April 23, 2011

SVH Super Star, Todd’s Story: Smooth Criminal

Posted in books tagged , , , , , , , , at 6:57 pm by Jenn

I don't get it. What does Elizabeth see in this guy?

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.

April 2, 2011

Sweet Valley Confidential: What the Crap is This?

Posted in books tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , at 5:13 pm by Jenn

Why would you put your name on this, Francine?

Summary: The twins are 27 and haven’t spoken in eight months. Elizabeth lives in New York and writes about off-Broadway plays; Jessica lives in Sweet Valley and works for a green makeup company. Oh, and she’s engaged to Todd, which is why Elizabeth won’t talk to her. Through flashbacks we learn about Todd and Jessica’s affair, Elizabeth’s discovery of it, and the twins’ falling-out.

Long story short, Jessica and Todd fooled around in college, but Elizabeth never knew about it. Jessica wound up moving to L.A., where she met a guy named Regan and married him after only a couple of months of dating. He turned out to be a jerk, and she ditched him while they were in Europe and ran back to Sweet Valley. She moved in with Elizabeth and Todd, and Elizabeth remained oblivious to their sexual tension. Regan showed up to see Jessica, got in a fight with Todd, and announced that it was obvious Jessica and Todd had something going on. Elizabeth finally realized it and left Sweet Valley.

Alice wants Elizabeth to come to Sweet Valley for her mother’s birthday, so Elizabeth decides to bring along Liam, a hot bartender, hoping Jessica will be so interested in him that she’ll show Todd her true colors. Except when Liam flirts with Jessica, Elizabeth gets mad. There’s also some stupid stuff about a playwright named Will who Elizabeth is writing about, and they hook up, but then he gets back together with his ex, and seriously, I can’t believe that was supposed to pass as a storyline.

Jessica decides she’d rather have Elizabeth than Todd, so she leaves him and heads to New York. Elizabeth suddenly forgives her and decides she approves of Todd and Jessica’s relationship. She agrees to be Jessica’s maid of honor. Once again, Jessica gets what she wants, even when that’s HER TWIN SISTER’S BOYFRIEND. And Elizabeth ends up with her best friend, Bruce, which…just…whatever.

The most interesting stuff is what happened to all the lesser characters, but the book barely spends any time on them. We barely learn:

  • Steven married Cara but keeps having affairs. Jessica catches him with Aaron Dallas and tells Cara, which means she’s ruined another relationship with a sibling. And of course, she gets forgiven again.
  • Todd writes a sports column.
  • Ken (and NFL player) and Lila got married two years ago and are separated.
  • Caroline is a real estate broker and runs a gossip website. She’s described as “the Perez Hilton of Sweet Valley.” She also battled cancer, but that doesn’t stop everyone from trash-talking her (Jessica even does it to her face).
  • Jeffrey is a dentist.
  • Enid is dating A.J. Morgan. She’s a Republican, an OB/GYN, and a recovering alcoholic.
  • Robin is a caterer and a food critic.
  • Winston is dead. Bleh.

Thoughts: I hated this book. Hated it. It was like reading about a bunch of people with the same names as SVH characters who act nothing like them. And with all the continuity issues, it’s not hard to think of them as not being the real characters. The book is also horribly written, as if Francine decided a third of the way through that it was a bad idea and then rushed to finish it so she could cash her checks. She has Jessica say “like” 137,000 times, and she’s obviously delighted that she can use whatever kind of language she wants, so she does. This isn’t an SVH book, it’s a book masquerading as an SVH book. It’s not worth your time.

Francine seems to have forgotten that Elizabeth and Todd dated in middle school.

“It’s a body I would know anywhere, even from the back: broad shoulders, neat waist, good legs.” No, Jessica isn’t talking about Todd – she’s talking about Steven. Say it with me: EWWWWWW.

Francine also forgot that Jessica and Aaron dated in middle school. I guess in her world, the whole Sweet Valley Twins series doesn’t exist.

Apparently Amy doesn’t exist either, since she’s not mentioned at all, but I can’t say I’m sad about that.

Trivia: Aaron has one blue eye and one brown eye.

Will thinks Elizabeth is horrible for wanting Liam to seduce Jessica. Oh, really, Will? You know what else is horrible? STEALING YOUR SISTER’S BOYFRIEND. Shut up, Will.

A.J. is described as a blond “bad boy.” Uh, no, he had red hair and he was a southern gentleman. He also dated Jessica. Shouldn’t Francine know this stuff?

