Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Baby-Sitter’s Club #114: The Secret Life of Mary Anne Spier

Richard Spier made a bad decision: he gave Mary Anne his credit card. The deal is that she can charge as much as she wants to the card, provided she has enough to pay it back. This doesn’t make sense because if she has the money, why wouldn’t she just use it and skip the credit card?

Mary Anne goes crazy, as any teenage girl would and buys gifts for everyone and spends more than she planned. She thinks she has six weeks to pay it back, but Sharon points out that credit card bills come fairly frequently and she actually only has two weeks. She makes a list of all the gifts and can’t believe how much she spent. She figures out how much she can make baby-sitting and knows it’s not enough.

Luckily the mall is hiring, so she runs down and applies for a job. Another girl sees her application and tells her that the mall won’t hire a 13 year old. Angela changes the number to a 6 and of course she gets the job. The woman barely looks at the application, just asks her a few questions and then tells her when to show up.

It turns out that she’s working as an elf in the Santa Village and so is Angela. It doesn’t take long for her to get completely worn out. She goes to school, works at the mall, goes to the meetings and still sits for kids. The one thing she’s looking forward to is Dawn coming back, but even that doesn’t go well.

I’m not sure how well I like Dawn in these books. Is this how Dawn acts in the California Diaries or were they just trying to separate the two characters? She keeps talking about how her class is part of the high school and she hangs out with high school kids. When they go shopping, she buys her friends black and white framed prints and art books, which Mary Anne thinks is very adult. I have to agree because I still buy goofy shit for people. Last year I bought my boyfriend a 1980’s game system that he had as a kid!

Mary Anne doesn’t tell anyone about her job because she doesn’t want them to know how she went overboard. When she accidentally overbooks herself, she asks Dawn to take a sitting job, watching Logan’s siblings. They show up at the mall and she freaks out, but they don’t recognize her. Hunter comes back and says hi because he’s the one person who recognizes her.

After finding Angela crying, Mary Anne starts worrying about her new friend. Eventually Angela reveals that her parents kicked her out of the house. She wants to move to California with some of her friends, but she needs to keep working and get some money together.

The stress finally catches up to her and she confesses to Dawn about her secret life. Dawn reveals that she stayed away because she was acting so distant. They make up and get to spend some real time together.

Mary Anne buys a phone card and then invites Angela over for Christmas. Angela announces that she made enough money to move and MA presents her with the phone card. She makes an attempt to call her parents, but her mom hangs up on her. I kind of thought we’d have some big reconciliation, but nope, Angela just moves.

*The BSC is making a carnival to celebrate all the holidays in December. The whole thing seems kind of lame and it’s really just filler for the main storyline.

*I find it hard to believe that the mall hired Mary Anne without doing any checking on her.

*Mary Anne doesn’t tell Logan about working in the mall until the very end. He says that he would have picked on her, but it wasn’t a big deal. It’s such as teen boy response!

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