Monday, May 22, 2017
SVT #4- Choosing Sides
Cover- This is the edition I have. It was published in 1986 (when your truly was approximately one year old, but this is a Scholastic reprinting from like 1998. As you can see, their uniforms are very conservative. Jess seems to have pretty good regrowth going on, like the Twins often do on these newer covers. Natural blonde, ha! Also, that girl on the far right looks like a young Mila Kunis. I think that's supposed to be Ellen, with Lila hiding in the background. Amy looks better on this cover than she does on the original one, but I can totally see that she's going to grow up to become a girl of questionable morals. Love her shoe and sock combo!
Summary- Liz is setting the dinner table for Jessica. Again. Because Jessica has very important cheerleading stuff to do! She's prancing about her room in a leotard, and this leads us to a description of the Twins. (Side note: there's an awkward paragraph where Liz makes Jess go downstairs for dinner and Steven asks "who's that babe in the leotard?" And I cringe.). Jess babbles about how the Unicorns have started the first-ever cheerleading squad at SVMS. They're called the Boosters and consist of Jess, Lila, Ellen, and Janet, so you know they're super cool and everybody wants to join! They have to have open auditions for the rest of the school. Jess is pissed that so many "gross girls" like Amy Slutton and Lois Waller signed up. Leave me girl Lois alone, you vile bitch! At Lois is trying to participate in physical activities and better herself. You sit down, and think about how mean it is to discourage her!
The next morning, Liz thinks about how her house is one of the nicest ones on the block as she leaves for school (I totally didn't even make this up!). She and Jess walk with Nora Mercandy, and I'd forgotten who that was so I got all excited thinking it was Crazy Nora. Sadly, it wasn't. At school, the Boosters hold their first round of tryouts. They teach everyone the lamest cheer ever "(boy's name) (boy's name), he's our man! If he can't do it, no one can!".
Meanwhile, because we need to establish a subplot that we can later connect to the main plot, the boys are having basketball tryouts! Go Bruce!!!! Bruce makes fun of Ken Matthews for being short and Ken considers leaving until Liz sees and decides to meddle. She convinces him to stay, and the coach (thinking that the tallest boy on the court is Ken) raves about how Mr. Matthews was his best player, All-State, blah blah blah, I'm getting bored. Ken has to tell the coach that he's mistaken and the coach is surprised by how short Ken is. (Side note: has he never heard of Allen Iverson, or Steph Curry?!) Ken leave crying and runs into Liz, who offers him help from Steven. Didn't Ken grow up to be a professional football player or something? He probably owes it all to Steven Wakefield.
Liz is sad that Amy ditched her for the Boosters, so she basically forces Ken into coming over. Ken says her house is nice (and I swear there was at least one SVK book where he went to their birthday party or something) and we learn that "Elizabeth loved to hear people admire her family's house". Shut up, Liz. Anyways, Ken totally sucks at basketball, so Liz gives him a tennis ball to practice with. As he's starting to improve, my darling Bruce rides by on his bike and makes fun of him again. I laughed, because I've missed Bruce terribly.
After Ken leaves, Jess complains to Liz about Amy and makes fun of her for hanging out with Ken. Jessica is terrible in this book, and she says that Liz being friends with Ken is bad for her (Jessica's) reputation. Especially if someone like Bruce saw them together! Amy calls at some point and apologizes for ditching Liz earlier. She tells Liz that she just really wants to be a Booster, and also asks why Liz and Ken were talking earlier. Hmmmm...
Bruce is awesome, so he's told everyone that Liz and Ken are dating by the next day. I guess Todd was on vacation or something, because he doesn't show up to punch Ken. Jess is pissed, Amy is jealous. Ken laughs it off and says he's not giving up on his sportsball. He talks to Amy about the Boosters and sparks fly between them. Amy is not very interesting at age 12, so I have no idea why. Maybe Ken has psychic powers and knows that Amy will put out eventually.
Because we have to start teasing the next book (#5 Sneaking Out), Liz is at home writing an article. Jess is playing the new Johnny Buck album too loudly, so Liz barges into her room to demand that she lower the volume. While she's in there, she looks at the hat that Johnny Buck threw in her direction that she let Jessica have. (It's like when I went to a Red Sox game and Big Papi threw his batting gloves at my sister and I, but we only caught one and she let me have it. Now, we live together and we share it!) Jessica's room is basically a shrine to Johnny. I picture him looking like Justin Bieber with a mullet and acid washed jeans, possibly a studded leather jacket and feathered bangs. Jessica again tells Liz to stay away from Ken "Social Suicide" Matthews.
Meanwhile, Ken practices and starts to improve. He can't get his mind off Amy and it's pretty lame. Amy is also practicing hard. Apparently she's super good at baton twirling but the Boosters aren't aware of this yet. Lila and Ellen call her and suggest that she quit. She hangs up on them.
The next day, over a lunch of "pizzaburgers", Lila tells Jess that Johnny Buck is coming to town in the next book! Jess is all upset because tickets cost $25! Oh, the humanity! Janet sits down and announces that she has a plan. The Unicorns write a letter to Amy (pretending to be Ken) and tell her that she really sucks and that she should just give up. They also write one to Ken (from Amy), professing her love and wanting to know if he loves her too. It's all pretty stupid, so I'm starting on beer #3 for the day. Amy immediately figures out that Ken didn't write the letter, but Ken gets all butthurt over his and refuses to talk to Amy. Liz overheard Lila and Ellen discussing the letters in the bathroom and confronts them. They tell her that they have a "special surprise" waiting for Amy at her next audition.
Liz straightens things out with Ken before his tryouts, but Amy will not listen to her warnings about the Unicorns' dastardly plan. Basically, they make her do that stupid cheer from earlier using Ken's name, and she has to do it all alone in front of everyone. Surprisingly, it distracts my Bruce, and Ken is able to score on him a few times. He likes that stupid cheer and is motivated. After Amy finishes, she keeps cheering and gets the crowd involved too. Then she busts out her super sweet baton skillz and the Boosters beg her to join. Ken also gets a spot on the basketball team and is going to surprise his dad with the news.
Cue awkward exposition/teaser for the next book. Johnny Buck is coming, as we all know. And Jess will do anything to go.
Afterthoughts- I picked this book up, thinking it was a newer one because of the cover. These older books are pretty short, so it only took like an hour to read and blog. Maybe I'll attempt the Jungle Prom series next because these SVTs are melting my brain. But, points for Bruc being on 1/3 of the pages.