Friday, February 26, 2010

No Answer or "Teenaged Girls Are Terrible Planners"

Ahh I finally have time to blog! I read “Episode” Four of the Seniors last week actually, and then couldn’t find the time to write all down til today! So bear with me if my memory is a little foggy.

So “Episode” Four (I refused to call it an “episode” without the mocking quotations. It’s a book. It’s Book Four. Get over yourself R.L.) finally gives us the big payoff we’ve been wanting. An effing MURDER! But who gets murdered? Let’s find out…

Clarissa is our main character in this “episode” and R.L. is showing some personal growth because Clarissa is a black woman! Is this our first non-caucasian main character? I think so! This unfortunately doesn’t mean she has any better luck than our other leading ladies. We find out that Clarissa just got out of an institution. She was in there because she couldn’t deal with the fact that her sister, Justine, had died and Clarissa was the one that found her. (Fair enough, I probably wouldn’t bounce back too quickly from L.K.’s death. SISTER LOVE) Justine had fallen down the stairs while talking on her CORDLESS phone and broke her neck. While Clarissa was in the institution, she became close to a boy from her high school, Will. Apparently he’s super hot.

Clarissa goes back to school, and everyone is so excited to see her, yada yada yada. She has two best friends, Debra and Mira. We’ve already met Debra before, and we know that Mira isn’t important because she doesn’t even merit a yearbook picture. Mira is also the slutty one. You know how there’s always one. We also find out that Clarissa’s parents are adopting a little boy and he’s arriving that weekend! That seems like … a replacement, hey? But Clarissa tries to be upbeat about Aaron coming, and goes to clean out her room for him, because she’s taking over Justine’s room.

While she’s cleaning out Justine’s room, Clarissa has a vision (hallucination? Encounter with a ghost?) of her sister, who points to a notebook left on her desk. There’s nothing special in the notebook, except that on the day Justine died, she had an appointment to call a psychic named Renata. Debra and Mira come over to help Clarissa clean, and for some reason, Clarissa tells them about the ghost encounter! Bad idea. All I’m saying, is that on my first day out of an institution? Imma keep all my crazy visions to myself.

The girls believe Clarissa for some reason, (they are also crazy?) and decide to call Renata. As soon as someone answers though, they heard a small, ghosty voice that called Clarissa “Moongirl” which was Justine’s private nickname for her. Voice from beyond the grave! Justine tells Clarissa that she was murdered, but disappears before she can name her killer. Renata comes onto the phone, saying that she was possessed by Justine and proves to Clarissa she’s the real deal by telling her the boy she’s had a secret crush on her whole life (hint: its Josh. Will is gonna be pissed!)

Clarissa decides to trust Will with her secret hallucinations too. He does two terrible things: he doesn’t believe her for one, and then he tells her that Mira already told him! Apparently they email because they have computer class together. Telling your new girlfriend that her slutty friend emails you? That’s a no. The girls call Renata again that night, and she gives them the upsetting news that one of them is going to die next! I’d stop calling this lady, she is just full of bad news!

Clarissa finds her sister’s secret hiding spot that night. She finds a fake ID, a knife with the word SLASH on it, and her diary. Which of course she reads, because, hey, she’s dead! What does she care about privacy? Apparently Justine had this secret life where she snuck out of the house and partied and dated this guy named Slash. Who gave her a knife with his name engraved on it. (Guess what L.K.’s getting for Christmas this year?!) Clarissa is pretty upset because she thought she knew Justine pretty well, but apparently Justine was thinking about running away, and totally ditching her. Harsh! Will breaks into her room, and they argue a little because Mira told Will about calling Renata again, and Will doesn’t want her to go crazy again. Whatevs, Will, you just broke into her room.

Clarissa decides that the best plan to find her sister’s murderer, (and her maybe soon-to-be murderer) is to use the fake ID and go to the club to find out who this Slash guy is. She assumes he killed Justine because Justine’s diary discussed how mad Slash was when she wanted to see other people. So. I don’t understand what Clarissa’s plan was here. Step one: Find Slash, the man who murdered my sister. Step two: ? She doesn’t find out who Slash is, but she does run into Will there. He’s a musician (swoon!) and goes to the clubs all the time to check out places to play.

The next day, her new little brother Aaron arrives. He’s 5 years old, and super cute. Clarissa shows him around his new house and they hang out in her room. He picks up the phone in her room (the one they’ve been calling Renata on) and is instantly possessed by Justine. She tells Clarissa to be careful because someone is going to get murdered! Clarissa immediately calls Debra to warn her. Debra has some of her own information, too. She just ran into Justine’s high school boyfriend, who had something really important to say…. And then Debra gets pushed down the stairs. What?! Yup, Clarissa hears her argue with someone, then tumble down the stairs. She lives close by, so Clarissa books it over to Debs house, and finds her at the bottom of the stairs. Pretty suspicious for you, Clar, if you keep finding dead bodies at the bottom of the stairs.

