Like Psycho Kitty Queen, the underlying relationship of this book is more subtle. Though this is the culmination of all moments between Sammy and Casey thus far, Casey hardly appears in the book.
School is back in session! Sammy is hoping 8th grade will be a better year than 7th grade, but everything goes wrong immediately. She hardly has any classes with Marissa, she has several classes with Heather, and to top it off, Mr. Vince, the rival softball coach that hates her from the previous school year is her teacher for two classes. Plus there is no Mr. Caan around to make things right. When Mr. Vince starts receiving threatening messages, it looks like the year will at least be interesting. That is…until everyone thinks Sammy and Billy are sending the threats. In her personal life, Casey is avoiding Sammy. It looks like the relationship might be over before it even begins.
Wedding Crasher is the rare book where every aspect is school related. Even the mystery takes place mostly at school. I also appreciate how true it stays to real school. Sammy starts off the new year discovering new staff in place. Mr. Caan was notably promoted to the high school. This happens a lot in real life public school, with teachers and adminstrative staff suddenly being gone, transferred or promoted after summer vacation. The staff shake-ups at Sammy’s school really helped ground this book in reality.
But to the real point here. Seeing Mr. Vince get his due punishment was satisfying, watching Sammy be a bridesmaid in Officer Borsch’s wedding was lovely, and the introduction of new classmate drama including with Billy is fun, but the real draw to this book was the tension between Sammy, Casey and their parents. Warren Acosta and Lana Keyes are all but living together at this point, and this separates Sammy and Casey a lot.
(Spoiler here.) It doesn’t help that Heather throws in her last bit of sabotage toward Sammy and Casey. After a book of being distant, and a lot of regret on Sammy’s end, Sammy and Casey finally begin an official relationship. The ending of the book is a moment fans waited for all the way since Curse of Moustache Mary. Having it finally happen is/was a climactic moment for the series.
From this point onward, we are heading full throttle toward the events of Showdown in Sin City. The rest of Sammy’s messed-up personal life is experienced with Casey by her side. And man, is there a lot that happens…