January 16, 2013
Summary: Joy rings out throughout the land because the Wakefield twins are locked in a dungeon. Sadly, they don’t stay there long. The kids they’ve been taking care of free them, because apparently full-grown dungeon guards are no match for kindergarteners. The girls take off into the woods, then decide to look for Jacques so Jessica can find out the whole story behind the stolen jewel. They can’t find him, so they go back to the woods for the night. Meanwhile, Laurent goes in search of the twins and instead encounters Jacques. Jacques wants to get to the girls first, so he sends Laurent back to the castle, telling him they might be there, and goes searching on his own.
This all ends anticlimactically when the girls return to the castle just as Laurent is giving a press conference (uh-huh) to announce his engagement to Antonia. He’s only doing it because his parents told him the twins wouldn’t be prosecuted if he agreed to the arranged marriage. Elizabeth is ticked. Jacques decides to turn himself in so his father won’t be arrested, and he’s sent to the dungeon. Jessica tries to break him out, but it’s Jessica, so of course it doesn’t work.
Now that the twins are known to be innocent, Laurent changes his mind about marrying Antonia. The countess tells Elizabeth that if she comes between Laurent and Antonia, their countries could end up enemies, and there could be an international incident. As if we didn’t know that one day a Wakefield twin would be responsible for an international incident. Elizabeth doesn’t want to be responsible for that, so she packs up and takes a train out of there. Except Laurent finds out what she’s doing, follows her to the train station on his horse, and gets the conductor to stop the train. Like, literally riding a white horse to rescue her. Um, as if. He declares his love for Elizabeth and asks her to marry him.
Liz considers staying in France, since she doesn’t think she has a reason to go back to Sweet Valley. Except, you know, her family’s there. And she’s still in high school. And she’s only known this guy for a few weeks. And his parents hate her. But she would get to be a princess! Of course, we’re not lucky enough to be rid of Elizabeth, and she decides to go back to Sweety Valley.
Jacques’ father confesses to Laurent that he, not Jacques, is the jewel thief. Laurent feels bad for them and helps Jacques escape from the dungeon. He and his father run off, so Jessica is minus one French jewel-thief boyfriend. I’m sure she’ll find another one as soon as she gets back to California. That, or she’ll just find any old guy and completely forget about Jacques by the next book.
On the way back home, Jessica finally comes clean to Elizabeth about burning a letter Todd sent her back when the twins were fighting in the first book of this ridiculous trilogy. Elizabeth is appalled, and you’d think that after being thrown in a dungeon and having to sleep in the woods, she’d get a little perspective and decide this isn’t that bad. It doesn’t really get resolved anyway, because we fast-forward to Liz meeting up with Todd in Sweet Valley and the two of them getting back together. Of course.
Thoughts: The amount of ridiculousness in this book is off the charts, even for this series.
Laurent’s father: “You are obsessed with this romantic notion of marrying for love!” I think Laurent’s father is also Christian’s father from Moulin Rouge.
Elizabeth gets back together with Todd without telling him anything about Laurent. Because she is awful. I wish she had been responsible for an international incident.
January 3, 2013
Summary: This book is the worst combination of boring and unbelievable I’ve ever seen.
Okay, so Jessica’s in luuuuuuuuuv with Jacques, who keeps trying to get back the emerald he gave her (which he stole from the countess who’s staying at the same chateau as the twins). He keeps sneaking into her room to look for it, then pretending he was there for another reason. Every time Jacques asks for it back, Jessica threatens to dump him, so he backs off. Eventually he tries to exchange a pearl bracelet for the emerald, but Jessica keeps both. Jacques is an idiot. Of course, so is Jessica, but we knew that.
Elizabeth’s in luuuuuuuuuuuuuv with Laurent, but he hasn’t told her that he’s supposed to marry the countess’ daughter Antonia. She overhears some servants talking about the marriage but thinks Laurent is going to propose to her, which freaks her out because they don’t know each other that well. Finally, a realistic response to a declaration of love from a guy she’s only known for two weeks. But then Liz sees Laurent holding hands with Antonia and finds out about their arranged relationship. She has a Jessica-like cry-fest, which is, again, more realistic than anything else this supposed 16-year-old has ever done.
But that’s where the realistic part of the story ends. The countess loses a diamond necklace, which Jacques stole, and the twins think she hid it to get the insurance money. They figure she did the same with the jewel she supposedly lost on the train; Jess hasn’t put it together that that’s what Jacques gave her. The twins participate in a tableau vivant (living art) guessing game, posing with the kids in a scene from Cinderella. Jessica, as the Fairy Godmother, wears the emerald, and the countess screams when she sees it, ruining the tableau. Then the countess has guards (there are guards?) throw the twins in the dungeon (there’s a dungeon??), where Jessica finally figures out that Jacques stole the countess’ emerald and gave it to her.
