July 10, 2011

SVH Magna Edition, A Night to Remember: Welcome to the Jungle

Posted in books tagged , , , , , , , , at 6:40 pm by Jenn

This cover could use a lot more jungle

Summary: It’s Jungle Prom, b%$@#&^.

The twins (mostly Elizabeth) decide that Sweet Valley needs to have a prom, specifically one with a jungle theme. They’ll team up with an environmental organization and donate the prom’s proceeds to them. The organization later decides to give the prom queen a trip to Brazil and the job of spokesperson for their organization. Elizabeth has recently decided that she needs to a) loosen up and b) stop worrying about Jessica and worry more about herself. She figures going for prom queen is a good place to start. Of course, Jessica also wants to be queen.

The twins put together a prom committee, but Jessica skips most of the meetings and does little to no work. She and Elizabeth learn of each other’s desires to be prom queen, and things get tenser and tenser between them. To make matters worse, Elizabeth is mad that Jessica keeps shirking her responsibilities, and Jessica is mad because she thinks Elizabeth is taking over the committee and will be a shoo-in for queen. Jessica tries to make sure she’s a front-runner, giving herself a cheerleading solo at a pep rally and handing out buttons promoting the prom.

Elizabeth is coming unglued, getting more and more obsessed with the prom and becoming queen, to the point where Todd is, like, “Whoa. Chill.” A magazine wants to do an interview with the twins, and when Jessica doesn’t show up, Elizabeth does the interview on her own. So of course Jessica thinks Liz set things up so she’d be excluded. Elizabeth also gets worked up about a school rivalry with Big Mesa (more on that later), and even though she’s been saying the whole book that the Oracle shouldn’t retaliate against all of Big Mesa’s newspapers’ propaganda against them, she writes a scathing article that again has Todd going, “Whoa. Chill.” Liz also taunts Enid about dating a guy from Big Mesa, so now Enid’s, like, “Whoa. Chill.”

By the time the prom comes around, the twins aren’t speaking to each other. Jessica has realized that Todd will most likely be elected king, and since the king’s election comes before the queen’s (I don’t know why they do them separately; I’ve never heard of that being done before), she’s sure Elizabeth will be everyone’s natural choice for queen. As predicted, Todd wins king, and while he’s doing something with raffle tickets, Elizabeth starts dancing with Sam. This is the last straw for Jessica, who finds out a Big Mesa guy has brought in some alcohol and decides to spike Elizabeth’s drink with it. She doesn’t realize that Elizabeth shares some of it with Sam.

Drunk Elizabeth and drunk Sam have a great time dancing, and Elizabeth decides that she doesn’t care anymore about being prom queen. She withdraws her name, saying Jessica should win. So Jess gets the crown, but she hears that Elizabeth dropped out and can’t feel happy about her victory. A bunch of Big Mesa kids show up and create a riot, during which Sam and Elizabeth go out to the twins’ Jeep. Jessica grabs Todd, tells him Elizabeth’s in trouble, and gets him to go after them. She tells Todd that Liz is drunk but doesn’t mention that she spiked her sister’s drink. They head off to Secca Lake, coming across a bad car accident and realizing it involved the Jeep. The police have already arrived, and someone remarks that there’s no way anyone could have survived the crash.

While all this is going on, Lila’s in counseling because she’s still struggling with the John Pfeifer incident. Her counselor, Nathan, is both a guidance counselor at SVH and a volunteer at Project Youth. At first Lila hates having to meet with him, but some comments from Jessica about his hotness and niceness make Lila develop a crush. At the prom, when the riot begins, Nathan finds Lila and takes her to a classroom to get away from the madness. But she starts to think his motives aren’t genuine and that he’s going to attack her. She starts screaming, and when the cops arrive to break up the riot, she tells them Nathan tried to attack her.

