Tuesday, March 15, 2011

SVH #95 - The Morning After

I remember liking this one better than 'A Night To Remember' because it had MARGO!!!! When I read this for the first time I was like "Who is this Margo girl, and why is this important to Sweet Valley?" It made no sense at first but, stretched over the next few books, it all started to come into focus. I read this miniseries straight through (ending with 'The Evil Twin', then discovering that there was a sequel to it and making my dad drive me to the bookstore at 11 PM so I could also read that), but sadly my current SVH collection ends with this one.
The cover is one of the re-designed ones. BRUCE is on it!!! He's got an armful of flowers for some ho, but she apparently only has eyes for that John Travolta-looking dude... There's also a picture of some girl who could really use a bra (I think it's supposed to be LILA) and some prep school-looking guy (Nathan, most likely). The twins are hovering up in the sky, leading me to wonder if they're dead and in heaven... Lending proof to my theory, the book's tagline asks me, "Could the twins be split forever?" I am now picturing axe murderers and machete-wielding, hockey mask-wearing stalkers chasing Liz and Jess through the pleasant streets of Sweet Valley, and I like where this is going!!!
This book was published in July of 1993 and it's another Kate William masterpiece. the inside cover says it's for ages 12+, and I am thrilled because I fall into the "+" category!!!! So nobody can make fun of me for reading this!!!!


*Tuesday, Three Days After The Jungle Prom...(ironically, the "Morning After" is skipped entirely)
Ever since the fateful Jungle Prom, Liz has been dealing with a recurring nightmare. In her dream, she's at Secca Lake and she sees Jess standing down the shore, rocking some sort of hippy knit hat. She runs to Jess, but stops running when she sees how cold Jess's eyes are. "Jess" takes off her hat, and dark hair falls out. It's described as "the color of midnight", and I wonder if that means BLUE. Anyways, this strange new girl pulls out a butcher knife and starts to swing it at Liz. (Liz considers this a nightmare?!?! It sounds FABULOUS to me... I like this book already.)
The book begins with Liz waking up from that dream (of course, KW neglected to tell me it was at dream until AFTER I'd already read it...damn her, getting my hopes up!!!) and launches into a recap of the previous book. I hate KW for that, because her recap is SO much shorter than mine, and I should have read this book first. Then I could have just stolen HER recap and saved myself HOURS!!! Whatever, Sam is DEAD, and Liz is alive, long story short. Liz has no recollection of the Jungle Prom or the accident. I find it hilarious that Liz cannot remember 'A Night To Remember'!!!!
Jess is still mad at Liz, and everyone in Sweet Valley is feeling the aftermath of the JP. Sam's funeral was the day before, and Liz had the balls to show her face at it. Jess, however, is a complete mess and she wasn't able to go. I feel terrible when I learn that she had to be sedated after seeing Sam's dead body at the accident scene. Jess hasn't been able to leave her room, and she refuses to speak to Liz. It's about a million times worst than it was in the previous book, and Liz feels guilty.
Jess wakes up, bathed in sunlight, and her first thought is how much Sam loves the sunlight in her hair. Then she remembers Sam is in fact DEAD, and it's super sad. Jess sees Liz in the bathroom and neither of them can speak. They just don't have anything to say, I guess. Jess quickly leaves and thinks about how sad Liz must also be. She wishes they could help each other somehow, but then she decides that LIZ KILLED SAM and therefore doesn't deserve anything Jess has to offer. This is a real theme in this book, and it's weird seeing them like this. A lot of this book takes place in people's thoughts (very limited dialogue), and it's kind of a nice departure from the ordinary, despite how depressing it is.
We get a break from all that depressing Jungle Prom nonsense at last when the book switches to Bruce. He's still thinking about the girl who saved his life at the JP, but he's also sad about Sam dying. They weren't friends, but Bruce thought he was a nice guy despite the fact that Jess had him totally whipped!!! Bruce is also thinking about Lila. He thinks Lila is gorgeous, but she's been a total train wreck lately. He also blesses us with a recap of the JP, and then he goes back to thinking about his mystery girl. Unable to contain his infatuation, he decides to straight stalk the bitch by hanging around Big Mesa until he runs into her. (Not his brightest idea, I must admit, BM HATES SWEET VALLEY, and Bruce is like the poster child for SV...hmmm, hope he brings a body guard!!!)

