"I should have run off when I had the chance." or California Diaries #6 (Sunny #2)

<p> </p>You know, I was thinking about my cunt log and Dawn Schafer quite a while ago.  I was wondering if there was any BSC book where Dawn was so truly horrible that it would warrant adding her to the cunt log.  Because we all know Dawn can be quite cuntly when she wants to be, right?  So I bought BSC #57 Dawn Saves the Planet, thinking that might get her onto the cunt log.

But no.  It’s this book that’ll earn her the honors.  Jesus Christ.  I can’t believe what a fucking bitch Dawn is.  What a motherfucking Bitch Cunt.  Just absolutely over the top cuntery going on here.  Listen, Sunny isn’t perfect, and there are times I definitely wanted to throttle her.  But for the love of God, she’s going through some shit and Cunt Dawn is sitting there acting…well, like a cunt.

The book starts and Sunny is staying the night at Dawn’s.  In fact, since Sunny’s mom has been in the hospital for what seems to be a permanent stay, and Sunny’s Dad has taken to never coming home from work, Sunny’s pretty much been living at Dawn’s house.   One night she has insomnia and gets up to go to the kitchen.  The pregnant Carol is there eating tuna fish with chocolate syrup.  Because she’s a fucking pregnancy stereotype.  (Fun fact: my pregnancy craving?  Plain pasta and red meat.  Two things I hardly ever ate prior to having a baby.)  Sunny has insomnia, because she can’t stop thinking about her mom.  Mom’s mind seems to be deteriorating as fast as her body, which is something that no one expected.

Sunny reacts to this by avoiding going to the hospital, hating her dad and going out with lots of boys.  She has a date with a fellow named Chris, who’s sixteen. (Quick! Everyone think of Luca shouting “THIRTEEN!”)  Though the “date” turns out to just be hanging out at his house eating chips and watching a Lakers game.  Sunny’s so pissed about that, she roots for the Bulls over the Lakers.  Because A-it’ll piss Chris off, B-The Bulls have nicer uniforms and C-The Bulls are hotter.  Let’s compare the 1998 Bulls vs. the 1998 Lakers, shall we?  You know what…never mind.  I found a team photo for the Bulls lickety split.  But I couldn’t for the life of me find a 1998 team photo of the Lakers. What the fuck?

Going forward, the following day, Sunny’s dad reminds her that she’d promised to visit her mom in the hospital the prior night.   Dawn felt bad for Mrs. Winslow, so she went in Sunny’s place, which makes Sunny feel weird.  Which could have been nice of Dawn, except that she passive-aggressively goes out of her way to make Sunny feel like shit about it.  Then her dad gives her shit about it and Sunny decides that it’s unanimous that she’s a rotten irresponsible person.

That afternoon Sunny and Ducky are at the beach when Sunny meets….Brock.  Brock is sixteen (Luca says “THIRTEEN!”) and also goes to Vista.  And he asks her out on a date.  While at the beach, Sunny should have been studying for an English exam, and Dawn gives her a ‘tsk tsk’ about not doing it.  So Sunny does the next best thing.  She skips school the following day.  Also, she’s depressed because she found her baby book that morning and can’t stop thinking of the smile on her mom’s face when her mom was holding little newborn Sunny.

Sunny talks  about how much she loves Ducky as a friend, but he’s really depressed over Alex’s drama, which Sunny has no patience for.  She wishes Ducky could see Alex as the loser that she sees him as.  Blah, bitchy Sunny.  Anyway, Ducky gives Sunny fashion advice for her upcoming date with Brock.

