Cover: The hidden message of the tagline is "So run, Abby, while you still can!" Yes, this is the first book narrated by Abby Stevenson, the club's new Jewish member. She first shows up in Kristy and the Dirty Diapers, and at the end of that book she's a BSC member. Anyway, on the cover she's baby-sitting for the Papadakis family. Hannie looks Asian. Linny looks tall, but I've always pictured him tall, so that's okay. Sari looks...like she has developmental problems. Also on the cover: Noodle the Poodle, Pat the Cat, and Myrtle the Turtle. Abby is rocking a very mid-90s dress/tights combo with a really long necklace that just seems impractical for baby-sitting.
Plot!: Abby is the BSC's newest member, but she's also asthmatic. She has an attack while sitting for the Papadakis kids, which sets off Kristy's inner judgement monitor, and Abby is worried that they're going to kick her out. So she's all eager about this fund-raiser carnival and handles another asthma attack, and Kristy sees that someone can have allergies and babysit at the same time. In the subplot, it's also about Abby, and about her family. Her dad died a few years ago in a car accident, and she and her twin sister feel like they can't talk about him. But then they find his bathrobe and it gets their mom talking, and they get closer. And in the baby-sitting plot (kind of), there's a carnival to raise money for the arts in schools, and the BSC has a book with buttons and cakes and stuff.
Points of Interest:
- Abby calls Kristy a "bossy beast." There's a reason why the Kristy/Abby slashfic writes itself.
- Abby's from Long Island and uses Yiddish expressions, just in case you weren't tired of all the other stereotypes ANM has used.
- Pine Barrens makes me think of the Sopranos.
- Her mom went from being a chef...to an editor at a publishing house. Is that a career you can just...transition into?
- A lot of the stuff related to Abby's dad reminds me of With You and Without You, also by ANM (but actually by ANM).
- Even Abby calls Emily Michelle 'Kristy's adopted sister.' That seems sort of...insensitive.
Also, even Abby gets all worked up over Watson's mansion. Doesn't she live, like, two houses away? On a street full of mansions? Something tells me her house isn't that different.
- Abby calls Claudia's skin "creamy" and "perfect." Ew.
- Abby's speech patterns remind me of Juno, except even less cool.
- When Abby is taken away by the ambulence, Kristy is looking at her like a sick person who can't finish a job. And when she calls to see how Abby is, the conversation is "brisk." God. I know she's club president and all, but can't she ever think of these people as her friends? Or even just as...people?
- Watson rents the following things for the carnival: a Ferris wheel, bumper cars, a whip, a tame haunted house, and a fire engine ride. Why couldn't he just donate that money to the art program?
- I Love Lucy alert! Grape stomping reference when they crush the cardboard boxes. Because all 11-13 year old girls in the mid-90s went CRAZY for I Love Lucy.
- Shannon and Abby's sister Anna hit it off right away, because they're both invovled with extra-curricular activies. Sure? Shannon's really intriguing, as far as BSC members go. I mean, she gave up a trip to France - by purposely failing a test - because she was having trouble with her mother.
- The carnival earns enough to fund arts program in Stoneybrook for a whole year. I'm so sure.