Thursday, March 20, 2008


Holy shit, I would wear this EVERY DAY. No joke. My So-Called Life being cancelled after one season is like the greatest tragedy of my childhood.

Shirt is located at

Monday, March 17, 2008

It's totes pop

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The Inland North

You may think you speak "Standard English straight out of the dictionary" but when you step away from the Great Lakes you get asked annoying questions like "Are you from Wisconsin?" or "Are you from Chicago?" Chances are you call carbonated drinks "pop."

The Midland
The Northeast
The South
The West
North Central
What American accent do you have?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

This thing was so dead on, and I just felt like sharing it because I'm a nerdo.

What next?

How I choose what book to do depends on what book I feel like reading. Lately I've been in one of those moods where I don't feel like reading anything I own. So, I want requests and suggestions from you guys on what to do. As long as I can find it in my shitty library, I'll try to get through it. Or, there's a buttload of books I own that I still haven't done. Here's a teeny sample:

-FH Stephanie - some college book that might be the worst FH book I've ever read, and they're not exactly literary masterpieces.

-FH Sisters book - something about Valentine's Day. I don't really remember what it's exactly about, but I know it's horrible because it's not just from Stephanie's P.O.V., but Michelle's, too. I heartily second MilkMan's opinion on Michelle.

-Girl Talk - still have a stack of them, including the one where Katie joins the hockey team, one where Allison's mom gets knocked up and Allison acts like a little shit about it, and the one where Randy joins a band and there are tons of insinuations to her manliness.

-BSC - I have #1-60, and then random ones after that, and I think #1-9 of the Super Specials and #1-8 of the sucktastic mysteries. Ooh, and I do have an awful Little Sister book that I found recently, too. I'm also trying to acquire the rest of the California Diaries.

-SVH - I have so many random ones, sadly not as many old ones as the miniseries. Oddly enough, I don't own the one where Robin gets all ano even though it's one of my favorites. Yeah, there's something wrong with me.

-Forever by Judy Blume - I'm kind of torn on doing this one, because part of me thinks that it's a wonderful true-to-life book about a teenage romance, and then the other part thinks Michael is a little creepy.

-Party of Five Claudia - I never knew there was more than one Claudia book, as I could only ever find the one where she skips school to win tickets for a concert (which I sadly gave away), but I acquired a different one at a thrift store, and my shitty library has the other one.

-V.C. Andrews aplenty - name a series and I have it, and yes, I do think I shall be finishing the FITA series. If There Be Thorns is just too crazy not to.

-Newer YA books, like Gossip Girl, Princess Diaries, The A-List, The Clique... - I can't grow up.

-Some random 80's YA novels - this also includes a few Cheerleaders and Junior High books, and my library has most of the Barthe DeClements and Anastasia books.

So let me know what you guys want, whether it be from my list or something you just liked that I didn't name. I'm bored with all my books, and need requests!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Girl Talk #3 The New You

This seems to be the GT book everyone remembers the most. I always remember The Winning Team the most because it centers around Sabrina and I love that ho. This one is about Allison, ugh. I'm falling asleep just typing her name. Sabrina should've so had her own spin-off series. In fact, I should add a picture of her to my banner because her outfit in The Winning Team epitomizes a walking highlighter. Man, I love her.

At least the cover of this book has a decent picture of Randy's spiky mullet. The spiky mullet should have a spin-off series, too.

The girls are having a sleepover in Sabrina's attic bedroom. I was always way jealous of her room. Sabrina is reading Belle, which I guess is like Seventeen or old-school YM (side note: I miss YM, and still have just about every copy from 1995-2000.). She reads about a modeling search and free makeover, and gets all excited. The magazine just happen to be coming to a mall near Acorn Falls! What are the chances? All the other girls just dismiss Sabrina's idea of showing up for it like she's stupid for even suggesting it. Lay off, bitches, Sabrina rules. In fact, she rules so much that the author started off the book with her, even though it's supposed to be about Allison. L.E. Blair/Katherine Applegate knows what'll sell. Katie thinks it'll be embarrassing, Randy's too butch, and Allison gives some excuse but I dozed off, sorry. I think it was something along the lines of, "I'm so lame and I read over 100 books last summer so I need to sit around and stare at a blank wall and congratulate myself on that." I paraphrased a bit. Sabrina pressures them by reading them their horoscopes and then trying to apply them to the situation. She had me at Aquarius. The other girls finally agree to go, but only if they bring just enough money for lunch so that there would be no way they'd get duped into buying something from the magazine. Allison needs extra convincing, because she says she doesn't want to be made over. Um, Allison? It's makeup, not a nose job. One time I had a free makeover at Macy's and they made me look like a baby prostitute, and you know what I did? Went home and washed it off. Trust me, it works. Allison finally says she'll go along just to watch. I would've just left her boring ass at home.

The girls put makeup an Allison and she freaks out about it. She's allergic to looking interesting! Sabrina reads about a hair mask and decides to do it. Unfortunately she didn't read the other ingredients that were continued on another page, and ends up with a gluey-like substance in hr hair. They spend the rest of their time getting it out, after Allison tries to figure out an antidote. She actually uses that word. Let's see, Allison, if you forgot to put olive oil in and you needed something slippery to get the shit out, how about using olive oil or conditioner? Look at that, I didn't even need my science book!

At school on Monday our favorite palindrome teacher asks Allison to write something for their school newspaper, and practically has to force her to do it. Even Ms. Staats is so over Allison's boringness. At lunch the caf is packed, and Stacy, B.Z., Eva, and Laurel are forced to sit with Randy, Katie, Sabrina, and Allison. Sabrina starts talking to Katie about the model thing, and Stacy flips her shit because she's going, too. Naturally. Stacy is sure she'll be picked, because she is 25, and Eva says there's no way any of the GT girls will be picked. Shut it, ho, Sabrina is a million times more awesome than you could ever hope to be. Eva makes fun of Allison for being tall, and, even though this was way before then, I know she has never seen an episode of America's Next Top Model, because models are supposed to be tall. Duh! Allison and Randy go off to science lab, and Allison starts going on about their lab and attributing parts of it to herself and Randy, and I just want to stick pins in my eyes because that would be more entertaining than this.

The girls get to the mall, and get in 4 different lines so that they'll have a better chance of being picked for the makeover and free shit. Allison spends her time trying to figure out a pattern to the lines, and I want to haul off and smack her. If it's a modeling search, they're not going to pick every 10th girls or something, they're going to pick every hottest girl! I guess Sabrina blinded them with her outfit or something, because her hot ass wasn't picked. Randy was turned away because the modeling search was for girls only and Katie wasn't picked, either. Only Allison was. Wonderful. I can barely contain my joy. Stacy and B.Z. got in, too, so at least there's that to look forward to.

Allison tries to swtich her ticket into the makeover section with one of the other girls, but the Belle Magazine rep yells at her and tells her to get going. Hahahaha! She's all scared and I'm so over it. It's fucking makeup, just shut your eyes and deal with it! The modeling agency people all flip their shit over her, because she's tall (told you, Eva), has nice thick hair, and excellent skin. In fact, the obvs gay hairdresser can't stop wetting his pants over her hair. I love him, kind of. I guess I love anyone compared to Allison. Except maybe Randy. The girls are all separated into groups for makeovers, and Allison, Stacy, and three other girls are asked if they would like to participate in the modeling campaign. Get this - their theme is diversity. There's a redhead, an Asian, a Black girl (they capitalized it in the book, not me), a 25 year old blonde (Stacy), and a Native American (Allison). They fill out some contact sheets and get sent off to their makeover shit. Allison talks to the firecrotch, whose name is Kelly O'Connor (Irish enough for ya?), but her modeling name is Kelly Kay. Allison realizes what time it is, and runs back to meet her friends. She says she secretly hopes she'll get the call to be in the agency's ad.

