Monday, December 28, 2009
Steven is still passes out on the floor and Mike is starting to wonder why he isn’t coming back. He somehow smells the gas and realizes what happened so he tries to walk into the kitchen. Of course he can’t walk, so he figures out a way to crawl into the kitchen. He keeps thinking about what Jess would say if they both died in the apartment. He throws a cast iron doorstop out the kitchen window, which alerts the neighbors and one calls 911.
Liz is turning into Jessica. She blows off her schoolwork, spends all her time with Tom and can’t think about anything but him. She even makes a comment about how her obsessive love for him is scary and that she can’t believe this is what real love feels like. Um, it isn’t. I really love my live-in boyfriend, but if I was around him all the time, I’d lose my freaking mind. They literally start going crazy when they don’t see each other for 12 hours.
Anyway Liz decides that the only way she can do any work is if they spend the entire exam week away from each other. She decides that she’ll make it up to him by taking him home for Christmas. Oh yeah and Sweet Valley High is having a reunion for the class that just graduated! Apparently it’s the best class ever! And she wants Tom as her date.
Alex wakes up one morning with a hangover and can’t remember what happened the night before. In the bathroom she discovers hickies on her neck. Then she realizes that she got drunk with Todd the night before and all she remembers is kissing him before she blacked out. She keeps trying to call him, but he won’t answer the phone.
That’s because Todd is having a crisis. He doesn’t know what to do now that he can’t play basketball. He wakes up with scratches on his back and remembers the whole night, but swears they didn’t have sex. It’s the final straw for him though and he decides to leave SVU. Liz runs out in the road when she sees him driving by, but he keeps going. Alex eventually realizes that he went home, calls him and he asks her to be his date for the reunion. She decides that showing up with the most popular boy from their class is just the thing she needs.
Lila is fitting in on campus better than anyone else. Alison lets her know that she’s not opposed to her pledging the Thetas, but she won’t let Jess become a member. She starts hanging out there all the time and the one time Jess joins her, Alison throws a hissy fit and has her tossed out. She runs into James Montgomery and makes plans to see him.
They go out on a date to the same fancy restaurant she went to with Mike, but she thinks about how she feels so much better with James and how they fit together better and fit in. I told you! He asks her to the New Year’s party at school and she agrees, as long as he goes as her date to the reunion. How long did it take Jess to get over her failed marriage? Apparently six days.
Mike tells Steven that the accident was a good thing. It made him look at his life and reevaluate things. He also learned that he wasn’t happy and if he had kept going the way he was, he’d probably be dead within a few months. He starts going to rehab for his legs and vows that he’ll walk again.
Everyone goes back to Sweet Valley for Christmas and the reunion. Tom is so worried about making a good impression on Ned and Alice that he keeps fucking up: breaks plates, tracks chocolate all over the floor, but they seem to really like him. Everyone else is just worried about keeping the past few months a big secret and not letting their parents know about Mike.
Ironically enough, Mike is set to visit. He buys Jess a real engagement ring, calls the house and convinces Alice to keep his visit a surprise. She gets a message from him, wishing her a Merry Christmas and feels uncomfortable when her parents think it’s sweet. She feels even worse when she sees Liz sneaking off to see Tom and hears Steve sneaking in with Billie late at night.
Mike shows up on Christmas Day and presents Jess with the engagement ring. He tells her that she deserves it all: the white dress and big wedding. He also wants her parents to know about the wedding and be part of their lives. She’s torn (for about 3 seconds), but then tells him that she can’t be with him anymore because they’re different people and need time apart. That doesn’t stop her from telling Liz that she thinks they are soul mates and meant to be together, just not now.
Liz and Tom go to the reunion/dance where he sees a different side of Liz. Dozens of people keep coming up and talking to her, including the very dead Olivia Davidson. Jess goes with James, who she keeps parading around like he’s on a leash and she’s at a dog show. Lila ends up ditching the reunion completely and drinking champagne with Bruce. She realizes that he knows more about her feelings than anyone else and is taking her mind off them better too.
Todd and Alex show up, but he can’t stop watching Liz. It’s a little stalker-ish too, like he’s dancing with Alex and getting pissed off because Liz is five feet away with Tom. He even thinks she’s taunting him by kissing Tom on the dance floor so he gives Alex a passionate kiss. Later he and Liz dance and Alex gets pissed because she thinks Liz is making the moves on Todd and wants everything. I kind of like Alex.
Tom shows up and starts fighting with Todd. They start throwing punches and he knocks Todd out. Give me a freaking break! We’ve had to deal with 150+ books about how great Todd is and now he gets his ass handed to him by a reporter?
Todd’s laying on the ground and Liz gets upset, not because her ex-boyfriend is unconscious, but because her current boyfriend is running away. She chases after him, tells him that he’s the only man for her and they kiss. There’s also a funny moment where Jess gives Lila $5 because Lila bet there’d be a public fight for Liz.
Liz asks Jess about sex and makes it clear that she’s thinking about sleeping with Tom. She notices a “maturity” in Jess’s voice that only comes from having sex. Yes, because all those 13-14 year olds having sex parties in their parents’ basement are so mature.
Jess confesses to the Wakefield’s about her marriage and annulment. Ned and Alice freak out, about how they didn’t raise their kids right (they’re just realizing this?) and they’re so disappointed in her. The next day they apologize and tell her that she’s no longer their little girl; she knows the responsibilities of marriage and even though it didn’t work, they’re proud of how she handled it like a “mature adult”.
Are you fucking kidding me Ned? Jess lied to everyone for several months, ran to her brother when things got hard and then left her husband when he got hurt. Plus she moved out of their apartment without even telling him. Not to mention the fact that she started dating someone else approximately 12 hours after he was hospitalized. Someone please tell me, is that a mature adult?
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Lila Fowler hasn’t been mentioned a whole lot in this series, so I got excited when I realized she was *finally* coming back. After dealing with Jessica’s whiny, bratty side for too long, I’m ready for someone who can put her in her place. Lila was supposed to attend Sweet Valley University, but the summer before, she went to Italy and stayed with her aunt.
She met Tisano, a count and fell head over heels in love, within a week of course. They got married, she became a countess and only occasionally wrote her best friend back home. Then he dies in a jet skiing accident and her parents come to Italy to get her. She’s now auditing classes at SVU until she can register the following semester.
Jess gives Lila a tour of campus and shows her the Theta house. Bitchy Alison is there and makes a comment about how a “widow and divorcee” with really liven up and the house and I just had to laugh. I would like to know why Alison always has so much power when she’s vice-president and the president is rarely mentioned, but whatever. Lila makes a comment right back because it turns out Alison is a huge klepto, but no one at school knows.
Steven was ordered by the court to help Mike, which doesn’t make any sense whatsoever. He was charged with attempted murder and assault, but the charges were dropped. So what did they charge him with that made him do this? He’s basically Mike’s maid: he goes to his apartment, cooks dinner, cleans, does the laundry and then leaves. He can’t stop bitching about everything and Billie ends up leaving him.
Liz is so crazy in love with Tom that she pretty much never leaves him. All they do is wander around campus, make out in random places and ignore everyone/everything else. Todd keeps calling because she promised to do a story on the school not taking any responsibility for the athlete favoring thing, but she keeps blowing him off. He eventually turns to Alex because she’s all depressed over her boyfriend Mark leaving and they start drinking too much. See where this is going?
Jess turns into Liz, studying all the time and rarely going out. She even memorizes a poem that Liz left lying around, which will come in handy later. Then she runs into James Montgomery on campus and he’s a super hunky pre-med major and frat boy, who just happens to be a friend of Bruce Patman’s.
Bruce actually gets a story here, which makes me think that whoever wrote it must have wrote some of the old Sweet Valley High books. He just got his hands on a $10 million trust fund and runs out to buy his first plane. He keeps bragging about how great it is and Lila puts him in his place. She and her husband had a custom made plane and she has her own pilot’s license, so basically anything Bruce can do, she can do better.
Lila gets a little depressed, trying to play the perfect college student when she still feels like a widow. Bruce is the one person who expresses any feelings or emotions for her about what happened and reminds her that he knows what it feels like to lose someone you love because of Regina Morrow dying. Instead of thanking him, she gets pissed off because she was married and that’s real love, not a high school fling. Of course you could argue that Bruce and Regina were together longer…He even calls later to invite her out flying with him.
Liz freaks out because her and Tom have a special anniversary planned. It’s their “big” one-week anniversary and it bothers me that it’s only been a week and they’re already acting like a married couple. Tom is upset because a bunch of stuff happened with Todd that was never wrote in the books. Like Todd got drunk and stood outside Liz’s window, he followed them around campus one day and interrupted a date. This could have been a whole book! So she doesn’t want to do anything to disappoint him, but she has to read a poem at a poetry slam for her English class the same night as their date. Luckily Jess agrees to do it, as long as Liz buys her two new dresses.
She shows up at the poetry slam, does an excellent job and everyone believes that she’s Liz. All she can think about is going home and changing into better clothes, but then James pops up. He was at the slam and wants to know why she’s pretending to be Liz. She gets all excited because that means he really likes her.
So Jess and James go out for coffee and he kind of asks her out for another date (I told you!), but she hesitates because of Mike. He tells her that he knows she’s married and she tells him that their marriage will be annulled. She finally decides to spend more time with him, but that she’s not really ready for dating. Give it another book…
Liz and Tom have a great date, but she gets all worried when he wants to take her home because things are moving too fast. Hey, you exchanged “I love you’s” before you even had your first date, so what do you expect? Eventually they spend the night together, but she makes it clear that nothing can happen.
