May 22, 2013
Summary: Elizabeth is single, which means she won’t have a date to the upcoming prom. She serves on the prom committee with Todd, and they’re kind of on good terms. Devon, meanwhile, is really mopey. He helps out the committee one day, and suddenly Liz is all over him. So the guys aren’t sure who she wants to be with, and she isn’t sure which of the guys she wants to be with.
Todd wants to ask Elizabeth to the prom, but he sees her getting close with Devon and gets mad. He decides to ask Courtney to the prom to make Liz jealous. It works, and also clues Devon in that Elizabeth isn’t completely over Todd. Devon decides he wants to find out once and for all who Liz wants. He asks her to dinner, then sends her flowers, supposedly from Todd, and asks her to meet him at the same time she’s supposed to be with Devon.
Devon follows Elizabeth the night of the date (because he’s a creepy stalker now), and his widdle heart breaks when he realizes she’s going to meet Todd. (Though Todd isn’t actually going to be there.) He doesn’t realize that she’s planning to tell Todd she doesn’t want to get back together. So instead of meeting Todd, Elizabeth meets Devon, and he’s not happy.
Jessica and Lila are also dateless, so they decide to examine all the eligible guys at school to decide who the best candidates are. They wind up making a sort of catalog, complete with pictures, rankings, and keywords. Elizabeth accidentally takes it to school with her, mistaking it for a regular notebook, and Winston and Enid see it. Winston then reads a portion of the catalog over the loudspeaker. Since Liz brought the notebook to school, Jessica blames her.
Lila and Jessica come up with another idea to meet guys: Put personals in other schools’ newspapers. Then they basically audition a bunch of boys. They both like the same guy, Jordan, and agree not to pursue him since they can’t agree on who should ask him to prom. But, of course, they both ask him anyway. For some reason, he says yes to both of them.
In other news, Blubber has a crush on Enid, and she will NOT SHUT UP about it. He asks her to prom, and even though she doesn’t want to go with him, she says yes. Go away, Enid.
Thoughts: Lila: “I just shivered, so someone is probably touching the prom dress meant for me.” Heh.
Enid jokingly asks Elizabeth to the prom. At least I think she’s joking. It’s hard to tell with her.
“I was just blinded for a second by your attractive ankles.” Todd, you need psychiatric help.
Bruce: “[Jessica] and Lila have obviously gone insane. Of course it wasn’t a long trip for them, but now they’ve unpacked their bags and settled in to stay.” Heh again.
Maria Slater gets a date with a model, Tyler Becksmith, who I’m 99% is based on Tyson Beckford. In which case, nice job, Maria.
And you know why she gates to go to the prom with a supermodel? Because she didn’t whine when she didn’t have a date. Unannoying behavior gets rewarded, ENID.
May 8, 2013
Summary: Elizabeth decides she needs a break from both Todd and Devon, since the last time she saw them, they were acting like cavemen. She hears about an adventure program where people go out in the woods and learn to live off the land and fend for themselves, so she signs up. It’s boring, so just imagine what you think would happen on that sort of trek, and I’ll tell you you’re right and move on.
Jessica wants to cheer everyone up and take their minds off of all the drama, so she decides to throw a big party at Secca Lake. This is actually, amazingly, a good idea. Jess’s friends agree to help with the party, but none of the guys will help. Also, they keep disappearing and acting kind of weird. This is because Todd has gotten them all interested in mountain biking, and they all start hanging out in the mountains and convening with nature to relieve stress. The girls follow them one day and find out what they’re doing, and they’re kind of confused.
Devon is really mopey because he’s lost Elizabeth, so he decides to leave town. First, though, he runs into all the guys in the mountains. Instead of getting into another fight with him, Todd invites him to bike with them. Suddenly everyone’s mellow and forgiving, and it’s weird. They happen to be biking in the same area where Elizabeth is having her back-to-nature experience, but when she sees Todd and Devon, she thinks she’s hallucinating from hunger. The girls also wind up in the same place, and Jess tries to get Liz to leave with them, but she wants to finish her trek.
