the_oracle: (left of normal)
On The Edge
October 1987


Is it all over between Regina and Bruce?

Headed for trouble...


   Regina Morrow and Bruce Patman have been going together for months. But when beautiful, devious Amy Sutton is paired up with Bruce on a school project, she schemes to steal him away from Regina. Little by little Bruce's resistance to Amy's charms begins to crumble.
   Regina is furious when she discovers that Bruce has been seeing Amy behind her back. Hurt and betrayed, she turns to Justin Belson, a troubled senior at Sweet Valley High. Regina's friends are worried. They think Justin and his crowd are bad news-it's rumored that some of them are drug users. Is Regina on a dangerous course?


  In case you've been living under a rock, Bruce Patman and Regina Morrow have been dating for what seems like forever. Everyone is so used to them as a couple that when Amy Sutton makes it known that she's got the hots for Bruce, no one really believes she has a chance at anything other than humiliation.
  So when Maria Santelli tells Jessica that Bruce actually is fawning all over Amy, Jessica decides this little bit of gossip is worth a listen. Amy and Bruce have been paired up for a project in health class about the exploding drug community/usage at nearby SVC. This blows my mind for two reasons. One, Bruce is a senior and the thought of him in health class with juniors is weird, although I do understand that the electives are mixed. It's still... weird. Two, and most important, what frickin' drug use in SV? The only real people we've heard about using are old friends of Enid's and the skeevy guys Jessica sneaks out to date with disastrous results. If the SVPD really wants to catch these people, just follow the youngest Wakefield when she goes out with almost any given college guy. Duh.
  Anyway, Amy's been manipulating things so that her cousin, Mimi, their biggest source of information, will only meet with them on Friday nights, thus keeping Bruce away from Regina on what are traditionally date nights. Oh, Amy. She gets Bruce alone one day at his estate, puts her acting classes to good use, and weaves him this story of a dream she allegedly had where they were in the middle of nowhere, discussing their project, when suddenly... no, she couldn't possibly go on. Bruce insists, just as Amy knew he would, and she leans closer and whispers, "and then you kissed me." Bruce is actually kind of flustered, torn between Old!Bruce and New!Bruce. Old!Bruce would have already jumped Amy by now, but New!Bruce has Regina... Sensing this could go either way, Amy then asks whether it would matter if she admitted she really, really wanted him to kiss her. The next thing you know, Bruce is giving Amy the single most chaste kiss in all of SVH thus far. Amy pouts and lunges at Bruce, demanding a real kiss, which she then gives him.
  Thus, I'm torn. Bruce made the first move, but Amy'd started that fire, deliberately, and then did everything she could to keep it going, even when Bruce didn't seem to be going along with the script she'd so thoughtfully provided. Yes, he's an ass, but Amy earns my scorn for this little move, and no, I will not get over this. I will spend the rest of SVH disliking her for this... and for being a moron.

  There's a party rule enforced at SVH, so the twins decide to give Lila a break in the hostessing duties, and throw a BBQ at their house for their friends. Liz tries repeatedly to get Jessica to explain why on earth she's so excited to have Bruce/Amy/Regina all in the same place, particularly once Amy tells the whole entire world about her kiss with Bruce and how he's totally going to break up with Regina for her. Jess wonders how her sister could possibly be so incredibly dense.
  It never occurs to Elizabeth to simply revoke Amy's invitation. Instead, she debates telling Regina about the rumors Amy's been spreading. Since Jessica's no help, Liz asks Jeffrey his opinion. Jeffrey waffles but decides that realistically, no guy in his right fucking mind would leave Regina for Amy Sutton, so telling Regina would just complicate matters once Bruce came to his senses. Relieved to not have to think about it again, Liz heads off to finish making the salad or something.
  Kay... no. You just don't do that to your friends. A friend of a friend of a friend, maybe. But letting someone walk into a party filled with people who are all expecting major fireworks because your boyfriend has been cheating on you with someone else invited to the party is uncool!
  Back to Regina. She's been noticing that Bruce has been acting odd lately and is worried that maybe that since their relationship was filled with so much drama to begin with, maybe he's bored now. But surely he, a teenage boy with such a bad history with relationships, would have said something... And to be fair, the Bruce she knows probably would have. She's still worried and doesn't particularly want to go to the BBQ on the first date-night she's gotten with her own boyfriend in ages. She goes, and on the way there tries to get him to open up. Bruce, being a guy, refuses, saying that he wouldn't want to be rude to the Wakefields. They go 'round back to the party and Jessica pounces, pulling Bruce away and has him man the grill... leaving Regina unattended for the most part.
  The next thing we know, Amy appears and is so lovely that even the sun takes a moment to perfectly frame her in a sunbeam. Regina catches sight of Bruce drooling over Amy and realizes she's been afraid that Bruce and Amy are doing more than studying together. Um, ya think that's what's been bugging you? Oi. I love you Regina, but your ghosty is being a bit clumsy here. You were deaf not stupid...

  La-di-da, time flies and Elizabeth realizes no one's seen Bruce or Amy around in ages. They're spotted behind a tree [really] and Liz sends Jeffrey to break them up while she distracts Regina. Maybe if people hadn't ignored Regina all night, she might not be feeling quite so lousy and wouldn't have been so quick to look over and realize that Liz was trying to hurry her away from scene of the crime... Instead, she sees Jeffrey leading two very obviously together people away. Amy and Bruce. Regina flips the hell out and yells and screams at Bruce, demands the keys to 1bruce1 [cementing her awesomeness in the history books], tells Amy she hates her but refrains from pointing out that Slutton is obviously a very easy name to use, and then tells the entire party she hates them, too, since they KNEW what was going on and let her walk right into an ambush and really, what kind of sane and nice people DO that sort of thing? And you, especially, Liz Wakefield, can go straight to hell because Regina's totally through with you.
  If her heart weren't breaking and leading her straight to hell herself, I would applaud her. As it is, I just want to scoop her up and keep her safe.
  Regina takes 1bruce1 out for a little breakup joyride and goes to Secca Lake to calm herself down. By the time she gets home, she just wants to curl up and talk to someone in her family, but they're all out. Poor Regina...

  Back at SVH, Regina blows all her old friends off. Anyone who tries to talk to her from Before Bruce is ignored. She spends more time with Justin, a guy she met shortly before she and Bruce broke up. At first it seemed like Justin was a bit of a stalker, having confessed to buying three issues of Regina's Ingenuity, but the more time Regina and Justin spend together, the more he talks about Molly, his ex. It's all done very strangely, as Justin really does come across as a potential love interest at first, and then pretty much the next time you see him, he's painfully hung up on his ex. Which is good, since Regina is very hung up on Bruce and the pain he's caused.
  Blah, blah, blah... Liz, Nicholas, and even Bruce get word that Regina and Justin are going to a party at Molly's house. No big deal, right? Except that the local crack/heroin dealer, Buzz, is going to make a Very Special Appearance. Initially Justin is turned off by this, but by the time he drags Regina to the party, he's mostly forgotten that he was Anti-Buzz to begin with. Poor Regina is woefully out of place at this party, and Molly runs off with Justin as much as she can, leaving her evil best friend Jan to mock and torture Regina for being a good girl...who happened to have stolen Molly's boyfriend. Regina tries to point out, repeatedly I might add, that she didn't steal anyone's frickin' boyfriend and that he's still in love with Molly and maybe, had Jan and Molly not been such bitches about the whole thing, Regina would have worked her mojo and fixed that screwed up relationship and felt better about her own.
  Instead, Jan and Molly taunt Regina to the breaking point even after Buzz arrives. They all but dare Regina to do a line of coke, and instead of taking Regina and getting the fuck out of there, Justin is all, "whatever, man." Previously he mentioned that he wasn't worried about Molly on coke, 'cuz he knows what she's like then, but that Buzz, the not-so-friendly-neighborhood-dealer was trying to get her to try heroin. Um, Justin? Coke ain't all that cool either. Anyway, Regina decides that for once in her life she's going to defy expectations and take an actual, honest to God risk, and does her line of coke. Before it even has a chance to do... whatever it was going to do, Molly demands that she do a second line, and Jan holds her down [seriously] until she snorts the second line.
  I'm not sure if the first line alone would have killed her, or just sent her very pale behind to the hospital for a very long stay, but that second line definitely signed her death warrant.

  Now, let's rewind. The often mentioned, but never seen before Mimi appears and starts blathering on about this Margaret Hecht and how she'll be having a party and this big dealer will be there and Bruce and Amy are like, "Who?" They get to the bit about Buzz and realize, "Oh! You mean Molly!" Cuz there are so many people with the last name of Hecht in SV. If it had been another W last name, sure, I could see it. But Hecht? Kinda stands out. Bruce calls Regina and Amy tells Jessica who finally tells Elizabeth. Elizabeth tries to warn Regina herself, but it doesn't work. So she finally calls Nicholas once Jessica suggests it. Nicholas then spends the whole fucking night trying to get to Regina. First he can't find his keys, then he can't find his wallet, and then he gets busted for speeding and because he doesn't have his ID [it's in his wallet], he gets taken to the station... where they finally hear that he knows where Buzz is and his little sister is there and OMG Drugs!

