Friday, December 14, 2018

The Nancy Drew Notebooks #38: Candy is Dandy

As a special treat for her class, the school arranged for the kids to take a tour of Zuckerman's Zonked, which is candy factory in town. Mr. Zuckerman, who inherited the factory from his dad, gives them a tour and lets them sample some new candies. He makes a big deal out of his new candy, which will last as long as an all day sucker, be as sweet as chocolate, and as chewy as caramel. After showing them the recipe, he puts it in his pocket and gives them a tour of the library. It's only after going through some recipe books that he realizes his own recipe is missing.

Nancy names her first and primary suspect as Josie, a girl in her class who wants to run her own candy company one day. Mr. Zuckerman tells them that the secret ingredient is maple syrup, which is why Nancy gets suspicious walking by Josie's house that night and smelling maple syrup. Josie shows up to school the next day with a new candy that tastes gross. She wanted to recreate the recipe for him.

Her next suspect is Stevie, a boy who took the tour. She sees him acting weird and then hiding in a classroom. When she goes in, he explodes at her and spills a big bag of sugar. Mrs. Reynolds, one of their teachers, makes Nancy leave and tells her not to mess up his secret. She suspects they're working together until she finds out he's been working on a sweet recipe to lure insects away from his mom's garden.

The whole gang heads to Double Dip for some ice cream and finds a big sign out front that advertises its new line of candies. Andrew, one of the guys from their class, buys a triple ice cream cone and leaves without paying. They suspect that Andrew stole the recipe and gave it to Cathy, the owner, in exchange for free treats. Carson encourages Nancy to just ask people to find out the truth.

She goes back to the ice cream shop and sees Andrew again. It turns out that he got a gift certificate for his birthday, which was why he bought something without paying. Nancy then tells them what she thought, and Nancy tells her that the River Heights Dairy makes candy for their ice cream. The dairy made too much in this batch and gave it to her to sell. She tells Nancy that asking for the truth is a smart and responsible thing to do, and she's so happy with the girls that she gives them free candy.

They head to Bess's house and find her mom making maple syrup candy. Nancy suspects Bess until Mrs. Marvin tells them that she got a can of real maple syrup from a friend in Canada. The girls then decide to go back to the factory and apologize to Mr. Zuckerman for not solving the mystery. He tells them that it's okay, but Nancy then sees a sucker stuck to him and asks to use the library.

There, she digs through the books he showed her class and finds the recipe stuck to the back of one. Working in the factory leaves him covered in sticky stuff all the time. He thought he put the recipe in his pocket, but it was stuck to his hand and rubbed off on the book. He's so excited that he gives them all free candy to take home and decides to name a new candy after Nancy.

*Josie brings a Fluffernutter sandwich, chocolate milk, a bag of sugary cereal, and candy with her to lunch. That's a lot of sugar for one little girl!

*The candy factory looks just like stacks of jelly beans, and I have no idea how the builders did it. There's also an open mouth that you walk through to get inside. Why can't places like this exist in the real world?

*Zuckerman makes a Candy Baby, which is a cherry flavored sucker shaped like a baby that sounds like nothing I would want to eat. He also makes a new candy that uses little pieces of chocolate shaped like toast with peanut butter and marshmallow cream inside. I need to get me some of those.

*While walking with him back to the library, Nancy looks over and realizes that Bess is eating a chocolate bar that she somehow picked up along the way. When he asks how he can thank them for finding the recipe, Bess immediately says candy while Nancy gives her that look. I'm with Bess on this one.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Sweet Valley Twins #69: Won't Someone Help Anna?

Jessica comes to school one day and hears the principal shouting at someone. After saying that she hopes the person isn't in too much trouble, she learns that it's a new student. Before she can get too excited though, she learns that the new student is deaf. That turns her off because deaf people are as gross as fat people or something.

When Anna Reynolds actually shows up, she kind of takes the school by storm. Elizabeth and her friends automatically welcome her and become besties with her, but Jess still thinks it's super weird. Once she meets her though, she realize that she's a cool girl. She even loves dancing and wants to start an aerobics club because she dreams of being an instructor one day.