Liz finds an official looking letter for her twin and passes it along. Turns out that it’s the letter saying that her marriage is annulled. Liz is all excited because that means it’s over, but Jess still feels indebted to Mike. She goes to visit him once, but then runs away because she hears her brother inside.
I’d like to point out that her marriage was annulled in about a week, which isn’t even long enough to file the paperwork! The “trial” happened right around the time that Liz and Tom got together so we’re supposed to believe that crippled Mike wheeled himself to the court, filed the paperwork, signed the papers, got a copy to Jess, had her sign them and had a judge rule within a week. Sure. Plus, why would it even be annulled? They were married for like 2-3 months, lived together and slept together.
Anyway…Billie decides to forgive Steve and drops off Chinese food for them one night. Steven is starting to think that Mike is having a change of heart because he actually says thank you one night and seems to be trying harder. He goes into the kitchen to wash dishes and a few minutes later, starts feeling woozy. The pilot light went out, but the gas is still on and it’s slowly filling the apartment. Just as he tries to warn Mike, he passes out on the floor…
Saturday, December 19, 2009
Fair warning: I came dangerously close to throwing this book out the window by the time I got to the last 20 or so pages!
Mike’s in the hospital and Steven is in jail, charged with attempted murder and felon assault. Jess stays with Billie until she realizes that Billie will be up all night just trying to find Steven a lawyer. Liz hears about the incident on the police scanner in Tom’s room when they’re talking about the secret society story and she rushes over to help.
Everyone else in the book seems pretty happy. Danny and Isabella are all in love and Winston and Denise are in love, but he’s irritated because everyone assumes that they’re sleeping together. Todd learns that he has to sit out a season of basketball and move out of the athletic dorm, but he can play again next year and keep practicing with the team. His buddy Mark, Alex/Enid’s boyfriend doesn’t get off as easy because he got money and a new car. The school drops his scholarship, expels him and tells him that they’ll block him from playing for any other school. He breaks things off with Alex and heads to LA where he has an audition for a pro team.
Liz and Tom keep working on the story, but every time they turn around, William and Celine are there. She even comes home one day and finds Celine wearing lingerie and hanging out with Celine about five minutes after they finished having sex. He tries to get her back, but she tells him that she knows the truth. There must be something about Liz though because Todd wants her back too. He dumps Lauren and sits around his room, moping over old pictures of her and thinking about how he never should have ended things with Liz.
The book is really about Jess and how she’s a completely spoiled brat who I want to smack in the face. About, oh say three minutes after Mike is rushed to the hospital, she realizes that she wants to breakup with him. Then she learns that he’ll never walk again and decides that they never should have gotten married because she just wants to be a regular college student. Hey guess what, why didn’t you think about that before you got married?
She runs back to her old dorm room and cries to Isabella. She even talks about the two of them going on a double date when she gets back. It’s really annoying because she doesn’t even think about Steven, until he’s released on bond and even then, she just worries about herself. She packs up all of her stuff and starts moving it back, but then Mike’s mom calls. He’s been coming in and out of consciousness and keeps asking for her. She slams down the phone and tells her that she doesn’t want to see him.
She goes right back into planning her own life. She’s talking about all the phone she’ll have in college, hanging out in the dorm, going to parties, dating and trying to get into the sorority. Jessica has always been really selfish and horrible, but this goes a little too far. She finally decides to visit him in the hospital and she sees his leg move a little.
This is when I started wanting to toss the book. She decides that being married was a choice and that she chose to stay with him no matter what, after spending 170+ pages talking about leaving. She’s not attracted to him anymore because he’s all pale and weak looking, but it’s her “duty” as a wife to stay with him. She tells him that and he thinks they should stay together because they love her.
Elizabeth tells Celine that her story will air the next day so she runs and tells William. That same night the secret society kidnaps Liz (her 700th kidnapping). She tells them that it won’t matter because she already filmed the story and the tape will air. They don’t believe her, until it shows up on television. William decides that he has to kill her and Celine sees something in his face that scares the crap out of her so she runs to call Tom.
Todd stops by Liz’s room and sees her door all busted in, but doesn’t find that odd! He just leaves a note and walks off to talk to Winston. He goes back the next day and it finally clicks in when he sees the note still there. He runs off to find Liz at the same time that Tom does.
Tom and the cops go to the frat house and he leads them to the secret room in the house. The cops bust in and start arresting people and Peter the ass, throws himself at their feet. He was a big wuss who didn’t want to hurt anyone. Tom sees William dragging Liz off and gives chase, with Celine right behind. Of course he manages to save her and William falls in some hole thing, but Tom saves him too. Celine tries to sneak off and the cops grab her.
Liz makes plans to see Tom later, but then runs into Todd. He tells her that he still loves her, doesn’t care about Tom and wants them to get back together. She realizes that they’re in “their” spot from earlier in the year and remembers all the promises he made to her there and then broke so she turns him down.
Jess goes back to see Mike and he tells her that he changed his mind. He says that she deserves the chance to be a regular college student and do what the kids do. He should have told her that he deserved the chance to marry a grownup. He tells her that it’s not fair for her to be stuck with him for every. He also agrees to testify in court that the accident was his fault.
Cut to the court and the judge asking Steven how he pleads. His lawyer tells the judge what Mike says, but Mike says it isn’t true. Jess makes a scene and they throw her out of court. She starts yelling at Mike to tell the truth, because hurting Steve won’t win her back. Mike gives in, takes responsibility and they throw the case out of court. He tells her one last time that he loves her before he leaves.
Tom shows up at the dorm and sees Liz. They talk about the society and everything that happened and he confesses that he was worried about her and didn’t know what he’d do without her. Then he quotes a line from that damn poem and she realizes that he wrote it. They start kissing and then confess that they’re in love.
Oh my fucking god am I glad this book is over. First of all, all this shit happens and somehow their parents don’t know about it. Then Steve is charged with attempted murder and assault, but gets out of jail? Plus where did Billie get bail money in the middle of the night? Then the whole thing with Mike! He went from a drunken, dominating asshole to the perfect guy…almost in the same book. Not to mention the whole thing with Jess and her duty. It pissed me off even more when I realized that by the next book, she’ll be dating someone new…
Friday, December 18, 2009
Jess still refuses to leave Mike, even though Liz spent the night with her just in case he came back, which he never did. She basically blows off the whole night before, saying that they just need to work on their marriage and invest more time if they want to make it work. She also quits her job because her boss won’t let her call in sick again (apparently she’s been doing that a lot so she can spend time with Mike). He shows up after Liz leaves, ask for forgiveness and they make up yet again.
Denise poses as Winston’s girlfriend for his dad and she does such a good job of it that Winston starts to believe that it’s true. Danny and Isabella are now dating and Tom feels like a third wheel every time he’s around them. Alex and Mark are having problems because he’s looking forward to seeing how his life will turn out away from SVU and he has no intention of bringing her with him when he goes to the pros.
Liz comes up with a “brilliant” idea and discovers that Mike is actually the leader of the secret society. Everyone seems to believe her except for Tom and Billie. Billie thinks it’s too big of a stretch, but Tom actually likes Mike. He remembers a night when he was still a top football player and saw a bunch of frat guys (including Peter the ass and William White) beating up on a restaurant worker. Mike broke it up, took the guy inside and never said a word.
Jess asks Liz to come over for dinner at their apartment and tells her to bring a date. Since Tom likes Mike so much, she invites him along. Jess goes all crazy trying to plan a big dinner party and escapes to Isabella’s for a few hours under the pretense of studying and instead gossips the whole time.
She starts cooking on the day and screws everything up. She can’t find half the ingredients she needs, the house hasn’t been cleaned in awhile and she burns dinner. Mike finds her crying on the floor and decides to order in Mexican food, which they fake as homemade. Apparently Tom and Liz aren’t that smart. Mike and Tom hit it off, spending the whole night talking about jazz music. Liz starts to feel bad because Mike is such a good person after all.
Steven follows Mike around town one day, convinced that he’ll find him cheating, but instead runs into Mike. Mike acts nice and invites him to dinner, but Steve freaks out on him. Steve basically does nothing except talk about Mike and what a loser he is. Then he runs into Mike and Jess and they have another confrontation.
Basically they both act like dicks. Steven pulls out the whole, “stay away from my little sister” routine and Mike turns her into his property. He actually says, “she’s not your sister, she’s my wife”. Yeah, because you can only be one or the other. He demands that Jess back him up, but she runs off crying instead. Steve spends the rest of the night talking about how it can’t possibly be true. Of course they make up yet again when Mike comes home drunk from the bar.
There’s a big dance at school, which is odd because they had one the week before and this isn’t Sweet Valley High. Liz and William, Danny and Isabella, Tom and Celine and Winston and Denise all head out to the dance. Jess was supposed to go, but Mike didn’t want to so she decides to stay home with him instead. She cooks him a special dinner and then sits at home, waiting for him. She cleans up the apartment and finds a hidden gun, but basically just ignores it.
Liz lets William convince her that Tom is caught up in the secret society. He kind of is because it turns out that he was a member during his freshman year when he was a BMOC, but then dropped out when he learned that everyone was racist. There’s also a whole thing about how this is an underground society with connections all across the country. Look, SVU isn’t Harvard or even a Big 10 school so I highly doubt it has that much influence.