  Nich and the cops show up just as Regina checks out. She croaks, "It wasn't their fault" and then asks for Bruce and Elizabeth, and Nicholas calls them, even though he has to hold the EMS up while he makes these stupid calls. Oh, Regina.... everything is conspiring against you, isn't it?

  Blah, blah blah, Bruce and Liz leave the big party... wherever it is and go to Regina's side, but she dies before they can see her.

  Before she went out on her ill-fated party date, Regina wrote Elizabeth a letter apologizing for being so bitter and cruel towards her when Liz was only trying to do her a favor in warning her about the party. She went on to absolve everyone in the entire world of their sins and blathered on about how she and Bruce had been drifting apart long before Amy and my head exploded, so really, all in all, uncool. Liz gets the letter after Regina's death and freaks out and we end with Regina's memorial service at school, which also doubles as a Just Say No rally.

  Oh, Regina...




Trivial Pursuit:


  • Amy's under the impression Regina didn't go to the 40's Fling last book since Bruce was working on his project with Amy. Um, Ames? Regina went by herself and looked fantastic. Shove it, blondie.

  • Jessica's current motto is: Make Sure You Get What You Want.

  • Have you noticed Jessica has a habit of eating whatever's being chopped up for the salad at the Wakefield house? She's eaten all the cherry tomatoes before and this time she chomps her way through the avocados Liz is trying to chop.

  • Amy's cousin is named Mimi. Immediately I think of Claudia's grandmother and then Mariah Carrey. There's no hope for my soul.

  • Amy and Bruce's health project is about the drug problem at Sweet Valley College.

  • Amy twists Mimi's arm so that Mimi will meet with them on Fridays, then tells Bruce that this is the only time Mimi is available.

  • Amy spent a summer studying acting "back East." Fine. Now could you act like you have a brain?

  • Miss Sutton acts as if she had a dream in which she and Bruce were discussing their drug problem project when he suddenly kisses her. When he offers a brief, chaste kiss, Amy kisses him back and pushes the kiss into overdrive.

  • Justin Belson is tall, slender, auburn haired, with chiseled, attractive features. He should be a senior, but after his father was murdered two years ago, Justin understandably took a small hiatus from school and is thus a junior. He wears a leather jacket to pick Regina up for their first 'date' and this simple act freaks the Morrows out. Yet they let their daughter go out with the Chuck Bass of their time...

  • Molly [Margaret] Hecht is a petite blonde with large green eyes and an acidic personality towards Regina as well as a predilection for cocaine and pot.

  • Jan [Janice] Brown is Molly's best friend, although that title could be refuted considering it's hinted at this point that she's the one who pulled Molly into the drug usage and then later fucking holds Regina Morrow down to do the second line of coke that definitely killed the poor girl. Jan does seem to have a firm grasp on the concept that if someone steals your friend's boyfriend, ex or otherwise, you make them pay. Good job, Jan.

  • Jessica tries to play the literature quoting game with Liz, by arguing that happy couples are boring and didn't some famous novel start out that way? Liz has to remind her that Tolstoy said "happy families" and not boring, but alike. Jess waves this off with the classic, "Whatever."

  • Nicholas Morrow has a new friend. Sam Watson. Sam's ex was Justin's ex. But... not Molly? Intrigue?

  • Skye Morrow is 38. Damn, girl.

  • At the Wakefield BBQ, Winston sets up a game of Frisbee baseball for the guys and Jeffrey is third base. Well, at least he'll get to third with something in his life.

  • Regina describes Caroline as "sweet" and "welcoming" and I'm left wondering when the body snatchers had time to take Caroline. Even after her transformation I'm not sure anyone would describe her as welcoming.

  • The BBQ guest list: Jessica, Elizabeth, Jeffrey, Enid, Lila, Cara, Olivia, Roger, Bruce, Regina, Amy, Maria, Winston, Caroline, Ken. That's... a bit awkward, but this is why I don't throw parties.

  • After Bruce grills the hell out of things, the party mellows out. Olivia plays folk music on her guitar for a small audience. Ken, Maria, Winston, and Enid tell ghost stories, Liz and Jeffrey are smooching, Amy and Bruce are grinding behind the tree, and Regina is sitting by herself. This means Jess was either in the bathroom or listening to Olivia play folk music. Ditto for Lila. What, I ask you, is wrong with that picture?

  • Nola is the Morrow's new housekeeper.

  • Regina went to Secca Lake after carjacking 1bruce1 in an attempt to calm down.

  • Justin takes Regina to Kelly's on their first date. Because that's naturally where you'd think to take the single most naive member of the junior class. Ass.

  • Justin's father was murdered two years ago when two kids, younger than 16/17, mugged him for drug money at his liquor store. When daddy hit the alarm, one kid panicked and stabbed daddy to death. Justin's mother turned to pills to ease the pain and Justin... I dunno, found drugs, too, but never stopped to think it was a tad hypocritical of him to condemn his mother for taking the loss as hard as he was.

  • Justin's father's liquor store was on Putnam Avenue, not the prettiest part of town.

  • Molly and Justin have dated since junior high.

  • Molly's parents are apparently divorced, because the ill-fated party she throws is a yearly affair when her mother goes out of town and her father lives in San Fran.

  • Ty Hecht is Molly's little brother. He's in ninth grade.

  • Buzz Jackson is a big coke dealer. He's skinny and mean looking, and while he's Mimi's age, that's about all they have in common. He's been dealing since junior high. Mimi thinks his real name might be something he doesn't like all that much, like William or something. Or maybe Buzz is just an obvious nickname?

  • Jan's boyfriend is Jay [James] Benson.

  • It's still creepy whenever Enid's past is mentioned and they talk about her being with a really fast crowd. Dude, she was like, 13.

  • Mimi is 19, a junior at Sweet Valley College, and has worked at a clinic outside town for the last 3 years.

  • Molly lives at 45 Redwood Drive.

  • Regina went to Casey's before the party. Nice to know the girl got some ice cream before she died.

  • Jessica uses red spray in hair color.

  • On his way to rescue Regina, Nicholas lost his keys, his wallet, and then got stopped for going 35 mph in a 25 zone. He was hauled in for lack of identification and it took him more than an hour to get the cops to listen to why he was speeding. Hell, man, you had the drive to the station. I would have started out with "Buzz is getting my sister high on coke and heroin RIGHT NOW."

  • Sergeant O'Riley is the one who finally listens to Nicholas.

  • Molly, Jan, and a redhead named Tina are busy smoking pot away from the crowd at the party, waiting for Buzz to show. Regina stumbles across them by accident and they rip into her for stealing Molly's boyfriend.

  • Justin isn't worried about Molly doing coke, but the thought of her on heroin scares him, which is why he won't leave the party early.

  • Regina does two lines of coke, one right after the other, as Jan holds her down for the second line, even as the first is taking hold.

  • Regina's heart is doing 40 beats in 15 seconds.

  • Nicholas reads Dirge Without Music by Edna St. Vincent Millay at Regina's memorial.

  • Regina's letter arrives at the Wakefield house on Tuesday.

  • The teaser/preview at the start of the book is of Regina's breakdown at the party. Instead of Regina informing Bruce that she'll be driving his Porsche home, she says she'll be taking his car home. Dude, it's 1bruce1. Treat it with respect, teaser-people.



