Stacey and Mary Anne are baby-sitting for the Pike family for two weeks at the New Jersey shore. Things are great in Sea City. There’s a gorgeous old house, a boardwalk, plenty of sun and sand…and the cutest boy Stacey has ever seen!
Mary Anne knows that Scott the lifeguard is way too old for Stacey, but Stacey’s in love. She fixes Scott’s lunch, fetches his sodas, and spends all her time with him…instead of with the Pike kids.
Suddenly Mary Anne’s doing the work of two baby-sitters, and she doesn’t like it one bit. But how can she tell Stacey that Scott just isn’t interested – without breaking Stacey’s heart?
I know my younger self is probably cursing me out right now, but this book really made me dislike Stacey McGill. I say this because from the first book of hers I read, she was my favorite babysitter in this series. Ironically, this is far from the first time I’ve read this particular book. I suppose it is through my thirty year old eyes, I am finally able to see the flaws in this character I adored so much.
Taking place during the summer before their (never-ending) eight grade year, Stacey and Mary Anne join the Pike family on their annual trip to the Jersey Shore. Decades before the time of Snookie and J-Woww, the girls are forced to figure out how to handle the eight Pike children, manage a working relationship with one another and how to deal with some pretty big first with the cute boys on the beach. Much like a typical thirteen year old, Stacey finds herself in “luv” with an eighteen year old lifeguard named Scott. Her infatuation is the cause for most of my dislike in her during this book. After all, she spends more time Scott gazing and fetching him drinks and sandwiches, then actually paying attention to the children. All of which leaves most of the babysitting responsibility on Mary Anne’s shoulders, which is beyond unfair. The other negative comes in Stacey’s reactions and comments about the children. Much like I’ve notice with some of the other girls in earlier books, Stacey is rude and childish towards the children. When she rolls her eyes at a five year, I found myself wishing someone had backhanded her.
The story overall was a decent enough experience, in which Stacey gets her first kiss and Mary Anne becomes interested in a boy for the first time. Heck, it was even nice to see Stacey and Mary Anne interact with one another, as they mostly only talk to their respective BFFs. But that being said, Stacey’s snotty, self-centered attitude really put me off in this book. Sadly, I’m starting to wonder if rereading these books are going to cloud the fond memories I had as a child.