Saturday, July 31, 2010

Sweet Valley High #10: Wrong Kind of Girl




This is basically the book where Jessica gets to call another girl a whore and we learn that doctors in Sweet Valley should really get their license revoked.

The book starts out with Jessica going over the list of girls trying out for the cheerleading squad. Oddly enough, 75 girls sign up and later on in the book, someone mentions that it’s half the female student body. So if we have 150 girls and roughly the same amount of guys…then Sweet Valley is the same size as my craptastic little high school! Suddenly everything makes sense!

Anyway, only two spots are available and she’s already promised one spot to Cara Walker. Apparently Cara and Lila were once cheerleaders, but got put on probation/kicked off after turning on the sprinklers or doing something stupid like that to another squad. Funnily enough, when we get in the later books and Jess asks Lila to join her squad, everyone acts like Lila has never been a cheerleader before.

Jessica discovers that Annie Whitman is trying out for the squad and pitches a hissy fit. No way will Easy Annie be on her squad. After all, she goes out with guys constantly, doesn’t study very often, goes out with Bruce Patman, hits the dance club instead of working and rides around with Rick Andover. Wait a second! She sounds like a certain blonde I know…

Liz tries to convince her that Annie is a good person, but Jess doesn’t want to her it. Liz keeps it a secret that she’s been tutoring Annie in math. Her grades were so bad that she was on academic probation, but a few weeks with Liz and she’s a changed girl. Liz goes over to Annie’s house and hears all about how her mom was only 16 when she had her, her dad left and now mom has a new boyfriend Johnny. Johnny and Mona Whitman show up and Johnny kind of hits on Liz, in a creepy old man kind of way.

Jessica starts training Cara to be the best and even tries to fix her up with Steven, but alas he’s all about the Tricia in this book. Everyone shows up for the first tryouts for the squad, including Liz who’s doing an article on it. At one point, she types up all 75 names and lists them in the paper. Is news really that slow this week? And better yet, does anyone really care?

Cara is pretty good and all the girls like her, so Jess does her happy dance. Then Annie shows up and proceeds to wow everyone with some lame routine, followed by cartwheels and backflips. Jess gets pissed off and gets even more pissed off when Annie shows up with Bruce to the beach disco. They hold a dance contest and the two girls end up tying. Annie wags her tail like a little puppy, thinking that Jess will love her now, while Jess is pissed that Annie showed her up.

Liz gets all frustrated about her sister being a bitch for the 700th time in ten books, but won’t talk to anyone. Enid starts thinking that Liz is mad at her and Todd thinks she wants someone else. They even have a fight, which ends with his mom walking in to break it up. She isn’t sure what to think when the rumors about Annie start popping up again.

Here’s what I love about this book. Sweet Valley High isn’t that big, we’ve realized that. And yet, Annie somehow has no idea that people are talking about her. She keeps making things even worse too. She calls it being “social” and having a “social life” when she goes out with all these guys. At one point, she even goes out with two different guys in one night (including a high school dropout), but she doesn’t even wonder if people are talking about her.

There are give girls on the squad: Jess, Jeanne West, Maria, Robin and Helen Bradley. Helen’s brother went on one date with Annie and spread some stuff about her, so Jess gets Helen alone. She tells her that they need to vote for Sandra Beacon (Jeanne’s best friend) and Cara. Helen is so dense that she doesn’t realize they can pick anyone and not necessarily the best girl.

Then we cut to another tryout where Annie is all fantastic and makes it to the next round and then the final round. Liz comes home to find Jess, Cara and Helen gossiping by the pool and realizes who’s going to make the squad. The girls go through their final tryout and Sandra trips in the middle of her routine. The other girls readily vote in Annie and Cara, but Jessica threatens to quit if they put Easy Annie on the squad so they all crumple.

Instead of just telling the girls, they make them wait until the next day and then send them a note. Ricky, who’s the manager of the squad, has a crush on Annie and doesn’t realize that she’s starting to like him too. He actually defended her to Jess and then she makes him give Annie the bad news.

Annie reads the note and makes Ricky tell her what happened. He tells her what all the guys are saying and she’s literally shocked that people would believe the stories. Um, you never hang out with any chicks, you go out with six guys a week, you date losers and you’re surprised that people think you’re a slut?

