Well, I just finished reading my copy of The Summer Before(I bought it on Thursday) and all I have to say is it is very good, well-written and sweet! I just love the book and it is a must have for all BSC fans, readers and lovers!
My favorite part is where Mary Anne and Stacey met for the very first time at school(there wasn't anything big happened) it was just a short a sweet meeting between these two. But still it was awesome to read. Mary Anne's and Stacey's chapters are the best!
Favorite BSC Characters: Shannon, Mary Anne and Abby
Favorite BSC Books: Shannon' Story, Mary Anne's Book and Abby And The Best Kid Ever
I liked the book as well. Kristy's chapters were sad. I felt bad for her when Patrick didn't come to her dinner party and when the letter she sent to him was returned to her. As for Stacey, I can't believe what Laine and those girls did to her at the party; what cows! They were taken to a new low in this book.
Post by fluffycakes on Apr 5, 2010 20:03:02 GMT -5
*Major spoilers, of course!!*
I got my book on Saturday and I really enjoyed it! It was so exciting to have a brand-new BSC book in my hands for the first time in ages. It made me feel like a little kid again. ;D
I liked Stacey's and Claudia's chapters the best - weird because I was looking forward to MA's and Kristy's the most. Even though I felt so bad for Stacey, reading about Laine was interesting. She always seemed sort of tame to me in the BSC books, so seeing her really evil side was kinda cool. And poor Claudia! At least she gets over her heartbreak pretty quickly after meeting Trevor.
I also felt so bad for Kristy, the poor thing. It isn't often that I truly have empathy for her, but I did in this case. I think her story ties everything together nicely, between the stuff we see in her books in the BSC series, her Portrait Collection, the Secret Santa book and that book in the FF series.
MA's story interested me the least. I'm not really sure why. Maybe because it was too similar to MA Saves the Day, I don't know. It was sweet reading how she looked through that box all the time, though.
Only a couple of things bothered me. The biggest one was how Laine was terrible to Stacey before the diabetes/bed-wetting incident, even though in Stacey's story in the BSC Remembers, they were still friends. I also didn't really see the point of having Janine liking Freddie as well, since it wasn't entirely dealt with. Sure, Claudia apologized, but everything was wrapped up pretty quickly. I think there was enough of a story there without adding that element to it. And also, I thought Stacey and Claudia met by (literally) running into each other?
Overall, I liked it a lot! I liked seeing the little things, like MA telling us how she likes navy blue and yellow, seeing Mimi and Louie alive and well, and discovering that MA was actually the first of the group to talk to Stacey. Cute book, it was worth the wait!
(Sorry for the long rambling post, especially since I haven't been here in a while! ;D)
Post by rainbowgirl28 on Apr 7, 2010 11:22:49 GMT -5
I thought the book was great!
It was a little weird to hear Mary Anne mention American Girl dolls (even though it was just in comparing sizes). The series has always been pretty good about not mentioning brands very often, except for a few time-tested things like Barbies. At least I think there were probably mentions of Barbies in the series, that didn't feel out of place to me, but the American Girl dolls did.
I got this book today, and I already finished it, I couldn't put it down. Kristy and Stacey's chapters were my favorite.
I felt so bad for Kristy and how badly she wanted her family back together. Even though it was sad, I thought it was sweet how Kristy cried to her mom at the end of the book, it showed the softer side of her, which is something I always enjoy seeing in Kristy.
I couldn't believe how mean those girls, especially Laine were to Stacey. It is horrible how cruel some girls can be, especially in middle school. I thought it was cute hearing about all the new things like the sounds of crickets that Stacey wasn't used to hearing.
Claudia's chapters weren't my favorite but I still enjoyed reading about them. I thought it was nice to see Claudia's interaction with Janine, I thought it showed a different side of both of them.
One of my favorite parts of this book was Mary Anne organizing Kristy day. That really showed how close their friendship was and I thought that was so sweet. It really made me wish I had friends like that in middle school!
Sorry for posting such a long review, I actually could go on forever. I loved so many parts of this book.
I got my book today! Yay! Overall, I thought it was decent. I'm actually kind of disappointed. I'll have to re-read. My thoughts: LIKED: Kristy's fantasy that her dad would come back. It seemed pretty realistic and it was nice to see her be vulnerable and not so in control of her emotions. All of Claudia's chapters. I could especially relate to Frankie dumping her and I really loved Mimi's explanation of people just growing apart and being at different times in their lives. I cried so hard when he dumped her! It really captured how I felt and have been feeling. It was nice to "share" that with Claud. Even if she is fictional and she was 12 when she had her first love and heartbreak and I'm 23. LOL. Seeing a different side of Stacey. She wasn't the cool, sophisticated, boy-crazy, popular girl; she was kind of insecure, but in a good way, like she was in the process of transforming herself into who she wanted to become. Mary Anne trying to feel close to her mother by keeping her things close. Also how sweet Mary Anne was to Kristy. She really was a good friend and tried to help Kristy. It was nice to see her NOT CRY! lol
DISLIKED: The inconsistencies! Especially in how Claud and Stace met. LAME! The appearance of Jenny Prezzioso. Didn't MA first sit for her in "Mary Anne Saves the Day?" How AMM cut and pasted from Kristy's Great Idea. It really annoyed me. Especially the ending. It felt too rushed. Stacey eating "meatless tofu sausage." Since when is she a vegetarian?! Who in the hell are Darnell Harris, Naomi and Caitlyn?! The Pikes. Normally, I like the Pikes, but I was just bored reading about them since they're almost always in the regular series. The fact that Ann didn't dedicate this one to the fans the way she did with Graduation Day. It would have been a nice gesture!
