Friday, December 3, 2010
Let’s get some of the boring stuff out of the way before I go off on another rant about Jessica. First Tom does a story about how women have all the sexual power and goes on and on about how women can do whatever they want, but guys can’t. He basically lets out all his frustration on Liz and says that women can say no, get upset when a guy wants different things and expect the guy to hold on forever. He turns into a pariah with all the girls on campus hating him and he gets in trouble at the station.
Danny keeps moping over Isabella because she’s the big love of his life. He decides to fly to Switzerland and win her back, but stops because it’s too expensive. Let that sink in for a minute: he spends the whole book moaning over her, but then won’t get off his ass and fly to see her because he doesn’t want to pay so much for a ticket. He and Tom go out drinking, he gets drunk and Tom has to save him when he accosts some girl who vaguely looks like Isabella.
Todd can’t stop thinking about Dana, but then doesn’t call her after their date. He decides that if she likes him, she’ll call and then keeps saying stupid shit when he does see her. They finally go out again and end up kissing and Dana confesses that she’s in love with him. Apparently it’s okay though because he loves her too! Yay and after only two dates!
Liz has a confrontation with Tom after his story airs and he calls her a frigid old maid, which sends her into a tailspin. She runs off and something happens to the Jeep so it gets towed to a mechanic. She starts checking out the guy working on the car and *gasp* it’s Mike McAllery. Yay, I was starting to miss him! He asks about Jess, she tells him the truth and they decide to work together and help her.
First though she arranges a barbeque at the Theta house, to celebrate Jessica *gasp* actually doing a paper for school. Basically Liz rides Jess for a week about some huge paper and cracks the whip over her about it. Then she reads the paper and realizes that Jess plagiarized part of the paper, but gets distracted and forgets about it. They have the dinner, but Jess shows up all confused and dressed funny, so no one knows what to do. Lila suggests they go to a spa together, but Jess doesn’t want to. Alison shows up, acts like a bitch and Jess just goes home.
Mike and Liz arrange for Jess to have a picnic with them. Jess thinks Mike is Nick because she sees him from the back and then gets pissed off when she sees him. She mopes all through dinner and when he tries to get her to go for a walk, she throws a fit and storms off. Liz and Mike start bonding and end up kissing. Ooh, I kind of like this!
So Jessica walks into a drugstore and buys a bottle of sleeping pills. The dark figure follows her home and watches her get ready to take the pills and throws a brick through the window. Good aim too, since the room is on the second floor. Jessica remembers making a promise to Nick that she’d live on as a reminder of their love. Liz finds the pills, but Jessica won’t even talk to her.
Jessica then gets a phone call from Alison, telling her that the Thetas voted and she’s kicked out. Then her professor calls and she has to go to a disciplinary hearing because she plagiarized her paper. Her clock gets unplugged, which may be Liz’s fault because she tripped over it, but then it takes her an HOUR to realize it. She’s late to her hearing and gets the letter a few hours later that she’s been expelled from school.
Liz sees Mike yet again and they end up kissing, but she pushes him away because of her sister. Liz then finds the letter and confronts Jessica, but she doesn’t care because her life is totally, totally over and she has nothing to live for. They have a huge fight and go storming outside together. Jessica says she doesn’t care about anything, doesn’t want Liz’s help anymore and doesn’t even want her as a sister.
The figure watches in the shadows and decides to go after Jessica, but Liz sees him and he runs off. Jess realizes that he looks familiar, but blows it off. Liz thinks that she should stick around and watch after her sister, but then runs off to see Mike. She decides that anything goes now and she can do whatever with her twin’s ex…
Ok, where do I start? First of all, Jessica refuses to even talk to Mike, who she was fucking married to. This isn’t a huge span of time people, it’s been like six months since they were married! She was probably even with him longer than Nick! I’m also really annoyed at Liz. At one point she decides to call their parents, but then forgets about it.
Hold the phone: no one told Ned and Alice that Jessica is suicidal and crazy? Plus I’m sure that the school knows about Nick, so why aren’t they doing anything? If nothing else, they should make sure she’s in therapy. Then there’s the “figure” following her, which we know is Nick. Why the fuck didn’t he call someone when he saw Jess contemplating suicide? Oh yeah, he totally loves her.
Thursday, December 2, 2010
This is the book where Jessica goes insane. It’s also the book where I started snapping (out loud) at the characters and had to put it down before I threw it against the wall.
First of all, there really aren’t any stories beyond Jessica. Danny is still in love with Isabella, who still has amnesia. Her parents move into a hotel with her and agree to stay in town and let him try a few things to bring back her memory. He brings her pineapple pizza, which she used to love and now hates, then takes her on walks and basically just tries to be a good boyfriend. In the end, her parents decide that the best place for her is a sanitarium in Switzerland. Oh yeah, I’m sure that’s a lot better.
Dana and Todd start spending a lot of time together, but neither one of them wants to make the first move. Todd is worried that he’s being unfaithful to Gin-Yung and Dana doesn’t think a nice guy like Todd would like her. It doesn’t help when Tom confronts her on campus and calls her a whore. Apparently it’s okay for Tom to sleep with her, but not for her to sleep with him. Eventually they share a kiss.
Prim and proper Liz is assigned a newspaper article on college kids and their feelings about sex, which she turns into a prim and proper article. She ends up writing an article on how the “cool” thing to do is wait and how many couples are now waiting to have sex. Of course it’s a hit and people kiss her ass.
Oh and Nina suddenly starts getting jealous and thinking that Bryan is cheating on her because she finds a girl’s name inside his notebook. She asks him about it, but he refuses to answer anything. And they mention that she’s a virgin, but she’s not! There’s been mentions before about Nina and Bryan sleeping together AND in later books, they talk about how they slept together most of freshman year!
The real story deals with Jess and that’s the one that pissed me off. Even though she got over Sam’s death in like three days, she literally can’t function here and acts like no one in the world ever experienced anything like this before. Lila tries to talk to her and Jessica blows her off because Lila got over Tisano and Jess will NEVER forget Nick. Plus she and Nick had real love, not like Lila. Yeah, it’s not like Lila was married or anything.
Then she completely rewrites history, as in the last book. She says that she and Nick were talking about marriage and remembers him wanting to get married, when that’s not what happened. Nick just humored her and did a lot of “mm-hm’s until she shut up. Now she’s acting like they were three hours away from their wedding day when he was “killed”.
Jessica gets to the point where, if this was the real world, she’d definitely be institutionalized. There’s NO way she should be running around campus, free as a bird. She stops changing clothes and wears the same dirty and torn clothes every day. Then she hangs out at the cemetery all the times and spazzes out on Isabella when she can’t remember who she is. Does she not understand how amnesia works?
Then she gets super paranoid that people are following her everywhere. She chases some guy down the street, thinking it’s Nick because he’s wearing a leather jacket. She grabs him and when he turns around and asks if she needs help, she decides that he’s some spy sent to freak her out. She starts seeing spies everywhere and even hides in the closet of her dorm room when someone knocks on the door.
To top it all off, she washes her hair with body lotion, cleans herself with facial scrub, wears lipstick as blush and puts on tanner as foundation. After getting made up like this, she puts on a red and black plaid skirt, clogs and a purple shirt. She then breaks down in front of her professor and runs off in tears, finally collapsing on the lawn. Seriously, why isn’t someone calling the men with the white coats???
So Jessica then cries herself to sleep and decides that she’ll never get over Nick, never move on with her life and never love anyone ever again. At the end of the book, someone starts watching her outside…
I really hate how Jessica got almost an entire book where the main focus was her being crazy! We all know that she goes through men like most people go through socks and we don’t really need all this crap. It also annoys me that NO ONE even attempts to get her any help!
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Everyone is in love and everyone is having problems. Danny keeps sitting by Isabella’s hospital bed, hoping that she’ll wake up and recover from everything that happened. The doctor tells him to encourage her other senses so he brings in her favorite clothes, perfume and tape. After draping the shirt over her, making her smell the perfume and putting the tape on, she starts moving. Isabella wakes up, but he’s heartbroken to learn that she has amnesia and doesn’t remember anyone.
Winston starts taking dating advice from Bruce because he’s desperate to get Denise back. Yes, Bruce Patman who he should know isn’t the best person to ask for help from. He buys her a cute charm shaped like an elephant, but it’s made out of ivory and sets her off. Now I thought it was illegal to sell ivory, but what do I know?
He then brings her another gift, which turns out to be a wrapped up cheeseburger. He explains that all the layers represent their love, but she thinks he should stop trying to bribe her to make her love him again. Then he shows up outside her window and serenades her with their favorite Beatles song and she finally gives in and they get back together.
Liz and Tom are back together, but she keeps harping on the Dana thing. She literally brings it up every 10 pages, wanting to know what happened. Apparently Dana is a leper on campus, which is really funny. Everyone heard about her hiding Tom’s love letter and now no one will have anything to do with her. It’s funny that anyone cares! If the school is really as big as everyone keeps saying, this shouldn’t affect more like 6 people total.
Because Liz is “so great” though, she starts feeling bad about Dana getting left out. She decides to confront her and after a few bad starts, they actually sit down and start talking. Then Liz starts in about how she’s glad Dana and Tom never slept together and Dana starts laughing/crying. She tells Liz that they did have sex, but then feels bad when Liz runs off crying.
