February 13, 2013

SVH #135, Lila’s New Flame: The Girl Who Played With Fire

Posted in books tagged , , , , , , at 8:23 pm by Jenn

That kiss looks horrible. And Steven looks 40

That kiss looks horrible. And Steven looks 40

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.

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