Thoughts: Elizabeth’s babysitting guide says that the best way to get children to behave is to take away privileges. But according to the last book, it also says to reason with kids, not discipline them, so we obviously can’t trust anything it says.
Why do the countess and Antonia need three bathrooms?
Jacques sneaks into Jessica’s room, can’t leave without her seeing him, and winds up sleeping in her closet. Creeeeeeeeep.
The tableau game sounds fun – you recreate a scene or a painting, and people have to guess what it is. It’s a nice twist on the regular kind of tableau vivant.
I hope the twins contact the American embassy immediately and report the whole dungeon thing. I also hope someone thought through who will be taking care of the children while their au pairs are chained to a wall, being fed bread and water. Because clearly no one else wants to do it.
December 19, 2012
Summary: For their 118th summer, the twins will be serving as au pairs for a royal family in the south of France. (Just go with it, as usual.) Just before they leave, Todd tells Elizabeth that she can feel free to see other people during the summer, which she was probably going to do anyway. Only she thinks this means he can’t trust her (…he can’t), so they break up. That means she’s in a great mood on the trip to France.
The girls take a train to the castle they’ll be staying in (Château d’Amour Inconnu), and Jessica meets a guy named Jacques and his father Louis. Jacques is supposedly the Duke of Norveaux. He and Jessica quickly fall in luuuuuuuuv, or at least she does. He’s shady and gives her an emerald just before a countess (who’s traveling with her daughter Antonia and will also be staying at the castle) announces that a jewel she had with her is missing. Jessica is too dumb to put the pieces together.
The castle is really nice, as are the royals, but the twins are put up in a small attic room, which isn’t so great. Also, the kids they have to take care of are brats. They’re all told to stay out of a big hedge maze on the property, but one of the kids runs into it and Elizabeth has to go after him. While they’re wandering around, they spot the kids’ older half-brother, Laurent. There’s some crap about an old love story surrounding the castle, and Laurent dreaming of meeting a blond woman, and Elizabeth having a dream about him, too, but I don’t care. Also, he doesn’t want to be royalty. Again, I don’t care.
The twins get in a fight about how Jessica isn’t doing her share of the work (I mean, obviously), so they decide to split shifts with the kids. Jessica’s so mad that when she finds a letter Todd send Elizabeth, she burns it. Elizabeth is caught in a rainstorm and winds up at Laurent’s cottage, where they get to know each other and, of course, start falling in luuuuuuuuuuuuv. She misses her shift with the kids, but Jessica was worried about her, so it’s all good and they make up. Jess decides not to say anything about Todd’s letter, hoping he just writes back.
While Elizabeth is out with Laurent, Jessica’s in their bedroom alone when someone grabs her. It’s Jacques, who says he came to see her and was only looking through her things (!) to figure out which side of the room was hers. Jessica’s so happy to see him that she doesn’t confront him with the information she’s learned: There is no Norveaux, so he can’t be the duke of it. Dun!
Thoughts: Château d’Amour Inconnu means Castle of Unknown Love. Barf.
Why do royals in SVH never want to be royals?
The ghostwriter has completely forgotten that the twins have been to France before.
After meeting the countess and Antonia, who are completely nasty to anyone who isn’t high-class, Elizabeth thinks, “Thank goodness I’m from America – where everyone is equal!” HA HA HA HA HA HA HA! Maybe in Sweet Valley, where there are no poor people or minorities.
I find it hard to believe that no one cleaned the maid’s quarters before the twins arrived. But then again, I also find it hard to believe that French royals agreed to let two random American 16-year-olds watch their kids all summer, so whatever.
“Pierre, the oldest child, was wearing a blue-and-white sailor suit.” Of course. What else do fictional European children wear?
Elizabeth keeps reading this babysitting book, and it’s hilarious. “Children should be reasoned with, not disciplined.” “Children respond instantly to authority.” That book was written either by a hippie or by someone who’s never spent more than two minutes with a child.