The next Monday at school Stacy is bragging about how her mom got the call from the agency during lunch time. Allison is sad because she thinks she won't get it. You dumbass, you haven't even been home yet to find out if there was a call or not. Sure enough, Allison's mom got a call, too. They have to go to a photo shoot at a local high school, and Mrs. Cloud will be driving Allison and Stacy, and Stacy's mom, who has it goin' on, will pick them up and drive them back home. Allison is worried about being in the same car and the same photo shoot with Stacy, but her mom offers her milk and cookies and she immediately feels better. I'd feel better, too.

Telephone Talk: Allison tells the other girls the news. It's all boring and lame.

Modeling day! Stacy acts all nice to Allison and her mom. I love that two-faced bitch. She even kind of apologizes for being a bitch, and Allison wonders if maybe Stacy is just like her on the inside. Don't count on it, she's a 25 year old seventh grader. Obviously she didn't read over 100 books last summer. The Black girl (again, they capitalized it), who is named Keisha, is also there. Allison gets the hottest makeover ever, and internally whines about it the whole time. Shut UP! The obvs gay hairdresser has her flip her head upside down and brush her hair and make it all big and fluffy, which she internally bitches about because it's not the way she normally does her hair. So? It's fucking brushing, not cutting. It'll be the same as it was before if you just brush it down again. Then she gets the makeup, which she says makes her feel like a circus clown. If this was panel at ANTM, Tyra would tell her all about how she once had to wear 8 pounds of makeup and 3 tons of hairspray and she could barely move and had to walk uphill on Mount Everest in an avalanche with 120 degree fever the day after her father died to get to the shoot, but she still worked it and came out with a fierce photo. Did Allison honestly think that she wouldn't need anything and could model looking like a boring ass lameoid? At least Tyra wasn't in charge of the hair. You know she would've dyed Allison's hair bleach blonde or shaved her head or put in a dead rat and call it a weave. I love the makeover episodes.

Stacy and Allison head out onto the football field and find Kelly, Keisha, and nameless Asian girl, along with a bunch of football players. There's also a totes gay Italian photographer, who annoyingly gives directions in Italian and then English. Hey, dumbass, why don't you save yourself the breath and just give them in English the first time? He says capisce, and I immediately think of that hot piece of ass Uncle Jesse. During a break Allison starts talking with one of the football players, Bruce. No comment. They start up again, and Stacy gets yelled at for putting movement into her poses by doing cheerleader jumps and flips. I call bullshit on this photographer, Tyra LOVES movement!

The next day before school, Allison does her hair the way the hairdresser did it and puts on her least lame outfit, a yellow shirt and sexy overalls with yellow striped cuffs and pockets. Wild! Not. She says she hasn't worn her hair loose since she was about 5, and acts like it's such a big deal and everything. I think this book has taken my indifference towards Allison to full on hatred. The girls think she looks hot, and she's all embarrassed and shit. Stacy passes her a note in Miss Munson's class, who is Ms. Munson in this book for some reason. Stacy invites her to Fitzie's after school. She decides to go, but tries to figure out a way to ditch Randy, Katie, and Sabrina, who are also going to Fitzie's. I'm sure you can all fit in there, dumbass. Who cares?

Allison, Katie, Sabrina, and Randy all get a table together, and Allison tells them about the shoot, but it's not the same because they weren't there so they don't quite get it. Stacy comes over to their table and pulls Allison over to hers. She says she has the pictures from the shoot. Sabrina shows up and is excited to see them, but Stacy's hos are all mean to her and tell her to GTFO. They just made my little black book! Allison doesn't stick up for Sabrina, and when she finally makes it back to her table Sabrina and Katie are gone. Randy tells her Sabrina was really upset, and asks what happened. Allison tells her, and Randy rips her a new asshole for not sticking up for Sabrina. I now officially like Randy more than Allison. Randy says she's going over to Sabrina's to see how she is, and thinks Allison should come with and apologize. Stacy runs up to Allison and tells her how she needs a ride to the next shoot, and Randy gets pissed and leaves without her. I don't know why Randy couldn't wait for a second, or why Allison couldn't walk to Sabrina's by herself. Allison just goes home to be lame alone.

The next day at school Randy, Sabrina, and Katie give Allison the silent treatment. This is so like a BSC book, specifically Mary Anne's Makeover. Well, at least here they have a reason to be mad, if it was a BSC book the silent treatment would've started as soon as Allison got picked at the mall. Those bitches will refuse to talk to you if you change anything about yourself! I don't necessarily think Allison deserves the silent treatment, but then again she could've gone over to Sabrina's or called her at least to apologize. I guess she does deserve it for being a lazy ho.

At the next shoot Stacy gets cuter clothes than Allison and a better hairstyle. Well, I say better only because Allison gets a hairstyle that I definitely remember Claudia Kishi rocking: ponytail on top of the head braided into a million little skinny braids. They start doing the shoot, and then the modeling person starts throwing in accessories, like notebooks and shit. Allison gets all pissy because she's given a pair of glasses and doesn't want to wear them. Tyra once had a shoot where she had to wear a back brace and sit in a wheelchair made out of sharpened pins while teetering on a ledge over the Grand Canyon, and she still managed to work it and look fierce. Allison is letting her pissy mood get to her and has to do the same shot over and over again because she sucks. Mr. Jay would be yelling at her right about now. Even though Allison royally sucks ass, she stills gets asked by the agency to think about modeling in New York.

Stacy tells Allison after the shoot that she called her mom and told her she was riding with Mrs. Cloud, but really the football player Allison had been flirting with is giving her a ride home. This leaves Allison stranded with no ride, and she is mega pissed. It's like the only time she's shown a strong emotion. Bruce the football player asks her if she's ready, and she's all confused. He says that he wanted to give her a ride home, but Stacy said they were supposed to go together so he said he'd take her along too. Allison refuses because she is worried that her parents will get mad. What does a 16 year old want with a 13 year old? Gross! Allison calls her dad to come get her, and he gives her a lecture on the way home on how looks aren't everything and she can't forget her mind. Whatevs.

The next day at school Allison is all sad because she couldn't finish her homework or hand something in for the school newspaper. The shoot ended at 6, dummy, not midnight. I never even started my homework until like 9. I'm also a huge procrastinator. Randy stops Allison in the hallway and rips her a new one. Allison realizes she didn't go to Sabrina's after Fitzie's. Are you kidding me? You just fucking remembered that? Randy doesn't give her a chance to explain, and leaves.

That weekend Allison is all sad and alone. She thinks about calling the girls, but doesn't. Ow, I just hurt my head pounding it on my desk. She decides to go to Fitzie's and do some writing and shit. Stacy and her posse are already there, and the GT girls walk in soon after. Stacy runs up to Allison to show her the new pics, and flips her shit when she sees the pics are all of Allison. She tries to play it off by saying she only joined because the agency begged her, and Allison calls bullshit on her in front of everyone. She starts screaming at her and tells her about the New York thing, and Stacy gets even more pissed and leaves. For some reason this makes Randy, Sabrina, and Katie her friends again. I guess you can't be friendly with them and with Stacy at the same time. Seems dumb to me, but then again most of this book was. They all apologize and look at the pictures. Randy likes Allison in glasses, and they all go off to the eyeglass store to try some on. Clearly, you must like glasses and hate Stacy if your friends do. Fucking followers. Allison says she like being a model, but she's done with it for awhile, thus losing the only interesting thing about her.

Eh, I guess Randy's spiky mullet isn't so bad. In some other books, she has the back up in a ponytail and it's horrendous. Katie's face looks weird, and Sabrina looks like a Kid Sister doll. I hate hate HATE the frightened look on Allison's face, like some blush, nail polish, and curlers will give her the plague or something. Suck it up, ho!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

SVH #4 Power Play

I get to school this morning and as I'm walking into the building another student comes out and says school is cancelled because of a water main break. This is majorly awesome, but would've been even better if I had known about it at 6:30 this morning when I was pushing my snooze button and trying to dream some more about Jason Segel. Damn, that boy is hot.