Quote-a-ble Sweet Valley:
  Jessica looked at Elizabeth with an expression halfway between frustration and concern. It was always this way whenever she tried to explain something perfectly simple to her sister. Elizabeth just couldn't seem to grasp the essentials. -p8

  He gave her a cocky smile. "I'd kind of forgotten how much fun it is to spread the wealth-to share the old Bruce magic with more than one girl." - Amy, this is the guy you think will be a good boyfriend? He's already talking about multiple girls and you just now tempted him to cheat. Oi. p18

  "There's bound to be lots of scandal," she'd said. "Especially since all three members of the 'love triangle' are coming." - Liz, scandal isn't the word you're looking for. Scandal is what it is, not what will be going on. Oi. p 27

  "Explain to me why you're looking forward to it," she pleaded. "I just don't see what's going to be fun about watching Regina's heart break." - and yet she still doesn't step in. Still page 27

  "Thanks, I really appreciate your consideration," she spat out sarcastically. "From the way you've acted tonight, it's obvious how much you really care about my feelings." -It's always the quiet ones, right? Regina finally calls Liz out on her bitchery and she gets killed for it. Oh! A conspiracy theory is born! p50

  "Doesn't anyone in this town have anything better to do than to talk about Bruce and me?" - Sadly, no, Regina. You are our A plot and that's what we must obsess over. p58

  She floundered, unable to come up with anything more plausible than simply wanting to talk about herself and Bruce. - Oh, Amy... if I weren't in the middle of hating you something fierce, I would probably still find that hysterical. And also, so totally true. Points to SVH for realism. Weird. p 66

  What risks had Bruce ever taken? What hardships had he ever overcome? Bruce had had his life handed to him on a silver platter, but Justin had suffered. - Regina compares Bruce and Justin and Bruce comes out lacking. In Bruce's defense, at least he's not the one who took you to a coke party and got you killed. He just cheated on you with an idiot whose own friends can't stand her. Also, total teenage girl to find the suffering boy to be so much more fascinating. Realism again! p71

  Bruce paled. "I'd better call Regina," he muttered. Amy looked away, clearly unenthusiastic about the prospect, but aware that it would hardly make her look good if she objected. - Amy, he's calling her to tell her to stay away from the drug den, not to beg for forgiveness. Oi. p83

  "Look, this stuff goes on just like spray paint," she said, admiring the reddish streaks she had applied. "Isn't it fun? I look like a rockstar."
  "You look like a freak." - Jess/Liz. I love this little exchange far too much for my own good... p98

  But the truth was that things just didn't last forever. Not friendship, not human lives. - p143


  I don't really remember much of my SV days before Regina died. Quite probably because this book came out when I was six and by the time I was old enough to read the books just a few short years later, the cover would have appealed to my drama-queen-lite tendencies, and thus I would have read it before, say, any of the overly coupley books not featuring a twin on the cover. Truthfully, I think I knew Regina would die before I read the book, but again, that could just be 20-something odd years of having read these things. I knew then, as I know now, that OtE was meant to scare kids away from the Evils of Drug Use, even as a one-time experiment. Alas, I'd bet that most of the war on drugs of my youth did very little in the way of scaring anyone other than me. But Regina's death, coupled with one very surreal day courtesy of my uncle going batshit crazy, managed to do just what it set out to do.
  That said, I love 99% of this book, but I have a raging hatred for that remaining 1 percent. I love how Regina's finally taken off the pedestal she never actually wanted to be on, I love how she's not depicted with a rosy glow on anything other than a less-than-flattering cover, and I love that when the world kicks her in the shins, she kicks back. What I do not love, however, is the immediate retcon job done to Bruce & Regina's relationship. Instead of taking the time to show that Bruce was losing interest now that all the high drama of their relationship had worn off [she's heroically deaf! she's in Switzerland! She's being held hostage just down the street! She can hear your beautiful, beautiful voice! for the first time EVER!] and making the split believable, even if the other characters in the series never saw the subtle shift in dynamic, the Idiots That Be threw Amy Sutton in, kind of like an annoying self-absorbed grenade, and had her be so irresistible that Bruce couldn't help but fall for her. I could probably buy that on it's own, but when Regina muses that their relationship had been on the rocks "for awhile" because the drama had declined? That's where I cry foul. The whole point of not showing the occasional longing glance at any other girl prancing by at the numerous beach scenes and parties, of not having anyone believe Amy until they saw it with their own eyes was that Bruce and Regina were supposed to be a solid couple, held together by their shared dramatic past. The. Whole. Effing. Point. It was supposed to be out of left field! You can't have it fly out of left field if someone could, in theory, sit down and rationally think it over, deciding that yes, yes she could see how this could have happened.
  It just... can't.... happen.
  Also, this series has a habit of making people a little too forgiving. Teenagers, hell, people frequently, are just not that forgiving. I get that, ideally, you could go on about your day without the bitterness driving you to lash out, but... in reality, all this forgiveness crammed down your throat makes it seem like you're supposed to smile pretty when someone does something awful to you. No. Nononono.
  It killed me then, and it kills me a little now, that just as Regina actually got another story under her belt, when she got some personality, it came at the expense of her life.

  And because it wouldn't be right to let this go, we'll weigh in on whether Liz should have told Regina or not. Normally this is a grey area at best. Some people actually want to know when their beloved is cheating on them, or at least rumours are floating around that it could be on the horizon. Some will readily admit that they will kill the damn messenger, so you'd best keep your mouth shut. I've had friends on both sides. Personally, I'd want to know. With that in mind, Liz should have told Regina for one damn reason, and one reason only. Everyone else at that fucking party knew, and it was beyond cruel to let Regina walk into a party where every single girl, and some of the boys, was waiting to see how fucked up her life was going to get.
  Seriously. Everyone had to know. Amy told Jessica, Lila, Maria, and Cara. Once that passed out into the ether, Caroline had to know because she's got powers that way. Maria would have told Winston. I'm betting Roger had an inkling, if the retcon is to believed [and even if it wasn't, since Amy spent so much time hitting on Bruce at the Patman estate, where Roger's been known to nip at Bruce's heels] and even if he didn't, Olivia's moving in the same circles as the gossips mentioned previously that she'd have heard something. And she'd have mentioned it to Roger. Jessica told Elizabeth, who promptly turned around and told Jeffrey. That leaves Enid and Ken. Enid's bound to have heard that Amy's making a play for Bruce, and probably that the two have already started going after one another... and if Enid's heard, than good ol' Kenny Matthews has as well. Even if you assume that Enid, Ken, Roger, and Olivia don't know, that's still more than half the party who know something is up, and almost all of them are on the evil side, or have been in the past. Friends don't let friends walk into that much potential drama without a heads up. ESPECIALLY once Elizabeth knew that Jessica was hoping to set off the drama fireworks. That's when you tell Amy not to show up OR you tell Regina that her boyfriend is an ass.

  The first time I read this, I bawled. For awhile I couldn't even look at the cover without getting a little misty. I'd ignore Regina's demise when playing SVH with my dolls [Regina was a Teresa and arguably one of my favorites until the unfortunate incident that somehow left her with red marks up and down her legs, and then she just took to wearing evening gowns at all times since Barbie wasn't big on pants then] and later I'd be amused, but happy enough, that her looks were reincarnated with Pamela, even if nothing else about her was. With that in mind, I dragged my feet getting to this point and then read it and... y'know, no waterworks. No emotional surge of any sort other than annoyance at the retcon job I'd forgotten.
  Oddly enough, the Regina section in Jessica's Secret Diary volume 1? Still make me tear up a little. Go figure.

  To end on a truly superficial note, I should say that while I mock the reenactment photos something awful, this one isn't bad at all, although they seem to have confused the original yellow cover with a yellow shirt. What can you do? And the third cover on the English bar is actually a hardback. So I didn't lose my mind on that and repeat something. ;)

the_oracle: (left of normal)
On The Edge
October 1987


Is it all over between Regina and Bruce?

Headed for trouble...


   Regina Morrow and Bruce Patman have been going together for months. But when beautiful, devious Amy Sutton is paired up with Bruce on a school project, she schemes to steal him away from Regina. Little by little Bruce's resistance to Amy's charms begins to crumble.
   Regina is furious when she discovers that Bruce has been seeing Amy behind her back. Hurt and betrayed, she turns to Justin Belson, a troubled senior at Sweet Valley High. Regina's friends are worried. They think Justin and his crowd are bad news-it's rumored that some of them are drug users. Is Regina on a dangerous course?


  In case you've been living under a rock, Bruce Patman and Regina Morrow have been dating for what seems like forever. Everyone is so used to them as a couple that when Amy Sutton makes it known that she's got the hots for Bruce, no one really believes she has a chance at anything other than humiliation.
  So when Maria Santelli tells Jessica that Bruce actually is fawning all over Amy, Jessica decides this little bit of gossip is worth a listen. Amy and Bruce have been paired up for a project in health class about the exploding drug community/usage at nearby SVC. This blows my mind for two reasons. One, Bruce is a senior and the thought of him in health class with juniors is weird, although I do understand that the electives are mixed. It's still... weird. Two, and most important, what frickin' drug use in SV? The only real people we've heard about using are old friends of Enid's and the skeevy guys Jessica sneaks out to date with disastrous results. If the SVPD really wants to catch these people, just follow the youngest Wakefield when she goes out with almost any given college guy. Duh.
  Anyway, Amy's been manipulating things so that her cousin, Mimi, their biggest source of information, will only meet with them on Friday nights, thus keeping Bruce away from Regina on what are traditionally date nights. Oh, Amy. She gets Bruce alone one day at his estate, puts her acting classes to good use, and weaves him this story of a dream she allegedly had where they were in the middle of nowhere, discussing their project, when suddenly... no, she couldn't possibly go on. Bruce insists, just as Amy knew he would, and she leans closer and whispers, "and then you kissed me." Bruce is actually kind of flustered, torn between Old!Bruce and New!Bruce. Old!Bruce would have already jumped Amy by now, but New!Bruce has Regina... Sensing this could go either way, Amy then asks whether it would matter if she admitted she really, really wanted him to kiss her. The next thing you know, Bruce is giving Amy the single most chaste kiss in all of SVH thus far. Amy pouts and lunges at Bruce, demanding a real kiss, which she then gives him.
  Thus, I'm torn. Bruce made the first move, but Amy'd started that fire, deliberately, and then did everything she could to keep it going, even when Bruce didn't seem to be going along with the script she'd so thoughtfully provided. Yes, he's an ass, but Amy earns my scorn for this little move, and no, I will not get over this. I will spend the rest of SVH disliking her for this... and for being a moron.

