Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Sweet Valley High Super Stars: Bruce’s Story
Bruce Patman opens the book, telling his cousin Roger about their grandfather. Roger has never met him before, but the old man is planning a six-week long trip to Sweet Valley. He thinks of grandpas as friendly guys and can’t understand why Bruce is so worked up. Roger runs off to tell his new buddy Lisa all about it.
Alexander Patman comes to town, full of stories about Roger’s dad Paul and how he was a great man. Yup, so great that he didn’t take care of his son. I get that he did years ago, but he had to know that Roger existed in some form! Alexander doesn’t like the way the Patmans coddle the boys, giving Bruce a Porsche and giving them unlimited spending money.
Bruce finds a way to deal with this, by becoming obsessed with Lisa’s friend Tracy. She’s been in his class forever, but he never noticed her until she got a new haircut. He invites her to a birthday party for his grandfather in a roundabout way and manages to hit another car and damage his.
At a school assembly the kids learn that the Nicholson school might have to close. This is a huge deal because (a) the school was never mentioned before and (b) the school disappears completely after this book, taking Tracy with it. A charity program SAVE is raising money to keep the school going and they need student representatives. Lisa and Tracy, neither of whom were mentioned before, are picked, along with Liz. Apparently Tracy has a little brother who goes to the school and it’s for students with special needs.
Bruce learns that his parents are going to Japan for a month, leaving their grandfather in charge. The party happens and afterwards, Alexander announces a contest between the two boys. The winner will get control over the Patman Corporation when they’re old enough. He gives them each $2,000 and the one with the most money at the end of the month, wins.
Bruce spends some money buying concert tickets to take out Tracy. I love that he winces at the $50 price tag. I paid pretty close to that amount for N*Sync tickets, I’m sad to say and that was almost a decade ago. Tracy turns him down and then he has to spend even more money, when he once again damages his car.
Roger turns to Lisa’s dad, who’s a stock broker. He convinces him to buy stocks for him and spends $1,500 on stocks. The prices go up and he warns him that he should sell because there are rumors floating around. Roger holds onto the stocks and the price drops, losing him $700.
SAVE decides to host a Harbor Days event where local businesses, students and restaurants will set up stalls and sell crap. They don’t charge a set fee for the booths because they’re on an honor system, which is lame. Basically they think everyone will turn in exactly half of what they make at the sales and don’t even check how much people sell either!
Bruce loses a ton of money in a poker game with guys from the club and decides to open a booth at Harbor Days. Tracy helps him come up with an idea for a dating guide. Personally I think they should have released this as a separate book. Somehow he gets it written, printed and professionally bound in less than a week and he can still sell it for $5 and make a profit. I call horse shit on this one.
Roger decides to sell canvas hats and paint any design or phrase that the customer wants on them. Has he suddenly become super artistic? Bruce swaps his paint with water soluble paint and pays a kid to start a water balloon fight. All of Roger’s hats are ruined and people demand their money back, while Bruce sells out.
Bruce uses Tracy to find out Roger’s next plan, which involves selling photos someone else took. Tracy gives him this recipe for her grandma’s peach-raspberry ice cream, provided he give all the proceeds to the charity. He agrees, but actually plans on keeping it for himself. He also considers ruining Roger’s pictures. Tracy follows him, sees him plotting and warns Roger, not realizing that Bruce chickened out.
Tracy eventually dumps Bruce because she finally listened to all the stories about him and doesn’t like how he treated Roger. Both guys sell like crazy at the event and even trade ice cream for photos before making up.
The group meets and discovers that they’re $2,000 away from their goal, so the school will close. Liz finds an anonymous donation of over $1,000 and another envelope turns up, with almost as much, which means the school stays open. Yeah.
The Patmans come back and Alexander throws a welcome home party. In the middle, he wants to announce the contest winner and is shocked that both envelopes are empty. The boys confess that they gave their winnings to charity. Hank Patman is so shocked that he agrees to become the benefactor for the school and keep it open long into the future. Guess he has a good side after all…