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!
June 27, 2012
Summary: It’s time for another school trip! This one takes a bunch of SVH students to Colorado to ski Snow Mountain during spring break. Jessica and Lila have boys on the brain and immediately take a liking to a ski instructor named Lucas. They get ridiculously competitive over him, deciding that whoever kisses him first is the “winner,” while the loser has to do a double-black-diamond ski run. They spend the rest of the trip trying to keep each other away from Lucas.
Eventually Lila gets her some kissage, so Jessica skis the run but crashes into Lucas. He sprains his ankle, she fractures hers, and they wind up stuck in the lodge since they can’t ski anymore. Jess takes advantage of this to get closer to Lucas, but Lila sneaks into the room in a room-service cart (just go with it). Lucas leaves while the girls are fighting, and Jessica remembers what Elizabeth has said to her in the past: Chicks before…well, you know. Besides, Lucas has found another love interest.
Todd wants to spend the trip getting muuuuuuuuuch closer to Elizabeth. He can’t keep it in his pants until they even get to the ski lodge, and he gets in trouble for climbing into her bunk on their bus. Elizabeth is mortified and won’t even talk to him. He tries to approach her on the slopes, but she runs away. When he goes after her, he takes a wrong turn and heads for an unsafe area of the mountain. Then there’s an avalanche and he gets stuck in a cabin with some older chick, Cassandra, who can’t keep it in her pants either.
Elizabeth spends the majority of the book having a total meltdown over Todd and demanding that the head of the ski patrol, Dirk, take her along on rescue missions and whatnot. When they finally find Todd, Cassandra’s trying to make out with him, and Elizabeth thinks Todd wants to hook up with her. When Todd goes looking for her to explain, he finds her cuddling up with Dirk. Then a few pages later, they get back together. There’s no big buildup to their inevitable reconciliation; they basically just realize they’re both being dumb and make up.
Enid buys a book about being “sassy” while skiing, and she puts all 101 “methods” in it to the test. She keeps attracting guys, but not the kind of guys she wants. Winston spends the trip trying to avoid skiing, since he’s told everyone he’s awesome at it but isn’t. He and Enid help each other out with their various issues, but it doesn’t go anywhere. And then Enid winds up with Lucas. I know! I don’t get it.
Thoughts: There are three adults in this book who want to hook up with 16-year-olds. THAT IS A PROBLEM.
Snow Mountain? That’s the best name they could come up with? (And I can’t even make fun of the ghostwriter for it, because it’s a real place!)
Enid seriously asks Elizabeth and Todd if they mind her going off by herself. Enid, please tell me you understand all the ways that question is stupid.
Jessica thinks 25 (the age of a potential suitor) is “too old for a long-term thing, but just right for a spring-break fling!” 25 is also the age Jess will be when that guy gets out of jail for sleeping with her.
Who gives teenagers an emergency credit card for a ski trip? Oh, right, Ned “Am I Done Parenting Yet? They’re Almost 18″ Wakefield. Honestly, if he’s going to give Jessica access to that kind of money, he deserves whatever happens.
The Enid/Winston stuff would have been much less pointless if it had ended with them getting together. Instead, there’s a brief indication that they’re attracted to each other, and that’s it.
June 10, 2012
Summary: We pick up right after In Love With the Enemy left off, with the police arriving to bust up the warehouse brawl and Jessica having just realized that Christian goes to Palisades High. The guys in the fight all get arrested, and more insults are flung, so suffice it to say that they haven’t learned their lessons. Principal Cooper tries to tighten things up at SVH, forbidding anyone from wearing school colors like there’s an actual gang and not a bunch of snobby rich boys who don’t like some other boys. I mean, really, the “gangs” in this series are the weakest gangs ever. And yes, I’m including dancing gangs in that collection.
Anyway, the principal forms a task force to work on ending the “warfare,” and of course Elizabeth joins it. That just makes the wedge between her and Todd even bigger. Then Elizabeth invites Caitlin and Marla, her two new Palisades friends, to a party Todd’s having, where they’re obviously not welcome, so that makes things between Liz and Todd even worse.
