Stacey's mom seems a little rundown lately, but Stacey thinks that Maureen is just busy looking for a new job. She tells her daughter that while Ed pays child support and alimony, he can't keep supporting two homes. Ed then calls with some super big news: he just got a huge promotion at work and he wants Stacey to come to NYC as his date, even though no other kids will be there, which comes across as a little creepy.
Stacey immediately says yes and starts planning her trip. The older girls all go downtown to pick out the perfect outfit for her. Jessi had a dance class and poor Mal got stuck going to see her grandparents. They also stop by the Rosebud Cafe, which is the first time I think it got brought up in the series. Stacey comes home to find that her mom is still feeling sick.
While in the middle of a math test, the principal calls and asks her to come right to his office. Mrs. Pike comes to pick her up and tells her that her mom passed out while downtown after a job interview. She rushes Stacey to the hospital, and she finds out that her mom has pneumonia. After a sleepless night, she decides to stay home from school and take care of her mom. When her mom points out that she can't do it forever, she calls their neighbors and makes a schedule so someone will always be there.
When her mom doesn't get better, she calls her dad and tells him she can't come for his party. He gets a little sad, she snaps at him that he's a workaholic which is why he can't find a date, and they hang up on a sour note. Stacey then decides that she can go but only if she just stays the night and comes back the next day. When she tells her dad about her decision, he agrees that it's a great idea. He contemplates calling a visiting nursing services but they hang up before making any final decisions, which will come back to bite her in the ass.
Mrs. Pike picks her up from school and drops her off at the train station. She gets in late, has to iron her outfit, and they arrive at the event late. Stacey keeps wandering off to call and check on her mom. After a full dinner, dessert, several speeches, a slideshow, and a presentation, she thinks it's time to go, even though everyone else plans to dance.
They get about four hours of sleep, and in the morning, Ed admits that her wanting to leave early hurt his feelings. She snaps that she only wanted to do what was best for everyone. He then tries to make things up with her before she leaves. She gets back, and Mrs. Pike says there was a problem. Turned out that too many people showed up to watch her mom and that her dad hired a visiting nurse without telling her. Maureen tells her that she can't take care of everyone all the time.
The same day that she left for NYC, Sam came to see her at school, which he never does because it's too babyish for him. He offers to walk her home and seems disappointed when he can't but then he just walks away. Kristy comes to a meeting at the end of the book and reveals that the two have a date for the next weekend. Stacey then asks Claudia to make a best dad certificate for Ed and calls to make up with him.
In other parts of Stoneybrook, the kids go all ordering crazy. They keep buying and ordering stuff from comic books and magazines until they realize that they have no money and a bunch of crap they don't want. They get together, write a bunch of skits and songs and tour the neighborhood. No one wants to buy their stuff, but everyone gives them money for performing. They all buy yo-yos and plan to throw a yo-yo competition.
*Stacey's "super cool" outfit is a pair of black and white checked socks, black leggings, a black bodysuit, and a fake hot pink knee-length silk jacket. None of which sounds appropriate for a fancy dinner.
*Zingy's, which we all know is and always has been in the Washington Mall, is now suddenly conveniently located in downtown Stoneybrook and is where Stacey found her outfit.
*When Ed sees her for the first time, he literally goes speechless for a few seconds and then says she looks just like her mom. It left me a little skeeved out.
*I love how the books always made Stacey out to be some kind of math whiz. Her math test is literally questions like A+B=12, if B=4, what is A? Um, yeah, it doesn't take a genius for an eighth grade girl to answer eighth grade math questions LOL.
*It's nice to know that Mary Anne's mom came back from the dead to watch over Maureen! Stacey mentions that she came to her house at midnight.
*Since Stacey is always described as the cool one, it's funny that she makes her dad some certificate like an elementary school student would.
*Vanessa orders a bust developer, which made me giggle, but I laughed more when Kristy said she couldn't wait until it came and Mary Anne agreed.
*According to Stacey, Sam is her boy who is a friend and not her boyfriend. She also points out that they talk on the phone sometimes but really haven't dated, which is weird given the whole Shadow Lake thing.
*Is it weird that I'm not sure who is Stacey and who is Dawn on the cover?
*Stacey brings up Judy, the homeless woman who lived near their old building and Ed has no idea who she's talking about. Funny given that he was of the ones who had that whole meeting about what the neighborhood could do for her.
*Some of the recaps I read said that Stacey completely overreacted and how Maureen was an adult who could take care of herself. I'd agree, but she's constantly calling Stacey to her room for weird things. She loses the remote to the TV, needs tissue, feels hungry...you get the picture.
*There are multiple mentions of how Maureen's life is so hard because she cooks, cleans, occasionally works temp jobs, and goes on two job interviews a week. Look, I'm sure it was hard and all, but I once worked 45+ hours a week, cooked and cleaned for myself, fostered cats, and went to grad school full time.
*There's a whole thing about how Jake ordered a vial of moon dust and it said there were only 20 in the world, but then it turned out that most of the kids ordered the same thing. Suzi then gets a vial of moon dust in the mail and Buddy gets upset that she ordered on too and how it's not really special. Except, that Suzi cannot read or write. It's a whole point in another chapter that she has to keep asking him for help. So how the hell did she order it?
*Uber cool Stacey also freaks out when her dad introduces her to the president because it takes her a few seconds to realize he means the president of his company and not the country.