Sunny has a super depressing visit with her mom, who seems more like a ghost than like the mother Sunny remembers.  So after she leaves, she goes to Dawn’s house and starts talking to Carol about her feelings.  Soon enough, Dawn, Jeff and Jack are there too.  There’s this totally awkward but completely sweet moment where Jeff (remember guys, he’s only ten!) tells Sunny about his friend’s dead hamster.  Jack kicks Jeff out of the room, but Sunny recognized that Jeff was trying to be helpful in his own weird way.  Dawn tries to be helpful, but ends up annoying Sunny.  Sunny feels like Carol is the only one she can talk to.  And she even let Sunny feel the baby kicking.   Later on, Sunny goes to visit mom, and Dawn comes along.  Sunny is jealous because Dawn is better able to talk to her mom than she is. 

Date night!  Brock picks Sunny up in his brand new red Trans-Am.  Brock takes her to the most hoity toity restaurant in Palo.  Where celebrities have been spotted.  Brock was throwing money around to impress Sunny (Again..THIRTEEN!) and talking about when he talked to Brad Pitt once. Ooooohhhhh.  The night ends with a kiss, to which Sunny says she has never been kissed before – anything she thought was a kiss was just touching lips.

The next day, Dawn acts like a passive-aggressive hostile cunt toward Sunny, because Sunny’s too messy.  Instead of just asking Sunny to be neater like a normal fucking human, Dawn cleans up her side of the room and dumps all of Sunny’s stuff onto the cot Sunny’s been sleeping on.  (I recall shades of this same thing during BSC Super Special #1 between Dawn and Kristy.)  Then that night her dad starts in on her again, and actually says “the worse your mom gets, the worse you behave.”  Ummm…yeah?  I’m not a child psychologist in any way, but I gotta tell Mr. Winslow that seems like par for the course with a grieving child.  Not sure why dad is surprised by this.  So Sunny goes to Carol and gives her a foot rub (Carol is retaining lots of fluid in those feet) and tells her about her dad.  Carol is good and patient and explains to Sunny that she and her dad are having a rough time redefining what is normal for them, and her dad is just as scared about it as she is.  Suddenly, I forgive Carol for being such a twat in California Diaries #1.

At school, Brock’s friend Pete asks Sunny on a date and she says yes.  For the record, Pete is also sixteen (Luca reiterates: “THIRTEEN!”)  Dawn is bitchface about it.  Yeah, it’s not nice of Sunny to do that to Brock, but shut UP, Dawn.  Ducky is turning in to Sunny’s bestie since Dawn is all bitchy now.  So Sunny helps Ducky get a job at her dad’s bookstore.

Sunny goes shopping with Carol.  Carol faints in the dressing room and Sunny is all cool and calm, sitting with Carol and ordering an employee to call 911.  She rides in the ambulance with Carol.  Eventually Jack and Dawn get to the ER also.  Carol is all right, the baby’s all right, but Carol is on strict bedrest for the remainder of her pregnancy.  (Funny, I didn’t realize an ER doc could do that.  I thought for sure she’d have been sent up to L&D or at least perinatal….)  While at the hospital, they all go say hi to Sunny’s mom, and of course Dawn dominates the conversation with Mrs. Winslow.

Next day is Sunny’s date with Pete, which she gives a 9/10. Though his kissing gets an 11/10.  (THIRTEEN!) Chris asks her out again later on, but she’s like ‘No way!’

Then Sunny and Dawn fight some more.  Sunny is feeling very attached to Carol, who is so thankful Sunny was there to help her when she fainted.  Carol and Jack insist that Sunny can keep staying with them.  Ducky gets a job at Winslow Books. Sunny goes to see him on his first day, and she meets Bo Rollins, one of the Cro-Mags from Vista.  So he asks her out and she says yes.  (I’m sorry to have to keep making this point.  THIRTEEN!).  Brock finds out about Pete, and they fight about it.  Then Pete finds out about Bo, and Sunny is all ready to give up on guys all together.  After her date with Bo, of course.

