Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Fear Street Super Chiller: Cheerleaders: The New Evil (R.L. Stine)

Part One: Party Time

It's now been god knows how long since the evil finally left the cheerleaders alone. Corky, Kimmy, and Hannah are out for a drive when they get into an accident and Hannah goes through the windshield. The other two girls go to the hospital to see her and ask how she's doing, but her parents just burst into tears and her mom runs from the room.

The next day, Corky tells her coach that the doctors got the internal bleeding under control but that she won't be out for the hospital for awhile. That totally sucks because they have some big competition coming up, which means they have to find a replacement. Corky then goes to see her boyfriend Alex who is a total asshat. She asks him for a ride to the lake, he makes a big deal out of why she wants to go, and his friend Jay pops up to do some mild flirting and be pretty much adorable. If he turns out to be evil, I'll be super sad.

Alex takes her to the lake, she sees a hole in the ice, and decides that it means the evil escaped. We then get to see Alex taking her out on a date and flirting with Deena from across the room. Oh, and he stands her up for a date on the last second on Saturday night. I think I know where this is going. She heads over to Debra's house and interrupts a séance or something that she's doing with Kimmy. Turns out that they want to call upon a good spirit to help protect them. Something happens in the room, they all freak out, and Debra swears that she felt a positive spirit in the room.

We then cut to tryouts for the new cheerleader. They narrow it down to three girls: Rochelle, Ivy, and Lauren. While talking about how Rochelle is their top pick, they see Ivy standing outside the room and listening to them. She claims she didn't hear anything and runs off. When they go to tell the girls who they picked, they find Rochelle dead in the gym with a screwdriver stabbed in her neck.

The paramedics come, and Corky notices that Ivy has an evil smile on her face. Before they can barely look at Rochelle to say that she's still alive, Ivy wants to know who made the squad. Lauren flips out and says that she didn't make it because of her and Alex. Alex naturally denies that anything happened between them and says he just helped her with her homework. Hm, didn't know they teach whoring around in high school now.

A few days later, they hear that Lauren is now the alternate for the squad. Even though they never had one before, she went to the coach and convinced her it was a good idea. She comes to all the practices just in case anything happens to another girl. This naturally leads to the confetti cannon backfiring on some chick named Heather and nearly knocking her out. Another girl has a misfire (haha) with a fire baton and can't cheer anymore, which puts Lauren on the squad.

Our three friendly gals Corky, Debra, and Kimmy follow the other two girls to the lake and see Ivy skating around in a pattern with Lauren watching her intently. They decide that this means Ivy is the evil, and Debra says they need to drown her. They plan a big party to do the deed. Alex comes over, gets Corky alone, and tells her they need to talk. Uh-oh. But then Jay shows up and nothing happens. Alex is still an ass though. He doesn't really care about her party and makes up and excuse as to why he can't pick her up.

The girls throw a big party at the lake and everyone goes ice skating. I'm pretty sure I would skip this party because I'm pretty sure I would fall on my ass 786 times. Corky sees Jay, who wants to skate with her and does some more flirting. When she asks him what's up with Alex, he makes up some excuse and takes off. She then sees some guy dressed as Santa coming towards her with a sharp icicle in his hand. It's just Alex though. He thought she would appreciate him coming as Santa to a Christmas party.

Corky somehow still likes him, which I just don't understand, but she needs to meet up with the other girls. Debra brings some random witchcraft book, they go out to the lake, and make sure no one is around. When they start chanting, something happens in the lake. They first think they did something right, but they they realize that they just called forth the evil.

Part Two: Game Time

The basketball team and cheerleading squad end up at two different hotels for some big tournament thing. Kimmy and Corky end up sharing a room with Ivy, and the other girls are on the other side of the hotel. They run into this girl Lena from the other team who is amazing. Ivy gets really weird around her and clearly doesn't like her.

During the first game, they set off the confetti cannons and hear people scream. Someone filled the cannons with black tar, but somehow no one ended up hurt. A bunch of other stuff happens too. Ivy gets pissy about Lena again, Jay picks a fight with the coach, and then someone kills the coach. The girls find him with one of those professional water bottles shoved down his throat. At the makeup game, Lena does a bunch of backflips and can't stop. A bunch of players end up holding her down to get her to stop. Oh and Alex comes over to apologize and admit that he hasn't been around because he's been seeing a tutor. Corky catches Jay spying on them and then Jay stops talking to her.

This all leads up to Corky seeing Ivy sneak out of the room. She wakes up Kimmy to follow her and sees her and the other cheerleaders meeting up with the basketball team. They follow them into the woods and Debra catches up with them. All the others form a circle, start chanting, and do some weird slow dance. The girls realize that when they released the evil, it must have went in everyone else. To make things worse, the others practically cripple a dog before Corky realizes that they can see them.

Part Three: Good-Bye Time

All three girls take off in opposite directions with the group behind them. Corky gets back to the hotel, but the office door is locked. She finds a phone booth that doesn't work, and then Alex comes out of nowhere and grabs her. He tells her that she needs to come back to the lake with him and that they'll have oh so much fun, which is oh so creepy. She escapes from him in the woods and makes it to the lake, but when she slips and falls, she sees Kimmy's dead body trapped under the ice.

They basically chase her deeper into the woods and keep trying to get her to come out. It's really random too. They tell her that the coach wants to see her, that it's time to go to the arena, and other normal stuff. When they finally leave her alone, she sneaks out of the woods and goes back to the hotel, where she sees everyone laughing and joking around as they get ready for the game.

When the bus driver goes back into the hotel, she somehow manages to sneak into the driver's seat and start the bus. She keeps seeing Kimmy's dead body in the water and talking to her and telling her what to do. Corky manages to drive the bus with her head below the steering wheel (seriously) and drives it all the way to the cliff in the woods (seriously again). She basically drives the bus over the cliff and jumps off as it crashes into the lake.

Since she killed them all, she decides that she has to go to the arena and tell everyone what happened. Some random dude picks her up after an hour of walking and drops her off. Corky tries to tell the cheerleading coach that everyone is dead when the team and cheerleaders suddenly show up. Everyone is covered in swamp moss, has bloated bodies, and black sludge pouring out of their mouths. They then turn and start coming after her.

When she turns to run, she sees Debra in the crowd. She briefly tries to run to her and then convinces herself that they got her too. Corky starts to run, falls, and smacks her head. She wakes up in the hospital with a nurse watching over her. The nurse tells her that her parents are on their way and that all her friends are there to see her, which makes her freak out about how they want to kill her.

Corky sees Debra in the hallway but runs from her. She then sees Alex in a hospital room and stops to see his dead body. Turns out that he's totes not dead. He grabs her hand and kisses her. Alex tells her that two guys were ice fishing and somehow managed to pull everyone out of the water. Since the water was steaming for some odd reason, they didn't even get frostbite. Oh, but Kimmy is still dead. Debra comes in, and they tell her that she had a hallucination at the game but no one was actually there. They then realize it's Christmas Eve and they make a joke about it being a white Christmas.

