Okay, originally when doing a blog, I wanted to blog the Sunset Island books, by Cherie Bennett. A year ago I was super depressed so I ordered the whole series on ebay (best $60 I ever spent) and read them over again…I think I gave away my original copies. It totally worked better than prozac, these books always give me the warm fuzzies. I think I was in junior high when I read these, and if I do say so myself I was quite an advanced reader (I read Flowers In the Attic in the seventh grade) so they did seem a bit childish. But awesome nonethless.
They were basically a combo of the Baby-sitters Club, Sweet Valley High, and Beverly Hills 90210. And like the BSC, there were vivid descriptions of outfits, which were my favorite to read. And with some drinking and some talk of sex. Shocker! The three gals are au pairs on Sunset Island, which is a fake island off the coast of Maine.
Ok, so the characters are:
- Emma: super-rich heiress who wants to break away from her privileged background and hides her wealth from people because she feels people will jusge her. Is very prim and proper.
- Sam: a redheaded tease who was wild and crazy. She was from Kansas and a dancer. And very thin, as we are told every page. She has a dance scholarship to Kansas State.
- Carrie: the “fat” one. She got accepted to Yale and was a photographer and had low self esteem. Oh, I’m sorry, they used “curvy” not fat. She is going to Yale in the Fall.
Omg! Hot dogs and sea shells! Double tank tops! Yay! These things represented the epitome of fun. This whole book was kind of like BSC #8, Boy-Crazy Stacey, except for the whole series!!! Did I just blow your mind???
Well, Emma meets the hot swimming instructor Kurt, and he is all working class and she doesn’t want to alienate him by declaring her heiress status (I think she is worth about 125 mil) so she lies to him and her friends. She and Kurt go out on some cheesy dates. Meanwhile, her arch nemesis from boarding school, Diana and her friend Lorell show up on the island and try to make things hell for Emma. They basically act like Jessica and Lila. Finally, Kurt and her friends find out she is rich and yell at her for lying and get mad at her but then they all make up in the end.
They meet the members of a local band called Flirting with Danger, namely Billy Sampson who Carrie gets a major crush on and some guy Presley who has a southern accent that the author needs to put in all the pronunciations. Sam is all over him. Also, like the BSC, stuff goes on with the kids that they take care of that mirror what is going on with their lives and teach them lessons. The kid that Emma takes care of is in love with her and buys her expensive presents he can’t afford. The lesson is to stop lying to people you care about about your socioeconimc status. Or something.
Emma’s mother is a mess. She dates a 25-year old artist named Austin Payne who shows up on Sunset Island and is all over the teenage girls. Yuck.
Some creepy photographer named Flash Hathaway also hangs out on the island trying to convince girls o pose for him. Creepy, and comes into some plots later on.
Lots of fun outfit descriptions! When she gets to the island, Emma goes to the trendy shop and spends two thousand dollars on stuff like a read leather mini skirt and matching cropped jacket. Noyce. Carrie’s outfit: “an oversized loose-weave pink sweater over a long, flowing gauze-and-chiffon flowerprint skirt. When the oversized sweater slipped off one shoulder Emma could see the narrow strap of a lacy pink loetard. Sam looked stunning in a sheer antique white lace blouse and a black and white polka-dot lace miniskirt”. Holy early nineties, Batman!
We even get boy-clothes descriptions! Billy was wearing “torn, faded jeans and a navy t-shirt that he filled out to perfection. His streaky blond hair was tied back with a piece of rawhide, and he had a tiny diamond stud in one ear.” Welcome to Jon Bon Jovi, circa 1989.
Okay, their interactions with the boys are ultra cheesy, but they actually do have somewhat real conversations about stuff other than their relationship [cough-Liz and Todd-c0ugh].
Emma’s dream is to study primates in the Peace Corps in Africa. Uh, she may want to do some research into the Peace Corps and realize that’s not the point. Plus, they may be a veiled racist statement but I won’t give the author much credit.
Carrie is an au pair for Graham Templeton and his trophy wife Claudia. Graham is a famous rock star (I think is supposed to be like Bruce Springsteen) who happens to have a house on the island. Sam is an au pair for ultra-slutty thirteen year old twins. Think the Wakefield twins if they both were like Jessica.
I know there was some interest in these a while back, and I will try to put these in the mix. Since I read them about a year again, I am not sure I will get all the nitty gritty details because I spend enough of my time reading SVH novels, but some really fun shit happens that I will try to remember. The girls end up becoming back-up singers for Flirting With Danger, Emma and Carrie start a perfume business, Sam designs clothing and they fight and break up with boyfriends a lot. And they wear really bad (i.e. awesome) nineties fashions.