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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Showdown #19

Lila is way cute on this cover, even though she's wearing a very blah-looking gray sweater.  I wouldn't think a stuck-up rich girl like her would be caught dead in that sweater. Jessica looks kinda worn-out, and for some reason my first thoughts were "crack head" and "cougar" when I saw her.

We're picking up from the last book, where Lila met the mysterious construction worker Jack. She brags to everyone about him, and plans the mandatory Lila-pool-party to show off her new man. Jessica automatically wants him, (because why on earth should she let her best friend have a decent guy? Thats what friends are for.), and starts trying to get her claws into him immediately.

The second Lila leaves them alone for two minutes, Jessica practically forces her phone number down Jack's throat and tells him to call her. Being the faithful type, he calls Jessica up for a date not long after the party. He also schedules a date on a different day with Lila. What a winner! Jess knows he's taking Lila out, but doesn't care once she gets her date with him.

After one date and a bunch of sappy making-out, (he even names a star after her! Omg romantic!), Jessica is in LOVE. And she just knows that he'll get rid of that pest Lila soon and be all hers. And we just know this isn't going to be nearly that simple.

Jess seems to think that because he's charming and went to a prep school on the East Coast, he must be some kind of royalty. She pictures herself being by his side in some stupid royal castle 12 year-old fantasy.

Jack even tells Lila he wants to marry her, and to keep the "engagement" a secret, because "they'd jump on the story in a second". Who "they" is, no one, including Lila, knows. But naturally she assumes that, wow, he must be really important!! She's totally thrilled to be engaged to this sexy mystery man she barely knows. Ah to be sixteen again.

Oh, and money and valuable items keeps disappearing around Jack, he acts strangely when his past is brought up, and sometimes behaves as if he's on drugs. Tons of obvious signs that everyone misses, and as usual Liz notices something isn't right, but doesn't want to think the worst of someone. 'Sigh'
Basically much of the book is just Jack dating both girls, Lila on the weekdays and Jess on the weekends.

Here's the rundown:

Jessica and Lila "OMG Jack I love you!!! You're so amazing, perfect man, together forever lalalala, he must be royalty since he's sooo mysterious!"

Jack (to both of them) "I love you and I named a star after you! We'll never be apart, just don't ask about my past or I'll get all irritated. But don't worry, I've got nothin' bad to hide..."

Jessica " He's gonna dump Lila any second now! Annnny second...."

Elizabeth "Hmmm this guy sounds suspicious, but I'm going to keep out of this until someone is in danger because for once I'm minding my own business."

And you know someone is about to be in danger. And who else but Jessica? She goes out on another date with Jack, and they go back to his apartment (side note- PARENTS? Hellllllo??? You're just fine with your sixteen-year-old in some adult man's apartment? And yes they met and approved of this older man for their teen daughter. Ugggh) Jess finds all kinds of drugs in Jack's bathroom. Weed, "white powder" and pills of all kinds. Sounds like my kinda guy.

Then when she goes to confront him, she finds him digging in her purse. Yes, instead of making some excuse to leave safely, she confronts an unpredictable drug-user in his apartment. Mmmm smart. Jack drops his nice-guy B.S after she calls him a "phony" (the idea!), and things get violent when he starts trying to choke Jessica out.

Of course Liz has already figured out that Jack is a fake, because Nicholas and his friend David know Jack. They tell her the real story about him. His whole family died in a boating accident, and he started doing drugs and making up crazy stories about his life. They all rush to get Jessica (somehow, they know she's at his apartment), after Elizabeth makes a call to Lila and gets his address. Lila seems more annoyed about Jess trying to sneak behind her back with Jack then anything else.

You know the rest, Elizabeth and friends get there just in the nick of time to save Jessica, and give her most of the credit for saving herself, even calling her a "heroine". Um, ok. Jack goes to jail, and the worst parents ever, (Ned and Alice), wax on about how they think a "troubled boy like that" needs counseling, not jail. How about you two just don't give advice?

Sub-plot is Elizabeth catching Enid's boyfriend George in an embrace with former fatso Robin Wilson. Turns out they fell in love during flying school, and they have this whole sob story for Liz about how they didn't mean to fall in love and cheat on their respective significant others, it just happened! Liz is a terrible friend, so she agrees to say nothing to Enid until George is ready to tell her. What!?! If I found something like that out, I would tell my best friend right away!

See how all of this goes down in the next book, Crash Landing!

Moral of this lovely story? If a guy is super mysterious, he's probably a drug addict with major issues. What would I do without the dating advice I've gotten from SVH? (Possibly I'd actually get dates, and not sit around recapping SVH books....)

Monday, October 25, 2010

Head Over Heels #18

Bruce is dressed like a grandpa, but he's still pretty hot on this cover, as far as cover drawings go. Regina is cute, but not nearly as amazingly gorgeous as they say she is in the books. But I should expect that by now.
Regina is falling for Bruce hard (you might even say she's "head over heels") and just about all of SVH doesn't approve, because Bruce is a well..a douche.

Todd expresses his concern about this relationship to Liz in a insanely a dorky way:
"I hope the Beast doesn't break the Beauty's heart"
Oh please, as if you and Elizabeth have such a solid thing going.

Lila and Jessica even make a bet over Bruce and Regina. Jessica is sure they'll break up before two weeks, Lila thinks they'll stay together. They don't bet money, because Lila says that her dad thinks betting money is "vulgar". Hmm. Instead, they bet that whoever loses has to write both of their term papers for History class.

Regina's been offered an opportunity to go to Switzerland to get some mysterious, vague-ly described, treatment to cure her deafness. Oh I mentioned she was deaf and reads lips right? She doesn't want to go, because it means she'll be away from Sweet Valley (and Bruce!!!!) for a whole year.

Yes, a boy and friends that she's only known for like two books are much more important then being able to hear. Well, that's sixteen-year-old girl logic for you. Her family is totally frustrated and desperate to get her to go, and because Elizabeth is such a good friend of Regina's (...except Regina and Liz hardly spend any time together at all) Regina's mom Skye confides in her about the whole Switzerland deal. Why do all adults feel they can confide in Liz? Elizabeth agrees Regina has to go ,and promises she'll try to find some way to convince her.

Surprisingly, the family doesn't just rely on Liz to convince Regina. They bring in someone who used to be deaf, and can now hear because of the treatment. His name is Donald Essex, and the family hopes he can get her to agree to the treatments. Regina, on the other hand, is sure her parents will get over this whole not being-deaf-anymore-operation thing soon.

While all of this is going on, Jessica is scheming to break Bruce and Regina up so she's not stuck writing two term papers. (The bet with Lila, remember? Good.) She starts by trying to call Regina. Yes, Jessica attempts to call a deaf person. Guess I can't laugh too much since I'd probably do something just like that.

Jessica knows Bruce is running for some Citizen of the year/student committee crap against Ken Matthews, and decides he's probably dating Regina just to look good so he wins. She manages to plant the seeds of doubt in Regina's head, which works because Bruce never told Regina he was even running. He had wanted to make it a surprise for her, or something like that.

Bruce and Regina get in a big  typical SVH couple's fight and break up for like a whole 3 days. Regina agrees to go to Switzerland since things with Bruce are over. Bruce runs to Elizabeth (OF COURSE) and asks why Regina broke up with him/how to get her back. Once Liz explains the whole Switzerland thing to him, Bruce actually cries.

He does something else totally uncharacteristic and self-less, leaving her a note in her suitcase explaining everything and saying he'll wait for her while she's gone. She finds it on the plane to Switzerland and everything is okay now. And yeah, I'm a little jealous. I mean seriously, where's my romantic letter from Bruce Patman?

Other stuff: There's a carnival coming up to raise money for handicapped kids, and of course Elizabeth and the usual suspects (Olivia, Enid , Todd, etc.) are on the committee to help. Carnival goes as planned and isn't very exciting to read about.

Donald Essex meets Jessica when she goes to poison Regina against Bruce, and she mega-flirts with him. He then sees Liz and Todd later, and acts all familiar and flirty around Liz, totally pissing Todd off and confusing Elizabeth. If either of them had a brain, they might remember that Liz has a flirty twin who very possibly could have already met Donald. Instead they get in yet another Liz and Todd Fight. But don't worry they make up. As if you didn't know.

Since Lila loses the bet (even though Regina and Bruce do technically reunite) she's the one stuck writing both papers. Predictably, she gets a B- on her own paper, and a D on Jessica's. Pretty dumb to trust Lila Fowler to write a good paper for you after losing a bet. You should know more then anyone Jessica! Now Jess may not pass History. Gasp!

And last but not least, Lila meets a sexy, intriguing construction worker while going to see her father at his new building. She decides that he's not just some average blue-collar guy, because he seems soooo classy and different! Yeah he's different, but not in a good way. Stay Tuned for our next thrilling story, Showdown.

Moral? I guess the moral is that even super douches like Bruce Patman can change. All they need is a pretty deaf girl to help them change!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Love Letters #17

Caroline looks like she's a few french fries short of a happy meal on this cover, and kinda hamster-ish. Elizabeth looks constipated and nosy.

Let me start by saying that I often find Caroline annoying (and I'm not the only one), but I liked this book a lot. It had a fake boyfriend disaster and no Todd and Elizabeth B.S. Good enough for me!
So, Caroline is feeling alienated and lonely because she has no real friends and her cool older sister ignores her. This is probably due to the fact that she is the biggest gossip ever and super nosy.

Instead of realizing this, she invents an over-the-top romantic boyfriend who lives two hours away named Adam, and writes letters to herself that are supposedly from "Adam".

Because she's lazy and not such a great writer, she copies the letters from the books of poet Robert Browning's love letters to his love Elizabeth. Convienently, our own Elizabeth is doing a play in some kind of competition, with those exact letters from the books. This comes in later on in the story.

These letters were written a looong time ago, so they don't sound anything like letters a sixteen-year-old boy would write anyway...
"My dearest, inexpressibly dearest, Caroline. Your flower is the one flower I have seen, or see, or shall see. When it fades I will bless it till it shines again."