Liz then confronts Tom at the station and he tries to play it off. She keeps pushing the issue until he confesses that he did sleep with Dana. She runs off and tells Jessica what happened, which leads to her sister freaking out over Tom being such an asshole and trying to make Liz feel better.
Okay, I have to ask: what is the big fucking deal? Liz says Tom didn’t stay faithful to her and by sleeping with Dana, he cheated on her. Um, no, he didn’t cheat on you because you weren’t dating then! Tom points out that they weren’t together and that he didn’t think they’d get back together, but she says that doesn’t matter. Apparently if you date a Wakefield twin and break up, you can never touch another woman on the off chance that you might get back together again.
There’s also a scene where she runs into Todd on campus. She wants to tell him all about what happened with Tom and ask for his advice. Then she decides not to because it wouldn’t be awkward since his girlfriend died in the past. Wouldn’t it be awkward because she and Todd dated when she was broken up with Tom? Or how about award because Todd dumped her over sex?
The big story involves Jessica and Nick. Nick’s in a safe house because of the DiPalma trial and Jessica apparently doesn’t get what “safe house” means because she keeps asking the cops to take her there and let her see him. She’s told to stay away from the trial because DiPalma wants her dead, so she turns up in a disguise and Nick recognizes her.
She keeps pushing the issue until the cops finally agree to let her see Nick because you know, rules mean nothing to the twins. She thinks that Nick will give up on the whole idea of witness protection once he sees her and pouts when he doesn’t. Then she decides that they should just elope and then she can go with him. He puts down the idea because he knows she won’t stay away from Liz. I love how this is like the 5th time Jess fell in love this year and the second time she wants to get married and no one blinks an eye!
Jessica shows up at court again, but this time gets busted and asks that the cops get a note to Nick. Nick reads it and sneaks off to meet with her, where they make out and pledge their love yet again. Jess keeps saying that things will be fine once DiPalma’s found guilty, but Nick knows that the guy swore to kill him, no matter the results.
Nick sends Jess home and she gets there just in time to see the verdict read. DiPalma is found guilty and she does a little happy dance because it means that Nick can come home. I really don’t understand why she doesn’t get that he has to go into witness protection. Suddenly she spots someone off to the side and sees that he has a gun. He shoots Nick and the twins run to the courthouse.
Jessica sees them put Nick in a body bag, but keeps talking about a plastic sheet. She wants them to take it off so he can breathe and then demands they take her to the hospital. One of the cops finally comes out and tells Jessica that Nick was shot three times. He didn’t make it.
This book kind of pisses me off. Everyone acts like Jessica is completely in love with Nick and has never been in love before, even though she falls “in love” every other book. Mike, James, Louis, Randy all came before Nick…just this year! Not to mention AJ, Sam and Ken in high school. It’s also laughable to imagine Jessica hiding herself in witness protection, when she constantly needs to be the center of attention!
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Ginny Lu randomly arrives in town early and stops by the school, interrupting the first class she finds. She’s described as having red hair in braids, wearing a worn dress and raggedy boots. Of course she has a horribly stereotypical accent. Ellen makes fun of her and Ginny Lu turns it around, saying that they’re laughing at her because her slip is showing.
Ms. Waldron decides to take her niece to the mall and pick out some new clothes, so she’ll fit in better with the other kids. I think she needs a lot more help than that. Ellen pops up and offers to help, since the teacher doesn’t know what those crazy kids are wearing. Yeah, she’s only around kids five days a week so I’m sure she couldn’t help her. Ellen and Lila pick out a horrible outfit and run outside, so they can laugh at her when she comes out. Waldron thinks it’s all her fault because the kids don’t like her.
There’s a huge arts and crafts fair getting ready to take place in Sweet Valley and everyone plans to enter. Ellen is selling pictures she draws of horses, but that’s the only description we really get of anyone’s plans. Liz is covering the whole thing for the newspaper.
Ginny Lu has a bad day at school and runs off. She finds her way to the stables and discovers Snow White, a horse that reminds her of her life back home. Liz shows up and tells her that the horse belongs to Ellen and like clockwork, Ellen pops up and demands that she stay the hell away from her horse.
The two girls bond and Liz notices that Ginny Lu is carrying around a small doll. It turns out that she makes them herself and her grandpa taught her how to whittle. Liz encourages her to make a few pieces and submit them into the arts and crafts fair. She even helps her pick out a spot and set up her stuff.
Charlie Cashman and Jerry McAllister stop by and become fascinated with how fast she whittles. A bunch of other people stop by too and check things out. Everyone thinks she’s really cool…until she starts reciting this lame poem, which has a repetitive line about coon dogs baying at the moon. The kids all make fun of her and she runs off in tears.
She makes her way to the stables and finds that Snow White just had a foal. No one can get near the baby and it can’t get on its feet, so it can’t feed. The vet is on her way, but they’re worried that she might die in the meantime. Ginny wiggles her way into the stable and gets the baby up on its feet.
Ellen arrives and pitches a fit, demanding that she get away from her horse. They all explain what happened and Ginny saves the horse. Ellen apologizes for being such a bitch and Ginny decides to stay in Sweet Valley. Liz announces the Ginny also won the award for having the best craft or something stupid like that.
The other storyline involves Jessica lending their dad’s expensive racket to Janet, the president of the Unicorn Club. Janet ruins the racket, but Jess won’t make her replace it because she’s worried about her hating her for it. She decides to replace it and luckily has two weeks to do it before their dad comes back from a business trip.
The first thing she does is try to wheedle the money out of Liz because Liz has a bunch saved up for a new pair of riding boots. She gets the down payment from her, but still needs the rest. She tries to hold a yard sale, but only wants to sell Liz’s stuff. Then she takes over Steven’s chores and he splits his allowance with her.
After Alice points out how talented Ginny is and suggests that people might by them, she takes them around to a bunch of stores in the area. One shop offers to buy them for $25 each and Jess takes a cut, as her agent. She has enough to pay for a new racket and spend money on herself.
*Can I point out that Liz is the one who found the poem for her to read? She knows that everyone makes fun of her from being from the country and yet she picks a poem about dogs baying at the moon. I think she did it on purpose.
*The total amount that Jess needs for the racket is $50. Remember when that was a ton of money and you’d have to work for weeks to earn that much?
*The stereotypical way they made Ginny Lu talk (not to mention that name) really made my head hurt.
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Stacey is living in New York and baby-sitting for a few kids in her building. All of the kids that live in the neighborhood think they’re too cool for sitting, so she ends up with most of the jobs. After her job, she heads downstairs and hears her parents fighting long before she gets to the door. She listens to them fight for a few minutes, before running over to Laine’s house.
Laine is a little hesitant to say anything and actually seems uncomfortable. She suggests Stacey call Claudia, which she does and interrupts a BSC meeting. Dawn thinks it doesn’t sound good when she tells her about the fights, but tries to make her feel better. When she gets home, her parents sit her down and tell her that they’re getting a divorce.
Stacey surprisingly acts like a regular kid by ignoring them completely for the most part and not doing anything they ask. Her parents tell the school and she gets special treatment there too. After a few days, she comes home and finds a note on her door, telling her to talk to her parents.
They go through the whole story with her, telling her that they’ve had problems since they moved back, partly because her mom didn’t want to leave Connecticut. They tried marriage counseling and when that didn’t work, the counselor suggested they divorce. Her dad wants to stay in NYC because of his job, but her mom is thinking about moving back to Stoneybrook and Stacey gets to pick who she wants to live with.
The first thing she does is call Laine, who begs her not to leave. Then she calls Claudia and Claud gets all excited about the idea of her moving back. Her mom decides to drive back and check out a few houses, so she goes along for the ride. She surprises Claudia and asks her to go with them. They see a couple of crappy houses and then find another house that they both like. Stacey gets to stay the night and take the train back in the morning, so they hold a big slumber party with the whole club.
Stacey does the typical “divorced kid” storyline when she tries to get her parents back together. She arranges special dates and dinners for them, but nothing works. Then her dad comes home and announces that he found a new place and signed all the paperwork. Her mom calls the real estate agent and tells her to start showing the house again.
Stacey is a little confused because the house is perfect for them, but her mom points out that it has four bedrooms and is too big for one person. She can’t make a decision until she knows what Stacey wants to do. She suggests looking for a smaller house and she tells her that she can’t find one she likes, so she’ll look at places on Long Island.
Stacey decides to make a pro and con list of where to live and NYC seems to win. She decides that the best thing for her and her mom though, is to move back to Stoneybrook. She tells her mom and lets her call the real estate agent. Then she tells her dad, who seems pretty upset at her decision.
Moving day arrives and her dad comes back from his new apartment to help. Laine brings over lox, bagels and coffee for them. They share a hug and on the way, her mom gives her an envelope from Laine. It’s a small locket half and Laine has the other half. They arrive back and find the whole club and a bunch of former charges waiting with a banner they made just for her.
The last chapter is about Stacey living in Stoneybrook. She’s trying to get used to everything and baby-sitting again. She admits to Claudia that she isn’t sure she made the right choice. She also tells Laine that, who says she did because she saw her list. At the end, she rides home with Mallory who lives behind her now and can finally admit that she’s ready to be back.
*Stacey’s mom spends $490 in one store on jewelry and close to $1,500 at Tiffany’s for more jewelry. I think I’d be a little pissed if I was her dad too!
*Laine is kind of a shitty friend. She blew her off when she first got sick and was diagnosed and then Stacey goes to her with a serious problem and she just suggests she call someone else.
