Sunday, September 6, 2009

#79: Mary Anne Breaks the Rules

Tagline: Boyfriends and baby-sitting don't mix!

Cover: Mary Anne is looking her mom-iest with a big oversized sweater and mom jeans, helpfully looking on while the boys play. All she needs is plate of rice krispie squares and a pitcher of Tang. Also, I'm not sure that this would have actually happened, because it's pretty clear that whenever Logan comes over she's inside, playing with the girls. Logan looks decent, if way too old to be 13, but poor, poor Jake Kuhn. He's heftier than I think any boy we've seen on a BSC cover, his tongue is sticking out in concentration, and he can't even button his jacket up properly. Also, that is the most awkward attempt at a soccer ball kick I've ever seen.

Plot!: Mary Anne is sitting for the Kuhns (two girls and big brother Jake) in one of those convenient 'lots of sitting for one family' assignments, and she notices Jake is struggling, in sports and life, and is sad that his dad lives far away. So Mary Anne asks Logan to come by and spend some guy time with Jake, which is great, until Mrs. Kuhn finds out and thinks that Mary Anne has been having her boyfriend over for heavy petting and makeout sessions. Mary Anne inexplicably doesn't tell her the real reason, so Mrs. Kuhn threatens to tell everyone in Stoneybrook. Business is slow and the BSC all turns on Mary Anne, but it turns out Mrs. Kuhn didn't tell anyone, Mary Anne tells her the real reason, and everyone ends up in a good place.

Points of Interest:
  • Mary Anne starts right away with the foreshadowing: she was happy because not one person was mad at her. Hope she's ready for a whole lot of people to be mad at her!
  • She calls her look 'Neat Preppy Casual.' Does everyone have to have a look that's so defined?
  • She also likens her Dad and Sharon's relationship to "Beauty and the Beast." Uh...what? Apparently because Sharon tamed him from being so strict. I...guess?
  • Page seven: Stacey shares that you "never" get over your parents' divorce. And while this isn't something I know about, at this point her parents have been divorced for, like, a couple months.
  • There's a lot of talk about how bad it is that Jake's dad moved all the way to Texas. And of course Mary Anne thinks about bicoastal Dawn. But no one ever brings up how Sharon moved to another coast and took her children with her.
  • Stacey says that Mary Anne is lucky because now she has two parents when she ever only had one. This seems like a really tactless thing to say. What's Mary Anne supposed to say? "Gee, Stacey - one day you could have four! oh, but I'll still only have two, with my mother being dead and all."
  • Logan offers to strip for the girls (as kind of a joke), and Stacey gets all blushy and stops him. Mary Anne and Mallory, I could see blushing, but Stacey, I'd see her totally encouraging it.
  • I thought that I had never read this book, but I totally remembered the description of Jessi running toe first.
  • While Mary Anne is sitting for the Kuhns, Jake comes home after having a fight with Buddy Barrett. He called him Cruddy Carrot and Buddy called Jake Fake Prune. Which is not how I was saying his last name - in my head, I say it like, Kun, but it's more like Koon? Whatever. Where's Claudia with her phonetic spelling when you need her?
  • The fight was over Cruddy inviting Fake to his mom's wedding, and Fake got upset because he thought Cruddy was rubbing his new stepdad in Fake's face. Which is dumb anyway, because in Here Comes the Bridesmaids, there are no kids at his mom's wedding. This whole convenient fight was for nothing!
  • While on a date with Logan, they order a pizza that's half mushrooms, half pepperoni and cheese. Not that I don't love both of those things, but it seems weird to have a pizza that's just mushrooms.
  • While on a date, they talk about the Kuhns. These people are waaaaaay too into these kids (and in this case, these adults) and their lives.
  • Robert and Stacey crash their date, and Stacey is wearing a black double-breasted tuxedo suit with a satiny white tank top. They'd been to Chez Maurice with another couple, but the other guy ordered sweatbreads and that put a damper on the evening. There are just so many unbelieve things here.
  • While playing a ball game, Nicky is assigned to be on the red team, and starts freaking out because red is a girl's colour. Maybe some shades of it, and definitely compared to blue, but you see a lot of guys wearing red, don't you?
  • That segues into a subplot about a haunted house that is way too boring. Some kids want it to be gross, others want it scary, so they make two houses and it's just sooooo boring.
  • The next time Mary Anne sits for the Kuhns, Logan comes over to play with Jake, as they had discussed on their date.
  • There is a really long (for a BSC book) that's actually a montage of all of the fun times that Logan and Jake have. And then in that same chapter, Mrs. Kuhn comes home early and busts them. This book has so much filler.
  • Mary Anne doesn't tell Mrs. Kuhn that Logan came over to help Jake, or that she's noticed Jake is a little down. I know - a BSC member who doesn't get all up in the parent's life! Only this time, it might have been more legitimate than Dawn telling Mrs. Barrett to get her shit together.
  • Mrs. K calls the BSC and talks to Kristy, who then starts picking on Mary Anne for destroying the club's reputation. And Mrs. Kuhn doesn't even threaten to tell other parents! The BSC just jumps to that all by themselves.
  • Mary Anne has a dream where Mrs. Kuhn comes after her with an axe. Wow.
  • UGH. Mary Anne asks if the others are mad at her, and they say they're not mad, exactly, but they are concerned. OMG. These girls turn on each other at the drop of a hat!
  • There's a description of Shannon "laughing through her nose," derisively. Snob!
  • The BSC starts freaking out because noone is calling to book babysitters, and it's Halloween. Maybe the parents are taking an interest in their own children for once!
  • Mrs. Kuhn comes to Mary Anne's house and apologizes to her. And while I sympathize with Mary Anne, I don't actually think Mrs. Kuhn has anything to apologize for. She came home and found her baby-sitter with her boyfriend while the kids were there. It was not something they had talked about, and she gave Mary Anne a chance to explain, and then there was a week that passed, and then when she learned the truth she went right to Mary Anne to discuss the situation. Whatever.
  • At that day's meeting, all the Stoneybrook parents call to book sitters for trick-or-treating. So they didn't show an interest after all, they just didn't get their act together.
  • Everything is resolved, and there's still two chapters to go.
  • Those last two chapters are about the haunted houses, which are both successes, or something. Happy ending!
  • Okay, I like this part, even though it's totally WTF. Alan Gray helped with the other haunted house, because Vanessa said they needed someone to be gross and disgusting, so Mal said "Call Alan Gray, he's an expert." I like snarky Mal. Also, just imagine how that phone call went.
Final thought: even when Mary Anne does break the rules, it's still kind of lame.


Paigealicious! said...

Ugh, I hate when they describe 13-year-olds eating at fancy restaurants by themselves.

Sadako said...

Isn't there even a book where Kristy mentions that Jake used to be kind of chubby? Which makes him the ONLY fat kid in the BSC world other than Norman Hill. Seriously, I can't think of anyone else.

Caroline from Sheep Are In said...

In this same book Vanessa calls Nicky "fatso," but I think it's just meant as a generic sibling insult...I don't think there are any other mentions of Nicky being fat?

Where do these guys get the money for fancy restaurant food? The ones who aren't in the BSC, anyway.

tinydancer124 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
tinydancer124 said...

I grew up with a family named "Kuhn." It's pronounced like "queue" with an "n" tacked onto the end. :)