Friday, February 28, 2014

The Baby-Sitters Club #67: Dawn's Big Move

Dawn loves living in Stoneybrook, but she feels like something is missing. She keeps thinking about her dad and Jeff and wondering about their lives. She even misses Carol a little and wonders if her dad is serious about her. When she brings it up, Sharon suggests that they buy tickets for Thanksgiving. Dawn is disappointed that she can't visit sooner but pretends that she's fine.

Stoneybrook and Lawrenceville decide to host a new competition to raise money for charity. Called Run for Your Money where people can form teams and compete against each other, and Richard and Sharon decide to enter. After having fun and goofing around, Dawn realizes that she'd have more fun is Jeff and her dad were there, and she bursts out that she wants to go home. Sharon thinks she just wants to visit, but Dawn lets her know that she wants to go back for six months.

Dawn decides to call her dad and tell him her thoughts, but he doesn't really seem that happy about her plans. It turns out that he would love her to come back but he doesn't know what it would do to Sharon. They talk on the phone and decide to start dealing with the ins and outs of the move. They find out about her school, plane tickets, and all the other issues.

The BSC doesn't handle her news quite as well. Kristy is concerned because they won't meet their demands with her gone. Shannon can't take her place because she has some school stuff, and Logan can't help because of football. Someone suggests bringing in a new member, but no one is too thrilled with that idea.

Run for Your Money finally arrives, and Dawn's family actually wins one event. The BSC also enters as a team, and not surprisingly at all, they also win. The whole BSC, including Logan and Shannon, go to the Rosebud Cafe. Spending time with her friends makes her rethink her decision. It doesn't help when Jessi goes back to her hometown for a visit and feels miserable. Everything changed, no one really seems to like her, and it isn't what she expected.

Dawn picks up on Mary Anne's cues that the BSC planned a party for her. She keeps thinking that it will happen at any moment. She thinks people will jump out of the bushes, pop out at the grocery store, or jump out at Kristy's house when they stop by to drop off a book. Kristy takes them outside, and she finds the entire club and a bunch of their charges waiting. They made a bunch of food, and Vanessa even wrote her a poem.

The more Dawn thinks about things, the more she wonders if she made the wrong choice. She makes out a pros and cons list, which shows that staying put is the best decision. At the next BSC meeting, she announces that she'll stay in Stoneybrook. Everyone gets excited that she's staying, but she wonders how to tell her mom. The book ends with Dawn on a flight to California. She admits that she was never really sure what she should do, but she looks forward to heading back home for awhile.

*Dawn always comes across as really selfish in these books. She expects everyone to be super happy for her and she doesn't know what to do when they aren't happy.

*They get the kids together to make food for her party, and Buddy accidentally drops a head of garlic in the cake. It's so random because they didn't make anything with garlic so where did it come from?

*I really wish there was more mention of her missing California in the books that came before this one. It kind of seems like it comes out of nowhere, especially since she complained when Jeff left that she would never do that to her mom.

*Sharon handles things really well, which is strange. She was pretty nervous when Dawn even went back for a two week visit.

*You have to laugh at the continuity of these books! Dawn leaves for six months and it's not even Thanksgiving yet. Abby arrives during the same school year, and Dawn comes back for a visit at Thanksgiving. She also moves back to town, but then at Christmas, she's living in California.

*Dawn complains about Carol because she's (gasp) in her 30s and saying "wow" and "cool." I've said it before and I will say it again, she would really hate me.

*Stoneybrook naturally wins the Run for Your Money event, but the whole thing doesn't make sense. No one pays to enter, there's no talk of donations, but somehow it raises a big ass sum of money.

*Some of the events chosen are weird too. Dawn's group enters a tug of war contest and magically get paired with another family with two girls in eighth grade. How would they decide who competes against each other?

*Claudia's sister is apparently a wiz at fooseball. By the way, Stacey doesn't know what fooseball is until Mallory explains it, to which she says it's table hockey. No Stacey, it's not table hockey. Table hockey is like air hockey without the air.

*It's hard to believe that in just a few short books, Dawn will back in Stoneybrook and ready to move back to California permanently.

