the_oracle: (tear)
Outcast
November 1987


Will anyone ever speak to Molly Hecht again?

No one to turn to...


   Ever since Regina Morrow's tragic death at Molly Hecht's party, everyone has been treating Molly as if she has the plague. Nobody at school wants to talk to her, her parents have permanently grounded her, and even her good friend Justin Belson is avoiding her. Every time Molly tries to make amends, nobody will listen.

   So when Buzz, a drug dealer who's hiding from the police, calls Molly and announces he's leaving town, she's more than ready to go with him. She'd rather flee to Mexico with Buzz than walk the halls of Sweet Valley High alone. Only Elizabeth senses that Molly is troubled, but even she may be too late to stop her from running away with a fugitive.


   Sorry this took so long, but I kept having to stop for fear that I might actually have a heart attack myself from the sheer mind numbing pain of it all. Which is weird, as I don't remember having that exact problem the first time I read it. Of course, I was skimming while trying to do something else at the same time, so that probably explains it, at least a little.

  The setup is simple. Molly Hecht has been made public enemy #1 at SVH. Everyone, including the teachers, blames her for Regina's death, at least in some small way. Everyone. Annnnnnd... I'm supposed to care because...?

   Now, on with the show. The book begins at Regina's memorial, where Nicholas has brought the house down with his heartfelt reading of one of Regina's favorite poems. Liz is wandering around backstage [even if it isn't literally backstage, that's how it comes across] and she comes across Bruce and Amy who are holding hands. Hell, if Bruce weren't known for thinking with his hormones first and foremost, I might even say he's not really aware of this at all. Amy, however, is looking defiant in her public declaration of affection for the dearly departed's recent ex. Classy, Sutton. Class-y. Liz comforts Bruce as best she can and tells him that he's a total asshole been forgiven. Regina didn't hold any ill will toward either of them. Sadly, one of the best moments happens right on page four.
  Amy looks deep into Elizabeth's soul, and for one brief, shining moment, we see a glimpse of the old Amy. Sweet, vulnerable, not a complete raging hormonal bitch, but someone who realizes that they might be held accountable for their actions and is afraid of what might happen... She asks if Liz is telling the truth, and when Liz assures her she is, their moment is lost forever. Oh, okay, fine, it's also the info dump for Amy/Liz-the tween years, but it's also a fairly nice moment all the same.

   After the memorial, Jeffrey drives Elizabeth home, and for a second you can hear my nine year old self sighing, and we notice that Ned's ugly ass car is home, as is Alice's car, and hell, even Steven's there. Before the grief overcomes them both, Jessica pulls up in the Fiat and the twins clasp hands, share their strength, and head inside as we marvel at how two identical people on the outside could be so different on the inside, and yet still both be torn by the loss of one friend. You know, glossing over the fact that Jessica was all for Regina's heartbreak being a spectator sport a week ago.

   If you thought the Wakefields were home just to comfort their daughters after a close friend died, you thought wrong. There's a mention of Regina's untimely death, but mostly it's, "Drugs! Bad! Don't do them!" I did like the way Steven pointed out that he understood how they felt given Regina's death, what with Tricia's death not being all that long ago. Then it's buried under some seriously heavy-handed don't do drugs stuff, and the moment is lost. Jessica vows to do something for Regina's memory, probably to help clear the guilt she's feeling away. This is also how Jessica deals with death. If she liked you, she does something to immortalize you in some way. Regina gets her Super Duper Secret Wait Til Later To Be Told Project and Sam will later get that bike rally. Like I said, it's Jessica's way.

   We flicker to Justin and he's realizing he royally fucked things up. Had he managed to get Molly out of his system properly, he wouldn't have taken Regina to the party, she'd still be alive, and maybe things wouldn't be so screwed up right now. He does a bit of raging against life and the irony of it all, thinking that things had finally turned a corner, only to have it be the same old crap, different day.
  So, Justin vows that to make things right, to keep this from ever happening again, he will finally cut all ties with his past. Including, ESPECIALLY, Molly. She's no good for him and you know, I kind of have to agree. He seems to have kicked any drug problem he might have had. She hasn't. While he hangs out at Kelly's drinking illegally, he doesn't seem to get drunk and whine about it so that I have to read about it. She's inviting Buzz over and still talking to him after Regina's death because she's just that conflicted. Justin seems to feel badly about Regina's death and not just how it affects him, but also how awful it is that she's not around anymore. Molly? Molly seems bothered that Regina happened to die at HER party. Not that someone died, just that by dying, it's seriously fucked her life up. Justin manages to capture my sympathy.

   Molly, however, does not. And since this is Molly's book, this is a problem.

   Backstory for Molly, or at least what we've been given. Her parents divorced and I gather it wasn't all that long ago. More than a year, but less than say, 15 years ago. Molly's parents don't seem to have an especially horrible relationship, but it doesn't seem to be all sunshine and roses since she's a bit bothered that it took hating on her to get her parents to agree on much of anything. But, at the same time, her father seems to be staying at the house after Molly's little party turned lethal, and there's no subsequent mention of her parents trying to kill each other, so they must be a little more than merely civil.
  The point is, I can feel bad for her in that her parents split up and that can't be easy. It's sort of implied that this is what set her down her road of questionable decisions, but never clearly stated. Her parents also seem to be kind of jerks, but then, they aren't painted with the same rainbow sparkles that Ned and Alice are, so maybe it's just that Molly thinks they are and so we see them that way. Truthfully, I can't blame them for not being warm and fuzzy towards their daughter after one of the richest teenagers in the city [town?] overdosed in their living room. My parents would have killed me.
  Instead, hers refuse to let her switch schools, drop out, or move to her father's to avoid the repercussions of her actions. They're waiting for someone to lead the lynch mob straight to Molly's locker and be done with her. Fair enough. You did the crime, the cops aren't making you do jail time, so you do your time in the school system that's going to make you wish you'd gone to jail. Tough love, baby. And I don't particularly fault them for it.

   Woe is Molly. Her parents are being total hardasses about this going to school and coming back in a reasonable amount of time thing. No one at school will talk to her. Everyone blames her for Regina's death. Hell, Molly says she does, too, but for someone claiming to take the blame, she's awfully fucking stupid. Days after Regina's death she tries to approach Elizabeth Wakefield, hoping for the absolution of the ever forgiving divine one. She waits until Jeffrey leaves and then makes her move. Liz, being polite and a little less saintly, doesn't run away, but she doesn't put on her Concerned!Face and immediately offer comfort. Instead she asks what Molly wants, very polite if a little strained, and Molly fumbles around. Understandable. A minute or two passes and Molly tries to string a semi-coherent thought together, but Saint Liz can't do this anymore. She tries to leave once more and Molly begs her not to hate her. And my heart breaks a little at this:


Elizabeth shook her head, her eyes bright with unshed tears, and took another step down. "I'm sorry, Molly, I can't talk to you."
"Liz! Please, don't-don't hate me," Molly begged pitifully.
There was a long pause. "I don't hate you, Molly," Elizabeth whispered. "But I loved Regina."


   It has it's flaws, but it's also the most polite way of breaking my heart and telling Molly to leave her alone all at once.
   Distraught, Molly flees the scene of her humiliation. She all but runs through town [city?] and ends up at the cemetery without even meaning to. She decides that since Liz cannot stand to see her, she hasn't a chance in hell with the other person she'd planned on begging forgiveness from [Regina's family, Nicholas to be exact] so instead she'll throw herself on Regina's mercy and confess her sins or something at Regina's grave. Oh, tear.
   Except Regina's grave is currently being visited by Nicholas Morrow, who is grieving in a way that's a little creepy and mostly realistic, given how he's been written to date. When Nicholas hears a twig snap, he goes to find out who has been spying on his grief. When he sees Molly, he flips the fuck out. "You killed my sister!" And with that, Molly is banished, and someone finally says the words I've been itching to hear this entire time. Someone flat out calls Molly a murderer to her Allison Sugarbaker face. SCORE.

   Now, remember Jessica's super-secret-plan? Well, she's decided that in memory of Regina, PBA should start a college scholarship fund for the truly needy at SVH. She figures that within a year they can raise a few thousand dollars and this way Regina's memory will live on each time someone is nominated and then when someone wins. At first everyone's overwhelmed by the amount of money they'd need to raise, as well as the logistics of the whole thing, but Lila steps up and says her father will donate a ton, and as if that weren't enough, she'll hit up the country club because everyone there knew Regina.
  True, but are the rich and spoiled of the Southern California area really going to throw money at a scholarship created for a girl who died of a cocaine overdose? Especially given the rich bitches we've met at the CC, like Gordon Stoddard's parents. I'm just saying...
   Anyway, with Lila's backing, the rest of PBA begins throwing fund raising ideas out like crazy. Still, Jessica's worried about the logistics of the whole thing and asks her parents to help her figure something out. Ned does her one better and suggests that his firm handle all the money and paperwork and basically everything she was worried about. I know people elsewhere, particularly 1bruce1 [love!], ask this all the time, but what in the fuck kind of lawyer IS Ned? I could see him having friends who could help out, sure, but always being able to do whatever lawyer-y thing is required? That's just... mind boggling. I know the series is written for younger girls, but is it also written BY them? You know, like when Doctor Barbie can do EVERYTHING because you've only got the four dolls, and one of them is missing a head so really, your choices are seriously limited? Good lord.

  Now, where were we? Oh, yes. Molly's wallowing in self pity when she gets a call from Buzz, our friendly neighborhood coke/heroin dealer. He lays it on with a trowel. How is she, doesn't everyone suck for holding her accountable for Regina's actions, isn't she lonely, does she miss him, he misses her, gosh, if only they could meet...
  And so they do, outside of Kelly's. You'd think the cops would have Kelly's on their radar, but maybe Mr. Fowler is right. Maybe the SVPD really does suck. Again, Buzz is so obvious that I'm thinking all that coke Molly's done has killed all her braincells. Imagine, if you will, if someone came up to you with this:
  Hey, baby. I've missed you. Sucks that everyone's on your case. By the way, I think I like you. So, that kiss was great for me, even though I saw you recoil from it and all, but uh, listen, I've got to get out of town. I know, baby, it sucks that we've finally found each other and all, but the cops... well, you know what they're like. Say, hey, got any money? You do? Could you, I dunno, withdraw all of it? You could? Fab! Maybe we could... well, no. I couldn't ask. Ask what? Well, we could run away. Sure. You go the bank, take all YOUR money out, then WE'LL run away, but you'll only be gone a few days. I'll keep the rest of your cash. Sound good? Awesome. Now get the fuck out of my car, skank.

  That is pretty much how the Buzz convo went, but a little more fun. And Molly agrees because OMG, if you missed it, the last few days have been HORRIBLE for her. Because she helped kill a girl.
  You see my problem with feeling bad for her, right?
  Yes?
  No?
  Bah.

  Anyway, Liz gets to thinking and she feels as if her halo is tarnished now that she's turned her back on someone for entirely justifiable reasons. She and Jeffrey chatter and he points out that it's okay to not want to talk to Molly, it doesn't make Liz anything but human... and Liz cannot have this. She's a saint, damn it, and she's going to rectify this!
  Only she still can't talk to Molly without wanting to weep for Regina's loss. So she decides that Justin would make an excellent replacement Saint. Except when she calls him [during the middle of her date with Jeffrey!] Justin tells her to go fuck herself. He's worked hard to distance himself from that pariah and Liz doesn't know a damn thing about what she's talking about. Which is true. Liz knows less than Regina knew about Justin's life, and we really don't know why Justin and Molly broke up, other than they eventually did not see eye-to-eye on the drug situation. Whatever, he's got his reasons and it's incredibly rude of Elizabeth to just assume Justin will do what Elizabeth cannot bring herself to do.
  So Liz worries. Nicholas comes over the next morning and Jessica brightens at the sight of him, and I know it's stupid, but I always feel for her when Nicholas so blatantly ignores her the second Liz glides into the room. I'm also painfully proud of the series for never having him come around to the Jessica way of thinking, although I'm not sure they would have made an absolutely horrid couple.
   Enough fantasy, back to the fictional reality. Liz and Nicholas discuss how he was dreadful to Molly [mock? Me? Neverrrrrrrr] and Liz sort of, but not really, cops to being less than sweet with Molly herself. I love that he's flogging himself for being completely upset, and she won't even volunteer her story to make him feel slightly better. God, Liz, that's how this game is played.
  Nicholas asks Elizabeth to tell Molly he's sorry and Elizabeth sort of agrees, but doesn't actually do it.