And for some reason, all of the girls buy this crap and really think Caroline has some uber-romantic guy in love with her.

The only one who isn't totally convinced is Jessica. I thought Lila would be more skeptical, but she seems to buy the story for awhile. Jess is determined to prove that Caroline's a liar, and she gets Lila to plan a party in honor of Caroline and her new man. Caroline panics and tries to get out of it, but Lila and Jess get bus tickets for "Adam" and make sure there's no excuse for him not to show up.

Now, normally I would be making fun of Caroline's stupid fake-boyfriend plan more, but I have to admit I've done it. Not with old-timey letters, but made-up stories about my "boyfriend". Plus SVH is all about couples and dating, and she's one of the only single, date-less students there. Plus, she's like the only red-head in Sweet Valley (besides Julie Porter, but she barely counts). I can't blame her for losing her mind and making boyfriends up. But I digress.

Enter B and C plots : B plot- Caroline finds a letter in the Wakefield's trash from Mrs. Wakefield thanking a firm in San Francisco for their job offer.She mentions in the letter that she'd have to think it over ,and her family would need a month to move.
Caroline catches Jessica making fun of her and pulls out the letter to embarrass her. Things like this may be why people don't like you Caroline.

To avoid looking bad in front of Lila and Cara, Jessica acts like she already knew about the possible move when she really had no idea. Yes, their parents never mentioned they might be moving to a different city in about a month. Another fine example of Alice and Ned Wakefield parenting genius.

Why no one really questions how Caroline got a personal letter, or why a letter that Alice was supposed to be sending to San Francisco was in the Wakefield's trash can in Sweet Valley, I don't know.

Jessica tells Liz, and they confront their parents, who have the nerve to call them selfish for not being happy about their mother's job opportunity. What? Yes, the twins can be quite selfish, (especially Jessica), but them not being excited about a sudden move to a new city is understandable. Liz plans to wait to tell Todd, but Caroline screws that up when she tells Liz to tell Jess she's sorry about the letter incident....right in front of Todd. Way to go Caroline. She's batting 1000 in this one.

The twins start a Sweet-Valley-is-perfect campaign to get their parents to stay, sending them pamphlets on Sweet Valley hangouts.
I can't figure out why they think spamming their parents to death will make them want to stay in Sweet Valley. But I guess I'm missing something, since it does work and they get to stay in Sweet Valley. Of course. Sweet Valley would collapse on itself without the Wakefields!

C plot isn't much of anything except a few pages about Regina and Bruce going on a date. Will Regina fall for SVH's resident player/date rapist? I'm going to spoil the surprise and say yes, in fact, she falls Head Over Heels for Bruce.

So back to our fabulous A-plot. Elizabeth reads some of her play at the dinner table, and Jessica knows for sure after hearing it that "Adam" didn't write those letters. For some reason Liz thinks that maybe "Adam's" just a plagerizer, copying the plays and sending them to Caroline, instead of realizing that, HELLO! Caroline is writing the letters to herself!

Sometimes I want to tear my hair out at how dense and overly-trusting Liz is. Don't we all?
 The party is all set for the weekend and Caroline is freaking out. She confesses the whole thing to Liz ,(who else?), and asks her not to read her play at the competition, because then everyone from school will know Adam didn't write the letters. They're going to know when that party rolls around the next day anyway, but Caroline is apparently both selfish and stupid.
Elizabeth actually ends up agreeing to not enter her play, which is so ridiculous. Jess couldn't have said it better:

"I thought you were the brains of the family Liz, but that's about the stupidest thing you've ever done in your whole life. I can't believe you'd jeopordize your entire literary future for that spoiled brat!"
Thank you.

But all is well in the end, because Caroline realizes she can't hide forever and tells Liz to read the play. She pours her heart out to her older sister, Anita, about her fake boyfriend. and crippling loneliness. Anita's response is to spend two hours telling Caroline all of the reasons no one likes her. The tough approach works, and Caroline apologizes to all of the people she's gossiped about and vows to change.

Because Liz is everyone's guardian angel, she decides to help Caroline out of her jam. She gets Todd's random out-of-town friend, Jerry, to play "Adam" at the party. You'd think that Caroline would just go with it and save herself the embarrassment, (I know I would), but because we have to learn a moral lesson, Caroline confesses her lie to the whole party.
But it's cool because Jerry likes her for realz and wants to write to her and be her real-life Adam. Awww.

Moral of the story? Don't invent fake boyfriends. No seriously, don't. It's really embarrassing when you get caught in the lie. I'm still embarrassed about my fake boyfriend incident from over 10 years ago!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Just wanted to share..

I just ordered the Sweet Valley High board game, complete with all of the pieces, from Ebay! I'm so excited, I'm going to force my best friend and my little sister into playing this with me when it comes. I'll make sure to give it a review as well :)

Rags to Riches #16

Roger looks asian here, and nothing like his last cover. Guess getting rich really does change you. Jessica looks appropriately evil, as usual, and that shirt is really not flattering.
So, Roger is now super-rich, in case you haven't caught that. When his mom died, it was revealed that his real dad is Paul Patman, Bruce's uncle who died in a plane crash. Paul was "seeing" Roger's mom behind his wife's back, and was planning to divorce his wife and marry her. Before he could do that he died, but he left a huge amount of cash to his then-unborn son.

Roger moves into the Patman's estate, and is thrown into the world of rich people, which apparently includes dressing up for dinners at home, and being super stuck-up at all times. Oh, and using 3000 different kinds of utensils. Poor old Rog isn't doing such a great job at this whole rich thing, and it probably doesn't help that his girlfriend, Olivia Davidson, has started acting even more insecure and emotional then normal.

Now that he's rich, Jessica is all hot for Roger. Who would've thought? There is a random barbeque at the Patman mansion and the whole freakin school is there, like at every party. During the BBQ, Jessica sucks up hardcore to Mrs. Patman. Mrs P makes it pretty clear she'd like Jessica to replace Olivia as Roger's date to an upcoming country club party.

It has to be said that Bruce's mom is just a horrible throughout this book. She refers to Roger's award-winning running as a "dreadful habit", and when he spills a few drops of wine on her at dinner, she loses her mind. It's all pretty clear now why Bruce acts like such an douche nozzle. His mother's attitude may also explain why he treats most girls he dates like crap. Hmmm.

But enough analyzing Bruce. In the sub-plot,  Regina has been acting kinda weird lately. Some of the girls have seen her hanging out with 'gasp' an older man! This, of course, starts a ton of stupid rumors about Regina dating an old man. Because he couldn't possibly be a family member or something.
Todd and Elizabeth go spy on her to find out what's going on for themselves, instead of just asking her. Even thought they're supposed to be her close friends. Okay.

There's a few more awkward encounters and sightings of Regina and her mystery old man, and more rumors crop up. Regina confides in-who else- Elizabeth, telling her that the older guy is a modeling agent and she's going to be on the cover of popular magazine Ingenue. For reasons I can't understand, this is treated like a huge secret. Lila finds out about the cover while on her own little spy-on-Regina mission, and swears she'll steal that cover.

This is so stupid because why would the magazine trash their already-shot cover to shoot some random chick? If they liked Lila so much, she would get an future magazine cover, not Regina's.
Just sayin....

Lila's plan fails and after listening to Mr. Important Agent gush about Regina, she's told that her face would look flat in photos and modeling isn't for her. Ouch.

Jessica starts in on her operation-destroy-Olivia plan, although she doesn't have to do much, since Olivia is great at making herself look bad already. All she really does is drop some hints about how the Patman's and Olivia just don't mix (true), Liv and Roger are growing apart, etc. Olivia is so insecure that that's all it takes to make her start second-guessing their relationship.

Elizabeth can't seem to figure out why Jessica is suddenly BFF with Olivia, even though it should be pretty obvious .Um, why would Jessica suddenly want to spend time with Olivia of all people? She's clearly never liked the girl. Her dislike for Olivia is even more obvious when Liz says she saw Liv downtown looking really bad (meaning depressed), and Jessica's reaction is to exclaim, "oh no what was she wearing now?!" Hint, hint Liz, Jessica is not hanging out with Olivia for altruistic purposes. Come to think of it, Jess doesn't do anything for altruistic reasons.

Olivia just keeps getting more insecure and clumsy, and finally she and Roger get into the Big Fight. Roger asks Jessica to be his date, after she convinces him that Olivia was just going to dump him right before the party so he'd be left without a date, because she's jealous of his money. To me, this sounds nothing like Olivia. Roger briefly thinks the same thing, but then decides to believe Jessica over his girlfriend.

Well no wonder Jessica manipulates and lies so much, seems like everyone in Sweet Valley is so naive that they'll believe anything! Roger finally gets the picture right before the party, when he overhears Mrs. Patman talking on the phone about how Jessica got rid of Olivia for her. He goes to the place everyone goes when they need help, the Wakefield house. He tells the twins about how he wants Olivia back. When Liz sees Jessica's obvious annoyance about this, she's all like oohh maybe Jessica wasn't really helping Olivia... Yeah... DUH!!!!!!

Roger and Elizabeth rush off to Olivia's, while Jessica stays at home and finds another date in under five minutes.
Rog and Liv have their little we're-back-together moment, (I'll spare you the details), and the Patman's grudgingly accept Olivia... kind of. Everyone oohs and ahhs over Regina's magazine cover at the party, and Caroline shows off old-timey sounding love letters from her new man Adam (why is Caroline invited to this party?) More about those love letters, and Caroline here.

Olivia's outfits; I just had to throw in some outfit descriptions since Liv may have the most random "style" in SVH. No wonder the Patman's didn't approve!

"Oversized army pants, sandals, and a bright-yellow T-shirt with the sleeves rolled up. Her usual bandana was twisted into a thin band around her forehead"

"The dress didn't have much shape to it, though it was certainly long enough. Olivia had designed a deep neckline that plunged in a vee, and had made a soft, gathered sash to cover the waistline. It wouldn't be half-bad as a bathing suit cover up. But to wear to the biggest party of the season?"
*side note-don't you love how every party/dance is the "biggest" of the year/season/month/week/decade?

