ozqueen: (books: bsc: sophistication demonstration)
ozqueen ([personal profile] ozqueen) wrote in [community profile] stoneybrook2016-06-12 09:20 am

Read Through: BSC #7 - Claudia and Mean Janine




Claudia and Mean Janine

CLAUDIA'S SISTER IS AN IMPOSSIBLE PERSON TO LIVE WITH!



Welcome to the discussion post for Claudia and Mean Janine! This post doesn't have an expiry date on it, so just comment whenever you're ready.

What was your favourite part? What was your least favourite part? Any memorable quotes you'd like to share? What had you forgotten about since the last time this book was read? If someone wrote a fic set during the timeline of this fic, what should they write?

There are no mandatory questions or points of discussion for this - anything you want to talk about in relation to this week's book, go ahead!








Next week's book is BSC #8 - Boy-Crazy Stacey

(Anonymous) 2016-06-12 12:44 am (UTC)(link)
Claud has turned thirteen! I think she's our first thirteen-year-old. I almost missed it, except for the fact that she remarks on it. And she admits she can be a pain sometimes. I'm very charmed by Claudia on this go-round. She was never one of my particular favorites, but I love her now. She's very mature but also very age-appropriate.

LOL at Claud giving Janine's old clothes to Kristy and Mary Anne. I guess they wear them? At least, did wear them. Maybe not MA after her mini-makeover, but those might be the "school clothes" Kristy wears. (Which I think are going to get dropped pretty soon. I don't think she's worn a turtleneck yet, but she hasn't worn a kilt in several books.)

I think I knew this, but this might be our first confirmation that Mimi is Rioko's mother.

I had no idea this book was set pre-move. Interesting. I forgot that, and I think it shows in my writeup of Kristy's Big Day. Oops. I guess Mimi distracts from it, but it's kind of interesting that Kristy moves without fanfare. She's just there one day and gone the next. I guess it'll get a lot more coverage in the next Kristy book (or the next MA book). See, look how much I (don't) remember!

By now, Kristy has pretty much taken over the director's chair. The visor is a regular thing, too. She's settling in to being the president she was born to be!

Interesting that the notebook and record book stay in Claudia's room, but Stacey takes the treasury home with her. Does she think Claud is going to go on a sugar-crazed midnight Ho-Ho run with the treasury money?

In case anyone wants to compare Charlie's rates with US gas prices, in July of 1987, gas was 94 cents/gallon.

Oh, this is only a week after the wedding. This is really early. I thought they went on a two-week honeymoon???

Claudia thinks the Barretts are a handful but nice, but Jenny is a brat. :-/ And Karen's not a brat, of course not.

Poor Janine. No wonder she feels left out. They forget about her all the time!

I forgot Mimi has her stroke right after that horrible game. Ugh. Poor Claudia. I can't blame her for thinking she caused it. But Janine and Claudia really come through here. This is the second time Claudia has proven herself in an emergency (after the Phantom Phone Caller). I'm impressed.

Somehow Claudia telling the girls breaks my heart more than it happening. Mary Anne! Dawn grabbing her hand!

Mean Janine! Janine is NOT mean! Claudia's the mean one.

That's really smart of Claudia to figure out about Mimi being able to hear her and the blinking! She is way smarter than anyone gives her credit for.

Oh, Louie. :( I get so sad about Louie in these early books, since he won't be around much longer. This is a cute sequence. Poor David Michael worried about what people will think of Louie.

I love the other girls coming to visit Mimi. I just love that they all love her. But poor Mary Anne! I'm sure she just wanted to stay with Mimi because she misses her. But they end up having tea! Oh, I love that so much. (I'm thinking about the revelation that Mary Anne doesn't actually like tea all that much and I'm deciding she develops a taste for it, especially after Mimi dies. And that she and Claudia have tea. WITH JANINE.)

Aw, Claudia's revelation about her and Janine. I don't think the B-plot of this book (Jamie and Lucy and the day camp) is as strong, which is probably why my notes are so short. But I do like the Claudia and Janine stuff and that kind of makes up for it. And Janine revealing how it looks from her point of view is nice. And Mimi and Janine one-on-one time. It's so easy to forget about Janine but I'm really liking her on this re-read. She always seems to show up at the right moment, even if Claudia doesn't totally appreciate her.

(Anonymous) 2016-06-12 05:55 am (UTC)(link)
I will never understand this when Stacey and Dawn's handwriting is so much more legible.

This made me laugh because my handwriting resembles Mary Anne's! I definitely tried to emulate it as a kid and I guess it stuck. :X

I loved Auntie Nora's swizzle sticks! And since Auntie Nora is mentioned later, it is so obviously something she gave them as a wedding present that they had to get out because she was coming. I love when the characters seem real, especially the adults. And it's kind of cute reading the kids' puzzlement at adult behavior now as an adult.
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[identity profile] redsilverchains.livejournal.com 2016-06-12 08:05 am (UTC)(link)
-She’s thirteen now! Get used to it Claud…for the next 10+ years…

-I don’t think Claudia liking to dance is ever brought up again.