Anyway, she decides that Tom and Mike are the leaders and she can’t be around him anymore. She leaves the dance with William and goes back to his apartment. The two are making out on the couch when she realizes that he’s going to want sex and asks to use the bathroom. She looks at his bookshelf, spots an odd book and when she pulls it off the shelf, a bookmark with the society’s emblem falls out.
Jess decides to leave Mike because she’s tired of her life. Just as she’s walking out the door, he shows up and picks a fight with her. He actually says some pretty truthful stuff, about her being a spoiled brat who doesn’t understand real love and how she’s just like the snobby sorority girls. He also tells her that she treated him like a toy, something to play with until she got bored, which is pretty much all she ever does.
He starts tossing stuff around the room, they fight some more and she ends up cracking a lamp over his head before running up to Steven and Billie’s apartment. She confesses their marriage to them and Steve freaks out yet again. They’re all talking about the situation when Mike starts banging on the door.
Billie calls 911, but she begs them not to let him inside. She promises not to, but then Steve runs to the door so Mike can fight with “someone your own size”. Jess tries to tell them that Mike has a gun, but he runs in waving it around first. He and Steven start fighting and the gun goes off…
I am so freaking sick of the whole Jess/Mike thing. Thankfully we’ve only got another book or two until it ends. Plus these storylines go on forever! How long does it take for anything to happen with these people?
Saturday, December 12, 2009
Jessica is still crazy in love with Mike McAllery at the beginning of this book. After a wild ride on his motorcycle, she tells him that she’ll love him forever and he tells her to prove it, by marrying him. Yeah, this will work out great…
Liz goes by the hospital to visit Nina, who was admitted after the attack on her and Bryan. She’s convinced that she can find out who’s behind the secret society and get some justice for her friends. Suddenly she’s best friends with Bryan and the book acts like we should know this, even though she’s never said two words to him before.
Then there’s Danny, who’s secretly in love with Isabella, but afraid to say anything because she’s obsessed with her roommate Tom. Tom loves Liz, but he won’t say anything because she’s still dating William White. What the hell is up with all these people? Everyone says they’re in love, but without knowing the other person, or even really having a conversation with them!
Williams starts putting weird thoughts in Liz’s head and even though she’s so “smart”, she doesn’t realize what he’s doing. Like he suggests that Tom has a reason for wanting to kill her story about the secret society and might be the ringleader behind it. But of course he’s handsome and rich so not only will one of the twins fall for him, but he’ll also be evil. Of course.
Jess and Mike get married in Las Vegas and even though he’s supposedly super rich, she doesn’t get a real wedding ring. He just takes off a turquoise and silver ring from his hand and puts it on hers. She’s so caught up in his life and the excitement that she never stops to think about real life. They run into Steven when they come home and he pitches a major league hissy fit about the two of them, which makes her run off crying.
Nina has to deal with her mom, who wants her to transfer from SVU. Everyone acts like it’s a huge deal and she’s overreacting, but can you blame her? Her daughter was put in the hospital because she’s black and one of the only minority students in the school. Plus Nina had the chance to go to Harvard and Princeton, but chose SVU, which is just insane. Her mom also hates Bryan because she thinks he seems like a “radical”.
There’s also a whole plot about how Todd and Mark are being ostracized by other students since the favor story broke. He doesn’t have any friends, so he suddenly remembers Winston and they start hanging out again. He feels bad though when he sees him with his “friend” Denise and realizes how much things have changed since school started…like 3 weeks ago.
Parents’ Weekend is coming up and Jess decides to move back in with Isabella so her parents won’t know anything is wrong. But Mike freaks out, starts yelling and they have a whole fight. He gets pissed off every 5-10 pages because she won’t tell anyone they got married, she cries and then they make up again.
Liz drops by the building to see Steven and runs into Mike, who acts like her best friend. She learns that they’re living together and runs to her brother. That sets Mike off again because he realizes that Jess hadn’t told her sister where she was living, let alone the marriage thing. Liz, Steven and Billie decide to try and help Jess keep her secret from their parents, but let her know they aren’t happy.
Other stuff: Tom starts dating Celine because of her connections, but lets Liz think that they’re a real couple and Celine rubs it in her face constantly. Winston confesses to Denise that he told his parents they were dating because his dad was worried that he was gay and she agrees to pose as his girlfriend for the weekend. Nina decides to stay at SVU and her mom bonds with Bryan because she knew his dad in college.
Jess keeps her parents’ visit a secret from Mike and sneaks out to meet them when he goes to work. Ned and Alice are so caught up in the campus that they barely notice when Jess runs off to meet him for lunch. They meet William and aren’t impressed at all, but love Tom and think he’s a good guy. There’s also a funny moment where Ned asks about Todd because, “I always liked him”. Sure thing dad.
Steven, Billie, Liz, Jess, Ned and Alice head off to dinner and drive past Mike on the street. Jess knows she’s screwed as soon as she sees him and rushes back after dinner. He turns into an even bigger asshole. He screams, starts throwing stuff around the room and tells her to get away from him. He actually tells her to lock herself in the bathroom before he hurts her.
Then he hits her hard enough that she falls on the ground and she runs into the bedroom. Not long after, Liz shows up and finds the front door standing open. Mike threw around a bunch of furniture, broke a bunch of stuff and then just left. She finds Jess in the bedroom crying and decides to take action.
Liz starts packing her sister’s stuff up and trying to get her out the door as soon as she can. Jess keeps saying she can’t go, but won’t say why. She finally admits that they aren’t just dating or living together and that the reason she can’t leave is because they’re married.
Really Francine, really? We had to sit through 5 billion books where Jess is always in control of her dates, just to get to this. What, is Mike like the new Bruce Patman? It also annoys me that more stuff happens in a shorter period in these books than they ever did in Sweet Valley High. All of this crap has happened in four books and we’re not even to midterms yet!
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Jessica Wakefield is a moron and this book (not to mention the other early books in the University series) only serve to emphasize this point. She moved in with Mike at the beginning of the last book and then runs out and spends a shitload of money decorating their apartment. She also spends a ton on new clothes, to “keep up” with him. Uh, isn’t he a mechanic who always wears jeans and tee-shirts?
She goes to the bank to make a withdraw from the account her parents setup and discovers that she only has 55 cents left. Good old Ned and Alice apparently deposited enough to get them through the whole semester and Jess spent everything in about 2 weeks. She changes clothes, goes back to the bank and makes a withdraw from Liz’s account because apparently you don’t need something as basic as a picture ID to use the college bank.
Liz of course is way too busy to deal with her sister. She and Tom are on the hunt for a new storyline and decide to do one on freshman frat hazing. Liz tries to convince Winston to spill the beans, but he won’t because he really wants to be a frat brother. She doesn’t get that at all because she turned down an invitation to join the Thetas and everyone should be like her.
Liz also has trouble because William White came forward and admitted to being the one who wrote the poem, even though it was Tom. They go out a few times, but she keeps thinking about Tom. Plus every time they get close, William turns up. Of course Celine gets all pissed off because she wants William so she acts like an even bigger bitch.
Oh yeah and Alex/Enid is very briefly mentioned, as is Todd. Alex shows up at Liz’s door towards the beginning and tells her that they shouldn’t talk anymore. She’s dating Mark Gathers who’s on the basketball team and she thinks Liz only did the team story because she was pissed about Todd dumping her. Todd turns up for exactly two pages to give Winston advice on pledging.
The funniest thing of all is how freaked out everyone gets about Winston and his “hazing” rituals. You’d think they were tarring and feathering him or something. He has to wear a brick around his neck for a few days, swallow live goldfish (it’s apparently 1954) and can’t talk to anyone outside the frat for two days. Everyone gets all concerned about him and talks behind his back.
Celine starts dating snobby Peter, who’s in charge of the frat and she lets it slip to Liz that Winston won’t make it. Apparently the frat picks one loser each year and make him go through the worst hazes and then don’t let him into the frat. Liz goes all psycho and does all this research and discovers that once every seven years, someone from that frat dies during hazing.
Look, they try to explain why this is, but all I could think about was that episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I think the frat has a giant snake monster in the basement. The whole seven year sacrifice thing really doesn’t make sense the way they explained it. But this is one of those seven year moments. She and Tom rush to the frat house when they learn that Winston has one more challenge.
Nina is now dating Bryan, a guy she meets when both become members of the Black Student Union. They both have parents who worry about their actions and she finds him incredibly hot. As Liz and Tom and running to the frat, Nina and Bryan are coming back from a date. A group of people dressed in black come out of the shadows, make some racist comments and proceed to beat the snot out of Bryan.
Dumbass Winston is drunk on whiskey and sent to the roof of the frat. If he can walk across the top, he’ll become a member. Tom runs upstairs to stop Winston from doing something stupid and Liz convinces him to walk towards the window. He slips, but Tom’s there to grab him and pull him inside. She wanders home, only to stumble across Nina and Bryan.
What about Jess? Jess blows off the Thetas to spend time with Mike and because he hates the snobby, rich girls (and he’s in love with…Jess?). Every time she tries to go to a meeting or hang out with them, he pitches a hissy fit and she stays home. She gets really pathetic and basically just sits around the apartment, waiting for him to come home from work.
She also has to get a job waiting tables to pay Liz back. Her and Mike have a big fight the night of her induction ceremony and he storms off. She goes to the café and finds that she has to wait on a table of Thetas. As Alison (the VP) makes fun of her, she realizes that Mike was right and she’d rather be with him so she tells them she’s not joining.
