BSC #61- Jessi’s Awful Secret

This is the second Baby Sitters Club book featuring Jessi that I have reviewed. I am guessing that the person who I bought the lot of books from on Ebay is a big Jessi fan. Well, shall we get started?


The cover depicts Jessi looking very miserable as she stares at Mary Bramstedt, who looks skinny, pale and miserable. So why is Mary so skinny?? So we begin our tale in Jessi’s dance class- I swear that every friggin Jessi book starts with Jessi in ballet class. Jessi says that baby sitting is almost as important to her as ballet-WHAT?? Baby sitting should be priority NUMERO UNO, Ramsey!!! Madame Noelle, Jessi’s dance teacher, announces that Stamford Ballet School will be holding a six week dance class for low income kids, and they need student volunteers to help with the class. Naturally Jessi volunteers right away as children rock, and Jessi is a little surprised that only one other kid volunteered- and that kid is Mary. Jessi comments that Mary is quite the perfectionist, and Mary has to get every dance move exactly right- to the point where she is very stiff and barely looks like she has fun dancing. After dance class, as the girls are changing in the locker room, Mary starts saying she is fat. Some bitch named Mindy Howard claims that she lost 10 pounds and she is now jumping much higher because of it. Jessi thinks in her head that statement is a crock of shit- Jessi should have told Mindy that out loud. Jessi also says that Mary is already quite thin and doesn’t have to lose weight. Jessi also mentions that dancers are very competitive and have to be thin, and Jessi thanks her lucky stars that her whole family is thin, except for Aunt Cecilia- and Jessi hopes she doesn’t take after that cow of a woman! OK, Jessi- kinda bitchy statement.

So Chapter #2 is the usual boring BSC meeting. During the meeting, Mrs. Newton calls needing a sitter for Jamie and Lucy. None of the girls are free to take that job, so Kristy has to call Shannon Kilbourne, one of the alternate officers and the gal whose mansion is near Kristy’s, to take the job. But Kristy is trying to avoid Shannon because Shannon wants to hang out all the time- gee, what a bitch.  So Claudia, Stace and Dawn all say that if Shannon now has more free time, Shannon is free to call any of them to hang out as Kristy is so busy with the Krushers and BSC- being that really is Kristy’s life. So Kristy is grateful that Stacey, Dawn and Claud will hang out with Shannon, and calls Shannon to say so.

So the first dance of ” Dancing With The Kids” begins. Madame Dupre is the teacher and THANK GOD she has no heavy French accent!! We are introduced to the other student volunteers- Vince, a boy that goes to Mary’s school and is a stuck up snot per Mary, Raul, a hottie Latino boy who Mary wants to suck off really badly, and 2 girls named Darcy and Sue. We are also introduced to some of the kiddies- Yvonne is the little bouncy butterball who best lose weight if she thinks she is going to dance being so plump, Devon Ramirez who is a very rambunctious tot, Nora and Jane who pretty much are lazy goof offs, and Martha, a very pretty black girl with lots of talent. Madame Dupre has the kids warm up and then just dance around to the theme from Fantasia, and Jessi and Mary wonder if Madame D. is going to teach the kids any actual moves soon. Mary and Jessi figure they will just wait and see.

So Kristy babysits for the Papadakis kids Hannie, Linny and Sari and Karen and Nancy Dawes, some other friend of Hannie’s, come over to play. All the kids do is play Let’s All Come In that shit game Karen invented and no one cares. Shannon stops by the house during Kristy’s sitting job and says that she is meeting Claud and Stacey downtown that weekend and Kristy is all ” cool”- I SMELL PLOT B DO YOU?

At the next dance class, Jessi notices that Mary is checking herself out in the full length mirror CONSTANTLY and scrutinizing herself really intently. After dance class, Darcy asks Jessi and Mary if they want to go to Burger King after the class is done. Jessi figures it’s a great way to get to know the other kids so she says yes. Jessi convinces Mary to come as well since Mary’s been wanting to get to know Raul better.  This class seems as zooey as the last- the kids learn plies and grande battements, and Madame Dupre just lets the kids do the moves in whatever way and is not correcting them, saying that first you are to rid the kids of bad habits, and then teach them to be dancers.

At Burger King, the students all discuss the class thus far. Raul feels Madame Dupre doesn’t really care about the kids because they are a bunch of poor kids to her, and Mary disagrees saying that she is teaching them, right? Mary is all freaking out over all of the calories in BK food, and she then orders a soda and fries, as it would look odd not to order anything. Mary keeps breaking the fries in half and moving them around on her tray, and her soda barely seems to go down in level. Jessi finds this all really odd.

Next dance class, Madame Dupre introduces them to a new piano teacher who will be playing music for the kids as they dance. Madame is then having the kids do the five positions, and Devon is totally goofing around so Madame has Devon do a time out. Jessi observes that Madame is totally switching gears here. Then, Mary is all flushed and sweaty, and is resting her hands against her knees. Mary tells Jessi she thinks she’s getting a virus. Madame calls Mary’s mom to bring her home. Then, Madame tells Devon if he can’t stop being goofy and distracting, he should not come back. Shape up, Dev!! After class, Jessi sees Martha leaving the class with a very elegant black woman who keeps staring at Jessi. Hmmmm…

