Meanwhile, Lila is going through some things. A recent date rape experience made her juuust a little fidgety.
Lorraine: We open the book with Elizabeth at Secca Lake. Between “Big Mesa” and “Secca Lake,” I’m starting to think that the Ghostwriting Collective is trying to make up for the lack of minorities by naming places names that are not entirely English.
Lily: They’re being Equal Opportunity Namers.
Lorraine: Liz is super sad as she looks at the creepy lake. She turns and sees her twin? Nope. Not her twin but someone who looks just like them but has black hair. Dark Hair Triplet takes a swing at Liz with a butcher knife but then she’s suddenly gone because it was all a dream. AW MAN.
I suppose the purpose of the dream is to clarify that not all is well in Sweet Valley. It’s been a week since the Jungle Prom which- WAIT – if Liz is alive that must mean…
OH NO. SAM IS DEAD. Guys, they killed off Sam, Jess’ actually decent boyfriend. Sara told me there would be deaths during this mini-series, but I was hoping they would be of Jess. Multiple Jess deaths. Like, they would bring her back just to kill her again.
Lily: I’m kind of imagining this being like the Scream franchise. Except, no one is calling and asking them about their favorite scary movie.
Nugs: That’s because the Youth Mauling Bear don’t give a shit. Much like the Honey Badger.
Lorraine: We get a recap of all the Jungle Prom dramz from Liz, with an extra heaping of guilt. Liz is sad because Jessica isn’t speaking to her. When she tries to say something to her sister that morning, Jess just glares at her and stalks away. Jess reminds herself that Sam is dead and that Elizabeth killed him.
Uh, what? Ahem:
Look. I’m really sorry about your boyfriend and all. He was actually pretty nice. I just wanted to ask you though, real quick, if you and I were reading the same book. The one with the jungle prom? THE ONE WHERE YOU POURED AN UNIDENTIFIED LIQUOR INTO YOUR SISTER’S DRINK SO THAT YOU COULD WIN PROM QUEEN? The one where she got unknowingly drunk, you know, on account of you, and then took off with the boyfriend you were ignoring and treating badly because he went to a different school?
Okay, girl. Just checking because you are blaming Liz for all that.
Lorraine: And now that we know where we stand, several story lines take off in this book. I decided that instead of jumping around like the book does, I’d just recap each character’s complete story. Here’s what happens:
Bruce is hung up on the girl who saved his life when some Big Mesa dude was going to pound his skull in with a baseball bat. He was no clue who she is or if she has halitosis or gonorrhea or uses “your” when she means “you’re” but she had raven hair and blue eyes so he’s totally in love.
Lily: Those are legit deal breakers! I mean, sure the hair and eyes may make him all head over heels but… “your” versus “you’re” = A SERIOUS ISSUE.
Nugs: Oh My God. OH MY GOD. MY EYES! Seriously, this is my deal breaker. Honey Badger gives a shit.
Lorraine: After way too long than it should’ve taken a senior in high school to figure out, Bruce connects the dots and figures that if Raven Blue (Nugs: “Raven Blue?” LOLOL. That actually sounds like an SVH character name.
Lily: Damn, for real. That’s super creepy! Take this as a lesson: Never save anyone’s life, if you do, they’ll fall in love with you and start stalking you.
Lorraine: Best reason to never save anyone’s life, ever. “Sorry little old lady crossing the street, but I read SVH and you could be a stalker.”
After a week of creepy stalking, Bruce still hasn’t seen Raven Blue so he starts harassing random passerby-ers. He actually asks someone if they know anyone with black hair and blue eyes and that person is all, “oh you must mean the only black haired girl ever invented, Pamela Robertson?” Oh, contrivance. Thank you for your hand in this blossoming love story.
Bruce also learns that Pamela has been away for a week on a tennis trip. Bruce almost jizzes his pants because she’s hot AND plays tennis. When she gets back from her trip, he’s there, stalking- I mean- waiting. He invites her to dinner to repay her for saving him. She agrees, which means she’s at least very dumb.
Lily: This screams “After School Special: Don’t Go on Dinner Dates With Strangers Edition.”
Lorraine: On their date at CASTILLO SAN ANGELO (again with the minority naming) Pamela and Bruce discover they have everything in common and even order the exact same food. She won’t talk about herself at all, however, which is something they don’t have in common.
