Monday, July 9, 2012

The Unicorn Club #1: Save the Unicorns!

I swear, these books are harder to find than the later SVH books! Ever since I started this blog, I've only found three (I think). I did manage to find three more in a random thrift store, so yay! I really like the Unicorn Club books though, so I'm thinking I might bite the bullet and pick them up from Amazon. Then again, maybe I'll start a want page on here and see if any of my dead readers have spare copies of any books they might sell little old me :)

This book comes from the perspective of Mandy Miller, one of the sole remaining members of the Unicorn Club. She tells us that Grace skipped a grade and went to high school, Belinda transferred to another school, Kimberly moved to Georgia, and everyone else (including Janet) moved on to high school.

The remaining members need to pick a new president and it isn't going so well. Jessica wants to be president just because, and Lila thinks she deserves the presidency because she's the closest family wise to Janet. Love you, Lila! They remember how new members once had to go through dares and decide that the president should too.

Jessica dares Lila to put mousse in her hair in the boys bathroom. Since they wrote their dares without seeing the other's dare, Lila feels stupid because she just dared Jessica to hide a teacher's chalk. Lila sneaks into the bathroom and does her hair, but Rick Hunter flips out because it's an invasion of privacy. He gets so riled up that he threatens to tell the principal and Jessica talks him out of it. Jessica does her dare so everyone is even.

Jessica then dares Lila to steal Mrs. Arnett's hairnet and wear it to Casey's, and Lila dares her to paint a purple stripe down the middle of the lockers. Lila does her dare and Jessica does too. She says she got up early and managed to hide the evidence. Mr. Clark warns the Unicorns that they are on probation. If they fuck up one more time, he will ban the group.

This doesn't stop them though. They hear from Caroline that he wears a toupee, so the new president will be the first person who can steal it. Mandy doesn't like it because she remembers how bad she felt when she had to wear a wig because of her chemotherapy. The girls work together and steal his toupee, but there's still no winner.

That doesn't matter though he finds out that they stole it. He calls all of the members into his office and gets their parents there. Mandy keeps thinking about how the best clubs bring out the best in its members and how the Unicorns don't do that for each other anymore. Mr. Clark arranges for them to do 30 hours of community service and they have to pay him back for the toupee.

They go to the community center for their volunteer work. Lila pitches a hissy fit and wants to quit, but she sees this adorable little girl named Ellie who thinks she is beautiful and changes her mind. Elizabeth and Maria already volunteer there and they help them when they can, but it's really up to the club to do the hard work.

When Lila meets Ellie's mom, Mrs. McMillian, she starts feeling bad for the little girl. She calsl a toy store and has the store deliver dozens of gifts for the kids. Mrs. Willad, the woman who runs the center, keeps riding them about how they do everything wrong. After one particularly bad day, Jessica flips out and rants about the kids being monsters, which makes them all cry.

During one visit, Mrs. Willard fucks everything up. She has no help because of a bad storm and she needs to leave for 20 minutes to pick up another worker so she leaves the girls in charge. After three hours, the power goes out and all the emergency supplies are in the basement, where she forbid them to go.

Jessica goes into the basement and one of the little kids follows her. Mary tries to help and accidentally locks the door. Luckily, one of the others kids knows how to get downstairs. They run outside, even though they are not allowed outside, and manage to get them out. A power line suddenly drops and nearly fries the center's cat, but Jessica risks her life to save it. Mrs. Willard arrives back, flips out again, and threatens to tell on them. All the little kids come forward to take the blame.

She doesn't do anything though so they go back the following week. She apologizes because she found out what really happened and now thinks that the club is great. They decide to throw a party for the kids but they don't want to take advantage of Lila so they agree to use their dues for the party.

When they show up at her house, she went all out. She hired caters, stilt walkers, and even has an elephant. The kids all have a fantastic time and they girls do too. The dark spot is that Mrs. McMillian had to put Ellie in foster care because she can't find a job and she can't take care of her anymore. No worries though because Mr. Fowler finds her a job and one of the kids knows where she lives now, so they get reunited.

The Unicorn Club is becoming something that Mandy likes, but things go bad again quickly. Lila makes a rude comment about Lois's weight to her face, and Mr. Clark calls them back into his office. He found the paint can in Jessica's locker and the club is now banned. They can only meet in groups of 2 and they can't hold meetings on or off school property. He gets all the parents and teachers to agree.

Even though their community service is over, all of the girls show up at the center. Mrs. Willard warns them that they cannot meet there per the principal's rules, but they just want to spend time with the kids. Cut to a few days later and a group of people congregate outside of the school. Elizabeth leads the parents and center workers to let the club get back together. They all chant, “save the unicorns” and Mr. Clark totally caves.

Now that they are a club again, they still need a president. The other girls elect Mandy, and she decides to invite Elizabeth and Maria to join. Elizabeth reminds them that she turned down their offer the previous year, but she thinks that they've changed enough that she would now love to be a member. Does that mean she's going to start wearing purple?

*Was Grace ever described as smart in the SVT series? She never came across as too bright, but I guess they needed to shove her somewhere and high school was fine.

*Belinda transfers to Lovett Academy. I wonder if she was at that party Todd took Liz and Jess to when he moved back...

*Yeah, so the school has no control over what kids do away from school property. If the Unicorn Club wanted to build a meeting house 4 inches away from the school property line, they could.

*Mr. Clark mentions that he could suspend them all for stealing his toupee, but decides not to. Why not? I would love a book where the cheating, fighting, etc. got them thrown out of school.

*Lois, who five pages early was pretty much called a cow by Lila, is the first person to stand up and want the club back together again.

*A bunch of kids talk about how much they hated the club, and new kids even sit in the Unicorner when the club gets disbanded. That seems pretty realistic, but it's much less realistic when the same kids then chant to let them get back together.

*I guess Amy moved away at the end of 6th grade because there's one mention of her leaving the summer before 7th grade started.

*Elizabeth is all depressed because she's no longer the editor of the Sixers and now she has to take a lowly job as a reporter for the upper grade newspaper. Wah.

*When Lila first asks her dad to get Ellie's mom a job, he ignores her. Then she asks if they can take her in, and he tells her that a child is not a puppy LOL.

*Seriously ghostwriter, foster care is not daycare. Mrs. McMillian puts Ellie into foster care so she can look for a job and picks her up when she finds one. I'm pretty sure the state would launch a massive investigation to make sure she actually had a job and could care for her child. Plus, she gets her kid back even though she hasn't worked a day yet and has no home.

*I thought Sweet Valley was perfect! Why the sudden need for a massive child care center and all the other help that the center provides? Now I'm wondering if this is where Mr. Martin left Betsy and Tricia so he could go drinking...