Saturday, August 7, 2010

Sweet Valley University #15: Behind Closed Doors

Winston is failing most of his classes because all he does is mope over Denise and then spend all his free time with her. He tells her that he can’t see her anymore because if he fails even one of his classes, his parents will quit paying for school and he’ll have to transfer out, which naturally means they’ll never see each other again.

Before he makes this huge decision though, he shows a complete inability to say no, which makes me wonder if he’s ever had a girlfriend before, though I know he does. Like he tells her that he has to study, but then goes to a party with her instead. He finally asks his professor for help and the prof basically tells him that he should have come in a lot sooner, but then agrees to help.

He tells Winston that he can pick up a study guide at his office. In a great scene, he discovers that the study guide is one sheet of paper saying something like, Mr. Egbert, please study pages 1-150 for the next test. Burn. Then he turns around, finds a copy of the real tests, debates it for about 5 seconds before grabbing it and running off.

Liz is worried that things are falling down with Tom because he stands her up (once, how could he?) and he’s planning on going to a big event in Las Vegas for student reporters. He also keeps shooting down her ideas. Nina points out that Liz might be upset because she’s not the number one reporter in the relationship, which makes senses but she basically blows it off in three seconds.

She decides to do a story on Todd because he didn’t get reinstated to the basketball team. Tom asks her not to do it so she waits until he leaves to start it. This part is really boring and since it covers the next two books, it’s pretty sad. Basically she finds some financial records from the athletic department that show the school getting some huge alumni donations for the athletic department. Yet Todd tells her that the school hasn’t got any money for athletics.

She does a bunch of research on the whole story and tries to meet with different professors and coaches. Every time she does, she runs into the dean, who stops her from pursuing things. Tom calls and yells at her for even researching the story without his approval because he is in charge of the news station, but she completely ignores it.

Lila and Bruce decide to move in together and meet with a real estate agent. She shows them a crappy little apartment, but they ask to see the big house across the street, which they eventually decide to rent. It’s ridiculous because they get a house with two stories, four bedrooms, a sauna and swimming pool….for two people.

The other big storyline involves Jessica pouting because she signed up for a film history class, but when it was filled, she got put into a medieval history class. She goes to the bookstore to get her book for class and runs into Louis, a cute guy who makes her think medieval history might be fun. On the first day of class, she discovers that he’s actually her professor.

They see each other one more time and she decides that she’s in love with him. She literally runs into him on a beach and they build sandcastles together. He suggests she writer her next paper on Tristan, which she does and he naturally loves her paper. She starts studying all the time and ignoring everyone. He gets distant and she slips him a little note, apologizing for her actions.

The next day Louis calls her into his office and apologizes. She says that it’s okay if they’re just friends and he tells her that he’s not her friend, he’s her professor. He also says that they can’t see each other outside of class, which causes her to run off and him to feel bad because of course all he can do is think about kissing her.

Jessica spends the next couple of days crying in her room and moping over him because she’s sure that he’s the love of her life. She goes for a walk on the beach and runs into him. They talk for about three seconds before he can’t help himself anymore and kisses her, which makes her think that nothing could be better.

Seriously, how many times do we have to deal with Jessica “falling in love” with some guy she doesn’t know? It’s only been half a school year and she’s already had Mike, James and Randy, who she breaks up with at the beginning of this book. I’m sorry, but I’m already sick of her love life.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Sweet Valley University Thriller Edition: Kiss of the Vampire

I read this book and wrote a review, but lost it somewhere. The second time, I just kind of skimmed the book so I apologize if the review is kind of off.

The twins are planning a Halloween party at an abandoned mansion near campus. Conveniently, an abandoned one with running water and electricity. Liz keeps whining to Jess because she’s waiting to hear back from some internship. She and Tom both applied and instead of calling the winner, they’re sending out letters. Yup, I’m sure those will get to all applicants at the same time.