Because of no school, I'm in a super good mood! I decided to keep the good mood up and recap what might be my favorite SVH book. Don't worry, even though I'm in a good mood, I'll still be relentless with the snark. Also, if there are more typos than usual, I'm tired and I hit my finger yesterday, causing the nail to rip halfway off and bleed all over, so I have a finger brace on it and it's awkward to type.

I love this book mostly because I like my Jessica Wakefield to be full-on selfish and sociopathic. I like the Jessica Wakefield that spikes her own twin sister's drink so she can win prom queen. I mean, she really has no limit, does she? Of course, I love it. The old books are the best because no matter what crazy ass bitchy thing she does Elizabeth always takes it. It's so great. Ooh, and this book has a Lila subplot, and I wholeheartedly agree with the 1bruce1 (link on right) theory that Lila is the awesomez.

Have you guys ever wondered about Kate William, the actual author of SVH? It must suck that her name isn't even on the cover and she gets pretty much no credit. I mean, hell, most libraries even have SVH books under P for Pascal. What the hell did Francince Pascal do? Okay, she created the series, but does that mean she just went to her lackey Kate William one day and was like, "Twins. Blonde hair, Pacific blue eyes, perfect size 6. Different personalities," and then just walked away? I bet Francine has never even read SVH. She's too busy laying around her mansion, Pascal Crest, and ordering maids to make her cosmos. "I said EXTRA vodka, Servant! Do it over again!" "But, Ms. Pascal, I'm here to repair the roof." "Less talking, MORE VODKA!"

Ah, I'm just joking around. I have read a book that is actually written by Francine Pascal (My First Love and Other Disasters, haven't been able to get my hands on the other two), and it was very funny and entertaining, and not much like an SVH book. I can't help but wonder how different SVH would be if Francine wrote it, and what the hell she was so busy with that she couldn't do it herself. Maybe she had to tend to her Goldie Hawn bangs.

So our literary masterpiece starts off with Robin Wilson's mother calling the Wakefield house one afternoon to try to find her. Elizabeth answers the phone and is surprised to hear that Robin Wilson, the fat girl, thinks that she's Jessica Wakefield's BFF. For some reason, Mrs. Wilson feels that she can confide in Liz about Robin. Maybe because Elizabeth is 45, too. She tells Liz that Robin is going to drop out of school because she's a fattypants and thinks she's unpopular. Oh, Robin. Remember the fat kid from Stand By Me? He grew up to be a sexy underwear model. There's always hope. Mrs. Wilson asks Elizabeth if Robin is going to be asked to pledge their sorority, Pi Beta Alpha. How many high schools do you know of that had sororities? Elizabeth says they've gotten behind in nominations, but Jessica is now president and said she'd do it at the next meeting. Mrs. Wilson is afraid that Jessica is too busy to remember to do it, and then decides to end the guilt trip by asking Elizabeth to have Robin call home if she sees her. Oh, Mrs. Wilson, stop worrying. Robin is overweight and a brunette, nothing bad will happen to her.

Soon after Mrs. Wilson hangs up, Jessica calls. Elizabeth yells at her because she was supposed to be helping her clean the house over an hour ago. Ugh, Elizabeth, that's not the way to get Jessica to come home. Tell her you're throwing a party for her for being the most beautiful girl in all of California, and only attractive men who want to molest her will be invited. She'll be there super fast. Jessica gives some excuses about picking up her clothes at the cleaner's and getting some books from the library, and Elizabeth totally buys it because lies weren't invented back when she was 16.

Elizabeth starts cleaning the house by herself, and then the doorbell rings. It's Robin Wilson, with Jessica's dry cleaning and books. Robin sits down to wait for Jessica and starts eating a candy bar. Trusting Elizabeth immediately turns into Judgmental Elizabeth, and she can't stop staring disapprovingly at Robin. Shut the fuck up, Elizabeth, like you've never had a candy bar in your life. Just because she's overweight doesn't mean she should be punished and never be allowed to enjoy a Snickers once in awhile. Elizabeth asks Robin why she did Jessica's errands for her, and Robin says that's what best friends do. Elizabeth now pities Robin for thinking that Jessica is actually her friend. Hey, you never know, she could be hanging out with her because she'd look even more beautiful by comparison. It's something Jessica would do, don't deny it. Robin starts crying about wanting to pledge to PBA but not having her name put up yet, and Elizabeth tells her she'll put her name up. Why didn't Robin go to Elizabeth first? If I wanted something from the twins, I'd definitely ask Elizabeth because she's a huge pushover. Robin is all happy and runs to call her mother to tell her the good news. Elizabeth is scared what Jessica will do when she finds out. I'd be scared, too, she'll probably cut the brakes on the car so Elizabeth can't get to the meeting.

Robin comes back into the room and says her mom is so happy for her. She takes out another candy bar and starts chomping away. Elizabeth is mad at herself for doing something to make Robin eat more. Damn, Elizabeth, it's a candy bar, not an extra large pizza. All your visits to the Dairi Burger sure aren't helping your figure, either. Jessica comes home and Robin tells her she's so excited and she and Liz are so wonderful and then leaves. Jessica calls her a fat wimp and asks Liz what that was all about. Liz starts nagging her about using Robin and making her think they were friends just so she could have a slave, and Jessica's just like, "Yeah, so?" This is the Jessica I love, the one who doesn't realize that everyone has feelings and the world is not there to serve her. Elizabeth notices a new scarf around Jessica's neck and asks her about. Jessica says that Lila (!) has an aunt in New York who sent it to her, but she didn't like the color on her. Everyone in the world knows that Lila doesn't give shit away. Hell, she probably buys herself a new present on her friend's birthdays because it's a gift just being with her fabulous self. Elizabeth totally buys the story, though, and instead lays into Jessica about not cleaning the house and using Robin. Jessica doesn't really give a shit about the conversation until Liz tells her that she's going to put up Robin's name herself. Jessica totally flips her shit and starts screaming that "that tub of lard" will ruin PBA's image and shit. What the hell, you guys let Elizabeth in, and she's middle aged! Oh, but she's thin. I get it now.

PBA meeting time! Elizabeth is running late, so Jessica tries to hurry through the new business before she gets there. No such luck, all that mall walking in the morning has made Elizabeth fast, and she gets there and puts Robin's name up for pledge, making sure to say that she's Jessica's BFF. The other members are appalled that a fat girl might have the chance to join their group, but are too scared of Jess to say anything mean about her "best friend." Rightfully so, Jessica is not afraid to cut a bitch! After the meeting Jessica yells at Elizabeth, calling her "Little Miss Do A Good Deed Every Day." Jessica has the best insults in this book. Wait until I get to my favorite one. Liz says that Robin is smart and funny, and would make a good addition to PBA. Jess replies that she's "surrounded by two tons of fat." She then tells Liz not to gloat too much, because Robin has to pass all the pledging tasks still. And guess who gets to decide what those tasks are? You got it, Miss Jessica Wakefield herself.

Cara, Lila, and Jessica stop by Robin's house to tell her she's been nominated. Robin freaks out at their presence and starts offering them sodas, milkshakes, eclairs, and ice cream sandwiches. The girls just stare at her like they might catch fat. Jessica tells Robin she's been nominated, and the look of happiness on Robin's face is almost enough to make her change her mind about ruining her life, but not quite. Smile a little bigger next time, Robin. After lipo, of course. The girls leave, and Robin celebrates by taking a cherry cheesecake out of the fridge and eating it. Next time something good happens to me, I'm heading over to the Wilsons'. Their dessert selection is the shit. Oh, wait, we're supposed to be disgusted by Robin's eating habits. Hell, I'm just hungry.