November 28, 2012
Summary: The premise for this book is incredibly dumb. Dawn’s father has a friend who’s moving across the country, and Mr. Schafer offers to drive his RV from Connecticut to California for him. He somehow convinces Dawn and Jeff to come along, even though they were supposed to spend the summer in Stoneybrook. Watson hears about this and decides he wants to cancel the Brewer/Thomases’ vacation so they can also drive across the country in an RV. And of course, Kristy can bring friends (but no one else can). So all of the BSC girls get permission to go along, and a trip that started out with three people balloons to include 15:
RV 1: Mr. Schafer, Dawn, Jeff, Kristy (her travel route didn’t match the rest of her family’s), Claudia, Stacey, Mary Anne
RV 2: Watson, Mrs. Brewer, Abby, Jessi, Mallory, David Michael, Karen, Andrew
Sam and Charlie are at camp, and the family is smart enough to leave Emily Michelle behind with Nannie. (Can you imagine two weeks in an RV with a two-year-old?) The idea is that everyone gets to pick a special place to visit, and there will be other touristy stops along the way. RV 1 goes north, RV 2 goes south, and everyone meets up in California.
Highlights/lowlights from RV 1:
- Kristy wants to visit as many baseball stadiums as possible and buy hats from them (plus go to some games, obviously). It’s something she once discussed doing with her father. At a Giants game, she sees him on a Jumbotron and manages to track him down. They talk briefly but he promises to write. Notably, he doesn’t ask about any of the rest of the family.
- Dawn wants to go to a ghost town, but the one she picks is corny. The group ends up having fun there anyway.
- Claudia goes to the Art Institute of Chicago, but nothing interesting happens. Later she stops at a flea market and buys a sketch that reminds her of Georgia O’Keeffe’s work. When she gets to California, she looks at the back and discovers that it is an early O’Keeffe. Mr. Schafer’s friend, an art appraiser, offers her $500 for it, but she decides to keep it.
- Stacey has a not-that-funny comedy of errors in Seattle when she tries to meet up with Ethan at a coffee shop. Also, she thinks Claudia read her diary and spends most of the book mad at her.
- Mary Anne has no imagination and only wants to go to Maynard, Iowa, to spend time with her grandmother. (They end up meeting at the Mall of America instead.) She spends most of the book on edge because Mr. Schafer keeps making snarky comments about her and her father. She finally confronts him and he apologizes.
- Jeff wants to go rock climbing in Yellowstone, and also get away from all the girls. I kind of feel bad that he has to spend his vacation with drama queens.
- I don’t remember what Mr. Schafer wants to do, and I don’t care since he’s annoying in this book. He also runs out of gas in the Badlands and leaves the girls and Jeff alone in the RV so he can get help.
Highlights/lowlights from RV 2:
- Abby is apparently obsessed with Elvis, which I don’t remember hearing about before, so she wants to go to Graceland. There’s some uninteresting stuff with an Elvis impersonator.
- Jessi first takes everyone to her grandparents’ home in New Jersey and briefly suspects that Mallory is racist. (Um, what?) Her grandmother points out that Mallory is just uncomfortable because she’s with a bunch of people she doesn’t know, and she wants to make a good impression. Jessi’s other destination is Dalton, Mississippi, where some of her relatives were slaves. She sees firsthand how horrible that point in history was for black people.
- Mallory wants to go to Chincoteague, because she’s still obsessed with horses. She does nothing interesting the rest of the book.
- Watson has a college friend in Oklahoma, so the group stops at his house for lunch before going to a rodeo, David Michael’s pick. A tornado hits and everyone has to hide out in the bathroom. It might have been interesting if there was any possibility that someone could die.
- Karen wants to go to Four Corners, the spot where four states touch. Karen is boring.
- Andrew is obsessed with the pandas at the San Diego Zoo and has a full-on meltdown when he hears that one that’s supposed to give birth has been sent back to China. Then it turns out she wasn’t. I don’t know.
- Mrs. Brewer wants to see the Grand Canyon, and Abby is secretly freaking out about it. It turns out that her father loved the Grand Canyon, and her family was planning a vacation there just before he died. When they arrive, Abby is sad at first but manages to enjoy the experience, feeling like her dad’s spirit is with her. She later writes in her journal that her dad once gave her a pep talk based on that “teach a man to fish” saying, and she sees the Grand Canyon as a huge fishing pond. She plans to fish a lot and bring her mom and sister back there one day. It’s really sweet and a little sad and I totally did not get a little misty-eyed, someone was chopping onions, shut up.
They also keep running into this annoying girl, Liz, who’s traveling with her grandparents. It’s dumb. There’s also a brief stop in New Mexico, where they meet some of the Stoneybrook kids’ pen pals. It’s actually too bad Dawn didn’t get to make that trip, since she was the force behind that whole thing.
