Friday, April 11, 2014

BSC #31: Dawn's Wicked Stepsister

By Ann M. Martin. Published February 1990.

So. Many. Stripes.
But I love Jeff's face.
Ok, we finally get to find out who caught the bouquet. I know, it’s been killing you.

Well, it’s Mary Anne. And Dawn is not too happy about it. She figures since it’s her mother, she should have caught it. But Mary Anne is the one with the boyfriend, so Dawn tries to be happy for her.

That night, Richard and Sharon go to an inn for their one-night honeymoon, Jeff goes to the Pikes’, and Dawn and Mary Anne spend the last night at Mary Anne’s. They don’t get much sleep though; every little noise freaks them out.

The next day is moving day, and of course, Mary Anne cries practically all day. At the farmhouse, so does Tigger, for about six hours straight. And Mary Anne is pissed because her dresser just won’t fit in her and Dawn’s room.

Mal has to go home early from the next BSC meeting. Turns out she has chicken pox, for the second time. Poor Mal. The other girls will have to cover the jobs she has lined up. The first two are fine, but for her job with the Perkins’, Mary Anne and Dawn are both available. They both want the job, and Mary Anne surprises everyone by not backing down. And then she pretty much, out of nowhere, calls Dawn fat. I always knew she was a bitch. Kristy finally has them draw straws, and Mary Anne gets the job.

Now why does Dawn want the job so bad? Because she’s saving up to buy Mary Anne a “now-we’re sisters” present, because Mary Anne gave her one on the wedding day. What’s that you say? That’s not how it went down? It was actually the other way around? There’s a lot of confusing shit in this series, but this one really takes the cake.

Anyway, moving on. Dawn and Mary Anne make up when Mary Anne comes home from the job and tells Dawn all the cute things the girls did.

Claudia sits at the Pikes’. Poor Mal is half sitter, half sittee. Mrs. Pike has to take the triplets to the doctor, where they find out they’ve got pneumonia. The other kids play hospital.

Things aren’t going well at the Schafer/Spier household. Richard is super neat, and Sharon is super messy. Richard suggests a spring cleaning day, but it doesn’t go very well. Dawn even sabotages Richard’s sock drawer. There’s so much passive aggressive behavior in this book, it’s ridiculous.

The Pike Plague continues. Everyone is still sick, and Nicky broke some fingers. Then while Stacey is sitting, Vanessa sprains her ankle. So that’s six out of eight so far.

At the next BSC meeting, things are still all frosty between Dawn and Mary Anne. They have another tussle over a job, but this time it’s trying to give the job to each other, because it’s for Jenny Prezzioso. Then Kristy and Mary Anne make plans with each other, and Dawn is jealous. Jessi lets everyone know that Claire and Margo have colds, so now that’s all the kids.

That evening, Dawn and Mary Anne get along. Until it’s homework time. Mary Anne needs silence, but Dawn needs some noise to work. They get into a big fight, and Richard and Sharon intervene. But Sharon takes Mary Anne’s side, and Richard takes Dawn’s. It finally ends with Mary Anne going to work in the guest room, saying she’ll be sleeping in there, too.

Jessi and Kristy have an emergency job at Pikes’, where everyone is now sick or injured, including the adults. Mrs. Pike hurt her knee and can’t walk, and Mr. Pike burned his hand and can’t use it. Claire and Margo’s colds have turned into bronchitis. But Mallory, Nicky, and Vanessa are close to being better.

So Dawn finally figures out that she and Mary Anne should not be sharing a room. No shit, Dawn. But it was her idea that they share, and she really doesn’t want to admit she’s wrong. So she can’t just come out and say it. So she decides to scare Mary Anne out, using the secret passage. She calls Jeff and gets ideas from him, and sets it all up when Mary Anne is spending the night at Kristy’s.

Monday night, Richard and Sharon go to a meeting, and Dawn says she’s going over to the Pikes’ to help them out. She waits outside until she sees the light in their room go on, then sneaks into the passage and makes all sorts of noise. Then she runs back out, and rings the doorbell. While Mary Anne is answering it, she enters their room through the passage and leaves a rose on Mary Anne’s desk. Then Dawn does it all over again, this time leaving a chicken bone that looks like a human finger. I’m really surprised Dawn would even touch a chicken bone. Anyway, Mary Anne freaks the fuck out, like Dawn thought she would. Then Dawn “comes home”, and Mary Anne tells her she can’t sleep in their room anymore. They move all of Mary Anne’s furniture into the guest room. Mission accomplished.

Of course, that one change fixes everything. And the whole family works harder to make things work. They come up with a chore chart, and agree to be more honest with each other, instead of just trying to please one another. And when the girls come home one day, they find Tigger asleep in Sharon’s lap. Aww.

And Dawn saves up enough money for Mary Anne’s present. It’s a pin in the shape of a cat. The first one was a barrette. Whatever.

o   I’m totes a Richard. I organize my closet by color, too, but by ROYGBIV, not alphabetically. But you better believe my bookshelves are arranged by genre, then alphabetically by author. And I’m all about cleaning up the kitchen right away. I’m probably pretty annoying.

o   Carol, Dawn’s dad’s girlfriend gets introduced in this book. Jeff says she’s saying she’ll never get married. Ha.

o   Mallory has chicken pox scars in “unmentionable places”. How did you even find that out, Mal?

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