Friday, June 25, 2010

The Summer Before

Prequel time! Sixth grade has just ended for the four original members of the BSC, and the summer ends up being a pretty intense one for all of them. Here's what happens:

Kristy's birthday is in August, and she kind of hopes her dad will acknowledge it in some way. She writes him a letter, hoping that will help, but it comes back to her with "Adressee Unknown" written on it. Kristy's really bummed by this, but she doesn't tell anyone right away what she did. She eventually confesses to Mary Anne, though. In spite of the letter, Kristy still thinks that her dad is going to surprise her by just showing up on the big day. That's why she chooses to have a dinner at home with her family and friends instead of going out somewhere. When her brithday arrives, there's nothing for Kristy from her dad. No present, no visit, no phone call, nothing. Luckily, Mary Anne had figured that something like that would happen, so she planned a surprise for Kristy. The day after her birthday is "Kristy Day," complete with parade, to show Kristy how much she means to everyone in her life.

Claudia is growing up a lot faster than Kristy and Mary Anne. They're still into dolls, while she's into art, shopping, and boys. She definitely feels like there's this distance between them, and isn't really sure how to feel or what to do about it. When her brithday rolls around (July), she decides she wants to have a boy-girl pool party at the Goldmans' house next door. Janine was allowed to invite a few friends to the party, too, and Claudia fully expects them to be losers. She was wrong; one of them, Frankie, is awesome. It's luv at first sight for Claudia, but there's one problem: Janine clearly likes him, too, and stops speaking to Claud because of it. Things get even worse between them when Claudia and Frankie start hanging out and talking on the phone all the time. One day, they head to the community pool and run into a bunch of Frankie's friends...primarily girls. They all treat Claudia like a little kid, and it's almost a week after that day before she hears from Frankie again. Even then, he only calls to dump her. Mimi comforts her and points out that she still has her old friends, but...Claudia doesn't, really. She's been so wrapped up in Frankie all summer that she's totally ignored Kristy and Mary Anne. Claudia works things out with them, though....and with Janine.

Mary Anne is working on getting more independence from her dad. He agrees to let her start baby-sitting....but only with another sitter there. It doesn't matter how many kids will be present; Mary Anne is not allowed to sit alone. She's pretty nervous going into her first few sitting jobs, even though someone else is always with her. By the end of the summer, though, her dad feels she's ready to baby-sit by herself (lord, I wish this storyline were more interesting....).

Stacey is still in New York City, getting ready for her move to Stoneybrook. All of her friends (Laine Cummings included) have gone all Mean Girls and turned on her since her diabetes diagnosis. In fact, Stacey's baby-sitting charges are the only ones who seem to care that she's leaving the city. Then, her parents throw her a surprise going-away party and invite all of her former friends....who are just as thrilled to be there as Stacey is to see them. As horrible as they are to Stacey, though, she just wants to know why they won't be friends with her anymore. They don't know about her diabetes, of course, but she just can't understand how they can turn their backs on a friend like they have. By the time moving day arrives, Stacey is ready to leave. Living in the suburbs is a pretty big adjustment for her...until seventh grade starts and she meets the rest of the BSC.

The book ends the same way that Kristy's Great Idea begins (almost word for word), and the BSC comes full circle.

Rating: 3.5

Thoughts and Things
  • I really didn't like Frankie, and I can't believe that the Kishi parents let their (barely) twelve year old daughter spend so much time with an almost high school student.
  • I like that the book ended with the first few chapters of Kristy's Great Idea. It seemed fitting. :)
  • Poor Stacey. :(
  • I got this book for my birthday this past April. It had been at least 15 years or more since I'd gotten a BSC book for my birthday, and it was my favorite gift!
  • Mary Anne's clothes didn't seem as awful as they were described at the beginning of the series. At one point, she was wearing pedal pushers and a lavendar baby-doll shirt. That actually sounds cute for someone of that age. Where are the little-girl outfits that Richard makes her wear?
  • It seemed a little out of character for Kristy to want her dad to be a part of her birthday. She always seemed to accept that he wasn't really a part of their lives, and she didn't seem to want to change that.

