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The Baby-Sitters Club #8

Boy-Crazy Stacey

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America's favorite series returns with a new look and a Netflix tv show.
The Pike family is taking a vacation to the beach, and Stacey and Mary Anne get to go along to help out! Two weeks of sun, sand . . . and the cutest lifeguard Stacey has ever seen!

Mary Anne says that Scott the lifeguard is way too old for Stacey, and besides, she shouldn't be ignoring the Pike kids to spend more time with a boy. But Stacey is in love. What could possibly be more important than following her heart?

138 pages, Paperback

First published November 1, 1987

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About the author

Ann M. Martin

763 books2,579 followers
Ann Matthews Martin was born on August 12, 1955. She grew up in Princeton, New Jersey, with her parents and her younger sister, Jane. After graduating from Smith College, Ann became a teacher and then an editor of children's books. She's now a full-time writer.

Ann gets the ideas for her books from many different places. Some are based on personal experiences, while others are based on childhood memories and feelings. Many are written about contemporary problems or events. All of Ann's characters, even the members of the Baby-sitters Club, are made up. But many of her characters are based on real people. Sometimes Ann names her characters after people she knows, and other times she simply chooses names that she likes.

Ann has always enjoyed writing. Even before she was old enough to write, she would dictate stories to her mother to write down for her. Some of her favorite authors at that time were Lewis Carroll, P. L. Travers, Hugh Lofting, Astrid Lindgren, and Roald Dahl. They inspired her to become a writer herself.

Since ending the BSC series in 2000, Ann’s writing has concentrated on single novels, many of which are set in the 1960s.

After living in New York City for many years, Ann moved to the Hudson Valley in upstate New York where she now lives with her dog, Sadie, and her cats, Gussie, Willy and Woody. Her hobbies are reading, sewing, and needlework. Her favorite thing to do is to make clothes for children.


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Displaying 1 - 30 of 257 reviews
Profile Image for Robin.
69 reviews77 followers
May 17, 2011

I was obsessed with this book as a kid- when I read it I had never seen a real beach, much less visited the East Coast, so I romanticized the shit out of Sea City, the fictional Jersey Shore town that Stacey, Mary Anne, and the Pikes visit. I loved the mini golf and the corny themed burger restaurant and all the shit covered with shells in the gift shops and the candy store and the Tunnel Of Luuuuv. Plus there was the whole "Stacey's in L-U-V with a lifeguard!" thing, which I got totally wrapped up in.

As an adult? I hated it. Were I buying BSC books for a young lady in my life, I might "accidentally" neglect to give her this one. We have Stacey and Mary Anne irresponsibly allowing eight children, one of whom is five, to play in the ocean alone. They figure it's okay since there's a lifeguard on duty, which is a preposterous theory considering that they both know that the lifeguard just sits around being adored by twelve-year-olds all day. Then Stacey basically peaces out on the whole job to obsess over the eighteen-year-old lifeguard, leaving Mary Anne to babysit for eight kids all by herself. On the beach. Surrounded by strangers. By the waves. There's one point where the lifeguards are pretty sure they've seen sharks and whistle for everyone to get back in the lifeguard. A few minutes later they let everyone back in the water, even though they still think it looks like there could have been sharks out there, and "you can never be too careful." Geez. No shit, Sherlock.

Then there's Stacey's sad, depressing obsession with an adult lifeguard. (I mean, look at the cover of this book. The dude looks like he's thirty-five.) She spends most of her vacation hanging out at his lifeguard stand, fetching him sodas and sandwiches, and pointlessly mooning over him. He gives her his freaking whistle (leaving him, I note, dangerously whistle-less on this apparently shark-infested beach) and she acts like he's given her a kidney. God, I hated this. Every time Stacey ran back to the Pikes' house to grab a cold soda for Scott the lifeguard, a little piece of me died inside.

Eventually Stacey realizes her mistake in ditching eight kids with Mary Anne throughout the whole vacation, but she never really apologizes for it. Mostly she just feels super proud of herself for having transferred her obsession with the college-aged lifeguard to a guy her own age whom she met a day or two before she left Sea City. Man. Stacey was totally my favorite when I was a kid. No wonder I ended up being such a codependent mess.
Profile Image for Erin.
2,815 reviews494 followers
October 20, 2018
Screech...that's the sound of my journey down Nostalgia Row hitting a big ole wall in my re-reads of the BSC. The Pikes are heading to the beach and Mary Anne and Stacey are the two lucky babysitters. Since Stacey had expressed in both Claudia and her previous narratives that she wanted to get to know Mary Anne better. Their friendship didn't live up to expectations. Instead, Stacey is too busy ogling the college aged lifeguard while Mary Anne juggles eight Pike children on her own. Stacey is still my fave character, but she lets me down a bit in this book.
Profile Image for Tina.
2,306 reviews1 follower
April 8, 2021
This is a middle grade book, and this is the 8th book in the Baby-Sitters Club series. I loved the baby sitters club books as a kid, so I decided to reread them. I have to say this one has never been my favorite one. Mary Ann is my favorite character in these books. I do like how Mary Ann and Stacey gets to know each other a little bit better in this book. Now as an adult I have grow to love the Stacey character because of all the medical stuff she has to deal with. (*)
Profile Image for Emily.
687 reviews1,995 followers
July 15, 2020
I enjoyed this book, and my reintroduction to the Baby-Sitters Club, so much! Within two weeks, Stacey meets her first love, loses him, finds her new love, has her first kiss, and then has to leave him in Sea City. She does this all while (theoretically) watching eight children. Your favorite author WISHES they could plot this tightly!!

