December 4, 2012
Summary: The bad news is that Elizabeth had her brilliant idea snaked by Leona. The good news is that Enid and Maria don’t hate her anymore. The three of them and Reggie, who works at Flair, team up to get Elizabeth a meeting with Gordon Lewis, the head of Flair, so she can present her idea without Leona knowing. This involves Elizabeth pretending she actually works there and Enid pretending to be her secretary. Also, Reggie has a crush on Gordon, so the girls want to help fix them up. The four of them also wind up at a fancy party, where Reggie talks Liz up so Gordon thinks she’s a hotshot.
The meeting goes really well, but Leona crashes it and announces that Elizabeth stole her idea instead of the other way around. Elizabeth and Reggie both get fired, though Elizabeth was just an intern and her two weeks are up anyway. Liz sneaks into Leona’s house and steals the tape recorder Leona used to dictate the letter to Gordon talking about her idea and how Elizabeth shouldn’t know about the meeting. Unfortunately, the letter has been erased.
Leona calls Liz and asks her to meet for lunch, but on the way there, someone tries to run Elizabeth off the road and kill her. Todd happens to be driving by and saves her. This almost leads to a reconciliation between the two lovebirds, but Liz is still mad. Todd goes to the police to report the incident and learns that the driver is a known hitman. So Leona hired him to kill Elizabeth so she wouldn’t spill that Leona stole her idea. Overreact much?
Elizabeth goes back to Flair to confront Leona, who pulls a gun and tries to kidnap her (even though Leona’s on crutches). Liz pushes the intercom button on Leona’s phone and a bunch of people hear her talking about stealing the idea. Then the police show up and hopefully take Leona to an asylum or something, because she’s insane. So Liz winds up with credit for the magazine idea, like it even matters anymore, and Todd goes Lloyd Dobler on her and wins her back.
Meanwhile, Jessica is sick of Quentin, even though he’s opening doors to the glam life. She wants to be with Cameron, but he’s no longer working at Flair. He seems to be waiting tables at “Spago’s” now. (Psst, ghostwriter: It’s Spago.) Then Jess finds out that Quentin isn’t using her spread after all. She goes to confront him, and Simone tells her that Quentin was just using Jess to make Simone jealous.
But then Jessica gets a copy of the magazine with her spread in it, plus an invitation to a party thrown by Edward McGee, the president of the company that owns Flair. Jessica rushes to the party and meets McGee’s son – Cameron. He was pulling an Undercover Boss in the mailroom and is actually the new vice president of the company (which makes his relationship with Jessica even grosser). He overruled Quentin and put Jessica in the magazine. Congratulations on your sugar daddy, Jess.
Oh, and Todd? Moved into a crappy apartment, has no money, isn’t wanted at Flair anymore, and can’t cook. But the good news is that he realizes how horrible Simone is and dumps her. Eventually he winds up moving back home. I know you all were worried about him.
Thoughts: Quentin says he won “the VH1 award for best fashion photographer.” Who wants to tell him that was just a setup for Zoolander?
“Maria’s outfit of a cashmere sweater and slim-fitting black moleskin pants, with silver hoops in her ears, was much too artsy and unique for the editorial department.” Yes, if you don’t know what “artsy” or “unique” mean.
Later she wears “a tailored black leather sleeveless jacket with gold buttons.” Isn’t a sleeveless jacket just a vest?
Jessica thinks she loves Cameron after two weeks and, like, one-and-a-half dates. Yep, sounds about right.
Todd going to the police may be the only smart thing he’s ever done. Elizabeth’s all, “La la la, I was almost killed, whatever, la la la.” Todd’s all, “Maybe we should find out why this happened?”
In a photo that actually makes it into the magazine, Jessica wears “a belted maillot with a sheer cape.” Is anyone else thinking that sounds like a superhero costume?
They keep calling Jessica’s early copy of the magazine “blue pages,” but I don’t think that’s a thing. They probably mean blue lines. Couldn’t the ghostwriter have done the barest minimum of research?
November 21, 2012
Summary: Elizabeth’s boss, Leona, goes away for a couple of days and leaves Liz in charge. Then Leona breaks her leg and has to take more time off, so she has Elizabeth go to her house to get her mail and collect her messages. Liz kind of pretends to be Leona, which is weird, then hears a recording Leona made of a letter she was going to send to someone at Flair, pitching an idea Elizabeth had for a column written by a reader. Liz realizes that Leona is Bad News. She confides in a co-worker, who convinces her to rat Leona out.
