all the kids in the play. Mallory is working on costumes but finds herself bored a lot, so she tries to impinge on Mary Anne’s territory. Mary Anne awesomely stands up to her, getting her to back off.

Claudia helps design the sets. That’s it.

Jackie Rodowsky is Michael Darling, and he inadvertently causes all sorts of problems by complaining that they’re not allowed to really fly and by being scared of Pete in the crocodile costume. He gets straightened out with a good talking-to from Mr. Cheney, and he overcomes his herpetophobia when he finds out Jessi will be in the costume.

Karen whines her way into the role of Tinker Bell and is generally a little gnat who never shuts up.

The play goes well. Happy ending!

Thoughts: This was one of my favorite Super Specials when I was a kid – I was big into theater, especially musicals, and I loved books about people putting on plays. I also watched the Mary Martin version of Peter Pan numerous times when I was younger. (Hey, just like Squirt!)

Why is Jessi, not Mallory, writing for the school paper?

Do we really have to call the play a “musical extravaganza”? It’s…not really that exciting.

I’m surprised Dawn wants to play Tiger lily, considering the unPC-ness of the role.

Stacey sings “Mack the Knife” at her audition. I’m going to need a ruling from Simon Cowell. What’s that, Simon? Boring, old-fashioned, and forgettable? I agree.

Why would Dawn waltz at her audition? I haven’t seen Peter Pan for a little while, but I’m pretty sure Tiger Lily doesn’t waltz.

Uh, Cokie and I watch the same soap opera. I bet Carly is her favorite character.

You know why Karen’s so annoying? Because people keep enabling her. Mr. Cheney should have ignored her and not given in to her demands to be Tinker Bell. Let her learn at an early age that life isn’t fair. (Though points to him for giving her a non-speaking role.)

So they cast a bunch of elementary-school kids in the play but don’t get anyone to look after them? This seems like a top-notch production.

Mary Anne: “Peter promised her and her brothers an adventure, didn’t he?” Dawn: “Oh, that’s just like a man. They always say stuff like that.” Dawn. You’re 13. The only man you know is your father, and his promises all involve Disneyland. On the other hand, I don’t exactly appreciate Mary Anne saying, “So what if the play is sexist?” Uh, you should, actually. Anyway, if Dawn has such a problem with the play, why did she audition in the first place?

The actors are expected to start memorizing their lines after about two rehearsals. Seriously?

I love how they skip over all the boring stuff and suddenly it’s, like, a week before the show opens. Makes sense to me.

Aw, my high school choir director/theater teacher said, “Sing out, Louise,” too. I miss him.

Dawn’s dad can’t come to the play, so Richard tapes it for him and gives her flowers. Aw, Richard’s all right.

August 14, 2010

BSC #52, Mary Anne + 2 Many Babies: Thank You for Curing Me of My Ridiculous Obsession with Babies

Posted in books tagged , , , at 2:03 pm by Jenn

Yeah, those kids really aren't that cute

Summary: The eighth-graders at SMS do that project that always shows up in books and on TV shows but rarely in real life, where they pair off and parent eggs for a few weeks. Mary Anne is “married” to Logan, who proves to be an annoying, overprotective parent to their egg, Sammie. The project comes at a good time, as Mary Anne and Dawn are currently obsessed with babies (it doesn’t help that Mary Anne’s been sitting for six-month-old twins) and want their parents to have one. The project shows them that a) teenage parenting is really, really hard; and b) babies take a lot of work. It also shows us that Mary Anne reaaaaaaally needs to not take things so seriously, because it’s a freaking egg.

Thoughts: I’ve never understood the + sign or the number 2 in the title. Is this a Prince song? A crazy-dead-on prediction that one day people would text like this?

Mary Anne and I have the same philosophy about something, at least: Berries are only a dessert if they’re on top of cheesecake.

Somewhere in the past 12 books Shawna Riverson must have suffered a head injury, because now she’s a complete moron. Once again I have to compare a character in this series to Brittany from Glee.

The ghostwriter thinks a two-bedroom apartment in Connecticut costs $2,000 a month, and that’s in 1992. I live in an area with some of the highest property values in the country, and you can get a two-bedroom here for around $1,500, so I don’t know what the ghostwriter was smoking. But there’s also a two-bedroom in Stoneybrook for $800 a month. Trust me, it’s actually a crack den.

Of course Mary Anne puts a baby in a sailor suit. (A real baby, not her egg, though that would be pretty awesome.) Mary Anne is the reason baby sailor suits were created.