Want to know what pisses me off about this book? Poor Kimmy. Alex literally says, "Oh Corky. Kimmy's dead. I don't know what happened." Exactly two pages later, she's joking about it being Christmas. Why couldn't they just have made that part of her hallucination?

Monday, December 29, 2014

Sweet Valley Twins #79: Jessica's Blind Date

Jessica isn't too crazy about Aaron Dallas as of late. Not only does he wear neon shorts, which went out of style months ago, but he dares to act like a junior high school student sometimes. Gasp! When they meet up at Casey's, he orders bubblegum ice cream with sprinkles, slurps his ice cream, and wears a shirt with Donald Duck on it. The slurping puts her over the edge and she dumps him.

The other Unicorns can't believe she would do something so stupid, especially with Rick Hunter's big party coming up. At the same time Elizabeth decides to run a classifieds section in the paper after having problems finding a tutor for Amy. Jessica begs and pleads for her to let her add a personal ad to the section.

Her ad (Gorgeous Blond) is so popular that they run out of copies. Lila agrees to run her own ad when her boyfriend Jake forgets about their one month anniversary, and other Unicorns decide to run ads too. Before long, everyone wants their own ad in the paper. Liz naturally gets all pissy about how her twin always comes up with great ideas and because so many people want to place an ad. That all changes when she decides to charge a fee for placing an ad and raises almost $200 for the paper.

Most of the ads she gets go right in the trash, but one guy sounds perfect. He says his cousin is Johnny Buck, he travels on the road as a musician all the time, and he's about to turn 16 and buy a Porsche. She agrees to meet him at the Dairi Burger, spends hours getting ready, and heads over. Turns out that it was just Steven pulling a prank on her.

She finally does get a letter from someone who sounds perfect. He calls himself Athletic Guy, and she loves his first letter so much that she writes him back that same day. She doesn't hear back from him until he puts an ad in the paper to let her know that she never included her box number for his response. They send dozens of letters back and forth before he asks her to Rick's party.

Elizabeth asks her twin for help picking out a party outfit because she doesn't want Todd to get sick of her. Jess picks out a short flared teal miniskirt and a black off the shoulder top that makes young Todd's eyes pop out of his head. Jess then spends all night getting read for the party too. When the doorbell rings, she finds Aaron on the other side. He admits that he figured out it was her a week ago but didn't say anything because he wasn't sure how she would react. They both agree that they're glad it was the other person.

The party ends up being pretty lame. Most couples broke up before hand to go with people they met through their ads, but Jess and Aaron were the only happy pairing. They end up skipping the party and heading to the pizza place where they order pineapple pizza. Turns out they both always loved it but didn't know the other did until they exchanged letters. Awww.

*Amy initially doesn't want them to run personal ads because The Sixers is a "serious paper." (A) Big time newspapers did have personal ads and (B) your rinky dink middle school paper is not serious journalism.

*A new computer store just opened in Sweet Valley called Comp America. That made me giggle. How long has it been since Comp USA went out of business?

*Elizabeth tells Todd that she's worried he'll place an ad, and he tells her he has no reason too because he already has the perfect girl. I thought that was super sweet until I remembered the Sweet Valley Confidential books.

*Liz and Amy are really rude about the whole personal ad thing and how it will ruin the reputation of the entire paper. Once again, you're in sixth grade.

*Someone on the staff suggests using the money they make to buy a mini fridge to keep in the office. Elizabeth immediately shoots it down because it needs to be something for everyone. They point out that it would help when they need to stay late after school, and she says it would just lead to students coming in and taking food. Why does she have to spoil everything?

*They end up buying software so they can make the newspaper more interesting. Yay?

Friday, December 26, 2014

Fear Street: Switched (R.L. Stine)

Part One: The Switch

Nicole has the worst life ever. Her parents care about her so much that they ask her to call when she's going to be late and make her stick to a curfew. One of her teachers told her that she won't graduate if she doesn't turn in a paper that she didn't even bother doing. Even though it was due that week, he lets her have an entire weekend to work on it. What a drag. Oh and her boyfriend doesn't know what she's thinking so he breaks up with her. Poor girl.

At the end of the school day, she runs into her best friend Lucy. Lucy has a super cute boyfriend named Kent but her parents fight all the time and don't have time for her. Lucy comes up with a great idea: they'll switch bodies. She takes her deep into Fear Street Woods and shows her the Changing Wall that her grandfather told her about. They climb on top, hold hands, and jump over the side. When they open their eyes, they really are in different bodies.

Nicole heads to Lucy's house, only to find the bodies of her friend's parents laying dead on the ground. She rushes to her own house, but Lucy and her parents are gone. She then heads to Kent's house. Kent tries to calm her down and refers to her as Nicole instead of Lucy. When he goes to get her water, she hears him on the phone with the cops and agreeing to keep her busy until they get there. Worried, she runs back to Lucy's house and discovers that all of her clothing is missing and that there's a bloody knife on her desk.

Part Two: The Murder

While holding the big ass knife, she finds a note that Lucy left admitting that she killed her parents. That causes her to run out of the house, but then she sees two cops outside. They get in the house and come after her, but she rushes outside and manages to get through a fake spot in the fence that Lucy's dad put in for them when they were kids.

Nicole goes back to Kent's house thinking that Lucy might be there. Instead of finding her friend, she finds Kent decapitated with his body on the floor and his head on the couch. Since she still has access to her car, she runs back to school, grabs the car, and takes off. While driving around town, she sees Lucy in a car with their friends Margie and Hannah. By the time she parks her car and runs over, Lucy is gone. The other girls say she wasn't there, but she thinks she was. She runs all over the place and thinks she sees her in a store and then by her car. Margie grabs her, but she pushes her down, gets in the car, and races off.

Thinking that she just needs to switch back, she takes a picture of Lucy to the wall and jumps over the side. Of course nothing happens, so she goes back to her own house. After changing clothes and grabbing the only cash she has on hand, she goes to Shadyside High and hangs out in the locker room. Nicole convinces herself that Margie and Hannah know the truth about Lucy.

Margie hurts herself in gym class, and since she's alone in the locker room, Nicole pops out of a storage closet. She starts blathering about the Changing Wall and Lucy, while Margie pretty much just stares at her in shock. Margie finally admits that she does know where Lucy is and agrees to go to the wall if Nicole will come back afterward and wait for her parents. They hear someone coming in, so she jumps back in the closet. She comes out to find Margie's dead body on the floor. Assuming it was Lucy again, Nicole decides to go see Lucy's Grandma Carla who is the one person they both love and trust.