  Blah blah blah, I started to die here from sheer annoyance and boredom all at the same time, so things get fuzzy. Molly goes to the bank, tries to close her account but gets pissed when she's told she has to fill out paperwork to do that.
  Molly: Well, what if I don't take out everything. Would I still have to fill out the papers then?
  Clerk: You wouldn't be closing out your account then, now would you? *IDIOT thought bubble*

  Molly takes out everything but fourteen bucks and some change and then runs into Liz. Because Liz is everywhere. For those of you who now have the SVH themesong stuck your head, I truly do apologize. For those that don't, I'm jealous.
  Somewhere in this muck Liz is writing up an article about the PBA scholarship and there's a discussion about how horribly everyone is treating Molly and for the briefest second we're told how hard this must be on Olivia, since she spent a lot of time with Bruce/Regina, and how the two were close. Poor Liv. Your pain is cut off by the appearance of Mr. Collins who blathers on about how people are perfectly justified in thinking Molly is a murderous bitch, but that they should also realize how hard this is on her and maybe if people like Jessica Fucking Wakefield would stop going around being such bitches, well, things might not be so bad. I really can't tell how he manages to admit he holds Molly accountable for Regina's death and still gives Jessica grief for voicing the same opinion. However, before my mind imploded, there was a note about how Jessica's tendency to blurt out her misguided opinions really does embarrass her twin more often than not. Score!

  Justin's been looking for Molly after another chat with Liz, but he's having as much trouble finding her as Nicholas did trying to save Regina. Only with detention and whatnot instead of a trip to county lockup. Liz gets a hold of him and tells him that Molly's been to the bank and taken out a huge wad of fifties and this just cannot be good. Justin finds Molly and Buzz and there's this whole big fight scene and it ends with Buzz having a glass jaw.
  Molly and Justin are reunited, Liz is vindicated and reestablishes herself as a saint when she tells Molly that she's a shoo-in for the Regina Scholarship next year, and I die horribly at all of this crap.*
  There's the lead in to #42, with Sandra Bacon [god, why is she Bacon? Kevin Bacon tie-in?] annnnnd her lovey dovey Manuel, but her parents are racist and nothing good will come of this to the point that even Cara and Jessica know this.
  But what really brings me back to life is the knowledge that the next actual book is the first thriller. THANK YOU, GOD.


Trivia:

  • Liz absolves Amy and Bruce at the memorial, and then she and Amy have a soul searching moment.

  • Steve claims that it was Tricia's death that caused Betsy to turn to drugs, but in reality [and the dumbass should know this] her death caused Betsy to KICK her habit. Tricia's illness, however, accelerated Betsy's drug usage. Fail, ghosty.

  • The PBA meeting about Regina's memorial is held in the Language Lab at lunch.

  • At the meeting, Maria Santelli breaks down and Jeannie West comforts her.

  • The night Jessica asks her parents for help with the memorial, they've just had Chinese for dinner. Everyone. Including Ned. Numerous times have we been told he can't/won't eat it and suddenly it's delicious? Pod person!

  • Speaking of Ned, does he work at the SV branch of Wolfram and Heart because damn, his firm does it all.

  • Nicholas blames Molly for Regina's death. SCORE.

  • Lila is the first to step up at the meeting and offer a fund raising idea. Namely, her daddy's checkbook is theirs. Then she offers up the checkbooks of the SV Country Club members. Susan can get her hands on "a lot of movies that we can charge admission for." Other ideas include: getting stores to donate merchandise for raffles. Ads in the newspaper, telethon on public access TV, car washes, bake sales, door-to-door solicitation, though probably not in the prostitution sort of way.

  • After Nicholas reads one of Edna St. Vincent Millay's poems at the memorial, Liz goes to find more and is reminded most of Regina when she reads "Time does not bring relief, you all have lied."

  • Liz also admits that she keeps expecting to see Regina.

  • Jessica's fortune cookie read: Today is a good day to make plans.

  • Justin's mother's name is Claire Belson.

  • Molly's mother has a two hour commute to work, which means she has to leave at 6am. This also means she goes to sleep fairly early. But if she's home at 3 in the afternoon, she has a very, very short work day...

  • Molly's home is a one story ranch house, meaning she can sneak out her window without fear of a Pollyanna moment.

  • Molly hitchhikes to Kelly's so she can meet Buzz in the parking lot at 10pm. Cuz that's not dangerous at all.

  • Nicholas uses the Wakefield's backdoor more than anyone else, except maybe Alice. Weird.

  • Justin has a five page paper due on Hamlet's soliloquy, and Liz offers to help. In exchange, if he could just talk to that strung out Molly so Liz doesn't have to...?

  • According to Sandy's parents, Sweet Valley is "overrun with immigrants." Ah, lovely.

  • Molly has $2,314.83 in her account at Union Bank. She withdraws $2,300 so she won't have to fill out paperwork. Then she gets it all in fifties. Oi.

  • Molly has American History in room 211.

  • Justin gets busted by Chrome Dome waiting for Molly outside of her American History class. D'oh!

  • Buzz takes Route 7 South out of town because hardly anyone uses it. And because he's running to Mexico.

  • This book takes place over less than two weeks. That's right, Molly breaks in record time.




Quotable SVH:

  Now, for the first time since Amy's return, Elizabeth felt as if they were looking straight into each other's hearts. - after Liz tells Bruce and Amy that Regina didn't blame them anymore, p4

  It was well known that Elizabeth Wakefield could be counted on as sympathetic, honest, and scrupulously fair. - Molly thinks this while debating asking Liz for forgiveness or to understand how bad Molly feels. I snorted my soda at this. p 44

  "Haven't you done enough damage already? Do you have to make it worse by coming here and-and-" Nicholas was yelling now, outraged by her presence.
  "Nicholas-I-"
  "Get out of here!" he screamed, raising one hand as if to hit her. "Get out of here and leave us alone! You killed my sister! You killed her!" - Finally, something that resembles an honest emotion from a SV character. p 50

  "And I think she really needs a friend right now. She's feeling pretty isolated."
  There was silence on the other end.
  "Justin?"
  "What are you asking me for? She's no friend of mine."
  Elizabeth pulled nervously at her gold lavaliere. "Well, you used to be close, didn't you, Justin? I mean maybe she's been acting-I don't know, pretty wild lately-"
  "Pretty wild? Elizabeth, I don't think you have any idea what you're talking about." - Justin speaks true. So very, very true. p67

  Just then Elizabeth pushed open the door from the hall.
  "Nicholas!"
  Instantly he leaped to his feet and Jessica knew she had been forgotten. - It's not often I feel truly sorry for Jess, but this is one of those times. p86

  Molly felt her face grow hard. Why was it that when Elizabeth talked to Justin, he listened, but when Molly did, he bolted like a frightened rabbit? Her eyes narrowed with a rage she didn't know she could feel.
  "No, thanks. I've been your scapegoat long enough, Elizabeth. So you can take your talking and shove it." - Do I really need to say anything? p 113

  It hurt her sometimes that her sister could be insensitive to other people. and it hurt her that she hadn't been able to make Jessica understand. - Liz occasionally is embarrassed by her twin's lack of moral compass and empathy. Who knew? p 127




  *- Normally I love my SVH. I do. Lots of things grate, obviously, but for the most part, I love the series. But this book drove me absolutely insane. You might have noticed. I suspect that I've never actually read 40 and then 41 back to back and doing so makes my head hurt because it takes two weeks from Regina's death until Molly's redemption and that's just beyond unrealistic, even for this series.
   Also, Molly should be relatable, but they never actually make her so. The pieces are mostly there, but they never quite add up to anything more than a really annoying teenager unable to accept that they played a part in a horrible accident that cost someone their life. It's all about how Regina's death fucked her over, not that in addition to someone. is. dead. That's all you'd have to add for me to feel the love. I don't expect fantastic things of these guys. Be bitchy and cruel and petty. It's realistic! But if I'm supposed to give a right royal damn, I'd like you to show you're a semi decent fictional human being, too.
   Unless you're a psychopath like Margo, but really, she's in a class by herself.

  I do have to wonder: Where the hell are Jan and her boyfriend? Why aren't they even mentioned in any of the nasty remarks other people made? Did they go to jail? Were they sent to another school? Did the cops kill them, dump their bodies in the ocean, and hope that we wouldn't notice? Because Molly's suddenly friendless and in the last book she at least had Jan. Not that Jan was a prize, mind you, but she did exist. I'm so... confused.

  There are a few gems littered throughout the book that keep it from being a complete headache, and I think I love them more for that. Go figure. you tried, Outcast. You really did. You just forgot to have a little heart thrown in, that's all.
  So now I resume trying to figure out who the hell the girls gossiping being Molly's back on the cover are. Cuz, whoa, if this didn't have the traditional SVH logo, I'd assume it was something else entirely.

the_oracle: (tear)
Outcast
November 1987


Will anyone ever speak to Molly Hecht again?

No one to turn to...


   Ever since Regina Morrow's tragic death at Molly Hecht's party, everyone has been treating Molly as if she has the plague. Nobody at school wants to talk to her, her parents have permanently grounded her, and even her good friend Justin Belson is avoiding her. Every time Molly tries to make amends, nobody will listen.

   So when Buzz, a drug dealer who's hiding from the police, calls Molly and announces he's leaving town, she's more than ready to go with him. She'd rather flee to Mexico with Buzz than walk the halls of Sweet Valley High alone. Only Elizabeth senses that Molly is troubled, but even she may be too late to stop her from running away with a fugitive.


   Sorry this took so long, but I kept having to stop for fear that I might actually have a heart attack myself from the sheer mind numbing pain of it all. Which is weird, as I don't remember having that exact problem the first time I read it. Of course, I was skimming while trying to do something else at the same time, so that probably explains it, at least a little.

  The setup is simple. Molly Hecht has been made public enemy #1 at SVH. Everyone, including the teachers, blames her for Regina's death, at least in some small way. Everyone. Annnnnnd... I'm supposed to care because...?

   Now, on with the show. The book begins at Regina's memorial, where Nicholas has brought the house down with his heartfelt reading of one of Regina's favorite poems. Liz is wandering around backstage [even if it isn't literally backstage, that's how it comes across] and she comes across Bruce and Amy who are holding hands. Hell, if Bruce weren't known for thinking with his hormones first and foremost, I might even say he's not really aware of this at all. Amy, however, is looking defiant in her public declaration of affection for the dearly departed's recent ex. Classy, Sutton. Class-y. Liz comforts Bruce as best she can and tells him that he's a total asshole been forgiven. Regina didn't hold any ill will toward either of them. Sadly, one of the best moments happens right on page four.
  Amy looks deep into Elizabeth's soul, and for one brief, shining moment, we see a glimpse of the old Amy. Sweet, vulnerable, not a complete raging hormonal bitch, but someone who realizes that they might be held accountable for their actions and is afraid of what might happen... She asks if Liz is telling the truth, and when Liz assures her she is, their moment is lost forever. Oh, okay, fine, it's also the info dump for Amy/Liz-the tween years, but it's also a fairly nice moment all the same.

