THE MAIN IDEA:
The book starts off with some ridiculously heavy bitching. Seriously, this ho whines about anything and everything in this chapter. First she complains about hating biology. Then a paragraph later she hates on singular and plural forms of words. The paragraph immediately following is a rant on hating that her science teacher makes the class do ‘experiments’. I’m on page two and guess what I hate? Claudia.
Next she complains about her sister being smarter than her. And how she basically hates her. When I read this series as a kid, I usually sympathized with whichever girl was narrating each book. Reading them as an adult just makes me hate children. Well… more than I already do.
Anyway, Claudia’s got to go to an awards ceremony for her big sister, who’s SO smart at 16 that she’s taking some college classes. Guess what, bitch? It’s called concurrent enrollment and about half of the kids in my high school took college classes while they were still in high school. I call BS on Janine being a genius. She’s probably pretty average… and just a bad dresser, which justifies Claud’s hate.
So Claudia’s in a funk over Janine getting all this attention. Her parents don’t seem to notice (If Claud was my daughter I probably wouldn’t pay much attention to her, either), which makes Claudia feel even worse.
Since she’s retarded, Claudia gets this wild idea that she’s adopted. She decides this because the Kishi’s have way more pictures of Janine as a baby than they do of baby Claudia. There’s this really cute paragraph where Claudia speculates that a crooked lawyer had ‘let Mom and Dad adopt me for a huge sum of money.’ Trust me, Claud, if you were adopted, you were found in the bargain bin.
Claudia lets Stacey in on her big idea, and instead of (rightfully) shutting Claudia down and denouncing her as a moron, Stacey encourages the idiocy. While Stacey is sitting for the Perkins girls (who bug the ever-lovin’-crap outta me), she finds a book called Find a Stranger, Say Goodbye. It’s all about adoption (how convenient), so Claudia reads it and formulates a ‘plan’ to find out whether or not she is, indeed, adopted.
Claud goes to the library (I’m surprised she knew where it was) and looks up all the birth announcements from the week she was born on the microfiche machine. The Stoneybrook News doesn’t list a Claudia Kishi. She ends up calling a bunch of parents in Stoneybrook and a couple people in Montana (or Wyoming, I don’t care to check, and they’re essentially the same place) to look for ‘clues’. She goes and visits her old pediatrician’s office, too. Lame. It’s boring and Claudia’s a sucky detective.
Also, mixed up in all this unnecessary angst (Cuz really Claudia? Just ask your damn parents if they adopted you) is a dumb-ass subplot about how Emily Michelle is headed down the ‘ol Claudia path herself because she was adopted from Vietnam and is all under-developed and shit. I think we were supposed to pick up on the subtle idea that Emily is dumb and was adopted, and Claudia is dumb so she’s also adopted? Or was that just me being a bitch while reading the book? Whatever.
Emily can’t get into preschool because she’s a little too stupid. So Mrs. Brewer asks Claudia to tutor her. Because… Mrs. Brewer has never met Claudia. Or seen one of her report cards. Apparently Claudia is like the horse-whisperer… but for adopted Vietnamese children… and she teaches Emily all this developmental shit like her colors and shapes and counting and what have you. And Claudia feels all validated or something.
Now back to the story that’s supposed to matter (but doesn’t to me). Claudia gets stuck on the search for her ‘birth parents’ (because she already knows them and lives in their house, sorry for the spoiler), so she confronts her ‘adopted parents’ about lying to her. They assure her that she’s nutso and not adopted. Okay, they don’t tell her she’s nutso, but they do let her know that when the second kid comes around in a family, the parents usually give less of a shit about taking pictures. I also tried to come up with an ‘all Asians look alike anyway’ joke with that last statement, but it felt a little too contrived (but still a little hilarious).
So Claudia’s all reassured and happy and she and Janine bake a cake and hold hands to end the book. Well. They go make dinner together. Gay.
Claudia is dressed like a poodle the day Janine gets her award. Well. Her outfit is poodle themed. Still. God.