Some thoughts:

- The fact that the Pike family has eight children and no rules is horrifying. ("We don't believe in rules." Me: 🤯)

- The Pike parents have hit the jackpot by bringing these two grateful teenagers to the beach with them (even if Stacey is NOT doing her share of the work). They keep going out on dates and leaving all their children to run around the boardwalk with the babysitters. Honestly, genius-level vacation orchestration. What is the wage for this?? I need to know!

- I genuinely liked the Pike kids. The section where they all go mini-golfing is very funny.

- The magic of Sea City comes through very clearly for the kids. I spent a few vacations on the boardwalk in Newport Beach, where there was no Tunnel of Luv but there was a very popular shaved ice stand. It was very fun. I don't remember any hot lifeguards, though, which brings me to ...

- Stacey gets skewered by the other reviewers of this book, but to be honest I am 100% on Team Stacey. She's thirteen years old and is totally into a hot lifeguard! Should this hot lifeguard be scamming a bunch of middle-schoolers into bringing him soda and calling them "cutie"? No, but the moral of the story ("this guy is too old for you") comes so naturally and in a not-preachy way that I was into it. Also, let us all remember how hard it was to be thirteen. If you don't mess up at least once and put your crush first, then you never have embarrassing stories to tell later!

- I liked that Mary Anne and Stacey got to spend time together and that they both talked about it. It seems like they come out of this book better friends.

- This book is WAY more lit than the episode of the Netflix show (still very charming!). Sea City in the show is very blustery and they are all in windbreakers. I needed more shots of Stacey putting Sun-lite in her hair. And Toby's expanded role in the show was fine, but the fact that there was NO Tunnel of Luv is a dealbreaker. Production budget, production schmudget!

I had such a good time that I went off and read the other books set in Sea City. Sea City forever!!

The other Sea City books:
Mary Anne and Too Many Boys
Sea City, Here We Come!

Extremely important Kindle Notes and Highlights for:
Kristy's Great Idea
Dawn and the Impossible Three
The Mystery at Claudia's House
Logan Likes Mary Anne!
Profile Image for Scott.
676 reviews81 followers
August 15, 2019
Stacey and the Chad

What constitutes "boy-crazy" in Ann Martin's mind is what you or I would call totally mundane (certainly neuro-typical) teenage feelings. Stacey is "boy-crazy" because she has a one-sided crush on a boy who innocently(?) leads her on, and she pursues that crush to the point of occasionally shirking her responsibilities.

Oh please. Call me when Stacey is lying prone in a swing in a murky bathhouse darkroom navigating her abandonment issues through desperate, aggressive donations from anonymous married men before skulking back home to cry in front of the mirror when seeing her own face momentarily conflates who she is to the world with who she is in those periods of masochistic solace such that she considers overdosing on her own insulin. She swears she'll never go back there again, but a week later after being unmatched twice on Tinder, she's repeating the cycle again.

That's boy-crazy.

Stacey just likes an older boy. He's Scott (18). He's a lifeguard, and he's cute and tan and half naked all the time. The worst part is, he flirts with her. Stacey (13) is not equipped to recognize the difference between genuine affection and the playful yet insidious attention an older boy might bestow to inflate his own adolescent ego. So she gives him gifts, runs errands for him, and essentially invents an adorable little romance until she sees him with his actual girlfriend. She's sad for two seconds and then immediately meets a cute boy her own age, and they have a lovely little date and Scott is basically forgotten. Big, fucken waste of energy that was, thanks.

Who hasn't been Stacey at least once in their life? I was Stacey once. He wasn't a lifeguard, he was a barista. His name was Brock (if you can believe it), and he was blonde and built and I saved the cup from the first latte he served me alongside this weird bracelet thing of his that came into my possession and I called these things my "Brock Collection" and my housemates at the time encouraged this flirtation because apparently lesbians find gay boys with crushes adorable (these ones did at least) until one day his idiot boyfriend showed up at the coffee house and I was like "Oh, ha ha, ok" and was sad and embarrassed for 30 minutes and moved on with my life. That's not crazy.

Maybe it's a little crazy.

But I was also still technically in my adolescence (I believe this lasts until one is 25), and I make no apologies. Many years later I did a thing I swore I would never do and fell hard for a straight guy. That's not crazy either. Just misguided. (I will not tell you that story because I know this particular straight guy is on GoodReads and might come upon my profile and this review some day, so I would rather leave it open and have you wonder if I am talking about you.)

Anyway, let's all take a moment to remember the Stacey inside of us all and the boring, dullard Mary Annes in our lives who gave us crap for having feelings just because they're jelly. Get fucked, Mary Anne, your new boyfriend is a nerd and we all know you're settling.

Homework: Remember your Brock. If you still have that manky old coffee cup, burn it. You are boy crazy.