Thoughts: I know I’m definitely, for real an adult because I can’t help wondering how expensive this trip was. Gas, food, baseball tickets, admission fees to the rodeo and things like that, souvenirs…that’s a big chunk of change.
Also, how do they all get home? Does Watson have to drive the rented RV back?
Also also, if I had to spend two weeks in an RV with anyone, I would probably never want to see them again.
Andrew whines a lot in this book. I don’t remember him being so annoying before. Maybe he’s just in a super-bad mood the whole two-week trip.
Watson’s college roommate’s last name is Romney. Um…
Who would you least want to be stuck in an RV with for two weeks, Karen or Dawn? Death is not an option.
November 13, 2012
Summary: Derek Masters is back in Stoneybrook, but only briefly – he’s just finished a movie about a boy who witnesses a murder on a train, and he’s about to take a train from Boston to Charleston to help promote it. Mr. Masters, one of the producers, asks Kristy, Abby, and Stacey to come along to look after Derek, his brother Todd, David Michael, Linny Papadakis, Nicky Pike, Buddy Barrett, James Hobart, Derek’s friend Greg, and Todd’s friend Daniel. (Yes, Mr. Masters is crazy for letting all those kids come along.)
Since this is a mystery, there is, of course, some weirdness on the train. People get notes talking about secrets coming out, and it’s not clear if they’re part of the movie’s publicity. The ex-husband of one of the movie’s stars comes to the train station and pleads with her to work out their problems, then makes some threats. Someone puts a rubber hand in that same actress’ lunch. A smoke bomb is set off. There are a ton of people on the train who could all be suspects: the movies’ leads, the publicist, the only reporter allowed on board for the whole trip, and the screenwriter, Daniel’s father Ronald.
One night Kristy, Stacey, Todd, and Daniel are in the observation car when they hear two men fighting. It’s too dark to see who they are (or much of anything, really), but Kristy thinks she sees one man push the other off the train. When the possible crime is investigated, no one is missing from the train. The only clues (if you can call them that) the BSC girls find are a page from the script and a note the reporter was given telling her to be in the observation car at the time of the possible attack.
The BSC girls tell their charges what’s going on, and they all search through people’s rooms to see who’s missing a page from the script. (Totally legit babysitting activity, by the way.) All of the scripts are intact, but Derek later realizes that while the dialogue is correct, the names of the characters on the page aren’t the same as the names of the characters in the actual movie. Kristy realizes that the page is from an earlier draft, which would only be owned by Ronald, the screenwriter.
The lights go off and another smoke bomb is detonated, but Kristy manages to get to Stacey and Abby and fill them in. They confront Ronald, who confesses that he took the idea for the movie from a student who’s now blackmailing him. He was fighting with the student, Laurence Channing, in the observation car and thinks Channing is going to come after Daniel. Indeed, Channing tries, but Kristy protects Daniel, and Mr. Masters and Ronald subdue the crazy blackmailer. And no one even had to call Sgt. Johnson!
In the most boring B-plot ever, the other BSC girls babysit at the new/old country club and Jessi teaches Stephen to swim. See, told you it was boring.
Thoughts: This is one of the better BSC books, though there are too many suspects and red herrings. It’s a little like an Agatha Christie mystery for tweens.
Three days on a train with nine elementary-school-aged boys? I would tie myself to the tracks. (Though the kids are really well-behaved.)
The director’s name is Rock Harding. Um, what kind of movies does he direct, exactly?
Other ridiculously named characters: Jane Atlantic, Anne Arbour, Benjamin Athens, Elle San Carlos.
Channing’s plan, revealed after all the drama, is fairly awesome in a soap opera way: He was going to fake his death, frame Ronald for his murder, wait until he was convicted, then reemerge pretending he had amnesia. I would read that book.
November 1, 2012
Summary: Out of the blue and for no apparent reason, Logan’s father wants to send him to boarding school and a wilderness-survival adventure. Oh, noes! Mary Anne is sad, but Logan’s a wimp and won’t try to talk to his parents about the decision. And honestly, he doesn’t seem that sad about the possibility of never seeing Mary Anne again, so maybe she should take a hint.
In the midst of this crisis, the BSC girls decide to take a first-aid course, inspired by Mary Anne and Dawn (yes, she’s in this book – she’s in Stoneybrook for summer vacation) watching Sharon save a guy from choking. The class is pretty intense, with tests and visits to an ER and the very real possibility that Kristy will murder fellow student Alan because he WON’T SHUT UP. The students also get to participate in a disaster drill, pretending to be victims of a car accident.
