the best friends you’ll never have

There’s a lot of Abby haters out there. Maybe it’s because she has to deal with being the reason for the exile of Dawn to California, to only be allowed back in Stoneybrook for brief visits. (Although I have said many times what a big fan of CA Diaries I am, and these would not have been possible if Dawn had not been sent back.) Maybe it’s because she was funny (like Jessi was supposed to be), and athletic (like Kristy), and street smart (like Stacey), and a half-orphan (like Mary Anne). Maybe it’s because her humor was only as funny as the ghostwriter who was writing her and relied a lot on stupid puns. Maybe it’s simply because she only came on the scene in #89 and some fans have not even read that far in the series yet. Whatever the reason, she just seems to get a lot of flak.

I happen to like her. Sure, her jokes are not that funny. But I like it how she always sticks it to Kristy, and how she is sort of one step ahead of all the other BSC members, jarring the perfect harmony of the club a little bit. She doesn’t have a best friend. Sure, she has Anna, but her and Anna’s relationship always seemed a little tense to me. The concept of having a “best friend” is kind of confining. I have a bunch of friends who I am really close to, but don’t rely on any one of them as my “best” friend above all others. I like that Abby was more independent. By the way, for some reason Mary Anne having both Kristy and Dawn as her best friends makes me thinking of Hugh Hefner having all those girlfriends.

Another interesting point about Abby is that because she is less close to the other girls, we get more insight into her family life. The Stevenson family errs on the side of dysfunctional. Her mom is really cold, her sister is pretty uptight, her grandma hates her sister, Mrs. Stevenson hates her sister… you get the idea. I think we see the Stevenson extended family the most out of all the BSC members. Some people don’t like the book Abby in Wonderland, but I have always really liked it. The party sounds fun, the subplot (with the Pikes bringing Sea City to Stoneybrook) is cute, and also it touches on some heavy issues without being heavyhanded, as is often the case in this series. Abby and the Mystery Baby is pretty weird, what with the “baby-on-the-doorstep” plot and all, but it’s interesting at least.

A lot of people don’t like Abby because they didn’t really read the later books, and they see her as an intruder without anything that sets her apart from the other baby-sitters. I like her for this because she is flawed and doesn’t quite fit. She provides contrast which highlights the cliqueishness and provincialism of the other members. She is the most “real” out of all the girls.

19 Responses To This Post

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cpennylane said, October 21st, 2007 at 9:20 pm

I honestly never knew Abby. The first time around with the BSC, I stopped reading around #64/ SS#10. I knew that Dawn moved away, because sometimes I would sneak into the children’s section of the bookstore and look at the books, but I never bought or read them. I might have read the Claudia and Crazy Peaches one though.

Anyway, so I’ve read 2 Abby books. Welcome to the BSC, and the one where she watches Rear Window. I have no real opinion on her. I wish I did.

greer said, October 21st, 2007 at 9:27 pm

I really really recommend you read them… i know they’re hard to find, but so worth it!

myu said, October 22nd, 2007 at 8:29 am

I’ve read a few Abby books (about seven, I think) and I have to say I don’t really have much of an opinion about her, either. The idea of her as a character annoys me a bit (mostly for the same reasons you mentioned – being a mishmash of the other sitters plus her distinct inability to make me laugh), but I don’t really mind her books – I even quite like “Abby’s Lucky Thirteen” and her Portrait Collection.

Robin Wilson said, October 22nd, 2007 at 1:06 pm

Wasn’t she Jewish? The Jews needed some visibility in the BSC…

greer said, October 22nd, 2007 at 5:32 pm

@Robin Wilson: it’s pretty shocking to me how few jews reside in stoneybrook.

chicken_queen said, October 22nd, 2007 at 9:04 pm

OT (because you know I love Abby) : It looks like Main Street #4 is available for pre-order on Amazon. It’s called “Best Friends” and it’s out April 1.

greer said, October 22nd, 2007 at 9:33 pm

@chicken_queen: april 1st???!!! that’s such a long time to wait omg.