So begins another BSC meeting. Everyone notices that Jessi is pretty quiet, and she tells them her concerns about Mary- how Mary is always staring at herself in the mirror, the BK incident, and how Mary was all weak and sweaty in the last dance class. Claudia suggests that all of the girls get books from Janine’s room ( Janine being Claud’s genius older sister) to read about eating disorders to see if Mary could possibly have one. As the girls read, Jessi sees that Mary has many of the symptoms- oh noes! Thank God Ann M Martin consulted a doc for this book, so that the symptoms are actually written about in an accurate fashion- why didn’t ol’ Ann consult anyone before writing about diabetes ( like Bret Michaels) but no matter. So then Mary Anne asks Jessi if she can tell one of her ballet teachers and Jessi says no because ” Mary may tire of dieting on her own”- ummmmm….. God, heaven forbid the BSC EVER get adults involved! Afterward, Stacey, Dawn and Claud describe their awesome evening with Shannon, and then they say they are going to a movie with Shannon tonight. Kristy seems rather perturbed that Dawn, Stacey and Claud are all up Shannon’s behind, and Claudia asks Kristy if she wants to go to the movies and Kristy says no because she’s seeing her man Bart’s basketball game- but Jessi can see that Kristy looks really upset. For some reason, all I could think of now is the episode of the Golden Girls where Rose’s sister Holly visits, and Holly is always out doing fun stuff with Dorothy and Blanche, and Rose is never invited by Holly. Granted, I doubt Shannon will start doing Claudia’s boyfriend but still… to me there are shades of that GG episode in my mind re: this Shannon thing.  Of course, Kristy started it by saying she was too busy for Shannon….

Stacey describes a sitting job at the Brewer house. Stacey is sitting for Andrew, Karen, David Michael and Emily because Kristy has the basketball game and Sam and Charlie are also busy, and Watson and Kristy’s mom are going to some big deal benefit. While Stacey is sitting for the kids, Shannon stops by after she goes to the movies with Dawn and Claud and Shannon and Stace are chatting when Kristy comes in. Kristy has a FIT that Shannon is over there and asks if there are issues at home ” since Shannon never seems to be there anymore.” So Shannon is like ” OK time for home” and Stacey and Shannon both wonder why Kristy has a bug up her butt.

Jessi is back in her regular dance class, and Mary faints!!! Madame Noelle gets the smelling salts, and Mary wakes up. Madame Noelle has the receptionist call Mary’s parents and Jessi waits with Mary in the lobby until her parents arrive. Jessi confronts Mary about her not eating, and Mary flips out after Jessi says she has all of the symptoms and Jessi knows because she and her friends looked it up in a book. That is an odd way of confronting someone about an eating disorder, Jessi! Then Jessi sees Madame Noelle talk to Mary’s dad, and Madame suggests to Mary and her dad that Mary see a doctor.

At the next dance class, Devon is back in the class and really behaving and concentrating. WOOO HOO.Martha continues to rock ass at ballet, and Yvonne continues to bounce. After the class, the ” volunteer gang” is going to hit the Burger King again ( I never knew ballet dancers were so into BK food) but Mary declines, saying she has to go running- UH OH!! Jessi points that she thought Mary was supposed to take it easy, but Mary tells Jessi to stop acting like her mom.

Jessi gets a letter from her NYC boyfriend, Quint, and he writes about how he knows of a lot of gals in his ballet class with eating disorders. He also suggests that Jessi ask the dance teachers about offering a scholarship to the 2 most talented kids in the class Jessi is volunteering for. Jessi thinks this sounds like a rad idea. Oh my LORD- Quint’s letter sounds it was written by a 35 year old man, and not an 11 year old boy!!! 

So now Claudia has a sitting job at the Korman household. The kids are having a huge snowball fight, and Shannon stops by with her sisters. Claud and Shannon are having a good old time making forts and playing in the snow with the kids, and Kristy drops by and is all pissy, and Kristy, Claud and Shannon have an argument because Kristy accuses Shannon of trying to steal Kristy’s pals! AGAIN KRISTY THIS WAS YOUR GREAT IDEA! Kristy is such an immature douche in this book.

So Jessi tries to talk to Mary about her eating disorder again. Mary again tells Jessi to fuck off. At this point, Jess, I’d kind of tell an adult if I were you. Well, instead, Mary faints AGAIN! Finally Jessi tells Madame Noelle her suspicions, and Madame tells Jessi that she figured out that Mary may have an eating disorder. So Madame tells Mary she needs to get help, and Madame is going to talk to Mary’s ma about it. BTW LOVE that Pa B., Mary’s daddy, did not bother taking Mary to the doc the last time- shouldn’t Madame call DCF for medical neglect? Hey, the social worker in me has to say that!! 😉 Mary is still all teary now, and Madame tells Jessi thanks for the help.

So, the dance teachers love the idea of the scholarship for the kids, and Watson and Elizabeth Brewer are going to donate the money! Kristy and Shannon make up of course. The kids then have a big dance recital and all do really well. Jessi finally talks to Martha’s ma,  aka regal black woman,and Martha’s mom was glad to see an African American ballet dancer, as she had been told that black women do not make it in ballet. Jessi says that is changing, and that Martha is uber-talented. And Martha and Devon win the scholarships to the dance school!! Isn’t that just awesome??? And Mary is seeing a psychiatrist and a therapist to help her deal with her eating disorder.  I can give Ann M some points for not making Mary all better right away.

So ends a very special Baby Sitters Club book. Tune in next time for yet another BSC review- with snark GALORE!


4 Responses to “BSC #61- Jessi’s Awful Secret”

  1. And here I thought Claudia was supposed to be the dumbass.

  2. I just found your blog – and I LOVE it!!!

    OMG – Quint’s letter! Too funny.

  3. Welcome, Jen! Glad you enjoy.

  4. girltalkread Says:

    Oh God Quint’s letter is RIDICULOUS- ” Now there are more interracial couples in the pas de deux” or whatever- and just the way he writes- shit 40 year old men aren’t that eloquent or wordy in letters!

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