Elizabeth asks Jessica later how Robin took the news. Jessica is more concerned with her thighs, though. She tells Liz that Robin was super happy and kept offering her food because she wanted her to be as fat as she is. No way, Robin just has good desserts and wanted to share! Robin and I would totally be BFF, and she wouldn't even have to pick up my dry cleaning. Liz notices that Jessica is wearing a new pair of earrings that look really expensive. Jessica says Lila's aunt sent them, and she didn't like them so she got them. Lila's aunt must have sucky taste if everything she gives her is too revolting to keep. Elizabeth buys it, of course, and Jessica tells her to be sure to show up at the track after school tomorrow. Elizabeth wonders what is going on. Um, Elizabeth? Either she's going to humiliate Robin or Lila's aunt bought her a private jet that she's giving to Jessica there. If Elizabeth's the smart twin, then Jessica must be borderline retarded.

Elizabeth is at her locker when her middle aged husband, Todd, comes up and starts making out with her and shit. I hate hate HATE it when Elizabeth and Todd flirt with each other, because it's just so gross and all talk. I mean, I never say to my boyfriend, "I have the perfect way to relax you," and then just hold his hand. I'm better than that! Elizabeth tell him they need to get to the track to see what Jessica was talking about yesterday. I'll give you a hint: it's not a jet. They find Robin running around the track in shorts and a tank top. Tons of people are in the stands yelling out insults to her. Everyone's favorite date rapist, Bruce Patman, tells her not to fall because she'll dent the track. Elizabeth is furious at Jessica, but that doesn't mean shit because she's not going to do anything about it.

Robin has to jog around the track five times a day for a week, and at the end of the week Elizabeth congratulates her for not eating candy bars while running. Nah, I'm lying, but she does congratulate her for finishing the task. Robin is depressed, and Elizabeth asks why. Robin tells her that she's received her next task: go to the beach on Saturday and play volleyball in a bikini. Elizabeth tells her that she, Todd, Enid, and Enid's boyfriend George are going to the beach on Saturday and always play volleyball, so she can play with them. That's a good idea, because that group is so boring no one will be able to look at them without falling asleep. Robin is happy that she won't have to face the task alone.

For some reason on Saturday they play volleyball against Lila, Cara, Jessica, and Bruce. I thought Liz wanted to protect Robin? Oh, and I love the author's subtle jabs at Robin; her dresses are always described as tent dresses and the robe she wears to the beach is a tent robe. WTF is a tent dress?

Oddly enough one of the people credited with this pic is named Robin.

Robin gets through the afternoon, even with Bruce making fun of her the whole time. She's all happy and positive until she receives her final task: have Bruce take her to the Discomarathon.

Liz is pissed about the Bruce thing, but convinces Robin to try and ask him. Robin goes home all sad and Liz runs off to the tennis courts to find Bruce. He's all turned on by the fact that a Wakefield twin (doesn't care which one) is watching him practice. Liz bribes him by telling him she'll do a front page story with a picture for The Oracle on his tennis abilities if he takes Robin Wilson to the dance. Bruce is unwilling at first, but his ego always wins out and in the end he agrees. Liz is happy.

Liz comes home to find Jessica laying out by the pool getting skin cancer. She bets Jessica two weeks of laundry that Bruce will take Robin to the dance. Jessica is lazy and stupid, so of course she agrees. Liz goes back into the house and Lila walks in. She asks how her aunt is, and Lila is all stupid and denies having an aunt until she remembers she told Jessica it was her aunt that gave her all of that fabulous expensive stuff. Oops. She tries to cover it up, but not even Elizabeth is falling for it. Liz notices that Lila is wearing quite possibly the ugliest ring in the world, a big gold pharoah's head, and compliments her on it. Lila doesn't have time for lowly Elizabeth's comments, and leaves to go and hang out with Jessica by the pool.

Liz calls Robin and tells her to ask Bruce to the dance. She is reluctant, but agrees. The next day Robin comes running up to Liz all excited because Bruce said yes. Robin thinks the kids will all accept her now that she has a date with the most popular rapist in school. Yeah, right. If every girl Bruce dated was immediately made popular, then there would no such thing as unpopular. Ho gets around. Liz gloats to Jessica, who has no idea how this could've happened. Oh, Jessica. Are you really that stupid? (Answer: Yes)

Discomarathon! Todd and Liz dance, and Liz gets orgasms from touching him. Well, that's what I interpreted, anyway, because the book says, "Feeling his strong, athletic body so close to her always made her feel warm, excited, and utterly in love." Kinky! Robin and Bruce enter. Liz says Robin is wearing a prettier tent dress than usual. How kind of you, judgmental bitch. Bruce leads Robin out to the dance floor and then says, "Anyone want to steer the Queen Mary around the floor tonight? She's all yours!" and walks out. Robin is shocked and humiliated. She runs into the bathroom and Liz goes in after her. Enid, having no purpose but to follow Liz around, is given the task of guarding the door so no one can come in. Yeah, right. How will Enid keep them out, bore them to death? Actually, that's not a bad plan. If I saw Enid standing outside the bathroom door, I'd go find another one immediately.

Liz gives Robin another motivational talk, and then tells her she has "such a pretty face." God, if every fat girl around the world had a dollar for hearing that one, they'd all be billionaires. Liz was just complimenting her before to cheer her up, but then actually looks at Robin and realizes that it's true. Bitch! Enid pokes her head in and says she can't keep the crowd back much longer. She's so lying, they're all avoiding her like the plague. Robin says she can't go back out there and she's dropping out of school. She runs out and Liz follows her and smacks into Allen Walters, the nerdy school newspaper photographer. What was he doing trying to get into the girl's bathroom, huh? Liz tells him that he needs to do a favor for her and stop Robin Wilson. What? Why can't Liz do it herself? Lazy ho.

Allen finds Robin and stops her. Task done! Oh, he has to talk to her, too. He calms Robin down and they find out the both like old romance movies (maybe he was taking the camera into the boy's bathroom), and he asks her to dance. They go back in and dance for one song. Allen says he needs to leave when it ends. Robin thinks it's because of her, but then he asks if he can walk her home. Awwwww.

Elizabeth and Jessica have a huge fight at home after the dance. Liz blames Jess for what Bruce said, but Jess maintains her innocence. Liz gives up arguing with her, but still doesn't believe she had nothing to do with it.

The next day Elizabeth goes to the mall to pick up their mom's watch at the repair shop. She notices scarves like the one Jessica had been wearing, and the salesgirl tells her they're exclusive to that shop. Liz bumps into a display of jewelry and knocks it down. Clumsy fool. The salesgirl makes her stay put until every piece of jewelry is accounted for, and Liz notices another fugly pharoah ring like the one Lila had on. The salesgirl tells Liz that they have just installed a new security system because there has been a shoplifting problem recently. She's very accusing, and Liz nervously runs away.

Liz is sad because she thinks Jess is a shoplifter. She tries to think of a way to talk to her about it, but the only thing she can think of is telling Jess that the stolen scarf looks like shit on her. Jessica of course doesn't wear it after that. Liz asks her when the PBA voting meeting is that night, and Jessica says she doesn't know how she found out about it and tells her. Liz says they couldn't call it a final vote without her, and Jess says she was just going to vote for her. All absentee ballots for the presidential election are now being sent to Jessica Wakefield.

Meeting time! The girls vote by passing around a box and dropping a white marble in for yes and a black one for no. Any black balls mean no membership. Suzanne Hanlon is voted on first and makes it, and Lila approves because her father has a Rolls-Royce. Next is Robin. The box is passed around, Jessica opens it and finds a black ball. Everyone is shocked because they can't believe someone would defy Jessica like that by voting against her best friend. Elizabeth is convinced that Jessica did it herself, but what about Lila? You know Lila doesn't give a shit who Jessica's friends are, and will vote as she pleases. I mean, I'm not denying that Jessica would do it, too, I'm just saying Lila is a good guess also.

Jessica and Elizabeth meet Robin at Casey's to tell her the bad news. Robin nearly faints, and Jessica assures her that even though she's not a part of everything worth having at SVH, they can still be friends. She actually says that. God, I love her. Liz tells her to shut up, and then tries to comfort Robin, but she screams at her and says there isn't any reason for her to go on and runs out. Elizabeth chooses to sit there and yell at Jessica instead of go after Robin. Clearly when your friend is humiliated and runs to the bathroom she needs you, but when she threatens suicide she must be left alone.