Jessica has those two dates planned for the same night, and somehow convinces Elizabeth to pretend to be her and go out with Cameron while Jess is with creepy teenager-dating Quentin. Jessica would rather spend time with Cameron, but remember, he’s just a mailroom peon while Quentin is a photographer who could get Jessica into modeling. Elizabeth feels bad for Cameron and gets revenge on Jessica by ordering food Jess hates, then making her eat it when they switch places. The joke is on both of them, though, because Cameron figures out the switch.
Jessica’s still determined to be a model, so she ruins some of Simone’s film, then offers to sub in for her when Quentin redoes the shoot. Apparently she’s gorgeous and perfect and blah blah blah, though she realizes that modeling isn’t as fun as she thought. Jessica patches things up with Cameron and he agrees to give her a second chance, but then he catches Quentin kissing her and goes back to thinking that Jessica is horrible. (Which she is. She clearly has no problems basically sleeping her way to the top.)
In Todd-related news, he and Elizabeth are basically kaput, since she saw him kissing Simone. He doesn’t care, since he gets to hang out with people who are just as awesome and gorgeous as he is. He also doesn’t care that his parents don’t like his new job. He breaks curfew and they warn him not to push it. Todd’s sick of being treated like a child, so he keeps breaking the rules. Eventually his parents tell him he has to stop modeling. Todd decides to move out instead. I’m sure that will go well.
Oh, and Maria and Enid try desperately to be interesting, going on a disastrous double date and shutting Elizabeth out because she was so mean to them before. Yawn.
Thoughts: I guess Elizabeth can date and make out with whoever she wants, but if Todd even looks at another girl, he’s devil spawn.
“With her funky retro look, Maria had a style all her own. Tonight she was wearing a pale blue forties dress with huge square buttons and thick army boots on her feet. An exotic green silk scarf was tied over her head, hiding her hair completely.” I can’t stop rolling my eyes.
There’s a restaurant in Sweet Valley called Bobo’s Burger Barn, where you can draw on the tablecloths. It makes the Dairi Burger seem like Le Cirque.
Enid has a mini-backpack. Remember those?
Cameron orders a steak and fries at a French restaurant. Dealbreaker!
Ghostwriter, stop trying to make us care about Enid and Maria. It’s a losing battle.
November 7, 2012
Summary: SVH students get two weeks off to do internships with various companies, mostly ones their parents work for. But the twins land one with Flair magazine, with Elizabeth working for an editor and Jessica working for a photographer. Liz gets off to a great start, since she’s so motivated and sycophantic, so her boss, Leona, loves her. Jess has a harder time with the photographer, Quentin, who’s in bed with Simone, a thoroughly horrible model who treats everyone like crap, especially Jessica. But Jessica is determined to get in good with Quentin (in more ways than one) because she thinks he can help her break into modeling.
Jessica steals a camera and gets Lila to take photos of her on the beach so she can put together a semi-professional portfolio and impress Quentin. The camera is destroyed, and Lila refuses to pay to replace it, so Jessica tries to keep quiet about it. Cameron, a guy who works in the mailroom and has a crush on Jessica, buys a new camera and passes it off as a cleaned-up version of the old one. Let’s just gloss over the fact that a guy who works in the mailroom would never be able to afford a new camera of that quality.
Todd’s bored interning for his father, and also jealous that Elizabeth is doing so well, so he tries to get her to blow off her tasks and hang out with him. But Liz is a career woman, you see, and wants to do so well at her internship that she lands a real job with Flair during the summer. Todd goes to visit Jessica on a shoot, and Quentin thinks he’s model material and enlists him to pose with Simone. Suddenly Todd is hot stuff and has a big future in modeling. Elizabeth isn’t happy because she doesn’t get that Todd and Simone are only snuggling up to each other because, you know, it’s their job.
It only gets worse with Liz: She talks nonstop about her internship and treats Maria and Enid about as well as Simone treats people. They call her on it but she still doesn’t care, because this is life in the real world, yo, and Liz gotta get paid. But then she has a legitimately good suggestion for the magazine that her boss rejects, so now Liz is sad. Sad, sad Liz. And her friends aren’t around to listen to her mope, because Maria and Enid have wised up and won’t spend any more time with her, and Todd is hanging out with Simone and becoming Mr. Popularity. Sad, sad, sad Liz.