A few days later, Sunny is cooking lunch for Carol and Dawn leaves to go shopping with Maggie.  Sunny hears some honking outside and looks out.  Bo is in front of her house, honking his horn.  She runs out and plays flirtypants with him for a bit, forgetting that she left the stove on and the kitchen was quickly filling with smoke.  The smoke alarm goes off, causing Carol to have to get up from her bedrest.  Sunny apologizes and got the fuck out of there as soon as Mrs. Bruen got back.  Sunny feels so bad and does go back later that night to tearfully apologize.  Carol and Jack are pretty nice and forgive her, but Dawn is furious and won’t forgive Sunny.  They get into a huge fight and their friendship is over.

Sunny visits her mom a couple days later.  Mom is kind of acting like herself, and Sunny tearfully opens up to her about everything that happened between her and Dawn.  Sunny’s so happy because it’d been so long since she felt a connection with her mom.  Then when her mom fades again, she feels even worse than she did before.  And Sunny thinks about what Dawn said that she, Sunny, should “Count her blessings.”

“That’s the danger in visiting mom.


You try not to let your hopes rise, but they always do.  And the higher you go, the harder you fall.  That’s what Dawn doesn’t see.


She cant’ have her heart broken at the sight of mom’s body. She can’t look inside mom’s eyes and see sorrows and triumphs and scoldings and kisses and late nights and lazy mornings and country walks and long drives and plays and pottery and softball games and sicknesses and year and years and years.  All gone for good, but somehow still there. 


I can see them.  It’s like they’re crowded together in a room the size of mom’s soul. And the door to the room is about to close. 


Dawn is so wrong.


I do think about mom.  I think about her every day.  Every minute.  I think about what’s going to happen. And part of that thinking is preparing.  Arming myself.  Forming a shell.


Because you have to. If you don’t, you fall apart.


Count my blessings?  It’s not so simple.”

  • Between the fact that Sunny is all over the boys in this book AND that she is so in awe of Carol’s pregnancy, leads me to guess that there might be a teen pregnancy California Diary in..oh about three years. 
  • Sunny’s full name is Sunshine Daydream Winslow.  So glad her parents were thinking of Sunny’s future resume when they named her that.  
  • Ducky is better at picking out Sunny’s date outfit than any of Sunny’s girl friends.  Just sayin’.  
  • Dawn is fucking unbearable in this book.  Truly a horrible person.  Sunny points out that Carol has a pregnant woman glow, Dawn’s like, “she has oily skin.”   Ugh, and she tries to compare her parents divorce to Sunny’s mom dying.  I’m sure Jack and Sharon’s divorce was traumatic for Dawn, especially given her folks live on different coasts.  But really, Dawn?  You think Sunny should count her blessings?  You really want to say that to her face?  Oh, and when she goes shopping with Maggie, someone asks if Sunny is coming to, and Dawn’s response, right to Sunny’s face, “I see enough of Sunny.”  God, go fuck yourself Dawn. 
  • Sunny’s dad is pretty unbearable.  He gives Ducky a job, but thinks Ducky is “too social” with customers.  So he wants Sunny to talk to him about it.  Um. Nope.  He’s your employee Mr. Winslow, you fucking do it.
  • Listen, Sunny isn’t perfect.  She’s impatient with Ducky’s problems.  She is taking a little advantage of Dawn by crashing in her room.  She isn’t being fair to the guys who’ve asked her out.  She’s skipping school like crazy. But my god people, she’s going through some tough shit right now and nobody except Carol and Ducky are even bothering to listen to her.  
  • Why is Jeff Schafer the only ten year old in the entire BSC-verse who actually acts age-appropriate? He’s a little shit, but I kind of love him for it.  
  • I have no idea what I’m going to do when I get to Sunny’s third diary.  I will lose my shit.  Seriously, the only reason I haven’t review Bridge to Terabithia on this blog is because I can barely even think about that book without crying.  I’m sure Sunny #3 will be the same.
  • Holy shit.  I just went back and re-read my post before publishing it.  This might very well be my most expletive-filled post ever.  Bitch Cunt Dawn will do that to me, I guess….
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About nikkihb

Wife. Mother. Reader. Blogger.
This entry was posted in ***CUNT LOG, Angst, Ann M. Martin, BSC, California Diaries. Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to "I should have run off when I had the chance." or California Diaries #6 (Sunny #2)

  1. Carin says:

    love the comment about Mr. Winslow wanting Sunny to talk to Ducky about his behavior at the bookstore – ridiculous! Wow, again, I'm going to have to keep an eye out for these books as I obviously missed all kinds of awesomeness when I decided to pass these by.