She runs home, makes dinner for him and gets all purty. Then she just sits and waits…and waits. He doesn’t show up until midnight and finds her sleeping at the kitchen table where she cried herself to sleep. Mike immediately starts in, calling her a spoiled brat and a poor little rich girl. She starts crying, tells him she quit the sorority and suddenly everything’s fine because he loves her again.
Look, I know that these books were done for 12-16 year olds, but this is ridiculous. I was around 14 or 15 when they came out and I remember thinking that Mike was an asshole and that I never wanted a guy to treat me like that. I guess the writer is trying to set it up so that you believe he cares about her so much that he ridicules her to make her better. I don’t buy it. I want to climb into the book and slam him against the wall…
Saturday, December 5, 2009
Jessica Wakefield is in a funk. At the end of the last book, her dream date Mike kissed her and promised to call, but it’s now been a week without a word, which makes me really like him. She moans over him constantly, annoying her roommate Isabella. Izzy points out all the bad stuff Mike did in the past, but Jess is so in love (after one kiss remember) that she won’t even leave the room because she’s worried he might call.
Tom Watts finds proof that the athletic department is offering illegal help to players (like giving them $5,000 for free schooling and grants to pay for new cars), but because he’s a former football player, he can’t investigate the claims on his own so he asks Liz for help. She turns to Alex, who’s still going by Alex, but is called Enid 747 times in this book. Alex is all over her new jock boyfriend Mark and doesn’t think it’s odd that she’s hanging out with Todd and his new galpal Lauren.
Liz is still having problems with her roomie Celine, who’s going around and spreading lies and rumors. Apparently no one in their dorm has met Liz because they’re willing to believe that she parties all the time, blares rock music and sleeps around. She does start spending time with Nina Harper, a girl in her dorm who is also on a diet.
Jess is out with Denise (who Winston is secretly in love with) and Izzy when she hears Mike pull up behind her. Even though she hasn’t heard a word from him in a week and they only shared one kiss, she jumps in his car and they start making out before flying off to his apartment to make out even more. This book should really be called Morons +Stupid Girls = Jessica Wakefield.
Meanwhile Winston is going all crazy because the guys in his frat (including Bruce Patman, yay!) only hang out with him because they want him to introduce them to girls in his dorm. They literally come over at all hours, walk into his dorm without knocking and get rude if he says no. One guy even refuses to buy him lunch unless he introduces him to Denise.
Celine starts pushing herself all over William White, a creepy guy who’s also rich and handsome and is interested in Liz. She promises to report back to him stories about her roommate and give him the inside scoop. Of course she lies to him about stupid crap like dozens of guys asking Liz out for Homecoming and he falls for it all, even asking her to be his date for the dance. He does give Liz a rose that Celine gave him, which she finds and destroys.
After seeing Todd, Liz realizes that she still has feelings for him and should have slept with him. She lets Nina convince her to talk to him, but finds a half-dressed Lauren in his dorm room. Tom sees her crying as she runs from the dorm and realizes that (a) she’s crying over her ex and (b) he’s jealous so he must have feelings for her.
Jess starts spending a ton of time with Mike, which disturbs the Thetas. Alison, the vice-president sets Jess down and has a talk with her about Liz. The only way Jess can become a member is if Liz does and vice-versa because of the whole Alice/legacy thing. Eventually it’s decided that Liz has to go on a date with Peter, who she humiliated in the last book and apologize for her actions in public. Of course Liz refuses because Peter is a racist bastard who should burn in hell.
Izzy starts giving Jess “watch yourself” talks, which pisses her off. She gets more pissed off when Steven gives her a whole lecture after seeing her leave his building at 9 am because he lives in the same building as Mike. Plus she finds a condom ad tapped to the refrigerator and Izzy gives her a pack just in case.
She runs to his apartment and he greets her with a home cooked dinner. As they start making out, they decide to skip dinner and *boom* Jess loses it. I still think she lost it to Bruce back in Sweet Valley High, but whatevs. She gets all excited and tries to see if she looks any different. Eventually Mike asks her to move in because they’ll have more time together and she decides to think about it.
Jess decides to move in with him because heck, they’ve known each other three weeks now. She goes back to his apartment the next day and sees a hot girl leaving. She runs home, cries to Izzy and then realizes that there could be a logical explanation for what he was doing with the girl. Sure, it was Tuesday.
So Jess stalks her big “love” and sees him with a couple of other girls, including one driving a vintage car. She follows him to a bar, where she confronts him after his hugging another girl. The girl sits in his lap and laughs at her and she runs out crying.
Liz finds evidence of the illegal athletic activities (of course she does) by just talking to the director, of course she does. She goes to Todd because he’s implicated and he kind of blows her off because he thinks she’s just crazy about him. She comes home and finds a love poem left for her. She thinks it’s from William White, but it’s actually from Tom.
She does see Tom a couple of times in this book and he always seems to be blowing her off. Like she’s crying and runs to him, but he’s busy with work. Once she ends up running right into William’s arms and then she decides to ask Tom to the dance, but he acts so mean that she runs off and makes him feel bad.
Jess decides to impersonate Liz on a date with Peter and pulls the whole thing off great. Tom sees them together and gets upset because “Liz” is with a loser frat guy. Steven is equally pissed because he can’t figure out what’s up with his sisters and Jess is happy that she still has a shot at her sorority. Izzy sees the way Tom looks at “Liz” and realizes that he’ll never look at her the same way.
William shows up for his date with Celine and is pissed when he finds that not only is Liz staying home, but she never even got asked to the dance. He makes it clear that he would have taken her and that he isn’t happy with Celine. Steve drops by with Billie and tells Liz what happened with Peter and how he’s upset with her before they all realize it was Jess so Liz runs off to make a scene.
Jess comes home to find Mike sitting in her apartment and playing Love Me Tender, the same Elvis song that played when they made love for the first time. Wow, three whole minutes? Wait until she gets a little more experience! He explains that all those women are friends and he was working with the one girl to buy her vintage car and fix it up for Jess. He tells her he loves her, asks her to move in and she agrees in a heatbeat.
Winston comes up with a plan that uses the girls on his floor. They all act sweet and innocent to lure the guys from the frat and setup dates for Homecoming. Before the actual dance, they all get other dates and stand up the frat. Now I see why Winston didn’t pledge. He ends up watching a horror movie marathon with Denise instead of going to the dance. Aw, that’s my kind of date!
I really, really want to slap Jessica around and not just because I know how the storyline with Mike ends. She’s such a bad example to girls! Mike treats her like shit and she falls head over heels in love within a few days. Then she moves in with him just because it kind of seems like she wants to keep an eye on him. Oh well, at least we get a reference to Sam! She uses him as the example of her greatest love ever and how they didn’t need sex to make it work or show their love. Too bad she didn’t mention how it ended when her sister killed him lol.
Friday, November 27, 2009
Sharon McKay is on trial for killing her best friend Ann Rice and she’s in jail and everything, she even has a creepy lawyer named Johnny who wants to get in her pants. Apparently they’re charging her even though no body was found. It happened a month ago and she’s still sitting in jail. They don’t have a whole lot of faith in a teenage girl.
Anyway, Sharon and her quasai boyfriend Fred had gone on a camping trip with Ann, Ann’s boyfriend Paul and his brother Chad, who works for her. Things were rough between the girls because Ann’s brother Jerry was obsessed/in love with Sharon and he killed himself when she wouldn’t date him…or something.
Sharon was this great classical pianist who was already accepted to Julliard and Jerry was the annoying little brother of her best friend. She was nice to him and he never even looked at another girl because he was in love. Sounds a little more like stalker than love, but whatever.
They all go camping and Ann tells Sharon they should take a walk later in the night. Chad gives Sharon a back rub that gets her all worked up, but instead of doing anything, she goes for a walk with Ann. They clear the air and as she’s walking back, she hears someone yell, “don’t!”. She runs to the edge of the cliff and finds that Ann is gone. Now she’s in jail and doesn’t know that Ann actually set the whole thing up.
See Ann is super rich. That explains why she’s 18 and has servants working for her. She bought a car and left it near the mountain so she could escape without anyone seeing her and took rock climbing lessons so she could pull it off. She planned on meeting Paul in Mexico a few months later and of course left him all her money.
She jumps off a 500 foot cliff and falls down, where she’ll unhook one rope, destroy the evidence of the rock hook, attach herself to another hook and climb the rest of the way down. It kind of sounds like a good plan, you know, if you like dying.
Instead she jumps too far and too fast, which causes her body to slam into the mountain. She ends up shattering one arm and scraping her body up pretty bad. After fighting with the rope and hearing Paul climb down (he’s supposed to cut the rope), she manages to get herself off the rope and loose.
Then we jump back to the present day or whatever, when the trial is taking place. Johnny gets Chad to admit that he saw Ann reading a book about a girl who faked her death and set someone else up to take the fall. Then he apologizes to Sharon for getting her hopes up and thinking Ann was still alive.
Johnny also gets Paul to admit his part in the plan. Paul freaks out on the stand when he realizes that he probably cut the rope before he should have and killed Ann. He’s immediately taken into custody and the police let Sharon go. Johnny tells her that she can call him if she gets into trouble again, but the next time will cost her. Ew. Should an adult really be talking to a girl this way?
Sharon decides that she wants to go back to where it all happened and convinces Chad to take her. Chad tells her that he knows a way to get across the river that isn’t too far and leads her into a secret cave. We then learn that Ann had escaped the cliff and then made her way across the rushing river with a broken arm before passing out.