First important murder of this series! Finally! Debra Lake who I think is dating that vampire guy is DEAD! Woot woot! Luckily for us, R.L. doesn’t waste too much time on that whole boring process of “mourning” and “grieving”. We get right back to the action, as Clarissa calls Justine’s old boyfriend to find out what he told Debra. He’s kind of uncomfortable because…it turns out that Slash is non-other than WILL! Ewwww, he dated the dead sister then moved on to the living!?

Clarissa puts two and two together and decides that Will is the murderer. Mira comes over to sleep with Clarissa because the two girls are convinced he’s going to kill them. And Will doesn’t help much, because that night, he decides to break into Clarissa’s room again! (Justine’s old room. No wonder he’s so good at getting in there). Mira and Clarissa stop him before he gets into the room tho, and push him off the trellis he was climbing.

This whole incident lands Clarissa back in the institution. Oh, also the fact that the phone they’ve been calling Renata and Justine on hasn’t been hooked up since Justine died. Soooo Clarissa’s parents figure that she might have gone off the deep end again. Will calls her though, and forgives her. (Does she forgive him for being a huge pervy creep that is using her to get over his dead girlfriend? Who knows!) Will actually believes her know and has his own theory: He thinks the killer is Mira. Will confesses that Mira is actually really into him, which he’s known about for a while. And was still emailing her? Nice. Way to lead both girls on. Clarissa thinks that’s crazy talk! (Haha, puns)

But Mira comes to visit Clarissa that day. She’s babysitting Aaron for Clarissa’s parents and brought him to see her. Mira’s bag falls open though, and Clarissa sees that Mira has stolen Justine’s phone! Which is weird, but Mira said that she wanted to have it in case Justine tried to contact them again. Nice thing to say to the girl in the institution.

After Mira and Aaron leave though, Clarissa decides that she doesn’t believe Mira and is worried about Aaron. She called Mira’s house and finds out that Mira is taking Aaron to Fear Lake for a boat ride. Innocent, right? Except I kinda forgot to mention that Aaron is a disturbed kid because he saw both his parents drown in front of him and now he’s deathly afraid of water, AND Mira knows it. (I guess that’s kind of an important plot point). So instead of calling her parents and telling them Aaron’s babysitter might be crazy, she breaks out of the institution. That’ll look good!

She sees their boat out in the middle of Fear Lake, so Clarissa jumps right in! Haha my notes actually say “does a shit job of saving Aaron”. Which is true! Mira tries to whack the shit out of her with the oars and confesses she killed Justine because she’s in love with Will and killed Debra because she was going to figure it out. Well, that was easy! Clarissa starts her terrible rescue attempt by pulling Aaron into the water, then losing him, then she almost drowns herself and they both need to be rescued by some random stranger. Her parents, as well as her doctors, are waiting for her on the shore. Mira rows up and starts yelling about how Clarissa is sooo crazy and tried to kill Aaron. Clarissa is about to be hauled back to the institution, (but this time with padded cells) when Aaron pipes up and said it was all Mira. I don’t know how Mira thought she would get away with just lying about the whole thing, and hoping Aaron would just go along with it. Another poor plan.

The book ends with Clarissa and Will dating (I still think it’s gross) and Aaron happily replacing Justine in Clarissa’s heart. Harsh. But I think this book was a success because we finally killed off one the main characters! A lot of stuff was left unexplained, and frankly, that’s the way I like my R.L. books. Completely nonsensical. 57 telephones to heaven out of 74!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

The Thirst, or "Extra Sexy Valentine's Vampire Goodness"

Can a vampire get enough? Enough what? Love? Blood? Reality TV? So many unanswered questions. Here’s a special Valentine’s Day treat – I tried to make it as sexy as possible.

Part 1

First day of school! Dana Palmer gets ready. To get you up to date, Dana is the slutty cheerleader twin, while Dierdre is her much less attractive identical twin because she likes to think. Dana is described almost exactly the way every Sweet Valley High book ever begins – gleaming blonde hair, sparkling eyes, slutty clothes. OMG guys, Dana is totally Jessica Wakefield! Dana harasses her dowdy twin, aka Elizabeth, for not being ready yet. Dierdre is spazzing because she wants to impress a guy, but refuses to say who.

Mickey Myers, Dana’s summertime guy, comes to pick them up. Dana bitches about an early cheerleading practice, really because she hates head cheerleader Phoebe Yamura because she wanted to be head cheerleader. Is it just me, or is Phoebe the first Asian in Shadyside, ever?

