By Ann M. Martin. Published August 1991.
|There is no roller skating scene in this book.|
But check out Mary Anne's belly showing! Richard would not approve.
Mary Anne’s being all emo before emo was cool, brooding as she watches the rain fall. Oh, the drama. She misses Logan, even though she’s the one that called it off. And she’s also worried about this upcoming English assignment. The entire grade will be put into groups of four, and will research an author. Mary Anne’s freaking out because she might be put with people she doesn’t like or doesn’t know.
She sits for the Kormans, Bill, Melody, and Skylar. They’ve moved into the Delany’s old mansion. Bill and Melody are kind of freaked out by the size of the house. They’re allowed to get a kitten, but they’re afraid it would get lost. Also, Skylar flips the hell out whenever she hears the word cat, let alone actually sees one. The kids get silly calling everything the Something Monster. Later, the toilet is making noises, so they call it the Toilet Monster. But they may actually believe in it. I hate this subplot.
Mary Anne’s still freaking out about whom she could be teamed up with. Stacey points out they should just be looking forward to whom they’ll get to study. Mary Anne gets the (fake) author Megan Rinehart. And in her group are Miranda Shillaber, Pete Black, and Logan. Mary Anne cries.
Dawn sits for the Kormans, and Bill and Melody insist on a monster hunt before bed. To her credit, Dawn gets into it, and they “slay” monsters throughout the house. All except the Toilet Monster, which is still growling. Melody is so scared she sleeps with Bill.
For the first day of the group project, everyone meets up in the cafeteria during study hall. Mary Anne’s all sorts of nervous, of course. The group finds each other, and sits down. There’s tension, because of the Mary Anne/Logan situation, and also because Miranda hates Pete. He snapped her bra last year, and the straps broke, so she had to go bra-less all day. Yeah, I’d be pissed, too. Anyway, Mary Anne just looks at Logan, and decides she wants him back, just like that. One of the English teachers comes up with Cokie, and tells the group she really wants to study Megan Rinehart, and asks if anyone would like to switch. Miranda gets the hell out of there. It’s obvious Cokie has no idea who Megan Rinehart is, and is just there to flirt with Logan.
The group has their next meeting at Cokie’s house, which Mary Anne is not thrilled about. Cokie is totally rude to Mary Anne and Pete, and is just all over Logan. It’s gross. And she’s ridiculously stupid. She brags about reading four Beatrix Potter books in a week. Logan takes control of the meeting, and they decide on four of Megan Rinehart’s books to read, and compare and contrast. Mary Anne starts to wait to walk out with Logan, but Cokie keeps him behind and asks him to a movie. Mary Anne doesn’t stick around to hear his reply.
Claudia sits for the Kormans, and they’ve added a new level to the Toilet Monster game. If they can get from the bathroom to their bed before the toilet stops flushing, they’re all good.
Apparently, Logan did say yes to Cokie. They’ve been to the movies three times, a concert on a school night, and to a bunch of school games. Mary Anne is upset, of course, and also wonders how in the hell Logan has time to do all the reading for the project. The group has another meeting, and Mary Anne tests Cokie, and it’s obvious Cokie doesn’t know the books. Logan acts a bit cagey about have read them all. But Pete did, and he liked them. They decide to research and compare Megan Rinehart’s life to her books. They’ll each take a book. Mary Anne has a feeling that it will just be her and Pete working on the project.
By the time of the next meeting, it’s obvious that’s exactly what has happened. Logan says he’s still researching, at least. But Mary Anne and Pete don’t really buy it. They decide to go ahead and write the whole report themselves, so they get a good grade.
A few days before the reports are due, there’s an assembly for the eighth-graders. Three of the authors will be coming to the school, and the kids who have them will present their reports for them. Megan Rinehart is one of them, of course. Meltdown time for Mary Anne.
They have another meeting, and Pete has the idea that they’ll each read the section of the report that they’re responsible for. Mary Anne agrees, but Cokie and Logan seem uncomfortable about it. After they leave, Mary Anne and Pete agree that it’s obvious the others haven’t done the work. So they’ll hand in the written report the two of them have done, and read their parts, and leave Logan and Cokie hanging. Mary Anne is tickled at the thought of Cokie being embarrassed, but feels guilty about Logan.
And then…Logan calls Mary Anne! Say what? He thinks they need to work together. He admits that he’s been slacking on the project, but he’s busted his ass recently, and has his part done. He asks if he can come over to Mary Anne’s so they can work on it. Of course she says yes. So he comes over, and she admits how she and Pete have written the whole report. Logan’s a little hurt, but knows it’s his fault. He shows what he has, and they work really hard. Then they hook up with Pete at lunch the next day, and then work again after school. Finally, Logan’s part will fit in seamlessly with theirs. He does admit that Cokie has done no work.
Kristy thinks she has the Toilet Monster problem solved. She sits Bill and Melody down, and tells them stories about other people who had scary things about going to bed. Including one about a snoring red mitten under the bed. The kids laugh at all of these, and Kristy points out that the Toilet Monster is just as silly. That sobers them up. But they get ready for bed. Bill doesn’t flush the toilet. Gross. Melody does, and does the running to bed thing, but then says, “Just kidding”. So Kristy thinks that’s the end of it. She so self-congratulatory in the notebook entry, it’s disgusting. Mary Anne’s not so sure it’s over, though.
It’s finally Author Day, and Mary Anne is a nervous wreck, of course. She has to talk in front of the whole school, plus her favorite author. Her group is up first, and as they’re being introduced, Mary Anne and Logan instinctively hold hands. Ugh. Pete does an excellent job as the first speaker. Then it’s Mary Anne’s turn. She doesn’t look up from her notes once, but people seem to like what she said. And Logan does a good job, as well. Then it’s Cokie’s turn. She does have something to say, but Mary Anne, Logan, and Pete, and I’m sure Megan Rinehart too, recognize it as the summary from the book jacket. Good work, Cokie.
After the program, Cokie disappears. But Megan Rinehart congratulates the others, and gives them signed copies of her new book. Mary Anne is over the moon. And THEN Logan asks her to dinner the next night, to thank her for her help. She’s all, Hell yeah!
Unlike the old days, Logan actually consults Mary Anne on where they eat, and lets her order for herself. They admit that they miss each other. Logan says it was a mistake dating Cokie, he let his grades slip and shit. He feels bad for hurting her, though. Mary Anne tells him about the Toilet Monster, which is not gone after all. Logan suggests some games they can play to make it a part of their imaginations. Mary Anne thinks he’s just SO smart! Logan asks her out again, for a real date. And Mary Anne knows it will be more than that, that they’ll start hanging out all the time again, and everything will be back to normal. She’s thrilled.
o Kristy cracks herself up at the thought of Alan Gray getting Judy Blume and having to do AreYou There, God? It’s Me, Margaret. It would be funny to see a thirteen-year-old boy try to get through that. But it would also be great to read the BSC’s thoughts on Then Again,Maybe I Won’t.
o Skylar is also terrified of the fountain in their entryway. Kid’s got some serious issues.