Bruce is at the forefront of the SVH/Big Mesa rivalry, basically getting Club X back together to bust heads. He’s also stringing Andrea Slade along and trying to get over Regina. When the prom riot moves to the football field, Bruce gets smacked with a baseball bat and is this close to being finished off when a girl tells his attacker to leave him alone. Bruce is so out of it that at first he thinks the girl is Regina. She starts to help him up, but he gets knocked out.

To be continued on all counts…

Thoughts: This book is SO MUCH BETTER than any of the previous books in the series. It’s like the ghostwriter woke up one morning and realized, “I’ve been writing crap! I need to at least write some soapy, entertaining crap!”

So there was no prom scheduled for SVH until Elizabeth thought it up? Weird, no?

Trivia: Lila loved The Catcher in the Rye.

Hey, it’s Jeffrey! Hi, Jeffrey! Yeah, don’t get too comfortable. You’re not staying.

“Here’s something that might interest you – I know you’re a big fan of my biceps.” I miss you already, Sam.

The prom committee discusses whether they should allow Big Mesa students to buy tickets, which makes no sense to me. If it’s an SVH dance, it should only be open to SVH students and their dates. The Big Mesa students can have their own prom.

Hey, A.J.’s in this book, too! It’s like a big ol’ reunion.

If the chaperones thought Elizabeth was drunk but knew she would never drink, why wouldn’t they suspect that someone spiked the punch?

Lila, taunting Bruce for not having a prom date: “Did your inflatable doll pop when you pinned on her corsage?” Lila for president!

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.

March 24, 2011

SVH #85, Soap Star: But Which One’s the Evil Twin?

Posted in books tagged , , at 11:08 pm by Jenn

He's supposed to be a hunk? Yeah, no

Summary: Jessica finds out that her favorite soap, The Young and the Beautiful, is looking for teenage identical twins for a week-long plot. Not only that, but said twins get to act opposite Jessica’s favorite actor, supposed hunk Brandon Hunter. This is a world where soap actors are considered A-list and the paparazzi follow them everywhere – in other words, a fictional place – and we all know Jessica wants to be famous, so this is a dream come true for her. The only problem is that Elizabeth doesn’t want to be on the show.

Lila helps Jess trick Elizabeth into going to the audition by making her think she’s going to a discussion group. When Liz figures out she’s been duped, she and Jessica get into a big fight, and the casting director thinks they were just auditioning a little early, so she gives them the roles. Except Elizabeth still doesn’t want to do it, and she’s even more upset with Jessica. Jess goes to a cast luncheon by herself and starts getting a big head, even making it clear to Sam that his puny little nonfamous life bores her.

Jessica goes back to L.A. and hangs out with Brandon, who’s 22 and creepy for wanting to hang out with a teenager so much. Rumors start spreading that they’re dating, which thrills Jessica. Since Elizabeth still doesn’t want to go on the show, Jessica decides she has to guilt/force her into it. She calls the LA Times and finagles a chance for Elizabeth to write about her experience on the show. Elizabeth realizes she can’t say no to the writing experience, which means she also can’t say no to doing the soap. She doesn’t really care about acting, though, and she hates Brandon, who is increasingly annoying and egotistical.

Sam tries to make amends with Jessica (it involves a Batman costume, for no apparent reason), but she’s totally a jerk to him and he tells her she’s changed. Then Jessica overhears Brandon talking about her and realizes that he’s only been “with” her to get himself publicity. Jess and Elizabeth play some stupid tricks on him while they’re filming, as well as during a live show (which…just…no). The soap wants to offer the twins a contract, but they decide they like their lives in Sweet Valley. Elizabeth also turns down an offer from the LA Times because she’s too busy to keep up the writing. Oh, and Sam and Jessica are fine, because he’s a moron, I guess.

Also, the twins get a Jeep, which I guess is supposed to be important?

Thoughts: The ghostwriter clearly knows nothing about soaps. I’m not an expert or anything, but I’ve been watching them for 15 years, and I know a lot of the behind-the-scenes stuff, and the ghostwriter obviously just made stuff up. Soap stars don’t get stalked by the paparazzi unless they’re involved with other celebrities. They don’t tape episodes that air the same day. They don’t do live shows (some used to, but not anymore). They don’t let 16-year-olds hang out on set and sign contracts without a guardian. They don’t cast random teenagers for a week-long plot. And they definitely don’t bring on twins unless one of them is evil. (Unless they’re Alcazars, in which case they’re both evil, and then one is redeemed by the love of a woman.)

