Elizabeth and Amy finish up working on some huge assignment for school. Amy asks her to spend the night, but Alice tells her that she can't because the family's been so busy that they haven't had time to spend with each other, so she wants to take them out to dinner. Amy mentions building a fire in the fireplace before Elizabeth leaves. She gets home just in time to have Jessica pout and whine because her twin hasn't had time for her lately.
The next day at school, she sees people whispering and a few people start to ask her questions, and she's also upset that Amy didn't meet her before class. Caroline gives her an update: Amy's house burned down. Someone on her street saw it happen, and the rumors start swirling. By the end of the day, she hears that Amy broke both her legs and will be in the hospital for a month. She also talks to her teacher, who lets her know that they can turn in their project the following week.
When Elizabeth gets home, she immediately runs to her mother to tell her what happened, and she finds Amy sitting in her room. They tell her that Amy will be staying with them for a few weeks until her parents find another house. Amy says that the fire started after she left, and that she tripped over her shoelaces and broke her leg, but she'll pretty much be okay.
Jessica goes out for ice cream with the Unicorns, and when she leaves, they demand that she call and tell them everything when she finds out what really happened. After seeing Amy, she calls everyone and Mary comes over with her stuffed teddy bear. Lila and Ellen show up next with candy for Amy and want to hear everything. They all sign her cast, but Ellen acts like she can't stand Amy.
The rest of the book pretty much involves Amy lying her ass off to everyone and avoiding Elizabeth. She tells everyone that she broke her arm when she had to jump out of her bedroom window to escape the fire, and her lies start growing. She tells them the ambulance ran every red light on the way to the hospital, they had a police escort, and the doctor said it was the worst broken bone he had seen in 30 years.
Mr. Bowman asks her to write a story for the paper. He suggests she work with Elizabeth, but she refuses and says she wants to write it herself. The Unicorns give her a bunch of clothes to borrow because hers burned up, and they make her the center of attention. The only downside is Ellen. She hates spending time around Amy, keeps changing the subject when she's around, and acts like they don't have time for her. She starts spending a lot of time with Brooke Dennis and tells the other girls that she convinced her to throw a party with the Unicorns.
Jessica isn't a whole lot better. She thinks that Elizabeth wants to keep Amy all to herself, keeps saying that she's trying to push her out, and decides to spend time with Amy too. Every time that Liz brings up working on their project, she changes the subject. Amy basically spends all of her free time with the Unicorns, though she does admit to herself that she only does it because she thinks that she caused the fire by leaving a bag of hot ashes on the floor after starting the fire.
People at school keep asking Elizabeth for details on the fire or commenting on how Amy is never around. On locker clean out day, Amy pitches a fit because Elizabeth has the audacity to want to finish her lunch before helping her. When someone else points out that she's treating her friend live a slave, she pitches a fit, and Liz jumps to her defense, which leads to Amy bitching about how she now knows who her true friends are.
This all leads up to Amy and Elizabeth having a minor argument. Elizabeth was so upset one night that she slept with a teddy bear, and Amy told Lila and Ellen about it. They spread it around school, and people start calling her Baby Bear. Amy acts like she didn't do anything wrong, and after they fight over it, Amy moves her stuff into Jessica's room.
It doesn't take long before she decides that she really can't stand Jessica. She keeps moaning over what people think and how Bruce called her Baby Bear in front of other guys and how Aaron might hear it and decide that he doesn't like her. Amy suggests that she tell off Bruce, which she can't do because oh my god, he's like totally popular and stuff! She then suggests she talk to her "friends," but she can't do that either because then they'll know that it actually bothers her.
Amy's mom gives her some money to pick out some new clothes, and the Unicorns take her shopping. Ellen says that she doesn't want to go, but then shows up with Brooke, saying that they need to help her pick out decorations for her party. Brooke goes with them and actually acts like Amy's friend. Lila takes her to an expensive store and acts like Amy's beneath her for wanting to shop somewhere cheaper. After going to a cheaper shop and hearing Amy turn down her choices, she gives up.
All Amy wants to do is go home because she notices no one paying attention to her anymore, but Jessica convinces her that if she leaves, Ellen will brag about running her off. She gets stuck with the Unicorns a few more times before she gives up. When Jessica goes to meet them at Brooke's house, Amy breaks down in front of Elizabeth.
She tells her all about her lies and how she lied in her newspaper article. Conveniently, Elizabeth has the article because she needed to proofread it. Amy has another problem too. She let Jessica convince her that their teacher would give her more time on their project because of her cast, but the teacher told her no. After their fight, they decided to work separately, so she only has two days to finish it.
Elizabeth agrees to help her write a better article, and they work together on the project. The both get As and Mr. Bowman loves the article, but he wants her to wait until she finds out what caused the fire before printing it. Mr. and Mrs. Sutton show up at the Wakefield house with big news. Not only did they find a new house, but they learned that it was an electrical fire, so everyone is fine once again in Sweet Valley.
*Did your parents let you spend the night with friends when you had school the next day? This happens a lot in these books including the start of this one. I could spend the night on weekends but never on weekdays.
*Jessica is so paranoid that she thinks Elizabeth only suggested they play Scrabble because she knows that Jess hates it.
*The science project storyline really annoyed me! They get either three or four weeks to work on it because it's such a big deal. She knows that the entire project burned in the fire, and then she gives them less than one week to redo it?
*What kind of sixth grader is so good at English that she can edit? Mr. Bowman basically just hands over Amy's article to Liz because she's oh-so-good that she can completely proofread and edit it on her own.
*Let's not forget that the whole point of the book is that Amy's story about the fire spreads across the school. It's been at least two weeks since the fire and he still wants to run an article on it. Why? Hasn't everyone heard about it?
*Ellen's hatred of Amy seems to come out of nowhere. She kind of seems like just another background Unicorn in most books, but in this one, the ghostwriter acts like she's one of the top members of the club.
*When Jessica reads the article, she notices that the true story is different from the one that she heard, and she warns her to avoid the club for a few days because they might be a little upset.
*I get that Lila is rich, but I find it hard to believe that a sixth grader would shop in top stores and buy designer labels all of the time.
*Amy's parents manage to find a house in something like three weeks, which is just insane. I had an apartment fire that pretty much destroyed everything I had, and it took me longer than that to find a new place to live.
*Of course, I also had to deal with nightmares and an inability to be around anything burning including candles, while Amy is A-OK immediately after the fire.