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.