Jess wisely points out that since it’s a nationwide contest, there’s no guarantee that either one will win. Then again, this is Sweet Valley and apparently the only place in the country where students do shit. Liz meets with Tom to open their letters and he of course, gets it. That means he flies out to New Orleans for the weekend to work with Nicholas des Perdu, who’s supposedly a superstar writer.

Am I the only one who finds this ridiculous? Seriously, would you even compete for something like this? Tom basically gets on a place Friday morning, flies to New Orleans, works for the weekend and then gets on another plane Sunday and comes back to Sweet Valley. I can understand if it was a month or even a week, but just a weekend?

Liz and Tom start acting like one of them is dying. They spend every waking moment together and moon over each other like lost puppy dogs. If you love him so much and can’t bare to be without him Liz, just give up the cherry already! Liz takes Tom to the airport and gives him a “special” gift: she gets naked in the backseat. Nah, it’s just a picture of herself. My story is way better though.

The B-storyline involves Jessica. The Theta house decides to make their parlor (don’t they have like 7?) into an extra bedroom. Jessica wants it, but so does Alison. I’m pretty sure that they would just give it to Alison, since she’s a junior and v-p, but that doesn’t happen. Magda basically just tells them to work it out and let her know what they decide.

Tom heads to New Orleans and acts like a moron. Seriously, he has no idea what a mausoleum is and actually asks about the little buildings. Really Tom? I knew about those when I was five. Plus he has to look up the word exsanguination because this was a pre-CSI world. Nicholas’s housekeeper Marielle, makes with the eyes and shows Tom around.

Nicholas himself shows up, looking like your stereotypical vampire. He sees a picture of Liz and flashes back to the 1700s, when he lived in France. His young bride Lisette just so happened to look exactly like Liz. How many does that make now, six? Nicholas pretends it didn’t happen, but does seem a little disappointed when he learns that Liz almost came there instead of Tom.

It basically just bounces between Tom and Liz for the next 100+ pages. Liz mopes over Tom and Tom mopes over Liz. He thinks about her the entire time he’s out there, not even paying attention to the history or the scenery. Liz gets asked out by a classmate and turns him down, thinking about how much she needs Tom. Seriously Liz, loose the cherry already!

Liz calls Tom, but the number she has, was disconnected. Tom thinks about calling Liz, but then Marielle wanders into his room. She puts the mojo on him and he breaks free, but then worries because he can’t find Liz’s picture. The next day, it’s back on his nightstand and he just kind of laughs it off, like he couldn’t find it in the dark.

Liz has a nightmare about a guy following her around and Nicholas has a flashback to the time when he married Lisette. Then Jess gets home and nearly sets the building on fire. She tosses a scarf over a light and *boom*. Liz tells everyone about it and they giggle like mad. I’m wondering if this is possible. Apparently Jess left it there, while she went to take a shower. Liz woke up and the desk was on fire. It seems like it would take a little longer than that.

Tom wanders around town for an hour before he leaves, his only real sightseeing by the way. He reads an article about people turning up, drained of their blood, but doesn’t really seem to notice. Nor does he find it odd when he sees a coffin in Nicholas’s basement. Luckily he’s heading home, not knowing that Nicholas is on the next flight out.

Our happy couple head to the abandoned mansion, where Liz tells him all her plans. The lights go out and when Tom goes to investigate, someone grabs Liz. She starts making out with him because she figures it’s Tom. When he gets back, she giggles, thinking about how he kissed her like crazy and then played it cool. Yup, wasn’t Tom.

Liz then runs into Nicholas in the cafeteria. Look, my school was pretty small and we still had more than one cafeteria. Apparently Sweet Valley University sucks in more ways than one. He tells her that he wants to nominate Tom for some scholarship and wants all the dirt from his girlfriend. Despite the fact that she doesn’t know him, Liz agrees to go out with him. And I thought Jessica was the dumbass when it came to men.

