3 out of 5 stars
Sea City again!! Woot woot! This one wasn't quite as good as the first, but not too bad. It's summertime again (already??) and Mary Anne & Stacey are going with the Pikes to their summer home. Mallory is a sort-of baby-sitter this time too, but her parents mostly want her to enjoy her vacation. So basically, she has to watch the kids, but she doesn't get paid. How come Mary Anne & Stacey get to go each time? That doesn't really seem fair. I mean, Claud is going to Vermont with her family and Dawn is going to sunny Cali to meet her soon-to-be, foreshadowed like crazy, stepmom. But Jessi & Kristy are both staying home. Nofe-air as Claire would say.
The best thing about this book? We get the condensed version of the "5 W's+1 H" of the BSC, only 1 chapter this time, since most of it takes place in Sea City. Also, a special What Stacey is Wearing to the last club meeting before vacay. Stacey looked very "New York" as usual, in a pair of khaki safari pants, topped with a jungle-print blouse and a leather belt that must have cost two months' allowance.
(click here for details)
Once they get to Sea City, they get settled in the same house they had last time. I love this house. It looks like something out of Hansel and Gretel. It's a giant gingerbread house, which Mrs. Pike says is Victorian style. It's painted yellow with white trim, and has carved railings and posts and eaves and edges. Best of all, it has a big front porch, so you can sit for hours and look at the ocean. Doesn't that sound awesome? Stacey and Mary Anne are sharing a room again and honestly, Stacey is a real brat in this one. Something about the beach always makes her turn nasty. It must be her diabetes.
Mary Anne takes the girls into town to wander around and they end up at the Ice Cream Palace, where for some reason, there is a 12 year old boy working there. Although, since we have 11 year olds watching babies, I guess that's not too far off base. We get this odd love triangle thing going now, with the boy liking Mallory and Vanessa liking the boy and it's all just a big mess. And can I just say? Vanessa is 9 years old. 9!! What is she doing liking boys?? This just seems really, really odd to me. So, Vanessa starts writing all these love poems to the boy, who thinks they are from Mallory, who has no idea that any of this is going on. Got it? Vanessa is heart-broken when the boy asks her to ask Mallory on a date for him. Yeah, I don't even know anymore. Mary Anne feels super bad for her, but doesn't really know what to do. So she kind of ignores it.
She has a good reason though, because those cute mother's helpers from last year, Toby & Alex, are back this year with new families! What a shocker, right? And even though Mary Anne is in "total love forever" with Logan "I look like Cam Geary and talk funny" Bruno, she immediately starts hanging out with Alex without bothering to mention that she has a boyfriend. Totally leading him on. (Mallory is rightfully disgusted.) And of course, Stacey is in LUV with Toby again, which makes her completely oblivious to anything else. Like the fact that the Pikes asked the two girls to take separate nights off, but they didn't talk about it ahead of time at all. So both girls planned dates for the same night, but Stacey gets it by default I guess, because she's Miss Super Awesome New Yorker Sophisticated Girl and also, she has diabetes. ;) But the next night, when Mary Anne plans on going out, Stacey tries to go out again!! What?! Not cool, Stace, not cool. Luckily, Mary Anne stands up to her and goes out on her boring date with Alex.
Meanwhile, back in Stoneybrook: Kristy is shocked to discover that Jackie Rodowsky is kinda clumsy when she takes him & his bros to the swimming pool. I guess she forgot to read the club notebook. Jackie manages to drop his giant cookie in the pool, get stung by a bee, hold up the line at the snack stand by ordering a huge amount of food and not having enough money, and disappearing for 10 minutes to the showers, making Kristy nearly have a heart-attack. Also, Jessi thinks her little brother, Squirt, is a super genius because he watched the TV and made a connection to real life. Okay, Jessi.
So, what happened with all the boys, you ask? I know you're dying to know. Well, Toby dumps Stacey so he can "play the field" when he gets home; she's upset but I'm not really sure why since she basically forgot about him after the last vacation anyway. Mary Anne realizes she really does love Logan best of all and Alex is just a good friend, not that it matters, because turns out Alex has a girlfriend back home too. (Mary Anne conveniently leaves this whole part of her vacation out when she tells Logan all the deets later.) And Vanessa writes the ice-cream boy this super sappy goodbye poem and tells Mallory nothing:
I'd love to see you tonight,
but the timing just isn't right.
We're leaving Sea City today,
and going far away.
I'll always remember your smile,
please think of me once in a while.
I <3 you forever, your secret admirer.
Gag me with a spoon.