There are a ton of other inconsistencies, but I don’t want to spend another minute thinking about this book, so I’m not going to address them. I’m also going to forget this book ever existed.

March 13, 2011

SVH #83, Steven’s Bride: And That’s Why You Never Listen to Jessica

Posted in books tagged , , , at 5:45 pm by Jenn

I think those flowers were drawn on. And Steven's a robot

Summary: Cara’s moving to London. Oh noes! Steven’s sad, and compares the situation to Tricia dying, which is stupid, but that’s Steven. Jessica points out that if Steven and Cara get married, Cara can stay in Sweet Valley. Steven is not that bright, so he proposes, and Cara accepts. Clearly neither has thought this through logically. Jessica isn’t helping, as she acts as a wedding planner (hey, that should be her career!) and finds them a chapel in Nevada. The lovebirds decide to tell their families they’re going on a ski trip and elope just a few days before Cara’s supposed to go to London.

Jessica’s sworn to secrecy, but that lasts about five minutes before she starts telling people about the engagement. Elizabeth finds out and – you may be surprised to learn – is against the idea of a high schooler marrying a 18-year-old doof. But she does agree not to tell Ned and Alice. Cara’s father calls to tell her he and her brother are coming to visit, and for some reason Cara thinks that her parents are going to get back together. Yeah, this girl is really not mature enough to get married. Cara also thinks that that means they won’t move to London, and she won’t have to marry Steven. It turns out her father’s actually engaged to someone else, so the wedding’s still on.

Steven’s been working toward a special law program, but when he gets accepted, he realizes that he wouldn’t be able to balance it with marriage and the part-time job he’ll need to get to support himself and Cara. He lies and tells his parents he didn’t get accepted, but Jessica finds the acceptance letter and tells Elizabeth he lied. Jessica realizes that Steven and Cara getting married is a bad, bad idea, and it’s time to convince them of that. She has Cara take a babysitting job with difficult kids to show her how unprepared she is to have her own family, and drives home how much she’d be giving up to get married. It doesn’t work, though, and Steven and Cara head to Nevada.

The twins finally decide it’s time to tell Ned and Alice what Steven’s doing. The four of them and Mrs. Walker head for Nevada to stop the wedding. It turns out that Jessica’s machinations have actually gotten to Cara, and when it’s time to say “I do,” Cara says she doesn’t. Steven’s ticked until Cara gives Elizabeth a message to give to him, saying that she still loves him. Steven dusts off the rushing-to-the-airport-to-stop-her-from-leaving cliché so he can say goodbye to Cara. Who I will miss, because she’s the only one of Jessica’s friends who’s semi-normal.

Thoughts: If this book had been written today, Steven and Cara’s issues would be pretty nonexistent. They’d be able to communicate via text messages, the Internet, and Skype. I mean, they would obviously end up breaking up anyway, but at least they could drag out the inevitable.

Reason #137 why Jessica can’t be trusted with secrets: Elizabeth asks what gossip she’s hiding, and Jessica replies, “There isn’t any! And it doesn’t have anything to do with Steven, either!”

Elizabeth finds out about the engagement because a woman from a jewelry store calls and says she needs to talk to Steven about his wedding rings. How does she know Elizabeth isn’t Steven’s fiancée and she didn’t just ruin a huge surprise? And why is she calling the Wakefields’ house anyway? He doesn’t live there.

“Steven’s expression was neutral, masklike.” Yes. He’s a robot.

At Cara’s bridal shower, Jessica gives her Barefoot in the Park. Because we all know how 16-year-olds love Neil Simon.

The ghostwriter says straight out that Steven and Cara haven’t slept together. Of course not – who is she, Annie Whitman?

Cara’s father gets engaged before he even tells Cara he’s dating someone. Wow, he sucks. And her mother isn’t any better of a parent, letting Cara go off alone with Steven on what she thinks is a ski trip.

I love how Todd tries to get Elizabeth to calm down about the elopement: Basically, “Eh, it’s not going to work out. Your family can go to Steven’s next wedding.”

October 30, 2010

SVH #64, The Ghost of Tricia Martin: Just in Time for Halloween!

Posted in books tagged , , , , at 12:10 pm by Jenn

It's Charo! And a robot!