It’s 1992 and Elizabeth still has a typewriter. Ay yi yi.

Elizabeth thinks soaps are stupid. I knew I hated that girl.

Elizabeth wears peach chinos and a matching oversized shirt with a flower on the pocket. Yes, that’s right, Elizabeth dresses like your grandma.

The casting director wears her hair in a “unicorn horn” tied with multicolored ribbons. Well, clearly this woman knows where to get the good drugs.

“It’s one of the most exciting story lines of the whole year. You two girls will fight over America’s number-one bachelor, and by the end of the week, he’ll choose one of you to be his lady love. The fans will go crazy over it.” Uh, no, they won’t. Fans don’t care about characters who will only be around for a week. Also, fans care about death, faked deaths, the mob, and explosions. This is why General Hospital‘s ratings went up when a limo blew up and a mobster’s wife was presumed dead on her wedding day. (Oh, yeah, fans also care about weddings.)

So Ned and Alice are okay with Jessica dating a 22-year-old? I know they’re horrible parents, but I didn’t realize they’d completely checked out.

There’s a whole boring section with Elizabeth, Ned, and Todd looking at Jeeps that only serves to show that Elizabeth knows about cars. Yeah, that’s great, but I can never get back the minutes I spent reading that.

Sam wears denim shorts and a flourescent green tank top. It appears Sam escaped from the cast of Wet Hot American Summer.

March 8, 2011

SVH #82, Kidnapped by the Cult!: Drinking the Kool-Aid

Posted in books tagged , , , , at 11:46 pm by Jenn

I don’t even know where to begin with these people

Summary: Jessica’s pouty because she’s still in trouble from Rosa’s Lie and because Sam isn’t paying her enough attention. At the mall, she meets a guy who tells her he knows where she can get some unconditional love. It’s from a group of people called the Good Friends, led by a guy named Adam Marvel. They’re really a bunch of runaways who live with a creepy cult leader, but Jessica’s the highly suggestible type (Jessica: “Yes, I am the highly suggestible type”), and she wants to hang out with a bunch of people who pay attention to her.

Soon Jessica’s drinking the proverbial Kool-Aid and spending all her free time with the Good Friends. She starts dressing like a prudish librarian, studying like Elizabeth, and even cleaning voluntarily. Think Stepford. Part of it’s because Adam’s a hunk, but it’s also because the Good Friends make her feel like a better person. They spend time at the mall, collecting money for charity, and Jessica only finds it a little strange when Adam spends some of the money on stuff for the Good Friends. She’s totally a cult leader’s pet, too. Everyone in the house is all friendly to everyone else, except a girl named Susan.

Todd spots someone who looks suspiciously like Jessica collecting money at the mall, which gets Elizabeth’s brain whirring. Sam keeps checking in on Jessica, who’s been telling various lies about where she’s been. She gets mad at him, accusing him of not trusting her, and Sam tells Elizabeth about it. She hears about the Good Friends from Ned, and when she mentions them to Jessica, Jess gets all defensive and weird. Elizabeth thinks Jessica might know more about the Good Friends than she’s let on. Her suspicions are confirmed when Sam follows Jessica to the Good Friends’ house and reports back to her and Todd that Jessica is totally in a cult. Elizabeth confronts Jess, who says she’ll ditch the Good Friends if anyone finds proof that they’re up to something bad.

Elizabeth decides to speed things along by having Sam take Jessica out so she can infiltrate the Good Friends. The only things she accomplishes are confirming that Adam is squicky and having Susan try to get her to leave. Oh, and she learns that a Good Friend named Brian disappeared at the mall. It turns out his parents kidnapped him back from the cult and are going to deprogram him so he can testify against Adam and his fraudulent ways. Elizabeth confronts Jessica again, and Jess lies that she’ll stay away from the Good Friends. Instead, she tells Adam she’ll get Brian’s parents’ address so they can get him back.