Mickey and Dana make fun of Debra Lake for being with Clark Dickson (Count Clarkula), the vampire-esque guy who may or may not have fangs and powers of hypnosis (see Episode One).
Dana rushes to cheerleading practice, and finds … the body of Danielle Cortez. The first actual death in this potentially over-hyped Seniors series. Danielle isn’t even in the yearbook at the front, which is kind of cheap.

Clark comes up behind a horrified Dana. He comments that Danielle is very pale … People are flashbacking to Trish’s psychic vision.

There’s a fender-bender in the parking lot. Gary and Trisha are clutching each other, and Mary, Gary’s girlfriend, moans and cries when she sees them. That’s an intense reaction. I’d dump his ass, but whatever. Dierdre goes to talk to the illicit couple, and apparently someone had cut his brakes. Things are finally starting to get interesting at Shadyside High.

A new guy comes up to Dierdre, and introduces himself as Jon Milano, of her study hall. He’s a real babe, as Dierdre puts it. He says he prefers Shadyside High to where he was before, which is saying a lot. He asks her out, and gets all sexy, starts to play with the mole on her face. Dierdre is all giggly blushy. Aw, young love.

Dierdre is handing out with Jennifer Fear and Stacy Malcolm at The Corner. Jon comes in and asks Dierdre if she’s going with anyone, then leaves with a Coke.

Mickey comes in and tells the girls that Danielle had all the blood drained from her body. Dierdre flashes to creepy, black-dressing Clark. And how Debra’s been all pale and limp since dating him. Maybe he is actually a vampire? Or just really wants to be? I mean, vampires are HOT right now.
Dierdre goes over to Clark and Debra’s table, but they’re gone. On the table is an extra sexy poem:

So cold, So pale/You lie before me./Your blood has vanished/People say/How? Where? They ask/They don’t ask me, but I could say/You blood gives life …

Ooh, Clark is so mysterious.

Part 2

Danielle’s death is all over the news. It’s being called “The Vampire Murder.” Ooh, sexy. The police apparently questioned Clark for hours, and ruled him out as a suspect. He was just innocently creeping around the body.

Dierdre and Jen get over the murder and start talking about what really matters: boys. Jon hasn’t asked Dierdre out yet, but brags about how awesome he is. He sounds like a guy. Dierdre confesses to being into her sis’ guy, Mickey. And of being really jealous of Dana. Hmph. Elizabeth Wakefield would never admit to that kind of thing.

Stacy comes in and they start talking about the seniors’ overnight trip to Fear Street Woods, and how they hope that will still happen. Cuz nothing will go wrong there! Dierdre gets a call, and someone is all whispery and stalkerish, tells her Danielle was delicious, and she was next. Clark? My money’s on the new guy.

Everyone goes to Danielle’s funeral, the third funeral in Shadyside ever. When Dana goes up to the coffin, she is horrified … by the Lindsay Lohan orange glow painted on her face. And then because Danielle gets up and starts talking to her, telling her she can’t sleep. Crazy hallucination, but Dierdre heard her too. So, just crazy.

Dierdre decides a séance is the best bet. Ooh, sexy. She asks Jen if they could go back to her creepy library on Fear Street, because that would be the scariest thing they could possible do. Dana freaks, because she just wants a normal senior year. Josie calls up Dierdre, and tells her that she completed the Doom Spell last June (that everyone else forgot about), and is afraid that she unleashed something that night. Dierdre is just obsessed with reaching Danielle, and so they do it.

Jen, Dierdre, Trisha and Josie meet up in the creepy Fear occult library. They do some chanting, then an eerie voice calls to them – a spirit that cannot rest. The spirit tells them Trisha is the murderer, then laughs crazy. The girls figure out the spirit isn’t Danielle. But – who was it? Maybe Trisha isn’t just an innocent psychic boyfriend stealer. Whatever. The girls decide to forget the whole thing.

Part 3

The senior campout in Fear Street Woods. Mickey and Dana cuddle by the campfire. Dana notices Gary and Trisha making eyes at each other, even though he’s hanging out with legit girlfriend Mary. Ooh, high school drama. Is anything sexier? Then, Dierdre catches fire.

Dierdre is pretty freaked out to be on fire. She smells her hair burning. Jon knocks her over and puts out her fire. Literally, I mean, not euphemistically. Even though her arm is all burnt, she wants to stay because Jon is cuddling her. Then the new red-headed girl, Anita, tells her it was her bad, she accidentally shoved Dierdre into the fire. Oops! Dierdre forgives her immediately, which I wouldn’t be likely to do. But Jon goes to get her some hot chocolate, and she appears to be in some kind of love-haze. Twitterpated, as a certain owl would put it. Please tell me, does anyone get the Disney-Valentine reference?

