Thursday, June 08, 2006

Mal has a hard time feeling glamorous; or, BSC # 42: Jessi and the Dance School Phantom

It never ceases to amaze me: these girls refuse to ask for help from adults. I know, they’re 13 (or 11) (or 12 in the early books), and they want to be grown ups, and they want to be independent, but they don’t even go to adults when something dangerous or potentially illegal might be going on. Instead, they go all girl-detective and try to solve the problems themselves.

The problem in this book? After Jessi wins the coveted role of Princess Aurora in Sleeping Beauty, she starts getting threatening notes and her shit gets stolen and mutilated. And someone pours water on the floor or something, and Jessi falls and twists her ankle. But no, she wont go to her teacher, cause she doesn’t want to be seen as a baby or something. I’m still not sure why she wouldn’t go for help when her (expensive) dance clothes and shoes get STOLEN. Instead, she sets up trap and “catches” the girl who’s been doing it, and it’s boring. And Claud’s all helpful with suggestions from reading too much Nancy Drew. Blah.

Subplot: The BSC decides to hold a pet show in which all the kids they sit for can show their respective pets. And then they’re surprised when all the kids get super competitive. Duh. So, Jessi to the rescue with an idea to give prizes to all the kids that enter. Which I’m surprised that no one thought of earlier.

Did you know that, apparently, “California casual” means wearing a denim shirt with jeans? Cause this is at least the second book I’ve seen with Dawn on the cover wearing exactly that. Speaking of Dawn, did you know that “bean sprouts are to Dawn what Ho-Ho’s are to Claudia?” So, how did you do on the analogy section BSC/SAT? I got a 740! (Well, that’s the old scoring system. I don’t know how many points are on the new fangled scoring system).

Your fashion fix for the week?

“Claudia looked extremely cool and exotic, as usual. Her hair was briaded with silver ribbons, and she wore a shimmery dark blue minidress [Is it just me, or does the phrase ‘shmmery dark blue minidress’ bring to mind disturbing notions of Brenda Walsh?]. On her feet were silver sandals with laces up the calves—kind of like toe shoes.

Stacey had on a tuxedo! That’s right, a tuxedo, just like one a boy would wear. But it was made to fit her perfectly, and she looked great. She must have gotten it in New York…Dawn and Mary Anne must have traded clothes—they do that a lot—because I recognized Mary Anne’s new Laura Ashley dress on Dawn, and Dawn’s pink jumpsuit on Mary Anne.”

Am I the only one that doesn’t buy Mary Anne and Dawn swapping clothes all the time? “California casual” doesn’t seem too compatible with “stuffy New England preppy,” but what do I know?

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

A) if your toe shoes lace up your calves, you will have problems.

2) Claudia sounds more like she should be walking Hollywood Boulevard than attending a dance recital. I'm jus' saying.

Rebecca f said...

I just read this book a little over a week ago (I'm reading them in order) and it was this book that finally prompted me to yell out loud, "Don't these idiots EVER ask their parents for help?" I then proceded to rant for a good 10 minutes (which my wife just LOVED) about how they all seemed to close to their parents, yet told them nothing, even when they felt they were in serious danger. And what was with Claud's parents allowing her to take care of her Shawna Riverson cheating problem? If it were my parents, they would have said, "Forget it, I don't care if it would upset you, I'm talking to the principal and demanding that both of you retake the test."

I love these books, even now, but this issue annoys the crap out of me.

PoBaL said...

Stacey's tux! HA!

Isn't this also one of the Jessi ones with weirdly hinted at racism? Isn't that kinda why the girl is messing with her?

Anonymous said...

Ok I just realized that as a little girl the only character I wanted to be other than Claudia was Jessi. Jessi ran a close second to Claudia because her outfits weren't as "interesting". Actaully beyond potentially wanting to be these two I thoroughly disliked most of the others, paticularly Kristy who was a bossy know-it-all and looked down on everyone else. My point is that the only relatable characters to me were the only two minorities in the club, and it had nothing to do with relating to their racial backgrounds...coincidence?

Miss Scarlet said...

New York has ALL the cool things;)

Anonymous said...

Thank you for suffering through these again. Each post makes me laugh out loud. It is funny, if you asked me to relay what the storylines were about, I'd have no clue. Yet, as I read your reviews I remember the books exactly!

Steffi said...

when i re-read this one, i basically asked the same question ... why the hell does Jessi not tell her parents what is going on? or Madame Noelle? but no, the sitters never talk to their parents, they just work it out themselves, no matter how bad things get, because they're omg great detectives.

and Stacey in a tuxedo ... wow. that's all i have to say.

rachel said...

ah yes, jessi and the phantom. i read it when i was home for a week with the chicken pox. actually, i read about 32 bsc books that week, but this is the only one i can actually remember reading.

i digress. i recall the tuxedo in this one. even though i was only around nine years old, i remember wondering if stacey was a lesbian. i didn't really think of it in specific terms, but the amorphous notion did enter my mind.

and a jumpsuit? a jumpsuit? i don't even remember what that is, but the thought terrifies me.

audrey said...

The most perplexing BSC I ever read was the one where Mallory babysits the twins Marilyn and Carolyn. M and C are dressed identically but they're yearning for individuality. Lessons are learnt about the importance of defining one's own self, family and of course, FRIENDSHIP. But I could never understand why Mallory is posing on the cover with an all knowing, "Sigh...Kids!" look on her face, all dolled up like Laura Ashley's mother when she's only 11 years old. Weird. But then, she was always my least favourite of the sitter crew. Can you imagine that turning up on your doorstep to babysit you?

Parents: Meet your new babysitter kids!
Kids: .........
Mallory: Oh I just know we're going to have so much fun!
Kids: Let's not and say we did.

Anonymous said...

When I was young it didn't occur to me that the girls SHOULD get thier parents involved. Weird eh? Now of course they should have....hmm explains so much...

Mols said...

Oh yes, the pet show. Wasn't this the one where Charlotte was upset because she didn't have a pet? Even though they mentioned her dog, Carrot, in earlier AND later books? Maybe this one was written by a ghostwriter they pulled off the street.

Anonymous said...

What the hell is up with these books and Laura Ashley?! Those dresses are awful now and were just as fugly back then.

ndpndntfilm93 said...

Hey, Claudia's outfit sounds totally bearable. I always wanted more books about Jessi because I thought it was so cool that she was a dancer. I even got my mom to buy me ballet shoes so I could pretend to be like her. I didn't take actual lessons though, than God.