Dawn and Jeff are on their way back to town because this book marks the 700th time that summer started since Dawn moved back to California. Sharon spent the week getting the house ready and buying a bunch of junk food, and everyone decides to go to the airport. Richard seriously agrees to let the whole BSC go with them.
The flight is delayed, so they head over to the cafeteria. Everyone gets a bunch of salads and healthy stuff, except for Claudia who gets chocolate cake, ice cream, and Ring Dings. Totally off topic, but am I the only one who will miss the heck out of Hostess? I love those little banana nut muffins and Ding Dongs, both of which went out of stock around here weeks and weeks ago.
Kristy sees a family and wonders if they are from Stoneybrook. She seriously contemplates walking up to them and telling them about the club, but the girls talk her out of it. Mary Anne hears the man making a fuss and thinks he's being rude, but he's actually choking. Everyone stands around in shock, and Sharon rushes over and gives him the Heimlich. Everyone talks about how she was so strong, and Mary Anne cries because she didn't know what to do.
There just so happens to be a class on safety and first aid taken place for teens, so the BSC decides to enroll. Their teacher Shelley mentions one of those random “annual” events that we only here about once. This time, it's a firefighters fair, and she announces that they want to add a safety day to the event and have everyone in class participate.
As part of their class, they have to take a tour of the hospital. Mary Anne is so nervous that she almost decides to stay home, but Dawn talks her into going. Dr. Johannson, who I'm pretty sure doesn't work in the emergency room, gives them a tour of the ER. Two parents rush in with their son who passed out, and she has to work on him immediately. Mary Anne flips out yet again, but she feels better when Dawn calls and they give her an update on the boy's release, which I'm pretty sure is against the law.
Safety day arrives, and Mary Anne tells everyone that she doesn't want to take part. Abby skips the event when she finds out that they're doing a car crash replica, and Mary Anne gets all sad again. Dawn volunteers her for the fake car crash, and since she's Mary Anne, she never tells anyone that she doesn't want to do it, but pouts and mopes over being “forced” into it. Jamie Newton sees her on the ground and freaks out because he thinks she's actually dead.
She goes home and throws a hissy fit, being slightly rude to Dawn and acting like a brat. When she finally tells her why she's ticked, Dawn acts like she had no clue. She then apologizes to Dawn who also says that she's sorry. Then there's a random story about how Claudia takes Jamie and Lucy to the fair, and they both get scared by the fire trucks and the fact that clowns literally set a fake house on fire. A bunch of people get pissy with her for taking young kids there.
Dawn gets a job sitting at the Kormans, and she brings Mary Anne with her so they can lounge around the pool. Timmy Hsu and the Papadakis kids come over, and the adult neighbor heads over to his house for a new drink. Timmy swims into the deep end and starts drowning, but Mary Anne jumps into the water and saves him. Mrs. Hsu is so happy that she sends a cake to her class, and everyone praises Mary Anne as a hero, and she wins an award or some crap for being so brave.
The subplot is all about Logan. His dad decides that he should go to a boarding school for boys like he did, and he wants to send him to a boot camp for the summer. Dawn and Mary Anne suggest that he talk to his mom, but he just wants to mope around and say there's no way his dad will change his mind. He finally tells his dad how he feels, and he agrees to let him stay in Stoneybrook. Lame.
*Seriously, this summer comes after Carol marries their dad, but before they have a kid or they take the trip to Hawaii!
*I love how Claudia tolerated Dawn and Stacey in the early books, giving them pretzels or crackers. Every time Dawn comes back, she buys something really fancy (organic mint tabouli and multigrain bread). I wonder if Stacey ever gets pissed about that.
*Alan Gray, Pete Black, and some other guy make a joke to the teacher, whose name is Shelley Golden. She makes a comment about how they need to use their gray matter before they wind up black and blue and miss a golden opportunity. The guys get all embarrassed, Abby bursts into applause, and I want to punch something.
*The ghostwriters obviously have no clue how fairs/festivals actually work. It's literally like two weeks beforehand, and Shelley's group JUST took their plans for a safety day to the city. Of course, it gets approved right away without any real discussion or anything.
*Mrs. Pike gives Claudia a ride home from the fair, which is weird. Why the heck would Mrs. Pike have a car seat for Lucy? Then again, the Newtons are horrible parents in this one. Jamie still thinks Mary Anne is dead and had nightmares from safety day, but they let Claudia decide whether or not to take him to the fair.
*The Timmy thing is so freaking lame. He SWIMS into the deep end, and then when someone says he can't swim, he suddenly starts drowning. How the heck did he get into the deep end? On top of that, he is flailing in the water, and Mary Anne tells Dawn to call 911 before jumping into the pool. In the five seconds that it took her to do that, Timmy is now at the bottom of the pool and unconscious. I call bull shit.
*Dawn and Jeff surprise her with lunch for her favorite “gourmet Chinese restaurant,” Mr. Ed's. Yup, nothing says gourmet and Chinese like a talking horse.