Liz goes out with Nicholas, Jess sees and inadvertently tells Tom that Liz went out with someone else. Nicholas puts the mojo on Liz, biting her neck and kissing her all over. He starts laying her down and…Hey! After all the psychos, spring breaks and random nonsense in the Sweet Valley High books, wouldn’t it be great if Liz lost it to a vampire? Yeah, well it doesn’t happen. She suddenly remembers Tom (after like 6 hours of making out) and pulls away. Nicholas flashes back to Lisette. Apparently he was at the Bastille and someone sent a letter home, saying he died. Lisette was so distraught that she killed herself. He’s so upset over his memories that he kills some random bar chick.

Liz and Tom fight, Liz has problems being in the sun and eventually they go to a vampire horror movie. Liz goes home, has a dream about Nicholas and Tom saves her just before she walks out a window. Tom sees an article talking about dead bodies popping up and realizes that the same thing happened in New Orleans. Liz and Jess find flowers in their room and Liz pretends they’re from a secret admire, but Jess tots sees the card from Nicholas.

Tom decides to check up on Nicholas and goes to his hotel, but of course they won’t tell him anything. He takes a list of the names of people staying there (thief!). He realizes that des Perdu means of the lost and one of the names on the list is Ofthelost. He immediately runs off to find Liz.

Remember that whole B storyline? Yeah, well Jess and Alison keep driving each other nuts. Jessica paints the room (some guys do it for her) and brings in some stuff. Then Alison puts up a border and piles her stuff in a corner. Jess puts on a padlock and Alison cuts through it and points on her own lock. Jess sees some guy standing outside her window and blows it off. She heads to the party, just in time to see Louis Miles for the first time. Poor bastard, he should have ran when he had the chance.

Tom can’t find Liz and Jess doesn’t give a shit, until he tells her what he found. This is also when they learn that Alison was attacked and bitten by something and is in the hospital. Meanwhile Liz is some kind of trance and willingly hops a plane for New Orleans. We know she’s in a trance because she thinks Lisette is some kind of nickname for her and talks about becoming a woman with him. Seriously, loose the cherry!

Liz gets weirded out by a painting of Lisette and decides that she wants to go home. Nicholas gives her a wedding dress and they start kissing. Tom and Jess get to town and find the house, hearing Liz scream inside. Tom runs off to save Liz and Jess kind of plays along with Nicholas, making him think she’s her twin. Tom carries Liz outside and realizes the house is on fire. Apparently Liz knocked over a candle or something.

Tom smacks Nicholas over the head and carries Jess from the burning building. Tom and Liz make up and suddenly we’re back in Sweet Valley. Jess tells Liz that Alison is out of the hospital and she no longer wants the room. Good thing we don’t have to mention this book ever again. Jess heads outside and sees a delivery guy with flowers for Liz: 11 white and one red. She takes the flowers, tosses them aside and wanders off.

What the hell? It seems like the only thing people can talk about are the twins. Yet Nicholas is in town for like a week and NO ONE bothers to tell him that Liz has an identical twin sister. Ugh. You know, if he had met Jess first, they probably would have been married and she would have been a vampire in less than a week…

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Sweet Valley High #30: Jealous Lies

Sandra Beacon is a jealous bitch. Sorry Sandy, but I call them like I see them. She’s flipping out because nominations are up for PBA (the sorority in case you didn’t know) and everyone expects her to nominate Jean West, including Jeanie. See, the two girls are best friends, but Sandy feels completely inferior. Jeannie is better than her at everything, including cheerleading. The only thing Sandy has is the sorority and she doesn’t really want to share.

Despite her feelings, she nominates Jean and everyone just kind of nods their approval. She tells Jean the big news at water ballet…wait, what? Is that like the cool thing to do? I can’t imagine that being cool back then, let alone today. Any who, Sandy remembers that one of the first challenges the girls have to do, is get some poor guy to go out with them. She decides that she’ll find someone impossible and pick him for Jean.

