I want to get backstage with Flirting with Danger, if you know what I mean

So I’ve been totally neglecting Sunset Island, and not sure how many of you are into it, but if you are not, you are really missing out. Seriously. Go on ebay, get the whole series, then lock youself in your house for the weekend and read them. Seriously, it’s worth it.

Sunset Scandal so boring I barely remember it. Kurt somehow gets framed for a crime and is in jail and we are reminded how hard it is for him because he is working class, boo fucking hoo, and Emma is so rich, boo-fucking hoo, and Emma and he fight as usual. Think Liz and Todd. All works out in the end. Moving on.

ZOMG! I think I passed out after I read this one, both the first time and recently. So the local band, Flirting with Danger, is holding auditions for back-up dancers and singers (which makes them very much more Wham! than Bon Jovi). So all the gals from the island are falling all over themselves to try out. Of course, Carrie is happy just being with Billy, the singer, and wearing overalls and comfy shoes and being the band photographer. Sam, the slutty crazy redhead, is kind of dating Presley Travis, the hot bass player. Presley is from Nashville and only talks in southern cliches. And his accent is sometimes spelled phonetically, kind of like Logan Bruno. I think that is supposed to be Presley shirtless on the bottom and oh my lord! Hot stuff. I used to think he looked like Mike Tramp of the band White Lion.

Of course Sam makes the cut, and convinces Emma to try out also and of course Emma is also picked because suddenly she can also sing and dance. But….dun dun dun…their arch enemy Diana De Witt is also chosen and they fight a lot because Diana is constantly trying to get into Presley’s and Billy’s pants.

The nineties outfits are rampant, including Emma’s audition outfit: “She had on baggie white shorts held up by a braided leather belt, and a hot pink and white lycra bra top.” Also, another auditioner was “wearing an acid green spandex number with thin straps that ran up the center of her breasts, and nothing underneath it.” I am not sure, but I remember at some point, Presley rocks the bike shorts with a neon green oversized tank top. Shudder.

Also, when the gals wanted to look all sexy, they would go braless with a thin shirt. Sam wears “denim cutoffs, a man’s sleeveless white ribbed T-shirt with nothing underneath, and her famous red cowboy boots.” I guess for nineteen year olds with perky ones, that sounds good, but for me I just think pain while walking. Gee Sam, I hope that it doesn’t get cold. But maybe that is what you want!

Oh, then Sam finally locates her birthmother, and is a little peeved that her mother is drab, chubby and Jewish. Seriously.

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20 thoughts on “I want to get backstage with Flirting with Danger, if you know what I mean

  1. Amber Tan says:

    Great recap, ihatewheat! Hopoe things aren’t too crazy these days. 🙂

    “Emma and he fight as usual. Think Liz and Todd. All works out in the end.”

    Do they feed each french fries and engage in asinine, co-dependent banter? 😉

    BTW, I never read this series but I had both Emma *and* Presley’s outfits in my early 90s wardrobe. Ewww…

  2. Kristy says:

    I love these recaps – I think this was my favorite series, even more than SVH. I also used to like the “Freshman Dorm” series. But back to Sunset Island –

    my particular favorite was the one when the Flirts go on tour…and somehow Carrie goes with them. I remember reading that many times.

    But I would LOVE a recap of the one when Sam is on Broadway. Truly genius. I am pretty sure there was a Hellen Keller musical.

    Also, remember Erin Kane? She took over in the Flirts and every single time she was introduced “she was gorgeous…even though she was totally fat. and not just Carrie fat. Fat fat.”

  3. Suzanne says:

    I loved these books! I think I still have a few of them at home. They were so hard to find, though. I kept a list. ha. My library was missing a bunch of them. I used to LOVE the outfits they wore, although it was stuff I could never pull off.

    I would also love a recap of the one with Sam on Broadway! I remember that Helen Keller musical! I also remember Erin Kane and how they always pointed out how fat she was.

  4. BartTempleton says:

    I think I was too old for these in the 90s. I remember seeing them on bookstore shelves and feeling my eyes glaze over.

    Funnily enough, I was still reading well into the SVHs. I remember a teacher seeing one in my hands (circa 1995) and saying, “Aren’t you a bit old for those?” Like the opium-eaters of old, I couldn’t get enough of those crazy Wakefields.

    But speaking of early 90s trends, let’s play Remember When:

    –oversize peace sign jewelry
    — shredded/ripped stonewashed jean shorts over black spandex bike shorts
    — chokers
    –Doc Martens/combat boots with dresses
    — flowered A-line knee-length dresses
    –slip dresses over a shirt
    — Airwalks for non-skaters (wait, that might have been mid-90s)
    –Sam & Libbys

  5. BadKat says:

    I never read these books, but the covers make me want to now!
    Bart – Don’t forget the round sunglasses with your oversized peace sign!! And an overly-floral baby doll dress with huge buttons, wearing two different earrings and knee socks!!! And thigh socks!!!! Flannel shirts and Nike Airwalks!! I could go on and on (obviously), but I will stop now….

  6. Amber Tan says:

    Behave yourselves, BartTempleton and BadKat, or we’ll have to separate you. 😉

    Ah, the early 90s…the forgotten era when you weren’t fully accessorized unless you were sporting a butterfly clip and fanny pack in addition to the mis-matched earings. *sniff* Australian stuff was also big IIRC.

    And wasn’t there a fashion trend ‘blip’ where people wore clothes inside out or backwards? My gal pals and I also wore our mis-matched socks and boy’s boxer shorts multi-layered, with the longer set peeking out above — or below — the other pair.

