Original Publication Date: 1999
Ghostwriter? Yes, Suzanne Weyn.
Just as Stacey's feeling upset about how little she gets to see Ethan, a new boy arrives at SMS: Jeremy Rudolph, from Olympia, WA (just a little south of me!). Then Stacey and Ethan break up. This is also at the same time that Stacey realizes Claudia has a crush on Jeremy...and so does she. Trying to be a good friend, Stacey sets up a date for Claudia and Jeremy, but even after that, Jeremy asks Stacey out. Stacey wants to accept, and talks to Claudia. Claudia is understandably hurt, and also very surprised because she thought Jeremy liked her. She does go overboard though, accusing Stacey of stealing her boyfriend when she and Jeremy haven't actually been dating, and Stacey reacts to this, causing a fight. Claudia tells Jeremy that Stacey and Ethan's break up is really more of a cooling off, which is how Ethan seems to view it ("We were on a break!" -Friends), so while what Claudia says is true, it's still underhanded. The fight continues, with Stacey putting down Claudia's intelligence ("brainless...can't even spell, [and] was held back a grade") and Claudia retorting with pointing out that Stacey's nothing special ("ten million other people live in [New York] City") and so on. Then Jeremy asks Stacey out again, and a little bit before he arrives to pick her up, Ethan stops in for a surprise visit, still thinking they're just on a break. Soon the break up is official though, and Stacey heads out with Jeremy, wondering at times if she and Claudia will mend their friendship.
Established or continued in this book:
The Girls (and Logan):
Claudia candy: Ring Dings, potato chips
Mary Anne and Stacey have a conversation centered around whether noticing that a boy they're not dating is good-looking is a sign of anything.
Stacey's mom likes going for jogs.
The Club (and clients):
At the end of Everything Changes, the BSC had considered cutting down on the number of meetings, but this book establishes that meetings are still Monday, Wednesday, Friday and at the usual time.
Abby's departure from the BSC hasn't affected her friendships with the members; she still eats lunch with them and hangs out with them.
New students: Rachel Griffin (really an old student returning to Stoneybrook), Jeremy Rudolph (8th).
School's back in session. Again.
School lunch at SMS costs $1.65.
I question the SMS social studies department. The girls don't know their state capitals? (Jeremy is from Olympia, WA. I learned state capitals in grade school.)
Aspirin is not recommend for children or teenagers, because of a possible link between it and the development of Reye's Syndrome, which can be deadly. Tylenol and Ibuprofen are vastly superior choices. My kids' pediatric dentist recommends Ibuprofen because you need to take several dozen times the regular dose to be in danger.
Long-distance relationships can sometimes work (my brother and my sister-in-law spent a while in different states during college but have been married five years now), but this is book is right that it's especially hard for teenagers.
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