A Christian fantasy book. I quite liked it, but it's very clear that it's the first in a series. Most of the book was spent introducing the reader to...moreA Christian fantasy book. I quite liked it, but it's very clear that it's the first in a series. Most of the book was spent introducing the reader to the universe and the characters. It was well done, so I didn't mind, but when I stopped to think about it, I kept waiting for the plot to start.(less)
Okay, this I had not expected. When I last read this, I gave it 5 stars and listed it as one of my favourites. I've dialled down a rating before, but...moreOkay, this I had not expected. When I last read this, I gave it 5 stars and listed it as one of my favourites. I've dialled down a rating before, but never before by this much!
Back in 2004 I wrote: A very sweet book about lasting friendship. Nice light book, but still has enough depth to leave you thinking about things. I ended up feeling really jealous of the people in the book. I would LOVE to have so many such good girl friends...
Yes, it is a sweet and light book with quite some depth, but honestly, I didn't think it was all that well written, and while definitely not bad, the fact that it took me over a month to finish speaks volumes. It just didn't capture my attention the way it used to. Another reason may be that I actually do have a number of close girl friends now, and therefore didn't have the same need to live vicariously through the women in the book - which is definitely a good thing, and I'd gladly give up a favourite book for it :)(less)
**spoiler alert** The A Plot: Enid's boyfriend George is taking her as a passenger on his first licensed flight. She is enjoying the ride, but he is w...more**spoiler alert** The A Plot: Enid's boyfriend George is taking her as a passenger on his first licensed flight. She is enjoying the ride, but he is wrecked with guilt, because he has been falling in love with Robin Wilson and is planing to tell Enid and break up with her, as soon as they land after the flight. However, he promised to take her on his first licensed flight, and he's going to keep that promise if it kills him, dammit! Personally, I don't think Enid is going to care all that much about that flight once you break up with her, George. But hey, whatever makes you able to sleep at night.
Unfortunately while flying the engine fails, and George has to make an emergency landing on a nearby lake. The plane flips over, and they end up hanging upside down from their seats. George was knocked unconscious by the landing, but Enid wasn't too badly hurt, and is able to make her way out of the plane. She swims over to the other side, in order to get to George's seat belt and get him out of the plane too. Positioned badly, George hits her as he falls out of the seat, and she's knocked backwards and hits the back of her neck on the wing. It doesn't hurt enough to knock her unconscious, but she can no longer feel her legs!!! Fortunately the cold water brought George back to consciousness and he swims to the rescue and helps Enid back to the shore.
Todd was nearby and called for an ambulance, which came and took both Enid and George to a hospital. Robin, who's seen the whole thing, faints from the shock of seeing the man she loves being driving away in an ambulance, despite the fact that he's obviously not dead nor dying.
Being Enid's best friend, for once it makes sense that Liz is one of the first people at the hospital, so I won't snark about that. Enid is still unconscious and nobody can see her, but the doctors tell that she damaged the last disc in her spine, and it's cutting off nerve communication to her legs. Once the swelling goes down they'll try to operate, but they have no idea if it'll be successful or not. Liz knows about George's feelings for Robin, so she finds it awfully awkward to be together with him, but refuses to talk to him about it.
To George, Enid's diagnosis feels like a death sentence. Nope, he's not a drama-queen... 'scuse me, drama-KING at all. He figures that since it's his fault that Enid is paralysed, he can't break up with her, but has to stick with her for ever and ever... or at least until her legs work again. He drives over to Robin to tell her this, and is seen walking away from the house by Lila and Jessica who immediately get the gossip mill started, and soon Robin is treated by a phariah by everybody.
Enid soon regains consciousness and is ready for the operation. As expected the operation is a success and now she just needs some physical therapy and she'll be as good as new. Physically anyway. She can feel something is wrong between her and George, but he won't admit to it or tell her anything. Elizabeth obviously knows what's going on, but feels it isn't her place to interfere. Of course not. You're just her best friend, why should you interfere in her life? IMHO a true friend would have told George, "Either you tell Enid, or I will!" - but perhaps that's just me.