Part Three: The Reunion

Grandma Carla looks happy to see her, up until the point where she demands to know where Lucy is hiding. The older lady promises to get her food, but she then hears her on the phone with the police. Nicole takes off running outside and eventually finds Lucy. The only problem is that she says Lucy made her switch bodies with her earlier that day and that she's really Nancy.

After the other girl cries, Nicole believes her, but then she laughs and says she's actually Lucy. They fight, Lucy takes off, and Nicole runs after her. She sees Lucy fall over the side of the well, but then someone grabs her from behind. It's Kent! He tells her that he's fine and obviously not dead, and when she tells him about Lucy, he tells her to let Lucy drown in the well. She rushes over to the well and grabs her hand, but then she feels her hand slipping out and hears a loud splash at the bottom.

Lucy pops back up, grabs Kent, and tries to rip his head off. Nicole screams and closes her eyes. When she opens her eyes again, she sees her parents, Kent, Grandma Carla, and the two people she thought were cops who were actually hospital workers. We find out that Lucy died in a car accident and now Nicole has crazy hallucinations where she sees people dying in front of her. They thought it was over but she had another break down. The workers are there to take her back to the hospital.

The last chapter deals with Nicole being at the hospital and how well her recovery is going. She thinks it's pretty cool that she's getting better and that the doctors helped her so much, but she also thinks it's pretty cool that Lucy comes to see her every day...

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Fear Street Cheerleaders: The Second Evil (R.L. Stine)

Part One: Where is the Evil?

Kimmy, Ronnie, and Debra are out driving around and talking about what happened in the first book. They mention how Corky dropped off the squad after her sister's death and how no one is really sure what happened that night. They then see Corky herself walking to the cemetery where her sister is buried. Corky sees a dark shadowy man and starts freaking out. The other girls find her and take her home.

Once she calms down a little, she offers them some hot chocolate. She thinks she sees the same man outside, but by the time she tells the others, there's no one there. They try to convince her to rejoin the squad and hang out for awhile before leaving, but Debra decides to stick around. She's the only one who believes something supernatural happened that night, and she wants to talk to Corky about it. When she gets up to check on the kettle for hot chocolate, she reaches for the kettle and something makes her pour the boiling hot water all over her hand.

Chip comes over to see her and see how she's recovering from her burns. He's a little uncomfortable about seeing Kimmy there, especially since he dumped her for Corky's sister. Left alone, the two talk about what happened, but he doesn't believe it's anything supernatural. Corky then asks him to come to the cemetery with her that night. He refuses at first, but they they make out a little and he agrees. What is this guy doing, working his way through the squad?

Corky previously saw her sister's dead body rise up out of the grave and come at her, so she's a little nervous when she sees a woman in the cemetery. She grows even more nervous when the woman seemingly rises out of the ground, but she calms down when Chip sees her too. Her name is Sarah Ann and she is a college student who seems to know way too much about the Fear family and Sarah Fear in particular. She takes them to a little coffee shop, and Corky picks her brain. When they go to leave, Corky can't help noticing that the other woman has an almost evil look in her eyes.

Cut to Shadyside High. Corky decided to return to the squad, but she claims she's in really bad shape and needs to practice some. While in the middle of practice, she suddenly hears a woman screaming in pain and fear. Corky freaks out and messes everyone else up. When she tells them what she heard, they all reveal that there was no one screaming.

Every time that they start up again, she hears the screams and freaks out again. After like 600 times, she finally gets up and runs screaming from the gymnasium. She runs right into the arms of the mysterious man she keeps seeing in the cemetery and outside his home. He reveals that his name is Jon Daly and that it was his sister who died in the last book. Though he doesn't believe in the supernatural, he does believe that Corky is responsible for his sister's death and he plans to haunt her until she admits it. Before he can do much, Chip comes along and saves her.

When she gets home that night, she thinks about how she lost a sister too and it's not fair that John would come after her. While staring out the window, she sees Sarah Beth in the cemetery wandering around by herself. As she keeps watching, she realizes there's someone else in the cemetery with Sarah Beth and that it;s Jon.

Part Two: Here is the Evil!

It's a few days later and Corky is back in school and taking a make up test at the end of the day. Her science teacher leaves her alone, but it doesn't take long before weird stuff happens. The lights flicker a few times and finally go out, and when she runs for the door, she can't open them. The hand of the skeleton in the room then breaks off and flies across the room. It starts choking her, and she has to fight it off and then break through the classroom door.

Since she needs to get help and knows Chip is still there, she runs for the shop room to find him. She sees blood on the floor and creeps around the room. She eventually finds Chip's dead body. The more she looks, the more she notices, like the fact that the saw took off his hand and it's now sitting on the table.

The ladies all decide to do some weird thing where they call forth the evil from before. All that actually happens is that they find a dog. Even though Kimmy wants to go home and take long bath, Corky convinces them all to stick around. They finally decide that they need to talk to Jon, find out what he knows, and ask him why he was with Sarah Beth. When they get to his house, his parents get all excited when they mention his name and then super disappointed. Turns out that Jon's been missing for at least two days.

Corky and Debra, who are the only two who believe in the supernatural, decide to go see Sarah Beth. Debra notices that she has an old lady voice, and Corky realizes that everything in her apartment looks like something an old lady would own. She accidentally knocks over a pile of mail and finds that it's all addressed to Sarah Fear.

When Sarah Beth comes back, she admits that she's actually a Fear. She also tells them that she was with Jon that night because he called her. They had known each other for years when he called her out of the blue. She also tells them the story of what happened to Sarah Fear, including how she was a on a boat in the lake when a squall popped up. They found her and everyone on the boat covered in marks that made it look like they were boiled alive.

Debra and Corky leave to talk about their concerns that Sarah Beth is actually Sarah. They don't get very far in their discussion before Kimmy pops up with news that police found Jon's dead body in Fear Lake. That doesn't keep them from cheering at the next game. While at the top of the pyramid, Corky jumps off. Kimmy is supposed to catch her but doesn't, which causes her to hit the ground, bruising her ribs and breaking her arm. Kimmy swears that something stopped her from moving.

When she gets home, all she wants to do is take a shower. By the time she gets to the bathroom, she can barely stand. That's when she sees a shadowy figure in the room who steps out of the shower and reveals herself as Kimmy. It turns out that the evil spirit jumped into Kimmy when it left Jennifer. The evil spirit also wants to kill Corky in the same way it did her sister.

Kimmy drags her into the shower and they fight. Corky fights back and manages to pin her to the ground. She holds her head under the water until a nasty green goop comes out of her face. Corky pulls the plug on the shower and the goop goes down the drain.

