Eh, this is probably when I REALLY started to hate Karen. The main sublplot is about Karen being annoying. As opposed to when she just happened to be annoying independently from the rest of the action.
I never really liked the softball plots. I hope I realized it was kind of lame that Kristy just got away with everything in this book. Because thinking back, I know even before rereading that that the entire book ends up being for nothing. Although, remembering my personality as a kid, I was probably both horrified that Kristy actually performed a hazing and relieved she didn’t get in major trouble.
First of all, the title to this book makes no sense. The “copycat” part is in reference to Karen being an annoying brat, who suddenly wants to be a grown-up (meaning 13), and goes around copying various BSC members. The back of the book description implies she is imitating Kristy, but she’s not. She imitates Mary Anne, Stacey, and Claudia, but barely even shares a scene with Kristy until the end. At that point, she bugs Kristy until Kristy snaps and tells her to act her age. But Karen never actually tries to copy her.
But that whole thing is stupid. AND just the subplot. Let’s get to the main idea, which is that Kristy decides she misses playing softball. So, she tries out for the school team and makes it, obviously. She is one of four new girls, and the rest of the team decides to haze them, by making them spray paint an old shed. Kristy is against it, but eventually gives in because the rest of the team keeps making her look bad on the field. The night they do the spray painting, two of the other new girls light up cigarettes. Kristy basically walks away, because she is a goody-goody and all, but the next morning we find out the shed burned down and some guy was hospitalized while trying to put it out.
The rest of the book consists of Kristy freaking out and feeling really guilty. At one point, she gets letters threatening to tell on her if she doesn’t confess like she is in I Know What You Did Last Summer, but nothing comes from that. It turns out it was one of the other new girls trying to get the rest of them to confess because she feels guilty but is too chicken to do it herself. Meanwhile, the boys’ baseball team is wrongly accused, which makes her feel even more guilty. There is a lot of guilt in this book. Finally, Kristy tells the rest of the BSC and they support her and she plans to turn herself in. Before she gets a chance, some high school kids admit to starting the fire, so Kristy is off the hook. It’s kind of a lame ending.
- Claudia and Stacey volunteer to coach the Krushers while Kristy is playing, and it is like something out of Amelia Bedelia. Claudia keeps taking things literally, like thinking call for the ball means trying to get the ball to come like it is a dog. I think it is supposed to be funny. It’s not.
- These books always had the line “Maybe I should stop and introduce myself.” For the longest time I thought that was a sign of good writing.
- Um, Logan is not an alternate member of the BSC. He is an ASSOCIATE member. What is Kristy talking about? Honestly, did Scholastic throw any money towards copy editors?
- Outfits! “Stacey had her premed blonde hair back with a leopard-print scarf tied under one ear. She was wearing one of her favorite pairs of earrings, gold-leaf-shaped ones. She was also wearing a black wrap long-sleeve top, a short, low-slung brown skirt with a big black belt, black tights, and leopard flats.” Not TOO bad.
- Now we get to Claud: “A big yellow shirt with red X-shaped buttons, enormously baggy white pants, and big red Doc Martens double-laced with black and yellow shoe laces braided together. Her earrings said ‘stop’ and ‘go’ – ‘stop’ in her left ear and ‘go’ in her right.”
- Claudia, you are 13. I don’t think you can talk about how hard it is to be a grown up. Besides who feels like an adult at 13? I am 26 and still don’t feel grown up. Of course, maybe that is because I am reading books meant for third graders.
- One of the senior members of the softball team calls Kristy and the other new girls the “four musketeers,” and Kristy really likes the nickname until she realizes it is a joke. Then she feels like a dork. As she should.
- If anyone from the BSC should have stepped in for Kristy as a softball coach, it should have been Mal. When they are talking about softball at the meeting, she is the only one who knows what Kristy is talking about. But Mal is lame and doesn’t get real plots, so scratch that.
- When Kristy spray paints the shed she dresses in all dark clothes and actually rubs burnt cork on her face. It seems a little extreme for a prank. But then, I never did anything like that, so who knows.
- Okay, Stacey and Claud coaching outfits:
- Caudia: “a red satin baseball cap, purple sweatpants that were cut off just below the knees, purple high tops with neon pink laces, red and white striped socks, and a red and pink tie-dyed crop top shirt.” Do you think maybe she is colorblind? It would explain so much.
- Stacey: “Black bicycle shorts with neon yellow racing stripes down the sides, a pair of Nikes with matching yellow swooshes on the sides (but ordinary white laces) an enormous white v-neck T-shirt, a black jog bra, and a Brooklyn Dodgers cap, turned backwards.” Um, A Brooklyn Dodgers Cap? In 1994?
- Later, Karen copies Stacey’s outfit. But she uses a black bathing suit top since 7-year-olds don’t wear sports bras. And she wears a plan baseball cap, not a Dodgers one, because as annoying as she is, Karen knows the Dodgers have not played in Brooklyn since the 1950s.
- Even if Kristy isn’t responsible for the stupid shed burning down, she still spray painted the thing. And yet, all her guilt basically goes away when she finds out someone else actually set the fire, and she no longer feels the need to confess. Way to advocate kids getting away with hazing, ghostwriters.
- The next book is called “Jessi’s horrible prank.” That should really be the title of this one (only it would have been Kristy’s horrible prank, obviously).