<< #7: Claudia and Mean Janine
#9: The Ghost at Dawn's House >>
Profile Image for Ciara.
Author 3 books341 followers
January 21, 2010
here we have round one of stacey getting a crush on an inappropriately older man. seriously, does she have daddy issues or what? her parents weren't even divorced yet in this one? stacey is thirteen here, working as a mother's helper for the pike family while they vacation for two weeks at a beach house on the jersey shore. the object of her affections is scott, an 18-year-old lifeguard who calls her "babe" & "honey" & asks her to fetch him sodas & sandwiches. he even gives her his whistle one day, which she takes as proof that he "loves" her (yes, she really says that). she insists that he didn't actually use the words because, you know, sometimes guys can be shy. it's almost too painful to read.

mary anne is is her co-mother's helper, & is suitably annoyed by all the time stacey puts into slobbering over scott while she should be helping watch the pike kids on the beach. it really would have served stacey right if one of the pikes had been eaten by a shark while she was slacking off on the job. i think we could all live without adam.

mrs. pike gives mary anne & stacey a night off, & they patch up the differences for long enough to have a night of fun on the boardwalk. stacey, for some dumb reason, decides to get scott a present. for some even dumber reason, she decides a great big box of chocolates is the way to go. for an 18-year-old boy? what was she gonna do--hand them to him when he showed up for lifeguard duty the next morning? i can't even imagine it. but it's all for nothing anyway, because she immediately sees him making out with a girl much closer to his own age on a boardwalk bench. she bursts into tears, mary anne comforts her, & they abandon the box of chocolates. if i was mary anne, i totally would have smuggled it home & eaten it myself.

it's been some years since i read this book, & i was really concerned that we were going to have a scene where stacey tells scott off for leading her on, a la dawn's embarrassing denouement in dawn & the older boy (it's portrayed as a moral victory for dawn, but you know that poor travis bastard just thought dawn was looney tunes). thankfully, that doesn't happen, stacey just avoids scott & meets a dude named toby--the cousin of the boy mother's helper that has been helping mary anne keep an eye on the pikes. toby is 14 & gives stacey her first kiss when they go through the tunnel of luv. meanwhile, mary anne & the boy mother's helper, alex, exchange rings with their initials on them. that seems ludicrously serious to me. i guess ann m. martin was setting the stage for mary anne to become the first babysitter with a steady boyfriend in a few books. & since mary anne & logan practically get married...well-played.

stacey says that she scott will "always be friends," & that she knew he "liked [her:] as a friend". i think it's far more likely that he liked her as a conveyance for cold sodas & free sandwiches & didn't give her another thought after she left sea city, but let's go with it. it's not a bad representation of what it's like to have an early teenage unrequited crush.
Profile Image for Sara.
1,036 reviews348 followers
July 14, 2021
Stacey and Mary-Ann take a two week beach trip with the Pike family as 'mother's helpers' and Stacey becomes obsessed with a boy, neglecting her babysitting duties. That's it. That's the whole plot.

The Good: Mr and Mrs Pike. Bossing parenthood since 1986.

The Bad: This has not aged well. Creepy lifeguards calling 13 year olds 'babe' is just....weird. Also, the guy on the cover looks about 28, not 17, which makes it worse. Also Claire Pike. If she said silly-billy-goo-goo ONE MORE TIME I was going to scream. Thankfully this is the quickest and most pointless book I've read so far in the series, so that personal torture didn't last long.

Considering Stacey is my favourite of the Babysitter gang she's also deeply irritating in this one. Yes, she's 13, but honestly I don't remember ever acting so obsessively over a bloke at 13. I think I was still living in a pretend world of unicorns and rainbows at that age.

Anyway, this is the worst book I've read in the series so far. I'm holding out for Kristy and the Snobs to redeem the series because I vividly remember reading this one as a kid, and it holds all the nostalgia.
448 reviews94 followers
January 18, 2016
I LOVE THIS BOOK SO MUCH AND HAVE READ IT AT LEAST FIFTY TIMES. okay, let's get started with what is sure to be a really long review.

stacey and mary anne are hired by the pike family to be mother's helpers (in a classic ann m martin subtle feminist moment, stacey notes that she thinks it's weird they're called mother's helpers when they're helping mr. pike just as much) on their annual two week trip to the fictional sea city, new jersey (based, according to martin, on a combination of wildwood, nj near cape may and surf city, nj on long beach island). stacey doesn't do her share of the work because as stacey notes, "in sea city, there were adorable guys everywhere!" she falls in LUV with scott foley (no, not scott foley from felicity) the way-too-old-for-her lifeguard. mary anne gets angry at stacey for only paying attention to boys, rightfully so. stacey is devastated to find scott making out with his girlfriend. fortunately, mary anne befriends (and later on beLUVs) a mother's helper named alex who helps her out with the pikes, and who conveniently enough has an age appropriate cousin toby who dresses just terribly enough for stacey to fall in LUV with him.