"Her brown curls were held back by a silver-and-gold braided rope, and she was wearing a loose, man-sized cotton shirt belted over a flowered skirt."

Ahh Olivia. A true free spirit. I gotta admit I like her, despite my complaining. At least she's got some personality that's not totally sociopath-like, (talking to you, Jessica) or condescending (That'd be you, Liz!).

Moral of the story? If you get rich, stay with your hippie girlfriend and don't let an evil blonde manipulate you. That's pretty much all I got.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Promises #15

Well it's pretty obvious from this cover that Betsy and Tricia had one thing in common: they both had grandma style. I'm disappointed that the town tramp, (She took over full-time after Annie Whitman retired.), wasn't wearing something...sluttier on the cover. Jessica looks more like a mom than a high-schooler.

We start with Tricia's sad, depressing, (if you liked Tricia, that is), death. The whole Wakefield family is there to say goodbye to her while her dad and sister, Betsy are out getting wasted. Because the Wakefield's are perfect and the Martins are trash! Just in case the last 14 books didn't get that through your head.

Right before she dies, she makes Steven promise her that he'll take care of Betsy after she's gone. Most of the book is based on this promise, if you didn't guess from the title.

Besty shows up too late and drunk, and the Wakefields take her to their house to stay for awhile and get herself together. She drunkenly swears that she'll change her life and it's all very touching. She has no idea where her dad went. They assume that he's on a drinking binge and will return in a few days.

Jessica tells Elizabeth on the way home from the hospital that she hopes he comes back soon and takes Betsy out of their house, cuz eww she's sooo trashy! Annnnd she heard Betsy was up at Miller's point with two guys last week! (A Sweet Valley threesome? That's right!)

Keep in mind she tells Liz that story after she talks about her own most recent Miller's point makeout session (the guy kissed "sort of like a dead fish". Ew.)
Elizabeth makes Jessica promise to be nice to Betsy after giving her the customary "people can change" speech. Jess agrees, but let's be honest, this promise won't last 5 minutes. After all, we know how Jessica feels about slutty girls.

Elizabeth later stumbles in on Betsy drawing and we learn that she has a secret talent for art, because all troubled people must be artists.

Even when getting ready for Tricia's funeral, Jessica is majorly rude and insensitive. When Elizabeth asks her why she's more worried about what she's wearing then the fact that they're about to bury Tricia, she responds:

"Lizzie, dear, someone in this family has to look respectable. To make up for having you-know-who with us."
Ok, seriously, she acts like the Wakefields are royalty or something.

On the way home from the funeral, Betsy demands to go to sleazy bar Kelly's to drink her troubles away. Frankly, I think that they should just let her have a few drinks. Maybe get her a bottle on the way home... are there even any liquor stores in Sweet Valley? But of course Steven refuses because he's boring. I want to see Steven get drunk just once! Even Elizabeth has been drunk before!

Steven tells Betsy the Wakefield home is her home for good, which he never asks his parents about, but whatever. Not like Alice and Ned would mind anyway.
Jessica searches Betsy's room when no one's home, sure she's going to find condoms or drugs, or something. She goes through Betsy's art and finds, gasp, a picture of Steve! And she knows that Betsy must be madly in love with Steve.

She tells Liz, but Elizabeth is on her way out and doesn't pay much attention.
I should note that Elizabeth is on her way to meet Todd, Nicholas Morrow, and his sister Regina at the Box Tree Cafe. Kinda strange since Nicholas just tried to steal Liz from Todd. Todd is really a bigger doormat then Liz at times.

Turns out Jess is right, and it soon becomes pretty clear that Betsy is falling for Steve. Steve and Betsy walk into the beach disco together and run into Steve's friend Jason, who's interested in her and her art, since he's an art teacher at the local community center. He offers her a spot in his class, and she goes all bananas on him and assumes he's heard all the stories and is just trying to get in her pants. Steve and Jason convince her to try just one class.

Betsy really starts to cling to Steven, and even Liz thinks it's not healthy. Steven knows he needs to go back to college and spend some time away from Betsy. Before he goes, Steve, Liz and Jason all come up with a plan to enter Betsy's art in an L.A Academy art school competition without her knowing. (She was too paranoid about Jason wanting to do her that she wouldn't accept his offer to help her enter. Oh please. You aren't that hot, girl.)

Betsy's dad finally shows up at the Wakefield house, and Betsy panics and calls Steve. He rushes right down from college, prompting Mr. and Mrs. Wakefield to actually act like parents. They tell him that he's not responsible for Betsy and needs to start re-building his own life. Steve spills the whole thing about his promise to Tricia, and Jessica overhears.

Naturally Jessica sees this as her opportunity to send Betsy packing, and tells her about the promise in her usual sneaky way. Betsy flips out.
"Don't 'Betsy' me. No one cares about Betsy. It's only Tricia who counts."

That is pretty much true, since apart from this book, there's almost no mention at all of Betsy after Tricia's dead. 

Betsy heads down to the bar with local bad guys Crunch McAllister and Charlie Cashman. Steven and Jason storm in like the Moral Police and tell Betsy she's leaving with them. Jason punches out Charlie and he and Betsy finallllly gets it through her thick skull that he's not just interested in hooking up with her, but wants a relationship. Ooh SVH romance!!

Betsy wins the competition and is accepted to art school, earning her a Wakefield barbeque and a congratulations three-way hug (instead of an actual three-way) with Steve and Jason. Aww.

Sub-plot- Winston broke the pizza eating record at SVH, and is now trying to do the same record-setting pizza eating thing at Guido's. He unfortunately falls short of his goal of eating seven pizzas. The news and a crowd actually show up for this, and I got seriously hungry reading about it.

Oh, and Roger Barrett's mother has had a heart attack! He has to find some way to pay for a surgery and flight to Houston to save her.  Jessica is still more pre-occupied with Roger's date-ability then this tragedy, thinking to herself one day,
"Too bad he didn't have a penny to his name. Otherwise he might be high on her list of desirable boys."

Bruce Patman's father comes out of nowhere and offers to foot all of the bills to save Rog's mom. No one can figure out why, since the Patman's have never been known for their generosity (they're more known for things like date-rape). Roger's mom dies despite the help.

We find out why the elder Patman got involved at the very end, when it's revealed that Roger's real dad is Paul Patman, Bruce's uncle who died  in a plane crash. Roger is going to live with the Patman's, and he's now stinking rich! How will Roger adjust to his new status? Find out here.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Deceptions #14

Ok, this book....I mean really. What. The. Heck. You know I usually love my SVH, but this one was awful. Not in a funny typical SVH was just annoying. Definitely not my favorite.

The rail thin plot involves a  hot new rich guy, Nicholas Morrow, who just moved into town. Nicholas saw Liz at her welcome-home-from-your-kidnapping-now-let's-forget-it party. He of course fell madly in love with her,'s Elizabeth. One big issue with this is that Jessica has decided that she and Nicholas are meant to be. I know you saw it coming.

Nicholas badgers Elizabeth about going on just one date with him, to see if anything's there, even though he knows she has a longtime boyfriend. Even more ridiculous, Liz actually feels obligated to go out with him just to give him a chance...even though she has a boyfriend that's she's supposedly in love with. How can they keep acting like Todd and Liz are sooo in love and "steady", when she's on another guy in like half the books? Agggh...

So, I'm sure you see where this headache of a book is going. Elizabeth doesn't tell anyone of her upcoming date with Nicholas, and they go to an out-of-the-way expensive restaurant that she knows she won't see anyone from Sweet Valley in.

Except Todd is there for his parent's anniversary (I thought romantic anniversary dinners didn't include the kids? ) He sees Liz and Nicholas! She pretends to be Jessica and gets away with it, until Todd stops by to see Liz at the Wakefield house, and runs into Jess. Ooops. He lets Jessica know that Elizabeth is having dinner with Nicholas, and she hits the roof, because he was her boyfriend!! Even though they haven't gone out on even a single date, or anything...

She confronts Liz when she gets home, and forgives her about 5 minutes later when she explains that she was pressured into going out with Nicholas and has no feelings for him. Jessica suddenly decides that she doesn't care because Nicholas isn't that awesome anyways and he works too much. Right.

But there's still the problem of Todd. Will he ever forgive Elizabeth? Oh em gee! You know he does. Todd is playing in a basketball game and performing badly because all he can think about is Liz. Nicholas has a heart-to-heart with him at halftime of a basketball game, (he finally realized pressuring Liz to leave her man and date him was wrong. Finally.), and Todd comes back and plays better than ever.

After the game, he catches up with Liz, (she was there to do a story for the Oracle), and they have the usual Todd and Elizabeth mushy reunion. Ugh.

The sub plot- Jessica cons nerd Randy Mason, (he was her partner for a project in Electronics class), into hacking into a school computer and changing her math grade. Randy feels all super guilty about it, and decides to go turn himself in to Principal Cooper. Elizabeth finds out about this, and insists that Jessica goes with him. Cooper lets them off easy, because Elizabeth gives him some sappy speech about how Jess and Randy learned their lesson and won't do it again. He doesn't even give them a detention because Liz is that awesome. Very effective punishment, Mr. C.

The moral of this awful story? Don't coerce people into going on dates with you, it won't work out. Don't make nerdy kids hack into a computer to change your grades. They'll rat you out.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Kidnapped! #13

Is it weird if I say Elizabeth looks more sexy then scared in this picture? Well, I said it, so oh well. That's the first thing that came to my mind when I saw this cover. The hand reaching for her adds a nice, creepy touch to things.
In the last book, Elizabeth and Jessica work in a hospital as candy stripers, and the creepy-creeperton orderly, Carl, chloroforms and kidnaps Elizabeth.

Kidnapped! begins with a slightly disturbing exchange between Jessica and her big bro Steven. Jess calls steve to help her zip up her dress, and then asks him how she looks. Very non-brotherly thoughts start going though his head:

"Steven inspected his sister carefully. Jessica had a knack for picking out clothes that made her look her best-although even a burlap sack couldn't conceal her perfectly-proportioned figure. The dress was no exception. The iridescent material matched her brilliant, blue-green eyes, and the neckline of the sleeveless dress was about as low as a sixteen-year-old could get away with."