It all comes to a head at a party at school (yet another one!). Enid and George come to the party (and Enid is immediately scorned for being there when she can't even dance! Apparently she should just have stayed away, because only people who can dance are allowed at parties), she tells George that just because she's chained to a wheelchair, he doesn't have to be too, and he should go off dance with somebody. He doesn't wait for her to change his mind, and immediately goes to find Robin. As luck will have it, a slow dance starts right then, and when Enid sees the two of them together, she understands why he's been so remote lately. She rushes off - as fast as she can in the wheelchair - and George takes off after her.
Now, one would have thought that was the end of that, right? But no. Instead of realizing that that was it, and she should let George go, Enid figures that he won't leave her as long as she can't walk, and stops even trying. Yet another place where Enid and I differ - I'd be too proud to stay with somebody who obviously is in love with somebody else.
Elizabeth can see that Enid has completely given up trying to get to walk again, and after talking with Enid's mother and her doctor she knows that there's no medical or physical reason why Enid can't walk. It's just a mental thing and she must therefore be tricked into it!
Once realizing this, she immediately puts her plan into action. She teams up with Mr. Collins, as she needs to borrow his 6-year-old son, Teddy. Once he's in place at the Wakefields', she calls Enid and tells her she needs her to come over right away. Being the loyal friend she is, Enid doesn't stop to wonder why Liz can't just come over to her instead, as it'd be easier, but does as told. When she arrives, Liz and Teddy are out by the pool, where Teddy is playing with his truck. Liz tells Enid to keep an eye on Teddy as he can't swim and goes in to get something to drink. Not stopping to think how utterly ridiculous it is for an invalid to take care of somebody who runs around, Enid agrees.
Of course this is part of the great plan, so once Elizabeth is out of sight Teddy moves closer and closer to the water, and FALLS IN! Oh noes!!! Enid calls for Liz who obviously doesn't respond. She has to do something! She has to save Teddy! Too fast to even think about the fact that she oughtn't be able to do this, she jumps from her wheelchair, runs to the pool and jumps in to save Teddy. Yay! Go Enid.
Elizabeth and Teddy are THRILLED that their plan worked, and Jessica comes home just in time to tell Enid that Teddy swims like a fish, so they all tricked her, but Enid is too happy to be able to walk again to mind at all. She realized she'd just convinced herself she couldn't walk, in an attempt to keep George around, but now decides to let him go, and of course they have a friendly breakup, seeing as they're both so good people.
The B Plot: Lila managed to convince Jessica to sign on to a gourmet cooking course. Jessica thinks it's a waste of time at first, but then discovers that the teacher is a HUNK and stays on to impress him by her mad cooking skilz (Hmmm... here I can't help but think of Stacey and her teacher in "Stacey's Big Crush" and Claudia and her skiing instructor in "Winter Vacation" - a famous plot-line obviously). Actually she ends up being not half bad at cooking, but of course her teacher ends up being married, so she can't impress him enough to get him to go out with her after all. Still, she figures it's not all been in waste, at least now she knows how to cook gourmet food, and can impress her parents by cooking them an amazing meal for their anniversary and showing up Liz who's probably too busy with Enid to remember their anniversary at all.
What Jessica doesn't take into consideration is the fact that Liz has a perfect boyfriend who not only reminds her of the anniversary, but even has an idea for a gift! Tickets to a dinner and a play (wow! Expensive gift for a non-round anniversary!) Jessica is upset, because this means that she'll have to postpone the dinner to the following evening, and it won't be the same if it's not on the day itself.
