March 13, 2013

SVH #137, Fight Fire with Fire: Burning for You

Posted in books tagged , , , , , , , , at 8:02 pm by Jenn

Whichever twin is on the left, I like her dress

Whichever twin is on the left, I like her dress

Summary: Lila is arrested for firebombing the restaurant and spends the night in jail until Steven can bail her out. (I hope Mr. Fowler paid him back later.) Obviously Steven’s boss doesn’t like this, since Lila is the main suspect in the fire at Fowler Crest, so he forces Steven to choose between Lila and his internship. Steven chooses Lila and sets out to investigate on his own and prove her innocence.

Meanwhile, the twins still want Lila and Steven to break up, so they send them letters from each other, talking about their future together and making it clear how little they have in common. This is especially horrible behavior because Lila is now practically homeless, is possibly being stalked, is facing prison time, and can’t reach her parents. Steven is basically the only person she’s been able to turn to for support. But having her date their brother would mess up the twins’ perfect little lives, so they just have to get rid of her.

Anyway, Steven’s investigation actually turns up some evidence: The bomb was made from a can of the brand of soda John Pfeifer drinks. He also gets Lila to demonstrate that she wouldn’t be able to throw the soda/bomb as high or as hard as it was thrown. Not that this evidence is admissible in court, or proves that Pfeifer was the bomber, or was collected by someone not avidly trying to defend the accused culprit. But still, it’s pretty good work.

Because the twins have nothing better to do, they arrange for Steven and Lila to meet up at an SVH football game so they’ll have to discuss (and hopefully fight about) the letters. This actually works, but Lila and Steven figure out that the twins sent the letters and decide to get back at them by pretending they failed. Instead, they encounter Pfeifer, who has another bomb.

Pfeifer commits the cardinal sin of villains: talking too much. He’s mad that Lila’s accusations of attempted rape made him an outcast, so he burned down Fowler Crest and framed her. He detonates the bomb, blowing up SVH’s gym. Lila and Steven somehow make it out all right, but Pfeifer ends up killing himself. The twins feel worse about almost getting Steven and Lila killed than they do about Pfeifer actually dying.

Happy ending: Steven gets his internship back and calls Billie, so they’re on the road to getting back together. Lila’s parents come home and she tells them she doesn’t want any material things to make her feel better; she just wants them around more. And Lila and Steven get their revenge on the twins by pretending they’re engaged.

While all this is going on, Devon makes it to Sweet Valley, where his childhood nanny lives. He’s already been burned twice by relatives who a) only wanted him around because he’s rich or b) were jerks, so he doesn’t want to get too comfortable. But Nana is awesome and just wants Devon to have a stable place to live. Devon’s mad that she never got in touch with him after she stopped working for his family, but it turns out his parents hid all the letters she wrote him. She insists his parents loved him and weren’t horrible people, but the hiding of the letters seems to negate that.

Devon eventually tells Nana about his inheritance, and she makes it clear that she doesn’t care about the money. She’s more than happy to let him live with her no matter what. Devon starts to make himself at home in Sweet Valley, hanging around SVH to see what it would be like to go there. And since it’s required for this series, he sees Elizabeth and immediately falls in luuuuuuuv. Yay?

Thoughts: Devon gets a letter from the law firm of Boyd, Dewey, Cheatam, & Howe. Really, ghostwriter? Really?

Devon’s nanny is named Nan and he calls her Nana. My head hurts.

“You don’t know who I am, but you will be mine.” Dev, I’m pretty sure you can’t say that unless you’re smoking and petting a cat in a top-secret underground lair.

So Pfeifer sets off the bomb, and the next thing we get is the news that he’s dead and everyone else is fine. How anticlimactic. I bet in the next book, the gym will be fine, too.

February 27, 2013

SVH #136, Too Hot to Handle: Fire and Ice

Posted in books tagged , , , , , at 7:59 pm by Jenn

This is what would happen if Brandon and Dylan had a baby

This is what would happen if Brandon and Dylan had a baby

Summary: Lila + Steven = luuuuuuv. But he still has to investigate her, since the DA is convinced she set the fire at Falcon Crest. Steven, however, proves that he knows how to conduct an investigation and tries to find out if Lila has any enemies. He learns what happened with John Pfeifer and snoops around John’s stuff at the Oracle office. There he realizes that the article he got on arsonists was possibly printed from a printer John uses. Now, granted, this isn’t exactly a smoking gun, but the DA won’t even consider John as a suspect.

The new lovebirds are having a bit of a rocky time, partly because the twins are trying to keep them apart because they think the relationship is gross. They do stupid stuff to try to prevent them from going on dates, but it’s pretty lazy scheming.

At dinner one night, Steven tells Lila that the DA still thinks she set the fire. Lila’s upset and leaves the table. Then someone throws a bomb into the restaurant (no, for reals), and all the ingredients are found in Lila’s car, so the police think she did it. Never mind that she has no motive. Or that she would never create something that had to be made with fertilizer.

Elsewhere, Devon goes to Las Vegas to track down his uncle, who turns out to be a con man. Pete tells Devon he’s in love with a woman named Linda, so Devon helps him out by giving her expensive presents and love poems. Then he discovers that casino guests are missing jewelry just like the jewelry Pete’s been sending to Linda. But the obvious connection – that Pete’s stealing the jewelry – isn’t the whole story. Linda is actually Pete’s fence, and it’s become too dangerous for them to meet, so Pete’s using Devon to deliver the goods. Devon decides he needs to move on.

