Sunday, August 1, 2010
Sweet Valley High #101: The Boyfriend War
There’s a heat wave striking Sweet Valley, but Jessica could care less because she’s heading to the Caribbean with Lila for Spring Break. Isn’t this like the 700th Spring Break since the school year started? Lila acts fairly cool about the whole thing, but Jessica convinces herself that it’s just because Lila is used to fancy trips like this. She even ignores the fact that Elizabeth knows the place is meant for families and not swinging singles. All she really cares about is packing a bunch of bikinis and hot dresses.
Liz can’t wait for their break to start because she plans on doing a report about Alice. Kids get extra credit in English class for writing a report on one of their family members and she picks her mom. Look, if I had a circus performer in my family tree, I’d pick that person over my mom any day. At the same time, Bruce Patman is confused and upset because his parents are separating. He becomes convinced that Henry is cheating on his wife.
Jess and Lila arrive in the Caribbean and meet Lila’s uncle Jimbo, who runs the resort. He keeps making cryptic comments about dealing with “little monsters” and them being too tired to go dancing and Jess still doesn’t get it. How the hell did she ever score so high on her SATs? Her luggage gets lost and then she discovers that they’re actually there to work as counselors at the kiddie version of the resort. Lila doesn’t think it’s a big deal because if she hadn’t lied, Jess never would have come, but Jess stops talking to her.
They get their assignments and both end up with 5-6 year olds, but Lila’s are perfect angels and Jessica’s are little minions of the devil. They dye one girl’s hair purple, pick on all the other kids and get in trouble constantly. The one bright spot is the windsurfing instructor Mick, who’s gorgeous (though he sounds like a reject from the 1990s) and Jessica throws herself at him, even after he has a date with Lila.
I love this book because it comes exactly one book after Jessica sees her boyfriend killed. First she’s with Sam, who dies horrifically and then she hooks right up with Todd. Then she goes after James, some random guy she meets at the benefit for Sam and she saw him killed. Now here she is, going after some new guy. Jessica and her men make my head hurt.
So Mick tells Jessica that Lila’s just a “mousy brunette” who he has to date because she’s related to the boss’s daughter. He tells Lila that Jessica’s a “dumb blonde” who he only dates because the permanent staff have to be nice to the temporary workers. Yeah, I call that being nice.
This all leads up to the scene on the cover, where Lila is on Mick’s shoulders and Jess climbs on Larry the lifeguard. The two girls start fighting and I just had to laugh. Jessica tries to push Lila off, but Lila totally plays dirty. She punches her in the ear, kicks her in the knee, etc. Sadly the girls make up and discover that Mick was playing them both.
They had back to their cabin and discover that one girl was played by him last year and he was playing the other two girls this year. They all gang up to expose him during the talent show. Why temporary counselors only working for a week would have a talent show is beyond me. Jess does a magic act with Lila as her assistant. They break his watch, chop off his long hair and dye his hair purple. Then everyone has a laugh.
Liz keeps working on her report, but she can’t find anything about her mom’s life before she got married. She asks her dad for help, but Ned acts all quiet and confused, like he can barely remember how long they dated before they got married and what she was like in college. This storyline is annoying if you remember the Wakefield books at all because you already know what happened.
Bruce decides that his dad and Alice are having an affair because she’s working on his new building in Chicago and he sent her a bunch of roses. Bruce tells Liz his suspicions and she blows him off, until she finds a picture of Hank Patman and Alice on their wedding day and realizes that they were once married. Yeah, that never happened.
Liz and Bruce spend the rest of the book fighting and then kind of crying on the other’s shoulder. She goes to a bunch of movies with Enid and Olivia that are about love, but all the movies deal with a woman leaving her new guy for her first, true love so Liz gets even more worried. Yeah, I wouldn’t worry so much, first loves end for a reason. Plus if I remember those books right, Hank was an asshole and I don’t even know why Alice is friends with him now.
The book *finally* ends with Liz wondering if her mother will leave Ned for Hank. Oh and there’s another story line with Amy trying to use Liz’s ancestor as her own for the report because her family is boring. She keeps hinting around for info, until Liz decides to use all her mom’s ancestors in the report, to show how they influenced Alice.