Mary Anne's been moody and anxious recently, and feels that her father has been overprotective ever since the fire. After Cokie makes up a vicious lie about Mary Anne, she vows revenge. When Cokie (allegedly) rigs the class superlatives so that she and her friends win everything, Mary Anne makes sure that information gets out. When she likes that taste of revenge, she gets Cary Retlin to help her complete a more complex plan.
But when MA stays at Kristy's past curfew and then mouths off to Richard, she gets grounded. She sneaks out and goes to a party Cokie is having, where she and Cary had planned their revenge. But when Cokie says something cruel to her again in front of the whole party, Mary Anne stands up for herself and tells Cokie she's mean and petty--and quite eloquently, too. Her father catches her sneaking back into the house, but Sharon makes the two of them sit down and talk about the real problem: the fire. MA has been having nightmares, and Richard hasn't been sleeping.
Real book: Fahrenheit 451. Doesn't sound like something Mary Anne would voluntarily read....
Umm, why is Mary Anne making soccer analogies to describe Kristy? It doesn't seem right. I'm surprised she knows what a fullback is, even after watching Abby play.
After Mary Anne gets humiliated by Cokie during a yearbook meeting, she comes up with a bunch of really snappy comebacks...a couple hours later. I think many of us can relate to that feeling--especially because she's not satisfied with any of them.
Sharon-itis, the cooking edition: using sugar instead of salt, double seasoning food, forget to turn the oven off...or on.
Richard bought Mary Anne a bed, which had an antique head and footboard with a vine and leaf pattern--which sounds like something she'd love. She gripes that she might have wanted to pick out her own bed, then tells him never mind--it's not a big deal. She designed her own bedroom back in #6, and if I remember correctly, it included a bed that had white picket fence for the head and footboards.
Mary Anne keeps calling herself the Incredible Shrinking Mary Anne, which is both sad and understandable. Cokie creates a category for MA to win for the Class Best: Most Likely to Completely Disappear into the Background.
Kristy wants to go see "the ghost movie they made from that old TV series." I wonder if that's supposed to refer to something real. When MA snarks about bad movies based on television, Kristy refers to the Brady Bunch movies, which she and MA (and I) all loved. But I couldn't find a movie that fit that description from the right era.
I love Sharon in this book. Richard is being overprotective, and Sharon tries to get him to stop. Later, when Richard points out how moody Mary Anne is, Sharon points out that she's thirteen and that comes with the territory of a teenaged daughter.
Mary Anne's list of potential revenge fantasies. Obviously, she has a glue fetish:
Put glue in her locker lock
Glue her books to her locker floor
Put glue in her gym shoes
Put a rat in her pack
Put two rats in her pack
Give her a piece of laxative gum
Even she admits she'd never touch a dead rat, even if she knew where to find one.
Kristy's list of potential revenge fantasies. Some of these are long, so I summarized them:
Convince her she's won the lottery and then tell her the truth later
Drop a snail in her water at lunch
Write fake love advice letters to the paper and sign her name
Write fake love letters from Logan to her
Hide her homework
After the Class Bests are counted, twenty ballots are missing--including Mary Anne's and Abby's, and they're two of the three people counting the votes. When they tell Mr. Fiske, the yearbook advisor, Cokie is there with him. No one accuses her of anything; they simply state that the results were tampered with. Cokie's response? "I never touched those ballots!" It's the immediate response of a guilty person, as my time in loss prevention has taught me.
Cary's back up plan? Fill Cokie's information into every magazine subscription card they can find. If she retaliates against MA, she can mail them off.
And then he steals Cokie's cell phone. I'd love to know where he gets his pickpocket skills.
Mary Anne considers pointing out that Abby doesn't have a curfew, yet "she was the least likely person in the world to stay out late and do dumb things." I'm not sure that's actually accurate, though. I can picture Abby staying out late and doing a LOT of stupid stuff.
Party-related revenge list by the BSC (and Abby):
37 pizzas delivered to her house (Claudia)
Lock the bathroom doors from the inside (Stacey)
Turn off the lights at the fuse box (Abby)
Salt in the food or drinks (Claudia)
Shake up the soda (Mary Anne)
Cut off the back of her skirt (Stacey)
Joke store props (vomit, fake ants) in the food (Abby)
Weird. Mary Anne mentions The Parent Trap, Dawn's favorite movie. Stacey says, "and in the old one" referring to the Hayley Mills version. I'd completely forgotten about the Lindsey Lohan version that would have been a couple years old at this point.
At first I thought it was illogical that Sharon would continuously beat Richard at Scrabble, but she's more creative than he is and probably makes better use of her letters.
Mary Anne sneaking out of her house is HILARIOUS. She's not used to doing it and feels guilty about it, so she manipulates all this stuff--like carrying a water glass so she has an excuse to be in the kitchen--and hides behind the mop and broom in a crevice when her dad comes in while she's leaving. She also leaves her bathrobe hidden in her backyard.
The title quote is Abby's response to the suggestion that she, Kristy and MA get a drink at Cokie's party.
HA HA HA! Emily, the newspaper editor, regarding Cokie's house: "It's Martha Stewart meets wicked excess."
Sharon kicks total ass in the last couple chapters of this book. I hadn't read this one since about 2009, and I had the ending completely wrong in my head. I thought Sharon caught MA coming home, the two of them talked about the fire, and Sharon didn't tell Richard MA broke out. But instead, Sharon breaks up a fight, hushes Richard, and lays down the law. She points out that they're both trying to protect each other from things, and it needs to stop. Richard needs to stop treating Mary Anne like a little girl just because he's worried that he won't be able to save her next time. And MA needs to stop keeping secrets from her parents because she doesn't want to worry them.
I love this imagery: "I'd never start fights or leap into battle like a demon soccer warrior." I'm picturing Abby with red skin and horns, now.
Claudia: wide-legged ankle-length purple pants, black flats, purple and white striped socks, purple camisole, white crop top
Mary Anne: jeans and sweater; sweatpants and ratty shirt; jeans and favorite striped shirt
Next: The ridiculousness that is #9