Liz tries to call Robin all night, but instead has a chat with her BFF Mrs. Wilson. She tells Mrs. Wilson that Robin was blackballed, and Mrs. Wilson wonders how people can be so cruel. The next day Liz is sitting in the Oracle office with Mr. Collins. Run, Liz! Mr. Collins is the creepiest teacher in the world. Liz starts babbling on about the sorority and how it excludes people and shit. Isn't that the definition of a sorority? If they let everyone in then how are they any different from just a bunch of girls hanging out? Liz decides to write an article about the situation, entitled "Snobbery Is Alive and Well at Sweet Valley High," forgetting that she is also a member of this snobby sorority. Also, doesn't this make every sports team snobby? You don't get on the team unless the coach thinks you're good enough. Just saying. She hands her article in to our uptight Princess of Lame, Penny Ayala, and is satisfied with herself.

The day the article comes out all the Pi Betas are pissed, but none as much as Jessica. Elizabeth is sad because since the blackballing no one has seen or heard from Robin, so she wasn't there to read the article. Jessica yells at Liz, and Liz tells her she shouldn't have blackballed Robin. Jess tells her that Liz knew Robin couldn't make it and shouldn't have even sponsored her in the first place. She also calls her the best insult ever, Elizabeth Wakefield Buttinski, and accuses her of being a goody goody who interferes with everything and tries to help every wayward soul. Go Jessica! Jess tells her Bruce told Cara about the bribe, and that Liz should just mind her own business for once. I'm planning my wedding to Jessica as I write this.

Mrs. Wilson calls Elizabeth to tell her Robin was visiting an aunt in LA but is back in Sweet Valley now. She says Robin doesn't want to talk to anyone, especially members of PBA, but she was just calling Liz because she knew she was worried. Also, she wanted to confirm that their bridge game had been moved to Thursdays and to make sure Liz was bringing extra prunes. Liz sees Robin at school and she's wearing no makeup and a tent dress that is a little too big for her. She is very quiet and just stares straight ahead in the hallways and stuff. She's also pretty cold to Liz and completely ignores Jess. Lila is also acting weird, bragging about all these great places her father is going to take her. How is that different from how she normally acts? Lila loves to brag! Elizabeth asks Jessica about all the stuff Lila gave her, and Jess tells her again it was from Lila's aunt. Liz asks Jess if she didn't steal them, and Jess rightfully freaks out and says she's going to tell their mother. Because that won't be a bad conversation. Liz apologizes and says she didn't mean it.

Liz decides to go to the mall the next day to get Todd a new watchband for his upcoming birthday. She sees a woman steal a bracelet in Lisette's, and the woman turns around and, duh, it's Lila. The salesgirl didn't see Lila, though, and instead goes after Elizabeth. Elizabeth runs away and heads for home. She talks to Jessica and tells her to stay away from Lila. Jess wants to know why, but Liz just tells her to stay away.

Elizabeth sees Robin the next morning running the track, as she has been since she got back to school. She talks to her a little, and Robin is nice but not overly friendly. Liz sees her later in the cafeteria and of course checks out her tray to see what's on it. Because a fat girl's fashion accessory is a tray full of food, natch. Robin's tray used to have french fries and double burgers (yep, plural) on it, but now has lettuce, two tomato slices, and a hard boiled egg. That's no fun! Can I have the cheeseburger she turned down? I'm a cheeseburger addict as well as a Snapple one.

Of course, Robin is losing weight super fast. Elizabeth has to make sure she's not anorexic. Nope, not until #74. Robin is insulted and tells her she's not stupid. Elizabeth is happy and tells her she thinks she's just terrific! What a nosy ass bitch.

Elizabeth gets a phone call from Lila after school saying that Jessica is being held at the mall for shoplifting. She gets to the mall as fast as she can and finds Lila in the parking lot. Lila tells her the story and Elizabeth realizes that they wanted her, not Jessica. Lila asks her why she's been shoplifting, and Elizabeth tells her to cut the crap because she saw her steal a bracelet. Lila is all scared and shit, and says she steals to get her father to notice her. Liz makes her come inside to confess. The salesgirl sees Liz and grabs her, thinking they both shoplift, and Liz says it's not either of them. She tells Jess to wait in the car, and Lila comes in. Just as she's going to confess, she faints. Dramz!

Lila wakes up and Liz tells her the shop is pressing charges and Mr. Fowler is on his way over. He comes and gets her and crap, and Liz heads back out to her car where Jess is waiting. She won't tell Jessica anything, and Jess is frustrated. It's really not that hard to figure out, Jessica. Maybe she is borderline retarded after all.

Liz accompanies Lila to her hearing. She's given 6 month probation for being awesome. Mr. Fowler takes them out to dinner and Liz eats a ton of fattening stuff, but it's okay because she's thin. She gets home and still won't tell Jessica anything, and Jessica is pissed. Then she goes out on a date with Todd, and there's more of their nauseating sexy talk and no action.

The next day Liz is writing an article on the mid-term cheerleading tryouts and almost pisses her pants when she sees that Robin is on the list. Jessica can't read, so she doesn't know about it when the paper comes out until Liz tells her to read it. She predictably flips out and says it isn't fair. Anyone can try out for cheerleading, dumbass. At school Robin is getting popular. She saves the tent dresses for camping only now, and wears the latest fashions. She's lookin so smokin' that Bruce Patman almost walks into a door staring at her. He totally doesn't recognize hr, and thinks she's a new girl. Something tells me you ruined your chance with her at the Discomarathon, Bruce. Robin not only makes the cheerleading squad, but is named co-captain with Jessica. Clearly, losing a lot of weight will give you gymnastic skills and talent.

Elizabeth has been mailing articles she's written to the Sweet Valley newspaper for a few months now, and finally receives a letter from the editor. He says she shows promise, but he hasn't been able to use any of her articles. Liz is sad. How did someone in Sweet Valley deny one of the glorious Wakefield twins something? You know this guy was fired and excommunicated from the town as soon as people found out. Creepy Mr. Collins tells her to keep trying because getting a letter from the editor is a big thing. It's not like he's got much to do, Elizabeth and Jessica don't have any molesters or avenging criminals or evil girls who look just like them after them in this book, so what else could the staff be writing about? Hell, Bruce Patman hasn't even untied one of their bikini tops! He could write about Robin, but she's a brunette and used to be fat.

Jessica says she's getting ready for the most important thing in her life, winning football queen, a.k.a. Miss Sweet Valley High. She thinks she'll get it because the team is in love with her because she's dated all of them. No, really, she says that. Well, she hasn't dated anyone who isn't first string. Jessica is a classy ho like that. Jess tells Liz to rip up the other candidates' pictures when she writes an article on the event for the Oracle, and only feature her. Liz refuses.

Lila deigns to speak to lowly Elizabeth the next day. She tells her about all the fun stuff she and Daddy Warbucks are doing, but he'll be leaving for a couple of months soon. Liz is disappointed in Mr. Fowler because without his attention Lila will start shoplifting again. Or so she thinks, since this incident is never spoken of in any other book.

The competition for Miss Sweet Valley High is mainly between Jessica and Robin. Robin puts up a sign that says that PBA is forbidding any member to compete for the title, and that they blackballed her so everyone should vote for her, or something like that. The PBAs deny it, and it's a stupid sign anyway. Shut up, Robin. On voting day the football team's offensive line carries a sign that says "Jessica Is Just Right." Dumb! The defensive line has a sign that says "Robin Has Us Throbbin'." That is so dirty I don't know where to begin. The results will be announced at their homecoming game the next day.