*So do the Pikes live in the ghetto or what? In every other part of town, her mom can only afford a crap hole house with two bedrooms. In their neighborhood, she can buy a four bedroom house in really good shape.
*I’m a little surprised that her dad cries when she tells him she’s moving with her mom. It doesn’t seem like he really spends any time with her or notices that she’s alive for the most part.
*Stacey wears red shorts, purple suspenders, a red and yellow striped sweatshirt and a necklace made of fake bananas and oranges. That really hurts my head.
*Claudia wears black leggings, pink and black socks and a pink and black shirt. I’m assuming that it’s supposed to be the outfit on the cover, which isn’t too horrible. Stacey looks like a middle-aged woman in that outfit though.
*Stacey thinks that she doesn’t have very much competition when it comes to being cool in Stoneybrook, not like she has in NYC. Doesn’t the whole club kind of snub everyone else though? I always got the feeling that no one else really knew they existed…
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Stacey’s mom and dad sit her down for some big news. She thinks that they’re having another baby, but they’re actually moving back to New York. Her dad got a promotion and they have to move back soon. She can’t decide if she should call Laine and celebrate or call Claudia and cry.
At first she calls Laine and they excitedly talk about her coming back. Then Laine reminds her of the mean girls and how they teased her and she gets sad. She calls Claudia, they cry and then she rushes over there. The whole family is actually waiting, but they give the girls some time together. They decide that she should move into the Kishi house, but both sets of parents say no.
Mrs. McGill starts packing things up and realizes they have way too much stuff. Stacey points out that they moved from an apartment into a house and needed to buy stuff to fill up the house. They won’t have as much room in the apartment, so she decides to have a yard sale. She tells Stacey that the club can keep the money they make from the sale, but they’re responsible for the whole thing.
Meanwhile the club wants to give Stacey a going away party, but don’t have any cash in the treasury. Plus they’re worried that if they use that money, it will seem like they’re making her pay for her party. They decide to use the money from the yard sale to throw her a party. They think about doing a boy-girl party, but in the end realize that a party with all their charges is a much better option.
Claudia makes the signs for the yard sale and it’s a huge hit. Someone wants to buy the shutters off the house and her dad has to intercede. Someone else wants to buy their car. They even make a sale from someone who wants to buy a piece of rope from the garage, which they planned on throwing away.
The club throws her the party, but tell her to dress down. It turns out that they have a bunch of games and events planned for the kids and plan on getting messy. The kids all make her a mural of Stoneybrook as a going away present and she promises to keep it forever. She then has touching goodbye moment with Charlotte.
The next day they have to eat a fast breakfast. This cracks me up because they’re constantly on her about eating right, but then they eat whatever they have leftover. Her dad makes her put everything in bags and give it to the neighbors.
The whole club shows up to say goodbye and she passes out “business cards” that have her new phone number and address on them. She shares a special moment with Claudia before they hop in the car and leave. All she can think about is how excited she’ll be to get back to NYC.
*I find it weird that they move away and move back in a single year, without it affecting her schoolwork at all.
*I’m actually a diabetic and sometimes wince when I read about the descriptions of diabetes. My dad and two grandparents are all diabetic too and I have a cousin who uses an insulin pump. None of us are nearly as anal retentive with it as she is.
*Stacey doesn’t want anyone to tell Charlotte that she’s moving until she can do it herself. By the time she gets around to calling their house, Charlotte’s mom already knows, but she still has to tell her.
*The girls decide to ask Mallory to join their club because they need extra help now. They come up with the idea of a junior officer, who works afternoon jobs. Kristy suggests finding someone else Mallory’s age and everyone’s all confused about who they’d ask. Thank goodness Jessi moved to town…and moved in fast.
Monday, November 15, 2010
Cally is all up in the attic, watching a new family move into “her” house. Brandt is the teenage and only son, who’s moving in with his parents and his cat Ezra. Both of his parents are researchers and they’ve bee living on some remote island for awhile. Now they’re moving back to civilization because he has some weird “condition” and they want to give him a chance at a normal life.
Brandt’s dad starts hanging up these ritual masks and deadly spears around the room. Suddenly one of the spears impales the poor cat and he dies pretty fast. He gets over it pretty fast though because one of his neighbors shows up. Abbie is cute and hot, so he gets all distracted.
Then he meets this other hot girl Jinny and they start bonding, even though she already has a boyfriend. Her boyfriend Jon starts ribbing him a lot and convinces him to try out for the basketball team because he’s tall and the coach says they need tall guys. He lies and tells his mom that he’s on the student senate because he doesn’t want her worrying about his condition. I guess she has a right to worry though because Jon trips him, he hits his arm and gets this incredible bruise that spreads all over his arm.
Brandt makes a date with Abbie for Sunday, but then forgets and makes a date with Jinny’s best friend Meg for the same day. Jinny comes over to the house and is all freaked out because she’s heard all the stories about the place. He leaves her alone for five seconds and she ends up getting slashed. She swears that a glass broke in mid-air and she’s rushed to the hospital.
He starts getting followed by this shadowy figure, but blows it off. He seems more concerned when he thinks it’s following Jon then he does when it’s following him. After breaking his date with Abbie, he goes over to Meg’s house and they watch a movie. Jinny shows up, has a confrontation with Meg and storms out. Meg blows it off because Jinny already has a guy.
Some other random shit happens too, like a psycho raccoon attacking. Then Brandt finds a journal, which belonged to Cally. He reads through it, thinking that she seems like a cool girl and someone he’d like to know. Then he starts finding new entries written, which rant against Jinny and threaten Abbie.
Abbie shows up and he’s worried about her. He should be, because a huge suit of armor falls off the wall and lands on her. His mom is all like, “but we used three bolts”. Yeah ma, I think it takes more than that. Then he starts hearing the voice of a little boy and freaks out because it’s Cally’s little brother James. He starts tearing out the walls and eventually finds his decomposing body and the skeleton of the kid’s dog.
His dad is actually kind of relieved because he thinks all the weird stuff was caused by a poltergeist. Now that his body was found, everything will stop. Ok dad. Jinny and Meg come over with a plate of brownies because they’ve apparently made up. To up the gross factor, they made the brownies a week ago for a bake sale and are just now giving them to him.
The girls hang out for awhile, but Jinny is kind of uncomfortable there. Gee, you think? Meg acts like it’s not a big deal and also points out that Jinny and Jon are happily dating again. Brandt starts showing the girls these deadly blow darts and explaining how they work, when his dad calls him outside. By the time he gets back, the girls are laying on the ground with darts in their throat. The horrible doctor tells them that he’s not sure if they’ll be okay but they should be okay when they wake up. Does that make sense?
Once he gets home, he finds another threat against Abbie, who conveniently shows up. As he’s warning her, she quickly shifts into the ghost of Cally. Yeah, that totally doesn’t make sense. She’s decided to make Brandt stay with her forever and promptly finds a hatchet, which she slams into his head. Brandt blinks and then to her shock, slowly gets up.
He explains that his weird condition is that he’s actually dead. Some man tried to kill his dad with poison powder, but Brandt stepped on it instead. His dad got the medicine man to bring him back to life, which involved stealing the life force/soul of some random drifter. Cally gets all excited, but then the dark shadow pops up.
The dark shadow is actually the drifter, who wants his mother fucking soul back. He grabs a necklace that Brandt always wore, which contains his hair and bones. Brandt’s body kind of shrivels up and dies, while Cally watches and screams. The book ends with her watching them load his body into a hearse and take him away.
Wowza. I didn’t remember him dying at the end, but I remembered the whole zombie thing. For some reason I was thinking that she stabbed him and then he walked away from everything. I didn’t remember that he actually died.
Sunday, November 14, 2010
Apparently Watson got super rich by working constantly and not taking care of himself. Lately he’s acting even worse and he seems like his color is changing and he’s just not doing that great. Kristy comes downstairs one day and he’s out trying to push his car out of the snow, while Charlie drives the car. Her mom tells Sam to help him and Kristy runs out too.
That works fine, but later that night, she sees him trying to shovel the sidewalk. She offers to finish up, if he’ll run inside and put on a pizza, so they can watch the game later. He agrees, but then starts shaking when he gets to the porch. When he collapses, she has to run inside and call 911.
Kristy’s mom and Nannie go with Watson to the hospital, leaving her home with David Michael and Emily Michelle. Kristy acknowledges that she can’t do everything herself when Shannon calls after seeing the ambulance. Shannon offers to call Sam and Charlie at school. I find it fairly shitty that their coach says he’ll tell them at half-time. Tell them now!
The other girls find out what happened and Dawn and Mary Anne come over with Shannon. They all take care of something around the house, like making lunches for school, cleaning up, taking care of the kids and putting them to bed. Nannie says that she’ll call when she knows something, but then randomly comes home later. Like it would kill her to call and tell them he’s okay, before leaving the hospital? Watson had a minor heart attack, but he should be okay.
After a few days at home, Watson sits everyone down and tells him that he’s going to do a lot less work and start spending all of his time at home, taking care of them. He does really well, but there’s a divide between him and Nannie. Like one night he stops and gets pizza and she makes a huge dinner. They end up giving the pizza to the kids and letting the adults have her dinner.
Watson pretty much takes over the house though. He does all the cleaning and all the cooking and no one stops to think about Nannie. She makes her own announcement, telling everyone that she found an apartment and she’s moving out. Of course they’re all upset, but once again, no one has even given her a second thought since Watson came home.