Summary: Remember that chick Andrea from The New Elizabeth? She looks like Tricia Martin, and Steven quickly grows obsessed with her, ditching Cara to go out with her. He’s basically convinced that she’s the reincarnation of Tricia, and won’t stop thinking about how similar they are, how they talk the same, act the same, like the same things, etc. He even calls Andrea by Tricia’s name a bunch of times. Poor Cara has no idea what’s going on; she only knows that Steven is suddenly a distracted jerk. Of course, they never talk about what’s going on, because people in Sweet Valley never communicate when they should, so she just tries to let it go.

Elizabeth finds out about Steven’s new obsession and tries to remind him that Tricia’s dead and Andrea isn’t her. But Steven thinks he’s found his long-lost love, and he doesn’t want to lose her again. Cara finally figures out what’s going on, thanks to a phone call she overheard at the boutique where Andrea works, and tries to convince Steven of the same things Elizabeth already talked to him about. He breaks up with her, but he’s so distraught over the situation that when he takes a hang-gliding lesson, he crashes and winds up with a head injury.

Cara comes to the hospital to visit Steven, but she hears him say Tricia’s name in his sleep and takes off. Jessica spies Andrea with another guy and tells Steven, who confronts Andrea. She tells him that they’ve only gone out a few times, so it’s not like she can’t see other guys, and besides, he’s never really gotten to know her as Andrea rather than a Tricia clone. She probably should have dumped him about four dates ago, since he just came across as a creep, but whatever. So Andrea’s gone, and Steven realizes he wants Cara back, so it’s a good thing Jessica and Elizabeth have sent her over to see him. They get back together and get a happy ending.

In the B plot, Jessica’s dating a guy named Keith who’s so obsessed with the environment and saving the planet that he makes Dawn Schafer look like a littering carnivore. Of course, she only likes him because he’s hot. She keeps getting dragged to events she doesn’t care about, but it’s hard to feel sorry for her (actually, impossible) because, you know, she doesn’t actually like him. The plot goes nowhere, so, again, whatever.

The C plot is about how Ned and Alice keep fighting, and the D plot involves Maria Santelli’s father, who decides to run for mayor of Sweet Valley. More on those in the next book.

Thoughts: Jessica: “If I spend some time with Keith, it might just rub off.” Elizabeth: “An interesting choice of words.” Was that supposed to be a sex joke? No, no way.

Cara calls Jessica to vent and get sympathy, but of course, our Jessica makes it all about herself. How did you not see that coming, Cara?

Call me crazy, but if you’ve only had a couple of lessons, I don’t think you should be hang-gliding over a canyon.

June 12, 2010

SVH #44, Pretenses: No, I Don’t Know Why the Book is Called Pretenses

Posted in books tagged , , , , at 8:25 pm by Jenn

Too much pretty!

Summary: Jessica thinks Cara needs to introduce some “mystery” into her relationship with Steven. Cara thinks she’s full of it, but then Steven starts acting like he doesn’t like her anymore, even though the real situation is that he has major allergy issues and doesn’t feel well. He starts chatting with Elizabeth’s friend Abbie, who wants everyone to like her, especially Elizabeth, and becomes the Queen of the Dormats in her quest.

Then Steven starts getting notes on some familiar pink stationery just like the stationery Tricia used to use. Elizabeth and Jessica have noticed how much time Abbie and Steven are spending together, and when they learn that a girl fitting Abbie’s description bought the stationery, they think she’s using the twins to get closer to Steven. They confront Abbie, who finally stops being a doormat, and then everyone’s embarrassed to learn that Cara was writing the notes to Steven (and had no idea the stationery was like Tricia’s). Everyone apologizes to Abbie, and though she forgives them, she decides not to be a doormat anymore, so yay!

In the teeny-tiny B plot, Abbie and Amy are competing to draw/write for the Oracle; Abbie wants to draw a weekly comic strip and Amy wants to write a fake Miss Manners column. (And as if we didn’t already get how much of a doormat Abbie really is, she helps Amy with her column. Man, this girl is pathetic.) Despite the fact that Abbie’s strip sounds completely horrible and Amy’s column actually sounds good, Abbie wins the competition. No word on why they both couldn’t contribute. Or why there are no other non-serious columns in the paper. Or why anyone thinks Abbie’s strip is the least bit funny.

Thoughts: Of course Jessica thinks people should model their relationship behaviors on those of a soap character. Jessica would probably live in a soap if she could. She could survive for months on a steady diet of drama. Come to think of it, I think Jessica already lives on a soap – tell me she’s not Carly Benson Quartermaine Corinthos Alcazar Corinthos Corinthos Jacks.