  There's a party rule enforced at SVH, so the twins decide to give Lila a break in the hostessing duties, and throw a BBQ at their house for their friends. Liz tries repeatedly to get Jessica to explain why on earth she's so excited to have Bruce/Amy/Regina all in the same place, particularly once Amy tells the whole entire world about her kiss with Bruce and how he's totally going to break up with Regina for her. Jess wonders how her sister could possibly be so incredibly dense.
  It never occurs to Elizabeth to simply revoke Amy's invitation. Instead, she debates telling Regina about the rumors Amy's been spreading. Since Jessica's no help, Liz asks Jeffrey his opinion. Jeffrey waffles but decides that realistically, no guy in his right fucking mind would leave Regina for Amy Sutton, so telling Regina would just complicate matters once Bruce came to his senses. Relieved to not have to think about it again, Liz heads off to finish making the salad or something.
  Kay... no. You just don't do that to your friends. A friend of a friend of a friend, maybe. But letting someone walk into a party filled with people who are all expecting major fireworks because your boyfriend has been cheating on you with someone else invited to the party is uncool!
  Back to Regina. She's been noticing that Bruce has been acting odd lately and is worried that maybe that since their relationship was filled with so much drama to begin with, maybe he's bored now. But surely he, a teenage boy with such a bad history with relationships, would have said something... And to be fair, the Bruce she knows probably would have. She's still worried and doesn't particularly want to go to the BBQ on the first date-night she's gotten with her own boyfriend in ages. She goes, and on the way there tries to get him to open up. Bruce, being a guy, refuses, saying that he wouldn't want to be rude to the Wakefields. They go 'round back to the party and Jessica pounces, pulling Bruce away and has him man the grill... leaving Regina unattended for the most part.
  The next thing we know, Amy appears and is so lovely that even the sun takes a moment to perfectly frame her in a sunbeam. Regina catches sight of Bruce drooling over Amy and realizes she's been afraid that Bruce and Amy are doing more than studying together. Um, ya think that's what's been bugging you? Oi. I love you Regina, but your ghosty is being a bit clumsy here. You were deaf not stupid...

  La-di-da, time flies and Elizabeth realizes no one's seen Bruce or Amy around in ages. They're spotted behind a tree [really] and Liz sends Jeffrey to break them up while she distracts Regina. Maybe if people hadn't ignored Regina all night, she might not be feeling quite so lousy and wouldn't have been so quick to look over and realize that Liz was trying to hurry her away from scene of the crime... Instead, she sees Jeffrey leading two very obviously together people away. Amy and Bruce. Regina flips the hell out and yells and screams at Bruce, demands the keys to 1bruce1 [cementing her awesomeness in the history books], tells Amy she hates her but refrains from pointing out that Slutton is obviously a very easy name to use, and then tells the entire party she hates them, too, since they KNEW what was going on and let her walk right into an ambush and really, what kind of sane and nice people DO that sort of thing? And you, especially, Liz Wakefield, can go straight to hell because Regina's totally through with you.
  If her heart weren't breaking and leading her straight to hell herself, I would applaud her. As it is, I just want to scoop her up and keep her safe.
  Regina takes 1bruce1 out for a little breakup joyride and goes to Secca Lake to calm herself down. By the time she gets home, she just wants to curl up and talk to someone in her family, but they're all out. Poor Regina...

  Back at SVH, Regina blows all her old friends off. Anyone who tries to talk to her from Before Bruce is ignored. She spends more time with Justin, a guy she met shortly before she and Bruce broke up. At first it seemed like Justin was a bit of a stalker, having confessed to buying three issues of Regina's Ingenuity, but the more time Regina and Justin spend together, the more he talks about Molly, his ex. It's all done very strangely, as Justin really does come across as a potential love interest at first, and then pretty much the next time you see him, he's painfully hung up on his ex. Which is good, since Regina is very hung up on Bruce and the pain he's caused.
  Blah, blah, blah... Liz, Nicholas, and even Bruce get word that Regina and Justin are going to a party at Molly's house. No big deal, right? Except that the local crack/heroin dealer, Buzz, is going to make a Very Special Appearance. Initially Justin is turned off by this, but by the time he drags Regina to the party, he's mostly forgotten that he was Anti-Buzz to begin with. Poor Regina is woefully out of place at this party, and Molly runs off with Justin as much as she can, leaving her evil best friend Jan to mock and torture Regina for being a good girl...who happened to have stolen Molly's boyfriend. Regina tries to point out, repeatedly I might add, that she didn't steal anyone's frickin' boyfriend and that he's still in love with Molly and maybe, had Jan and Molly not been such bitches about the whole thing, Regina would have worked her mojo and fixed that screwed up relationship and felt better about her own.
  Instead, Jan and Molly taunt Regina to the breaking point even after Buzz arrives. They all but dare Regina to do a line of coke, and instead of taking Regina and getting the fuck out of there, Justin is all, "whatever, man." Previously he mentioned that he wasn't worried about Molly on coke, 'cuz he knows what she's like then, but that Buzz, the not-so-friendly-neighborhood-dealer was trying to get her to try heroin. Um, Justin? Coke ain't all that cool either. Anyway, Regina decides that for once in her life she's going to defy expectations and take an actual, honest to God risk, and does her line of coke. Before it even has a chance to do... whatever it was going to do, Molly demands that she do a second line, and Jan holds her down [seriously] until she snorts the second line.
  I'm not sure if the first line alone would have killed her, or just sent her very pale behind to the hospital for a very long stay, but that second line definitely signed her death warrant.

  Now, let's rewind. The often mentioned, but never seen before Mimi appears and starts blathering on about this Margaret Hecht and how she'll be having a party and this big dealer will be there and Bruce and Amy are like, "Who?" They get to the bit about Buzz and realize, "Oh! You mean Molly!" Cuz there are so many people with the last name of Hecht in SV. If it had been another W last name, sure, I could see it. But Hecht? Kinda stands out. Bruce calls Regina and Amy tells Jessica who finally tells Elizabeth. Elizabeth tries to warn Regina herself, but it doesn't work. So she finally calls Nicholas once Jessica suggests it. Nicholas then spends the whole fucking night trying to get to Regina. First he can't find his keys, then he can't find his wallet, and then he gets busted for speeding and because he doesn't have his ID [it's in his wallet], he gets taken to the station... where they finally hear that he knows where Buzz is and his little sister is there and OMG Drugs!

  Nich and the cops show up just as Regina checks out. She croaks, "It wasn't their fault" and then asks for Bruce and Elizabeth, and Nicholas calls them, even though he has to hold the EMS up while he makes these stupid calls. Oh, Regina.... everything is conspiring against you, isn't it?

  Blah, blah blah, Bruce and Liz leave the big party... wherever it is and go to Regina's side, but she dies before they can see her.

  Before she went out on her ill-fated party date, Regina wrote Elizabeth a letter apologizing for being so bitter and cruel towards her when Liz was only trying to do her a favor in warning her about the party. She went on to absolve everyone in the entire world of their sins and blathered on about how she and Bruce had been drifting apart long before Amy and my head exploded, so really, all in all, uncool. Liz gets the letter after Regina's death and freaks out and we end with Regina's memorial service at school, which also doubles as a Just Say No rally.

  Oh, Regina...




Trivial Pursuit:


  • Amy's under the impression Regina didn't go to the 40's Fling last book since Bruce was working on his project with Amy. Um, Ames? Regina went by herself and looked fantastic. Shove it, blondie.

  • Jessica's current motto is: Make Sure You Get What You Want.

  • Have you noticed Jessica has a habit of eating whatever's being chopped up for the salad at the Wakefield house? She's eaten all the cherry tomatoes before and this time she chomps her way through the avocados Liz is trying to chop.

  • Amy's cousin is named Mimi. Immediately I think of Claudia's grandmother and then Mariah Carrey. There's no hope for my soul.

  • Amy and Bruce's health project is about the drug problem at Sweet Valley College.

  • Amy twists Mimi's arm so that Mimi will meet with them on Fridays, then tells Bruce that this is the only time Mimi is available.

  • Amy spent a summer studying acting "back East." Fine. Now could you act like you have a brain?

