Wednesday, March 29, 2006

You are sooo middle class; or, BSC #87: Stacey and the Bad Girls

Ah, stretching to make a plot…So, it’s the first day of summer break, and Stacey is an IDIOT. Oh, wait, sorry, she’s trying to figure out what to do with her summer now that she’s no longer in the BSC. Well, she starts hanging out with her “new best friends” that she met through her boyfriend, Robert. And her new friends mark Stacey’s house as the no-parent zone, and clean out the pantry and generally make a mess. So, Stacey is sentenced to a summer job. She gets a job in the room-that-lets-parents-shop-without-screaming-children at Bellairs, the department store where her mom works. [Time out: both she and Logan have jobs at places that don’t pay under the table. THIRTEEN YEAR OLDS have jobs with steady paychecks. How on earth were they able to get working papers? Only one place—McDonald’s, which lasted pretty much 4 shifts spaced over two months—hired me before I turned 16. No other employer would touch anyone under 16. So, I find that whole premise a little…unbelievable.] Well, her new BFFs meet her after every shift to go shoplifting. I mean shopping. Well, Stacey suspects the truth, but she trusts them because her boyfriend is friends with them, and apparently, she’s never known anyone who shoplifts, DESPITE SPENDING THE FIRST 12 YEARS OF HER LIFE IN MANHATTAN. I mean, come on, you know Laine, etc. had some hangers-on trying to impress her by pinching lipsticks. And, though it makes her uncomfortable, Stacey lets her BFFs buy stuff with her employee discount. [I’m still not sure why that makes her uncomfortable. It’s not even unethical. It’s certainly not against any rules…I bet her mom does it all the time. Whatever.] And big surprise: they returned the stuff for full price. Which is super shady, and Stacey’s all, “That’s not cool, but I’ll forgive you cause you told me about the U4ME concert, and I’ll forgive you when you all ditch me in the monster line for tickets, because I’m really lame and needy for being so ‘sophisticated.’” The final straw? They sneak booze into the concert and Stacey gets busted with them. And they don’t stand up for her! (Probably cause they’re drunk off their asses.) Well, this incident makes Stacey realize that she misses the BSC, and maybe they’re not really babies, but she is. A whiny little cry baby. Who needs to seriously shut up about her stupid boyfriend and her awful clothes.

Subplot: Dawn’s second cousin comes to stay chez Spier/Schafer, and is miserable and a pain. And Dawn finds out that her CA-BFF’s mom has the black lung. I mean lung cancer. So, she’s thinking of going back, but isn’t talking about it with anyone.

This one was after my time. I picked it up cause the cover’s hilarious (and I can’t figure out—again—which one’s supposed to be Stacey). It shows a group of girls all grunged out, flannels and all, at a concert, except for a girl in a baggy sweater seven seasons too old, who probably is supposed to be Stacey. Anyhoo. I find it so weird that ANM added real things to later books, like mentioning “grunge” and MTV. And, I know things have changed a little, but I still find it hard to believe that the head cheerleader is friends with girls with crazy hair and black lipstick. In my middle school, that never would have flown. Nor at my high school, but that’s a different story all together.

And ANM’s ghostwriter, does a really transparent job of explaining how Stacey knows what’s going ahn with the BSC even though they’re on the outs. See, Claud reads the BSC notebook to Stacey over the phone, and that’s how she knows what’s going on with the others. And here I thought I could enjoy a book without the mandatory “isn’t it amazing how different we all are” chapter. Nope. Oh, and Stacey talks like an IDIOT in this book…She’s all acronyms and bad slang and pseudo-valley girl. Ugh. Shudder.

23 comments:

Library Lady said...

Secret confession #2: I used to skip every second chapter of my BSC books because inevitably they were cheesy, or about the actual babysitting jobs, and lets be honest, I was in it for the drama and not for ideas on how to build my own Kid Kit. Boring. Skip. Bring on school dances, trips to Sea City, etc.

Anyone else with me on this? C'mon... Admit it...

PoBaL said...

I know I said this on the phone last night, but Stacey's employee discount was only 10%!
10%!

Rebecca said...

Kid kit! hee! I forgot all about that!

I would totally skip the first 20 pages or so because it was all boring back-story to get the johnny-come-latelys caught up- (kind of like the "previously"s on TV)...blah blah Claudia hides snacks, blah blah, Mary Ann's shy, blah blah tomboy, divorce, blah, diabetes, etc...

Miss Scarlet said...

I'd read that chapter but at lightning speed! I practically had it memorized.

madrigalia said...