Kimmy wakes up and reveals that she can't remember anything after that night in the cemetery with Jennifer Daly. Corky promises to fill her in on everything and lets her know that the evil is now officially gone. Her mom comes in to ask why everyone is so wet, and they kind of ignore her. Cut to a few hours later and Corky finds an envelope with her name on the front. When she opens it, she finds a message warning her that "it can't be drowned."

Monday, December 22, 2014

The Unicorn Club #2: Maria's Movie Comeback

In case you didn't know, Maria Slater is one of the best actresses in the world. After a long career, she reached that awkward age when actresses can't find work, and she and her family moved to Sweet Valley. She also became a member of the Unicorn Club after they chilled out and the evil Janet went to high school. In the first book, they had a prank war and did some damage to the school. Now, they need to come up with money to replace the principal's toupee and paint the school lockers.

Mandy comes up with a good idea. Some new thrift store just opened, and the owner needs someone to watch it for a few hours every day, conveniently right after school. She and Maria go over after school the next day, and it turns out that Maria once worked with the owner. She was a big star but lost out on roles when she got older. She didn't have the money to live in Beverly Hills, but she had money to buy a house and open a store in Sweet Valley. Her granddaughter Evie was a big fan of Maria's and shows up at the store. The woman agrees to let them work in the store.

When going over to the center, where the principal made them volunteer to work with kids, they find out that the roof collapsed. They have to close down completely until they can raise the money to fix it. While working in the thrift store a few days later, Tom Sanders walks in. He's in town to direct a new movie and is conveniently a huge fan of hers. He offers her a role for double, she counters with triple scale, and he agrees before giving Mandy a job in his costume department.

Maria is telling everyone about how much money she'll make at school the next day when Evie shows up. She gushes about what a great actress she is and how she's just so amazing. The other Unicorns get a little surprised because Maria apparently never talks about her acting career. Mandy also turns out to be some big fan of the grandmother and gushes about her.

The Unicorns decide to start a thrift store trend in school, which will make people go to the store and buy more stuff. They all make up outfits and wear them the next day. They also agree to give Randy Mason a makeover. He supposedly looks like a cross between Elvis, Buddy Holly, and James Dean, but it seems lame to me. They put him in black glasses, a skinny black tie, a short sleeved white shirt, black pants and socks, and red tennis shoes.

Tom Sanders comes to school, sees everyone, and decides to film her scene at the school. He also lets her know that she's working with Brad Marshall. He's the hottest and latest big shot teen star. After her sister teases her about the crush she had on him when they worked together in the past and everyone laughs at her about how they have to kiss each other.

Maria decides that she absolutely cannot do it. Evie was super excited about seeing the cash coming in to the business because it meant they could get back on their feet again. She unfortunately wanders in and overhears Maria faking being sick as she practices for talking with the director. Evie explodes on her about how she'll disappoint everyone and lose the money that she promised. She feels bad but still plans to go through with it. She's also ticked because she found out that she lost the lead role in the school play to some other girl.

After spending a day at home "sick," her mom tells her that she needs to tell the director she can't be in the movie. Before she can, Evie shows up with the whole club behind her. They find her in bed with part of a mud mask on her face and a stack of magazines in front of her. When they call her out on her BS, she claims that she's really sick. Then they announce that they brought Brad with them, Maria screams and runs away, and they all laugh because it was a joke. Clara, Evie's grandmother, shows up and offers to help her get ready for the movie.

Naturally Maria does a great job, and the director only has to shoot it once. Jessica manages to maker her way into the scene too. He passes out film jackets for everyone, and Mandy makes a passing comment about how they need club jackets. At their next meeting, they announce that they took care of the lockers but still need to make money for the toupee. Mandy also shows them the purple satin jackets that the director sent for the club with their names and Unicorns on them.

Jessica notices an extra jacket in the box, which gives Mandy an idea. She thinks they need to add an extra member and she nominates Evie. They all agree and go to talk to her. She accepts even before they can ask her. Maria then goes to see her drama teacher and talk about the school play. He tells her that she can't get the lead role in everything and that others need a shot too. She kind of gets his point and realizes that she needs to calm down some.

*One of Mandy's super cool thrift store outfits is a ribbed tee with a string (?) vest over it, baggy pants, and a hat that Maria describes as looking like something a Smurf would wear.

*While thinking of fundraising ideas, Jessica suggests a bake sale, and Maria says Liz is the only one who knows how to bake. Then what the hell did they do in all those home ec classes?

*There's a throwback to a SVT Super Special book! Maria talks about a director filming a horror movie and the annoying pre-teen star of that movie.

*Mandy makes some thrift store outfits for her and Maria. One is cut off sweatpants, stockings, a beaded sweater, and lace up boots. Another is a metal belt made into a headband, seamed stockings, clogs, and a flapper dress.

*Maria says triple scale for a day's work will make more than enough to put a new roof on the center. Um, I beg to differ? I looked it up, and scale today is around $800 a day, which would be $2,400 and not enough for a new roof. Plus this was supposedly a small cheap film, so she'd probably earn less.

*Maria filmed a commercial for macaroni and cheese that set a new advertising record for the number of boxes sold after the commercial aired.

*Maria gets a big head and thinks she can rule the world. She then fails at using her acting techniques and experience to get people to buy a chair from the store and then at making her teacher change her grade on an essay.

*Her whole scene? She plays a nerd standing at her locker when Brad comes down the hall. They seriously each have 3-4 lines, he kisses her and then walks away. That was it!

*I'm not too crazy about Evie. She's really serious, all she cares about is her music, and she doesn't really have a connection with anyone else in the club except Maria.

*Given the way that Maria looks on the cover, I can see why she stopped getting roles. Whoever did this cover made her look a little man-ish. I'm not sure if that's Elizabeth or Jessica, but it does look a lot like the girls on the SVT books.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Fear Street: The Stepsister 2 (R.L. Stine)

It's been like a whole year since Nancy tried to kill her sister and got sent to an institution, so of course she's ready to come home again. Emily starts out the book thinking about what happened over the last year and watching her stepsister Jessie move her things into her room so Nancy can have a room of her own. While holding a swan that someone gave Jessie after her mother died, Emily hears a scream that causes her to jump and break the swan.

The scream came from Rich, her younger stepbrother. He got really dark over the last year and now spends all of his time working on a horror movie with his friends. Rich is pissed off because someone told their dad that he sneaked out and went to a party, which ended with him getting grounded for six weeks. Both deny him getting in trouble, but he doesn't believe them.

Jessie's friend Cora-Anne comes over, forgetting that Nancy is coming home. She helps diffuse Rich by talking to him about horror movies. They hear their parents coming in, and Nancy shows up with a knife in her hand. It turns out that it was a prop leftover from Rich's film. She seems okay but also really nervous and shy. After just a few minutes, she makes up an excuse and goes to her room.

