You all owe me big time. I could be finishing up an epic installment of my fanfic, which is awesome because a) I am trying to cram way too many plot points into one story and b) Hay and Tiff finally make up. (Hay: Is this where we’re supposed to hug? Tiff: Let’s not push our luck.)
Instead, I put it aside to read this piece of fine literature. Stacey’s new friends have been eating her out of house and home, so her mom helps her get a job in the Kid Center at Bellair’s (where her mom works). Stacey’s friends keep showing up, shoplifting and using her discount (and then probably returning the merchandise for full price.) They go to a concert together and Stacey’s friends are all drinking and get them kicked out. Stacey decides to not be friends with most of them anymore and rejoins the BSC because she misses them so much.
In the stupid subplot, Dawn’s second cousin randomly comes to stay with the Schafer-Spiers for a couple of weeks and she’s all unhappy. Meanwhile, Dawn decides she wants to go back to California (setting up the next book.)
The cover: Grunge lives!!!
Stacey starts the book by dreaming that she and Robert are flying over NYC, heading to her old living room. C’mon, Stace, you’re dreaming about your boyfriend and the best you can come up with is flying?
Heh. Robert is a regular teenaged boy: Stacey tells him about how a grocer in NYC used to annoy his customers by calling the women Toots, so guess what his new nickname for Stacey is? (She gets back at him by calling him Dimples. I’m trying to remember if any of the SS illustrations of Robert show him with dimples…)
U4ME…Best band name ever, except all the boy bands on Daria. (Boys are Guys, the Backyard Boys, Boys from the Street, Gang of Boys, Guys-to-Guys)
Stacey puts on a bike helmet and calls it her HHH—hideous hair-flattening helmet. I know she means that it’s hideous because it flattens her hair, but I prefer to pretend it flattens her hideous hair.
Since when is there a convenience store in Stoneybrook named Jugtown? Sounds like a store where winos buy Boone’s Farm (not that I would know about that stuff…heh.)
You’d think that in a book where Stacey isn’t a member of the club, we wouldn’t have to get to know how the club was formed. No such luck. (Although she is slightly bitchy while describing some of the members, mostly Kristy and Dawn.)
In case it was not abundantly clear by now: “Her [Mary Anne’s] last name rhymes with cheer, not crier.” (This is like the scene in, I think, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire when Hermione explains how to pronounce her name because lots of little fans were saying “her-me-own.”)
I’m sorry, Stacey, but saying anything is très something is pretentious (unless you’re French), but saying that something is très gross is pretentious and childish as the same time.
Ooh, alternate meanings for BSC: Being So Creative, Bring Some Children, Butter Salt and Candy (the meetings), Building Self-Confidence and Better Stay Clear.
Stacey rates men “on a scale of 1 (bowser) to ten (turbo-hunk).” Skyllo, the lead singer of U4ME, rates as 15 on this scale.
Stacey’s mom calls her a grunge-sponge, which does not mesh well with “sophistication.”
WWKD: What would Kristy do?
Stop with the acronyms, Stacey! Was that ever cool? In addition to HHH and all the BSC ones, she says that nose rings are NMS. Plus trying to choose outfits is known as SDT (Stacey’s Daily Trauma…that one I actually like.) I’m sure there will be more to come… (okay. I made the WWKD one. But Stacey asked the question.)
“Well, bless her, she does look like her mother.” This is said by one of Stacey’s mom’s coworkers. It sounds like an insult, doesn’t it?
Stacey gets the job at Bellair’s by walking off in the middle of her interview to play with a kid. If only all job interviews were that easy…
Seriously? Dawn calls Kristy a poop. In the BSC notebook.
Stacey suggests that Dawn’s never mentioned Amy before because Amy’s dad works for a meat packing plant. I’d say that’s too childish even for Dawn, but she did just call Kristy a poop.
So Amy is coming to stay for three weeks and sleeping in Jeff’s room. I can understand putting away some of Jeff’s things (so that Amy doesn’t mess with them) and changing the sheets on the bed, but they actually buy new sheets and cover Jeff’s superhero stickers with baby animal stickers. Seems like a lot of effort for a short term visitor, plus Stacey says Jeff was furious when he found out.
Setting up the next book, Stacey mentions that Dawn’s been thinking of returning to California in the intro chapter (which does NOT mesh with the previous book) and then Dawn finds out that Sunny’s mom has cancer, a major plot point in the California Diaries.
After the earlier Daria reference, I was amused to see characters named Timothy and Brittany Taylor. (Look, Tessie! There IS a Brittany in the BSC-universe! Forget what I said yesterday.)