Anyway, back to Jessica. She corners Quentin in the darkroom and makes out with him, because that’s a totally reasonable, normal thing for a 16-year-old girl to do to a 20-something guy with a girlfriend. He keeps kissing her even after he realizes she’s not Simone, then asks her out. Then Jessica and Cameron, who have become friends, get into a big fight because she’s becoming so jerky. They totally do that thing where they scream at each other and then make out. Then he tells her they’re going on a date, and she accepts, but oh, noes! It’s the same night as her date with Quentin! Whatever shall Jessica do??
Jess isn’t the only one with conflicting plans: Leona wants Elizabeth at some get-together that she thinks will help her with her career, but Liz has already made plans with Maria and Enid in an attempt to smooth things over. So if Elizabeth cares about her career, she’ll have to ditch them. Clearly this is the sort of thing all 16-year-olds can relate to.
This book, in a nutshell: Everyone is horrible.
Thoughts: From the back cover: “Fashion! Models! Deadlines!” Yes, deadlines are quite glamorous. I feel positively elegant every time I have to meet one.
I enjoyed the recent three-book break from Elizabeth. It’s a shame it didn’t last longer. Seriously, she is worse than Simone.
Elizabeth got Todd a tie for his 16th birthday. DUMP HER, TODD.
“I always proofread everything four times.” Elizabeth, you may have OCD. Also, I thought you were so perfect that you never made mistakes. Therefore, you shouldn’t have to proofread even once.
Leona to Elizabeth, who thinks getting a trendy haircut and dressing more like a teenager will help her career: “It does take courage to be different. But in this case being different served no purpose.” HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!
I’m pretty sure those internships are just excuses for the SVH teachers to take two weeks off and for a bunch of companies to skirt child labor laws.
September 11, 2012
Summary: Apparently at the end of Dance of Death, Katrina wasn’t completely dead, but now she is. Ned and Alice decide to finally do some parenting and tell Jessica she can’t see Jonathan anymore. Jessica gets them to have dinner with him, and Joey comes over as well so Elizabeth can continue to be uncomfortable with their relationship. (Obviously she’s going to get back with Todd. Whatever.)
Then Enid is attacked and ends up in a coma. The SVH kids want to go after the killer for revenge for the attack and Katrina’s death. Never mind that they don’t know who the killer is. Enid wakes up briefly and says Jonathan’s name, making Elizabeth think she named her attacker. She and Maria go to Jonathan’s mansion and find some books about vampires, which convince Liz that that’s what he is.
Jessica sneaks off with Jonathan, but Elizabeth sees and tells Alice and Ned. They call the police, who find the couple at a beach cave where the other attack victims’ blood was also found. So Jonathan took Jessica to a cave possibly used as a hideout by the killer, but only Elizabeth is suspicious. She shares her vampire theory with the other SVH kids, who turn themselves into an angry mob and take off to find Jonathan.
Liz gets a call from Enid’s mother telling her that Enid only said Jonathan’s name because he found her after the attack and got her to the hospital. Elizabeth starts to doubt that Jonathan’s the killer and/or a vampire. By then, the angry mob has ditched her, and Jessica has the Jeep, so Liz is stuck without a ride. She calls Joey, who’s mad that she ditched him and only wants him for his car. P.S. Joey’s a jerk. Fortunately, Todd’s still around and drives Elizabeth to the cave.
Jessica’s there with Jonathan, who’s announced that he needs to leave town. He knows Elizabeth and Maria stole his vampire books and thinks they know something they shouldn’t. Jessica begs to go with him, promising to stay with him forever. He tells her he has a ring that keeps him safe from sunlight, and they can share it. Before he can suck Jessica’s blood or anything, Liz and Todd show up and warn Jonathan about the teenage vigilantes. He runs off, leaving Jessica behind, heartbroken, at least until the next hot guy comes along. And there’s never any explanation of a) who the killer is or b) whether Jonathan’s really a vampire. Make up your own conclusions!
Thoughts: Proof Enid is totally messed up in the head: While everyone’s freaking out over Katrina’s death (and she’s more concerned over the fact that Jonathan chose Jessica over her), she wonders if Jonathan would like her more if she cleaned his house.
Ned grounds the girls and bans Jessica from seeing Jonathan, then lets her invite him to dinner and gives her his credit card to buy a new dress. Which would involve going shopping, which would defeat the purpose of a grounding. So…way to parent, Ned. Again.
Also, I would rather let Jonathan suck my blood than eat with the Wakefields.