*Wednesday, Four Days After The Jungle Prom...
Lila returns to school for the first time after accusing Nathan of attempted rape. Nobody will look her in the eyes, except for Amy. (We actually can see a brief glimpse of the old SVT Amy in this book. She actually really cares about Lila, I think. And it seems that she's the only character that actually SPEAKS in this book!!!) Lila feels like everybody is talking about her behind her back, and she thinks that they all believe that she made up the accusation. She kind of did, IMO, but the girl is obviously traumatized so I won't hold it against her. Obviously, Lila needed help LONG before any of this and nobody cared enough to get it for her. Even though Lila hates writing (she thinks it's for nerds like Liz. And yes, "nerds like Elizabeth" is her exact thought...I kind of disagree with her, but I write this blog for FUN so what do I know?!?!), she is so overcome with all of this weirdness that she can't contain herself. In the middle of class, she takes out a piece of paper and writes down all her feelings. Her head is a mess:
*Wishes Jessica was there
*More confusion
*Still hasn't told her dad anything
*Still feels abandoned by the mother she never knew
*And some more confusion
I feel like MY head is going to explode!!!! That's A LOT to deal with!!!! Making things worse, the Principal calls her into his office and tells her that he spoke to her father that morning. Mr. F is in Amsterdam (wonder what he's up to...donkey show?!? Please, let it be a donkey show!!!!) and Lila wasn't even aware that he was going there (see, I knew he was going there to see a donkey show!!!). That's sad that the Principal knows this and Lila doesn't!!! Anyways, when Mr. F gets back he will be coming in for a meeting...WITH NATHAN!!!! (Seriously, why is he not IN JAIL?!?!)

*Monday, 9 Days After The Jungle Prom
Liz and Jess return to school. Jess drives separately because they're still not speaking. (Good, I was sick and tired of listening to them go back and forth about the damn JP Queen!!!) Enid is the only person who will talk to Liz, and even Todd avoids her. (Good, I was getting tired of him already and I'm only 1 book into SVH!!!!)
Jess and Lila eat lunch with their usual clique, but neither one has much to say (OBVIOUSLY!!!) and they're both totally out of it. Amy's getting sick of all this silence and shit, so she tries to get them talking. She tells them about Bruce and his mystery girl, but neither one cares that much. Amy works at Project Youth, so she remarks on how "manic" Bruce has been lately. (Leave him alone, BITCH, you DID cause his girlfriend to die tragically, so maybe you should be all guilty and quiet like everyone else..) Amy also notices how Lila has stopped caring about her appearance. She is wearing a 6 month-old sweater (that she got on SALE, ewwww) and baggy jeans, so it's obvious that Lila has given up on life entirely. Amy, full of helpful suggestions as always, suggests that they skip the rest of the day and go shopping. I guess hell finally froze over when Sam died because JESS AND LILA DO NOT WANT TO SHOP!!!!! O. M. G.!!!!!!
Luckily, Bruce shows up just then and lightens my mood considerably. Amy asks him about the mystery girl, and he knows she's a gossipy little ho, so he doesn't bother to tell her any of the details. He simply leaves school (I guess their school day ends after lunch... it was actually the same way at my high school) and travels to Big Mesa in his beloved 1BRUCE1. He is straight stalking this girl, and she hasn't shown up after a while, so he gets bored and asks some plain, ugly girls about her. He learns that her name is Pamela and that she is not very popular. He asks a few more people about her, and it seems that EVERYBODY hates her. Bruce assumes that this is because she risked her social status when she saved him from certain death at the JP...I'm so sure!!! Bruce wants more info, so he asks some kid named Edwin (obviously, a dorky kid) where he can find Pamela. Edwin tells Bruce that Pamela is on the tennis team. Unfortunately, the tennis team is on a trip up the coast for the entire week!!!! So Bruce has to wait...

