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Stacey and the Missing Ring is a book I misplaced years ago. I had always wanted to reread it, because although I remembered that Stacey was accused of stealing a ring and everything and the people she stole it from were pretty fancy, I didn’t really remember much else.

Well, I got a chance to reread it a few days ago. Usually, I’m a big Stacey supporter. When other people talk shit about her, I defend her. I can often relate to her better than most of the other characters. But in this book, the girl is just spoiled. She demands that her mother buy her a diamond ring!!!!!!!! At 13!!!!!!!!! (LUCA VOICE!) She thinks that her mother is TOTALLY UNFAIR to not want to buy her this ring, and insists that her dad totally would, making her mom feel shitty for having less money than her dad. I mean, usually when people are all, “Stacey is a bitch,” I can see where Stacey’s coming from. But this “BUY ME A DIAMOND RING” thing seems pretty out of left field for Stacey, who totally could have had that purple suede fringe jacket from Betsey Johnson (I can just imagine the price tag! More evidence that Mr. McGill=up there with Watson Brewer in terms of wealth), but went with sunglasses instead. And here she is just so spoiled and demanding.

Of course, this whole diamond ring-thing is plot device to make Stacey seem suspicious. While coincidences like that happen all the time in everyday life, in fiction they seem contrived. Another thing that seems contrived is the “OMG NO ONE IS CALLING US BECAUSE OF SOMETHING BAD A SITTER DID,” which also happened in Mary Anne Breaks the Rules. No guys, everyone just randomly went on vacation!!

Another thing that sucks about this book: the Gardellas are wacky! They love their pets more than their daughter! Yet this whole plot point never goes anywhere. No sign of the crazy for real, just “oh look, the cat eats on the table, ho-hum.” What a waste of comic potential! They could have at least had some weird crazy secret or something.

Also, there is no real subplot of this book. Just a sort-of rehashing of the Phantom Caller plot, where the girls get scared while baby-sitting. Jessi robber-proofs the house.

I feel like that for the first branded mystery, they should have done something… better. Not just Stacey being spoiled and stuff that happens multiple other times in the series–although in defense of The Powers That Be, Mary Anne Breaks the Rules was published later. But it still feels like “Well, this aspect of the plot has certainly been done to death in other books in the series.” Overall, it was just disappointing. It may rank up there in the pantheon of my all-time, least favorite BSC books.

Has there ever been a BSC book that you haven’t read in a long time, and were super excited to reread, and then it just fell completely flat?

11 Responses To This Post

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Sadako said, December 10th, 2009 at 4:59 pm

I think I felt that way about Stacey and the Bad Girls. I was hoping for way more…badness but all I got was shoplifting and a few mini bottles of booze. Which they barely got to drink. And no Stacey engaging in ANYTHING remotely risque. BORING.

Laura @ Hungry and Frozen said, December 12th, 2009 at 3:27 am

I agree with you about this book – if they’re going to go ahead with a Mystery series, why not make the first book vaguely mysterious?

I’m sure there are BSC books that I’ve reread which have fallen flat but…nothing springs to mind right now.

ashley said, December 13th, 2009 at 1:42 am

I actually like this Mystery because it’s something that actually *could* happen. It’s more plausable than bank robbers, counterfeiters, cat burglars..

greer said, December 13th, 2009 at 9:02 am

@sadako: Stacey and the Bad Girls is one of my favorites!

@ashley: I don’t have a problem with the plot–just the execution. It needs a better subplot and less…obviousness.

Sadako said, December 14th, 2009 at 12:54 pm

Greer, I like it, too. I just wish that it could have been a little naughtier, is all. I bet Lerangis wanted to make it really out there and Ann M. got the vapors.

bbb said, December 14th, 2009 at 7:32 pm

Actually, the purple suede jacket was from Fiorucci. :)

Stacey telling her mom that her dad would buy the ring for her was just awful! Can’t defend her there either.

mizzmarvel said, December 14th, 2009 at 11:27 pm

I agree with Ashley–while this book was comparatively a snooze, I still prefer it over ones where the BSC is being chased by murderers and actively hiding information from the police for funzies. The Mysteries went cracktacular in the worst way.

greer said, December 15th, 2009 at 5:29 am

@bbb–Fiorucci is at a similar price point, so my point still stands. :D

@mizzmarvel: yeah, competing with the police–effed up.

Myu said, December 15th, 2009 at 5:57 pm

Occasionally in the past I’ve been excited about rereading one of the books and then found out that it was actually just crap, or else I blocked out a tedious subplot. I don’t mind this Mystery, though – I’d take Stacey being a bitch over chasing counterfeiters any day.

charmecia said, January 14th, 2010 at 7:04 pm

that was pretty low of stacey to say that her dad can buy her the ring for her
which is really insulting
i mean
stacey’s mom couldnt help it
if she doesnt have much much as her father
so that was pretty low of stacey to do that
i also think the mystery books could be a little more exciting too
like the super specials
but hey
that’s just me

Jessie said, March 2nd, 2011 at 10:50 am

I felt the same way about Mary-Anne bad luck mystery… It was one I have read a lot of times when I was young, but since I re-read it recently it didn’t feel that fun anymore. I guess I just have a different point of view fifteen years after!

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