Emily does find a bottle of expensive perfume in her room tipped over. She immediately blames Nancy and plans to talk to her before Cora-Ann interrupts. She points out that it was probably just the breeze from the window Emily left open and that she needs to calm down. Rich makes a rude comment about the smell and makes it clear that maybe he was the one who knocked it over.

They all go out to breakfast today to spend some time together. Nancy then suggests that she and Emily talk, but when they're alone, she tries to strangle her. Ha, just kidding! She actually just puts her hands on her neck to show that Emily doesn't really trust her. Trying to kill someone really damages the trust they have in you! Emily's little dog Butchie comes running in and jumps all over Nancy. That breaks up the moment and lets them relax enough to talk about what happened. Emily then goes out with her boyfriend Josh, but when she comes home that night, she hears someone sneaking around the house and thinks it might be Nancy going crazy again.

Cora-Ann has been hanging around the house a lot because her parents are fighting. She admits to Emily that her dad moved out and that she didn't want to bother Jessie with her problems. Jessie then gets pissed and tells Emily that Cora-Ann is her friend and her friend alone. She wakes up a few nights later because of a bad nightmare. She had a friend named Jolie at camp who died, and she found her body. The nightmares all came back in recent months, which as Emily points out might be because Cora-Ann looks an awfully lot like her.

Then a bunch of weird things happen. She finds that someone sliced her favorite black dress in half. She blames Nancy, and Cora-Ann thinks it was the cleaner. Rich shows up with a pair of scissors and jokes about it. She tells her parents, but they think it was just a joke. It doesn't help that Nancy puts her foot out and trips her, causing Emily to fall down the stairs. Nancy swears that it was an accident and that her medication causes muscles twitches. She does have a nice moment with Nancy, who is working on fixing up their old tree house. But then someone cuts her brakes.

Emily ends up in a bad accident and remembers seeing her sister carrying a toolbox. She tells her parents, but her stepdad blames himself. He knew the brakes were loose and just never got around to getting them fixed. Emily finally tells them that when Nancy really does kill her, they should probably ground her for a few weeks.

A few nights later, Cora-Anne shows up with her bag in the middle of the night. Her dad came by the house and they had a huge fight. They offer to let her spend the night with them. When Emily gets up the next day, the other girls tell her to use the bathroom first. Emily notices that the toothpaste feels weird and then she can't open her mouth. When she looks over, she sees a tube of super glue in the trash. Um, super glue doesn't work like that?

Cora-Ann helps her rinse her mouth and calls 911, who tell them to get her to the emergency room. She naturally blames Nancy, and Nancy bursts into tears, freaks out, and runs from the room as she cries about people always blaming her for stuff. Gee, I wonder why they would do that. It probably doesn't help when Emily finds her dog murdered on the floor, and Rich makes a rude joke about dead dogs in the house.

To get her mind off all the stuff at home, Emily asks Cora-Ann about her family life. Cora-Ann tells her that her mom wants to move them all back to Parkerstown. Turns out that's the same town Jolie came from, and she lets it slip that she knows what happened. Jessie is suspicious because she never told her "best friend" about one of the most important events in her life. She convinces Emily to go with her to her friend's house. They see Jolie's parents on the porch. They tell her that Cora-Ann was Jolie's cousin, the same cousin who was so upset over her death that she couldn't come to the funeral.

Jessie decides that Cora-Ann is responsible for everything. She wore that black dress, used Emily's perfume, and the dog always came to her first. It's clear that Cora-Ann did everything to hurt Jessie and that it had nothing to do with Emily. Emily immediately apologizes to Nancy, but Nancy won't let her in her room. She says she's too busy working on a mural she's painting in her room. A mural that she won't let a single person see.

Cora-Ann calls to talk to Jessie, who blurts out that they know everything about who she is and what she did. Right as she goes to say something else, a storm that suddenly picked up knocks out the phone line. While searching the house for candles, Cora-Ann shows up at the door with a big ass knife in her hand. Jessie runs for the phone before remembering that it's out, and when she turns around, her friend is gone.

Cora-Ann somehow gets in the house and comes at them with the knife, but Nancy shows up and slams her over the head with a frying pan. I cannot make this crap up. Jessie starts gushing about how she saved her, and Nancy smacks her over the head with the same pan. Nancy then turns on Emily and admits that she never really recovered. She still had the same knife from before and kept it in her bag. Cora-Ann found the knife when she accidentally took the bag and was coming back to tell them. I guess she was in shock, which is why she never said a single word.

Emily goes running through the house and winds up in Nancy's room. She rips the sheet off her mural and sees that it's just the word "hate" repeated over and over again. Nancy attacks her, Emily says she forgives her and tries to keep her calm, and they end up hugging it out. Their parents come home to find two passed out girls on the floor and the other two hugging.

Nancy goes back to the institution at the end. Cora-Ann's parents went to a therapist who told them to get a divorce. They seem a lot happier and her mom wants to stay in Shadyside. She admits that she became friends with Jessie for revenge but later realized she didn't kill her cousin and just became her friend. Their parents call Rich to the table for dinner, and he says he's waiting for this show to end. What is he watching? Family Feud. Ha, ha?

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The Baby-Sitters Club #82: Jessi and the Troublemaker

Remember back when Jessi took part in that club for kids after school? Danielle Roberts, who was in that club, has cancer but is now in remission, which means her parents naturally need a sitter. The other girls agree to let Jessi take the first sitting job. She asks Mrs. Roberts if they need to watch her closely or do anything special. While watching over her little brother Greg, they hear a big noise. Danielle was wearing her mom's rollerblades and accidentally knocked over a bookcase.

Mary Anne is the next one to have problems with her. While spending time with Greg, she lets Danielle invite Haley, Becca, and Charlotte over to play. She realizes that she hasn't seen them in awhile and goes downstairs. She finds them "sledding" down the basement stairs on a mattress from a baby crib.

Kristy then gets a chance to see her in action. Danielle and her friends turn the water on in her parents' shower, closes the door, and uses duct tape to seal it off. Kristy rushes in and finds water everywhere and the girls kind of just standing around in shock. She manages to take care of everything, but they do end up with water everywhere. They finally decide to call her parents and talk to them, but they pretty much blow it off as her just releasing some steam after being sick for so long.

They can't ignore what happens next. The girls all come over to hang out with Danielle. Danielle wants to play a game where they pack a picnic lunch and pretend to take a trip, which Jessi thinks is cute. Later on, she realizes that she can't find them anywhere and runs outside to find Danielle driving her mom's car down the street. She loses control and hits a parked car.

The neighbors come running outside and calm things down. Everyone is okay, but Vanessa smacked her head on the windshield. The neighbors agree to take care of Greg and get in touch with their parents. The police and an ambulance comes, but Jessi finally gets to go home and sleep. Mr. and Mrs. Roberts both apologize for not listening to her and agree to get tough with Danielle.