Somehow she ends up sharing lunch with Liz and Winston. Isn’t Sandy supposed to be kind of popular? Why doesn’t she have lunch with the cool kids? She hears Winston say that Tom McKay is pissed because Jean blew him off and decides he’d be the perfect date. She tells Lila, who isn’t thrilled with the idea. Lila thinks it’s too much of a challenge, what with Tom being gay and all. Wait, he isn’t gay yet? Oh, okay.

Jean of course freaks out because she isn’t into her fag hag stage yet. Nah, I’m just teasing. She’s worried that he won’t be interested in her and she can’t figure out why Sandy would pick such a hard date. Sandy tells her that she didn’t want the other girls to think she’s favoring her. Isn’t that kind of the point of nominating your best friend?

Meanwhile we have Cara who’s upset because she hasn’t yet moved away from Sweet Valley and escaped to the real world. Actually, she’s upset because Steven plans on dropping out of college and working on a boat for a semester. I love that Steven just plucks this idea out of thin air and thinks it sounds great.

Jean and Lila head to the tennis match, where they stare blatantly at Tom until he wanders over. He tries to get away from them and back to the sanctity of the male species, but Lila makes him feel bad. Jean kind of blurts out her asking him to Cara’s party. He kinda seems freaked out (go figure), but decides to go.

Obviously this would be a boring book if that was the end, but luckily it’s not! Sandy gets pissed off because Jean is just handed everything on a silver platter…and yet she remains friends with the Wakefield twins. She decides to tell Tom the truth about the party. She tells him that the date was just a pledge initiation thing, but then runs away.

The Wakefield family freaks out on Steven because apparently Ned and Alice just realized that (a) they have kids and (b) they’re supposed to act like parents. Liz comes up with a plan, where everyone will act like they don’t care if he leaves. Um, is it just me or have they used this story 137 times? Liz basically just asks him if she can have his new computer, while he’s gone. Yeah, good idea.

Jean is super excited about the party because she’s actually starting to like Tom. She spends hours getting ready for the party, only to have Tom call, after they’re supposed to be there. He tells her he got food poisoning and he’s too sick to come. He actually lies and says he’s driving himself to the hospital. Jean was the only one who couldn’t get her date to the party, but the girls feel bad so they give her another option. She’ll pretend that she thought he really was sick, ask him to some big dance and then ask someone else to dance. Ooh, burn. Oh yeah, she and Dana were picked to start off the dancing because they’re both having birthdays that day. Oh and she calls the hospital to check his story, which is obviously a lie.

Cara and Steve has a little min-fight in the middle of the party. She tells him that taking a break should be good for their relationship and that she’ll miss him, but it’s probably for the best. Steven gets all confused because he didn’t plan on them breaking up. Here’s a hint buddy, if you plan on leaving your girlfriend at home for months at a time, plan on catching her in bed with someone else when you get back.

Jean heads over to Tom’s house and tries to take care of him. He starts feeling bad because she seems to care for him. They start having feelings for each other and I have to admit that I kind of dig Tom in this book. He makes her a picnic and brings it to school, but she’s just worried about people staring at them. They spend the whole day together and even kiss, which makes Jean feel bad. She likes him, but she doesn’t want to screw herself out of the sorority.

Sandy still feels bad and turns to both Liz and Mr. Collins, which is not only overkill, but crazy too. Yet she still doesn’t do anything.

Ned and Alice give Steven all this crap about medical insurance. That and Cara is what puts him over the edge. He announces that he has no plans of working on the boat or dropping out of school. He actually goes off about how he doesn’t care what they think. I think Steven has the brain of a 4 year old.

Everyone kind of stands around the dance, waiting for the big moment. Even Tom is worried and he doesn’t know what the hell is going on. It’s funny because everyone knows what she plans on doing (even Liz), but not Tom. She thinks for a moment, then calls Tom’s name and they dance together.

The PBA group, led by Jessica threaten to lynch her and she says that she found something more important. Sandy confesses what she did and the two girls make up. PBA decides not to kick either girl out because they showed the importance of friendship. Aw…but don’t like half the girls in the sorority hate each other?