*Wednesday, 11 Days After The Jungle Prom...

Lila, Mr. F, and Nathan meet with the Principal. Lila observes that the place is a total sausage fest, and she again wishes that she had a mother to go through this with her. She tells her JP (Jungle Prom, not John Pfeifer) story (and I again wish that I had read this book first and just saved myself all the trouble), and the Principal keeps interrupting her with questions. She answers one wrong, and he immediately accuses her of changing her story. In real life, Lila would NOT have been forced to do this in front of Nathan... I guess Mr. F gave all 17 of his lawyers the day off. Mr. F. gets pissed when the Principal does this, and he immediately jumps to Lila's defense. He and the Principal argue back and forth for several minutes, and Lila is ignored. She looks over at Nathan and sees that he has tears in his eyes. Finally, Mr. F. and the Principal agree that arguing won't get them anywhere, and they allow Nathan to tell his side. He swears that he wasn't trying to hurt Lila. He feels terrible that she is so scared, and blames that for her misinterpreting his actions. He also apologizes and says that he is afraid for Lila's well-being because she is so terrified of everything and everyone. Lila listens to him and realizes that he is sincere and that she overreacted. She feels super bad about the things she said and begins to cry. She sobs hard as she and Mr. F. leave. Mr. F. has no idea how to deal with having a teenage daughter, let alone one with PTSD and emotional problems, so he is powerless to help and this makes him sad as well.

*Saturday, Two Weeks After The Jungle Prom...
Steven comes home for the weekend. He and Liz talk over breakfast (Liz hardly eats, and I begin to worry that the teenagers of SV will starve to death before this is all over. These kids normally eat about 7 meals per day, PLUS snacks and Dairi Burger trips...) and Liz is all depressed that everybody is avoiding her. Jess still won't speak to her, and she hardly says a word to anyone else. (Again, I ponder the parenting skills of Ned and Alice...rather than bringing their daughter who recently lost the love of her life in a tragic accident to a proper therapist who could actually HELP HER, they just sit around and act like everything will fix itself...) Ned, oblivious to all of his daughter's suffering, tells Steven about a new TV dating show, "Hunks". It makes no sense why he's babbling on about this, but it's a part of one of the subplots (more about that later, we're focusing on the 4 main characters right now) so I thought I'd make a note of it.
Meanwhile, Bruce is rolling around in 1BRUCE1, still stalking Pamela. She's back from her tennis trip, and he randomly shows up at her tennis practice. He meets her and is even more in love with her in the daylight. He thinks he's finally found The One (just wait a few more years, Bruce!!!! Someday, when I'm 25 and you're 30...) and he asks her out. She's a bitchy little ho, and she breaks my heart by accepting!!! At least Bruce is happy, I guess. And it's nice to finally get sone dialogue instead of just a story told through internal thoughts...
Enid comes to visit Liz over the weekend. Todd isn't speaking to her either, and Enid is a loser so she doesn't have any other friends besides Liz. I bet, if she did, she too would avoid Liz... Enid tells Liz that Caroline Pearce (AKA- the Perez Hilton of Sweet Valley!!!) is saying that Liz and Sam were getting all snuggly and sexy at the Jungle Prom. Liz still doesn't remember anything. (I suggest that she read my wonderful, albeit time-consuming, recap, but she doesn't take my advice...) Enid was at the JP, and I know she spoke to Liz, but she doesn't give us her perspective on anything... Thanks for helping, Enid...NOT!!!! Liz says she was sober, and she didn't think her punch was spiked. I'm surprised the SVPD didn't do a toxicology test on Sam, and Liz would have probably been breathalized at the accident scene since she wasn't injured, but the SVPD is nothing like Benson and Stabler, I guess. Maybe having a totally prominent attorney for a father helps you get around things like that... Enid observes that Liz's desk is a complete mess, and Liz reveals that she hasn't been able to write anything since Sam died. (Thank god!!!! I hate when I have to read all of that crap she writes.) Liz talks some more, she's worried about the legal implications and what's gonna happen to her (I say, "Give her the chair!!!!"). Enid tells her not to worry because she's A FREAKIN' WAKEFIELD and that means everything will magically right itself by the end of the book (oh wait, this is the NEW miniseries format, so it won't!!!!!). Liz starts yelling at Enid (sweet!!!) and blaming herself for killing Sam. I consider that a confession, and I wonder if a judge would admit this book as evidence in his courtroom... Luckily, the police haven't been able to determine who was driving, so Liz is safe for now. (Either way, she should have been QUESTIONED, just sayin'.)
Lila spends the entire weekend in her bedroom. She hasn't answered her phone in over a week. She's now dealing with the guilt of lying about Nathan, and she's afraid to talk to anybody because she thinks they will accuse her of lying. (Seriously, she must have really sucky friends!!!!) Her father FINALLY tries to talk to her, but Lila has officially lost it and she can't talk to him about anything without crying. Mr. F. has FINALLY had enough (again, another example of "fine" SV parenting right there), and he realizes that only one person can help Lila now...HER MOTHER!!!! (I personally think that meeting the woman that abandoned her AS AN INFANT will give Lila even more to deal with, and the stress will probably drive her insane, but I guess Mr. F. is desperate and willing to try anything. Maybe he finally read 'A Night To Remember' and saw how many times Lila wished for a mother...)