After all their drama, Amy and Bruce only “date occasionally.” Whatever. For all the horrible stuff that happened, he should at least get her pregnant.


April 17, 2010

SVH #36, Last Chance: Girls With Low Self-Esteem, Part 2

Posted in books tagged , , , , at 11:53 am by Jenn

She's supposed to have dark hair, cover artist. Way to read the book

Summary: Johanna Porter, who dropped out of SVH before the series began, decides to return to school to honor her late mother’s wishes. She feels like an outsider, mostly because teenagers are mean and think she’s stupid. She also feels like an outsider in her own family, since her father and sister Julie are talented musicians and Johanna doesn’t love music as much as they do. What (or who) Johanna does love is Peter, Amy Sutton’s self-absorbed boyfriend. Peter is a big brain on his way to MIT, and seems to return Johanna’s feelings…as long as Amy isn’t around. He asks Johanna out, then ignores her when they’re back in school.

Though Johanna’s doing all right in terms of schoolwork, and even showing a never-before-noticed aptitude for math and science, Peter’s behavior towards her makes her decide to drop out again. Fortunately, Johanna figures things out for herself, realizing that boys are dumb and she can be awesome on her own. Or something like that. She goes back to school and doesn’t get together with Peter, who’s already dumped Amy. Finally, a girl in Sweet Valley who knows she doesn’t need a guy to complete her!

Jessica’s kind of in that same camp, in that she doesn’t want to be tied down by one guy (though that’s more so she can date anyone she wants), and doesn’t think anyone else should be, either. And by “anyone else,” I mean Steven and Cara. Jessica decides that they both need more independence, so she uses psychological warfare to make them mad at each other. They figure out what’s going on and get back together, and though Steven wants revenge, he doesn’t get any, at least not yet. Fingers crossed.

Thoughts: It only took me 36+ books, but I think I’ve figured this seires out: someone has a problem and confides in Elizabeth. Meanwhile, Jessica does something stupid. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Why is Jessica so in favor of Cara and Steven seeing other people? Didn’t she help them get together?

Johanna wears a flowered jumper and a Victorian lace blouse. Each of those is horrible separately; together, they’re an explosion of awfulness.

No way is the school brain also a jock, and no way is he dating a cheerleader, especially not one as vapid as Amy freaking Sutton.

Sweet Valley College is an hour away from Sweet Valley High? How big is this town? (Answer: big enough to fit Jessica’s ego and all of Lila’s shoes. Rimshot!)

Cara, if you’re dumb enough to take relationship advice from Jessica, you deserve whatever the result is.

Speaking of dumb – hey, Elizabeth, if you tell Jessica a secret, you should be surprised when she doesn’t spill it. You should learn after the first experience – fool me once and all that. To quote Joey from Friends, pigeons learn faster than you.

Steven and Cara fix their relationship through communication. Boring!

February 19, 2010

SVH #30, Jealous Lies: Everybody Lies

Posted in books tagged , , , , at 11:22 pm by Jenn

The Pink Ladies called. They want...actually, they said to keep the jacket.

Summary: Jean West wants to join Pi Beta Alpha (and considering she’s practically perfect in every way, it’s a surprise she isn’t already a member), but her best friend Sandra Bacon doesn’t want her to join because it’s the only thing she has that gets her out of Jean’s shadow. She nominates Jean because she’s expected to, then tries to sabotage the pledge process so Jean won’t be able to join. What a wonderful best friend. She suggests that Jean have to invite Tom McKay to a party, knowing that Tom doesn’t like Jean, but Jean wins Tom over and the invitation works out. So then Sandra tells Tom that Jean was using him for her pledge process, making him stand her up for the party, which is supposed to get Jean booted from PBA consideration.

Again, it doesn’t work, since the PBA girls and Jean agree to get revenge by having Jean pretend to believe that Tom was sick (his reason for standing her up), ask him to a dance, and humiliate him in front of the whole school. (That’s always how it works in YA books and TV shows.) But then Jean falls in love with Tom and decides that she’d rather be with him than join PBA, so she doesn’t go through with the humiliation. She also finds out what a wonderful friend Sandra has been, and that friendship implodes about as quickly as you’d expect. But it all works out since Sandra apologizes, Jean forgives her, Tom reciprocates Jean’s feelings, and the PBA girls decide that Sandra and Jean have both earned their spots in the sorority. And I can’t believe I just typed that whole boring summary out.