Jessica clues Elizabeth in on her relationship with Christian, which Ken eventually finds out about when he overhears the twins. He gets really creepy, following Jessica on a date, then confronts her and tears into her, which, let’s be honest, she deserved. So they’re definitely over. The SVH guys slash some of the Palisades’ guys’ tires, and Winston almost gets caught. Later, he gets a call from Todd telling him to meet at the warehouse for a super-special gang get-together. Except none of the other guys shows up, because Todd wasn’t the caller – Winston was lured there by the guys from Palisades.
Todd figures this out, and basically every character in the miniseries winds up at the warehouse. Elizabeth calls the police again since she’s worried that Winston is really in danger. The SVH and Palisades guys start pounding on each other, and when the police arrive, they’re all arrested again. (Christian doesn’t, since he got there too late to really do anything and was smart enough to stay out of it.) Todd’s mad because, once again, Liz got him arrested. Hey, Todd, if you want to stop getting arrested, stop committing crimes. It’s called actions and consequences.
Thoughts: Christian flees the first fight to avoid being caught by the police, even though Jessica has just passed out and only regained consciousness a minute earlier. Yeah, he’s a real winner.
Elizabeth is surprised that Jessica passed out, thinking she would have been cheering on the fighters. Ah, so even Elizabeth thinks Jess is a sociopath.
One of SVH’s colors is white, so good luck enforcing that school-color ban, Chrome Dome.
Todd actually tells Elizabeth that the guys fought because they were “protecting [their] women.” Okay, but women had nothing to do with it, Testosterony Tony.
February 4, 2012
Summary: The good news is that the SVH cheerleading squad has just won the state championship. The bad news is that Heather is still Heather, and she and Jessica still hate each other. Also, Liz and Jessica aren’t speaking because of the whole Ken thing. Elizabeth apologizes and tries to explain things to both Jessica and Todd, but they’re too mad to listen.
Suddenly it’s time for nationals, so the cheerleaders head to Yosemite for a long weekend. Todd and Ken get into a fistfight, then quickly make up and decide to follow the girls to Yosemite. They pick up Winston on the way and make it a road trip. In Yosemite, Heather runs into the squad from her school in Nevada, and the captain, Marissa, tries to shake her up by leaving her a clipping of a news story about a cheating scandal on the squad.
Heather screws up one of SVH’s routines, leading Jessica to call for her ouster. She can’t get a unanimous vote, so she has to suck it up and deal with it. Meanwhile, the guys learn that boys aren’t allowed at the competition, so they get some uniforms and dress up as girls. Yes, this really happens. Yes, it is as dumb as it sounds. Heather screws up another routine, and this time almost everyone is on Jessica’s side about kicking her off the squad. Elizabeth is the only hold-out, so Jessica sends her away to get something and holds another vote, in which Heather is removed.
Heather decides to lay all her cards on the table, because now she has nothing to lose. She tells Jessica that she was going to be removed from her squad in Nevada if she didn’t pass math, so she cheated on a test. She got caught and was kicked off the squad. Marissa threatened to tell the SVH girls about the cheating if Heather didn’t ensure they didn’t place in the competition. Jessica encourages Heather to tell the whole squad, and now the SVH girls want Heather back. They also want to get revenge on Marissa and her squad.
Marissa, however, is still being a mean girl: She and her girls lock the SVH cheerleaders in their cabin just before a competition round. The girls attempt to build a human pyramid to get through a really high window, but they don’t have enough time to get it right. Fortunately, there are boys around to rescue the helpless females, and Todd, Ken, and Winston (now masquerading as Tilda, Kendall, and Winnie) show up in time to save them. Marissa’s squad also removes the elastic from the SVH squad’s skirts before another round, but the girls just wear unitards, so that was stupid.
The girls perform better and better in the competition, and if they can ace every round before the grand finale, which is worth a third of the points, they can place. Things get even better when Elizabeth and Jessica, amused by the sight of the three guys in drag, let down their guards with each other and make up. For some reason, they want to punish the guys, so they make them perform in front of everyone at the competition, but this actually works to the girls’ advantage: Marissa’s squad put baby oil on the stage, and the SVH squad is able to find out about it before they compete.