She woke up in the same cave and found Chad watching over her. He tells her that he knew all along what she was planning because HE set the plan in motion by giving her the book! He confesses that he was always in love with her and even told Jerry, but he dared to laugh at him. He ended up killing Jerry and making it look like a suicide. Then Ann tried to run and he chased her.
Sharon doesn’t know any of this, but she starts to feel uncomfortable. She stops at a pool and starts to drink, but discovers Ann at the bottom. They get the police and I swear the main cop should get sued. He calls Sharon a bitch about 15 times and roughs her up a little. He doesn’t believe that she found the body by accident and that she should fry. Sorry buddy, it’s called double jeopardy so that won’t happen.
She took a ring from the area that the girls called Chad’s ring. She bought it for Ann for her last birthday and asked Chad about her birthstone. He told her it was a ruby so she bought a ruby ring and then learned that was actually Chad’s birthstone. The cop is super pissed that she took it and claims that she probably stole it off the body.
They decide to stick around and camp after the cops leave because it’s just a dead body, nothing serious. She and Chad exchange a few kisses, but then she realizes that Ann left the ring there as a warning. Chad chases her because he realizes that she knows the truth and he tries to throw her off the cliff. She winds up on a ledge down below and he comes after her.
This time she puts petroleum jelly on the rope and as he comes down, she sprays bug spray in his eye. He drops down the rope and then comes after her again. When he gets to the top, she grabs a knife and cuts the rope, but he makes it back to the ledge below.
They have a long talk and she wishes that things were different because they actually did look good together. Then Chad jumps off the ledge and kills himself. The cops come back and all Sharon can do is think about Johnny. She knows that he can get her off, but she wonders what it will cost her.
I think the most disturbing thing about Fall Into Darkness was the whole lawyer thing. He’s out of law school, passed the bar and been practicing for awhile so he’s probably around 30. Sharon is 18 and her own mother is trying to fix her up with him because he’ll be “good” for her. Is that gross, or is it just me?
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Liz, Jess, Todd, Winston and Enid are ready for college life at Sweet Valley University. Jess can’t wait to get away from their parents, but Liz isn’t feeling as confident. She and Todd take one last date night, she thinks about how hard the change is going to be and cries at the thought of leaving behind Prince Albert (hey! He’s still alive). Jess thinks she’s a moron, but I can’t talk because I was the same way when I moved to college.
Enid decides that when they get to school, she’s going to completely change her look and be a new person, complete with a new name: Alex. Liz can’t get over how much everyone’s changing, but willingly climbs in the car with Jess to head off on their new life. By the way, what kind of school lets all these freshmen have cars on campus? And what kind of parents just let their twin girls run off to college together without even checking out their dorm? Everyone I knew had their parents helping them move in on the first day. Oh and they’re leaving Sweet Valley county to get to the school.
As soon as they get to school, the twins separate. Jess sleeps in late, flirts with guys, leaves her crap all over the room and makes friends wherever she goes. Liz…just wants things to stay exactly the same. She wants everyone in the same little box they were in high school, including Alex/Enid. Alex tells her very bluntly that she’s tired of living in the great Liz’s shadow and wants to be her own person. I’d be all excited if her own person didn’t mean Jess. Alex goes all boy crazy and sorority mad.
Todd is the BMOC right off the bat, living in a great high-rise dorm, making new basketball friends and the whole deal. He doesn’t seem to have time for Liz and keeps blowing her off when it comes to dates, showing up late or not showing up at all. Then there’s poor Winston who somehow got stuck in an all girls dorm when the computer listed him as Winnie and all the girls in his dorm call him that same name.
Jess is missing Lila, who was supposed to attend classes at SVU (not the TV show), but she went to Europe for the summer and still isn’t back. She ends up becoming friends with Isabella Rici, a gorgeous sophomore who’s also a member of the Zetas. The Zetas are the most exclusive sorority on campus and Alice was once president.
Liz starts eating too much, going from a perfect size 6 to an 8 or maybe even 10...you pig. She also freaks out when Todd invites her back to his room and puts the moves on her. Basically she’s all into it and wants to sleep with him, but then gets pissed off because he wasn’t waiting for the right time. They have a huge fight and eventually break up.
Jess makes a date with Danny Wyatt, which brings shock from Isabella. He’s black and he’s the rival of Peter something or other, who’s president of the Theta’s brother fraternity. Peter goes after Jess and gets pissed when she disses him. Oh and he’s rumored to be involved in a secret society.
One day she’s out driving the Jeep when she accidentally hit’s a 1964 Corvette and dings the bumper. The owner is super hot and she’s sure he’ll fall for her, but he’s just pissed about his car. Good guy. She becomes obsessed with him, but doesn’t even know her name. eventually she gets sick of living with Liz and her obsessive compulsive disorder and decides to move in with Isabella. Um, can freshmen live in sophomore housing? Because they couldn’t in my school.
She comes home one day to find the car guy sitting in her living room and learns that his name is Mike McAllery. Immediately everyone she knows freaks out because he’s a bad dude, even Steven is on her case. Apparently Mike was once a trouble maker, moved to LA, became a famous photographer, moved back when his dad died and became a troublemaker, sleeping with a bunch of girls. Jess ignores them because she’s sure he’s just in morning, or acting out in grief…five years later.
Liz gets a new roommate in the form of Celine Bordeaux, who’s basically a slightly more evil Jess with a southern accent. She leaves her clothes everywhere, smokes, treats Liz like crap and uses her stuff. When she comes home drunk one night with a guy, Liz freaks out and runs to Steven, but feels guilty when she sees Billie getting ready for bed and ends up sleeping in the lobby of her dorm.
Isabella fixes Jess up with Mark, a friend of Todd’s who met Alex and went loco. She sees the two of them on a date and runs out in tears, but the two realize that they’re both interested in someone else. It doesn’t help that she runs into Mike on their date, but she does make excuses when he blows her off for a girl in the band.
Tom Watts is a friend of Danny’s, who keeps seeing Liz everywhere and having feelings for her. When Jess and Danny are confronted by Peter at a big frat party, Liz is the one who stands up for her sister and makes Tom fall even harder. He keeps seeing her in the library and then discovers that she’s his new intern at the campus new station, which he also runs.
There’s a big Halloween party and a rumor sweeping the campus is about a mass murder happening at the party. It leads to a funny exchange where Jess blows the whole thing off and someone asks if they didn’t have serial killers in Sweet Valley. Only once a year.
So Jess and Danny are dancing like crazy when Peter confronts them again. He keeps using phrases like “black boy” that made me wince because it was like someone’s bad attempt at being racist. She walks away and starts dancing with a frat brother, who eventually puts the moves on her, in a bad way. She’s wearing a sheet as part of her costume (she went as Penelope, who pined over her husband, just like Jess pines over Mike) and he wants to take her home and get the sheet off. Lame.
Liz storms out of the party and Tom is on her tail. He tells her that something weird is going on and it’s not safe for her to walk home. She doesn’t care though because she just saw Todd making out with some new girl. She runs home and realizes that Tom followed her the whole way, just to make sure she made it back. I like him.
Jess storms off, her date follows and Danny has to save the day. Peter confronts them again and this time they both walk away. As she’s heading home, a figure steps out of the shadows and attacks her. She’s narrowly saved in the nick of time by…Mike. He kicks some ass and then sweeps her off her feet with a kiss. Whatever could happen next?
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Cassie is your typical 16 year old girl who has three best friends, all of them guys. Scott is her secret crush, but she’s too afraid to say anything or anything about it. There’s Wink who’s pretty much an asshole and Eddie who everyone picks on. Winks gets a human eyeball from Eddie’s cousin Jerry, who works in a morgue and apparently also thinks it’s funny to pick on him. Eddie gets all freaked out and runs off.
A few days later the gang decides to take Scott’s dad’s car for a long drive. None of them have a license, but they figure it’s good practice. Wink screams about seeing something in the road when it’s Eddie’s turn behind the wheel, but there’s nothing actually there and they all get a big laugh out of it.
After a few more days, they all go back out for another drive. This time they hit someone. The whole gang runs out to see what happened and find the man laying in the road. Eddie digs out his wallet and learn that his name was Brett Tinker. After a long fight, they decide to leave the body there and get the hell out because hey, that’s what teenagers do I guess.
Cassie starts worrying about what they did and keeps reading the newspaper, but the accident is never reported. She talks to Scott and he blows the whole thing off, though he does kiss her, which helps take her mind off things. She runs into Eddie in school and he’s so upset over what happened that he skips class.
Then Cassie gets a threatening phone call and Eddie and Wink get the same one. She and Eddie hang out and she forces him to ask his cousin about the guy, but he blows her off. They keep getting phone calls and notes left at their house, all claiming to know what they did. Then Wink is on his way to her house and is struck by a driver who runs off. Gasp, a hit and run!
Cassie and Eddie visit his cousin at the morgue and he laughs about the whole dead body thing. Then he learns about Wink and tries to talk to Eddie, but Eddie suddenly feels sick and forces Cassie to leave. She thinks it’s a little odd, but goes with the flow.
Cassie visits the hospital and speaks to Wink’s mom, but the doctors don’t think he’s going to make it. She tries to make plans with Scott and he’s too sick to leave his house. She keeps getting freaked out and eventually turns to Eddie because he’s the only one who will talk to her. After she gets her license, he suggests they go for a drive. At first she turns him down, but then he begs because his mom said he could have the car if Cassie took him out.
