Okay, before we get to the ridiculousness of this book, let's talk about the cover:
One, Mal is truly fug. She looks kinda like Napoleon Dynamite, only with girly hair and bigger glasses. Two, Dawn's fucking lit. Three, Claud and Stace are WILD! Look, they're screaming and stylish! Four, Kristy is totes in love with Stacey. Five, Jessi looks really normal, if a little older than eleven. Also, this book is set towards the end of the summer, like the beginning of August. And some of these idiots are wearing fucking sweaters. On the fucking beach. [Sure, maybe they're just long sleeve tees, but they look like sweaters, and it's stupid either way. So there!]
Now, this has a monstrously complicated plot, even for a Super Special. Seriously, how many fucking plot lines need to be in one book? [And, as an aside, why on earth did ANM think her readers wanted chapters from the point of view of the kiddies? Sometimes Jeff, sometimes one Pike kid or another, fucking Karen. And they're so stupid! I didn't care, even when I was closer in age to those kids. I only read these books for the "teenagers." I wanted dates and clothes and bitchy classmates. I didn't give a shit about the kids they sat for, and I care even less now. Okay, back to our regularly scheduled bitching...]
The set-up: The Pikes are going on their yearly jaunt to Sea City, and this year, Mal and Jessi are going to be the mother's (or "parents'") helpers. And Stacey's going to be the Barretts' mother's helper. Then, the Pikes invited the rest of the BSC to stay for the second week of their vacation. I'm not sure why. Or how they can fit more girls. Or if the BSC are paying their own way or what. Details and logic are somewhat lacking. Oh, and Logan's going there for a long(?) weekend, too. And they're all getting there because Mrs. Barrett's boy toy, Mr. Harris, is bringing his offspring for the weekend. I think that's it...But don't think that it's that simple. Because there's a fucking hurricane that knocks out the causeway to Sea City, trapping the BSC!!!! [Hurricane? Check. Snowstorm? Check. Shipwrecked? Check. Tornado? Check. Hmmm...Earthquake? Did they ever deal with an earthquake?]
The individual "stories:"
Jessi: She's trying to be a super sitter, for reasons that are never really explained [imagine that]. I guess it's to prove herself or something. And there's this whole stupid thing with Margo and Claire wanting to enter a big fancy sand castle contest, but the hurricane intervenes in a total cop-out.
Mal: Toby asks her out, so she completely forgets about her "steady boyfriend" Ben Hobart. In the end, though, she decides to be "true" to Ben and decides not to go on the date. And she thinks Stacey is jealous of her...[because Stacey really wants to be lame, dumb, ugly, and retarded.]
Stacey: She's miserable, because Mrs. Barrett is a spaz. On the drive to Sea City, Mrs. B's a fucking wreck. Actually, she's kind of a fucking wreck the whole trip. And Stace is all kinds of fighty with Mal. [Has anyone else noticed that the second Stacey gets to Sea City, she turns into a raging bitch? Fightin' with her friends, shirking her responsibilities, whining and moaning, that sort of thing.]
Dawn: She and Mary Anne run a fucking day camp before they leave. And Dawn decides that the last activity will be a sleepover. In her barn. Cause she's a fucking moron. And she makes up more to the Jared Mullray [is that right? I keep thinking it's Mullaney. Nope, I checked. It's Mullray.] ghost story. And she tells it to a group of children. Cause she's downright stupid.
Mary Anne: Yeah, all the stuff with Dawn. Plus, Sea City's all romantic for her and Logan or whatever.
Logan: He's wicked jealous of Alex (remember him from previous Sea City adventures?), especially cause he thinks that M.A. and Alex are getting all kinds of hurricane close. And he welcomes Mary Anne back to Stoneybrook with a horse and carriage. Cause he's thirteen. [Coincidentally, one of his busboy coworkers can help him set it up. Again, he's thirteen!!!! Who's going to hire him, even as a busboy??? It's not legal!!!!]
Claudia: Goes to summer school!!!! Ha ha!!!! And she makes some non-BSC friends that are never heard from again...