When Jessica hands over the address, Adam tells her that the Good Friends are going to pack up and leave town. They want Jessica to come with them. Susan has suddenly left the group, claiming that her mother’s sick. Elizabeth, Sam, and Todd figure out that Jessica’s gone back to the Good Friends’ house and head over, calling the police. Elizabeth tries to convince Jessica that she can’t leave town, but it doesn’t work until they find Susan being held captive, and Jessica realizes the Good Friends aren’t exactly…well, good. And that’s all the deprogramming Jessica needs. Oh, and P.S.: Susan was a reporter. They just throw that in there for no apparent reason.

In the B-plot, Todd and Elizabeth join a bowling club (…I don’t know), and the president, Justin, has a crush on Elizabeth. He won’t shut up about how pretty he thinks she is. Elizabeth keeps telling him she has a boyfriend, but she also seems to have a crush on Justin, so she’s not entirely convincing. The plot doesn’t really wrap up; Todd and Elizabeth just reaffirm that they want to be together, but it’s not clear if Elizabeth still has feelings for Justin.

Thoughts: Jessica would be the most likely Sweet Valley denizen to join a cult. She believes everything people tell her.

Thanks to her problems with math and keeping them from her parents, Jess is grounded for a month, is only allowed to go to school and cheerleading practice, and can only talk on the phone for ten minutes at a time. I’m equally impressed that Ned and Alice came up with actual punishments and are actually enforcing them.

The cult member Jessica meets first tells her, “Sarcasm doesn’t solve anything.” Yay, I get to quote Giles! “It’s sort of an end in itself.”

Trivia: Jessica doesn’t like popcorn.

Enid remarks that Jessica is dressed like a social worker. When Enid mocks your clothes, you know something’s wrong.

Elizabeth finally got a backbone! She actually tells Justin flat out that he needs to stop hitting on her and that she’s not going to ditch Todd for him. Oh, but then she goes to brunch with him. Two steps forward, three steps back.

March 5, 2011

SVH #81, Rosa’s Lie: Deny, Deny, Deny

Posted in books tagged , , , , at 10:39 pm by Jenn

If you ask me, Rosa's real lie is about her age, because no way is that girl 16

Summary: Pi Beta Alpha is looking for new pledges, and the girls all want to offer a spot to the new girl, Rose Jameson. What they don’t know is that Rose’s real name is Rosa, and her family’s from Mexico. (They changed their name from Jiminez to Jameson for business purposes.) She didn’t like always being grouped with the other Mexican kids when she lived in Texas, and she wants to reinvent herself as just another white girl in Sweet Valley. Despite the fact that Amy’s the only girl in PBA who’s ever shown a hint of racism, Rosa thinks they won’t want to associate with her if they know she’s Mexican. She even goes so far as to tell the girls that her family came over on the Mayflower, she used to live in Boston, and she’s distantly related to the Queen of England.

Rosa does fine hiding her heritage until her grandmother comes to visit from Mexico. Nana only speaks Spanish, cooks Mexican meals, and makes Rosa a Mexican dress, all of which makes Rosa kind of ashamed of what she’s been hiding. But not ashamed enough to come clean to the girls in PBA. In fact, when she throws a party and Nana shows up, speaking Spanish, she tells the girls that Nana’s the family’s housekeeper. And then she throws away an entire cake Nana made for her and her friends, because it looks Mexican. AN ENTIRE CAKE. I hate her.

Rosa goes to Secca Lake with the PBA girls, and a little girl falls down a well (just go with it). The girl only speaks Spanish, and the PBA girls don’t speak enough of it to tell her she’ll be okay and not to try to climb out. Rosa manages to get over herself enough to speak Spanish to the girl, then tells the PBA girls everything. And they don’t care that she’s Mexican, because seriously. They’re teenagers in Southern California. Rosa isn’t the first Mexican person they’ve ever met.