In the B plot, Steven decides to quit college and work on a cruise ship. His family and Cara hate the idea, but the twins suggest using reverse psychology to get him to stay – everyone will pretend to support him until he…I don’t know, I lost my train of thought. I’ve already expended enough energy on that plot. Needless to say, it works and Steven stays put.

At the very end of the book, Jeffrey French turns up, having just moved to Sweet Valley from Oregon, and we’re promised “the hottest matchmaking duel ever” in the next book. Are matchmaking duels usually hot? Because I think even if it’s as cold as ice (which it probably will be), it’ll still be the hottest matchmaking duel ever.

Thoughts: Sandra lies to Jean, Jean lies to Tom, Tom lies to Jean, everyone lies to Steven…. These people are all horrible.

I don’t get the trend of books about people we don’t care about falling in love. Who freaking cares? Not that I care about any of the characters in the series, but still. Shouldn’t the twins not be supporting characters in their own series?

Ned tells a joke: “One guy says, ‘My daughter went around the world this summer.’ And the other guy says, ‘Oh, really? Where’s she going next summer?'” Oh, wait, jokes are supposed to be funny. Never mind, he didn’t tell a joke.

January 30, 2010

SVH Super Edition, Spring Break: Another Stumbling Block for French-American Relations

Posted in books tagged , , , , , , at 4:05 pm by Jenn

What's with the trenchcoats? Are they spies now?

Summary: Jessica and Elizabeth spend spring break in Cannes, because no one thought of the possibility of Jessica causing an international incident. They stay with a woman whose son, René, is a jerk to the twins because he hates Americans (it’s his daddy issues – his father, who ditched his family, is American). Elizabeth meets a guy named Jean-Claude, whose grandmother is a countess (not that that ever really matters in the story), and when Jessica decides to ditch the guy who’s been trying to get closer to her, Marc, she glom onto Jean-Claude and tells him she’s Elizabeth.

Jessica hangs out with Jean-Claude and they start to fall in love (of course) while Elizabeth tries to make René see that not all Americans are annoying. Jessica is no help in that department. Elizabeth finds out that Jessica has been pretending to be her, but before she can confront her sister, Jessica and Jean-Claude almost drown in a boating accident. When Elizabeth sees that the two Js are in love, she pretends she’s Jessica to save Jessica’s relationship with Jean-Claude. And then Jessica tells Jean-Claude the truth anyway, and he doesn’t care, so whatever. Also, René’s best friend drowned, so now he doesn’t like water, but he gets over it when he has to help Elizabeth save Jessica and Jean-Claude, and then he decides that Americans aren’t so bad after all, so there’s a happy ending, blah blah blah.

The B plot is completely stupid: René’s sister Ferney is staying with the Wakefields, and she looks exactly like Tricia (I’m so sure), so Steven’s all in love with her. This means he’s neglecting Cara. Instead of actually discussing this with each other, they basically just break up, because that’s normal. Then Steven finds out that Ferney is nothing like Tricia, and he realizes that he loves Cara, so there’s a happy ending for them, too. Fantastic.

Thoughts: 13+ hours on a plane to France with Jessica? Elizabeth really is a saint.

Elizabeth wants to write in her diary about everything that’s happened so far on the trip…16 pages into the story. And all she’s done is fly from California to New York, go to duty-free, and get back on the plane. I bet she fills six pages on that junk.

Jessica lets Jean-Claude think she’s Elizabeth (for no real reason – why not just introduce yourself instead of trying to pick up where Elizabeth left off?), then decides she’ll tell him the truth after he’s fall in love so deeply that he doesn’t care who she is. Yeah, waiting until he loves you before you tell him you’ve been lying to him the whole time is a brilliant idea. As Jessica tells Elizabeth later, she’s fine basing her relationship on a lie because she’d rather have Jean-Claude than not. What a normal outlook to have!

Speaking of normal, at 16, Jessica still crosses her fingers when she lies. her fingers are probably stuck like that.

Clearly, any time Jessica screws someone over, she just needs to have a near-death experience to distract the person she screwed over.

Elizabeth goes along with Jessica’s lie after seeing how much she and Jean-Claude care about each other (after, like six days). ENABLER!

Jessica’s attempt to apologize, or something, to Elizabeth: “It was for a really good reason. I had to do it.” She really thinkgs Elizabeth falls for crap like that?