Still, she agrees to go head and does a 'test run' by making some seafood-thing-or-the-other, which would have been really great - if it wasn't for the fact that she didn't know how to tell that mussels had gone bad, and inadvertedly ended up giving the entire family food poisening! A mistake that can happen to anybody, but her family are totally rude in their reponse. Instead of telling her they knew it was an honest mistake, they actually get MAD at her, as if she'd done it on purpose. Not only that, but they refuse her offer of cooking them a gourmet dinner for their anniversary, replying that "they're not sure they'll be recovered from Sunday by then." Jessica is near tears and thinks "What a bunch of jerks I've got for a family" and for once I really have to agree with her. They're being awfully insensitive about this entire thing, and are constantly comparing her unfavourably to Liz. NOT something parents should do, and I completely understand why Jessica is so hurt. I actually was too, on her behalf.
No conclusion was given to this problem however, as it leads over into "Runaway!" where Jessica embarks on a desperate course of action... for a change.(less)
**spoiler alert** This book is even more unrealistic than most. IRL Elizabeth and Jessica would never have gotten through this alive. Even "Famous Fiv...more**spoiler alert** This book is even more unrealistic than most. IRL Elizabeth and Jessica would never have gotten through this alive. Even "Famous Five" are more realistic, despite the kids being even younger.
The A Plot: SVH books are short, so we need to cut to the chase right away. Elizabeth is convinced that something fishy is up and that Regina Morrow is in danger. She learns from the Morrows' delivery guy that Regina is back to Sweet Valley from Switzerland, and calls Bruce (who's apparently turned into the model boyfriend when he met Regina - go figure) to hear how long she'll be back. Great is her surprise when she discovers that Bruce knows nothing about it, and when Bruce calls Regina and is told by her 'aunt' (both Regina's parents are only childs), she KNOWS Something is wrong.
Having 'just' been kidnapped herself, her immediate thought is "OMG!Hostage!" and since we know the title of the book, we know she's right.
Jessica tries to be the voice of reason and convince Liz that Regina just doesn't want to see Bruce, but Liz will hear nothing of it, and takes it upon herself to drive over to the Morrows' estate and see for herself. Once there she's told by Regina's 'aunt', Claire, that Regina isn't home, but Claire is immediately proven wrong, as Regina walks into the hall, looking helpless and forlorn.
Liz is sent away by Claire, but now she's convinced she's right. She tries to convince Jessica, and then calls the police, who scolds her for making a crank call. I don't know who's more mock-worthy here - Liz for calling the police on so flimsy a basis, or the police for not looking into it more than they do.
Somehow the officer's reaction is what Jess needed to get on Liz' side, so together they contact Bruce and try to come up with a plan. Their first action is to have Bruce play the part of the delivery boy and deliver a package to Claire containing a magazine with a hidden message for Regina. They fix on a fashion magazine as being least likely to get intercepted by Claire, because, in the words of Jess: "from the way you've described Claire Davis, she won't be interested in fashion or beauty."
Regina gets the letter and manages to get a reply back to the three detectives. She IS held hostage, because Claire's boyfriend, Philip, wants a powerful chip that Mr. Morrow has invented. But they can't call the police as her parents will be killed if they do - giving Liz a huge guilt-trip that she called them at all.
This is where everything starts to happen really fast and the faster things happen, the more unrealistic they get. Regina's brother is called, and remembers that their father has an old enemy as he got a colleague arrested for embezzling. He even remembers that the name of this colleague is Philip and that he got out of prison a year ago and lives nearby!! Liz and Jess finds his address, and as luck will have it, he has a gorgeous son just Jess' age! By using her charms she's able to discover that Philip does indeed have the Morrows' held hostage, and they're hidden in his house where Jess sees them!!
Regina heard Claire mention "Money is heaven", and after some monkey-play done by Jess they realize that Claire didn't say "Money is heaven" but "Monday at seven"! So now they have a deadline.
Instead of going to the police now that they have evidence, the now four detectives are convinced that they can do a better job of rescuing all three Morrows without getting anybody killed, and come up with a master plan of foiling both Claire and Philip that almost gets them all killed, but fortunately Philip's son is so taken with Jess that he jumps his dad and makes him drop the gun, and obviously Bruce's porche is much faster than Philip's jeep. The Morrows call the cops from Bruce's car phone and - phew - all's well that ends well.