-so much good beach stuff. when I read this as a kid, I was living a couple miles from huntington beach, california. the type of east coast beach trip nostalgia doesn't exist in southern california, so I didn't get it but found it delightful. now as an adult who takes annual trips to ocean city, maryland, I get it and feel all the shared cultural wistfulness when thinking about beach trips. a really great moment is when they are driving into sea city and the kids excitedly point out some of the things they associate with arrival to sea city: the "cow sign" (a three dimensional purple cow sticking out of a billboard, which is an advertisement for cream), the crabs for grabs restaurant, and an (presumably Coppertone) ad with a suntanned girl whose bathing suit bottoms are being yanked off by a dog.
-mary anne's bad sunburn: she asks what she did to deserve getting sunburned. she is the only one who didn't cover up for any portion of the first day on the beach, and there is no note of her wearing sunblock. she had said she wanted to get tanned right away. I think that's what she did to deserve it.
-when mary anne is sunburned, there's a scene where all the pike kids each bring a different sunburn remedy and end up piled in mary anne's bed together giggling. it's super cheesy and charming and brady bunch-ish.
-stacey's hilariously naive sexism: "not only did the lifeguards seem to know them, but they gave them the supreme honor of letting them do favors for them. those girls got to bring them sodas and pick up anything that fell off the stand, and one was even asked to fix them sandwiches for lunch." (reminiscent of the boardwalk shirt: "cool story, babe. now make me a sandwich.")
-claire and margo say they want to quit putt putt in the middle since they are both awful (claire's score is over 200), but then when they do the ball return and claire wins a free game she wants to play again immediately.
-in the one non-sea city chapter, karen and andrew brewer are left to their own devices washing watson's car while kristy and david michael are handling a louie injury emergency. they use steel wool and strip the paint off the car.
-stacey's first kiss (with toby, the mother's helper's cousin) is in the tunnel of luv. this is probably the most hilariously stereotypical place in the world to have your first kiss. she will tell people when she is older and they will not believe her.

stacey quotes (much smart, many sophisticated, such wise):
-"it's awfully hard helping your parents grow up. but it has to be done."
-"I knew he had meant to say more to me, but was too shy. boys get that way sometimes."

pike kids' character development:
-claire (5) calls everyone "silly-billy-goo-goo", calls her mom and dad "moozie" and "daggles", answers her own riddle jokes, calls burger garden "gurber garden"
-margo (7) gets carsick. bad at putt putt. that's pretty much it.
-nicky (8) wants to be super manly with the triplets. says "that's girl stuff" re: making sandcastles and looking for shells, wants to be included with the triplets but isn't one of them and is bummed that everyone else in the family is a girl.
-vanessa (9) speaks in rhymes because she wants to be a poet. cutest poem: "we're back, we're here, we've come once more to our gingerbread house by the white seashore." into girly stuff with mallory like shopping for feminine tchotchkes (buys a pink glass deer)
-jordan (10, triplet) bully towards byron. that's pretty much it.
-byron (10, triplet) buys himself candy but won't buy any for anyone else. won't go in the ocean because he's scared of not being able to see the bottom. rode the ferris wheel when the other triplets went in the haunted house (scared of the haunted house too?) describes sea city as being on a piece of land that curls into the ocean like a dog's tail. he is the sensitive triplet.
-adam (10, triplet) bully towards byron, but redeems himself. on one putt putt hole he got 10 and nicky got a hole in one, and he complimented nicky on it and called him "little bro"
-mallory (11) helper to stacey and mary anne yet again foreshadowing membership in the bsc (intervenes with sibling drama like nicky calling claire stupid). into girly stuff with vanessa like tchotchke shopping (buys a frog made out of seashells). likes to watch the angry ocean from the third floor when it's stormy, indicating that she is thoughtful and maybe will be that dude from american beauty who films dead birds and flying plastic bags when she grows up.

stacey outfits:
-I changed my mind six times before I decided on this new pink shirt I got the last time we went back to New York to visit friends. Big, bright green and yellow birds were splashed all over it. It was gigantic, so it would be cool. I put it on with a pair of baggy shorts, looped a wide green belt around my middle, and hunted up some jewelry--silver bangle bracelets and a pair of silver earrings shaped like bells that actually ring when they dangle back and forth. note: this is her "sophisticated" outfit when she is worried that watson's rich neighbors might see her.
-I put on a white cotton vest over a pink cotton dress and tied a big white bow in my hair so that it flopped over the side of my head.

other outfits:
-Mary Anne couldn't find anything of her own that she really liked, so I loaned her my yellow pedal pushers, a yellow and white striped tank top, and an oversized white jacket.
-Toby: He was wearing plain white swimming trunks, but his shirt was amazing--tan with silly pictures of cowboy boots and cactuses all over it. And his sunglasses--black bands with narrow slits from side to side to see through. Totally cool.
Profile Image for Mel.
878 reviews340 followers
February 2, 2021
This book was a struggle, and is absolutely why I need to stop re-reading my childhood favourite books as an adult.

I read this book AT LEAST 50 times when I was a kid, I loved it. I was obsessed with it. And I am glad that my child self had a book that she loved this much, because Mel as an adult did not love this book.

I realize I am not the target audience for this book by any shot, but I don't actually like the messages in this book for the target audience. Stacey falls in "love" with every guy who speaks to her, and I think it sends really poor messages to young girls. Additionally, there's a lot of ridiculous sexualizing of children (Stacey being very focused on the fact that her bikini is skimpy and her breasts fill it out nicely) and the weird attention she's getting from a grown ass adult man. Was not a fan of that.

