Dawn goes emo

The Cali Diaries were way after my time…but I was always intrigued. It was supposed to be more “realistic”- dealing with real issues, and not just prganizing baby parades and dance recitals. In a way, I can see the benefits- but there was something refreshing about the innocence and wholesomeness of the BSC. It made me feel like true happiness in friendships exist- that no matter who you were or what you wore you could still have a group of friends. I was nervous to see the people in the BSC world be corrupted.

So, it is a diary- that means the whole thing was written in Dawn’s handwriting. How annoying! But if you think back to the handwriting from the BSC notebook, I am glad it wasn’t Claudia’s with the mispelling or Stacey’s stupid hearts over her “i’s”. Most of it is diary-style and explains more of Dawn’s thoughts, but it also includes dialogue among her friends. Whose diary included actually dialogue between people?

So, Sunny Winslow’s Mom is in the hospital dying of cancer and Dawn is being all judgemental that Sunny isn’t visiting her as much as she should. Shut up Dawn, are you also going to lecture us on the benefits of recycling? Her friend Maggie is a recovering anorexic and she has another friend Amalia, and I don’t know the deal with her. They also have a guy friend named Ducky who is sixteen whose friend recently tried to kill himself. I don’t know why Ducky hangs out with a bunch of thirteen-year-old girls, but hey, to each his own.

What happened to the We [Heart] Kids Club? Maybe they all looked at each other one meeting and said “why the fuck are we doing this? We are thirteen and should be sewing our oats.” Not that thirteen year olds use that expression, but you get my point.

The other main thing is that Dawn really wants to go to a concert by her favorite band Jax with Ducky and the gals, but she needs to convince her father and her evil stepmother Carol to let her go. Her swooning over the singer of the band reminded me how much I used to moon over bands when I was thirteen. My room was plastered with pictures of Sebastian Bach. Okay, and maybe the Nelson Twins. With a little bit of Bret Michaels. Oh hell, I still moon over bands that way now.

Okay, you know what? This book ain’t half bad. A lot of it is just simple thoughts and observations about her friends and family. So maybe stuff isn’t resolved in one book like the original BSC, but I felt I was actually reading a thirteer year old’s thoughts.

Ducky and Sunny end up getting drunk so Dawn needs to call her Dad to pick them up and Dawn gets in trouble and Sunny continues to be mad at her. Sunny actually acts like a real beast and chides Ducky for not having friends his own age. Ouch! Something tells me Ducky comes out in the later books. Finally, Dawn and Sunny make up because Sunny admits that she is pushing people away so she doesn’t need to get close to them.

n the regular BSC series, Dawn’s persona was being the “California casual” girl. Now that she is in California, what makes her special? She turns into yet another angsty pre-teen. Thank god there was not a lot of mention of alfalfa sprouts and tofu or long, white-blond hair.
In one passage on a Sunday night, Dawn wonders what her friends are doing in Stoneybrook and comments that they always have so much planned that they need another weekend to recover from the weekend! Yea, Kristy is a regular party animal!

I would have said it would be cool to advance Dawn and her group of friends to at least fourteen- but they are still thirteen. So in one year, Dawn moves to CT, joins the BSC, Jeff moves back to California, Dawn visits about a hundred times, and then decides to move back herself? It is a bit ridiculous.

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Posted in: bsc

22 thoughts on “Dawn goes emo

  1. Carly says:

    The disappearance of the We Love Kids Club is explained in the first book of the series– the girls all “grew up” and didn’t really care much about it anymore so it dissolved. Then they ditched their other friend because she wore shirts with care bears on them or something???

  2. Jane says:

    I have ducky’s fist diary, which is an hour of my life I”ll never get back. His handwritign is tiny and its all written in second (?) person. “You want to scream, but you can’t”

    His friend tries to kill himself and ducky doesn’t know what to do and spends the book obsessing about it. I wanted to reach in a grab him and say “Call 911, they’ll take care of all of it”

    but i read some of the others too, they were fun

  3. Club X says:

    “My room was plastered with pictures of Sebastian Bach. ”

    Don’t feel bad…my cube at work is plastered with pictures of Sebastian Bach. 🙂

  4. Magenta Galaxy says:

    This whole series was…eh. Not great, not horrible. Maybe trying to hard or something? And I never really did get if Ducky is gay or not, but it is weird that he hung out with a bunch of 13 year olds.