Kristy: Rather than forfeit (or attempt to reschedule) her Krushers game (because a bunch of her players are on vacation), she recruits a bunch of kids from her neighborhood to play. And, predictably, they lose.
Yeah. Them's the major points. Now, for everything else...[And there's a lot of crap in this...]
- Woo, candy taste test.
- The BSC is a success because they're "a well-run organization (also because [they] happen to be nice and charming and responsible)." Charming is not a word I would use for, well, any of the BSC. But especially not Kristy.
- "That Friday, for instance, she was wearing ripped cut-off jeans held up by a frayed rope belt, a T-shirt with the collar torn off, hug white socks all bunched around the ankle, and old-fashioned black lace-up shoes. She looked totally cool." I love when Claud rocks the hobo-chic look.
- Mary Anne's hair continuity seems to be particularly difficult for the ghostwriters.
- "At our Friday meeting she was wearing this white T-shirt that hung practically to her knees (Stacey calls it a "jersey tunic" or something), white stretch pants ("ribbed leggings" [for her pleasure?]) to mid-calf, a tan leather belt over the T-shirt, and leather-strap sandals." Um...sounds flattering?
- Also, I would tend to think the "Big D" would be death, not divorce. But I am sort of morbid.
- Um, actually, Logan is the jealous type.
- Ha, Claud jokes that summer school helped her learn how to count! She's so clever! Cracking jokes about "enducational" experiences. Ha!
- Um, they really hold all the summer school classes from all grades in the high school? And the "scary" delinquents actually show for summer school?
- Carly, one of Claud's summer school friends does watercolors and pottery. She even has a pottery wheel. Because so many parents would spend that kind of money on their 13-year-old's hobbies.
- Dude, you go to the same school, and your school is not that big. It shouldn't be that hard to stay friends, no matter "how strong [your] BSC friendships" are.
- This time around, [the pressure's on. You hope for happiness, your hands are scarred...Oops, sorry. Lapsed into Luna for a minute.], the Pikes decide to rent a van and only take one of their station wagons. Cause they're transporting almost the entire BSC back to the 'Brook.
- They get all kinds of weepy when they'll be separated for (only) a whole week. They don't even know.
- Thanks, Mal. I'm sure Dawn really wants to know about Nicky's puke and the aftermath, just as much as I do. Wait, I don't.
- Mal is all "my fam's soooo immature. They're counting people picking their noses in their cars." [Well, not in so many words.] Shut up, Mal. They're fucking children. They're not supposed to be mature.
- Woot! Remember car phones?
- Heh. Weiner's Wieners. Ah, gotta love a dick joke in a book for young ladies.
- Ooh, foreshadowing...The causeway got washed out during a storm "ages ago."
- Ever notice how the BSCers really like moms who are pretty? According to Stacey, Mrs. Barrett "is, like, stunning. She seems younger than a lot of moms. She wears the coolest clothes, which look great on her incredible Cosmo-model figure. Her hair is a gorgeous chestnut color, with natural curls that spill to her shoulders." Yep, she must be a good person, cause she looks like she could be a model in, of all things, Cosmo.
- You'd think these dumb bitches would figure out that none of their carefully planned activities for large groups of children will ever go off with out a hitch. They seem soooooo surprised that things go all wonky. When large groups of kids are involved. Dumbasses.
- Apparently, I really should read The Lorax.
- Charlotte is the most serious and mature kid that Dawn knows, so she shouldn't ever lose her shit? She's, what, 8? Even if she's mature and serious, she should still laugh.
- Wow, an 8-year-old having panic attacks?
- Bart "is seriously cute. He has deep brown eyes. His smile is a little crooked, and his hair looks naturally as if he just stepped out of a stylist's." He sounds like he's in a boy band.
- Gotta love the rich kid names. Um, they call S. Emerson Pinckney IV "Quad" because he's the fourth, and quad means 4. And P. Archibald Pinckney, or "Moon." Um, aren't they a little young to do the first initial and middle name thing? Wouldn't they do the first and middle? Or just the middle? Why the initial? Did ANM use the last name Nofziger in some other book?