Karen and Andrew come for their month at the house and everything goes to hell in a hand basket. I’m not saying that it’s Karen’s fault, but…They say it’s because there’s suddenly two more people to feed and take care of, plus two more sets of laundry. Then Emily gets sick and Watson starts doing more work and everything gets screwed up.
Kristy goes to visit Nannie in her new apartment and breaks down. She tells her how the house looks like crap and Watson can’t take care of everything. Nannie comes back to the house and decides that she’s ready to move back. Watson can’t do everything on his own and she realizes that they do need her help.
I love the B-plot, which deals with Mrs. Marshall. Dawn shows up, thinking she’s sitting for two kids and discovers that her friend dropped off her three kids so they can go to exercise class together. Mallory goes over and the same thing happens. She asks Jessi to show up and help her, after one of the kids gets hurt. Mrs. Marshall thanks Jessi, but won’t pay her.
Claudia goes over to sit and takes Stacey with her. Mrs. Marshall is kind of a bitch and says that she hired one sitter and won’t pay for two, so the two walk out on the job. They realize that they’ve never explained to their clients that if there’s more than four kids, they require two sitters. Kristy explains the situation and Mrs. Marshall agrees to the terms, but decides it won’t be a problem because she quit her class.
*Claudia is apparently now into hats. Kristy says that she’s been buying up hats from thrift stores all winter long and decorating them herself, with sequins and buttons.
*Kristy tells the ambulance that her dad is sick. I found that really sweet and cute when I read it because it’s the first time I ever saw her refer to him as something other than her step-dad.
*David Michael is playing a rooster in a play. He keeps randomly turning up and making rooster noises and getting upset if people ignore him.
*I think Mrs. Marshall is insane. Would you really want one thirteen year old girl taking care of FIVE kids? Some of these kids are super little too. She should really have more sense.
Saturday, November 13, 2010
It’s funny how some of these books tend to stick with you. I probably read this book 17 years ago (good lord, am I dating myself?) and as soon as I started reading it, the whole storyline started running through my head.
Sweet Valley has a big three day weekend and everyone is off from school and work on Monday. It’s a big weekend too because Dave Carlquist is doing a live radio show at the mall on Sunday night. He’s a high school senior who ran a radio show and it was so popular that the local station picked it up. I call bull shit on that. Plus Alice is throwing a huge barbecue on Sunday and Lila is having a party on Saturday.
Jessica and Elizabeth are shopping for napkins and stuff at the mall. Alice is so busy with planning that she doesn’t have time to get that kind of stuff. Jess gets all distracted by a purple sweater and wants is so bad because she’s in the Unicorn Club and they all love purple. They swing by the mall center, to see them fixing up the stage for the radio show.
Liz really wants to get the stuff and get going, but Jess doesn’t want to walk all the way across the mall, so she suggests they stop for ice cream. They run into Lila and the rest of the club, which wants to talk about her party. Lila makes a face when asking if Amy is coming, but of course no one would miss one of her events.
Liz ends up buying everything herself and then going home, where she finds Amy eating a sandwich and staring at a mountain of potatoes. Amy explains that Alice went out to get more potatoes and she’s there because her own mom blew her off for the day. She asks Liz to help her clean up her room and they take a bike ride before taking care of the cleaning.
Not long after Liz leaves, Amy hears the doorbell. It’s Samantha Williams, her pen pal. Sam explains that she sent a letter, saying she was coming, but Amy never got it. When the Suttons show up, they agree to let her stay, even though they’re a little confused. Sam says her parents are going camping for the weekend and she never told them she didn’t get a response back, because she assumed it was okay for her to stay.
Amy is so excited that she introduces Sam to the twins the next day. Jess could care less, but Liz lets Sam borrow an outfit for the big party. Sam is a little worried about going to a party she wasn’t invited too, but they assure her that it’s fine. I’m guessing Lila invites so many people that she wouldn’t know who’s there anyway. Jess meets a friend of Steven’s Buddy, who’s in the radio club with him and she kind of blows him off.
Sam meets Lila at the party, who acts kind of snotty, until Sam starts gushing over her house. Before long, Sam’s completely involved with the members of the Unicorn Club and ignoring Amy. Amy notices Sam telling stories that she’s never heard before, like how she’s dating actress Glinda Paris’s son, won a bunch of blue ribbons for horseback riding and has a house in Hawaii. Amy leaves the party early, but Sam stays all night.
The next day Lila calls and asks Sam to join the girls for lunch. Amy doesn’t want to go, but does it anyway because her mom wants them to stay together. Sam wows the girls with all her stories and they make Amy feel like crap. After lunch Lila suggests making Sam an honorary member of the club and only Jessica protests. She thinks Sam is full of it. She also goes to see the radio club and sees Buddy again, who kind of seems to like her.
The barbeque is a smash, but the girls are starting to doubt Sam. Jessica remembers reading that the actress’s son is a lot younger than them and manages to track down a copy. She shows it to the club and they decide to test Sam. They make up a story about an actress making a new movie and hurting herself on the set. Sam lies and says she took her flowers in the hospital and met her.
They decide to make her look like a fool. They tell her that Dave Carlquist wants her on his show and she’s supposed to go up to the stage and talk to him during the second song. She’ll look like a moron when he turns her away. Liz tells Amy about their plan and she’s all into it because she’s tired of Sam treating her like crap.
Amy’s mom pops up and asks for Amy’s address book because she wants to call Sam’s parents. Sam keeps acting all weird about when she’s going home and not talking about her plans. It turns out that Sam ran away from home and her parents are flying down to get her. Liz runs to Steven, hoping he can do something about the club’s mean trick because she doesn’t want Sam to get hurt and he agrees to help.
The club all shows up and tells Sam that everything’s fine. The girls are looking around for Dave and Tamara points out Buddy. Jessica is floored because she was around him constantly and never realized who he was. He makes a big announcement and calls Sam on stage, where he interviews her. The club is all pissed, they tell her they know she’s a liar and she’ll never be a member of the club.
Sam gets back and her parents are waiting for her. It turns out that she has a little sister Emily who’s been sick and in the hospital a lot. She ran away because she didn’t think her parents cared about her. They promise that things will change. She makes up with Amy and promises to invite her to San Francisco for a visit.
Everyone’s all excited about the radio show because the station is hosting a contest to give it a new name. The winner gets a huge party at a local club and both twins enter. Jessica comes up with Teen Talk, Teen Scene and a dozen others. Liz ends up winning with The Awesome Hour and agrees to share the prize with Jess. I like Jessica’s names a lot better.
*Amy totally has the hots for Ken Matthews and I forgot this story completely. Did they make any reference to it when they were older and she went after him?
*I’m starting to wonder why none of these kids were mentioned later, especially since they were such a big deal in this series. Would it have been so hard to make Janet or Ellen turn up in a Sweet Valley High book?
*Liz only invites two people to the barbecue: Amy and Julie Porter. Yet in SVH it’s never mentioned that they were friends and Liz only kind of knows her.
*Ned makes a comment about how it’s been forever since he had Alice’s pie for breakfast. I almost died.
*Would anyone really care about a teen radio show, even back then? Even better, why would a teen show get so much attention from a real station? They kind of make it out like Dave was doing a Happy Harry Hard-On show in his basement, but not nearly as cool.
Friday, November 12, 2010
I find it hard to believe that readers actually requested/demanded a story devoted solely to Shannon. Plus, if we really wanted to read about her, then why not give her a story in one of the regular books?
This one follows Shannon’s life away from the club (kind of) and focuses primarily on her life at home. Her dad is almost never around because he’s either at work or on the golf course. I think he calls/leaves notes 6 or 7 times in the book, saying he won’t be home for dinner. Her sister Maria is obsessed with her swimming and Tiffany is obsessed with her garden.
She’s also worried about her mom because she’s obsessed with her daughters and living through them, without having a life of her own. It’s even worse when her dad forgets about Mother’s Day. He gives her a gift that he keeps at the office for situations like this, but she finds out the truth when she opens the birthday card on the front.
Shannon decides to focus on herself and on her French classes. The students who have a specific grade point average and French grade are allowed to go on a school trip to France for a week. She’s super excited about the trip and can’t wait, until she learns that her mom volunteered to go on the trip too.
Shannon voluntarily tanks her last French exam, which means she can’t go on the trip. Her mom decides to go anyway and gives her a list of rules to follow while she’s gone. Shannon has to go grocery shopping, watch her sisters and keep the house running. It’s clear she has no clue what she’s doing, when she takes the bus to the store (with her sisters) and then can’t figure out how to get the groceries home. Turns out that they have a delivery service for that.
Shannon ends up living her mom’s life and seeing what her mom goes through. She has problems juggling everything, but once she gets into the groove, she’s bored out of her mind. She realizes that her mom needs something to occupy her time outside of the house.
Originally her dad had a business trip planned that would take him away, just as her mom got home. They’d drive to the airport, he’d get on a plane and her mom would get off a plane. Shannon has a talk with him and he decides to put his trip off for a few days, so they can have a real welcome home party.
Once her mom gets home, Shannon talks things through with her. Her mom eventually decides to start working or at least looking for a job and getting a hobby of her own. All’s well that ends well.
*Nice to see some continuity. Claudia was the one who helped Tiffany pick a specific hobby (gardening) and Mary Anne was the one to introduce the idea of a hobby.