Kristy’s worried that her egg isn’t socializing. So throw him in a carton and let him make some friends.

Stacey and Austin Bentley’s egg lives in a mixing bowl. Now, that’s just cruel. Does it sleep in a frying pan?

Dawn doesn’t like her egg’s name, Skip, and says it sounds like the name of a cartoon chicken with sneakers and a beanie. That would be an awesome cartoon character!

There are two really funny chapters in this book: One involves Stacey sitting for a little girl with an egg phobia and a boy with the same name as her egg, and one involves Dawn and Mallory sitting for the Pike kids. The kids decide to do their own version of the egg project, adopting a carton from the Pikes’ fridge, but as they’re decorating them, Vanessa accidentally kills hers. She gets hilariously hysterical (“my baby!”), and when the girls remind her that it was an egg, not a real baby, not to mention an egg she’d only known for a few minutes, she says, “I had grown attached.”

I have a feeling there were egg-salad sandwiches in the SMS cafeteria the day after this project ended.

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.

June 20, 2010

BSC #46, Mary Anne Misses Logan: Our Little Girl is All Grown Up

Posted in books tagged , , , , at 3:15 pm by Jenn

This never happened! The cover illustrator lied!

Summary: The SMS eighth-graders are assigned a big English project about authors, and Mary Anne is placed in a group with Logan, who she pretty much hasn’t spoken to at all since their breakup. Cokie is also in their group, which makes Mary Anne even more anxious about the project (and she’s already plenty anxious since it’ll require her to give a presentation to a bunch of people). It doesn’t help that Cokie is all over Logan and the two of them having been spending a lot of time together, or that Mary Anne has realized how much she misses Logan and their relationship.

Logan and Cokie’s portions of the project kind of fall by the wayside, so Mary Anne and the fourth group member, Pete Black, decide to complete everything on their own. Then Logan comes to Mary Anne looking for help to finish his portion, so she meets with him a couple times to make sure everything will go well. This makes her realize even more that she wants to get back together with Logan.

Mary Anne survives working with her ex, working with her nemesis, and giving the presentation, which means our little girl is…well, no longer a little girl. Logan asks her to dinner to thank her for her help, and things are a lot more relaxed between them, mostly since Logan knows now how controlling he can be. By the end of the book, the two are basically back together, and Logan is already showing signs of not being a clingy mess.

In the B plot, Bill and Melody, two kids the BSC girls have started sitting for recently, are afraid of their toilet. No, really. They create the Toilet Monster and keep freaking out about it. Instead of just letting the parents deal with it, like they should, the girls try to help them get over the fear. Basically, this plot could have been done better almost any different way, and it never comes up again, so it’s a waste of everyone’s time.

Thoughts: Suddenly the Delaneys are gone and the Kormans have moved into their mansion. On the plus side, the kids are much less annoying than Amanda. On the minus side, no $400 cat.

Dawn knows how to pronounce “bourguignon” but she’s not sure of the correct use of “obsessed”? Come on!

Cokie reports that when she was ten, she read four Beatrix Potter books, and “it only took [her] a week.” Suddenly I’m picturing Cokie as Brittany from Glee.

Either this project was too intensive for eighth-graders or Mary Anne’s group did more work than necessary.

Skylar Korman, who’s 18 months, “happens to be very fond of the song ‘Breaking Up is Hard to Do.'” How random.

Ann M. Martin must actually know someone who was afraid of a red mitten that snores (or she was herself) because she’s used that anecdote in two books, this and Missing Since Monday. By the way, that book really freaked me out when I was younger. There’s a part where they find a girl’s body and describe her face as having been slashed, and that’s always stuck with me.

May 22, 2010

BSC #41, Mary Anne vs. Logan: Use Your Words

Posted in books tagged , , , , at 5:22 pm by Jenn

How can such a pretty boy be so annoying?

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.

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.

January 18, 2010

BSC Super Special #2, Baby-sitters’ Summer Vacation: Drink Every Time Charlotte Cries

Posted in books tagged , , , , , at 5:41 pm by Jenn

Lamest kickline ever

Summary: The BSC girls all go to summer camp to serve as counselors in training (CITs), except for Mallory and Jessi, who are too young. All of the obligatory kids-at-summer-camp plots are included: Someone falls in luv, someone gets poison ivy, someone goes on a camping trip, there’s a food fight and a dance, and there’s a whole subplot about…racism? Geez, let’s make things extra-serious, why don’t we?

