Thursday, September 23, 2010

Sweet Valley University Thriller Edition: Love and Murder



This book is great because (a) Jessica is barely mentioned and (b) Liz isn’t in it at all! Apparently she’s in San Diego working on a story for the paper and she took Nina with her. The book is pretty much all about Lila, who’s a little sad and depressed because Bruce is studying in Japan for the semester.

She ends up in art history class, which she took with Jess, but Jess skipped out so she could work on her tan. Lila sees Damon Price, the new TA and falls head over heels in love. He singles her out in class, making her look like a moron for not doing the reading, but that somehow equals love in her eyes.

Lila starts obsessing over him in a very unhealthy way. She sits around all the time, moping and thinking about him. When she thinks about Bruce, she feels guilty for about 2 seconds and then goes back to drooling. She eventually calls and leaves him a message, asking him for private help, but then feels worse when he doesn’t call back.

Isabella pops up in the book for a few scenes. She’s there to talk with Lila about Damon and suggest that she’s just on the rebound. Then she turns up again, to talk with Jessica about Lila. Jessica decides that if Lila likes him, Damon must be really hot. She dolls herself up for class, kind of hits on him afterwards (because she says he’s the hottest guy she’s seen all year, poor Nick!), but he completely blows her off and makes her look stupid.

Damon later tells Lila that he can’t handle seeing anyone treat her badly and it was clear that Jess wasn’t acting like a friend. Me thinks he just doesn’t understand how these two roll. He then asks Lila out and explains that he doesn’t have a phone in his apartment. They go out to dinner and he acts like the perfect gentlemen, but when she goes back to his place, she sees that he does have a phone.

Lila starts having nightmares about a woman who looks just like her (Flora) and Flora’s husband Theodore, who looks just like Damon. At first the dreams are just about the two of them having this perfect life, but then she dreams about Theo attacking Flora. She tries to explain it to Damon, but he won’t listen.

She ends up at the library, where she finds out that Flora died a horrible death and Theo was the main suspect. Damon refuses to listen to her and when she shows up at his place, upset and crying, he very coldly throws her out. Someone starts calling and leaving threatening messages on her answering machine, referring to her new boyfriend.

Eventually Lila goes to the store and buys a “caller identification machine”, which is how the book describes it. I love that this was cutting edge at the time and they make a big deal out of how it was so expensive. Then she plugs it in and it starts working right away. I remember us getting one way before this book came out (which was 98 or so) and we had to have the telephone company approve the caller ID function, which they still do.

Anyway, she gets another spooky call, checks the caller ID and it’s coming from Damon! She runs to Jessica’s dorm, who forgives her for being a bitch, but only because Lila promises to take her to some fancy spa. Lila doesn’t want to go to sleep and Jessica promises to stay up with her, but then passes out around one am. The next day they go to the library and do more research, but still can’t find anything new about Flora.

Jessica then confesses that she was so pissed off about Lila letting Damon talk down to her, that she wrote a letter to Bruce and told him that Lila was cheating. Harsh. She gets pissed off, leaves Jess on the side of the road and goes home, where she has a message from him saying that even if she is seeing someone else, he still loves her and is there when she needs him. I so *heart* Bruce right now.

This all leads up to Lila being home alone and hearing someone in the house. Damon pops up, chases her through the house and almost kills her. Jessica then shows up, sees Lila laying on the ground and runs for help. She runs into Damon and he attacks her, but then runs back into the house. She follows and sees two Damons fighting. She freaks out and tries to figure out who’s the “good” one, eventually picking the one with the better haircut and drops a blender on the other guy’s head.

Lila wakes up in the hospital, after having one last dream about Flora, where it turns out that Theo had a twin who actually killed her. Damon shows up and tells her that his twin brother was always sick and the family had him institutionalized. He accepted the job in Sweet Valley so he could be close to his brother and somehow never knew that he escaped from the hospital.

Lila explains that she thinks they were the reincarnated versions of Flora and Theo and Damon agrees because he always had a connection to the artist’s paintings and to Lila. He tells her that when she ran in, talking about dreams and weird coincidences that he thought she was losing her mind like his brother.

Damon thinks that they should move on and keep seeing each other because they’re clearly in love. Lila thinks about it, but tells him that she can’t see him anymore. She explains that she’ll always think about the past and relive her past death over and over again as long as he’s around. They confess their love for each other before Damon walks out of her life forever.

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