   After the memorial, Jeffrey drives Elizabeth home, and for a second you can hear my nine year old self sighing, and we notice that Ned's ugly ass car is home, as is Alice's car, and hell, even Steven's there. Before the grief overcomes them both, Jessica pulls up in the Fiat and the twins clasp hands, share their strength, and head inside as we marvel at how two identical people on the outside could be so different on the inside, and yet still both be torn by the loss of one friend. You know, glossing over the fact that Jessica was all for Regina's heartbreak being a spectator sport a week ago.

   If you thought the Wakefields were home just to comfort their daughters after a close friend died, you thought wrong. There's a mention of Regina's untimely death, but mostly it's, "Drugs! Bad! Don't do them!" I did like the way Steven pointed out that he understood how they felt given Regina's death, what with Tricia's death not being all that long ago. Then it's buried under some seriously heavy-handed don't do drugs stuff, and the moment is lost. Jessica vows to do something for Regina's memory, probably to help clear the guilt she's feeling away. This is also how Jessica deals with death. If she liked you, she does something to immortalize you in some way. Regina gets her Super Duper Secret Wait Til Later To Be Told Project and Sam will later get that bike rally. Like I said, it's Jessica's way.

   We flicker to Justin and he's realizing he royally fucked things up. Had he managed to get Molly out of his system properly, he wouldn't have taken Regina to the party, she'd still be alive, and maybe things wouldn't be so screwed up right now. He does a bit of raging against life and the irony of it all, thinking that things had finally turned a corner, only to have it be the same old crap, different day.
  So, Justin vows that to make things right, to keep this from ever happening again, he will finally cut all ties with his past. Including, ESPECIALLY, Molly. She's no good for him and you know, I kind of have to agree. He seems to have kicked any drug problem he might have had. She hasn't. While he hangs out at Kelly's drinking illegally, he doesn't seem to get drunk and whine about it so that I have to read about it. She's inviting Buzz over and still talking to him after Regina's death because she's just that conflicted. Justin seems to feel badly about Regina's death and not just how it affects him, but also how awful it is that she's not around anymore. Molly? Molly seems bothered that Regina happened to die at HER party. Not that someone died, just that by dying, it's seriously fucked her life up. Justin manages to capture my sympathy.

   Molly, however, does not. And since this is Molly's book, this is a problem.

   Backstory for Molly, or at least what we've been given. Her parents divorced and I gather it wasn't all that long ago. More than a year, but less than say, 15 years ago. Molly's parents don't seem to have an especially horrible relationship, but it doesn't seem to be all sunshine and roses since she's a bit bothered that it took hating on her to get her parents to agree on much of anything. But, at the same time, her father seems to be staying at the house after Molly's little party turned lethal, and there's no subsequent mention of her parents trying to kill each other, so they must be a little more than merely civil.
  The point is, I can feel bad for her in that her parents split up and that can't be easy. It's sort of implied that this is what set her down her road of questionable decisions, but never clearly stated. Her parents also seem to be kind of jerks, but then, they aren't painted with the same rainbow sparkles that Ned and Alice are, so maybe it's just that Molly thinks they are and so we see them that way. Truthfully, I can't blame them for not being warm and fuzzy towards their daughter after one of the richest teenagers in the city [town?] overdosed in their living room. My parents would have killed me.
  Instead, hers refuse to let her switch schools, drop out, or move to her father's to avoid the repercussions of her actions. They're waiting for someone to lead the lynch mob straight to Molly's locker and be done with her. Fair enough. You did the crime, the cops aren't making you do jail time, so you do your time in the school system that's going to make you wish you'd gone to jail. Tough love, baby. And I don't particularly fault them for it.

   Woe is Molly. Her parents are being total hardasses about this going to school and coming back in a reasonable amount of time thing. No one at school will talk to her. Everyone blames her for Regina's death. Hell, Molly says she does, too, but for someone claiming to take the blame, she's awfully fucking stupid. Days after Regina's death she tries to approach Elizabeth Wakefield, hoping for the absolution of the ever forgiving divine one. She waits until Jeffrey leaves and then makes her move. Liz, being polite and a little less saintly, doesn't run away, but she doesn't put on her Concerned!Face and immediately offer comfort. Instead she asks what Molly wants, very polite if a little strained, and Molly fumbles around. Understandable. A minute or two passes and Molly tries to string a semi-coherent thought together, but Saint Liz can't do this anymore. She tries to leave once more and Molly begs her not to hate her. And my heart breaks a little at this:


Elizabeth shook her head, her eyes bright with unshed tears, and took another step down. "I'm sorry, Molly, I can't talk to you."
"Liz! Please, don't-don't hate me," Molly begged pitifully.
There was a long pause. "I don't hate you, Molly," Elizabeth whispered. "But I loved Regina."


   It has it's flaws, but it's also the most polite way of breaking my heart and telling Molly to leave her alone all at once.
   Distraught, Molly flees the scene of her humiliation. She all but runs through town [city?] and ends up at the cemetery without even meaning to. She decides that since Liz cannot stand to see her, she hasn't a chance in hell with the other person she'd planned on begging forgiveness from [Regina's family, Nicholas to be exact] so instead she'll throw herself on Regina's mercy and confess her sins or something at Regina's grave. Oh, tear.
   Except Regina's grave is currently being visited by Nicholas Morrow, who is grieving in a way that's a little creepy and mostly realistic, given how he's been written to date. When Nicholas hears a twig snap, he goes to find out who has been spying on his grief. When he sees Molly, he flips the fuck out. "You killed my sister!" And with that, Molly is banished, and someone finally says the words I've been itching to hear this entire time. Someone flat out calls Molly a murderer to her Allison Sugarbaker face. SCORE.

   Now, remember Jessica's super-secret-plan? Well, she's decided that in memory of Regina, PBA should start a college scholarship fund for the truly needy at SVH. She figures that within a year they can raise a few thousand dollars and this way Regina's memory will live on each time someone is nominated and then when someone wins. At first everyone's overwhelmed by the amount of money they'd need to raise, as well as the logistics of the whole thing, but Lila steps up and says her father will donate a ton, and as if that weren't enough, she'll hit up the country club because everyone there knew Regina.
  True, but are the rich and spoiled of the Southern California area really going to throw money at a scholarship created for a girl who died of a cocaine overdose? Especially given the rich bitches we've met at the CC, like Gordon Stoddard's parents. I'm just saying...
   Anyway, with Lila's backing, the rest of PBA begins throwing fund raising ideas out like crazy. Still, Jessica's worried about the logistics of the whole thing and asks her parents to help her figure something out. Ned does her one better and suggests that his firm handle all the money and paperwork and basically everything she was worried about. I know people elsewhere, particularly 1bruce1 [love!], ask this all the time, but what in the fuck kind of lawyer IS Ned? I could see him having friends who could help out, sure, but always being able to do whatever lawyer-y thing is required? That's just... mind boggling. I know the series is written for younger girls, but is it also written BY them? You know, like when Doctor Barbie can do EVERYTHING because you've only got the four dolls, and one of them is missing a head so really, your choices are seriously limited? Good lord.

  Now, where were we? Oh, yes. Molly's wallowing in self pity when she gets a call from Buzz, our friendly neighborhood coke/heroin dealer. He lays it on with a trowel. How is she, doesn't everyone suck for holding her accountable for Regina's actions, isn't she lonely, does she miss him, he misses her, gosh, if only they could meet...
  And so they do, outside of Kelly's. You'd think the cops would have Kelly's on their radar, but maybe Mr. Fowler is right. Maybe the SVPD really does suck. Again, Buzz is so obvious that I'm thinking all that coke Molly's done has killed all her braincells. Imagine, if you will, if someone came up to you with this:
  Hey, baby. I've missed you. Sucks that everyone's on your case. By the way, I think I like you. So, that kiss was great for me, even though I saw you recoil from it and all, but uh, listen, I've got to get out of town. I know, baby, it sucks that we've finally found each other and all, but the cops... well, you know what they're like. Say, hey, got any money? You do? Could you, I dunno, withdraw all of it? You could? Fab! Maybe we could... well, no. I couldn't ask. Ask what? Well, we could run away. Sure. You go the bank, take all YOUR money out, then WE'LL run away, but you'll only be gone a few days. I'll keep the rest of your cash. Sound good? Awesome. Now get the fuck out of my car, skank.

  That is pretty much how the Buzz convo went, but a little more fun. And Molly agrees because OMG, if you missed it, the last few days have been HORRIBLE for her. Because she helped kill a girl.
  You see my problem with feeling bad for her, right?
  Yes?
  No?
  Bah.

  Anyway, Liz gets to thinking and she feels as if her halo is tarnished now that she's turned her back on someone for entirely justifiable reasons. She and Jeffrey chatter and he points out that it's okay to not want to talk to Molly, it doesn't make Liz anything but human... and Liz cannot have this. She's a saint, damn it, and she's going to rectify this!
  Only she still can't talk to Molly without wanting to weep for Regina's loss. So she decides that Justin would make an excellent replacement Saint. Except when she calls him [during the middle of her date with Jeffrey!] Justin tells her to go fuck herself. He's worked hard to distance himself from that pariah and Liz doesn't know a damn thing about what she's talking about. Which is true. Liz knows less than Regina knew about Justin's life, and we really don't know why Justin and Molly broke up, other than they eventually did not see eye-to-eye on the drug situation. Whatever, he's got his reasons and it's incredibly rude of Elizabeth to just assume Justin will do what Elizabeth cannot bring herself to do.
  So Liz worries. Nicholas comes over the next morning and Jessica brightens at the sight of him, and I know it's stupid, but I always feel for her when Nicholas so blatantly ignores her the second Liz glides into the room. I'm also painfully proud of the series for never having him come around to the Jessica way of thinking, although I'm not sure they would have made an absolutely horrid couple.
   Enough fantasy, back to the fictional reality. Liz and Nicholas discuss how he was dreadful to Molly [mock? Me? Neverrrrrrrr] and Liz sort of, but not really, cops to being less than sweet with Molly herself. I love that he's flogging himself for being completely upset, and she won't even volunteer her story to make him feel slightly better. God, Liz, that's how this game is played.
  Nicholas asks Elizabeth to tell Molly he's sorry and Elizabeth sort of agrees, but doesn't actually do it.

  Blah blah blah, I started to die here from sheer annoyance and boredom all at the same time, so things get fuzzy. Molly goes to the bank, tries to close her account but gets pissed when she's told she has to fill out paperwork to do that.
  Molly: Well, what if I don't take out everything. Would I still have to fill out the papers then?
  Clerk: You wouldn't be closing out your account then, now would you? *IDIOT thought bubble*

  Molly takes out everything but fourteen bucks and some change and then runs into Liz. Because Liz is everywhere. For those of you who now have the SVH themesong stuck your head, I truly do apologize. For those that don't, I'm jealous.
  Somewhere in this muck Liz is writing up an article about the PBA scholarship and there's a discussion about how horribly everyone is treating Molly and for the briefest second we're told how hard this must be on Olivia, since she spent a lot of time with Bruce/Regina, and how the two were close. Poor Liv. Your pain is cut off by the appearance of Mr. Collins who blathers on about how people are perfectly justified in thinking Molly is a murderous bitch, but that they should also realize how hard this is on her and maybe if people like Jessica Fucking Wakefield would stop going around being such bitches, well, things might not be so bad. I really can't tell how he manages to admit he holds Molly accountable for Regina's death and still gives Jessica grief for voicing the same opinion. However, before my mind imploded, there was a note about how Jessica's tendency to blurt out her misguided opinions really does embarrass her twin more often than not. Score!

