Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Unicorn Club #9: Ellen’s Family Secret

The Unicorn Club is in turmoil. They lost half their members, i.e. the non-bitchy members, to another club and they can’t pick a new president. Lila, Jessica and Kimberly all want the job. They keep rotating the club meetings, but agree to let Ellen host the meetings until they pick a new leader because her house is neutral.

I actually like this book because it expands on the character of Ellen. She knows that she is a klutz and says the wrong thing sometimes, but can’t help herself. She begged her parents to get her a fancy new ice skating outfit in purple and they finally got it for her as a birthday gift. Wearing the outfit gives her more confidence because all the girls wish they had it and all the guys keep staring at her. She accidentally trips while skating and rips a huge hole in her skirt.

Ellen feels bad about it, but feels even worse when everyone starts making fun of her. The guys that saw her start reenacting her fall in class and even the other members of the club tease her about it. She invites the club members over for their next meeting. Her parents start fighting in the middle of the club and the girls all leave in a hurry.

Ellen notices that her parents are fighting a lot more than they ever did before. Within a few hours after they fight though, everything goes back to normal. She tries to convince them to leave the house for a few hours so she can host another meeting. Instead, her dad offers to bring home free toothbrushes from his dental office. Her mom writes the girls’ names on the brushes and makes some fancy food.

She cranks up the music, gets fresh flowers and tries to offer a calming environment. The first half of the meeting goes well, but then her parents start fighting again. She shoves her friends out of the house, letting Lila take home all the food, giving Jessica her new CD and giving Kimberly flowers just so she can get them out of the house.

The Unicorns start acting weird around her. She sees them whispering and when they won’t tell her what they talked about, she thinks they want to kick her out of the club. She tries to fix her skating skirt, but her sewing just makes it worse. She overhears her parents fighting yet again, only this time her dad leaves and he doesn’t come back that night.

Everything seems fine the next day until her parents sit her and her brother down for a talk. They announce that they are getting a divorce. Ellen cries and storms out of the room. Her mom tries to talk to her, but she refuses to talk about things. The big school Family Picnic Day is that weekend and they had planned on going as a family. Now, they want her to pick between the two of them.

Ellen’s dad signs a lease on a new apartment and moves out of the house. She decides to come up with a plan to get her parents back together. She invites them both to the picnic, saying that the other isn’t coming. Then she picks up candles, wine glasses and chocolate for the picnic. She goes to her dad’s apartment and helps him make sandwiches and then goes home to help her mom finish up their meal.

Both of her parents show up at the picnic. They see each other and start fighting because they think the other planned the whole thing. Ellen confesses that she wanted them to get back together and rushes off. After crying for a few minutes, she looks up and sees the Unicorn Club walking towards her.

Jessica confesses that Dr. Riteman called Ned for legal help and he told her about the divorce. She told the other members and they tried to figure out what to say to her. Lila wanted to help, but didn’t know what to do. They decided to talk to her at the picnic. They also give her a gift, which is a replacement for her ice skating skirt.

Ellen goes back to the picnic and has a talk with her mom. Her mom tells her that they both love her, but they just can’t make their marriage work. They spend the day together at the picnic. Ellen goes back to visit her dad at his apartment and agrees to help him furnish his apartment. He makes it clear that the club is always welcome there. Oh and they decide to elect Ellen as their new president.

*It’s kind of shitty what her parents do! They know that they are filing for divorce, but still say that things are fine and plan on the picnic.

*According to Jessica, Ned didn’t break client confidentiality by telling her about the divorce. Even if he didn’t, it’s still kind of horrible that he would tell his kid. What if Ellen didn’t even know yet?

*Her parents are all shocked that her friends overheard them fighting, which is ridiculous. They were literally screaming at each other in the next room during one of the meetings.

*Lila wants to start an ice troupe where the club puts together a routine and performs it at a party. Her dad agrees to rent out the ice skating rink. In the end, they decide that it sounds too hard so they just want the party.

*Ned apparently plans on bring his hibachi grill to the picnic and grilling out. For some reason that image made me giggle.

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