Sunday, July 18, 2010

Bad Girls Don't Die, A Review

The cover caught my attention in the bookstore but it was a little line on the back that made me buy it. "Fans of classic young adult ghost stories should welcome this solid offering." As a big fan of the old young adult ghost stories I was definitely intrigued. And it actually does read like and old Point Horror novel.

Our heroine is the feisty Alexis, a girl who speaks her mind, dyes her hair pink, and has a grudge with the cheerleaders for chasing her only friend away. At fifteen she's pretty lonely. She hangs out with the Goth kids at school because no one else will hang out with her, but she doesn't really like them. She hides her loneliness by focusing on her photography.

At the start of the book she's trying to get a good shot of her historic home with the moon behind it at three in the morning. Her younger sister comes out to see what she's up to. While out there they both witness a strange light floating near a tree. Alexis ushers her sister Kasey into the house but notices the light seemed to follow them.

The next night Alexis finds Kasey hiding in the basement and the girl insists Alexis tell her a story. Kasey is thirteen and obsessed with dolls, acting much younger than her age. Alexis humors her with a story that comes to her all too easily and with striking clarity. After that strange night she notices changes in Kasey's behavior. More childish, moody, using old fashioned language, and most startling the color of her eyes changing from blue to green.

Alexis tries to rationalize the strange instances and keep herself preoccupied with her photography, but then her father ends up in the hospital, and it becomes clear Kasey's planning something horrible. She finds unlikely love interest in the preppy class vice-president Carter, and a friend in her nemessis, the head cheerleader Megan.

The characters are very believable and three dimensional. There's more to Carter and Megan than what meets the eye. The story is pretty much a typical ghost story but Alexis is a very witty narrator and makes you want to read more about her. The ending was cleaned up a little too neatly but it is a first novel so I can forgive that. Overall I enjoyed it and would recommend it to anyone who's a fan of the old ghost stories. ^_^

Friday, July 16, 2010

SVC Chapter One + SV Ficlet

As some of you out there may have heard, the first chapter of SV Confidential has been released. For those of you who live in a cave go here. And for those of you who don't know, I'm a rabid SV fan. Mostly SVH.

I have read it, and though I see most people hated it, I loved it and can't wait to read more.

*SPOILERS* Highlight to read!

So Liz has left her idyllic life in SV to live in gritty NYC. Why? Because Todd cheated on her AGAIN with her bitch sister. I get this. Todd's a cheat. He cheated on Liz repeatedly with Jessica, whom he must've felt some kind of affection for even though he acted like he hated her all the time. Remember when he had the little secret affair with her when he lived in Vermont. Why this would shock Liz so much she fled across the country is the real question.

She's sexually active. They actually use Elizabeth in the same sentence as orgasm, which I think is the real kicker for why most people didn't like it. It kind of shocked me too. I was reading it at work and had to dart my head around to make sure nobody could see my screen. :p And Liz cries after every orgasm. That's just so.... SO Liz.T

he writing's not great. not like it ever was. There's a lot of name dropping more like the young adult books of today, which people seem to have a problem with. I don't really care. I usually don't know what the hell they're talking about most the time anyway so I just ignore it.

What I do really like is that Liz's best remaining friend from Sweet Valley is Bruce Patman. I love this. And I can so see it. Back in SVH during the Almost Married series they seemed to have a real connection and I can see that blossoming into friendship later on. Plus this means Bruce is definitely a main character which excites me more than anything. I love Bruce.

So, yeah, whatever, I thought it was interesting and now cannot wait for it to come out.

And it got me thinking about a little fanfic Amanda and I started when we first heard about Sweet Valley Confidential. It was kind of our own version of the "ten years later." Everybody was brought back together by the upcoming wedding between Tom McKay and Jeffrey French. We didn't get too far with it but here's the first scene. We tried to make it a similar writing style. Eventually I really want to go back and work on it. ^_^

Old Flames

“Jenessa,” Jessica Wakefield called to her daughter. Jenessa Wakefield looked up with disgust in her blue-green eyes at the sound of her mother’s voice. “You’re going to the doctor today to get your vaccination so you can start Kindergarten!” Jessica said enthusiastically.

