Caitlin and the City

This is just a typical story of what happens when you move to the big city to pursue your dreams. It’s a pretty typical story of the ups and downs of becoming an adult! The plan was for me and Jed to move to New York together after graduation. Not living together, silly! Of course our genitals will never be in plain view of each other! He was going to law school and was getting a measly editorial job at a magazine. I don’t want to buy my way through a career! I’m rich but I need to put in my dues as a regular folk! Except when it comes to renting an apartment. I have a two bedroom to myself.  Well, that was the plan, until Jed’s father dropped dead at our college graduation. And I mean that literally. He died at the ceremony at Carleton Hill college. Woopsies! He left Jed his farm, which Jed considered taking over and moving back to Montana, but thankfully he decided to sell it and come to New York anyway. Thanks god that didn’t get into the way of my plans.

Anyway, I was living the life of any measly editorial assistant at a magazine. I had a cubicle and deadlines, and I was a regular career girl. And like other career girls, I happened to be helping on a photo shoot for the magazine and the model happened to not show up and my friend Peter the photographer happened to be shooting it so they just happened to ask me to be the cover model. What’s a girl to do? This is to be expected from being a career girl.

Woopsies! The cover became a sensation and I got a modeling contract with a perfume company. So now I had to balance this job with my editorial job. Wait, what? You think I’d give that up? I have to keep it real, y’all. I have to at least try to live the life of the common folk, right? So Jed, being Jed, starts to get angry and jealous that I’m spending time with Peter, my exclusive photographer for the campaign. I’ll bet you didn’t know that about modeling, right? When you are hired by a company you always have the same photographer. Since Jed is jealous, it must be a Tuesday, so I’m not going to pay much attention.

Jed, however, started law school, but I am worried he is not studying. He seems to be running with a party crowd. They go to night clubs- ON A SCHOOL NIGHT! Never mind I’m jetting off to Paris for photo shoots, how dare he have a good time as well! And he misses classes sometimes! I make sure to keep a schedule of his classes and call him after each one to make sure he is going to them. How can he get annoyed by that? It means I care!

Meanwhile, Jed now thinks there’s something between me and Peter, and that Peter is interested in me? Which is so absurd! I’m Caitlin Ryan! I’m think and Rich! I’m in a Francine Pascal book! No one would ever be in love with me! But…woopsies, Peter is. I tell him I’m not interested, yet I show up around town with him at parities and drape myself on him. How can Jed ever get the wrong idea? Well, I should be hurt too because I’ve also seen him hanging out with some socialite who…..has had sex with more than two men! What TRASH! How dare he?

Back in Virginia, Grandmother Ryan gets very ill and have a stroke. I rush to her bedside, and probably look beautiful as my raven hair falls over my cheek as a grieve. I wish Peter were there to photograph it! Jed hears about this and rushes to be by my side. Despite all we have done and said to hurt each other, we don’t even need to adddress it because he gives me a passionate, loving kiss. I can’t believe we almost broke up! We promise each other wwe will never fight or mistrust each other again…at least until the next book in this trilogy.

19 thoughts on “Caitlin and the City

  1. Vanessa Saxton says:

    I NEED to start reading these Caitlin trilogies. I remember buying one at a school book fair but never read it and who knows where it went. I am planning a beach trip to California soon and have to seriously stock up on my bad YA lit (mainly SVH) to make my Cali trip memorable. What better way to experience California beaches than to read Francie’s take on it?

  2. Rio says:

    The cover doesn’t exactly say “Oh, Jed, I dream of our love lasting forever!” It’s more like “Love me forever or I’ll cap your ass.”

    OK, seriously? Jed and Caitlin been together (for all intents and purposes) for, what, five or six years now, and they’ve moved to New York together. There’s no indication that either one has taken a vow of chastity, so does Francine really expect us to believe that they’d be having nothing more than passionate, loving kisses in real life? Please. She’d be going with him to those nightclubs and giving him handjobs in the men’s bathroom.

  3. ihatewheat says:

    When Jed hangs with the party crowd, it’s very Patrick Bateman-esque. Except that they just go to a club and maybe have a drink. Bish plz! It’s NYC in the 80s! They’d be doing lines of coke off of every flat surface.

  4. Bart_Templeton says:

    If I’m understanding the recaps correctly, these characters are all over 21, have graduated undergrad, and are now adults proper (real jobs and grad school)…?

