Dawn can’t wait for her trip to California. Besides all the sun and fun, it’s her first visit since her brother, Jeff, moved back to live with their dad.
California is better than Dawn ever remembered it. The beaches are beautiful, Disneyland is a blast, and Californians eat healthy food! Plus, Dawn’s best friend, Sunny, has even started her own baby-sitting club.
After one wonderful week, Dawn begins to think she might want to stay in California, like Jeff. Dawn’s a California girl at heart-but could she really leave Stoneybrook for Good?
Of all of the Dawn books up to this point, this is the first one where she makes any indication that she would ever consider returning to California. As the books meet the point where they fall into a never-ending year, this book would actually take place after the book where Dawn decides to move back to California. Knowing this, as a new reader of the series, I would become confused. Fortunately, I am not a new reader and am old enough to realize this is just the start of the problems of continuity due to the timeline constantly being recycled.
As for the story itself, I actually didn’t feel Dawn’s attachment for her return to her childhood home. While it seems great to have warm weather, time for the beach and healthy snacks galore, it just all felt superficial. Even her “friendship” with Sunny didn’t feel as if it were a solid plot point. It just seemed to be convenient and Sunny’s inability to realize that her club and friends did not balance out with Mary Anne and the BSC is quite comical. After all, Dawn even states at the beginning that she didn’t really know the girls in Sunny’s club, let alone consider them friends. But Martin was so determined to show a different kind of baby-sitting club, these random characters (at least random for now) were vital.
As someone who moved for multiple reasons as a child, I can relate to the idea of wanting to return to the comfort of what you perceive as “home.” I even planned to runaway just to go back. So I appreciate this struggle being brought up throughout this book, I just felt it was a bit too superficial as Dawn never shows any desire to return until this book.