Nice sweater-vest, Lila! Too bad it’s pink, not purple. The Unicorns will fucking kick your ass out!
What is wrong with me? I have two bags full of wonderful Y.A. books to read and review, and this is the one I chose. (In fairness, I chose it at about ten at night last night, and I just needed a book I could finish in less than an hour. Done and done.)
Lila Fowler got a horse! And she’s such a snobby bitch that she doesn’t even care about the horse. But you know who does? Our own Elizabeth Wakefield, who has started taking riding lessons. Lila hints around to Liz that she should write an article about Thunder (the horse) for the Sweet Valley Sixers. At first Liz is all, whatevs Bitch. But then she realizes that she’ll get to spend time with Thunder and agrees to write the article about Lila and her horse. Oh, and before long, Liz is taking over sole responsibility for the care of the horse at the stable.
Jessica gets jealous that Liz is spending so much time with her bestie, Lila. Then the stable-boy, Ted, begins paying attention to Liz and that also makes Jess jealous. But Ted just luuurves Liz for her riding (heh) ability. Ted is a freshman in high school, like the twins’ brother, Steven. A sign appears at the stable for an owners’ competition. Ted encourages Liz to enter, but she claims to be too busy, not wanting to admit that she actually isn’t Thunder’s owner. And it’s never explained why she won’t admit to it. Because I’m fucking clueless over here. Ted finds out and convinces Liz to secretly enter the beginners competition on Thunder, because Lila doesn’t give a shit about her horse anyway.
Liz continues to hang around with Lila and the other Unicorns, causing Jessica’s jealousy to balloon. At Lila’s slumber party, some kids are making fun of Amy Sutton. Liz means to defend Amy, but ends up telling all the Unicorns that Ken Matthews kissed Amy at Julie Porter’s party. GASP!!!! It was a secret Amy wanted Liz to take to the grave.
Right before the horsie competition, Lila and some other Unicorns let Amy know that Liz told about her big kiss. Amy is (rightly) furious and tells Lila that in a few minutes, Liz will be entering Thunder in a competition. Amy and Lila run to the stable, confront Liz, who fesses up. Because Amy is really in love with Liz (not that midget Ken Matthews) she naturally forgives her right away. Lila is mad at Liz, but she does want her name on the first prize ribbon and she wants the prize money. So she wants Liz to compete. But Liz won’t. BUT along comes the stable boy, Ted, who enters with Thunder in the advanced category and he wins. Then he puts a down payment down to buy Thunder from Lila.
- When Liz finds out Lila is getting a horse, she thinks Why, of all people, does Lila get a horse when I’m the one who really deserves one? Uh, Liz? Just liking horses doesn’t mean you actually deserve one. What does one need to do to deserve a horse?
- Liz is first PISSED that Lila wants an article about herself and Thunder in the Sixer. And Liz gets all on her high horse on that one. (See what I did there? It’s called a pun, and really, there’s no excuse for it).
- When Liz meets Thunder, she thinks he has eyes that “peer into her soul.” Creepy.
- Here’s how Thunder is described: “Elizabeth admired the perfect slope of his neck, rising like a tree trunk from his forequarters. His long shoulder muscles glistened as they stretched tightly up to the withers. And his legs, which tapered beautifully to their hooves, seemed graceful yet powerful.” Does anyone else get the feeling that this ghostwriter actually writes erotica in her spare time?
- Because Liz can’t NOT judge others, when she first goes to the Fowler compound, she notes that it’s beautiful, but “for all its perfect beauty, it just didn’t look like the kind of place she could call home.” You know, not like a spanish-style split level rancher, anyway.
- So this stable boy, Ted. He walks with a limp, which Liz has to be all nebby about. (Drunk driver hit him, killed his mom and injured his dad). Ted, of course, knows exactly who Steven is…because he’s a
Wakefieldbasketball star at SVH.
- Ted and Steven become friends. Ted hangs out and Steven is teaching him to overcome his limp and play some mean basketball. Then Steven comes to watch the horsie competition and is impressed with Ted’s ability to maneuver a powerful animal between his legs. Seriously, I smell Ted/Steven fanfic. They are so clearly in love with each other. I’d write it, but it would turn really pornographic REALLY fast. (not that there’s anything wrong with that).
- I don’t get the whole thing about an Owners competition. I feel like not that many people own their own horses. Though this is Sweet Valley we’re talking about.
- Ted doesn’t seem to be doing very well in the competition, but then Jess shows up to show her support and that’s all he needed. Or so we’re led to believe. I’d like to point out that Steven got there at the exact same time as Jess.
- I totally forgot how the last chapter of an SVT book is really more like the first chapter of the next book. So in this one, we’re introduced to Sophia Rizzo and her good for nothing brother, Tony. Caroline Pearce tells Liz that the Rizzo family is screwed up. I mean, Sophia and Tony don’t even have a father. And nobody knows where he ran off to. AND they live on the poor side of town. So god damn Liz for telling Sophia that she can work for the Sixer.
A little more help for my good friend, Elissa, please. She’s trying to remember the title of another Y.A. Book, probably published in the 80’s. It featured a guidance counselor named Goldstein (or something similar) who always wore gold. Let me know if you remember it! Everyone was so helpful with A Secret Friend. Let’s see if we can’t help Elissa out here!