a record release party in Portland! or Sunset Island #2, Sunset Kiss

Ok, this might have been the single most enjoyable reading experience of my young adult life. I was absolutely obsessed with this book. Maybe because the bookish, “curvy” girl gets the rock star. It can happen. It is still giving me hope that Jack White will divorce his supermodel wife and buy a condo with me. Anyway.

We start out at a Graham Perry concert. Apparently he does like a concert all the time on Sunset Island. And why does Sunset Island have a coliseum? Anyway, the gals are backstage because of course Carrie got them passes. She is borrowing Billy Sampson’s camera to take pics to try to sell to Rolling Stone. Um, yea. Billy is the singer of Flirting With Danger, who is the opening act. Because major rock stars always have shitty local unsigned bands open for them. Just go with it. I have.

Kristy Powell, local slut and columnist for Sunet Island’s paper is all over Billy and Carrie is jealous. Onstage, Billy dedicates his song (it’s called “What? U Lie”) and the gals think it is for Carrie, but Carrie thinks it’s for Kristy Powell, a local columnist that he has been hanging around. It’s probably for neither. Apparently when Billy sings, he sounds like Bon Jovi or Jim Morrison. Who sound nothing alike. Just go with it.

The next night at the Play Cafe Billy shows up. Carrie goes to the bathroom to put on makeup, and when she comes out she realizes her nipples are hard. Billy notices too and asks her out. Nice.

Problem: Carrie doesn’t have the night off so she decides to sneak out and leave the kids alone after they are asleep. I know the BSC wouldn’t approve!

So they go to a record producer’s party in Portland (Maine). Carrie’s date outfit, styled by Sam: an orange t-shirt dress that she rips a slit up the side to her waist, and safety pins up the slit. And another ripped down the front to her navel, also done up with pins. And no bra. Holy shit. Carrie also “borrows” Claudia’s five hundred dollar wedge sandals.

So she downs two glasses of straight vodka and has a blast at the party, until she realizes its almost time for the last ferry so she can get back in time to sneak back in. So Billy takes her and she yacks off the edge the whole time. Kurt, Emmas’ boyf, drives her back in his taxi and she gets in on time. Phew! It is nice to see characters who actually drink underage.

So later Billy asks her to some after hours clam bake or something and she buys a new suit with a thong back. Ew. So the party is crazy! Someone is smoking pot! Kristy the slut is there and is dancing topless! She and Billy are totally getting along and they make out for a lil. Then Kristy gets high and wants everyone to go skinny-dipping in the ocean. Billy doesn’t want to, but Carrie thinks it will make her look fun and exciting. So then the cops come and arrest everyone, and Billy is peeved that Carrie acted like an ass. Graham Perry and Claudia have to pick her up from the station and she admits everything and about sneaking out and all is forgiven.

Finally, on the beach the next day Carrie loses her three-year old charge on the beach and Billy helps her find her, and Billy realizes what a caring person she is. Then they talk about photography more and realize they are in LUV. And Billy likes Carrie the way she was, so why did she try and pretend to be a sex god?

The parallel kid story is that Ian Templeton, the other kid Carrie takes care of, wants to hang out with older kids but they make fun of him. I think that also results in the message that you should be yourself.

The good thing is, they even give descriptions of boy clothes! On their first date, he wears “a western style denim shirt and black jeans”. What, no bolo tie? The guys often wear denim cutoffs and neon muscle shirts. Ah, the 90s.

In high school, Kristy was voted “girl most likely to” as in girl most likely to do “it”. Seriously, these kids need to get out more.

Also, Cherie Bennett is pretty cool, despite not answering some of your fan mail! Since Wikipedia did not exist in 1992, I did not know that she wrote for a soap opera. And she wrote other series? Anyone ever read them?

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6 thoughts on “a record release party in Portland! or Sunset Island #2, Sunset Kiss

  1. tammyt says:

    I read the Cherie Bennett series about beauty pageants … I can’t remember what the series was called, but those books were pretty entertaining. I also liked her “Life in the Fat Lane” book. I never read Sunset Island but I did stumble across a couple of the books in the thrift store near my work. I didn’t have any money that day, but I should go back and get them.

  2. ana says:

    since she’s writing for y+r, someone needs to bonk her on the head and tell her to stop making sharon out to be some kind of saint when she’s really just a lying slut. her storyline smacks of SVH’s style of hypocracy.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I’m sad to say I read a lot of her books. The beauty pagent ones, the ones about the interns at a trashy talk show…and the one about angels in teen heaven. No. Really.

  4. Sarah says:

    I think I read the Wild Hearts series. If it is the one I am thinking of it was about a girls band in Nashville, TN. One girl just move from NYC, one is a sheltered rich girl, one is black and one comes from a huge country family. It was awesome. You should read them.

  5. wanderingfrog says:

    She wrote The Party Line series under a pseudonym. It’s about four junior high school girls who start a party-planning business. Like the Sleepover Friends do, only at least they’re not ten years old. I’ve also read the Wild Hearts series, and the Teen Angels series, and I loved all of those, even though the Teen Angels books had really stupid covers. I read the Pageant books and some of the Trash books, but they weren’t as good. I’ve also read a few of the stand-alone books — Life in the Fat Lane, Anne Frank and Me, and A Heart Divided. She and her husband Jeff Gottesfeld also currently write The A-List series under the pseudonym Zoey Dean. Can I prove this? No, but I’ve read an article that mentioned the books were really by a husband-and-wife writing team, I’ve seen them catalogued under Cherie and Jeff’s names in online library catalogues, they mention “super-secret writing projects” on their web site, and there’s a reference to their book A Heart Divided in one of the A-List novels, so I’m pretty sure.

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