*Tuesday, 17 Days After The Jungle Prom
Bruce and Pamela go out to dinner. I'm not too thrilled about it, but at least BRUCE is eating, so I don't have to worry about him dying of starvation with everyone else. He's still all in love with this girl, despite only meeting her a few days earlier. He thinks about Regina and how he messed up that relationship by dating that ho Amy Sutton. He had loved Regina, but he hadn't been ready to commit to a relationship. He does blame himself for her untimely death, and I hope Pamela also meets an untimely demise... Sadly, she survives their date (and, BTW, where's the part where the twins get "split forever"?!?! I'm just sitting here, waiting for the axe murder to show up...) and Bruce kisses her goodnight at the end of their date. He's so in love with her that it makes me sick, especially when he thinks about how she's the only thing that matters to him in the entire world.

*Saturday, 3 Weeks After The Jungle Prom...
Jess drives the rental car to Sam's favorite dirk bike race track. It's the day of his Big Race, but he's dead so he won't be racing. There's a memorial planned for before the race, but Jess can't bring herself to go inside and face everybody. Instead, she drives to the cemetery and visits Sam's grave for the first time. She finally cries and blames Liz for killing him. She's super angry, and she admits to herself that she's afraid to let the anger go because she's even more afraid of what lies beneath all of it. It begins to rain, and poor Jess sits on Sam's grave. Her thoughts are full of memories (including my personal favorite: Sam dressed up as Batman). She also blames herself for her part in the accident, and the truth finally hits her. SHE'S RESPONSIBLE FOR SAM'S DEATH!!!! She lays on the ground and cries tears into the freshly-dug soil as a torrential downpour mixes with her tears. I admit, I even cried a little.
I cry some more as the book brings me back to my beloved Bruce. He's getting ready for his next date with Pamela, and Roger is there!!!! Bruce goes on and on about how much he loves Pamela, and Roger warns him against moving too fast. He reminds Bruce that he doesn't know everything about Pamela, and Bruce wonders if Roger knows something that he doesn't. Bruce thinks about it some more, and decides that Roger is just jealous. Rather than ask Roger what he knows, Bruce goes along on his merry way.
At this point, Mr. Fowler has finally had enough of Lila being so sad all of the time (see, I told you he finally read 'A Night To Remember'!!!!). He loves her a lot, and he thinks about how rough she looks. Lila's normally the "prettiest, most popular girl in town" (awww, that's cute that he thinks that!!! He probably has no idea who the Wakefields are...), but now she looks like hell. She's been wearing a GRAY SWEATSUIT ALL WEEK LONG (which should have been his first indication that something was wrong). He knew this day was coming ever since Lila was little and HE sent Grace away. (He never mentioned THAT before, kind of puts the situation in a new light...) Mr. F. finally accepts the fact that he is incapable of raising a teenage girl and dealing with her vast emotional issues, so he picks up his office phone and calls Grace Fowler (Lila's MOM!!!) in Paris.