At the game, Jessica is practicing her acceptance speech in her head when they announce the winner - Robin Wilson. Holy fuck, another time that a Wakefield twin was denied something they wanted?!!? The world will come to an end! It's tradition for Miss Sweet Valley High to ride around the track in a limo and wave, but Robin asks her shadow, Bruce, if he'll drive her in 1bruce1. He agrees, and then she announces that she would like Allen Walters to be her escort. Owned! Bruce is miserable. Elizabeth, who spotted the busy newspaper editor (he's preparing for the next book, where a college student with a porn 'stache molests Jessica) and offered to write an article for him, takes tons of pictures of Bruce driving Robin and Allen and laughs at him. She gets her story published, and all is well.

I love how the older books tied into the next one. Jessica is bitching about how all her friends are so juvenile, because someone who throws more temper tantrums than a two year old obviously isn't. Elizabeth tells her she better not be hanging out with the college crowd at the beach, and Jessica says Mr. Porn 'Stache is interested in her and leaves. We end with Liz watching her, fearful for Jessica's virginity.

The perfect twins, with bleach blonde hair and bushy black eyebrows. Hot! Also, it looks as if Elizabeth's balding a little.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Here's to You, Rachel Robinson

If you haven't read this book, I know what you're thinking. A book about the most unlikeable of the three girls in Just as Long as We're Together? You'd think it would be sucktastic, but instead this gives a better look into Rachel, and you come out sympathizing with her and even liking her. To me, that's the mark of a good author; taking an unlikeable character and making them likeable. It's how I feel about V.C. Andrews's Garden of Shadows. I never thought I'd like TG, but hearing things from her point of view gives FITA a whole new meaning when you re-read it. Same goes for here, I may have been hard on Rachel in my JALAWT recap, but this book made me understand her actions in that book a lot more.

The book starts off with Rachel daydreaming in English class. Her parents are at a meeting at her older brother Charles's boarding school to see if he's getting kicked out or not. The teacher asks a question, and Rachel's old crush Max gives a dumbass answer, so the teacher instead calls on Rachel. Rachel thinks to herself that she hates when teachers call on her even when she hasn't raised her hand just because they know she knows the answer. Of course, she does know the correct answer, and Ms. Lefferts, their teacher, gives them an assignment: to write their biographies from birth to death. This should be good!

Rachel starts writing her biography in her next class, in which there's a study hall. It's pretty standard in the beginning, and it says that she realized she was different in the first grade, when she was finishing up all the Beverly Cleary and Little House books as her classmates were still learning to read. Hey, me too! By first grade I had read most of the older BSC and SVH books. Am I a genius? Janine says no.

Rachel sees Stephanie in the hallway after class. Stephanie asks her what's wrong because she's clenching her jaw again. Ouch! Rachel's dentist gave her a retainer to wear at night to get her to stop clenching her jaw, but she lost it. Oops. Steph asks if she got an A minus or something. I love you, Steph. They meet Alison at their lunch table and Rachel tells them about Charles possibly coming home and how much he sucks. Alison doesn't get why he sucks, and Rachel tells her he just does. I can tell you why he sucks, but I'll wait until later on in the book.

Rachel comes home from school to find her cousin, Tarren, and Tarren's baby son, Roddy. Tarren is divorced and in college, and idolizes Rachel's mom, Nell. Nell asked Tarren to stay with Rachel and her older sister, Jessica, for the night because it's Jessica's junior prom. Tarren shows off her new camera, talks about how amazing Nell is, and whines about how hard she has it as a single mom and a college student. I don't really like Tarren, but I can't pinpoint a reason why. Maybe because her lips are so firmly planted on Nell's ass.

Jessica comes downstairs in a magenta taffeta prom dress. Rachel says they could be twins if it wasn't for Jessica's cystic acne. Poor Jessica, that's even worse than being fat because if you're fat there's always the hope to lose weight or an outfit that can make you look thinner, but with cystic acne you'd need prescriptions to get rid of it, and even that doesn't work sometimes. Plus you can't really hide your face. Anyway, Tarren takes a buttload of pics, and then goes off to the library to pick up some books for a paper. Jessica runs back upstairs and then comes back down with Nell's slinky black dress and dark lipstick on. Sexy! Jessica tells Rachel not to shit her pants, because they already have pictures of her in the other dress. Her friends come to pick her up and she leaves.

Rachel thinks about how nice her homelife had been without Charles. The night before, Nell announced that she was nominated for judgeship. The first words out of Rachel's dad Victor's mouth are, "I've always wanted to make it with a judge!" Put your boner away, Victor, you're at the dinner table! Everyone's all happy for her and everything, and then after dinner they get the phone call from Charles's school. Way to ruin the mood, Charles. Rachel is scared because the last time they got a call from Charles's school he had stolen a teacher's scooter and been in a minor accident. Everything's fine with him this time, he's just being an a-hole and won't turn in any homework or take any exams. Why? If he hates school so much, wouldn't he want to get out of there instead of repeating a bunch of grades? Charles is stupid. Nell and Victor make their plans to go to Charles's school and meet with his principal. Rachel is worried and stressed, so she goes to her room and plays her flute to escape.

Now we're at the day after the prom, and Alison, Steph, and Rachel are hanging out. Alison asks about Charles again, and Steph says he's funny and hot. Rachel is grossed out by the thought of her brother being hot, because her name isn't Cathy. Steph asks if Charles will be attending their school if he comes home, which gives Rachel another thing to worry about. They watch some movies and then Rachel looks out the window and sees her dad's car in her driveway. She decides to go home and see what's up.

No one is around when Rachel come in, so she heads up to her room. She finds Charles sitting at her desk reading her later portion of her biography, her fictional adult life. Rachel doesn't react at first, and instead remembers how her grandfather once said that it was too bad Charles got all the looks in the family. Rachel was incredibly hurt by that, and I would be too. Grandpa Robinson's a jerk. Charles notices her and starts reading out loud Rachel's stupid future careers: discovering a vaccine to prevent hairballs in lions, being a famous musician, and becoming a famous Shakesperian actress. Charles gets to the part about Rachel's son, named Toledo, and asks why she named her kid after a town in Ohio. Rachel screams that it's in Spain, and I wonder why someone would name their son Toledo anyway. Rachel attacks Charles, digging her nails into his arm, and he says if she doesn't quit he'll rip up her biography. Rachel stops because she hasn't entered it into the computer yet and it's her only copy. Charles asks if she's surprised to see him, and she asks him when he's going back. He tells her he was expelled, and then looks around her room and says he might decide to move in there. Rachel is pissed because Charles used to have her room while she and Jessica shared, but Charles decided to move to a smaller room on the first floor, so Rachel got his old room. If they had three bedrooms to begin with, why did Jessica and Rachel need to share?

Nell made Charles's favorite dinner. Shouldn't he be in trouble? Charles says he thinks he might drop out of school for awhile and get a job. Victor says that's not an option, and Rachel says you need to be 16 to drop out anyway, and Charles is still 15 until next school year. Nell says it's just a matter of finding the right school for him, and Charles says he's allergic to school. Send his ass to military school! Put him on Maury! Do anything!

After dinner the family sits together in the living room and Jessica passes around her prom pictures. Charles asks her if the kids call her Pizza Face or Jess the Mess. Jessica calls him an asshole and says she wishes he was never born and leaves. Victor tells Charles to start acting like a family, and he says that he's trying but his sister's are just too sensitive. He is an asshole.

Rachel lays in her bed later on and listens to the sound of Jessica crying in the next room. Poor Jess! Rachel doesn't understand how Charles can be so cruel. Cystic acne runs in their family on both sides, and Rachel feels nothing put pity for Jessica and admiration that she still faces everyone who taunts her every day.

Rachel had trouble falling asleep that night, and wakes up super early all stressed out. She heads downstairs to make herself some breakfast to help calm down, and Charles comes into the kitchen. He starts pulling out pots and pans and says he's going to make their mom breakfast because it's Mother's Day. He makes a kickass coffee cake, and Jessica comes downstairs and tells Rachel he's a hypocrite for trying to celebrate Mother's Day. Nell, however, is impressed by Charles's cooking, and Charles says maybe he'll get a job as a baker. Nell says that would be a wonderful summer job, and Charles says he wasn't talking about just for the summer. Nell tells him she doesn't want to go through this again, and Rachel leaves to go practice her flute. Nell tells them to be ready by eleven so they can go visit her mother in the nursing home.

