Oh, just murder them already!

WHEN SHADOW PUPPETS GO BAD

UUUUUUUGHHHHHHHHH you guys I thought I had closed the chapter on the original Super Thrillers. To my chagrin (what’s a chagrin?) there is STILL this one and I don’t get it, it’s still summer, but Liz is with Todd, and they are still interns at the Sweet Valley News, and somehow they are not aware that this Seth guy writes mystery novels in his spare time. What is going on? Is Joseph Gordon-Levitt about to come in and kick Jessica’s chair over (better yet, a kick in the face).

So, yea. There’s a recent murder in town. Jessica overhears phone calls. The police are inept. Parents are not consulted. Drugs are involved. Jessica meets a twenty something accountant who of course has no choice in life but to ask her out. But he’s an undercover cop. Because, of course he is. There’s drugs in Sweet Valley! Someone must stop this! Jessica gets held hostage by their boss at the newspaper and is almost murdered. Liz saves the day at the last minute. After the FOURTH time Jessica is almost murdered in the same summer (or is it?) she skips off ready to shop at the mall and to get a boner over the latest hunky janitor who was just hired, or something.

Good Lord. Please don’t make me spell out the plot further. As Murtaugh would say….

And in case you haven’t heard…the SWEET VALLEY TEN YEARS LATER website has launched, confirming the actual release of Sweet Valley Confidential. I will admit, I didn’t believe that it would actually happen! But it IS for real! Although ten years for SV is practically 25 years for us. They must be 4 levels of dreams under…I’m going to implant the idea in their brains that Liz should shut the hell up. (Can’t stop with the Inception references!)I have my thoughts on the first chapter at a later time. Thanks to the site for linking me. And not hating me for crapping all over the author they represent. And who would have thought Francie liked poker?

And some housekeeping- I’d like to update the links to the right. If I am missing yours or someone else’s YA blog, drop me an email.

Coming soon- my interview with Amanda Howells, former Sweet Valley University ghostwriter and a giveaway of her new book….

Advertisements

On the Run: The ending gives away the story, dumbass

It’s the clip-art magnifying glass of doom! Despite witnessing the murder of their houseguest’s girlfriend and then almost being butchered in a garage, the twins lives are pretty much back to the ho-hum of Sweet Valley. They are back interning at the Sweet Valley news for free, and Elizabeth is still believing that one day the editor will give her the assignment of her life, she’ll write it and win the Pulitzer Prize. Keep making coffee and making photocopies, loser.

Meanwhile, the news has a new intern named Darcy Kaymen, who is a redhead and immediately takes a dislike to Elizabeth, who she deems as pompous and boring. We love Darcy! The great thing is, Liz doesn’t try to win Darcy over and concert her to a Wakefield-worshipping zombie, she just kinds of sits and takes it. Awesome! Meanwhile, Darcy and Jessica become besties, because they both enjoy lipgloss and psychopathology.

But oooooo, there’s national news about a well-known criminal case in New York. Frank DeLucca, a notorious mafia leader was arrested but people are afraid to testify against him. Ned has something to say about it: He “feared that DeLucca might be let off and horrible chain of underworld crime would continue.” Because they live in a 1930s film noir. And this guy’s conviction would make New York virtually crime free. Rumor has it that they found a witness but he was going into the witness protection program.

Meanwhile…there’s a new guy, Eric,  that works in the coffeeshop downstairs. He just moved to town and seems very mysterious. I WONDER HOW THAT IS RELATED TO THE SEEMINGLY PASSING MENTION OF SOMEONE GOING INTO THE WITNESS PROTECTION PROGRAM. Darcy gets hard on for him, but Liz gets a bigger hard on when she finds out that Eric likes sappy love poetry. This makes Darcy mad, so she hates Elizabeth more. Some other business comes up where Darcy thinks that Eric is really some guy who murdered a girl in Shaker Heights, Ohio, and that Liz is in trouble, but meanwhile some weird guys in suits are following the twins around but meanwhile, some kid starts choking in the coffeeshop and Eric’s father is revealed to be…dum dum dum….the doctor who testified! of COURSE they moved to Sweet Valley of all places.

Just when everyone has a big laugh about the mixup and about to head to Casey’s for a deep fried quadruple scoop of bacon and nutella ice cream, some of DeLucca’s guys come in and hold Eric’s family and Liz hostage! Liz somehow saves the day by teaching Eric and his father about the power of trust and they are saved, the bad guys are arrested, and the seedy crime underworld is virtually eradicated. Yay!