*Friday, 27 Days After The Jungle Prom...
Bruce is at lunch with a random assortment of friends. (Winston/Maria, Amy/Barry, Ken, Todd, and Jessica...where's Lila? By my count, she's missed about a month of school at this point.) Bruce is still in love, and he's on top of the world. He tries to play the role of the concerned guy by asking Jess how she's holding up, but Jess still can't communicate to anybody, so she gets up and leaves abruptly. Bruce observes how Todd's eyes follow Jess everywhere she goes, and Bruce is happy that somebody is watching out for her. (I'm sure Bruce knows exactly what she's going through, even if he won't admit it...) Everybody else is VERY curious about his mystery girl, so he finally tells them all about Pamela. Amy laughs at him when he says her name, and apparently EVERYBODY KNOWS SHE'S A HO!!!! Bruce is super embarrassed. Good, hopefully he dumps her ass!!!!!

*Saturday, 4 Weeks After The Jungle Prom...

Steven is again home for the weekend. He feels obligated to return home every chance he gets because his family is still so shaken up. He tries desperately to hold them together and make them snap out of it, but even his father has stopped babbling about the "Hunks" show. Even Prince Albert (the dog) is depressed. A miracle occurs and STEVEN DOESN'T FEEL LIKE EATING!!!! That's how you know Sweet Valley is DOOMED!!!!
Finally, a ray of sunshine brightens up this miserable excuse for a book!!!! Mr. F. tells Lila that he spoke to her mother. Grace will be flying in the following week!!!! Lila is THRILLED that her father finally got it!!!! She cries and hugs him. He returns her hug and cries tears of his own. It's very touching, and probably the best part of the book thus far. (Aside from MARGO, but I'm not to the point of discussing her yet...so just hold on!!!!)
Bruce lays in his bed on Saturday night (alone, luckily for me!!!) and thinks about how terrible his last date with Pamela was. She had been perfect as usual, and dinner had been good, but Bruce was unable to focus on anything but what a whore she is. He does what he does best- MAKES EXCUSES FOR PEOPLE!!!! (seriously, does he HAVE to justify EVERYTHING?!?!)- and decides that he loves her no matter what. He plans to go to her house as soon as the sun rises so they can have a romantic picnic.

*Sunday, 29 Days After The Jungle Prom...
Bruce arrives at Pamela's house with a dozen roses. (No word on the picnic basket...) As he's arriving, he sees her in her driveway. She's kissing some guy who drives a Trans Am (haha, score one for 1BRUCE1!!!!), and Bruce is understandably upset by this. He screams at her and calls her a slut and a harlot (oh wait, that was ME screaming at her!!!!!), and she tells Bruce that she was just breaking up with the Trans Am Guy. Bruce isn't falling for that shit, so he throws the flowers down and jumps into 1BRUCE1 (I wish he had rammed the stupid Trans Am...or maybe run over Pamela, but no such luck). he speeds away and Pamela yells "I LOVE YOU" after him. What a stupid ho!!!!
Back at the Spanish-tiled Wakefield rambler, Steven has finally reached his breaking point with all the weirdness. He begs Liz to go apologize to Jess, but she's too much of a zombie to do so. He tries to talk to Jess as well, but she's still all messed up as well. He realizes that his family is beyond help, so he decides to return to school and not come home for awhile. He says goodbye to Liz and takes off. Steven, OUT!!!! Jess overhears him talking to Liz and again blames Liz for ruining everything.
The police FINALLY make an appearance, approximately ONE MONTH after the JP!!!! Jess is downstairs when Alice answers the door. Jess notices that Alice looks scared, and she worries that somebody is about to get arrested. Then she remembers that the police have no idea that she was involved in any of it, so she knows that they've come for Liz. Liz comes downstairs and the Detectives (Marsh and Perez) inform her that her blood alcohol level was above the legal limit (NO SHIT!!!! She's a MINOR, so the limit is ZERO!!!! Again, I wonder why she wasn't tested at the scene...) and so was Sam's. They FINALLY get to questioning her, but she still has no idea what happened. Her parents defend her, saying that Liz would never lie, and she legitimately has no idea what happened. Jess thinks about telling the truth, but she realizes that he parents wouldn't come to her aid that fast if the situation were reversed and SHE was being questioned, so Jess keeps quiet. The police announce that Liz was in fact driving the Jeep at the time of the accident, so she is arrested for involuntary manslaughter. The police ask Liz how it feels to know that SHE killed her boyfriend (yes, they think SAM was Liz's boyfriend, that's some good Detective work right there...), and this pisses Jess off so much that she just sits back and watches Liz get Mirandized.
In another fabulous display of quality policemanship, the officers inform Ned and Alice that Liz should have been questioned weeks ago (just like I said!!!!). But, because she's A FREAKIN' WAKEFIELD (seriously this time!!!!) and her daddy is a totally important pillar of the legal community, she wasn't. (I am SO sick of this girl getting preferential treatment because she's an honor student and newspaper editor... I had a 4.5 GPA back in high school, and that didn't mean shit to the police when they questioned ME!!!! And it wasn't even for murder or drunk driving, it was for LITTERING and UNDERAGE SMOKING... slightly better, no?!?!) The officers also allow Ned to drive Liz to the booking facility in his own vehicle. (Any parent in that situation would consider helping their child run away!!!! Don't deny it!!!!) Jess marvels at how composed and cooperative Liz is during all of this. She doesn't miss a beat, even though she's obviously SOL at this point, and Jess is impressed. As Liz is led away, she looks at Jess and mouths, "I'm sorry..." with her eyes full of love...