The Morrows are so relieved to be back safe and sound, and have Regina back with them as well, that they decide to throw a party the following Friday. Here Lila makes her first appearance of the entire book, and we're told that Ken Matthews has fallen in the clutches of Suzanna who's trying to make him drop football.
The B Plot: Doesn't exist. In fact, we hardly hear of ANY people other than the ones mentioned above. There are small mentionings here and there of Ken failing English and that he'll be forced to quit football if he does, because they don't want stupid jocks at SVH. There are only about 5 sentences devoted to this in the entire book though, except for the last page-and-a-half introduction to the next book: Lovestruck(less)
**spoiler alert** The A Plot: In order to earn money, Jessica and Elizabeth start up a letter-writing-service, where people pay them to write their le...more**spoiler alert** The A Plot: In order to earn money, Jessica and Elizabeth start up a letter-writing-service, where people pay them to write their letters for them. When I was younger I totally wanted to start up a similar service, but somehow I doubt it would have been anywhere near as successful. Of course, being started by the Wakefield twins, it's incredibly popular, and they soon become totally swamped, meaning they have time for nothing else. For once Jessica is the sensible one (huh?) and still makes time for her boyfriend, whereas Liz brushes Todd off completely, making him think she's no longer interested. When Shelley has Letters R Us write Todd an 'I'm falling in love with you'-letter, he decides it's a good chance to shake up Liz a bit, and has LRU write Shelley a letter of acceptance and Liz a 'Dear Jane' letter. Jessica doesn't want Liz to get hurt, so she changes the names around, but fails in securing the letters to rewrite them before they go in the mail - causing Liz to be broken up with by her own letter.
Todd corners Jess, who confesses everything, but Liz is still too proud to talk to Todd, until he writes Letters R Us once again to have her write herself a love letter. Todd and Liz make up, and live happily ever after.
The B Plot: The only reason why Shelley is interested in Todd, is because her boyfriend, Jim, is too busy taking photos for the yearbook. After her one failed date with Todd (where they decide they should just be friends) she realizes she still loves him and wants to make it work, so they agree to make time for each other, and to start new activities together so they have something do to together and talk about, in order to avoid becoming a habit to each other. Probably the most intelligent conversation in the entire book!
Right, that out of the way, here's my list of snark:
* If we hadn't picked up on it already, Jess and Liz are two gorgeous 16-year-old twins, with shoulder-length blond hair, blue-green eyes and perfect size-six figures. Even their best friends couldn't tell them apart if they wore the same clothes... Except for Todd and Sam of course. Who are, obviously, just as handsome themselves.
* I have a theory that Kate Williams had just seen "Grease 2" when she wrote this. Listen to her description of Sam: "Jessica had kept herself busy dating almost every eligible guy at SVH and beyond. But when same had ridden into her life on his motorcycle, his wavy blond hair tousled endearing over his gray eyes, Jessica gave up her wandering ways." (emphasis mine). I don't know about you, but my thoughts immediately went to Stephanie singing "Cool Rider". But perhaps that's just me.
* We're supposed to believe that Jess is so caught up in thinking about money, that when Sam says "Feel free [to kiss me]", her first thought is "I wish the CD-player had been free"... right. Sam definitely needs to learn how to be a better kisser!
* Newsflash, Jessica is TIRED of Hershey Bar brown! Purple is the new brown! From now on, her room resembles a grape explosion instead.
* Here's how dated this book is: Elizabeth used the soap-opera money to buy a computer and a word-processing program. Yes girls, until now she had been doing all her writing either by hand or on a type-writer. I turned to check the copyright date, and it was written in 1993...
* Shelley was still growing at age 16? And not only that, but she grew a half-inch in a month! I know it's not totally unheard of to still grow at that age, but it is rare - especially to grow at that speed.
* Dear Kate obviously can't keep her plot-lines straight. Mrs. Wakefield offers to design the office of LRU as she has some letters she needs written as well, but Jess replies, "You're not touching my room. I like it just the way it is!" Not 20 pages ago, you didn't.