Marissa’s squad wins the competition and SVH places second. But Marissa’s squad is DQ’d for the baby oil, so the SVH girls win. Then the twins make up with the guys and everyone goes home happy. Except Marissa’s squad, which is banned from the conference. Ha ha!
Thoughts: Apparently John Pfeifer is still at SVH, not in jail, being ironically violated every night by a guy named Rocco.
If Jessica blackmailed Elizabeth onto the squad by threatening to tell Todd about Ken, and Todd now knows everything, why is Liz still on the squad? She won’t stop complaining about cheerleading, and there are plenty of other girls who are just as good at cheering, so why keep giving Jess what she wants?
When Todd and Ken are fighting, Bruce calls out, “The Wakefield girls aren’t worth all this trouble!” Right?! Who wants that kind of drama?
The ghostwriter doesn’t realize that cheerleading isn’t an all-girl sport. Of course, if we made a list of everything the ghostwriter doesn’t know, it would be endless.
When Todd, Ken, and Winston (sorry: Tilda, Kendall, and Winnie) are asked where they’re from, Todd says Saskatchewan. Too bad it’s a national competition and Saskatchewan is in a different country.
If each squad does three routines a day and there are 50 squads, the judges have to watch and score 150 routines a day. That can’t be possible.
Jessica looks at cheerleading uniforms that she describes as “like a jumpsuit, with suspenders.” What the–?”
December 24, 2011
Summary: Jessica is in major trouble after stopping Jeremy and Sue’s wedding, so she stays at Lila’s house (since Sue is still staying with the Wakefields). Ned and Alice think Jessica has gone way too far and want to send her to boarding school. Jessica is surprisingly blasé about this, mostly because she isn’t going to let anyone get between her and Jeremy. Speaking of that guy, he proposes, then jets off for Costa Rica for work. When Jessica calls to talk to him, he’s always off doing something and she has to leave a message.
Elizabeth appoints herself Sue’s babysitter, basically, trying to cheer her up. She eavesdrops on a conversation between Sue and Alice, learning that Sue was set to inherit a ton of money from her mother (who herself inherited a fortune from some frozen-dinner empire). If Sue had married Jeremy, she would have been cut off and the money would have gone to Alice. Now, though, if she and Jeremy stay away from each other for two months, she gets the money.
Jeremy asks Jessica to keep their engagement a secret, but she announces it at dinner one night so her parents know she’s really serious about him. The next day, the Wakefields find Sue unconscious in her room, having OD’d on tranquilizers. Jessica actually feels bad, so that’s something. She decides not to say anything to Jeremy. A little later, Sue admits to Elizabeth that she doesn’t actually have the blood disease she said she was dying from.
Jessica watches a film Winston made about romantic spots in Sweet Valley and thinks she sees Jeremy and Sue in it. This plus some other things she’s found out about Jeremy’s slips in honesty make her a little suspicious. At a Halloween party, Jessica finds Jeremy and Sue making out, and she finally realizes that he’s, you know, not that great. But later that night, Jeremy comes by the Wakefields’ house to announce that Sue has disappeared.
Subplots, all of which are dumb:
- Lila signs her boyfriend Robby up for a business class, and he’s furious when he finds out. But he goes to the class and winds up enjoying it. He also signs up for an art class in which he paints nudes, which freaks Lila out.
- Elizabeth takes part in an experimental girls-only math class. She thinks it’s sexist at first, but all the girls in the class enjoy it, and all their grades improve. She decides to write a series of Oracle articles about the class and track people’s progress over time.
- Todd gets a haircut and grows a mustache. Elizabeth hates the facial hair. They fight, then make up.
Also, Winston gets a bad haircut. Yes, this is really an actual plot.
Thoughts: I’m fairly certain Todd gets the hideous haircut Jeremy had on the cover of the last book.
Note to Jessica: If a guy says, “Good girl” to you, you should not be with him.
