Sunday, June 9, 2013

Sweet Valley High #28: Alone in the Crowd


Remember Lynne Henry? Oh wait, you probably don't remember her given that she only pops up in the last few pages of the book before this one. Well Lynne Henry is kind of a plain Jane, and by plain Jane, I mean a girl with frizzy hair and boring clothes who becomes hot when she puts in some conditioner and wears a cool outfit.

Lynne has absolutely zero friends at Sweet Valley High. Lila makes it clear in the first chapter that it's because she doesn't make any attempt to talk to other people and wears ugly clothes. Lynne basically mopes around in the whole book about how no one recognizes her or even talks to her. When Scott Trost calls out her name in the cafeteria, she almost has a panic attack before she realizes that he's calling a sophomore by the same name.

One random day, she runs into Guy Chesney on the sidewalk. They have a long talk about their favorite musicians, and they both love the same people including Linda Rondstandt. As soon as he walks off, she gets a spring in her step. Suddenly, she can't stop thinking about him. They start running into each other all the time, and he even gives her a ride to some big softball game. He tells her that he doesn't really like sports and has never met a girl who liked music as much as him.

In the middle of all this, Jessica decides to throw a fundraiser for the squad. They need new uniforms, but everyone is tired of the same old crap. She decides to sponsor a rock-a-thon where the cheerleaders get paid to sit in rocking chairs for hours at a time. She books the Droids, which means that she desperately needs to talk to Guy. Jessica pulls up beside him and he runs off to join her, which to Lynne, means that he could never like someone like her.

See, Lynne has frizzy hair, horrible taste in clothes, and she's super tall too! She eats lunch as fast as possible so she can spend the rest of lunch hiding in the library. Her mom keeps offering her free makeovers and buying her cool clothes, but she thinks everyone will think she's stupid and/or trying to hard if she does something like wear contacts.

The Droids announce that their music is getting a little stale so they need some fresh blood. They hold a massive competition that lets anyone submit a new song. Lynne pours her heart and soul into a new song and submits it anonymously. The Droids play the songs to a bunch of people, and hers is the favorite. The only problem is that they don't know who wrote it. Everyone thinks that Elizabeth must know the answer because she has her pulse on the school gossip, but she has no clue.

While visiting the music center in town, she hears Lynne singing and realizes it's her. Lynne begs her not to tell anyone, but she doesn't know what to do when Guy admits that he's in love with the writer. Liz makes a comment about Linda Ronstandt, and Guy realizes that it was Lynne all along, so he rushes off in the middle of their talk. Dana sings the song that weekend, and everyone realizes the writer did a better job.

Lynne starts experimenting with clothing and makeup, and when her mom finds her, she asks for a makeover. They spend the weekend getting her all dolled up, and she admits that she didn't think her mom liked her because she took after her dad so much. Her mom tells her that they were a lot alike, but she loves her for who she is. Lynne still decides not to tell Guy because she thinks he wants someone really pretty like a rock star.

Guy approaches her in school on Monday with the news that The Oracle ran a special on his mystery singer. He called in a favor from his dad, hire a sketch artist to draw picture of the singer, and rang a special in the paper. Lynne's heart sinks because she assumes he pictured a celebrity. The paper comes out, and he perfectly described Lynne the way she would look as a lead singer. He tells her he knew it was her, they kiss, and the world is perfect again. The book ends with Liz running to the beach to tell everyone that Amy Sutton is moving back to Sweet Valley.

*When Lynne asks if he likes any female musicians, Guy tells her he likes the mellow singers, which comes across as a little sexist, especially since he plays in a band with Dana who is anything but mellow.

*The sketch of her kills me because she says that it looks like she would look if she was famous and the lead singer in a band. So, Guy described her the way he wishes she looks and not the way she does?

*Being tall, wearing glasses, and choosing bulky clothing does not make you geek anywhere in the world except in Sweet Valley.

*Liz, who is oh so rational, realizes that Guy loves Lynne before he does, and she thinks it makes sense. Yes Liz, falling in love with someone after hearing their voice sing a few times makes total sense.

*Guy also keeps saying that it feels like the singer wrote the song about him and is singing is to him. It's supposed to be romantic, but it comes off as really cocky to me.

*Lynne is the biggest whiner I can remember from these books! She literally spends the first 100+ pages moping over her poor life and how no one likes her, but she makes no effort. Even when people try to talk to her, she runs off with the exception of Guy.

*Lesson learned from this book? If you want to be pretty and popular, all you need is a makeover and a hot boyfriend in a band.