*The girls make a from scratch cake for their mom.
*I wish I went to Shannon’s school. They have classes like astronomy, in middle school! She also mentions that if a few people express interest in a topic, the school lets them study it on their own. If one kid wants to study something, they’ll do an independent study project. I’m really not sure how the state lets them do this…
Thursday, November 11, 2010
April, her friend Jenny and Jenny’s boyfriend Ken are heading to a ski condo for a weekend. None of them are very good friends with Dara, but she asked them as a way to make some new friends. They get there early and wait around for her and her parents. They run into Josh, who Dara knows and who was also invited.
Dara shows up, but she doesn’t have her parents. Surprise! The teens are all alone for the weekend. Once they get inside, they meet Tony. His parents and her parents share the house and he got his weekends messed up. He also has this girl Carly with him and Dara is kind of pissed about them both being there. He points out that there are more than enough rooms at the house for everyone, so they agree to stay.
The whole group decides to play truth or dare. Ken reveals that he once saw someone drop a $10 bill and took it for himself. Someone asks April to tell them a secret that she wishes she didn’t know. She makes a comment about Summer Island and kind of looks at Ken. Then the game goes to Dara and she’s asked about her worst kisser. She kind of gives Josh a sly look and he flips out before storming out of the room.
Tony is dared to climb on the roof and bring down a Frisbee that’s stuck up there. He nearly falls off, which would probably kill him. He decides to give up and basically tells Dara to fuck herself. I don’t blame him. April wanders around in the snow and thinks about what she saw that last summer on the island.
This is so completely lame. Basically April was working and saw Ken with another girl. I guess it’s supposed to be so shocking because Ken and Jenny are the perfect couple and constantly making out. Then again, I guess that’s all you really need to be a good couple when you’re a teen. She saw them a few times and never told Jenny about it.
They decide to call it a night and the next day, it’s snowy and perfect outside. The only problem is that Dara and Josh are both missing. Their beds are empty, like no one slept there, but all of their stuff is still there. April suggests calling the police, but everyone else decides to wait awhile.
Even though they came up to go skiing and it’s perfect outside, no one actually goes outside. They sit around, eat and bull shit all day. After a few hours, they hear someone knocking on the door, but when they open it, no one is there. Eventually April realizes that it’s the old ski locker banging on the door.
They go outside and discover that Dara is stuck in the ski locker, with a hatchet stuck in her back. April discovers a note, which puts the blame on Josh. The note is to Dara, from Josh and asks her to meet him late at night and talk about what happened. I find the whole note thing fairly lame.
April tries to go to sleep that night, but keeps hearing weird noises. She becomes convinced that it’s Josh, coming back to murder her. It’s actually Tony and he’s freaking out because he thinks that April is Josh. They head downstairs and run directly into Josh. He’s freezing and stuck out in the cold.
They eventually let him in, but Tony jumps down his throat about killing Dara. Josh is shaking and suffering from frost bite, so he’s barely listening to him. He says he didn’t do anything. He tells them that he was so upset over what happened that he took the car for a ride. The car got stuck and he spent the whole day wandering around in the snow.
April decides to start searching for a red pen because the fake note was written in red ink. She then wants to take a walk, but can’t find her coat. Oopsie, Dara was wearing her coat. She realizes that whoever killed Dara, thought it was her because they saw her from the back. Without thinking, she grabs a coat and heads outside because she plans on walking back to town. Be damned with everyone else.
April sticks her hand in the pocket of the coat and finds the red pen…and it’s Ken’s jacket! Ken randomly pops up and says that he’s worried about her. She mentions last summer and he asks if she told Jenny. He apologizes and she runs away. Jenny agrees to ski into town with her. They get on a chairlift and Jenny tries to push her off.
Jenny goes off about last summer and how Ken was dating this girl Barbara (Ken and Barbie, hah!), but was supposed to end it when he came back to Shadyside. He kept seeing her, so Jenny went to talk to her. They fought and Jenny killed her. She pushes her off, but they’re at the top, so it doesn’t hurt her. Jenny attacks her with a ski pole, but then Ken shows up. He figured out what was going on and saves her life. Nice guy…for a cheater.
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Richard Spier made a bad decision: he gave Mary Anne his credit card. The deal is that she can charge as much as she wants to the card, provided she has enough to pay it back. This doesn’t make sense because if she has the money, why wouldn’t she just use it and skip the credit card?
Mary Anne goes crazy, as any teenage girl would and buys gifts for everyone and spends more than she planned. She thinks she has six weeks to pay it back, but Sharon points out that credit card bills come fairly frequently and she actually only has two weeks. She makes a list of all the gifts and can’t believe how much she spent. She figures out how much she can make baby-sitting and knows it’s not enough.
Luckily the mall is hiring, so she runs down and applies for a job. Another girl sees her application and tells her that the mall won’t hire a 13 year old. Angela changes the number to a 6 and of course she gets the job. The woman barely looks at the application, just asks her a few questions and then tells her when to show up.
It turns out that she’s working as an elf in the Santa Village and so is Angela. It doesn’t take long for her to get completely worn out. She goes to school, works at the mall, goes to the meetings and still sits for kids. The one thing she’s looking forward to is Dawn coming back, but even that doesn’t go well.
I’m not sure how well I like Dawn in these books. Is this how Dawn acts in the California Diaries or were they just trying to separate the two characters? She keeps talking about how her class is part of the high school and she hangs out with high school kids. When they go shopping, she buys her friends black and white framed prints and art books, which Mary Anne thinks is very adult. I have to agree because I still buy goofy shit for people. Last year I bought my boyfriend a 1980’s game system that he had as a kid!
Mary Anne doesn’t tell anyone about her job because she doesn’t want them to know how she went overboard. When she accidentally overbooks herself, she asks Dawn to take a sitting job, watching Logan’s siblings. They show up at the mall and she freaks out, but they don’t recognize her. Hunter comes back and says hi because he’s the one person who recognizes her.
After finding Angela crying, Mary Anne starts worrying about her new friend. Eventually Angela reveals that her parents kicked her out of the house. She wants to move to California with some of her friends, but she needs to keep working and get some money together.
The stress finally catches up to her and she confesses to Dawn about her secret life. Dawn reveals that she stayed away because she was acting so distant. They make up and get to spend some real time together.
Mary Anne buys a phone card and then invites Angela over for Christmas. Angela announces that she made enough money to move and MA presents her with the phone card. She makes an attempt to call her parents, but her mom hangs up on her. I kind of thought we’d have some big reconciliation, but nope, Angela just moves.
*The BSC is making a carnival to celebrate all the holidays in December. The whole thing seems kind of lame and it’s really just filler for the main storyline.
*I find it hard to believe that the mall hired Mary Anne without doing any checking on her.
*Mary Anne doesn’t tell Logan about working in the mall until the very end. He says that he would have picked on her, but it wasn’t a big deal. It’s such as teen boy response!
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
I’m not sure how I feel about the Unicorn Club books because this was way past my time. I flipped through a few of the earlier books, so I could figure out where this fell in the Sweet Valley line. The books cover the 7th grade year of our favorite girls, but the twins are barely in the books! Liz is in the earlier books, but by this book, only Jess is still a member and she’s only in a few scenes.
Lila Fowler is up to her credit card limit, but still wants to get some new clothes. When she stops by to see her dad, she runs into Mitchell Parsons, who’s waiting for his dad to finish up a meeting. They do a little flirting, until their dads come out fighting. Mr. Fowler reveals that he’s in the process of buying Mitchell’s dad’s company and things aren’t going well.
Mandy Miller, another member of the club, just got a job working in the kitchen of the country club. I have to point out that this is completely illegal for a 13-14 year old girl. Her first night working is also the night of a huge adult/kid costume dance.
Lila shows up in a unicorn mask she custom ordered and a purple outfit. She runs into Mitchell, who wants her to sneak out to the golf course with him. Knowing that her dad won’t approve, she gets Mandy to wear her costume and wander around the room. Her and Mitch have fun, but end up fighting over their dads and she storms off.
While wearing the costume, Mandy meets a guy dressed as Prince Valiant. They do a lot of flirting and get along really well, but then Lila turns up and she has to give back the costume. He sees Lila wearing the outfit and she realizes that it’s Brandon Jones, a super cute and super rich guy who goes to Lovett Academy.
Brandon spills punch on himself and Mandy tries to help him. She keeps stumbling over her words because she thinks he’s so cute. She tries mopping up the punch with bread because she’s so crazy over him. He goes right back to Lila, thinking that she’s the one he’s been with all night and makes plans to see her later.
Lila immediately decides that they’ll make the perfect couple because they’re both cute and rich. He tells her that he wants her to help him create a committee to raise money for kids with cancer, which is his pet project because he survived cancer. She gets a little freaked out because Mandy fought cancer too and she’s worried they have more in common. She ends up lying and telling Mandy that he thought she was Lila and sought her out for help with the project.
Brandon and Lila both get a bunch of friends from their schools to help with the project, including Mitchell. Mandy actually does all the work, but won’t take any of the credit. She makes all of the decorations, makes the invitations and addresses all the invites. Brandon thinks Lila is the one doing everything, but at the same time, he keeps thinking that he knows Mandy from somewhere.