Winston: “It does seem unlikely that a town the size of Sweet Valley would have two deranged killers.” Substitute “dozens” for “two” and you have one of the (many, many) problems with the series.
“It was a long-standing tradition among the Wakefiend kids…that they watched out for each other without parental involvement.” Because that’s always worked out so well in the past.
I wonder what kind of results Maria got when she looked up vampires on the Internet in 1996. Back then, it was pretty much just Dracula and Anne Rice, right?
Todd: “Jonathan is still innocent until proven guilty.” Lila: “Oh, sure. But what about Katrina? She was innocent until proven dead!” Um…what?
September 1, 2012
Summary: Some girl is dead and Jessica’s with Jonathan. But first, let’s deal with Elizabeth’s love life. Todd catches her with Joey and decides he’s done being oblivious/letting her cheat on him whenever she wants without consequences. Elizabeth doesn’t really have time to deal with him, though, since she thinks Jessica’s been murdered. She and Joey race to Secca Lake, but of course the deal girl isn’t Jessica. She’s safe and sound (…I guess) with Jonathan, who’s still playing his “I’m so attracted to you but we can’t be together” game with her. He kicks her out, but when Enid shows up, he lets her in and sucks face with her. Then he sucks neck with her. Though he’s the only one doing the sucking.
Now that two teenagers are dead, Sweet Valley decides to try to protect everyone else. They institute a curfew for everyone under 18, which the SVH kids hate. Bruce and the now-goth Todd (because remember, everyone loves Jonathan and wants to be exactly like him) decide to host a big party at Jonathan’s house to a) offer everyone some curfew-breaking fun and b) spend time with their new idol. Jonathan objects to the party but ultimately decides there isn’t much he can do about it. Before then, he sucks on Enid’s neck some more, and now Jessica’s really ticked. Then her cat gets murdered, seemingly by the same person who killed the two teenagers and drained their blood.
Elizabeth is still worried about Jessica spending time with Jonathan, so she decides to go to the party to keep an eye on her. She doesn’t want to tell Joey about the party, since she’s realized she’s not as into him as she was over the summer, but he learns about it and gets mad that she lied about her plans. Maria goes to the party with Liz, and they’re basically the only two people there who aren’t obsessed with Jonathan and haven’t gone goth. (Maria is also the only sane person left in Sweet Valley. I kind of love her.) Elizabeth sees Todd dancing with Amy’s visiting cousin Katrina and gets jealous, then kind of wishes she’d brought Joey with her.
Jessica decides it’s time to seduce Jonathan, or something, so she waits for him in his bedroom. He tells her he does want to be with her and Enid means nothing to him. While they’re making out, the lights go out and all the candles in the house are blown out. Elizabeth enlists Todd to help her turn on the breakers, and when the lights come back on, they hear screaming. Katrina’s dead, and her blood has been drained.
Thoughts: “The new Enid was hip and sophisticated.” No, sweetie. The new Enid is emo. No one emo has ever been mistaken for hip or sophisticated.
Everyone’s mad that the curfew is 10 p.m. First of all, 10 p.m. is pretty generous. Second, I think the second teen was killed earlier in the evening than that, so it’s not going to do much good.
GHOSTWRITER. TEENAGERS DO NO WATCH HUMPHREY BOGART MOVIES. THEY WATCH ACTION MOVIES AND HORROR MOVIES AND THE NOTEBOOK. STOP PRETENDING YOU KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT TEENAGERS.
Todd’s plan is to become like Jonathan and make Elizabeth regret ditching him. Too bad Elizabeth doesn’t like Jonathan and that will probably just turn her off even more.
I want Joey to be the killer. Wouldn’t that be fun?
Enid and the other goth girls still hang out at the Dairi Burger. How dark and sinister.
The teens having a party while there’s a serial killer on the loose reminds me of Scream. And everything worked out well there, so it’s a great idea.
August 20, 2012
Summary: Jessica goes looking for a lost earring in a Dumpster at the Dairi Burger and instead finds a kitten. Oh, and a dead guy. His blood has been drained and there’s something on his neck that looks like a bite mark. So clearly this was an accidental death and the police have no reason to investigate. Yeah, I wish. Anyway, no one knows what happened, and the only witness is the cat, who Jessica takes home and names Jasmine.
