During a slumber party at Kristy's house, the girls start whining about school coming up and how they'll have to write an essay on what they did that summer. They keep coming up with ideas on what they could write about that actually sounds like fun. Jessi suggests writing about their most vivid memory, which gets everyone excited to start writing.
Kristy remembers being 10 and how the sitter her mom hired was a loser. She would constantly call in the morning to say she couldn't make it that night, so her mom would have to ask Mrs. Pike to pick up David Michael and scurry to make everything work. One day, when neither Charlie nor Sam could sit, she agreed to let Kristy do it. Kristy ran home early, made him a snack, made sure he went to the bathroom, and even forbade Mary Anne from coming over. She did such a good job that her mom fired the housekeeper and gave the kids more duties to do around the house.
Jessi remembers when they still lived in Jersey and her mom was pregnant with Squirt. Since they had no extra room, they moved Becca in with Jessi and gave Becca's room to the new baby. When her mom went into labor early, Cecilia showed up to help get everything ready. Squirt wound up having colic and screamed all the time. She and Becca kept wishing they didn't have a little brother. While he was screaming one night, Jessi went in, held him, and sang to him. It turned out to be the only thing that stopped him from screaming and made her realize that she actually liked having a little brother.
Stacey recalls the week she started school and how she couldn't wait to make all these big changes. A new girl, Allison, shows up at the school at the same time that one member of their clique leaves. Laine isn't too happy when Stacey starts spending time with Allison and even asks her to a slumber party. At the same time, Stacey keeps eating and drinking all the time. She keeps growing taller but keeps losing weight too. Aw, poor baby. At the party, she eats more pizza than anyone else and drinks a ton of soda. Laine wakes her up in the middle of the night freaking out over the bed they shared because Stacey wet the bed. Her mom picks her up, and her parents decide she should see a psychiatrist. The doctor realizes that she has diabetes, recommends a doctor, and she finally gets treated. Allison though spreads the story of the party to everyone in school, Stacey becomes a loser, and she misses a ton of school. Her parents finally sit her down to tell her about her dad's new job in Stoneybrook, and she can't wait to move.
Claudia gets my least favorite story. When she was six and in the same class as Mary Anne and Kristy, their art teacher told them to make a self portrait of themselves. Claudia drew a huge butterfly and used almost all the crayons in her box. The teacher then yelled at her for not doing the same thing as everyone else, which was draw a picture of themselves. She ran home crying, Mimi heard, and freaked out. Mimi went back to the school and pretty much yelled at the teacher that only Claudia got the assignment right because she actually drew a picture of how she sees herself.
Logan has my second least favorite story. He remembers making the move from Louisville to Stoneybrook and how his parents decided to drive instead of fly. He met Stacey but couldn't remember if her name was Stacey or Tracey and fell head over heels in love the first time he saw Mary Anne. He then tells the same story we already read about sitting for Jackie but tells Mary Anne in the end that he'll love her forever.
Mallory was obsessed with this YA author Amelia Moody. Mary Anne suggested she write the author a letter, and she got one back that had a written note that she would be nearby signing books soon. After worrying about what to give her, she decided to bring her a bouquet of flowers. She would up completely freaking out in line though and almost losing it, so her mom had to talk to the author for her.
Dawn is back in California when her parents were still married. Her dad started coming home late all the time or not at all, her parents constantly fought, and her mom even started sleeping on the pull out couch. They finally sat them down and told them they were getting a divorce, and her mom later announced their big move. Dawn then reminisces about when she met Mary Anne and the friendships she had in the club.
Shannon remembers the beginning of eighth grade and meeting this chick Sally White. Sally pretty much ignored everyone in her group for one specific girl, dropped her, went after another girl, dropped her, and kept the cycle going. She's the rich daughter of some actress with a thoroughbred horse, a big house, and access to awards shows and hot parties though, so everyone just goes with it. She picks Shannon next, but when Shannon blows her off to prepare for a test, Sally drops her for someone else. Shannon says the experience made her distrust new people, which is why she was so mean to Kristy originally.