  2. Sadako says:

    I felt really bad for Sunny in this. Her acting out actually felt like normal kid behavior. Dawn and Stacey and Kristy basically never seemed all that upset about their parents' divorce. They'd talk about feeling upset once in a while but it just felt more like "tell, don't show." You never *saw* their angst. I feel like CA Diaries actually did that.And yeah, Dawn was quite the bitch in this one. I sort of can see that she's in a hard place, too, but Sunny's watching her mom die. And Mr. Winslow really wasn't there for her at all.

  3. charmecia says:

    if you want a truly horrible dawn book check out book 72: dawn and the we love kids club.dawn should of been punished for what she did but instead she just gets yelled at and forced back to california.did i add she did that because carol and jack were getting engaged.talk about stupid bitch.dawn and the school spirit war is another awful book because everyone is so horrible in that book(made me glad dawn and mallory left)

  4. charmecia says:

    sorry if i commented againbut i just want to say that dawn is such a FUCKING BITCH IN THAT ONE.now im remembering the bookand i remembered how horrible dawn was in the book.(and i thought she was horrible before in book 60: mary anne's makeover)i mean come onshe bitched at mary anne for spending too much time with her own father and getting her hair cutso im not surprised.love the pairing between sunny and ducky though.im glad carol is taking much interest in sunny.(makes me like carol even more)jeff is already my favorite.

  5. Caroline says:

    I love snarking on the books in the BSC universe, but Sunny #3 always makes me cry. It's just so sad. And I totally agree with Charmecia, Dawn lost me for good in Mary Anne's Makeover – she was jealous because Mary Anne was spending time with Richard, and Dawn couldn't spend time with her father because he lived on the other coast. And instead of 'counting her blessings,' she took it out on Mary Anne that Mary Anne was spending a lot of time WITH HER ONLY LIVING BIOLOGICAL PARENT – and a parent that she'd had a somewhat difficult relationship with. Gah. That book makes me want to rant.

  6. Alison says:

    What is with these older boys throwing themselves at Sunny? She's THIRTEEN!!!! But I remember thinking that the name Sunshine Daydream was the coolest thing ever. When I was like nine.Dawn should be the president/queen of the Cunt Log. I imagine her as the type of person I would want to punch in the face after a conversation. In what world is a divorce and the death of a parent comparable?

  7. Okay, look, maybe I'm a little close to this since my dad just died a few months ago, and I'm more inclined to take Sunny's side in things, but GOD I HATE DAWN. I can't imagine having to visit a dying parent whose mind is going. I can't BEGIN to imagine how horrible that would be for anyone, especially a thirteen-year-old. And Sunny's dad kind of sucks, too. I give him a bit of a pass because of what he's dealing with, but OF COURSE SHE'S BEHAVING WORSE THE SICKER HER MOM GETS. Jesus, why would that surprise anyone?! I don't think sixteen/thirteen is such a huge gap. Maybe I was just mature for my age? I dunno. Damn, though, I wish I could hug Sunny through the pages. Dawn is such a bitch to her – okay, she made a mistake with letting the food burn, but it's not like it wasn't something that could have happened to ANYONE who got distracted. I mean, jesus, Dawn, you're SHARON'S daughter, for fuck's sake. She really is the worst friend ever.Sunny's third book was the only CD I read as a kid, and it was hard. There's one page where she just writes "my mother is dead" over and over again, and…yeah. That's pretty much how I felt the first few days after my dad, and I was literally twice Sunny's age. It's pretty rough going. I can't remember if Dawn's awful in that one, too.

