Saturday, October 30, 2010
Sweet Valley High Super Thriller: Murder in Paradise
This is easily one of the best/worst Sweet Valley High books in the entire series. Alice won an all expense paid trip to some fancy day spa and decided to make a mother-daughter weekend of it. Enid’s mom decided not to go at the last minute, leaving her alone with Alice, the twins, Lila and her mom Grace.
This doesn’t sit well with Enid because she’s already feeling crappy. Hugh recently dumped her and…oh my god, how many times did he dump her? One of the other books I recapped like two months ago was way before this one, and she was pissed off in that one because he dumped her. Anyway, Liz tries to make her feel better. Then Enid makes a comment about how if she was prettier, he’d stick around and Liz doesn’t answer because she’s right. I fucking hate you Liz.
Of course because it’s a Sweet Valley book, Jessica immediately starts thinking about guys that aren’t Ken. She’s drawn to Chris, the guy who picks them up from the train station. He teaches golf and Jess signs up for a lesson. Liz gets all flustered around him and thinks he’s host, but she would never, ever cheat on Todd.
Liz is also stunned because everyone at the spa looks like a supermodel. That is until they meet Tatiana Mueller, who owns the spa. Tatiana has a huge, ugly scar running down one side of her face. She immediately starts doting on the group and Alice in particular. Alice thinks it’s funny because she seems to remember her, but isn’t sure how or why. Tatiana assures her that they haven’t met before and then rambles about all the years she spent traveling with her beautiful mother to spas across Europe.
The group finds their great room, which is actually a cottage with multiple bedrooms. Jess freaks out because there aren’t any mirrors. She has to try and see her reflection in a hand mirror. She knows that she looks good, but is lost without the validation. I think she’s lost if she doesn’t get validation in some form. Liz uses her laptop to log on and send an email to Todd and I bet it’s one of those 20 pound computers.
Jess can’t decide what to wear, so Lila helps her pick out a slutty outfit to catch Chris. Like Jess needs any help picking out a slutty outfit. Lila immediately sets her sights on a hot guy across the room and chases after him because she’s sure he’s “a somebody”, but she can’t catch him. Enid is just depressed because everyone looks better than her.
Tatiana comes over the next day and pays special attention to Enid. She sets her up with special face and hair treatments. Then she ruins it by going on and on about the mother daughter bond. She also flips out when Jess asks about the mirrors because beauty should come from within. Nice way to look at things…when you run a beauty salon.
Jessica finally has her fake date with Chris, which is actually a golfing lesson. He starts asking about Liz because apparently he fell in love with her after exchanging five words. Jessica plays up all her lame traits, talking about how she just likes books and writing, but it turns out Chris likes the same things.
Liz must find someone who desperately needs her help because this is a Sweet Valley High book. She finds it in Katya, a waitress that seems sad and lonely. Since Katya won’t talk to her, she turns to Chris. When he asks her out, she asks him to make it a double date and bring someone for Enid. That sets Enid off because she feels like a loser and a third wheel.
It turns out that Enid’s date is his friend Alex. He’s naturally handsome and gorgeous and at first, he’s really into Enid. Then Jessica and Lila interrupt their tennis date and Jess decides that he’s too good looking for Enid and goes after him. He naturally goes after her and ignores Enid. The whole group ends up making ice cream shakes together and Lila looks down on him, telling Enid that she’d never go after a common working man. Liz and Chris bond too, making her completely forget about Todd…again.
Katya starts bonding with Alice and Liz picks up on it. She asks Alice to talk to her and try to get some answers. She keeps asking her a bunch of questions, to the point where poor Katya runs off in tears. Liz becomes convinced that she’s a runaway. Liz tries to talk to Chris about it, but he has no idea what she’s talking about.
Everyone is ignoring Enid, so she turns to Tatiana. Tatiana hypnotizes her during a session, filling her mind with awful stories about her mind. Enid doesn’t believe them at first, but then decides that her mom must treat her like shit because these are her memories.
Everyone except Enid heads off for the day. They play Frisbee golf and Katya seems better, but she still won’t talk about anything. They run across this little white building and the spa workers all freak out. They won’t talk about the building and push everyone away. Later Liz sees Tatiana yelling at Katya for letting them get so close to the building.
Enid slowly starts changing and no one picks up on it. She’s suddenly all gung ho about the spa and the people who work there. She starts blowing off all their planned activities and working out all the time, plus eating less and less. She also makes friends with this new guy who shows up at the spa, after Jess and Lila ignore him for looking too plain.
Jess wanders into the steam room one night and finds Katya dead there. Tatiana says that she had a heart condition and never should have been there in the first place. Liz sneaks into her room and finds a note she planned on sending Alice, asking her to meet up. She also finds an add in a random magazine, hiring workers for the spa. Liz discovers that the magazine is one passed out at runaway shelters.
Liz decides that Tatiana must be bringing in runaways and using them for some reason and then killing them. Everyone kind of laughs it off, but then Alice disappears. Liz tries to get help and has to hack into the phone line, when the phones all go out. Jess sneaks into the office and finds that all of the staff are runaways and all had radical plastic surgery. She also discovers that Enid is next on the surgery list.
Jessica shows the file to Enid, but she already knows about it because she agreed to the surfery. She runs to the room and they tell her that Liz went to look for clues. She hears Liz’s email beep and it’s a message from Ned. He remembered that Tatiana was a girl at their college, who everyone made fun of, but later became a doctor. Nice.
So Liz is near where Alice went missing, when someone grabs her. It’s Chris and he drags her through a tunnel. At the end she finds Alice passed out and tied on a table. Tatiana reveals that she knew Alice in college and while everyone else made fun of her for being plain, she was always nice. Tatiana got her huge ass scar when she had bad plastic surgery, so now she’s going to take Alice’s face and take over her life. That totally makes sense…if this were a Syfy Channel movie.
The girls head out to find Liz and gets lost in the woods. They finally find the building, but Tatiana demands Chris and Alex call the security guards. Liz tries to reason with them and Christ struggles over who to follow. The cops show up in the nick of time and stop her. They arrest Tatiana, but everyone else gets off scott free. Of course no one will ever mention this again.