* Jess doesn't understand why people are of the opinion that she can't keep a secret? I know Jess, it's shocking! You're the epitome of discretion.
* Shelley considers herself a good friend of both Todd and Elizabeth, and STILL decides to send Todd a letter, to tell him she's fallen for him? Nice going there, Shel. Real decent of you.
* Jessica's reply to Shelley's letter is: "What if it ruins Liz' friendship with Shelley?" What if? Either Jessica is too naive for words, or Liz is even more of a push-over than I usually give her credit for. Although knowing Liz and knowing SVH, it's probably the latter.
* Shelley and Todd's behaviour actually really pissed me off, and kinda ruined the last half of the book for me. Anybody who thinks it's okay to tell a friend's boyfriend that you've fallen for him needs to be shot at dawn.
* But of course, in SV-land, all is forgiven, and Liz and Todd come to school wearing matching jackets! Awwwwwwwww!(less)
**spoiler alert** Book blurb: Elizabeth Wakefield knows her beautiful twin can handle almost any guy . most guys are just no math for Jessica's seduct...more**spoiler alert** Book blurb: Elizabeth Wakefield knows her beautiful twin can handle almost any guy . most guys are just no math for Jessica's seductive charms. But Scott Daniels, Jessica's latest love, is more of a man than a boy, much older and much more experienced than anybody Jessica's ever dated.
When Jessica sneaks off too a college beach party with Scott, Elizabeth's afraid of what could happen. And when her twin isn't back by morning, Elizabeth's fear turns to alarm. Where's Jessica? Why has she stayed out all night long?.
The A Plot: Jessica is getting ready to go to a college beach party with Scott, despite her mother vetoing the idea, and not only does she not care that she's going directly against her parents' wishes, she's bragging about it to Elizabeth, excepting her to a) keep quiet about it. b) cover her back should anything go amiss (which - knowing Jessica - something of course will). If I were Liz and I knew my sister was heading for trouble, I'd have done something about it already then - no matter if that'd make her hate me for life or not. But then, that's just me.
I find this exchange interesting: "I'm not promising anything," Elizabeth said. "If she asks me, I'm not going to lie." Jessica leaped from the bed, facing Elizabeth squarely, hands planted on her hips. "Some friend you are!" Unfazed, Elizabeth replied dryly, "I'm probably the best friend you've got Jess, you just don't know it."
As for Liz' first comment - famous last words. Of course she's going to lie. Anything not to get poor Jessica in trouble! . As for her second... well, yes and no. True, not many other people would put up with Jessica's abuse for so many years. But if she really was such a good friend, she'd risk Jessica's wrath and involve her parents more often.
Anyway, enough moralizing and on with the snarking!
Turns out Jessica doesn't have nearly as much fun at the party as she thought she would. They're all much older and more sophisticated (snort!) than she is, and she feels distinctly out of place. It doesn't help that Scott is much more physical than Jessica feels comfortable with, and she keeps trying to get away from him.
... which makes it really, really odd that she just a couple of pages later agrees to go into the woods with him, ending up in an abandoned boathouse, where she has to fight him off as he slips his hand down the back of her bikini bottoms (gasp!), loosens the string of her bikini top (shock!) and reveals to her that this is no mere afternoon beach party, it's an all-nighter (horror!), so there's no chance of her returning to SV that night - unless she wants to walk.
To his credit, after Scott's initial "you know you wanted this, you're practically naked!" (yeah she's wearing a bikini, it's a beach party, how did he THINK she'd be dressed? 12 layers?), he actually doesn't attempt to rape her, but taunts her with the fact that she played with fire and got a little scorched, and then leaves to go back to the house, where Jess - being unable to get to a phone - has to spend a miserable night on the floor. Poor, poor Jessica.
(Reading this so shortly after the review of "Don't Go Home With John", I can't help but think that it's a wonder Jess doesn't get as shaken up as Lila did. Once she's safely back home, she never thinks about the experience again! Silly girl, who doesn't learn from her mistakes.)