  Justin's been looking for Molly after another chat with Liz, but he's having as much trouble finding her as Nicholas did trying to save Regina. Only with detention and whatnot instead of a trip to county lockup. Liz gets a hold of him and tells him that Molly's been to the bank and taken out a huge wad of fifties and this just cannot be good. Justin finds Molly and Buzz and there's this whole big fight scene and it ends with Buzz having a glass jaw.
  Molly and Justin are reunited, Liz is vindicated and reestablishes herself as a saint when she tells Molly that she's a shoo-in for the Regina Scholarship next year, and I die horribly at all of this crap.*
  There's the lead in to #42, with Sandra Bacon [god, why is she Bacon? Kevin Bacon tie-in?] annnnnd her lovey dovey Manuel, but her parents are racist and nothing good will come of this to the point that even Cara and Jessica know this.
  But what really brings me back to life is the knowledge that the next actual book is the first thriller. THANK YOU, GOD.


Trivia:

  • Liz absolves Amy and Bruce at the memorial, and then she and Amy have a soul searching moment.

  • Steve claims that it was Tricia's death that caused Betsy to turn to drugs, but in reality [and the dumbass should know this] her death caused Betsy to KICK her habit. Tricia's illness, however, accelerated Betsy's drug usage. Fail, ghosty.

  • The PBA meeting about Regina's memorial is held in the Language Lab at lunch.

  • At the meeting, Maria Santelli breaks down and Jeannie West comforts her.

  • The night Jessica asks her parents for help with the memorial, they've just had Chinese for dinner. Everyone. Including Ned. Numerous times have we been told he can't/won't eat it and suddenly it's delicious? Pod person!

  • Speaking of Ned, does he work at the SV branch of Wolfram and Heart because damn, his firm does it all.

  • Nicholas blames Molly for Regina's death. SCORE.

  • Lila is the first to step up at the meeting and offer a fund raising idea. Namely, her daddy's checkbook is theirs. Then she offers up the checkbooks of the SV Country Club members. Susan can get her hands on "a lot of movies that we can charge admission for." Other ideas include: getting stores to donate merchandise for raffles. Ads in the newspaper, telethon on public access TV, car washes, bake sales, door-to-door solicitation, though probably not in the prostitution sort of way.

  • After Nicholas reads one of Edna St. Vincent Millay's poems at the memorial, Liz goes to find more and is reminded most of Regina when she reads "Time does not bring relief, you all have lied."

  • Liz also admits that she keeps expecting to see Regina.

  • Jessica's fortune cookie read: Today is a good day to make plans.

  • Justin's mother's name is Claire Belson.

  • Molly's mother has a two hour commute to work, which means she has to leave at 6am. This also means she goes to sleep fairly early. But if she's home at 3 in the afternoon, she has a very, very short work day...

  • Molly's home is a one story ranch house, meaning she can sneak out her window without fear of a Pollyanna moment.

  • Molly hitchhikes to Kelly's so she can meet Buzz in the parking lot at 10pm. Cuz that's not dangerous at all.

  • Nicholas uses the Wakefield's backdoor more than anyone else, except maybe Alice. Weird.

  • Justin has a five page paper due on Hamlet's soliloquy, and Liz offers to help. In exchange, if he could just talk to that strung out Molly so Liz doesn't have to...?

  • According to Sandy's parents, Sweet Valley is "overrun with immigrants." Ah, lovely.

  • Molly has $2,314.83 in her account at Union Bank. She withdraws $2,300 so she won't have to fill out paperwork. Then she gets it all in fifties. Oi.

  • Molly has American History in room 211.

  • Justin gets busted by Chrome Dome waiting for Molly outside of her American History class. D'oh!

  • Buzz takes Route 7 South out of town because hardly anyone uses it. And because he's running to Mexico.

  • This book takes place over less than two weeks. That's right, Molly breaks in record time.




Quotable SVH:

  Now, for the first time since Amy's return, Elizabeth felt as if they were looking straight into each other's hearts. - after Liz tells Bruce and Amy that Regina didn't blame them anymore, p4

  It was well known that Elizabeth Wakefield could be counted on as sympathetic, honest, and scrupulously fair. - Molly thinks this while debating asking Liz for forgiveness or to understand how bad Molly feels. I snorted my soda at this. p 44

  "Haven't you done enough damage already? Do you have to make it worse by coming here and-and-" Nicholas was yelling now, outraged by her presence.
  "Nicholas-I-"
  "Get out of here!" he screamed, raising one hand as if to hit her. "Get out of here and leave us alone! You killed my sister! You killed her!" - Finally, something that resembles an honest emotion from a SV character. p 50

  "And I think she really needs a friend right now. She's feeling pretty isolated."
  There was silence on the other end.
  "Justin?"
  "What are you asking me for? She's no friend of mine."
  Elizabeth pulled nervously at her gold lavaliere. "Well, you used to be close, didn't you, Justin? I mean maybe she's been acting-I don't know, pretty wild lately-"
  "Pretty wild? Elizabeth, I don't think you have any idea what you're talking about." - Justin speaks true. So very, very true. p67

  Just then Elizabeth pushed open the door from the hall.
  "Nicholas!"
  Instantly he leaped to his feet and Jessica knew she had been forgotten. - It's not often I feel truly sorry for Jess, but this is one of those times. p86

  Molly felt her face grow hard. Why was it that when Elizabeth talked to Justin, he listened, but when Molly did, he bolted like a frightened rabbit? Her eyes narrowed with a rage she didn't know she could feel.
  "No, thanks. I've been your scapegoat long enough, Elizabeth. So you can take your talking and shove it." - Do I really need to say anything? p 113

  It hurt her sometimes that her sister could be insensitive to other people. and it hurt her that she hadn't been able to make Jessica understand. - Liz occasionally is embarrassed by her twin's lack of moral compass and empathy. Who knew? p 127




  *- Normally I love my SVH. I do. Lots of things grate, obviously, but for the most part, I love the series. But this book drove me absolutely insane. You might have noticed. I suspect that I've never actually read 40 and then 41 back to back and doing so makes my head hurt because it takes two weeks from Regina's death until Molly's redemption and that's just beyond unrealistic, even for this series.
   Also, Molly should be relatable, but they never actually make her so. The pieces are mostly there, but they never quite add up to anything more than a really annoying teenager unable to accept that they played a part in a horrible accident that cost someone their life. It's all about how Regina's death fucked her over, not that in addition to someone. is. dead. That's all you'd have to add for me to feel the love. I don't expect fantastic things of these guys. Be bitchy and cruel and petty. It's realistic! But if I'm supposed to give a right royal damn, I'd like you to show you're a semi decent fictional human being, too.
   Unless you're a psychopath like Margo, but really, she's in a class by herself.

  I do have to wonder: Where the hell are Jan and her boyfriend? Why aren't they even mentioned in any of the nasty remarks other people made? Did they go to jail? Were they sent to another school? Did the cops kill them, dump their bodies in the ocean, and hope that we wouldn't notice? Because Molly's suddenly friendless and in the last book she at least had Jan. Not that Jan was a prize, mind you, but she did exist. I'm so... confused.

  There are a few gems littered throughout the book that keep it from being a complete headache, and I think I love them more for that. Go figure. you tried, Outcast. You really did. You just forgot to have a little heart thrown in, that's all.
  So now I resume trying to figure out who the hell the girls gossiping being Molly's back on the cover are. Cuz, whoa, if this didn't have the traditional SVH logo, I'd assume it was something else entirely.

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: (plotting)
Promises
January 1985

Somehow, Jessica will get rid of Betsy!

Bad girl in town...


   Steven Wakefield is crushed when his girlfriend, Tricia, dies after a tragic illness. The only things that keep him going are the memory of their love and his promise to Tricia to take care of her sister, Betsy, after she's gone.
   Betsy Martin's wild exploits with drink, drugs, and boys have left her with the worst reputation in Sweet Valley. But when Steven takes her into the Wakefield home, Betsy makes a promise to change. And as her goodness grows, so does her love for Steven.
   Jessica, Steven's conniving younger sister, doesn't like this one bit. She makes a little promise of her own-to get Betsy out of the house and out of Steven's life... forever!


  G'ah, who had the raging hatred for the short haired brunettes in the Valley? First we have Easy Annie and now we've got Betsy Martin who actually cops to her escapades and says, yeah, they're true. Let's begin superficially, as that's how we left off before. Betsy there is one of the least lucky of the SVH characters in that she has to share a cover with Jessica [whom I love, cover art wise, for most of the earlier books] and that she's um, well, not Lila circa SVT/Unicorns club, but in the same alley. Which should, if they're both taking notes, be very, very dark. So no one can see you. At all. *cough*

  Like the last gazillion books or so, this one picks up pretty much right after the previous book. We're at the hospital, huddling around Tricia's death bed. That's right, folks, it's taken her how long to actually get here, and we're going to burn through it so fast it'll leave you spinning in your chair. It's all very touching and even Jessica sees the error of her ways, sort of, and tries to apologize, but Tricia doesn't see the need, what with Death tapping her foot gently. Really, in the grand scheme of things, Tricia doesn't need Jessica's apology. Given the way she snarked about Cara, she knows full well how much of a jerk Jessica is, and she's not going to worry about it in her final moments. Rock on?
  The rest of the Wakefields file out after their brief goodbye moments, leaving Steven and Tricia alone. That's right, there are no other Martins at this death-day party. Just Wakefields. Seriously, Tricia has NO friends. How in the hell... Sorry, tangent.
  Steve and Trish reminisce about their first date and it's killing Steve to watch the light slowly fade from Tricia's eyes, but before she checks out completely, she asks Steven to do her a favor. The infamous " 'I'd do anything...' 'Really? Anything?' '...damn...'" kind of moment. Tricia asks that Steve take care of her sister, Betsy. Steve isn't exactly sure how well that will work out, given what a wild child Betsy is. But it's Tricia's dying wish, so of course he'll say yes.
  A short time later, the Wakefields are leaving, seeing as Tricia has died, and as they're almost home free, Betsy bursts into the hospital and freaks out. "My sister! My siiissssssttteeeeerrr!" Yeah, where were you the hour or two it took Tricia to die? Uh huh, you were out getting drunk and smoking absolutely everything you could get your hands on. So shut the hell up, kay? [It isn't often I'm with Jessica on something, but I'm on her side for the disgust at this point. I know, I know, that says something HORRIBLE about me, but I'll just have to deal, I suppose.] She sobs and carries on when Steve tells her that it's too late, and Mr. and Mrs. Wakefield decide to take Betsy home with them. Betsy's in no shape to argue and away they go.
  Jessica is not pleased with this. Betsy Martin, in case you've been living under a rock, is a world class super tramp as well as a drugged out freak. Dunno, that just seems like something the bitchy crowd at SVH would say. To illustrate how much of a skank Betsy is, rumour has it that she recently spent some quality time up at Miller's Point with two boys at the same time, and they weren't playing a rousing game of cards. GASP! For those who like your giggles with a tiny dash of irony, later on Jessica will flit around the Beach Disco with two boys in tow and think nothing of it.
  In an attempt to either atone for her misdeeds, or maybe make sure she doesn't miss another important death again, Betsy vows to give up her wild ways. Jessica [and I] snort and mutter, "That'll be the day." Thing is, somehow she manages. Annie can't keep her thoughts away from boys long enough to ace ONE test, but Betsy quits cold-freakin-turkey. If you're at all skeptical, like me, you spend most of the book waiting for her to fall off the wagon. She doesn't. ... so please don't make the same mistake I keep making, which is to wait in vain. It's okay, I know. I know, we'll get through this together.

  Instead, she swaps one vice for another. Instead of the drinking, drugs, or sex with two boys at once, Betsy falls hard for Steven Wakefield. He pays attention to her, he's nice, and he's making absolutely no movement towards trying to sleep with her, and best of all, he loved Tricia. Which is why I wish they hadn't gone with the obvious "Betsy momentarily wants Steven but isn't thinking at all about how weird it would be to have her sister's leftovers, especially given how said sister left the relationship." Namely, a little guilt over wanting Steven. It would have been nice. Yes. I sit here and actively wish for pain on fictional characters.

