Every now and then, I’m called on to defend my unreasonable love of Richard Spier. From now on, whenever anyone asks me to do that, I’m going to point them to this book. Richard is the awesome sauce in this book.
The book starts out shortly after the fire at Mary Anne’s house. M.A. Richard and Sharon are renting a house on Bradford Court with plans to renovate the old barn into their new house. M.A. had lost all of her Logan tchotchkes in the fire, so he photocopied all the letters and notes she’d ever written to him so she could have a sort-of replacement. As M.A. is looking through the notes, she doesn’t like what she reads. Without you, I’m lost. And from after their first breakup, she’d written Breaking up was the stupidest idea either one of us has ever had. I can’t imagine being without you. You’re so important to me. I feel like I’m only half a person when I’m not with you. Obviously, this makes M.A. unhappy because she wants to be more than half of Logan, she wants to be herself.
At the BSC meeting she brings it up. Claud and Stacey (who aren’t on speaking terms after a fight over a boy) agree that it sounds like things have gone flat, but Kristy flat out thinks M.A. would be nuts to dump a guy like Logan. M.A. went on a date later with Logan and they ended up eating at Renwick’s (not the Argo, where M.A. had wanted to eat). And M.A. is terribly unhappy, but she can’t figure out why because Logan essentially hasn’t changed. M.A. believes strongly that Logan feels that somethings off too, but of course he doesn’t. So he’s shocked when she dumps him. And he’s kind of a dick about it, accusing M.A. of trying to change him and never speaking up so that he can hear her properly (she can’t even defend herself correctly in Logan’s eyes). M.A. is pretty sure she made the right decision in dumping his sorry ass.
Dawn is surprisingly helpful to M.A. when they talk. (Why she can’t be toward Sunny is a mystery to me!) and she says she’d noticed M.A. seemed to be becoming her own person and wanting to be in charge of herself. Richard’s even better, saying he’d noticed her lack of enthusiasm for Logan and he’s basically awesome dad.
At school things are crazy awkward between M.A. and Logan and all the dudes from the football team give M.A. the cold shoulder. Kristy kind of lets it be known that she still considers Logan her bud, and M.A. isn’t sure what to think of that. M.A. has a sitting job for Kerry and Hunter, which is awkward because they accuse M.A. of not liking them anymore either. M.A. does her best to explain the sitch, and I guess the kids are happy. But ruh-roh, Logie pie gets home before either of the Bruno parents.
Back at school, M.A. continues to get the cold shoulder from the track team, but Dave Griffin asks her to the fall fling. She declines, saying she’s not ready yet. Rumor has it that Logan is taking Kristy, and M.A. isn’t brave enough to ask her about it. Stacey wants M.A. to ask Pete Black to the fall fling, but she doesn’t want to. But Stacey strong arms Pete into asking M.A., and she still says no. She decides not to go to the dance at all.
M.A. goes apple picking with the Brewer family, and she and Kristy get a little testy with each other over the Logan issue. But they make up quickly, with Kristy saying she’d never agree to go to the fall fling with Logan, and M.A. understanding that Kristy isn’t going to just drop Logan as a friend. It’s actually a nice little friend scene between the two, reminding us that they have been besties forever.
The night of the dance, M.A. is home alone, watching movies. Logan calls and they have a nice talk, and he brings over the new Robin Williams video to watch. They have a good time, until the end when Logan wants to get back together. He tells her that she basically only broke up with him because she was so upset about her house fire that she just isn’t thinking clearly. And M.A. is like, WTF? What was he trying to say. That because I no longer wanted to go out with him, I must be out of my mind? Good call, M.A. and she realizes she definitely made the right call in breaking up with him. She’s still upset, but a call to Dawn makes her feel better, as does the fact that her BSC friends all come over to cheer her up, Stacey and Claud even putting aside their differences to help her out.
And they end with the girls looking at the barn, soon to be renovated into a house. And it’s all symbolic, yo. Like the barn is going to be rebuilt, and M.A. is going to rebuild herself without Logan. Deep.
- Right after M.A. breaks up with Logan, Richard recognizes that something’s off with M.A. and he comes to talk to her about it. He admits that he’d noticed a “lack of enthusiasm lately whenever Logan was around.” and he reassures her that she did what she thought was best. M.A. explains how she’s upset because Logan’s upset and Richard reminds her that someone is bound to get hurt in every breakup. He’s soothing and helpful and such a good dad in this scene, never diminishing how serious his thirteen year old has always taken her relationship.
- On the night of the dance, Richard asks if M.A. would like to come with him and Sharon to the movies. She says no, and when he asks her a second time and she says no, he says, “I just don’t want you here alone thinking about the dance.” Awesome dad for a-even remembering that was the night of the dance, and b-figuring out the M.A. would be brooding over it. It’s like he actually knows his daughter!
- M.A. stays home with a headache one day and he comes to visit her at lunch to see how she was doing.
- At the end when they’re visiting the charred remains of the house, Sharon finds a twisted piece of silver, and realizes it’s the frame from their wedding photo. Richard is so kind and reassuring that they’ll get other photos from friends who were at the wedding and promises to buy an even better frame. Mr. Optimist Richard talks about how all the best of their lives is in front of them, and they get a fresh start. This is awesome for so many reasons, not the least of which you know he has to be upset over losing their possessions. I realize that all of Alma’s stuff must have been lost in the fire, and that couldn’t have been easy for him. But to make his wife and daughter feel better, he reminded them of the things they do have.
- Logan’s a total douche in this book. I didn’t read most of the last half of the BSC series, so I’m not sure if this was keeping in character, or if they just made him a douche here so M.A. could have a clean break from him.
- It’s not just Richard, but Sharon is pretty awesome to M.A. in this book as well, being kind and reassuring to M.A. Richard and Sharon – I swear I love them. They are my OTP from the BSC franchise. Seriously, I love their quirky chemistry.
- I hadn’t read the prior FF book, so I’m not quite sure what happened between Claudia and Stacey. But it had to do with Stacey’s current boyfriend and Claudia’s former crush, Jeremy.
- This one was ghostwritten by Suzanne Weyn. Usually hers are blah, but I actually really kind of liked this one. It’s the best of the three FF books I’ve read, definitely.
- Also, I somehow managed to misplace my copy of California Diaries #10. And it sucks, because it’s a Ducky one. I’m gonna try to replace it, then I promise to get back in to the CD recaps. I won’t stop until I’ve reviewed every one.