I couldn’t deny you the pleasure of hearing Eric’s poetry that caused Elizabeth’s high-wasted briefs in a knot.

No sparrows light here

the sheaves picked clean,

and summer gone

with nothing left to stave off cold

or hunger.

Maybe to love

is always to hurt deeply and not just

to hurt, but to destroy,

knowing this

awful farewell

has been in store for us.

Liz was ready to cheat on Jeffrey with this sap. The only thing stopping them from getting to third base was that Eric and his dad needed to leave Sweet Valley and go ON THE RUN again. See what they did there? Good thing that the nothing else crazy and murder-related happens during this summer….except when it does.

Stop the Presses, I want to throw up in my mouth.

Book Cover from The Closet

You are going to think I’m kidding here, but this is yet another friggin’ time that the twins are almost murdered. And recover quick enough to celebrate being alive with a nosh at the Dairi Burger. It’s like some sick game from Saw with these Wakefields. Get a pimple and gut and your family and friends are allowed to live, or stay perfect and others suffer! Hahahaha!

We’re back in the summer, and I realized that the first four super thrillers are a miniseries, including later when Nicholas falls for crazy Babs. So that means the timeline jumped all over when these came out? It’s the summer and Liz is with Jeffrey, who is working as a camp counselor in San Francisco. Which is code for sleeping with men in San Francisco. Seriously, there are no sleep away camps in SF, if they wanted to be realistic, they would have said Marin or something. Seriously, don’t fuck with my city ghostwriters!

Steven is home (duh) interning at a law firm, and the Wakefields are hosting his friend Adam who is also interning. Adam is too poor to live on his own, so the Wakefields got a collective boner when they heard that and agreed to house him. Jessica is sick of Elizabeth mooning over Jeffrey being away, so she tries to get her interested in Adam. She writes a fake love note from Adam to Liz. COINCIDENTALLY, the same day, Adam’s girlfriend is murdered by an ex-boyfriend and Jessica witnesses the guy trying to hide the body but gets away before the guy can confront her. There’s a backstory about this girlfriend being rich and her parents not approving of Adam, but really you don’t need to give a fuck.

Let me back up. The twins are interning at the Sweet Valley News during the summer. of course Liz thinks by the end of the summer she will win a nobel prize, and Jessica is forced to by her parents. Jessica’s new dry-hump target is star reporter Seth, who is twenty-two and writes mystery novels on the side. Hubba hubba! Sounds like my kind of nerdy guy. Jessica tries to get Seth into her by making up false leads so they can go solve crimes together. Again, it is SO BEYOND JESSICA’S COMPREHENSION that Seth is maybe not interested in her so she persists on with the bullshit. Also, no one believes her when she says she sees the murder.

Oh yea, and then Adam is arrested for his girlfriend’s murder because everyone thinks he wrote Liz a love note and that made the police think he killed his girlfriend so he could be with Liz. Nice detective work there, Sweet Valley police. Then again, the twins insane beauty and awesomeness can drive people to murder! They just can’t help it! Anyway, Jessica refuses to tell the police that she really wrote the note, SO ADAM STAYS IN JAIL AND ACCUSED OF MURDER. But the important thing is, Jessica isn’t in trouble!

Ned and Alice forbade the twins to drive the Fiat, because the  murderer may recognize the car. There’s an office party at the news, and Jessica gets a ride with Seth, and Liz is supposed to drive Steven’s car, but he didn’t come home in time (the ONE time he is not home, right?) so she says fuck it, I’ll take the Fiat. Jessica is at the party and realizes that the killer is there and is actually a friend of the news editor. Jessica somehow convinces the killer to leave the party, probably with the help of her alluring magnetism, but oops, Liz pulls up in the Fiat as he goes into the garage. Killer guy tries to kill the twins by running into them with his car and beating them with a pipe. You think I’m kidding when I say that. Somehow the twins overcome him and knock him unconscious (they also have super strength) and become the heroes. Jessica somehow does not get in trouble for keeping information from the police, and also is awarded the opportunity to write a front-page story about how she cracked the case.

Oh yea, somehow in all the celebrating someone remembers to release Adam from prison. No bother that his reputation is ruined and his girlfriend is dead, it’s okay because the twins are okay and the beating didn’t ruin their California-girl good looks.

Also? Double Jeopardy does not mean that two people are in jeopardy. Just sayin’.