    Thinking back, I’m soooo thankful that I came of age before the Internet. 😉

    BTW, who’s the guy with the Fabio haircut on the cover of “Sunset Whispers”? Is that supposed to be the lead singer or the hawt bass player?

  7. Jane says:

    When then 90’s come back into fashion I will be the belle of the ball.

    I still have my navy blue celestial print baby doll dress that my mother made me. I might have grown since I was a junior in high school but I can make it work. Throw in my black eyelet doc marten boots with a pair of white socks rolled over the top. and the crowning glory, my green and blue plaid flannel shirt with the huge rip down the front, I’ve had it since 1993 and it still has a staple in the sleeve… why, I don’t know.

    I will be so, so awesome!

  8. ihatewheat says:

    Kristy, I totally love that one too! Any band-related book I loved. I know about Erin- and they were like, so surprised that the drummer would want to go out with her.

    And Carrie and Emma start a perfume business- all in the span of one summer.

  9. Lauri says:

    I never read this series until a few years ago until I picked them up at our public library bag day ($5 for the bad stuff as many as you can in). I love how Sam thinks that spandex is so hot and originally Emma goes and spends all this money on mallrat clothes to fit in. As for Erin Kane, I just found the book with the Flirts on tour, and there’s an interview in the back that basically a fat girl asked the author why there wasn’t any normal people who were fat in YA books so the author made this girl in to the character.

  10. Diana says:

    I vaguely remember reading these. I think a friend at summer camp turned me onto Sunset Island. I definitely remember Sam’s signature red cowboy boots and that her man’s name was Presley. Did the back-up singers wear sheer black shirts with black bras underneath? I wanted to say Sam was kind of self-conscious about her little’uns in that ensemble and then Diana De Witt made fun of Sam. That pissed me off because I had little’uns… and still do to this day. Actually, I don’t think I look that much different at all…

  11. Beth says:

    I never read this series, but I had to post cuz I rocked (or so I thought) all the early 90’s outfits! The cutoffs with built in bike shorts were my specialty. Ahhhh- the good ole days! And speaking of the round sunglasses…..my hubby has a pair of prescription Fossil ones that he still tries to wear- or did until they “disappeared”…..”I’ll never tell”………*laughing maniacally*

  12. badenbaden says:

    Sunset Island featured heavily in my dream last night, so I’m thrilled to see this recap here! Mine are all gone but I am thisclose to doing as you say and purchasing the whole set.

  13. tinypants says:

    IHW, if you like books about bands, you might love (but might hate ’cause imho they’re pretty bad) Cherie Bennett’s kazillionth series, “Wild Hearts.” It’s another 90s one with craptacular cover collages, but the premise is that the four girls are in a band called Wild Hearts. It’s later in the 90s, so the clothes are (if it’s possible) even uglier than on Sunset Island covers. They’re titled in the same way as SI, so the one I have is called “Wild Hearts On the Edge.”

    You didn’t mention though one of the most enjoyable aspects of Sunset Island — they do the Sweet Valley Reader of the Month at least one better by publishing numerous letters from readers, Cherie’s responses, and then a lengthy update from Cherie her own bad self. Wild Hearts has this too.

    But anyway, it is really amazing reading all these letters from people who have really, really strong opinions about Sunset Island and what a difference Emma et al. have made in their lives, not to mention Cherie gushing about it all as though she really writes all the books herself.

  14. ihatewheat says:

    Ha! Tinypants, the letters are pretty hysterical. Cherie is a mess. I think she thinks she’s exactly like Sam. I’ll get to transcribing them one of these days.

  15. Malika... says:

    Wild hearts! I suggested them a while ago… They were def craptascular! I second Tinypants’s request..
    The 90’s outfits… Recently an old landlord of mine was clearing out his attic and came across a suitcase i’d forgotten to take with me. When it was brought to my house i realized why.. How about stripy red blue and white woollen baby doll dress for 90’s horrendousness!

  16. Amber Tan says:

    “When then 90’s come back into fashion I will be the belle of the ball.”

    That you will be, Jane, that you will be. 🙂

    “my green and blue plaid flannel shirt with the huge rip down the front, I’ve had it since 1993 and it still has a staple in the sleeve… why, I don’t know. ”

    I’m guessing the mysterious staple in your shirt originated from an attempt to repair a tear or something. Rock those slacker sewing skillz! 😉

  17. Robyn says:

    I read all of these books over christmas and loved them! When Erin, the fat girl, joins that band, Sam is all about her working out and eating less, since she can’t understand why anybody could be fat. It’s one of the most horrifically insensitve thing I think I ever read it!

    And not only is the one where the Flirts go on tour is awesome, but there is another one where all the girls get in a fight and Sam chums it up with Diana De Witt, because Diana thinks she’s all preggers. She also pukes all over the beach when she’s drunk. Now that one kicks ass!

  18. Lauren says:

    The Erin character made me absolutely insane because everything about her was basically a description of Cherie Bennett herself. I’m all for the you-don’t-have-to-be-a-size-6-to-be-sexy message, but I got so sick of “Erin got ALL the guys even though she was fat because she was WAY sexier than anyone else! She was fat! And SEXY! And had curly blonde hair! And was FAT and SEXY!” We get it, Cherie, you’re hot stuff.

    Cherie Bennett, incidentally, is way up on my list of authors I would most like to poke with a sharp stick, for various reasons.

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