Cover: Go for it, Charlie! Although he looks kind of fug through the face. Angelica is exhibiting quite the bitchface. And Kristy looks kind of like Blair from Gossip Girl, if Blair was undercover as...no, Blair would never look like that.
Plot!: It's Spring Break! So naturally, Kristy decides to organize a softball clinic for the Krushers. She gets Charlie to help her, but he starts exhibiting normal teenage behaviour when he'd rather be around Angelica. Kristy gets jealous and upset and they fight, and it's not pretty. Then, on their way to a concert, Angelica gets everyone in an accident and it's a big mess. Eventually Kristy and Charlie work out their differences and bond in a siblingy way.
Points of Interest:
- One of the colleges that Charlie receives a brochure from is from Levithan Polytechnic Institute, which I think is a Peter Lerangis shout-out to YA writer David Levithan.
- Kristy wins tickets to a Blade concert. Blade is her all-time favourite rock group, in case you didn't know.
- Kristy + Bart = not that much, apparently. They're on the outs for this book.
- A Sassy reference? I think that's another case of Lerangis seeing how much he can slip by AMM.
- Kristy decides to hold a softball clinic for the Krushers. But uh-oh! Dissension in the ranks! Stacey whines that they're on vacation. And so, accordingly, Stacey isn't much heard from for the rest of the book.
- Charlie is distracted by Angelica, who is baby-sitting from the Hsus (an outside baby-sitter?!?). We know we're not supposed to like her because Kristy doesn't, and we know she's bad news because she smokes!
- Watson takes Kristy shopping at a sports store, but then goes into a gourmet shop and Kristy explains that he isn't an athlete. But didn't he help her set up the Krushers? And doesn't he umpire for them? Maybe he's just being nice.
- Kristy tries to set Charlie up with Sarah, his ex-girlfriend, by arranging for them both to be in the same place at the same time. And just like every other time this has been used on TV or in a book, it doesn't work.
- Charlie starts blowing off the Krushers' Klinic (no, really, that's what it's called) to spend time with Angelica. So Kristy tells Charlie that he's acting like their dad. Low blow, Kristy.
- Charlie borrows Watson's car to take him, Angelica, Kristy, and Claudia to the Blade concert, but he's so used to driving the crummy old Junk Bucket that he has no idea how to drive a fancy car. So Angelica drives, but gets pulled over by a cop car. But it turns out she didn't have a license! So she and Charlie try to switch places (while driving!), and the car rams into the shoulder barriers. Watson is going to be pissed.
- But when they get home, Charlie's punishment is to pay for the traffic ticket, not drive the Junk Bucket (not even to Kristy's BSC meetings?) and to rethink his social attachments. Harsh.
- Oh, and Charlie also promised to get Jack Brewster, a famous ex-ball player, to come to the Krushers' Klinic. But he flaked on that, too. But Sarah, his ex-girlfriend, is related to Jack Brewster and she arranges for him to come after all!
- Angelica sends a note to Charlie: "Dear Charles. I haven't called you because I'm really upset. I didn't want to cry and yell over the phone, so I figured I'd write instead. First of all, I'm sorry for what I did. It was stupid. My parents are so mad at me. They don't want me to see you ever again. They said it was totally unlike me to do what I did. They think you were a bad influence. I argued with them a lot. But then I thought about it. My last boyfriend had a car, too, and I never tried to drive it. Well, he was a great driver, that was the main reason. But even if I asked, no way would he have let me. He was this super-mature type. We actually had a lot in common. I think we broke up because we were almost exactly alike. Then I met you. You were so different - like a big kid. I needed that for awhile. But I have this weakness - I let other people's personalities rub off on me. So what I'm saying is, I think my parents were right. I need to move on, Charlie. I need to find someone on my wavelength. Hope you're not mad at me. Ciao, Angelica."
- Okay. Unless Charlie and Angelica knew each other from school (and she probably goes to Stoneybrook Day School or something), they've known each other less than a week. They were on like, one date.
- The rest of the book is kind of hit and miss (no baseball pun intended, if there even is one there), but pages 124-127 are really, really good. Charlie is forced to confront Angelica's statement that he's a big kid and Kristy's allegation that he's just like their dad. He and Kristy talk about what is was like when their Dad left and how Charlie pulled the whole family together. I know I mentioned this in Kristy's Big Day (probably in reference to this book), but I really do like the Kristy-Charlie-Sam dynamic, especially when they're talking about serious stuff.
- Jack Brewster shows up and everyone is happy. And he tries to get Charlie and Sarah back together. He's a ballplayer AND a matchmaker! I smell sitcom!