Stacey gets to sit at their house the next time and notices that Danielle is really down. She tries calling each of her friends but none of them will talk to her anymore. Stacey calls Jessi and Mal, and since all four girls were conveniently in their homes, they bring them over. Stacey makes them realize that they're all being silly about the accident and they all become friends again.

Subplot time! Jessi and Becca overhear their aunt Cecilia with her friend Mr. Majors talking about a wedding. They assume that they're planning a secret wedding and tell all their friends. They even pick out bridesmaids dresses and an outfit for Squirt. When they find out that they were just in the same wedding together, they don't want to tell their friends they were wrong, so they try to make them fall in love with a romantic dinner. Fortunately, Cecilia calls them out on it and lets them know that they're just friends.

*I love how much Danielle changed from the cover of the last book to the cover of this one. She looks so much like Scarlet Johanson here!

*There's a lot of foreshadowing about the next book here. Stacey keeps pawning her sitting jobs off on others and either showing up late to meetings or not showing up at all. When she saves the day in the end, Jessi even points out that she's starting to act like her old self.

*Claudia outfit: jeans with holes and designs cut out so you can see her leopard print tights underneath, Doc Martens with yellow shoelaces, black and yellow shoelaces in the braid in her hair, earrings made from black beads and yellow feathers, a black and yellow striped long sleeve shirt buttoned up to the neck, and a "tie" made from black and yellow shoelaces. That sounds awful!

*When Jessi comes downstairs on the day of the "wedding" and finds her parents lounging around the house, she just thinks they're really committed to the secret. How stupid is she?

*Apparently the only thing Jessi can cook is spaghetti, so that's what they make for Cecilia and her beau.

*It's actually realistic that Jessi partly wants Cecilia to get married so she can have some more freedom at home.

*I love that the girls stopped talking because they're so upset over what happened and not because of their parents. Trust me, if one of my friends pulled this when I was a kid, I'm pretty sure I still wouldn't be allowed to be friends with them!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Goosebumps #58: Deep Trouble II

Billy and Sheena Deep are back with their uncle for the summer, but Billy somehow feels that something bad is going to happen. The first thing that happens is that he imagines his sister is an octopus attacking him. Then he decides to scare his sister and make her think he's a shark. She freaks out, but she freaks out because there's an actual shark behind him. This shark "20 times as big as a normal shark." It kind of floats around and wanders off.

They go to tell their uncle, Dr. D, what they saw, but he doesn't believe them. He does give Billy some plankton to feed his fish and mumbles about some random fish he caught. Billy thinks it looks familiar and goes through a book. D tells him it's too big to be in that book but then realizes that it's a minnow. Even though minnows only grow like one inch long and this one is four foot long, it's a perfect match.

Billy wanders off to feed his fish and screams when he sees a head in the fishbowl. Sheena comes in laughing because it's just a doll head. D gets a kick out of it too, and laughs as Billy's fish go crazy over the plankton. Later on, the kids go swimming. Billy sees a weird pink blog that pretty much attacks her sister. When he tries to save her, he realizes that it's a massively huge jellyfish. He ends up swimming into the jellyfish, grabbing her, and pulling her out. Another jellyfish shows up and the two start fighting.

The kids run to find D and discover that he's missing. They then find a giant snail with D stuck underneath it. They get him out, and Billy realizes that the snail looks just like the one in his fishbowl but much larger. He hears a loud noise coming from his room and finds the goldfish have multiplied in size too. They end up throwing the fish over the side of the boat, despite them being freshwater fish. Suddenly, three random strangers show up on the boat.

The oldest man introduces himself as Dr. Ritter, a marine biologist working in the area. After some chit chat, he asks if they've seen anything strange. D tells Billy to shut up when he starts to explain. The giant snail then rolls out on deck and Ritter tells them that they know too much about his secret. He's apparently been doing weird things with the plankton. When the fish eat it, they grow in size. He plans on using it to end hunger.

Since they know too much, he has to get rid of them. He and his minions take them onto a different boat and tie them up. Ritter then tells one of the guys to throw Billy overboard. Just as he starts too, these massive birds appear in the sky. D points out that this what happens when other animals feed on the plankton and other fish. While the birds distract everyone else, Billy gets loose.

They start to run for the dingy, but one of the guys grabs a gun and fires. D slumps over in shock, but no worries, he didn't really get hit. They jump in the dingy and somehow manage to take off. They ride the boat to an island and try to make the best of it. They find a place to rest and some coconuts, but Billy wonders if they'll ever find a way home.

Sheena swims out in the water and catches a fish. Billy, being the typical big brother, decides it isn't big enough and tries to catch one himself. A giant crab, which probably came from my nightmares, grabs him and tries to pull him under. He gets free, and all three run and hide in a tree. A bunch of giant dolphins pop up and the crab runs away. The dingy rope gets wrapped around one of the dolphins, and it starts to carry it off. They all climb on the boat and let the dolphin drag them.

Billy flips out because it looks like the dolphin took them right back to Ritter. When he looks closer, he realizes that it took them back to their boat. As soon as they get on board, Ritter shows up again. He tells them that if a human eats the plankton, they'll turn into a fish. He makes Billy pick a bottle from the cabinet and drink it, but nothing happens. D attacks him, they roll around on the floor for awhile, and D comes out on top. Rather than go to the police, Ritter downs a bottle, turns into a fish, and swims away.

Billy confesses that he wanted to play a prank on his sister. He filled one of the bottles with ice tea and planned to drink it front of her to freak her out. When Ritter made him drink it, he picked the bottle he planted. Sheena giggles about how she did the same thing, grabs a bottle, and downs it. They suddenly hear her body making a weird noise, and Sheena wonders if maybe she picked the wrong bottle.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Point Thriller: The Window (Carol Ellis)

Sasha and Cal are twins and friends with Kate, who invited Jody, our main character, on a skiing vacation. Kate couldn't go at the last minute but she pressed Jody to go without her, even though she doesn't really know anyone else. Along for the ride is the hunky Drew, his friends Billy and Chris, and Ellen who has a crush on him. This is way too many people to introduce in the first three pages of a book!

Jody makes a comment about the town being smaller than she thought, which causes Chris, who turns out to be a girl, to snap at her. They finally get to the cabin, and Drew does a little flirting with her. Apparently Chris has the hots for him, and this sets her off too. I get the feeling these two won't like each other very much.

After telling everyone that she planned a party, Sasha takes them all out on the slopes. She comes up with this crazy game where she leaves an orange peel in the middle of the slope. They all have to ski down and try to grab it with their poles, but they all end up knocking it around and give up. A woman suddenly comes down the slope and snags it. They all whisper about Leahna but shut up quickly.