Annie runs off and then doesn’t come back to school for a few days. Liz tries to get Jess to reconsider her decision, which she refuses. Then they get a call from Ricky that Annie’s in the hospital. Apparently she was so upset over not being a cheerleader that she swallowed a whole bottle of pills and is almost dead.

Liz makes Jess go to the hospital, where they all wait around for news. The doctor says that Annie needs something to make her hold on and bring her back to the real world. After thinking about it, Jess goes in the room and tells her that there was a mistake. They decided to make the squad eight girls and Annie is their final pick.

Annie naturally wakes up and wants to know if it’s true. They all smile and her mom rushes in, telling her that she kicked Johnny out. The doctor says she’ll be fine to practice in the next few days and Annie yanks on her SVH sweater. She and Ricky confess their feelings for each other and everything ends happily ever after.

What the fuck? Seriously…what the fuck? What kind of doctor would let a girl who just attempted suicide out of the hospital for cheerleading practice? If nothing else, she should be under observation and then be in therapy for a few months. This is just insane.

Oh and the twins learn that their dad’s friend Tom Devlin is sending his daughter Suzanne to Sweet Valley for a week. One girl gets to show her around town, while the other takes her place in New York. What will happen…?

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Sweet Valley University #13: SS Heartbreak



I swear that half this book involves Isabella yelling at Danny. She doesn’t want him telling his buddy Jason that he saw the guy’s fiancĂ©e making out with Tom. Really? She says it was one kiss and means nothing, but that’s bull shit. He’s about to marry the girl and he should really know something like that.

Danny agrees, but then turns it around so that he’s just trying to get Jason to call off the wedding. Like he tries to get him to check out other girls and he won’t. then he tries to convince him that marriage is expensive. Jason is kind of a dick though. He says they’ll save money because Nicole has a good job lined up and their friends will give them expensive gifts.

Jessica goes all crazy. She found a button belonging to her mysterious stranger and keeps going through all these cabins, looking for a shirt with the same button. Apparently the keys to her suitcases are the right size to fit the locks. Yeah right. She hears Danny talking about the kiss, then sees Liz crying in bed, as she tries to avoid Tom.

It’s kind of cute how Liz pines over Tom because it’s completely realistic for young love. She bursts into tears thinking about romantic songs. Then she fantasizes about doing all these great things and making Tom want her back. Young love? Hell I did that with my last breakup! Jess does kind of try and make Liz feel bad, by pointing out that she might have done the same thing with Todd.

Lila is kind of lounging around, when Bruce comes up. They cute flirt and he goes to get her a drink. Tisiano’s brother Leonard shows up and basically makes her feel like shit. Bruce comes back and they share some giggles at Leonardo’s rudimentary English and bond. Then Bruce leaves and Leonardo goes off, about Lila not mourning or being a widow for long enough, which is true. Didn’t he die like six months ago and she’s already in love with someone else? Then again, Jess was in love before Sam’s body was even cold. She ends up breaking it off with Bruce.

Alex and Noah start having all these problems. He gets all moody and barely talks, which makes her feel like he’s not interested. For someone who wants to be a psychiatrist, he really has no idea how to pick up on the feelings of others. He talks about the infinity of the ocean and then tries to make her feel like shit for picking an eyeshadow she thinks fits that color name. It doesn’t matter though because she meets Leonardo and he goes all crazy over her.

Bryan is still stranded back on the other island. He goes to buy some stuff and learns that someone stole his wallet. He meets a random stranger who takes him in, provided Bryan help him with work. Turns out the guy works on a boat, Bryan freaks and the guy offers to teach him how to swim, if he will help him write an essay to get into college.

Winston and Denise are also stuck. They rent a boat and promise to send help for Bryan, when they get to Juma, which is where the boat stops next. They head to the next island, which has nothing except for one hotel and stay the night there. Then they learn they’re on the wrong island and head off once again.

Danny and Isabella try to get Jason and Nicole to do things together, but Jason is still an ass. Nicole wants to go to the movies and he says popcorn is fattening and then suggests he go to the gym with Danny. Danny wants them to go swimming, Jason doesn’t want to because he has an inner ear infection. Danny says Paris is romantic, Jason says it’s a ripoff.

