Tobias Wirth Wirth itibaren Senji kunnathur, Tamil Nadu, Hindistan
I learned from this book ... that it's best not to think about the dysfunctional co-dependence of the Tree and instead to focus on the bittersweet message of love and forgiveness.
in this book, we get to see the fight between claudia & stacey from stacey's perspective. doesn't claudia look cute on the cover? or, rather, the girl representing claudia? she must have moved on to bigger & better modeling gigs before the series ran its course, because the claudia on the cover the last book in the series, "graduation day," is not cute at all. anyway! claudia remains utterly convinced through the course of this book that stacey is a backstabbing no-goodnik who stole the boy claudia considered to be "hers". she felt she stakes her claim on jeremy by saying that she liked him first, & that he would have come around & started liking her back is stacey hadn't swooped in & snatched him away. i call bullshit on that. jeremy had his chance to fall for claudia when they went to the mall together in book #2, but he went to stacey's house the next day--her house! he didn't even wait until he saw her at school--to ask her out. he made his own choice, & stacey tried to get claudia's permission. one could possibly make an argument that you don't go out with the dude your friend is crushing on, even if he's not into her. it's not an argument i'd make, but it's the only leg claudia has to stand on. however. it does seem that this jeremy kid is confused. in this book, he strikes up a pretty chummy friendship with claudia. he starts calling her up at home & they chat for an hour at a time. he goes to the mall with her, & out to see movies with her. he shoots the shit with her between classes at school. claudia thinks that he may even be going out of his way to cross paths with her. maybe he likes her after all? stacey does not come out of this book looking too great. she is really clingy with jeremy & actually stops claudia in the girls' bathroom at school to a) apologize for calling claudia stupid, & b) tell her to stay away from jeremy. uh, a person who is secure in their relationship doesn't give a rip who their boyfriend pals around with. so by the end of the book, you are thinking that claudia is on to something & maybe jeremy is into her after all. the sub-plot is that claudia makes friends with erica blumberg as a kind of replacement best friend since stacey isn't around. she tries to convince erica to go shopping with her, even though erica is pretty clear about not liking to shop. erica goes anyway & they have fun until claudia calls her "stacey". oh shit! throughout the book, claudia & erica can't seem to have one conversation where claudia doesn't mention stacey. erica finally has enough & walks out on a lunch date. i can't say i blame her. i have a good friend who is constantly talking about this other friend she has who is her "best" friend, the only one who really "gets her," someone who is "like a sister" to her, even though this friend treats my friend like crap. it gets pretty tiresome feeling like i can never measure up to this other person who kind of sucks anyway. but claudia & erica patch things up. oh, & erica is adopted & wants to find her birth family. & there's this whole thing about thanksgiving & claudia's aunt being anxious about seeing an old college friend who is a world-famous photojournalist & how she's insecure because she thinks her life as a stay-at-home mom must be a total bore by comparison. i guess the message there is, uh, not to compare shit or something. one annoying this: claudia at times seems like a total idiot in this book. like, unable to hold a basic conversation. everyone is all, "claudia is so smart, she just doesn't apply herself in school." bullshit. there's not applying oneself academically & then there's struggling & struggling & being held back anyway. claudia obviously has drive, because she does art & takes art classes & babysits & has a full social calendar & is always putting together weird outfits (there are a lot in this book) & even does community service stuff a fair amount (more than i ever did at that age). i don't buy the idea that school just bores her. but i do like that many conversations in this book are like real conversations that teenagers would have, full of awkward pauses & uncomfortable topic transitions. okay.