Since it’s a Super Special, that means everyone gets a plot:

Stacey becomes a hypochondriac and thinks she has Lyme disease, when she really has poison ivy, a ton of mosquito bites, and a couple other minor ailments. She lands in the infirmary for a few days and then recovers. Thrilling, huh?

Dawn deals with a girl in her cabin who’s quiet and doesn’t want to hang out with the other girls. When the group goes on an overnight camping trip with an inept counselor and they all get lost, the quiet girl takes charge and gets everyone back to camp safely.

Jessi and Mallory are taunted by their cabinmates for, basically, being new and not both being white. They also are put in charge of teaching a group of eight-year-olds a dance for a talent show. They transform their foes through THE POWER OF DANCE, and everything’s good in the end, except one girl still won’t talk to them, but who wants to be friends with a racist anyway?

Claudia falls in luv at first sight with a guy named Will from the boys’ camp, and spends the book either trying to find out who he is or hanging out with him. This is pretty much because every BSC book involving a trip has to involve a love connection of some kind.

Kristy deals with problems similar to Mary Anne’s, in that her co-CITs want to change her. She also has to put up with Charlotte Johannsen, who spends pretty much the entire book crying because she’s homesick.

Mary Anne tries to prove to her co-CITs that she’s cool and sophisticated (and also that Logan, who’s at the boys’ camp across the lake, actually exists). She tries to sneak around the lake to deliver a hideous love letter to Logan (more on that below) and even tells her co-CITs they can pierce her ears so they’ll see her as cool. Everyone chills out when they realize that Logan isn’t a figment of Mary Anne’s imagination after all.

Logan puts up with his annoying co-CITs who tease him about Mary Anne’s love letter (trust me – you would, too) until they meet her and see that she’s not a complete wreck. Sort of.

Thoughts: I think I enjoyed this book so much as a kid because I never went to overnight camp. (If I had, I would have been the Charlotte of the group.) Taken separately, the individual plots are pretty dull, but together, they’re not horrible. They’re still pretty predictable and generic, though.

It always bugged me that in this book, we’re told that Jessi’s father’s name is Alex when it should be John, since Squirt’s real name, as we’re told in every book, is John Philip Ramsey, Jr. Oops!

Dawn says of a camper, “She reminded me an awful lot of Mallory. Only in a good way.” I think if I were Mallory, I’d be insulted. Doesn’t that imply that you can be like Mallory in a bad way?

What kind of 11-year-old calls another 11-year-old an Oreo? Kindly remove yourself from civilization until you can actually be civil, Maureen.

The exchange between Kristy and Tansy, her co-CIT, upon their first meeting cracks me up:

Tansy: “My name’s Tansy. I know it’s a weird name. It means someone who’s tenacious. In Middle Latin. I mean, it’s the Middle Latin word for tenacious. So I don’t mind the name at all. It’s an important one.”

Kristy: “I looked my name up in a book once and I couldn’t find it.”

Tansy: “I need new nail polish.”

Once again, Claudia’s the funniest girl in the club. Boys unexpectedly show up at her cabin and people freak out.

Leann: “I’m changing!”

Vanessa: “I’m naked!”

Claudia: “I’m Claudia.”

She also puts an inchworm on her co-CIT’s pillow “to see how she’d react.” Four pages later, we get this: “‘There’s a worm on my bed!’ she cried, and darted across the cabin, out of worm’s way. (Oh, so that’s what would happen if Sally found an inchworm on her pillow.)” Hee.

So here’s Mary Anne’s letter to Logan in its entirety. She actually writes it as a joke, hoping her co-CIT will find it and see how sophisticated she is. Yeah, tell me if this sounds sophisticated:

Dear Logan,

I miss you so much! I am counting the days until next Wednesday. This next week will seem like a year. I think of you and want to swon swoon. Oh, to feel your arms around me at the dance! It has been too long since our last kiss.

I will be wearing the formal teepee wear, of course, and a yellow ribbon in my hair. What of you, my love? Will you wear your after-shave? If you were to bring me a yellow flower to match my ribbon, I would melt in your arms.

Love forever, kisses and hugs,

Your love-bunny,

Mary Anne XXOO

The love-bunny also calls Lake Dekanawida, which no one can pronounce or spell correctly, Lake Dukakis. Heh.

Is getting your ears pierced at camp, like, a thing? It happens in The Parent Trap, too. And why does Mary Anne’s co-CIT have a big needle with her at camp? Just in case this sort of situation arose?

