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.