3 out of 5 stars
My copy got chewed on a bit by....something. :/ Ick. I'm just going to say it was my sister's cat who liked to chew on Barbie's hands and feet when she was little, because otherwise...ew. Anyway, time for another Super Special in BSCLand! And you know what that means: some crazy, convoluted plot that would never, ever happen in real life. :) Apparently Dawn and Claudia have been taking sailing lessons at the local rec center. Because Stoneybrook is on water now. It's like the Simpsons' Springfield...it just grows whatever it needs to make the plot make sense at that specific time lol.
They decide to have a race to Greenpoint Island and back, with instructors. Isn't it odd how Claudia is always so athletic in the Super Specials, but it's never mentioned in the regular books? She can ski, sail, ice skate, rock climb, snorkel, run marathons, bicycle the Tour de France...okay, maybe not quite, but seriously? She's good at something else besides art and stuffing her face with junk food and her parents never seem to notice it. I guarantee Super Genius Janine can't do that stuff. Sucks for Claudia. Ah well. Dawn and Claud are pretty much neck and neck in the race, until Claudia's crazy outfit screws her up. (Maybe that's why her parents don't notice the good stuff. They just think: "Oh, she pulled a Claudia again.") Here's What Claudia Wore to go sailing: She'd put on a tank top and baggy drawstring pants. Over the top, she was wearing a button-down shirt of her father's. The sleeves were rolled up, but none of the buttons were buttoned. She was also wearing big earrings that she had made herself. Claudia is quite artistic. So the thing is, she looked good but, as it turned out, she was not dressed for sailing. I did two different outfits, just cause, and I added a sailor hat, because you know Claudia would have been rocking that. The outfit coordinator really missed the boat on that one. (Hah! Get it? Boat? I crack myself up.)
(click here for details)
When Claudia loses by a smidge, she immediately challenges Dawn to a rematch. Kind of channeling her some competitive Kristy there. They don't have to sail with instructors anymore, but they do need someone else along. So Dawn decides to invite her brother Jeff, who just happens to be visiting from Sunny Cali for the weekend. And Claudia agrees to take Jessi's sister, Becca, because...well, I don't know why. But this leads me to Jessi's subplot.
Jessi's parents are going out of town for the long weekend (3 days) and, get this, they are letting Jessi watch Becca and Squirt (the baby brother Super Genius in the making) by HERSELF. FOR THREE DAYS. OVERNIGHT. Now, you may have forgotten how old Jessi is since the last book, so let me remind you: she is ELEVEN YEARS OLD. Not twenty-eleven, not eleven plus four years, but just eleven. Are you freaking kidding me??!! Everyone seems to think this is perfectly normal, there is no mention of the Pike family checking up on her or anything. What the heck are they thinking? I am just flabbergasted.
Okay, I'm done ranting. Back to the story. Becca brags to all her friends that she gets to go on a trip with those super cool girls in the BSC and Haley Braddock is understandably upset, so Claud tells her she can come too. To make things fair, Dawn picks another person for her boat: Jamie Newton. Aaaannnnd...back to the ranting. Jamie is 4 years old! What is wrong with these people??!! Ugh ugh ugh. They end up switching people around, so Dawn has Jeff & Haley and Claudia has Jamie & Becca, and decide to just race to the island, then have a picnic and let the kids play and then come back.
In the week leading up to the race, Dawn is taking this totes serious: working out like she's going to a swim party later (ignore the oddly inappropriate laughtrack on that vid!), loading up on carbs, and focusing solely on the race. Unfortunately, she becomes so focused that she forgets to give Mary Anne a message from Logan, which leads to a huge fight between the two lovebirds. MA is so pissed at Dawn she tells her she never wants to see her again. Man, MA can get vicious when she's angry. And I really think she's going to end up regretting that later. ;)
Alright, let's move this along at a quicker pace, shall we? Day of the race, kids ready, snacks ready, boats ready. No one bothered to check the weather, but hey, it's only 3 miles to the island and this is the BSC. They're totally capable of handling anything and everything. The race gets started, it's neck and neck, kids are having fun, an hour goes by. I know absolutely nothing about sailing, but 3 miles in an hour seems totally feasible to me, shouldn't they have been at the island already or at least in sight of it? Anyone want to correct me? Racing, racing, racing and all of a sudden there's a huge storm a brewing. The wind picks up, waves get choppy, and it's pouring now. The kids are a little freaked, but Dawn & Claud are calm and taking care of bidness. Jeff is a big help, tying stuff down under the tarps and such.
Then *crash* huge wave over Dawn, Jeff, and Haley's boat, water is leaking in, and they're going down fast. Luckily, they all have life vests on (the only good thing those parents did for this trip) and everyone is okay. But they have to bail, so into the ocean they go and all 3 make it over to Claudia's boat. Said boat is not big enough to take on 3 more people (how small are these boats??) so they have to hang on the side Titanic style. Everybody is a little freaked out, understandably, but they keep it under control and finally see land ahead. They drag themselves up onto the island, do a little exploring, and Claud realizes that it is not the one they were headed for. They're stranded. Do you think this story came about from one too many Gilligan's Island reruns? Just a thought. If you are a big fan of the TV show LOST, I would like to send you to Ciara Xyerra's review on Goodreads at this time. It is highly amusing and I have never seen an episode of LOST.
It seems like not a lot happens after this, so let's fast forward again: they find a cave, build a fire, Haley throws a hissy cow when the boat gets washed away, Jamie gets sick, like really sick, Claud invents a water holder and finds a piece of glass to signal a plane with, Dawn takes care of Jamie but feels useless, Jeff is a huge help for a 9 yr old, Becca just kind of goes along with everything. They're stuck there for 2 days, it's really scary, they don't know if they'll get rescued, Jeff cooks some fish.
Back on the mainland: Mary Anne feels like the worst sister ever and cries a lot; Logan calls to comfort her but is still angry with her; Stacey is stuck in NYC with her dad, he won't let her leave because there's nothing she can do, she gets mad & writes an angry, "divorced kid" letter when he finally lets her go; Kristy tries to cancel the Krushers game with Bart's team and he calls her out on being over-dramatic, but then watches the news and realizes it's serious and takes it all back; Mallory and family take a big boat out every day to search, because apparently they're expert sailors now too, they find wreckage from Dawn's boat and think the worst; Jessi has to call Aunt Cecilia, who is evil and mean and stubborn and a total dictator (according to Jessi), she comes rushing into town and freaks when she finds out Jessi is home alone (finally!!), takes over everything in the house, blames Jessi for letting Becca go sailing even though it was her parents, and gives us some foreshadowing that Aunt Dictator (they have a real nickname for her later on, but I can't remember it) is here to stay.
The shipwrecked kids finally get rescued, tears and hugging abound, there's a news conference with the mayor, Jamie is cured at the hospital and ready for his next adventure with those wacky baby-sitters, Mary Anne & Dawn make up, Mary Anne & Logan make up, Stacey & her dad make up, Jessi & Aunt Cecilia do NOT make up but have a mutual understanding of their hatred, there's a bunch of sappy letters at the end, and that's it for this Super Special. Next up is Stacey All Grown Up! :)