Friday, September 17, 2010

Sweet Valley University #36: Have You Heard About Elizabeth?

Elizabeth and Scott were contacted by some lame news-magazine called NEWS2US that wants to feature them in an upcoming story. The article is supposedly about what happened at the country club, but you couldn’t tell it by the interview. Liz gets kind of flustered and Scott answers most of their questions. I love that she gets flustered because the photographer is asking her to move, while the reporter asks her questions.

When the article comes out, Liz is furious! The article makes her look like a joke and Scott a hero. It leaves out all mention of Tom, Jessica, Nick and everyone else who helped on the undercover operation. They refer to Scott as the real reporter and Liz as his girlfriend, following in his footsteps.

Liz confronts Scott and goes off on him, but he has an excuse. He tells her that the reporter was jealous of her. The reporter hit on him and he turned her down, so she made him the hero of the story. He says Liz is more talented and beautiful than the reporter and she totally falls for it. Why is she always referred to as smart?

Jessica has a minor problem that’s mentioned on 317 pages, but gets cleared up in five seconds. She missed a test because of the sting and tells her professor everything that happened. She makes up this huge, elaborate story that involves her making a criminal profile and then hacking into the FBI database. The professor decides that her creativity is enough to earn her an A on the test. Um, I hope this wasn’t a science test?

Jess then has a fight with Nick because her photo shoot is coming up. Nick, who was suddenly so supportive in the last book, now refuses to let her pose in a swimsuit. He changes his mind after she pouts for a little bit and throws a fit. He also reveals that he’s taking a leave of absence and taking college placement tests.

We’re then treated to a scene that shows the ghostwriters know nothing about modeling. Jessica spends SIX HOURS in makeup, including full body makeup. Even in the late 90s, they still had airbrushing for that. Plus you can get a full-body spray tan in like 10 minutes. She throws another hissy fit, but sits through the whole shoot.

The girls gather at the Theta House when the proofs come out and Jessica throws yet another fit. Suddenly she doesn’t want to be in the calendar and wants the photos destroyed. The same girl who constantly flaunts her body and will in the future, now doesn’t want anyone looking at her body.

Out of nowhere, she starts worrying about Nick. Apparently he hasn’t called her in days and she just now realizes this. Thinking that he was hurt in the line of duty or injured, she runs to his apartment. Yet three pages later, she starts getting bored with him because all he wants to do is study or talk about studying. She confesses to Liz that she’s worried they won’t work out.

Scott announces that he was accepted into an investigative journalism school in Denver and not long after, Liz is too. He’s ready to go, but she’s not sure she can leave behind Sweet Valley. Do schools like this really exist? I honestly don’t know. I know journalism schools do, but what about specific areas of journalism?

Tom reads the story and is so pissed that he calls a friend who interned at the magazine. The friend breaks a bunch of rules and calls back with information. Scott’s dad is not only on the newspaper board that owns the magazine, but also on a board that donated a bunch of money for a new program at the journalism school. He runs a huge story about it on the news, which I think is rude.

Liz keeps thinking about Tom and wondering if they’re destined to be together. She keeps making plans to see him, but then sees him with Dana. Yeah, he’s still with her and still sleeping with her, while thinking about Liz. She eventually runs into his dad who lets it slip that Tom now knows the truth about what happened between them.

Between that and the Scott story, she finally decides to confront Tom. They have a loud, screaming match and rip each other’s heads off. I love that this takes place in the cafeteria, with dozens of other people around. Plus Tom calls her a “witch” and I love it! They storm off in opposite directions: Liz to cry and Tom to probably fuck Dana.

The other story of the book is Denise. She’s tired of never having any money and watching all of the Thetas spend mad cash. At the school finance fair, she talks to a bank and gets a credit card. She spends tons of money right off the bat, buying a bunch of clothes, shoes and jewelry. She also buys some expensive clothes and a diver watch for Winston.

Denise takes Winston out for a night on the town and her card is declined because she’s over the limit. She goes to the bank and they setup a payment plan, but she can’t even afford the minimum payments every month.

Here’s what I don’t understand: I know that banks and credit cards prey on college students, but this is a little much. My first “college” card had a limit of $750 and the most I heard anyone else get was $1,000-1,500, but Denise apparently had way more than that. At one point she buys a fancy garnet necklace, silver earrings, a gold bracelet, a ring and Winston’s watch. Then she buys four pairs of shoes at Lila’s favorite store!

Anyway, Denise gets a letter from financial aid. It says that due to her bad credit score, she must start paying back the interest on her student loans. First of all, there’s no way they got a copy of her credit report that fast. Second, the financial aid department has nothing to do with your loans, other than pass them onto you. You would hear from the USFA or whatever it’s called. Third, your credit score has nothing to do with your student loans, unless you’re taking out private loans. Lastly, the deal is that you don’t pay back your loans at all, until six months after graduation or you drop out of school. Trust me, after college and grad school, I know these things.

While wandering around in a sad state, she sees a sign offering to help those with bad credit. It turns out to be one of those loan consolidation places, which are a rip-off. They give you one big loan to pay your bills and charge a higher interest rate, plus you have monthly payments. Somehow this sounds great in her mind.

Jessica is out with Nick, when they run into some girls from campus. The girls saw Tom and Liz’s fight and want all the details. Liz yelled at Tom that she might go to Denver with Scott and that’s all anyone wants to talk about. Jessica rushes home to get the details. The book ends with Liz finally making a decision and dropping her letter in the mailbox…

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