Intro: I'm back, bitches! After an extended hiatus, I have re-read my entire blog and come to the conclusion that I miss Sweet Valley. Plus, I'm hardly working these days (thanks to a broken arm sustained at work 10 weeks ago) and I'm bored. The only problem, I'm currently computer-less, so I'm writing this on my iPhone. First world problems, I guess. So, lets do this!
I'm picking up with the Unicorn Club books, because I have 3 summaries ready to go and I just want to be done with this hell! We're going to start with a LILA recap, because Lila is my favorite! And this just happens to be my favorite UC book, so hopefully this renews my enthusiasm for the SV Universe.
This book was published in November of 1996, and obviously I skipped about 9 books to get to this point. But whatever, at least I'm back to blogging :)
Cover: Judging by the idiot with the lampshade on his head and the balloons, it's PARTY TIME! We see Lila, looking about 23-25 years of age, getting slutty with some random guy. I like where this is going.
The back cover intro tells us that Lila is awesome (duh), and that she has some real daddy issues. Her dad works a lot and Li has decided to test his love for her. Or something.
Recap: We begin on a Sunday afternoon. Jess and Li are at the hair salon, celebrating the fact that Li got an A on a recent math test. Lila's dad is "tremendously proud" of her, and they will be going to dinner at a fancy French place to celebrate. Li even bought a new outfit for the occasion! She also mentions that she used to dance around the ballroom with her father to some song about salty rag dogs on special occasions, but now she's too mature for that shit.
Jess, in typical Jess fashion, fails to see why this is so special. She has dinner with her dad every night, and her mom as well. Lila ignores her insensitivity and claims that this is one of the biggest nights of her life, and secretly hopes that this will be a turning point in her relationship with her father. Poor Li is sick of only having paid servants for company, damnit.
Li and Jess head to Casey's to pregame for dinner and they see Jimmy Lancer inside with his friends. Li previously lied to the UC about having gone out with Jimmy (who is a high school boy!) in some book that I didn't read, so Jess forces her to say "hi". Lila Fowler never backs down from a challenge, so she struts right up to him and stares awkwardly at him until his dick friends start laughing. Apparently Li has accidentally put her hand in Jimmy's sundae. (What kind of sundae? Chocolate? Caramel? Butterscotch? I hope it was strawberry.)
Jimmy is slightly more mature than his friends, so he quickly wipes Lila's hand clean and introduces her to everyone. He calls her the prettiest girl at SVMS, and Li is officially crushing HARD! Uh oh...
As usual, Mr. F is late to dinner that evening. The head chef greets Lila personally and gives her the best table. Because Lila is awesome. Everyone stares at poor Li as she waits forever for her father. She starts wishing she had invited Jimmy, and when the waiter informs her that Mr. F is delayed by a meeting, Lila snaps. She orders one of everything, to-go. She plans on a late dinner at home with her father, but we all know how this will turn out...
Lila returns to Fowler Crest (no word if its "Crest" or "Manor", but that is my preferred term) and sets the fancy dining table with the best China. She waits patiently, still all dressed up and feeling very grown up, until 11 pm, when she passes out from exhaustion. Mrs. Pervis, the housekeeper, wakes her up at 1 am to inform her that her father had to fly to NYC on business. Li is understandably upset by this and she mopes off to be feeling more alone than she ever has before. (Points if you get that reference!)
The following day, Monday, Li is at school with the UC. The club currently consists of Mandy, Ellen, Kimberly, Jessica, and Lila. The UC is pressing Lila for details about her sophisticated evening of fatherly doting, and this makes Li sad again. She covers well, describing a fabulous evening complete with an A-shaped cake in honor of her grade. The UC eats this up, until Caroline Pearce interrupts and announces that her family was dining out and witnessed all of Lila's embarrassment. BUSTED!!!!
Li must quickly regain social standing, so she suggests throwing an epic party! A HUGE one, with HIGH SCHOOL BOYS!!!! I am SO there!!!!!