Yeah, you can totally tell the ghostwriters breezed through that chapter each time. "Freebee! Yes!"

I love this site, by the way. Any plans for a Super Special review soon?

janinekishi said...

I would just kill for a super special review. My favorite part was to read the letters and notes written by the girls in their own handwriting. Man, I loved Claudia and her spelling mistakes!

But question: why is Ann M. Martin refered to as "ANM" if her initials are really "AMM?" Am I missing something?

rebecca f said...

I didn't completely skip chapter 2 -- I skipped it except to find out what Claudia and Stacey were wearing!

Tiff said...

no, you're not missing anything...I just like typing ANM...and I am planning some super special action, but they take a little more work than the regular ones...And I read the second chapter just to see how much they tried to change the wording each book

rachel said...

i never understand these books. why do the cool older kids want to hang out with the bsc girls - who are freakin' THIRTEEN?? like that one (possibly a super special?) where stacey hangs out with that crowd (i remember a guy named beau) who drive too fast and get in an accident or something. when i was 16, i couldn't even drive, and i wasn't cool, but i would NEVER have hung out with a 13-year-old. at least not in public.

and yay, i'm glad this blog is back!

orangie said...

Good point Rachel. In my high school if a boy was hanging around with a 13-year-old girl, then there was something really shady going on. . .I don't think that's what Ms. Martin had in mind!

Library Lady said...

Oo Oo! Remember the BSC movie?! Stacey's boyfriend finds out she's 13 and freaks out on her outside the all-ages-except-13-year-olds club?! Ha... Sick.

Rebecca said...

yes, but people, you are forgetting how freakin' SOPHISTICATED Stacey was. She grew up in MANHATTAN!! She had a perm! She wore fingerless gloves! Enough said.

Library Lady said...

You're right. And she had two piercings. In her ear, that is.

Anonymous said...

Chapter 2 was always so boring. I remember in one book, though, the narrator compares everyone to an animal. I remember Claudia was a parrot and I think Mary Ann was a koala or something.

KO said...

okay, so on the Super Special tip, isn't the plot of this one (I never read it - I think my last one was #43) really similar to what Stacey does in SS5, when the gang goes to California? Doesn't Stacey run off with the cool older surfers and get in a car accident? Man, I always loved Stacey as a kid, but between this, SS#5, and the one where she ditches Mary Ann with all the Pikes so she can flirt with the lifeguard, I would have dumped that bitch as a friend so fast.

Fitzgerald said...

Ahhh!! I totally skipped that chapter too! By the way...I just got pointed in the direction of your blog and I LOVE it. What a fantastic idea for all of us closet BSC fans. Because of you I put the movie on my Blockbuster queue! ;-)

Sara said...

I am so adding the BSC movie to my Netflix queue!

And Stacey was a total flake, for sure. Exactly who the blonde bitch in my middle school would've been.

Bri said...

I love that you're doing this! I've been reading my BSC books over and over for years - they're just so enjoyable. I've yet to get ALL of them, but I'm working on it.

And yeah, I used to skip chapters just because they were boring - "Stacey has diabetes! It's SAD..Mary Ann has no mom!.."

And I proudly have the BSC movie on DVD. No, I'm not sad. AND THE BSC SOUNDTRACK!

Julie said...

I read the second chapter to laugh at the Claud/Stacey outfits...

I read these in the late 90s, so they sounded like morons

Anonymous said...

2 things that bothered me about this book:

1. how MA will cry at virtally nothing, and the fact Dawn joined her this time
2. How Stacey has to specify that she stepped into a grimmy New York muddle when she was a kid. Duh, I thought you born and raised in CT!

melissa d. said...

this was actually my favorite book in the entire series. am i totally lame? it was right around the time i started growing out of the series ... it seems like good ole ANM & co. made some attempts to grow them up a little, for a while ... and then abby joined, their growth was again stunted, and i stopped reading. how sad.

Stacey said...

Okay, I know this is an old post, but I just found your blog and have been catching up on it the last few days.

Anyway, Sunny's mom's black lung reminds me that when I when I was reading the BSC books (I'm a few years younger than you) they came out with "California Diaries" or something like that. They're all about Sunny and Dawn's friends from Cali. I think they dealt with the whole cancer thing, and they always described Sunny's mom wearing what sounds like giant muumuus. I think they're worth checking out if you can find them. They're pretty terrible, too. :)

kylie said...

None of the girls on the cover look like the girls described in the book. And U4Me!!! I can't believe you didn'y di that. Even when I read this when I was a kid I thought that sounded like New Kids on the Block. Not even Stacey would have listened to that I think.