Mary Anne has a memory of Mrs. Tate, a woman from the agency her dad hired to watch her when he went out of town on business for the weekend. She's so unhappy that her dad agrees to let Claudia and Kristy sleep over. Mrs. Tate scolds her for trying to eat a brownie on the same day she wants to get pizza, which makes me wonder what she would think of my Dominos order or pizza and a brookie! Kristy decides to get back at the old lady for being so mean to her friend. She coats her salad with black pepper, but the woman just makes a new salad. She then nails her slippers to the floor, but the woman just laughs and pries them up. They then put a scary monster mask in the refrigerator and wind up playing pranks on each other all night. Mrs. Tate gets them back the next day by making breakfast, which turns out to be vegetable peelings, old socks, and gross stuff.
*Jessi mentions multiple times in this book plus in others how her neighborhood was so friendly and how everyone looked out for each other. But, when her mom went into labor early, NO ONE offered to help. Not a single person was like, hey let me cook you guys dinner or hey, why don't you let my family paint the nursery. Yup, they were super friendly though!
*Stacey planned on trying out for the soccer team before she got sick. Given that she doesn't even seem to know what a ball is later, that doesn't seem too realistic.
*Stacey says that only Laine is nice to her and only because her mom made her be nice. Too bad Laine's mom wasn't around in the later books!
*I think Mimi gave Claudia a little too much credit. Never once did she say that was how she saw herself. It came across more like she just wanted to use all her crayons.
*Logan's parents took the weirdest route to Connecticut. They went from Kentucky to Ohio, down to West Virginia, up to Pennsylvania, and then over through several states before getting to New York. As someone who once lived in Louisville and now lives in Ohio, there's a much easier route to take.
*He spent most of the trip coloring in one of Hunter's books until his brother ripped one from his hand because he was using up all the pages LOL.
*Mary Anne once wrote to Louisa May Alcott and got a letter back from the publisher that the author was dead. She was all embarrassed, but it seems like something she probably should have known already.
*Mallory is disappointed that it took four weeks to get a response. Tell me about it. My soon to be 36 year old self is still waiting for Christian Slater to write my 11 year old self back.
*Ooh, but I did get a letter from Tom Cruise! I wrote to him when I was a kid about how I was in love with him and how we were soul mates but that if he didn't want to wait for me, he should marry Nicole Kidman instead. I got a form letter and a signed picture back in the mail!
*I'm almost certain that Dawn's dad cheated. He's coming home in the middle of the night, and at one point, doesn't come home until they next morning. She says he was just out with his friends but come on!
*Dawn's mom also calls him a liar and tells him she won't stand for a liar in her house, which makes him just act super rude and then leave again. He totally had an affair.
*There's also a scene where her mom suggests they go out to the movies just the two of them, which makes it seems like she's at least trying to make an effort. He just blows her off because he would rather go out with his friends that night.
*I think it's shitty that her mom decided to move back to Stoneybrook, which somehow means that her dad got to keep their house. Why wouldn't they sell it and split the money? What does a single guy need a house with three bedrooms for?
*Shannon's test is an astronomy test that she has to take to join the astronomy club. The science teacher asks her to join, and then several days later asks if she's ready ready to take the test. When she's confused, he laughs it off as oh no, that was just an invitation to take the test. WTF, man?
*She also takes some crazy classes for an eighth grader, including philosophy and psychology. I didn't take my first psychology class until high school and didn't touch philosophy until college.
*One of Mary Anne's sitters always smelled like Ivory soap and apparently used so much that when they baked cookies together, all the cookies tasted like soap. WTH, was she rolling around in the dough or what?
*Mary Anne's dad won't ask her friends' parents to let her stay with them for a weekend because he doesn't want to impose. I can't imagine Mimi or Elizabeth telling him no or even seeing it as an imposition.
*Are these really vivid memories though? When I think of a vivid memory in my mind, I think of one specific moment like the night I met my boyfriend. These girls have memories that last for days or even weeks.
*One of my cats had an unfortunate “accident” and barfed on my copy. I managed to get it cleaned off, but a bunch of the gold peeled off. So sad.
*Shannon has a completely different assignment but uses their talk as inspiration. The funny thing though is that she's in a creative writing class and writes an essay about the whole Sally thing. All my creative writing classes required fictional stories.
*Jessi mentions that her mom lost two babies in between Becca and Squirt. She kind of glosses over it, but that seems pretty heavy for a BSC book.