So....that's the end. I've really, truly, finally finished reading through the entire BSC series, and it took me less than a year! I've had a few questions about what's next for me, blog-wise. I have some ideas, but I'm going to take a week's "vacation" to recover before I start anything new. Check back then! :)


  1. Congratulations!

    Did you read the Sweet Valley series? Those books could take a while...

  2. Congratulations! I've followed your project every step of the way and am incredibly impressed with i. your recaps, ii. your commentary, and iii. your ability to actually get through the whole series in such a short period of time.

  3. Congrats, but BOOOO at the same time, I had such a great time reading your recaps, I'll definitely miss them!

  4. Thanks for recapping the entire BSC world for us! I never read past #100 so I was very happy to catch up. I'm looking forward to whatever you decide to blog next!

  5. congrats for getting all the way through! i will miss your recaps though. interested to see what's next! :)

  6. congratulations for finishing! interested to see what's next up in store..

  7. I am sitting here eating peanut butter cups reading this, it is truly the best time. I never even liked the Baby-Sitters club all that much but for some reason, this first summer after graduating college I am reading them!

  8. Wow.
    Congratulations! This is really big!
    I'm kind of sad that it's over, though! But now you have quite possibly the greatest "special skill" to list on the resume--Read and reviewed the entire BSC series.

    Is it time for BSC Little Sister?

  9. Alison - Nope, no LS books. Didn't read 'em, don't own any of 'em. :)

  10. this is really a great blog post so far. i really liked it.

    out of all the characters, i can't help but feel sorry for kristy in this book. her story was so sad, yet so deeply touching. such a shame she didn't like watson that much though, and it continues on later in the series till book 12 i think.

    mary anne's was alright even though her father is still strict with her till later on in the series also.

    my God was Claudia such a bitch in that book. all mary anne wanted was to fix her dolls and claudia thought that she wanted her to play dolls, which was so mean of claudia. i don't ever want to imagine what happened between her and Frankie, but i have a feeling that Claudia will not be a virgin for long.

    Damn is laine such a super bitch on this one. No wonder why Stacey's friendship with laine ended in book 51, only for laine to make an appearance in book 10 of the friends forever series. still their friendship never stays the same.

    great book, although i was totally expecting the scene where her and claudia meet for the first time after both realizing that their wearing the same outfit, which is mentioned early on in the series.

  11. im so getting a copy of this book. luckily i got a chance to read it at the library and of all the stories, i thought kristy's and stacey's were the best.

    i really felt sorry for kristy in this book simply because her father was such a jerk. plus she was still hoping that her dad come back as a family again. that's sad.

    i felt sorry for stacey cause laine was such a bitch in this book. i was so expecting stacey to whoop her ass in this book.

    mary anne's was alright even though it bores me.

    claudia was such a bitch in this book. and a slut too.

    good post by the way.

  12. New Reader! I know you've ended this blog, but I wanted you to know that I'm a follower and I loved reading every post. You're a really good writer and I wish you luck on your new project. BSC Forever!

  13. Well, I read all of this start to finish... and a LOT of the books brought up some memories of my own pre-teen and teen years. :) Great job recapping, it was especially nice to get a fill in on some of the stories that I'd never gotten a chance to read (like most of the mysteries and super mysteries and FF series), and I got a few laughs out of how ridiculous some of it seems in hindsight.

    Thanks for the great read!

  14. umm....if you want to do the l=ong series books, then you might not like this idea but why don't you try the hunger games or twilight? it would b pretty popular. and you did an amazing job! i cant belive i'm done reading them!
    YOU ROCK!!!! thank you so much:):):) ....oh, and i've always wondered, whos your most and least fav sitters? :) let me know!

  15. I can't believe Claudia likes Frankie so much. What's the big deal about him anyway?

  16. I just discovered this blog and have spent the better part of the last week back with my BSC friends! This was amazing and I loved all of your recaps and thoughts. So many stories and details I had forgotten! ❤

  17. I think its so bitchy of Claudia (and Stacey too, though not in this book) to think that everyone who isnt too interested in fashion is a baby and immature, Kristy is actually very mature. Also i feel pretty sorry Kristy and Stacey, The former's dad is a mega dick and the latter has bitch ass hos as friends:(( Claudia is ho and a bitch in this book and MA's chapter is boring( though Kristy day was cute)As bad as this sounds though, i actually really like this book.:)