Bored one afternoon, Jessica decides to enter a pineapple recipe contest that she has found in a magazine.A few months later she finds that she has woBored one afternoon, Jessica decides to enter a pineapple recipe contest that she has found in a magazine.A few months later she finds that she has won for having made the weirdest pineapple treat the judges have ever seen. The prize is not a lifetime supply of pineapple as she and her twin, Elizabeth, feared.It is a trip to Hawaii!
Excited,Jessica is soon heading to Hawaii with a handful of her many friends.But what none of them expected is for their vacation to be such an odd one. Janet finds out that she's the long-lost Princess Keiko, Lila finds King Kamehameha's ring and has a new stepmother, and Jessica finds out she really didn't win the pineapple contest.
It's Spring Break and the Wakefield Twins (with their friends) are at the beach, having a good time. Jessica and Elizabeth decide to go snorkeling atIt's Spring Break and the Wakefield Twins (with their friends) are at the beach, having a good time. Jessica and Elizabeth decide to go snorkeling at Pirate's Cove, an area in the corner of the beach hardly anyone ever goes to. Deep underwater, Elizabeth starts collecting knickknacks, including (unknown to her) a piece of a golden heart ornament (covered with rust and barnacles). As soon as they reach the surface, a strange looking man watches them from a distance.
A few days later, Jessica and Elizabeth decide to take scuba diving lessons, and Elizabeth is surprised to see the same man who was watching them as their instructor. He introduces himself as Joshua Farrell and keeps a close eye on Elizabeth.
Later, Elizabeth and Jessica receive chain letters about the "Curse of Carlotta", warning them to pass it to 6 other people to avoid the curse. Elizabeth doesn't take the chain letter seriously, and strange things start happening to her. A scorpion ends up in her sandwich. She starts dreaming about being in a shipwreck with Carlotta and her lover, Red Beard. Afterward, a man named John Filber shows up at her doorstep asking about the chain letters. Can Elizabeth solve the mystery of the curse before she is cursed?
This was, as far as I can recall, the first SVT Supper Chiller I read as a child.
The story began when Jessica and Elizabeth get jobs as extras in a fThis was, as far as I can recall, the first SVT Supper Chiller I read as a child.
The story began when Jessica and Elizabeth get jobs as extras in a film; Jessica's predictably thrilled. Then she finds a beautiful necklace on the beach, near the house where the movie's being filmed. The movie's about the death of a young girl, the same age as the twins. Jessica wears it and starts having nightmares about falling from the balcony unto rocks, which is exactly the way Lillian, the girl, died. Now Elizabeth, Jessica and their cousin Robin have to find the real murderer; to clear an old woman's name and to let Lillian's spirit rest in peace.
Jessica just got three-way calling. So she's constantly on the phone, hogging it all. And now the Unicorns are getting so gossipy that they're gettingJessica just got three-way calling. So she's constantly on the phone, hogging it all. And now the Unicorns are getting so gossipy that they're getting the info mixed up. I couldn't stop laughing at the ridiculousness of it all.
When Mandy said that her hotdog was a little dry at Ellen's party, it wound up to Tamara that Mr. Riteman had poisoned Mandy and a teacher and the FBI was looking for him and he had previously been thrown in jail. Jessica gets freaked out, because she started the whole thing.
Goes to show you that malicious gossiping never pays.
My first exposure to these kinds of school projects since we never had these when I was studying. The project was this: all the sixth graders were paiMy first exposure to these kinds of school projects since we never had these when I was studying. The project was this: all the sixth graders were paired off by their teacher (and what unlikely pairs did they make!) to become "married couples" and given an egg as their "baby" charge. They have to survive the next couple of weeks as amicably good parents/role models to their eggs.
Elizabeth finds herself paired with snob Bruce Patman, who refuses to help out. Jessica's pretend husband, Rick Hunter, teases her mercilessly and refuses to cut it out. And Todd Wilkins gets stuck with Lila Fowler, who only wants to eat out.
