Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Sweet Valley Twins #25: Standing Out

Billie Layton is a big tomboy and she doesn’t have many friends. Her best friend is Jim Sturgis (a possible recruit for the Jim Regis character in Sweet Valley Confidential?), but he is secretly dating Sally Larson. Billie’s mom is pregnant and her little brother is coming any day. Jessica suddenly finds her fascinating, especially when the softball team starts winning.

Billie can’t figure out why Jim suddenly finds excuses not to spend time with her or why he won’t walk her home from school. She starts hanging around the twins, except that Jessica keeps finding excuses not to be around her. Jessica is too busy with the Unicorn Club. Janet Howell, the president of the club, wants the club to win a civic award. The award goes to a club that helps others and she wants them to change their image. The prize is an all-expense paid trip to anywhere within a 30-mile radius or something like that.

The girls come up with a few ideas, but Janet shoots them all down. Jessica wants to help sick elderly people and Ellen suggests a party planning business. Every time Jessica tries hanging out with Billie, the Unicorns, especially Lila drags her off. Elizabeth spends a lot of time with Billie and tells her all about it. Elizabeth suggests that the twins go dress shopping with Billie for Julie Porter’s birthday party.

Billie overhears her parents talking about naming her little brother William. Her mom picks the name, but her dad isn’t too sure because it might be confusing since she’s also Billie. Her mom convinces him that Billie will understand because she’s older. How is this good parenting? Billie is devastated because her dad always called her Billie and he always treated her like a son, but now he’s getting a real son.

She goes shopping with the twins, but can’t really get into it. The twins push her into getting a fancy blue dress, which she doesn’t like at first. Then she starts her period at school and is scared because she doesn’t know any other sixth graders with their period. Jessica is the one that helps her through it. She goes to the library where her mom works and tries to get help, but her mom is too busy with other students. To top it all off, she finally sees Jim and Sally together and runs home crying. Her mom comforts her, but she can’t really talk about it.

The big game comes up and with everything on her mind, she can’t concentrate on her pitching. She keeps screwing up and the coach takes her out. The Unicorns all leave because it starts raining and Jessica actually stands up to Lila, staying with Liz and Amy to support Billie. After the game, Billie goes home with the twins. They curl her hair, make her put on makeup and get her ready for the party.

All of the guys keep staring at her and a bunch of her teammates ask her for dances. She sees Jim, but he acts weird around her and she runs off crying. Her dad shows up because her mom went into labor. They rush to the hospital and when her brother is born, she tells them that she wants to be called Belinda from now on.

The next day she goes back because her game was delayed due to rain. She plays great and naturally wins the game. One of her teammates asks her on a date and Jim comes over. He tells her that he didn’t recognize her at the party because she looked so different. He wanted to ask her for a dance, but when he looked for her, she was gone. She realizes that she likes him, but he isn’t the only guy in the world.

The Unicorns ask her to go out with them and officially ask her to become a member. They liked cheering for her, until it started raining and they like the idea of another athletic girl in the group, Jessica being the only one. Billie jumps at the chance and tells everyone to start calling her Belinda because it matches her now grown up look.

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