The time apart (and with nature) has been good for Elizabeth, Todd, and Devon, with Todd and Liz agreeing that they can just be friends. But the guys had both agreed to give her some space, so when Devon arrives at the Wakefields’ and sees Todd leaving, he gets mad. (Never mind that Devon shouldn’t be there either.) Now the guys will fight to the deal! Or something.
But first, the Secca Lake party! Todd heads out to get something for the party in the twins’ Jeep. Jessica calls right after he leaves to tell Elizabeth not to use the Jeep; the brakes aren’t working. It’s too late for Elizabeth to stop Todd, so she and Devon take his motorcycle to try to catch up with him. Unfortunately, Todd crashes before they can get to him, and the Jeep almost falls off a cliff. Devon and Liz save him, and though he’s injured, he’ll be fine.
Todd’s parents are away, and they ask Elizabeth to look after Todd until they can get to the hospital. But she realizes that she needs to be single for a while, and they can still only be friends. She visits Todd, taking Devon with her, then announces that she’s done with boys for the time being. Or, in other words, “I choose me.”
Thoughts: So it turns out Devon is really emo. Fantastic.
“This was more like it. A bunch of guys, the mountains, and good times.” I think that means Elizabeth finally drove Todd to the other team.
Lila wears an orange shirt, brown pants, and racing gloves. Did she lose a bet?
Suddenly everyone has a cell phone, but I don’t remember that many people having them in 1998.
April 24, 2013
Summary: While Elizabeth and Devon have the world’s longest makeout session, Jessica quickly decides that the best way to get revenge is to pretend to hook up with Todd. Todd somehow has too much class for that, and instead goes to the beach to confirm that Jessica was telling him the truth. He wants Elizabeth back, even though she’ll probably just cheat on him again five minutes later.
Jessica still wants revenge, so she comes up with a so-crazy-it-just-might-work-plan: If she can get Todd interested in another girl, Elizabeth will get jealous and want him back. Then Jessica can swoop in and take Devon for herself. She thinks Courtney is perfect for the role of Todd’s new love interest, and of course Courtney’s game, because she still likes him.
In boring land, there’s a science fair coming up, and Elizabeth wants to enter with Devon. He resists because he doesn’t want everyone to know how super-smart he is, or something. Jessica also tries to appeal of Devon’s science knowledge by getting him to tutor her. It backfires. Jessica continues her revenge plan by stealing the ring Todd gave Elizabeth, then passing herself off as Liz so Todd thinks she’s wearing the ring and wants to get back together with him.
Jess sets up Todd and Courtney, then arranges for Elizabeth to catch them together at Guido’s. This also backfires – Elizabeth figures that if Todd’s already moved on, it’s okay for her to be with Devon. So you’d think this would all work itself out, right? Wrong.
Jessica wants to impress Devon by entering the science fair, so she teams up with Bruce, who’s mad at Devon for not wanting to hang out with the other rich kids. They decide to make a volcano, which is so dumb in so many ways. Jessica then takes things a step too far by sabotaging Liz and Devon’s project for no reason. Also, the volcano blows up, which is kind of a metaphor for Todd and Courtney’s relationship – it’s over practically before it begins.
Elizabeth asks Todd to meet her so she can give back the ring. He’s confused, since he thought he saw her wearing it. They figure out that Jess pulled a twin switch. Meanwhile, Jessica knows that if the two of them talk, they’ll bust her on everything, so she grabs Courtney to…I don’t know, flirt with Todd again? Devon shows up as well and gets mad because Liz is with Todd. Todd tries to solve the problem in the weirdest possible way: by proposing to Elizabeth. She doesn’t respond, and Todd and Devon start pounding on each other. Elizabeth decides they’re both jerks and leaves, possibly the smartest thing she’s ever done.
Thoughts: There is way too much science in this book.
Todd, upon hearing that Elizabeth kissed Devon: “There’s no way Elizabeth would do that to me.” Really, Todd? Have you forgotten the five other times she’s done it to you?
“A science fair! What a cool idea!” Shut up, Enid.
When Todd and Courtney first became friends, she tried to get some alone time with him by asking him for a tour of their fathers’ company after hours. They wound up accidentally crashing a black-tie event. Now Mr. Wilkins warns Todd of upcoming events by sending him an invitation and writing on it, “You are not invited.” Ha! Awesome.