Do I even need to say anything about that quote? There isn't much left to say.

Steven does ask her if their parents know Jessica is going out dressed like a two-dollar whore ,(not his exact words), and she tells him to stop treating her like a baby. Steven tries to explain:

"Now, Jessica, I just meant that it looks a little, uh-"
"Sexy?" , Jessica cut in. "Alluring, perhaps?"
"You're putting it mildly Jess. The way you look, you'll be fighting off at lease ninety-percent of the guys in Sweet Valley." You guys are RELATED. Remember?

And oh the incest suggestions don't end there.
"She really thought her brother was the most handsome guy in Sweet Valley"
Okaaayyyy we get it.. they're totally into each other. Get a room!

Steve is going out with Tricia, and Jessica is going to some kind of welcome-to-Sweet-Valley party for the new family in town. The Morrows have a son named Nicholas that Jessica is determined to seduce, even though she's never met him. Steven actually seems surprised that Jessica is going off to lust after a know this is Jessica, right Steve?

Steven and Jessica both think Elizabeth is busy tutoring Max Dellon, (guitarist of the Droids). Steve finally leaves, and Jessica is sitting around waiting for Liz to get back, because she has the car. Jess gets an uneasy feeling about Elizabeth, and almost calls Max to see if Liz is there, but brushes it off and decides that Liz just got caught up with tutoring. Why she didn't call, especially after getting her "twintuition" feelings about Liz, I don't know. Probably because chasing after a stranger you've never seen is more important then making sure your twin is okay.

She leaves to the party with Cara, and they talk about Cara's chances with Steven, which Jessica thinks are good now, because Tricia has leukemia. Uh-huh. Jessica explains that Tricia will drop dead soon enough anyways, so the Steven will be available for Cara! See, it all works out perfect!

Geez what a sociopath. At least pretend like you give a crap about her dying. Believe me Jess, I want Tricia The Boring gone just as much as you. But we must be patient. It'll happen soon enough.

They get to the party, which is in a beautiful mansion because the Morrows are rich. Of course. The parents, Skye and Kurt are "strikingly gorgeous". Notice how everyone in Sweet Valley seems to have hot parents? Alice and Ned are always described as young-looking and hot. Annie Whitman's mom is a former model, who even as an alcoholic, is good-looking. I could go on and on....

Jessica and Cara meet Regina Morrow, and Jessica assumes the girl is drunk or crazy because she isn't paying any attention to her. What? But hold on, Regina isn't drunk, she's deaf! The first handicapped character in Sweet Valley land. What a break through!

When Jess realizes Regina is deaf, she gushes tactlessly about how sorry she feels for Regina, who assures her she's just fine. A "horrifying thought" goes through Jessica's mind:

"'Is Nicholas deaf too?"

And yes, she asked that out loud. Luckily for her, Regina seems to ignore all of this. I would've have slapped Jessica by now.

Nicholas isn't deaf, (Thank God, because what could be worse!?) He's charming, sexy, and all the things Jessica heard/assumed he was. Jess gets right to work on Nicholas, and pushes her guilty thoughts about leaving without her sister out of her mind.

We get to Elizabeth, who is has woken up in the back of a van, and has no idea what is going on. She recalls walking to her car in the hospital parking lot, and remembers putting the keys in the ignition, which is funny since she didn't even manage to get in the car when she was kidnapped at the end of the last book. Minus one for continuity (and it only gets worse as the series goes on...)

She's in too much of a fog to remember much, and passes out again.

During all of this, Max Dellon is sitting at his house waiting for Elizabeth to come tutor him. We learn a bit about how the Droids came together, and who plays what. Dana Larson is the singer, Guy Chesney is on keyboards, Dan Scott is the bass guitarist, and Emily Mayer's on drums. I've never heard a song by the droids, (has anyone? I don't remember them even being in the SVH T.V show.), but I already know I would not enjoy their music.

Any-hoo, Max is grounded because he's failing English, so naturally Mr. Collins assigned Liz to tutor him. Max is starting to get worried, and calls the Wakefield's house. When no one answers, he gets on his motorcycle and goes to the hospital to find her, ignoring the fact that he's grounded. Random how this guy that barely knows Liz cares more about her whereabouts and safety then her own twin.

Max discovers Elizabeth's abandoned car in the parking lot with the driver's door opened and her sweater left on the seat. He starts looking through her stuff (for clues, I guess?), and a cop comes up and starts questioning him. Things get worse when another cop, who had an altercation with Max not too long ago, joins them and Max gets arrested.

He's let out for lack of anything to hold him on, but he knows that until Elizabeth is found, he's the main suspect.

Elizabeth comes to again, blind-folded, gagged and tied up. The kidnapper finally appears:

"What the man did next was something Elizabeth couldn't believe. Gently, he ran his thick, stubby fingers across her hair, and then unwound her braid, slowly, methodically until her soft blonde hair fell to her shoulders."

He undid her hair.  Ruining Elizabeth's Wakefield's perfect braid. How could he?!
She realizes it's none other then creepy-creeperton hospital orderly Carl. She helped him clean up when he dropped some stuff at the hospital, and smiled at him once or twice.

So in his demented brain, she's his perfect woman. But we knew this was bound to happen sooner or later, right? Liz is soooo great and thoughtful, it's only natural people would get crazy-obsessed with her.

Todd is wondering around the Morrow's party, anxious about Elizabeth. He brought up his fears to Jessica earlier, but she was too busy drooling all over Nicholas and brushed him off, lying and saying that Liz was babysitting for Mr. Collins. Todd has Mr. Collins' number memorized for whatever reason, and calls him up. After that confusing call, Mr. Collins wearily thinks;
 "Sometimes, being a teacher at Sweet Valley High felt like a twenty-four hours job."

We-elllll Mr. Collins. You are the one that gets all up in everyone's biz, and you're always encouraging students to confide in you! Not to mention having them babysit for your kid, attending their parties....
Todd is totally pissed at Jessica and pushes her in the pool in front of Nicholas, which is just great. She finally gets it through her thick skull that her twin is in trouble.

They run off to go search for Liz, Jessica whining the whole time about how if Liz is hurt it's her fault blah blah blah. Of course Todd reassures her of how blameless she is. I really wish someone would just say to her one of these times "Yeah, it is all your fault." Just once.

Carl still has Liz tied up, and explains to her how in love he is with her, because she's the only person who cares about him in his crazy mind. She attempts to escape, but she doesn't plan it out too well and he catches her before she can even leave the house. He later tortures Liz further by forcing her to eat frozen pancakes, and read boring investing and children's books he got for her from the hospital gift shop. The horror! I had a hard time sleeping after reading this terrifying novel.

It does get pretty creepy when Carl lets us in on his plans. He wants to take Liz somewhere far away in the mountains, where she can bathe in streams. Oh that lucky girl. He explains that the place is so far into the woods that Elizabeth would get lost and die trying to escape, and no one would ever be able to find them.

The Wakefield family and Todd call the police ,and find out about Max's arrest. Despite the fact that Max hangs around with "some real bad-news types and his metal-spiked wristbands and the scowling expression he wore around school", Jess doesn't thinks he's the culprit. She actually admits that she has no one to blame but herself. Of course she doesn't admit it out loud to anyone else, but hey it's a step in the right direction.

Todd, on the other hand, decides Max and his spiked wristbands must know something, so he attacks Max in the school halls. Jessica plays Elizabeth's role,and gets in the middle of them, convincing Todd that Max isn't guilty. They all run to the hospital, and Carl spots Jessica. Thinking she's Elizabeth, (yes folks, he stalked Liz for a whole book and never realized she had a twin.), he runs and grabs her, asking her how she escaped.

Max tackles Carl, and they find out about all of his plans for Liz. Carl is taken to jail, and Liz and Jessica have an adorable twin reunion. Liz and Todd have their own romantic mushy reunion, and everything is right in Sweet Valley. Well, at least until the next book.


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

When Love Dies #12

Where to begin with this cover? What's up with the whole hanging-over-the-shoulder pose? I swear like 70% of SVH books have that pose, although it's usually Elizabeth looking over someone's shoulder patronizingly.
And what is Tricia wearing? Is it supposed to be some kind of nightgown or a hospital gown....? Steven looks a older than eighteen to me, but then again Tricia is no prize herself., with that horrifying orange-y red perm and all.

This is probably going to be relatively short, since it's a Steven book, and what could be more boring?
So things between Tricia and Steven still aren't going too great. She's ignoring his calls, and avoiding him. Steven is totally unhinged by this, and is desperate to figure out what her deal is.

Jessica is thrilled that things are rocky between them, and crassly suggests that Tricia's with other guys (just like her trampy sister, Betsy!). Liz and Steven both defend Tricia, saying something must be wrong and she's not like that.

Well, turns out something is majorly wrong. Tricia has leukemia and has only been given about six months to live, but doesn't want to hurt Steven by telling him. So instead, she let's him think that she's found someone new when he confronts her at her house. Great plan! I'm sure this will go well.

As for the twins, Jessica hears from Cara Walker that T.V talk show host Jeremy Frank is in the nearby Fowler hospital. She gets all excited because, OMG it's another guy she can chase!

Turns out that Cara got that info from a girl she knows who volunteers as a candy striper in the hospital, so Jess has now decided that volunteering is an awesome idea, and convinces Elizabeth to do it with her. Liz is a little weirded out by Jess's sudden philanthropy, but goes with it like the doormat she is.

Liz is the first one to run into Jeremy Frank, and after telling Jess about it, Jessica's reaction reveals her real motive for volunteering. Liz is morally offended and doesn't want her other half bothering Jeremy at the hospital, (But she gives Jess the number of the room he was in. Not helping things, Liz.)We already know Jess is going to bother Jeremy as much as humanely possible.

