Tagline: Is Dawn's date a total disaster?
Cover: In a word...yes. Dawn looks okay but not at all California Casual, or denimy, which is how we know she's not herself. Mary Anne is rocking the soon-to-be soccer mom look, which goes nicely with Logan's ken doll blandness. Lewis, his cousin and Dawn's date, is glaring at Dawn, which seems kind of rude, and I hope it was just a glance and not how he spent the whole movie. The background looks really kind of creepy - lots of blurry faces, one that looks kind of like Dustin Hoffman, a girl over Logan's shoulder that is totally staring at the foursome, and lots of old-fashioned haircuts.
Plot!: Dawn's been writing to Lewis, Logan's cousin, and they kind of like each other. He comes to town, and Dawn gets nervous, so she decides to completely change her personality. Nobody likes it, so she changes back, they start over, and they get along okay. In subplot land, Norman Hill is fat, and the baby-sitters try to get him to drink water and not down entire bags of cookies. Which they do, by telling him to pretend that he's a toilet. Garbage in, garbage out.
Points of Interest:
- Okay, I have to make a confession: I like tofu. It's true, I do. I also eat meat (I'm eating a hamburger as I write this, so take that, Dawn), but I really enjoy tofu. I starting eating it while I was at school, in the residence dining hall, and it was in food and I didn't really know it, but I liked the texture and the taste. I guess that makes me a weirdo like Dawn.
- Having said all that, I still would not serve tofu apple nut loaf or soybean pie at a party.
- Dawn on hot dogs: yick! Okay, this is like the third time it's come up: who says yick? I don't think I've ever said it. Yuck, ick, yes. Come on, ghostwriters!
- They're planning for a New Year's Eve party. I love the whole Christmas season. I can't even snark on this one too much...okay, that's a lie, because this one is totally snarkable, but I am having a general good feeling as I'm reading it just because I love the Christmas season so much.
- Wait. The BSC is having a New Year's Eve party? No one in Stoneybrook needed a sitter for New Year's Eve? Not even their own families? What?
- Here's the Dawn we all "love": Other girls are always saying I should be a model or an actress. They say, "Oh, I wish I had your silky hair." Or, "I'd die to have your skin." (They might have good hair and skin if they didn't eat so much junk food.) Enough people have told me I'm pretty, so I should believe it.
- Kristy is tense because Mary Anne and Dawn are late to the meeting. Dawn says that she's also jealous of Dawn because of her friendship/step-sistership with Mary Anne. I wish that had been a bit more explored in the series.
- Jessi eats caramel-covered popcorn? What about being a fat ballerina?
- Dawn puts up a cardboard New Year's Baby with a banner that says 1979, because she's just that offbeat. Also: why do they have a cardboard New Year's Baby with a banner that says 1979? I doubt it's Richard's, and if it's Sharon's, that means that she moved it all across the country. Maybe it has sentimental attachment...in this book, it's 1992, so Dawn would have been born in 1979(ish). Aaaaand now I've officially given too much thought to a throwaway detail.
- Would a vegetarian eat caviar? That's what Watson and Elizabeth send to Richard and Sharon.
- Stacey wore a form-fitting purple dress. To a sleepover.
- Claudia thinks that Arthur Feingold has gorgeous hair. Mallory thinks that Ben Hobart has an adorable nose.
- Dawn doesn't have much to add to the conversation, because no boy has made her go crazy. Well, except for Travis. I think Dawn should start paying more attention to this whole 'change herself for a guy' pattern.
- At midnight, the BSC decides to call boys. Claudia calls the mysterious Arthur Feingold, Stacey calls Pete Black, Kristy calls Bart, and Mary Anne calls Logan. Dawn hangs out near the finger foods with Mallory and Jessi.
- Ugh. Dawn's resolution is to be more attractive to boys. It's almost as bad as Mary Anne, who resolves to be more outgoing so that Logan will be happier. Everyone else makes resolutions based on what they want, but these two frame it in this terrible way. I hate this book.
- Reading this now, it's almost like Norman Hill is doing something dirty in his room...and then it turns out to be eating cupcakes.
- If the parents really want Norman to lose weight, why do they have all of this junk food in the house? And why do they have to go to such an extreme, cooking with kale and okra? Why can't they just eat like, lettuce and vegetables and lean meats and stuff? This doesn't make sense.
- So not only does Dawn totally change her appearance, she also starts acting like a jerk and starts dumbening herself down. Double ugh.
- Ooooh. She's blowing bubbles during the BSC meeting...she's such a badass!
- None of the BSC members like her makeover (except Mary Anne). Big surprise! These girls hate everything that isn't part of the same old box they're all in.
- Dawn decides to dress like Avril Lavigne to pick up Lewis: she wears black ballet slippers, black lace capris, a short metallic silver skirt with crinoliny stuff, a stretchy tight, black and white striped top, six bangle bracelets, feather earrings, and hoop earrings.
- Mary Anne is totally acting like Dawn's pimp, getting her a makeover, telling her to be more talkative, giving her conversation tips.
- Oh my Lord. On their double date, they go see Gone with the Wind. Just like every ordinary 13-year old wants to go see. Nothing is more romantic than the Civil War.
- There's a big spoiler in here about GWTW, too. Strange.
- OMG! Dawn realizes, after a big fight with Mary Anne, that Lewis just likes her for who she is! Makeup and sweatpant-skirts are evil!
- BUT Dawn acts like this is all Mary Anne's fault, because Mary Anne didn't bow down before the altar of Dawn and say stuff like, "On no, Dawn, you're too gorgeous to change! You're special and magical and beautiful and you should never do anything differently." Barf.
Final thought: Something that is covered in cheese sauce doesn't really sound that healthy. Food can be made of vegetables and cheese and still not be healthy, DAWN.