Steven tells everyone that he’s not leaving…at his own bon voyage party. The twins flip over the sign, to reveal something stupid about him staying. Everyone giggles and then Aaron Dallas pops up with his new friend, transfer student Jeffery French. Enid eyes him, Lila eyes him and Liz plays dumb. Yeah, don’t think she’s playing…

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Point Horror: The Train (Diane Hoh)

I actually never read this book when I was younger, but it was actually kind of interesting. And point of reference, my cover looks nothing at all like that. Mine has a skeleton hand reaching across a train window and the part of the hand, holding the window, still has skin attached, kind of cool.

Basically there’s some huge high school class taking a train trip across country to San Francisco. We have Hannah, our main/meek girl, her crush Mac, her best friend/beauty queen Kerri, her boyfriend Larry and their friend Jean Marie. Not long after boarding the train, they find a coffin in the luggage train. It’s the body of their classmate Frog, who died not long before the trip.

They all sit around sharing stories about what a creep he was. Larry had him kicked out of gym class because he wouldn’t participate, Kerri and Jean Marie both turned him down for dates and Mac was the one to give him the nickname Frog. Hannah doesn’t have a “treated him like shit” story, but she feels guilty about something. This turns up about 17 times in the book, with her thinking about what she did and not telling anyone.

Hannah gets a little grossed out, thinking about him being on the train, but goes with everyone to the dining car. She sees his two best friends sitting with his girlfriend and feels kind of strange. Suddenly the lights go out and by the time the teacher realizes that someone just hit the light switch (really?), Lolly is near death. Someone tried strangling her with a bandana.

The teacher orders everyone back to their rooms/cabins and gets the doctor for Lolly. When the train makes a stop, the doctor leaves with Lolly on another train. I get the feeling that the train company keeps the doctor on hand for emergencies, so having her gone would *probably* be a problem.

The back of the book makes it seem like someone’s attacking Hannah and her friends, but that doesn’t really happen. They get this huge warning to be careful and then she goes off by herself because Kerri takes too long in the shower. Someone whacks her over the head and she wakes up in Frog’s coffin. The conductor then picks up a detective in Colorado to investigate what’s going on. Um, does that make sense to anyone? Isn’t it a little out of his jurisdiction?

They make their next stop and Hannah decides to stay on the train. Mac is all worried about her, but agrees to go. When they get back, he’s missing and the train almost leaves without him. She overhears him telling Larry that he saw Frog on the street, tried to chase him down and someone shoved him in a locked room/closet and he just barely got away. Hannah interrupts and he tells her that he just imagined the whole thing.

Cut to Hannah once again left alone. She goes into her cabin, pulls down the bed to go to sleep and sees Frog laying there. She runs off to get help, but when they come back, the body’s gone. She later convinces the whole group to go into the luggage car and check the coffin. They only get the lid up a few inches before the conductor stops them, but it’s enough for her to see that his body was inside.

The group decides to spend the night together, in case someone is after them. The next morning, the three girls take a shower and in the middle, Hannah hears Jean Marie leave. When she gets out, there’s no sign of the girl. They search everywhere before calling in the teacher and detective. Everyone searches again and as they walk through the glass encased lookout car, they see a flash of hot pink. Someone threw Jean Marie off the train and she’s really, really dead.

Hannah goes back to her sleeping cabin and comes face to face with Lolly. She’s all shocked, especially when Lolly goes off on a rant about Hannah being a horrible person. She says that Frog was always in love with Jean Marie and only dated her because he couldn’t get who he really wanted. She also confesses that it was her the whole time. She snuck off the other train, got back on theirs and wore theatrical makeup to disguise herself as Frog. She also says that she’s been hiding in the roof tiles of the train.

The two girls fight and somehow Hannah gets away. By the time they get back, there’s no sign of Lolly, except for a note on the mirror, saying that she’ll finally be with Frog. They breathe a sigh of relief, which is fairly premature given that there’s 30 pages left.