January 16, 2010

BSC #25, Mary Anne and the Search for Tigger: Well, Now I’m Traumatized

Posted in books tagged , , at 12:43 am by Jenn

The '80s were a bad time for everyone, wardrobe-wise

Summary: Mary Anne’s kitten, Tigger, goes missing, so she and the BSC girls freak out and go on a manhunt. Er, kittenhunt. Logan is acting weird but won’t talk about it, so that puts Mary Anne even more on edge. And then things get even worse when Mary Anne finds out that Logan’s little sister Kerry has been keeping Tigger in her closet – she thinks Logan knew and didn’t tell her. But he didn’t, and he’s just acting weird because of baseball stuff, and then everything works out. Because Stoneybrook is a magical place where every problem is solved in 150 pages.

Thoughts: This book is kind of traumatizing – and not just for the preteens in its target audience. I’m kind of traumatized having just reread it, and I’m 27. I mean, a kitten disappears, a kid asks for ransom for him (though the kid is just being a jerk and doesn’t have Tigger), and the BSC girls start to think Tigger’s dead. Hello! Not cool! Kitten murder is not an appropriate topic for a children’s book!

Kristy’s reaction to hearing about Tigger’s disappearance is to call an emergency BSC meeting. Something tells me that would be her reaction to pretty much anything. “I sprained my ankle.” “I’m calling an emergency meeting!” “My house burned down.” “We’d better hold an emergency meeting.” “Terrorists took all of the Supreme Court justices hostage!” “Be at Claudia’s in ten minutes.”

I’m disappointed in the recent lack of wacky Claudia outfits. Since everyone always makes such a big deal over her bizarre outfits, they should be required to describe what she’s wearing at all times.

Mary Anne considers borrowing money from her father to pay Tigger’s fake ransom, reasoning, “He must have seventy dollars in the bank.” Mary Anne, unless you’re currenly wearing a potato sack as a dress, he has at least that much money in the bank. Unless you’re Claudia.

There’s more foreshadowing of Mimi’s death. Soooooo not looking forward to that.

Kerry thinks leaving a kitten in a box in a closet is more responsible than letting him play outside by himself. Shut up, Kerry.

November 15, 2009

BSC #10, Logan Likes Mary Anne!: People from the South Talk Funny

Posted in books tagged , , , , at 6:06 pm by Jenn


Sorry, son, that hand's gonna have to come off

Summary: There’s a cute new boy at school named Logan Bruno, and the BSC girls want him to join the club. Except having a boy at meetings makes them awkward, and Mary Anne is especially tongue-tied because she thinks Logan is cute. They start hanging out, and even when Mary Anne has embarrassing moments, Logan stays interested in her. He also proves to be good with kids, as evidenced by the way he handles a disastrous experience sitting for Jackie Rodowsky (making his first appearance in the BSC-verse). Logan agrees to become an associate member of the club – he’ll take jobs but doesn’t have to attend meetings – and he and Mary Anne are on their way to a relationship. Oh, and she gets a cat.

The B plot also involves Mary Anne – it’s her 13th birthday, and Stacey comes up with the idea to throw her a surprise party. Except it’s Mary Anne, and shy girl + big surprise = disaster, so everyone ends up regretting the decision. Of course, it all works out.

Thoughts: Someone should have known that throwing Mary Anne a surprise party was a bad idea. The girl hates being the center of attention, and a surprise party would have put her right there. I find it hard to believe that even Kristy, her lifelong best friend, wouldn’t point out that they should come up with something else to do. Though Mary Anne’s reaction (running away) wasn’t exactly reasonable either. So maybe it’s a draw.

I’ve always found the phonetic spelling-out of how Logan speaks amusing, because my brothers grew up in Louisville and never talked like Logan. I think Ann M. Martin/the ghostwriter was confusing a Louisville accent for a deep-south accent. Logan would fit in well in Savannah.

This book features one of the more memorable BSC outfits, Mary Anne’s “famous-cities skirt.” It’s “a full white skirt with the words Paris, Rome, and London, and sketchy pink and blue pictures of the Eiffel Tower, the Tower Bridge, and other stuff scrawled all over it.” I bet if that skirt actually existed, lots of  ’80s girls would have bought one.

Dawn actually eats birthday cake in this book, then washes out her mouth. I’m surprised she ate the cake and didn’t complain about it for ten minutes. Of course, at this point in the series, she hadn’t yet reached her maximum level of irritation.

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