In what’s certainly a coincidence that has nothing to do with the murder, there’s a new guy in school, Jonathan Cain. He’s pale and wears dark clothes and is all mysterious. You know, like someone whose name rhymes with Bedward Mullen. All the girls at school immediately fall in love with him, especially Jessica, who makes him her latest obsession, and Enid, who goes goth for him. Enid’s ticked that Elizabeth’s hanging out with Maria Slater, which means Liz isn’t around to tell her she’s being a huge idiot.
Elizabeth thinks Jonathan’s a jerk, but Jessica basically starts stalking him. She buys a hot red dress to impress him, then jumps on the back of his motorcycle. Rather than call the police to report a psych stalker, Jonathan tells Liz to keep her sister away from him. Enid also stalks him, following him home to a huge mansion that looks like it’s really abandoned. Oh, and Jessica finds her earring on her windowsill, which is admittedly weird.
In the middle of all this, Liz is flipping out over Joey, her camp crush, who’s going to be transferring to UCLA. She thinks about dumping Todd but chickens out. Maria proves to be the smartest person in the series by giving her actual good advice (like “cut it out already), but of course Elizabeth won’t listen to her. Liz gets a letter from Joey and finds a paddle from camp in her locker, so it looks like Jessica and Enid aren’t the only stalkers in the book. Elizabeth decides it’s better to be bored with Todd but not hurt his feelings, so she tries to forget about Joey.
The stories collide when Jessica sneaks out one night to go see Jonathan. Enid’s also on her way there because the girl is seriously, seriously obsessed. Elizabeth hears a news report about a blond teenager being found at Secca Lake with her blood drained. She thinks it’s Jessica and calls Todd to come get her and take her to the lake. But instead, Joey shows up. Meanwhile, Jessica goes to Jonathan’s house, where he kisses her, then tells her she made a mistake coming there.
Thoughts: I hate this everyone’s-in-love-with-the-vampiry-guy Twilight crap. I prefer my vampire stories to involve slayers and souls.
Of course Enid goes goth. Of all the SVH teens, she’s the one who would go goth.
Maria drives a tan Mercedes. Why get a Mercedes if you’re not going to get one that’s red or silver?
After she loses the earring, Jessica keeps wearing the other one by itself. That is a weird girl. But I can’t help thinking of the other girls at school doing the same thing, like Jessica’s Regina George accidentally starting a new trend.
When Jessica jumps on his motorcycle, Jonathan drivers her around for a while, then yells at her about it. So why let her ride with you if you didn’t want her to?
June 27, 2012
Summary: It’s time for another school trip! This one takes a bunch of SVH students to Colorado to ski Snow Mountain during spring break. Jessica and Lila have boys on the brain and immediately take a liking to a ski instructor named Lucas. They get ridiculously competitive over him, deciding that whoever kisses him first is the “winner,” while the loser has to do a double-black-diamond ski run. They spend the rest of the trip trying to keep each other away from Lucas.
Eventually Lila gets her some kissage, so Jessica skis the run but crashes into Lucas. He sprains his ankle, she fractures hers, and they wind up stuck in the lodge since they can’t ski anymore. Jess takes advantage of this to get closer to Lucas, but Lila sneaks into the room in a room-service cart (just go with it). Lucas leaves while the girls are fighting, and Jessica remembers what Elizabeth has said to her in the past: Chicks before…well, you know. Besides, Lucas has found another love interest.
Todd wants to spend the trip getting muuuuuuuuuch closer to Elizabeth. He can’t keep it in his pants until they even get to the ski lodge, and he gets in trouble for climbing into her bunk on their bus. Elizabeth is mortified and won’t even talk to him. He tries to approach her on the slopes, but she runs away. When he goes after her, he takes a wrong turn and heads for an unsafe area of the mountain. Then there’s an avalanche and he gets stuck in a cabin with some older chick, Cassandra, who can’t keep it in her pants either.
Elizabeth spends the majority of the book having a total meltdown over Todd and demanding that the head of the ski patrol, Dirk, take her along on rescue missions and whatnot. When they finally find Todd, Cassandra’s trying to make out with him, and Elizabeth thinks Todd wants to hook up with her. When Todd goes looking for her to explain, he finds her cuddling up with Dirk. Then a few pages later, they get back together. There’s no big buildup to their inevitable reconciliation; they basically just realize they’re both being dumb and make up.
Enid buys a book about being “sassy” while skiing, and she puts all 101 “methods” in it to the test. She keeps attracting guys, but not the kind of guys she wants. Winston spends the trip trying to avoid skiing, since he’s told everyone he’s awesome at it but isn’t. He and Enid help each other out with their various issues, but it doesn’t go anywhere. And then Enid winds up with Lucas. I know! I don’t get it.