Liz asks Cammi to do an article on Anna for the paper. Cammi keeps putting her off with excuses and then heads home to her two deaf parents. Both she and her little sister can hear but use ASL to communicate with their parents. She gets really bitter about how people will turn on Anna once the newness wears off and how they'll wind up hating her. It happened to Cammi before.

Cathy comes over with Steve to start planning a party at her grandparents' cottage on the beach. She not only invites the twins, much to his chagrin, but she also tells them that they can invite some friends. Jessica goes crazy handing out invites. Both twins agree to help them cook, get ready for the party, and clean up as a way to say thank you. Cammi gets an invite too but thinks it's a pity invite and claims she has to babysit her sister.

Anna is a hit at the party. She particularly hits it off with Jim, who is apparently no longer with Belinda. The two dance the night away, and he makes her feel even more comfortable. Jessica goes down to the beach and sees Cathy with Jake Hamilton, who is dating Lila. She later sees Cathy kissing someone in the shadows and flips out about how she could cheat on Steve.

Cammi finally works up the nerve to call Anna about the article and then pouts because she was at the party. Her parents get pretty concerned about why she skipped a party to hang out with them. When they finally do get together, she's stunned at how cool Anna is with everything. She has no problem showing off the deaf stuff in their house and using sign language in front of her. Cammi still refuses to tell anyone the truth about herself though.

Jessica tells Liz all about what she saw at the party, but Liz, being Liz, refuses to hear it. She winds up telling all the Unicorns. Lila immediately freaks out because Jake was hers. The Unicorns then spill the beans to everyone else. Guys at school start teasing Jake for dating an older girl, but he has no idea what they're talking about it. When Jessica confronts him about Cathy, he's even more confused because he knows lots of girls with that name.

The day the aerobics club meets for the first time, Liz and Amy see Mr. Clark, the principal, with Anna in the hallway as Anna cries. She covers it up later and holds a class that kicks all their asses. Cammi turns in her article, but it's way too short. When Liz lectures her, she just tells her to give it to someone else and leaves.

Liz then shows up at her house. Though she tries to make her leave and lies about her sister having chicken pox, Liz refuses to go. She meets Mrs. Adams and agrees to stay for dinner. She later tells Cammi that it's now a big deal and that her parents were both really nice. Cammi then tells her about her dad making a mistake at her old school, how the parents and kids laughed at him, and how he felt horrible because he embarrassed her. Liz tells her that people aren't always like that, which is proof that she lives in her own little bubble.

Cammi sees Anna crying in class one day and realizes that the teacher keeps turning her back on her, so she can't understand him. Instead of helping though, she just gives her a tissue. She later learns that Anna is in danger of failing and that the principal wants to kick her out of the school.

Mr. Clark actually comes in and sits to observe Anna, making it clear that he's there just for her. When the teacher turns his back again and then turns around to ask her a question, Anna almost breaks down and actually starts crying. Cammi then signs to her and helps her with the lesson. Everyone thinks it's really cool that she can sign, but she and Anna talk things through with ASL. They then teach the other kids the word for friend.

Lila keeps pushing Jessica to tell Steve the truth about Cathy. While she and Ellen are there, Jess finally tells him what she saw. Steve flips out and demands to know where Jake is before taking off. He says that he'll kill him. Jess warns Jake, but he tells her that he'll do anything for the woman he loves. He and Steve start to fight, but then Jessica suggests they put aside their differences and have some ice cream. They agree as long as she pays. Cathy then comes out to say what she wants and kisses Steve. Jess apparently saw them kissing on the beach after Jake left to find Lila, and they all worked together to make her feel stupid.

At the end of the book, Cammi throws her first party ever, which is a birthday party for Anna. A bunch of girls come over, and she can't believe that even Jessica showed up. When they sing Happy Birthday to her, Cammi, her mom, and her sister all sign the words. Anna then gives her a special present, which is a charm on a necklace that has friend in ASL on it.

*When Jessica goes to the principal's office, his secretary wants to know what she did this time. When Liz comes by, the secretary says it's a delight to see her.

*Jess asks Liz to guess the best news ever, and she guesses that Jess is quitting the Unicorns. When Jess asks her to guess the worst news ever, she guesses that Jess wants her to join the Unicorns LOL.

