Claudia is feeling pulled in all sorts of different directions. She's got tons of homework now that she's back in 8th grade, and she's trying to maintain her friendships with both her 7th and 8th grade friends. Then, there's her relationship with Josh to consider; Claud knows she's not giving him all the time she should, either. Also, Janine has just broken up with her boyfriend, Jerry (didn't this already happen???), and she suddenly wants to be Claudia's best friend. At least the Kishi parents aren't on her case much; in fact, they're going to Chicago for a weekend. At first, they consider having the girls stay with Russ and Peaches, but they're too busy with baby Lynn. So, Mr. and Mrs. Kishi agree to let Claudia and Janine stay by themselves.
Claudia has big plans for a nice, relaxing weekend, but Janine has other ideas. She wants to spend time with Claudia, doing all sorts of stuff together. Claud does her best to be supportive (she knows Janine is probably feeling a little lonely because of her breakup), but hanging around with Janine wasn't how she envisioned her parents-free weekend. She's also still trying to deal with the problem of how to spend time with everyone in her life, and she hasn't really solved that problem yet. It's as if her 7th grade friends are in one part of her life, her 8th grade friends in another, and Josh (even though he's in the 7th grade group, too) in another. That's when she gets her idea: she'll have a party so everyone can get to know each other. Janine agrees to the idea, since the Kishis never said the girls couldn't have friend over. Claudia just intends to have the BSC plus her 7th grade group over, but word about the party gets out, and a lot more people show up. Everyone seems to be having a good time, but they're also making a lot of noise and a huge mess. Then, right in the middle of the party, Peaches and Russ show up. Needless to say, they're not happy. They send everyone home, and order Claudia and Janine to clean up the house in the hopes that their efforts will lessen whatever punishment their parents decide to dish out.
Neither Claudia nor Janine is in a particularly good mood during the initial cleanup. Janine blames everything on the immaturity of Claudia's friends, and Claud retaliates by commenting on Janine's lack of any friends at all. They don't speak for the rest of the night, and the next day, Janine is back to being a crabby drill sergeant. When they DO speak civilly, Janine admits that she let Jerry take over her life, and now that she's not with him anymore, she doesn't know how to reconnect with anyone else. Claudia understands, and promises that they'll do something special together later. Then, the Kishi parents come home. The girls confess everything, and Claudia ends up losing her phone priviledges for awhile, except for official BSC business.
Subplot: Bill and Melody Korman are fighting a lot.
Thoughts and Things
- During the party, Claudia and Janine have to try making their own pizza with American cheese after they run out of other food. I totally did that once, and it was every bit as disgusting as you'd imagine. :)
- Bill Korman was an awful little bully in this book. Seriously...he approached Sean Addison levels of awfulness.
- I can't figure out who's who on the cover. Mary Anne and Mallory are obvious, and the girl on the couch in the red shirt could be Kristy. I'm guessing that the Asian girl sitting on the floor is Jeannie Kim, and the blond in the white shirt and brown pants could be Stacey (she was looking through Claud's music at one point during the party). I have no clue who anyone else is, although the guy in the white sweater next to Jeannie has the exact same haircut as Travis on the cover of Dawn and the Older Boy.
- When I was typing Dawn and the Older Boy just now, I first typed, Dawn ON the Older Boy. Eeeesh. ;)