Overall, I am glad I re-read in the sense that I now remember the parts of this book I was obsessed with, but I definitely think the series overall just hasn't aged well.
Profile Image for CaseyTheCanadianLesbrarian.
1,102 reviews1,321 followers
May 23, 2022
An iconic Stacey book. Also Mary Anne is badass in this one: she stands up to Stacey for ditching the Pike kids to hang around the lifeguard, and she asks a boy out on a date!
Profile Image for Schizanthus Nerd.
1,117 reviews226 followers
February 4, 2023
Stacey and Mary Anne are spending two weeks together as mother’s helpers, babysitting for the Pike kids. But that’s not all. They’re all going to be on vacation in Sea City, New Jersey. 
“We’re back, we’re here, we’ve come once more, to our gingerbread house by the white seashore!”
The Pike kids are:

* Mallory - 11, future BSC member
* Jordan - 10
* Byron - 10, loves to eat, has some fears
* Adam - 10
* Vanessa - 9, poet who speaks in rhyme all the time
* Nicky - 8
* Margo - 7
* Claire - 5, calls her mother ‘Moozie’ and her father ‘Daggles’, adds ‘silly-billy-goo-goo’ to the end of everyone’s names.

Back in Stoneybrook, Kristy babysits David Michael, Karen and Andrew. Dawn has been babysitting in California and Claudia has babysat some kids at the mountain resort in New Hampshire, including Skip.

The house the Pikes rent at Sea City has three levels and is right on the beach. The lifeguard stand is in front of it. That’s where Stacey is going to spend the majority of her time. 

Mr Pike makes sure he knows what Stacey can and can’t eat when he’s cooking breakfast the first day in Sea City, which is great. What wasn’t so great was that he did it on the sly, lowering his voice so his kids didn’t hear him. This just reinforced to me as a kid how unimaginably scary diabetes was. Adult me can’t understand why the Pike kids couldn’t know about Stacey’s diabetes.

Mary Anne, who until a few books ago had to wear her hair in braids and wasn’t allowed to wear pants to school, has her first bikini! She also ends up looking like a “tomato with hair”.

Mary Anne meets a boy mother’s helper, Alex. Stacey meets Toby, Alex’s cousin.

Stacey, 13, is in luv with Scott, 18, the lifeguard with the wavy blonde hair. He lets girls do favours for him, like buying him sodas, getting him lunch and picking up things that fall off the lifeguard stand. Wow, what a prize that guy is.

Random bits:

It was Stacey’s pink shirt with the big, bright green and yellow birds that I was thinking of when I bought a pair of bird earrings when I was on holidays with my parents as a kid. Yes, I still have them.


The hunky, chauvinistic lifeguard’s full name is Scott Foley. That’s the name of the actor who played Noel Crane on Felicity.

Millionaire Watson has three cars: an old black Ford, a red sports car and a fancy new car. Kristy’s mother has a green station wagon.

Claudia threw a pot. I originally took that literally.

Kristy learned you should never let kids wash a car without supervision.

Mary Anne learned that boys aren’t scary.

Stacey learned that boys aren’t supposed to use you. Well, I hope she learned it anyway.

Books in a book:
* Mallory reads The Secret Garden, one of my all time favourite books.
* Mary Anne reads A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.

Further proof that Stacey’s parents have more than enough money: We already know that they lived in an apartment overlooking Central Park in New York and that the building had a doorman. Now we learn that their apartment had four bedrooms. That’s gotta be worth a fortune!

This was one of my favourite BSC books as a kid. Naturally, one of my many reads took place at the beach. I kept not so subtly glancing up from my book to see if there was a cute lifeguard in the vicinity. This would have been pretty impressive if it happened, especially considering the fact that we were on an unpatrolled beach…

When I wasn’t attempting to find non-existent lifeguards, I was daydreaming about summer romances. I decided that I, too, was going to have one. Spoiler: it was not as advertised.

I was absolutely obsessed with Sea City. I wanted to go everywhere Mary Anne and Stacey did: Trampoline Land, Fred’s Putt-Putt Course, Ice-Cream Palace, Candy Heaven, touristy shops, Burger Garden, Candy Kitchen (they have fudge), If the Suit Fits (they sell bikinis), Hercules’ Hot Dogs and the boardwalk with the arcade.

As a kid, having an 18 year old boyfriend when you’re 13 felt like peak dating. Adult me can’t get over how creepy that is.

Kid me mostly sided with Stacey in this book, even though Mary Anne was my favourite babysitter. Adult me stands 100% with Mary Anne. How dare Stacey leave her to take care of so many kids alone?! Sure, the Pike kids are unnaturally well behaved most of the time but there���s an entire team of them.

Word of the book: kerflooey, which is how Stacey’s blood sugar levels can go if she’s not careful.

Stoneybrook Central Time: It’s the beginning of August when we start this book and the summer holidays between seventh and eighth grade. On the first Tuesday back at school it will have been a year since Kristy had her great idea.

Up next: Dawn goes ghostbusting.

Blog - https://schizanthusnerd.com
Profile Image for Swankivy.
1,174 reviews132 followers
September 10, 2016
I think this was the first Baby-Sitters Club book I didn't really feel like reading because--let's face it--I wasn't into boys and I didn't like that books aimed at my demographic were always trying to push boys at me. (I think this is actually the reason I got into adult science fiction when I was like ten. I was tired of books that were written for my supposed reading level treating me like I would find boy-craziness really exciting. I did not.) But since I was of course a completist, I wanted to read the book to find out what was going to happen.