*I thought Steve and Cathy were the same age, but she's constantly called a sophomore in this book while he's still a freshman.

*I love Ellen! When Steve demands to know where Jake is, Lila just tries to run away and Ellen just pipes up, “I know!”

*Lila is disappointed when she hears that Jake is a black belt who might kill Steve but only because she planned on rushing to his side after Steve beat the shit out of him and nurse him back to health. Love her too!

*Cammi's sister and her sister's friend want to teach the family dog, Ludwig, how to talk. Cammi then says that he never learned to speak like a normal dog because he grew up in a deaf house, which is something I never thought about before, but that he went through training to help them in other ways.

*Cammi spends most of the book freaking out about how no one would want to be her friend once they found out about her parents. She even thinks that her sister's new friend will dump her. The little girl actually thinks having a deaf mom is really cool.

*Anna only takes some classes at SVMS and spends the rest of her time in a special school. It seems kind of strange to put her in a hearing school without any help. It's even worse that she does badly for a few weeks and they want to drop her.

Monday, December 10, 2018

The Nancy Drew Notebooks #47: The Crook Who Took the Book (2002)

It's Friday at Nancy's school, which means that it's library day. She instantly heads to the mystery section and picks out a Marvin Sandback book, her favorite author. Andy, one of the guys in her class, whines about how books suck and comics are always better.

Their teacher then gathers them together with some news: Julia, the owner of the Book Nook in town, is Mr. Sandback's daughter and is having a big party that weekend to release his new book. She also wants to present him with a first edition copy of his very first book, which is rare and worth a bundle.

Mrs. Marvin takes Bess and George, while Carson takes Nancy. They run into Anderson, who works there, and sees him with a fancy wood box. He tries to keep the book a secret until he learns that they already know, but then he refuses to let them see inside. They try to play with Charlie, the shop cat, but the cat freaks out and hisses at them.

Sandback then comes in and has them all sit down so he can answer all their questions. Once they finish, he signs copies of his new book for them. When Julia presents him with his gift, he opens the box and finds it empty. Nancy tells him that she'll solve the crime for him.

Her only real suspect is Andy, so she skips recess to sign up for computer time at school to follow him. He's really only there to learn more about graphic novels and to check out some books. She suspects that it might be Anderson and heads back to the store. Since another kid mentioned Charlie being mean and chasing him, she wants to check the cat's bed too. Apparently, Charlie is super lazy and never gets out of bed.

Sandback thinks that checking the bed is smart and even gets Charlie out of the way for her. He then casually mentions Anderson as a suspect to Julia after hearing Nancy talk about him. Right before she leaves, he tells her that the case reminds him of one of his old books and suggests that she read it again.

That book involves a trophy stolen from a wood box and has a section about a piece of red cloth caught in the hinge. Surprise surprise, there's a piece of red felt caught in the hinge of the book case. She then reads about a blue eyeglass case turning up right before one shows up on her bus. The book also talks about a clue hidden in the candy store. She finds a clue hidden in the candy section of the department store. A bunch of random kids agree to help her search.

They wind up finding a handkerchief with MAS monogrammed on it, which are Sandback's initials. The whole group goes to the book store, which is where Nancy accuses him of being the thief. The red felt came from a patch on his vest, the case belongs to his glasses, and she found his handkerchief. He admits it and then pulls out the first edition book.

Sandback explains that he wanted the kids to have some fun and points out that Nancy enjoyed solving the mystery. Julia was in on the whole thing too and actually told him about the book beforehand. He then announces that he'll donate the book to the local library so that everyone can see it. As an added bonus, he winks at Nancy and tells her that she might turn up in a book one day too.

*Julia claims that growing up with a mystery writing father was amazing and that he always made up treasure hunts for them and stuff. I'd think he'd want to take a break from all that. It's like an IT guy doing computer repairs on the weekends for fun.

*Carson calls her Pumpkin and Pudding Pie, which is absolutely adorable.

*Nancy now has a chocolate lab puppy named Chocolate Chip.

