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?
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.
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?