“People kept looking at Janine and then looking at me. I could tell they were thinking, I can’t believe you’re sisters. Then they would ignore me and congratulate Janine.” Um, Claud? Janine’s the one getting the award. Not you. Of course you’re being ignored. Also, as previously stated, you’re dressed as a poodle. I’d ignore your crazy ass, too.
Ew, I forgot that Kristy had a baseball hat with a picture of a collie on it. Probably because it hurt my head to think about it, so I blocked it out of my memory.
“See, a long time ago, Mrs. Shafer and Mr. Spier had gone to Stoneybrook High together.” Uh… how old do these bitches think their parents are? I know it’s not exactly typical, but when I was thirteen my parents were still in their early thirties. And I didn’t consider the late 70’s and early 80’s (when they were still in high school) as ‘a long time ago’. I guess we’re just being reminded that Claudia’s an idiot.
Teehee, Dawn is prettier than Mary Ann and Kristy.
Talking about Stacey and herself, “We’re both sophisticated and mature for thirteen (I guess that sounds a little stuck-up, but I really think it’s true).” Hate to keep harping on this Claudia, but… YOUR OUTFIT EARLIER WAS POODLE-THEMED.
Stacey puts glitter in her hair? My mom would have beat my ass for getting glitter all over her house if I tried to pull that BS.
Dawn’s an individual. Jessi’s black. Stacey has diabetes. Mallory’s fug. I love chapter two!
Everybody always acts a little weird about Kristy calling Watson by his first name. What’s she supposed to call him? ‘Mr. Brewer’? ‘Stepfather’?
David Michael is a whiny little bitch. And why does he have two names? All I can think of is Ricky Bobby when I read his name.
Stacey calls Claudia because she thinks the thunderstorm might have been scaring her? Because they’re so sophisticated and mature? I was never afraid of thunderstorms at any age, so I’m not positive on this one, but I’m pretty sure most kids stop being scared of thunder in, oh, the first grade?
Is Nannie Watson’s mom or Elizabeth’s mom? Does anyone know (care)?
For someone who bitches about being a bad student ALL THE TIME, Claudia sure does a whole lot of NOTHING to change that.
Baha, Claudia doesn’t know how a safety deposit box works. Dunce.
I like the Perkins girls now for naming their dog Chewbacca.
Why don’t Claudia’s parents like for her to read Nancy Drew? Weren’t those like… classic children’s literature?
“Francie Ledbetter.” The hell?
Claudia says she needs a good ‘story’ to tell the parents she calls. In other words, she needs a good lie. Way to encourage lying, Ann M. Martin. And all the other stupid shit these girls do and completely get away with.
Why do all these girls say ‘Oh my lord!’ all the time? I guess that was 1990’s ‘WTF’. Oh wait… no it wasn’t.
Kristy’s all proud of herself for using the term ‘reared its ugly head’. Shut up, Kristy.
Bart walks Kristy home by looping his arm through hers? Uh, Kristy? Bart’s a faggot.
Why in the… blazes do the Kishi’s keep a locked box containing $500 in their den? I call BS on their ‘if we ever need fast cash in the middle of the night’ explanation. Why would you ever need $500 in the middle of the night? In case Mr. Kishi’s supplier ever shows up and needs to settle, pronto?
There’s a weird random outfit description right in the middle of Kristy telling the girls something important. Like, Claudia stops the story and suddenly tells us what each girl is wearing. Totally out of place and unnecessary. You need to get that tick checked out, Claud.
Claudia finds a bunch of old pictures of Mimi. “That night, I slept with one of the pictures of Mimi under my bed.” Why? So you could get it all wrinkled and covered with crumbs and chocolate and shit? Way to honor your dead grandma’s memory, you whore.
Sorry it's so teeny. (That's what he said)
Hello Claudia. I’m a weed-whacker, and I’ll be trimming your bangs today. Seriously. Was that another one of Claud’s ‘art projects’?
Emily Michelle’s outfit is fug.
Claudia’s outfit = not that ‘wild’.
And finally “Claudia thinks she’s adopted, and no one understands.” Grow up, asshole.