Stacey gets a phone call from Laine Cummings one day, and learns that Laine is excited about her upcoming one week vacation from school. She has a lot of fabulous, very "New York" things to choose from to occupy her time, but Stacey has an even better idea: Laine should spend the week in Stoneybrook. She doesn't really give Laine (who isn't too thrilled with the idea) much of a chance to refuse, and the trip is planned.
When Laine arrives, it's obvious that she's very different than she used to be. She turns her nose up at Stoneybrook itself, and she manages to offend each and every member of the BSC at the slumber party Stacey throws in her honor. Laine thinks the rules at SMS, baby-sitting, 13 year old boys, and home shopping shows are all lame. Stacey isn't sure what to think....
Valentine's Day is fast approaching, and SMS is having a dance. Laine (of course) thinks she's too cool for it, but agrees to go with Pete Black anyway. Let's just say that things don't go well at the dance; Laine treats Pete like he's a total loser, makes rude comments about the music, decorations, food, band, and the entire 6th grade. The last straw for Stacey is when Laine refuses to dance with Pete, then agrees to dance with another (cuter) guy right in front of him. She pulls Laine aside and calls her out on her bad behavior, and Laine informs Stacey that she wants to go home. Not home to the Mc Gills; home to New York.
Stacey calls her mom, and while she's waiting for Maureen to arrive, she tries apologizing to everyone that Laine may have offended. Laine ends up on a late train to New York, and Stacey is fairly sure their friendship is over. She still feels like she needs some closure, though, so she writes Laine one last letter, expressing her feelings about what happened and saying goodbye.
Also, the club holds a Valentine's Masquerade for some of their sitting charges. Nicky Pike and Marilyn Arnold make a love connection, as do James Hobart and Carolyn Arnold.
Thoughts and Things
- Laine, with all her maturity and her older boyfriend, is probably a closer example of what 13 year olds are like today than Stacey is.
- Dawn mentions not wanting to go out with Price Irving (her date to the Winter Wonderland dance) again because he's so boring. Shouldn't she not want to go out with him again because of Lewis? She met him AFTER the dance happened.
- Is a masquerade really a masquerade if there are no masks or costumes?
- I like Stacey's letter to Laine at the end. I know some people in fandom think it was silly, immature, and/or passive aggressive, but I've gotta disagree on that one. Mostly, because it was what I would have done in her situation!
- I cry foul on Laine getting a real job in retail at her age, especially in New York. Wouldn't there plenty of older, better qualified people who actually are of legal age to hold a job?
- Even though she was a total brat for most of the book, I still sympathise with Laine a little. Stacey really steamrolled her into spending her vacation in Stoneybrook, and Stacey herself was in school most of the time! Poor Laine was pretty much on her own for the week.