Calendar Girl (March) Chapter 1: Mia Visits Her Father and Recaps the Plot for Him

We begin this book with the most perplexing description of the bodies of Gin and Maddy, the infamous best friend and sister we’ve all just been dying to meet:

The second my feet hit the ground level of the airport in Vegas, I was smashed between two bodies, one long and lengthy, the other petite and feisty. My nostrils were assaulted with the scent of mint gum and cherries as the two wiggly bodies bounced me up and down simultaneously screaming. The sound was an exact replica of the hyenas screeching in their cage at the zoo Alec and I had visited in Portland.

Jesus Christ these two sound horrifying. Am I still supposed to be excited about meeting them? I’m frightened. Long AND lengthy? Feisty? Wiggly? I can’t handle all this confusion in two bodies.

Anyway, Mia is super happy to be home with her loved ones, but her mood soon darkens when she finds out Maddy’s car has been destroyed by Blaine and his goons. I wonder if these goons will ever have names or if they’ll always be referred to this way. If so, moving forward I’d like to picture them as The Horrors out of Goosebumps.

Mia freaks the fuck out that Maddy has to take the bus, get rides from Gin, and accept rides from a guy who likes her. I don’t know, I get she’s protective of her sister, but it seems like if it was that bad, Maddy could work part-time to afford car repairs/a new car.

“Don’t you dare tell me what I can and can’t afford. You have been my responsibility for the last fifteen years. Just because you’re nineteen doesn’t mean I’m going to magically stop taking care of you.” I ground my teeth trying to rein in my control. “Jesus. Just thinking about you walking from the bus stop to home in our neighborhood gives me hives, Mads! Don’t do it again. Please, for me.” I gentled my tone. “I’ll get you a car tomorrow. I’ve made some extra cash on the last two clients.”

“Is that right?” Gin gave me a sidelong glance knowing what it took to get the extra payoff. “And how did you do that, sweetness? On your back?” She snickered.

Then they call each other whore and bitch a few times, exchange arm punches, and continue to have an exemplary friendship.

She nodded. “I took off the days you’re here.”

“Oh, that was sweet of you.”

“I can be sweet.” Her eyebrows furrowed.

“Didn’t say you couldn’t.”

“But you implied that I wasn’t usually sweet. I’ll have you know that I was with this guy last night, and he went on and on how about sweet my vag—“ I leaned over and clamped a hand around her mouth.

“Think you can share another time, hooker?” I gestured to Maddy in the back seat with my eyes.

Setting aside how cringe-worthy this exchange is, her sister is nineteen. We haven’t spent enough time with Mia and Maddy together to really believe that she’s this maternal towards her. Or why she’s this maternal to her – it’s not like they have a massive age gap between them.

AND MIA DID NOT IMPLY GIN WASN’T SWEET! Gin is a fucking idiot. “Oh wow, what a sweet thing that was you did for me that we were just talking about.” “HOW DARE YOU I AM SWEET! In fact someone complimented my vagina on this which is somehow relevant and meant to convey what a tough-talking, dirty lady-friend I am and have been to you for all these years, Mia.”

Then things get really fucking weird:

“Oh whatever,” Maddy butted in. “Like I don’t know what she was talking about. You think I’m so innocent.”

I let go of Gin and turned around in a flash. “You mean you’re not innocent?” I’d have bet fifty whole dollars that my usually tanned skin went stark white in that moment.

Maddy crossed her arms over her chest then rolled her eyes. “I’m still a virgin. You know I’d tell you. Jeez. But I know what going down on a girl is. I’m not stupid.”

“Has that happened to you?” I held my breath not sure I wanted to know the truth.

Was Maddy originally supposed to be 12 in the story? She is 19 and in college, why wouldn’t she know ‘what going down on a girl is’ and why would she use this as an example of how not-innocent she is? Seriously, it’s like she was written as a younger character who is trying to show how edgy and ahead of her time she is, and then for some reason Audrey Carlan was like, “I’ll just make her nineteen but leave this convo as is.”

so-confused

And why is Mia acting like a creepy, over-protective (stereotypical) father? None of this makes any sense. Eventually, Mia says that Maddy can always call her and talk to her about that kind of thing, but if I were Maddy I would never in a million years take her up on this offer for a myriad of reasons.