Thoughts: Diamonds = ice, and this story has both fire and diamonds, hence the title, “Fire and Ice.” Get it? …I’ll see myself out.

Man, this Devon kid is boring.

Hey, someone finally remembered Cara’s existence! But we still don’t get an explanation of why a Steven/Cara relationship was okay but a Steven/Lila relationship is gross.

Steven asks Lila to list people who might hate her enough to burn down her house. She names Enid. Yeah, I bet Enid set a fire and tried to kill you. Not that she probably hasn’t wanted to, but that’s different from actually doing it.

The DA tells Steven he’s off the case if he doesn’t stay objective. You’re the one who assigned him to investigate his sister’s friend! This whole thing is stupid.

Elizabeth tries to keep Steven from going on a date with Lila by hiding his keys. That’s brilliant! If you’re seven.

I figured Pete was just stealing stuff and giving it to Linda, so the twist that she’s his fence was pretty good.

May 24, 2011

SVH #90, Don’t Go Home with John: No Means No

Posted in books tagged , , , , at 6:17 pm by Jenn

Apparently the cover artist can't draw a car

Summary: Lila has a crush on the recently single John Pfeifer, so she’s very excited when he asks her out. After they have dinner, they go up to Miller’s Point and make out a little. John wants to take things further, but Lila’s not ready. He pulls out all the clichés about her asking for it, etc., and keeps trying to take her clothes off. Lila awesomely grabs John’s keys, swipes his neck with them, throws the keys in the bushes, and walks to a gas station to call a cab.

Lila’s really shaken by the incident, wearing no makeup and not caring about her clothes. She doesn’t want to tell anyone what happened because she’s afraid they’ll say what John did – that she asked for it and should’ve known what she was getting into when she asked to go to Miller’s Point with him. Lila’s friends keep asking about her date, noticing that she’s acting weird. John also won’t talk about the date. Jessica is especially worried; this is one of the few times she cares more about a friend than herself.

The other big topic of discussion at SVH is the costume party Lila’s throwing. She considers canceling it, since she’s so depressed, but instead decides to just tell John not to come. He shows up anyway, bringing a date, and refuses to leave, asking Lila for a reason when she tries to throw him out. John’s date wants to leave, but Lila gets scared that John will try to rape her, too, so she announces what he did to her at Miller’s Point. Jessica finally gets Lila to talk to her about it the next day, making it clear that she doesn’t think what happened was at all Lila’s fault.

While some people believe Lila’s version of the events, some people think she’s lying, especially since she’s a flirt and can’t be trusted. Everyone stares at her at school, and she almost has a run-in with John (which Elizabeth and Enid awesomely save her from). Jessica asks John’s ex, Jennifer, if she can offer any insight, but Jennifer just says John was controlling when they dated. A girl named Susan shows up at Lila’s house and tells her she recently went out with John and had the same experience as Lila. The girls confront John at the Dairi Burger, where a bunch of people who believe Susan back them up. Anticlimactically, they tell John to get therapy and then…that’s it. Lila should have at least hit him with her car or something.

In the B plot, Jessica and Sam are trying really hard not to go at it like bunnies. (Yes, boys and girls, Jessica is a virgin.) They get so stressed about not being able to keep their hands off each other that they decide they’re better off as friends. But when Jessica finds out what happened to Lila, she’s so grateful that Sam is the opposite of John that they get back together. There’s also some crap about a prince writing letters to Elizabeth, but that’s more for the next book.

Thoughts: I actually thought this book handled a serious subject very well. I know, amazing. It’s nice to see Lila going through something that doesn’t have to do with money or class or her daddy issues. She also gets to prove her awesomeness again.

Steven “only occasionally” visits? Okay, ghostwriter. Also, who sends a postcard home from college?

Even a depressed Lila would never dress up as Peter Pan.

July 29, 2010

SVH #52, White Lies: Heavy Meddle

Posted in books tagged , , , at 11:37 pm by Jenn

It's a shame someone so handsome turns out to be a psycho later

Summary: John Pfeifer is in love with Jennifer Mitchell, who’s dating Rick Andover (from Double Love) and planning to run away with him. John thinks Rick is bad news, so he calls the police on him when he sees Rick robbing a music store. Jennifer thinks her father called the cops, so she hates him, even when he winds up in the hospital with heart problems. John finally tells Jennifer the truth, and now she’s mad at him for making her think her father had called the police. John lets Elizabeth get way too involved in the situation, but she actually solves everything by giving Jennifer flowers and pretending they’re from John. Another couple together thanks to meddling.

In the B plot, Jessica and A.J. are having problems, or something. Whatever.

Thoughts: Why is thinking someone is “special” a euphemism for having a crush? I thought it was a euphemism for someone being mentally slow or dumb. As in, I think Jessica’s pretty special.

Jessica’s theory about men: “You have to make them do what you want. Otherwise, they’ll never think of it themselves.” It must be exhausting to be her.

Wait, Bruce has black hair? I always thought he was blond.

Jessica wants to put Lila in her slam book under “most likely to end up in jail for tax evasion.” Ha!

A.J.: “Liz, can I ask you something?” A.J., nooooooo!

Cranky Elizabeth: “Just don’t expect me to solve every problem that comes along.” But I was led to believe that’s all she’s good for!