  5. cassie says:

    The cover looks like Dawn is a victim of some sort of abuse or something tragic and has no one to tell….I don’t know why that pops into my head, and it probably seems super random….I guess it just looks a lot more serious than the cartoon-like and fucking retarded BSC covers I’m used too….

  6. amanda says:

    “but there was something refreshing about the innocence and wholesomeness of the BSC”

    OMG, there was? I always found it super creepy. *chills*

    And I might want to kill myself as well if I were named Ducky and was stuck with a bunch of 13 year old girls….poor guy!

    And a whole book of handwriting? ouch. At least the Dawn on this cover looks like Dawn AND 13!

  7. Hatsumomo says:

    While I liked the series when I originally read them, the CDs made me hate the warped timeline of the BSC. In the first book, instead of just making things nice and simple and progressing Dawn and her CD friends to the 9th grade, they create this stupid storyline about how Vista (the middle school) is overcrowded and the solution the school board came up with is to move the 8th grade to the high school. So the girls have to deal with being at the bottom of the high school food chain and other “a very special episode*” problems when they still would have been if you just had them be in 9th grade.

    And then the readers are supposed to swallow the fact that everything that happens to Dawn in the BSC and the CD happens in the span of ONE year. They were pushing it with the original BSC, but then having Dawn start the 8th grade again in the CD kind of broke it.

    *Seriously, this series was like an after-school special or like a very special episode of The Babysitters Club.

  8. Laura says:

    I know what you mean, Hatsumomo – if they are going to make Dawn get all drunken and serious and have anorexic friends, would it kill her to turn fourteen?

    I actually have the first three books of this series from the library to read…the three-word bits on the cover crack me up! “Boys. Shoes. Scream.” or whatever. They are like crappy haikus.

    Back to the age thing, I don’t know how Ann M could justify this sudden mood swing – Dawn is ‘casual’ and sprout-eating and in the blink of a spinoff she is all dark and hating everyone?

  9. ihatewheat says:

    Seriously, I don’t know why eighth grade is so magical.

    I would have loved to see the three letter captions on the classic BSC. “Diapers. Meetings. Softball games.” or “Millionaire Stepfathers. Ballet. Fruit earrings.”

  10. Alicia says:

    I love that the maybe gay boy is named Ducky. I’ve always thought that Ducky in “Pretty in Pink” was gay and just didn’t realize it yet.

  11. Roxy says:

    I loved those books. Sunny was cool but a bit angsty at times. I also read Ducky’s diary recently and he came off pretty gay. But I think the bets ones were the ones by Amalia, because she was an artist so you got all these cool little snarky cartoons.

  12. Magpie says:

    I had long given up on the BSC by the time these came out, and I’m glad I had, because I don’t think I’d be able to cope with a WHOLE book of Dawn’s annoying handwriting. But you’re right that it’s definitely better than reading Claudia’s or Mary Anne’s for 100+ pages!

  13. Tiny Pants says:

    “What happened to the We [Heart] Kids Club? Maybe they all looked at each other one meeting and said “why the fuck are we doing this? We are thirteen and should be sewing our oats.” Not that thirteen year olds use that expression, but you get my point.”

    ZOMG that cracked me up.

    I’ve never read these, though I am intrigued by the “cover haiku” as Laura pointed out. A whole book of handwriting I don’t know if I could do though. I’ve had “TTYL” on my shelf for over a year (my mom got it for free somewhere and sent it to me), and occasionally I’ll open it but I just can’t get myself to read an entire book written in IM (with three different fonts and fake ‘windows’ on the pages that look like the Classic Mac OS, but not in a good way).

  14. Laura says:

    Okay so JUST finished reading Dawn #1. I agree totally, Ihatewheat – what the heck was it with AMM and the eighth grade? There is a big difference (imho) between 13 and fourteen…(remembering to when I was those ages) fourteen year olds being invited to high school parties and getting drunk is a heck of a lot more realistic than thirteen year olds, you know? When they are thirteen still, it’s just kinda icky.

    I bet Sunny would HATE Jessi and Mallory!

  15. Kellie says:

    The next book in the series, Sunny Diary Three is amazing… honestly. It was actually written by Ann herself and is absolutely heartwrenching. I was almost impressed. If there’s a more compelling (but yet subtle) anti-smoking resource out there, I haven’t found it.

  16. Sophie says:

    The cover art and the font makes me somehow think that Dawn is into cutting or that she’s deeply depressed. It’s a bit much, isn’t it? I haven’t ready the book, but it scares me…

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