Bruce, I’m pretty sure you’re not allowed to make a volcano for a science fair after the age of ten.
I REFUSE to believe that Lila and Amy build a robot. The ghostwriter must be high.
Speaking of which, Sandra and Jeanie’s project is using a prism to make a rainbow. Are you kidding me? That’s not an experiment! I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your souls!
April 10, 2013
Summary: Remember Devon? He’s officially going to SVH now. Remember how he spotted Jessica in a previous book and wanted to meet her? Now he’s more interested in Elizabeth. They have chemistry together (the class, not the romantic sparks…well, both, I guess), and he immediately falls in luuuuv. Elizabeth likes him, but she’s with Todd, so she tries to get Devon interested in Jessica. Devon thinks Jess is too shallow for him. Jessica just thinks he’s playing hard to get.
Devon, by the way, has a hard time with the word “no.” He knows Elizabeth has a boyfriend, but he keeps bugging her to go out with him. He thinks she’s been with Todd too long and needs to try dating someone else. Little does he know how many times Liz has tried dating someone else, only to end up back with the Toddster. Speaking of Todd, he’s trying to do something sweet and romantic for the anniversary of the first time Elizabeth was published in the Oracle. He settles on making her dinner, but has to call Enid for help since he’s a horrible cook.
Jessica invites Devon to a party, but he skips it to hang out with Liz. He asks her to meet him for dinner the next night. Elizabeth feels so bad for Jessica that she tells her Devon will meet her the next night. When Jess arrives, she realizes that Devon thought he was meeting Elizabeth. She pretends to be Liz until Devon figures it out. He thinks Elizabeth sent Jessica to mess with him, and Jess is equally mad that Elizabeth didn’t tell her the truth, and that Devon doesn’t want her. But she lies to Liz, saying they had a great time.
Finally, it’s the day of Elizabeth and Todd’s big, romantic get-together. He asks Jessica to bring Liz to the beach so he can surprise her. Instead, Elizabeth winds up talking to Devon, and they kiss. Jessica sees them and runs to the beach to tell Todd what his girlfriend’s up to.
Thoughts: Shannon of Shannon’s Sweet Valley High Blog is totally right about this book: It’s very Rory/Dean/Jess from seasons 2 and 3 of Gilmore Girls.
Some of these books reaaaaaally don’t need to be 200 pages. Like this one.
Elizabeth wears a short-sleeved sweater with pearl buttons, linen pants, and white leather sandals. Dude, even Andrea Zuckerman thinks you need to loosen up.
Devon is supposedly super-smart, but they put him in a chemistry class where they’re testing acids and bases. SVH sucks.
Todd thinks the C in a recipe means centimeter, not cup. I have no words.
I’m down to only eight books left in the SVH series, but never fear: I have already gotten my hands on more than half of the Sweet Valley University books. The madness will continue!
March 27, 2013
Summary: This book is stupid and boring and painfully long, and I don’t want to have to think about it again after I publish this post.
So anyway, back in 1998, there was this thing called the “Internet.” And on the Internet (a series of tubes, many of which contained cats), you could log into these things called “chat rooms” and have conversations with people who lived all over the world. All you needed was a computer! And guess what? Olivia Davidson has a computer! So she logs into these chat rooms and talks to people about art and poetry and all that hippie stuff she’s into.
Guess who else has a computer? Ken Matthews! One day he decides to use it to find out a score from an El Carro High School football game. He logs into a chat room and asks if anyone there is from El Carro. Someone responds, and Ken thinks that person is from El Carro. But she’s not! It’s Olivia! And she thinks Ken goes to El Carro! But he doesn’t! They both go to Sweet Valley High! HOW AMAZING!
So Ken and Olivia start talking a lot in the chat room, and sometimes in private chat rooms, which is like instant messaging but not. Ken decides not to reveal that he’s a jock, and he lets Olivia teach him about poetry. At one point they basically have cybersex and it’s really uncomfortable. (For me. I don’t know if it was uncomfortable for them. I hope they used cyberprotection.) Then they decide to meet, but they’re each too dumb to realize who the other is, so they both think the other didn’t show up.