Which bring us to...
The Most Boring Subplot EVER!!!!
Olivia Davidson (the crazy hippy art chick) hasn't had a date in FOREVER. Possibly because she's a hippy chick and doesn't shower, but most likely because her last boyfriend moved away to Paris to be an artist. But Olivia isn't all depressed like everybody else in SV. She goes to art class and discovers that one of her paintings sold at a recent art show...for ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS!!!! Plus, the buyer wants her to give a speech at some benefit for an art foundation. And it seems that some hot blond guy in her art class has been checking her out lately...
Olivia is so happy about all of this that she wanders around downtown in a happy daze. She stops to talk to some puppies in the pet shop window. (This girl has "CRAZY FUTURE HOARDER" written all over her, mark my words!!!!) She tells the puppies how happy she is, and thinks about how she's probably the ONLY happy person in SV. I hate to do so, but I agree with that statement. Nicholas Morrow shows up and, rather than questioning the sanity of a girl who is talking to puppies, he takes her out to eat in celebration of her selling the painting. All we really learn from all of this is that Olivia needs a man, and Nicholas is single. But they don't seem to be able to work that equation.
Olivia goes to give her art speech. She puts on the only passable outfit of the entire book. She's dressed up for the occasion in purple tights, a black skirt, a purple shell top (whatever that means), and a long loose blazer. She goes to the address she was given, and there's no party!!!! (Of course not, who in their right mind would throw a party at this time?!?! The Wakefields AND Lila are out of commission, so it would suck for sure!!!) The blond guy from her art class bought the painting (cuz he's LOADED RICH!!!!! HELL YEAH!!!!!) and it was all a setup to ask her out. Dude's name is Harry Minton (haha) and he has gray eyes (three characters in this book are mentioned as having gray eyes- Sam and Margo...). Olivia likes him, and she's desperate for a date, so she's thrilled. SarahLynn is genuinely creeped out by this...it's just WEIRD!!!!
Olivia and Nicholas go out to brunch the following weekend and she tells him about her date. He's happy for her, but he's still single. He is looking to change that (and I want to hook him up with Olivia just so I don't have to read anymore about her!!!!) and he wouldn't mind meeting somebody in an unconventional way like Olivia did. At last, all that "Hunks" bullshit comes into play after Nicholas leaves. Olivia sees an ad for the show in the paper and decides to sign Nicholas up for it. I personally would be PISSED if she did that to me, but sadly her boring-ass subplot ends before he finds out...

