Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Baby-Sitters Club #84: Dawn and the School Spirit War

This is the book where I scared my boyfriend and roommate my saying, "you're such a bitch" and throwing the book on the floor LOL.

Mary Anne is super excited because the baseball team has a chance to win the championship, which means that she can celebrate with Logan. Dawn finds the whole thing odd, which leads to Mary Anne pointing out that the last game will take place against SMS's big rival. She also points out that Dawn probably doesn't know how important it is because she isn't native to Stoneybrook.

When walking to school, they learn that SMS wants to celebrate with School Spirit Month. Claudia, Kristy, and Jessi are all pretty excited, while the other three don't really care. Once they get to school, they get a list of all the major days. Mary Anne instantly flips out because one day is pajama day, and she can't handle the idea of people seeing her in her pajamas. Dawn isn't happy either. She supports some of the day, like school clean up, gardening, recycling, etc. but not all of the days. They ask a few students and teachers about whether it's mandatory or not, and no one has an answer.

Mary Anne breaks down that night because she is a total moron. She starts crying because all of her pajamas are slightly see through, and she contemplates wearing her own clothing and saying that she sleeps in her clothes. Dawn tries to calm her down, but she totally loses it because she thinks if she doesn't participate that Logan will think that she doesn't care about the team.

Dawn does the school clean up day, but when it comes to color day, she completely forgets. Everyone in the eighth grade is supposed to wear yellow, and she finds Mary Anne in yellow tights and a yellow dress. After digging through all of her stuff, she finds a pair of socks. Conveniently, the Stoneybrook news sent a reporter over to the school, and she interviews Dawn. Everyone picks on her because they think she didn't wear yellow, and they pick on other kids that didn't participate.

That night, Dawn appears on the news, and the reporter only uses part of the interview, claiming that Dawn has no school spirit. Sharon gets pissed off and calls the reporter multiple times to chew her out, but the woman never calls her back. The more they think about it, the more they realize that there have to be other students who don't want to participate.

They create a petition saying that some of the students do not want to take part. Emily and Shawna sign the petition and it gets passed around school, but not everyone agrees with it. Oddly enough, Stacey does pop up and asks to sign it, even though this book comes when she isn't in the club. People start lashing out at Dawn, and Mary Anne to a lesser extent. Someone leaves a message on her door, telling her to go back to California and calling her a freak.

As they keep circulating the petition, the school gets divided in half. Kristy is so disgusted with them that she can't even seat next to them in the cafeteria, and Alan hilariously dumps a plate of spaghetti and meatballs over Dawn's head. Someone also glues both of their lockers shut, and she gets a threatening note warning her to back off.

As if this story couldn’t get any more ridiculous, the school board cannot decide what to do. SMS holds an open forum, and Dawn presents her petition. The pro-spirit kids sit on one side and the anti-kids sit on another side, and everyone screams and shouts. That does nothing, so they hold another forum for parents and students.

Sharon brings Mary Anne and Dawn, and the same reporter goes after Dawn. Sharon goes off on her, and the meeting goes the same way. People keep screaming at each other, one woman yells about the kids, and Alan's mom says that kids who won't conform will end up smoking, drinking, and using drugs. Someone else accuses Sharon of being a bad mom because if she did her job, the kids would just do what the teachers said.

Richard finds the whole thing a little funny, especially when the reporter accuses Sharon of inciting a riot on the news. Dawn notices that the anti-spirit kids are starting to fight back, which she agrees with until she realizes that they are acting the same way as the pro-spirit kids. Claudia even paints a big mural at school, which someone destroys, and she won't talk to either of them.

The school decides to cancel spirit month, and Dawn isn't too happy about it. Sharon suggests that she just feels letdown now that the "war" is over, but she doesn't agree with her. She and Mary Anne have a long talk and decide to create a new plan. She gives a speech over the loudspeaker, saying that spirit month should come back but only if it isn't mandatory. She does a few of the special events but not all of them, and she even goes to the big game. After seeing everyone cheering and rooting for the team, Dawn starts to feel a little school spirit herself.

The B-plot surrounds the Barrett-DeWitt family. Their house is suddenly way too small for everyone. The kids keep worrying that their parents will make them move away from Stoneybrook, so they work on organizing the house and giving away some of their stuff. Mrs. DeWitt finally announces that they have a new plan to build an addition onto the house. They host a groundbreaking party, and the kids steal the plans. They decide that they don't want separate rooms, but two big rooms. The parents agree to their plans to make everyone happy.

*Can minors appear on television without parental consent? I would say no, but Sharon has no idea that the reporter came to the school until she sees Dawn on the news.

*Based on some research I just did, it can cost $10,000 for a one-bedroom addition. This addition will have two large bedrooms for boys and girls, two smaller rooms for the babies, and two bathrooms. Does anyone really believe that they couldn't find a house that fits their budget better than this massive addition?

*I'm not sure when this house suddenly got so small. They literally bought it and moved into it when they got married. I just read that book, and there are multiple mentions over how big it is, even big enough for a piano that no one uses.

*Mrs. DeWitt wears a black velvet pantsuit. Is she going to the opera or the theater? Nope, she's meeting Franklin for a movie in the middle of the day.

*Alan throws a water balloon that almost hits Dawn. She makes a big deal out of how she was "assaulted" by a balloon. Um no Dawn, you weren't assaulted.

