Saturday, September 26, 2009

Special Edition Readers' Request: Shannon's Story

Tagline: Shannon would never do anything bad...would she?

Cover: This only vaguely happens in the book, but that's better than a lot of the other covers. Shannon looks really short and young in this picture, sweater notwithstanding. Her younger sister in the purple skirt (Maria? Maybe?) looks kind of weathered, and like she has bad skin.

Plot!: Apparently by demand, here's Shannon's Story! Shannon is really looking forward to her school's trip to Paris, to be held during the summer. All she has to do is pass, and she's there! At the same time, she's being overparented by her mother, clearly having some kind of crisis. The news that her mother is going to be a chaperone on the school trip is enough to have Shannon snap and flunk her exam, thereby removing her spot on the trip and relegating her to seven days at home playing mom. In the end she realizes that her mom is lonely and unappreciated, and her mom decides to go back to work. Happy endings all around!

Points of interest:
  • The Kilbourne sisters play a game called "gross food," but Tiffany doesn't play, which underscores that she's different from the others.
  • Hmm. Apparently Tiffany has short hair, like their mom, so that's probably her in the purple skirt on the cover.
  • Prior to doing her homework, Shannon anvilliciously remembers happier times with her parents.
  • Mrs. Kilbourne is desperate to hang out with her daughters, and it's just so obvious that by page 14, I'm yelling at the book "You need to get a life of your own!"
  • Blah blah blah, Stoneybrook Day School is sooooooooo cool, it has Astronomy class!
  • Dr. Patek is the headmaster at SDS and - surprise! - she's a woman.
  • Page 16: people that don't get a B average overall and an 85 in french can't go on the trip to Paris - foreshadowing!
  • Greer Carson is one of Shannon's best friends. I guess they couldn't just out and out call her Greer Garson?
  • Shannon and the others are trying to get "Sabrina," set in Paris, and at least this time there's a reason that they're all excited over an old movie.
  • Shannon is not very sophisticated about explaining Stacey's diabetes ("yuck!")
  • They make a really big deal about Richard Spier being strict, but really, in book terms, he's been laid back a lot longer than his strictness.
  • Is a Dream Machine an alarm clock?
  • Shannon and her mom get into an argument about salad, but it's not really about salad - it's about their deeper issues. And as much as it sucks that Mrs. Kilbourne is unhappy, it's not cool that she takes her resentments out on Shannon.
  • Shannon's mom goes out to get groceries, and comes back with mother-daughter dresses. Creepy.
  • In subplot land, the BSC will not rest until they've taken over Mother's Day and butted in to everyone else's plans.
  • Shannon's mom comes over to Kristy's and embarrasses her by calling her "Shanny," and the BSC teases her about it, and act like they haven't heard that already. But at least Kristy has, because she heard Max Delaney call her that.
  • Chapter Six: Shannon's Mom announces she's coming to Paris, too! I don't think anyone saw that one coming!
  • Heh. Mr. Kilbourne gives Mrs. Kilbourne a Mother's Day present that says "Happy Birthday," because it's a stock present that his secretary probably assembles. They go to lunch anyway, and it's all awkward, exactly like you'd expect.
  • Chapter Nine: Shannon comes up with the genius plan to purposely tank her wrench exam so that she can't go to Paris. Even originally reading this, I thought this was such a dumb plan.
  • Shannon is stunned by the change in her mom, who usually treats her like a baby but expects her to take care the rest of the Kilbournes while she's away.
  • On the last day of school, kids at SDS can wear whatever they want. And they're really excited about it.
  • Shannon tries to tell herself that she did the right thing, but I still think it's basically the dumbest move ever made in the BSC books - and that includes Dawn's impromptu cross-country flight.
  • Shannon has groceries delivered, but when it arrives, it's actually Astrid's food, and of course Shannon has told the delivery guy that they needed it to make dinner.
  • The dog dressing on the cover does happen, but in the book Shannon is against it because it makes Astrid look silly. Thanks, cover artist.
  • Shannon plays on the Mom team in the Mother-Daughter (or child, I guess, Mother-Child) Krusher's game, and she likes learning that mothers are real people, too. Gasp! If only she had learned that at the beginning of the book - she might be in Paris!
  • She also realizes that keeping a house running is not stimulating enough for her, and it might not be enough for her mother, either.
  • Maria is thinking of competing in an Iron Man triathlon. Isn't she, like, eight? Is that even safe?
  • Mrs. Kilbourne decides that she's going to get a job somewhere. Everyone's problems are solved! Hooray!
  • Shannon concludes that the trip was just the beginning, and there might be a way to save their family after all. which is good, because I don't think we hear about it ever again.
final thoughts: Shannon is a lot more interesting when we don't know that much about her, I think.


Susan said...

Um, yeah. A triathlon, as in one for kids? Sure! Iron Man? No.

nikki said...

What a lame book. Glad I never read it.

Like hell a 13-year old would really ever realize that parents are people too. I think it takes most of us until about 20 to come to that realization. Then it takes parenthood to TRULY understand it.

There is no limit to what I'd put up with to get a trip to Paris.

Caroline from Sheep Are In said...

Seriously. I mean, get Greer and the others to run interference with your mom, go with other chaperons whenever you can, and remember you're in Paris!

Emily said...

I'm realizing as I go through the series in order how little Shannon was actually a part of the books. Most of the time, she's just mentioned in Chapter Two. I always thought she was around more.

Paigealicious! said...

I think a "Dream Machine" is an alarm clock/radio that also played CDs.

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