Friday, May 30, 2014

Sweet Valley High #31: Taking Sides

There's a hot piece of ass in Sweet Valley, and his name is Jeffrey French. Both Lila and Enid want him, so Jessica and Liz decide to help their respective best friend snag him. For Liz, this means shoving him down Enid's throat at every turn. Jessica tries to step back and let Lila wow him on their own.

Lila invites him to a pool party at her house, but Jessica keeps the party a secret from her twin. Jeffrey spends the whole time making new friends and meeting new people instead of fawning all over Lila. She buys him a brand new camera because he loves photography, but he tells her he can't take it because it was too expensive.

When Liz hears about the party, she decides to amp up her efforts. She gushes on and on about Enid and how Jeffrey should meet her at the big volleyball game. She then promises Enid he'll be there. He asks Liz if she's going, and she claims that she has to do something with her cousin. The next day, they learn that he went to the Beach Disco with Jess, Lila, and a bunch of their friends instead.

Elizabeth sees him again and talks up Enid again. He starts asking her to take him on a tour of Sweet Valley and do stuff with him, but she keeps bringing up Enid. Lila shows up with great tickets to a professional soccer game in Los Angeles, and he leaves Liz behind to go with her. She realizes that she felt a little jealous when he left with another girl.

Enid is running a program to get food for the homeless shelter. They hold a big auction in the auditorium, and students bid on items with canned goods. Liz convinces Jeffrey that he should donate a date with him. He thinks it sounds conceited, but she convinces him that it's a good way to get to know someone new. Enid ends up bidding multiple boxes of canned goods to win him.

The only way she can win is if Lila isn't at the auction. She convinces her and Jess that she needs their help with manual labor, and they both make up excuses why they can't help. Enid then makes it clear that if they show up, she'll find a job for them both to do, so they skip it.

Cut to their "big date." Enid realizes that they have nothing in common and don't really click as a couple. She tries to tell Liz, who decides to ignore her. They have a big picnic fundraiser thing, and she keeps forcing Jeffrey to spend time with Enid. Jessica blows up at her over the auction, they have a fight, and Jessica storms off. Jeffrey then goes off on her for trying to force him to date someone. When he storms off, she bursts into tears.

Jessica shows up to comfort her. When she starts crying over Jeffrey, Jessica realizes that her twin is in love. She tells her to go talk to him, which she almost doesn't do because she sees him dancing with Lila. Liz finally works up the nerve to talk to him, and when she tells him how she feels, he admits that he's in love with her too. Yay?

The other story is all about the twins' cousin Jenny. She's a year younger, 10 pounds overweight, and Jessica pretty much hates her. Jenny always follows her around, dresses like her, and tries to be just like her. This is especially bad because Jessica is obsessed with some new guy named Eddie. She thinks he's really cute, but they don't really know each other and he can't even tell her and Liz apart.

Eddie and Jenny instantly bond over their shared love of old books, which Jessica thinks is boring. Every time she turns around, she sees Jenny with Eddie. Eddie even invites them to go out on Friday. Jessica whines that Jenny keeps butting in, even though he clearly has more in common with her cousin. Eddie finally grows a pair and makes it clear that it's Jenny he likes, but at the end of the book, she says that he's nice and all but it doesn't mean anything because she's leaving.

*Someone mentions being surprised that there are people in need of food and housing in Sweet Valley. Isn't there a story involving a shelter in like every other book?

*The auction takes place before school is over for the day, but apparently, everyone has the chance to leave school instead of going to it. Nice job teaching.

*I love the fact that Liz "falls in love" with Jeffrey by the end of the book. They seriously only talk twice before she starts having feelings for him, and he acts like he's in love after their first meeting.

*Lila wears a white jumpsuit and gold heels to a party on the beach. Did anyone really dress like this in high school?

*The Jenny and Eddie thing is pretty evident from the first time they meet. They instantly start talking about how much they love old books and movies. Jessica keeps yawning and trying to change the subject, but she still somehow thinks they're meant to be together.

*This book does a really good job of setting up the next book, where Jessica dyes her hair and changes her look. There are multiple mentions of how tired she is of looking like her twin even in the beginning of the book.

*Liz and Jeffrey fall in love without knowing anything about each other. She even points out that all she knows is that he likes soccer and photography.

*The winning bid for the year before was a football Ken donated from some big game. Woo hoo! Penny apparently donated a back rub too, which is a little strange.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Sweet Valley Twins #32: Jessica on Stage

Jessica promised to bake a batch of cookies for the Unicorn meeting, but she naturally forgot. Alice agrees to take her to the store and buy some cookies, but they have a minor fender bender on the way to the meeting. Mrs. Harrington is an older woman, who runs into them, claims her neck hurts and needs to go to the hospital.

Alice thinks the older woman looks familiar but can't place her. She and Elizabeth go to visit her in the hospital and learn that she lives alone and doesn't have any family or friends nearby. When they get home, Jessica announces that she knows why the woman looks so familiar. She's actually Dolores Dufay, a former actress and big time star. Now that she knows the woman is a star, she wants to get as close to her as possible.

Jessica convinces Elizabeth to go with her to Mrs. Harrington's house. They find out that she was robbed while in the hospital. Jessica immediately forgets about asking her for an autograph and instead helps her clean up her house. She sees a picture of her at a younger age, asks about her acting career, and she bursts into tears. Mrs. Harrington later admits that she doesn't like to talk about those times because it makes her sad.

Jessica ends up spending a lot of time at her house, helping her clean and talking to her about acting. She learns that Mrs. Harrington is really upset over losing some books her husband gave her and her old scrapbook. When Jessica tells her about an acting workshop, she encourages her to participate and reminds her that while acting is fun, it also involves a lot of hard work.

She ends up joining the program and landing a role in an open showcase. She invites Mrs. Harrington to come and brags to the Unicorns about how a big star will be there. They don't really believe her, and then Mrs. Harrington announces that she doesn't want to come to the real showcase. She'll come for the rehearsal but that's it. She also acted in the very same play and gives her a bunch of tips.

Mrs. Harrington loves watching her act and agrees to come back for the big show. Jessica's partner gets stage fright and decides to drop out. She freaks out because she doesn't know what to do, but Mrs. Harrington agrees to go on in his place. They do a great job and everyone loves it.

The twins also go to a flea market and find a vendor selling her books. They take one to the police station, and the cops follow their lead. They find all of her books, and one of the cops even gives the twins her scrapbook.

Belinda and Amy find a kitten by the baseball field and fall in love. Amy can't take it in because her mom is allergic, and Belinda's mom doesn't want a cat around the new baby. Alice agrees that having a cat might be a good addition to the house. Mrs. Harrington bonds with the kitten because she had a similar one as a child. Elizabeth ends up giving her the kitten as a gift.

*Jessica complains that she's really old and looks really old. She's actually only 65, which isn't really that old. She also points out that Alice's mother is older than that, which makes me question the timeline and ages of characters all over again.

*The twins decide to give her a puppy because she seems lonely. The dog runs all over her house, makes a huge mess, and jumps all over everything before she eventually tells them that she just can't have a dog at her age.

*Bull shit Mrs. Harrington! My parents are older than you and they have three dogs that they take care of without any problems.

*Reading these books today really annoys me. We get Jessica's acting talent shoved down our throats so much that it ticks me off that Francine decided to have her be a PR person instead.

*Mrs. Harrington complains to Alice when she hits her, and Alice gets a little defensive that it wasn't her fault because she had to stop suddenly when a dog ran across the road. Sorry Alice, but the law says that it's your fault.