Someone got paid to write an entire subplot about Todd growing a mustache. Incredible.
Ned used to have a soul patch. Thank God for the “used to” part.
Ned and Alice want to send Jessica to the Milford Academy, where I presume she will be neither seen nor heard.
Bruce: “You little home wrecker, you. You just can’t keep your hands to yourself, can you?” Jessica: “If I remember correctly, you like it when I can’t keep my hands to myself.” Score one for Jess.
September 3, 2011
Summary: Guess what? Margo’s still crazy! She’s working at a daycare center in Sweet Valley and puppeteering Jessica’s new boyfriend James. She learns that Olivia’s new boyfriend Harry is throwing a costume party that everyone in Sweet Valley will be going to (well, everyone in Sweet Valley who’s 18 and under), so she gets James to find out what Jessica’s wearing, then wears the same thing. Except Elizabeth is ALSO wearing the same thing, so there are three identical girls at the party.
Also at the party? Josh, the brother of Margo’s child victim in The Arrest. He attacks Jessica at the party, thinking she’s Margo, and gets himself kicked out. He’s also the only person to realize there are three “Wakefields” at the party, not two.
Winston’s parents are out of town for the week, so he’s looking forward to having a bachelor pad. That idea goes out the window right away when a new neighbor comes by looking for someone to watch her baby, Daisy. Her husband is being detained in a Central American country and she has to take something to him. Winston pretends his mom is home and will look after the baby, then ends up taking care of her himself (well, with tons of help from Maria and some female friends). Wacky hijinks ensue.
After missing a few days of school, Winston decides to take Daisy there with him and pass her around so various people can look after her while he goes to class. This leads to a genuinely funny scene where Lila loses track of Daisy, who crawls over to Bruce and unties his shoe while he’s obliviously rocking out to The Who. Lila doesn’t want news getting out about her sitting job, so she tries to get Daisy away from Bruce without him noticing. She does, and he trips over his shoelaces.
Anyway, after about a week, Winston’s friends convince him that he needs to take the baby to Social Services since her mother is still gone and hasn’t even called. Winston instead goes to the daycare for advice and ends up talking to Margo. She’s all, “Elizabeth’s involved? Me likey!” She stops by his house, offers to babysit, and runs into Elizabeth, who’s freaked out by their similar eye color.
Winston winds up taking Daisy to Margo, since Margo said she would take Daisy to Social Services. Minutes later, Daisy’s parents return. Fortunately, Daisy’s still at the daycare center, but now Margo’s gone. She’s working on the next step of her plan: getting Ned and Alice out of town for a couple days so she can kill Elizabeth and take her place.
During all this, the twins have decided to put the past behind them and start speaking again. But then Elizabeth finds Todd’s letter, realizes Jessica lied to her, and starts up the fight again. So I guess we’re supposed to think that when Margo comes after Elizabeth, Jessica…won’t do anything? This fight is pointless with regard to the Margo plotline. Oh, but Todd and Elizabeth do get back together. As if there were any doubt.
Oh, and there’s a small plot about Winston betting Amy that he’ll be able to diaper Daisy quickly by the party. Whoever wins the bet gets to choose the other person’s costume. Winston loses and makes Amy dress as a nun. Heh.
Thoughts: Hey, Enid? If you’re in love with Elizabeth, just tell her, okay? And if you’re not, stop checking her out.
Amy and Winston, just kiss already.
“Is it illegal to keep a baby in your house, even if the mother gives her to you?” Winston. Nerds are supposed to be smart.
Jessica wears white pantyhose with glittery stars on them. I didn’t realize she was still seven.
Interesting that Enid would dress up as Amelia Earhart when she herself was in a plane crash.
April 23, 2011
Summary: It’s summer, and there’s a day camp at Secca Lake where a bunch of the SVH students (the twins, Todd, Enid, Winston, Aaron, and Cara) volunteer to be counselors. There’s also a guy there named Kevin, who Todd knows from Vermont. Todd has never told anyone, even Elizabeth, that he tried to stop Kevin from mugging someone and was instrumental in putting him in jail. Kevin’s father offered Todd money not to testify, and Kevin threatened him as he was taken away. So…not exactly a guy Todd was hoping to see again. But apparently the camp didn’t run any kind of background check, so no one has any idea that Kevin’s an ex-con, or that he and Todd know each other.
