Seriously, this book is well-written considering the terrible plot line the author had to work with. Ned Wakefield is still hard at work on his campaign for mayor. There’s no mention of his law firm so I guess he quit. I don’t know how this shit works. Liz and Jess start helping out with his campaign, which means stuffing envelopes, operating the phone bank, and all that jazz. Ned’s campaign staff includes his advisor, James Knapp, and his aides, Amanda Mason and Ramon Valdes. James’ nephew Terry also works there but it’s not clear how old he is. It’s also not clear what any of these people do all day other than sit around shooting the shit and conducting occasional door-to-door campaigns. James Knapp in particular only shows up when he wants to pressure Ned into changing his speeches to reflect more on the need for economic development, much to Liz’s ire. Meanwhile, Ned and Alice continue to live apart. Liz is still upset about it, but Jess is having the time of her life because she can’t wait to fix her parents up with anyone with a pulse that crosses their path. It figures.
Liz and Maria are suddenly close friends, and so Liz invites her to come help out with Ned’s campaign. Even though the only reason Ned is running is because Maria’s dad was the victim of a smear campaign, Maria is more than happy to do so. Whatever. There is zero mention of Enid in this book (I think). I was trying to read it as quickly as possible and get it over with.
So what is the whole Parent Plot? Well, there isn’t much of one. I guess we’re supposed to think that the twins are constantly battling each other over their parents, but it so doesn’t go down like that. Jessica does try to set her parents up with random people, while Liz gets mad and occasionally tries to get her parents to “accidentally” bump into each other so they can talk. Boring. No one Jess talks to is interested in Ned or Alice as anything more than friends, so I guess her parents aren’t as attractive as Jessica thinks. Or maybe they just aren’t raging to get with someone whose marriage just broke up (and not even legally). Jess wants to set Ned up with Amanda Mason, but she’s already engaged to someone else. Hurrrr. Next she decides it’s a good idea to get her mom and Mr. Collins together. Holy shit, isn’t Mr. Collins in his early-mid 20s while Alice is in her 40s? And isn’t Mr. Collins dating Ms. Dalton? Jessica doesn’t give a shit. She arranges a parent-teacher conference to talk about her crap grades, then spends the whole meeting just suggesting Mr. Collins and Alice hang out more, or something. She dashes out of the room, ostensibly to get something out of her locker, and guess what, Alice agrees to go out with Mr. Collins as “friends” for some fun to take her mind off the situation. Yet the narrator makes it clear that this is really a “non-romantic” date and that Jessica is disappointed about that. Okay, what the fuck is that? Fancy dinner and a movie, just you and a dude you barely know? That sounds like a date to me. I must be old-fashioned.
The twins go out with their dad that same night and it turns out he’s taking them to Chez Sam. Jessica freaks out and begs him to take them somewhere else because she knows Mr. Collins is taking their mom to Chez Sam too. Liz and Ned don’t get what Jessica’s damage is so they go ahead to Chez Sam where they see Alice and Mr. Collins. Liz is enraged that Jessica set them up and Jessica is terrified a huge fight will go down, but it works out fine. In fact, Mr. Collins and Alice wind up eating at the table with Ned and the twins and no one seems mad.
Seeing that the plan failed, Jess then idly tries to see if Ramon Valdes wants to date Alice, but he bores her with talk of his Siamese cats and how cool they are. Well, they are cool … not that I talk about my own cats all day or anything … ahem. *jumps through window and runs away*
Maria overhears Knapp talking with some man named Sy Robertson in a shady manor. They joke in a menacing movie villain tone about how they set up Mr. Santelli with the mysterious bank deposit because he wouldn’t do what they wanted. It seems there is a huge beachfront development planned for Sweet Valley that they know the town will oppose, so they’re looking for someone to run for mayor who will sneakily push it on the town after election. Why don’t Knapp or Robertson run then? This is SO fucking dumb. Maria tells Terry, Winston, and Liz and they resolve to find enough evidence to convict Knapp and I guess Robertson. They put together a dumb plan to get the kids in the office after hours to prowl around like Nancy Drew. Liz distracts the security guard, pretending she’s waiting on her mother to pick her up, while the other kids prowl around in Knapp’s office. Eventually Liz goes up there to see what’s going on and they all hear Knapp coming and hide in a closet. Through a crack in the door, they see him pull a folder out from a filing cabinet, make some copies and put it back. He leaves and they page through it and it’s, conveniently, the plans for the Sweet Valley beachfront development, along with a bank deposit slip for $10,000 with Mr. Santelli’s bank account # written on it. WOW, don’t make it easy for any nosy kids or, you know, the custodian who cleans your whole office to figure you out or anything, there, Knapp.
Liz shows the folder to Ned who’s furious and also frustrated because they can’t just take it to the police without getting a search warrant first, even though Liz the citizen is the one who came across it. And they don’t want to just go get a search warrant, I guess? They say everything Maria heard only amounts to hearsay. I have no idea what the fuck is happening. So Ned asks Alice to help and they work out a plan together. Then the day of the mayoral debates comes around, or something like that. Ned goes to make a big speech and announces that Mr. Santelli was set up, and that Ned is quitting the race to preserve his honor or some old bullshit like that! James Knapp tries to sneak away and the police get him and arrest him. So they got the search warrant after all? WHAT THE FUCK IS HAPPENING? I think I’m confused about the way the law works. I feel stupid. Ned comes down from the stage to thunderous applause and hopes he still has his lawyer job. Alice meets him and they make out and Liz cries tears of joy while Jessica is enraged and catches the nearest bus off to San Fran to meet Nicky Shepherd. Well, I wish that’s what she did; instead she grudgingly joins in the group hug. Mr. Santelli runs for mayor again and is elected. Meanwhile, Ned and Alice reunite at home and instead of having hot reunited married couple sex Alice probably just made them all a huge fattening meal while Ned yelled “Where’s my dinner?” and got pissed off because it was 5 minutes late … the end.
I’m sorry you guys, this was SO terrible. And it ain’t getting any better. I’m already a third of the way into the next book, which I used to aid my insomnia the other night, and it worked like a charm. Right now my boyfriend is passed out on our couch snoring at the top of his lungs and it’s so appropriate for this plot line that it’s not even funny!
WTF is up with Alice not disciplining Jessica for her grades. When mine slipped my parents would get pissed and would threaten to ground me (or actually ground me) until I got my ass in gear. Alice is just cheerfully shaking her head at how little concern Jess has for her schoolwork.
Some other restaurants in Sweet Valley, if you care: the Carousel, and the Leeward Isles. Sweet Valley is just bustling with great places to eat!
We hear about how the current (nameless) mayor has held the office for many years and what a good man he is. Many years? What happened to the whole Russell Kincaid shit from No Place to Hide?
Jessica briefly considers setting Alice up with George Fowler – yes, Lila’s dad! Then she realizes it might suck to have Lila as a stepsister … so? Just live at the other end of the mansion and you’ll never have to see her!
From the mouth of Lila Fowler: Jessica: “There are other things in life besides money, you know.”
Lila: “Not that I’ve noticed”
Coming up next: Todd and Liz pity their single friends, seek to remedy their situation immediately. Oh, and there will be new Droids songs! Wait, where were the Droids in this Parent Plot? Shouldn’t they have been at the mayor debate playing a song called “Elect to Have Me Back” Or maybe set up in the Wakefields’ living room after they made up playing a song called “Vote for My Heart” GET IT? GET IT? ELECT, VOTE, IT’S AN ELECTION! SO CLEVER HAHAHA LOL!!!11!