They get to San Francisco, get off the train and decide to go to some fancy house with views of the ocean. Hannah slips away from the group, wanting to be alone and once again, runs into Lolly. Lolly carries a huge urn and says that it’s Frog. His parents were too cheap to pay for a real funeral so they had him cremated. She ordered the coffin, COD so that they’d have to pay the bill for it.

The girls start fighting again and end up standing on the edge of a cliff. Hannah pushes off Lolly, who loses her balance and falls over. The rest of the gang get there just in time to see it happen. They all hug Hannah and she starts crying, thinking about what she did to Frog.

Apparently she had some huge ass party and her dad hired Frog to clean up around the yard. He asked her about the party and she “accidentally” invited him. He showed up to the party and she lied, said she was sick and was sending everyone home. He stormed off and on the way home, actually only a few blocks away, he crashed his car and died. Everyone tells her that it wasn’t her fault and Mac seals it with a kiss.

Okay, so until the ending, it wasn’t so bad. I wasn’t guessing on Lolly as the stalker. That story Hannah tells though is kind of shitty. She actually kind of is to blame for his death. She even says that he showed up a in a new sport coat and was ready to have fun with people, but she turned him away because she was worried about what people might think. I’m disappointed in you Hannah!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Sweet Valley High #103: Operation Love Match

Bruce Patman can’t cope with his parent’s divorce and wants to fix things. Even though Alice promised to help in the last book, here she decides that she doesn’t want to get involved, but of course the twins will help. Jessica’s horoscope says that she’s going to experience problems and she starts worrying, which becomes a major part of the book.

The twins decide to send Marie a love letter from Hank, but Jessica gets her hand stuck in the mailbox. Michael Hampton, the hot new senior sees her and she pretends to be Liz. Every time he sees her do something stupid, she pretends to be her twin, not realizing that he actually prefers girls like that because he’s kind of klutzy.

Bruce tries to get back together with Pamela, but she keeps seeing him with Liz and thinks he still has feelings for her. It’s kind of stupid though because he’s actually with Jessica all the time. They all decide to stop his parents from meeting with the divorce lawyers by sneaking onto the lawyers’ property and filling their ignition with super glue. No one points out that this is breaking like 16 laws.

Bruce gives Jess his coat, which just so happens to be exactly like his dads. She’s supposed to sneak into the lawyers’ office and lock them together until they work out their problems, but she gets trapped in the elevator. Somehow she switches coats with Hank and Marie finds Alice Wakefield’s scarf, which Jess used earlier in the pocket. That proves to her that they’re having an affair.

Jess then has Bruce send his mom dozens of goldenrod bouquets, but it turns out that she’s deathly allergic and ends up in the hospital. Hank visits, but she won’t listen to anything he says until he admits that he had an affair. He admits that work forced them apart, but eventually leaves because she doesn’t trust him and a marriage doesn’t work without trust.

Liz cons their mom into telling her all about what happened with Hank and why they’d never be together and secretly records it. Jess tested the recorder earlier, making a tape with Lila. She sneaks over to Marie’s new house and leaves the tape behind, only to realize that she left the wrong tape there. I have no idea why she didn’t just go back and switch the freaking tapes because they never act like that was a possibility.

They then decide to plan a “this is your life” moment. They arrange for the couple’s favorite song (All you need is love) to play in the screening room and arrange for the wedding souvenirs to sit on the coffee table. Jess gets her toe stuck in the bathtub faucet and when Liz tries to help, the door blows shut and gets stuck. Bruce gets a flat tire, so no one is there to meet Hank and Marie and they let themselves in.

Hank goes to the screening room and Marie picks up his coat. She finds a keychain belonging to Jessica and the scarf and when she sees Bruce’s name tag on the coat, she realizes her mistake. She apologizes, they work things out and dance to their song before putting on a movie. The twins and Bruce arrive just in time to see them making out on the couch. Aw? Ew?

