Thursday, October 27, 2016

Sweet Valley High Revisited - Outcast


(Also, best to have read the book 40 recap before this one, as it follows on directly from that storyline. And hey, while we're clickin' links, come say hi on Facebook and Insta!)

Sweet Valley High #41: Outcast

We pick up immediately after the point where the last book finished up, so everyone is crying after the memorial service for Regina at school. Elizabeth finds Bruce and Amy (Amy is holding Bruce's hand "defiantly" at the funeral of the girl she schemed against because she has no class) and tells them about the letter she got from Regina from ~beyond the grave~ and how Regina had said that she didn't hold anything against the pair of them. Bleh. I hold it against them and I think they're assholes. Elizabeth and Jessica arrive home to find both of their parents and Steven home for a Serious Family Meeting About Drugs where Ned and Alice tell the twins that they can always talk to them about anything. Elizabeth laments that it was so unlike Regina to try drugs and Jessica cries out that it's all Molly Hecht's fault for having the party, but Ned insists that it was Regina's decision.

At school, everyone is jumping on the Blame Molly Bandwagon, including Justin Belson. Molly tries to talk to him at lunch but he literally turns and flees from her, because he's putting his old life behind him now. Molly is left entirely alone and feels completely terrible as she walks home. She can't help feeling like it's not fair that she's the one taking all the blame and quite rightly wonders "What about Bruce and Amy? What about Buzz and Justin and Jan? What about Regina herself?" and I'm with you Molly, Bruce and Amy should absolutely be taking some heat for this too. She's fifteen minutes late when she gets home because she spent all day at school being ostracised and waited until the hallways were clear before leaving as people had been physically moving away from her as she passed. Once she gets home though, she's berated by her furious parents for being late (her dad has come back from San Francisco to shout at her and tell her she's responsible for Regina's death) and she tearfully pleads with them to let her transfer to another school because everyone is treating her like a murderer, but they're not having it and tell her she has to take whatever the kids at school throw at her. Parenting!

Jessica calls an emergency Pi Beta Alpha meeting and announces that she wants to set up a college scholarship fund in Regina's memory, to be awarded to someone who has overcome "some kind of handicap or hardship" and that the sorority could fundraise to get it started. Everyone thinks it's an amazing idea and Elizabeth tells Jessica that she's proud of her. After school, Elizabeth is sitting on the steps outside the front entrance with Jeffrey talking about how much she misses Regina and shows him a poem about grief by the poet who Regina liked and the whole thing is printed in full, like the poem by the same author in the last book which was read at the memorial, and is the ghostwriter just filling up the word count here or trying to win a bet? Anyway, while all this is going on, Molly is on the other side of the door, psyching herself up to talk to Elizabeth.

For days now, she had a strong, compelling need to talk to Elizabeth, to try to apologize, explain what had happened.

It was well known that Elizabeth Wakefield could be counted on as sympathetic, honest and scrupulously fair.


When Jeffrey leaves, Molly emerges and asks Elizabeth if she can talk to her for a minute, but she backs away and says she can't. Molly begs Liz not to hate her and Liz says she's doesn't hate her but she loved Regina and then runs away from her too.

Now that Elizabeth and Justin had turned away, nothing seemed to matter anymore.

Ok, Justin at least is her ex and until recently was a close friend but as far as we know, her and Elizabeth had never even said as much as hello to each other, so REALLY? Now that Elizabeth, who you've never had anything to do with, has turned away, NOW everything is meaningless and over? How the hell is a judgemental pain in the hole like Elizabeth so central to the happiness of all these tertiary characters that she's never even interacted with? Even when it's not about the Wakefields, it's still somehow about the Wakefields. You can't buy that kind of personal brand reach. Anyway, now that Molly is completely alone without even a Wakefield shoulder to cry on, she decides that the one person who can't run away from her and who she can get everything off her chest to is Regina, so she ends up walking to the graveyard where Regina is buried. Unfortunately for Molly, Nicholas Morrow is there leaving roses on the grave and crying. He sees her and loses his shit, yelling at her that she's done enough damage already and how dare she come here.