When they reconnect in a chat room, Olivia and Ken realize that they know each other, and that each has fallen in luuuuuuuuv with someone he/she never thought he/she would be interested in. Because, see, jocks and artists can’t comingle. And that’s where we get the other plot.
There’s a dance at SVH, and a fight about music leads to a brawl between the popular kids/jocks and the artsy kids/”burnouts”/nerds. It ends when a football player named Blubber sends druggie Justin Belson to the hospital. The lines are clearly drawn between the cliques, with only a few people (Elizabeth and Winston, really) floating among groups. The ghostwriter brings back a couple other previous characters – Keith the hippie and Nicky the rebel – to round out the outcasts.
The burnouts/nerds/hippies get revenge on Blubber by stealing a test he got a D on and posting it on a bulletin board. (A real bulletin board, not one of those bulletin boards you find on the Interwebs.) Because Blubber has a temper and is an easy target, the outcasts keep targeting him, picking on him at a football game until he beats up Nicky. Elizabeth thinks Blubber crossed the line, but Jessica and Todd side with the other jocks/popular kids. This leads to another almost-breakup between Todd and Liz, because we have to have one of those every other book.
Blubber ends up getting suspended from the football team because of his grades, and he is NOT happy about it. One night Jessica goes out with two football players, Danny and Bryce – and yes, she goes out with both of them at the same time, which, let’s not even get into that – and they decide to go by Blubber’s house to see how he is. He’s not great: They arrive just as an ambulance is taking him to the hospital, because Blubber tried to commit suicide.
It turns out Blubber was having a rough time because his parents are splitting up, but the school finally steps in and tries to stop all the madness with the cliques. Everyone calms down, and Olivia even comes up with an idea to fix things: a dance! I mean, of course. Everyone has to dress up in someone else’s clothes, because they’re taking the “walk a mile in someone else’s shoes” thing way too literally. But it breaks the ice, and people start mingling, and everything’s good. Also, Olivia and Ken get together, in case you cared. I didn’t.
Thoughts: The book starts in SVH’s gym, so either they rebuilt it really quickly or we’re pretending Fight Fire With Fire ever happened.
In case you’ve been keeping track, Bruce and Pamela are back together.
“I still hate it when guys try to settle things by punching each other out.” Whatever, Jessica, you’re totally the type of girl who would find that hot.
Olivia’s outfit when she goes to meet Ken: “batik-print sarong pants in royal purple with a matching loose vest over a simple white tank top.” Sarong pants?
March 13, 2013
Summary: Lila is arrested for firebombing the restaurant and spends the night in jail until Steven can bail her out. (I hope Mr. Fowler paid him back later.) Obviously Steven’s boss doesn’t like this, since Lila is the main suspect in the fire at Fowler Crest, so he forces Steven to choose between Lila and his internship. Steven chooses Lila and sets out to investigate on his own and prove her innocence.
Meanwhile, the twins still want Lila and Steven to break up, so they send them letters from each other, talking about their future together and making it clear how little they have in common. This is especially horrible behavior because Lila is now practically homeless, is possibly being stalked, is facing prison time, and can’t reach her parents. Steven is basically the only person she’s been able to turn to for support. But having her date their brother would mess up the twins’ perfect little lives, so they just have to get rid of her.
Anyway, Steven’s investigation actually turns up some evidence: The bomb was made from a can of the brand of soda John Pfeifer drinks. He also gets Lila to demonstrate that she wouldn’t be able to throw the soda/bomb as high or as hard as it was thrown. Not that this evidence is admissible in court, or proves that Pfeifer was the bomber, or was collected by someone not avidly trying to defend the accused culprit. But still, it’s pretty good work.
Because the twins have nothing better to do, they arrange for Steven and Lila to meet up at an SVH football game so they’ll have to discuss (and hopefully fight about) the letters. This actually works, but Lila and Steven figure out that the twins sent the letters and decide to get back at them by pretending they failed. Instead, they encounter Pfeifer, who has another bomb.
