2 out of 5 stars
Appropriately enough, I read the majority of this book while watching the Miss Universe Pageant the other night. Which my sister was forcing me to watch. I'm with Mallory and Jessi on this one: these competitions are, for the most part, completely useless and sexist. I will say this though, the Little Miss Stoneybrook contest was a heck of a lot better than some Toddlers & Tiaras episodes I've watched. Also forced lol.
Okay, let's get serious for a minute shall we? Who here can peel a banana with their feet while reciting "this is the house that Jack built"? Anyone? No? Well, then Margo definitely should have won the talent competition. Or at least taken second place after that goody-goody Myriah Perkins. Am I getting ahead of myself here? Sorry.
Claudia agrees to babysit for Charlotte without asking the other BSC members, which as you'll recall, is a big fat no-no. But Charlotte asked for her specifically, because she misses Stacey, so I don't know why the others get all bent out of shape. But of course they do and suddenly they're all trying to prove how they're the best baby-sitter ever. Even though they're only 13 and can't stay overnight or drive or know CPR (yet).
So when Mrs Pike asks Dawn if she would help Claire & Margo prepare for the Little Miss Stoneybrook contest, she of course jumps for it. And then all the other BSC members have to drag some poor innocent kid into the middle of their petty, little feud. Mary Anne "encourages" Myriah Perkins, who has actual real talent, to join; Kristy tells loud-mouth Karen about it; and worst of all, Claudia talks Charlotte into it. There are no "What Claudia is Wearing" but we do get a nice visual of Claire & Margo's choices for the competition vs what they actually end up in, including an alligator swimsuit, a sparkly princess party dress, velvet dresses, sailor outfits and painters clothes.
Luckily, or maybe unluckily because this book was pretty dull, the mini-feud does not turn into a full-fledged BSC FIGHT. They realize in the end that they were being stupid and putting all their insecurities on these poor kids. I mean come on, poor Charlotte ran off the stage in tears! None of the "good" kids win of course, although Myriah does get second place which is A-OK with her since it's a toy store shopping spree!
There's also a subplot with Dawn's brother Jeff...he goes totally berserk and joins a gang and stops eating....oh wait, no he doesn't. He gets in a fight at school and finally talks his mom and dad into letting him move back to California. Dawn is of course pissed, because he's breaking the family up even more and she doesn't get to move back to Sunny Cali. *Foreshadowing*