"Get out of here!" he screamed, raising one hand as if to hit her.

NNNNNNNNOPE. For good measure, he also screams at her that she killed his sister and Molly runs away and collapses when she gets home to an empty house. The phone rings and it's Buzz, who's been on the run from the cops since the party. She tells him to leave her alone, but Buzz talks her round by being nice to her and saying he's on her side and that he understands what she's going through, and poor Molly is so starved of any kind of sympathy that she stays on the line and agrees to meet him at Kelly's that night. Now I know I used this line in the last recap, when talking about Regina, but this girl's name actually is Molly so I think the situation warrants a MOLLY YOU IN DANGER, GIRL! We also learn that Buzz is lying low in some shady empty apartment with "sagging clothes-lines" draped between the rundown brick buildings. Ah, the lesser-spotted poor part of Sweet Valley, generally populated by people that Elizabeth can benevolently take pity on.

Back at the Wakefields' split-level, Spanish-style, better-than-your house, Jessica is trying to figure out the logistics of managing the money that will be raised for the Regina scholarship and is worried she's taken on more than she can handle. Alice then arrives home with a Chinese takeaway and Jessica is thrilled out of her fucking mind.

A pungent, savory odor wafted out of the backseat as Jessica opened the door. "Mom!" she shrieked excitedly. "You ordered Chinese food!"

Everyone agrees it was a great idea and is happily stuffed after eating out on the patio and STALL THE BALL LADS, because back in Nowhere To Run, it is explicitly stated that Ned doesn't like Chinese food and yet here he is, popping chunks of water chestnut into his lying mouth with his chopsticks. I mean, it was like twenty books ago but STILL. After dinner, Jessica tells her parents about the Regina scholarship plan and Ned offers to take care of all the admin and investment-y side of things once they raise the money, as they deal with that type of stuff at the office anyway so it's grand. So that's that sorted. Jeffrey calls over to hang out with Elizabeth later that evening and while they're watching telly he can see that there's something on her mind, so she tells him that she feels bad for shunning Molly and admits that everyone is taking their anger and grief out on her which is pretty unfair. However, despite all this, Liz can't bring herself to actually talk to the girl because it's "too painful" and she hopes that Molly has someone to talk to or offer support to her, so she goes ringing Justin Belson to bother him about it. Unsurprisingly, Justin isn't too impressed at being told to go be friends with Molly by this self-righteous busybody who can't be bothered to go do the same thing herself.

Stung, Elizabeth stared at the mouthpiece of the phone. Why was he reacting this way?

Haaa, suck it Liz, not everyone is desperate for your approval. Anyway, Justin tells her he's trying to sort his own life out and won't go backwards and that's the end of it.

Oh hello SVH cover JACKPOT! Look at all this feathery hair! It's like being inside a fancy pillow full of birds! Also why do these three high school girls look like thirty year olds? Are they all wearing pyjamas? And am I crazy or does that girl on the left look like Whiny Scarlett from Nashville?

Meanwhile, Molly Hecht is sneaking out her bedroom window and making her way to the car park of Kelly's where she meets Buzz. They sit in his car and he hands her a joint and gives her a lot of "I've never felt this way about anyone" type talk because he needs her for his plan to leg it out of Sweet Valley. Molly is reeled in by his supposed sympathy for her situation and he manipulates her into agreeing to leave town with him and to bring the few thousand dollars she has in a savings account that was meant for college. Molly is so tired of everyone shutting her out and shitting on her that she ignores her instincts and goes along with the plan, thinking that'll show everyone, including "that goody-goody Elizabeth Wakefield". I have to say, I'm really enjoying the Elizabeth-slagging that's going on in this book.