  Blah, blah, blah. Liz decides that if Jessica is going to make Betsy feel unwanted, then she [Liz, remember?] will make Betsy feel at home. No, she doesn't get wildly drunk and wallow in self pity [like Mr. Martin, who is still missing at this point] but she does invite herself into Betsy's life and declares that Betsy is a fantastic artist. And, as far as we know, she is. We don't know much about Betsy, other than she's got self esteem issues, and really, I wouldn't mind if Jessica kicked her in the shins with pointy heels. Wait, my issues, not yours. Artist with an attitude problem, whether she's sober or not. There, that's what we know.
  Back at SVH, the universe decides that one corpse isn't enough, so Roger finds out that his mother has had a heart attack. He lets out a mournful wail and freaks out in the cafe, which is just awkward. We'll dwell here for a bit. Turns out Mama Barret needs some operation that can apparently only be done in Houston, so Roger is trying to find the money to fly Mama B out there. Thing is, if you'll remember from book nine, Roger is freakin' POOR. Like he can afford that, right? Mmhmm. The next thing you know, gossip has it that Mr. Patman has ponied up and is sending Mama B to Houston, and everyone wonders when the hell any of the Patmans grew a soul. When did that happen? Jessica and Lila compare stories on who can't talk to Bruce most [Lila because their families are rivals, so it kills me that it takes until SVU for them to get their Romeo/Juliet on, and Jessica because of her ill-fated 'ship that went down in flames] so Cara is elected spokeswoman. The wicked witches of SVH ask and Bruce points out that Mama B did work for Mr. P back in the day [Lila points out that it was waaaaaaaaaaaaay back in the day] and that it doesn't hurt to help out the little people every so often, isn't that right, Jessica?
  Jessica then decides that it's time someone around here finally got the trash taken out of the Wakefield study, and tries to properly hatch ways to get rid of Betsy. She looks through Betsy's stuff, swearing all the while [I think she uses the word damn more in this one scene than they do in the entire rest of the series. o_O ] and all she finds is a pillbox filled with aspirin, until she gets to Betsy's sketchbook. At the very end, after Jessica is impressed, she finds a picture of Steven. She flips out, because no book is complete without a Jessica tantrum and ensuing twisty logic.
  Elsewhere, Steven is trying to set Betsy up with his friend Jason. Jason happens to teach an art class, and Betsy is an artist, so it should all be good, right? Wrong. Every time Jason so much as looks at Betsy, she screams, "Stop picturing me doing sweaty naked things with you!"
  Okay, not literally, but close enough. She won't give the guy a chance and is an incredible bitch, sure that all he wants is to get her alone so they can make with the aforementioned sweaty stuff. Jason, meanwhile, seems like he's never gotten laid in his life and that he's okay with it, so long as he can bask in the glory that is Betsy's talent. In other words, he's a friggin' saint. Steve manages to help con Betsy into going to one of Jason's classes, but she comes home all in a funk. Why?
  Because Jason asked her for a date.
  Liz and I stare blankly. So...? Sure, he's a bit on the dorky side, but glasses can be super hot, so long as they aren't those ugly aviator cousin ones, y'know? Noooooooooo, Jason obviously just wants sex, god, can you be any more stupid? Liz points out that this just cannot be true, that he might actually be interested in a talented and pretty young woman. Betsy stalks off because obviously Liz cannot relate. While I get that the guys Betsy is used to hanging out with are only interested in her for various things, how many are friends of Steven's? How many are like Jason, because I'm thinking the answer to that is not many...

  Our C plot [I consider Roger the B, as it will take center stage next book] is Winston, the Starch King. Bruce and Todd bet on whether or not Win can eat four mini pizzas in four minutes. Um, yes, yes he can. Bruce has to pay for Todd and Liz at the Beach Disco, and this spurs Winston on. Apparently in the mid 80's the world record was to believed to have been eating 7 extra large pizzas in one sitting. I'm finding this a little difficult to believe, but whatever. The local news team is out in full force to cover Winston's daring eating escapade, and so is everyone at SVH. Poor Winston spent so much time 'practicing' that he's made himself ill. He makes it to six and a half pizzas, and then has to run off and puke. Woe, Starch King. Woe. Luckily the peasants still love him.

  Back to Jason and Betsy. He offers to ask his former teacher to look at Betsy's application to the Los Angeles Academy of Fine Arts talent search. In return-
  "Hot sweaty sex! I knew it!"
  SHUT UP, Betsy. Considering you've turned the guy down sixteen different times this morning, I really don't think he's going to ask you that in front of Steve or Elizabeth, okay? So chill. You may be experienced, but I'm betting Jason doesn't want whatever you might have, kay? She stalks off, sure that she'd lose anyway, and what's the point? She leaves her sketchbook, again. [it's why Jason popped over in the first place. After her last bitch fit after class, she left her book there, too. Way to take care of the one thing you're supposed to care about, skank.] Liz stops the boys from returning it to her and says Jason should turn it in as Betsy's application. It takes Steven a second to catch on, and all three giggle like school girls, so sure are they that Betsy will win.
  Steve goes back to school, although I swear it's been like, a week, since Tricia's death. Maybe two, if you blinked and missed 'em. Anyway, Betsy freaks out when her father shows up at the Wakefields, and Steven returns. His family points out that Betsy's attachment is hurting them both. Steve can't let himself grieve while forcing himself to be strong for Betsy, and Betsy is entirely too attached to Steve for her own good. Steve tells his parents that he has to take care of Betsy because he promised Tricia.
  Unfortunately, Jessica is spying, and once she hears this, she pretty much RUNS to tell Betsy. Betsy is crushed because she thought Steve was interested and that it was more than a charity case. Fraid not, honey. Trust me, the only person who actually wants what you're giving away is the one you won't let near you. Ain't that just the way?
  So Betsy packs up and calls her good time boys. Jessica then tells people a slightly *cough* skewed version of their encounter. Steve and Jason, both elated over Betsy's winning the talent search, head off to all the dives in the area, looking for Bets. They finally find her at the Shady Lady. A fight ensues between the good boys and the good ol' boys. Jason turns out to be a brown belt in karate, kicks some ass, and then Betsy's offering up her, um, services, but in a little less obvious way.
  Turns out that she's just had one drink and isn't enjoying her old ways, so she'll go home to take care of Papa until school starts in the fall. Jason, I gather, has a backstage pass to Betsy's home.
  The book ends with Roger's mother dying, and his true father revealed. Paul Patman, Bruce's father's richer brother! GASP!

  End scene.



Trivia:

  • Wait, when did the Wakefields get a rust brown LTD? Where was I?

  • Jessica got a speeding ticket on the way to Millers Point, too bad the boy she was in such a hurry to suck face with was Paul Sherwood who can't kiss worth a damn. Add him to the dead fish pile, kids.

  • Betsy was allegedly up at MP with Charlie Cashman and Jim Sturbridge.

  • The Wakefield study comes complete with a radio, red Oriental rug, and oh, yeah, Betsy Martin.

  • Tricia died Monday, maybe early Tuesday morning [we're talking like 2am early], and she's buried two days later.

  • Before she became ill, Tricia worked at a daycare center.

  • Jessica thinks she's hit paydirt on her quest to find something illegal in Betsy's possessions, but the closest she comes is mistaking tiny little white pills for fun tiny little white pills. They have letters, too. B-A-Y-E-R. Fun!

  • There's a brook behind Sweet Valley Elementary. Seems a bit unsafe, but what do I know? My elementary school was built so close to the marsh that for recess, a bunch of us would go on unofficial marsh walks. Not a great idea at high tide or on rainy days.

  • For those who wondered, Dana is an alto.

  • Neil Freemount is the newest guy at SVH, and he's cute. Tall, blond, and cute. We know this because Jessica's already got him hooked. Aw. How many new kids can one small school have in one year?

  • Jason Stone is tall, thin, with curly black hair, brown eyes, and black tortoise shell glasses. He's an artist and teaches Saturday morning life drawing classes at Sweet Valley Community Center.

  • Winston attempts to break the world record by eating 7 extra large pizzas from Guido's. KSVH was covering the 'story' with film at six o'clock.

  • Who exactly is Tim Houseman, other than the recipients of a piss poor name and Dana's newest boytoy?

  • Winning one of the three slots in the LA Academy of Fine Arts talent search means that Betsy won free tuition, room, and board.

  • Steven's microeconomics professor is the cure for insomnia and as a result, not Steve's best subject.

  • Elizabeth and Jessica share chem class and sit next to one another. I geek out at this because, hello, geek.

  • Mrs. Rollins has a little blue hatchback.

  • Frank DeLuna is the owner of Guidos.

  • Jason is a brown belt in karate.

  • Wait, when did the Wakefields start having a weekly family brunch?

  • And also, since when does the school board have meetings early Sunday morning/afternoon? Since when does any school board do that? Is this one of those things we just don't do 'round here because it's the Bible Belt and all this time I've been missing out?



Quote-y:
  But Tricia kept right on smiling in the face of death and showed the courage of a female Luke Skywalker. - Jessica, honey? The female Luke would be Leia. p4
  "Honestly, I don't know why you get such a kick out of these verbal cat-and-mouse games." That's because you're an idiot, Liz. We know why Jess twists words. It's fun. p53

"Betsy, there's no need for apologies. It's been a rough time for both of us." A sad expression spread across Steven's handsome face. "Tricia was a very special human being." Steve, who the hell refers to the dead love of their life as a 'very special human being'? I could take, and understand, the use of the word 'person' but your way sounds like someone forgot to reword the book outline. LAME. And even Jessica agrees with me, what with her spying and all. p149



  Yes, I'm sure I played a big ol' game of 52 card pick up with various plot threads, but you get the idea. Personally, I don't like Betsy. I understand that her life is hard, and that she has issues which means she's skanky with a heart of gold, only... she's not. She's a complete bitch to Jason and anyone who isn't immediately doing anything for her, and we're not really given all that much to off-set it. Jessica is supposed to be our bitch, and she doesn't make it widely known that she's giving it away free. Which might make her a tease, but I wouldn't be Lysol-ing the toilet seat after each time she's been there. :P

  As to Tricia, for some reason it really bothers me that she seems to have no friends at all at school or anywhere else. Sure, we get a few people at the funeral, but for someone who was supposed to be this sweet girl, you'd think she'd have someone other than Steve in her life. Maybe what bugs me is that it's so sad, and probably not at all intentional. Did her family's trashy behaviour keep her from having any friends at all? Or did the writers just not think that with the exception of Caroline, almost everyone else at SVH has at least one sort of friend before they end up leaning on good old Elizabeth?
  Speaking of Elizabeth, the book repeatedly refers to her brief relationship glitch with Todd, but they use phrases such as "awful near break up was safely in the past." What past? Didn't that JUST happen? Like days ago? Seriously, the rest of the time the book is paced as if it's been a week, max, since Tricia's death, but anytime the Todd/Liz thing is brought up, it's as if months have passed. At the time of this little moment, I think it's the day AFTER Tricia's death. Which would mean Todd and Liz made up yesterday. *head desk* Either I missed something, or someone out there deserves a big kick in the kneecaps.
  Also, up until this most recent re-reading of Promises, I hadn't realized Betsy is Tricia's older sister. D'oh! I thought she was just one of the many SVH drop outs in the junior range. Don't I feel a bit silly...
  My absolute favorite bit? At the end where we gloss over Steven threatening to send Jessica to die in a desert and she fires back that Steve told Liz about the Betsy plan, and excluded her, because he loves Elizabeth more.