Pfeifer commits the cardinal sin of villains: talking too much. He’s mad that Lila’s accusations of attempted rape made him an outcast, so he burned down Fowler Crest and framed her. He detonates the bomb, blowing up SVH’s gym. Lila and Steven somehow make it out all right, but Pfeifer ends up killing himself. The twins feel worse about almost getting Steven and Lila killed than they do about Pfeifer actually dying.
Happy ending: Steven gets his internship back and calls Billie, so they’re on the road to getting back together. Lila’s parents come home and she tells them she doesn’t want any material things to make her feel better; she just wants them around more. And Lila and Steven get their revenge on the twins by pretending they’re engaged.
While all this is going on, Devon makes it to Sweet Valley, where his childhood nanny lives. He’s already been burned twice by relatives who a) only wanted him around because he’s rich or b) were jerks, so he doesn’t want to get too comfortable. But Nana is awesome and just wants Devon to have a stable place to live. Devon’s mad that she never got in touch with him after she stopped working for his family, but it turns out his parents hid all the letters she wrote him. She insists his parents loved him and weren’t horrible people, but the hiding of the letters seems to negate that.
Devon eventually tells Nana about his inheritance, and she makes it clear that she doesn’t care about the money. She’s more than happy to let him live with her no matter what. Devon starts to make himself at home in Sweet Valley, hanging around SVH to see what it would be like to go there. And since it’s required for this series, he sees Elizabeth and immediately falls in luuuuuuuv. Yay?
Thoughts: Devon gets a letter from the law firm of Boyd, Dewey, Cheatam, & Howe. Really, ghostwriter? Really?
Devon’s nanny is named Nan and he calls her Nana. My head hurts.
“You don’t know who I am, but you will be mine.” Dev, I’m pretty sure you can’t say that unless you’re smoking and petting a cat in a top-secret underground lair.
So Pfeifer sets off the bomb, and the next thing we get is the news that he’s dead and everyone else is fine. How anticlimactic. I bet in the next book, the gym will be fine, too.
February 27, 2013
Summary: Lila + Steven = luuuuuuv. But he still has to investigate her, since the DA is convinced she set the fire at Falcon Crest. Steven, however, proves that he knows how to conduct an investigation and tries to find out if Lila has any enemies. He learns what happened with John Pfeifer and snoops around John’s stuff at the Oracle office. There he realizes that the article he got on arsonists was possibly printed from a printer John uses. Now, granted, this isn’t exactly a smoking gun, but the DA won’t even consider John as a suspect.
The new lovebirds are having a bit of a rocky time, partly because the twins are trying to keep them apart because they think the relationship is gross. They do stupid stuff to try to prevent them from going on dates, but it’s pretty lazy scheming.
At dinner one night, Steven tells Lila that the DA still thinks she set the fire. Lila’s upset and leaves the table. Then someone throws a bomb into the restaurant (no, for reals), and all the ingredients are found in Lila’s car, so the police think she did it. Never mind that she has no motive. Or that she would never create something that had to be made with fertilizer.
Elsewhere, Devon goes to Las Vegas to track down his uncle, who turns out to be a con man. Pete tells Devon he’s in love with a woman named Linda, so Devon helps him out by giving her expensive presents and love poems. Then he discovers that casino guests are missing jewelry just like the jewelry Pete’s been sending to Linda. But the obvious connection – that Pete’s stealing the jewelry – isn’t the whole story. Linda is actually Pete’s fence, and it’s become too dangerous for them to meet, so Pete’s using Devon to deliver the goods. Devon decides he needs to move on.
Thoughts: Diamonds = ice, and this story has both fire and diamonds, hence the title, “Fire and Ice.” Get it? …I’ll see myself out.
Man, this Devon kid is boring.
Hey, someone finally remembered Cara’s existence! But we still don’t get an explanation of why a Steven/Cara relationship was okay but a Steven/Lila relationship is gross.
Steven asks Lila to list people who might hate her enough to burn down her house. She names Enid. Yeah, I bet Enid set a fire and tried to kill you. Not that she probably hasn’t wanted to, but that’s different from actually doing it.