The following day, Nicholas Morrow shows up at the Wakefield house super early in the morning, because he wants to talk to Elizabeth. Jessica lets him into the house and pours him a coffee, telling him about the scholarship she's organising while he waits for Liz to come downstairs. He loves the idea and takes her hand, saying that his parents will be touched and Jessica tries her best to flirt with him and you just have to admire this gal's hustle. Never let up, even when he's grieving his sister's death. Anyway, Elizabeth arrives into the kitchen, and Jessica is immediately forgotten about, as Nicholas asks if he can drive Liz to school. On the way, in his jeep, he tells Elizabeth about how he went off on Molly Hecht at the graveyard and asks if she could apologise to Molly on his behalf if she sees her at school. They come to the conclusion that Molly has just been an easy target for everyone and that it's not fair how she's been treated. Of course, Liz also came to these same conclusions with Jeffrey but didn't bother her hole doing anything about it then herself. So she ends up doing the exact same thing as before, and instead of approaching Molly herself at any of the many opportunities she had during the day, she seeks out Justin Belson again to badger him about it.

He's in the library working on a Hamlet paper and Liz tries to ease her way into her badgering by offering to help him with his assignment in return for him helping her with Molly. She pleads with him to help, and points out that wrecking Molly's life won't bring Regina back and just wears him down until he says he'll think about it. At lunch, Liz goes asking around after Molly in an effort to find her and someone tells her they heard Molly asking about which buses go past the Union Bank, so Elizabeth heads over there and runs into Molly as she's about to leave with stacks of fifties in her hand from the $2,300 she just emptied from her account. Elizabeth says she wants to talk, but Molly doesn't want to hear it, saying she's fed up with being everyone's scapegoat and, magnificently;

"You can take your talking and shove it."

GODDAMN I just love it when people tell Elizabeth to go fuck herself. It's so rare and even though it always ends up that Elizabeth was actually right and they should have listened to her, it's just so bloody satisfying.

Jessica and Elizabeth are in the Oracle office working on an article about the Regina scholarship, when Penny Ayala and Olivia Davidson come in. Elizabeth types out the story and then Jessica, Penny and Olivia read it and a hush descends over the office in reverence at Elizabeth's amazing writerly writing. No, really.

There was a silence as the four girls finished reading Elizabeth's article. For a moment none of them spoke.

Then Penny, the editor, is like, it's perfect, no changes, front page! Because you DO NOT EDIT ELIZABETH WAKEFIELD. Sexy ol' Roger Collins then comes in and also says it's great and then they all have a big conversation about how people on drugs need help and Jessica comes to the realisation that Molly shouldn't be treated like it's all her fault.

After school, Justin goes to Molly's house but her mother won't let him see Molly because she's grounded and when he's back at home, Elizabeth calls and says she has a feeling that something is wrong and tells him about seeing Molly with her wads of cash earlier. Justin immediately realises that Molly is planning on running away, so he picks Liz up from her house and they head over to the Hecht's just in time to see Molly getting into her mother's car alone with a big backpack and taking off up the road. They follow her and end up in the Kelly's car park, and see Buzz emerging from the shadows to meet her and put her bag in his car. Justin tells Liz to go to the payphone and call the cops to tell them to be out at old route seven, as that's an old deserted highway that Justin correctly reckons they'll be taking out of town. He follows the car as they leave Kelly's and once Buzz and Molly realise they're being followed, a car chase ensues on the old highway, ending with Justin overtaking Buzz's car and blocking off the road so they have to stop.

Buzz gets out of the car and starts shouting at Justin, Molly also gets out and tells him to go, that it's her decision to leave, but Justin talks her around and she runs to him. Buzz then tries to take her bag with the money in it and when Justin stops him, Buzz pulls out a knife and lunges for him. He misses and they fight, Justin manages to knock the knife out of Buzz's hand and they bate the heads off each other until the cops eventually arrive on the scene.

