Mallory is seriously considering going away to school in Massachusetts, and she's started confiding in Mary Anne about her thoughts and feelings. She hasn't even been talking to Jessi about it, since Jessi (of course) doesn't want her to go. Then, during a Mallory/Mary Anne sitting job at the Pikes, Mal gets a letter from Riverbend: she's been accepted, and they want to give her a full scholarship. Mary Anne encourages her to tell Jessi that she was accepted, which Mallory does. Jessi doesn't take it well; she thinks Mal is crazy for wanting to go away, and that she'll just be running away from her problems. The next day at school, Jessi has also decided that Mary Anne is her new personal therapist, which puts Mary Anne in a tough position. It's especially difficult because Jessi is still under the impression that Mal isn't sure whether she'll be going or not, and she's already told Mary Anne that she is.
Jessi and Mal aren't getting along at all, so Jessi has no problem calling Mal out in the middle of a BSC meeting, asking her for her decision about Riverbend. Mallory finally admits that she's going....and Jessi totally picks up on the fact that Mary Anne already knew. Both Mallory and Jessi leave the meeting early. The club tries to force them to talk to each other by scheduling them for a job together at the Barrett-DeWitt house, but it doesn't work. They also drag Mallory along to a slumber party that Jessi's having in honor of some of her visiting Dance NY friends (she was invited before they started fighting), but Mal and Jessi end up fighting again, and Mal leaves early. Of course, both of them have to vent to Mary Anne later. Finally, she gets sick of it and gets both of them to come to her house. Jessi admits that she's been so ridiculous because she doesn't want Mal to leave, and Mal admits that she hasn't been talking to Jessi about Riverbend because it's going to be hard for her to leave her best friend behind. They hug, and all is well.
Subplot: the Stoneybrook Manor Christmas decorations are ugly, so the BSC and their charges make more. They also hold a holiday celebration for the residents.
Thoughts and Things
- Mallory was actually kind of annoying in this one. She got all hurt because the club wanted to replace her, and then even more hurt when they decided not to. Her friend and family had to hold that stupid We Love Mallory Day just to soothe her hurt ego.
- I understand why Mallory and Jessi chose Mary Anne as their confidant, but I would have liked to see this book from Jessi's perspective.
- Didn't the BSC already make Christmas decorations for Stoneybrook Manor?
- Mary Anne's hair has never looked more like a wig/helmet than it does on this cover.