The DA tells Steven he’s off the case if he doesn’t stay objective. You’re the one who assigned him to investigate his sister’s friend! This whole thing is stupid.
Elizabeth tries to keep Steven from going on a date with Lila by hiding his keys. That’s brilliant! If you’re seven.
I figured Pete was just stealing stuff and giving it to Linda, so the twist that she’s his fence was pretty good.
February 13, 2013
Summary: Bo breaks up with Lila, and she responds by burning all the letters he wrote her. That night, Fowler Crest catches on fire and Lila gets trapped inside. She’s mostly fine, but the house is half destroyed. Unfortunately, the police think Lila set the fire. Her parents are conveniently out of the country and unreachable, so Lila has to deal with all of this on her own. She winds up moving into the pool house and being mopey for most of the book. She also thinks someone’s following her.
Steven’s home for a semester, working as an intern at the DA’s office. Guess what his first assignment is? Investigating Lila to find out if she set the fire. Even though she’s his sister’s best friend and this is a clear conflict of interest. And even though he’s 18 and has no experience or authority, and is also not a cop, which the ghostwriter doesn’t seem to get. Anyway, he goes back and forth between thinking Lila’s an arsonist who set the first because she wanted attention, and thinking she’s just a poor little rich girl who’s also pretty hot. (By the way, he and Billie broke up, so he’s single again.)
Lila and Steven start spending a lot of time together, since he’s supposed to be investigating her, and quickly start having feelings for each other. And even though Steven isn’t 100 percent sure Lila isn’t a pyromaniac, they end up kissing. Jessica sees and is hilariously grossed out.
We’re also introduced to Devon Whitelaw, who’s been living a Lila-esque life – lots of money, absentee parents. He’s broody and rides a motorcycle. Wait a second…rich, parents are distant, motorcycle, broody. Devon is Dylan McKay! Anyway, his parents die, and in order to inherit their estate, he has to find a guardian. He moves in with an aunt and uncle for a while, and everything seems great, but it soon becomes clear that they just want his money. If only this were a Margo-like situation and Devon ended up being an entertaining psycho bound for Sweet Valley.
Elizabeth spends the whole book obsessing over how Steven’s dealing with his breakup. She keeps inviting him to hang out with her and Todd, and he keeps finding reasons to hang out with Lila instead. Todd, amazingly, does not break up with Liz over this, even though that seems like something he would do. And she would deserve it, because it’s weird.
Thoughts: Why do the twins make such a big deal about Steven coming home? He’s there ALL THE TIME.
Billie gets mad that Steven wants to leave school for an internship for a semester, and she tells him to choose between it and her. Who knew Billie was secretly a jerk?
How can the DA investigate Lila when the police haven’t talked to her and no charges have been brought against her?
“Oh, what’s the point of surmising?” Studying for the SAT, Bruce?
“Who would want to hurt Lila?” Oh, Jessica. So naive.
Why is Lila allowed back into the house? It’s a crime scene! And the DA thinks she’s the criminal!
I get Lila being a suspect, but not once you look at the details. She poured gasoline around the house, took the empty can out to her car, then went back inside, where she could get trapped by the fire? I don’t think so.
“Was it possible? Was [Steven] really interested in one of his sister’s friends?” Hey, remember when Steven dated Cara, Jessica’s best friend? Yeah, no one else in the series remembers that either.
Lila claims she once dug for oysters in the south of France. There is not a chance in the world she ever did that.
January 30, 2013
Summary: There’s a new rule at SVH stating that all clubs need faculty advisors, so the cheerleaders have to find someone they can manipulate into sitting there quietly while they do whatever they want at practices. By the way, Lila is temporary filling in for some cheerleader we don’t care about, so the level of superior feelings on the squad is higher than ever. (By the way, the other girls are Jessica, Heather, Amy, Jade, Annie, Maria Santelli, and Patty.) Also, Jessica and Heather still hate each other. Anyway, the new assistant librarian, Nancy Swanson, is nice and quiet and interested in cheerleading, so Elizabeth suggests her as the squad’s advisor.