The girls are so cool with Rosa being Mexican (and now she wants to go back to being Rosa, not Rose) that she thinks they actually want to overlook or ignore her heritage, which she doesn’t like. Even though she was doing it half an hour ago. She wears the dress her grandmother gave her to the PBA induction party, but turns down the offer to join the sorority, because…um…I don’t know, actually. It makes no sense. The girls told her they like her whether she’s Mexican or not, so her reasoning is stupid. Whatever, they’re better off without her anyway; she’s annoying.

The B-plot is also sorority-related: Todd decides that Phi Epsilon (the frat from Troublemaker, though I realize now that I never mentioned it by name) needs new blood, and he wants two of his friends to join. Bruce also wants two of his friends to join, and neither guy likes the other friends. They decide to haze the guys and see which do better at the tasks. The four pledges end up completing them because they work together. Okay, who cares?

The C-plot involves Jessica failing math and not telling her parents. She keeps postponing studying so she can hang out with Sam, and it only gets worse when she thinks he’s interested in another girl. This doesn’t really go anywhere, except that Jessica’s mad at Elizabeth for letting their parents know about her grades.

Thoughts: The lame PBA tasks:

  1. Two girls have to steal a bunch of stuff from the guys’ locker room while the guys are in there. The other two girls have to give Chrome Dome Cooper a toupee. Rosa just has to write a nerd a love letter.
  2. All five girls have to start a food fight.
  3. Rosa has to throw a party. We never find out what the other girls’ third task is. It doesn’t matter anyway, since all five of them get to join.

The Phi Epsilon tasks are much more interesting (except the third one):

  1. Two guys have to move the hands of a really high clock without using a ladder. (They go to the roof and one guy leans over the edge and uses a coat hanger to move the hands.) The other two guys have half an hour to take a school bus to buy a bunch of pizzas. They just get the bus driver to take them.
  2. Two guys have to check 100 books with the word “challenge” or “pressure” in the titles out of the school library by the end of the day, but they can’t skip any classes. The other two guys have to move everything out of the guidance counselor’s office by the end of the day, also without skipping any classes. Both pairs recruit friends to help them, which seems like cheating.
  3. Two guys have to steal pom-poms from another school’s cheerleaders. The other two have to take tennis raquet covers from another school’s players.

Wait, Enid is in Pi Beta Alpha? But why? And how? And…why?

I love how, when Rosa’s thinking about how much she wants to be American and not Mexican, she eats salsa and tortilla chips.

I have a feeling Jessica only thinks it’s good that Rosa’s a boy magnet because she has a boyfriend now and doesn’t see Rosa as competition.

So when Bruce is described as a country-club snob, it’s a bad thing, but when Lila acts like a country-club snob, it’s a lovable affectation?

I get Rosa wanting to hide her heritage (I mean, I guess), but why say she’s from Boston instead of Texas?

Lila says she doesn’t know how Sandra can date Manuel because “he’s so ethnic.” This is the girl who stood up to Amy for being racist in Out of Reach. What the heck, ghostwriter?

Hey, Rosa, if your grandmother doesn’t speak English, STOP SPEAKING TO HER IN ENGLISH. So rude.

Why doesn’t Todd just create his own frat, if he hates Bruce so much?

Actual parenting alert: When Alice finds out that Jessica’s failing math, she makes her cancel the induction party and grounds her until she improves her grades.

February 22, 2011

SVH #80, The Girl They Both Loved: Should I Go Get a Ruler?

Posted in books tagged , , , at 11:01 pm by Jenn

This may win the prize for the most '90-ish cover ever

Summary: Michael Harris is dating a girl named April Dawson, who loves dirt biking as much as he does. April’s curious about Michael’s rivalry with his former best friend, Artie Western, but Michael won’t tell her why they hate each other so much. Artie’s also a dirt biker, and the two guys are super-competitive in races. April’s surprised when other people have nice things to say about Artie, since her perception of him has been colored by everything Michael’s said about him.