So the gigantic Pike family decides to take two babysitters with them on vacation so they'll have an easier time managing their brood, and Stacey and Mary Anne are selected. Stacey then ditches her duties a lot because she's obsessed with the lifeguard, who has no personality and shamelessly uses her to get free sodas and stuff, acting like he has no idea that he's manipulating her. It kinda bothered me that a lot of the focus on "why Stacey was ultimately wrong to do this" was focused on a) she's leaving Mary Anne with all the babysitting work and b) that lifeguard was too old for her. By the end she starts liking a boy closer to her age and they act like that's a happy ending, but the whole thing got under my skin because she was there to do a job, not to hit on the dudes. She can enjoy herself, but seriously, the boysboysboys thing annoyed me. Though at least the title warned me. It bothered me that Stacey decided to stop chasing the lifeguard only after she saw him kissing some other girl--as if she perceived that they had something going on and that this was some kind of betrayal, when she was the one being a jerk. I thought the Pike kids were entertaining sometimes during this book, but I thought the boyfriends that Mary Anne and Stacey eventually picked up were kind of weakly characterized. They were like Ken dolls or something. Boys were so often presented as "a thing for a girl to like" in these kinds of books.
Profile Image for Dawn.
350 reviews4 followers
August 13, 2020
It being summer and oppressively hot, I needed a quick, fun read. (Yes, I realize I always feel obligated to justify reading a BSC book...) I remember Boy-Crazy Stacey being one of my favorite BSC books. Being rather boy-crazy myself at that age, I completely understood Stacey's position. Plus, the added bonus of the new setting of Sea City was doubly awesome. However, unfortunately, this book just doesn't hold as an adult. Stacey's craziness really seems literally crazy as she believes an 18-year-old lifeguard is "in love with her" and when she considers purchasing a t-shirt saying "Stacey+Scott=LUV", I really had to question her sanity (as well as the sanity of my 13-year-old self). The book moves quickly through Mary Anne and Stacey going to Sea City with the Pike family to be mother's helpers for two weeks. The parents are pretty much absent (apparently their "family vacation" is literally a vacation from the family), and the girls are left to their own devices with the eight crazy Pike kids. Claire is by far my favorite with her calling everyone "silly-billy-goo-goo" and her childlike over-excitement for everything is catching. A solid addition to the BSC legacy, Boy-Crazy Stacey is a fun, though shallow, read.
Profile Image for Adele.
722 reviews20 followers
December 25, 2020
Stacey is awful in this one, probably as awful as Claudia was in the last one, but unfortunately/fortunately (embarrassingly) I can relate to Stacey's awfulness much better. Also, reading about two of the baby-sitters staying at the beach being parents' helpers is much more fun for me than reading about a baby-sitter's grandmother having a stroke. I did wish I were reading the story of Mary Ann's two weeks from her perspective instead.
Profile Image for ✨Jordan✨.
325 reviews24 followers
October 11, 2018
Stacy and Mary Ann are invited to go with the Pike Family on a 2 week vacation! To the Jersey Shore. With 8 kids to watch though will they be able to enjoy themselves? Of course! They both meet some cute boys, the shore is full of amazing shops and food, and of course there is the beach! I could have done less with all the boy craziness but I enjoyed watching Mary Ann and Stacy become closer and get to know one another better. Cute read.
Profile Image for Jenn.
884 reviews34 followers
October 11, 2016
Oh.Em.Gee. Would you look at that hunk on the cover?? He's so dreamy. So buff. So...eighteen?!?! Seriously? More like 28. Jeez. Anyway, that hugemongous discrepancy aside, I *love* this book. It's one of my favorites.

It's still summertime in Stoneybrook and the girls are all meeting at Kristy's McMansion for a last sleepover before they all split up for stuff. And right off the bat, we get a "What Stacey is Wearing"! Woo! "I...wanted to be cool since it felt like it was about 150 degrees outside. [I feel ya sister!] ...I decided on this new pink shirt...Big, bright green and yellow birds were splashed all over it. It was gigantic, so it would be cool. I put it on with a pair of baggy shorts, looped a wide green belt around my middle, and hunted up some jewelry-silver bangle bracelets and a pair of silver earrings shaped like bells that actually ring when they dangle back and forth." Poor, deprived Stacey was only able to put on one pair of earrings though, because her parents said she would look like a pirate if she had more than one piercing. Wonder what they would say about my 3 sets and cartilage?
Stacey & Mary Anne got picked to go with the Pike family to Sea City, New Jersey. I want to go to Sea City. Besides the hunky, beefy lifeguards, there's Trampoline Land, Candy Heaven AND Kitchen, Ice-Cream Palace, a ferris wheel, arcade, miniature golf and Burger Garden! Plus, you know, the beach and stuff. Lol...It takes 2 cars and a Barf Bucket to get the Pikes to the beach and mayhem ensues. Claire is calling everybody "Silly-Billy-Goo-Goo", Vanessa is rhyming everything, Nicky wants to hang with his big brothers and not the baby girls, Byron (the sensitive triplet) is scared of the ocean and Stacey falls for the hot hunk of meat on the lifeguard stand, leaving Mary Anne to watch all the kids by herself. Selfish cow. Doesn't Mary Anne know it's LUV?? ;)

Oh and Nicky tells this silly joke: "So one day this matta-baby comes up to me-" "What's a matta-baby?" "Nothing. Whatsa matta with you?" Haha! No? Okay then.