-When Dawn and I stand next to each other, we look kind of like a photograph and its negative. This is quite the artsy description. :D

-Ahhh, Charlie is the world’s most easygoing person.

-I felt so bad for Janine! She is so right: they don’t even LET her be involved in family stuff, whether it’s doing chores or joining in on the bonding sessions like tea with Mimi. They’re just content to let her be in her own little box as the genius. What makes me sad is that she seems to be walking on eggshells with her own family, careful only to do the things that they want.

Interesting how she looks wistful over the BSC – we’ve been informed that Janine has only one friend (the math genius? whatever happened to that one?) and she must surely be envious that Claudia has four insta-BFFs with the club.

At least they communicate with me. Hah, this makes me think that online comms and such would be good for Janine. If this hadn’t been written in the 80’s, I’d have assumed she was chatting or on a forum or something.

-how fricking adorable is Janine playing with the Newtons? Cooing over Lucy and playing pat-a-cake, awwww.

-also, pretty interesting that being called a nerd sets her off. She must hear it a lot, poor thing.

-"Five baby-sitters! What would you do with five baby-sitters, Jamie?"
"Have lots of fun," he replied cheerfully.

Jamie’s clear adoration for his babysitters continues to make me melt. See also "Claudy’s here." <3

-someone should really tell Karen off and not let her get away with such things, tsk. But at the same time, I was super amused at the image of the whole BSC and all of the kids using sweet Andrew as their convenient monster – and at Andrew going along with it!

-ok but Andrew/Jenny futurefic though

-the bathing Louie scenes are so much fun! All of the kids chasing him around, hee. And 'he shrank!/now he’s fat again!' is adorable.

- I love the little Mimi-isms we keep getting like Minnie is the mouse and shattered eggman. <3

-Everything about Mimi is so hard to read. The blinking scene broke my heart when I was younger and still does now.

-I like how by now the whole BSC loves Mimi and how her situation puts them all in the doldrums during meetings. Mary Anne being described as ‘schoolteacherish’ though. :) I’m impressed she didn’t burst into tears when Mimi yelled – it says a lot about their bond that Mary Anne can take it. That, and Mary Anne saying "I deserved it": really mature.

- "You’re always pushing me into my world and out of yours." –ohhhh good way to put it. I do wish Claudia would have apologized along with giving Janine her advice.

-re: the scene where Mr. Kishi gets a pad of paper:
"I think she’ll need something bigger," I said.
Everyone looked at me. "Why do you think that?" asked Dad curiously.
"I just – just do." I’ve had enough trouble in school to know what will be easy, and what will be difficult.

Huh, okay, so I don’t know much about learning disorders (which I’ve seen as a theory re: Claudia), but could this have been foreshadowing for a future plot that was later dropped? Or am I just reading too much into it?

-all in all, this was a really good one and showed some nice self-awareness in Claudia, plus, the B-plots were cute! And OMG, I can’t wait for the next one – Sea City books were so my jam.
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[identity profile] redsilverchains.livejournal.com 2016-06-12 08:07 am (UTC)(link)
Same here re: Claudia’s maturity. I quite like how she can be very critical of others (not afraid to call Kristy out) and also critical of herself.

Sugar crazed Ho-Ho run, bwahahaha! I think Stacey’s protective of the treasury in a Gollum-y my precioussss sort of way.

I remember a joke in one of the old communities that said this book should be called Janine and Mean Claudia and at some parts, I have to agree!

And that she and Claudia have tea. WITH JANINE. – oh I love this thought!
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[identity profile] redsilverchains.livejournal.com 2016-06-12 08:08 am (UTC)(link)
-I always thought the Nancy Drew objection was AMM’s pre-emptive strike against those who might object to their kids reading BSC books

-Mal has triplet bullshit radar, bwahaha.

-I love that Claud knows EXACTLY how Mary Anne and Mimi will be sitting!

-I also thought the reference at the beginning to both of them going away was talking about Sea City! The early books were just so consistent with the connectedness that I just assumed.
cinaed: Hollywood is a place where they'll pay you a thousand dollars for a kiss and fifty cents for your soul (Marilyn Monroe)

[personal profile] cinaed 2016-06-13 05:32 pm (UTC)(link)
Real life got in the way for the past few weeks, so I've been reading but not commenting. Anyway, on with my thoughts.

-The B plot didn't really interest me because I couldn't keep track of all the kids, but I loved the A plot.

-Janine and Claudia! I love how as an adult I can understand a lot of the things Janine is trying to say, but it goes right over Claudia's head and turns into a fight, because it feels so believable to me.

-Mimi! I think it's really interesting that Mary Anne is the only person she really gets frustrated with during her therapy. Though oh my heart when they fight. :(

-I didn't feel much about Janine as a kid, but now I'm really feeling terrible for her! I feel like her parents and Claudia have decided she's only good at studying, and don't let her do anything else.