  • Miss Sutton acts as if she had a dream in which she and Bruce were discussing their drug problem project when he suddenly kisses her. When he offers a brief, chaste kiss, Amy kisses him back and pushes the kiss into overdrive.

  • Justin Belson is tall, slender, auburn haired, with chiseled, attractive features. He should be a senior, but after his father was murdered two years ago, Justin understandably took a small hiatus from school and is thus a junior. He wears a leather jacket to pick Regina up for their first 'date' and this simple act freaks the Morrows out. Yet they let their daughter go out with the Chuck Bass of their time...

  • Molly [Margaret] Hecht is a petite blonde with large green eyes and an acidic personality towards Regina as well as a predilection for cocaine and pot.

  • Jan [Janice] Brown is Molly's best friend, although that title could be refuted considering it's hinted at this point that she's the one who pulled Molly into the drug usage and then later fucking holds Regina Morrow down to do the second line of coke that definitely killed the poor girl. Jan does seem to have a firm grasp on the concept that if someone steals your friend's boyfriend, ex or otherwise, you make them pay. Good job, Jan.

  • Jessica tries to play the literature quoting game with Liz, by arguing that happy couples are boring and didn't some famous novel start out that way? Liz has to remind her that Tolstoy said "happy families" and not boring, but alike. Jess waves this off with the classic, "Whatever."

  • Nicholas Morrow has a new friend. Sam Watson. Sam's ex was Justin's ex. But... not Molly? Intrigue?

  • Skye Morrow is 38. Damn, girl.

  • At the Wakefield BBQ, Winston sets up a game of Frisbee baseball for the guys and Jeffrey is third base. Well, at least he'll get to third with something in his life.

  • Regina describes Caroline as "sweet" and "welcoming" and I'm left wondering when the body snatchers had time to take Caroline. Even after her transformation I'm not sure anyone would describe her as welcoming.

  • The BBQ guest list: Jessica, Elizabeth, Jeffrey, Enid, Lila, Cara, Olivia, Roger, Bruce, Regina, Amy, Maria, Winston, Caroline, Ken. That's... a bit awkward, but this is why I don't throw parties.

  • After Bruce grills the hell out of things, the party mellows out. Olivia plays folk music on her guitar for a small audience. Ken, Maria, Winston, and Enid tell ghost stories, Liz and Jeffrey are smooching, Amy and Bruce are grinding behind the tree, and Regina is sitting by herself. This means Jess was either in the bathroom or listening to Olivia play folk music. Ditto for Lila. What, I ask you, is wrong with that picture?

  • Nola is the Morrow's new housekeeper.

  • Regina went to Secca Lake after carjacking 1bruce1 in an attempt to calm down.

  • Justin takes Regina to Kelly's on their first date. Because that's naturally where you'd think to take the single most naive member of the junior class. Ass.

  • Justin's father was murdered two years ago when two kids, younger than 16/17, mugged him for drug money at his liquor store. When daddy hit the alarm, one kid panicked and stabbed daddy to death. Justin's mother turned to pills to ease the pain and Justin... I dunno, found drugs, too, but never stopped to think it was a tad hypocritical of him to condemn his mother for taking the loss as hard as he was.

  • Justin's father's liquor store was on Putnam Avenue, not the prettiest part of town.

  • Molly and Justin have dated since junior high.

  • Molly's parents are apparently divorced, because the ill-fated party she throws is a yearly affair when her mother goes out of town and her father lives in San Fran.

  • Ty Hecht is Molly's little brother. He's in ninth grade.

  • Buzz Jackson is a big coke dealer. He's skinny and mean looking, and while he's Mimi's age, that's about all they have in common. He's been dealing since junior high. Mimi thinks his real name might be something he doesn't like all that much, like William or something. Or maybe Buzz is just an obvious nickname?

  • Jan's boyfriend is Jay [James] Benson.

  • It's still creepy whenever Enid's past is mentioned and they talk about her being with a really fast crowd. Dude, she was like, 13.

  • Mimi is 19, a junior at Sweet Valley College, and has worked at a clinic outside town for the last 3 years.

  • Molly lives at 45 Redwood Drive.

  • Regina went to Casey's before the party. Nice to know the girl got some ice cream before she died.

  • Jessica uses red spray in hair color.

  • On his way to rescue Regina, Nicholas lost his keys, his wallet, and then got stopped for going 35 mph in a 25 zone. He was hauled in for lack of identification and it took him more than an hour to get the cops to listen to why he was speeding. Hell, man, you had the drive to the station. I would have started out with "Buzz is getting my sister high on coke and heroin RIGHT NOW."

  • Sergeant O'Riley is the one who finally listens to Nicholas.

  • Molly, Jan, and a redhead named Tina are busy smoking pot away from the crowd at the party, waiting for Buzz to show. Regina stumbles across them by accident and they rip into her for stealing Molly's boyfriend.

  • Justin isn't worried about Molly doing coke, but the thought of her on heroin scares him, which is why he won't leave the party early.

  • Regina does two lines of coke, one right after the other, as Jan holds her down for the second line, even as the first is taking hold.

  • Regina's heart is doing 40 beats in 15 seconds.

  • Nicholas reads Dirge Without Music by Edna St. Vincent Millay at Regina's memorial.

  • Regina's letter arrives at the Wakefield house on Tuesday.

  • The teaser/preview at the start of the book is of Regina's breakdown at the party. Instead of Regina informing Bruce that she'll be driving his Porsche home, she says she'll be taking his car home. Dude, it's 1bruce1. Treat it with respect, teaser-people.



Quote-a-ble Sweet Valley:
  Jessica looked at Elizabeth with an expression halfway between frustration and concern. It was always this way whenever she tried to explain something perfectly simple to her sister. Elizabeth just couldn't seem to grasp the essentials. -p8

  He gave her a cocky smile. "I'd kind of forgotten how much fun it is to spread the wealth-to share the old Bruce magic with more than one girl." - Amy, this is the guy you think will be a good boyfriend? He's already talking about multiple girls and you just now tempted him to cheat. Oi. p18

  "There's bound to be lots of scandal," she'd said. "Especially since all three members of the 'love triangle' are coming." - Liz, scandal isn't the word you're looking for. Scandal is what it is, not what will be going on. Oi. p 27

  "Explain to me why you're looking forward to it," she pleaded. "I just don't see what's going to be fun about watching Regina's heart break." - and yet she still doesn't step in. Still page 27

  "Thanks, I really appreciate your consideration," she spat out sarcastically. "From the way you've acted tonight, it's obvious how much you really care about my feelings." -It's always the quiet ones, right? Regina finally calls Liz out on her bitchery and she gets killed for it. Oh! A conspiracy theory is born! p50

  "Doesn't anyone in this town have anything better to do than to talk about Bruce and me?" - Sadly, no, Regina. You are our A plot and that's what we must obsess over. p58

  She floundered, unable to come up with anything more plausible than simply wanting to talk about herself and Bruce. - Oh, Amy... if I weren't in the middle of hating you something fierce, I would probably still find that hysterical. And also, so totally true. Points to SVH for realism. Weird. p 66

  What risks had Bruce ever taken? What hardships had he ever overcome? Bruce had had his life handed to him on a silver platter, but Justin had suffered. - Regina compares Bruce and Justin and Bruce comes out lacking. In Bruce's defense, at least he's not the one who took you to a coke party and got you killed. He just cheated on you with an idiot whose own friends can't stand her. Also, total teenage girl to find the suffering boy to be so much more fascinating. Realism again! p71

  Bruce paled. "I'd better call Regina," he muttered. Amy looked away, clearly unenthusiastic about the prospect, but aware that it would hardly make her look good if she objected. - Amy, he's calling her to tell her to stay away from the drug den, not to beg for forgiveness. Oi. p83

  "Look, this stuff goes on just like spray paint," she said, admiring the reddish streaks she had applied. "Isn't it fun? I look like a rockstar."
  "You look like a freak." - Jess/Liz. I love this little exchange far too much for my own good... p98

  But the truth was that things just didn't last forever. Not friendship, not human lives. - p143