The appearance of Jenny Prezzioso. Didn't MA first sit for her in "Mary Anne Saves the Day?" How AMM cut and pasted from Kristy's Great Idea. It really annoyed me. Especially the ending. It felt too rushed. Who in the hell are Darnell Harris, Naomi and Caitlyn?!
Yeah, Jenny was invited because she loved Kristy? I always thought she was a fairly new charge in #4. And when I read "Darnell Harris" mentioned with Dori and Pete I was like "who?" lol.
A little writing error I noticed was Mary Anne setting aside her knitting twice...in one of her chapters she's talking to her father, sets it aside, thinks about Kristy, and sets it aside again.
I also got and read mine today. I have to basically agree with Ms.Stock and Starlett. I admit to feeling left unsatisified by a few things--primarily the rushed, cheap ending of the copy paste from KGI.
I loved Kristy's chapters and they only solidified why she's my favorite Sitter. I think we got to at last clearly "see" that the kids and Club truly are K's family that she was able to build and as such she strives to do everything she can to keep it that way. I've always thought that Kristy has a fiercer love and dedication for the Charges than the others. I was also so happy to read about a healthy Louie.
The "odd" thing to me, and yes I know AMM counted on the majority of fans reading this book being very familiar with the Series, but why/how Patrick Thomas abandoned his family was never really cleared up. In the regular books, I admit to always thinking it weird that Elizabeth and Patrick still kept in sort of touch, enough to where he randomly sent postcards etc to his kids. There never seemed any true closure. Certainly NOT when Kristy, Sam, and Charlie ended up going to CA for Patrick's fourth? wedding. Lol, on a lighter "Patrick" note, did anyone else think it was a bad mistake that DM's AWOL baby-sitter was given the surname of Patrick? Poor kid. First his father named Patrick leaves and then his Sitter with the same name, in a sense leaves as well. Poor choice.
Claudia chapters were, eh. Good to see Mimi, but shrug she didn't read fully "Mimi" to me...The foreshadowing at the end when Claudia saws she felt chosen by Frankie rang bitterly of the way Sally White "chose" Shannon or even Laine "chose" those lucky people she'd hang out with.
Mary Anne, wtf Richard with making his daughter call him every half hour from the Pikes'? I could * maybe * see asking her to check in halfway through or something like that but jeez not every 30 minutes! Not to mention, making a second Sitter accompany her every time.
I, also wished Alma's box had been mentioned in the regular series. And that Kristy/Mary Anne had talked about it along with enlightening Claudia as to what a real to be polite "meanie mo" she was regarding the dolls. Oh! I almost forgot, "Kristy Day" was beyond awesome of MA to organize as was the Jersey. One "problem" once Dawn came along, apparently the forever "glue" disinetgrated. :/ Either that or another case of Dawn being "chosen" by MA. So much for her thinking so much of Kristy.
Who the heck were a lot of the characters mentioned? All of Stacey's old neighbors, Kurt (from SMS), the family of three who welcome the McGills to Stoneybrook. Anyone else disappointed this was not done by the Johanssens? I was. Would have been a nice touch.
For some reason I always thought Stacey was diagnosed with diabetes in 6th not 5th grade? This book almost felt like it was going back and forth on that. Go her for wanting the regular ginger ale. Few books later she was ready to become the perfect mini adult, no temptations aside from in Stacey's Emergency. In this book, I actually liked Mr. McGill and for some reason didn't much like Maureen.
The Pikes....since when couldn't Margo have oreos for dinner? As long as she had something with them? The Trail Tail game or whatever it was so forced and empty...not enjoyable.
Last but not least for "Sexual References in the BSC" thread how about Claudia's comments at the bottom of Page 82 in regard to why Mary Anne was steering clear of the boys?
"She could barely speak to boys in school when they (and she) had all their clothes on. So the experience of seeing them close up, as if in a zoo, without their clothes (or hers) was nearly unbearable."
Talk about inappropriate! Borders a prostitution type of gathering or at the least that the guests were all nude!
All in all this was an all right read but not what I had been hoping for. It did fuel my desire to start at KGI all over again, though. Before doing that, I will give this one re-read. I read it so fast the first time because I was so excited to get it, want to possibly give it another, fuller chance.
How AMM cut and pasted from Kristy's Great Idea. It really annoyed me. Especially the ending. It felt too rushed.
Yeah, that's my biggest complaint. Didn't need the rehash. For those of us who have read KGI, it's unnecessary. For those who haven't, they're going to be all WTF? when they do go to read it.
I'm disappointed that Mrs. McGill didn't say "Have fun and be careful!"
I wonder if Frankie is the reason Claudia thinks Sam is too old for Stacey. Why was he taking Statistics anyway? He obviously wasn't a genius like Janine.
I know Ann likes to teach vocab in the books, but it was kind of weird that most of the big words were in Claudia's chapters. I guess she isn't as dumb as a rock until she gets older. Or it's just not as glaring when you don't have to see her spelling.