The real question here is: the Sweet Valley News actually exists, and has more then two employees? What breaking news could they possible have to cover? Well, let’s check out some recent headlines:

Alice Wakefield Tapped to Lead New Town Hall Redesign; Spanish-Style Tiles Expected to Be Involved

Enid Rollins’ Past to Be Revealed as Dangerous and Outlandish, No One Gives Shit

Tricia Martin Still Dead, Sources Confirm

Cheryl Thomas Moves to Sweet Valley, Black Population Up 25%

Jessica’s New Bikini Said to Be Small, Revealing

Local Teacher Roger Collins Proposes New Sleepaway Teen Summer Writing Camp at His House

Toilet Store Opens in Downtown Sweet Valley, No Customers Yet

Local Teen Winston Egbert Beats His Own Record at Taco Eating Contest, Awarded Nothing

Hidden Camera Found in Boys’ Locker Room, Local Teen Tom McKay Tipped Off Police

Local Couple Alice and Ned Wakefield to Publish Book on Parenting

Annie Whitman Goes on Ninth Date this Week, Slut Status Solidified

Bruce Patman Switching to Boxer Briefs, Sources Confirm

Susan Stewart Reveals Identity of Real Father, Sweet Valley Residents say Susan Who?

Local Survey of Sweet Valley Residents reveal that Sweet Valley is the #1 Favorite Place in the World

Local High School Dance Canceled, Project Youth Flooded With Calls from Depressed Students

Police Catch Twenty-Seventh Serial Killer This Year

Town Council Passes a Measure that This Year will have Six Christmases and Eight Summer Vacations

Lois Waller Still Fat, Sources Confirm

Local Sweet Valley Residents Pondering if Jews Really Exist

Return of the Evil Twin

Unnecessary sequels

Unexplained time travel

Multiplicity

Twin invasion

Manipulative plot twists

Sociopath mentality

Omg you guys. Don’t you hate it when you find out you have a long lost twin and when you go to find her, she’s hatching an insane murderous plot and then she lets you in on it but then she like becomes total control freak about it? Man, that is on my list of top five pet peeves.

Oy gevault. What is there to say about this plot? On the one hand, it is so ridiculous and rehashed. On the other hand, kind of awesome.

Oooh, the broken glass angel. Sooooo much symbolism! Or some Visual Communication major’s final project!

And seriously, the ghost writers REALLY need to read each other’s books, because then they wouldn’t use the same shit all over again.

We begin with boring old Enid having a caroling party at Secca Lake. Leave it to Enid to have such a dorky party. It’s kind of foggy or something and Todd gets into an accident on the way up and gis car flips over and is hanging on the edge of a cliff. Jessica comes by and drags him out of the burning wreckage and she’s a hero. I know this is like the 10th burning car wreckage I’ve read about.

Elizabeth, instead of being grateful that her sister saved the only guy that would ever put up with her shit, turns into a NEEDY, BRATTY, jealous person, jealous that Jessica and Todd have a special bond, jealous that Jessica is getting all this attention to being a hero. Are we surprised, really? And, may I add that this is totally ridiculous for her to suspect they are having an affair, after they actually did after she was arrested for the jungle prom punch incident? And, may I add, in some secret diary where Jessica and Todd suck face? Why do I even try to find the logic? At one point Todd tells her, “Liz, it’s not like you to be jealous!” Chyah.

Anyway, Nora is a poor tragic girl from the south whose father died and whose stepmother kicked her out. She finds out about Margo and goes on a quest to find her, only to find out she is alive. Even Nora is a bit creeped out by Margo. Margo shares her plan to take over the Wakefield twins and figures, hey, there are two of us, let’s just kill them both. Only problem? They are fighting over who gets to be who! They both want to be Jessica because they think Liz is boring. Ha! I also kind of love the idea that they hate the Wakefield family because they are so sickeningly perfect. It’s like this book was the way for a ghostwriter to hate on the twins. Kind of a passive-aggressive protest.

Can I add that how awesome would it be to have had a spin-off series about Nora and Margo and extend their obsessive hatred of the Wakefield twins? Their snarky observations and they shenanigans about impersonating them? I would so read it. Fanfic anyone? If I had time I would so create a blog from their perspective chronically their hatred. Or, if anyone has mad photoshop skills, it would be awesome if someone can make a cover for the series.

So the Wakefields continue to be their fucking selves and plan a Christmas carnival to raise money but are fighting and not talking because Margo made sure that Elizabeth saw Todd with her, thinking it was Jessica. Margo goes ahead and plans kidnaps Jess to beat Nora to the punch but then Nora has the same idea and goes to the Wakefields house and stabs Jessica in her sleep, but the Wakefields get home and ruin her plans to hide the body and take over her life, so she flees and Liz sees her and claims that its Margo, but the po-po thinks she is crazy, because Margo died. My computer indicated to me that that was a run on sentence, and seriously, it’s a run-on plot.