Bruce brings up his girl wonder at lunch after his first date and everyone is all LOL Pamela from Big Mesa?! She’s a “very giving person” which I think is SVH speak for “ho.” Bruce is so perturbed by this that he botches their second date.
He feels bad for treating Pamela like she didn’t have her cootie shots, so he shows up at her house the next day with roses. Conveniently, it’s just in time to see her pull up in some other dude’s car. Other Dude sloppy kisses her and leaves. She sees Bruce and tries to explain that Bruce’s love from one. whole. date. has changed her and that she was just breaking up with Other Dude. Bruce is like “you can’t play a player,” and throws the roses at her. Pamela cries and cries and shouts “I love you!” Bruce don’t care.
Nugs: Can we start a Honey Badger Count? That would be amaze.
Lorraine: Oh, girl. If we counted all the times we didn’t care, we’d be… uh, counting a lot. But here’s a cry count instead:
Pamela – 1
Lorraine: Lila is self-conscious about returning to school after she accused her counselor Nathan of attacking her. Everyone is watching her and she fears that they all think she made the story up.
UH, AGAIN, WHAT? Ahem.
Hey girlfriend. Seriously, were you reading a different book too? Was I not supposed to be reading the big jungle prom one? Because I’m pretty sure in that one, you DID make up the story about Nathan attacking you.
Just making sure,
She gets called into the principal’s office, and Chrome Dome tells her that they are going to have to sit down and discuss her accusations. Chrome Dome says he called her father, but he’s got super important business to take care of before he has enough free time to discuss a potential sexual assault on his daughter.
Lily: That makes me kind of sad. Can I hug Lila? I mean, being almost date raped is hard enough, but having busy parents that would rather take care of bid-ness rather than me… that’s a tear jerker right there.
Lorraine: It gets worse when things don’t go well for Lila at this meeting. At the end of it, Lila admits that Nathan didn’t attack her, or even touch her for that matter. Lila freaks out because she basically lied to herself and then believed her own lie. I’d freak out too, Lila. Her dad is pretty annoyed at having to stop traveling and actually be a parent.
Lila stops going to school. She also stops sleeping. But it’s when we’re informed she’s stopped washing her hair that I officially get worried. Papa Fowler tries to get Lila to talk, but she finds it hard to talk about how hard it is to be a teenaged girl, pressured by her peers to be both sexy and chaste at the same time, with her father. He leaves as Lila muses that if she had a mother, discussing this stuff might be easier.
Papa Fowler decides to finally be a more concerned parent by… calling in the other parent to actually handle the problems. …Kay.
Papa Fowler tells Lila that her mom is coming and she jumps into his arms all, “yay mama!” and starts crying. He starts crying too for good measure.
Pamela – 1
Lila – 3
George – 1
Lorraine: In case you have no idea who Olivia is, neither did I! And I read these books all the time! She’s Liz’s friend though, who works at the newspaper.
Lily: A good friend we never heard about?
Nugs: Thanks for clearing that up. I literally had no clue who this bitch is. Was? Is? Whatever.
Lorraine: Nope, we’ve definitely heard about her. I just, you know, forgot.
Olivia is taking an art class. There is a hot dude in this class checking her out, but she’s very distracted by all the jungle prom tragedy. On the bright side, one of Olivia’s paintings is selected for a special showcase. The painting is of the kids at Secca Lake when all was happy and Sam was alive. Olivia cries because there is no happiness left in Sweet Valley.
Except, psych, next time we see her, she’s practically bouncing down the street. Nicholas Marrow (brother of Regina, the girl who did drugs once and died) sees Olivia and comments on her being so happy. She expresses guilt over her giddiness since all the death and everything. Nicholas says they should celebrate her big news anyways and they head over to CAFE FELIZ.
WHAT THE HELL. Why not just go ahead and name it Cafe No Me Gusta Brown People, Pero I’m Okay With Un Poquito de Español.
Lily: I laughed a little… she’s going to a placed called Happy, but she wants to continue being sad…
Nugs: There’s actually a section of LA called Los Feliz, so…maybe? Probs not, though. I’m just going to assume that it’s racism.
Lorraine: Nicholas asks what they are celebrating anyways and Olivia says that someone wants to pay $1000 to buy her painting, on the condition that she’ll give a talk about her superamazingawesome painting.
Lily: ZOMG! Olivia! You’re like practically a professional artist!