  I don't really remember much of my SV days before Regina died. Quite probably because this book came out when I was six and by the time I was old enough to read the books just a few short years later, the cover would have appealed to my drama-queen-lite tendencies, and thus I would have read it before, say, any of the overly coupley books not featuring a twin on the cover. Truthfully, I think I knew Regina would die before I read the book, but again, that could just be 20-something odd years of having read these things. I knew then, as I know now, that OtE was meant to scare kids away from the Evils of Drug Use, even as a one-time experiment. Alas, I'd bet that most of the war on drugs of my youth did very little in the way of scaring anyone other than me. But Regina's death, coupled with one very surreal day courtesy of my uncle going batshit crazy, managed to do just what it set out to do.
  That said, I love 99% of this book, but I have a raging hatred for that remaining 1 percent. I love how Regina's finally taken off the pedestal she never actually wanted to be on, I love how she's not depicted with a rosy glow on anything other than a less-than-flattering cover, and I love that when the world kicks her in the shins, she kicks back. What I do not love, however, is the immediate retcon job done to Bruce & Regina's relationship. Instead of taking the time to show that Bruce was losing interest now that all the high drama of their relationship had worn off [she's heroically deaf! she's in Switzerland! She's being held hostage just down the street! She can hear your beautiful, beautiful voice! for the first time EVER!] and making the split believable, even if the other characters in the series never saw the subtle shift in dynamic, the Idiots That Be threw Amy Sutton in, kind of like an annoying self-absorbed grenade, and had her be so irresistible that Bruce couldn't help but fall for her. I could probably buy that on it's own, but when Regina muses that their relationship had been on the rocks "for awhile" because the drama had declined? That's where I cry foul. The whole point of not showing the occasional longing glance at any other girl prancing by at the numerous beach scenes and parties, of not having anyone believe Amy until they saw it with their own eyes was that Bruce and Regina were supposed to be a solid couple, held together by their shared dramatic past. The. Whole. Effing. Point. It was supposed to be out of left field! You can't have it fly out of left field if someone could, in theory, sit down and rationally think it over, deciding that yes, yes she could see how this could have happened.
  It just... can't.... happen.
  Also, this series has a habit of making people a little too forgiving. Teenagers, hell, people frequently, are just not that forgiving. I get that, ideally, you could go on about your day without the bitterness driving you to lash out, but... in reality, all this forgiveness crammed down your throat makes it seem like you're supposed to smile pretty when someone does something awful to you. No. Nononono.
  It killed me then, and it kills me a little now, that just as Regina actually got another story under her belt, when she got some personality, it came at the expense of her life.

  And because it wouldn't be right to let this go, we'll weigh in on whether Liz should have told Regina or not. Normally this is a grey area at best. Some people actually want to know when their beloved is cheating on them, or at least rumours are floating around that it could be on the horizon. Some will readily admit that they will kill the damn messenger, so you'd best keep your mouth shut. I've had friends on both sides. Personally, I'd want to know. With that in mind, Liz should have told Regina for one damn reason, and one reason only. Everyone else at that fucking party knew, and it was beyond cruel to let Regina walk into a party where every single girl, and some of the boys, was waiting to see how fucked up her life was going to get.
  Seriously. Everyone had to know. Amy told Jessica, Lila, Maria, and Cara. Once that passed out into the ether, Caroline had to know because she's got powers that way. Maria would have told Winston. I'm betting Roger had an inkling, if the retcon is to believed [and even if it wasn't, since Amy spent so much time hitting on Bruce at the Patman estate, where Roger's been known to nip at Bruce's heels] and even if he didn't, Olivia's moving in the same circles as the gossips mentioned previously that she'd have heard something. And she'd have mentioned it to Roger. Jessica told Elizabeth, who promptly turned around and told Jeffrey. That leaves Enid and Ken. Enid's bound to have heard that Amy's making a play for Bruce, and probably that the two have already started going after one another... and if Enid's heard, than good ol' Kenny Matthews has as well. Even if you assume that Enid, Ken, Roger, and Olivia don't know, that's still more than half the party who know something is up, and almost all of them are on the evil side, or have been in the past. Friends don't let friends walk into that much potential drama without a heads up. ESPECIALLY once Elizabeth knew that Jessica was hoping to set off the drama fireworks. That's when you tell Amy not to show up OR you tell Regina that her boyfriend is an ass.

  The first time I read this, I bawled. For awhile I couldn't even look at the cover without getting a little misty. I'd ignore Regina's demise when playing SVH with my dolls [Regina was a Teresa and arguably one of my favorites until the unfortunate incident that somehow left her with red marks up and down her legs, and then she just took to wearing evening gowns at all times since Barbie wasn't big on pants then] and later I'd be amused, but happy enough, that her looks were reincarnated with Pamela, even if nothing else about her was. With that in mind, I dragged my feet getting to this point and then read it and... y'know, no waterworks. No emotional surge of any sort other than annoyance at the retcon job I'd forgotten.
  Oddly enough, the Regina section in Jessica's Secret Diary volume 1? Still make me tear up a little. Go figure.

  To end on a truly superficial note, I should say that while I mock the reenactment photos something awful, this one isn't bad at all, although they seem to have confused the original yellow cover with a yellow shirt. What can you do? And the third cover on the English bar is actually a hardback. So I didn't lose my mind on that and repeat something. ;)

the_oracle: (left of normal)
Memories
Dec 1986

Can Cara make Steven forget Tricia Martin?

Torn apart by love...


   The Wakefield twins' older brother, Steven, hasn't dated anyone since his girlfriend died of leukemia. He can't even look at another girl without thinking of his beloved Tricia.
   But Steven is drawn to Cara Walker. Sweet Valley's biggest flirt and gossip has changed. Her parents have divorced, and her father and brother have moved away. Cara understands the pain of losing someone.
   When Tricia's sister Betsy sees Steven and Cara dancing together at a party, she accuses Steven of forgetting about Tricia. Steven is torn by Betsy's bitter accusation. He can't deny his attraction to Cara. But how can he ever love another girl after Tricia?

  Memories is an odd book. It's billed as the Steven/Cara 'ship finally sets sail only to be slammed by that crackwhore Betsy Martin, but that actually happened in the last book. Seriously, first time we see Bets this go round, she's ready to apologize for bitching out poor Steven, but he's so firmly under his thundercloud of guilt that he won't hear of it. If you've never read this or any other freakin' SVH book past the one where Trish bites it, but you've seen all of S7 of Buffy, think of how Willow flips out when she falls for that crackwhore pesky Kennedy. No, Steven doesn't morph into Warren thus freaking out the Scoobies, but he does act sort of similarly. Tis freaky. You see, by falling for Cara [finally!] he's betraying Tricia's memory by moving on. By forgetting her in bits and pieces. He can't handle that, so he runs to the one person who can fill in his foggy memory better than anyone else, as well as his biggest and easiest source of guilt. Crackwhore Martin. People keep trying to convince us that Crackwhore wouldn't be so bitchy, but hello? She so would. Betsy has three "defining" characteristics. One, she's an artist. Just like everyone else in the Valley. Two, she's got a horrible reputation. Just like half the brunette's in SV. Three, she's an unrelenting bitch. So yeah, it's totally like her to make someone miserable to keep them under her thumb.
  Now, in a related sort of way, we must look at this from Cara's view. She's had a thing for Steven for ages, and just when it looks like the gods might smile upon her, it's not until her home life is in the shitter [Daddy moved to Chicago and took her little brother, remember?] And then there's the little matter of Steven being a total bastard to her at every turn. After he totally fucks up her birthday because he's too... stupid? ... to tell her that the place she picked was the scene of his last actual date with Tricia, she tells him to fuck off. Romantically he's just as unavailable as he's always been, if not more so because she will not [and cannot] compete with a ghost, particularly one Steve has so romanticized. I added that last bit, but you know she's thinking it. Steve's all but got the halo drawn on all of Tricia's pictures.

  To distract us from this, we have a real "wait, what the fuck?" two-fer concerning the twins. We'll go with Jessica's first as it has nothing to do with anything at all. Jess has decided that she's definitely meant for the movies, but instead of auditioning or something, she decides to stalk Winston because she overheard her mother talking to Winston's mother about a movie director relation. To Jessica's credit, he actually was supposed to show up for a mini reunion, only he was forced to cancel after a movie shoot ran long. So when Jess meets one of Mrs. Egbert's cousins, she assumes it's the director. It's not. It's a civil engineer, and while you might not see that exact twist coming, you know the moment he opens his mouth that he's not the director and that when Jess professes to love his job and wants to be in the biz as well and he's shocked, that he does something totally un-Jessica. Even as a kid I knew that much.
  The best part of this is how hard to get Winston is.
  Then we have Liz. To properly put this in perspective, this book begins the day AFTER the last one. Less than 24 hours, people! Todd's still in town, although he's pretty much a no-show for the book. At the beginning of the book, he's still very much Elizabeth's boyfriend, but about halfway through he's demoted to "ex-boyfriend" or "former boyfriend." Um, okay, I guess. Liz sees a Todd lookalike at the mall and then at school and then, with the help of Penny, she figures out he's on the Big Mesa volleyball team and his name is Michael Sellers. Liz is totally infatuated because he's freakishly similar to Todd. I'm thinking more so than when they switched actors on the TV show and expected us to go with it because it was a soap and soaps do that all the time. So, Liz wants to meet the clone because he might be just like Todd and then she can just replace her boyfriend with an almost perfect replica!

