Cover: The two pictures are pretty much the same, but shrunken, which makes the background look a little more...wild in the newer version. Also, Mary Anne is rocking the slouch socks and baggy sweatshirt look. It makes her legs look really short, and since she's s short person to begin with, she must look really short in person? Speaking of short, Jenny's proportions are really odd. And is Mary Anne left handed? She's wearing her watch on the right side, which is the way I wear it but not the way right handed people usually wear it. The blond girl is giving off a bit of a Karen vibe but maybe it's Hayley Braddock? And the one triplet is busting out with a "Yo, this is whack!" Whack, indeed.
If Mary Anne was 12 when the series first started in 1986, when this book was published she would have been around 20.
Plot!: Mrs. Prezzioso has started Andrea in baby modeling, which makes Jenny jealous. Jenny tries to get attention by dressing up, then by dressing down and finally by making messes. Mary Anne decides to confront the parents, but surprise! They've been paying attention to their child and don't have to be clued in by the babysitter. Eventually, Jenny gets a modeling job too and also joins the kickball team and it all works...somehow. Meanwhile, Mallory is feeling taken advantage of because her parents expect her to help around the house by babysitting but she's still not allowed to rejoin the BSC. So she decides to talk to her parents. Confrontations all around! And she gets to rejoin the BSC. And in C-plotville, the triplets run a kickball team and it's a mess, but the BSC helps them get it together and it works out, too.
Continuity Fairy: Mary Anne says that all of the Pikes have chestnut brown hair, except Mallory. I thought in the earlier books Nicky also had reddish hair? Also, there's a big difference between the reddish brown that she's described as and the carrot orange that she's usually sporting on the book covers.
Points of Interest:
- Claire Pike calls them "flutterbys." Nofe-Air.
- Mary Anne cries at Pollyanna. Among other things.
- She wears clip-on earrings! Whoo hoo!
- This is at the point in the series where Dawn is in California, Mallory had mono, and Logan's volleyball team made it to the state tournament. Is there a sport Logan doesn't play? Although I guess that's realistic, considering he's a 13 YEAR OLD BOY. Who has a state tournament for 13 YEAR OLD BOY TEAMS?
- "Besides," Jordan burst out, "Mallory is only a year older than us. Why should she get to be on her own and not us?" Not only on her own, but taking care of other children! Why is Jordan the voice of reason?
- Mary Anne does a lot of gasping in this book, like when Mrs. Prezzioso orders a sitter indefinitely. When I was little I always pronounced that name as "Perezzo." I always read it as Bryan and not Byron, either.
- Mary Anne refers to American Sign Language as Ameslan. Sure.
- Heh. Jenny calls the Pikes pigs, because they're playing in the dirt.
- The Schafer-Spiers eat Health Loaf: meatloaf without meat, made with walnuts, carrots, zucchini, and tomatoes. It actually kind of sounds okay.
- After sitting for Jenny twice, Mary Anne goes right to abnormal psychology textbooks and diagnoses Jenny as having a "deep-seated emotional disturbance."
- A lot of the "Andrea is a baby-model" stuff feels lifted out of the Claudia/Rosie Wilder stuff
- Ann M. Martin's vision of a career woman: "Ms. DeVries wore a navy blue linen suit with navy blue heels. Her collar-length blonde hair seemed to be glued in place like a helmet."
- Mrs. Prezzioso tells Mary Anne that the money is going into the girls' college funds. How is that any of Mary Anne's business?
- Mallory rejoins the BSC. Everyone pretends to be happy.
Final Thoughts: This book had a lot more chances to be outrageous but just falls kind of flat. Maybe because no one cares about Jenny Prezzioso.