Then Mia goes to see her dad, and narrates the plot of the previous books to him even though he’s still in a coma. Here is just a brief example (she spares no detail):

“Alec taught me that it was okay to love people beyond just you, Mads, and Gin. That you could care about another person, love them even, and not have to be with them forever. It was sweet. My time with Alec helped me see a few things about myself. It’s sad to think I won’t see them again. Though maybe not Wes. I’m still confused over him, Pops.”

I wonder if after every couple books, Mia’s dad will still be in a coma and she’ll go talk to him and recap the plot and her inevitable feelings for each and every client.

She talks for multiple pages about how Wes offered her the money to pay her father’s debts, how she still has feelings for him, but it’s not the right time, but after the next ten months meeting lots of her new guys it might be the right time. I’m not sure if this is for readers who can’t recall the last two books or readers who somehow missed all of these blatantly obvious plot points.

The chapter ends with Mia telling us that tomorrow she’s going to see Blaine, and she’s angry! I bet you anything he will be an over-the-top caricature of an evil man who gallivants around with goons.

2+
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14 comments

  1. Jennifer Layton

    Ah, Calendar Girl series, you do not disappoint. It’s only Chapter 1, and Mia is being greeted by two human Toys R Us Wriggly Water Snakes and talking about oral sex. Pass the root beer and Fritos. I’m in.

    8+

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    • 22aer22 Post author

      I love these books so much. I have to remember to thank my mother again for suggesting them to us

      3+
  2. wordswithhannah

    So…referring to money she made as an escort, her friend snickering about it, and them calling each other “whore” and “bitch” and “hooker” is totally cool in front of her delicate baby sister…but mentioning oral sex is off-limits? But talking to your (granted, unconscious) father about the men you bang while you’re soul-searching is also not weird?

    I’m confused by this family’s dynamics.

    7+

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  3. Mara

    That description at the beginning put the image of two amorphous, almost Lovecraftian horror-beasts into my head, and now I can’t un-see it.

    5+

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    • Andreas

      Thank you for this comment, Mara.
      From now on my headcanon will use “amorphous, almost Lovecraftian horrorbeast” as factually correct description for all people appearing in these books.
      And they suddenly became SO MUCH BETTER.

      3+
  4. Sue W

    I hate to think that maybe her dad can hear her. *shudder*

    3+
    • 22aer22 Post author

      He was about to wake up, heard Mia talking and was like, “Nah maybe just stay in a coma a bit longer…’

      2+
  5. callmeIndigo

    At least it begins as it means to go on. “Two bodies, one long and…long, the other petite and also a personality trait somehow.” Setting a realistic standard for the quality of the prose.

    ““Alec taught me that it was okay to love people beyond just you, Mads, and Gin. That you could care about another person, love them even, and not have to be with them forever.”
    I don’t…how are these sentences related? What does that first one even mean? Why does Mia experience any positive emotions toward Gin when Gin seems to be even more awful than her somehow? I have so many questions.

    I’m assuming that the previous-book-feelings-recap is in fact intended to catch someone up who’s starting from this book, because Carlan seems to think this series is deep and meaningful and therefore a new reader would otherwise be hopelessly confused, but I don’t understand why it’s phrased with such finality. If you’re going to have your character outright state the moral of the story they were just in [albeit in a deeply confusing and overblown way] maybe you should put it at the end of that story, instead of the beginning of the next one? Wait. I’m expecting good writing choices. I must be confused.

    4+
    • matthewjulius

      to be fair, Mia DID explain the moral/her lesson about how it’s ok to accept love at the end of the last book. many times. just over and over and over again. subtlety isn’t Calendar Girl’s strong suit.

      2+
      • 22aer22 Post author

        I wonder how many times per book we’ll have to hear the moral of each separate month recapped. Eventually it will basically be Twelve Days of Christmas but with the morals of each month of Mia’s year as an escort.

        2+
  6. Book Baron

    Did Gin just imply that the protagonist got extra money by prostituting herself? Wasn’t that a huge “no no” a few chapters back in the last book? Why does Gin get to say it without a big blow up fight?

    0
  7. Anonymous

    Okay, I know this series is awful in several ways, but… why would they go to the zoo in Portland if they were staying in Seattle? Like… there are other major zoos way closer… plus the aquarium…
    And going to the Space Needle as a romantic, last-time-we-spend-alone-together place? Alec is totally a tourist.
    I bet he’s not even French.

    1+
  8. Jeremy Coward

    If I’m ever in a coma, I just pray my daughter doesn’t come to my bedside and talk me through all of the men she’s slept with.

    0
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