Even after all the training, Mary Anne still feels like she would be unprepared for an emergency. Then one afternoon she and Dawn are babysitting for a bunch of kids swimming in the Kormans’ pool. There’s a neighbor there to keep an eye on everyone, but when he goes into the house for a few minutes, Timmy Hsu almost drowns. Mary Anne pulls him out of the water, gives him CPR, and saves his life.
Suddenly Mary Anne is emboldened! She tells Logan to suck it up already and talk to his parents if he doesn’t want to boarding school or the wilderness trek. He needs to fight for what he wants. She points out that when she stood up to her father about having to dress like a kid, things worked out. So Logan has an actual conversation with his parents and gets to stay in Stoneybrook. Where he will continue to be a big wuss, I guess.
Thoughts: I wish Mary Anne could be like this all the time. The shy, meek thing is so tiresome.
The girls pride themselves on being pros, so why haven’t they taken a first-aid class before now?
When Mary Anne learns about the wilderness-survival thing, which he thinks is to build character, she asks what happens if the kids run into a wild animal. Logan: “You punch them in the nose, I guess, because you have so much character by then.” Heh.
I think this is the first book in the series to mention email.
The disaster drill sounds awesome. I want to do one! A friend of mine got to do a plane-crash drill – they put bruise makeup on her and everything.
Timmy’s brother Scott mentions that Timmy can’t swim. Maybe their parents should have told Mary Anne and Dawn that. Or not let him play in a pool without floaties. Oh, right, Stoneybrook parents hate their children.
Logan should have agreed to do the survival thing instead of saying he didn’t want to do it or go to boarding school. It’s called negotiating, son.
The 11-year-old who owned this book before me wrote in the diary pages in the back that Logan “can be a nuisance.” Rock on, 11-year-old.
August 7, 2012
Summary: The first two books in this mini-series were about Elizabeth hooking up with Joey, Jessica hooking up with Paul, Nicole being a horrible person, the kids being brats, Lila finding her male counterpart, etc. For some reason, the third is about an axe murderer.
But first, color war! It’s a book about summer camp, after all. Elizabeth and Nicole are the team captains, and Nicole fixes things so Joey’s on her team. Somehow Elizabeth finds out and switches him back, though that’s never explained. Nicole also wants to mess with Liz by sending Todd a picture of her kissing Joey, but Maria stops her and tells her to find a new hobby, because as it turns out, Maria is quite awesome.
Jessica goes to visit Paul again, and when they go back to camp, they decide to play a prank, making everyone think Crazy Freddy (an axe murderer from a camp story) is real. The plan is ruined when Jessica and Paul’s sister Tanya are kidnapped by a real axe murderer. I did not make that up. Jessica’s smart enough to pull off Tanya’s friendship bracelet as they’re dragged off, to indicate to people that something’s wrong.
Joey heads off to play hero, and Elizabeth and Nicole both go after him. They barely stop fighting long enough to not let each other die. Joey gets himself knocked out by the axe murderer (Cobra! I love it!), but Paul overpowers the guy, thanks to a diversion caused by Nicole and Elizabeth. Nicole further proves to not be as horrible as she seemed by letting herself get captured so Liz can save the others.
In what I guess is supposed to be comic relief, Lila and Bo go out to look for Jessica and Tanya, but they get lost and wind up spending the night in the woods. A crop-dusting pilot finds them but won’t take them back to camp because a) his boss is a jerk about schedules and b) this guy is clearly a jerk, too, because hello! Stranded people! Have a heart! The pilot calls his brother, for some reason, and the brother recognizes Bo and Lila’s names because they’ve been ordering food from his delivery service all summer. And then they invest in the pilot’s company, and I bet that will never come up again.
So there’s a happy ending, right? Sort of. Liz and Nicole are okay, and Nicole decides she doesn’t want Joey after all, so she’s okay with him being with Elizabeth. But Elizabeth doesn’t really want him either, since her heart belongs to Todd, or whatever. Jessica and Paul are still together, I guess. I don’t care. No one got axe-murdered, so it’s not a happy ending for me.
Thoughts: How do the people in these books never develop PTSD? Jessica was almost killed, but she’s totally fine ten minutes later. Wait, why am I looking for realism in SVH books? Again?
Lila’s defense of Bo paying people to do his chores: “He was providing jobs.” So Lila’s going to end up with a job as a political spin doctor, yes?
“She didn’t understand how she could be cheating on Todd, whom she’d loved for ages.” I love it that Elizabeth’s pretending this is the first time she’s done this.