Thoughts: There are three adults in this book who want to hook up with 16-year-olds. THAT IS A PROBLEM.
Snow Mountain? That’s the best name they could come up with? (And I can’t even make fun of the ghostwriter for it, because it’s a real place!)
Enid seriously asks Elizabeth and Todd if they mind her going off by herself. Enid, please tell me you understand all the ways that question is stupid.
Jessica thinks 25 (the age of a potential suitor) is “too old for a long-term thing, but just right for a spring-break fling!” 25 is also the age Jess will be when that guy gets out of jail for sleeping with her.
Who gives teenagers an emergency credit card for a ski trip? Oh, right, Ned “Am I Done Parenting Yet? They’re Almost 18″ Wakefield. Honestly, if he’s going to give Jessica access to that kind of money, he deserves whatever happens.
The Enid/Winston stuff would have been much less pointless if it had ended with them getting together. Instead, there’s a brief indication that they’re attracted to each other, and that’s it.
April 29, 2012
Summary: Remember how Elizabeth decided she was going to stay at SVU? She tells Todd, and he is TICKED. And remember how Jessica was dating a college student named Zach? And how Magda, a girl from the sorority Jessica wants to join, also likes him? Jessica actually makes Zach leave a diner through a bathroom window before Magda and some Theta sisters can see them together. (I’m assuming they also dined and dashed.) Somehow, Zach still wants to be with Jess, and she decides she’ll stay at SVU, too.
Everyone thinks this is a horrible idea except the twins, and their friends decide to use some good, old-fashioned reverse psychology to make them change their minds. Headed by Enid, Lila, Todd, and Ken, they pretend they’re thrilled that the twins are leaving, rather than trying to talk them into staying. Their reasoning is awesome: Ned and Alice can travel instead of parenting, Lila will now be the most popular girl in school, and Enid will be the smartest, and will take over Elizabeth’s Oracle column.
Elizabeth starts her internship, which she won in the essay contest, but the editor-in-chief is sleazy, especially when you consider that he keeps checking out a 16-year-old. Also, Elizabeth hates doing what are basically secretarial tasks, though I don’t know what more she expected from, you know, an internship. Still, no one makes Elizabeth Wakefield fetch coffee, so she quits after two days.
Jess is still trying to hold onto Zach and pretend she’s in college. Billie knows about her scheme and is, for some reason, going along with it. Jessica finds out she wouldn’t be able to join the cheerleading squad until the next year, and that’s enough to make her second-guess her decision to stay at SVU. Keep in mind that neither twin is actually attending classes, so they’re only seeing the social part of college and making decisions based on that. Whatever, Jessica also misses Ken, even when she’s making out with Zach.
But there’s a big formal party at the end of the week, and Zach invites Jessica, so she’s obviously going to stick it out until then. However, she doesn’t want Magda to see her with Zach. She convinces Elizabeth to go to the party with Magda and two guys, but pretending to be Jessica. Jessica will in turn pretend to be Elizabeth with Zach, but only as far as Magda is concerned. In other words, Zach knows she’s Jessica, but Magda thinks she’s Elizabeth. Yes, that means two Jessicas. Just go with it.
Liz tells Magda that her sister (Elizabeth, as far as Magda knows) is all over Zach, and Magda’s surprisingly fine with it: She found out that Zach is also a high school student pretending to be in college. Elizabeth hilariously decides not to break the news to Jess.
The SVH kids are still on the Get the Girls Back bandwagon, so they all take a trip to SVU and, with help from Steven and Billie, arrange a surprise goodbye party. While they’re setting up, Todd and Ken crash the formal to get their girlfriends back. Todd sees Elizabeth (really Jessica) with Zach and thinks she’s happy. When the real Elizabeth sees him, she’s thrilled. Ken sees the real Jessica with her real new boyfriend and is rightfully angry. Zach is angry, too, when Jessica pretends they were just set up on a blind date. Then Magda spills the beans about Zach being in high school, which leads to a fight between him and Jess, but they ultimately laugh it off because the whole thing is ridiculous.
The action moves to the surprise party, where the twins’ friends run an actual slide show full of pictures of all their happy times in high school. I hope with all my heart that it was set to “I Will Remember You.” To the surprise of absolutely no one, the twins decide to go back to SVH, and Ken forgives Jessica, because why would he let a little cheating get in the way of his relationship with the hottest girl in school?
