But first, the cover:
Um, since when is Claud a prep? She has a sweater tied around her shoulders in (quick title page verso check) 1995? And Dawn's rocking the Farm Casual look, more so than California Casual. And Mary Anne is kind of the stylin' one, huh? Also, it seems like Mal's watching a different movie than the rest of the girls. Oh, and this never happens in the book. They don't go to the movies...Hmm...Also, note the hateful stares from the rest of the movie theater patrons!
Right, so the plot of this one is pretty basic. Stacey's spending more time with her boyfriend Robert and his crew. And she keeps showing up late to BSC meetings, and she asks the other BSCers to cover her jobs so she can roll with her new friends. And she finds the BSC more and more annoying and embarrassing. [Rightly so.] And she totally fucks up while sitting for the Newtons, cause she spends a bunch of time on the phone with Robert, rather than tending to a sick Jamie. Oh, she throws a party for her new friends (well, Robert was supposed to have it at his house, but his parents said no), and the only member of the BSC she invites is Claudia. And she has a balls to the wall fight with the club, during which she simultaneously quits and gets booted.
There are two subplots, kinda. One, the BSC are having a talent show, starring the kids in their neighborhoods. Whoo. And Charlotte's all nervous for her upcoming piano recital, so Stace convinces her to be in the talent show to ease her jitters. But, in an act of avoidance, Stacey breaks her promise to Char and doesn't show at the talent show (though she makes it up to Char later and goes to her piano recital).
Let the awesomeness commence...
- The book opens with Claud painting the "suggestion" of Stacey. She decides to call it Anastasia Fantasia. Cause, yeah.
- For somebody actually from New York, Stacey calls it the Big Apple entirely too much. I was always under the impression that only tourists/bad journalists said that.
- I'm terribly relieved to know that Stace has "seen abstract art before."
- Did you know that "Claudia is very chic, but she does have a habit of talking with her mouth full." Mmm, hawt?
- I hate how every description of Claud has some variation on the "I have no idea how she's not a complete fatass, what with all the junk food" theme.
- There's a reference to "the new Jason Priestly movie." Perhaps they're referring to this. Nice...
- Oh, and "Claudia has a cool attitude about guys." In this book, especially Kristy and Mal and Jessi are retards when it comes to guys. (It's kinda understandable from the young 'uns, but Kristy's acting like a fucking 6-year-old.)
- Yes, they're acting immature, but calling it "LUV" hardly ranks as grown-up, Anastasia.
- Stacey and Robert "spent some time together on Fire Island the summer before." [You know, I get the whole "frozen in time" thing, but I have issue with adding real time to that, then asking me to ignore it..."last Christmas," "last Halloween," "last summer." Just say "that one time." No mindbending feats of suspension of disbelief necessary.][Also, Fire Island? Maybe it was growing up in the 80s and early 90s, but I still tend to associate Fire Island with 80s gay culture. Just sayin'.]
- Robert is "perfect." At least this early in the book. Seriously, ANM set up a generation of girls for guaranteed disappointment on the guy front.
- Kristy occasionally wears cords, and the ghostwriter occasionally throws in some sort of year-appropriate slang and/or fashion.
- Mal and Jessi really come across as 11-year-olds in this book. 'Bout damn time.
- Stacey, adults don't find "TRUE LUV." In fact, only preteens believe in "luv."
- Dawn "doesn't lecture. (Well, not to us. She does sometimes go overboard with people she doesn't know so well.)" Um, last time I checked, Dawn was the lecturing-est bitch ever, even to the BSC. (And she lectures a waiter and the BSC later in this damn book.)
- Another example of a crappy imitation of a Kentucky accent.
- Apparently, not all boys can be wonderful. Shocking discovery.
- I think there are multiple mentions of Polo, the cologne by Ralph Lauren (right?). However, it just says things like "The place smelled as if the walls had been washed with Polo." So I'm not positive if that's what they're talking about...
- Stacey's logic: Mozart had bad hair, therefore he is relatively unimportant in the scheme of history. I can think of better reasons, but that works.
- Everyone assumes it's an emergency when Stacey wants to find someone to cover her Friday night sitting job at the Pikes'. No one thinks maybe she wants to go out with friends. On a Friday night.
- Who wears (ironed) "crisp, turquoise, light-wool slacks" out for pizza with a group of friends? Especially at 13? It's not like she didn't have time to change after work or anything.