Jessica and Mandy go shopping for new outfits for the dance. Apparently Mandy is a girl after my own heart because she usually shops at thrift stores. She finds this “great” black smock with an artist’s palette on it and she buys it, even though it costs a ton. Jessica points out that she’s spending a lot of time with Mitch and that he likes her, but she blows it off.
Lila and Brandon really have nothing in common, except they look good. The party is getting a lot of publicity and people keep asking about their relationship and they can’t even come up with any answers, but they still assume that they’re a couple. Lila slacks off one day, leaving him to work on the decorations.
Mandy shows up and helps out a little. Mitch shows up and they ask her to go out for dessert, but she can’t because of work. Brandon keeps suggesting other days to get together and she can’t because of her job. She runs off, then feels bad and goes back to explain. She ends up shouting at them, telling them that she has a job before running off in tears.
Later she learns that she has to work on the night of the party. Mitch sends her flowers and asks her to the party, but she has to tell him no. Brandon calls Lila to tell her that Mitch is coming by to pick up some papers for the party and she explodes on her dad, telling him not to say a word about his dad and basically being a bitch.
Mitch hears the argument and tells her that he respects her for standing up to her dad. Mr. Fowler then reveals that he and his dad had been friends since elementary school and were even college roommates. He owns 700 businesses and they fight every time he buys one from him.
Lila and Brandon once again have an awkward moment before the dance. He keeps thinking about Mandy and assumes that she thinks he’s a rich snob and so does everyone else. At the party, Lila confesses that he met Mandy and that she was the one behind most of the planning. He ends up running off to find her, but she makes up with Mitch.
Brandon goes to the country club and bonds with Mandy. He knows that she was the one from the first dance and that they share a cancer survival. He ends up sticking around all night and helping her do all her work. They get to leave early and make it back to the party, so he can give a big speech. He kisses her in front of everyone and she thinks about how dreams do come true.
*The Unicorn Club has a “unicorn to unicorn” motto and if one girl asks another to do something unicorn to unicorn, the other has to do it. That’s how Lila gets Mandy to blow off her job.
*Jessica goes gaga when she learns that guys from Lovett are helping. Remember in the later books when she wants to transfer there?
*In this one, Lila says that her dad wants her to go to Lovett, but she decided to stay at Sweet Valley. In the SVH books, it’s explained that he made her stay there because he wanted her to have a “normal life”.
*Lila explains that she doesn’t have to do any work because she’s co-chair of the fundraising committee, but expects everyone else to do the work.
*The local ticket sales/company gives the group a complete list of kids aged 12-14 in the area that buy concert tickets. That’s illegal and impossible.
*They send out invitations to certain people and only those people are allowed to buy tickets to the party. This seems like a bad fundraising idea to me.
*That cover dress doesn't match the books. Lila wears a purple dress, not a pink one and Mandy's face is covered by her mask.
Monday, November 8, 2010
Jessi’s mom hasn’t been working for awhile, though I don’t remember this ever being mentioned in another book. Not only does she go job hunting without mentioning it to her kids, but she also accepts a job. Jessi’s dad picks her up from dance class and makes it out like he has some big announcement at dinner. She’s convinced that her mom’s pregnant, but it’s just a new job.
Right away, she starts thinking about how she needs to plan to take care of Becca and Squirt after school, but dad announces that Aunt Cecilia is coming to stay. The girls are so upset at the news that they immediately make a list of things to do, just to torture her.
Cecilia shows up and apparently brings her whole house with her, despite the fact that she’s packing light. Seriously, she’s moving into their guest room and brings dozens of cartons, a birdcage, lamps, two chairs and god knows what else. They end up storing her stuff all around the house. Jessi also short-sheets her bed, puts shaving cream in her slippers and puts a fake spider on her pillows, but Cecilia never says a word.
Right away, Cecilia starts taking over the house. Jessi likes having a sandwich as an after school snack, but now she has to have milk and cookies. Her aunt also determines what she does and where she goes. Jessi comes home 10 minutes late from a sitting job and Cecilia flips out because she didn’t know where she was. She forbids her from attending a BSC meeting, so the girls keep calling and making it seem like it was a huge deal.
Jessi considers talking to her parents, but decides not too because she doesn’t want to buy them. She makes one attempt to call her dad at work and when he’s out of the office, she just gives up. Cecilia also changes her hair and that’s the only thing her parents ever notice.
At the same time, she’s “helping” Jackie with his science-fair project. He wants to make a volcano because he saw one on The Brady Bunch and Jessi takes over. She tells him how to do everything and then when he does it wrong, she does it herself. She writes out the speech for him to write and even makes the sign.
On the day of the science fair, Jessi’s whole family comes out. Jackie does the explosion, which is all he really cared about. When the judges ask him random questions about volcanoes, he can’t answer because Jessi did all the research. She realizes that she took over and ran his life, just like Cecilia did to her.
She sets her parents down and tells them everything that happened and then they hold a family meeting. They tell Cecilia that Jessi never misses a BSC meeting, unless it’s a dance class or an emergency. From now on, Jessi will give them her schedule and then they’ll run it by Cecilia. She agrees, but then tells them about all the pranks. Her parents want to punish her, but she stops them. That night they find that she did the same things to them and everyone makes up.
*Charlotte does a project where she plays music for plants to see which one grows the fastest. I used this experiment in an article I wrote a few months ago LOL.
*Margo (Pike) wants to do a project on the moon, but basically puts a bunch of random dolls in a shadow box with a picture of the Earth behind it.
*David Michael (Kristy’s brother) makes a mobile that shows how the planets rotate.
*Ann’s notes reveal that she had a baby-sitter named Johnny, who she loved, but she also had sitters that were mean, like Cecilia.
Sunday, November 7, 2010
Janna is your typical teenage girl, except that she’s working as a dancer in a touring production of Grease. Right before she left for the summer, she broke things off with her boyfriend Jimmy Dare. Jimmy thought they would go to college together, get married and live happily ever after. Now she’s just living the single life.
After their latest show, she notices Ryan. He’s been with the theater group before and he’s super hot, so she starts blushing as soon as she sees him. She shares a room with three other girls: Liz, Gillian and Tori. Liz warns her about Ryan, saying that they dated last summer, he started cheating on her and then dumped her for another girl. Then he kept moving on to other girls in the group.
Weird things start happening and Janna isn’t sure what to think. She gets a card of a broken and torn apart leg, with a note telling her to break a leg. Then someone starts sending her flowers and leaving notes that say they’ll meet soon. Liz points out (accurately) that she’s a featured dancer, not a star.
After one production, the girls head outside and see a large group of people waiting for autographs. One normal looking guy pops up and asks for her by name. He introduces himself as Stan and shows her his girlfriend Carly, who immediately grabs him and makes him leave. She thinks it’s a little odd, but blows it off.
Cut to more flowers and more weird notes. Jimmy starts calling and she confronts him about everything. He admits that he did a few things, like the gruesome card, but only because he thought it might make her drop out of the show and come back to him. She screams at him and hangs up.
Janna runs into Ryan and after a little flirting, he asks her out. They go out a few times, but she pretty much keeps it hidden from everyone. Liz finds out, but warns her that he’s a player and he’ll hurt her too. They keep dating though, until she spots him making out with Liz backstage.
The girls go swimming and she tells them about what happened. Naturally they all think Liz is scum, but no one really says anything about Ryan. Janna spots a white car driving by and freaks out because it keeps driving around. The other girls point out that it’s probably some pervert who just wants to check out three girls in bikinis, but it gives her an icky feeling.
Janna frequently dances by herself on the stage, as a way to practice. One night the set piece tips over and crushes her. She ends up being forced to take the night off and Liz gets her featured dance spot. She’s back the next night though and when Ryan tries to talk to her, she blows him off. He tells her that Liz attacked him and he told her he wasn’t interested, but she doesn’t really care. Liz then tells her that the opposite happened, but she doesn’t want to hear her side either.
Someone starts calling and revealing things that show whoever it is that’s watching her is close by. The whole cast heads off to a dance club and she spots Stan there. She confronts him, yelling at him about stalking her and he acts all confused. His girlfriend Carly pops up and drags him off, yelling at Janna that she’s crazy.
Not long after, Janna gets a threatening phone call, looks outside and spots someone on the payphone across the street. She calls the cops and then runs out to look for herself. Someone smacks her across the back of the head and she passes out. The cops show up and tell her that they’ll do whatever possible and to call them if she gets anymore calls.
She tells the cops about Stan and they promise to talk to him. She and her friends spot him on the street, call the cops and they try to grab him. Of course she goes out on her own and nearly gets run over by a white car. She calls back and they say that Stan is officially gone, back to his hometown and they’re sure of it. Then she remembers that Jimmy’s dad drove a white car and calls him. It turns out that Jimmy borrowed his dad’s car for a new job selling encyclopedias in her area.
Jimmy eventually does show up and they have a huge confrontation. He says that he wants her to come home and she throws him out. Then she realizes that her lucky charm, a stuffed teddy bear, is missing. It turns up in her bag, mutilated and covered in red paint.
This all leads up to the end, where she wanders backstage after a performance and sees Ryan waiting for her. He’s all menacing and holding a giant knife, demanding that she talk to him. They fight and he comes after her with the knife. Suddenly, something hits him from behind and he topples over.
A figure steps out of the shadows and it’s Carly, Stan’s girlfriend. She’s carrying a huge ass metal chain and threatening to kill her. She says that Stan was a great boyfriend, until he became obsessed with Janna. It kept getting worse and worse, but if she kills Janna, the problem is solved.