   Yes. Cover wise, the French one confounds me. Is the sluttified one supposed to be Betsy, and if so, when did she have time to dye her hair? Love the other, though. At least, in what little I can see. As to the funky colors above, really, there's the light blue one and then there's this bizarre aqua one that looks more blue than the aqua it is. And I should know, seeing as that's my copy and all. :P

the_oracle: (plotting)
Promises
January 1985

Somehow, Jessica will get rid of Betsy!

Bad girl in town...


   Steven Wakefield is crushed when his girlfriend, Tricia, dies after a tragic illness. The only things that keep him going are the memory of their love and his promise to Tricia to take care of her sister, Betsy, after she's gone.
   Betsy Martin's wild exploits with drink, drugs, and boys have left her with the worst reputation in Sweet Valley. But when Steven takes her into the Wakefield home, Betsy makes a promise to change. And as her goodness grows, so does her love for Steven.
   Jessica, Steven's conniving younger sister, doesn't like this one bit. She makes a little promise of her own-to get Betsy out of the house and out of Steven's life... forever!


  G'ah, who had the raging hatred for the short haired brunettes in the Valley? First we have Easy Annie and now we've got Betsy Martin who actually cops to her escapades and says, yeah, they're true. Let's begin superficially, as that's how we left off before. Betsy there is one of the least lucky of the SVH characters in that she has to share a cover with Jessica [whom I love, cover art wise, for most of the earlier books] and that she's um, well, not Lila circa SVT/Unicorns club, but in the same alley. Which should, if they're both taking notes, be very, very dark. So no one can see you. At all. *cough*

  Like the last gazillion books or so, this one picks up pretty much right after the previous book. We're at the hospital, huddling around Tricia's death bed. That's right, folks, it's taken her how long to actually get here, and we're going to burn through it so fast it'll leave you spinning in your chair. It's all very touching and even Jessica sees the error of her ways, sort of, and tries to apologize, but Tricia doesn't see the need, what with Death tapping her foot gently. Really, in the grand scheme of things, Tricia doesn't need Jessica's apology. Given the way she snarked about Cara, she knows full well how much of a jerk Jessica is, and she's not going to worry about it in her final moments. Rock on?
  The rest of the Wakefields file out after their brief goodbye moments, leaving Steven and Tricia alone. That's right, there are no other Martins at this death-day party. Just Wakefields. Seriously, Tricia has NO friends. How in the hell... Sorry, tangent.
  Steve and Trish reminisce about their first date and it's killing Steve to watch the light slowly fade from Tricia's eyes, but before she checks out completely, she asks Steven to do her a favor. The infamous " 'I'd do anything...' 'Really? Anything?' '...damn...'" kind of moment. Tricia asks that Steve take care of her sister, Betsy. Steve isn't exactly sure how well that will work out, given what a wild child Betsy is. But it's Tricia's dying wish, so of course he'll say yes.
  A short time later, the Wakefields are leaving, seeing as Tricia has died, and as they're almost home free, Betsy bursts into the hospital and freaks out. "My sister! My siiissssssttteeeeerrr!" Yeah, where were you the hour or two it took Tricia to die? Uh huh, you were out getting drunk and smoking absolutely everything you could get your hands on. So shut the hell up, kay? [It isn't often I'm with Jessica on something, but I'm on her side for the disgust at this point. I know, I know, that says something HORRIBLE about me, but I'll just have to deal, I suppose.] She sobs and carries on when Steve tells her that it's too late, and Mr. and Mrs. Wakefield decide to take Betsy home with them. Betsy's in no shape to argue and away they go.
  Jessica is not pleased with this. Betsy Martin, in case you've been living under a rock, is a world class super tramp as well as a drugged out freak. Dunno, that just seems like something the bitchy crowd at SVH would say. To illustrate how much of a skank Betsy is, rumour has it that she recently spent some quality time up at Miller's Point with two boys at the same time, and they weren't playing a rousing game of cards. GASP! For those who like your giggles with a tiny dash of irony, later on Jessica will flit around the Beach Disco with two boys in tow and think nothing of it.
  In an attempt to either atone for her misdeeds, or maybe make sure she doesn't miss another important death again, Betsy vows to give up her wild ways. Jessica [and I] snort and mutter, "That'll be the day." Thing is, somehow she manages. Annie can't keep her thoughts away from boys long enough to ace ONE test, but Betsy quits cold-freakin-turkey. If you're at all skeptical, like me, you spend most of the book waiting for her to fall off the wagon. She doesn't. ... so please don't make the same mistake I keep making, which is to wait in vain. It's okay, I know. I know, we'll get through this together.

  Instead, she swaps one vice for another. Instead of the drinking, drugs, or sex with two boys at once, Betsy falls hard for Steven Wakefield. He pays attention to her, he's nice, and he's making absolutely no movement towards trying to sleep with her, and best of all, he loved Tricia. Which is why I wish they hadn't gone with the obvious "Betsy momentarily wants Steven but isn't thinking at all about how weird it would be to have her sister's leftovers, especially given how said sister left the relationship." Namely, a little guilt over wanting Steven. It would have been nice. Yes. I sit here and actively wish for pain on fictional characters.

  Blah, blah, blah. Liz decides that if Jessica is going to make Betsy feel unwanted, then she [Liz, remember?] will make Betsy feel at home. No, she doesn't get wildly drunk and wallow in self pity [like Mr. Martin, who is still missing at this point] but she does invite herself into Betsy's life and declares that Betsy is a fantastic artist. And, as far as we know, she is. We don't know much about Betsy, other than she's got self esteem issues, and really, I wouldn't mind if Jessica kicked her in the shins with pointy heels. Wait, my issues, not yours. Artist with an attitude problem, whether she's sober or not. There, that's what we know.
  Back at SVH, the universe decides that one corpse isn't enough, so Roger finds out that his mother has had a heart attack. He lets out a mournful wail and freaks out in the cafe, which is just awkward. We'll dwell here for a bit. Turns out Mama Barret needs some operation that can apparently only be done in Houston, so Roger is trying to find the money to fly Mama B out there. Thing is, if you'll remember from book nine, Roger is freakin' POOR. Like he can afford that, right? Mmhmm. The next thing you know, gossip has it that Mr. Patman has ponied up and is sending Mama B to Houston, and everyone wonders when the hell any of the Patmans grew a soul. When did that happen? Jessica and Lila compare stories on who can't talk to Bruce most [Lila because their families are rivals, so it kills me that it takes until SVU for them to get their Romeo/Juliet on, and Jessica because of her ill-fated 'ship that went down in flames] so Cara is elected spokeswoman. The wicked witches of SVH ask and Bruce points out that Mama B did work for Mr. P back in the day [Lila points out that it was waaaaaaaaaaaaay back in the day] and that it doesn't hurt to help out the little people every so often, isn't that right, Jessica?
  Jessica then decides that it's time someone around here finally got the trash taken out of the Wakefield study, and tries to properly hatch ways to get rid of Betsy. She looks through Betsy's stuff, swearing all the while [I think she uses the word damn more in this one scene than they do in the entire rest of the series. o_O ] and all she finds is a pillbox filled with aspirin, until she gets to Betsy's sketchbook. At the very end, after Jessica is impressed, she finds a picture of Steven. She flips out, because no book is complete without a Jessica tantrum and ensuing twisty logic.
  Elsewhere, Steven is trying to set Betsy up with his friend Jason. Jason happens to teach an art class, and Betsy is an artist, so it should all be good, right? Wrong. Every time Jason so much as looks at Betsy, she screams, "Stop picturing me doing sweaty naked things with you!"
  Okay, not literally, but close enough. She won't give the guy a chance and is an incredible bitch, sure that all he wants is to get her alone so they can make with the aforementioned sweaty stuff. Jason, meanwhile, seems like he's never gotten laid in his life and that he's okay with it, so long as he can bask in the glory that is Betsy's talent. In other words, he's a friggin' saint. Steve manages to help con Betsy into going to one of Jason's classes, but she comes home all in a funk. Why?
  Because Jason asked her for a date.
  Liz and I stare blankly. So...? Sure, he's a bit on the dorky side, but glasses can be super hot, so long as they aren't those ugly aviator cousin ones, y'know? Noooooooooo, Jason obviously just wants sex, god, can you be any more stupid? Liz points out that this just cannot be true, that he might actually be interested in a talented and pretty young woman. Betsy stalks off because obviously Liz cannot relate. While I get that the guys Betsy is used to hanging out with are only interested in her for various things, how many are friends of Steven's? How many are like Jason, because I'm thinking the answer to that is not many...

  Our C plot [I consider Roger the B, as it will take center stage next book] is Winston, the Starch King. Bruce and Todd bet on whether or not Win can eat four mini pizzas in four minutes. Um, yes, yes he can. Bruce has to pay for Todd and Liz at the Beach Disco, and this spurs Winston on. Apparently in the mid 80's the world record was to believed to have been eating 7 extra large pizzas in one sitting. I'm finding this a little difficult to believe, but whatever. The local news team is out in full force to cover Winston's daring eating escapade, and so is everyone at SVH. Poor Winston spent so much time 'practicing' that he's made himself ill. He makes it to six and a half pizzas, and then has to run off and puke. Woe, Starch King. Woe. Luckily the peasants still love him.

  Back to Jason and Betsy. He offers to ask his former teacher to look at Betsy's application to the Los Angeles Academy of Fine Arts talent search. In return-
  "Hot sweaty sex! I knew it!"
  SHUT UP, Betsy. Considering you've turned the guy down sixteen different times this morning, I really don't think he's going to ask you that in front of Steve or Elizabeth, okay? So chill. You may be experienced, but I'm betting Jason doesn't want whatever you might have, kay? She stalks off, sure that she'd lose anyway, and what's the point? She leaves her sketchbook, again. [it's why Jason popped over in the first place. After her last bitch fit after class, she left her book there, too. Way to take care of the one thing you're supposed to care about, skank.] Liz stops the boys from returning it to her and says Jason should turn it in as Betsy's application. It takes Steven a second to catch on, and all three giggle like school girls, so sure are they that Betsy will win.
  Steve goes back to school, although I swear it's been like, a week, since Tricia's death. Maybe two, if you blinked and missed 'em. Anyway, Betsy freaks out when her father shows up at the Wakefields, and Steven returns. His family points out that Betsy's attachment is hurting them both. Steve can't let himself grieve while forcing himself to be strong for Betsy, and Betsy is entirely too attached to Steve for her own good. Steve tells his parents that he has to take care of Betsy because he promised Tricia.
  Unfortunately, Jessica is spying, and once she hears this, she pretty much RUNS to tell Betsy. Betsy is crushed because she thought Steve was interested and that it was more than a charity case. Fraid not, honey. Trust me, the only person who actually wants what you're giving away is the one you won't let near you. Ain't that just the way?
  So Betsy packs up and calls her good time boys. Jessica then tells people a slightly *cough* skewed version of their encounter. Steve and Jason, both elated over Betsy's winning the talent search, head off to all the dives in the area, looking for Bets. They finally find her at the Shady Lady. A fight ensues between the good boys and the good ol' boys. Jason turns out to be a brown belt in karate, kicks some ass, and then Betsy's offering up her, um, services, but in a little less obvious way.
  Turns out that she's just had one drink and isn't enjoying her old ways, so she'll go home to take care of Papa until school starts in the fall. Jason, I gather, has a backstage pass to Betsy's home.
  The book ends with Roger's mother dying, and his true father revealed. Paul Patman, Bruce's father's richer brother! GASP!

  End scene.



Trivia:

  • Wait, when did the Wakefields get a rust brown LTD? Where was I?

  • Jessica got a speeding ticket on the way to Millers Point, too bad the boy she was in such a hurry to suck face with was Paul Sherwood who can't kiss worth a damn. Add him to the dead fish pile, kids.

  • Betsy was allegedly up at MP with Charlie Cashman and Jim Sturbridge.