*When Nancy goes to the library for computer time, the librarian tells her to make herself comfortable with a book while she works with Andy. Only after he checks out his books does she then offer to help. Seriously? She has to just sit there for 30 minutes or whatever. Carson needs to donate some more computers!

*I know these books are meant for really young kids, but they made Sandback way too suspicious early on. He literally winks and nods at Nancy while pushing her to his book and stuff like that.

Friday, December 7, 2018

Sweet Valley Kids #51: Lois and the Sleepover

The twins are running around and playing like usual when they see Lois by herself. They pick her up and then run into Amy. Amy invites them all to come with her to the movies that night, but Lois can't come because her mom wants to take her to that movie over the weekend. She also reveals that her and her mom watched a movie together they night before and had more plans together. Her grandmother passed away, and since her dad is also gone, her mom depends on her a lot.

Todd then shows up and invites them to come and play baseball with some other kids. Lois does really badly as usual but then helps make a double play. All the kids love her, but she needs to suddenly leave because her mom wants to take her to a restaurant for dinner. The twins feel bad that her grandmother died but feel even worse that her mom won't give her a break.

It's in the middle of a major heat wave in Sweet Valley. The twins sleep in the den, which is the only room with an AC, and talk with Steven about how much fun it would be to sleep outside. That leads to them asking their parents if they can hold a campout that weekend. They agree, and all their friends can come except for Lois. Her mom wants to have a barbecue for adults but demands that Lois be there.

The one bright spot is that Mrs. Waller does ask the twins to come with them to the beach. When they get there though, they don't have much fun. She won't let them go in the water unless she's with them, despite there being a lifeguard on duty. As soon as they start splashing around, she makes them get out of the water and sit under an umbrella. And even though Alice gave them money for snacks, she makes them eat the veggies, fruit, and tuna sandwiches that she brought instead. Lois feels really bad and keeps apologizing.

When party night arrives, it's raining so bad that Ned puts the tent up inside the house. They all start having fun, see a shadow outside, and scream because they think it's a ghost. It's actually Lois who reveals that she sneaked out of her house to see them when her mom was busy. Liz worries that her mom already knows Lois is gone, which causes her to freak out. They hide Lois in the tent, even after Alice asks if they heard from her.

Though the girls promise to help hide Lois, they change their minds when Alice comes in and says that Mrs. Waller called the cops. Jessica and Liz convince her to come out and take her to Alice. Mrs. Waller shows up and feels really bad. She tells Alice about how she put too much pressure on Lois and made her the center of her world before apologizing to her daughter. She then agrees to let her spend the night as she sits down to have some tacos with Alice.

*Jessica totally doesn't want to play with Lois in the beginning and actually pulls a face when she sees her because Lois is fat. Seriously, can Alice do even the slightest bit of parenting here?

*Todd wants to play ball but doesn't like Lois playing because she sucks. He's okay with it though because there are a bunch of kids out of town on vacation and not enough players. Man, I really sympathize with Lois...

*Liz convinces Jess to let Lois come to the sleepover because she's grown up a lot lately, and Jess agrees because Lois hasn't cried in awhile. Um, isn't Jess the one who constantly bursts into tears when she doesn't get her way?

*Ned and Alice have a tent big enough to hold their twins and all their friends. Given that there's like six people coming plus them, that's a big ass tent. I have a three room tent that was barely big enough for three adults.

*Sandra Ferris comes to the sleepover, even though in SVT, they barely know her. I think it's only because so many kids were out of town LOL.

*Even though Lois is supposedly so big, she can sleep in a pair of the twins' pajamas.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Nancy Drew and the Clue Crew #4: The Cinderella Ballet Mystery

Nancy, Bess, and George are all taking ballet classes with Mr. McGuire, a former professional dancer, and random kids like Gregory, Deirdre, her best friend Grace, and Andrea. Gregory offers Bess some cookies and busts up laughing when she tries to eat one because they're fake cookies he took from his sister's play kitchen. He loves playing pranks on all the girls.

Mr. McGuire comes in with some big news: the “glass” slippers he had specially made for the big recital just come in and he wants to show them off. Gregory launches one at Bess who freaks out when it drops because she expects it to shatter. The shoes are actually made from a type of hard plastic. Mr. McGuire tells them that no one can touch the shoes and yells at Deirdre for even trying to take photos.