Liz goes to the 50s diner on the ship for a milkshake and runs into Todd with Gin-Yung. She totally monopolizes the conversation and doesn’t notice when the other girl runs off. Isabella gets pissed at Danny because he’s ignoring her and Tom keeps moping over Liz.

Jessica stalks the breakfast buffet, convinced her guy will show up. Liz walks in, the hostess gets snippy because of all the times Jess came through and dumps a tray of eggs on her plate. Uh, I think that could get her fired. Todd shows up and starts thinking about all those nights he imagined being with Liz at night, but when he really wanted, was to wake up and share breakfast with her in the morning. Aw…

We finally get to a day trip. Nicole wants to his the market, but Jason wants to try snorkeling. She agrees to go because she wants to be with him. Then Tom shows up, ready for the spice market and Jason pushes her off on him. They wander off and she asks Tom to kiss her, to prove he doesn’t want her and their other kiss was just a fluke. They kiss and Danny and Isabella see it happen because they convinced Jason to go to the market.

Todd and Liz visit the market together and he thinks about how he wishes he brought his camera. He says something like how 35 of the 36 pictures would be Liz and the last one wouldn’t have her, just to show what it looks like without her. Liz sees Tom kiss Nicole and kisses Todd, which Gin-Yung sees. She mopes to Noah, who’s moping over Alex having $100 turtle soup with Leonardo. By the way, Leonardo wants Alex to move to Italy and become a model for his company. Yeah, I’m sure she’d be just great.

Lila goes shopping, but gets depressed because everything reminds her of Bruce. Her husband introduced her to a perfume she buys, but she thinks about Bruce smelling it on her neck. She sees crystal he’d love and a tie she’d get for him. Bruce keeps having the same problem. He finds an art glass fish at a gallery, but the owner won’t sell it because her daughter made it for a show.

She finally tells him to come back at noon, after she talks to her daughter, but that someone else showed interest first. It turns out to be Lila and they argue over who should buy it. It’s funny because the woman says it’s $500 and they both agree to pay more, but she won’t take anything over $500. Fuck, I’d let them have a big ass bidding war on the site. Bruce buys it, but gives it to Lila, who runs out of the store in tears.

Jessica sneaks around the ship and runs into a porter. She tells him that she’s looking for her boyfriend and he offers to find him for $20. She realizes later that he was trying to bribe her to keep quiet, but she thinks it won’t really matter.

Danny gets back on the ship and Jason decides that they’ll just get the captain to marry them right away. He thinks Nicole is having second thoughts so he needs to rush her to the aisle. Danny has the ring, but pretends it was stolen and Jason goes to the captain. The book ends with the captain taking Jessica into custody for stealing the ring, after the porter squeals on her.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Sweet Valley University #12: College Cruise



I really want to punch Liz Wakefield in the face right now. She inherited what seems like a huge amount of money and gives it all away to charity because it isn’t really her money. The guy almost killed you and all your friends you dumb, stupid bitch. That money could pay for college, or hell she could buy her way onto a newspaper. She decides to buy everyone tickets for some random college cruise to make up for their near death.

Liz then holds a party where everyone acts like she’s the greatest person in the world. Hmm, let’s see. You all almost died just because you were friends with her, then Liz inherits a quagillion dollars and buys you all freaking cruise tickets and you’re willing to forgive her. Oh wait, she also bought them pastries. My bad. Conveniently Lila and Bruce are also going on the cruise.

Liz is supposed to go pick up the tickets, but can’t make it so Tom volunteers to take her place. He and Liz are having problems because they never have any time together since Jess needs her help and even she’s picking up on it. He gets asked to make the arrangements and puts him and Liz in their own room.

The big day finally arrives and everyone has problems. Bryan is afraid of ships because he can’t swim and tries to back out, which makes Nina think he doesn’t like her. Then Winston accidentally knocks him overboard. He finally gets back on the ship, but gets food poisoning and ends up in the med center. There he meets the doctor (Rich) who starts hitting on Nina.

Todd feels all alone and can’t connect with any of the other SVU people because he’s been through a lot more than them. He ends up bonding with Gin-Yung who thinks he only likes her as a friend and eventually kisses him. Lila and Bruce are happy, except that she keeps thinking of her dead husband and Noah thinks Alex is losing interest in him.