DSharpe113 said, October 23rd, 2007 at 10:40 am

ARgh!!!!! April 1st?? wtf?? Lol. The second and third books didn’t come otu that far apart. *sigh*
back on topic.
I like Abby too, even her quirkyness.. Her personality was actualy pretty distinct, and you could pick up a book and not look at the cover and pretty much know who was talking.

elphitha said, October 31st, 2007 at 4:41 pm

Abby always seemed to me to be the babysitter Ann could never manage to write previously – like has been said, a straight up mix of all the girls in one. Nonetheless, I loved her from her first appearence. I found myself identifying with her in the silliest of ways, and I *did* – and still do – laugh at her lameass jokes (I adore bad humour) – and she was thirteen, Jewish with big hair – when I first read her books, she reminded me a lot of myself in the same way Mallory used to a few years before.

I wish she’d have been there longer, or at least focused on more; admittedly I haven’t read many of the later books (they were never avaliable in the UK!) but from the few I have read, she never seemed as developed as the other characters.

Virjo said, March 16th, 2008 at 8:21 am

i never read that far into the series U_U but i’m not very fond of abby because she isn’t an “original” member. I like the original members the best. As in, first, Kristy, MA, Claudia and Stacey, then Dawn, then Jessi and Mallory. abby doesn’t feel like a REAL member of the bsc to me.

Kylie90210 said, May 28th, 2008 at 1:00 am

I love Abby, the few books I have read of hers. I think the Portrait Collection did it for me…

bobobobobobobo said, December 11th, 2008 at 9:00 pm

I haven’t read any abby books, but i hope i can find some!

Amanda said, December 28th, 2008 at 1:27 pm

I don’t really have an opinion about Abby. I’ve only read 1 of her books. Is she responsible????

KlM14 said, January 15th, 2009 at 4:25 am

i’ve never read any of her books but she was in kirsty+Bart=? and she seemed okay. i’m a little annoyed that she replaced Dawn. She was my second fave. My 1st was MA. oh and i read best friends. it’s nice.

Dominique said, April 22nd, 2009 at 8:56 am

I havent read any books by abby, but i think she’s dumb.

Dominique said, April 22nd, 2009 at 8:58 am

hey, if you happen to read this,you’ll agree w\ me

charmecia said, January 14th, 2010 at 8:27 pm

why hate on abby
it wasnt abby’s fault that dawn left califonia
for good
dawn wanted to move back to califonia in the first place
cause she was born there
all her life
not to mention
she wanted to be closer to sunny
whose mother was dying from lung cancer
and also
the califonia diaries wouldnt of been invented
if it werent for dawn moving for good
i like abby
and abby was new to the bsc
and stoneybrook
and kristy needed someone to take dawn’s place
not replace her
dawn loves moving back to califonia
and is back in the we loves kids club
so dont hate abby
cause it wasnt her fault
and dawn is still a member of the babysitter’s club
so relax

charmecia said, January 29th, 2010 at 7:38 pm

did i mention i love abby’s jokes
and anyone who can step up to kristy like that
(read stacey’s broken heart and youll see)
definitely wins my seal of approval
and liking
and i love abby’s personality too
abby definitely wins as favorite
go abby

Claudia said, July 30th, 2010 at 2:48 pm

The reason why I didn’t know that much about Abby was because the library had stopped selling the Bsc by the time book 50 came out. Now That Ive started a collection of my own, and bought some of Abby’s earlier books, I actually like her.

The reason why is because Im so glad they created a girl who isnt so clingy and so tight with the Bsc like say Dawn. Plus i can understand about the ashtma thing because i have asthma myself. And anyone who can stick it to Kristy and call her out on her bullshit is alright with me.

Yep. Abby is definitely a favorite, next to Claudia,Stacey, and Mary Anne.

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