Liz is doing her own cheerleading-related thing: She’s been asked to help research a magazine article on SVH’s 1976 cheer squad, which went to nationals. She’s picked both because of her stunning writing ability (I guess?) and because she was on the most recent nationals-worthy squad. The writer is a woman named Diane who was on the squad and I guess needs help calling up her old friends and asking what they’re doing now. The photographer is a guy named Brad, and since he’s young, hot, and shows the slightest bit of interest in Jessica, she’s all over him. He turns out to be a total player and is really annoying, and he keeps popping up and doing nothing interesting, so let’s ignore him.
Elizabeth’s research finds that there was a girl on the ’76 squad who left partway through the year because of some sort of condition. The other cheerleaders remember nothing about her, including her name. Liz and Diane also can’t get in touch with one of the cheerleaders, Loretta, so they go talk to her sister. They learn that Loretta got drunk and drowned not long after nationals. She’d been troubled because during senior year she was in a car accident that killed a classmate named George. I don’t know why Diane doesn’t know any of this, but whatever. Loretta’s sister mentions a girl coming to the house after the car accident and screaming at Loretta for killing her boyfriend.
The cheerleaders don’t notice, but Nancy is a little crazy. She confuses the girls with other people and keeps covering part of her face. Eventually it comes out that Nancy was the cheerleader who left the ’76 squad. She developed some sort of disfiguring facial thing, and the girls bullied her into leaving the squad. Loretta finished her off by threatening to steal George from her if she didn’t quit. Being involved with another cheerleading squad makes Nancy blur the lines between the past and the present, and she decides the SVH girls need to be punished for what the ’76 girls did.
Over the course of a weekend, the cheerleaders start to disappear. First the girls think Amy and Jade have gone to another town to pick up new uniforms. Then they think everyone’s having a sleepover at Maria’s. Finally Nancy goes by the Wakefields’ and kidnaps Jessica at gunpoint, finishing her collection. She ties them all up in a flooded basement and plays ’70s music really loudly because she can’t stand all the noise in her head.
Elizabeth’s research finally proves useful, and she figures out that Nancy was the unknown cheerleader. She goes to talk to her about the article but quickly realizes that something isn’t right. Nancy tosses her in the basement with the other girls, who are all trying to keep their heads above water. Heather’s sick, Amy’s having an allergic reaction to mold, and poor Jade keeps passing out and almost drowning. So it’s an actual scary, life-threatening situation.
Jessica gets herself untied, so there’s a plus in the cheerleaders’ side. The girls just need to get Nancy to open the door so they can let the water out, and they decide the best way to do that is to play along with her crazy. They start cheering and ask her to join them. She opens the door, the water goes whoosh, and the girls are free. Score one for girls being smart and taking care of themselves. Plus, the experience makes Jessica and Heather realize they don’t hate each other that much, so that rivalry’s over, at least for now.
Oh, I almost forgot: There’s also a Liz/Todd fight because he doesn’t like how much time she’s spending on the article. Todd is a jerk. The end.
Thoughts: Some students are upset that all activities need faculty advisors now, but isn’t that standard? I’m pretty sure all clubs at my school had to have advisors. A bunch of guys even had an advisor for their semi-fake snooker club. I’m pretty sure he just sat in the room while they…actually, I don’t know what they did. I doubt they played snooker.
Jessica says “cowabunga.” I’m pretty sure even Bart Simpson had stopped saying that by 1996.
“She’s the new library lady.” You mean librarian? Shut up, Todd.
“Now, Jessica, is that a nice thing to say?” Now, Alice, you haven’t tried to shape Jessica morally for 16 years, so why start now?
Hey, Jeffrey Finch still exists! Good for him.
Dear Elizabeth, if your boyfriend doesn’t support you when you’re doing something that’s really important, DUMP HIM. I mean, you’ve dumped him for less.
Watching an aerobics class, Brad tells Elizabeth, “You’d look really hot in one of those outfits.” Okay, first, don’t ever say that to the sister of the girl you’re dating. Second, EW.
Elizabeth: “I’d rather date a live crocodile, covered with army ants!” Jessica: “Kinky!” Congratulations, SVH, you made a sex joke.
Aw, Jade’s too short to keep her head above the water. I feel you, girl.
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.