Everyone who's anyone in New York City is suffering from post-college-application cabin fever and it's time to run a little wild. Everyone seems to beEveryone who's anyone in New York City is suffering from post-college-application cabin fever and it's time to run a little wild. Everyone seems to be having pretty exciting things happen --- from becoming a NYC runway model, to having a film shown at a famous fashion show, to having a poem published in the New Yorker and getting a literary agent, to being accepted into Harvard or NYU.
Could it be that Serena is smitten with Blair's stepbrother Aaron or will the Fashion Week after parties pull her away from any attempt at true love? Dan and Vanessa are mad about each other and pursuing their creative dreams -- but be careful of what you wish for. Nate hits an all-time low when he gets busted and was sent off to rehab while Blair's Yale interview with a tall, handsome alum takes an unexpected turn and Jenny makes a new friend who gets a little too close for comfort.
As always, Blair steals the show with her over-dramatic hysterics and theatrics, but little Jenny certainly shows the potential of snagging the spotlight with her constant contemplation regarding the state of her life, and the choices that she has made of late. Serena is gorgeous, as always, but her bubbly, carefree, somewhat air-headed personality can be a little much at times, and leave you wanting to take a step back from her character. Lastly, no matter how much trouble Nate gets himself into, it's impossible to resist his gorgeous green eyes, and debonair way of living. Dan's transformation is a little bizarre, as is Vanessa's ability to put up with Dan's betrayal; and Aaron comes off as just an afterthought who may disappear from future installments bit-by-bit.
Title Gossip Girl #4: Because I'm Worth It (Gossip Girl Series) Author Cecily von Ziegesar Reviewed By Purplycookie...more
I've always had a soft spot for Winston Egbert ever since I read this book back in my grade school days. His was the role of the inevitable goofball aI've always had a soft spot for Winston Egbert ever since I read this book back in my grade school days. His was the role of the inevitable goofball and class clown, but overall nice guy.
Too bad he wanted to try out for the cheer leading squad, The Boosters, populated by--who else--but the members of The Unicorn Club. Now, being the girly girls that they are (with the exception of few) they then turned up their noses at this proposal. Oh and they did everything possible to make sure Winston loses his enthusiasm of signing up. Who can forget that time they glued his pants to his seat so he couldn't attend practice?
But everyone receives their comeuppance as they say, and at the end of the day (ok well, competition) the girls had to beg Winston to join them in order to give them that winning boost (pun intended).
Elizabeth is nominated for "Model Student of the Year," the award given to the best student at Sweet Valley Middle School. However, Elizabeth lets thiElizabeth is nominated for "Model Student of the Year," the award given to the best student at Sweet Valley Middle School. However, Elizabeth lets this get to her head and she starts treating people in a very snobby manner.
She then went through all the trappings of dressing up like an antiquated librarian and acting like a bossy know-it-all consequently alienating all of her friends and family.
I liked this book when I read it growing up since it's not that often that Elizabeth's cast in a bad light.
Blair moves in with Serena and they're back to being best friends. But will the love-fest last or will they end up tearing out one another's newly higBlair moves in with Serena and they're back to being best friends. But will the love-fest last or will they end up tearing out one another's newly highlighted hair? And speaking of new, Nate is on the straight and narrow way, playing knight-in-shining-armor to his drug-crazy new girlfriend, Georgie. But he will definitely get more than he bargained for when he, Georgie, Chuck, Erik, Blair and Serena end up hanging out together in Sun Valley, Idaho.
Back in Manhattan Jenny is spending time with a mysteriously nice new boyfriend and Dan is spending time crying in the office of the Red Letter Review Literary Journal. He is such a loser, no matter how much of a tortured poet he poses himself to be. And Vanessa is at her wits end trying her best to hide her artistic streak from her visiting eccentric parents.
Once again, these snotty, self-absorbed, rich kids are back with their trips and everything trendy. But that's what makes these books such a guilty pleasure. The reader is supposed to hate them. At the same time, it is a look into the world of the perfect and reminds us that no one is perfect, no matter where they get their pedicures and facials. Personally, this title didn't contribute anything to the book series and one can only guess that von Ziegesar cannot possibly keep this one going.