“No I’m not.”

Jessica’s smile faltered. “Yes you are.”

“Not,” she said as she stuck her tongue out at her mother.

“You’re going to the doctor and that’s it! Now shut up!”

“Jessica, I don’t know if that’s the best tactic to take with a child,” Elizabeth Wakefield said. She was sitting at the table helping Jessica’s seven-year-old son, Noah Wakefield, with his homework.

“Like you know anything about parenting,” Jessica spat.

“Maybe I don’t have any kids of my own, but I don’t recall Mom and Dad ever yelling at us like that.”

“How do you know how they talked to me. You were always the perfect one who never got in any trouble. They always liked you better!”

Elizabeth sighed and turned back to Noah’s homework. Sometimes it was difficult to ignore how dissimilar the sisters were. From their luscious sun-streaked blond hair to the dazzling blue-green eyes the color of the Pacific ocean, to their beautiful, perfect, size six bodies they were identical in every way. Despite their identical appearances, however, she and Jessica were as different as night and day. Though they were only four minutes apart, it might as well have been four years. Elizabeth, always the responsible sister, worked as a journalist for the Sweet Valley News and frequently found herself watching Jessica’s two illegitimate children while her sister went to parties and clubs. Jessica didn’t work at all, preferring to live off child support and state welfare.

Once again directing her rage at her five-year-old daughter, Jessica bellowed. “Go put your shoes on or you’re not eating for a week!”

Pouting, but recognizing the seriousness behind the threat, Jenessa sighed and stomped her feet, marching out of the room to find her shoes.

Jessica looked back at Elizabeth with a triumphant smile. After a moment, she asked, “So what are your plans for the day?”

“Jeffrey and I are supposed to be having lunch and then we’re going to be looking at color samples.

“Why are you helping him with the color samples?”

“Well, I am his maid of honor, so naturally it’s part of my job to help with arrangements for the wedding.”

“Shouldn’t Tom have some say in it?”

Elizabeth shrugged. “You know men. He’s being all hands off.”

Smirking, Jessica said, “Well I don’t know about you, but guys are usually pretty hands-on with me.”

Elizabeth sighed again. “Doesn’t Jenessa have a doctor’s appointment you should be going to?”

“Oh, fuck! Jenessa, get in here! You’re gonna make us late!”

“I’m coming, Mother!” Jenessa belted back.

As Jessica shuffled the little girl out the door, Elizabeth asked Noah, “Do you know the answer to number five?”

“Four,” Noah said in a bored tone.

Not for the first time, Elizabeth wondered how Jessica’s son could be so intelligent. Noah not only maintained above 100% grades, but he was part of the accelerated math, reading, and science programs at Sweet Valley Elementary. Any suggestion that it may be due to the boy’s father remained speculation, however, as Jessica refused to give a name. If pressured, Jessica’s flippant response was always, “He’s Todd’s,” which Elizabeth could not believe to be true.

“Can I take a break now,” Noah asked softly, looking out the window.

“I guess. Why don’t you go out and play with your friends?”

“Because I don’t have any. Justin from next door used to come over, but his mother said he couldn’t any more because Mom’s a slut,” the boy answer dejectedly.

Elizabeth wanted to defend her sister, but the years of lying were already wearing heavily on her conscience. “Well, why don’t you watch cartoons?”

“OK, Aunt Lizzy.”

Alone at the kitchen table, Elizabeth sighed once more. She didn’t mind doing favors for Jessica, but she hoped her sister would try to be on time getting home. She’d been looking forward to having lunch with Jeffrey French all week. Far from harboring an old flame for her ex, she appreciated his company and felt a kinship with him: he and Tom McKay were so similar to herself and Todd that she couldn’t help but feel connected to him. It had come as a great surprise to her when Jeffrey started dating Tom, but she loved him like a sister and did everything she could to reassure him of his choice.