  • The Wakefield study comes complete with a radio, red Oriental rug, and oh, yeah, Betsy Martin.

  • Tricia died Monday, maybe early Tuesday morning [we're talking like 2am early], and she's buried two days later.

  • Before she became ill, Tricia worked at a daycare center.

  • Jessica thinks she's hit paydirt on her quest to find something illegal in Betsy's possessions, but the closest she comes is mistaking tiny little white pills for fun tiny little white pills. They have letters, too. B-A-Y-E-R. Fun!

  • There's a brook behind Sweet Valley Elementary. Seems a bit unsafe, but what do I know? My elementary school was built so close to the marsh that for recess, a bunch of us would go on unofficial marsh walks. Not a great idea at high tide or on rainy days.

  • For those who wondered, Dana is an alto.

  • Neil Freemount is the newest guy at SVH, and he's cute. Tall, blond, and cute. We know this because Jessica's already got him hooked. Aw. How many new kids can one small school have in one year?

  • Jason Stone is tall, thin, with curly black hair, brown eyes, and black tortoise shell glasses. He's an artist and teaches Saturday morning life drawing classes at Sweet Valley Community Center.

  • Winston attempts to break the world record by eating 7 extra large pizzas from Guido's. KSVH was covering the 'story' with film at six o'clock.

  • Who exactly is Tim Houseman, other than the recipients of a piss poor name and Dana's newest boytoy?

  • Winning one of the three slots in the LA Academy of Fine Arts talent search means that Betsy won free tuition, room, and board.

  • Steven's microeconomics professor is the cure for insomnia and as a result, not Steve's best subject.

  • Elizabeth and Jessica share chem class and sit next to one another. I geek out at this because, hello, geek.

  • Mrs. Rollins has a little blue hatchback.

  • Frank DeLuna is the owner of Guidos.

  • Jason is a brown belt in karate.

  • Wait, when did the Wakefields start having a weekly family brunch?

  • And also, since when does the school board have meetings early Sunday morning/afternoon? Since when does any school board do that? Is this one of those things we just don't do 'round here because it's the Bible Belt and all this time I've been missing out?



Quote-y:
  But Tricia kept right on smiling in the face of death and showed the courage of a female Luke Skywalker. - Jessica, honey? The female Luke would be Leia. p4
  "Honestly, I don't know why you get such a kick out of these verbal cat-and-mouse games." That's because you're an idiot, Liz. We know why Jess twists words. It's fun. p53

"Betsy, there's no need for apologies. It's been a rough time for both of us." A sad expression spread across Steven's handsome face. "Tricia was a very special human being." Steve, who the hell refers to the dead love of their life as a 'very special human being'? I could take, and understand, the use of the word 'person' but your way sounds like someone forgot to reword the book outline. LAME. And even Jessica agrees with me, what with her spying and all. p149



  Yes, I'm sure I played a big ol' game of 52 card pick up with various plot threads, but you get the idea. Personally, I don't like Betsy. I understand that her life is hard, and that she has issues which means she's skanky with a heart of gold, only... she's not. She's a complete bitch to Jason and anyone who isn't immediately doing anything for her, and we're not really given all that much to off-set it. Jessica is supposed to be our bitch, and she doesn't make it widely known that she's giving it away free. Which might make her a tease, but I wouldn't be Lysol-ing the toilet seat after each time she's been there. :P

  As to Tricia, for some reason it really bothers me that she seems to have no friends at all at school or anywhere else. Sure, we get a few people at the funeral, but for someone who was supposed to be this sweet girl, you'd think she'd have someone other than Steve in her life. Maybe what bugs me is that it's so sad, and probably not at all intentional. Did her family's trashy behaviour keep her from having any friends at all? Or did the writers just not think that with the exception of Caroline, almost everyone else at SVH has at least one sort of friend before they end up leaning on good old Elizabeth?
  Speaking of Elizabeth, the book repeatedly refers to her brief relationship glitch with Todd, but they use phrases such as "awful near break up was safely in the past." What past? Didn't that JUST happen? Like days ago? Seriously, the rest of the time the book is paced as if it's been a week, max, since Tricia's death, but anytime the Todd/Liz thing is brought up, it's as if months have passed. At the time of this little moment, I think it's the day AFTER Tricia's death. Which would mean Todd and Liz made up yesterday. *head desk* Either I missed something, or someone out there deserves a big kick in the kneecaps.
  Also, up until this most recent re-reading of Promises, I hadn't realized Betsy is Tricia's older sister. D'oh! I thought she was just one of the many SVH drop outs in the junior range. Don't I feel a bit silly...
  My absolute favorite bit? At the end where we gloss over Steven threatening to send Jessica to die in a desert and she fires back that Steve told Liz about the Betsy plan, and excluded her, because he loves Elizabeth more.

   Yes. Cover wise, the French one confounds me. Is the sluttified one supposed to be Betsy, and if so, when did she have time to dye her hair? Love the other, though. At least, in what little I can see. As to the funky colors above, really, there's the light blue one and then there's this bizarre aqua one that looks more blue than the aqua it is. And I should know, seeing as that's my copy and all. :P

the_oracle: (left of normal)
Secrets
November 1983


What Jessica wants, Jessica gets- even if someone gets hurt!

Jessica would stop at nothing...



  Beautiful and ruthless, Jessica Wakefield is determined to be chosen queen of the fall dance at Sweet Valley High. If she can win the contest, she's sure to win Bruce Patman, the most sought after boy in school.
  The only person standing in Jessica's way is Enid Rollins. When Jessica discovers the truth about Enid's past, she knows the crown is within her grasp. She doesn't care that Enid is her twin sister Elizabeth's best friend- or that revealing the secret may cost Enid both her reputation and the boy she loves.
  Only Elizabeth can save Enid from Jessica's vicious gossip- but can she stop her scheming twin in time...


  Secrets is a simple little story. Enid Rollins has a couple of secrets she would very much like to keep, you know, secret. Thing is, she makes the mistake of telling them to Liz Wakefield, her best friend. Seems Enid used to have a bit of a teenage rebellion thing going on, two years back after her parents' divorce. Which is a bit disconcerting when you realize that I'm fairly certain Enid is a year or so younger than most of her class, so this would make her 13 at the time of her rebellion. Anyway, drugs, driving around with her older boyfriend George Warren, and oh yeah, damn near killing a small child. This was enough to scare Enid straight, but George was shipped off. Because she's such a good friend, Enid kept in touch with George over the years. Now George is about to graduate [in the fall? Seriously?] and when he's free, he wants to see Enid.
  Who is currently seeing an exceptionally paranoid jealous freak of a guy named Ronnie. Ronnie comes by his oddity fairly honestly, considering his parents are also divorced, and that's because his mother was fooling around. So suddenly everyone is suspect, especially those of the female persuasion. This is a really bad school of thought, Ronnie. If you don't lose it soon, I suggest therapy before you find yourself ancient and alone.
  Anyway, Enid is concerned that if Ronnie finds out, he'll dump her. But the secrets are eating her alive, so she tells Liz, and brings along proof, since the thought of Enid Rollins being a former druggie is a little hard to imagine. Naturally, one of George's letters flutters away, only to be found a most inopportune moment by someone a little morally challenged.
  This brings us to Jessica, who desperately wants to be Fall Queen. Aside from trying to rack up as many crowns outside of actual pageantry, Jessica is sure that Bruce Patman will be elected King, and if she's Queen, they'll be thrown together for the semester at all school events. Of course, if he should happen to fall for her in the meantime, well, that's just what little Jessie wants. What does this have to do with Enid's secrets?
  Weeeeeeeeellllll, Enid is also up for queen, and while normally Jessica wouldn't bat an eyelash at this, she's sure that Ronnie's [he's head of the dance committee] going to try and drum up votes for good old Enid. And that might mean Enid could win. This cannot be! So when Jessica finds George's missing letter in Elizabeth's room, she makes use of the copy machine her father keeps in his home office, and slips a copy in Ronnie's locker.
  Ronnie waits until he and Enid are alone after a particularly painful double date with Liz and Todd, and then gets all grab happy. When Enid asks what the hell is wrong with him, he wonders if maybe Enid's been too busy giving it up to George to save anything for him. Enid flips out, Ronnie flips out, and Enid realizes that if only she and Liz knew the secret and Enid sure as hell didn't tell Ronnie, Liz had to be the one who did.
  And Enid is pissed. PISSED. First, she attempts to give good old Liz the cold shoulder. When Liz presses it, Enid blows up, blaming Liz for blabbing. Liz is shocked, but still somehow believes that Ronnie, whom she has to know deep down is a jackass, will come around. Any attempts to convince Enid that someone else must have told fall on deaf ears and the friendship is nullified due to acts of extreme bitchery.
  So Liz sets about trying to fix it. First she lets Jessica try and fix things, only Jess intentionally screws things up even more. Why? Well, the whole fall queen thing is still up for grabs, but also? Ever since drippy old Enid chose Liz over Jessica, Jess has been holding a grudge. Of course, Jess is also jealous of the amount of time Enid and Liz spend together, and seems to think that with Enid out of the picture, she'll have Liz all to herself. Creepy.
  With all this in mind, it's no wonder Jessica's help makes things worse. Thus Liz is left with only one option. She's got to find out who told Ronnie about the letters. She tries Winston, who's an old friend of George's, but Win tells her that while he may have a big mouth, it's only for show. When it counts, he can be counted on to keep a secret. And she believes him because the class clown should never be mocked while being serious. Ever.
  Woe, Diary, woe. Mom has laid down the law and all Wakefields who want to go to the fall dance must clean their rooms! Woe, listen to Jess complain and wheedle things out of me. Woe. You'd think this would be easier since my room is usually neat freak clean, but I'm still ever so upset over the whole Enid situation. Who could possibly have, hey, what's that peeking out from under my bed? GASP! A letter from George! I doubt Mom would have told Ronnie, which only leaves one other person sneaky enough... JESSICA!
  Yes. But Liz doesn't let Jess know she's on to her bitchy secret. Nope, Liz has another scheme up her sleeve.
  Meanwhile, Enid has finally hunted down Ms. Nora Dalton, the French teacher accused of having an affair with handsome Ken Matthews, but given this is 1983, it's totally just a rumor started by ever so jealous Lila and not true at all, talked things through, and decided she'll go to the dance alone. [Ronnie dumped her, remember? And now he's going with Jessica, who was hoping to go with Bruce, but he has other plans involving a redhead] While painting her nails, the doorbell rings. It can't be Liz, because she would never take five minutes out of her own primping time to come apologize, so maybe it's Ronnie! But no, cuz, remember, he's with Jess. Who could it be?
  Duh. George, the start of all your problems, Enid. Only he's all dressed up and handsome and she's all starstruck. He invites her to the dance [Win filled him in on all the gossip] and she says yes, what with him being hot and all, only, tee hee, she's not wearing shoes. Actually, that bit is cute. With shoes on her feet, Enid and George hit the dance, where they make quite an entrance. Enid is lovely, but lovely is trumped by the unknown eye candy attached at her hip. Fantastic!
  But wait, isn't there supposed to be revenge?
  Jessica wins Fall Queen, but pretends to be surprised. Aw. This is Liz's revenge? Giving Jess exactly what she wants?
  Hardly. As Jess is all aflutter over winning, they announce the king. Winston. Egbert. Jess is not happy, but when she finds out that Winston won because someone [perhaps a certain 5'6" blond with eyes the color of the ocean?] started a rumor that Jess had finally fallen for the clown, she hunts down her twin. Who then proceeds to explain very clearly that if Jessica does not keep her crown, head up to the stage and make Win the happiest guy ever, Liz will tell everyone how Jessica ruined Enid's relationship with Ronnie. And she'll do it in print, too. Jess is horrified because she knows what a grade A bitch she was, so she agrees, but she will totally not be kissing Egbert! Liz hadn't thought of that, but what a great idea... *cackle*



Random tid bits:

  • - Jessica tells Ronnie she's allergic to gardenias.