Later that day, Kate calls to check on her. When she hangs up, Ellen comes in the room. Even though she thought Ellen wanted Drew, she actually has a crush on Cal, who apparently has a thing for Leahna. Also, Leahna and Drew once dated. Ellen talks about how she once stole an essay she wrote for some state contest and submitted it on her own. She refused to tell on her, but she does make it clear that Leahna will get what's coming to her. Well okay then.

At the party, she finds Billy on his hands and knees cleaning a rug. He spilled something on it and Sasha flipped out because it was an authentic Navajo rug. They talk for awhile before heading to the party in the living room. Sasha wants to play a game called Truth. Someone stands in the center of the room, everyone writes down something about that person, and the person has to admit if it's true or not. Billy goes first and after answering a few truths, he reads a card that says he hates Sasha. He freaks out, says it's not true, and runs from the room after asking Jody when she would do that to him.

Jody goes to find him to tell him it wasn't her. They're really making this too big of a deal. He says that he kind of does hate Sasha because she constantly lies to him and makes him feel bad. She even lied to him about the rug and made him clean it just to laugh at him. They make up and go back to the party to find Ellen in the center of the room. One of her cards says she loves Drew and one says Cal. Cal tries to change the subject and pulls out the next card, which says that she hates Leahna.

Later that night, Jody hears someone wandering around her room and flips out, but it's just Chris. When Jody went to sleep, everyone at the party took off for the slopes, and Chris wants to go too. After she leaves, she wanders over to the window and sees Leahna at her cabin across from them. Someone goes up to her, they fight a little, the person grabs her, and then leaves. Jody ducks down before Leahna sees her and thinks that she needs to be careful about the way she treats people.

After a trip the cafeteria the next day for lunch, Chris ditches her and Drew disappears. She goes skiing by herself, loses her balance, and falls down. Leahna finds her and goes for help, and Sash then shows up. Turns out that she sprained her ankle and might have a concussion but they let her go home after Sasha promises to take care of her.

Despite making that promise five minutes ago, Sasha immediately gets ready to go to some party that everyone else plans to do to. Drew brings her some magazines, Billy brings her some food, and they all take off. They do agree to call her every hour to check on her, which I guess is just as good as someone actually staying there with her. She hears from Ellen, Sasha, Chris, and pretty much everyone else.

The pain pills the doctor gave her knocks her out for a bit, and when she wakes up, she sees someone moving in Leahna's house. She sees the two fighting over a piece of paper, gets distracted by a noise outside, and looks back to see the figures gone. She tries to call Kate, who is supposedly sick with the flu, but she doesn't answer, and Cal pops up long enough to scare the crap out of her.

When she wakes up the next day, she notices a weird red stain on Leahna's house that almost looks like blood. She tries to find out if she was at the party the night before but no one can really remember or really answer her. Hm, I wonder if this will end like Freeze Tag did. Kate calls, gets super defensive about why she didn't answer the phone, and claims she knows nothing about Leahna. Jody gets so down that she contemplates taking the bus back home. The others talk her out of it because, hey, there's another party and if she's lucky, she can hobble over there on her crutches.

Then comes the part that really annoys me. Drew rings her some flowers and asks for her phone number so he can call her when they get home. The whole group then goes to the lodge. Drew calls to see if he can bring her back something to eat and acts super concerned about her. Then Kate calls, and Jody hears someone listening on the phone and hears the same person downstairs.

She gets so scared that she ends up sleeping on the couch. Drew comes back four hours later and seems surprised that she doesn't want the food he brought her. Gee, thanks for bringing me ice cold ribs? He was also the last one to leave, which means that if someone got in, they got in because he left the door unlocked. He kind of tries to apologize the next day, but he also leaves her completely alone on crutches again. These are some awesome people! Leave a poor girl who is absolutely terrified alone in a house. Oh, and did I mention that a storm came through and knocked out the phone lines?

Jody really wants to go home, but the storm knocked out the roads. Only emergency vehicles are allowed out. While trying to calm herself down, she turns on the radio and hears a report that law enforcement found the body of a dead teenage girl the night before. When she looks out at Leahna's house, she suddenly realizes that if she saw the killer that night, the killer saw her.

The phone starts working again, but just as she gets hold of an operator, the line goes out again. Then Chris shows up just to scare her before leaving again, and she finds out that someone drugged her tea. Sasha pops up and after like four pages of her being super annoying, it turns out that she was the killer. It was something about how she didn't like how Leahna treated her brother, ugh.

Cal shows up and tries to stop her, but she has a knife and attacks him. She tries to attack Jody, who tries to hit the knife out of her hand with a pair of binoculars. Jody actually ends up whacking her in the head, but she keeps coming. Suddenly the whole group pops back up. Billy pins her to the ground and holds her down while everyone else just kind of stands around in shock.

Drew gets her a blanket, and they all wait for the cops. The next day, Chris gets a ride from someone else, kind of apologizes for being a bitch, and takes off. Drew arranges for a friend of his to take him and Jody back home. He tells her that he would understand if she didn't want to see him again because he's a reminder of what happened. Even though he was kind of an ass to her, she has stars in her eyes. She tells them that he's a good reminder, they kiss, and I vomit.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Ghosts of Fear Street #5: Stay Away From the Tree House

Dylan and his brother Steve live on Fear Street but somehow have never had any weird experiences, which annoys Dylan because he really wants to see a ghost. After talking about it with his brother, they hear a strange crashing sound outside, which turns out to be their dad cutting down trees to make room for a new swimming pool. With the trees gone, Dylan can see the outline of a tree house in the woods.

He convinces his brother to go with him into the woods to find the tree house. They notice that the boards are black and that it looks like it went through a massive disaster. As they walk home, Dylan also notices that the temperature suddenly gets warmer the closer they get to their house, which is proof that the tree house is haunted. It doesn't help when they see a weird light near the tree house later that night.

They head out to investigate and come across sisters Betsy and Kate in the woods. They are supposedly visiting from Connecticut, but I totally don't trust them. Betsy makes a cryptic comment that makes Dylan think it's haunted, but then the two run off before they can ask any more questions. While this might make me run, it makes Dylan want to renovate it. He bribes his brother to help him take down some of the old boards and restore the tree house.

Dylan has a few weird experiences there. While climbing up the ladder, he thinks he runs into the ghost and that it tries to choke him, but it's actually just a spiderweb. Then he and Steve are working on the house when he goes up the ladder and almost gets hit in the face with the hammer. Though he thinks that it's his brother, Steve went back to the house earlier.

Later that same day, they run into the sisters again, and Betsy finally decides to tell them the story. A bunch of kids built the tree house years ago and spent the night there after finishing it. Lightning struck the tree and set fire to the house. They were stuck inside and died. Every since then, anyone who tried to fix the house suffered bad luck. Duncan was one boy who spent the most time out there. He got hit in the head with a hammer, and his family left town without telling anyone if he lived or died. That seems a little odd.

