* Photo credit to The Closet *
It’ll be downright impossible to suspend belief for this WACKY story, but it’s a requirement if you want to get past the first chapter.
So it’s nearly a year in Sweet Valley time after Margo tried to murder Liz on New Year’s and take over her identity, but the twins are still juniors. Ned and Alice Wakefield, of course, are over it and plan on partying it up with the neighbors on New Year’s Eve instead of staying inside and locking their children in with them to ensure their safety. Liz and Jess collaborate on doing a fund-raising carnival for Dec. 31 to raise money for a children’s hospital, and everything is going just swimmingly until Liz’s boyfriend Todd Wilkins’s car swerves out of control and teeters on the edge of a cliff, and Jess comes along and drags him to safety just in time. This is the start of a beautiful bond between Jess and Todd, who is ever so grateful for her saving his life. This also marks the beginning not of Liz’s undying gratitude for both her sister’s bravery and the averted death of her boyfriend, but rather her rampaging jealousy. She even goes to him in the hospital while he’s suffering a head injury and makes him tell her he still loves her. Well, that’s cute. Granted, I’d probably be upset too if I caught my imaginary twin and my imaginary basketball star boyfriend making googly eyes at each other, but it’s just Liz and I hate Liz, so that’s that. Then Liz and Jess fight but make up Christmas morning and all is roses and peaches…for now. Dun dun dun!
Meanwhile, in Savannah, GA, Wakefield-lookalike Nora Chapelle’s father has just died, and her stepmother has just given her $50K to vanish forever. Her stepmother also informs her that she had a twin sister who had been given up for adoption a billion years ago because she was a psychotic pain in the ass. If you guessed that twin was the infamous Margo, you are very accurate! And it only gets better, and by “better,” I mean even more far-fetched. Nore does some research on her long-lost sis and learns that, after murdering a slew of people, Margo died last New Year’s in an effort to become a Wakefield twin, and so she vows to carry out Margo’s legacy. Good grief, Charlie Brown.
Nora goes to the cemetery where her sister’s grave is and finds Margo there. Why is Margo hanging around her own grave, at that very moment? Convenience, obviously. It turns out that she’s not dead after all, guys! To explain her non-death last New Year’s, she has this miraculous ability to hold her breath for more than three minutes and can even slow her pulse. So three minutes was all it took for everyone to load her onto a stretcher and put her in an ambulance? And what about the glass that wound up in her throat? Someone please address this. Anyway, she then murdered the EMTs and then drove the ambulance into a lake and escaped that way. HUH?! And the Wakefields never knew about this? If a murderer was after you and apparently died, and you read in the newspaper that the murderer’s body was never recovered, would you be able to sleep at night? How could you just ignore that? How could you not already know that? What is wrong with everyone?
Margo and Nora decide to team up and take out the Wakefields together, although they argue about who gets to be Jessica, since it’s even obvious to them that being Liz sucks.. They manage to fool Ned and Alice, whom I officially hate for being so fucking stupid. Before any bloodshed can occur, N&M first must make J&E pissed off at each other, so Nora-as-Elizabeth goes on a date with Todd and ensures that Liz sees them “necking.” Liz thinks it’s Jess who’s canoodling with Todd, and shits Frisbees. She refuses to talk to Jess and even slaps ol’ Toddy across the face! Drama!
The night of the carnival—NYE—rolls around, and Liz still won’t condescend to speak to Jess or Todd. However, she rues that decision later when Nora creeps into Jessica’s bedroom and STABS HER TO DEATH. For real real! But the bloody body is discovered, which means only Nora or Margo can take over Liz now, and Nora—whose brain has completely short-circuited—determines that she must kill Margo before Margo kills her. Meanwhile, Liz is on the verge of a nervous breakdown and keeps insisting that Margo killed Jess and blah blah. Then she senses that Jess is still alive—and somewhere in the hallowed halls of Sweet Valley High! Oh, dear Lord. Meanwhile, Nora has a feeling that Margo is the one hidden in the school, so that’s how both her and Liz—who somehow fucking stole a cop’s gun—end up in the basement of the school and find Jess tied up. Nora realizes then that she murdered her own sister that night. Then, after a struggle, Nora gets hauled away and the book ends with “And the twins made a silent vow that they would never go to bed angry again.” The end!
So… Margo had kidnapped Jess from the House of Mirrors at the carnival and brought her to the school. This is the most questionable thing of all: WHY WOULD MARGO EVER DO THAT? There is no way. Margo wouldn’t take over being Jess if Jess was still alive, Margo wouldn’t risk it, she wouldn’t go all Dr. Evil about the whole shebang. Why would she be so irresponsible about something she’s been waiting for more than a year for? That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard. Oh, dear. I’m filled with hatred again!
- This is Ned’s idea of a joke in response to Jess reading the newspaper: “Is it possible that our daughter was abducted by aliens while we slept and replaced by a Jessica look-alike?” Seriously, Ned? Your other daughter was nearly murdered by a look-alike last year. WTF is wrong with you?
- More than two thousand people show up for Jess’s memorial service (held at the damn school). Scoff.
- None of the Sweet Valley cops brush anything for fingerprints or check DNA or do much of anything that makes sense in a murder case. No wonder all the teenagers think they’re useless.