The campers and counselors play Capture the Flag (of course), which reminds me of playing War on youth-group retreats when I was younger. It was basically Capture the Flag but with a military theme. Some players were designated “lieutenants” or “generals” (five-star, four-star, the whole shebang), and if you captured an officer from the other team, you got points. We also had “grenades” (I think they were balloons filled with paint) we could use to assult another team’s “fort.” We played in the woods after dark, and though we all had flashlights, the team leaders usually made us keep them off. I can’t believe no one ever got lost or horribly injured. I doubt we’d be allowed to play that game today without our parents having to sign sheets of paperwork.
July 24, 2012
Summary: Todd has just arrived at the twins’ camp, but he doesn’t notice that Elizabeth is all over Joey. Todd’s staying for a few days, which means Liz has to cool it with the boy toy and pretend she’s all about Wilkins. She plans to break up with him just before he leaves, but she can’t do it. Whatever, she can totally just see Joey for the summer and Todd will never have to know! Apparently Elizabeth has forgotten that she knows half a dozen people at the camp, and some of them, such as Winston, have no reason not to tell Todd that she’s cheating on him.
But then Nicole throws a wrench in the works by threatening to tell Todd about Liz and Joey’s fling. So Elizabeth dumps Joey, telling him she never loved him. Nicole also makes her talk her up to him. Liz catches Joey and Nicole making out one night, so now it looks like the two of them are together. But at the end of the book, Joey tells Elizabeth that he was just using Nicole to make her jealous, and he really wants to be with Liz. What a lovely guy.
Also lovely: Paul, the guy Jessica’s sneaking out to see. She’s not supposed to leave camp, but she keeps doing it anyway, going into town to see Paul at the diner his family runs. The guy’s a jerk who has trust issues, but Jessica’s smitten and doesn’t take the hint. She invites Paul to the camp play, which she’s starring in, but gets upset when he never responds. A couple hours before the play, she rides a bike to the diner, only to find out that he’s at home. Someone gives her a ride there, and she and Paul make up, but they can’t get back to camp. Elizabeth winds up taking Jessica’s place in the play, with only Lila, Maria Slater, and Liz’s co-star knowing. (Oh, and Joey, but whatever.)
In other romance news, Winston thinks the other Maria is cheating on him because she keeps mentioning a guy named Hank in her letters to him. (Hank Patman? That would be funny.) Some chick named Lara is totally in love with Winston and is basically stalking him. He comes close to cheating with her, but quickly realizes that a) she’s annoying and b) he doesn’t actually like her. And it turns out this Hank guy is old, so he’s no threat, and it’s a good thing Winston didn’t do anything stupid.
Thoughts: Why do they let junior counselors act in the camp play? That seems unfair to the campers.
Points to the ghostwriter for giving the campers names that kids that age would have in the mid-’90s (Jennifer, Aimee, Ashley, Stephanie, Tiffany).
Nicole’s blackmail plan only works if Elizabeth thinks Todd would believe her story. Why would he listen to a girl he met for two seconds, especially if the story was about sweet, kind Elizabeth Wakefield, who would never cheat or even consider being disloyal?
Trivia: Lila can sew.
This is my 500th post. Woop woop!
July 10, 2012
Summary: It’s summer yet again! This one takes the twins, Lila, and a couple other SVH kids to Montana to be junior counselors at a performing-arts camp. Maria Slater, who was friends with Elizabeth in the Sweet Valley Twins books, is also there, along with her best friend, Nicole. Nicole is a bitca. She and Elizabeth immediately hate each other; they’re both writers and want to write the camp play. They also both like a guy named Joey. Because, you know, girls always have to fight over guys.
You’d think that Elizabeth would be a better counselor than Jessica, but the opposite is true. Elizabeth’s kids are complete shrews, while Jessica’s are in love with her and just copy everything she does. It’s annoying, but at least they listen to her. Jess is also good at her job since she’s not distracted by boys. She’s decided that after losing Christian and having her relationship with Ken end disastrously, she’s going to have a boy-free summer. She even becomes the favorite of the camp’s owner and gets to organize a dance.
Elizabeth writes the play, even though it looked like the job was going to Nicole. Nicole steals it and erases it from her hard drive, so there’s no proof that Liz actually wrote the play. On top of that and her kids being horrible, Maria’s siding with Nicole, and Joey’s not interested, so Elizabeth’s not having the best summer. Fortunately, one of Jessica’s campers has been filming pretty much everything, and she gets Nicole on camera confessing to stealing the play. Jessica sees the footage and airs it for the whole camp. Nicole is brought down and suddenly everyone likes Elizabeth.