Title Gossip Girl #5: I Like It Like That (Gossip Girl Series) Author Cecily von Ziegesar Reviewed By Purplycookie...more
Sweet Valley residents apparently don't need a formal verdict to come out regarding Elizabeth's guilt over Sam's death. No, in this case what mattersSweet Valley residents apparently don't need a formal verdict to come out regarding Elizabeth's guilt over Sam's death. No, in this case what matters is the popular opinion of most, specifically of Liz's family. If her own twin sister and longtime boyfriend both think that Elizabeth's a pariah and is guilty of the crime she's charged with, then what is the use of a trial?
Amidst all of this--even with the arrival of a deux et machina in the form of a surprise witness taking the stand--what's instrumental and remains unaddressed is that of Jessica not owning up to her part in Sam's demise. And yes, I'm aware that even after all of this, it'll still be Elizabeth and Todd as the golden couple once more but then what's new?
Evil Margo is strangely not as evil in this book. I want a grislier tale since that's what we're supposedly going for, isn't it?
Both a prequel to Bram Stoker's ”Dracula” and a sequel to Kalogridis's own ”Covenant with the Vampire”, this second novel in a projected trilogy suffeBoth a prequel to Bram Stoker's ”Dracula” and a sequel to Kalogridis's own ”Covenant with the Vampire”, this second novel in a projected trilogy suffers by comparison to both. "Children of the Vampire" is a weaker book than the first in the series; parts of it drag on and on, especially in the middle. It felt mostly like setup for the final book in the trilogy; like the author was moving all the characters and plot lines to where they needed to be for the last book.
Arkady Tsepesh, the protagonist of Covenant, flees the castle of his great-granduncle, Vlad, Count Dracula, but he can't elude the influence of the vampire bite that has bound him to his sire, as it has the firstborn male of each generation of Tsepeshs for the past four centuries.
Meanwhile, Arkady's wife, Mary, who has given her husband up for dead, moves to Amsterdam and marries Doctor Jan Van Helsing. Neither Stefan, her son by Arkady, nor Abraham, whom the Van Helsings have adopted, have reason to suspect they are not blood brothers until the family curse draws Stefan to Vlad's castle in Transylvania.
Arkady has matured; you are given an insight to his brain and his emotions like never before concerning his wife, Mary and his son as well as his ties to Vlad and his sister. He is tortured, heroic and beautiful in this book, a character of pity and beauty at the same time. Smooth and caring and almost human at times, Arkady is the highlight of the novel.
The historical basis is somewhat improved, noting that Vlad served as a page in the court of Emperor Sigismund and was a hostage in the Turkish sultan's seraglio, and the plot and characters are well conceived. The appropriately few erotic scenes are deliciously rendered, although the throbbing undercurrent of sensuality inherent in the subject is not as palpable as in the tales of Anne Rice.
Tally Youngblood struggles to retain her mental acuity after undergoing the operation that transformed her into a Pretty. While in the renegade Ugly cTally Youngblood struggles to retain her mental acuity after undergoing the operation that transformed her into a Pretty. While in the renegade Ugly community, Tally learned that along with cosmetic enhancements, new Pretties are given brain lesions that leave them in a perpetual state of lazy vanity. Tally volunteered to take a drug developed to cure the lesions, but now that she is a Pretty, she has forgotten her promise. A coded message leads her to some pills and a letter that she wrote to herself before her transformation, and after swallowing the cure, she is catapulted into a dangerous new adventure, in which she discovers that the peace and happiness of Pretty society come with a terrible price.
I find the Pretties' lifestyle a lot more boring than the Smokies', but I now see that Westerfield's characters in the first book were so shallow because they had to be. In the world they lived in, there was nothing to encourage depth. And so help me, if I overhear a real-life dialogue containing the words "bubbly" or "bogus" or "pretty-making", I'll probably strangle that person. The vapidness of the Pretties does give way to a conversation consisting of just these words, believe it or not.