Thoughts: Magda and the Thetas would be a good name for a ’50s girl group.
Elizabeth is excited because the newspaper where she’s interning has Lexis/Nexis. Wasn’t that outdated even in 1995?
You’d think the newspaper’s editor-in-chief would know that “editor-in-chief” is hyphenated.
Also, if he called me “sweetheart” or any of the other names he calls Elizabeth, I would walk right out of his office within the first 30 seconds of meeting him, instead of putting up with it for two days like Liz.
Lila calls Todd a Philistine. I need Lila in my life for real.
Oh, wait, then she says an all-chocolate cake “goes against all the rules of dessert.” Never mind.
SVU’s football team is the Vanguards. What the–?
Zach: “How could I have been so stupid?” Jessica: “It is kind of amazing.” HA!
Todd, don’t make out with your girlfriend on her brother’s bed. That’s gross.
February 16, 2012
Summary: Alice wins a week at the Paradise Spa for seven people, so she takes the twins, Enid, Lila, and Lila’s mother Grace. Enid’s mom has to stay behind for work, so the mother-daughter trip is really mother-daughter-motherless Enid. To make things worse for Enid, she’s feeling particularly unconfident next to all the pretty people who work at the spa. And to make things doubly worse, the guy Elizabeth tries to set her up with prefers Jessica.
Oh, yeah, of course there are guys. Elizabeth and Jessica both find a spa employee named Chris hot; Jessica thinks he’s interested in her, but he really likes Liz. Jessica moves on to Chris’ friend Alex, and though the two guys hang out with all four girls, Enid still feels left out. Elizabeth has also connected with an employee named Katya, who’s kind of touchy on the subject of her mother.
Enid starts doing beauty treatments with Tatiana, the woman who runs the spa. Tatiana has a scar on her face an unhealthy obsession with talking about how beautiful the Wakefields are. Also, she totally brainwashes Enid and makes her want plastic surgery. Katya leads some spa guests on a hike and they end up at a white building that the employees are all mysterious about. When Tatiana learns of the trek, she yells at Katya. The next day, Katya’s dead.
Tatiana claims that Katya had a heart condition and being in the steam room killed her. She has no family, so they can’t get in touch with them, even though Alice had encouraged her to contact her mother and Katya hadn’t said anything about her mother not being around. Elizabeth starts snooping – er, investigating – and finds an ad in Katya’s possessions that shows she found out about her spa job through a publication for runaways. It turns out all the teens who work at the spa are runaways, including Chris and Alex. They also don’t get paid for their work.
During a trip to a waterfall, Alice disappears. The twins freak and try to call Ned, but the phones aren’t working. Liz uses her laptop and emails Ned while Jessica snoops in Tatiana’s office and finds a yearbook from Alice’s senior year at SVU – except Alice’s picture has been cut out of it. (Yeah, that’s not creepy at all.) As Elizabeth figures out that Enid’s being conditioned for plastic surgery, Jess finds out that all of the spa employees have had their appearances enhanced since they started working there.
Elizabeth goes out looking for Alice, and even though it’s dark and dangerous, Grace, the only adult left, is all, “Don’t get killed. See ya!” Thanks for playing, Grace. Jessica then tells Lila and Grace about all the plastic surgery and stuff. She gets an email Ned sent back to Liz saying that he remembers Tatiana as an SVU classmate who had a girl crush on Alice. Jessica manages to put together that Tatiana, a surgeon, wants to make herself look like Alice. Meanwhile, Elizabeth returns to the place of Alice’s disappearance, where Chris, clearly brainwashed, pulls her into a cave, then takes her to Tatiana.
The whole story eventually comes out: Tatiana trained her assistant to perform plastic surgery so she can make Tatiana look like Alice. Then they’ll kill Alice because twins are bad, or something. Jessica, Lila, and Enid arrive to save the day, and Enid’s brainwashing proves to be as weak as Tatiana’s villainy, so she overtakes her brainwasher. She also in effect brings down the spa, leading all the employees to have a “ding dong, the witch is dead” moment. She probably still feels ugly, though.
Thoughts: Elizabeth, you don’t have “the instinct of a journalist.” You’re just nosy.
I don’t think I could handle being friends with someone as insecure as Enid for more than five minutes. Shut up, Enid.
Elizabeth just worked things out with Todd after the Ken fiasco, and she’s hooking up with another guy. Todd, believe it or not, you actually deserve better.