…Including Joey, who’s now all over her. Elizabeth had what was basically a crush on him, but as soon as he’s actually interested, she’s all, “Todd who?” She actually tells Joey they’re not that serious. And then Todd shows up, so ha ha!
Lila’s interested in a junior counselor named Bo, but he’s outdoorsy, so she pretends she is, too. Except it’s completely obvious that he’s a poser. It turns out he’s basically the male version of Lila, so they’re clearly a match made in Heaven.
Oh, and Jessica hooks up with the brother of the filming camper, but that part of the plot is stupid and tacked-on.
Thoughts: Lila “didn’t come here to make friends,” but it’s the ’90s, so she doesn’t get the joke there.
It seems like the counselors and junior counselors share cabins, so does that mean the campers are in their cabins alone? That seems like a horrible idea. Of course, what I know about summer camp comes from that one BSC Super Special, The Parent Trap, and Bug Juice. (Did anyone else watch Bug Juice? That show was awesome.) Oh, and I read There’s a Bat in Bunk Five, which was also awesome.
Would a seven-year-old know that you can use hydrogen peroxide to bleach your hair? And why was she alone long enough to be able to do it? I’m guessing her parents will be suing the camp that left hydrogen peroxide where a seven-year-old could get her hands on it.
Bo, for future reference, “I’m watching you” is not acceptable as a love note.
When Todd shows up, Elizabeth’s with Joey and she’s wearing Jessica’s bathing suit, so if she were smart, she’d just tell Todd she’s not Liz.
July 8, 2012
BH90210 4.1, So Long, Farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, Goodbye: How Can I Miss You When You Won’t Go Away?
Summary: Brandon’s working at the Peach Pit on a hot, AC-less day. Steve comes by to give him the good news that he got into California University. Brandon grumbles that Steve spent the summer complaining that he was the only one of their friends not going to college. Steve has also rented a beach house in Malibu for the next two weeks, and he wants Brandon to live there with him.
The two guys head to Malibu and first think their house is half-destroyed, but it turns out they have the wrong address. Steve tells Brandon that the house belongs to a producer named Guy Fleming who wants Samantha to work with him. Steve checks out some girls, ignoring Brandon when he warns that Celeste will be jealous. Brandon suggests that they have Brenda’s going-away party there.
The day of the party, Celeste, Andrea, Donna, and David arrive early. David laments that he hasn’t found a place to live yet. Brenda shows up and reminds everyone that it’s time for them to move on with their lives. Later, Cindy brings up Dylan and Kelly, and Jim reveals that Dylan contacted him from Europe to ask for more money. Brandon teases that he’s going to turn the second floor of the Walshes’ house into a suite.
David brings up the possibility of living with Steve, who won’t even consider it. Andrea gives Brenda a going-away present and they discuss the fact that Andrea won’t be going to Yale. (Her grandmother isn’t well and she doesn’t want to leave California.) Cindy tells Brenda it’s time to go home, but she wants to spend the night at the Malibu house. With the adults gone, the kids break out the beer.
Tony Miller is totally in love with Brenda but will never get together with her. David feels his pain about loving someone he’s never going to have sex with. Kelly calls and tells Donna she’s already back in Beverly Hills. She arrives moments later and tells her friends that Dylan’s still in Europe; he wanted to go to Greece, and Kelly spent some time in Barcelona with her father. She’s glad she got back to the States in time to say goodbye to Brenda.
People keep breaking stuff in the house, and the next morning, it’s pretty well trashed. Brandon finds Brenda alone on the deck and offers to take her home, with a Peach Pit detour first. Nat tells her that they’re going to start offering Laverne’s honey pie in her honor. Brandon’s also being honored by having his shirt displayed on the Wall of Fame.
Brenda finishes packing as Brandon keeps teasing about what he’ll do with her room. She wishes he were coming to Minnesota with her, a feeling he doesn’t reciprocate. She says goodbye to Brandon and Jim, then heads to the airport with Cindy. Brandon heads back to the beach house, which no one has cleaned up and which Steve doesn’t feel pressed to do anything about. Andrea announces that she’s going to take a walk to a lagoon, which happens to be where Gil lives. (UG, GIL.)
David asks Kelly to help him look for an apartment; the only one he’s found is small and ugly. Andrea meets up with Gil and tells him she’s going to California University instead of Yale. Gil clearly thinks this is a bad decision and isn’t very good at hiding his feelings about it. Brenda and Cindy are in Minneapolis with Cindy’s mother, who’s just heard about global warming. Brenda’s younger cousin is really enthusiastic about her time in California. Brenda asks her to stop asking about it, but her roommate, an old friend named Darla, is also interested in the subject.