Mary Anne gets a major sunburn, been there done that. Stacey becomes Hunkaholic's new errand girl. Somebody's got to get those cold sodas you know. And it all pays off, because Hunkorama gives her the raddest gift ever: the whistle off his neck, which obviously means he's totally in LUV with her too. I know, you are super jealous, me too. So Mary Anne just keeps getting more and more pissed, but hello? She's suddenly got this cute (for a 9th grader) guy mother's helper helping her out too. So what's she complaining about?

And! There's another "What Stacey is Wearing" plus a special edition "What Mary Anne is Wearing"! (Which is really cheating, because she's wearing Stacey's clothes lol) "Cute guys...I put on a white cotton vest over a pink cotton dress and tied a big white bow in my hair so that it flopped over the side of my head." "...I loaned [Mary Anne] my yellow pedalpushers, a yellow and white striped tank top, and an oversized white jacket."
The girls finally get a night off and go sight-seeing, buy some souvenirs, and Stacey buys Hunkahunka a big heart-shaped box of chocolates. Because that's what any 18 year old dude wants. Right after she buys it though, something MAJOR happens. Stacey catches that slimeball kissing another girl and her heart is totally broken.

Mary Anne is still pissed, but she gets over it and the girls end up hanging out with the guy babysitter and his cute cousin. They turn out to be totally cool guys and the girls *might* be in luv. Stacey gets her first kiss (even though she claims she dated tons in 7th grade?) and Mary Anne goes out on her first date and trades rings with the guy. Really. So all ends well in Baby-Sitters Land and it's back to Stoneybrook. Pull out the Barf Bucket.

Blogged: SeeJennRead
Profile Image for Kristine (The Writer's Inkwell).
487 reviews9 followers
December 13, 2015
I know my younger self is probably cursing me out right now, but this book really made me dislike Stacey McGill. I say this because from the first book of hers I read, she was my favorite babysitter in this series. Ironically, this is far from the first time I've read this particular book. I suppose it is through my thirty year old eyes, I am finally able to see the flaws in this character I adored so much.

Taking place during the summer before their (never-ending) eight grade year, Stacey and Mary Anne join the Pike family on their annual trip to the Jersey Shore. Decades before the time of Snookie and J-Woww, the girls are forced to figure out how to handle the eight Pike children, manage a working relationship with one another and how to deal with some pretty big first with the cute boys on the beach. Much like a typical thirteen year old, Stacey finds herself in "luv" with an eighteen year old lifeguard named Scott. Her infatuation is the cause for most of my dislike in her during this book. After all, she spends more time Scott gazing and fetching him drinks and sandwiches, then actually paying attention to the children. All of which leaves most of the babysitting responsibility on Mary Anne's shoulders, which is beyond unfair. The other negative comes in Stacey's reactions and comments about the children. Much like I've notice with some of the other girls in earlier books, Stacey is rude and childish towards the children. When she rolls her eyes at a five year, I found myself wishing someone had backhanded her.

The story overall was a decent enough experience, in which Stacey gets her first kiss and Mary Anne becomes interested in a boy for the first time. Heck, it was even nice to see Stacey and Mary Anne interact with one another, as they mostly only talk to their respective BFFs. But that being said, Stacey's snotty, self-centered attitude really put me off in this book. Sadly, I'm starting to wonder if rereading these books are going to cloud the fond memories I had as a child.
Profile Image for Ryan.
407 reviews
May 24, 2021
This was the only Babysitter's Club book I recalled reading when I was a kid, and it was nostalgic for the most part. Stacey and Mary Ann are on a new client that allows them to travel to Sea City for the summer. There's the beach, the tourist town, and attractive lifeguards! Though the girls are there for work, Stacey develops an unrequited love on lifeguard Scott. As Stacey goes to learn the phases of a crush, it clearly burdens on her friend that she is paying less attention to babysitting, but things are made up between them that they enjoyed their summer trip.

I had reread this in due to finding out that there is a graphic novelization of the series, and I hope to compare between the two of any changes. I liked this story and characters enough, though I can't say what is the missing quality for me to give it a 4 stars rating. Perhaps a future reread will be in the works again with this one.
Profile Image for Katelyn.
148 reviews22 followers
September 21, 2020
Highlights: the beach vacation, Mary Anne and Stacey bonding, and remembering that kids like to say "luv"

