Thursday, September 17, 2015

The Sweet Life #1

I have a confession to make. I bought and read all six of The Sweet Life e-books and never recapped them. Each book was a little more ridiculous than the last, and I think I was too annoyed to write reviews. The other day, while on a trip to pick up cleaning supplies from Dollar Tree, I found the hardback with all six e-books inside and decided to give it another try.

Jessica is working for one of George Fowler's companies and is now in charge of marketing for some green cosmetics company. I always assumed the only green thing she cared about was making sure her hair didn't turn green from the chlorine in the swimming pool. After making a pitch to Revlon, which is really just her deciding to throw a party with naked models painted to look like they aren't naked (how is that selling makeup?), everyone oohs and ahs before she goes home to find Todd playing with their son. Todd and her snip at each other before he takes off. It turns out that she and Todd separated. Aw, you mean things didn't end perfectly when you screwed your sister's boyfriend behind her back for years?

Meanwhile, Liz and Bruce are still together, only now, she suddenly feels all out of place in his house. He bought her a $2 million painting as a "surprise," which only makes her feel more out of sorts. There's some creepy scene of them having sex, which was so bad that I had to read it out loud to my roommate and get his opinion. Verdict? Just as bad as Fifty Shades of Gray.

Oh and there's a story about Todd. He still somehow works as a sports writer but now has a hot woman working at the paper with him. Liz hears from Bruce that the two were at a basketball game together, and Caroline stops by one morning to give Jessica the latest gossip on Todd's new gal. Jessica looks her up and is all happy that Sarah, the writer, is older than her. She then discovers that Sarah plagiarized some of her work and used quotes from Jessica of all people without crediting her. Jessica tells the paper, Sarah gets fired, and Todd explodes.

He comes over to the house, flips out on her for being jealous, and it's like high school all over again. They basically end the fight with each telling the other to go screw someone else. Jessica then calls Liam, that hot Irish actor guy Liz met in NYC who is still obsessed with her, and plans a date. Todd goes to see Sarah, they kiss a little, she takes off her shirt and starts touching herself, and he freaks out and runs away.

Then there's good old Lila who is still married to Ken and a pampered stay at home wife who wants a role on The Real Housewives of Sweet Valley. She wins over the producers during the audition and later hosts the first filming day at her house. Lila pretty much treats Ken like shit and keeps saying things like, "whatever baby wants, baby gets," with her being baby.

One of the other housewives, Ashley, makes a play for Ken. Lila decides that this is the perfect time for her to take on the bitch role on the show. She acts like a huge C-U-Next-Tuesday and makes Ken look like a moron. The others actually kind of like her character, but Ken comes in later and sees some of the stuff she said about him. She thinks it will all blow over and that he'll get she's just playing, but he packs his bags and takes off.

Liam shows up, tries to win over her son Jake, and then takes her out. He spends all night talking about how she's the most amazing woman ever and how he fell in love with her the first time he saw her. After dinner, he suggests they get a room upstairs, she agrees, they have sex, and then Jess decides she made a huge mistake and demands he take her home. Todd, meanwhile, calls the house because he realized he was still in love with his wife and finds out she went on a date with Liam. Jessica finds dozens of messages from her husband professing his love for her.

The big story is that some intern accuses Bruce of sexual assault. Despite what he did to Liz in high school and probably a few dozen more girls in college, Liz swears that he isn't capable of this. He tells her that one of his work buddies left a note on his desk to meet him at a bar. He went, met a girl who cried over her dad dying, he spilled a drink on her, and then he got dizzy and laid down.

Liz calls on Jessica, who immediately springs into action. She gets actresses like Angelia Jolie and Susan Sarandon to film ads for Bruce because I guess they had nothing better to do. Personally, if some rich guy had his rich and famous friends speaking out for him, I'd probably assume he did it anyway. Liz goes on a hunt to track down the missing intern. Apparently, her priest was the one who leaked the story and only because she asked him too. Yup, that's not weird or strange at all.

After finding a few people who just want to gush over Bruce and how he's so amazing, she finally tracks down the intern. Pretending that she's an assault victim who went through something similar, Liz gets the whole story. The girl says that he basically got her alone at the bar, tried to assault her, and she ran away. Oh, and Liz also tracks down the bartender who tells her that Bruce was all over the girl all night. The book ends with the intern begging Liz to help her.