Back home, Elizabeth is getting in a frenzy with worry because Jessica isn't home when she wakes up the next morning, and doesn't dare tell her parents, because then she'll be in trouble too, for not saying something earlier. Excuse me? Ah, but I forget. This is Sweet Valley, and everything is always Elizabeth's fault. Fortunately Jessica calls right as Elizabeth is going down to breakfast (why did Liz pick up the phone instead of her mom? As far as I know the twins don't have their own private number like Claudia does. And why doesn't her mom ask who it was? But I digress), tells her that she's alright, and that she'll be right back, and makes Liz promise to cover for her. Not knowing what else to do Liz goes along with it, and eats breakfast twice! First as herself, then - dressed in Jessica's clothes - as her sister, fooling even her own mother! Poor, poor Elizabeth.
At school Liz is alternative Jessica and herself, depending on who she's together with, and what's smartest for the moment. How on earth she manages to do that, without somebody catching on to it, I'll never know. SVH must be really, really huge. Elizabeth and Jessica both have a tourist guide test that day (must be a SV thing - I've never heard of any school arranging that!), and after not enough contemplation, Elizabeth goes against her better judgement and decides to take Jessica's test for her. Unfortunately Todd calls her out on it, and instead of listening to his good arguments for not cheating on the test, she blows up at him for talking trash about her sister, and breaks up with him, leaving her a mess for the test, and thus failing it.
Jessica turns up shortly after school finished for the day, not at all the worse for wear after her experiences in the woods, and totally ignores Liz' worry, immediately heading off to go through some cheers with Lila and Cara. She's just been through what to anybody else would be a harrowing experience, and she worries about cheering routines? Jessica surely is something else.
No more is mentioned about Scott at all showing me very clearly that the A plot wasn't that Jess got stranded in a potentially very dangerous situation, but that Liz tried to cover for her, loosing her boyfriend and her dignity in the process. And yet you KNOW she'd do it all again in a heartbeat. Yet another girl who doesn't learn from her mistakes.
Of course, being Sweet Valley, the twins can never be at odds for long. Jessica blows up when she finds that 'she' failed the test, and accuses Liz of doing it on purpose because she's jealous and wanted Scott for herself, but then turns on a penny when she's offered to retake the test as the teacher "could see she was obviously sick". Todd and Elizabeth make up too, and all's well that ends well... for now.
The B Plots are basically non-existing. Just some talk about a surfing competition that Bill Chase (naturally) wins (but how on EARTH is "Chase Is One" a good headline for an article about his success? I don't get it...) and a LOT of foreshadowing about the trouble that is to come, once Todd buys his motorcycle... (less)
**spoiler alert** According to the year this one was written, it takes place after book 27, which sounds about right... Todd has just moved to Vermont...more**spoiler alert** According to the year this one was written, it takes place after book 27, which sounds about right... Todd has just moved to Vermont, Liz hasn't hooked up with Jeffrey yet, and Steven has only recently started going out with Cara. But as soon will become obvious - this book never happened!!!
The A plot: Elizabeth and Jessica Go To France Elizabeth and Jessica apparently take French at Sweet Valley High (am I the only one who wasn't aware of that? I don't remember it being mentioned elsewhere at all. If that's the case, I here present you with Exibit A that this book never happened), and because Ms. Dalton has arranged a language exchange, they're going to France for two weeks to stay together with Avery and her son, Rene while her daughter, Feney, is off to Sweet Valley to stay with the Wakefields. The book opens as Elizabeth and Jessica are on the plane en route to Cannes, France. They're discussing the letter and photo they were sent, and Elizabeth notices that Rene looks rather cute. Aware that Elizabeth needs somebody new in her life after Todd moved away, Jessica generously tells her to go for him. What? No sister-duel over who gets him? How boring!
