Well, to be honest, they have been working on one of the least likely plots I've come across since...yeah.
The cover says a lot...
One: Claud can shlub it up like the rest of us.
Two: Her "darkroom" is sparsely furnished.
Three: I don't miss side ponytails AT ALL.
As for the plot, well, the title is kind of misleading. It starts out with Claud in summer school, taking both math (cause she has to) and photography (cause she wants to). She's all about photography (as in doesn't even think about any of her other artistic talents) in this book, and she's got a darkroom in the bathroom. And Buddy Barrett really misses Dawn or something, so the club decides to figure out a project to lure Dawn back to the 'Brook. (She's on her 6 month visit to Cali at this point. I think. I'm very confused. Big surprise there.) Inspired by this book, they decide to create "A Day in the Life of Stoneybrook." So, all the sitters (except Stacey, cause she'll be New Yorking, and Logan, for some other reason) and a shit-ton of kids are going to take pictures all around Stoneybrook on a Sunday, and they'll assemble them into an album soooooo goooooood that it'll make Dawn want to come back!!!! Or something. Wait, where's the mystery? Right? Right. Well, after all this happens, the BSC hear that the bank was robbed during the time that they were shooting pictures! And Claudia was all kinds of OCD about taking 1500 rolls of film of the bank (well, one and half rolls, but who needs facts when we have hyperbole?). So, Claud studies her pictures looking for clues. And they find two suspects, blah blah blah. Then they study all the pictures taken around the bank and put them all in chronological order blah blah blah. And the pictures provide the final straw that the police need to make the vice president of the bank, Mr. Zibreski, CONFESS!!!! It's like an episode of fucking Law & Order in here! Yeah, I don't really care either.
Bullets!!! And conspiracy theories!!! Or not!!!
- Any idea how Claudia is supposed to become a real artist if she keeps switching media?
- "First I'd learned how to use a camera--a real camera, not the automatic kind you take snapshots with. And while I hate math, somehow I had no problem figuring out exposures and shutter speeds." One, bad grammar. Two, ooh, a "real" camera! [eyes rolling] Shut up, Claud. Three, somehow I doubt she really picked up on all the technical aspects of photography that quickly, given that she's not just bad at math, she's bad at EVERYTHING.
- Dude, the Kishi's are loaded if they can set up a temporary darkroom for a thirteen-year-old that will probably move on to something new by the end of the summer. And chemicals and paper and film? Not cheap.
- Janine's a research assistant for the summer, but they keep calling it a "work-study program."
- Claudia doesn't really know what her dad does, except that it "has something to do with stocks and bonds and money."
- Janine takes offense at the phrase "crunching numbers." I hate that she's written with absolutely zero sense of humor.
- "Staring back at me was a medium-height Japanese-American girl with almond-shaped eyes and long, black hair held back by a pink, star-shaped barrette. She wore a silky pink tank top with a man's white shirt tied casually over it, white jeans, and flip-flops decorated with more pink stars." Wow. Wild. And kind of generic. Medium height? What does that mean? Tied casually? LAME!!!
- I'm so fucking sick of the whole "Claud's mom wants her to read literature." Seriously, I don't fucking care.
- "The Scarlet Pimple?" Not clever.
- Claud took some "fashion shots of Stacey acting like a model." A born artist, that one.
- The descriptions of developing film and prints actually sounded pretty right on, but my memory might be slightly foggy. It's been ten years since I took photography classes.
- Oops. Janine ruins Claud's film. Is it wrong of me to take joy in that???
- I really like using too many punctuation marks tonight.
- Lamest premise for introducing the members of the BSC? Claud decides to take a picture of each of them as the enter the meeting, and she tries to catch their "essence." Which leads to the standard intro to each of the girls.
- "Stacey just got this really cool pair of blue suede clogs." Are those supposed to be sophisticated? Were they ever? Well, I guess it was 1994, height of high-fashion grunge.
- Stacey and Robert. I'll actually have to read about that one of these days.
- "We had a big fight about that recently, but of course we made up. We always do. That's how best friends operate." Ten bucks says that the fight was resolved without anyone really apologizing or making any changes or even really talking about what's going on. Plus, if I remember correctly, 13-year-old girls are way fickle. Sorry, I'll stop now.
- Did you know that plié is "French for, um, bend-the-knee?" Yeah, me neither.
- Claud is planning on calling her portrait series "A Portrait of the BSC...And the subtitle would be, My Best Friends." She's among her own best friends, you know.