The following day, Molly pops into the Oracle office and thanks Elizabeth, who had arrived on the scene last night with Jeffrey once he picked her up from outside Kelly's and had comforted Molly while she was in shock from the whole ordeal. Molly says she's going to straighten her life out and that she wants to do well in school. Also, Mr Collins told her that if she really gets her act together, he'd nominate her for the Regina scholarship the following year and Elizabeth says that Regina's family would be delighted.

A moment of true friendship passed between the two girls, and Molly smiled gratefully.

True friendship my arse, I'd bet a tenner that these two never have another meaningful encounter for the rest of the hundred million books in this series.

Notable outfit:
Not a single one. Everyone was too depressed to wear anything fun.

Things I counted:
Number of pages: 152

References to the twins' blue-green eyes: 2 (TWO? That's only one eye per twin, come on guys!)
References to the fact that the twins are blonde: 5


Thursday, October 06, 2016

Sweet Valley High Revisited - On The Edge

Hi! I'm back! So Dubai was tremendous fun while also being kinda bananas and like a futuristic colony on Mars with the HOTTEST AND HUMIDIEST HEAT OF ALL TIME. Then when we got back there was a bit of that aimless newly unemployed dawdling where the days just sort of went in amongst endless Friends repeats and reading books and catching some Pokemon and getting into Grace & Frankie on Netflix. Anyway, here we are. Oh wait, HAVE YOU SEEN they're going to make Sweet Valley High graphic novels? SO MANY FEELINGS.

Okay. It's here. IT'S TIME.

Sweet Valley High #40: On The Edge

Jessica Wakefield is admiring her reflection in the locker room before cheerleading practice (because she's basically Alyssa Edwards when it comes to mirrors - and HOW GOOD is Drag Race Allstars this year you guys? KATYA FTW) when the rest of the squad come tumbling in, led by Amy Sutton. Amy's buzzing because she's convinced that Bruce Patman is crazy about her and even Jessica thinks she's particularly "boy crazy" lately, which is the pot calling the kettle a ho, but there you have it. Maria Santelli chimes in to say that it really did seem like Bruce was into Amy when they all ran into him in the hall on their way to the locker room just now, though. Jessica's not convinced that Bruce will dump Regina for Amy, but decides it's been a while since there was any proper drama so maybe someone shaking things up a bit won't be any harm.

Amy and Bruce have been doing a project together for their health class about DRUGS in Sweet Valley. Gasp! DRUGS? YES, DRUGS! Anyway, she's over at the Patman mansion to work on it with Bruce and purrs at him and touches his hand and acts all coy while telling him about a dream she had where they made out until Bruce gives in and kisses her. Dammit Bruce! He pretty much immediately reverts back to obnoxious would-be rapist Bruce, giving Amy a cocky smile and saying he'd forgotten how much fun it was to spread around "the old Bruce magic with more than one girl" and insists that he'll be able to convince Regina to let him do what he wants. Eugh and boo. Also, it's kinda gas that Amy is presented as a villain here for plotting to score with Bruce when stealing boyfriends is just a regular Tuesday afternoon for Jessica.

At school, Regina is feeling like there's something up with Bruce, since he's now cancelled on her for two Friday nights in a row to work on the longest project in the world with Amy and now he's stood her up for lunch in the cafeteria. A dude called Justin Belson asks Regina if he can sit with her when he sees that she's on her own and Regina says yes despite the fact that she doesn't know him at all, because she hates eating alone. Justin is cute and tall and chiselled but has an air of danger about him too because he was recently on academic probation and hangs out with Molly Hecht and Jan Brown, who are apparently Bad News. Justin and Regina chat over lunch and he reveals that he has three copies of the Ingenue magazine that she was on the cover of, which is totally normal and not alarming. Why three? Why could he possibly need that many? Regina. You in danger, girl. He asks her out to a game in LA that night, but Regina turns him down because she reckons Bruce wouldn't like it, but agrees to have lunch with him again the following week.