The other big news is that Autumn, the girl picked for the lead role, hurt her leg and can no longer dance. That makes Andrea, the understudy, the new lead dancer in Cinderella. Nadine, another dancer, freaks out. He had a hard time choosing between the two of them as to who would be the understudy but eventually picked Andrea. Nadine thinks she should get the role. This really just serves to set up some suspects for when the glass slippers go missing.

Andrea asks Nancy and her friends, who made up a mystery solving club called the Clue Crew, for help. They find a piece of paper with the word “taille” and the number 38 on it. George does some internet sleuthing and finds out that it's the French word for fall. They also see Gregory with his dog and looking all suspicious.

Their biggest break comes when they find that Deirdre posted a photo of the shoes on her blog but the photo was taken outside. Deirdre denies taking the slippers, but Grace breaks down and admits that they “borrowed” the slippers to take the pair outside for a picture. Gregory shoes up with his dog again, and a rhinestone falls out of his bag, which looks just like those used on the slippers. He claims that he never saw it before and willingly gives it to Nancy, but his dog seems super interested in it.

Nancy then discovers a barrette with what looks like a lightning bolt on the top. She thinks it looks like an “N” and takes it to Nadine, but Nadine denies that it's hers and says she only wears cool barrettes. When doing her costume fitting, Nancy realizes that the costume designer is Mrs. Z and that she always wears things in her hair. The barrette belongs to her, and she says she lost it when moving some set pieces.

Cut to Gregory walking around and looking really weird. When Nancy confronts him, he finally admits that he stole the slippers. He just wanted to make everyone freak out for a little bit before revealing it was a prank but then the slippers went missing. When he says he put them on a giant ice cream cone, Nancy remembers that there was a cone used for an old show.

They all run upstairs where Mrs. Z put the old set pieces and find the missing slippers. Mr. McGuire is super happy to have them back because he spent a lot of money on them or something. The show goes off without a hitch, and Nancy loves seeing her friends dance.

*Deidre Shannon is in this book and apparently hated Nancy as much when they were kids as she does when they become teenagers. It's just really weird to me for her to be in all the newer books when she wasn't in the older ones.

*Deidre has her own website called Dishing With Deirdre, which seems really weird because these kids are way too young for that.

*Andrea offers to give the girls her allowance as payment, but they turn her down because they just like solving crimes for fun.

*Is it a little weird that George is not only taking dance lessons but also super excited about them?

*Nancy has a role of a mouse in the show LOL.

*This is actually the first book I ever read from the Clue Crew series, and I thought it was really cute!

Monday, December 3, 2018

Sweet Valley Twins #96: Elizabeth the Spy

All the kids, or at least all the girls, at SVMS keep hanging out at Casey's because they love Joe, the college guy he hired to work there. Joe is super friendly and nice to everyone. He gives them extra ice cream, makes the best treats, and he even volunteers as a clown to help out at the children's hospital and other places. Joe also got all the girls interested in brainteasers and keeps giving them puzzles to figure out.

The only downside to hanging out there is Jeff Casey, the owner's nephew. He clearly doesn't like kids and keeps telling Joe to get to work and complaining about the kids wasting his time. Jeff interrupts them and tells Joe to do some work while complaining under his breath about how the shop isn't his yet. Joe needs to do a good job because he wants to cut out early for a performance.

Jessica realizes that they are out of pads at a very inconvenient time and asks Liz to go and buy some more. Liz tells her no because she's all caught up in the most recent Amanda Howard book. She finally agrees to go with her, but when they get there, Jess demands that she go up to the counter and pay. Jess worries that someone they know might see them.

What actually happens is that someone runs up behind Liz and pushes her. She turns to see a man dressed as a clown with a knife in his hand. He waves it around and tells them to get out of the way, and Jess kicks him in the shin, which causes him to scream. The clown finally gets them down on the ground, takes all the money from the register, and runs away after telling them to count to 100 before calling for help.