- Did you know that Mrs. Barrett could be a model? Really? Cause they mention it EVERY SINGLE FUCKING TIME SHE SHOWS UP!!!! Aside from which, what does that even mean? Be specific, ghost writers!!!!
- This book actually mentions shit from other books, like Claud's personals and giving Pow to the Pikes. [RNL-I think that "Pow to the Pikes" might be a song that bears would rock out to...Might even make a good video, if you know what I mean.]
- "I dressed quickly, in jeans and my Hard Rock Cafe T-shirt (no high fashion today; I was planning to work hard)." Somehow, this doesn't seem to mesh with the Claud we all know and love. You know, the one who dresses up for ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING?
- Wait, Janine has a boyfriend? Named Jerry? Huh?
- Claud wants to "capture the essence" of the bank. Cause, she's not all there, upstairs. Dig? Just kidding. I like taking pictures of buildings, too. I just try not to describe it in such a lameass way.
- Billy Blue. Ah, fake pop stars.
- Wow. Claud has read her favorite Nancy Drew book, like, four times! Crazy! [Back in the day, I read my favorite BSC books, like 15 times each. I was bookish. Still am, kinda.]
- There's this whole thing about bankers' pocket watches. Like, on fobs. Because it's the 1920s. Or something. [Hee!!! I totally have a picture of old-timey BSC in my head right now!!! And it's hilarious!!!!! For me, at least.]
- Claud can't spell Charlotte's name. She thinks it's Sharlote. She's been sitting for her for how long now? And read about her how many times in the notebook? [shakes head sadly]
- Jamie's OCD in the making: he "kept himself busy counting everything--cracks in the sidewalk, cars in the driveway--everything."
- Is it really appropriate for Stacey to carry the BSC treasury around town with her?
- Apparently, it is suspicious for a man to wear a dark suit in the summer. There were tons of suspicious men at ALA, then. And in every business and every city.
- Aw, the BSC has a friend in the Stoneybrook Police Department. How much do you think the other officers rip on him for his little girls?
- What on earth possesses these bitches to think that they can do a better job than the fucking police?
- "Maybe the carriage is actually full of moneybags." I just...I...yeah.
- So, Stoneybrook's pretty small. Yet none of them have been to Thelma's Cafe downtown? Seriously?
- They get bored by the conversation between two men in suits, one of whom is a bank veep. What were they expecting? Talk about the latest teen pop superstar? One of them to confess?
- "My feelings about him were more complicated than just a crush. Have you ever had a teacher who really inspired you? A teacher who seemed to believe you were capable of doing anything you put your mind to? A teacher who encouraged you..."
Oh, wait...That's not right...
- "That day I'd worn one of my favorite outfits to school: a lacy white shirt with big ruffled sleeves over a deep green leotard, with short blue-jeans skirt and my favorite shoes (at least my favorites that summer): big black clunky boots." Sweetie, big black boots never go out of style. "Since I knew I was going to be in the darkroom, I threw off all my good clothes and pulled on an old pair of shorts and my ancient green Sea City T-shirt."
- "Maybe Mr. Zibreski is the head of a big gang..." Blood or Crip? Personally, I think he's more of a Latin King.
- Claudia, I don't think you're allowed to say "Duh." Ever.
- I really doubt Sergeant Johnson is really going to tell the BSC that Zibreski is a suspect.
- I have never rigged up a fake burglar alarm. Not even after my fucking apartment was robbed and my roommate was too scared to sleep there. Yet the BSC set them up ALL THE FUCKING TIME!
- Claud explains the ATM. Yawn.
- Mrs. Kishi uses her birthday as her PIN. Dumbass.
- So, the pocket watch is a FAKE!!! Shannon thinks he might be hiding a microchip in it. ["The bad people put a chip in my brain..." Heh.] But it's a key!!! Wow!!
- Um, Sergeant Johnson lets the BSC into THE INTERROGATION ROOM WITH A SUSPECT!!!!!! (Sure, he's not happy about it, but THE FUCK!!!!) THAT'S TOTALLY NOT ALLOWED! AND IT'S UNPROFESSIONAL! AND FUCKING STUPID!!! AND WHY?????????
- Oh, and it works! He confesses in front of them! Again, the fuck?
- Oh, and the book works. I guess. Dawn says she'll be back soon.
Done. The suck.
No idea what I'm doing next week.
Also, if you enjoy really funny shit and a lot randomness, check out the new Teen Girl Squad. "Don't you remember health class? You'll microwave the baby!"