Jessica and Elizabeth are planning a barbeque for Saturday evening and Elizabeth is apprehensive about the fact that Regina, Bruce and Amy will all be there, now that she knows Amy and Bruce shifted, but Jessica is excited at the prospect of a bit of scandal. Elizabeth feels like she should give Regina a heads up, particularly since the whole cheer squad knows that something is going on too and it seems unfair to leave poor (not actually literally poor though), beautiful, formerly deaf Regina in the dark. Jessica is horrified and pleads with her not to, as it'll be obvious that Regina will have found out via Jessica and Amy will be mad at her. Elizabeth isn't convinced until she talks it over with her boyfriend Jeffrey, who advises her to stay out of it as it could easily come to nothing and just be a load of big talk from Amy. Shockingly, Elizabeth actually minds her own beeswax for once in her life, but during the barbeque Bruce and Amy sneak off to shift each other behind a tree and Elizabeth sends Jeffrey over to tell them to cop on while she distracts Regina who is sitting alone by the pool. However, Regina sees them emerging from the dark behind Jeffrey looking all sheepish and blows up at everyone for making a fool of her, including Elizabeth and then demands the keys to Bruce's Porsche so she can drive herself home and storms out, but not before telling Amy that she hates her. Ha, fuck you Amy! But seriously, the moral of the story here is that you better let Elizabeth Wakefield meddle in your life when she wants to unless you want everything to go to shit.

The following day, Regina thinks about her relationship with Bruce and decides that they had been drifting apart anyway and she could sense that he was getting bored now that everything was normal with them and there was no transatlantic romance like when she had to go to Switzerland for a series of treatments to regain her hearing and like when she came home to Sweet Valley only to be held hostage by armed and disgruntled former employees from her father's company. I love this series, you guys. She avoids Bruce's calls all day and decides to go out with Justin Belson to take her mind off things. He takes her out to notoriously shady spot Kelly's for some reason and tells her about how his father was stabbed to death when his liqour store was robbed two years ago and that his mother checked out has been on pills since then. Y'know, date-type chat. He also tells her about his ex-girlfriend Molly Hecht who got him through all these troubled times but who is now hanging out with people in the "real hardcore drug set" and how worried he is about her. Regina finds all his tragedy just ~fascinating~ and decides to do her best to be a good friend to him and fix him or whatever.

At school, Regina and Justin start to hang out together and even Jessica is mildly worried about the development, wondering why Regina is getting friendly with someone who she'd have so little in common with. Regina and Justin have lunch together, when Molly Hecht shows up and is alternately mean and insincere and then friendly and nice to Regina, telling them that she's having an "anything-goes sort of party" when her mother is out of town that weekend and that some dude called Buzz is meant to show up and there's no way someone called Buzz in this series is anything but Big T Trouble. Later that day, Elizabeth tries to talk to Regina, who defiantly mentions that Justin is taking her out on his motorbike after school, so we get another great lil backstory recap of how motorbikes = DANGER after Elizabeth came off one in a crash and ended up in a coma. Liz wants to apologise for what happened at the barbeque but also ends up warning Regina about Justin and his friends and how "some of those kids are heavily into drugs. And not just marijuana either." Elizabeth is such a mam. Anyway all she ends up doing is pissing Regina off, who tells her to butt out and leave her alone and then Elizabeth starts crying. She's just not used to people telling her to stay the fuck out of their business, guys!

Aw Regina! :( Also, this black and white headshot of Bruce is kinda gas. Did he give it to her? Has he got a stack of them lying around? What's going on with his GIANT LIPS? I need answers, people!