One other thing about Sweet Valley that we should add to this list: apparently coroners and medical examiners do not have time to check DNA, fingerprints, or positively id their dead bodies.

So this gives us a whole chunk of time where there is a big memorial services for Jessica and the whole town is distraught and they make all these huge speeches about how wonderful she is and blah blah.

Liz has twin intuition and knows Jessica is still alive and MUST be at the school since that’s the place Jessica loved the most. (Huh? Really?) The police won’t believe her so LIZ FUCKING STEALS A POLICE OFFICER’S GUN and heads over there. Nora also thinks Margo is hiding out at the school so heads over there to murder her before Margo decides to murder her. People, this is a book for teens, mind you.

There’s a big show down and Liz goes to find Jessica, but is not sure it is her, but then Nora shows up too and Liz can’t tell who is Jess and who is Margo because they don’t even know that Nora exists and its this whole wacky showdown and finally Liz saves the real Jess and the authorities apprehend Nora, because as it turns out it was really Margo in Jessica’s bed that night and she killed her own sister.

This is the best part: the police FORGIVE Liz for stealing a gun from them because she’s such a hero! And Jess is all jokes and smiles as she emerges from being left for dead for three days! I am surprised the Wakefields didn’t celebrate with a pancake breakfast. Wouldn’t Jessica have soiled herself for being tied up for three days? Oh yea, the Wakefields don’t have BMs.

Oh wait, they do have a party in Jessica’s honor. Everyone is ok, no therapy needed! And this gives everyone else another chance to kiss Jessica’s ass and tell her how great she is!

Goddammit. How many Xmases have the Wakefields seen?

Aaaaaaand…the return of Todd says something homoerotic:

“I definitely see hot dogs in your future, Matthews” he repeated.”Very big hot dogs”.

Elizabeth groaned. “How can you two be eating again, after all the junk we’ve been stuffing ourselves with?”

Ken shrugged. “It’s lunchtime”, he said if that explained it.

“You girls stay here and have your fotunes told,” Todd suggested.”Then meet us over there at that concession stand.” He pointed. “In the meantime Ken and I will do some research on those foot-long hot dogs.” He and Ken hurried toward the hot dog stand.[I’ll bet they did!]

You never forget your first time.

I guess I never mentioned it before, but No Place to Hide was my first Sweet Valley High book, ever. I think I had been reading a couple of the twins books before I picked this one up at my local B. Dalton. And I remember totally choosing it for the cover.

Yes, that Microsoft Paint magnifying-glass thing totally hooked me. I guess I thought the twins were beyond gorgeous on the cover and my shallow self wanted to glance at the glossy cover and dream of the day that I, too, could grow up and be just as glamorous.

Hoever, I have NO idea why I continued reading, because this was beyond wretched. Maybe even worse than the other non-chlling super thriller. I think after this one I was at the library and saw All Night Long and decided to give it another chance. I cry wolf all the time, but really, this may be the worst one yet.The plotline of this is off the grid. ANd unecessarily complicated.

But, I suppose you want a summary, eh? Okay, I’ll try to muster up the patience to tell you this inane plot.

So it’s back during the summer, and the twins are back working at the newspaper, and Liz is with Jeffrey, and it’s supposedly right after Regina Morrow (shout out to my cat!) has just died. So you work with that timeline.

Oh, the big news? Sweet Valley’s mayoral campaign. Russell Kincaid v. some other old white guy. I can only imagine their campaign promises: “We promise to limit the sumber of ‘minorities’ in the town, make Wakefield day an offical holiday, and build an expansion on the valley mall.” What about the insanse crimes that happen in Sweet Valley?! The cults recruiting innocent kids? The gang warfare?

The twins invite Nicholas Morrow with them to their company picnic down in some podunk town and they take a walk and find this big old house and meet this gal, Barbara who Nicholas gets a big bone for. The big old house belongs to Babs; grandmother, and she is staying there with the housekeeper and her very strict uncle. Okay, so the uncle is kind of a dick and controls Barbara, but Nicholas and the twins kind of freak out and feel it’s a crime and Barbara is totally being abused and want to call Human Rights Watch on them or something. All the man does is give her a curfew and shit.

Nicholas sneaks to the house every night and he and Barbara hang out in the woods, NOT fooling around, NOT groping each other over their clothes, but hanging out with her dog Rory and talking about woe is Babs and her mean family. And talking about possible escape. Um, how about, what movies you like? Silly stuff? They’re teenagers for god’ sake. There are some close calls where they almost get caught and Nicholas keeps getting followed.