After a day out, Brandon returns to the beach house, which still hasn’t been cleaned. They also have a surprise guest, a woman with Mace. Celeste and Steve hear yelling from outside and run in. Steve recognizes the woman as Jill, the daughter of the house’s owner. She apologizes for overreacting. “Do you always walk around with a can of Mace? Are you related to Emily Valentine?” Brandon asks. (HA!)
Jill notes that seeing a trashed house is a good indication of a robbery, and since she’s from New York, she reacted like a New Yorker. She also didn’t know anyone would be at the house. Steve admits that they had a party the night before, and Brandon promises that they’ll clean up and leave. Jill tells them they don’t have to clear out. Celeste sense that Steve’s a little interested in Jill, and she’s not happy about it.
Brenda hangs out with Darla and their friends Katie and Jan, discussing their schedules. Katie finds it ironic that Brenda left L.A. to take acting classes in Minnesota. The girls want to know if she met any celebrities, then ask lots of questions about Steve. Brenda tells them their questions are stupid and making her self-conscious: “It’s not like I’m Brenda Walsh – I’m Brenda Beverly Hills.” She wants everyone to know that Beverly Hills isn’t that different from anywhere else in the country.
Kelly and Donna try to help David find a place to live, suggesting that he look for a place at the beach, despite the prices. Kelly jokes that she’ll move out of her and Donna’s dorm room and live at the beach. Donna thinks she could talk Dylan into living together. Kelly admits that they’re not speaking. While they were in Europe, Dylan found out he didn’t get into Berkeley, which put him in a bad mood. He wound up leaving Kelly in France without saying goodbye, so that’s it for them.
Celeste’s discomfort with Jill grows when she learns that Jill taught Steve to French kiss when they were younger. She calls him out for ignoring her while Jill’s been around, warning that he’d better change his behavior before she dumps him. David finds a really nice place on the beach, but it’s expensive and has two bedrooms. Kelly announces that he’ll take it, and she’ll live with him. The agent tells them there’s another apartment upstairs with three bedrooms, which means Donna can live with them, too. David notes that Felice won’t be happy to hear that.
Steve admits to Brandon that he’s wanted to hook up with Jill for a long time. He thinks she’s been dropping hints all day, but Brandon disagrees. He reminds Steve that he needs to pay more attention to Jill, who’s going to be around for more than a couple of days. They spot Andrea heading back to the lagoon, but she doesn’t hear Steve yelling for her.
Andrea meets up with Gil again to tell him that backing out of Yale was a tough decision for her to make, and she shouldn’t have to justify it. She realizes she’s going a little overboard and they start laughing. Gil notes that if she doesn’t like California University, she can always transfer or take some time off. “No one’s keeping score,” he tells her. He invites her to stay for lunch and meet his fiancée.
Brenda, Cindy, Cindy’s mother, and Brenda’s cousin visit the Walshes’ old house in Minnesota (which is freaking huge). Brenda wants to go in, but no one’s home. After reminiscing about her childhood with her cousin, she admits to Cindy that she’s not sure she made the right decision in coming back to Minnesota. Cindy thinks she’ll change her mind once she gets into a routine at school. Steve tries to tell Jill how he feels, but first she wants to know if Brandon’s single. Steve thinks they’d be perfect for each other.
Donna meets up with David and Kelly at the Peach Pit and gives them the news that her parents are moving to Houston. Felice is worried about Donna living in California alone, so she’s okay with her living with Kelly…and no one else. Donna just decided not to tell her David would be there, too. Brenda’s still mopey when she gets back to her dorm room, where Darla tells her she’s glad they’re going to be roommates. They head out to a party, missing a phone call from Dylan.
Thoughts: Jill is played by a pre-Buffy Robia LaMorte, AKA Jenny Calendar. Take that, Angelus!
Jan is played by Rachel True, who also turned up as a college student in an episode of Dawson’s Creek.
Why doesn’t anyone want to live on campus? Dorms aren’t that bad. I think they’re one of the more important parts of the college experience. But whatever, Kelly’s too good for communal housing.
Steve, Brandon and Jill are nothing alike, so why would they be perfect together? Maybe you just want them to hook up so you won’t be tempted to go for Brandon’s sloppy seconds.
I AM NOT DOING BRENDA/DYLAN/KELLY AGAIN. I WILL NOT.