  8. Amber says:

    "This might very well be my most expletive-filled post ever."I think that just shows how passionate you are about literature.

  9. magnolia says:

    seriously, i'm going to have to steel myself for sunny #3. that's the book i read that got me through my mom's passing, and i'm telling you, it was amazing therapy (even though i was almost 27 when my mom passed). it's probably the best single entry in the whole BSC empire, if you ask me…and lord, yes, dawn is a bitch.

  10. nikki says:

    Amber- You have a very loose definition of literature. :)Piperrihannon- I actually thought of you when I was reading this book, because I was following you on LJ when you were talking about your dad's illness and I remember you posting when he died. I wanted to hug you through the computer the way you wanted to hug Sunny through the pages. Alison- Queen Cunt. Definitely.

  11. Lauren says:

    This is one of the funniest posts I've read about BSC. I am so entertained. Thank you for brightening my day.

  12. I hate Dawn! I have always hated Dawn. Even when I was a kid, I saw through the bullshit and knew she was a total bitch. Thanks for hating on her as much as I do!

  13. Sarah says:

    Oh, man I remember the Sunny books from CD. They seriously made me cry. Read them the summer after my freshman year of college. I worked in a bookstore and had no idea that the CD series existed and was SO EXCITED to get them. (Though I did feel a little embarassed about buying from the kids section at age 19). Anyway, yeah, steel yourself for number 3. SO SAD. Your posts have made me want to reread the CD series. I'll have to go digging in my parents' basement for them.

  14. nikki says:

    Sarah – eventually you get over the embarrassment of buying juvenile books at the bookstore. It took me about a year after staring this blog to not care.

  15. Sada says:

    Is it the cultural norm in Palo City for 16-year-old boys to date 13-year-olds? What the shit?This book sounded pretty sad (cancer!) and/or infuriating (Dawn and her ass face!), but I cracked the frig up when I realized Sunny was named after a Grateful Dead song.

  16. Anonymous says:

    I never read any CA Diaries books, but I'm happy to find out Sunny's full name! Sunshine Daydream is from a Grateful Dead song, and I've always secretly thought it would be a cool baby name. I would never actually do that to my child though.. Anyone remember the BSC book where Jeff (10!) was a deadhead? Was that the one where all the BSC go to CA?

  17. charmecia says:

    at anonymousthe book were jeff was a total deadhead is the super special #5: california girlswhere jeff is having an argument with his friend about being a grateful dead fan and being a deadhead.great post by the way nikkiand i loved sunny.out of all the characters in the california diaries series, i thought sunny was the most real person on here.not surprising that dawn would be such a fucking bitch in this book. sunny's dad is such an asshole.love the way ducky reaches out to sunny though.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Before anyone calls Sunny's dad an asshole, remember he is going through the same shit Sunny is going through. Just like Sunny had her flaws, so does he. Everyone deals with grief differently.

  19. Aut says:

    Oh, wow. I just found your blog. I love the idea.I remember reading these books but, gosh, I don't remember ever thinking of her as a cunt. Probably more along the lines of "mean girl." I might have to re-read it. Or just keep up with your blog…

  20. Stephen says:

    I think it's a great idea to go back to these things that meant so much to us when we were young but which most of us discard too easily.I haven't read Bridge to Terabithia but the film made me want to – I can imagine being very moved by it because the film moved me.

  21. if you want a horrible dawn book try book 60 of the babysitters club series. not only was dawn such an asshole, but the entire bsc acted like immature babies and logan was a total douche in the book.another horrible dawn book is dawn and the school spirit war. worst book ever.and i heard dawn saves the planet is an even worse book. but im quite neutral on that one.

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