Lorraine: Or a sucker.
Olivia goes to give her speech. She walks into the mansion and realizes that there’s not actually anyone there until a handsome boy appears. He confesses that he tricked her and that there isn’t actually any arts foundation that wants to hear her speech. He just wanted to get her in his house. He asks that she stay and let him explain.
“Well you’ve already wasted my time and made a fool of me. Why shouldn’t I stick around and see how else you plan to humiliate me?”
Lily: *grabs popcorn*
Nugs: I prefer SnoCaps.
Lorraine: Dude, have you ever tried popcorn and Sno-caps together? Seriously. Reward your mouth with that sometime soon. But I digress because:
FOR THE LOVE SALTY AND SWEET TOGETHER? REALLY? Ahem:
A stranger just admitted to creating an elaborate lie to get you in his house and you want to know why you shouldn’t stick around? Girl, you want a list of reasons?
– Mugging – Ass kicking – Rape – Roofies – Organ farming – Torture
– You suddenly staring in a porn – Basements – Ropes – Murder
Lily: All Olivia wants for Christmas is some common sense.
Lorraine: Anyhow, the handsome boy turns out to be the boy from her art class, who wanted a chance to flirt with Olivia so lying and stuff seemed like a good way to go. They hit it off and she forgives him and later tells Nicholas that after one day of talking she’s in love. The collective characters of Sweet Valley really need to learn what being in love means.
Lily: ONE DAY?! In one day I don’t even know if I love my new haircut. And she already knows she loves this guy, who she was just hella pissed off at?
Lorraine: Seriously. It takes me at least two weeks to fall in love with my haircut.
Olivia promised to help Nicholas with his love life, since hers is all fixed now, and figures the best way to do so would be to get him on a reality TV show called “Hunks.” This is a true and actual plot point.
Nugs: You’re kidding.
Lor: Actual. Plot. Point.
Pamela – 1
Lila – 3
George – 1
Olivia – 1
Dude. Margo, Margo, Margo. I’m overwhelmed by the task of recapping Margo.
Okay, so we’re suddenly introduced to some girl named Margo. The first thing we’re told about her is that the pounding of loose shutters where she lives disturbs the rhythm of the pounding in her head.
DEAR SWEET JESUS, WHAT? Ahem:
Girl, I don’t know you. I just thought you might want to know that the rest of the world? We don’t regularly have pounding in our heads.
Margo lives with a foster family in pretty terrible conditions. Roaches and dirtiness and I’m pretty sure there are no rainbows or chocolate where she lives. Margo tells us about her plan to run away, aided by the money she’s been stealing from foster parents. Oh, and now there are raspy whispers in Margo’s head? Like suddenly Clint Eastwood is all up in there?
Her younger foster sister, Nina, walks in on Margo counting her money sees a bus schedule with Cleveland circled. Margo doesn’t like anyone knowing about her plans so she says a lot of murder-y things like “it can’t be helped” and “Nina spied on me. What happens to her now is her own fault.” Also, Nina is five. MARG-NO. STOP IT. YOU ARE CRAZY.
Nugs: This is all kinds of Toddlers & Tiaras level shit-crazy.
Lorraine: Life is tough for Margo. There is only bread, moldy cheese and a toaster that doesn’t work in her house. While trying to use the toaster, her bread gets stuck. She sticks a knife in the bread slots in an effort to recover the burning slices. She’s rewarded with a small flame. Clint Eastwood in her head is all “I like fire!” and Margo suddenly has a brilliant idea.
Presumably some time after, Margo is watching Nina who is complaining that she’s hungry. Margo is a bitch and Nina cries. There’s a brief moment of guilt, but Margo ultimately covers the counters in kerosene and gives Nina some bread to toast. Nina complains that the bread is stuck and Margo tells her to use a butter knife to fish it out. Margo leaves as flames engulf the house. The ghost writing collective just killed a five year old, in case you were keeping track of that sort of thing at home.
Lily: NOOOOOOOOOO! These ghost writers are messed up in the head! How do you kill of a little kid?! WRONG!
Lorraine: Right? I like the killing of characters as much as the next totally well adjusted adult reading kiddy lit, but I draw the line at five year olds.
Margo heads to Cleveland with hopes of making more money there and going even further west to, who knows where, ahem, hint, nudge. She changes her name to Michelle and interviews for a babysitting job with some poor fool who might end up with burned toast for a kid. Margo fake cries and secures the job. She later decides that her ultimate destination is southern California.
