Mary Anne is now involved in the yearbook. The good news? She likes it. The bad news? Cokie Mason is one of the editors, and the other editor (Rick Chow) just agrees with whatever she says. Cokie seesm to have it in for Mary Anne, even more so than usual. She's always making snide comments in front of the whole group, and Mary Anne can't seem to speak up and defend herself. She's not too happy with her own lack of guts, so she starts speaking up in other ways. Mary Anne's friends and family are a little surprised, to say the least, about her new attitude.
One day, Claudia and Mary Anne arrive at school together and get some big news from Stacey. Someone has started a rumor that Mary Anne begged Logan to take her back, and when he wouldn't, she went nuts by sending him lots of crazy emails and leaving tons of phone messages. It's pretty obvious that Cokie's the one responsible, which is the last straw for Mary Anne. She's determined to get revenge on Cokie, once and for all. She spends some class time making a list of awful things to do to her, and when she shares her list with Kristy at lunch, she sees that Kristy also has a list. The BSC members (and Abby) are all eager to be in on the plan.
That same day, Logan pulls Mary Anne aside for a chat. He's heard the rumor, and since he obviously knows that it's not true, he wants to make sure Mary Anne is okay. He also wants to tell her himself that he and Dorianne Wallingford have kind of started seeing each other. It hasn't really moved past the friendshp stage yet, but Logan wants to get it out in the open anyway. Mary Anne ends up being late for her yearbook meeting because of her talk with Logan, and as soon as she walks in the room, Cokie starts to give her a bad time. Mary Anne really lets her have it, and Cokie is pretty much speechless. She leaves the room, and Mary Anne, Austin, and Abby get to work counting the ballots for the "Most" and "Best" voting (Most Likely to Succeed, Best Artist, etc). When they finish, they notice something odd: Cokie and her friends have bascially swept the voting. There are also ballots missing (Mary Anne can't find hers), and the number of ballots doesn't match the humber that the teachers collected. Mary Anne and Aby lock the ballot boxes up overnight, and they go to Mr. Fiske (faculty advisor) the next morning. He agrees to have another vote....with better security this time.
Since Cokie still hasn't given up on her rumor-spreading and nastiness, Mary Anne decides she needs to do more in the way of revenge than just telling Cokie off once. Kristy suggests enlisting the help of Cary Retlin, so Mary Anne arranges a meeting with him in the SMS library after school. When she gets there, she finds him with a stack of magazines. Step one in their revenge plan is to fill out tons of those annoying little subscription cards, but not send them right away. The cards are a backup plan, just to have around in case things don't go well. On their way out of the library, who should they run into but Cokie herself? She invites both of the them to a party she's having, and to Cokie's surprise, Mary Anne accepts.
The next day, Mary Anne goes to Kristy's for dinner after the BSC meeting. They totally lose track of time, and Mary Anne gets home way past curfew. Her dad is not happy; they argue, and Mary Anne ends up grounded for two weeks. That poses a problem, because Cokie's party is that weekend. Mary Anne knows she has to be there. If she doesn't show up, Cokie will think she lost her nerve. So, Mary Anne decides to sneak out. She gets out of the house okay, and the party itself is actually pretty decent. The food is good, and lots of Mary Anne's friends are there. Cokie's still up to her old tricks, though. She orchestrates it so the music will stop just as she happens to be making a statement about how desperate Mary Anne still is to get back with Logan, and everyone there hears it. Everyone there also hears it when Mary Anne tells off Cokie yet again, and the whole place claps and cheers. This doesn't make Cokie happy; it's HER party.
Mary Anne is feeling pretty good about herself as she heads home after the party. She stops feeling good, though, when she finds her dad waiting up for her. They fight again, and is escalates to the point that Sharon wakes up and comes downstairs to see what's the matter. She orders them to sit and listen to her, and she points out that Richard and Mary Anne are having so many problems lately because they're both still struggling with the aftermath of the fire. They have a nice family meeting, and Mary Anne's grounding is reduced. She realizes that she doesn't want to be that weak person who never stands up for herself anymore, but she also realizes that she doesn't want to be mean and sarcastic anymore. Time for a happy medium!
Thoughts and Things
- Cokie's house is made to seem like a mansion, but when Mary Anne was over there working on the Megan Rinehart project in #46, it was just a normal house. Also, Mary Anne makes it seem like she's never been to Cokie's before, when we know she has.
- This is the only book where I can truly say that I enjoy Cary Retlin. It's interesting that Kristy seems to be the one who always suggests that the BSC work with him....
- I loved that Mary Anne got a little rebellious in this one. It makes her seem like a typical teenager. :)
- In order to get some ideas for decorating their new house, Richard and Sharon take Mary Anne on a tour of historical homes in Greenvale. Mary Anne didn't enjoy it (this is when she was in her brief grumpy and sarcastic phase), but I would have been totally into it!
- The description of Mary Anne's nightmare at the beginning of the book was actually kind of scary....