*This book is even more ridiculous than the first time I read it. Liz can't believe that the guy who tried to get her drunk and take advantage of her would do that to another girl, Lila completely changed from her more mellow college days, and pretty much everyone reverted to their high school selves. Ugh.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Sweet Valley High #32: The New Jessica

Jessica absolutely hates being a twin and is tired of people confusing her with Elizabeth, which is why she makes the insane decision to wear her twin's new dress to school. Everyone from Mr. Collins to Jeffrey and Lila get them confused. After giving it like three seconds of thought, she decides that she must make herself over and make her look nothing like her twin. Since Lila's dad is once again out of town, she spends the weekend there.

They use wash out dye to dye her hair (and apparently her eyebrows from the looks of the cover) black. Lila loans her some new clothes her dad brought back from Europe and shows her how to style her hair and do her makeup like a European model. Jessica even affects a new accent to go along with her new look. Everyone seems to love it except for Liz. Her parents figure it's just another Jessica fade and basically ignore it, but Liz spends weeks moping and writing in her journal about how they no longer have anything in common.

This book totally reminds me why I hate Jessica Wakefield. She starts carrying around French magazines and talking about new plays opening up. She then wanders off and thinks to herself that the real play is happening at SVH and how she's the star. Jessica then drops cheerleading and basically only goes to one practice a week. She considers it her backup plan in case she can't launch a modeling career. The agent she meets with thinks she would be perfect for a runway show at the mall but that she needs head shots first. Ned and Alice agree to pay as long as she pays them back later.

Liz suddenly gets it in her head that Jeffrey likes Jessica. He keeps talking about her new look and how much he likes it. There's some big festival coming up that the Wakefields always go to, but Jessica decides she's too old for it now. Jeffrey was looking forward to going until Liz says it's too childish. They then have a fight because she thinks he doesn't want to go because Jessica isn't going. It's annoying. She runs off to write in her journal, only to later realize that her journal is missing.

Elizabeth is so upset that she tells Jessica how Jeffrey likes her now and how she never wants to talk to him again. Since Jessica cares about no one but herself, she decides that he's cute so she might as well go for it. After heaving (heavily) flirting with him, he breaks down about how much he loves Liz. She kind of just abruptly gets off, tells him things will be fine, and takes off without telling her twin what happened.

Jessica convinces Liz to go with her to the modeling appointment. The head of the show decides she doesn't have the look he wants and that she looks too sophisticated, but he absolutely loves the way Liz looks. He offers her the job plus an extra $100 because he likes her that much. He also tells Jessica that they look so different that he can't believe they were twins.

Since this book makes no sense, Jessica washes all the dye out of her hair, changes her clothes, and dresses like Liz. She then shows up on the day of the show and gets the job. Penny shows up at the Wakefield house with Liz's missing journal, which she accidentally grabbed from the newspaper office. Jessica reads it, feels bad at how she treated her twin, and gets her and Jeffrey back together. While watching old family movies, she realizes she always had fun at the fair and suggests that they go again after all. Ugh.

*What the hell kind of hair dye did she use?? Lila says it will wash out after two showers, so Jessica has to keep dying her hair. A friend of mine in high school had light blond hair, dyed it black, and it never came out. You could seriously still see some trace amount months/years later. Jessica just washes her hair once and Poof!, it's gone.

*One of her outfits is three inch heels, a skirt so tight she can barely sit down, patterned hose in a matching green color, a white gauzy blouse, and a big belt. There is so much wrong with this outfit. First of all, how is that appropriate for high school? Second of all, no teenage girl should wear a skirt so tight that she can't sit.

*I do want to point out that everyone freaks out over her shoes and how it looks like she's walking on stilts. I'd love to see what SVH characters think about my four inch stiletto boots. Isn't it funny though that teenagers today wear heels all the time and no one comments on it?

*Her accent is too much. She starts saying darling, dear, and actually a lot because she thinks it makes her sound European. The modeling agent even asks if she grew up in Europe. I like to think she just sounds like a teenager with a cold.

*Liz spends a lot of time thinking about how Jeffrey is the perfect guy for her and how nothing will tear them apart. Poor, poor Jeffrey.

*Jessica gets $600 for the runway show, which includes the $100 bonus, but she owes her parents $100+ for the pictures and $60+ for some store bill. How long do you think the rest lasted her, an hour?

*They make it out like this runway show is a big ass deal and how hundreds of people show up. You would think that someone would have offered her another job because of it, but nope.

*I really hate the way these books address weight. Jessica loses three pounds, which gives her even more of a European model look. At the end, she's all excited that she can eat whatever she wants and gain those three pounds back. No wonder Robin nearly killed herself dieting.