It's New Year's Eve, and Stacey's in New York with her dad. She convinces him and Samantha to head down to Times Square to watch the ball drop live, and while they're there, Stacey gets interviewed for tv. She also makes a New Year's resolution: to be a better friend. She starts on that the next morning by giving Ethan a call. They haven't seen much of each other since their breakup, and Stacey misses him. They have a good time together, but it's cut short when Stacey has to catch her train back to Stoneybrook. When she meets her mom at the station back home, there's mail for her: a letter from Toby, the guy she dated in Sea City. He's going to be traveling the East Coast with his family while his brother looks at colleges, and he wants to stop in Stoneybrook and see her. She decides not to respond right away, and calls Jeremy instead. She's glad to see him again, but decides that it would be best not to say anything about Ethan or Toby. Jeremy was busy when she was gone, too: he went to the mall with Claudia and Erica. This doesn't exactly make Stacey happy; she still doesn't want Jeremy spending time with her ex best friend.
When school starts up again after the break, Stacey gets some bad news. Her math teacher, Mr. Zizmore, is moving to Texas so his wife can take a job there. Pete Black is also in Stacey's class, and he pulls her aside afterwards to talk to her about an idea he has: he wants the students to throw Mr. Z. a goodbye party, and he wants Stacey's help in making it happen. They make plans to go to Mr. Kingbridge the next day and ask him if it would be okay. He loves the idea, and suggests that the students combin with the faculty to make one really great party. Just as they're leaving Mr. Kingbridge's office, Stacey runs into the last person she ever expected to see: Wes, her former substitute and possible future full time teacher (he's applying for Mr. Z's job). She invites him to the party on the spot.
Word about the party get around. Even Robert Brewster, who's still dealing with the effects of his depression, wants to be involved. Stacey has to talk Jeremy into participating, though, and when she tries to be nice and ask Claudia to help with the decorations, but Claud ignores her. In between trying to recruit people for the party, Stacey finally finds time to reply to Toby's letter. He had included his email address. so she writes back that way. She doesn't specifically tell him whether or not she wants to see him, though; she just sort of updates him on what's going on in her life. The next time she's online, Toby IMs her and asks about coming to visit. Stacey finally says yes, figuring that it couldn't hurt anything.
A date for Mr. Z's party has finally been nailed down. At lunch that same day, Kristy asks Stacey if Sam can help out. He had Mr. Z back in the day, and credits his former teacher with showing him that math can be fun. Claudia laughs at this, and says that math only has its uses for someone like Stacey, who needs it to count all her ex boyfriends. That makes Stacey think. She DOES have an awful lot of them....is that normal at 13?
The planning committee for Mr. Z's party decides on "Great Math Minds' as their theme. They want to hang up pictures of famous mathematicians, but they need someone with artistic talent to draw them. Jeremy suggests Claudia...a fact that doesn't make Stacey happy. Remembering her New Year's resolution, though, she heads to Claud's house early for that day's BSC meeting to talk to her. Claudia agrees to help with the pictures for the party, and they both end up apologizing for the rotten things they've said to each other over the last few months. Things aren't totally back to normal, but they're on their way.
Saturday, the day of the party, arrives. It also happens to be the day of Toby's visit. He looks exactly the same to Stacey, although he seems to think he's changed for the better. They spend a few hours hanging out, and it's not exactly fun for Stacey. Then, just as Toby is heading outside to wait for his dad to come back for him, Ethan shows up. He's in Stoneybrook for an exhibit at the museum, and he thought he'd stop by and see Stacey. Stacey is frantically trying to figure out what to do with the guys when Toby's mom calls to say that they're going to be late. Stacey has no choice but to take both guys over to SMS with her while she helps set up for the party. The guys pitch in, which means that Stacey doesn't have to entertain them. After awhile, Jeremy pulls Stacey aside for a chat. He's noticed the copious amount of Stacey's exes in the room, and that she has a lot more in common with them than him. He wants to break up, and Stacey is actually not that upset about it. She seems to be getting closer to Ethan again, and even wonders if maybe all of her ex boyfriends were brought together in one place so she could see who she was really supposed to be with.
Thoughts and Things
- This book could totally have been fan fiction. Think about it; how many times have we made fun of Stacey's dating habits? :)
- Toby is so lame, it's not even funny. I don't see him as a military guy at all (that's what he plans to do after high school). I see him putting the minimum effort into his classes at some party school, and living in a frat house. He'd be the one in the frat who thinks he's a lot cooler than he really is. :)
- Thank goodness the Claudia/Stacey fight basically ends in this one; I was getting really tired of it!
- There's a chapter when Stacey and Kristy help Mary Anne pick out a design for her new bedroom. I love the descriptions of the rooms that they each pick out...so reflective of their personalities!
- I wonder who the two guys in the pictures on the cover are supposed to be? Any thoughts?
- Stacey is such a hypocrite. She's allowed to spend time alone with Ethan and Toby, and she can keep that from Jeremy, but it's a crime for him to go to the mall with Claudia AND ERICA BLUMBERG, especially when he freely admits it? Ridiculous. I don't like the FF Stacey at all.