Jessica does indeed do just that, and botches things up pretty bad when she falls on his broken leg and breaks the cables holding his leg up. Good first impression Jess! But of course she's not done with Jeremy yet, and promises herself she'll find a way to earn a spot on his talk show.

Elizabeth spots Tricia at the hospital looking sick, and thinks that she might be visiting her new guy, maybe an orderly that works there. Because someone who appears sick at a hospital wouldn't be there because they were...sick, right? Tricia runs away when Elizabeth tries to get her attention, and I can't blame her, because if I was that sick, the last thing I'd want to do is talk to Liz. Actually, I could be totally healthy, and talking to Liz would still be the last thing I'd want to do.

Jessica just can't stop meddling and scheming, ( every other book), and continues to put her Steve and Cara matchmaking plan in motion. She lies to Steven and tells him Cara's having a party that night, and after some convincing, she gets him to agree to go.

The only problem with this, is that Cara has no idea that she's even throwing a party that night. Jessica lets her know, saying to just "put some potato chips out and invite a few people."  I would seriously slap her. Who does that?!?

The "party" ends up consisting of Cara, Lila and her date Jim, Steven, and Jessica with her date, Aaron Dallas. (Aaron is one of those characters that only pops up to serve as someone's date once in awhile. That is, until his parents divorce and and entire book is dedicated to him flipping out.)

This party is every bit as awkward as it sounds, with Cara feeling like a fool, clumsily explaining to Steve that she invited a lot of people, but they didn't show up. That doesn't help her case with Steve, and neither does the fact that all he can think about is Tricia.

Cara does happen to have some interesting news for Steve, telling him that Caroline Pierce saw Tricia "draped all over some other guy". Suddenly, Steve has changed his tune and is dancing with Cara, although he still can't stop thinking about Tricia.

Steve figures he might as well date Cara since he'll never stop loving Tricia anyways (?), and even plans to go out with her that weekend.

Back at the hospital, Jessica screws up her chances with the fabulous Jeremy even more by spilling ice water all over him during his sponge bath. Elizabeth realizes how much her sister is torturing Jeremy, and has to figure out a way to stop her before they both get fired. (Because no one fires Liz, dammit.)

She approaches Jeremy with a plan: have Jeremy act like he's falling in love with Jess, and go completely over the top to scare Jess away. She tells her mom about this plan, who thinks it's just hilarious...not the way I would expect a mom to act, but Alice is not anything close to mom-of-the-year.

Jeremy starts sending Jessica flowers and telling her how awesome she is. She loves it, until he proclaims his undying love and asks her to marry him. The idea of commitment is, of course, enough to make her run for the hills, and she's outta there. I wonder what he would've done if she had said yes? I mean, she probably would cheat on him, and find some other guy within a week anyway, but still....  

Elizabeth hears about a patient her age and decides to go spread her cheery Wakefield charm. But imagine her shock when, gasp, it's none other then Tricia Martin! She has leukemia! Oooohhh so that's why she looked so sick. Now it all makes sense doesn't it? Tricia explains things to Elizabeth, and makes her promise to keep it a secret.

To add to Elizabeth's problems, a creepy orderly named Carl has been making her uncomfortable. He stares at her intensely and almost seems to be following her. She tells no one, (so typical), because she reasons that it's not illegal to look at her. But why wouldn't she at least mention to Todd or her family ? 'Sigh' who knows...

Liz is getting her panties in a major twist over the whole dilemma. Tell Steve or not? Legally she's not supposed to, with patient confidentiality and all, but more importantly, she promised not to tell. And we all know how Liz can be when it comes to promises.(I would still have told Steven if I were her. I mean, Tricia's dying already right? So does it matter that much if you keep her secret? Maybe I'm just insensitive.) Elizabeth goes to Mr.Collins and tells him her issue. He gives her his usual follow-your-heart talk and she knows what she needs to do.

Cara and Steve go to a college party, (Steve actually has college friends?), and blah blah blah all he can think about is Tricia cuz she's his one true love blah blah. He even recalls recently following a girl who looked similar to Tricia around his school. Turns out Tricia has more look-alikes in the later books, (and yes, Steve exhibits the same stalker behavior with them as well.)

When Cara tells him he needs to forget Tricia if her and him are going to be couple, Steve tells her off "Do you think I could replace Tricia just like that? As if she were a car or something?" alright Steven finally got some balls! Because seriously, Cara was being super pushy in this book.

Later on, Elizabeth tells Steven the real reason Tricia dumped him, and he rushes to be with her. They have a whole mushy, sad reunion and he vows to stick with her until the end. Oh, and the guy she was "draped all over"? We learn she actually almost fainted, and the man was just helping her to her car. Goes to show you, never listen to Caroline Pierce's b.s gossip. She's an evil, redheaded liar!

It turns out I was right about Jessica taking up Jeremy's offer, she decides after some deliberation that an engagement to him could really help boost her non-existent Hollywood career.  It's pretty funny, because she announces her acceptance of his proposal, and he laughs in her face.

She finds out it was all a joke, and then uses that to her advantage by guilt-tripping him into giving her her own segment on his talk show, Frankly Speaking. God, I wish I had her power to twist every bad situation into something good for me. What the hell.

End with Elizabeth walking to her car outside of the hospital, all the while being unknowingly followed by Carl the weirdo orderly. He chloroforms and kidnaps her, leaving us in utter suspense until the next book-the cleverly named, Kidnapped!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Too Good To Be True #11

Elizabeth looks almost "special' on this cover, I think the artist overdid her "I can't figure this girl out" face a little. Suzanne doesn't look as supermodel pretty on this cover as she's described in the book, but can't we say that for most characters' covers? (Especially the Wrong Kind of Girl cover. Ugh).
We're continuing from the last book, where the twins get the exciting news that the sophisticated daughter of some family friends is coming to stay with them during yet another SVH school break. They seem to get a lot of time off of school. While she's visiting, one of the twins is going to New York and staying with the Devlin's.

Jessica, of course, realllly wants to go to New York.
She imagines her trip to NY would go something like this:

"she would be strolling through the glittering aisles at Tiffany's, and the owner would rush up to her, holding out a priceless emerald necklace. 'It's made for you, my dear,' he says. 'Look how the jewels match your eyes' He waves aside her protests that she can't afford such an expensive necklace. 'No, you must consider it a gift.It's payment enough for me just to see you wearing it.' "

At a Manhattan disco: "Suddenly, a hand touches her arm. She turns. 'Pardon me,' Mick Jagger says, 'I believe the next dance is mine.' "

"She might even be discovered by one of the top modeling agencies. Within a few weeks, her face would be the cover of Cosmopolitian"

Yeah. I need to list the some of things wrong with this whole fantasy:

-Since when does Tiffany's hand out jewelry to non-famous people? No Jessica, you are not considered famous outside of Sweet Valley.

- Mick Jagger? Sounds more like the fantasy of a 40 year old, even back in the 80's when this was written.

-And even so, would Mick Jagger really be so entranced by some random 16 year old-who shouldn't even be at a Manhattan nightclub?
 -A modeling career and a huge magazine cover, all in a few weeks. Ambitious, isn't she?
Jessica's fantasy is crushed when they flip a coin, and Liz is the twin that gets to go to New York. We all know this will never work out, because how boring would Elizabeth be in NY? She'd probably go on a museum tour. Yawn. Jess throws her usual tantrum until Elizabeth predictably lets her go to NY instead.

Jess leaves, and they wait for Suzanne at the airport. Alice gets on her mothering high-horse, talking about how Suzanne has been in boarding schools most of her life.
"I suppose there's nothing wrong with it, but I don't see how I ever could have sent you kids away like that. Maybe I'm just old-fashioned, but I think children belong at home until they're ready for college."
Right Alice. Steven jokingly responds that he's in college, and she's still stuck with him practically every weekend! Har har. Yeah we're all stuck with you. Maybe you should be at college more, Steve.

Speaking of Steve, there are of course, the obligatory pages updating us on the status of him and Tricia Martin's relationship. It's not going that well. But who really cares? (I gotta admit, I'm not really looking forward to #12 When Love Dies. All about Tricia and Steven. Yuck).

The amazing Suzanne appears, (the book never fails to mention how glamorous, thin, and sophisticated she is on  nearly every page), and the whole family just loves her! She's super-duper nice and polite, and even does things like offer to dishes after dinner. They're practically ready to trade in Jessica for good at this point.

They have the thousandth pool party of the series, in honor of Suzanne, and the ghostwriter reallly over does it here with reminding us how perfect Suzanne supposedly is.
"Though she wasn't stunning like Suzanne, Enid had a prettiness that was all her own."
Don't feel bad if you don't measure up to Suzanne's impossible standards. You have a prettiness all your own! How condescending.

Inappropriately close to his students as always, Mr. Collins is barbequing at the party. Suzanne is checking his sexy ass out, and who wouldn't? He does look like "a young Robert Redford", as the ghostwriters have told us 9000 times. She fakes drowning just to get his attention, and he jumps in a saves her. Liz finds Suzanne's "close call" a little strange, since she saw Suzanne swimming earlier and knows she can swim well, but decides to let it go. Typical Liz.

Elizabeth's gold laveliere necklace dissappears (both twins were given matching necklaces for their 16th b-day), and she can't seem to find it anywhere. Hmm strange.
Even Lila uncharacteristically gets in on the Suzanne butt-kissing action, tellling her that she is soooo gorgeous, (ok we get it!), and should be a model.

We then learn that Suzy is the one responsible for stealing the necklace. I'm guessing she did it just to cause trouble, because I'm sure she already has plenty of nice jewelry.
Liz, Todd, and Suzy stop at Mr. Collins' house so Liz can drop off some stuff for the paper. Suzanne asks some inappropriate personal questions about Mr. C's personal life, and then volunteers to take the papers in for Liz.

Here's an idea of just how sexy Mr. Collins looks:
"He was wearing only a pair of white jogging shorts and a red bandanna to keep his longish strawberry-blonde hair out of his eyes. Suzanne's gaze strayed down to his bare, muscular chest, which was deeply tanned and slick with perspiration."