After school, Lila visits Ellie at the Daycare Center. Ellie is super hyper, because she's going to a family dinner at The Dairi Burger. Lila is super jealous (awww), and she notices that all of the little brats are talking about their families. Even Jess and Liz (in all of her Angels Club holiness) join in. They're having a family dinner and game night (which includes Pictionary, yawn...break out some CandyLand or the Carmen San Diego board game). Lila can't stand the thought of another solo dinner, so she invites herself to what is already the 4th meal mentioned in this book.
Lila has a fabulous time at dinner. Even though the Wakefields have terrible table manners and Steven teases all the girls, Li is just happy to be around a real family despite the pain she feels about her lack of one. She even volunteers to help clear the table. (She says she learned how to do it from watching tv, and that's just one of many reasons why I LOVE Li.).
Mr. F returns on Tuesday morning and offers zero apologies for blowing off his own daughter. Lila decides to act bratty and, when that fails, she calls him out for missing such an important event. He responds by saying he's very proud of her SCIENCE grade (it was math, you deadbeat!) and giving her a $100 bill. Big. Fucking. Deal. Lila wants a father, not money, but Mr. F just doesn't get the hint.
Thus, the party is ON! Li sets it for Saturday and decides to finance it entirely. Sweet! Count me in! She wants to go to the mall for supplies, but everybody has family obligations so she goes alone.
While she shops, she runs into Jimmy and ends up dropping serious $$$ at the CD store on some imported CDs. I totally remember doing that back in the day. Oh, how iTunes has changed life as we know it!
Lila tries again (unsuccessfully) at dinner to discuss "important" things with her father. He doesn't listen to her babble about Jimmy, and he basically ignores her. It's really sad, but I'm ready to see Lila get pissed! If memory serves, she shops like crazy in this book! And I adore shopping scenes!
At lunch on Wednesday (meal #8 in this book) Lila continues to lie to her friends. They're getting smarter, and they refuse to believe that Li is dating Jimmy. She's pissed, and lets these bitches know that she in fact has a date with him on Friday. They're going to the fancy French place! The UC doubts that Mr. F would allow Lila to date a high school boy, but we know he doesn't give a fuck. Lila secretly wishes that he did, of course. But he has no objections when she calls Jimmy and asks him to agree to this. His response is "sure, kiddo", and I laugh because no high school boys talk like that. Trust me, I live a block from my local high school and the things I overhear on my daily walks to the store would SHOCK and OFFEND anyone.
Friday arrives at last, and Lila is nervous. She tries to get out of her date by asking Mr. F to do something with her. Of course, he's busy being a businessman, so he basically throws a credit card at Lila. She gets even more angry and screams at him that she has a date with a high school boy. He is a seriously neglectful parent and he simply ignores his daughter, so...
Lila goes shopping!!!!! Yay, finally!!!! She buys 4 designer swimsuits, 2 of which don't even fit. (Hmmm, maybe they'll fit me...). And then she proceeds to tear the mall up something proper. She pillaged the finest stores and spends upwards of $534 (specific). But that's not enough to get her the attention that she wants, so she goes on to spend $300 on skin care (ahem, she's 13, that's just crazy!) and $600 on sports equipment. She also buys $1000 worth of CDs for Jimmy, plus 5 platinum unicorn necklaces. I do not know the cost of those but she ends up maxing out a card with a $75K limit! WOW, I am impressed! Go Lila! When her card comes up declined, she simply pulls out another one. Damn, remember when the children's hospital struggled to raise $100 for that laser in the Christmas chiller?!
It's finally date time! Jimmy is out of his element and has no idea what "5 star" means. Typical of a high school boy, finally some realism! Lila gifts him with a new diving watch and he -jokingly- suggests that she buy him the matching speedboat. Lila makes a mental note to do just that, and SarahLynn shakes her head in disbelief. Lila has checked out! She also invites him to the party and tells him to invite friends.