Liz freaks out when she finds out what Tom did and demands that he fix it because she so isn’t ready for sex so she ends up back in a room with Jess. Tom keeps trying to find time for her and she keeps slamming the door in her face. He meets up with Danny, who’s best friend Jason from back home is on board to get married. Tom realizes that he and Jason’s fiance Nicole actually dated.

Apparently Nicole and Tom went out a few times and then she just stopped calling. She tells him that she met Jason, fell in love, transferred schools and that was it. They keep getting thrown together, which worries him because he doesn’t know what to do.

Everyone gets off the ship on one of the island stops and they split up. Tom wants some time with Liz because they haven’t seen each other all day, but she blows him off because Jess wants to shop for perfume. She arranges to meet him for lunch, but then skips out on that too because Jess fucks up and the cops think she’s a pickpocket so they have to run off.

Bryan goes to a museum while Nina tries parasailing because he’s afraid to try. He finds out that she’s actually with Rich and gets pissed off. Somehow he, Winston and Denise end up stranded on the island and no one realizes it until dinner that night, but it doesn’t really seem like that big of a deal to anyone. Nice, right?

Jess keeps going off the deep end because she’s convinced that she has some guardian angel watching over her. She starts chasing some random guy on the island, which is why the cops think she’s a pickpocket. Then she’s stalking some other guy and gets knocked overboard. She basically keeps telling Liz that she doesn’t need her and then Liz tells Tom off because Jess does need her.

Everyone gets kind of snippy with each other at dinner and Tom finally snaps. Liz tells everyone to calm down and quit arguing because she didn’t “pay for everything” for them to act like that. Tom tells her to mind her own business and quit telling people what to do. Yay! Go Tom! Liz runs off in tears and Tom wanders outside.

He sees Nicole and decides that he should apologize to Liz. He goes to her room and she throws him out because Jess fell overboard, despite the fact that no one told him that! He goes back outside, sees Nicole again and they end up kissing. Of course Liz and Danny catch them and Liz runs off again.

The book ends with Lila and Bruce talking about how much in love they are with each other. Then they hear a noise, which turns out to be a helicopter landing on the ship. Lila faints when she sees her dead husband climbing off the copter.

Are there really ships like this? I was really lame and spent my spring break trips doing lame, boring stuff, but I can’t really imagine doing this. Schools go on break at such different times that the ships would have to run for like a month solid. Plus can you imagine the insurance it would take to have thousands of college students on your boat? Oh and how many college kids could actually afford a week long cruise?

Monday, July 26, 2010

Sweet Valley University Thriller Edition: He’s Watching You



Tom’s starting to feel like his girlfriend doesn’t want him or need him and given that he’s dating Liz, this isn’t that much of a long shot. All she cares about is helping Jess get over what happened with James, even though we all know it will be forgotten by the next book. Tom gets a call from Bob Hemphill, a reporter that wants him to join the football team and do a story about how the team copes with a situation like James. He agrees and then Liz flips out on him because he joined the team without telling her.

Winston is such a clown that Denise suggests he try out for the role of Braino, the school mascot that goes to all the games. He tries out, screws up and when Denise rescues him, they both get the job. Alex is now dating Noah, but he’s worrying about how he might be too boring for her.

Todd has coffee with some random guy who lets him borrow his car to get to class. Todd accidentally crashes the car and finds out that it was stolen. The cops arrest him and Alex and Liz combine their tuition money to bail him out. The school suspends him and he gets a job in some bar (foretelling the future perhaps?) that comes with an apartment above the bar.

It turns out that William White set him up, but he’s not done yet! Celine shows up at the mental hospital and blows his cover. He’s been conning some nurse into believing that he’s a government agent, unwillingly imprisoned by terrorists. Considering this is Sweet Valley, that could be true. She catches him with Celine, freaks out and he kills her. Then he poisons Celine, dumps her body in Todd’s apartment and Todd goes on the run when he finds her.

It’s incredibly lame, but apparently Liz is actually in fear of Todd. Supposedly (and this all happens off-screen), he’s been stalking her, like showing up outside her dorm room and shouting up at her window. Because of that, she’s completely willing to believe that he’d kill Celine. He calls her for help and she basically tries to make him turn himself in.

Danny gets a call from Tim Hemphill, who plays on the team with Tom. He says that Tom really wants all his friends to show up at the game and support him so Danny makes plans for everyone to rent a van and drive to the game. Jessica goes to pass a message along to Winston, gets knocked over the head and some mysterious stranger saves her.