Suzanne "accidentally"drops a glass of water on her thin t-shirt, revealing her sexy little bikini top underneath. Geez this is starting to sound like some bad softcore porn. Mr. C is not amused by her antics, although he does blush a little bit after she makes some more sexual innuendos before she leaves.

We are reminded AGAIN how amazing and hot Suzy is, when class clown Winston spells out "I love you" on the Wakefield's front lawn just for her. Since his girl Mandy Farmer moved away apparently, Win is now stuck on Suzanne. Wow I would be pissed if I were the Wakefield's. Like hello, he tp'd their lawn! I know he's "the class clown", but really. Too far, Win.

The sub plot here is all about Jessica's trip to New York, which, surprise surprise, doesn't go quite like she imagined. First off, The Devlin's pay almost no attention to Jess, except for a few outings here and there. Second, Pete, Suzanne's hot older boyfriend, isn't falling for Jessica's Wakefield twin charms! Whaaatttt?

Pete patronizes her and ignores her, and this only makes her more determined to get him. (This is a pretty common thing for Jessica. A guy dares to not want her? She'll do anything to get him now!)

It never occurs to her that he might just be ignoring her shameless advances, because he has a girlfriend (the perfect Suzanne! Hello!). Sigh.
She calls up Liz later, and lies her ass off about how crazy about her Pete is, and what an amazing time she's having. Liz doesn't feel "a drop of envy", because she's lucky enough to be in the presence of the amazing, angelic Suzanne.

Jess hangs up and re-lives the other night in her head, and we learn that Suzanne's waspy, sophisticated friends threw a dinner party to welcome her. The party didn't go so well, as Jessica ended up drinking too much champagne and puking while Suzy's friends sneered at her for not being able to hold her liquor. I don't think anyone from Sweet Valley can hold their liquor. Maybe it's something in the water.

Jess continue to lust after Pete, and he's still not responding, until one day they are alone together in the Devlin's place, and he almost-rapes her. He reasons,
"You've been begging for it from the day I met you"
No comment on that one...
She calls him the "meanest person on earth". I guess that's how I'd describe someone who nearly raped me too?
The Devlin's walk in just in time to save Jess from her predicament.

Now, back to Suzanne and Liz. Suzy volunteers to take Elizabeth's place on a babysitting job, so she can go out with Todd. And guess who's kid she's babysitting? Yup, Mr. Collins' son Teddy.
She tells Liz not to call or notify Mr. C of the switch, she'll take care of it. Of course she doesn't and just shows up unexpectedly to babysit. Mr. C is a little wary since Liz didn't even let him know about the switch, but gets over that a little too quickly, and leaves his kid with a stranger. Suzy is all smiles with Teddy, until his father leaves, and then she ditches the kid to go snoop through Mr. C's stuff. She's trying to find something incriminating, and finds nothing.

We learn that she's blackmailed before, using a bag of weed she found in her cousin's purse to make her poor cousin her slave. Ooh she's so evil!

Mr.Collins gets back, and Suzanne tries to seduce him blatantly this time, wrapping herself around him, and telling him that she's a "big girl" and won't tell anyone. He refuses, and she's totally mad and seeking revenge.

She makes up a story about Mr. Collins sexually harassing her and cries to Liz about it, who seems to believe someone she just met, over a trusted teacher she's known forever. And she's the loyal twin. Geez.
She comes across her necklace in Suzanne's suitcase, and finally starts to realize Suzy might not be an angel after all.

Oh, it's Lila's b-day by the way, and she's throwing the biggest party ever! On the way to said party, Todd and Liz discuss Elizabeth's necklace and Mr. Collins. They stop by Mr. C's house, and he's a total dramatic-looking wreck. After a quick talk, Liz is sure that Suzanne is lying about the almost-rape incident.

She and Todd arrive at Lila's bash, and Suzy is flirting with everyone and being her little fake-perfect self. Liz pulls her aside and confronts her with everything. Suzy is full of really bad, obvious lies, and Liz isn't buying it. She even calls her "the biggest loser of all." Burn! 

Suzanne heads out to do some damage control, and tells gossipy Cara that she's worried about Liz, because Liz hit her head on the pool the other day, and has been acting really strange! Just like her motorcycle incident.
Cara runs off to go spread the news, and Suzanne is confident that no one will believe anything Elizabeth says now.

Annoying redhead Caroline Pierce tells the story to Enid, and Enid, (being one of the only relatively smart people around at this party), knows this story is suspect.

She tells Liz, who confronts Suzanne right in the middle of the dance floor. It's nice to see Elizabeth have some balls for once. A crowd gathers around them, and Suzanne acts like Liz is just crazy. Winston Eggbert saves the day, when he accidentally-on-purpose trips and spills his glass of punch all over Suzanne, who shows her true colors by flipping out on him and calling him a "big, stupid dog". I love SVH insults.

She tries to backtrack, but it's too late, and everyone can see that she really is "Too Good to be True". (sorry, I just had to do that). Mr Collins is cleared, and Suzy is back home. Jessica returns, and is full of more lies about how great things were with her and Pete. Elizabeth doesn't tell Jessica anything about the story of Suzanne, and makes it sound like nothing special happened. I'm not sure why. Won't Jessica find out what really happened through all of her gossipy friends? And aren't they supposed to be like thisclose because they're twins? SVH books always leave me with so many questions.

We end with more crap about Tricia "boring" Martin, and the equally-boring Steven. Tricia is being cold towards him and he's agonizing over it. Jessica, as usual, rags on him about dating a girl from one of "the worst families in town". Way to kick him when he's down, Jess. There's more to this story, (unfortunately), as we will see in #12 When Love Dies

Sweet Valley Saga: The Wakefields of Sweet Valley

So I thought I'd take a break from the high school, and do a special edition this time around.  This is the story of Alice Wakefield's side of the family through the generations. I remember loving the sagas when I was younger, and thinking they were the most clever idea ever. Go back in time! Oooh!!! Those genius ghostwriters!

We start off in 1866, on a boat somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean. Alice Larson is on her way to America from Sweden to go live with her aunt and uncle, because her parents recently died. There's a storm, and a little boy falls over the side of the ship. Alice jumps into the turbulent ocean after him, and they both nearly drown. But don't fear, because handsome Theodore Wakefield jumps in and saves all of them. How he manages to get back on what I imagine is a big ship, in a stormy ocean, I don't know. But go with it. Alice barely speaks English, but she and Theodore fall in love anyway.

They agree to marry when the ship docked. Awww! But tragedy strikes! Theodore gets separated from Alice, and quarantined, because the immigration doctors think he has typhus. Ouch. Alice waits and waits, and eventually has to give up and go with her aunt and uncle to Minnesota, and try to forget Theodore. I always hated how she never got to know what really happened with him and was left to spend the rest of her life wondering. Ugh, how depressing.

11 years later Alice has a husband , George Johnson, and has just given birth to two lovely blonde twin girls (sound familiar?), named Jessamyn and Elisabeth. She had an older son named Steven (real creative, ghostwriters), but he died at a very young age from scarlet fever.

Cut to the Jessamyn and Elisabeth. They visit the circus as kids, and Jessamyn is obsessed with the circus, particularly the bareback horse riders, from then on.Through Jessamyn's excited chatter about the circus, we learn that there happens to be a horse trainer by the name of The Magnificent Theo W. traveling with the circus. Could it be Alice's long-lost love Theodore? She rushes to the circus later to find out, but it's too late, the circus has moved on.

Jessamyn and Elisabeth are now teens, and Jessamyn flirts with all of the boys and is the center of attention at all the corn husking bees. Yeah, I'm not a 100% sure what a corn husking bee is supposed to be. Elisabeth is of course the quiet twin, who soon starts dating Tom Wilkins. Yup , You know they couldn't leave out Todd's relatives completely! I'm kind of surprised he never got a family saga of his own.

Jessamyn spends a lot of her time with a mysterious old Native American, Blue Cloud. He helps teach her how to ride horses, and she dreams of being a bareback horse performer in the circus like her childhood idol, Laura the Lovely. There's also a bit about Elisabeth teaching a freed slave to read. (if you havent guessed yet, they're totally just late 1800's versions of Elizabeth and Jessica)

The circus comes around once more, but Alice never hears anything about The Magnificent Theo W. again. She never knows for sure if Theo was her Theodore. We get to find out what happened to Theodore in The Wakefield Legacy Saga later. The circus stops in town one year, and Jessamyn decides that she's going to finally realize her dream, and run away with the circus.

She leaves a short, pretty unsentimental, note for her parents and Elisabeth, who are all super upset. Everything's dull and slightly depressing without Jessamyn in the Johnson house, and Elisabeth is doing naughty things like sneaking a stinky piece of cheese into the class bully's "dinner bucket", to keep the memory of her sister alive.

Blue Cloud gets sick, and doesn't have much longer to live. He asks to see Jessamyn, and Elisabeth knows she has to find some way to get to her twin. She tries to convince her parents to pay for her to take trains around searching for Jessamyn. Her dad insists that he will not have his daughter going off like a "vagabond", and this inspires Elisabeth to sneak out and hop trains-just like a vagabond!

She eventually catches up to the circus, and surprises Jessamyn. They have a cute little twin reunion, and Elisabeth breaks the news about Blue Cloud. Jessamyn agrees to come back with Elisabeth to say goodbye. But before they can do that, Elisabeth insists on riding the horse Jessamyn does her performances with . She loses control of the horse, and is flung off it's back to her death.
Jessamyn goes back to Minnesota to tell everyone of Elisabeth's death, and finds out that Blue Cloud died the same day Elisabeth did. Geez, again with the depressing stuff.

Skip to six years later. Jessamyn is living in San Francisco and managing a hotel. She plays around with all the businessmen coming in and out of the hotel, but can't fall in love because of her twin's tragic death. We then skip to a few years later, and Taylor Watson is begging Jessamyn to marry him. She is "awfully fond of him", but still can't bring herself to say yes (the whole death of her twin thing again).

He is the owner of a automobile company, and is going on some kind of trip with a pro racer (Bruce Farber), to get publicity for his business. The second Jessamyn sees the dashing, overconfident Bruce (sound like another Bruce we know?), she is overcome with desire.