- Blah, Margo tries to charge admission to a tide pool.
- I hate the "clever" store names.
- Mmmm, falafel. Though the sauce usually isn't the dominant smell.
- Dawn's just makin' shit up in her ghost story.
- Completing summer school doesn't make you not stupid. Just sayin'.
- Kristy, rescheduling a game isn't quitting.
- Um, they're letting Logan and Mary Anne stay in the same house for the weekend, without any real adult supervision. And Richard's okay with that? My ass. He won't even let Logan go in the house with Mary Anne when no adults are home. You'd think he would've had to stay with the Barretts and the Harrises, especially since he's leaving with the Harrises.
- They have a fucking BSC "meeting." Cause heaven forbid they just hang out like normal girls.
- Jealous Logan thinks Alex's looks are "solid."
- The stuffed penguin is the most realistic part of this illustration:
- These bitches know entirely too much about I Love Lucy.
- Everyone can be competitive at mini golf, not just boys.
- "I have red hair and freckles to begin with, so I look like a ripe, hairy tomato when I blush." Tell me again why Toby thinks Mal's cute...
- And suddenly Mal's "in love" with Toby. Ben who?
- Lameass circus.
- "He'd draw inward, which isn't like Logan at all." Actually, it is. These girls are so fucking deluded about Logan's personality.
- I hate the stupid little kid insults. Fucking stupid.
- Claud's just jocking about dying in the hurrycan.
- Fucking Claud. She's worried about what clothes to bring while they're being evacuated. "I was wearing the only long pants I had packed, these overdyed navy jeans. I was also wearing a loose black cotton sweater over a white tank top. [Um, dark navy and black? And, again, it's fucking August, storm or not.] So if I packed my big purple Hawaiian shorts, which were the next warmest pants, I'd be stuck having to wear an orange striped shirt, which was the only long-sleeved one I'd brought. Unless I wore the sweater again over it..." I tend to over pack, but that's fucking redonk.
- Dude, they don't have Marnie in a car seat during the evacuation?!?!?
- "And there was certainly nothing normal about being stranded on an island at sea." Um, except it kind of is, for the BSC.
- And, of course, Karen lets us know how the hurricane rolls through Stoneybrook.
- Buddy decides his mom is cool. That might change when all his friends hang at his place because they all drool over her "Cosmo-model" figure.
- I really don't like picturing this: "Remember when we went into the haunted house, and the lights went out? I pulled you close. You put your arms around my shoulder. We turned to each other and started to kiss." Yep, M.A. will be the first girl in their class to "go all the way."
- "Claudia found me a pair of barrettes in the shape of flamingoes--but cool, not corny-looking. Then we bought about ten tiny buttons with pictures on them. The faces included Virginia Woolf, Jimi Hendrix, Stephen Hawking [the fuck?], and Janis Joplin, but Claud didn't know who any of them were. She just picked them because they looked 'funky.'" I doubt Mal knows most of those, either. Um, and spell check says that it's spelled flamingos. And they're always kinda corny looking.
- Mal's big date outfit: "I ended up choosing a short, flared, white-on-blue polka-dotted skirt (mine); a white, ribbed tanktop (Jessi's); and a long, royal-blue men's shirt with the tails tied in front (Claudia had run to her room for that)...We carefully placed some of the buttons we'd bought on the tanktop." Dude, tank top is either two words or a hyphenate. Is Jessi the only one with a wife beater? And why would you put the buttons on the tank, not the shirt worn over the tank???? The illustrator agrees with me:
- Mal's pretty fickle, if she hasn't thought about Ben once. And how much could she really like him if that's the case?
- "Aloiv." Fucking fake Aussie accent.
- Dude, Stacey is updating her dad on her friends' love lives. For real?
- The book totally ends with Toby scamming for Jessi's address!!!!!
Holy fucking crap this book sucked big time.
Not sure what's coming up next week...