Rachel remembers when her Grandpa Robinson died her father took to bed for 6 weeks. It was very scary to Rachel, who began getting physical pain from the tension. One day her dad got out of bed and said he wanted to be a teacher instead of a lawyer. He went back to school, got his degree in education, and has been teaching history at the high school ever since. Rachel says they never talk about that time in their life. I think they definitely should.

At the nursing home Charles lies to their grandma and tells her how great everything is and stuff. He gets the passive aggressive insults in by saying that their family has to have perfection and be the best at everything. He basically acts like an asshole the whole time, until the family somberly leaves.

Monday morning at the bus stop Dana Carpenter comments on Charles being back. Even though she's dating Jeremy Dragon, she has the hots for Charles now. Rachel is stressed out and depressed, and snaps at Alison for asking about Charles some more. Stephanie says maybe Rachel should talk to the school counselor, which is definitely a great idea. Whoever said in the comments of the last book that Rachel is due to have a heart attack by age 20 is right. Bitch is a ticking time bomb.

The next morning, Rachel gets a note saying that the school counselor wants to see her. She's all pissed off, thinking that Steph or Alison blabbed, but it turns out she's just been chosen to participate in peer counseling, a program called Natural Helpers. Rachel is interested, and says she'll think about joining and get back to the counselor about it.

That night Rachel has too many worries to fall asleep. She's scared that she won't get chosen for Natural Helpers because her home life is so dysfunctional, and she still worries that Stephanie and Alison keep things from her and will one day leave her. She gets out of bed to make herself some tea to calm down, and finds Charles in the kitchen stuffing his face. Charles asks her why she has no friends, and Rachel says she does, but she doesn't want them around when he's there.

The next day Rachel invites Alison and Stephanie over after school. She gives them a whole list of stuff to not mention around Charles. He's not around when they first walk in, but soon comes out and starts his shit. Alison and Steph nearly fall all over themselves talking to him, and he passive aggessively insults Rachel, who gets mad and leaves. Steph and Alison don't follow her until after Charles is gone, and then they say that he's not that bad. Haven't we all been in that situation before? You know someone is subtly insulting you, but no one else picks up on it and says you're crazy for even thinking so. I hate shit like that, it's so frustrating. Steph says Rachel is being way too intense, and she and Alison leave. Rachel calms herself down by making sure her room is in order and playing her flute, because they are some of the only things she feels she can control in her life right now. We're lucky she doesn't develop an eating disorder or start cutting.

The whole family has been stressed out. Rachel gets her biography back from her English teacher, who says she didn't know Rachel was interested in acting. She invites her to join the Drama Club. Rachel wonders after school how she will ever have time for all of these activities. She's in the band, the orchestra, the debate team, Natural Helpers, takes a private flute lesson once a week, practices 45 minutes each day, and Steph also wants her to run for class president. She wishes she could be a regular person for awhile, but her mother always says it's a crime to waste potential. She tries to go to bed, but all of the possible problems concerning her commitments keep running through her head. She has a panic attack, and jumps out of bed. She calms herself down, and gets back into bed and tries to imagine a relaxing scene. She imagines a hot guy coming up to her on a beach and reading Shakespeare sonnets to her, and then kissing her without tongues because Rachel thinks French kissing is gross. It works, but she wakes up the next day with an ache in her jaw from clenching it.

She has a meeting the next day about Natural Helpers, and is scared when she sees that her family's therapist is there to talk to them about it. He doesn't say anything to her, and she feels better. After school she has a dentist appointment, and her dentist says she's been clenching her jaw again and grinding her teeth. He makes her a new retainer thing. She meets Steph outside and Steph tells her that Dana caught that man whore Jeremy Dragon in a supply closet with slutty Marcella, and they had a huge fight and Jeremy asked why it's okay for Dana to cheat but not him and all sorts of dramz. They're broken up now, obviously, and Rachel starts freaking out about the supply closet situation. Steph tells her to lighten up or else she won't make it to eighth grade. Hear, hear!

Alison is over at Rachel's afterwards, and Charles barges in and starts talking to her. She tells him she's adopted, and he says that he is, too. Rachel kicks him out and tells Alison he's lying. Alison says that since he's older than her she can't know that for sure. Rachel asks her dad later on if it's true, and it's not, of course. He says that maybe Charles is trying to flirt with Alison because he likes her, and Rachel naturally freaks out.

Charles now has a private tutor named Paul, who is in college. Rachel wants his nerdy bod. Thinking about him relaxes her, and makes her feel tons better. Tarren comes over later all crying and shit, and pushes a screaming Roddy off on Rachel. She whines to Nell how hard her life is because she just got a speeding ticket, and Nell gives her some woman empowering speech or some shit. Or just drive the speed limit.

Jessica is having difficulty finding a summer job because of her skin. She says one lady even told her to come back when her face clears up. What a bitch! You wouldn't tell someone in a wheelchair to come back when they can walk. Jessica says she's thinking of suing, and her parents think she actually has a point there. She asks Nell to represent her if she does, but Nell says as a judge she can't do that. Everyone is all surprised, and Nell says she heard that day. They all go apeshit with happiness. I have no idea where Charles is. There's happiness, shouldn't he be ruining it?

That weekend Alison and Rachel stay over at Steph's. Her mom has a date, and ordered in pizza for the girls and Bruce. She tells Rachel if Jessica is looking for a job to call her, because she'd love to have her at the travel agency. Steph is all pissed off that her mom is going on a date, but gets over it and she and Rachel watch Alison's mom's television show while Alison plays video games with Bruce. Rachel feels better after laughing along with the show.

Jessica was hired by Steph's mom, Rowena, and now thinks Rowena is the shit. She keeps going on and on about her, and Nell reminds her that she has an English paper and the PSATs coming up. Charles says it's not easy running her children's lives. Ass. Jessica talks about Rowena all week, and no one really listens until she says that Rowena thinks she should try Accutane. She says Rowena's nephew was on it and had no side effects and his acne cleared up in 6 weeks. Nell is against the idea of Jessica going on Accutane, and I have no idea why. Since Nell and Victor both had awful cystic acne growing up, wouldn't they understand? Wouldn't they do whatever it takes to help their daughter not suffer the way they suffered? Jessica feels the same way as me, and says Nell doesn't want her on it because she wants her to be a strong woman, because Nell always says her acne forced her to concentrate on studies and not socialize and helped her get where she is today. Nell says that she of all people sympathizes with Jessica.

Rachel is laying around the house waiting to talk to Paul when Tarren drops Roddy off and asks her to watch him for awhile. Tarren has a hot date! Rachel takes him for a walk by the pond, and Steph joins her. Steph asks if she can spend the night that weekend because her mom has another date, and Rachel says sure, and they'll have Alison over, too.

A few days later is Victor's birthday. They have a specail dinner at home for him, and Jessica and Rachel give him their gifts, and then Charles announces he has a special gift for him, too. He produces papers from a lawyer for a legal name change. Charles wants to change his last name back to their original last name that they had before their ancestors immigrated to America and it was changed on Ellis Island. Their real last name is Rybczynski, pronounced Rib-jin-ski. Charles is too cheap to buy a gift, just like Cathy. Victor is touched, but Nell is against it, saying that it's just another way for Charles to distance himself from the family. Victor signs the paper anyway, and Nell is pissed.