Carly swings the chain and manages to hit her in the ankle. Janna gets back up and they end up chasing each other onto the catwalk. Carly swings the chain, Janna ducks and the chain hits the side of the catwalk. She loses her balance and falls off the catwalk. Ryan wakes up and the two make up, while waiting for the cops and the ambulance to arrive.
Saturday, November 6, 2010
Janine is helping Claudia study for her next math test and surprisingly enough, she’s doing really well. Her regular math teacher is out of town or sick or something, so she has this substitute named Mr. Zorzi. Check out that pic of him on the cover. He reminds me of a teacher from a bad 80’s sitcom, but I can’t quite think who.
Anyway, everyone tells her that she’s going to do great on the test and she starts to feel more confident. A few days later, they get their test results back and she totally nailed it! A- suckers. The teacher calls her and Shawna Riverson to the front of the room after class and points out that not only did they get the same grade and miss the same questions, but they answered every single question in the same way. Shawna instantly does the “I’d never cheat”, while Claudia twiddles her thumbs.
By the time she gets around to defending herself, the teacher has already made up his mind. He thinks she cheated, so she’ll get a failing grade on the test. The principal calls her parents and at first they think she cheated, but when Janine jumps to her defense, they instantly believe she didn’t cheat. Nice parents.
Claudia tells the club what happened and they all kind of believe her. Mary Anne points out that if she did cheat, she can tell them the truth and they’ll all be on her side, which pisses the whole group off. She ends up crying and making Claudia feel bad.
The girls come up with this “great” plan to catch Shawna by breaking into her locker. Claudia keeps referring to it as Breaking and Entering. Apparently Dawn used to have her locker, so she knows the combination. Stacey agrees to be the look-out and they make everyone else go home, as if a teacher would care what they’re doing.
They find a note from one of Shawna’s friends, congratulating her on cheating off Claudia. She takes the note, but then puts it back because she realizes that she’d have to tell the principal where she got it. Um, no you wouldn’t. Just tell him that it fell out of someone’s notebook!
Claudia then sees Shawna and her friends going into the bathroom and hides in the last stall. She hears her say that she was too busy with drama club and other activities, to study for the test. That night she tells Janine all about what happened and Janine comes to the school and meets with the principal.
The end result is that Claudia gets the chance to take the test again and actually does better than she did originally. The teacher tells Shawna what happened and says that she can take the test the next day. Shawna breaks down in tears and confesses that she cheated. She gets a two-day suspension and a failing grade on the test. Claudia’s parents reward her with a special cake and tell her that they’ll never doubt her again. Aw.
*Claudia wears the Miss Frizzle outfit that is permanently stuck in my head, even after all these years! A blue skirt with fish on it, a green blouse (to represent seaweed), jellies with stickers of seahorses and fish and a sand dollar barrette.
*The Pike triplets break a window (the third one in a few months?) and since no one will confess, they all get grounded. Mallory gets so sick of them stuck in the house that she lets them reenact the scene. Turns out that the pitch was wild, it glanced off the hitter’s bat and the catcher couldn’t reach it. Since technically it was no one’s fault, they all get off.
*Ann reveals in notes to the reader that she struggled with math, until an older boy (and former baby-sitter!) started tutoring her. She suggests sitters help their charges with their homework.
Friday, November 5, 2010
For some reason, I really like this book and I remembered way too much about it!
The book opens with this buy John Marin, who’s stuck in prison. He cuts a bunch of photos of the twins from local newspapers and sticks them up in his cell. He talks about using Liz’s love of books and Jessica’s love of the spotlight against them both.
Then the books jump to the Wakefield house, where the twins are getting ready to start their 700th summer jobs. This time they’re working at the Marina Café and I’m summer, but I can’t see Jess voluntarily working as a waitress. Steve is home for the summer too (big surprise) and working at the law office.
Ned nearly chokes to death when he reads in the paper that John Marin was paroled. We get the backstory of how Marin killed a woman and her teenage daughter, after kidnapping them from Secca Lake. He threatened the twins when he was being lead out of the court.
This brings up two questions. First of all, how the hell do you get paroled after ten years, when you killed two people? Second, wouldn’t the court tell Ned that he was out? He did threaten the man and you have to think that he left behind at least one picture of the twin in his cell. Ned kind of warns the girls to be careful, but of course doesn’t tell them what’s going on.
The twins get to work and meet Mr. Jenkins, the café manager who can’t tell them apart. He thinks Jess being a total ass is actually Liz and Liz being super perfect is Jess. They learn that he’s hosting a tip contest, with the winner getting a gift certificate for food and shopping. I don’t get the tip contest either because it’s based solely on money. Every shift, they have to tell him how much they earned in tips. Shouldn’t it be based on the highest percentage or something?
Of course as soon as Marin gets out, he becomes obsessed with the twins. He sneaks into the house and leaves a half-eaten apple on the counter, then steals a Christmas card photo from the mantle. Ned finds a card from Marin, which has a “nice family” note on the back and their photo on the front. He calls the cops and they refuse to do anything because they have no proof. Um, k.
Todd stops by the café because he’s teaching windsurfing down the beach and Liz gets kind of annoyed. They head out for dinner and she thinks about how they’re trapped in a rut. Jessica is stuck with a customer and meets Marin, who introduces himself as Scott Maderlake. He tells her that he’s scouting locations for a TV series and she practically dry humps him in the restaurant.
This book kind of pisses me off because after dozens of books where Liz is ultra smug about her relationship with Todd, now she’s all annoyed by him. They see Roman Holiday and she goes on and on about how she’s just like Audrey Hepburn. Then when Todd does make an effort, she gets pissed at him.
They go to the Dairi Burger and she decides to get out of her rut by ordering an iced coffee with three sugars and half and half. This annoys me because you put your up fucking sugar and milk in your coffee, but she makes the waitress do it. Then she spots someone writing in the corner and of course it’s Marin, even though five seconds before he was with Jessica. Pretend you forgot that.
Jessica comes home late and Ned flips out. He tells her and Alice that there were a string of crimes in the neighborhood. He calls the police, who tell him that they can’t find Marin because he never met with his parole officer and gave a fake address. Ned hires PI James Battaglia to watch over the girls.
The whole book is just Marin breaking in, the cops doing nothing and everyone else being stupid. The girls see this weird guy in a whole sailor outfit, who’s actually working for the investigator. There’s also a weird guy following them, who Marin paid off. Liz finally meets Marin, who passes himself off as Ben and says he’s sailing around the world while he writes a book. She’s convinced that he’s her soul mate because he orders the same iced coffee as her and his boat’s name is Emily Dickenson. Seriously, even Enid thinks he might be her soul mate…and yet they haven’t said more than ten words to each other.
Jessica tells Lila all about her new guy. She says she won’t tell Liz because Liz will get upset at her dating someone new, while Ken is out of town. Ah, remember when she dated Ken? She’s guessing he’s around 20 and she knows Liz will freak out because of what happened with Jeremy Randall. Yeah, well when you date a guy who’s engaged to someone else…
Jess and Scott go around town and she tells him stories about everyone. Despite the fact that Enid is such a dork, she even includes the story of her plane crash. When she gets home, she realizes that her necklace is missing. Later Ned gets a note from Marin, with the necklace attached.
Liz runs into the weird guy in the storeroom, rushes outside and runs right into Ben. She goes for a walk with him and tells him all about how she feels like she’s stuck and he totally understands her! Not at all like that awful Todd! She’s totally in love!
Battaglia suggests that Ned tell everyone what’s going on and he refuses. He does send Steve to San Francisco for another job and convinces Alice to go out to town too. Then he sends a photo of Marin to the investigator, but doesn’t double check it. Of course Marin switches it out. Ned does ask the girls if they’ve seen anything suspicious, but they change the subject.
I’m tired of recapping this, so let’s just cover the highlights. Marin breaks into the house and moves Prince Albert’s collar. He gives Jessica an expensive new necklace and she dry humps him again. He breaks into the house and steals back the same necklace, so Ned has no proof that he was inside…except for all those fucking notes.
The cops arrest the creepy guy, thinking that it’s Marin because the photo matches. Um, ok? Marin takes dirty pics (kind of) of Alice’s legs and sends them to Ned. Scott takes Jessica to Miller’s Point, someone spies on them and Scott “chases” him off. Later it turns out that he killed Battaglia’s man.
Neither twin wins the contest (say what? Don’t they win everything?). Some guy jumps at them in the storage area and they have to go to the police station. They both identify the weird guy, but he’s been in custody, so he wasn’t the guy that attacked. On the way home, Liz tells Jess all about her new boyfriend.
Ned tries to call Battaglia and tell him what happened. When he doesn’t answer, he runs over to talk to him and finds him dead, with a note from Marin on his back. Liz goes for a moonlight cruise with Ben and Jessica lies for her, saying she’s with Todd. Todd then calls and the cops show up, so Jess has to tell them the truth.
They tell Jess what’s going on and show her a picture of Marin. She’s laughs because it’s Scott and then realizes that he’s a killer They go to the Beach Disco and get Jane, one of the other waitresses. Jane sees the pics and tells them that Marin is Ben. Oh-uh.
Liz is with Ben, when the Coast Guard shows up. He holds a knife to her throat, she stomps on his foot and when he lets go, she runs off. Unfortunately she whacks her head on the side of the boat and Jess has to jump in and save her.