The cops make them go over their story multiple times, but Liz feels uncomfortable because there was something about the clown that seemed really familiar to her. She even goes so far as to kick Jess when she gives a really good description of the guy. Though Jess dreams of being on the news, having all her friends see her, and seeing them get really jealous, she freaks out at the idea that they might know she was buying pads and stops talking.

In case you somehow didn't see where this was going, the police announce that they arrested Joe for the robbery. Jessica just basically goes along with it because she can't imagine the cops arresting someone without evidence. Liz refuses to believe Joe could do something like that though and vows to help him. Though she goes to see him in jail, he tells her to drop the case and leave things alone.

Mr. Casey is the only one on Joe's side. He loved him like a son and promised him the shop one day. Jeff keeps standing around while they talk and making rude comments about Joe being a slacker and a thief. Liz finds an extra key to Joe's apartment in the shop and uses it to check out his place. The only thing that happens though is that the cops almost catch her.

It's then off to Sweet Valley University. Liz heads to the library and meets Wendy, a student who actually knows Joe. She had a hard time believing he could do something like this. Joe was always a super friendly guy who helped anyone who needed it. He was a track starter and drove a motorcycle too, but one day he came back to campus, dropped all his classes, and sold his bike. No one knows why.

Though Liz still thinks that he's innocent, reading her new book changes her mind. It's also about how the main girl has a friend accused of killing his aunt for her money. She finds evidence that his uncle was actually behind the whole thing. In the end though, she finds out that her friend was the real killer. Before she can give it too much thought though, Liz suddenly remembers something.

A few days before the robbery, she fell out of her chair and landed hard on Joe's foot but he didn't notice. She thinks that maybe he has a false leg and goes back to SVU. Wendy helps her find a newspaper article about how Joe was in an bad accident that led to the doctors amputating his leg. Liz then tells Ned what she found, who goes to Joe's lawyer. As long as Jessica testifies about kicking the clown and him feeling pain, they're good to go.

That's when Jessica puts down her foot. She refuses to testify because she doesn't want to reveal that she went there to buy pads or that the clown pushed her around. Plus, Lila keeps going to the trial because of some connection her dad has, so Jessica doesn't want to say that in front of Lila. Since Jessica was wearing Liz's monogrammed sweatshirt that night, Liz just pretends it was her on the security camera.

Once she starts telling her story, Joe gets a big and sappy look on his face. The judge has him come up and roll up his pant leg to show the jury his prosthetic. They then come back with a unanimous verdict that he is not guilty while I assume Jeff tries to slink away in the background. Mr. Casey welcomes Joe back with open arms and announces that he's going back to school and that when he graduates in a year, he's taking over the operations of the shop. He also tells them that jealousy is a bad thing and that Jeff will get what's coming to him.

As the twins walk home, Liz has one last big piece of news. The manufacturers of their pads contacted her after the trial and want her to star in a new series of commercials about their products and how they're good in all situations. Jessica doesn't care at first because it's probably just a local ad. Liz then reveals that it's a national spot that will air all across the country, leaving Jessica to lamely ask if she could get her some autographs.

*Jessica eats a cone with a scoop of chocolate chocolate chip ice cream on top of pineapple sherbet, which sounds really gross to me.

*Lila is the only one who doesn't really seem to like Joe, but that's really only because she wants to keep talking about her latest vacation and everyone keeps ignoring her to talk to him.

*In an older SVT book, they say that Casey is the first name of the guy who owns the ice cream shop. In this book, they call him Old Mr. Casey.

*Lila thinks Joe is guilty because he was too nice and gave her extra cherries and no one is ever really that nice. Man, her dad sure did a number on her...

*Steven briefly wonders if Liz has PTSD and proudly talks about how he learned about it in history class while studying the Vietnam War.

*Is it wrong that I can totally see Jeff's side? Even if he's terrible at working at the shop, he's Mr. Casey's nephew. His uncle decides to retire and give away his store to some random stranger who hasn't even worked there a year!

*On the other hand, he is not a good people person and seems really irritated at there being kinds in the shop. They all keep complaining about how Joe was better, but Jeff points out that Joe cost him money by giving them more than they ordered, extra candy, and other stuff for free, which is also true.

Friday, August 31, 2018

Sweet Valley High #141: A Picture Perfect Prom?

