Monday, December 3, 2012

Sweet Valley Twins #5: Sneaking Out

The twins are super excited because Johnny Buck is coming to town. The last time he came through Sweet Valley, Ned and Alice grew a pair and said they were too young. Now they are a whole year older and sure to go. Bruce Patman already got tickets and let them know that they were already half sold-out so they better hurry.

Jessica has a special reason to see The Buck: he gave her his hat. The twins went to his hotel and as he was leaving, he threw his hat in the crowd. Even though Elizabeth caught it, Jessica ripped it out of her hands because he clearly looked directly at her. She thought it was his secret message to her.

As soon as they get home, they find Steven in the kitchen excited about getting tickets. He lets them know that their parents still think they’re too young. They don’t believe it until their parents get home. They would let them go if they could go too, but Ned has a big case going on and Alice has an important meeting so they can’t make it to the concert. Jessica says that she would be glad to go with Steven, but they refuse to let them intrude on his big date.

Jessica decides that no matter what, she is going to that concert. She mentions it to the Unicorn club and is surprised that not many parents will let their kids go. Only Janet and Lila actually got permission. Jessica lies and tells them that she wrote Johnny a letter and will meet him backstage. She also says that she is going to make him a honorary Unicorn and everyone is in awe.

Elizabeth points out that she has no money because she just blew three weeks of allowance on a new shirt. To make money, Jessica invites Amy over and tries to get her to buy the shirt even though it’s way too big on her. Elizabeth gives her an honest opinion of how the shirt looks and Amy decides to just buy one in her own size.

Jessica keeps coming up with ways to find money and sees an ad for a dog walker. Even though she is scared of dogs, she calls and makes an appointment with the woman. She does such a good job that the woman agrees to hire her and take the dog home the following day. Jessica even convinces her to pay her upfront so she can buy her mom a birthday present.

When she takes the dog Sally home, she tells her parents that she met a really sweet old lady who didn’t want to leave her dog in a kennel for the week. Her parents are so touched that they agree to help her out a little. This really means that they do all the work for her. She keeps saying that she’s sick or she has a meeting so her parents, Steven, and Elizabeth get stuck walking the dog.

She also convinces her mom that she is so upset over missing out on the concert that she wants to spend the night with Lila. The day of the concert arrives and she spends all day getting ready. Sally’s owner, Mrs. Bramble, should be there by lunch, but she calls because the bus broke down and she can’t get there until at least 2:30. Jessica thinks that it’s too late to the concert and since she just gave Sally a ton of water, she decided to tie her up outside. She also steals a dress that Elizabeth just bought for the next big dance and the matching shoes. She even grabs the earrings that her twin used several allowances to buy for her mom’s birthday. She doesn’t know that Sally took off right after she left.

At the concert, she leaves Lila to get closer to the stage. She runs into Bruce who flirts with her and they go to get a drink, but he changes his mind when The Buck comes back on stage. She gets as close as possible and starts seeing other girls with the same hat as hers, and she realizes that her hat isn’t anything special. Buck leaves the stage and a guy starts passing out autographed pictures.

Someone knocks her down and she starts crying. The man helps her get up and gives her a picture, saying that he autographed it especially for her. Another girl looks at it with interest until she realizes that it’s the same as hers. She finds Janet’s group who she rode with and Janet picks on it because she bought the exact same photo at the souvenir stand.

Meanwhile, Elizabeth comes home and finds a note from Jessica. She goes outside and discovers the dog missing. After scouring the neighborhood, she confesses the truth to Alice just as Mrs. Bramble shows up. They search together, only to go to her house and find that Sally went through the dog door and is waiting in the living room.

Alice takes Elizabeth to Lila’s house, upset that Jessica thought spending the night was more important than her responsibilities. She goes inside and sees that Jessica is wearing her new dress, which now has grass stains all over it. She also discovers that her twin lost one of the new earrings and they can’t find it anywhere. Alice takes Jessica back to Mrs. Bramble’s and she apologizes, but then she breaks down and confesses the whole story.

Mrs. Bramble admits doing something similar years ago and getting punished by her mom. She agrees to forgive Jessica and gets her to walk her dog for the next month. Jessica goes home and finds that the woman bought her a present on her trip, a pretty black and silver bracelet. She gives it to Elizabeth to give to their mother for her birthday and they make up. Oh and Brooke Dennis moves to town and acts like a total brat.

*Ah, remember the days when a hot group/artist took weeks to sell out an arena? Actually, me either. I went to see New Kids on the Block probably not longer after this book came out, and my parents actually waited in line to get me tickets, and it sold out in less than a day.

*Wait a second…Ned and Alice both have business meetings at 4 pm on a Saturday? Oh, so they are both secretly having affairs, got it.

*Since when does Secca Lake has a huge amphitheater? That is where the concert is, and everyone actually has assigned seating. Their tickets are so far back that The Buck looks like an ant, yet Bruce gets front row tickets.

*Mrs. Bramble is pretty conniving. She pays Jessica $25 to take care of Sally for a few days, but she then makes Jessica walk her twice a day for one month to make up for things.

*Elizabeth is awfully forgiving given that her twin steals her brand new dress and her present for her mom.

*Since when is Jessica scared of dogs? Not only do they have a dog in SVH, but she also helps them take care of a dog later in the SVT series.

*I’m shocked that Ned and Alice actually do something responsible here and won’t let them go alone, but they then let her get away with lying to them. They don’t find out about the concert, but they go from grounding her for a month to letting her off the hook.

*On a side note, this was one of the first SVT books that I read. I had a copy for years after I sold the other ones, but I lost my original copy. We went into a thrift store to track down some costume accessories and I stopped by the book section even though this one never has anything. Someone must have donated their daughter’s collection because there were around 6-7 SVT books I didn’t have and 4 SVH books I’ve been looking for, including #17 Love Letters, which I’ve somehow never read!

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