*Someone else compares the fight to the Civil War. You dumb middle school bitches, your tiny little stupid argument is nothing like the Civil War.

*Dawn mentions that the news said the students at SHS are divided too. Why? The high school has nothing to do with the school spirit month going on at SMS.

*Poor Logan. He keeps pointing out that the event happened as a way to boost morale before the big game and no one seems to remember that. The whole mural thing involved students painting murals, and no one even bothered doing one that remotely references baseball.

*Here's why I hate Dawn, or at least one reason. She complains about sports teams because sports should just be about getting exercise and having fun, and she doesn't understand why people get so competitive because she never does. You DUMB BITCH!! You were just as bad as everyone else when it came to the Little Miss Stoneybrook contest, and you dropped out of the recycling center project when you couldn't be in charge.

*Claudia wears a purple hat and purple rain slicker that she painted with "Native American designs." Only after going out in the rain does she realize that she should have made sure the paint was waterproof.

*Dawn only approves of days centered around the environment, big surprise. She's all for the day when they build a school garden, clean the school, and collect cans for recycling, but everything else is either lame or stupid.

*One of her big complaints is that she doesn't understand how dressing in pajamas or any of the other events will foster school spirit. Um, what do any of her favorite days have to do with that?

*Sharon keeps saying that Dawn has school spirit but she really doesn't. If she did, she would participate in more than three events.

*School spirit month is a little ridiculous. We always had one week where we did it, and I believe it was the week before Homecoming. And yes, I did wear pajamas to school and participate in stupid crap like team apparel day.

*Some of the events are kind of stupid though, which shows that the ghostwriter had to keep stretching it out. One day involves dressing like a teacher, which leads to students dressing up in mean costumes to look like their teachers.

*This book just really annoyed me. Considering that we keep getting it shoved down our throat that Dawn is such an individual, it's ridiculous that she can't handle the concept of not participating in certain events. No one explicitly says that all students have to participate and many don't, but Dawn has to make it some huge deal.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Sweet Valley Kids #22: Sweet Valley Slumber Party

The Wakefields are going out of town for the weekend and Steven went to stay with their grandparents, but Alice's Aunt Nancy arrives to take care of the twins. The twins are a little nervous because they don't remember ever seeing her before, but it turns out that she's a pretty cool older lady.

Lila, Ellen, Ava, and Amy come over to the house for the party. Lila brags about her new purple sleeping bag and won't let anyone touch it, and she wants to brag about her new stuffed unicorn toy. It turns out that Amy has the same toy, and Lila gets really snotty about it because hers is clearly better though no one will listen to her. She walks out of the room and everyone has to follow her. She tells Jessica that Amy ruined the party for everyone, and Jessica wonders if their friends can get along.

The girls head upstairs and find a few of Alice's dresses on the bed. Lila wants to play dress up, but then she decides that they need makeup. When they go into the bathroom, she trips and rips a big whole in Alice's favorite dress. The girls start flipping out and wondering what to do, but then Aunt Nancy pops up. She was planning to shorten and hem the dresses because Alice asked, so she can fix the damage without any problems.

They go back downstairs and have a major pillow fight, tossing pillows and stuff all over the room. After playing around the house and going back into the den, Amy grabs her stuffed unicorn. Lila pitches a fit because she says that it's her toy, and the girls divide right down the middle. After a big fight, they check out the whole house and don't find it.

Aunt Nancy gets in the middle and decides to take the unicorn from them until they can find it. She orders pizza, which cheers everyone up, but they start fighting over the toy again. She tells them that she found it and divides them into two teams for a scavenger hunt, mixing up the friends.

Their first clue says that it's something that leans but doesn't fall. They check rocking chairs, books, clocks, and a bunch of other stuff before each group asks for a second clue. Aunt Nancy says that whoever finds the toy first will get to pick where they go for dessert. She gives them a list of words, and it turns out that the first letter of each word spells out recliner. They find the other unicorn, and the girls admit that they can't tell which one is which so they both just take one.

Aunt Nancy treats everyone to ice cream, and the twins decide that they can't wait to see her again. Ned and Alice come back just in time to hear everyone talking about Halloween.

*Aunt Nancy apparently hasn't seen the twins since they were babies, which seems odd. Why would you agree to specifically come into town to sit for two kids when their parents can't even be bothered to let you see them for years?

*This book mentions that Elizabeth and Jessica "sometimes" wear the same outfits but usually dress different. Yet the whole point of the first SVT book is that they dressed alike until sixth grade.

*Why the heck would Alice want her aunt to turn three dresses from long dresses into shorter/knee-length dresses and why would she agree? Nothing sounds like more fun than babysitting and sewing on vacation!

*Lila is such a little bitch! She says that her unicorn is better because it's new and acts like Amy's is some ragged toy. Then, after the girls all start searching for the missing toy, she sits on the couch, pouts, and won't help anyone. She says that she shouldn't have to help because she already knows where her toy is and that Amy is the one missing a toy.

*When they play dress up, Elizabeth spends the whole time worrying that they might get in trouble, even though Jessica literally just said that Alice lets them do it.

*I have a hard time picturing Amy Sutton of all people playing with a stuffed unicorn and even bringing it to a sleepover.