None of this dissuades Dylan though. He heads back to the tree house to do some more work. He ends up nearly falling and cracking his head open when a rung on the ladder breaks. When he finally gets to the tree house, he sees that someone carved Stay Away in the tree.

Yet that still doesn't stop him. He and Steve plan an overnight stay in the tree house to look for ghosts. Steve immediately falls asleep, but Dylan sees the floorboards moving. Just as he's about to scream, a head pops up and it's his parents looking for him. They take him home and he hears them talking about how they're worried about him and his obsession with ghosts. He and Steven then sneak out of the house again.

When his brother falls asleep, he sees a pair of glowing eyes in the woods and flips out. No worries though, it's just a stray cat. He then hears some strange noises and wakes up his brother. They both see a pair of eyes and freak out, but before they can do anything, they see another pair of eyes. Turns out that it's the sisters and they're the ones pulling all the "ghost" stuff on them. Steve makes him go home and acts like he always knew it wasn't real. Dylan decides that he needs to get back at the sisters right away.

After a few days of normal stuff, Dylan sees a light in the tree house. Thinking it's the girls, he convinces Steve to dress all in black, sneak outside, and scare the crap out of them. When they get out there, they find a real ghost standing in the tree house! Turns out that his name is Corey and he was one of the kids who died in the fire. He kept getting stronger with the more work they did, and he wants them to keep working. Dylan offers him a deal: he'll keep working if Corey helps them scare the girls.

The girls come over a few days later. Corey pops up and tries to scare them, but then they turn see through and fly up to meet him in the air. Yeah, so they were apparently his sisters and the other ones in the tree house. They somehow got separated after the fire and haunted different areas of the woods. The trio chase them out of the house and into the woods. They don't attack though, they just thank him for helping them come back together and disappear.

After all this, Steve really just wants to go home. He went into shock after seeing the girls and it took him some time to talk again. They start wandering through the woods, get turned around, and have no idea how to get home again. When they turn around again, they find a clearing with an old-fashioned swingset in it and a little ghost boy sitting on it. He asks them for help and Dylan sighs, thinking "Here we go again." Well dude, you're the one who wanted to see a ghost!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Sweet Valley Twins #89: Jessica's Cookie Disaster

Jessica found out that if she can increase her grades just a little more, she can make it honor roll. While Elizabeth believes in her, she thinks it's pretty funny. That is until her twin actually does make the honor roll. The Wakfields suddenly want to take her out to dinner and make a big deal out of it, which makes Liz feel bad.

The two girls also argue over the television. Jessica wants to watch Lifestyles of the French and Famous, while Elizabeth wants to watch an interview with Amanda Howard. While they fight over the remote, Steven sneaks in, steals the remote, and turns it to a game. When they get to school the next day, they're still so mad at each other that they can't talk or work together, which leaves Jessica to whip up a batch of cookies on her own.

The teacher gives them a recipe but leaves out spices and decorations so they can make their own recipes. Jessica and Elizabeth start fighting again, and she accidentally knocks some random ingredients in the bowl. Since it looks so bad, she adds red and blue food coloring to make purple cookies. The cookies actually end up tasting the best, and the teacher gives her bonus points. It turns out that the teacher has a friend who works for Lifestyles of the French and Famous. She gives her some of the cookies, and she loves them so much that she arranges for her to appear on the show.

When the Unicorns learn of the news, they decide to take over. They start calling her recipe Unicookies and talking about how it's such great news for the club. Jessica gets pissed off because they're stealing her thunder, but then Janet points out that she's going to high school the next year, which means they'll need a new president. Lila calls a special meeting at her house where everyone keeps pushing her to call then Unicookies. She finally agrees on the provisions that they all help her make the 400 cookies she needs for the show and that she can put her name on the boxes.

The only problem is that Jessica can't remember the recipe and doesn't know what she accidentally put in the cookies. When she finally tells the Unicorns, they decide to experiment and find the right recipe because if she looks bad, it makes them look bad. They try dozens of ideas and nothing works. After a disastrous experiment in the home ec rooms that ends with everyone covered in batter, they give up and tell her that she's on her own. They even make her promise that if she does go on television that she won't mention them.

Elizabeth spends the entire book moping around because people make a big deal out of Jessica. She even has to interview her for the paper. She decides to try and make the principal's list, which is only open to students with an A+ average, but she forgets to study for a math test and forgets to turn in an English paper. After watching her sister struggle, she comes up with an idea.

Liz sets up the kitchen in the same way the home ec room was. She picks a fight with Jessica, which leads her to do the same accident again. Turns out that the secret ingredients are vanilla, almond extra, and ground almonds. Who knew? They tell their parents what happened and worry that they'll never make enough cookies in time. Ned, Alice, and even Steven pitch in to help. They stay up until 2 am to make all the cookies.

Meanwhile, Lila wants to make Jessica look bad. She orders gourmet cookies from some European company, tastes them all, and figures out which one is the best. She then orders enough to feed the entire crowd, with the plan that when Jessica confesses that she messed up, she can swoop in and steal the show. She picks out a new outfit and orders her driver to take her to the studio. She gets there and finds the door, but someone swings it open and knocks all the cookies down. Lila gets inside just in time to see Jessica on stage and everyone gushing over her cookies.

In the last chapter, Jessica gets a D+ on an assignment in home ec, which drops her grade down and knocks her off the honor roll. She decides that it doesn't really matter because she can focus more on her friends and shopping and less time on homework. Liz learns that her parents gushed over her to Mr. Bowman and made a big deal out of how proud they were of her so she's okay too.

*I totally thought Lila was being a nice girl and a good friend for awhile. She started thinking about how bad Jessica would look in front of the television chef and how she could be devastated, but then she reverted to Lila.

*It must be nice to special order cookies from Switzerland and have them overnight delivered to your house.

*She chooses European cookies because she worries that bakeries in California will get upset and try to steal her thunder once the Unicookies become a hit.

*I really hate typing the word Unicookies.

*The Unicorn Club is even worse in this book than usual. They pretty much just assume that since Jessica had an idea and is a member that they can roll right over her. Can you imagine Janet letting the whole club take credit for one of her ideas?

*Cookie combinations included pineapple and licorice flavors and orange, mint, and cinnamon.

*Elizabeth is kind of a pain in this book. She won't stop complaining about her twin getting credit for being smart, which is funny because Jessica looks forward to people thinking that she's smart.

*Um, this isn't how we did honor roll in my school. Honor roll and principal's lists were announced at the end of each "semester," once right before Christmas and once at the end of the year. In elementary and middle school, it was a once a month thing. Here, Jessica is only on honor roll for one week before losing her spot because of a bad grade. What's the point in having something like this if it changes every week?