This is one of those books with the really obvious ties between the cover and the title; there are seven boys (only two of them not sitting charges) with Stacey and Mary Anne on the beach. Yep, TOOOOOOO MAAAAANNNNY BBBBOOOOYYYYS!
So, this is the second trip that Mary Anne and Stacey take to Sea City as mother’s helpers for the Pikes. Sounds like a fun vacation, baby-sitting for too many chilluns. But there’s CONFLICT on top of all the regular sitting duties. Oh, yes. Conflict.
1. Vanessa, who’s 9, like the boy at the Ice Cream Palace, who’s 12. So, she leaves him poems as a secret admirer. But he thinks it’s Mallory who likes him, and he likes her (yeah, right. Wooing boys while whining like a little baby). When lil’ Sylvia Plath finds out he thinks Mal is the admirer, she overcomes her broken heart to send a final poem without revealing her identity. Funniest part: Mary Anne actually thinks for a few minutes that a 12-year-old would like a 9-year-old. [oops. Before my auto-format fixed it, I accidentally wrote lick instead of like. Eeeew.]
2. Toby and Alex are back! Who are they? Oh, yeah, they’re the guys that Stacey and Mary Anne were into the last time they were in Sea City. A year ago. They like hung out a couple of times. So, Stacey thinks that her thing with Toby is more important than Mary Anne’s, cause Stacey’s never done a nice thing in her life…Seriously, why are they all friends with Stacey? She’s bitchy to all of them, totally blows them off for boys, thinks her shit’s more important. And anytime she does anything mildly nice, she rubs it in their faces. Whatever, bitch. Then Stacey gets dumped (Hah! Comeuppance!). And turns into a mega bitch. Surprising, that.
3. Mary Anne feels torn between Alex and Logan. She likes Alex, but she feels guilty, cause she’ll love Logan forever…or something. And after she has a great date (CHEATER!) with Alex, she’s all do I love Alex? Or do I love Logan? Seriously. But then they tell each other about the significant others, and have a fine old time…they’re FRIENDS! Ah, no one ever sat down with Mary Anne and told her that it’s not love unless you want to make out, not just hang out. But everything’s okay in the end.
4. Um. That’s pretty much it. Oooooh. Conflict.
Yeah, so I sometimes forget that ANM, in her attempts to make Mary Anne come off as sensitive, naïve and quiet, turns her into a 50-year-old woman. Boring, lame and prissy.
Oh, and the single funniest part of the whole book? Dawn’s flying to Cali for a few weeks, and her traveling clothes consist of, I shit you not, “a beautiful Laura Ashely dress and she had swept her long blonde hair back in pearl barrettes.” Um, this doesn’t sound very California casual to me. More like New England stuffy to me, and I’m from New England. Why not slap her in a pair of Tevas and some Eddie Bauer or Talbots if you really want to make the whole Cali thing completely implausible. Aside from which, who travels like that. Jeans, sneakers, hoodie. Those are traveling clothes, especially for a cross country flight.
This is what something like what she might have worn. Casual. (Borrowed from http://www.dltap.ca/pages/50215en.htm)