May 24, 2016
SVU Thriller, Very Bad Things: I Put a Spell on You
Summary: A girl named Leslie undergoes cosmetic surgery on her face so she can be the kind of hot sorority girl her ex-boyfriend Parker likes. I hope she’s healed up in time for the rest of the book!
Throughout the book we get flashbacks of Leslie’s life, starting with her childhood, when her father informed her mother that he was leaving her for another woman. They were driving in a rainstorm, and her mother grabbed the steering wheel and made them crash into a truck. Leslie survived but both of her parents were killed. It might be for the best, though, since they both sound like horrible people. I don’t want to revisit all of the flashbacks, so to sum up: Leslie’s family is awful and won’t let her live with them, so she grows up as an outcast. I’ll also sum up the Parker/Leslie relationship: They met when they were both students at Tulane. He broke things off when she started stalking him and getting jealous of other girls. He eventually got a restraining order against her, then transferred to SVU.
So now we can get to the actual plot. Jessica has started working at Yum-Yums, the café everyone’s been hanging out in over the past few books. Parker transferred to SVU not long ago and works with Jess. He also has a big crush on her, but she’s made it clear she’s not interested and would like him to stop flirting. He tells her he had a dream about Leslie being a huge bird and wanting to eat him. That would freak me out.
The Theta sisters decide to throw a brunch for their new members, and Jessica offers to get Yum-Yums to cater. One of those new sisters is Gia Allen, who’s actually Leslie. Along with her plastic surgery, she’s taken on a new name so she can follow Parker to California and try to become the kind of girl he seems to like. She’s Chloe’s new roommate at the sorority house. It’s fitting, since Chloe is now stalking Sam, and not even really subtle about it. He’s started running away when she shows up somewhere, just so he doesn’t have to talk to her.
Chloe “introduces” Gia to Parker, who has no clue she’s really Leslie. Jessica’s happy to see them hitting it off, since Parker could stop flirting with her if he gets involved with Gia. Chloe finds a book of spells in Gia’s things and learns that Gia practices Wicca. Chloe thinks she can find a love spell that will make Sam fall for her. Chloe is seriously messed up and someone needs to sit her down and talk to her about appropriate behavior.
Gia goes shopping with Jessica and starts acting weird. She sticks Jess with a pin, then talks her into getting a brown dress, knowing Parker doesn’t like brown. Back at school, she uses her self-taught hacking skills to mess with Jessica’s records – she deletes her schedule, suspends her driver’s license, and freezes her credit cards and bank account. She figures that Jess will have to leave SVU, and Parker will be all Gia’s.
Chloe tries to do a love spell, but it doesn’t work. Imagine that! Gia convinces her that she should become a Wiccan so her magic will actually work. She does some BS ceremony on the beach and makes Chloe think she’s a witch now. Then Gia schemes to ruin Jessica’s reputation, putting hair dye in a bottle of shampoo Jess loaned someone to make it look like Jess wanted to ruin the other girl’s hair. She also eavesdrops when a sorority sister tells Jess she cheated on her boyfriend, then spreads the news so the sister things Jess spilled the beans. This on top of her frozen account ruins Jessica’s day. Unfortunately for Gia, Parker’s there to comfort her.
Gia steals a paper Jessica and Parker worked on together, and when Jess tries to explain things to their professor, he tells her she’s not even in the class. Jess has basically been completely erased from SVU’s records. Her day gets even worse when she’s pushed into traffic and almost gets hit by a bus. Meanwhile, Sam and Elizabeth are also almost killed when the brakes in his car fail. Sam blames Jessica, since she’s been borrowing his car all week and was supposed to replace the brake fluid.
At the duplex, Sam and Elizabeth tear into Jess, who, remember, was almost run over and is freaking out about all the weird stuff going on in her life. She insists that she replaced the brake fluid and isn’t to blame for Sam and Liz’s car crash. Chloe arrives and announces that everything’s her fault – she tried to do a spell, and something must have backfired. Everyone thinks she’s nuts.
Sam soon learns that Jess did, in fact, get more brake fluid, and the brake failure was due to them being cut. Elizabeth wonders if Chloe was right about a spell going wrong, so she starts reading up on Wicca. Meanwhile, Jess gets fired, so Gia takes her job at Yum-Yums, happy to get to spend time with Parker. Elizabeth winds up researching her, too, and learns that someone named Gia Allen died at Tulane last semester. So how is Gia now at SVU?
Jess finds a doll with a piece of twine around its neck in her bird feeder. She tells Parker, and he flips. When he was at Tulane, girls he went out with after Leslie also received dolls and twine. He figures out that Leslie must have followed him across the country. He immediately calls the police and lets them know that – ha ha, no, he doesn’t. What series do you think this is?
While Gia’s out, Sam and Elizabeth sneak into her room and find a picture of a girl they don’t know. Then there’s a dumb scene where Liz hides in the closet because Chloe’s coming, but Sam can’t hide fast enough, so he has to come up with a reason to get Chloe out of the room. But then Gia comes back and catches Liz in her room, so Liz says she wants to help reverse the spell that’s whammying Jessica. This gives Gia an idea.
Sam returns to the room after Gia and Elizabeth are gone, and realizes that the picture they found features Parker. Gia also has a bunch more pictures of him, as well as letters Leslie wrote Parker that he returned to her. Sam starts to put together that Gia is really Leslie. He meets up with Jessica, Parker, and Chloe so they can find Liz, who they figure is with Gia.
Chloe guesses that Gia took Elizabeth to the same beach where her Wiccan ceremony took place. She’s right, but they’re too late to stop Gia from trying to drown Elizabeth during another fake ceremony. Liz does manage to ask Gia about the picture, but Gia just babbles about Leslie and Gia being together and how they’re Parker’s soulmate. Sam gets to Liz and gives her CPR, saving her, then gets knocked out by Gia. When Parker, Jessica, and Chloe get to Gia, Parker finally figures out that she’s Leslie. She knows the police are coming and she’s not going to be able to be with Parker, so she tries to swim to freedom. Nice try, girlie. She ends up in police custody, and everyone else is fine. Gia was kind of a weak villain. No one even got hurt!
Thoughts: Gia looks at spells called Lucifer’s Touch, Bones of Anger, and Three Nights of Hell, which are all now on my short list of potential band names.
“If you’re hell-bent on killing yourself, then go ahead.” That Parker’s a real catch, isn’t he?
“Leslie’s very, very clever and very dangerous. Like a spider.” What?