Despite the fact that she made the decision to dump both Todd and Devon, Elizabeth can't stop moping around about how she's lonely and misses them both. She joins the prom planning committee to take her mind off things, only to find out that Todd also joined. They start spending a lot of time together, which leads to weird moments like Todd wanting to kiss her ankle and telling her she has perfect ankles while holding a ladder. Liz realizes that she really misses him and all the time they spent together.

Jessica and Lila get so caught up with finding the perfect dresses that they completely forget about finding dates. They decide to rank the hot guys at Sweet Valley and write down lists of their best and worst qualities. For example, Aaron has really sexy legs but is also cranky. Bruce kisses like a live jellyfish, and Peter DeHaven is cruel because of how he treated Johanna.

Liz rushes off to a meeting and can't find her notebook, so she takes Jessica's book. The ranking falls out, which Winston picks up. He then takes control of the school intercom system and reads some of the pages before saying that he has copies for anyone who wants one. All the guys decide that the girls need some payback and agree that no one will date them.

When they head to the Dairi Burger, they have some bad experiences. AJ actually turns up his nose at Jessica and asks Suzanne Hanlon to be his date right in front of her. Heather Malone interrupts Jessica talking to Aaron to say he does have great legs before sitting on his lap as he kisses her neck. Pretty bold move for a gay man. They are mortified and have no idea what to do next.

Penny found her prom date through a personal ad because her boyfriend will be out of town. Jessica and Lila put ads in all the local school newspapers, except for Big Mesa because Jessica says they already dated all the cute guys from that school. They then have a big tryout at Lila's house. The first guy they see is hot but “sharky” and got accepted to Yale. Both girls go crazy over Jordan, the third guy they see. Lila is ready to take him as her date, but Jessica tells her to wait.

That lasts for approximately one day or something. Lila calls him, asks if he remembers her, and he tells her that she was the gorgeous brunette. When she asks him to be her date, he hesitates just long enough for her to wonder if he preferred Jessica before he says yes. He even asks if they should go out beforehand, but Lila waits to wait and show him off at prom. Jessica then goes to his house and asks him to be her date. After a minute, he says yes and then tells her that she needs to leave before closing the door in her face. This will end great.

Enid has no date and no prospects except for Tad “Blubber” Johnson. He starts coming around all the time, calling her at home, and basically acting like a love sick puppy dog. Since Enid doesn't date “big guys” and has no interest in football, she wants anyone else to ask her to prom. She mopes and whines about him a lot.

Maria quickly grows tired of Liz and Enid being huge downers because, I assume, she never actually spent any time with them before. She makes them do their hair in funny ways and go to bad horror movies to cheer them up and even points out that she doesn't have a date and doesn't care. That changes when she and Enid go dress shopping and stumble across a prom runway show. Maria sees Tyson, the hottest new male supermodel, walking the runway and recognizes him from a photo shoot they did as kids. He recognizes her too and automatically agrees to be her prom date.

Devon learns that Todd and Liz were the IT Couple in high school until he came along and starts picturing them together at prom. He then joins the planning committee to get close to her but mainly to get her away from Todd. When she asks Todd to work on something for her, Devon assumes that she just wanted to get Todd out of the way to spend time with him.

Todd picks out his rental tux and chooses a pale cummerbund and tie that he thinks will match Liz's sense of style. He thinks this will also help him get on the ball and ask her to the dance. While leaving the mall, he sees her trying on a dress that perfectly matches his cummerbund and assumes that it's fate. When he shows up with flowers in his hands to ask her to prom, he finds Devon kissing her hand and vows to get back at her.

Devon actually kisses her hand because she somehow managed to cut her finger when cutting decorations. Just as he thinks that he's close to winning her heart again, in comes Todd with Courtney in tow. Elizabeth almost immediately bursts into tears and makes an excuse to leave. Devon decides to find out who she really loves. He'll ask her out and then send her flowers from Todd to ask her out for that same night to see who she will choose.

Elizabeth spends a good portion of the book worrying about Todd and what will happen to them, but when Enid asks if she wants to get back together with him, she denies it. When she's with Devon, she wants to be with him, but when she's with Todd, she wants to be with him. She tells her friends that she'll go to prom with whoever asks her first. After seeing Todd and Courtney, she cries all over again because it's proof he moved on and did so with the one girl who would hurt her the most.

