I just read the second Courtney book. First, I have to give credit: the story about the HIV+ kid is very well done, very moving. It's also the Ryan White story, but how many different ways can this be told. And it contains the first glimpse of social media! One kid's dad has a camcorder, whoa! which they use to record an interview with Isaac, the sick kid, and show it to the rest of the school. Plus, the talk about germs and how one can and can't catch a disease couldn't be more topical.
So none of that is what I'm upset about. It's this: I knew already that Courtney was going to have a Molly doll, and I didn't like the idea, because that means Molly is not real, in-universe. And now I find out it's not just a simple matter of "Courtney made her bed and propped up her Molly doll against a pillow." We go through the whole process of Courtney seeing the Pleasant Company catalog, looking at it with her friend, being sure to mention the company name, losing their minds over Molly, Kirsten and their accessories, and then Courtney getting a Molly doll as an early Christmas present.
Did no one realize what this means?! Molly is not supposed to come from a catalog, not when you read her books. She's supposed to be a real historical character, with real hopes and dreams and issues. Getting the doll and accessories is supposed to be a bonus. And if Molly is not a real person, how can Courtney be real? Why didn't they go full meta and flash forward to a girl today looking through an AG catalog and saying, "Courtney, from the '80s? Ooh, I want her rainbow bedding and her hamster!"
I'm serious; this really bugs. This is a Highlander II level of messing with the canon. And product placement should never be this blatant. Argh.