    That’s VERY odd for YA lit (at least the 80s and early 90s YA lit I was weaned on).

    I can’t think of even a single YA book I’ve read that dealt with adults already past college (and even then, the only people still in college were another Francie property: SVU. I never read any other college-themed YA).

    This leads me to believe that Francie had a secret yen to expand into adult fiction but the industry had typecast her so much into the “YA doyenne” role that the best she could do was create “YA adults” a.k.a. adults-lite.

    Thus, this answers IHW and Rio’s point: these people were conceived of as dult characters (in Francie’s mind), but because of the YA strictures, she had to artificially tamp their behavior down to Sweet Valley proportions.

  5. ihatewheat says:

    Yes, you are correct. I respect your theory that these “adults” had to be dumbed down, but in Francine’s mind, I think this is what she actually thinks. In fact, she probably lived like this.

    Think of this as on the same caliber as “The City”.

  6. Magpie says:

    The quality of Francine’s writing really confuses me. This book sounds sucky, and as Bart_Templeton has pointed out, really adult-lite. But years ago I read another book by her, “My Mother Was Never a Kid” (think it’s got a different title in the US, but I can’t be bothered to google it right now), that was totally different and actually pretty good. I think one of the characters in it even smokes pot at one point. So she obviously knows that teenagers/young adults don’t REALLY live like this. It’s like she’s got a split personality or something!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Ok, this recap was a thing of beauty. Best one I have read in a long time. Seriously. I loved that you did it from Caitlin’s POV. It was almost like seeing a Saturday Night Live parody skit on Francine Pascal books. Caitlin Ryan could very easily be Jessica Wakefield.

  8. bookslide says:

    Oh, Caitlin.

    Seriously though, it took me FOREVER to get a hold of these books when I was growing up. The library didn’t have them right away or I didn’t have the money to get them or whatever but, when I finally did…Caitlin was too old for me. I felt like I couldn’t get into it nearly as much as the first two trilogies. Oh well.

    Julian show up yet?

  9. jane b. says:

    Wow. Just. wow. I have never read the Caitlin Ryan books, but it’s clear that I missed out! You know, I’m a girl from Virginia who moved to NYC — somehow I ended up in a 400sq ft loft which costs SO MUCH OMG. Why didn’t I follow Caitlin’s footsteps?!

  10. Jen S. says:

    Love Caitlin’s ’80s power suit on the cover. Nothing screams “Cover Girl” like shoulder pads and tweed.

    And please, Jed is G-A-Y. NO straight man would put up with this much torture. He’s just hanging around her hoping she’ll mention his true love, Julian, who’s probably running a mail order business selling Caitlin’s used makeup sponges and tissues to desperate pervs in the Ukraine.

  11. Anonymous says:

    He’s just hanging around her hoping she’ll mention his true love, Julian, who’s probably running a mail order business selling Caitlin’s used makeup sponges and tissues to desperate pervs in the Ukraine.


    Love caitlin recaps, don’t know what i’ll have to look forward to once you’ve read the final two.. Of course she wears a thick orange polar neck and a conservative tweed suit, yet becomes a hot as sh$% model.. Doesn’t that happen to everybody?

  12. maybeimamazed02 says:

    Bart_Templeton–I’ve been told that YA main characters should never be over 18. I don’t quite agree with that–I’ve read some great YA lit where characters were young college-age (19 or 20), but yeah, it’s definitely weird to have YA with a college graduate protagonist.

    The only argument here is that it’s a series, so readers have “followed” the character since she was younger, and have grown with the character.

    Gah, why am I defending Francine????

    Magpie–Francine actually wrote another trilogy, I’m guessing in the 70’s or late 60’s. I read book 1 (Love and Other Natural Disasters). The 14-year-old protagonist actually acted 14–giggly over an older boy, kind of bumbling, etc.–so we know Francine’s got it in her.

  13. Sugarmonkey says:

    The only other YA lit I can think of that has adult main characters is Judy Bolton who grows up and gets married in the series (not sure if she goes to college.)

    I do so love these recaps. I saves me the trouble of having to read the books.

  14. Jennifer says:

    Please get to the one where Jed gets paralyzed and eeeeeevil enemy guy from trilogy #2 gets to operate on him and date Ginny, to boot. That was the best trash!

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