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?

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