Kate and Lauryn come back into that mid-bouquet toss cliffhanger and dive right into how great this book is at modeling behavior and teaching lessons related to blending families... until it takes a complete left turn with Dawn’s gaslighting of Mary Anne to scare her out of their shared bedroom (for which there is no comeuppance or lesson learned on Dawn’s part). We realize how much seeing Dawn’s perspective and hearing her internal monologue makes us see her in a worse light (similar to Mary Anne in the last book), despite the fact that typically one sympathizes most with the narrator of a story. Frustrating is the word of the book – both when it comes to Mary Anne and Dawn’s actions and character beats and how close this book comes to getting it right. There’s also a Pike Plague that lends itself well to an unrelated B Plot that gives us a nice reprieve from the Schafer-Spier drama. As usual, we have some fun on- and off-topic tangents, including: the Hays Code, that quintessential Sex and the City bouquet toss moment in real life, the BSC wearing surgeons’ masks to protect themselves and others and just how relevant that is to today, Kristy’s great joke in response to Claudia trying to make herself smarter, how much we love our girls just being friends and having fun, WTF a sorehead might be, seatbelt safety protocols, and candy necklaces (whether homemade or purchased).
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