I feel like this title needs an exclamation mark: Kristy's Big Day! But let's not get too excited - she's not the one getting married, after all. She's a baby-sitter - and a bridesmaid!
Cover: The old classic cover features Kristy in a very flowy, hippie dress with long flowing brown hair. Her face looks a little old for her, but maybe people in the 80s just naturally looked older? She's there with Karen and Andrew, her soon-to-be stepsiblings. Andrew looks like a short old man. The updated version, which is the one I currently own, has a brand new picture showing the same scene. Kristy's dress has all of the same elements (including the tied-to-match shoes), but looks completely different. More like 'Kristy,' I think, because she didn't really develop her inherent Kristy-ness until after the series had been progressing for awhile. Karen is acting more like Karen, running around the room throwing petals - white petals, in a nice detail, because she gets afraid when her white petals mix with the black magic of Morbidda Destiny.
Plot!: Watson and Elizabeth (Kristy's Mom) set a date for their wedding: the third week in September! But then various things happen that mean the wedding is going to have to be moved up. So it is - to two weeks from now. Kristy is still coming around to Watson, and now she's not happy about leaving her house and her neighbourhood so quickly. While all of this is happening, Kristy's mom realizes that 13 kids are going to be hanging around prior to the wedding (the relatives and friends' kids). So Kristy suggests that the BSC looks after the kids - and amazingly, they are available! So for the princely sum of $600, the BSC is running a day camp! They assign groups by age and plan different events. Not everything goes smoothly, and kids cry and have their clothes switched. But in the end, everything is resolved and the wedding goes off smoothly. There's only sort of one big plot.
While all of this is happening, Kristy is also trying to think of a gift for her mom and Watson. She eventually decides to give them a variation on a family tree, showing their two families joined together.
Continuity Fairy: We rarely ever hear about Kristy's family or her mother's good friends again, but I think they do come up, or are at least mentioned. Her cousin Robin must be on her Dad's side? We meet Nannie for the first time. Stacey loves (luvs?) Mary Poppins.
Points of Interest:
- At the beginning of the book, Kristy calls Watson a jerk. That's pretty strong language for this series!
- "Oh, yick, yick, yick," said David Michael. "Pew, pew, pew." Who says that? Why not just "yuck" or "gross"?
- "When you reach the drinking age," replied Mom pleasantly, "then you may drink." "But Mom, a year from now I'll be going to college." That's what you think, Charlie! A year from now you'll still be schlepping Kristy across town to BSC meetings.
- I'd forgotten that Watson and Elizabeth had gotten engaged at the end of the first book. I'd been thinking that they got engaged at the beginning. Instead, they set a date in September, that instead gets moved to two and a half weeks from...chapter two.
- Do we ever hear how Elizabeth's trip to Europe goes? That's why their wedding changed in the first place.
- Similarly, do we ever find out why the Perkinses are so desperate to move into Kristy's house?
- Kristy asks why her mom is so worried about the money. Her mom answers: "Honey, Watson and I and Watson's ex-wife and your father all have various ideas about how to spend our money." Isn't there something about that sentence that just seems weird? I thought that Patrick (Elizabeth's ex-husband)'s idea of how to spend his money was to NOT spend it on his family.
- Kristy goes to the Final Fling with Alan Gray, who is fifty percent pesty and fifty percent fun. Claudia went with Austin Bentley, and Stacey pissed off Dorianne Wallingford (best name ever) and went with Pete Black. Dawn and Mary Anne went out for pizza with their parents.
- In the original edition, Lisa and Seth (Karen's mother and stepfather) were called Sheila and Kendall. That was changed for the new edition.
- The pay for the BSC works out to three dollars an hour. $600 for the week (for all of them) sounds like a lot; $3/hour does not.
- David Michael was voted best citizen by his classmates. He sort of becomes a non-entity in the rest of the books; this is his moment to shine.
- Claudia wants to buy 120 bags of peppermints. Yick, yick, yick.
- This book was the first time I had ever heard the name Maura. Or Berk.
- Whoa! Karen's shoes are black with a strap; looks like the first cover got that one right.
- Claudia's ring dings come from the STILL LIF AND PORTRITS box.
- According to the BSC Wiki, Nannie's real name is Janet Taylor. Does that make Kristy's mom's maiden name Elizabeth Taylor?
- Library shout out! Kristy and Claudia take seven kids (including Jamie Newton) to story hour. I hope it was a drop-in program.
- Watson has three toaster ovens. For a bachelor. Who has his kids every other weekend. That seems ridiculous.
- All of the parts with the kids are very boring.
- Kristy's rehearsal dinner dress is an over-sized white sweater dress with silver designs woven into it. Hot.
- Kristy's mom wears antique earrings (old), her dress (new), Nannie's pearl necklace (borrowed), and underwear (blue).
- Okay. Morbidda Destiny might not be a witch, but she doesn't really have any social graces. Who appears at the front of the wedding when the bride and groom are kissing? To give them a gift? Was she invited or not?
- Stacey got her pictures developed at a one-hour photo place. She's soooo sophisticated!
Final Thoughts: Ann M. Martin has gone on record with this as one of her favourite books in the series. It's one of my favourite books, too. All of the early ones are written in a much better style than the later ones - especially the ones in the later half of the series, written by ghostwriters. They're still fun in a different way, but in this one Kristy shows real growth. She's struggling with Watson and the Brewers. She's a tomboy but really excited about wearing a bridesmaid's gown. She has conversations with her brothers about what this means for them. The Thomas/Brewers are very interesting to me - and although it is near the end of the series, Mind Your Own Business, Kristy! has a really interesting take on the Charlie/Kristy dynamic.