Monday, January 31, 2011

Review: "Mary Anne Saves the Day: The Baby-Sitters Club #4"

Mary Anne Saves the Day: The Baby-Sitters Club #4 by Ann M Martin

4 out 5 stars

This is the first book starring Mary Anne and the cover is typical for her, up to this point…braids, turtleneck and longish skirt. Blegh. I always thought of her with glasses though, but apparently she only needs them to read? Weird.

Also on the cover is Jenny Prezzioso, the brattiest 3 year old in the whole series. I had a mini-epiphany in this reading though: I had always pronounced their last name Prez-ziz-io in my head, but it’s actually Prezi-oso. Lol…(it’s Levi-OH-sa not levi-osa :D) Jenny’s outfits are right up there with Claudia’s in regards to ridiculousness. “…Jenny seemed a bit overdressed for an afternoon of stories and games and fun. She was wearing a frilly white dress trimmed with yards of lavender lace and ribbon, matching lavender socks, and shiny black patent leather Mary Janes. Her hair had been curled, and was pulled back from either side of her face by barrettes from which long streamers flowed. Really, her mother ought to just pose her in a display case somewhere.” Uh, yeah you think?

I always liked Mary Anne best of all, maybe because she was the most like me. Quiet, shy around new people, liked to read, wore glasses. But I bet she didn’t have awesome red Sally Jesse Raphael glasses like me! Hah! (This is my mom and I in 80s-tastic clothes and haircuts!)

Up until now, we’ve only seen shy, meek Mary Anne. But in this book she really lets loose and gets wild…okay not really, but she gets a backbone and stands up to some people!

This book starts out in typical fashion, at a BSC meeting, with Claudia rummaging in her pajama bag for some Ring-Dings. What, might I ask, is a pajama bag?? Seriously, never heard of such a thing. Anyway, I’m sorry to say there aren’t any “What Claudia is Wearing” in this one, but we do get a sort-of “What Stacey is Wearing”, so here ya go! I had to take some liberties this time, because it was impossible to find a “sophisticated” island shirt. Yeah. And also, I found that super cool charm bracelet that I just knew Stacey would wear. J

Stacey is glamorous. She’s very sophisticated and is even allowed to have her hair permed [btw, the word permed is not in my spell-check lol, guess it’s TOO 80s], so that she has this fabulous-looking shaggy blonde mane, and she wears the neatest clothes-big, baggy shirts and tight-fitting pants-and amazing jewelry, like parrots and palm trees.” “Just once, I’d [Mary Anne] like to go to school wearing skintight turquoise pants, Stacey’s “island” shirt with the flamingos and toucans all over it, and maybe bright red, high-top sneakers. I’d like to create a sensation.

Okay, so they’re at the meeting and everything is cool, until Kristy takes a sitting job for Jamie Newton and new baby sister, Lucy…which is a huge no-no in BSC rules. Everyone gets pissed and suddenly they’re all yelling and calling each other names: stuck-up job-hogs, bossy know-it-alls, shy little babies, conceited snobs. And bam! There you go, the BSC’ers 1st BIG fight.

So, most of the book is about the girls fighting, ignoring each other, being super snarky in the Club Notebook, nearly ruining Jamie’s birthday party (with a funny part where Mary Anne pours punch in Kristy’s lap hah!), etc…But we do get to meet a new character, Dawn Schafer, who is described as “…a tall girl with the blondest hair I had ever seen. It was so pale it was almost white, and it hung, straight and silky, to her rear end.” Dawn’s a California girl who moved here after her parent’s got divorced. We find out that her mom and Mary Anne’s dad knew each other in high school and, are you ready for this? They DATED! And! They were in Looooove!

We also get to officially meet the Pike family, who is by far, my favorite family in the series. There are 8 Pike kids, because Mr & Mrs Pike don’t know how to control themselves or they’re Catholic or something: Mallory who’s 10, the triplets Byron, Adam & Jordan are 9, Vanessa 8, Nicky 7, Margo 6 and Claire 4.

Then there’s the main story of when “Mary Anne Saves the Day”…she goes to babysit Jenny, cause Mr & Mrs are going to a basketball game (Mrs P is wearing a black silk cocktail dress), Jenny has a fever of 104, Mary Anne calls everyone she knows, including Dawn, no one’s home except Dawn, they call 911, get an ambulance and go to the emergency room where Jenny has strep throat but is okay thanks to Super-Sitter Mary Anne! Oh and she gets an extra $10 as thanks for saving their precious little princess, woo!

Her dad is very impressed by her responsibility and finally lets her take her hair out of those dang braids, although I’m sure the damage is done and she’ll have wavy hair til she’s 30, lets her extend her babysitting hours and lets her take the stupid Humpty Dumpty pictures off her walls and hang up some real posters of cats hanging on a clothes-line or something. Also, Dawn joins the BSC and the two former lovebirds meet each other again after however many years it’s been and instantly fall in love again. Hello, foreshadowing, nice to see you already! Oh yeah and the BSC’ers realize they were being estupido and make up, again.

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