Original Publication Date: 1999
Ghostwriter? Yes, Suzanne Weyn.
Mary Anne finally does it: she breaks up with Logan for real. She'd felt smothered by him, and defined by her relationship with him, thinking of herself as MaryAnneAndLogan instead of Mary Anne. Her friends and family are mostly supportive. Some are surprised since Mary Anne had been dating Logan so long, but others, like Dawn and Richard, note that Mary Anne's changed a lot lately and that she'd been less enthusiastic about Logan recently. Logan's brother and sister are less understanding, although Mary Anne is able to explain to them that she doesn't hate Logan and would like to be friends with him at some point. Some people who are more Logan's friends, like his sports teammates, seem to resent Mary Anne. Some other guys start asking Mary Anne out! (Stacey wants to set Mary Anne up with a new beau right away, too.) She's not ready to date again yet, but is flattered.
Kristy is a bit put out by everything, probably because it's yet another thing changing. She's also torn because she's friends with Logan as well as Mary Anne, and is trying to be nice to both of them. Mary Anne and Kristy have a brief fight when Mary Anne thinks Kristy isn't on her side, but Kristy is just trying not be on any side, and also confused about why Mary Anne broke up with Logan in the first place. Mary Anne realizes that Kristy isn't trying to do anything rotten, and Kristy accepts that while she might not understand Mary Anne's reasoning, Mary Anne did what she had to do.
One night, Logan calls and offers to have Mary Anne watch a movie he's rented, as friends. They have an awkward but okay time, which prompts Logan to wonder why they can't be dating again. Mary Anne remains firm, and after talking with Dawn and Claudia, realizes that she's not sure who she is without her relationships: without her dad, without the BSC, without Logan, who is Mary Anne? Now that she has the opportunity to be on her own a bit, she's excited to find out.
Established or continued in this book:
The Girls (and Logan):
Claudia candy: Pringles and Cracker Jacks in her dresser drawer, potato chips
On the cover, Mary Anne is holding a letter from Logan. You can see parts of it in Logan's blocky, all caps writing and what I can read of it (backward, and around Mary Anne's hand and the book title) is:
"Dear Mary Anne,
I don't know how to say all the things I want to say. We've been through so much together--from the very first moment I saw you, I knew that you would be a gigantic part of my life and you have been. But now I'm not so sure about where we're going. I...you but somehow I...confused....have...spend a...time apart. I hope...understand--I...will (I..."
Claudia helps Mary Anne talk things out right after the break up, and is very sweet to Mary Anne. It's implied that she understands having to face when a relationship isn't working out because of her experience with Josh Rocker. Janine offers sympathy too.
Foul: Mary Anne did NOT meet Logan when she was still required to wear her hair in braids. She got permission to do her hair differently in seventh grade, and met Logan the first time through eighth grade.
Mary Anne doesn't consider Dawn to be one of her best friends anymore. The distance between them has grown to be more than just physical.
Apparently Mary Anne is like me in that she doesn't always run a fever when she's sick. My brothers and I rarely run fevers, and my normal temperature is actually low: 96.5 F.
Mary Anne and Logan think that Robin Williams is the funniest actor.
Mary Anne's family gets the plans for turning the barn into a house approved, and work gets started. The contractor says that with good weather, it might be ready by the new year, which is in about three or four months. That seems unlikely to me...
Kristy helps her family bake a lot of apple pies and pumpkin pies to donate to a homeless shelter. Good idea, provided they've cleared it with the shelter first. Some places probably can't accept home-made goods for liability reasons.
The Club (and clients):
Sort of a more relaxed BSC. The meetings are still as frequent, but Kristy's more relaxed about being on time. Not a lot, though; the meetings are still only 30 minutes long so ten minutes would be a significant chunk of the meeting to miss.
Let's assume SMS finishes school between 2:30 and 3:00, which is about right for a middle school. Mary Anne notes that Logan's football practice won't keep him from getting home before 6:00. That seems a little short for football practice. It would probably start a half or so after classes are done for the day, and have a decently long warm up, then a couple hours of actual practice and a cool down, then he'd have to change out of his gear and then walk back home carrying his stuff. That should easily eat up three hours.
Mary Anne realizes something important: a couple shouldn't be 100% added together. The two members should aim for 100% individually, because if you're only complete when both of you are at the top of your game, what happens when one of you gets sick or loses a job or is going through something difficult?
I remember finding a copy of this in a used bookstore when I was in high school, flipping through it, and being horrified that Mary Anne and Logan were officially over. I put the book back on the shelf without buying it (I had stopped reading BSC books around the time the regular series numbered in the 90s).
Starting 8th grade: 12
Halloweens in 8th grade: 6 (plus one in seventh)
Thanksgivings in 8th grade: 4
Winter holidays in 8th grade (that BSC members celebrate in the plot of a book, not just reference): Christmas-5, Hanukkah-2, Kwanzaa-3
Valentine's Days in 8th grade: 5
St. Patrick's Days in 8th grade: 1
Summers after 8th grade: 12
BSC Fights: 13
SMS Staff and Faculty: 68
Students (other than the BSC): 215: 121 8th graders (not including Amelia Freeman, who is deceased), 30 7th graders, 48 6th graders, 16 unspecified. Baby-sitters' Winter Vacation tells us that SMS has about 380 students.
Clients: 38 families
Types of candy in Claudia’s room: 149