Funny how Lila thinks Jessica is crazy for falling for a groundskeeper – Lila strikes me as exactly the kind of person who would sleep with her hot gardener.
A book with “murder” in the title shouldn’t take 128 pages to get to that murder.
“After dialing Olivia Davidson’s E-mail address….” Oh, 1995, you’re so cute.
GHOSTWRITER. STOP USING THE WORD “MAILLOT.” NO ONE KNOWS WHAT IT MEANS.
April 23, 2011
Summary: It’s summer, and there’s a day camp at Secca Lake where a bunch of the SVH students (the twins, Todd, Enid, Winston, Aaron, and Cara) volunteer to be counselors. There’s also a guy there named Kevin, who Todd knows from Vermont. Todd has never told anyone, even Elizabeth, that he tried to stop Kevin from mugging someone and was instrumental in putting him in jail. Kevin’s father offered Todd money not to testify, and Kevin threatened him as he was taken away. So…not exactly a guy Todd was hoping to see again. But apparently the camp didn’t run any kind of background check, so no one has any idea that Kevin’s an ex-con, or that he and Todd know each other.
Kevin hits it off with everyone, including Todd’s father, who’s sure that Kevin’s a completely changed man now. In fact, he thinks Todd is just being bitter any time he says anything negative about Kevin. (Great guy, that Mr. Wilkins.) Mostly he’s upset that Todd doesn’t want to work for Mr. Wilkins’ company, so when Kevin expresses an interest, Mr. Wilkins is all over it. Everyone thinks Todd is crazy for not liking Kevin, and they think he’s turning into something of a bully.
Jessica’s totally in luv with Kevin, so the two of them double date with Todd and Elizabeth. Then the Wilkinses tell Todd to invite Kevin over for dinner, and Todd catches him looking through Mr. Wilkins’ desk and rats him out. It turns out Mr. Wilkins asked him to get something, so now he thinks Todd is just a jerk. And then Elizabeth breaks up with him because he tells her to stay away from Kevin but won’t say why. People’s stuff starts disappearing (including Elizabeth’s lavaliere – oh, noes!), and a guy is mugged, so Todd thinks Kevin’s up to his old tricks. He tries to investigate, becoming more and more isolated from his friends. At the same time, Kevin tells them that Todd was a bully in Vermont and may have tried to rape a girl.
Dumbo Todd thinks that Kevin couldn’t possibly be a bad guy when he presents himself as such a good guy, so maybe he’s not guilty after all. Kevin asks Elizabeth out, and since she thinks Todd doesn’t care about her anymore, and because Jessica, for some reason, told her that Todd’s been flirting with another girl, she agrees to the date. Kevin proves to be not so much of a nice guy on the date, but Elizabeth doesn’t quite get that Todd was right when he told her she should be careful around him. Todd goes to Secca Lake that night, since some people have been hanging out there after camp, and he sees Kevin mug one of the counselors, but he…doesn’t do anything. Maybe the police, Todd? No? Okay, then.
Todd tells Winston and Aaron everything about Vermont, announcing that he’s going to go to the police the next morning. But they get to him first, having found his pen at the scene of the counselor’s mugging. He admits that he was there that night but can’t provide any evidence that Kevin was the real mugger. Jessica goes to get something from Kevin’s car and winds up finding everyone’s missing stuff, making everyone realize that Kevin’s a bad guy and Todd is innocent. Fortunately, Todd’s father has also figured that out by this point. Unfortunately, Elizabeth hasn’t. She goes for a walk with Kevin, who loses his temper and strangles her. Todd gets there in time to save her.
There’s some stupid wrap-up about Kevin accidentally killing his brother in a car accident and hating Todd for having a great life and blah, blah, blah, this book was dumb. Thank God this is the last Super Star, because three of them were about characters no one cares about.
Thoughts: This book was clearly written way before it was published, and no one bothered to check it to make sure things would fit. For one thing, Jessica goes out with Kevin and there’s no mention of Sam. For another, Cara’s randomly in Sweet Valley and still dating Steven, and there’s nothing in the book about her going to London.
Todd, if you don’t want Kevin at your house, DON’T INVITE HIM OVER. Tell your parents you asked him and he was busy, or you forgot to ask him. I can’t believe I’m advocating lying, but apparently you’re too dumb to get yourself out of this.
“In her opinion, a lie wasn’t really a lie if you told it for a good purpose, and if it sounded plausible.” Three guesses who “she” is, and the first two don’t count.