Summary: Chapter 12

“If you don’t find it in the index, look very carefully throughout the entire catalog.”

—Sears, Roebuck catalog

Tibby and Bailey meet the video game player, Brian McBrian. Tibby thinks Brian exactly fits her idea of a loser. She’s surprised that Bailey knows how to set up the camera and microphone. Brian tells Tibby about his favorite game, Dragon Master, which has twenty-eight levels. Tibby, surprised to find she’s interested, films Brian playing the game.

Bridget joins Eric for another run. He insinuates that she played too hard during the scrimmage, and Bridget admits she was doing it for him. He tells her quietly that he thinks she’s wonderful, but that she’s too young for him and it’s a violation of the rules. Bridget says rules don’t matter to her, but Eric says they do to him.

During breakfast with her grandfather, Lena tries to tell him the truth about what happened with Kostos, but she chickens out. She takes a long walk, hoping to see Kostos, but she doesn’t and feels disappointed.

Bridget writes to Carmen about sightseeing she’s done in Mexico. She saw a volcano field named “Three Virgins,” and she says if it’d been “Four Virgins,” it would have suited them.


Telling the truth is difficult for Lena, who fears that opening up will force her to confront things she’d rather deny or ignore. Lena’s suppression of the truth initially led to a fight between her and Kostos’s grandfathers, and her continued unwillingness to come clean fuels the anger between the families. By keeping her knowledge to herself, Lena also harms Kostos’s reputation. However, she is unable to admit what really happened. Telling everyone that she overreacted when Kostos saw her skinny-dipping might lead to more questions, such as why she’s so unwilling to open herself up to other people and why she is so distrustful of boys. Lena, despite her beauty, is intensely self-conscious, and the prospect of discussing herself at length seems too painful to bear. Also, being honest with her grandparents requires her to trust them fully. Although she is getting to know them better as the summer goes on, she doesn’t yet feel free enough around them to fully reveal her thoughts, feelings, and mistakes. Lena’s episode is, in some sense, a lesson to readers about being comfortable with who they are, understanding the importance of telling the truth, and developing a willingness to do difficult things to help someone else.

When Carmen gets angry at Krista and Lydia for ceasing contact with Lydia’s ex-husband, she is really expressing her anger at her own father, who, in many ways, abandoned Carmen and her mother after the divorce. Albert has dutifully visited Carmen several times a year, and he’s very much a part of Carmen’s life, but he has cut Carmen’s mother out entirely. When he asks how her mother is, Carmen knows he isn’t really interested. Carmen is loyal to her mother, and she feels Albert’s disinterest as a betrayal. However, she and Albert do not have the kind of relationship where Carmen can express her anger, disappointment, or sadness. Instead, she has to keep her feelings to herself, or tell them only to her mother, Christina, and her friends. When she gets upset at what Albert tells her about Lydia and Krista, she is directing her anger at the wrong target: the person she is truly hurt by is sitting right next to her in the car.