-MRS. KISHI IS THE WORST LIBRARIAN. Sorry, I am a children's librarian and the idea of keeping books from kids (especially non-objectionable books like the Nancy Drew series) is abhorrent to me. Maybe Claudia would do better in school if she was allowed to read more of the books she was actually interested in! Now I want a story about a new librarian who comes into town and starts butting heads with Mrs. Kishi over the collection.
baseballchica03: (Default)

Graphic Novel!

[personal profile] baseballchica03 2016-06-14 10:01 pm (UTC)(link)
I've been skimming but not really commenting on these posts because I don't really find the "here is a stream of consciousness list of all the things I thought about ____ book" to be conducive to starting conversation. It's kind of too much for me to just see the walls of text and not know where to jump in to the conversation. It's easier for me to have say, here is a thread about Claudia and Janine's relationship, here is the thread on how Mimi made me sad, here is the thread about the B plot instead of having it all jumbled in all over the place.

But anyway, Claudia and Mean Janine is one of my faves, though, so I figured I'd be remiss if I didn't at least try to participate a little!

I'm re-reading the graphic novel, and I love how much Raina is able to communicate about the tension that's still there between Dawn and Kristy just using their facial expressions and body language. (Or more specifically, Kristy's deal with feeling jealous about Dawn and her growing friendship with MA.) It's one of the little things that I love about the graphic novel versions of these books. It adds another dimension to stories I've already read over and over many times.

photo of a panel with kristy giving dawn the side eye. she has a huge grin in the panel just above it.
Edited (fixing the img src code) 2016-06-14 22:04 (UTC)
baseballchica03: (bsc - janine unimpressed)

[personal profile] baseballchica03 2016-06-14 10:03 pm (UTC)(link)
I always thought it should be Janine and Mean Claudia! Even when I was younger. I understand it's an emotional time for everyone, but so much stuff is not even Janine's fault. No one asks her if she wants to move around her class, no one asks her to help make dinner, she's just doing her best.
baseballchica03: (bsc - janine/charlie)

[personal profile] baseballchica03 2016-06-14 10:16 pm (UTC)(link)
-I felt so bad for Janine! She is so right: they don’t even LET her be involved in family stuff, whether it’s doing chores or joining in on the bonding sessions like tea with Mimi. They’re just content to let her be in her own little box as the genius. What makes me sad is that she seems to be walking on eggshells with her own family, careful only to do the things that they want.

Agreed. It's like they put her in this little box and don't let her step outside of it. Even though Claudia gets a lot of nagging from her parents about her grades, in some ways she's a lot more free than Janine. She has her art and babysitting and dresses all wild and crazy and has interests other than school. I mean, heck, Janine feels like she has to hide the fact that she has a boyfriend later on, and she's a much more reasonable age for going out on dates than Claudia is! The prequel makes me kind of sad because it's clear Janine sometimes wants to be more than fitting into the Certified Genius box. But that's how she earns outward expressions of her family's love and pride. It's got to be hard to feel like you have to keep it up at 100% all the time or lose that.

I would love to read fic about Janine going away to college and completely letting loose and going wild because even though the pressure to get good grades and Be Smart and Succeed are still there nagging in the back of her mind, it's suddenly not ever-present in her face all the time. (I mean, my real headcanon is that Janine continues to be smart and succeeds quickly in some STEM field or another, but it wouldn't be totally unreasonable to go in the opposite direction where she finally just snaps at some point and things go sideways for her because she can't deal with not being perfect.)
impy: tori from jackie's strength video (Default)

Re: Graphic Novel!

[personal profile] impy 2016-06-19 11:06 am (UTC)(link)
The graphic novels are adorable and totally worth hunting down. They manage to hit the same warm/happy place in my heart that the early BSC books do and I didn't really think that was possible.
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[identity profile] redsilverchains.livejournal.com 2016-06-22 06:54 am (UTC)(link)
Oh that’s right, there was a whole Mystery dedicated to Janine hiding her love life! Shows that she’s the one who’s expected ONLY to concentrate on what she’s good at, meanwhile, Claudia goes to school dances with boys all the time and has fun.

I would love to read fic about Janine going away to college and completely letting loose and going wild because even though the pressure to get good grades and Be Smart and Succeed are still there nagging in the back of her mind, it's suddenly not ever-present in her face all the time

I could see this. She is most likely going to a college where everybody is at her intelligence level, so I can see her feeling much less pressure to stand out. It’s like going to a college where everybody else was also the valedictorian in high school, so you feel less pressure to be THE smartest. This happened to me in the jump between elementary and high school actually, and tbh, it was all for the best.

And hee, I just noticed your icon! <3
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[identity profile] redsilverchains.livejournal.com 2016-06-22 06:57 am (UTC)(link)
I’m so glad to see this commentary about Mrs. Kishi’s librarian-ship. Honestly, whenever there was a BSC book dedicated to condemning book banning and Mrs. Kishi got involved, I always thought "Uhm, but she won’t even let her daughter read Nancy freaking Drew…" I want that story now too!