Bruce and Amy are still working on this never ending, foreshadowy project and are meeting Amy's cousin Mimi who works in a drug rehabilitation centre for the lowdown on the Sweet Valley drug scene. Mimi mentions that she's heard about Molly Hecht's upcoming party and tells them that this dude Buzz who's rumoured to show up is the biggest coke dealer at her college and that if they know anyone going to it to warn them, because he's a "smooth operator" known for getting good kids to try "something dangerous". Bruce immediately jumps up to call Regina because he knows she'll be going and Amy barely contains her jealousy. However, like Liz, all Bruce ends up doing is annoying Regina by telling her to be careful at the party and she hangs up on him. On Saturday, Elizabeth hears about Mimi's warning from Jessica and calls Regina too, who is by now thoroughly and justifiably fed up of people being on her case, because she's also had her brother Nicholas badgering her about staying away from Justin all week. She starts to feel bad about being cold with Elizabeth on the phone (just Elizabeth though, obvs) and writes a mysterious letter before going to meet Justin. They head to Casey's Place for a soda before the party and Regina tries to talk him out of going because she's starting to feel uneasy about the whole thing when it seems like there'll inevitably be trouble there. Justin is adamant about going though because he's still in love with Molly and wants to keep her out of danger.

Elizabeth and Jessica are getting ready to go over to Lila's house to watch movies on the Fowler's big screen with a bunch of the other kids from school and Elizabeth is fretting about Regina and trying to think of some way of stopping her from going to Molly's party. Jessica is trying out a spray-on hair colour and putting streaks of red in her glorious Aryan mane and suggests that Liz calls Nicholas and makes it his problem instead. Liz thinks it's a genius idea and gets him on the phone to tell him about this dodgy party and Nicholas says he's going over there to take her home. Unfortunately, Nicholas is in such a hurry to get there that he runs out of the house without his wallet and then gets pulled over for speeding, but his licence is at home in the wallet so the cop takes him down to the station, which seems a bit unnecessary. Meanwhile, Regina and Justin arrive at the party and this ain't no Wakefield barbeque or Lila Fowler shindig with decorations and boardgames and the Droids, oh no. The house is dark and the music is loud and the whole place smells like beer and cigarettes and NO GOOD CAN COME OF THIS PRETTY REGULAR-SOUNDING PARTY. Someone hands her a beer and then Justin goes off to dance with Molly, so Molly's weird friend Jan Brown comes over and is mean to Regina, making fun of her for never having tried drugs before and accusing her of stealing Justin away from Molly. Then the doorbell rings and Molly leads the famous Buzz into the room, telling everyone to be quiet as she announces his arrival like it's Downton Abbey, rather than a house party. The music gets turned down and everything, it's exceedingly lame and these kids have no chill.

Regina is having a terrible time, feels woozy from the beer and wants to leave, but when she tries to sneak away, Justin spots her and brings her over to sit with the group circled around Buzz like he's Drug Santa, who reveals a bag of cocaine with a flourish and a "would you all just take a look at this!" because he's the lamest dealer of all time. Justin leans in to tell Regina that he doesn't want to leave Molly while Buzz is around because Buzz has apparently been trying to convince Molly to try heroin. When Buzz starts cutting up the coke, Regina asks what he's doing and everyone overhears and laughs at her. Then lousy Jan Brown makes another comment accusing Regina of stealing Molly's boyfriend and Regina decides she's had enough of everyone's bullshit and wants to do something out of character to shut everyone up so she tries a line. Molly and Jan think she needs another so Jan and Buzz sort of force her to do another one while she's too dazed to protest and lads, I didn't expect to be so affected by this but it's really sad, particularly when you know how it's all going to shake out. :((( Regina thinks she can hear drums, but it's actually her heartbeat going bananas and when she looks like she's going to pass out, Justin gets her onto a couch and asks Molly to call 911 but Buzz is like "eh, nope". However, in the meantime Nicholas has told the cops at the station about how he's worried for his sister who is at a house party with drugs in it and at that exact moment, two cops, followed by Nicholas, burst in the front door.