Can I just stop here to say that these kids are on their senior campout, and they are drinking hot chocolate. Lame. Jon kisses Dierdre, and she thinks it was worth being set on fire.

They take a walk to a decrepit cabin. Ooh, sexy. Dana interrupts them, worried about her twin. Jon roughly tells Dierdre not to tell anyone about his secret place. How very Unabomber of you, Jon.
In her sleeping bag, Dana feels like she can’t move, then feels a sharp sting at her neck. Her screams wake up the girls, then Clark opens her tent flap. Still being a creeper, then. Dana feels her neck and finds … a mosquito bite.

Next morning, Dana feels like crap and can’t eat anything. She stays at the campsite while everyone else goes for a hike, but not before she realizes Dierdre wants Mickey. She is contemptuous of her sister being able to steal a guy from her.

Everyone gets back from the hike, except for Dierdre. As Dana starts to look for her, Clark stumbles out of the woods with blood smeared on his mouth. Except he was only running away from a skunk, and tripped.

Dana runs into the woods to find her sister. They find her, unconscious and deathly pale. She doesn’t remember what happened, other than being stung by a bee on her neck. Only there are two red bumps on her neck. Hmmm….

Part 4

The home economics teacher at Shadyside High is feeling depressed because no one is really into her class. A student comes in looking for something to eat. The student grabs her, and fangs slide out of it’s mouth. The student bites her neck and drinks her all up.

The school now has private guards. Stacy gets bossy and makes Dierdre try out for the basketball team. On her way there, Jon grabs her, freaking her out. Jon believes the killer is a real vampire. Dierdre is offended, then Jon kisses her and takes off. What an odd fellow.

At try outs, the new girl Anita is there. She tells Dierdre she used to go with Jon. Soon after, she winds Dierdre. She keeps on having these little “accidents.” After taking Dierdre out again, Anita smiles.

Dierdre gets home after making the team. She finds in her bag a note: Your sister’s blood was so sweet/Yours will be even sweeter.

She’s hanging out with the girls, getting the gossip. Stacy thinks Anita is out to get Dierdre. They also discuss the morality of boyfriend stealing re: Trisha with Gary. Dierdre sticks up for Trisha and leaves in a huff, probs because she wants to steal her sister’s boyfriend.

Jon drives up in a Porsche. Ooh, sexy. He asks her to the mall, and then drives her out to the middle of nowhere and tries to get with her. Ooh, sexy. She tells him to take her to the mall.

They go to the Burger Barn, where the entire senior class seems to be. Clark stops Dierdre and asks her if she got his note. But it was just a note congratulating her on her basketball tryouts.

Jon thinks Clark isn’t scary, but a little sad, because he tries so hard to be different. That was actually really insightful. He then sees Anita and leaves to go to the men’s room, and never comes back. Ouch, not sexy of him.

Dierdre starts to walk home, and something grabs her, bites her neck and starts lapping at her blood.

Part 5

From the vampire’s perspective. It had just started to drink Dierdre, when her twin drives up. The vampire thinks that it must kill both twins. Then it eats a Spaniel.

Dierdre is having a hard time recovering from her attack. She reemed Jon out for leaving her, but he claimed he felt sick. He wants to get to know her better, so asks her to his Unabomber cabin.
The girls have a game. Anita and Stacy are both really aggressive, and Anita takes Stacy down. Stacy misses her chance to play in front of college recruiters. She vows to kill Anita, something that should never be done in Shadyside. Next day, Anita is found dead in the girls’ shower room. She was drained of blood like the rest.

Jon runs over with the news – the police caught the vampire. They are bringing Clark in. Then Mickey runs over with more news – Anita’s body has disappeared from the morgue. Dierdre tells Jon she can’t go to his cabin. Then she goes to his cabin with Dana in tow. Sexy? Or just weird.
The cabin is empty. Except for a coffin. The coffin opens, and inside is … Anita! She’s been after Dierdre, because she was stealing Jon away from her. Enter Jon. He tells Anita to get away from Dierdre and grabs a stake, ramming it into her chest. Anita turns into dust.

Jon comforts Dierdre, as he says it’s all over, the death, the ugly phone calls. All of a sudden, Dierdre freaks and stakes Jon. Dana is all – you crazy? Until Jon turns into dust too. Dierdre had figured it out when Jon mentioned the phone calls, which she had never mentioned to him. So he must be a vampire. I’m just glad she was right, because that was a pretty tenuous fact to kill someone on.
So, guys, three books in and not one single senior has been crossed off yet. No fair if you kill secondary characters that don’t even rate a photo in the yearbook. I feel cheated. For that, I give this 82 sexy vampires out of 147.