Gretchen's Reviews > The Summer Before

The Summer Before by Ann M. Martin
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Mar 17, 2011

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bookshelves: young-adult, tweens-middle-readers
Read from March 17 to 20, 2011

I didn't even know this book existed until 2 weeks ago. My older brother loves to make fun of the Baby-Sitters Club, although I would like to point out that he read some of them too! Anyway, he is the one who gave me this book for my birthday. I just finished a pretty heavy, mind-bending book, so I needed something a little less intense. The Summer Before was the perfect fit.

I was skeptical about this book. For one thing, I haven't read a BSC book in probably about 17 years. And I was sure that like most things that I thought were so cool back then, the BSC wouldn't hold up. However, as I began to read the prequel story of Kristy, Claudia, Mary Anne, and Stacey, I was quickly reminded why I loved this series so much as a kid.

Each of the girls has a different challenge they are working through over the summer. Kristy is trying to deal with her mom's new boyfriend while longing to talk to her father, who left several years earlier. Mary Anne is craving independence from her father's strict rules. Claudia is realizing that she might be growing up faster than her two best childhood friends. And Stacey is facing a move from New York City to Stoneybrook following a particularly difficult year.

Like most of the other reviewers, I found Stacey's story to be the most compelling. Maybe it's because everyone probably can remember a time when they were suddenly ostracized from their group of friends and how lonely that felt. Plus being twelve years old and suddenly having to deal with a life-changing illness is pretty hard too. I definitely found myself looking forward more to Stacey's chapters than anyone else's.

All in all, I really liked this book. I thought Ann M. Martin did a good job of staying faithful to her characters. Seriously, when I read this book and dove back into life in Stoneybrook, it was like no time had passed at all.
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Reading Progress

03/17/2011 page 51
24.0% "I'm reminded why I loved the BSC so much when I was a kid!"
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Gretchen Yup, that's right, I'm reading a Baby-Sitters Club book. It's new!


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