Lowlights: This was not Stacey's best look (and we all know Stacey is obsessed with how she looks). My mama bear came out while reading this, and I just want to throw a tuna sandwich at Scott for being a manipulative jerk. (Know your worth, Stace! Luv, K)
Profile Image for Jenna.
270 reviews38 followers
July 11, 2020
This is probably my least favourite of the first eight books, and it’s all because of Stacey falling head over heels for an 18 year old boy who has no problem taking advantage of her. I know the books were written in the 80s, but something about this just never sits right with me.
Profile Image for Jennifer.
465 reviews16 followers
July 9, 2020
Stacey and Mary-Anne are going with the Pike family to the New Jersey shore as mothers helpers. While there Stacey falls in love with the lifeguard on duty and it takes her awhile to realize that maybe things just aren’t right.
Profile Image for Individualfrog.
157 reviews34 followers
April 4, 2016
My life-long struggle with unreliable narrators may have started with this book. As literary devices go, the Unreliable Narrator is one of my least favorite, not because I don't recognize the skill and artistry necessary to successfully pull them off, but because, invariably, I don't get it. When the narrator tells me something in a book, I believe them. I am terrible at reading between the lines. This may explain my disgust with The Catcher in the Rye; it certainly does explain why I got nothing at all from The Good Soldier and some other modernist classics. (And short stories, especially short stories.) It's obviously a failing of mine; but I'm not sure the dislike for unreliable narrators is truly wrong. Like allegory, it tends to reduce literature to a kind of puzzle, and an annoying puzzle, like someone telling you to write your name on the line, but when you do so, they say the "solution" was to write the words "your name on the line". In a regular book, there is sometimes beautiful ambiguity; with an unreliable narrator, paradoxically, there is less or none, because the point is to decipher the truth. (Similar to a mystery, but more annoying, because the truth is not explained in the end.)

Luckily, however, by now, at 34 years old, I am able to grasp the meaning of Boy-Crazy Stacey. When I read it the first time, I was with Stacey all the way. Mary Anne was being annoying, Scott was totally into her, and it was kind of unreasonable for her to have to, like, do her job, when she had a hunky boy to do errands for. I don't know when it was exactly that the scales fell from my eyes and I realized that actually this is a book about Stacey's failures leading to pain and redemption (and a book about how awesome Mary Anne is.) She, of course, is "looney tunes" about Scott, and "a real pain" about babysitting, as Mary Anne says she is. And in the background, through Stacey's dismissive comments about her, we can discern that Mary Anne is taking care of all 8 Pike kids singlehandedly, trying both to make Stacey live up to her responsibilities and to protect her from her terrible choices and fond delusions, and having a low-key summer romance that's based in at least some kind of reality. It certainly did give me the pleasure that I assume most people get from unreliable narrator books, especially because it meant one of my favorite Baby-sitters was in fact a real mensch of a 13-year-old mousy girl.

There are other fun things about this book. The Pikes are fun. Vanessa's rhymes make me laugh ("I always wear a frown when I go to Smithtown," etc), Byron emerges as the only triplet with a personality, I think this is the debut of Claire's "silly-billy-goo-goo". I also like Stacey and Mary Anne's dueling postcards, each complaining about the other with instructions to keep them hidden. (Though I'm pretty sure there's no way in hell anyone got those postcards before they got back from their trip.) And I like the beach atmosphere; when I go to the beach in real life, I don't really know how to enjoy it, but it has good associations for me from this book and suchlike things. I also like that Scott is not actually that bad a guy (or a pedophile) but just self-involved and used to young girls doing stuff for him. I'm sure he thinks he's being nice when he gives Stacey his whistle. I realize this opinion goes against most of the reviewers here, who seem to be morally offended by the idea that 13-year-olds sometimes have crushes on older boys (I only know that I, as a 13-year-old boy, certainly had crushes on older girls), but again, Stacey herself says it, so I can't help but believe it.

Overall, I call this a very solid Babysitters book, benefiting from the focus on two of their number and a change of scenery. I miss Claudia of course--much better had she had a chapter than lame Kristy. But I think it's more interesting to have Stacey and Mary Anne together without her, as she is really the only thing connecting the two dissimilar people, until the events of this book. When I think about it, like a mystery, most of the unreliable narrator stuff Stacey gets up to is indeed explained at the end. So in the course of this review I have talked myself up from three stars to four. (Speaking of mysteries, the real mystery in this and any Stacey-based Babysitters book is, why on earth does she feel it necessary to hide her diabetes from the world?)
Profile Image for Jess the Shelf-Declared Bibliophile.
2,020 reviews576 followers
July 7, 2020
While I actually started reading around age 3 (thank you, my Granny's Dick and Jane books!), this series is what I remember most about loving to read during my childhood. My sister and I drank these books up like they were oxygen. I truly think we owned just about every single one from every one of the series. We even got the privilege of meeting Ann M. Martin at a book signing, but of course little starstruck me froze and could not speak a word to my biggest hero at that time. Once in awhile if I come across these at a yard sale, I will pick them up for a couple hour trip down memory lane, and I declare nearly nothing centers and relaxes me more!
Profile Image for Jennifer Maloney.
Author 1 book43 followers
May 24, 2021
Reread 2021
Mary Anne and Stacey go to Sea City with the Pike’s! This one almost felt like a Super Special because it was outside of the normal Stoneybrook routine of things. I liked getting to know the Pike kids better! Also I hadn’t remembered that this is the first Up until now, MA has been closer to Kristy and Dawn, and Stacey closer to Claudia, so that was cool that these two got to become better friends in this one.
Profile Image for Jamie.
599 reviews37 followers
December 1, 2020
Oh goodness. This one took me right back to those middle school days when I was first expressing interest in boys, the thrill of the first time someone held your hand, and also, the horror of that first heartbreak. Such a rite of passage, and our sweet Stacey gets a little taste of first love's sting while babysitting the Pike children at the beach.
Profile Image for Louie.
323 reviews
June 7, 2021
Babysitters Club - at the beach! I really enjoy how this series doesn't shy away from real character growth. Stacey is actually allowed to make mistakes and learn from them. I will definitely be more books in the series, hopefully soon.
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