The title: Home for the Holidays
The author: Heather Vogel Frederick
Publication: Simon & Shuster, 2011
Got it from: La library
Let me say it up front: I love the Mother-Daughter Book Club the way I loved the Baby-Sitters Club when I was 9. It doesn't matter if something silly happens, or I find a character annoying, or a plot device wraps things up too neatly. Inside, I'm going NONONOBUTIT'SSOOOOGOOOOD!!! This is the fifth book in the series, and I've spent so much time getting to know the girls, their families, their lives and the town they live in, it's like visiting close friends. It's probably no coincidence that there are a LOT of similarities between these books and the Baby-Sitters Club, which is probably why I'm so drawn to this series now, twenty years later. But while the BSC became bloated and out-of-control, this series lets its characters age properly and the end is in sight. (My inner critic says that's a good thing, my inner fan says nooooo!!!!)
How much do I love this book? When I first saw the beautiful silver-cover foil that looks like wrapping paper (the Internet does it no justice) I almost squealed in glee. This book is the equivalent of an amazing box of chocolate, and like chocolate I had to slow down to read it so I wouldn't gobble it up all at once and not have anything to look forward to. In this book, the girls are 15 and each of them is going away for the holidays, but in the meantime the mother-daughter book club is reading the Betsy-Tacy series by Maud Hart Lovelace. I haven't read this series, but I'm so tempted to now. Becca and Megan are going on a tropical cruise (just like Baby-Sitters Club Super Special #1: Baby-Sitters on Board!) and Jess and Emma end up in a lodge in New Hampshire (just like Baby-Sitters Super Special #3: Baby-Sitters' Winter Vacation!) and Cassidy goes back to her old town in California (just like Baby-Sitters Super Special #5: California Girls!).
Okay, I'll stop with the BSC/MDBC comparisons. But it didn't take much to make me love a book set during the holidays. Yes, there's some strife amongst the girls, but there's also lots of presents! And so, so many loving descriptions of food that will make your mouth water. Seriously, I would have killed to have been part of such a close-knit, fun-loving, book-oriented group whose members get to travel and do other awesome things. These are characters that remind me of friends and family from high school, and maybe that's why I love them so much. They remind me of the best parts of growing up. Either that, or my theory that these books are laced with crack.