They head off and Eddie decides that he wants to go down the same road where they hit the guy. She doesn’t want to, but he goes that way anyway. They hear a noise, which turns out to be a flat tire and Eddie freaks out when she tries to get in the trunk and find the spare tire. Turns out that their driver’s ed classes taught them how to change a tire. Um, they never did that in my classes…
Cassie eventually gets in the trunk and discovers the decomposing body. The two start fighting and he attacks her so she takes off running. A car comes out of nowhere and she fantasizes that it hit and killed her at the same spot where they killed the guy. Really though the car comes to a stop and Jerry and Scott run out.
It turns out that Eddie and Jerry set the whole thing up to get back at the people who were so mean to Eddie. Jerry hung out with the body until he saw their car and then threw the body out in front. The guy was a homeless dude who was never claimed so apparently they could just play around with his body. Jerry apologizes, they promise to get Eddie help and then realize that the body is gone!
A few weeks later they’re all hanging out at Wink’s house because he’s out of the hospital. They hang out and kind of feel bad about everything that happened, though they’re more concerned about goofing around. They walk Scott outside and *gasp* the dead body is sitting in his car! Just as everyone starts freaking out, Jerry comes walking out with a big grin on his face and confesses that he snagged the corpse. They all laugh before leaving the corpse against the front door and calling for Wink’s mom. The End.
What the hell? Seriously, what the hell? Teenagers must really be evil if this book is any indication. Cassie realizes that Wink is a horrible person, but then goes with the flow because she’s worried about upsetting him. Sweetie, you have two other friends.
Plus, how the hell does Jerry have a job? I’m pretty sure that you can’t loan out body parts and you sure as hell can’t let someone borrow a corpse. Not to mention that after 3-4 weeks, that corpse would be pretty nasty. Then, they don’t really mention Eddie. He didn’t kill anyone, so what happened to him?
On another note, this is like the 400th book I’ve read about a hit and run marketed to teens. Hit and Run, Chain Letter, I Know What You Did Last Summer, April Fool’s…am I missing any?
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Kelsey is pissed off at her mom because she takes her to spend the summer with mom’s boyfriend Eric and his kids. They’ve apparently never met before, even though they’ve been dating forever (unlike Trick or Treat, where the parents marry after 3 months). On the boat ride to Beverly Island where the family lives, she meets a hot guy named Skip who tells her that he’s a lifeguard in town.
When they arrive on the island, they meet his sons Neale and Justin, but learn that his daughter Beth just went missing. Apparently she was supposed to meet some guy and then disappeared and now the police think she drowned. Kelsey also meets the requisite creepy town drunk without any teeth Isaac, who seemingly attacks her.
Kelsey automatically likes Justin, who is super sweet and nice. But she hates Neale, who acts dark and moody. Oh and both are lifeguards…apparently the whole town only has three. She finds a couple of notes left for her by Beth and wishes she had the chance to meet the sweet girl. Then she meets a local girl named Donna who decides to show her around town.
They end up at an old, abandoned lighthouse, accidentally fall down a hill and find a dead body. They find Skip and send him up to check it out, but he doesn’t find anything and think they’re playing a big joke on him. That same night she finds watery footprints in her room and runs to get Justin. He and Skip check things out and think she’s still playing a joke. This is all cut in with stories told from the lifeguard’s point of view, as he stalks Kelsey and remembers doing stuff to girls.
Everyone gathers at Skip’s huge beach house for a party and she starts to feel uncomfortable. She ends up outside with Justin and he decides to give her a swimming lesson. She freaks out because she hates the water. Every time she gets close to the water, she flashes back to some horrible incident with her dad and hyperventilates. Justin manages to get her waist high in the water before a tidal wave separates them. She swears she feels a shark touch her and then Justin is pulled out to sea.
Kelsey grabs Neale who runs off to find Justin. Justin somehow manages to find his way back completely unharmed, but Neale goes off on her about the two of them acting irresponsible. Kelsey lets Donna borrow her jacket and goes home, where she finds a hidden note from Beth saying that someone tried to kill her.
The next day they learn that Donna is missing and that their parents are stuck off the island. Apparently they went to the mainland, Eric had a heart attack and now they’re staying there, leaving three teenagers alone for an unknown amount of time. Good parenting. Kelsey accidentally knocks over a box of paperwork and finds a letter inside: one that Neale wrote to Beth while he was in a mental institution. Gasp. And that town was where a bunch of girls mysteriously disappeared. Double gasp.
Blah, blah, blah. Kelsey is out near the water and hears a noise. She goes investigating and finds Donna laying in the water. She ends up in a cave and sees a dark figure. She keeps freaking out, yelling at Neale to stop and leave her alone, especially when she finds Beth in the cave. Big surprise when it turns out to be Justin. He’s attacking her, things go black and then *boom*, she wakes up in a hospital.
Neale shows up and she starts crying over Donna, when the girl comes into the room. Apparently Justin grabbed her because he saw her jacket and thought she was Kelsey. He thought she was dead so he left her, but she just broke her leg. Donna leaves because Skip is waiting for her and Neale talks about Justin. Apparently Neale got depressed after his mom died, tried to kill himself and ended up in a mental hospital. His dad ignored him, Justin was sent to a boarding school in the same time, but occupied himself with killing young girls so Beth was the only one he talked to.
She learns that Justin seemingly died, as in Neale tried to save him and Justin just swam out to sea. We also learn that Beth is alive and is now in a hospital on the mainland. They talk some more and kiss (kind of) at the end of the book.
Dear lord. The Lifeguard is just…I don’t even know. Cusick spent way too much time setting Justin up as the perfect son and Neale as the dark guy that you just knew Justin was the guy. Plus it’s a horror book where no on really dies. And it’s creepy! You really shouldn’t be crushing on your potential step-brother or going out on a date with him like she does with Justin. By the way, this was the book I checked out from my high school library and then found at the book sale J
Monday, November 16, 2009
You should prepare yourself for an onslaught of Sweet Valley University reviews in the coming month(s). I was the high bidder on a set of the books, which included 10 of the Super Thrillers and the entire run of the original series. I plan on reading them in order, which will be a first for the blog. I'll try to cut them with a few reviews of other stuff.
I went to a charity book sale this weekend and ended up buying about 30 different teen books including Pike, Stine, Fear Street, Hoh, Sweet Valley High and a bunch of the old Point Thriller/Horror books. In an ironic twist of fate, one of the books I bought actually came from my old high school and I actually remember checking it out back then!
Needless to say, I plan on reviewing quite a few books in the next couple of months. Look for at least two reviews a week!
I went to a charity book sale this weekend and ended up buying about 30 different teen books including Pike, Stine, Fear Street, Hoh, Sweet Valley High and a bunch of the old Point Thriller/Horror books. In an ironic twist of fate, one of the books I bought actually came from my old high school and I actually remember checking it out back then!
Needless to say, I plan on reviewing quite a few books in the next couple of months. Look for at least two reviews a week!
Friday, November 13, 2009
Memories picks up with a scene that makes much more sense if you read the last one right before this, or at least had some idea of what happened. Steven was at a party and flirting with Cara, but then Betsy Martin showed up and flipped out at him because her sister’s only been gone for ten books! In Sweet Valley time that could be anywhere from a week to six years.
Steve runs home and cries himself to sleep, vowing to always keep Tricia in mind. Jessica tries to make him feel bad by pointing out how much Cara liked him, but he won’t listen. Liz is all heartbroken because Todd is back in Vermont and she can’t do squat without him attached to her hip. There’s also some charity volleyball game with a dance later (of course) and she’s upset that she won’t have a date.
Jessica turns all snoopy (big surprise) and hears Alice on the phone with Winston’s mom. She learns that his uncle is some hotshot movie director (who will never, ever be mentioned again) and decides that she has to get closer to Winston. They have to pair up with someone in school and do a report on a famous author. Lila wants to do Hemingway because he’s related to Murial, but she picks Winston who’s doing F. Scott Fitzgerald.
Steven continues to spend all his free time with Betsy and it makes me want to shake him. He comes back from school for days at a time, mopes around the house and basically does as little as possible. Meanwhile Liz sees a guy who looks exactly like Todd and becomes obsessed with him until she finds out he goes to Big Mesa.
Jessica and Liz also fight over Cara. Jess wants her best friend and brother to start dating and Liz thinks Cara is a huge gossip and basically no damn good. They even fight with Steve sitting between them because they forget he’s there and he has to break up the fight.
Jess starts hanging around Winston’s house all the time and even tries to convince him to take her to the dance, but he thinks she’s talking about Liz. Then she finally meets his uncle Marty and tells him they have similar interests so he tells her he’d love to talk to her about his work sometime.
The day of the game, Liz spends hours getting dressed up because Michael/Todd’s look alike will be at the game. Oddly enough, both girls end up looking exactly the same with some checked shirt and matching shorts. Steven’s friend from high school Artie shows up and convinces him to come to the dance later.
They get to the game and Liz starts fucking up because Michael is on the other team and he keeps looking at her. How can he resist a perfect size 6, California blonde? The rest of the team think she’s a moron, but Jess completely calls her on her shit. Jess then decides that to get the team the win, they need to count on a “special twin” play they used to do as kids where she hit’s the ball to Liz, Liz pretends to hit it back, but really hits it over the net. Um, that’s a regular play, you didn’t invent that and it doesn’t take twins to do it.
