This book more or less picks up from where the last one left off. Some of the sitters are in Stoneybrook working at the SES Playground Camp, and some are on the SMS London/Paris trip. I'll start with everyone who stayed behind, because their plots are the most boring and I want to get them out of the way:
Claudia is upset when Janine is made a head counselor at camp. Janine is really hard on Claud, but that's because the other head counselor, Jerry (Janine's ex) is being really hard on Janine herself. They talk things out, and Janine kind of tells Jerry off.
Mary Anne doesn't do a whole lot, except try to stay close to Logan and not stand up for herself when Cokie tries (again) to get close to him.
Dawn substitutes one day at another camp for children with special needs. Susan Felder is one of the campers.
Now, onto Europe:
When Stacey arrives at the group's hotel in London, she opens her suitcase only to find a bunch of men's clothes...and a canister of human ashes with the name of the deceased on the outside. Stacey and Kristy both kind of panic and assume that the suitacse belongs to a murderer...because murderers ALWAYS carry their victims around with them in LABLED URNS. Anyway, Mrs. McGill (she's chaperoning the trip) calls the airline and lets them know that a mistake was made. The owner of the suitcase, Mr. Anderson, calls the airline around the same time. Stacey just wants to ship the suitcase to him in Paris and be done with it, but there's a problem. Mr. Anderson is a World War II veteran, and he's taking his fellow soldier's ashes to Normandy to spread them. Mrs. McGill doesn't feel right about trusting the ashes to the airline, so she agrees to meet Mr. Anderson and deliver the suitcase personally. Stacey doesn't understand why it would be so important for them to do that, until she visits the Cabinet War Rooms and gets a clearer picture of what it was really like for Mr. Anderson and his buddy. They meet up with him when the group arrives in Paris, and Stacey, on the spur of the moment, decides that she wants to go to Normandy, too.
Kristy develops a kind of love/hate relationship with this French-Canadian guy that's with the other school taking the tour at the same time as SMS. She claims to hate Michel with a passion, but she can't stop talking about him. Then, the two of them get separated from the group while they're in Paris, and end up having to spend half the day togther. Kristy finally admits that she has feelings for Michel, but doesn't know what to do about it. After all, they're not exactly neighbors. Abby makes her promise to at least tell him how she feels at their goodbye party, but Kristy doesn't have to. Michel kind of already knows, and they have an oh-so-romantic, Parisy kiss on Kristy's hotel room balcony.
Jessi is excited to see Dance New York, who are performing in London. She goes backstage to see all the kids she knew from her time with the program, and while she's there, one of the girls sprains her ankle. Since the understudy is sick with food poisoning, David Brailsford asks Jessi to substitute during the number that she learned during her time with the program. Jessi's a little rusty, but the performance goes pretty well. Kristy even makes a comment about how Jessi should join the company permanently.....
Mallory's cousin Gillian and her family live in London, and she goes to visit them. Not only is she excited to learn that Gillian is a writer, but she's also excited to learn that she's distantly related to William Shakespeare. She then becomes so obsessed with writing that she sort of forgets to enjoy the trip, until Jessi brings her back down to Earth.
Abby gets to go to Buckingham Palace with Victoria Kent. Victoria is presenting flowers to the Queen, and Abby is convinced that she'll get to meet the Queen, too, but it doesn't happen. She DOES step on a prince, though.
Robert has one really boring chapter all to himself.
Thoughts and Things
- Last super special! :(
- Stacey's story in this book is my absolute favorite SS plot, hands down. It still gives me chills when I red it, and I even got a little emotional recapping that part. I'm so glad she was the one that got the serious plot instead of just giving her another boyfriend or something.
- At one point, Jessi is with a group that hits the wax museum, the British Museum, the Tower of London, Smithfield Market, and the Dance New York performance all in the same day. That's....kind of not possible, if you want to take the time to actually enjoy everything. The British Museum alone could take up half the day, and the Tower is too cool to just rush through.
- Peter Lerangis totally needed a fact checker for this book. He has Mallory and Jessi discuss their visit to the Bastille, and it's made fairly clear that they actually went inside it. There's just one problem: it doesn't exist anymore. The French even have an entire holiday to celebrate the storming of the place!
- This has got to be the worst chaperoned trip ever. Assuming that all 50 slots were filled, that means that there's only one chaperone per 25 kids. That doesn't seem like enough. Plus, Kristy and Michel ended up alone...in a hotel room....with the door shut. Where was their supervision???
- London is to me what NYC is to Mary Anne; I'm a total nerd over it, and I would totally love to live there when I grow up. ;)
- Does anyone else have the shiny magenta cover instead of the pink one that's pictured? I do, and I'm pretty sure that it came with a set of rings as well.
- Take a look at the picture of Dawn on page 126; it looks like she got some serious calf implants!