Cover: These photograph covers have been growing on me. This one is someone I could buy as being Mary Anne, except for the long hair (cutting off her hair was one of Mary Anne's most awesome moments and Mary Anne's Makeover is one of my favourites).
Plot!: Mary Anne has broken up with Logan, and she's starting to move on. But Cokie (who is the yearbook editor, and Mary Anne works on features or something) has it in for her, over Logan, I guess, and starts these horrible rumours about Mary Anne being desperate and throwing herself at Logan. Mary Anne stands up to Cokie, and decides to be a new, improved Mary Anne. Also, she and her father have been clashing, because of the fire and the aftermath, but Sharon helps them work it out.
Points of Interest:
- Mary Anne is having nightmares about the fire, experiencing that night over and over and waking up convinced that she's IN the fire. That is horrible.
- Mary Anne thinks that Cokie is lacking in kindness and decency. Burn!
- Rick Chow is the other editor on the yearbook, and Abby and Austin Bentley are working the features with Mary Anne.
- Cokie plans to have an expanded "Best and Most" section, the part where people vote for the most likely to whatever. Mary Anne objects, because she wants the space used in other ways. Cokie then turns on her and says she's just upset that she and Logan won't be able to win Best Couple.
- Oooh, Mary Anne's dad buys her a bed, and she's upset because she couldn't pick it out, and Richard offers to return it, but she says 'whatever.' Ooh!
- I'm still a little shaky in my Friends Forever chronology. Stacey and Claudia suggest each other for flattering categories, like Most Beautiful and Most Stylish and Most Artistic, so they must be on friendly terms. Which is good, because reading the books where they're fighting is not fun.
- At one point, Logan comes into the yearbook office to drop off some pictures, and Cokie throws herself at him. After they leave, Mary Anne and Abby proceed to disect some of the situation, and Austin Bentley is like, "Uh, do you want me to leave?" It's actually kind of funny.
- Mary Anne gets upset that people treat her like she's an invisible pushover, so she takes it out on Kristy, instead of Cokie. Which...fine. But this is nothing new. It's come up over and over and over. It's why Mary Anne and Logan broke up the first time. It came up in Mary Anne's Makeover. It even dates back to the fourth book. And each time she realizes that she can speak up and still be herself...and then apparently forgets it. I think that's why I found this book so boring: it's stuff we've all seen before. And even the 'Cokie is mean to Mary Anne and then gets a comeuppance.' Been there, done that.
- While they're at the movies, Mary Anne and Kristy have a weird conversation about old TV shows being turned into lame movies. What about classic 80s/90s book series? (I kid. The BSC movie is a total fondue of delicious cheese).
- Mary Anne and her father have an out-and-out shouting match in front of an historical house tour...or something. This at least is a bit more organic, since we haven't really revisited the Mary Anne/Richard personality dynamic since the first few books of the series.
- After overhearing Richard and Sharon discussing her and him calling her his little girl, Mary Anne announces to herself that she's "nobody's little girl." This book could have gone in a COMPLETELY different direction.
- Cokie starts a rumour that Mary Anne begged Logan to take her back, but he said no, so she sent him a bazillion emails and desperate messages. Is Logan...really worth all this? By this point in the series he's been portrayed as a controlling dick. Cokie can have him.
- Also, I'm still shocked that there is email in the BSC universe.
- Mary Anne and Kristy come up with a bunch of lame ways to get revenge on Cokie. I'm not even going to write about them, they're so lame.
- Logan and Mary Anne talk about the rumour, and he confesses that he is sort of interested in Dorianne Wallingford. Wasn't she into Pete Black or something, when Stacey was into him? What is with it with Dorianne and the BSC's sloppy seconds?
- I'm cringing. Mary Anne tells Cokie, "When they were handing out awful, you were the first in line." I'm cringing! It's so terrible.
- Mary Anne, Austin and Abby count the ballots, and Cokie wins everything. Then they realize that their ballots are missing, and that the election was tampered with. They go to Mr. Fiske with their suspicions about it, and there's a new election called. Because the sacred offices of Best and Most require this much scrutiny.
- Wasn't there a Dawson's Creek plot about someone rigging the Best Couple election, and Joey and Dawson won when Joey and Pacey were really the couple? or something? Oh my god, I can't believe it's been over ten years since I first watched that show.
- Mary Anne joins forces with Cary Retlin in case she seriously needs to wreak havoc over Cokie. As bored as I was by this book, I was really intrigued by this development. I've only read a few books with him in it (Kristy Power and Kristy in Charge are the main ones), but I've really enjoyed him as a character, mostly because he messes with the BSC. I've always seen him as a foil for Kristy, but I actually like him paired with Mary Anne. It's classic good girl/bad boy stuff. Mary Anne and Cary fan fic, please!
- Oh, and he gives her a back-up plan: fill out magazine subscription cards with Cokie's address, and hold onto them in case she does something mean, I guess. It's a secret weapon to build up Mary Anne's confidence.
- Mary Anne stays at Kristy's past curfew, and when she gets home Richard explodes at her. He grounds her - but Cokie's party is that weekend, and Cokie's already announced that she bets Mary Anne won't show up.
- Continuity! Kristy recalls the time that she snuck (or sneaked? Claudia and the Phantom Phone Calls flashback!) out of the house to go to the softball iniation thing in Kristy and the Copycat. Whoever wrote the Friends Forever books was way up on their continuity - such as it can be in a series that has approximately 37 summer vacations.
- Mary Anne considers going out her second floor window by climbing a tree. I find that is highly unlikely, because there's no way that Mary Anne (Mary Anne!) hasn't seen Pollyanna.
- Abby drinks Mountain Dew.
- Mary Anne and Cary dance at Cokie's party. I'm almost squeeing with excitement over this non-couple.
- Cokie baits Mary Anne, so she gets up and calls Cokie a bad person with an ugly heart. Or something.
- When Mary Anne gets home, she is caught by Richard and Sharon sneaking back into the house. Sharon helps them both realize that neither one can sleep, both are haunted by the fire, and both of them are hurting. Then she tells them that they don't have to do it alone anymore - it's not just the two of them, it's her, too. And it's actually a really nice part.
- Mary Anne decides that she's not the new Vengeful Mary Anne, and she's not the old Pushover Mary Anne, but she has changed, and she's a girl who can stand her ground. Yawn.
- And now, because you've waited so patiently, here are the winners of the Best and Most:
Claudia wins Best Artist
Abby and Logan win Best Female/Male Athlete
Cary and Alan tied for Wittiest
Emily Bernstein wins Most Likely to Succeed and Most Intelligent
Kristy won Most Likely to be Elected President
Stacey wins Most Likely to be Seen in Beverly Hills