After agreeing to go out with Devon, Jessica rushes in with flowers from Todd. There's an apology note that says he only saw Courtney to make her jealous. Devon watches from the street as she gets in the car and drives away. He follows her and sees her go to the beach, which is where “Todd” said he would be, which is proof that she never loved him or something.

After waiting on the beach for an hour, Liz finally gives up. She then reveals that she only came to meet him to give him back his freaking ring and to say goodbye. Yeah, right. When she goes to leave, she sees someone come out of the shadows and feels her heart skip a beat because it's Todd. It's actually Devon though, and he is not happy...

*You have to love Lila in this book. She says that Lisette's is “totally 80s” and mentions that the Jessica and Bruce relationship was like something from three decades ago.

*The girls say that AJ's worst feature is that he's so pale, he looks bleached. He takes offense to that, which I love.

*At one point, Todd is working with Maria when she asks if they should serve chicken or fish for prom dinner. I thought it was weird because my prom had no food. Everyone went out to restaurants beforehand. Later on, Amy says that Barry is working extra shifts to save up for dinner at Chez Sam before prom, so it gets even weirder...

*Maria complains about how the Hollywood life sucks so much and how much she hates everything about it when she sees the runway show. I thought she only did like one movie and was best known for being the toilet paper kid?

*How would Tyson recognize her? It's been like 10 years since they worked together!

*Devon sees Jessica at the mall and goes all crazy because it's the love of his life. Even after seeing her with Lila, it takes him like five minutes to figure out that it's not Liz. Oh yeah, man you totally love her.

*Lila also tosses in a slam book reference when mentioning that the guys may not be happy if they hear about the list.

*Enid eventually does say yes to Tad because he shows up with a pink rose and she doesn't know how to turn him down.

*Maria and Enid are both really bitchy about the list and how Jess and Lila deserve everything they get. How is them writing down their thoughts any different from Enid constantly moaning about how Tad isn't her type. She basically calls him fat and a dumb jock!

*The reaction to the ranking is absolutely ridiculous anyway. You going to tell me that the guys at SVH don't sit around and talk about the girls like that? Bruce is the only one who doesn't seem to care, probably because Jessica upgraded his from kissing like a dead jellyfish to a live one.

*Jessica's choice for prom dress is a white dress with rhinestones that shows off a “sexy amount of shoulder.” It also hugs her curves and has a slit all the way up the thigh, which sounds totally appropriate for a high school prom!

*Liz falls in love with this princess style dress that is in Todd's favorite color. She then looks at a short black dress with a halter neck that Devon would love.

*One thing I hate about this book is that Liz is clearly not over Todd. The fact that she bursts into tears at the sight of him and another girl is a clear indicator. Having her randomly go to the beach to meet him and then wait for an entire hour just to tell him to move on makes absolutely no sense at all.

*Someone pointed out to me that Devon is exactly like Conner in SVSY, which might explain why I hate them both with the passion of a fiery sun. I will, at some point, get around to doing the whole SVSY series. There's only like 10 more books that I need to track down.

*Enid jokingly suggests that she rent a tux and go as Liz's prom date. I need to do my own SVC where she comes out as a lesbian.

*Jeremy Frank is hosting the runway show that Maria and Enid watch. Enid claims he's shorter in person than he looks on television. Hasn't that dude been in like multiple books and met everyone in SVH by now?

*Penny needs a date because Neil, her boyfriend, has a summer internship that starts early and he won't be in town. Um, excuse me? Isn't Neil a senior and about to graduate? So he's just going to skip all that to start an internship, and the place he's working for doesn't care that technically he hasn't graduated yet?

*Lila mentions in a roundabout way how some of the guys talk about Jessica. When Jessica pushes her about what they say, Lila feigns deaf and then says it's nothing. Love her!

*Todd suggests a shipwrecked them for the prom and that everyone wear jungle clothing. I guess he forgot that (A) Jessica and Winston actually were shipwrecked at one point and (B) Jungle Prom did not go so well.