It’s only been, what? Five books since Mary Anne broke up with Logan? But here she is, pining away for him. (I mean, I guess that’s understandable, but I was proud of Mary Anne for being an Independent Woman Part II. At least until I saw the jeans she’s wearing on the cover of this book… disgusting.)
We find out that the Delaney family has moved away and a new family, the Kormans, has moved in; there are three Korman kids: Bill, Melody, and baby Skylar. They are apparently way less snobby than the Delaneys, which is good for the baby-sitters but bad for Stoneybrook’s “Real Housewives” chances. Turns out, though, that Bill and Melody are scared of their big new house, with all its corners and creaks. Good thing Mary Anne is their baby-sitter and not Dawn, because Dawn would run with it and host a housewarming party for the ghost family living in the attic. Oh, wait… at the next BSC meeting Dawn is scheduled for a job with the Kormans. Poor kids. Dawn, instead of telling the Korman kids that monsters aren’t real, leads them on a pre-bedtime “monster hunt” to get rid of the monsters. Her plan falls short when the kids will not go to sleep alone and are literally afraid of their own toilet.
Meanwhile, Mary Anne is stressed out about a grade-wide English project at SMS for which each student will have to work with three or more other students (teacher-assigned) to study a specific author. She is worried about getting grouped with people like Cokie Mason or Alan Gray or people she doesn’t know, because she’s shy. When she finally sees the list, she’s happy to see that she’s studying one of her favorite authors (Megan Rinehart) and working with Miranda Shillaber and Pete Black, but devastated that she’s also in a group with Logan. If they aren’t even speaking, how can she be in a group with him? She immediately sobs, because she’s Mary Anne.
Then she gets more reasons to sob. Cokie convinces their English teacher to let her join their group because she ~loooves~ Megan Rinehart. (Yeah, right. She loves that sweet Bruno ass.) Cokie and Miranda swap groups, leaving Mary Anne to work with her ex-boyfriend and her nemesis. Classic. Cokie clearly knows nothing about Megan Rinehart (including her name) and blatantly flirts with Logan, hard. Pete and Mary Anne are annoyed, especially Mary Anne when she then finds out they’ll be holding their first out-of-school meeting at Cokie’s house. Oh, and Mary Anne has decided that she wants Logan back. But that’s going to be tough, because Cokie’s making her move, and Logan agrees to several dates with Coke-head, including a concert in Stamford, three movies, and a bunch of SMS games. Now they’re walking into study groups with linked arms and Cokie will not shut the fuck up about their ~relationship~ and Mary Anne is starting to get murderous.
Cokie is contributing zero to the project, and Logan is really phoning it in. They keep leaving meetings early for dumb reasons, leaving Mary Anne and Pete to do all the work. Eventually Mary Anne and Pete say screw it and decide to just meet by themselves and finish up the project so they can get a good grade. But then a bomb is dropped – three authors (including Megan Rinehart) are coming to Stoneybrook Middle School for Author Day (the day their projects are due – in two days) and those groups will present to the entire eighth grade. Mary Anne shits her pants at the assembly where this is announced and briefly contemplates suicide. But then Pete has a great plan – he and Mary Anne will hand in their written report that they’ve worked really hard on and get a good grade; at the assembly, though, when Cokie and Logan are each expected to present their sections, they’ll bomb and it’ll be Mary Anne and Pete’s revenge. Mary Anne loves the thought of sticking it to Cokie, but has mixed feelings about seeing Logan humiliated.
Side note: every time Mary Anne calls Tigger “Tiggy”, I briefly contemplate suicide. That afternoon, Mary Anne gets a call from Logan who, it turns out, has done his part of the project (barely) and wants to work with her to make sure he’s on the right track and ready for the presentation. She agrees. When they get together, he admits he’s only dating Cokie because he misses Mary Anne, but he doesn’t say he’s going to stop seeing Cokie and Mary Anne doesn’t take the opportunity to say, “I MISS YOU, TOO, YOU IDIOT!” Instead, they chastely work on their project. They bust ass (Pete, too) and they get prepared for their Author Day presentation… minus Cokie, who is probably somewhere doing breast-enhancement exercises.
Kristy thinks she solves the Toilet Monster problem at the Kormans’, which would be great if she had avoided writing an insufferable notebook entry about it. (In fact, it’s Logan who ends up coming up with a good solution.) And Author Day ends up going well – for everyone except Cokie. Pete and Logan nail their presentations, Mary Anne is able to read her whole section without vomiting, pooping, or fainting, and Cokie pathetically reads notes cribbed from a book jacket and looks like an idiot in front of everyone. Megan Rinehart introduces herself to Mary Anne, Logan, and Pete afterward and gives them each a signed book. Cokie has disappeared somewhere, presumably to remove her Anjelica Huston costume and turn back into a witch. Oh, and Logan asks Mary Anne out for dinner the next night to “say thank you” for her help. Of course, dinner turns into them admitting they miss each other and planning more dates for the future (Logan’s done with Cokie). MAS + LB 4EVER