Sweet Valley wins of course and Michael comes up to Liz. He uses a few lines like, “I’ll be waiting for you” and she turns into a blathering idiot, drooling on herself. Jess gets Cara to talk to Steven at the dance, but he runs off with Betsy once again. Artie dances with Cara and asks her out on a date, which she agrees to because she can’t think of an excuse.
Liz spends time with Michael and decides he’s a jerk, nothing like Todd. He leaves his paper plate under his chair instead of finding a trash can (you ass, what do you think, that people actually clean up after dance? Lol), ridicules the sandwich setup Winston sat out for dance food and constantly talks about himself. He should realize that Liz only likes it when people talk about her. She eventually ditches him for Winston and later Jess does the same thing, which really pisses him off.
The next day Jess mentions that Cara doesn’t really want to go out with Artie and tells Steven that Car’s alive, unlike Tricia. He also has to sit through Artie getting help on planning his date. Steven finally decides to call and apologize and she confesses that she cancelled her date. Just as she’s about to hang up, he asks her out and they plan a special picnic. The date goes great, but he asks her not to talk about it. Yeah, because teenage girls never talk about their dates with their friends. Liz talks to Cara and tells her that she saw how happy Cara made her brother and realizes that she was wrong.
Steven asks Cara out for her birthday and lets her pick the place. He shows up with a book, how romantic and gets freaked out when she picks Valley Inn because that was where he and Tricia shared their last date, but of course he doesn’t tell her that. They have a great time together (order: prime rib, salad, baked potato…pretty fancy for a high school date) until Steven hears the band play Always, which was Tricia’s favorite song. He flips out and runs off while she’s still on the dance floor. Nice guy…
He apologizes yet again, but confesses that he’s not ready to date anyone else. Jessica sneaks over to Winston’s and meets with his uncle, but then learns that he’s a civil engineer. Turns out that the director got held up in London. Don’t worry though because she tells Liz she already put in all the hard work so she’ll stay close to him.
Liz visits Betsy and tells her that she made Tricia a promise she wishes she had stuck to. Back when Tricia was sick, she asked Liz to not tell Steven so he could move on with his life. She now realizes that if he hadn’t spent that last few weeks with her, he would have got over her a lot faster and wouldn’t have been hurt so much when she died. Sure…Betsy realizes that she made a mistake too, by forcing Steven to live in the past.
Steve gets a message that he has to meet a friend under the clock at Sweet Valley High and runs into Cara who got the same note. Teddy Collins rides up with a package for each one. Each gets a beautifully drawn picture of the other and Steve also gets a note from Betsy. Cara tells him that she’s still there if he wants her. The end.
Things I Learned:
If you act like a complete and total doormat and let a guy treat you like shit, he’ll eventually realize that he’s in love with you.
It only takes a few weeks/books to get over the love of your life.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Carter Phillips is one of those secondary characters who pops up in Fear Street books. In those she’s rich, blonde and slightly snobby. In The Cheater she gets her own story where she’s rich, blonde and slightly snobby.
Carter is moaning to her boyfriend Dan about how horrible her life is. Yeah, I really feel for you girl. She took some special math test and scored 500 something, but that’s not good enough for her dad. Judge Phillips wants his little girl to go to Princeton and insists she retake the test and score at least 700. Dan acts all uncomfortable because he’s a math genius who scored 715 on his test.
The head to The Corner, the local after school hang out and she “jokingly” suggests that Dan take the test for her. He gets all freaked out and she changes the subject fast. After he leaves, Adam Messner, a math genius from their school who works at the restaurant, approaches her and offers to take the test. All he wants in return is one date and she gets all excited, barely noticing a newspaper story all about her dad and some mobster.
She fakes going to the test, gets the call from Adam and he freaks her out by saying that they checked for ID and he got busted. Haha, turns out it was a big joke and everything is fine so they make plans for their date. I don’t know about you, but even when I read this book back when it came out, I knew that you needed picture ID for one of these tests…
Adam is kind of cool because he doesn’t take Carter’s shit, calling her a “North Hills princess” and asking her to dress down on their date. They go to some underground dance club where she knows no one will spot them and then he kisses her. His girlfriend Sheila jumps Carter outside her house, turning all “he’s mine, stay away bitch” on her.
Carter retreats to her fancy world with Dan and Jill Bancroft (who I’m sure is in other books!). She heads to the country club to meet Jill and is shocked to see Adam outside, fighting with security. She reluctantly lets him inside and lies to Jill about how she ran into him. They decide to play doubles against some Richard guy, who apparently wants to get in Carter’s pants bad. She and Adam kick his ass and they all have a good laugh, except Richard who runs off like a three year old.
In the locker room, she grabs her bag and finds a cow heart inside with a note telling her not to break daddy’s heart. She’s freaked out, but not so bad that she can’t go right back to making out with Dan. Of course they get the test results and “she” scored a 730 so daddy runs right off and buys her a pair of $3,000 diamond earrings. And in case you’re wondering about Mrs. Phillips, she’s all busy with planning some big charity event for the club.
Adam blackmails her into a second date, only he wants to set Jill up with his friend Ray. They meet at some club and Stine apparently has no clue about the opposite sex or what girls want because he tries to make Ray all disgusting, but he actually sounds kind of hot. Dusty black jeans, a black shirt, silver studs in one ear, a skull earring and a couple of tats. Mm…bet he has a motorcycle too.
So everyone is having a good time until Ray puts the moves on Jill. Then he passes her off to another guy and somehow the two girls end up in a circle of guys. Is this a gang bang in a Fear Street book? Adam and Ray lead the taunters (damn, no sex) until a fight breaks out and the girls run off. Carter tells Jill that she bet Adam he couldn’t beat Richard in sex and the date was their dare.
Dan finally grows a pair and confronts Carter, telling her that he knows she went out with Adam. She denies it and tries to make him feel better. Then they play this asinine game called “what would you pick?” where they point out a display and pick what they want. He points to a jewelry display and picks a random locket.
Adam turns up and tells Carter that he wants $1,000 in return for his silence. At this point I’m wondering why the heck she doesn’t call his bluff. If they didn’t ask for ID at the test center, how would they know who really took the test. Instead she pawns her precious earrings, gives him the money and tells her dad that they’re getting repaired.
A car tries to run her off the road and she gets home, she sees Adam outside. He says it wasn’t him, but does demand more money. She sells a bunch of her jewelry, but only makes $200. Dan then confronts her and figures out what happened, which leads to a breakdown. She goes to Adam’s house and then comes home to find Dan, just as the cops arrive to inform her that Adam was shot and someone saw her car out front. Luckily Dan acts as her alibi, but then stays the hell away from her.
Her parents head out for the night and she starts hearing noises, even seeing shadows and the phone is disconnected. A guy jumps her, the cops show up and *gasp* it’s some total stranger. Papa Phillips shows up just in time to recognize the guy as someone who works for the big mobster. He was trying to get to the judge through his daughter!
All’s well in rich-ville until Sheila calls and demands $500. Turns out that Adam told her what happened and she claims to have proof that Carter killed him. Frankly I’d call it a day and tell her to fuck off, but she sells her expensive stereo. She gets the evidence and calls Dan to tell him that she’s ready to confess to her dad, but wants him there for support.
Carter and Dan sit down with her dad and she tells him about the cheating, then confesses to killing Adam. The judge gets all stern and starts to call the police, even though Dan tells him that he needs to help his daughter. Ooh, hard ass. When he refuses, Dan confesses that he killed Adam and Carter tells her dad that she knew he’d do the right thing.
She confesses that she figured out the truth when she got the “proof” from Shelia: the gold locket she pointed out to Dan earlier in the book. Dan says it was an accident and the gun went off when he was fighting with him. Judge Phillips offers to help and apologizes to Carter for putting so much pressure on her. At the end of the book Carter and Dan sit down to a game of chess, claiming that she’s done with cheating. Aw…
Things I Learned:
Money can buy everything. Seriously, Dan kills a guy and he doesn’t even get a slap on the wrist! Two pages later they’re playing a game and joking around. Also Carter’s dad isn’t even upset that she pawned all her shit and lied to everyone. Ugh, apparently Carter is the Fear Street equivalent of Jessica Wakefield.
On another note, Jill was dating Gary Brandt in this book. I think that guy turns up in every single book! I need to start paying better attention…
Sunday, November 8, 2009
The Visitor opens with a high school student named Mary trying to get over the loss of her boyfriend Jerry who died a month ago. She started smoking after he died and she doesn’t seem to care about much, which worries her parents, but not enough to make them cancel a trip out of town. Seems like a running theme with Christopher Pike: get rid of the adults as soon as possible.
Jerry’s best friend Savey stops by to pick her up and take her to a party at Pamela’s house, a cheerleader who used to date Jerry and now has sex with everyone. Savey’s band plays the party while Mary sits in a corner and drinks and entire bottle of wine. She’s momentarily interrupted by Jerry’s brother Tom who just wants to know the truth about what happened to his brother. She runs from the party after he suggests they hold a séance, but later agrees to stay as long as Savey is there.
At the séance they contact some weird spirit who claims someone at the party drew him there, but he won’t say who because it will upset the person. He then admits that it was Mary and that she lived before and thought she was a god. He also claims to have some connection to Jerry, but Mary leaves before he says anything else.
She heads home with Savey and when he makes it clear that he wants to sleep with her, she turns him down. She does however take a long shower and then let him give her a naked rubdown in front of the fire. Way to turn down a guy! She rebuffs him again, saying that she feels nothing and they would make nothing by having sex.