Kevin hits it off with everyone, including Todd’s father, who’s sure that Kevin’s a completely changed man now. In fact, he thinks Todd is just being bitter any time he says anything negative about Kevin. (Great guy, that Mr. Wilkins.) Mostly he’s upset that Todd doesn’t want to work for Mr. Wilkins’ company, so when Kevin expresses an interest, Mr. Wilkins is all over it. Everyone thinks Todd is crazy for not liking Kevin, and they think he’s turning into something of a bully.
Jessica’s totally in luv with Kevin, so the two of them double date with Todd and Elizabeth. Then the Wilkinses tell Todd to invite Kevin over for dinner, and Todd catches him looking through Mr. Wilkins’ desk and rats him out. It turns out Mr. Wilkins asked him to get something, so now he thinks Todd is just a jerk. And then Elizabeth breaks up with him because he tells her to stay away from Kevin but won’t say why. People’s stuff starts disappearing (including Elizabeth’s lavaliere – oh, noes!), and a guy is mugged, so Todd thinks Kevin’s up to his old tricks. He tries to investigate, becoming more and more isolated from his friends. At the same time, Kevin tells them that Todd was a bully in Vermont and may have tried to rape a girl.
Dumbo Todd thinks that Kevin couldn’t possibly be a bad guy when he presents himself as such a good guy, so maybe he’s not guilty after all. Kevin asks Elizabeth out, and since she thinks Todd doesn’t care about her anymore, and because Jessica, for some reason, told her that Todd’s been flirting with another girl, she agrees to the date. Kevin proves to be not so much of a nice guy on the date, but Elizabeth doesn’t quite get that Todd was right when he told her she should be careful around him. Todd goes to Secca Lake that night, since some people have been hanging out there after camp, and he sees Kevin mug one of the counselors, but he…doesn’t do anything. Maybe the police, Todd? No? Okay, then.
Todd tells Winston and Aaron everything about Vermont, announcing that he’s going to go to the police the next morning. But they get to him first, having found his pen at the scene of the counselor’s mugging. He admits that he was there that night but can’t provide any evidence that Kevin was the real mugger. Jessica goes to get something from Kevin’s car and winds up finding everyone’s missing stuff, making everyone realize that Kevin’s a bad guy and Todd is innocent. Fortunately, Todd’s father has also figured that out by this point. Unfortunately, Elizabeth hasn’t. She goes for a walk with Kevin, who loses his temper and strangles her. Todd gets there in time to save her.
There’s some stupid wrap-up about Kevin accidentally killing his brother in a car accident and hating Todd for having a great life and blah, blah, blah, this book was dumb. Thank God this is the last Super Star, because three of them were about characters no one cares about.
Thoughts: This book was clearly written way before it was published, and no one bothered to check it to make sure things would fit. For one thing, Jessica goes out with Kevin and there’s no mention of Sam. For another, Cara’s randomly in Sweet Valley and still dating Steven, and there’s nothing in the book about her going to London.
Todd, if you don’t want Kevin at your house, DON’T INVITE HIM OVER. Tell your parents you asked him and he was busy, or you forgot to ask him. I can’t believe I’m advocating lying, but apparently you’re too dumb to get yourself out of this.
“In her opinion, a lie wasn’t really a lie if you told it for a good purpose, and if it sounded plausible.” Three guesses who “she” is, and the first two don’t count.
February 12, 2011
Summary: Annie’s dating a guy named Tony who’s on the track team with Roger (Barrett) Patman. He’s so good that he’s been scouted and could even make the Olympics someday. After a knee injury, Tony worries that he won’t be back in shape by the time he needs to be, so he accepts some “magic vitamins” (yes, really) from a guy at his gym.