Everyone is freaking out and Buzz makes a break for the back door, while a terrified Justin explains that Regina has had two lines of coke and one of the cops radios for an ambulance. Regina sees that Nicholas is beside her and fitfully Lifetime movies her way through telling him it isn't anyone's fault and that he's always been such a good brother and asks where Liz is (OH PLEASE) and Bruce too and that she wants to see them, mumbling "Nicholas, find them" before passing out. Of COURSE her dying words are her looking for Elizabeth Wakefield. Not just Bruce, who she was so recently in love with, not her parents, but A Fucking Wakefield Twin. Nicholas gets in touch with Elizabeth at Lila's house and Elizabeth, Jeffrey, Bruce and Enid all rush to the hospital, Bruce says it's all his fault for acting like such a jerk, Elizabeth tells him it "isn't a question of fault" and then decides that if anyone is to blame it's her, because it always has to be about her.  They get to the hospital, where Regina is in with the doctors and Nicholas tells the group that she had a heart attack from the cocaine. A few hours go by and then the doctor breaks the news that Regina has died and that she had an extremely rare reaction to the coke which caused an accelerated heartbeat which led to cardiac failure. And also that she may have had a heart murmur since birth, but like, which is it, Mister Doctor. And surely a heart murmur is something that would have come up over all her years of medical treatments and fancy doctors. Either way, imagine reading this as an 11 year old, my god it'd frighten the absolute shite out of you. No wonder so many women have told Francine Pascal that Regina Morrow is the reason they've never tried cocaine. Reading it now though, it's a bit like...this doesn't seem entirely legit, Ghostwriter. Her accelerated heartbeat stuff sounds more like a panic attack rather than DEATH, but there you go.

At school on Monday, there's an assembly so Mr. Cooper the headmaster can address the students about what happened. There's no sign of Justin or Molly and it's just as well, because Bruce keeps saying he wants to kill Justin and then Caroline Pearce, Winston Egbert and Lila Fowler each do a heavy-handed "well I'm never going to try cocaine now that it turns out you can die from it" bit. At the assembly, Cooper stresses that Regina's parents want them all to know that no one is responsible for Regina's death and that no one is to be treated as though it's their fault, so that'll definitely work and put an end to any bad feeling towards Molly or Justin. Done aaand done. That evening, Elizabeth gets the mystery letter that Regina wrote before the party and it's all super poignant and about how sorry Regina is and how she sees that Elizabeth had her best interests at heart and there's even a PS that mentions how she hopes their friendship will last forever. Elizabeth bawls crying but is also relieved "knowing that Regina had forgiven her before her death", because you can't get into heaven with a grudge against a Wakefield twin, duh.

There's a memorial at school on Friday for Regina and Nicholas has asked Elizabeth to make a speech and I'm sorry, but it's not as if Elizabeth and Regina were bffs or anything. Enid is Elizabeth's closest friend, and if anything, Elizabeth probably hung out with Lila Fowler more than Regina since she moved to Sweet Valley, but we're supposed to buy lines like "the loneliness she felt was so profound, she didn't think it would ever go away" as if Regina was someone Elizabeth spent all of her time with, rather than a nice girl she knew from school. Basically, if someone even vaguely adjacent to Elizabeth's life dies you'd better believe that it's all going to be about her. Anyway, she speaks at the thing and Nicholas reads a cheery poem called Dirge Without Music and everyone is sad and DON'T DO DRUGS KIDS BECAUSE YOU WILL HAVE A HEART ATTACK AND DIE.

Notable outfit:
This book is too preoccupied with evil drugs for any fun or frivolity in the way of outfits. Regina wears a "cardigan sweater" and "grey flannel pants" to the party and maybe the real tragedy here is that she died in such an ugly outfit. RIP Regina, you beautiful square.

Things I counted:
Number of pages: 150

References to the twins' blue-green eyes: 3
References to the fact that the twins are blonde: 2 (TWO? I mean I know this is Regina's book but this is an outrage.)

Appearances of the word 'drugs': 23