  And as other people have noted, no one calls her on this, despite the fact that the idiot doing this line of thinking is a twin and should therefor know how different two people can be even when they look IDENTICAL.
  So there's this volleyball match and I'm totally having Saved By The Bell flashbacks [their summer at the hotel or whatever, and Leah Remini was a cast member? I loved her then. So much love, so much makeup...] and to complement that, Liz is having Todd flashbacks because MS looks just like Todd! Eee! OMG! Whatever. As a result, she's the worst volleyball player, EVER. I'm thinking I might be better, and while I found v-ball to be the least evil of all sports, thinking me better than anyone at anything athletic is probably not a good sign. Mikey figures that Liz can't play for shit, so they target her and it works! They win! Then SVH wins! It's time for a tie-breaker! I've long since ceased to care! Of course the wonder-twins manage to fake out the other team despite Liz sucking so badly, and they win and it's all fabulous, and there's a dance afterward and Liz goes and meets Mikey there...
  And realizes he's more like Bruce than Todd, but without the fantastic over the top Patman flair. He's like Bruce-lite in Todd-lite form. So she blows him off to dance with Winston. And then Jess blows him off just to talk to Winston. So, so awesome.

  So, with that out of the way, we're back to Steve moping. Liz tires of it and takes matters into her own hands. She goes to Betsy and asks her to set her brother free because they're killing one another. Betsy looks at her like she's nuts for not wanting Steve to hold onto Tricia as hard as he can. Then Liz points out that for Betsy to go on with her life while still clinging to Tricia isn't a conflict of interest. For Steve to move on and have another relationship, he has to let go of Tricia and he can't do that without massive guilt on his own and Betsy, bitch, you ain't helping.

  What does Betsy do? She caves. Then somehow enlists the help of Teddy Collins who delivers two packages to Cara and Steven whose mother's "accidentally" set them up, and they're fantastic drawings of the other one. Which is Betsy's way of saying fine, have your own life, see if I care, Wakefield. Steve immediately falls all over Cara and she's too weak to resist and aww?

  The lead up for the next book is all about Emily Mayer and her family of woe. You'd think for book twenty five, they'd have outdone themselves, but I guess this is before we treated every multiple of five as a big deal, huh?


Trivia, baby:

  • Begins the day after Lila's "it's a day ending in y" party.

  • Tricia Martin was a robin in a third grade play. Woo?

  • Sharon Egbert, for those keeping track of the parental names.

  • Mr. Collins' English class is in room 103.

  • Jess has English with Guy, Emily, Winston, and Lila.

  • Winston and Jessica do their American author term project on F. Scott Fitzgerald. Lila goes with Hemingway because he's Mariel's grandfather. When she tries to get Jessica to buddy up with her, Jessica keeps thinking Li's saying "highway." Insert blond joke here.

  • Michael Sellers is a football player as well as the captain of their charity volleyball team. He's also an ass.

  • When Ned was a junior in college, his best friend died in a car accident. Ned named Steven for him.

  • Whatever movie Liz was going to watch, Jess ruins by telling her the general poisoned everyone.

  • Liz is willing to believe Crackwhore Martin can change, but Cara can't? She believed in Caroline for fuck's sake. What did Cara ever do to her? [Which is to say, Liz is against Cara/Steven and makes a big show of apologizing to Cara for basically thinking her brother could do better. Cara proves she's a lady by not backhanding Liz.]

  • SVH's volleyball team: Ken [captain!], Jessica, Liz, Bruce [years of tennis make him good at this, apparently. Seriously, that's what we're told], Lila [who has her own v-ball court and defies gravity when she jumps. She's that awesome], and John Pfeifer who's good, but not swoon worthy.

  • Bruce served first in the game. Liz sucked most.

  • Artie Western is a senior at SVH, a friend of Steve's, and has a thing for Cara. Awkward!

  • Marty Davis [graying blond, for those who like to know] and his wife Jane visit his cousin, Sharon Egbert, and Jess confuses Marty for the interesting cousin.

  • Winston lives close enough to walk to the Dairi Burger, as Jessica does just this and you know she doesn't wear sensible shoes.

  • Cara's birthday is sometime in the late winter, early spring, which is when I'm guessing this book takes place.

  • Steven gives Cara a card that says, "happy birthday to someone nice." He gives her a mystery novel, luckily she really wanted to read it. See, Liz, Cara isn't so bad! She reads. Cara, I should add, does not give Steve a look for the lame card.

  • Tricia's favorite song? "Always."

  • Cara booked reservations for 7:30 at the Valley Inn. She and Steve had prime rib, tossed green salad, and baked potatoes. Yes, they had the same meal. Don't you know you get something different so you can nibble off his plate? For dessert they have cherry pie and ice cream. Steve doesn't think to do the whole HB song and cake thing until after dessert is delivered, and Cara says she wouldn't have liked the attention anyway. Where'd the real Cara go?

  • Cara doesn't take French, or if she does she's taking Spanish as well, as she and Steve bond over what a witch Mrs. Ray is.

  • "Strategies for Waste Disposal in L.A." Fascinating literature, eh, Jess?

  • Phil Davis was the cousin Jess meant to suck up to and impress with her fabulosity. Next time, love!


  • And one last one: Why the hell do we not hear about Steven going to a shrink? Given how much time he spends depressed over Trish, you'd think he'd have been shipped to at least one...



Quotes:
  "Sounds good, Dad," Jessica agreed, "but I've decided the stage isn't big enough for me."
  "Why?" Elizabeth giggled. "Are you planning on gaining a lot of weight?" - Liz is hi-larious. If you're really drunk. p10

  Michael Sellers was astonished. He simply couldn't figure it out. What was wrong with those Wakefield twins? And what did Winston have that he didn't? - A personality, Mikey. p78

"But remember Cara's got one advantage over Tricia. She's alive." - Jessica being cruel to be kind. p91




   I find the Steve/Cara storyline worrisome as it's weird that Steve's only interested in Cara when she's broken and vulnerable, although if I squint I can see why. I think Steve's an ass towards Cara and got off lightly, but I do feel bad for him in having to let go of Tricia, although I was raised in a family where you loved your lost true love until the day you died, hell the only person I knew who remarried was still painfully in love with their lost love, and she'd died some twenty odd years prior. So a few months might feel like forever, but it's not. However, in the interest of getting Steven to shut the hell up, I'm all for Cara fixing him.
  I still hate Betsy and wish daily for a certain Fiat to accidentally swerve into her, killing her instantly while Jessica must try to pretend she cares. Sigh.
  The Liz/Mike storyline is stupid, but obviously when we all thought Todd had a lobotomy later in the series or in SVU, it was because it wasn't Todd. It was Mikey. D'oh! On the plus side, lookit all the pretty, shiny covers. I'd gotten tired of just one or two alternatives. This one's chock full of alternate goodies. Score!


the_oracle: (left of normal)
Memories
Dec 1986

Can Cara make Steven forget Tricia Martin?

Torn apart by love...


   The Wakefield twins' older brother, Steven, hasn't dated anyone since his girlfriend died of leukemia. He can't even look at another girl without thinking of his beloved Tricia.
   But Steven is drawn to Cara Walker. Sweet Valley's biggest flirt and gossip has changed. Her parents have divorced, and her father and brother have moved away. Cara understands the pain of losing someone.
   When Tricia's sister Betsy sees Steven and Cara dancing together at a party, she accuses Steven of forgetting about Tricia. Steven is torn by Betsy's bitter accusation. He can't deny his attraction to Cara. But how can he ever love another girl after Tricia?

  Memories is an odd book. It's billed as the Steven/Cara 'ship finally sets sail only to be slammed by that crackwhore Betsy Martin, but that actually happened in the last book. Seriously, first time we see Bets this go round, she's ready to apologize for bitching out poor Steven, but he's so firmly under his thundercloud of guilt that he won't hear of it. If you've never read this or any other freakin' SVH book past the one where Trish bites it, but you've seen all of S7 of Buffy, think of how Willow flips out when she falls for that crackwhore pesky Kennedy. No, Steven doesn't morph into Warren thus freaking out the Scoobies, but he does act sort of similarly. Tis freaky. You see, by falling for Cara [finally!] he's betraying Tricia's memory by moving on. By forgetting her in bits and pieces. He can't handle that, so he runs to the one person who can fill in his foggy memory better than anyone else, as well as his biggest and easiest source of guilt. Crackwhore Martin. People keep trying to convince us that Crackwhore wouldn't be so bitchy, but hello? She so would. Betsy has three "defining" characteristics. One, she's an artist. Just like everyone else in the Valley. Two, she's got a horrible reputation. Just like half the brunette's in SV. Three, she's an unrelenting bitch. So yeah, it's totally like her to make someone miserable to keep them under her thumb.
  Now, in a related sort of way, we must look at this from Cara's view. She's had a thing for Steven for ages, and just when it looks like the gods might smile upon her, it's not until her home life is in the shitter [Daddy moved to Chicago and took her little brother, remember?] And then there's the little matter of Steven being a total bastard to her at every turn. After he totally fucks up her birthday because he's too... stupid? ... to tell her that the place she picked was the scene of his last actual date with Tricia, she tells him to fuck off. Romantically he's just as unavailable as he's always been, if not more so because she will not [and cannot] compete with a ghost, particularly one Steve has so romanticized. I added that last bit, but you know she's thinking it. Steve's all but got the halo drawn on all of Tricia's pictures.