  • - Enid and Todd both have little brothers at this point, but will lose them shortly. They won't die, they'll just be relegated to trivia, as both will mysteriously become only children.

  • - In Double Love, Jess whines and wants an oval face. In Secrets, she's described as having a lovely oval face. Wow, she really does get what she wants...

  • - Jess has been in love with Bruce since freshman year.

  • - Lila sings in the school choir and desperately wants the soprano solo.

  • - This is the first time the Hershey Bar [Jessica's room] is used.

  • - Jessica curls her hair so frequently because it's the one thing she regrets not having been born with.

  • - 13/14 year old Enid had braces and long bangs.

  • - When Ken finds out that Lila was the one who started the rumor about Ms. Dalton, he refuses to take her to the dance.

  • - Lila isn't above snitching some of her father's expensive French wine and then sharing it with her friends.

  • - Not that Dana will drink any, she prefers Pepsi.

  • - Apparently Double Love must have taken about two months, since that's how long Enid and Ronnie have been dating [and they hadn't started at the beginning of DL, though they were close], and considering the Fall theme, DL must have also started pretty much immediately after school started.



Say wha:
Then, out of the corner of one wet eye, she glimpsed a piece of paper sticking out from under the bed. It looked like a letter. Being naturally curious- and having absolutely zero scruples when it came to reading other people's mail- she snatched it up. p33
Elizabeth hoped it was true, but she had her doubts. Jessica had a talent for proving comforting old cliches all wrong. p67

137 ways to be Cruel:
Easy for you to say. Your room is already so disgustingly neat. It'll take me a hundred and thirty-seven years to clean up mine. p87




Secrets again proves that early SVH had no problem with Jess being a complete bitch to anyone she didn't particularly like, and even those she did. Of course, it also shows that neither twin has a problem manipulating innocent bystanders in their evil plots. Liz sets Winston up for major heartbreak/pain/misery by saddling him with Jessica, since anyone with half a brain knows that while more Jess time will make Win happy, having her be a complete bitch to him won't do him any favors.
However, I love Liz and Enid's little sleepover, complete with ODing on cookies. Cute! When I was younger, I wanted so badly to join them. Time would later point out that Enid and Liz were meant to be a duo or nothing at all, but I didn't know that then. Also, the thought of Dana Larson hanging out at Lila's for anything other than a party is a little odd.

the_oracle: (left of normal)
Secrets
November 1983


What Jessica wants, Jessica gets- even if someone gets hurt!

Jessica would stop at nothing...



  Beautiful and ruthless, Jessica Wakefield is determined to be chosen queen of the fall dance at Sweet Valley High. If she can win the contest, she's sure to win Bruce Patman, the most sought after boy in school.
  The only person standing in Jessica's way is Enid Rollins. When Jessica discovers the truth about Enid's past, she knows the crown is within her grasp. She doesn't care that Enid is her twin sister Elizabeth's best friend- or that revealing the secret may cost Enid both her reputation and the boy she loves.
  Only Elizabeth can save Enid from Jessica's vicious gossip- but can she stop her scheming twin in time...


  Secrets is a simple little story. Enid Rollins has a couple of secrets she would very much like to keep, you know, secret. Thing is, she makes the mistake of telling them to Liz Wakefield, her best friend. Seems Enid used to have a bit of a teenage rebellion thing going on, two years back after her parents' divorce. Which is a bit disconcerting when you realize that I'm fairly certain Enid is a year or so younger than most of her class, so this would make her 13 at the time of her rebellion. Anyway, drugs, driving around with her older boyfriend George Warren, and oh yeah, damn near killing a small child. This was enough to scare Enid straight, but George was shipped off. Because she's such a good friend, Enid kept in touch with George over the years. Now George is about to graduate [in the fall? Seriously?] and when he's free, he wants to see Enid.
  Who is currently seeing an exceptionally paranoid jealous freak of a guy named Ronnie. Ronnie comes by his oddity fairly honestly, considering his parents are also divorced, and that's because his mother was fooling around. So suddenly everyone is suspect, especially those of the female persuasion. This is a really bad school of thought, Ronnie. If you don't lose it soon, I suggest therapy before you find yourself ancient and alone.
  Anyway, Enid is concerned that if Ronnie finds out, he'll dump her. But the secrets are eating her alive, so she tells Liz, and brings along proof, since the thought of Enid Rollins being a former druggie is a little hard to imagine. Naturally, one of George's letters flutters away, only to be found a most inopportune moment by someone a little morally challenged.
  This brings us to Jessica, who desperately wants to be Fall Queen. Aside from trying to rack up as many crowns outside of actual pageantry, Jessica is sure that Bruce Patman will be elected King, and if she's Queen, they'll be thrown together for the semester at all school events. Of course, if he should happen to fall for her in the meantime, well, that's just what little Jessie wants. What does this have to do with Enid's secrets?
  Weeeeeeeeellllll, Enid is also up for queen, and while normally Jessica wouldn't bat an eyelash at this, she's sure that Ronnie's [he's head of the dance committee] going to try and drum up votes for good old Enid. And that might mean Enid could win. This cannot be! So when Jessica finds George's missing letter in Elizabeth's room, she makes use of the copy machine her father keeps in his home office, and slips a copy in Ronnie's locker.
  Ronnie waits until he and Enid are alone after a particularly painful double date with Liz and Todd, and then gets all grab happy. When Enid asks what the hell is wrong with him, he wonders if maybe Enid's been too busy giving it up to George to save anything for him. Enid flips out, Ronnie flips out, and Enid realizes that if only she and Liz knew the secret and Enid sure as hell didn't tell Ronnie, Liz had to be the one who did.
  And Enid is pissed. PISSED. First, she attempts to give good old Liz the cold shoulder. When Liz presses it, Enid blows up, blaming Liz for blabbing. Liz is shocked, but still somehow believes that Ronnie, whom she has to know deep down is a jackass, will come around. Any attempts to convince Enid that someone else must have told fall on deaf ears and the friendship is nullified due to acts of extreme bitchery.
  So Liz sets about trying to fix it. First she lets Jessica try and fix things, only Jess intentionally screws things up even more. Why? Well, the whole fall queen thing is still up for grabs, but also? Ever since drippy old Enid chose Liz over Jessica, Jess has been holding a grudge. Of course, Jess is also jealous of the amount of time Enid and Liz spend together, and seems to think that with Enid out of the picture, she'll have Liz all to herself. Creepy.
  With all this in mind, it's no wonder Jessica's help makes things worse. Thus Liz is left with only one option. She's got to find out who told Ronnie about the letters. She tries Winston, who's an old friend of George's, but Win tells her that while he may have a big mouth, it's only for show. When it counts, he can be counted on to keep a secret. And she believes him because the class clown should never be mocked while being serious. Ever.
  Woe, Diary, woe. Mom has laid down the law and all Wakefields who want to go to the fall dance must clean their rooms! Woe, listen to Jess complain and wheedle things out of me. Woe. You'd think this would be easier since my room is usually neat freak clean, but I'm still ever so upset over the whole Enid situation. Who could possibly have, hey, what's that peeking out from under my bed? GASP! A letter from George! I doubt Mom would have told Ronnie, which only leaves one other person sneaky enough... JESSICA!
  Yes. But Liz doesn't let Jess know she's on to her bitchy secret. Nope, Liz has another scheme up her sleeve.
  Meanwhile, Enid has finally hunted down Ms. Nora Dalton, the French teacher accused of having an affair with handsome Ken Matthews, but given this is 1983, it's totally just a rumor started by ever so jealous Lila and not true at all, talked things through, and decided she'll go to the dance alone. [Ronnie dumped her, remember? And now he's going with Jessica, who was hoping to go with Bruce, but he has other plans involving a redhead] While painting her nails, the doorbell rings. It can't be Liz, because she would never take five minutes out of her own primping time to come apologize, so maybe it's Ronnie! But no, cuz, remember, he's with Jess. Who could it be?
  Duh. George, the start of all your problems, Enid. Only he's all dressed up and handsome and she's all starstruck. He invites her to the dance [Win filled him in on all the gossip] and she says yes, what with him being hot and all, only, tee hee, she's not wearing shoes. Actually, that bit is cute. With shoes on her feet, Enid and George hit the dance, where they make quite an entrance. Enid is lovely, but lovely is trumped by the unknown eye candy attached at her hip. Fantastic!
  But wait, isn't there supposed to be revenge?
  Jessica wins Fall Queen, but pretends to be surprised. Aw. This is Liz's revenge? Giving Jess exactly what she wants?
  Hardly. As Jess is all aflutter over winning, they announce the king. Winston. Egbert. Jess is not happy, but when she finds out that Winston won because someone [perhaps a certain 5'6" blond with eyes the color of the ocean?] started a rumor that Jess had finally fallen for the clown, she hunts down her twin. Who then proceeds to explain very clearly that if Jessica does not keep her crown, head up to the stage and make Win the happiest guy ever, Liz will tell everyone how Jessica ruined Enid's relationship with Ronnie. And she'll do it in print, too. Jess is horrified because she knows what a grade A bitch she was, so she agrees, but she will totally not be kissing Egbert! Liz hadn't thought of that, but what a great idea... *cackle*



Random tid bits:

  • - Jessica tells Ronnie she's allergic to gardenias.

  • - Enid and Todd both have little brothers at this point, but will lose them shortly. They won't die, they'll just be relegated to trivia, as both will mysteriously become only children.

  • - In Double Love, Jess whines and wants an oval face. In Secrets, she's described as having a lovely oval face. Wow, she really does get what she wants...

  • - Jess has been in love with Bruce since freshman year.

  • - Lila sings in the school choir and desperately wants the soprano solo.

  • - This is the first time the Hershey Bar [Jessica's room] is used.

  • - Jessica curls her hair so frequently because it's the one thing she regrets not having been born with.

  • - 13/14 year old Enid had braces and long bangs.

  • - When Ken finds out that Lila was the one who started the rumor about Ms. Dalton, he refuses to take her to the dance.

  • - Lila isn't above snitching some of her father's expensive French wine and then sharing it with her friends.

  • - Not that Dana will drink any, she prefers Pepsi.

  • - Apparently Double Love must have taken about two months, since that's how long Enid and Ronnie have been dating [and they hadn't started at the beginning of DL, though they were close], and considering the Fall theme, DL must have also started pretty much immediately after school started.



Say wha:
Then, out of the corner of one wet eye, she glimpsed a piece of paper sticking out from under the bed. It looked like a letter. Being naturally curious- and having absolutely zero scruples when it came to reading other people's mail- she snatched it up. p33
Elizabeth hoped it was true, but she had her doubts. Jessica had a talent for proving comforting old cliches all wrong. p67

137 ways to be Cruel:
Easy for you to say. Your room is already so disgustingly neat. It'll take me a hundred and thirty-seven years to clean up mine. p87




Secrets again proves that early SVH had no problem with Jess being a complete bitch to anyone she didn't particularly like, and even those she did. Of course, it also shows that neither twin has a problem manipulating innocent bystanders in their evil plots. Liz sets Winston up for major heartbreak/pain/misery by saddling him with Jessica, since anyone with half a brain knows that while more Jess time will make Win happy, having her be a complete bitch to him won't do him any favors.
However, I love Liz and Enid's little sleepover, complete with ODing on cookies. Cute! When I was younger, I wanted so badly to join them. Time would later point out that Enid and Liz were meant to be a duo or nothing at all, but I didn't know that then. Also, the thought of Dana Larson hanging out at Lila's for anything other than a party is a little odd.

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the_oracle: the cover image from Double Love, classic SVH (Default)
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