Avery turns out to be a sweet and generous hostess, but Rene is sour and obstinate from the very beginning. It's obvious that he doesn't want to have anything to do with the twins, and would rather have that they had never come. The twins discover that Rene's father left them very abruptly when Rene was young. His father was American and therefore in Rene's eyes nothing good can ever come out of America, which is why he takes an instant dislike to the twins.
Rene is supposed to show the twins around Cannes, but takes off in a huff to Avery's embarrassment. Liz and Jess ensure her that it's no big deal and decide to go running (Exhibit B. I remember no other books (though they may exist) where the twins jog for recreation). Jessica quickly gives up - exercise just isn't fun when no guys nor cheerleading is involved. On her way back she bumps into a very kind but plain-looking guy getting out of his porche. Always the one to appreciate wealth, Jessica lets Marc talk her into taking her to his beach club that afternoon.
Meanwhile Elizabeth finds a dog that's run away from home. She finds its address on its tag and asks some neighbourhood kids how to find it. Turns out the dog is owned by a lovely old countess, whose son, Jean-Claude, just happens to be Elizabeth's age, and very willing to show her around the countryside.
When Jessica finds out how Elizabeth is spending the following day, she gets jealous. It's no fair that Elizabeth gets the guy who's both rich AND cute when hers is only rich! She claims to have a headache and gets Marc to take her home early, only to discover that Elizabeth isn't home, and there's a note on the door for Jean-Claude. Avery called while Elizabeth was home alone, trying to get hold of Rene, as she desperately needed some medicine for a patient of hers. Being ever the doormat sweet person, Elizabeth offered to take the bus and bring her the medicine instead. Unfortunately there was a traffic accident which made the bus home very late, so she wasn't there to greet Jean-Claude when he came to pick her up.
Jessica fully intended to tell Jean-Claude who she was - until she saw him, and fell head over heels in love with him. Better pretend to be somebody else and have a cute guy, than be yourself and leave him to your sister.
The next couple of days Jessica hangs out with Jean-Claude pretending she's Elizabeth, and they fall deeper in love with each other than ever before. Elizabeth wonders why on earth Jean-Claude doesn't return her phonecalls (not knowing that he did, but Jess picked up - nice sis there), but then shrugs, deciding he's not worth worrying about, and trying to make the most out of being in Cannes alone.
One day Marc comes around asking how Jessica is doing, as she'd - once again - canceled their plans on the grounds that she had a headache. Liz realizes that Jess has been neglecting poor Marc, and generously offers to go to the art gallery with him. Rene sees the two of them drive off, and comes with a jive about sisters stealing each other's boyfriends, which of course Liz understands nothing off.
Once back from the gallery, Jessica STILL isn't home. Elizabeth starts to worry, because even though Jessica never keeps a curfew (if that's the case, how come her parents keep letting her go out at night? Wouldn't breaking a curfew often enough be reason to be grounded? It would in my family...) she's never two hours late! A storm is brewing and she has no idea where to look for her. Finally Rene comes home, and sees how upset Liz is. For once he has no snarky comments for her, but tells her that he saw Jess and Jean-Claude head off together. Liz calls the Countess and is told that she and Jean-Claude were going out sailing.
Elizabeth has to get to the beach immediately, but Rene has no car, only a motorbike! Gasp! This is no time to follow rules though, so she puts on the helmet and they race to the beach, this time with nobody getting into an accident and developing amnesia/split personalities (Exhibit C). At the beach they see Jessica and Jean-Claude fight against the wind and waves. Jessica falls into the sea, and Liz rushes into the water to save her. But the wind is too strong and the waves too big. She'll never be able to make it! Until suddenly their hero Rene turns up next to her! He had been afraid of the sea ever since a friend of his drowned with him being unable to save him, but even so he was unable to stand by and watch while history repeated itself. Go Rene! Together they manage to save Jean-Claude and Jessica.
