Logan is still being made fun of by some of his track teammates for being a sitter, so when members of the kiddie gang the Badd Boyz start to pay attention to him, he's kind of excited. These guys couldn't be more stereotypical if they tried: they're not the smartest cookies in the jar, they wear leather jackets, they keep cigarette packs in their rolled up sleeves, and they like to work on cars. Clarence King and some of the other track guys are scared of them, and tend to leave Logan alone if the Boyz are around.
First, one of the boys (he calls himself "T-Jam") compliments Logan on his understanding of Julius Caesar, and hints that he needs tutoring. What does Logan do? He gives T-Jam his homework and says that they can discuss it later. If Logan doesn't honestly think that his homework is going to be copied, he needs help. Next, the Boyz invite Logan to have lunch with them. He's amazed when they go outside to the parking lot for lunch (this isn't allowed at SMS), and even more amazed when some of the older gang members drive up with pizza for them. Oh, excuse me; "za." Logan gets a thrill out of being bad (Badd?) enough to eat lunch in the parking lot with a bunch of kids who smoke and think nothing of it.
That weekend, Logan meets up with his new friends at a strip mall downtown. He's supposed to buy a copy of the new Nicky Cash CD for Mary Anne at Sound Ideas, and the Boyz go with him. Logan knows the owner, and while they're talking, T-Jam manages to get an awful lot of information out of him about exactly when the next shipment of Nicky Cash CDs will be coming in. As they leave the store and meet up with the other Boyz, Logan starts to notice some odd behavior in his new friends: they run out of stores, hiding stuff they supposedly bought, and distracting sales clerks by pretending to be interested in stuff that Logan is fairly sure they don't care about. Then, he sees T-Jam open an unlocked car and steal some sunglasses. Logan calls him on it, and T-Jam actually returns the glasses. Things just get worse from there, though; Logan witnesses one of the Boyz stealing something from someone else's locker, and threatens to tell on them. They point out that if they go down, so will Logan; after all, he was in the main part of the school after hours, and there aren't any witnesses to prove that he wasn't breaking and entering, too.
That Saturday, the Boyz arrive during breakfast time at the Brunos' to get Logan. They head to Sound Ideas, to "watch" the shipment of Nicky Cash CDs arrive. While they're being unloaded, there's a commotion inside the store. Someone tried to steal a woman's purse, and even though they weren't successful, the culprit got away. As Logan and his friends leave to meet up with some of the older members of the Boyz, Logan notices something very interesting on the floor of their car: a box of Nicky Cash CD. The attempted purse-snatching had just been a ruse to distract everyone while the CDs were taken. Logan demands to be let out of the car, even though it's a long walk back to his house. He doesn't particularly want to spend another minute in the car with those guys, who he now knows were just using him. They warn him to keep quiet, and Logan is kind of in a panic. He wants to Boyz to pay for what they did, but he's afraid of getting in major trouble himself, since he was with them the whole time. The Boyz try to buy his silence with a leather jacket like theirs, and a pair of Nicky Cash tickets, but Logan wants none of it. Unfortunately, Mary Anne sees the tickets before Logan can give them back, and he doesn't think he can disappoint her.
When Logan and Mary Anne are eating dinner at Renwick's before the show, they get to talking about all the things that have gone missing from lockers at school. Mary Anne mentions that one of the items happens to be pair of Nicky Cash tickets, and that they went missing right when Logan found his pair in his locker. He comes clean to Mary Anne, and she's mad. It's not about missing the concert, though; it's the fact that Logan let himself be so taken in by the Badd Boyz. When Mr. Bruno comes to get them to take them into Stamford, they go back to the Brunos' house instead (they'd called the owner of the tickets and she came and picked them up). Logan tells his parents everything, and they call the police. The Boyz had another CD heist planned for that weekend, and when they try their old tricks, most of them end up arrested.
Thoughts and Things
- Lerangis described Mary Anne's concert outfit as "sexy." Gross.
- The whole "bad kids using good kid for cover" plot is nicely reused during Stacey's "bad girls" phase. There's even a concert involved there, too.
- I'm glad Logan only got two books of his own during the series; he's not that fascinating to read about.
- Who in the world are those kids on the cover supposed to be? That scene doesn't happen in the book.
- Nicky Cash is some sort of boy band offshoot. Remember back when the whole boy band phenomenon was ending and so many of the old members of those groups tried to solo? I think Justin Timberlake is really the only one who made it big. Well, Ronan Keating from Boyzone did, too, but that was mostly in Europe.