Ah-ha! Julie didn’t die back in middle school! She comes back here because Elizabeth is still playing the recorder and they practice duets sometimes. When she isn’t sucking up to a Wakefield twin, she worries about her best friend Josh because he’s pledging a fraternity and Bruce is being pretty hard on him. Elizabeth thinks it’s sad because when Todd was in the frat, they never, ever did anything like this.
Josh really doesn’t have to do a lot of bad stuff. He mainly dresses up like a girl and lame stuff like that. Elizabeth and Julie run into him while taking an ice cream break at Casey’s, and he mentions that he has to meet some brothers there. Bruce shows up with a bunch of guys and they order a ton of food. They barely eat half of it before handing it over to Josh and demanding that he finish it. He eats about half of it before turning yellow and running away.
Bruce talks to Julie about it the next day and tells her that he didn’t realize it would be so bad because only one or two guys was supposed to go with him. He also asks if she and Josh are a couple, which makes her blush and stammer. She admits to Liz that she has a crush on him, not that she thinks anything will happen. Bruce asks her to be his date for a party at his house, and she gushes about it to Liz. Liz tells Jessica who says that she heard from Lila that he asked a tall blond senior to be his date.
Josh already asked Julie to come to the party, but he seems upset that she is going with Bruce. Elizabeth is concerned too, and she warns her friend that Bruce changed a lot after Regina died. When Julie asks her for a ride, she gets excited because she thinks she changed her mind. Actually, Bruce just asked her to find a way there because he’s too busy getting ready to pick her up. Nice guy.
Bruce acts like Julie is the most gorgeous woman in the world, but Elizabeth sees him with this ballet dancer named Danielle. He keeps sneaking off to make out with her before running back to Julie’s side. He takes Julie to a darkened make out area and has her sit down while he gets them drinks. She hears him come back and they start kissing, but someone turns on the lights and she realizes she was kissing Josh. She runs off in tears and Liz rushes to take her home.
Josh yells at Bruce because the whole thing was a frat prank. Bruce told him that it would be some complete stranger who would judge each pledge on their kissing technique. Bruce makes a joke about him being a bad kisser and he storms off. He tries to talk to Liz about it, and she realizes that he likes Julie as more than a friend. She talks to Julie but she is still really upset.
Julie walks across campus and sees a guy dressed up like an organ grinder’s monkey. He keeps bouncing around kissing people and just as she thinks that he’s a moron, he leaps on her and kisses her. When she sees that it’s Josh, she yells at him and runs away. Josh sneaks away from his next task to talk to Liz, but Bruce interrupts them and makes him go back to the frat. He tells Josh to buy a bunch of Jell-o and give it to Julie who is still pissed. He buys the Jell-O and dumps it on Bruce’s lap. Everyone laughs and Julie realizes that she likes him so they kiss and makeup.
The B-plot is all about Jessica. DeeDee tells her that they need a dancer for a role in their new drama play You Can’t Take it with You. She starts practicing constantly, and Liz warns her that she should actually read the play. She rehearses too much and strains a muscle, but keeps working at it. While shopping with Lila, she sees Danielle tying out a new leotard and freaks out, but the girl says she has an audition with a major ballet company.
When Jess shows up at the audition, she learns that Danielle is going first. The other girl looks like a professional and she thinks about leaving, but changes her mind when she sees Danielle start screwing up. After going on stage, her muscle spasms and she lands on her butt. The director loves it and asks her to come back the next day. He has her mess up on purpose, and it turns out that her character is actually a bad dancer who thinks she’s great. She wants to quit and tries to dance correctly before giving up and doing the part right. Naturally she does a great job and everyone loves her.
*I love that Todd comes back in a handful of books, but in this one, Elizabeth acts super smug about how happy she and Jeffery are.
*Enid and Hugh are fighting yet again in this book. Why do they even bother trying to date?
*Elizabeth mentions that there are about 50 kids at the party. Given that the frat and sorority both showed up, that doesn’t seem like a lot of people.
*Liz and Jeffery give Enid and Julie a ride in his car, but she runs off with Julie. How the heck do they get home and how does he get his car back?
*Supposedly, Jessica looks as good as a dancer as she did in junior high, which is funny since she only took lessons in sixth grade.
*Danielle flirts with Bruce even after what he did to Julie and giggles when she tells him he was a bad boy. Five pages later, she says that she dumped him because of what he did. Yeah right, he probably got bored with her.
*According to John who probably isn’t a reliable source, Bruce told him that he got too soft when he was dating Regina and he never wanted to be like that again.
*In junior high, we were talking about plays and our teacher asked us to list some. I actually named this one and she was impressed that I knew it, but I never told her it came from a SVH book.
*Alice teasingly complains about Julie and Liz practicing and it sounding like wild animals, which I’m sure made Julie feel super confident.