The story ends nicely wrapped up with Rene realizing not all Americans are bad and that Liz in particular is not, and Jessica admitting who she really is to Jean-Claude and he loves her anyway! To holiday romances, and neither is heard of again. How sad. (Exhibit D),
The B plot: Steve's An Idiot The B-plot is the hugest give-away that this book never happened. Rene's sister Feney is a dead-ringer for Tricia Martin, and naturally Steve falls for her, because even though she speaks only little English and he speaks no French whatsoever, he's convinced that not only does Feney LOOK just like Tricia, she IS just like her too. So obviously he learns nothing between this book and "The Ghost of Tricia Martin" OR this book never happened!
It's pretty much a repeat of TGoTM - Steve hangs out with Feney all the time, Cara gets hurt and is WAY too forgiving about it. Finally Steve introduces Feney to one of his friends who actually does speak French, and just like the similar plot line in "Two Guys, A Girl and a Pizzaria", he discovers that not only is Feney nothing like Tricia, she's actually really immature and he was much better off with Cara.
Steve, Steve, Steve... why couldn't you remember this 30+ books later? Cara too for that matter. Are you going to let him treat you like this EVERY time a Tricia-look-alike comes by? Apparently so.(less)
Definitely one of her weakest books. It was okay, but nothing more, and the ending was MUCH too rushed, as if she suddenly got bored with it. Probably...moreDefinitely one of her weakest books. It was okay, but nothing more, and the ending was MUCH too rushed, as if she suddenly got bored with it. Probably not a book I'll reread.(less)
A very interesting book written for spiritually single parents (although it's called Spiritually Single Moms, it's just as relevant for dads), who wan...moreA very interesting book written for spiritually single parents (although it's called Spiritually Single Moms, it's just as relevant for dads), who want to raise their kids the Godly way despite the other parent being an unbeliever. It's a very interesting and thought-provoking book that I highly recommend to any current or future spiritually single parents.(less)
After having read "The Historian", I thought it was only fitting to give Dracula a chance, and found it MUCH better than I'd expected. I don't know wh...moreAfter having read "The Historian", I thought it was only fitting to give Dracula a chance, and found it MUCH better than I'd expected. I don't know why I wasn't expecting to like it - perhaps because I've never really heard anybody talk about it - neither positively nor negatively. In any case I liked it a lot, and found the writing style (letters, telegrams and diary entries) very fitting to the plot. I probably didn't get as much out of it as I would have if I'd read it rather than listened to it, so I'll probably get it out again in a year or two and re-read it.(less)
I love the idea of this book and am amazed by how well Audrey Niffenegger pulled it off. It's an extremely interesting book - well written, with almos...moreI love the idea of this book and am amazed by how well Audrey Niffenegger pulled it off. It's an extremely interesting book - well written, with almost all loose threads tied up as we go along, and no inconsistencies that I could find at least. It's a sad book, but a brilliant book.
2011: I recently watched the movie, which I thought nothing special in itself, but made me want to reread the book. I still love it :)(less)
"Sorceress Revealed" is a charming fantasy book about young Ellyana who is only just learning to use her magical powers, but because of their exceptio...more"Sorceress Revealed" is a charming fantasy book about young Ellyana who is only just learning to use her magical powers, but because of their exceptional strength, she's selected to perform the 'renewal' that will allow magicians to practice for the next century. I really enjoyed it and was totally drawn in by the main characters. Very recommendable!(less)
I really enjoyed this book. It's the story of a female doctor who travels west together with a group of women who are hoping to find husbands + jobs a...moreI really enjoyed this book. It's the story of a female doctor who travels west together with a group of women who are hoping to find husbands + jobs as teachers there. A very sweet book, and quite interesting when one - as me - used to be a huge fan of "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman" ;-)(less)
Not as good as the other books in the series. I guess reading about Anne's children just isn't nearly as interesting as reading about Anne herself, or...moreNot as good as the other books in the series. I guess reading about Anne's children just isn't nearly as interesting as reading about Anne herself, or perhaps it just shows a tad too clearly that this book was written as the very last Anne book - long after LMM had grown tired of writing about her.
I still greatly enjoyed most of the book, but have to admit to skimming over some of the chapters of mishaps that befell Nan or Di. (less)