Is it weird that I don't really care for the later books that took the focus off the twins?
Anyway, you might remember Michael Harris from that earlier book where he was a controlling dick who was engaged to Maria before she wound up with Winston. He is now a dirt bike racer, a hobby we never heard mentioned before, dating April Dawson, a girl never mentioned before the last book. As much as she loves him, she doesn't like that he's so serious all the time. He goes to bed early every Friday night to prepare for the race the next day and only seems to care about racing. Oh, and he completely hates Artie Weston. The two were once friends, but they had some falling out and no longer speak.
April really, really wants to know what happened, so she goes right to the gossip hounds. Lila thinks they fought over a girl, someone else said Michael almost killed Artie in a race, someone thinks it was some other stupid problem, and someone else suggests it was Artie who almost killed Michael. She even asks Cara for help since she dated Artie way back in the day and hears about what a good guy he was.
Michael finds out that his grandmother is sick and has to go see her. All he cares about is how he can't race and how Artie will probably win. April decides to relax and take in an old Hitchcock flick. She runs into Artie in line, they watch the movie together, and then go out to eat. He finally asks about Michael and reveals that he knows she's his girlfriend. They decide to race together the next day.
Someone tells Michael about it when he gets back. He flips out, but then they make up again. April demands that he either go out with her the next Friday night like a couple or they won't go out again. He agrees and then cancels with a lame excuse about needing to babysit. Michael does offer to let her come over, but she claims, probably rightly so, that she'll spend all night watching him work on his bike.
April naturally runs into Artie again when she goes to the movie. He tells her what they fought about. There was this girl coming to the races that they both liked. They kept trying to outdo each other all the time. Michael hated that Artie's family had more money and that he kept winning. They challenged each other to a race, Michael crashed, and he blamed Artie. Oh, and the girl ended up having a boyfriend and didn't notice either of them. He offers to drive her home, they find Michael waiting, and there's a huge fight. They agree to race yet again, in the same place they did before.
April ends up calling Liz for help a few hours before the race the next day. She and Enid rush over, they all go to the track, and get there just in time to see Artie crash. God, this is so annoying. Basically, Michael realizes that accidents can happen and makes up with Artie by bringing him Dairi Burger food, and then he apologizes to April for being an asshat.
There are two other stories. One is that Jessica goes to one of the races and meets the most amazing and gorgeous man in the world: Sam Woodruff. They start dating, but she won't let him come by her house or meet her parents because her parents would freak out over his bike. She comes home from running errands and find that he's already there. Turns out that he stopped by, Alice talked to him about Liz's accident, and he agreed not to let Jess on his bike, so everyone loves him.
The other story is about Liz and Todd. They have a fight when he makes a minor sexist comment and agree to make a bet about who can do the opposite gender roles the best. The loser has to pay for dinner. Liz has to make a shelf, replace a sink washer, and change a tire. Todd has to make an apron, make dinner including her famous chocolate chip cookies, and do the grocery shopping for a week. In the end, Todd screws up dinner and her shelf comes crashing down so they call it a draw.
*Liz goes to a supply store to get stuff for her bookshelf. Everyone ignores her, so she has to come back with Jess for help. Were there really not home improvement stores in California back then? This is like a construction supply place.
*It really seems like Todd has to do way more work than Liz does. Then again, he can't handle going to the grocery store and says people literally yelled at him to get out of the way.
*Todd serves crunchy rice because he couldn't cook it all the way through. He also couldn't find vanilla for the cookies so he used peppermint extract. I'd like to point out that he made cookies, a salad, and chicken and rice and spent FOUR hours in the kitchen.
*There's some cute moments with Ned and Alice, where she calls him out for being the only one to let the car run out of gas other than Jess and how he flooded the bathroom once.
*Alice completely freaks out when she finds a dirt bike magazine in Jessica's room and brings up Liz's accident. Given her daughter, wouldn't she just think it was Jess checking out new guys?
*Also, why does no one ever bring up Rusty? Remember, the cousin that was in the accident and was the reason why Liz wasn't allowed to ride Todd's motorcycle?
*Given the title and the fact that April and Artie kind of went out, I would have thought this book would have the two fighting over her. Nope, it was just about some random chick mentioned on one page.
*I really like Artie and April together. They were actually pretty cute. Michael is just an ass. It's nice to see that nothing changed in the last 60 books or whatever. He still wants things his way and doesn't like when he doesn't get what he wants. He is actually shocked that April expects them to go out on a date on a weekend night.
*I had to laugh when Liz's bookshelf fell down. All she did was buy two brackets and a piece of wood. I've put up dozens of those shelves in my life. Heck, the ones in my parents' house are still standing 18 years later!