Lily: Who was the idiot who hired her? That was super stupid of them!
Lor: To be fair though, she did change her name to Michelle which is way more trust worthy than Margo.
Pamela – 1
Lila – 3
George – 1
Olivia – 1
Nina – 1
Margo – 1 fake one
Elizabeth and Jessica:
Nugs: Right. Them again. I was wondering when we were going to hear from our supposed “main characters.”
Lorraine: I saved the best for last.
LOL. Jaykay. I just figured I’d save them for the end ’cause that way if I killed myself halfway through recapping their story, I’d still have most of the post done.
Elizabeth and Jessica head back to school a week after the accident. Enid is there to greet Liz and it’s actually pretty sweet what a good friend she is. Todd, on the other hand, is acting really awkward and hasn’t even spoken to Liz since the accident. WTF. Todd, Sam is dead now. Please, you are the only other Sweet Valley male I can root for. Stop being a dick.
Enid tries to find out why Todd is acting all wonky, but he won’t talk to her either. Smart move, Todd. You know Enid’s totally a friend-spy. Elizabeth can’t figure out why he would be acting this way and Enid hints at her behavior being odd the night of the prom. Liz is all, “what did I do?” Enid says there’s a rumor going around that Liz was being a little too friendly with Sam.
Liz asks if people are still assuming she was drunk. The answer is yes. Liz says that has to be true, because it’s the only thing that makes sense. She still doesn’t know how though because her only drink was punch from the same punch bowl everyone else was drinking from. Liz wonders about what legal repercussions she will face since she killed the best character in the whole Magna Edition.
Jess goes to visit Sam’s grave and starts talking to it, as one does. She tells dead Sam that it’s all Liz’s fault as she cries. Then it starts raining on her, like Jesus is all, “your lying pains me. I’m crying rain because your ability to blame others hurts me so.” As it rains on her, Jess finally admits that the accident was her fault, on account of her drunk-ing her sister. Drunk should totally be a verb so I just did that.
Lily: Drunk is totes a verb. No?
Nugs: I love when we change grammar rules.
Lorraine: Steven comes over for dinner and he tries to make things light and happy but depression has come to the Wakefield house. When Steven is all “we need to band together,” Jessica and Liz leave the room crying and Papa Wakefield starts crying at the table. Three cries at once. #winning.
Lily: Whoa! They should get extra points in the Cry Count!
Lorraine: Steven goes after Liz and tells her their family is falling apart. Liz is very cryptic and says that things are only going to get worse before they get better. She must know we have 5 more books in the mini-series. Jess is overhearing the conversation and she’s back to blaming Liz for the accident. Her reasoning is that she was driving, making anything that happened before the accident totally irrelevant. Uh-huh. Right.
As Steven leaves, police officers show up at the Wakefield house to question Liz. They say they’ve been trying to give Liz the benefit of the doubt but her blood alcohol levels were crazy and she was the one driving. They want to know where she got the booze from, but Liz swears she wasn’t drinking and that she has no clue what happened. Meanwhile, Jess is afraid for herself and… noticing how tall the officers are? What?
Elizabeth is arrested for involuntary manslaughter. Jess thinks about confessing but doesn’t actually do so. Instead, she cries as Liz is taken away. Liz mouths “I’m sorry,” to her sister as she leaves.
Lily: HO-BAG! CONFESS! CONFESS!
Nugs: Did anyone else just totes laugh at this? Because I did.
Lorraine: I’m too angry to laugh. I hate Jess. Have I mentioned how much I hate Jessica Wakefield? I mean, maybe I have before but I really, really hate her now. The fact that she watches her sister get arrested for something she had a hand in actually pales in comparison to the fact that she actively convinces herself that Liz is to blame. Half of her mental dialogue is her convincing/reminding herself that Liz is to blame. UGH. Hate.
Anyways, take a look at this absolutely ridiculous cry count:
Pamela – 1
Lila – 3
George – 1
Olivia – 1
Nina – 1
Margo – 1 fake one
Ned – 1
Next time on Sweet Valley High: Will Bruce forgive Raven Blue for being a ho in a past life? Will Nicholas get onto a reality TV show? Will Margo make it to southern California and how many children will she burn on the way? Does this mean Liz is going to jail? Find out in #96 – The Arrest.