Rachel has her sleepover, and Charles starts blaring his music in his room. Rachel, followed by Steph and Alison, goes into his room to tell him to turn it down, and finds a bunch of people in there drinking beer and smoking pot. Two of the people are Dana Carpenter and Jeremy Dragon. Jeremy is surprised to see Rachel, because he didn't know Charles was her brother. Dana is all over Charles. Charles starts passive aggressively insulting Rachel again, and she leaves angrily. A little bit later in Rachel's room they hear Jeremy calling out for her. She lets him in and he asks if they want to play a game. They all play Monopoly, and I bet if Steph and Alison weren't there Jeremy Dragon would be showing Rachel that French kissing is actually awesome.

Rachel wakes up a little while later to see Steph staring out the window. Her mom's date's car is in the driveway, and Steph is upset because it's late and it has been there for awhile. She starts to cry, and Rachel comforts her. Steph feels better and goes to sleep. Rachel says she wishes she could just cry and have everything be better.

Dana tells Rachel Monday at the bus stop that it's all over between her and Jeremy. She tells Rachel to give Charles a chance. Um, Dana? She knows him a hell of a lot better than you, and most people act differently around their friends than they do their family. Shut up. Dana says Rachel needs to stop acting like a bitch, but I think it's the other way around. After school, Dana comes over to Rachel's house to see Charles. Rachel tells her that Charles is with his tutor until 5:30, and Dana asks if they take a break soon. Rachel says yes, and Dana says she'll ait until then. Rachel leaves her to wait on the front porch. Serves you right for calling her a bitch, Dana!

Rachel wins a big debate the same day Nell loses her last case before she becomes a judge. Nell is mega upset, and is laying down in her room alone when Rachel comes home. Rachel is scared that she'll take to bed like her father did. She's so nervous she can't even do her homework, and for the first time in her life doesn't.

The next day at school Rachel is called into the principal's office. She's scared because she thinks it's because she didn't do her math homework, but it's really because Rachel has been recommended for a program called Challenge, where gifted students are selected to take math and science courses at the local college for the next school year. Rachel is hesitant about signing up for the program because it will be just one more thing to set her apart from her peers. She decides not to show the permission slip to her parents yet, and hides it in her room.

Jessica has started Accutane, and her whole face is dry and peeling, and so far her only side effects are dry eyes and lips. Rachel hopes it will work for her quickly, and I do, too. Poor Jessica. Tarren comes over and nearly shits herself with glee when Nell asks if she would like to go with the family to her ceremony when she's sworn in as a judge. Tarren and Charles get into it, and Tarren starts going on about goals and life's obstacles and shit, and Charles says he has his own obstacles: his big sister, the potato head; his father, the wimp; and his mother, the ice queen. He is starting in on Rachel when Jessica interrupts and says she hates him. Nell yells at him too.

Rachel can't stop thinking about the dinner table scene later on, and it gives her an upset stomach. She goes downstairs to make some tea and again finds Charles in the kitchen. Rachel asks him about the things he said, and he says it's all true, and their family is pathetic and screwed up. Rachel tells him that he's the only pathetic and screwed up thing about them. He gives her the quote from Tolstoy about happy families, and is surprised that she hasn't read it yet because she has to be the best. Rachel says she lieks being the best at what she does, and asks him what he wants. He can't answer the question.

Rachel says it's become so tense around her house it's hard for them to eat dinner. Victor announces the next day at the table that they are going to begin to see a family therapist. Jessica doesn't know why she and Rachel have to see one since it's Charles that's the problem. Victor says they need to go as a family. They see the therapist a few days later, and Jessica and Rachel blame their problems on Charles. Charles, for once, doesn't have any witty comebacks. The therapist writes out a family contract with them that they are all to sign and follow.

Victor is taking his class to Ellis Island, and Jessica, Charles, and Rachel decide to go with. Rachel takes the train with Jessica on the way there instead of the school bus because of her carsickness. For some reason Paul comes too, but he takes the bus. Rachel, Charles, and Victor go to the computers and find their ancestors on it, and then Charles goes batshit crazy. He jumps up on some wall and starts reciting the poem on the Statue of Liberty and security starts going after him. He finally jumps down and cries while Victor hugs him. What the hell is wrong with that kid? When they're ready to go home, Rachel decides to test out these motion sickness bands Alison's mom gave to her, and takes the bus home. Paul sits next to her and falls asleep, and Rachel doesn't know if she didn't get sick because of the bands or because of Paul's presence. When they get off the bus Paul asks her to go to an outdoor symphony at the college with him. She accepts. Okay, so if he was asking her out like on a date, that is so gross because she's 13 and he's in college. Ugh.

Rachel dresses in a long skirt and a lightweight sweater set. Hot. Tarren is going to be at the concert, too, with her secret romance man. Paul takes her to the concert, and they watch the musicians and it's all great and stuff. Afterwards they see Tarren with a professor. Tarren's doing a teacher! She gets the shock of a lifetime when his wife comes up. Ouch. I hope she at least gets an A in his class. Tarren is all upset, so Paul takes her to a diner, and comforts her. They end up liking each other and ignoring Rachel. Paul takes Rachel home, and she's all depressed at how her night turned out. Her mom tells her there's a boy at the door for her, and she goes and finds Jeremy Dragon. Sweet! He stole his piece from the Monopoly set, and wants to give it back. Rachel didn't even notice that it was gone. They kiss a bunch, and Rachel practically has an orgasm. She asks him what the kisses mean, and he says it's nothing but a couple of kisses. Jeremy wants to be free to be a man whore.

Rachel goes over to Steph's the next day to tell her the big news. Steph is mega jealous, and glad to hear that Rachel felt something from the kisses. She's satisfied that Rachel's a normal person after all. A few days later Nell is sworn in as a judge. Tarren is there and keeps on thanking Rachel for introducing her to Paul. They've been seeing each other regularly. Rachel is still pissed at her.

Rachel says Charles has been less angry since Ellis Island, but is still an annoying asshole. Jessica tells Rachel she knows about the Challenge program from the older sibling of someone else who was selected, but she won't say anything to anyone if Rachel doesn't want her to. Dana acts like a bitch because Jeremy likes Rachel, but she doesn't care. Charles gets a summer job at a local bakery, and Steph, Alison, and Rachel go there one day. Steph lets it slip that Alison is going to run for class president the next year instead of Rachel, and Rachel is a little upset. Steph says they still want her help on the campaign, and Rachel says she'll have to see if she has time. Why do Steph and Alison still hang out with Rachel?

Rachel gets her things ready for music camp, and has one last encounter with Charles in the kitchen. However, this time instead of it being tense, they joke around with each other about how much Charles will miss her and she won't miss him. It almost seems as if it's a normal brother-sister relationship, and the book ends with the hope that it will become one.

I stole the cover from eBay because I didn't feel like scanning mine. Rachel is pretty gawky looking, as she's supposed to be, and definitely needs to lose the pleated khakis. You're 13, not 33, Rachel! Stephanie's pretty cute, though. I think Alison looked better on the last cover than this one.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Poll for March

52% of you agreed that Watson made his millions by pimping out Stacey! She must be good.

So this month our questions is: Who's the biggest ho (and you can't say me!)?

Cathy - Now that we've had Petals on the Wind finally, we know the extent of Cathy's slut-tastic life. She's left a string of lovers behind her, all dead and 1 related, and doesn't think twice about giving herself as a birthday gift.

Stacey - Hey, you guys think that Watson pimped her out! Plus, she seemed to have a different boyfriend in just about every one of the earlier books. I'd say that Claudia had good ho potential, too, but I like her more than Stacey and she didn't turn tricks for Watson.

Jessica - Jessica may be the biggest ho in Sweet Valley, but is she the biggest one in our poll? Like Stacey, Jessica pretty much had a new boyfriend every week, and would even get second ones when she went on vacation. Francine Pascal's ghostwriter says Jessica's a virgin, but I don't believe it for a second.

Mrs. Pike - Mrs. Pike continued to have children (and lots of them!) after she gave birth to Mallory. I'm pretty sure any normal person would be scared to have any more, but Mrs. Pike was too broke from buying bologna and tennis balls for Daddy Stew to afford birth control.

Voting ends on April Fool's Day!