Jessica accidentally locks herself in her locker and then later finds a bouquet of flowers for Liz, which it turns out are from Michael. Liz meets with Michael and acts like Jessica, dropping hints that Jess is the klutz. Michael asks her out, they go out once and she decides never to date him again because he’s too clumsy for her and not at all self-assured. Yup, sounds about right.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Sweet Valley High #102: Almost Married

This is a stupid name for the book because Liz and Todd are nothing like married couples, except for the fighting and lack of sex. Hmm….

Well Todd comes up with a great plan that if both sets of their parents are out of town at the same time, they should stay together and Liz agrees. His parents are in Colorado, Ned heads off on a law retreat and Alice heads back to Chicago with Hank. Liz decides that she has to ask Jess for permission first (right, like Jess doesn’t owe her a shitload of times) and Jess agrees, but only if they act as her slaves, cooking and cleaning. Liz doesn’t want to, but Todd kind of forces her into the plan.

Of course Liz decides to keep it a big secret from everyone because a scandal like this could ruin her reputation. Uh, didn’t she just get out of prison like two books ago? Jess ends up telling Lila and then some other friends, Todd tells a bunch of his friends and Liz tells Enid so by the second day, everyone at school pretty much knows the deal.

The whole living together thing doesn’t go as well as expected. Todd thinks they’ll spend all this time together, but Liz keeps blowing him off. She’s actually a terrible girlfriend in this book (go figure). After two days together, she gets sick of being around him so she hides in the bathroom or library to avoid him, she whines when he wants to do stuff she doesn’t and she keeps blowing him off for Bruce, without explaining why. Jess finally tells him about Alice/Hank and Liz gets pissed off when he tries to be supportive. What is so great about these two?

Liz and Bruce go through the stuff in his attic, looking for more proof about their parents and find Alice’s rings in an old trunk. Then they go up to Sweet Valley University to do research on their parents. All they find is that Alice was involved in a sit-in, Hank dropped food on the building and they fell in love, but this somehow convinces them that their parents are sleeping together.

Bruce starts coming over to their house all the time, nudging Todd out of the way, which is completely Liz’s fault. He brings home stuff for a romantic dinner and she invites Bruce to stay, then tells Jess to invite Lila over too. If Todd had genitals, he’s totally be getting cock blocked right now.

Liz and Bruce almost kiss, but stop themselves. Then somehow they decide to throw a big pool party on Saturday night, even though Todd and Liz made plans because it was their last night together. They start planning for the party and Todd turns into Martha Stewart, suggesting they make fruit salad in a carved watermelon.

The party arrives and Pamela confronts Bruce because she feels neglected. There’s a whole section in the book where he talks about how Pamela made him a better person and is the first girl since Regina that he truly loved, but then he ignores her to spend time with Liz. Pamela breaks up with him when he admits that he has feelings for Liz and then he meets Liz in the kitchen. They start making out, just as Todd walks in and catches them.

Liz decides that the best way to get over the awkwardness is by diving into the swimming pool, but she jumps too high (which I didn’t think was possible), jumps into the pool and gets knocked unconscious. Now there’s like 1600 people at the party, but no one does a thing, which I think says a lot about how students at Sweet Valley High feel about the twins.

Todd hears the commotion, runs out to the pool and saves Liz. Bruce sees them kissing and feels stupid because (a) he lost Pamela and (b) no one can ever come between Liz and Todd. Alice shows up just in time to find the party going in full swing and Todd comforting Liz in her bedroom. She freaks out, but then Liz jumps down her throat about Hank and Alice feels so bad that she lets them off the hook, makes them find Bruce and then sits everyone down.

She explains that she was engaged to Hank in college and met Ned, but she could never get him out of her head. She and Hank weren’t meant to be together so after they had pictures taken on their wedding day, she raced off. Bruce is shocked that his dad got stood up at the altar, but also feels bad about his parents. The whole group decides to band together and come up with a plan to get his parents back together, Alice included…

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Sweet Valley High #101: The Boyfriend War

There’s a heat wave striking Sweet Valley, but Jessica could care less because she’s heading to the Caribbean with Lila for Spring Break. Isn’t this like the 700th Spring Break since the school year started? Lila acts fairly cool about the whole thing, but Jessica convinces herself that it’s just because Lila is used to fancy trips like this. She even ignores the fact that Elizabeth knows the place is meant for families and not swinging singles. All she really cares about is packing a bunch of bikinis and hot dresses.