It's not quite as exciting as "Uglies (Uglies, #1)", because all the really big revelations have already been unveiled. Everything is not quite black-and-white good versus evil. The city that has become a prison, for example, was created for a valid reason. Characters switch from ally to enemy and back again.
As with "Uglies (Uglies, #1)", you cannot read this book without questioning values and mindsets prevalent not only in New Pretty Town in the future but also here and now. How much will people surrender in order to be pretty? What is the price of popularity and conformity? Can people who relinquish everything get a second chance? The plot twists keep coming right until the very end, and the characters are dynamic. A swift, exciting read.
Title Pretties (Uglies, #2) Author Scott Westerfeld Reviewed By Purplycookie...more
This final installment in the series is a warning of the dangers of overconsumption and conformity. Westerfeld's themes include vanity, environmentalThis final installment in the series is a warning of the dangers of overconsumption and conformity. Westerfeld's themes include vanity, environmental conservation, Utopian idealism, fascism, violence, and love.
Set some time in the future, after a human-made bacteria destroyed the modern world, the trilogy tells of new cities established and tightly controlled through brainwashing and a series of operations leading to a compliant society. Tally Youngblood learns in the first two books that free will and truth are more important than a false sense of security.
"Her new bones were made from aircraft ceramics, light as bamboo and hard as diamonds. Her muscles were sheathed whips of self-repairing monofilament." In "Specials (Uglies, #3)", she has become an elite fighting machine, fully enhanced with nanotechnology and super-fast reflexes, and made to work as a Special Circumstances agent for the nameless city that she fled. She's the ultimate weapon.
It's a bit disturbing to read a book in which the heroine of the series has been essentially co-opted by the bad guys. Tally now works for Shay, her complex best friend, and is expected to find and betray the New Smokies (her friends of the first book). But she does maintain traces of her former self, and she is particularly motivated to find Zane (her now brain-damaged love from the second book), and convince Dr. Cable to transform Zane into a Special, too. However, when she does find Zane, she is revolted by his weakness, by his not being "special" like she is. She struggles with herself, knowing deep inside that she loves him, but programmed to see the world so keenly that his imperfections grate on her, and so sure of her own superiority that she can't really imagine being with him again.
The characters were well-developed, personality changes occurred, and the readers grow close to Tally like a weed entwining a fern that had gone from pretty and bonny to breathtakingly beautiful with a hardness to it.
Title Specials (Uglies, #3) Author Scott Westerfeld Reviewed By Purplycookie...more
With the approval of Louise Fitzhugh's (author of "Harriet the Spy") estate, Ericson revisits the life of Harriet M. Welsch and the executors' trust wWith the approval of Louise Fitzhugh's (author of "Harriet the Spy") estate, Ericson revisits the life of Harriet M. Welsch and the executors' trust was well placed. An author's note reports that Ericson became a fan when this self-styled young spy first appeared in 1964, and her affection for the feisty character comes through in this new misadventure.
When Harriet's parents leave Manhattan to spend three months in Paris, her former nanny, Ole Golly, returns from Montreal (where she had moved with her new husband) to stay with our favorite spy. Though Harriet's mother warns her that Ole Golly has asked that no one mention her husband's name, the curious sleuth sets out to discover what transpired in Montreal.
Meanwhile, another mystery percolates in the townhouse across the street, where husband-and-wife doctors appear to be keeping a girl captive. As Harriet doggedly attempts to crack these cases, her processing of misinformation makes for some comical scenarios.
While it is admittedly true that Ericson has a decent grasp of Harriet's personality, lovers of the classic book are betrayed by how long Harriet remains clueless about Ole Golly's "condition". It seems that Ericson's version is that of a dumbed down Harriet. More importantly, instead of writing and observing, now she makes wild ridiculous speculations and spends her time, not on her notebook, but on a time line of her life which just bogs down the flow of the story.
Title Harriet Spies Again Author Helen Ericson Reviewed By Purplycookie...more