  To distract us from this, we have a real "wait, what the fuck?" two-fer concerning the twins. We'll go with Jessica's first as it has nothing to do with anything at all. Jess has decided that she's definitely meant for the movies, but instead of auditioning or something, she decides to stalk Winston because she overheard her mother talking to Winston's mother about a movie director relation. To Jessica's credit, he actually was supposed to show up for a mini reunion, only he was forced to cancel after a movie shoot ran long. So when Jess meets one of Mrs. Egbert's cousins, she assumes it's the director. It's not. It's a civil engineer, and while you might not see that exact twist coming, you know the moment he opens his mouth that he's not the director and that when Jess professes to love his job and wants to be in the biz as well and he's shocked, that he does something totally un-Jessica. Even as a kid I knew that much.
  The best part of this is how hard to get Winston is.
  Then we have Liz. To properly put this in perspective, this book begins the day AFTER the last one. Less than 24 hours, people! Todd's still in town, although he's pretty much a no-show for the book. At the beginning of the book, he's still very much Elizabeth's boyfriend, but about halfway through he's demoted to "ex-boyfriend" or "former boyfriend." Um, okay, I guess. Liz sees a Todd lookalike at the mall and then at school and then, with the help of Penny, she figures out he's on the Big Mesa volleyball team and his name is Michael Sellers. Liz is totally infatuated because he's freakishly similar to Todd. I'm thinking more so than when they switched actors on the TV show and expected us to go with it because it was a soap and soaps do that all the time. So, Liz wants to meet the clone because he might be just like Todd and then she can just replace her boyfriend with an almost perfect replica!

  And as other people have noted, no one calls her on this, despite the fact that the idiot doing this line of thinking is a twin and should therefor know how different two people can be even when they look IDENTICAL.
  So there's this volleyball match and I'm totally having Saved By The Bell flashbacks [their summer at the hotel or whatever, and Leah Remini was a cast member? I loved her then. So much love, so much makeup...] and to complement that, Liz is having Todd flashbacks because MS looks just like Todd! Eee! OMG! Whatever. As a result, she's the worst volleyball player, EVER. I'm thinking I might be better, and while I found v-ball to be the least evil of all sports, thinking me better than anyone at anything athletic is probably not a good sign. Mikey figures that Liz can't play for shit, so they target her and it works! They win! Then SVH wins! It's time for a tie-breaker! I've long since ceased to care! Of course the wonder-twins manage to fake out the other team despite Liz sucking so badly, and they win and it's all fabulous, and there's a dance afterward and Liz goes and meets Mikey there...
  And realizes he's more like Bruce than Todd, but without the fantastic over the top Patman flair. He's like Bruce-lite in Todd-lite form. So she blows him off to dance with Winston. And then Jess blows him off just to talk to Winston. So, so awesome.

  So, with that out of the way, we're back to Steve moping. Liz tires of it and takes matters into her own hands. She goes to Betsy and asks her to set her brother free because they're killing one another. Betsy looks at her like she's nuts for not wanting Steve to hold onto Tricia as hard as he can. Then Liz points out that for Betsy to go on with her life while still clinging to Tricia isn't a conflict of interest. For Steve to move on and have another relationship, he has to let go of Tricia and he can't do that without massive guilt on his own and Betsy, bitch, you ain't helping.

  What does Betsy do? She caves. Then somehow enlists the help of Teddy Collins who delivers two packages to Cara and Steven whose mother's "accidentally" set them up, and they're fantastic drawings of the other one. Which is Betsy's way of saying fine, have your own life, see if I care, Wakefield. Steve immediately falls all over Cara and she's too weak to resist and aww?

  The lead up for the next book is all about Emily Mayer and her family of woe. You'd think for book twenty five, they'd have outdone themselves, but I guess this is before we treated every multiple of five as a big deal, huh?


Trivia, baby:

  • Begins the day after Lila's "it's a day ending in y" party.

  • Tricia Martin was a robin in a third grade play. Woo?

  • Sharon Egbert, for those keeping track of the parental names.

  • Mr. Collins' English class is in room 103.

  • Jess has English with Guy, Emily, Winston, and Lila.

  • Winston and Jessica do their American author term project on F. Scott Fitzgerald. Lila goes with Hemingway because he's Mariel's grandfather. When she tries to get Jessica to buddy up with her, Jessica keeps thinking Li's saying "highway." Insert blond joke here.

  • Michael Sellers is a football player as well as the captain of their charity volleyball team. He's also an ass.

  • When Ned was a junior in college, his best friend died in a car accident. Ned named Steven for him.

  • Whatever movie Liz was going to watch, Jess ruins by telling her the general poisoned everyone.

  • Liz is willing to believe Crackwhore Martin can change, but Cara can't? She believed in Caroline for fuck's sake. What did Cara ever do to her? [Which is to say, Liz is against Cara/Steven and makes a big show of apologizing to Cara for basically thinking her brother could do better. Cara proves she's a lady by not backhanding Liz.]

  • SVH's volleyball team: Ken [captain!], Jessica, Liz, Bruce [years of tennis make him good at this, apparently. Seriously, that's what we're told], Lila [who has her own v-ball court and defies gravity when she jumps. She's that awesome], and John Pfeifer who's good, but not swoon worthy.

  • Bruce served first in the game. Liz sucked most.

  • Artie Western is a senior at SVH, a friend of Steve's, and has a thing for Cara. Awkward!

  • Marty Davis [graying blond, for those who like to know] and his wife Jane visit his cousin, Sharon Egbert, and Jess confuses Marty for the interesting cousin.

  • Winston lives close enough to walk to the Dairi Burger, as Jessica does just this and you know she doesn't wear sensible shoes.

  • Cara's birthday is sometime in the late winter, early spring, which is when I'm guessing this book takes place.

  • Steven gives Cara a card that says, "happy birthday to someone nice." He gives her a mystery novel, luckily she really wanted to read it. See, Liz, Cara isn't so bad! She reads. Cara, I should add, does not give Steve a look for the lame card.

  • Tricia's favorite song? "Always."

  • Cara booked reservations for 7:30 at the Valley Inn. She and Steve had prime rib, tossed green salad, and baked potatoes. Yes, they had the same meal. Don't you know you get something different so you can nibble off his plate? For dessert they have cherry pie and ice cream. Steve doesn't think to do the whole HB song and cake thing until after dessert is delivered, and Cara says she wouldn't have liked the attention anyway. Where'd the real Cara go?

  • Cara doesn't take French, or if she does she's taking Spanish as well, as she and Steve bond over what a witch Mrs. Ray is.

  • "Strategies for Waste Disposal in L.A." Fascinating literature, eh, Jess?

  • Phil Davis was the cousin Jess meant to suck up to and impress with her fabulosity. Next time, love!


  • And one last one: Why the hell do we not hear about Steven going to a shrink? Given how much time he spends depressed over Trish, you'd think he'd have been shipped to at least one...



Quotes:
  "Sounds good, Dad," Jessica agreed, "but I've decided the stage isn't big enough for me."
  "Why?" Elizabeth giggled. "Are you planning on gaining a lot of weight?" - Liz is hi-larious. If you're really drunk. p10

  Michael Sellers was astonished. He simply couldn't figure it out. What was wrong with those Wakefield twins? And what did Winston have that he didn't? - A personality, Mikey. p78

"But remember Cara's got one advantage over Tricia. She's alive." - Jessica being cruel to be kind. p91




   I find the Steve/Cara storyline worrisome as it's weird that Steve's only interested in Cara when she's broken and vulnerable, although if I squint I can see why. I think Steve's an ass towards Cara and got off lightly, but I do feel bad for him in having to let go of Tricia, although I was raised in a family where you loved your lost true love until the day you died, hell the only person I knew who remarried was still painfully in love with their lost love, and she'd died some twenty odd years prior. So a few months might feel like forever, but it's not. However, in the interest of getting Steven to shut the hell up, I'm all for Cara fixing him.
  I still hate Betsy and wish daily for a certain Fiat to accidentally swerve into her, killing her instantly while Jessica must try to pretend she cares. Sigh.
  The Liz/Mike storyline is stupid, but obviously when we all thought Todd had a lobotomy later in the series or in SVU, it was because it wasn't Todd. It was Mikey. D'oh! On the plus side, lookit all the pretty, shiny covers. I'd gotten tired of just one or two alternatives. This one's chock full of alternate goodies. Score!


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