Mary heads to Jerry’s grave and lays nearly naked on top, where she remembers what happened the night he died. The two had broken into the high school to count the votes for homecoming queen and of course Mary won. The security guard at the high school, who just happens to have a gun, just happens to show up and catch them. He pokes Mary, Jerry freaks out and accidentally got shot in the arm. Then Mary attacked the guard, he freaked out and shot Jerry in the head. Mary then fought with him and twisted his arm until he shot himself in the head. Jerry died, but not before calling her Clareesh. She ran off and never told anyone she was there, so the cops think the guard shot himself after seeing what he did. Apparently CSI doesn’t run in the town. Um, but why do guards have guns when there’s like 300 people total in town?
Anyway Mary sees an alien crawling on Jerry’s grave and later spots a saucer in the sky. She tells her boss at the movie theater about it and he knows she’s telling the truth because even though he’s blind, he can totally tell when people are lying. She keeps seeing the odd little visitors and finally her boss tells her what he experienced.
He tells her about the old days when he used to have eyes (he’s got glass ones now) and chased a fox through the woods. He saw an alien crawling out of the ground and the thing searched his mind for all pregnant women in the area. He flashed on one woman who wasn’t pregnant and *gasp* it was Mary’s mom. He then tells her that he doesn’t think she’s an alien, but he does think she’s connected to what happened. Oh and the site where the alien crawled out of the ground? That’s totally Jerry’s grave.
Pamela confronts Mary with news that there’s a new guy named Tom and he’s totally hot because he has white-blonde hair so Mary has to keep her hands off. Let’s pause to point out that the book description is all about Tom, the “new kid” and yet he doesn’t turn up until around page 70...of a 162 page book.
Mary of course seeks him out and decides that he’s hot. After following him for a few days, she offers him a ride home and they end up at Denny’s. He acts completely serious and doesn’t really laugh so naturally she takes him home and has sex with him.
Then Mary learns the story of Clareesh, an alien that came to earth with her partner Klaxtor. The two were supposed to observe humans, but she decided to help because she thought women should be treated equally. Klaxtor disapproved of her, but didn’t say much. She took the form of a slave named Phairee, who later became her number one helper. Phairee got pissed off though because she kept getting older and Clareesh stayed the same and wouldn’t share any of her secrets. I’d be pissed off too if I was working for someone who was the spitting image of me 30 years ago! Clareesh took a lover named Jarteen and was eventually captured by Phairee and some guards. They killed Jarteen and tossed Clareesh in a black tomb with him to spend the rest of her days.
Big shocker, Tom turns out to be Klaxtor in a human form. She learns this after seeing him bring a fox back from the dead and forces him to bring Jerry back. He claims she won’t be happy with what happens because Jerry was gone for so long, but she doesn’t care. He brings him back and Jerry is in immense pain (getting brought back from the dead after an autopsy will do that to a guy). Klaxtor uses the last of his life force to bring Jerry back and now can’t call for his ship so he lays down next to the grave and waits to die.
Jerry turns out to be a huge pain, leaking embalming fluid into the bathtub and crying about his pain. She realizes he needs a blood transfusion and calls Pamela for a meeting. She then smacks the girl with a gun and drags her home. After locking her in the garage, she takes some of her blood and gives it to Jerry.
Savey and Tom show up, wanting to know what she did with Pamela who told Savey about their meeting. She plays dumb, but not before they smell the embalming fluid on her. After Jerry keeps crying and refuses to leave the house, she takes him back to the cemetery. After a long talk with Tom/Klaxtor, she shoots Jerry in the back of the head and drops in his original grave.
She summons her last drop of strength to call back the spaceship and then crawls into the grave with Jerry. Klaxtor covers the grave with dirt and she remembers her life as another being. She then realizes that she never left the original tomb and that her life as Mary was just a dream.
The epilogue picks up with Jerry attending a party at Pamela’s house and laminating the loss of his girlfriend Mary. The same people gather together for a séance, the same being says the same things and Jerry breaks it up the same way she did at the beginning. That night he heads to Mary’s grave and remembers what happened the night she died.
The couple broke into the school and read the ballots, which Mary once again won. The guard showed up, poked Mary, Jerry attacked and the guard shot her in the arm. They struggled, the gun went off and both ended up dead. He sits next to her grave and wishes that she would come back to him. He hears a moan and walks off, thinking he imagined it and missing the moans that came later…
What the hell was The Visitor about? I really have no idea what the hell happened here. Was it all a dream in her head? Did Jerry imagine it? Who really died? Who was the alien? I never read The Visitor originally because in 1995, I was “too cool” for Christopher Pike and this one kind of makes me glad I missed it…
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Will that Elizabeth never learn?
The gang is still at Sweet Valley Shore for the summer, along with our new cast of characters: Wendy, Ben, Ryan and Paul. Jessica is still out to get Ryan all to herself, completely disregarding the fact that she saw him kissing her sister. Wendy is pissed at Winston for making Pedro Paloma take her out on a date and Ben is still mooning over Jess. Ah and Liz is still obsessed with Ryan and Nina is still unsure about Paul, both of whom still have boyfriends.
Jess is back to her conniving ways, lying to Nina about being sick so the other girl will take her shift. She heads off to town where she gets a slinky new dress because she plans on seducing Ryan and stops by to get her nails done. Ben pops in to see her, they start flirting and he puts his heart out on the table. They goof around, only to get caught by Nina who is pissed that Jess lied again. Of course Jess gets pissed at Ben because she blames him for getting her caught.
She stops at a fortune teller’s store and the lady tells her that she’s in love, but she’ll hurt him in the end. Jess laughs it off because she’s invincible.
Meanwhile Winston is distraught because he didn’t make the lifeguard squad and spends all his time laying around the house in his pajamas, watching television and whining. Wendy tells him about an opening at Harry’s, a local hamburger place and he runs off to apply. He gets the job, but learns that he’ll be wearing a hamburger suit on the boardwalk. He and the local guy get into a mock fight and when people start betting on them, they decide to use it to their advantage and boast a bigger staged fight the next day.
Nina finds Paul outside their house acting shifty and discovers that Pedro (the dog) is sick so they rush him to the hospital. Then they learn that he ate poisoned hot dogs (how do you do that by the way?). Wendy is upset and when someone calls about Pedro, she freaks out until she learns it’s the singer Pedro and slams down the phone.
Everyone flips out that night because they all gang up on Jess. Apparently Ben told her a week ago (seriously) to watch over the dog and when he got hurt, it was all her fault. She ends up screaming at Ben and saying that she hates him. I can actually kind of relate because he gets everyone wound up, to the point where they’re about to start throwing rocks at her and it isn’t even her dog! Then he tells her that he loves her and walks off alone.
Liz (remember her?) can’t figure out why Ryan is avoiding her, even though he points out that she has a boyfriend. Jess decides to invite Tom to the beach as a “surprise” when Isabel and Danny come into town. She decides to surprise Ryan at the lifeguard stand, but he and Liz are at it again. They save a drowning boy and rush with him to the hospital (a lot of hospitals in this book) where the captain shows up and yells at Ryan for not putting out warning signs.
Jess shows up with Ben, who found her in the sand. Apparently she got bonked on the head by one of those signs and starts yelling, which gets Ryan in even more trouble. Sigh…Ryan decides to take Liz out the next night, which pisses Jess off even more. Then we have Wendy who sees a boy drowning and rushes out, only to find Pedro in the water who professes his “like” for her.
The next day everyone gets ready for the big beach party/dance/whatever. Liz spends hours in the bathroom and rushes into the living room when she hears Ryan at the door. But surprise Liz! Tom’s here, remember your boyfriend from college? She gets pissed off, especially when Jess plays as Ryan’s date and they head off together.
Jess gets ticked at the dance because Ryan runs off with the captain and even Isabel thinks it’s a dick-y move because he just runs off without a word. Wendy spends the night with Pedro, who professes his affection for her. And Liz spends the whole night pretending Tom is Ryan and then feeling bad about it.
The next day Tom tells Liz it was Jess’s idea for the surprise visit and she gets super pissed. Then Pedro announces that he’s leaving town for a concert tour and Wendy gets upset. Winston battles it out on the boardwalk, loses and then learns that it was a setup from the beginning. Jess ends the night by running off with Isabel, Danny and Tom and quitting the squad.
She changes her mind and arrives home in the middle of the night, waking everyone up. She apologizes for what she said to everyone and Wendy starts feeling bad because she never really blamed the twin for what happened to the dog. She tells Liz that she’s giving up the fight with Ryan and apologizes to Ben. Man, this is a whole new side to Jess! Ben comes to her room, tells her he loves her and they spend the night together. Hm, lots of people getting lucky at Sweet Valley Shore.
Liz confronts Ryan the next morning with her feelings and tells him that nothing is the same with Tom and never will be. It’s funny how like four books later she gets pissed off when Tom cheats on her because she’d never, ever do that to him. They start kissing and just as they’re getting into it, someone starts drowning. Ryan can’t find his glasses because Liz took them off and threw them, which lets him get pissed at her for saving the boy when he could have done it. The book ends with him telling her to fuck off and her bursting into tears. Poor Liz, or whatever.
Elizabeth’s Summer Love was insane. I read some paragraphs over and over again because I was so confused. Plus I barely remembered the book and I read it like yesterday. Anyway…
The guy you hate is always the guy you really love.
You can cheat on your boyfriend numerous times and then have everyone feel bad for you when he does the same thing…or sleeps with someone else when you’re broken up.
Wearing a hot dog suit is a good career move.