This book has way too much Dawn and Stacey in it and not enough of the other girls, but I’m proud to bring you some Claudia spelling: drawrs, honistly, tride, cereus (serious), somthing, agin, cushin. Oh, and Maryann. I’m sorry, but if Mary Anne is one of her oldest friends, you think she could at least get her name right…
Dawn and MA have been babysitting Amy every day after school, but no mention is made of what is happening to her while they’re at school. You can’t tell me that they enrolled her in daycare for three weeks…
Dawn and MA decide to invite someone over to play with Amy, who is six. My thoughts went to Margo and Claire, who live right down the street, but I guess because neither one of them is actually six, they weren’t on the list. Instead they invite over Laurel and Patsy Kuhn. I routinely forget the two of them even exist, and I had to look in the Complete Guide to find out how old they are. (FTR, as Stacey would say, Laurel is six, Patsy, five.)
Robert makes Stacey turn into applesauce by telling her a story about bats and then complimenting her. It doesn’t take much for her, does it?
U4ME is totally the OneDirection of this series. Girls swoon, boys hate it, the songs are stupid but catchy, and the “artists” are (allegedly) hot.
Woo, a ten percent employee discount! Where do I sign up? (I get twenty percent and complain that that’s lame.)
Here’s what bugs me about the shoplifting/stealing Stacey’s employee discount part of the story. Part of my job description is loss prevention. I am responsible for making sure, as much as humanly possible, that non-receipted returns are legitimate. I research sales on items in the computer and if the return is fishy for any reason, we count the floor stock, review video tapes and more. And if we do decide to go ahead with a non-receipted return, as the Bellair employees do, we never give the return in the form of cash. That’s a pretty standard practice. Stacey’s friends buy things with her employee discount and return them full price the next day and get cash for them.
Stacey makes reference to Logan Bruno, Boy Babysitter when she mentions how the bad boys used clean-cut, respectable Logan to cover for them shoplifting and wonders if her friends are doing the same. Yet she stops worrying because Robert likes them, so they must be okay.
Stacey’s friend Sheila (the cheerleader) actually says, “Stacey, don’t have a cow.”
How you know Stacey’s friends are awesome: they con her into waiting in line alone to buy tickets for all of them. And then when they all bring alcohol to the concert and get busted, they drag Stacey down with them.
I suddenly love Stacey’s mom. She actually believes Stacey when she says she wasn’t drinking, but she’s also still mad at her anyway. She says (and it’s very true!) that Stacey should have realized that her “friends” were users and done something about it before it got to this point. It’s very realistic that Stacey didn’t really realize what her friends were doing for a while and that she continued to let them do it when she actually figured it out. But it’s also good parenting on her mom’s part, so way to go. (Although, I would have grounded Stacey for more than three days if she were MY daughter.)
How pathetic is Claudia’s life that she actually spends time reading the BSC notebook to Stacey over the phone? Doesn’t she have some art to make or a Nancy Drew to read?
Hah! After the Laurel and Patsy visit is a fiasco, Margo and Claire are the next visitors. I guess I wasn’t too off base.
Giant coincidence of the book: Amy gets Dawn and Mary Anne to play hide and seek with her so she can run away. She manages to find her way downtown. I’ll buy that. But when she tries to find the train station (so she can ride the train to London) she ends up…at the Kid Center at Bellair’s.
Heh heh. “I told them you wanted to join. No one threw a tantrum or fainted or barfed, which I thought was a good sign.” Claudia, on Stacey rejoining the BSC.
Wait a minute. Earlier in the book, Stacey says Dawn was working as treasurer and Shannon was filling in as alternate officer. When Stacey goes to a meeting, however, it’s Shannon who’s calling for dues.
Claudia wants to sponsor Stacey’s “re-memberification.”
Interestingly, no one objects to Stacey rejoining the club except Kristy and Dawn. Maybe they read what she wrote about them in chapter two?
It’s time to head back to my fanfic and decide what to do with Byron now that he’s no longer trapped in the bathroom!
Mrs. Grossman (Stacey’s boss): gingham shirt, jeans
Amy: Laura Ashley dress (of course!!)
Stacey: khakis and button down shirt; U4ME t-shirt and sweater (to the concert)
Jacqui: black floppy hat, skull earrings, rhinestone nose ring (but apparently, no clothing)
Amy Porter (6)--24
Next week: Shall I do Claudia or Kristy? It’s a tossup. Probably #56 Keep Out Claudia, simply because I haven’t decide which Kristy to make fun of yet.