Roger is hosting a 13-year-old Mitch whose mom was a friend of his late mom’s; Mitch has been suspended from school for a month and his mom thinks he could use Roger’s influence to help turn him around. Mitch ends up with a big-boy crush on Action Jackson (tm Maeby), AKA Tony, who ironically tries to convince him to stop drinking while he himself takes steroids.
Annie discovers the steroids in Tony’s locker and takes one to her cousin, who’s a biochemistry grad student and tells her what they are. When confronted, Tony denies being on steroids, but his behavior says otherwise. Annie confides in Elizabeth (of course) and Roger, who encourage her to slip Tony some placebos. Apparently her biochemist cousin can make placebos, so maybe she should quit school and go into drug forgery or something.
None of this really matters, though, because Tony overhears a conversation between his drug supplier and another guy, and it finally clicks that he’s taking illegal drugs that are giving him an unfair advantage. He comes clean to his overbearing father and coach, taking himself out of the upcoming all-county meet. The coach admires his honesty and agrees to let him compete, though he’ll make Tony take drug tests (which will turn up lots of sugar, I expect). Tony wins the meet, also breaking the state record, because drugs are bad, but being honest is good.
The B-plot is actually kind of fun. Todd’s annoyed that he and Elizabeth are never alone together, though he should probably stop inviting people to join them just as often as she does. Elizabeth comes up with a scheme to have Annie and Enid “kidnap” him and bring him to a restaurant for a romantic dinner. Todd has the exact same idea, substituting Winston for Annie and Enid, but they execute their plans at the same time. Just as Annie and Enid kidnap Todd, Winston kidnaps Elizabeth, and all five end up at the restaurant. C’mon, that’s cute, right?
Thoughts: I guess I wasn’t the only person who noticed that Elizabeth is always inviting people to hang out with her and Todd without asking his permission.
I thought it was common sense that if a guy in a gym offers you unnamed pills, you should run away very fast. I guess Tony isn’t the sharpest crayon in the box.
Addendum a few pages later: Tony doesn’t really know what steroids are. I can feel my IQ dropping just reading about this guy.
So teenagers exchanging locker combinations is the equivalent of giving someone a key to your house?
Why would Winston kidnap Elizabeth after she’s already in his car? Good idea, bad execution. Amusing, though. Winston tells Elizabeth, “You’re not supposed to make a peep. I’ve seen this in movies. Just lie back in the seat and moan every once in a while.” And now we know what Winston would do if he got a Wakefield twin alone in his car.
August 21, 2010
Summary: On the way home from a school trip to an island, the boat carrying a bunch of SVH students capsizes and they have to bail out into lifeboats. Jessica and Winston wind up together, and when their lifeboat goes under, they’re both…well, lost at sea, like the title says. They end up on a deserted island together and proceed to have a Gilligan’s Island/Lost/Survivor/that episode of The Simpsons based on Lord of the Flies experience.
Winston, who you’d think would be like Gilligan, is actually more like the Professor – he takes care of his and Jessica’s basic needs and makes sure she’s not just sitting around, tanning. She, in turn, treats him like crap and hopes to become famous once she’s back home. After a run-in with a bear (yes, really), which Jessica handles better than Winston, they bond a little and Jessica realizes that Winston isn’t such a goofball after all. Then they get rescued. By…Moe. Okay, no, by a guy in a helicopter. Oh, and they were only stranded for 24 hours. Whoopee. Back in Sweet Valley, Jessica takes credit for everything that Winston did to take care of them on the island. And he lets her. Oh, WINSTON.
Thoughts: Jessica’s chemistry teacher lets her get extra credit by going on a marine biology field trip. Or the ghost writer screwed up when she set up this book at the end of the last one and couldn’t think of a better solution.
Wait, Lois is overweight and her mother’s the school dietician? The ghostwriter understands irony?
Jessica’s teacher calls her intelligent. Clearly he hasn’t learned how to tell the twins apart.
Elizabeth comforts a guilty-feeling Lila by telling her Jessica’s probably stolen as many boys from Lila as Lila has from her. Ha, awesome.
