Mary Anne and Logan have been broken up for awhile, and she's really starting to miss him (obviously, if you've read the title of the book). Luckily (or not?), the entire 8th grade at SMS has a big English project coming up, which will help take Mary Anne's mind off of Lover Boy for awhile. Everyone in the 8th grade will be put into groups of about 4 people, and each group will be assigned an author to study. Mary Anne stresses out about who she might end up working with (the groups are being assigned randomly), but she never considers that it might be Logan himself. She's nervous on the day when the project groups are posted, but relieved when she sees that she'll get to study Megan Rinehart, one of her favorite authors. As for her group members? Pete Black and Miranda Shillaber (Mary Anne is okay with them), as well as Logan. Yep, Logan.
Most of the work on the project is going to take place outside of school, but everyone is given a chance to meet with their groups for the first time during study hall. Mary Anne is dreading her first encounter with Logan, but it's basically just awkward; no crying or bloodshed or anything. :) Before the group really has a chance to discuss what they want to do, though, one of the English teachers approaches them with Cokie Mason in tow. Even though students aren't supposed to switch groups, he wants to make an exception for Cokie. According to her, Megan Rinehart's books are the only ones that truly interest her. Ha....LOGAN is the only thing that truly interests Cokie, and Mary Anne knows it. The teacher then asks for a volunteer to switch into Cokie's old group, and Miranda Shillaber jumps at the chance (she hates Pete Black).
The next group meeting is at Cokie's house. She's all over Logan, and barely acknowledges Pete and Mary Anne. She also can't remember the name of the author they're supposed to be studying from one moment to the next, or the titles of the books they've decided to read for the project. As the meeting ends, Mary Anne overhears Cokie ask Logan out; she doesn't stick around to hear his answer.
By the time the next group meeting rolls around (about two weeks later), Cokie and Logan have gone out multiple times. They've been so busy that they haven't finished the reading, and it becomes abundantly clear that Cokie is planning on riding everyone else's coattails to a good grade without doing any of the work herself. Right before the project is due, Pete and Mary Anne decide to just finish it up themselves, without counting on any help from Cokie or Logan. Then, Mr. Kingbridge makes a big announcement: on the day the project is due, three of the authors that were studied will be coming to SMS for an assembly, and the groups that studied those authors will be presenting their projects orally. One of the authors is Megan Rinehart, which makes Mary Anne excited and terrified all at the same time. Pete, though, sees the presentation as a way to prove who did their share of the project and who didn't.
That afternoon, Mary Anne gets a surprise call from Logan. He wants to touch base with her about the project, to make sure they're ready for Author Day. As it turns out, he HAD gotten his portion of the project done, and even though it took a little work, he and Mary Anne (with a little help from Pete) combine Logan's section with the the ones that were already done. Cokie;s the real wild card, though; no one, not even Logan, knows how prepared she is or isn't. "Isn't" is probably more accurate. At the assembly, after the other three had read their portions of the report and done well, Cokie gets up and reads the book jacket summary from one of Megan Rinehart's books. She's not exactly a hit with the audience.
The next night, Mary Anne and Logan meet for dinner. He wants to thank her for her help getting the project together at the last minute, and also to let her know that he misses her. Cokie was fun for awhile, but doesn't really mean much to him. The SMS supercouple decides to give it another go. :)
Ugh...the subplot. The Kormans have just moved into the Delaney mansion, and they're basically scared of the own shadows after the move and change in schools. In fact, they're firmly convinced that the Toilet Monster lives in their bathroom.
Thoughts and Things
- So...in the span of 5 books, Logan went from being a pushy, controlling jerk to a guy who let Cokie control him, even though he knew she wasn't right for him? Also, I'm not a Cokie fan or anything, but I don't like the way Logan led her on. He admitted that she was basically just a Mary Anne subsitute. No one deserves that.
- I hate the Korman subplot. Also, I don't know that giving into Skylar's fears like they did is necessarily the healthiest thing to do (keeping the fish fountain turned off, not ever saying the word "cat"). Wouldn't it be better for them to just act as if those things are no big deal, rather than shielding her like that? I'm not a parent, so I could be totally off base here.
- Mary Anne aches for Logan. Gross.
- This book always brings back awful memories of working on group projects in school. I hated group work just as much as Mary Anne does, and forcing kids to work in groups doesn't really impact their future lives as much as teachers would like to think it does. For instance, I STILL would rather work alone than in a group, and I think I'm about as good at collaboration as I would be if I'd never done a group project.
- This isn't a bad cover (even though nothing like this happened in the book), but where are Dawn, Mallory, and Jessi? Weren't they invited to the skating party?
- I like to think that Pete Black and Mary Anne reunite as adults and end up together. They'd make a cute couple.