Later the twins go home and the cops are changing the locks in the house. The cops leave, but one offers to sleep outside in his car and keep an eye on things. Marin pops up and reveals that he escaped and made it look like he died. He hits Ned in the head and goes upstairs with a knife to kill the twins. Suddenly he’s hit from behind by Ned, who sends him flying out the window. The cops handcuff Marin and promise that everything will be fine…
Thursday, November 4, 2010
Ann M. Martin apparently decided that no one realizes Jessi is black, so she had this book done just to remind us. I think the whole book is about how she’s black and no one understands what that means for her.
When the book starts, she’s all excited about Kwanzaa and gives us a long (I mean pages and pages long) description of the holidays. Apparently she’s the only one in the family who cares because Becca is making a list for Santa and talking about everything she wants for Christmas.
At a BSC meeting, Kristy points out that Kwanzaa is only for African-American people and Jessi gets kind of pissed off. She thinks that other people might feel this way, when it’s actually about bringing people together. Yet five pages before, she actually said it’s only for black people. Make up your mind Jessi! So she comes up with this “brilliant” idea to host a festival and invite people of all colors.
Aunt Cecilia is living with the family and acting as bitchy as ever. She keeps lecturing the kids and treating them like crap. Like she takes them Christmas shopping, but won’t let them go into any store where they need gifts and tells them what to buy people. They want to get their dad a new shirt and she says it’s too expensive and takes them to the accessories department.
Eventually their dad gets sick of her shit and tells her to lighten up. He reminds her that she’s living with them and she doesn’t have to, kind of insinuating that he might kick her out. She takes the kids to the mall again, but makes a big deal out of buying a new blender. She literally starts yelling at the store workers because the blender now has a plastic container and she wants a glass one.
Jessi and Becca dress up in funny costumes and try to scare her. She gets so pissed that she makes them leave the store right away. On the way home, she’s driving way too slow and Squirt is fussing, so she makes the “smart” decision to let them take him out of his seat. Their car gets hit from behind, Squirt topples over and has to be rushed to the hospital. Since he’s a kid and has a concussion, they make the family leave him there for a few days.
Jessi has to skip the first Kwanzaa celebration, leaving Mal in charge, which cracks me up. The first people who get there, think they’re at the wrong spot because they only see red-headed, super white Mal. We’re reminded again that Jessi is black because she tells us that she met one new black family in the grocery store and another family is one of the few African-American families in town that she doesn’t know. I thought there weren’t any other black families in Stoneybrook?
The rest of the book is equally lame. Squirt misses being home, but bonds with the people at the hospital and starts ignoring his family. Cecilia becomes even worse because she blames herself for what happened. Becca gets the flu and misses pretty much everything.
We’re treated to one chapter from Mary Ann’s perspective, where she baby-sits for the new family and they go all crazy making Kwanzaa crafts. Then Jessi hosts a cooking event, where the kids and sitters make a bunch of Kwanzaa dishes and freeze them for the festival. She also arranges for the kids to put on a play. Kristy goes all psycho, trying to get her to mention the club every few lines because it’s perfect PR for them.
Mallory is super great in this book though. She knows the family doesn’t have time to get a tree, so she buys one and her family helps her decorate it for them. Then she offers to bring them over Christmas dinner and I so want her to be my friend right now. Claudia gets to sit for Becca, who can’t go to the hospital. They decorate the house and get everything ready, but then everyone is pissed off when they come home and ignore her.
The whole family is pissed at each other, but then their other family arrives for Kwanzaa dinner. Uncle Charles picks up on the tension, makes a joke and suddenly everything is fine again. The big festival goes off without a hitch and Kristy gives out business cards/flyers, so the BSC is back on top again!
*There are “Notebook Pages” in the back that ask a bunch of questions about you, your life, your age, etc. I told the boyfriend that I wanted to fill them out with all my info now (I’m 30 and my favorite club member is Stacey because she’s just like me!) and then donate the book back to the thrift store. I so want someone to buy this book and read that lol.
*I find it hard to believe that Cecelia would let Squirt out of his car seat, especially when she’s so paranoid about the kids in general.
*Cecelia is the one person who expresses doubt that Jessi and the club can pull off the festival. She thinks the parents will get stuck with all the work, but then Jessi does it without any adult help.
*A bunch of sitters and a dozen kids somehow make several main dishes and a bunch of cookies in like two hours. I call bull shit on this one.
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Adam and his girlfriend Mitzi (what a name) are out on the water, tooting around on a water scooter. Anyone know what that is? Anyway, they’re goofing around and she accidentally falls overboard. When he turns around to save her, he accidentally hits her in the head with the scooter and she starts bleeding. He falls off and tries to save her again, but the scooter goes crazy and starts chasing them both.
Suddenly he wakes up in his own bed, with his roommate Ian staring at him. It turns out that his girlfriend Mitzi died the previous summer when they snuck out on a scooter. Ever since then, he’s been having bad dreams. He looks down at his legs and starts screaming because his legs are missing.
Cut to Adam sitting with his psychiatrist Dr. Thall and telling him about his hallucination. The doctor’s worried because Adam had hallucinations before, but he got passed them. Adam then goes off to his job as a lifeguard…seriously? Would anyone want a guy who’s girlfriend drowned and has hallucinations, to work as a lifeguard?
Anyway, his buddy Sean is flirting with this girl Alyce, who he’s supposedly dating. I say supposedly because she doesn’t seem all that interested in him and I can kind of see why. He keeps chasing her around and asking her out, even when she’s not interested in him. Sean then tells Adam that she’d better not be sneaking around on him.
He proceeds to tell a story about his old girlfriend. Apparently she started sneaking around with another guy, so Sean started stalking him. He left him threatening notes and threatened him in the hallways at school. Then he jumped him in the woods and beat the shit out of him. Adam starts talking about a date he has that night, which isn’t with his kind of girlfriend Leslie.
Sean shows up at Alyce’s house that night, despite the fact that she told him they weren’t going out because he thinks she was joking. Her roommate answers and says that she went to the movies, so he starts stalking her. He sees her out with a guy and freaks out about her date. He runs into Leslie, who’s about to cry and they talk about Alyce’s date.
I love how Sean gets like two chapters from his viewpoint and then it’s all about Adam. Adam runs into Joy and Raina, two girls he graduated with from Shadyside. Ooh and they mention that Joy went out with Gary Brandt! So either she was dating someone younger than her or apparently our old school kids all graduated. Apparently Adam dated them both and now they just happen to be in town on a break from college and waiting for their summer jobs to start.
Adam and Ian are also having problems because Ian keeps borrowing everything he owns, including his clothes and food. Plus Ian is girl crazy and keeps going out with different girls every night of the week. He’s also having problems with Leslie because she thinks they’re a couple and he’s not feeling that.
One night he meets Raina and Joy for dinner after blowing Leslie off and she shows up at the restaurant. They have a minor altercation and she pushes him into a table before storming off. The next day he runs into the girls again at the beach and they want to know what’s up with his girlfriend, but he kind of blows it off.
Sean keeps ignoring him and then runs off, leaving Adam alone at the beach. Jeez, they didn’t even do that at Sweet Valley Shore. He warns the girls about the water being rough and then notices them trapped in the water. Adam runs off to save them, but only manages to save Raina. She’s passed out in the water and Joy keeps screaming and dragging him under, so he pulls Raina to the shore. He thinks that Joy will be fine until he gets back, but she goes under and never comes back up.
He wakes up in his room, thinking that it was all a nightmare, but Ian confirms that it happened. The next day he sees Leslie, who doesn’t know what he’s talking about. The drowning wasn’t on the news and she shows him that it wasn’t in the paper. Then he thinks he sees Joy, but the girl disappears. He does notice that the “ghost” left behind footprints in the sand.
On top of all that, he starts having visions of Mitzi again and he’s getting threatening phone calls from someone. He even has a hallucination, where an apple turns into a skull and starts talking to him. Leslie offers to help, but he blows her off. Then he runs into Raina, who thanks him for saving his life and he thinks that somehow Leslie is screwing him. Raina comes back and arranges to meet him later.
He comes home and finds a dead sea gull, wrapped in his sweatshirt and laying on his bed. Then he comes home and finds Sean attacking his bed with a knife. Sean reveals that Alyce was dating Ian and because Ian wore Adam’s sweatshirt, he thought it was his. He also thought Adam’s bed belonged to Ian. Adam suggests he talk things over with Alyce and then leaves to meet Raina.
Raina apologizes to Adam and then out walks Joy. It turns out that Dr. Thall thought Adam was repressing something about last summer and wanted to do something drastic to make him remember. He somehow tracked down the girls…and Ian…and got them to agree to fake a drowning. I smell a lawsuit.
Adam rushes off to grab a water scooter and hits the water, where he sees Ian coming at him. Somehow that makes him remember what actually happened the last summer. Ian and Mitzi were screwing around, they went out on the water, she fell overboard and he hit her with the scooter. Ian rushed back to shore, told Adam what happened and he raced off. Somehow it got all muddled in his mind and he thought that he did it.
Ian starts chasing him because he wants him to die or something. Ian ends up falling off the scooter and Adam saves his life. The book ends with Leslie coming to see him and him making a joke about whether or not she’s real. She kisses him, asking if it feels real and he tells her he doesn’t care and kisses her back.
High Tide is only around 170 pages long. Does that seem short to anyone else for a Super Chiller?