And Now, THE GOOD STUFF!!!!!!
In the dirty basement bedroom of a ghetto-ass house, sixteen year-old Margo is watching her 5 year-old foster sister, Nina, through the window. Nina is looking for her, but Margo lied about where she would be so Nina wouldn't be able to find her. Nina nearly steps on a broken bottle in the yard as she desperately searches for Margo. Margo laughs as she witnesses this. Nina adores Margo, but Margo hates the little brat. Margo hates a lot of things. She hates her life, and the dirty ghetto house she lives in with her foster family. Luckily, Margo has finally stolen enough money to run away to Cleveland on a bus. Sadly, Nina caught her stealing and now knows what Margo is planning to do. Margo needs to stop Nina from telling, and the Secret Voice in Margo's head (yep, she's got one!!!!) agrees that something must be done.
Margo wanders around the roach-filled kitchen (seriously, do these poor children NOT have a social worker?!?!) at 2 AM and enjoys the quietness of the house. She's hungry, and since they're ghetto, the only food in the house is some bread. Margo makes some toast, and it sticks in the toaster. She tries to get it out with A KNIFE (not so brilliant...) and flames shoot out like crazy. The Secret Voice starts to whisper "FIRE...FIRE", and Margo's plan begins to take shape.
A few days later, Margo is left at home to babysit Nina. Nina is always described as being DIRTY, and I have a serious problem with this!!! Somebody needs to evaluate this living situation. If they lived in SV, the Wakefields AND Social Services would be all over these people!!!! Margo spend the entire day being nice to Nina, because she's going to KILL HER that evening. She starves Nina all day, and refuses to feed her. Poor little Nina is forced to beg Margo for food. Margo finally tosses the bread to her and tells her to make toast. Margo thinks about how much her life sucks, and how Nina's life really sucks too. She considers taking Nina with her, but decides it would be too obvious and Nina would just get her in trouble. Margo splashes gas all over (Nina sees her and swears she won't tell, the girl is TERRIFIED of Margo!!!!) and goes to her bedroom. She dresses up like a boy and goes back to the kitchen. Nina's toast has stuck, and she tried to use her fingers to remove it. Margo calls her stupid and tosses her a butter knife. Margo leaves and locks the door from the outside. She watches the fire from a block away, and the neighbors go to investigate. They come back and announce that Nina's dead, but the "other girl" hasn't been found. They all assume that the fire was so large that it killed her as well. In her head, Margo picks out her new name -MICHELLE- and she gets the hell out of town!!!!
Margo gets as far as New York City somehow. The fire is on the news nationwide, and the news reports that Margo's body hasn't been found (obviously!!!). The Secret Voice tells Margo that she needs to keep moving. It tells her that she's heading west. She leaves NYC and gets a babysitting job for an 8 year-old boy named Georgie. He has a HOTT 18 year-old brother, and Margo wants to do him, but she decides not to because she doesn't need anything attached to her. She rents a room at the local YMCA and tricks Georgie's mom into giving her a pay advance. She also steals a ruby ring, and uses her force of will to make Georgie fear her as Nina had. The kid is terrified of her, so this sitting job is a pretty sweet gig for the time being.
The Secret Voice in her head reminds her that she will travel father in the near future. It has chosen CALIFORNIA ("Cal-i-for-niaaaa", *Arnold Voice*) and her new life is waiting...

The SarahLynn Summary
*Sam is dead and everyone else isn't, except for Regina, and Bruce is still kind of pissed about that.
*Jess and Liz still hate each other, but Liz secretly still loves Jess.
*Bruce has fallen in love with his dream girl, but she's a major whore.
*Lila is really sad, but her mom's coming to visit.
*Olivia is still boring.
*Margo is evil, and she's coming to California.
*Sweet Valley police are incompetent. Rather than taking a potential witness's statement at the scene of the accident, they wait like a month to question.
*Sweet Valley parents are just as incompetent. Rather than getting their children professional help, they seem to believe that they are still living in the Sweet Valley Twins world where everything is solved by the end of the book. They also allow their children to sink into deep states of depression for months at a time without noticing.

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