Jessica Wakefield is starting to feel different about her life and her friends, especially Lila. They’re just about to start eighth grade and Lila is now dating a soon-to-be high school guy named Wiley Upjohn. She talks to him all the time, ignores her friends and treats everyone like dirt. At a slumber party, Kimberly announces that her aunt Pippa has invited everyone to her home in Hawaii for a month. Kimberly is just excited because she starts high school and it’s their last hurrah as a group of Unicorns.
Once they get to Hawaii, they discover that Kimberly’s cousin Marissa is also there. Not only is she a year younger, which makes her totally uncool and beneath them, she’s also a bossy brat. From the moment they get there, she orders them around and acts like she knows everything about the area, even though she’s only been there a week more.
Lila turns into a total terror. She claims that Wiley’s friends all want dates for upcoming events and are willing to take lowly 8th graders, provided that they’re cool. She wants everyone to do what she says, like telling Jessica to lose some of her clothes. Marissa isn’t much better. She gives them advice that comes off really bitchy, like suggesting Jess get highlights because her hair looks dull.
This all leads up to Jess meeting this guy Josh, who is super cute and sweet. She totally wants him, but every time she turns around, Marissa is there. Marissa interrupts them whenever they’re alone and acts like he likes her, even though he keeps following Jess. Mandy also meets a cute guy named Cal, but starts ignoring him on the advice of Lila.
Somehow this soon-to-be freshman from Sweet Valley, Pete arrives on the island. Lila is pissed because if he sees them with Marissa, he’ll know they’re all losers and tell Wiley and everyone else. They decide to pull a bunch of pranks to make her feel bad, like short sheeting her bed, turning off the power and just being bitchy. Then they have to pretend like it’s a rite of passage, so Pippa won’t send them home.
Jessica goes too far by putting green dye in her toothpaste. All the girls have to dye their teeth to get away with it. When they go out that night, Jess runs into Josh and he still thinks she’s cute, especially when she explains what happened. He asks her on a date, which turns out to be at a day camp for sick kids where he works. She lies and tells everyone it was a romantic date.
Lila finds out the truth and tries to blackmail her, but she has news of her own. Peter saw Marissa, thinks she’s cute and wants her to have his number. If Lila tells the girls the truth about her date, she’ll give Marissa the number. Josh isn’t around much, so Jess tries acting like a huge flirt. She goes out with random guys and acts like the thing with Josh wasn’t a big deal.
Lila still hates Marissa and wants to get rid of her. She knows that the girl is allergic to peanuts and decides to throw her a surprise birthday party and serve peanut laced foods. Jessica is the only one to speak up, but she can’t even go to Kimberly because she left for a few days with her aunt. She and Josh go on a sleepover at his camp, kiss and seem to like each other. Then she discovers from another girl that food allergies are so bad that it can kill some people.
She rushes back and warns the group, but no one will listen to her. They go ahead with the plans for the party, so she calls Josh and asks him to take Marissa out for the day. Marissa misses the party and the other girls know that Jessica was behind it, so they stop talking to her. Marissa comes back all happy and mellow. Jess sneaks out to see Josh and he reveals that they fell in love. It turns out that he had a crush on her all summer and he thinks Jess was the only one who saw it.
Jessica runs inside, accuses Marissa of stealing her guy and cries for hours. Marissa sits with her the whole time and tries to comfort her. Jess confesses about the party and Marissa says she probably saved her life. Later, she tells Kimberly the whole story and she’s kind of pissed. It turns out that Kimberly was getting sick of the Unicorns and looking forward to getting away from their group. Jessica realizes that she feels the same way.
They come up with a plan to get the Unicorns back for what happened. Pippa takes them out for a fancy dinner and Kimberly pulls out a plate of cake, saying it’s leftover from the party. Mandy, who Jessica got back together with her cute guy, tries to stop her, but she eats a piece and dies. Everyone freaks out, but Marissa pops up and announces it was all a joke. In the commotion, Wiley calls Lila and breaks up with her, so the girls get one last week to spend together.
*This is supposed to bridge the gap between The Unicorn Club and Sweet Valley Junior High (even though it’s technically a Sweet Valley Twins book). At the end, it’s supposedly a few weeks before classes start and no one knows what’s going to happen. I’m sorry, but there’s no way redisctricting would still be going on a few weeks before school starts. They’d have to deal with buses, parents, the number of teacher, class sizes, scheduling and 900 other issues.
*Lila comes off as a much worse bitch here, than she did anywhere else. She and Wiley talk every day at the same time and she always goes off on her own or expects everyone else to leave the room. At one point, she totally ignores Pippa because Wiley is on the phone.
*The whole peanuts thing is seriously disturbing. I know the girls are young, but they think everyone who has a food allergy, just gets a rash.
*Josh is a douche! So he had a crush on Marissa all summer long, but kissed Jessica and dated her? Yeah, he’s a total catch.