Liz can’t wait for their break to start because she plans on doing a report about Alice. Kids get extra credit in English class for writing a report on one of their family members and she picks her mom. Look, if I had a circus performer in my family tree, I’d pick that person over my mom any day. At the same time, Bruce Patman is confused and upset because his parents are separating. He becomes convinced that Henry is cheating on his wife.

Jess and Lila arrive in the Caribbean and meet Lila’s uncle Jimbo, who runs the resort. He keeps making cryptic comments about dealing with “little monsters” and them being too tired to go dancing and Jess still doesn’t get it. How the hell did she ever score so high on her SATs? Her luggage gets lost and then she discovers that they’re actually there to work as counselors at the kiddie version of the resort. Lila doesn’t think it’s a big deal because if she hadn’t lied, Jess never would have come, but Jess stops talking to her.

They get their assignments and both end up with 5-6 year olds, but Lila’s are perfect angels and Jessica’s are little minions of the devil. They dye one girl’s hair purple, pick on all the other kids and get in trouble constantly. The one bright spot is the windsurfing instructor Mick, who’s gorgeous (though he sounds like a reject from the 1990s) and Jessica throws herself at him, even after he has a date with Lila.

I love this book because it comes exactly one book after Jessica sees her boyfriend killed. First she’s with Sam, who dies horrifically and then she hooks right up with Todd. Then she goes after James, some random guy she meets at the benefit for Sam and she saw him killed. Now here she is, going after some new guy. Jessica and her men make my head hurt.

So Mick tells Jessica that Lila’s just a “mousy brunette” who he has to date because she’s related to the boss’s daughter. He tells Lila that Jessica’s a “dumb blonde” who he only dates because the permanent staff have to be nice to the temporary workers. Yeah, I call that being nice.

This all leads up to the scene on the cover, where Lila is on Mick’s shoulders and Jess climbs on Larry the lifeguard. The two girls start fighting and I just had to laugh. Jessica tries to push Lila off, but Lila totally plays dirty. She punches her in the ear, kicks her in the knee, etc. Sadly the girls make up and discover that Mick was playing them both.

They had back to their cabin and discover that one girl was played by him last year and he was playing the other two girls this year. They all gang up to expose him during the talent show. Why temporary counselors only working for a week would have a talent show is beyond me. Jess does a magic act with Lila as her assistant. They break his watch, chop off his long hair and dye his hair purple. Then everyone has a laugh.

Liz keeps working on her report, but she can’t find anything about her mom’s life before she got married. She asks her dad for help, but Ned acts all quiet and confused, like he can barely remember how long they dated before they got married and what she was like in college. This storyline is annoying if you remember the Wakefield books at all because you already know what happened.

Bruce decides that his dad and Alice are having an affair because she’s working on his new building in Chicago and he sent her a bunch of roses. Bruce tells Liz his suspicions and she blows him off, until she finds a picture of Hank Patman and Alice on their wedding day and realizes that they were once married. Yeah, that never happened.

Liz and Bruce spend the rest of the book fighting and then kind of crying on the other’s shoulder. She goes to a bunch of movies with Enid and Olivia that are about love, but all the movies deal with a woman leaving her new guy for her first, true love so Liz gets even more worried. Yeah, I wouldn’t worry so much, first loves end for a reason. Plus if I remember those books right, Hank was an asshole and I don’t even know why Alice is friends with him now.

The book *finally* ends with Liz wondering if her mother will leave Ned for Hank. Oh and there’s another story line with Amy trying to use Liz’s ancestor as her own for the report because her family is boring. She keeps hinting around for info, until Liz decides to use all her mom’s ancestors in the report, to show how they influenced Alice.