A year later, we jump to Jessamyn and Bruce Farber doing it ,(at least that's what I assume), on top of a big hill overlooking the city. Suddenly, the ground splits in half, and a major earthquake crumbles the whole city in seconds. Jessamyn wants to run down and try to help, but Bruce isn't really into the idea, he'd rather stay on the hill, where they're safe. Jessamyn gets him to go down into the city with her (I'm kind of surprised she didn't just stay up there with him. Guess she's not quite as selfish as our modern-day Jessica), and they find chaos.

There's an old woman trapped in a Jessamyn's crushed, burning, hotel, and she pleads with Bruce to go save her. Bruce is obviously a selfish douche, so he doesn't want to. He only goes in after she accuses him of being a coward.

Taylor shows up, and realizes that Jessamyn was with Bruce, and has been sneaking around on him. He has an unusually calm reaction to this, and then goes in the building to help Bruce save the old lady. Bruce runs out of the building and leaves Taylor "trapped in a fiery prison" Nice.
Another quake shakes things up, and the old lady comes out of the building safe with Taylor. Bruce is trapped again, and Taylor actually runs in to save him, even though Bruce left him to die and stole his girl. After Taylor rescues Bruce, Jessamyn finally comes to her senses and realizes she should be with Taylor, who takes her back with no issues.

1908 rolls around, and Jessamyn has given birth to..twins! Yup. She also has an older boy named Harry. Skip to 1925, and we get to learn more about the latest set of twins, Amanda and Samantha. Samantha is kinda obnoxious, and wants to be a movie star, and Amanda is more of a behind the scenes girl, who likes writing. And yes, they're both a size six and blonde.
Older brother Harry writes from college, and for some reason goes on and on about how awesome his new roommate Ted Wakefield is. He even goes as far as to send a picture of Ted and him along with the letter. Sounds like Harry's kinda got it bad for Ted.

Samantha falls in love with Ted just from Harry's letter, and is totally obsessed with meeting him. The twins go to a party later that evening, and all Samantha can think about is Ted. All that from one picture? Wow.

The party is crashed by local lowlife Kevin Hughes, who brags about all of the cash he's pulling in, presumably from "running bathtub hooch".
In modern day terms, that means selling alcohol during the brief 1920's Prohibition, when alcohol was illegal. He tries to get Samantha to leave the party with him since they went out a few times before. Yes, she gets around just like our modern-day Jessica!
Samantha isn't interested and turns him down. He heads out to the Cellar Door ,(the local sleazy speakeasy aka illegal bar in the 20's), all by himself.

Samantha is just dying to meet Ted and sends Harry a letter gushing about him.
"Ted Wakefield sounds so dreamy. Have you told him all about your twin sisters-especially me?"
I don't know Sam. Harry might not want the competition, since he seems a little overly fond of Ted himself.

The Amazing Ted arrives at last with Harry around Christmastime. Ted is ,of course, every bit as perfect as Harry said, and they all go out to a club where Ted charms the pants off of everyone and introduces them to the token black guy, trumpet player C.C Earl. Ted and Sam spend all night dancing while Harry and Amanda sip sodas. Parrrr-tee!

Later that night, Amanda is too riled up from the club to sleep, and goes outside to write some poetry. Why does the serious twin always have to be a poet? Ugh. She writes:
                                A moonbeam
                                as perfect
                                as the sweetest
                                note of a trumpet

Profound, I guess? Ted can't sleep either, and starts talking to Amanda. She allows him to read some of her poems, and confesses his attraction to her. Sooo, he was dancing and flirting with Sam all night, and somehow made the conclusion that Amanda is "the fascinating one". K. They kiss, the "longest sweetest kiss in the world", and yup, they're in insta-love!

Uh-oh, this is not good! Ted is supposed to be Samantha's young man! They remind us of that quite often. Ted and Amanda start writing letters, and Amanda even dumps her current steady boyfriend Geoff. But no one's told Samantha! Amanda lied and told Ted she did, but she couldn't bring herself to.

So she watches Sam moon over Ted and stare dreamily at his picture, and never says a thing. You know, wouldn't Sam notice that maybe Ted wasn't into her that much, since he never wrote her a letter or anything? Hmm.

One day Samantha gets the mail, and you guessed it, finds a letter from Ted to Amanda? What? She reads it and flips out. She hatches a very Jessica-like plan to get Ted back from Amanda. Why she wants someone back who ran around with her sister, I don't know.

Sam intercepts all of Ted's letters from then on, so Amanda never gets the news that Ted's coming by for a visit.Samantha takes advantage of this, and on the day of his visit, destroys the school newspaper office. Amanda has to stay late with the rest of the staff to clean the mess up. Samantha greets Ted, and suggests they go pick up Amanda. Instead, she has him drive to the local teen makeout headquarters, and tries to seduce him. Ted resists, and Samantha furiously jumps out of the car, and immediately starts planning her revenge.

She somehow gets down to the Cellar Door and finds Kevin, who is now a big deal at the Cellar Door. She gets Kevin nice and drunk, acting as a waitress and bringing him drink after drink. Kevin slurs,
"That's what I like. A dame who waits on you."
Ah, so charming.

When he seems wasted enough, Samantha pitches her revenge plan to Kevin, who she needs to help her. She makes up some b.s about how the "feds" are on to him and his alcohol smuggling, and how her plan will keep him out of jail. After hearing that, Kevin is on board and Sam is all ready to teach Amanda and Ted a lesson.

Sam refuses to talk to Amanda or Ted, and Amanda is totally crushed and desperate to fix things. What she doesn't know, is that Sam is already planning on fixing things so that Amanda will never see Ted again. Amanda gets in from a night out with Ted, and once she's asleep, Sam puts on an outfit similar to the one Amanda was wearing that night, and sneaks downstairs to where Ted is sleeping.
She wakes him up, and tells him there's some kind of emergency involving his friend Earl and they must go right away. He thinks she's Amanda and jumps to go find out what is going on.

Ted drives right into a set-up. The cops are waiting for him, and open his trunk to find, gasp, bootleg liquor! The cops get him in cuffs, and he can't understand why Amanda set him up. For some reason, he never stops to think that Amanda's very angry twin might be posing as a Amanda to get back at him for dissing her. Uh, duh Ted. Doesn't he know Amanda and Samantha well enough by now to figure that Sam would be more likely to frame him?

Guess not, 'cause he assumes Amanda screwed him. He gets out of jail, and the charges are dropped when the cops decide there isn't enough evidence, and that he was probably framed.
For some reason, the cops never bother to go after Sam for lying to the police and setting up the whole thing. Isn't that super illegal?
Ted is gone for good, he never speaks to Harry, or any of the rest of the Watson family, again. And who can blame him?

Amanda wakes up to find Ted gone, and starts to worry when he doesn't come back. She finds out what happened when her parents show her the newspaper article about Ted being arrested.  I don't see why there would even be an article, since he wasn't charged and this just happened the other night, but okay.
She rushes down to the station and Ted is already gone.
She realizes Sam is responsible for setting him up when the cops tell her she looks like the girl that was with him that night (smart cops).

She furiously confronts Sam, who doesn't seem to get that she has committed a major crime and almost ruined a life, over a guy rejecting her. Seriously, though.
Amanda stops talking to her, and this lasts all the way through Samantha leaving home and becoming a Hollywood star. Even though she is still mad, she can't help but to follow Samantha's budding Hollywood career through the newspapers. Sam calls and begs Amanda to get over it and come to her wedding. She says she's forgotten all about Ted, and why can't they just move on? This only makes Amanda more furious "You did this to me over someone you've forgotten about less then half a year later?"
Good point....

Amanda continues to read about Samantha in the papers,and finds out that Sam is going to have a baby. But during the delivery, Samantha loses a lot of blood ,(or something like that), and may not make it. Amanda rushes down as soon as she gets a call informing her of this, and makes it just in time to forgive Samantha and say goodbye. She vows to help Samantha's newly widowed husband Jack take care of baby Marjorie. This all goes fine, until Jack moves to France with Marjorie because he's been offered a job there.

1939. It's World War Two, and Marjorie writes her Aunt Amanda ,assuring her that she and her father are fine and the war is far away from them. Amanda mentions a kid in her class named Walter Eggbert. Guess who he's related to? And yes, he's the class clown too.
Marjorie and Jack aren't safe for long, and soon their town is overrun by German soldiers. Jack has a lady friend named Mademoiselle Pinget (Mlle Pinget for short), and Marjorie is sure they're having some kind of romance. She couldn't be more wrong, because it turns out that Jack and Mlle Pinget are actually working together to stop the war, with a group called The Resistance.
Jack gets captured by the Germans, (he gets captured on purpose, apparently?), and Marjorie goes into hiding in a cellar with a Jewish girl named Sophy. Sophy's brother is Jacques, and he is fighting with the Resistance.

Marjorie is charmed by Jacques' hotness, (oh and she's brave like all of Jess and Liz's ancestors), so she joins up with the Resistance and goes off with Jaques, leaving Sophy alone in the cellar. That sucks.
It sucks even more when Sophy is captured, and Marjorie and Jacques have to think of a way to get her out of the camp.
They come up with some convoluted, impossible plan. Long story short, it involves them switching Marjorie for Sophy, because the Germans would want her more. Marjorie is supposed to get away before they can take her, by jumping on a train (?) Jacques and Sophy are supposed to get on the train too, somehow. Jacques and Marjorie also manage to fall deeply in teenage love in the middle of all of this.

Their genius plan doesn't all the way work out, because they're trying to trick the German army. Three teens against Hitler's army? Not happening. Jacques gets shot down, and Marjorie and Sophy  barely make it on to the train, and away from the Germans. Sophy gets a little batty, and locks Marjorie in a train car so she can't jump out at her original destination. Sophy feels it's her turn to fight, and wants to take Marjorie's place in the Resistance. She tells Marjorie to go to safety using her traveling papers (Sophy and Marjorie conveniently look alike). Marjorie is on her way to Sweet Valley to live with Aunt Amanda, but vows that her heart will stay buried with her love Jacques.

