First of all, there's this cover:
Who's who? I can't tell, other than the brunette young'un. And at a money place like that? Why the fuck are they on those broke-ass lounge chairs? Did somebody blow all the money on the waterfall in the background and the phone line by the pool? Plus, one of these bitches is wearing slouch socks...outside...with a bathing suit...while pouring tanning oil!!! Plus, I spy...some awkward tan lines. And they're all majorly sunburned.
As for the plot, damn is it convoluted. Seriously, there's all kinds of stuff going on that's only sorta related to everything else. The major points:
- The local (that's Palo City, for those just tuning in) newspaper and the local TV news team profile the We [Heart] Kids Club, drumming up both business and jealousy (by way of Miss Kristin Amanda Thomas. That's her full name, right?).
- Carol & Mr. Schafer announce their engagement, causing Dawn to freak out and FUCKING RUN AWAY BACK TO CONNECTICUT BY STEALING HER DAD'S CREDIT CARD NUMBER!!!!!!!
- Dawn feels rejected and unwelcome in both Palo City home and Stoneybrook home.
- Dawn thinks Stephie thinks of Dawn has her mother. Or something. But Stephie def wants a mommy.
- Kristy goes on a media blitz, but it doesn't work.
- Nicky Pike loves his brothers, even as he hates them. [How very, very deep.]
- Dawn kind of resigns herself to Carol, but then Carol & the Schaf call it quits.
- I think that's all the major stuff.
Righty, then. Another list:
- Did you know that schools in Cali don't have bells? And nobody ever needs a coat? And that all teachers are easy-going? Yeah, me neither. Guess I really missed out. Fuckin' a. Decrying stereotypes even as she reinforces them.
- Dawn's Cali school is called Vista.
- I don't necessarily think being bicoastal sounds particularly glamorous. 'Kay?
- "Vegetable chips are the best. They're like potato chips, except they're made with carrots and parsnips and sweet potatoes and other great stuff...Okay, stop gagging. I just happen to like natural foods." ARGH! SHUT THE FUCK UP!!! You can actually like both potato chips and veggie chips. AND it's not like she's comparing pork rinds and, like, sprouts. She's really just talking about two different kinds of fried veggies.
- Heh, Logan calls Dawn "Runs With Squirrels." Cause of the health foods. Heh.
- "Having best friends on both coasts in pretty fantastic." Except not. Being far away from your best friend sucks giant donkey balls. I don't care if you have other people around to distract you. Dumbass.
- Why have meetings at all? What do they do at meetings if they don't have regular meetings? I'm so confused!
- Stephie's nanny's looking hawt: "Joanna came in, dressed in a short fringed skirt and a tight-fitting beaded top, her dark hair pulled back in a sleek, elegant style." Somebody's ho-ing it up for her birthday date!
- Ah, yes, Stephie's tragic asthma.
- Oh, yeah. I forgot Jeff spends like the whole fucking book telling really terrible jokes.
- Carol's "young and tries to be hip." Which, Dawn tells us, is both good and bad. How fantastically fucking specific.
- Carol uses the word bodacious. Heh.
- Yes, Dawn has the lightest hair, and Sunny has strawberry-blonde hair.
- When did Dawn start to like surfing?
- Ah, they do not mock the hippies enough for my taste. ["I ated too much hippie pie."]
- Apparently, Maggie has a movie mogul dad, and, as Dawn keeps mentioning, she had dinner with Keanu Reeves. Wow. [Incidentally, I would love to have dinner with Mr. Reeves, and I'd totally badger him with quotes from Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure.]
- Oh, and "Maggie has the coolest look (which is constantly changing). Her hair is short and punkish, with a thin tail in back. She usually streaks it purple or green or black. Her fashion sense runs toward leather bomber jackets [in L.A.? where it's too warm for jackets in the winter, according to Dawn?] and lace-up black boots." Punk rock. Or, like, baby punk rock.
- "Even though he's a carnivore and a jock, I like him. He talks in this cute Kentucky accent, and he's great-looking." Well, I like him already. Oh, wait, she's talking about Logan.
- A whole wheat cracker with cashew butter. Yum! Oh, wait, is that supposed to be an example of "weird" health food? Later, there's all this talk about Thai food, and I might have to hit up my fave Thai joint this weekend, just because of that.
- The journalist from the paper? "She had short brown hair, a friendly smile, and was wearing a beautiful cotton cardigan over a white T-shirt and gray stirrup slacks. She could have been a college student." Wow, I, uh, stirrup slacks? Also, that's not what college kids in 1994 were wearing, as far as I can tell. Dude, middle of grunge. All I'm saying.
- Journalist used to baby-sit through college. Because she went to a college without a library. Or student office workers. Or any other fucking job on campus. I guess.
- The photographer, Lance? He was "a hunk. He was in his twenties, dressed in black, with dark brown hair pulled back in a ponytail, and the deepest, most luscious eyes..." Sounds dreamy. Except for the ponytail.
- I can't even begin to describe the treacly article. Puff piece.
- They're all acting like they're famous movie stars after they're on the news for an entire 4 minutes.
- How can you have an early dinner when it's pitch-dark out? In New Hampshire, in the dead of winter, it's dark by 4:30, 4:45. So, let's say you eat at 5. That's really not a terribly early dinner. Might be early for you, but still. It's California. It stays light later there all year round. Ugh. Leaps of logic.
- Dawn thinks she looks wide and pale on TV.
- Sunny doesn't realize that she's using last year's calendar. But they make fun of Sharon. And Claudia. Hmm.
- The whole "Kristy's jealous" story got wicked old wicked fucking fast.
- And, according to this book, Kristy and Dawn never really got past the whole sharing Mary Anne thing.
- Yes, Stephie, sisters forget just as much as anyone. And Dawn's not really your sister.
- "Mrs. DeWitt is tall and thin, with huge brown eyes and a wonderful smile. She's an actress..." Blah. In what world are there all these model-type moms and actress moms. They never describe the dumpy moms, or the mom-jeans.
- "Carol was wearing a dress, with a big, colorful [what colors????] beret in her red hair--and makeup, which is very unusual for her." So many details, it hurts.
- After announcing the engagement, they have champagne, even Jeff & Dawn. Ooooh, I'm calling Child Protective Services!
- Oh, heaven forbid! Carol doesn't use chopsticks to eat Thai food! And she uses environmentally suspect paper towels to clean up spills! She's a horrible, horrible bitch.
- SHE STOLE HER DAD'S FUCKING CREDIT CARD TO BUY PLANE TICKETS!!!!! I don't care if she feels guilty, bitch doesn't feel guilty enough.
- And she takes an hour-long cab ride, then is shocked by the price.
- "And it was so easy. I've never felt so independent in my life." Well, sweetheart, you should be feeling like the little fuckwit you are. Stupid bitch. Don't be all pleased with yourself, you did a really terrible thing.
- And she was surprised that her dad called the cops. And she was pissed that she had to go back the next day. That's a really fucking expensive temper tantrum.
- Mary Anne sleeps in L.L. Bean.
- Dawn is also surprised that things are weird and unhappy after she gets back.
- Pensive Dawn = BORING.
- Oh, and the We [Heart] Kids Club gets a little more organized. Cause they had to tie back into the title of the fucking book.
- A break in the fighting and Jeff asks Dawn if Carol & Father Schafer killed each other! Active imagination, that one.
- Yes, Dawn, you are a spoiled baby.
Anyone else appalled by this one?
Next week, probably Mary Anne and the Search for Tigger.