2 out of 5 stars
Ugh. This book should have really been called "Dawn & The Pedophile". Seriously, this guy looks about 35 on the cover. He's supposed to be 16. O.o And the inconsistencies on the cover are really bad this time. The scene this is showing from the book: there was no mention of random kids wandering around, Dawn did not have his jacket on, they both ate grilled cheese sandwiches, and oh yeah, he didn't look like her dad!! Lol...
Okay, so the BSCers are at Kristy's McMansion, having a sleepover and trying out new hair and makeup styles. Stacey is fixing Mary Anne's hair and I don't know if I've said this before, but Stacey can be a real b-----. Mary Anne isn't crazy about it and Dawn says it looks nice, but she doesn't have to wear it that way every day. "She should. It's a big improvement," Stacey said flatly. Whoa. What's with that? I think her diabetes is (are?) making her cranky. The girls finally go to sleep, Kristy under her "fluffy pink quilt" (um consistency checkers? Kristy wouldn't be caught dead with anything fluffy or pink in her room!). The next morning, Mary Anne wakes everyone up at 11 because Kristy's parents are cooking breakfast for like 16 people and it would be rude to keep them waiting. Whatever Mary Anne. They don't bother getting cleaned up, because it's just Kristy's brothers and sisters. Um, wouldn't Stacey at least have made herself presentable since she had such a huge crush on Sam?
So of course, there's this hot new guy sitting at the table and Dawn falls in LUV with him immediately. He's hot, eating granola, and from sunny California!! They are total soulmates. The girls quickly back out of the kitchen, making some lame excuse about leaving the curlers on upstairs lol. They take about an hour to make themselves presentable, but luckily the guys are still there and Dawn has a conversation with Travis, the hot old(er) guy. He tells her that she should wear blue all the time because it brings out her eyes. Um, red flag #1. Oh and at the very beginning, we have a What Claudia is Wearing! Ready?
Claudia's one of those people who can wear anything and get away with it. Today, for example, she had stuck to two colors: black and white. Black cotton bib overalls over a white turtleneck with a shiny black patent leather belt looped around her waist. Black suede ankle boots and white cotton socks. Long black hair swept off her face with giant white plastic barrettes. Anyone else would look like a penguin in that get-up, but Claudia looked great. "What do you think?" she asked, holding up a white hoop earring next to her face. "Too much?" "Maybe just a little." The earring was the size of a doorknob.
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So Dawn is totally obsessed with Travis now and tries to bring him up in every conversation possible, much to Kristy's annoyance. Because she has no use for boys lol. Then, the next weekend, Travis shows up at Dawn's house (red flag #2), in his car, and talks to her (mostly about himself, #3) and gives her a necklace and hair combs (4). Then he tells her she should wear her hair pushed back off her face & maybe get a haircut (5-6). This guy. *Shakes head* Bad things.
The side story in this one, which just happens to coincide with Dawn's story, is about James Hobart, who is still having trouble with the local boys. He has written a play (pretty awesome for an 8 year old) and wants to rehearse it, along with his two younger brothers and the super-talented Perkins girls. Oh and Chewy, the monster-sized, lovable dog that always gets in trouble, is the star of the play. That sounds smart. So they're practicing, when James' friend, Zach, shows up. You remember Zach, right? The jerk who made fun of Susan, the autistic girl? I guess he showed up again, after all. I think they changed the spelling of his name though, lol. Zach tells James that he is never going to get friends if he doesn't stop being such a weirdo and playing with girls. And he needs to spend more time with the guys on his skateboard and stop calling his mother 'mum'. James tells him off the first time it happens, but the second time he goes along with Zach and abandons his play. Which prompts Mary Anne to write this long, stupid letter in the club notebook to Dawn comparing the two situations. Really, Mary Anne, that is not what the club notebook is for.
Okay, back to the semi-stalker relationship. Travis picks Dawn up after school one day (what are we on, #7?) and she goes with him, without talking to her mom. They go shopping, he picks out her lunch (8), buys her some earrings and almost convinces her to pierce her ears again! (OMG #9!) When Dawn gets home, her mom & Richard are waiting for her and are not happy, to say the least. Richard thinks it's absolutely ridiculous for Dawn to be dating a 16 year old, and her mom thinks it might be okay, but doesn't like all the attention he is giving her. They agree to let her see him again, as long as they meet him first.
But that doesn't really matter because Kristy drops a bomb at the next BSC meeting that Travis is hooking up with this hot, red-headed lifeguard at school (who likes to wear trendy outfits like Claud & Stace, like a white cotton flight suit) (red flag #whatever, it's too late for this dude). Dawn is devastated and does what any self-respecting teen would do...she follows the couple one afternoon after school. She's pissed when he takes the girl to the same restaurant and store that they went to, but she's horrified when they make a detour to make-out on a park bench. He never did that with her! Dawn tells the whole story to the BSCers and they feel bad for her, but don't think it's that big of a deal, since they weren't really going out. Mary Anne tries to make her feel better by telling her about Logan's cousin, Lewis, who is going to be visiting in a few weeks (foreshadowing) and might want to meet Dawn. Dawn's like, whatev, how could I like a boy when I've been with a man hah.
Dawn decides to confront Travis about what a giant rhymes-with-poosh he's been and how she doesn't have to change, because she's totally awesome. Of course, he doesn't think he did anything wrong, because that's how giant pooshes are lol. But Dawn feels better and starts to get a little interested in this Lewis guy, because Mary Anne wrote him all about her. (That's not invasive at all.) And the end...until we see Travis on the news for molesting some girl. :P