This vow is broken in 1949, when Marjorie gets married to Charles Robertson. Her dad is at the wedding, so guess he survived being captured by the Germans? Amanda is here as well, and we learn that she has spent her whole life nursing a broken heart over Ted, and never loved anyone else. Gee, thanks Samantha!

It's now 1962, and a young Alice Robertson is drawing up a family tree as they all watch the moon landing. Marjorie and Charles didn't have any sets of twins, pretty surprising, since this family seems extra prone to twindom.
We follow Alice to college, where she is a protesting hippie. She's being relentlessly pursued by snotty Hank Patman ,(yup, Bruce's dad), and is soo not interested. But Hank starts acting hippie-ish, and doing things like getting a helicopter to drop food down to protesters during a sit-in. Alice falls for it, and they start dating. Within, like, 2 seconds, they're engaged.

Alice and Hank get into a little tiffy at the beach, because Hank is schmoozing with other girls, and Alice goes down to the water alone and gets caught in a current. She nearly drowns, until Ned Wakefield, fellow student at Sweet Valley University, jumps in to save her. Sounds kinda like Alice and Theodore from the 1800's, huh?

Unlike the 1800's pair, Alice and Ned don't fall in love immediately after he saves her.
Hank comes up and claims his woman, they thank Ned, and leave. Ned runs into Alice a few times after, and he asks her out. She tells him about her engagement and he backs down.

Right before her lavish wedding to Hank is about to go down, Alice overhears him talking crap about her hippie friends, and saying he doesn't care about their causes and protests at all, and so on. She walks out on the wedding and finds Ned, and they live happily ever after, eventually having Jessica, Elizabeth, and Steven. Steven's birth isn't even mentioned by the way. He's that important.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Wrong Kind of Girl #10

Aggh this cover drives me nuts! This probably doesn't even need to be said, but Annie's hair is awful! I thought she was a "shapely" (as described in Racing Hearts), hot girl. Not a granny. Jessica has her evil face on, and a pretty cheap looking cheerleading sweater on as well.

This has always been one of my all time favorite SVH books, because it has cheerleading, attempted suicide, hot sex, (well, more like hot implied-almost-sex), and a sleazy step-dad! Annie Whitman is the school tramp, and she's so dense that she has absolutely no idea that everyone calls her "Easy Annie". It's never all the way clear if Annie actually goes all the way with the many boys she dates, but I would like to think she does.

Cheerleading tryouts are coming up (even though they just had tryouts 6 books ago), and there's only two spots available, which is kind of strange since the squad only has 5 girls to begin with. They can't fit a few more girls? Being a former cheerleader myself, it was pretty clear that this ghostwriter knew nothing about cheerleading.

Annie wants nothing more then to be on the squad, because she knows being a SVH cheerleader will solve all of her problems (which include a creepy step-dad and a drunk mom).
To be on the team, you need a certain grade average, and Annie is so busy with boys that she's been lagging in math. She enlists Elizabeth to tutor her, because duh, Liz is smart in every subject (not to mention good at any sport she might try). Annie opens up to Liz like we expected her to, and we learn that her no-good dad walked out of her life and her mom is a former model who is "different", as Annie puts it. Later, when her mom comes stumbling in, we find out "different" means "drunk".

Liz, hoping the rumors are just exaggerations, slyly tries to figure out what Annie does in her spare time.
"Annie, with all the schoolwork you've been doing, I guess you don't have much time for dates"
Annie's answer to this is gold.
"Oh sure," Annie said casually, "I think it's important to have a good social life"

She does kind of have a point though, because when Jessica trollops around, it's being "social", not slutty. Of course things don't work like that for Annie, because she's not a Wakefield twin. Jessica is determined to keep Easy Annie off of her squad, declaring that she's "not going to have the whole squad tainted" on account of a tramp like Annie. SVH doesn't have an adult monitoring/coaching the cheerleaders like they should, or any adult supervision anywhere, so it should be pretty easy for Jess to get away with this.

The first round of tryouts starts, and here is the grueling routine they had to do:
"Each girl came forward as her name was called, and did the basic Gladiator cheer, the side kicks, and the Y-leap, and the final flourish, yelling 'We who are about to win, salute you! Go, Gladiators!' "
First off, that cheer makes no sense. We salute you? And what the hell is a Y-leap? Final flourish?

Annie blows every girl out of the water. "She added flourishes and fancy moves that some of the girls on the squad had been working on for months."
Interesting, since there is like no mention of Annie ever practicing any of these "flourishes" or dance moves before the tryouts.

Ricky Capaldo makes his first appearance in this book, as the cheerleader's manager. He's into Annie from the minute he sees her perform. Annie makes it through to the next round, and to top it off, she leaves the tryouts with a guy Jessica wanted! Uh-oh, bad idea Annie. Jess is territorial over her many men.

"Jessica watched in annoyance. She saw Annie move up the steps to join handsome Tim Bradley. She was mildly interested in Tim herself, and had thought he was there to watch her, and maybe buy her a Coke afterwards. But there he was, leaving with Easy Annie!"

Hmmm, buy a spoiled tease a Coke at the Dairi Burger, or get some action with Annie? I would have left with Annie too, Tim.
Tim is Helen's, (a cheerleader), brother and Jess hisses to Helen "Don't you care if your brother runs around with the school tramp?"

Liz continues to tutor Annie, and is waiting for Annie in her apartment (yup Annie doesn't even live in a house like everyone else! No wonder she's troubled.) The ever-classy Mrs. Whitman strolls in drunk and starts hounding Liz with questions about her daughter, who she clearly knows nothing about.

Mrs. W explains that she's too busy (doing what? She doesn't seem to have a steady job), to pay attention to Annie. Liz, self-righteous as always, privately thinks "My mother's always busy too. But she always has time for Jess and me." Not really, but okay Liz, believe what you want.

Poor Annie just keeps making things worse for herself without knowing. She shows up Jessica in a dance contest at the Beach Disco, and continues to "date" every guy in sight. She sails through the next auditions, and once again impresses everyone but Jessica. Jess is starting to realize that Annie is actually good, and that the other cheerleaders might vote for her despite her grungy rep. Jessica simply will not stand for a slut on her squad , (she's already filled that position), so she gets to work making sure Annie will not be voted in.

She knows Helen's vote will make or break whether Annie gets in , and explains to Helen that if a tramp like Annie is on the squad "everyone will think we're just like her!"
Jessica has to slowly explain to Helen (who seems a little slow), that if she can vote for Sandy Bacon instead of Annie even though Annie is a way more talented cheerleader then Sandy. Helen can barely comprehend this.
"You mean even if Annie's better, we can vote in Sandra?"
Yes, Helen.

Unaware that her chances on the squad are zilch, Annie starts getting more confidence, and stops doing every guy that comes her way. She even starts developing a little crush on Ricky, and he likes her too. He does wonder if the racy stories are true, and thinks Annie is way too sexy and has too many guys into her to go for him.

The ghostwriter makes sure to remind us many times that Elizabeth disapproves of Jessica's scheming and is super worried about what's going to happen with Annie. Because this is Liz, the caring twin! She and Todd bicker about it a little, but there's no major break up.

So the last round of the try-outs goes down, and of course Annie is amazing, and Sandra Bacon falls doing a split. Huh? Sounds painful. The cheerleaders gather and all of them vote Cara Walker in. Then the subject of Annie Vs Sandra comes up, and all hell breaks loose. Helen backs out of the deal she made with Jessica earlier, and votes for Annie (nice to see someone stand up to Jess, even if it's for a second).
It looks like Annie is in, until Jessica throws a temper tantrum, and threatens to quit the squad if Annie gets in. They give in, because Jessica is "the heart and soul of the squad"
Oh please! I don't think Jess even has a soul.

Annie gets the bad news from Ricky, and as expected, breaks down. She demands to know how the voting went down, and who didn't vote for her. Ricky finally gives in and tells her everything. Finally, someone lets Annie know what people are saying about her! She doesn't take this too well, and rushes off, refusing to talk to him for days. Ricky describes to Elizabeth how he let Annie in on the harsh truth.
"I gave it to her with both barrels Liz"
Like every other guy in SVH...haha I couldn't resist.

Rumors start circulating that Jess called Annie "Easy Annie" to her face etc. etc. , and Liz  of course confronts Jessica (interrupting her tanning time. The nerve!). Jessica's response is "Lizzie, do you think I'm an absolute total beast without any feelings?"

Ricky shows up at Annie's place to see if she's okay, and finds her knocked out on the floor. Annie is rushed to the hospital, and we find out she tried to kill herself! Well of course, what reason is there to live if you aren't a SVH cheerleader? I can't think of any.

Jessica throws a pity party for herself, sayng it's all her fault, (yeah it kind of is Jess), and everyone rushes to assure her that she's not a bad person etc. etc. Wtf. Meanwhile, Annie has "no will to live" according to the doctor. After hearing the whole story about why Annie did it, his medical advice is basically to let Annie on the squad so she has the will to live. I don't think I'd want that doctor taking care of me.

Jessica sees the error of her ways, (I guess it takes something as dramatic as suicide get her to admit she's wrong), and decides to let Annie on the squad. Annie wakes up and receives the good news. Her mom comes in, (where has she been for most of this?), and promises Annie that creepy step-dad Johnny is gone for good. Everything is just perfect, except Ricky and Annie never officially get together like they're supposed to! Wtf?

There's not much of a sub plot in this one, just some mentions of how Steve is all hung up on Tricia Martin, and Jessica can't stand it because the Wakefields are way too good for the Martin family. Snore. Get over it Jessica. You never even have to see Tricia or deal with the family, so butt out! I really never cared for the Tricia and Steven storylines.
Oh, and there's the set up for the next book, Too Good to be True. Ned and Alice are friends with some random rich couple living in New York, and they've arranged to have the daughter, (Suzanne Devlin), come down and stay with them, while one of the twins goes to New York to stay with the Devlins. But which twin will it be? Don't we all know already?