Thursday, September 27, 2012

Sweet Valley Twins #3: The Haunted House

This is the one where we learn Jessica was a total bitch and sheep when she was a sixth grader. See, there’s this new girl who just moved to town, but she lives with the creepy people in the Mercandy house. Elizabeth and Jessica see her one day and do stupid pre-teen shit to hang around and watch her, like pretending to drop their books and tie their shoelaces.

Elizabeth decides not to say a word, but Jessica runs off to tell everyone. Okay, so she really just calls Lila, who then decides that she should call Janet. Jessica caps off the day with a dip in the swimming pool, but oh noes! The pool heater was turned off. Jessica gets sick and has to skip school the next day.

Elizabeth sees the same girl again because they’re in gym class together. Her name is Nora and she reveals that her parents both died so she has to live with her grandparents. She’s also super poor and can’t afford a gym uniform, but Elizabeth offers to give her one of the twins’ extra ones until she can get one.

The next day, Elizabeth is sick and Jessica is well enough for school. Naturally, Jessica goes along with the crowd, picking on Nora and making her feel like shit. Nora can’t figure out what’s going on because she doesn’t know that her new friend has a twin. Jessica tells her that she forgot the uniform and explains that she’s Elizabeth’s twin before running off. Lila thinks that Nora wants their uniform so she can put a spell on it.

Lila really comes off as a little spoiled bitch in this one! She gets paired with Nora during a tennis lesson in gym class and decides to make a bet with her. When Nora turns out to be better and wins the match, Lila gives her an expensive pen. Then, she tells their teacher that Nora stole it. The principal calls them into his office and basically lets Lila off, but lectures Nora about betting against people.

Elizabeth finally tells Nora that people think her grandparents are weird. She doesn’t tell them the rumors that her grandpa is a vampire or that her grandma is a witch though. Nora decides to invite the Unicorn club to her house so they can see how she lives. Jessica pretty much blackmails Liz into giving her a bunch of shit so she can con the Unicorns into going. They show up with Bruce and a few other guys, but Nora’s grandfather comes out and makes some weird noises and they run off screaming.

By lunchtime the next day, everyone thinks that a zombie attacked the club. Lila blackmails Nora into becoming their slave. She tells her that if she doesn’t go along with them, she’ll tell the principal that Nora stole her wallet, stick it in her locket, and have Ellen and Jessica back her up.

Within a few days, the Unicorns make Nora their best friend. They eat lunch with her every day, take her to the Dairi Burger, and treat her like a queen. They even convince her to come to Lila’s Halloween party dressed as a witch, which is what they wanted all along. Bruce and his little gang have a plan to wreck her house during the party.

Everyone shows up at the party and has a blast. Bruce’s group sneaks off, and the girls get really snotty to Nora. They tease her and call her a witch, and she runs home in tears. Elizabeth runs after her and a bunch of people follow. Jessica is scared to death, but she runs in after her, which leads to a bunch of other people following.

Nora starts crying, but her grandmother walks in. They notice posters on the wall for this famous magician, and it turns out that it’s her grandfather. She does a few tricks and saws Elizabeth in half. Everyone feels kind of bad for teasing her and she suddenly fits into the group again. Oh, and the Unicorns are ready to start holding tryouts for the Boosters.

*Jessica dresses like a hula girl with Ellen and Lila, wearing a long black wig, halter top, and grass skirt. She loses an eyelash in her toast, which I find funny.

*Elizabeth and Amy make matching clown costumes. I guess it’s cute, but I can’t imagine sixth grade girls actually sewing their own costumes.

*Am I the only one who thinks it’s weird that they didn’t go trick or treating? They were only 12, which is still acceptable.

*Ellen mentions that she has an older brother who plays for SVH. Is this the first continuity error in the series? In just a few books, she only has a younger brother.

*Lila has her music blaring and Jessica says that they can’t listen to music loud enough for people to hear it outside their room. Ned and Alice obviously forgot about this rule in SVH.

*Rick Hunter has the hots for Nora, and Lila has the hots for him. I don’t think it ever came up in other books, but he did get mentioned as one of the hot guys in school.

*I forgot to mention, but Nora’s grandpa gave up his magic stuff when he had a horrible stroke, which explains why he couldn’t talk to them.

*Bruce mentions TWICE that he needs 30 minutes to take care of Nora’s house. He tells them not to let her leave until he’s been gone for 30 minutes. Jessica asks if he left yet, Lila says he just left, and they immediately turn nasty to her. Nora runs after him and they’ve already thrown toilet paper and eggs at her house. Either Bruce can run like the wind or Nora is the slowest person in Sweet Valley.

*One of the bitchiest things that Lila does is switch her name and Nora’s name on a math quiz. Nora gets a D and Lila passes with flying colors. Not only does the teacher not find this odd, but Nora decides that it would just be too much hassle to tell on her.

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