Jeffrey ditches Elizabeth to go study while she’s waiting for news about Jessica. I know he doesn’t like Jess, but he could try a little harder to hide it. Also, Elizabeth goes to school the day after the boating excursion, despite not knowing whether Jessica’s alive or dead. I know she’s a good student, but COME ON.
If I’m ever stranded on an island, I want Winston with me. He finds food, he grabs the First Aid kit from the lifeboat, and he uses a Swiss army knife as a reflective signaling device. He would have kicked butt on Lost. Jessica, on the other hand, would have been the Shannon.
Roger and Olivia broke up? When? Did I miss something? (Well, obviously.)
May 1, 2010
Summary: Elizabeth wants to go to boarding school in Switzerland, specifically to a school with a great writing program. No one else wants her to go, but Elizabeth doesn’t care. She grows more and more annoying, talking about Switzerland non-stop, to the point where I don’t get why everyone doesn’t want her to go there immediately just to give them some peace.
Jessica and Steven come up with a wacky scheme to ensure that Elizabeth won’t get the scholarship she needs – it involves Jessica pretending to be Elizabeth (I know, a shocker) and convincing the man in charge of awarding the scholarship that Elizabeth is lacking in character, or something. The plan works but Elizabeth is furious, and Jessica and Steven decide to ‘fess up and let the chips fall where they may. Fortunately for them, Elizabeth has already decided she doesn’t want to go to Switzerland anyway. (Mostly it’s because of Jeffrey, who she thinks is getting involved with Enid, and if Elizabeth is willing to give up her dream partly because of a guy, then she’s more like Jessica than we thought.) So Elizabeth is staying in Sweet Valley. Yay?
The B plot is actually very sweet: Winston’s dad buys him a lottery ticket, but when Winston accidentally swaps his jacket for one belonging to a fairly poor man, he winds up with that guy’s lottery ticket (just go with it). The ticket wins Winston $25,000, and at first he decides that possession is 9/10ths of the law, so too bad for the other guy. But guilt gets the better of Winston and he ultimately comes clean. He doesn’t get the money, but he’s a good guy, so who cares?
There’s also a brief, random scene where Jessica meets a guy named Kirk Anderson who she thinks is cute but who turns out to have a horrible personality. Not sure where that’s going.
Thoughts: Sweet Valley College is 50 miles from Sweet Valley? That makes no sense. That’s like if UCLA weren’t actually in L.A.
Jeffrey tells Elizabeth that he doesn’t want her to go to Switzerland, but apparently all she hears is, “Blah blah blah Ginger.” Her thought process: “It occurred to her that she might have made a mistake by not emphasizing how much the year ahead meant to her. From then on she would be sure to talk about the school and the writing program much more often.” You guys, Elizabeth is dumber than Jessica.
The lottery jackpot is worth only $25,000? Um, bull.
Jessica, on the person Elizabeth’s desired scholarship is named for: “She was probably some poor girl who abandoned her family and came to a horrible end in the Alps somewhere.” Sometimes Jessica’s actually funny. And she’s much more likable in this book than in the others. Especially compared to Elizabeth.
Jeffrey calls Elizabeth sexy. I’m fairly certain he doesn’t know what that word means.
Who asks for a character reference for boarding school? And why is St. Elizabeth so worried about hers? It’s almost like she thinks there are people in the Sweet Valleyverse who don’t like her. But that’s impossible!
Elizabeth wears a plaid jumper and a Victorian lace blouse, and ties her ponytail with a ribbon. Clearly Jessica hogged all the fashion genes in the womb.
Turns out Jessica values personality over looks in a guy. Who knew?
Jessica also uses the verb “ax-murdered.” Love it.
After Winston gives back the ticket, Lila remarks, “How is that boy ever going to get anywhere what that kind of confused value system?” Poor Winston, doomed to be a janitor or plumber or teacher or something else common. A fate worse than death!
After the Oracle staff decides to start a personals column, Jessica quips, “Better not let Winston advertise. He’d probably get a response from Brooke Shields and then give her back, claiming he’d gotten the wrong person’s date.” See? Funny!