Lila goes home from her date on top of the world. But then she remembers that her homework assignment is an essay about family (it WOULD be) and she can't think of anything. To make matters worse, Jimmy calls to thank Mr. F for the $$$$ dinner, and Mr. F is too busy to be bothered with that.
Sidenote- why didn't the credit card company bother to alert Mr. F that upwards of $75K was charged to his card? I would think that such spending would alert somebody, somewhere. Plus, allowing anybody who isn't the cardholder access to such vast amounts of $$$ just seems risky. I dated a guy with an American Express Centurion Card (aka- the Black Card), and every time I used the card he was alerted via text...
The day of the party, Lila has one major obstacle- Mrs Pervis. She obviously won't leave Li alone, so Jess calls and says that Mr. F wants Li to join him in Greece. Mrs. P is thrilled to have a weekend away from Lila's recent brat attacks, so she runs off to visit her daughter without checking to see how legit the situation is. Li and Jess also trick the chauffeur into taking the weekend off. So, party on!!!!
Predictably, Jimmy invites like all of SVH, and Lila invites all of SVMS. Shit gets crazy out of control- kids are on the roof, chicken fighting in the Olympic sized po, and even eating cookies in the pool!!!! Omfg!!!! Lila looks around for Jimmy and finds him...with his girlfriend Hilary! See, since he's in high school, he thinks of Lila as a cute KID, like a little sister type. (Bullshit, James, you led her on!!!! And accepting those extravagant gifts was just fucked up. You, sir, are an ass. ) Dejected, Lila runs outside and cries.
Liz and Jess find her crying and hysterical. Party over, get the fuck out! Their attempts at restoring order are unsuccessful and the high school kids run wild. They even get in a sod fight and destroy the lawn! Those assholes. Obviously, this is NOT the crowd that Steven and Joe associate with...
Suddenly, Mr. F appears (don't worry, he's leaving again at midnight) and kicks all of the unruly teens out. He goes to inspect the house for damages, leaving Li alone to cry some more. He returns and grounds her for being so irresponsible. She has had enough by this point. She blows up at him and basically tells him that he's the worst father ever and that money doesn't equal love. She even goes so far as to say that he's not even a father, before she runs outside and cries some more while hiding in an old tree.
At this point, Lila decides that she doesn't even care if she ever sees him again (and I try to picture Lila living in the tree forever, but I just can't with that) and she passes out crying. She has nightmares about him drowning, and wakes up to him hugging her in the pouring rain. Awww, too little too late, dude. He was so worried when she ran out that he cancelled his trip, yet he still waited until 2 am to find her. Curious, but at least he bothered to look, I guess. He admits to being a shitty parental and begs Li for another chance. I predict this will last for the duration of this book and not much longer.
The following morning, Li wakes up to him baking in his Armani suit (oh, hell no...) and he announces that they're spending the day together!!!! Lila's grounded for 2 weeks for the party incident (but NOT for her spending...again, WOW) and he's also grounded himself. To being a father. I predict that he pulls out his Blackberry as soon as Li is out of the room... Lila apologizes as well, and they do that salty dog rag dance that's mentioned on page one.
The book doesn't really lead-in to #15 because of that damn dog dance, but of course there's a blurb pimping it despite this. Kimberly thinks she's "Too Cool for the Unicorns" and might possibly become a member of that damn 8x8 Club from books 2 and 3. I hate those bitches!!!! That Amanda bitch is EVIL, damnit. Luckily, I have yet to purchase that book.
As someone who does not have a real father myself (he's an executive type, walked out when I was just a little SarahLynn, never calls, sends cash when asked, and has 3 sons under age 8...), I completely related to this. Poor Lila is all alone in this world :( No wonder she has relationship issues for YEARS, I do as well!!!!
And...this concludes my first recap of 2013! My last one was in February of 2012, so this feels great!!!! I missed this, and I hope people start reading again :)