- Wow, Stacey has lots in common with her new friends...other than kids. Which, you gotta admit, is pretty much the only thing holding the BSC together most of the time...
- Dawn spies on Stacey. Because Stace wasn't totally honest about why she needed somebody to cover for her. And Stace remembers the last time a friend spied on her, five years earlier. Which, yeah. They're a little too old for that.
- Also, "with her hood, her six-foot knit scarf, her down coat and L.L. Bean boots, she looked like Nanook of the North."
- I agree with Stacey's new friends--the BSC totally take themselves far too seriously.
- Stacey's all confused. Could she really be outgrowing the BSC? Yep. Took her long enough.
- Mary Anne has a new sticker on her backpack: "A smily [sic] kitten with huge eyes, surrounded by fuzzy hearts and the words I [HEART] MY KITTY." Um, cute?
- Stacey's shopping list for the mall consists of the following items: bra, corduroy pants (on sale), ankle socks, Breton red cotton baseball cap [the fuck?]. Can she really afford all that on her baby-sitting "profits?"
- Ah, "A Whole New World" from the movie Aladdin. I think I sang that in chorus in 7th grade. Or some year.
- Yeah, Kristy pretty much acts like an eleven-year-old boy when they're out at a restaurant.
- "He was being kind." How old are you Stacey? 50?
- Hee...Robert likes "metal and alternative." Hee! But Stacey thinks that "house music works better at a party." Seriously. A middle school party with house music?
- Speaking of mature, Stacey refers to the land of "El Barfo Grosso."
- Kristy's an ultra-mega bitch in this book.
- I sincerely doubt that everybody at a middle school party danced. Not everyone dances at middle school dances.
- Stacey's got a MILF!!! "She didn't look too dorky. In fact, a lot of the guys danced with her (including Robert, of course)." Hee, Stacey's mom has got it going on...
- In stead of confronting Stacey about the party, Dawn & Mary Anne just show up with a passive-aggressive invitation to hang out...
- Claud is rightfully pissed that Stacey put her in an awkward position (that has nothing to do with Imminent Death Syndrome).
- I really didn't think of the noise a harmonica makes when I read "WWWAAAAANNNNNK!" Just pointing that out.
- One of the talent show acts is Claire Pike doing a veil dance while Byron plays harmonica and Adam plays the spoons. Bizarre, no? And vaguely wrong...
- Damn, Charlotte goes a lot crazy when Stacey doesn't show. PS-I hate that whole "almost-sisters" thing they've got...
- Stacey has two "ex-best friends" now.
- I have to transcribe some particular bits of the fight. Cause it's fucking awesome. Truly amazing.
"Like what?" I shot back. "Like a person who wants to have a life outside the Baby-sitters Club? Like someone who goes out with other friends from time to time? You're all like that, somewhere inside. Maybe you need to grow up and find out..."
[Various BSC members whining and insinuating that Stacey is, in fact, the immature one.]
"This is not a discussion!" I replied. "This is a firing squad. I can't believe I'm sitting here and taking this. You don't want to be my friends. You want to control my life."
"That's the stupidest thing I ever heard," Kristy said.
"Yeah, well, anything you didn't think of is stupid. I'm tired of your bossiness, Kristy. And that's not all. I'm sick of the meetings, week in and week out. And the rules. And the talent shows and fairs and contests and field trips and tantrums and stomach viruses and diapers and feeding schedules and sibling rivalries. I've had it! I'm thirteen years old! I want to spend time with kids who act my own age and talk about something besides baby-sitting."
[YES! YES! YES! FUCKING A! SOMEBODY FINALLY CRACKED!!!! FOR THIS WEEK ONLY, STACEY IS THE AWESOMEST CHARACTER EVER!!!! FUCK YEAH!!!!]
- HEE!! I'm still brimming with joy from Stacey's rant!
- And then Stacey's relationships with her new friends get better and more real, and actually function somewhat like real, moderately mature relationships! It's a shocking development in the BSC universe.
- Seriously, the end of the book fucking thrilled me!
Enjoy it! Bask in the euphoric glow of someone verbally bitch-slapping these stupid twats! Have a good week, dwelling on the (limited) awesomeness that is Stacey.
[My spell check suggests Awesome St. as a corrected spelling of "awesomest." I want to live on Awesome St.!]