Then, of course, instead of calling the police and say, some ADULTS to help, the twins and Nicholas hatch a plan to help Barbara escape. Who do they think they are, the Baby-Sitters Club?

Fast forward about 70 more pages of close calls and Nicholas bemoaning Babs’ plight and we find out that Russell Kincaid, mayoral candidate is the brother to Babs’ Uncle John, and Uncle J wants to get back at Russell for something, so he lures Babs to the house for the summer because she is the spitting image to her grandmother Barbara, who Russell murdered way back in the day, and John wanted him to think he saw a ghost. Because it’s really appropriate to have you middle-aged brother lusting after an underage gal who reminds you of your dead lover. Nice one, ghost writers.

So Barbara of course will never show up in another book, so she breaks up with Nicholas when she moves to Switzerland. To the land of doctors that cure deafness.

Ugh, Terrible. Awful. Shit, the twins are still working at the Valley News? Couldn’t they get real interns from Sweet Valley University? Why am I questioning the logic?

The one that is a big commercial for a Ouiji Board or Super Thriller: Deadly Summer

I have been reluctant to do a Super Thriller, because I remember them being tedious and quite frankly, not all that scary. I was RIGHT!

The timeline of this one is blowing my mind! So it’s summer, AGAIN. But Liz is dating Jeffrey, in the summer. But didn’t Todd move back to SV before the end of the school year? Was this before or after they spent the summer in Malibu? Or after the big bike trip? My head is exploding! Also, the twins are interning at the Sweet Valley News. Why would Jessica even want to do that? And wouldn’t she get fired during her first day? Also, what the hell really happens in Sweet Valley? But the office is always bustling like it’s the Daily Planet or something.

The first half of the book doesn’t have much thrill in it. Elizabeth chided Lila for believing in a Ouji board, and Lila was pissed and plans to get back at Liz for being a condescending asshole. You and me both, Li. She and Jess plan to trick Liz into making her scared of the Ouji board by haing it predict things that will actually happen. The big Endless Summer concert is postponed, and they lead her to believe that the Ouji predicted it. Then Jess reads one of Jeffreys letters to Liz and has it predict that. Soon Liz is believing it and getting freaked out and Lila is loving every moment of it. And so am I- Liz being made the fool is okay in my book.

They also trick Liz into believing that Bruce is dying of an unnamed illness, so of course Liz is going to jump in and comfort him and act like Mother Teresa because she can’t resist “saving” someone. Bruce finds out about Jessica and Lila’s plan, and totally hams it up to manipulate Liz into fooling around with him. He’s actually a little bit hilarious. Liz seems to forget the whole coma-forced-intercourse thing. Jeffrey finally arrives home and is super jealous that Bruce and Liz are spending time together. (Jeffrey had been working as a camp counselor in San Francisco. I think that means he was camping it up in San Francisco, if you know what I mean. Wink. ) The folks who wrote Almost Married should have read the other books first to realize that the Liz/Bruce romance thing had already been done.

Okay, we finally get the the Super Thriller part. Some guy is an escaped from a mental insitution. When he was in high school about 10 years ago, he was in love with a pretty cheerleader who snubbed him so he kidnapped her for a while.

If you do not see exactly where this is going, then you are a moron.

He is also planting fake bombs everywhere, sending SVH into a panic. Liz is also getting prank phone calls. Yawn.

Liz is also doing some baby sitting for Elsa Bennett. One night when she is there a strange guy stops by, looking for Elsa, claiming that he is an old friend, and that Liz “looks like someone he used to know”.

Oh, this is the best: it’s the middle of the summer, and the cheerleaders hold a pep rally at SVH to “get the school back in the team spirit”. Is this legal to have a school event during the summer? Can these people take a fucking break from SVH and get away?

Okay, I’ll admit that I totally skimmed the rest: This crazy guy, Donald, who is Elsa’s brother,takes Liz, Bruce, and Jeffrey hostage at the stadium and threatens to set off a bomb. Becauase Liz looks like the pretty girl that snubbed him. It’s just the curse of being beautiful! Bruce saves the day by grabbing the bomb and running off with it and it explodes. He emerges with like soot on him and a singed collar. It is like in the cartoons, where something explodes. Was the bomb made by ACME? Whatever.

Liz has been kidnapped/held hostage like eighteen times. How does she not have PTSD?

Super thriller my ass.

Grade: F