January 9, 2010

SVH #24, Memories: Steven is Angsty McAngsterson

Posted in books tagged , , , , at 3:28 pm by Jenn

In case you didn't get it: angst

Summary: Steven’s all depressed and stuff because he’s still not over Tricia (who died way back in Promises), even though he’s trying to move on with Cara Walker. This is mainly because of Betsy, who thinks Steven should only think about Tricia and not try to, you know, heal and be normal. Steven goes out with Cara to try to get over Tricia, but everything reminds him of her, so he’s all angsty for most of the book. Eventually Elizabeth saves the day (I know, I was surprised, too) by getting Betsy to see the error of her ways and basically give Steven her blessing to get together with Cara. And for some reason Teddy Collins is involved, because Elizabeth always has to use a six-year-old to do her dirty work.

The B plot is schadenfreudetastic. Jessica overhears her mother on the phone with Winston Egbert’s mom, talking about a cousin who’s a movie director and who will be coming to visit. Jessica goes all Lucy Ricardo and gets herself assigned to a project with Winston so she has an excuse to hang out at his house and hopefully get discovered by the director. When she finally meets the cousin, she tells him how interested she is in his line of work, only to eventually discover that he’s a civil engineer trying to figure out a better way to transport garbage through L.A. County. Fantastic.

The C plot is so boring it actually vanishes halfway through the book. Elizabeth encounters a guy from Big Mesa who looks a lot like Todd, but when she gets to know him, she realizes that he’s actually a jerk. Whatever, Elizabeth still misses Todd, boring, boring, got it.

Thoughts: After her failures in Say Goodbye, Jessica’s matchmaking skills actually prove successful. Dang, I hate it when she wins. Maybe that’s why I take so much pleasure in the completely predictable yet no less satisfying end to the B plot.

Steven and Cara have a picnic at the zoo. Marry him, Cara.

Elizabeth jokes that Harrison Ford wants Jessica in his next movie. This was written in 1985, so that movie would be Witness. Ha, the thought of Jessica as an Amish person cracks me up.

January 3, 2010

SVH #23, Say Goodbye: The World’s Lamest Love Triangle

Posted in books tagged , , , , , at 11:58 pm by Jenn

I thought Jessica was the twin who could fake cry

Summary: Todd is moving to Vermont, as we learned in Too Much in Love, and Elizabeth is all torn up about it. I don’t blame her – he sounds like the perfect guy. Which probably means he secretly kicks puppies or something. Anyway, once Todd is gone, Jessica’s worried that Elizabeth will just mope around (she hits the nail on the head there), so she encourages Nicholas Morrow to, um, befriend Elizabeth (since Nicholas has already declared his love for her). Nicholas doesn’t need any encouragement in that department and is eager to swoop in and pick up where Todd left off. Except Elizabeth is all, “Waaaah, Toddddddddd!” and not ready to be with someone else. Todd comes back for a surprise visit, spots Elizabeth and Nicholas together, and decides that they need to see other people while still being in love and stuff. I don’t know, teenagers are weird.

In the B plot, Jessica has to pay her parents back for a dress she bought (at Lisette’s, natch), so she gets a part-time job at a computer-dating company. Wow, this book was before its time. She decides to find a girl for Steven, who hasn’t dated anyone since Tricia died. You’d think she’d be great at that, but she’s an idiot, so she’s not. But then Steven runs into Cara, who’s suddenly all mature and stuff, and it looks like something’s developing there…until Betsy Martin shows up and ruins it all. Blast that Betsy Martin! Oh, wait, I don’t care.

Thoughts: Elizabeth is understandably upset that Todd’s moving 2,000 miles away. Who wants to tell her that California to Vermont is actually 3,000 miles?

Jessica considers hooking Steven up with a 43-year-old divorcée. Yes, she should absolutely be a matchmaker.

Nicholas’ private name for his boat is My Favorite Twin. Elizabeth, he’s going to boil your bunny!

Jessica “consider[s] falling in love” with Nicholas’ cousin. How appropriate that someone who’s so manipulative can manipulate her own emotions. Though why would she consider falling in love with a guy who reminds her of a librarian?

There are two unintentionally creepy moments in this book. At least I think they’re unintentional. Please, please let them be unintentional. The first is between Alice and Steven: “A warm smile flashed between mother and son. Mrs. Wakefield, a slim, honey-blond woman, looked especially attractive that night in a slate-blue dress.” Why are those sentences in the same paragraph?? The second is between Elizabeth and Steven: She tells him that Nicholas is “tall, dark, and handsome. He looks a lot like you, in fact.” Where’s Sigmund Freud when you really need him?

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