Michael goes out of town one weekend (complaining about how he’ll miss a race that Artie will definitely win instead), and April runs into Artie at a movie. They hang out a few times, but Artie also won’t talk about why he and Michael aren’t friends anymore, only admitting that it’s both their faults. Partnerless for a relay rally, April and Artie decide to compete together.

Jessica winds up at the Dairi Burger after the race, with a bunch of people, including April and Artie. When Michael’s back in town, Jessica mentions this to him, and Ken Matthews mentions seeing Artie and April together at Guido’s. Michael’s furious and gets April to agree not to spend any more time with Artie. My this-guy’s-an-abusive-creep radar goes off, but apparently it’s okay for him to dictate who his girlfriend can and can’t spend time with.

April tries to get Michael to do fun stuff with her, but he’s so obsessed with dirt biking that he can’t do anything else. April goes to another movie by herself and again runs into Artie. He finally tells her what happened to end his and Michael’s friendship: They both liked the same girl (hey, just like the title!) and couldn’t stop competing with each other. Oh, and the girl had a boyfriend and no idea who Michael and Artie were. Artie takes April home, and Michael’s there waiting for her and goes ballistic. He and Artie start screaming at each other and wind up challenging each other to a race the next day. When they race, Michael cuts Artie off and makes him crash, landing him in the hospital.

April’s rightfully angry with Michael for being such a jerk. Elizabeth gets involved (don’t ask) and Michael winds up going to see Artie in the hospital and making up with him. He even says he’s so serious about winning April and Artie back that he’s willing to quit dirt biking. Artie convinces him not to and encourages him to compete in a big rally coming up. April was supposed to be Michael’s partner, but since they’re not speaking, Michael teams up with someone else. Except April, having heard everything that happened from Artie, takes the partner’s place and helps Michael win. I totally thought April was going to end up with Artie in the end, and that she was the girl in the title, but I guess the ghostwriter wants us to know that semi-abusive jerks need love, too.

In the first of two B-plots, Elizabeth and Todd make some stupid bet that involves him doing three “girly” things and her doing three “guy” things. She has to change a tire, build a shelf, and replace a washer. He has to go grocery shopping for a week, make an apron, and cook Elizabeth dinner. (Way to get a free meal out of the bet, Liz!) Both are equally bad, and I’m not sure what the lesson is supposed to be here.

In the other B-plot, Jessica’s bored with all the guys at SVH and goes to a dirt bike rally in hopes of meeting someone new. She hits it off with a guy named Sam Woodruff, who goes to another school, but doesn’t want to let her parents know she’s dating a guy who rides a dirt bike, since they’re so anti-motorcycle and she thinks their feelings apply to dirt bikes. Sam shows up at the Wakefields’ house unexpectedly one day, and Ned and Alice like him so much that they don’t really care that he rides dirt bikes. See, Jessica? Lying is bad.

Thoughts: The perfect description of Jessica: “Jessica was almost always either extremely excited about something, or looking for something to be extremely excited about.”

Elizabeth: “Todd would never think of learning how to make chocolate chip cookies.” What’s wrong with you, Todd?

Elizabeth should actually thank Todd for making her learn how to change a tire.

I don’t get how grocery shopping and cooking are supposed to be “girly.” Probably because when I was a kid, my dad did most of the cooking and all of the grocery shopping.

Jessica has a great overdramatic scene after she meets Sam: She freaks out because he hasn’t called her, and Elizabeth slowly drags it out of her that a) she didn’t give him her number and b) she didn’t tell him to call. She tells Elizabeth she’s not angry: “I’m hurt, I’m heartbroken, and I’m going to go to Tibet and live in a cave for the rest of my life, but I wouldn’t say that I was angry… You know I love you, Liz, but sometimes I find it very hard to understand how you think.”

Todd thinks peppermint is a good substitute for vanilla. So Todd, when the doctor examined you, how much brain damage did he say you had? I’m going to go with “a lot.”