So the whole gang gets to the game and Denise notices that Winston is acting weird. They fight and she storms off. Tom hurts his ankle and Danny and Noah go to check on him. He mentions Bob Hemphill and Danny tells him about the call he got. Then Noah drops a bombshell: Hemphill is the name of the doctor who runs the mental institution where William is.

Danny shoves Liz into Winston’s car and they take off, before everyone else climbs in the van and follows them. Liz keeps talking and Winston won’t take off his Braino mask. He freaks out when she starts talking about how great Tom is and she realizes that under the mask, it’s actually William. She tries to grab the wheel, they fight and they end up crashing. Todd pops up and saves Liz, but William gets trapped in the car as it explodes.

They run off to save the rest of the gang, but no one will listen because they think Todd took her hostage. Eventually Danny realizes that Todd is a good guy and follows him to a house where he went to a party earlier in the year. The van loses speed going up the huge hill, but apparently everyone has to jump because the driveway ends on a cliff. What the fuck?

Of course everyone survives and Liz tells Tom all about it in the hospital. Noah is all excited because his life is no longer boring and everyone else is relieved that William died. She tells Tom how much she loves him and some random dude pops up. He’s William White’s lawyer and coming to tell Liz that William left her everything. Duh-dun-dun.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Sweet Valley High #41: Outcast



Molly Hecht is a complete and total pariah and outcast at Sweet Valley High. Didn’t you know that she killed Regina Morrow? Of course Regina willingly took the coke and folded due to peer pressure faster than I fold towels, but that’s not the point. The point is that Molly is totally a killer. All the kids at school think so, including her ex Justin, who was getting a little too close with Regina, Nicholas Morrow thinks so and her parents definitely think so.

Molly, to her credit, pretty much just sits back and takes it from everyone originally. She over hears people talking about her in the hallway, like Jess who calls her a druggie and a murderer. Jessica is, as we all know, just a harmless (usually) psychopath and that’s somehow a lot better. She decides that she’ll talk to Liz because Liz seems nice, but Liz completely blows her off. Then she goes to Regina’s grave and Nicholas goes off on her.

I think it’s funny how in this book they (once again) try to establish Liz and Regina as best friends, but I just don’t buy it. Liz cries herself to sleep, thinking about how she used to talk to Regina about all her hopes and dreams, but I’m just not remembering that book. I remember Liz frequently mentioning Regina as a good friend, but doing little to back that up. Come on, you just know Liz was her “friend” because it meant she was a good person to befriend a former deaf girl.

Molly gets down in the dumps and then Buzz calls, the drug dealer who supplied the drugs for her party. It’s funny because the police are “after him” and telling people to call the special tip hotline if they have information. It’s not like they have any proof that he did anything; they can’t even prove he supplied the drugs so I’m curious what they’ll do if they catch him. Buzz invites her out and she meets him at Kelly’s.

Buzz wants to skip town, but first he wants Molly to buy him beer. Once he sees that she has money, he tells her that she’s his soul mate and she means so much to him and he’d be so much happier if she agreed to give up her life and come with him and oh, by the way, does she happen to have any money? Molly has a few thousand saved for college, but she decides that she’d rather get away now.

Liz of course sees Molly withdraw her life savings and then decides to do something. She tries to talk to her, but Molly totally blows her off because Liz already had a chance to help, when Molly really needed someone. Liz talks to Justin, but he doesn’t want to hear it because Molly killed sweet Regina. Liz also tries her parents, but they don’t care because Molly killed that poor, sweet girl…who they never met or heard anything about until she was dead.

Justin changes his mind, they realize what she’s doing and chase her and Buzz across town. He finally confronts her, apologizes for not being there and they all share a big hug. No one mentions that everyone at school will still call Molly names and that her own parents will still keep her chained to the radiator because those aren’t fun storylines.

The B storyline involves Jessica setting up a memorial scholarship for Regina through the sorority. She deals with all the organization stuff and just as she’s about to throw up, Ned volunteers to take over and deal with it all so Jess just has to worry about raising money. Jessica smiles and thinks that it’s great how she always gets in over her head and then something/someone comes along to help. Yeah, that about sums up Sweet Valley.