*Supposedly, Sharon has full custody of both kids even though they live in California. The more I read these books, the more I believe that Jack did something really really wrong when they were married.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Sweet Valley Twins #54: The Big Party Weekend

The Wakefields are going to Mexico for five days, and since it's a few days before they leave and they haven't mentioned a sitter, the twins and Steven think they have the house to themselves. Jessica instantly decides to throw a party, but Steven planned to throw his own party, so they decide to combine parties. The only problem is that they have no money. They find a solution when Ned asks them to clean out the garage while they're gone. They can have a yard sale and keep half the profits with the other half going to charity.

Two days before they leave, Ned reveals that they hired a sitter named May Brown to stay with them. Jessica pitches a fit, but it's too late. She'll be there. They come home from school to find May waiting for them in the kitchen. She immediately gives them a list of her new rules. No more than one hour of television per day, nine o'clock curfew even on the weekends, and no snacking between meals. They can only have a glass of fruit juice if they feel hungry when they get home. They also have to get up at 5:30 in the morning and take a two mile walk at night.

No one is happy with the rules so they decide to revolt. Jessica dresses like Elizabeth because May can't tell them apart, and Steven makes coffee that he doctors up with cinnamon, Tabasco sauce, bay leaves, and some other crap. When she feeds them spinach and broccoli, Steven throws his out the window after he distracts her and makes her leave the room. The twins also set a bunch of alarms in her room for the middle of the night tuned to hard rock stations.

The day of the yard sale arrives, and Elizabeth puts a box away in the garage that has a bunch of antiques. She only sells a few things before Jessica comes home and takes over. Some random guy buys a wood rose in a glass case for $75 and leaves before Elizabeth comes out and realizes that it was Alice's descendant's rose. They try to chase down his car, but it's too late.

While all this is going on, Amy shows up with a new boyfriend who she met at the mall. She introduced him to Elizabeth who doesn't like him because he complains about the yard sale and kind of seems like an ass. Elizabeth checks with a bunch of antique shops and yard sales but can't find the rose. She meets Amy, Rob, and Todd for ice cream and stops by the last antique shop in town. May later flips out on her and accuses her of lying about where she was.

They still don't know what to do about the party, but Steven comes up with a plan. He makes a big stink on the day of the party and runs off. Jessica tells May that he once ran away to Los Angeles, but Steven later calls and says that he's stuck at a convenience store a few hours away. May rushes off to get him, and he walks through the door with party food.

The party winds up being a huge success, but the twins' friends start leaving early. Jessica catches Rob trying to steal some of her CDs, and when Ken calls him out on it, Amy breaks up with him. Aaron almost kisses Jessica, but someone starts a food fight and he ends up leaving. The twins hide out in the kitchen with most of the food, and May shows up. She storms upstairs and pack up her stuff, claiming that she can't help them anymore. They beg her for a second chance but she refuses.

The three are trying to figure out what to do next when May comes downstairs, blows a whistle, and makes everyone leave. She apologizes for being too rough on them and explains that she hasn't ever sat for older kids before. She usually watches younger kids, but she wanted to avoid the problems that she noticed her friends had with their kids.

The twins and Steven get up early the next morning and get the house cleaned up and in order. May shows up with Alice's rose in a bag. She tells them that she found out about it when she saw Elizabeth coming out of an antique store. Jessica makes her an honorary grandmother certificate, May points out that she spelled honorary wrong, and everyone has a good laugh before she walks off into the sunset.

*Ned claims that if they were going somewhere else, they wouldn't have a problem leaving the kids alone. Um, they're still 14 and 12 and firmly in need of a sitter!

*May leaves before the Wakefields come home, which seemed strange. Wouldn't she want to tell them how the week went or at least get paid?

*It's a little crazy that she can't tell them apart but only because she keeps bringing it up. She complains that they look too much alike and says she doesn't know what to do. It's not like they can change the fact that they're twins.

*The guy who bought the rose put a $200 price tag on it, but she talked him down to just $50. I call BS.

*It's kind of cute that Amy constantly avoids Rob and tries to spend as much time away from him as possible, but she doesn't break up with him because she wants a boyfriend. It seems pretty realistic. It's also realistic that Ken avoids her because he doesn't want to see her with another guy.

*This is one of the only SVT books that I've come across where there's a mention of Ken and football. The earlier books mentioned that he was shorter than the other students and loved basketball.