Perfect Summer

Elizabeth and Jessica are going on a summer biking trip with some classmates.  They will be spending a month biking up and down the California coast. The people going on this trip besides Jessica and Elizabeth are Todd Wilkins, Olivia Davidson and her boyfriend Roger Barrett-Patman, Bruce Patman, Lila Fowler ( not sure why either Bruce or Lila would want to spend a month biking but whatever), Charlie Markus, some random friend of Bruce’s who is on the Sweet Valley High tennis team, Annie Whitman, and Mr. ” Chrome Dome” Cooper’s nerdy nephew Barry from Colorado. Barry is chubby so naturally he is awkward, klutzy and has  a big crush on Jessica. The two teachers chaperoning this trip are Nora Dalton the French teacher, and good old Roger Collins.  Instead of a whole recap, I am pretty much going to summarize what happens to each protagonist on this trip.

Elizabeth- She and Todd are having MEGA issues. See,  a family friend of the Patmans, Steve Thomas, begs Nora and Roger Collins to take an additional teen on this trip when they spend a night at Steve’s home- his rebellious, but sexy, teen daughter Courtney. Steve wants to get Courtney as far away from her Mohawk hairstyle, motorcycle riding,  drug using boyfriend Nolan Ruggers- what a name- as possible, and he feels that the wholesome Sweet Valley students will be a great influence on Courtney. Roger Collins reluctantly agrees, though he doesn’t see how much this will really help.

Well, Courtney completely latches on to Todd, because Courtney plans to bring Todd home with her to prove to Papa Thomas that she has completely changed, but she will then ditch Todd in a hurry and be back in her precious Nolan’s arms. Todd gets completely captivated by rich, dark and curly haired, hottie Courtney and even spends a night holding Courtney’s hand as they sleep side to side in sleeping bags- and Todd doesn’t get why Liz would be upset by this! Courtney tells Todd this bullshit story about how Steve Thomas is a total alcoholic, and she has also captivated most of the Sweet Valley crowd- except for Elizabeth and Jessica- Jessica can see right through Courtney as like Jess Courtney seems to only care about boys and partying, and is a big schemer.  To wrap up, basically Courtney is called out on her bullshit when she causes a raging forest fire by throwing a cigarette butt in the bushes, and Todd realizes that Liz is the one for him. By the way, in case you care, Enid Rollins was stuck working at Casey’s Ice Cream Parlor for the summer because she’s poor and can’t afford to be biking around Cali for a month.

Jessica- She decides that she MUST have the elusive  biker from Northern California, Robbie October- and apparently he’s NOT a porn star? Robbie sounds very 80’s hot- a Jon Bon Jovi of the 80’s like hairdo, a tight black wife beater, great body- good times. Well, Robbie pretty much ignores Jessica whenever Jessica runs into Robbie at a youth hostel or whatever. Jessica is going to go clubbing with Robbie one night but can’t because she is helping Bruce Patman make dinner.  Well, Jessica eventually gets Robbie to notice her and she tells Robbie to meet her at a cave to ” have some fun.” Well, Jessica and Robbie end up getting caught in the cave, trapped inside by a HUGE black bear! Jessica and Robbie argue and Jessica yells at Robbie for not bringing a flashlight and Robbie says ” I didn’t think the fun you had in mind required having any sort of light.” LOLZ at that one! Well, who the heck is going to save Robbie and Jess from being mauled by a bear??

BARRY!! Yes, for the entire camping trip Barry keeps blubbering, and dropping things, and is always lagging behind the rest of the biking group. Only Elizabeth is at all nice to Barry. But then when Jessica and Robbie are trapped inside that cave, it turns out Barry knows all about bears and manages to create a diversion so that Jessica and Robbie can escape from the cave. So Barry is a big hero and Jessica gives him two huge kisses on Barry’s cheeks and feeds him marshmallows and he is happier than a pig in shit.

Roger Barrett- Patman- Bruce is making fun of Roger the entire vacation. Bruce keeps making snide comments about Roger’s past- you know, Rog didn’t know who his father was until very recently ( of course his dad turned out to be Henry Patman’s brother) and his mother was a housekeeper and Roger had to work to support the family until his mom died. The night that Jessica is lost with Mr. October, there is a forest fire afterward.  ( well the cave shit happened in the morning, the evening is the forest fire). Roger and Bruce both run to put the fire out but as Roger is going to go out there, Bruce says ” we can’t risk more than one Patman” so this means Bruce has finally acknowledged that Roger is a true Patman! Roger is thrilled.

Olivia- All Olivia is doing this whole trip is kissing up to Courtney along with the rest of the clan, and supporting Roger Barrett through all that crap that Bruce is putting him through. NOTHING ELSE goes on with Olivia whatsoever which disappointed me even as a kid because Olivia was one of my favorites.

Bruce- He makes fun of Barry and Roger like hell this whole trip, and he teases Jessica tons about Robbie October.  That’s pretty much it.

Lila- Lila is apeshit because Nora Dalton is dating Lila’s dad.  At a youth hostel, Lila meets two boys from Arizona who swear that Nora looks JUST LIKE a teacher named Beth Curtis. Well- ( and I will explain Nora’s full story soon) Lila blackmails Nora Dalton with this information and makes Ms. Dalton do all of her chores. Lila and Jess also stop talking for most of the trip because Lila eventually starts being pals with Courtney after hearing about Courtney’s dad’s ” alcoholism.” At first Lila and Jess were both trying to be rid of Courtney because Jessica told Lila that Courtney had bigger diamond earrings than Li, and that Courtney would steal all the hot men that they meet on the trip.  But that strategy of Jess’s doesn’t work for long. But then Lila freaks out when Jessica  is missing, and Lila and Jessica make up.

Annie Whitman and Charlie Markus are being put together. Basically, Charlie has a big thing for Annie.  Annie recently broke up with Ricky Capalbo, and Charlie has no woman but he finds Annie very alluring. Bruce keeps telling Charlie about Annie’s past slutleries, but Charlie is convinced Annie has changed. Annie starts to get into Charlie, but then one night she heard Charlie and Bruce talking and Bruce is again saying that Annie probably hasn’t changed a bit, and Charlie is saying ” maybe you’re right….” so Annie is convinced that Charlie thinks she’s a total ho like she used to be. But then Bruce tells Annie that what Charlie said was ” maybe you’re right but I don’t think so!!” So Annie accepts Charlie’s love and they become a hot couple.

Nora Dalton- Yes, she was  Beth Curtis from Arizona in a former life, and she taught French there too. Beth was married to a rich man who was also severely mentally ill. Nora ( or Beth) left her husband after he hit her one night when he was stinking drunk, and Nora was tired of the abuse so she filed for divorce. When Beth ( or Nora) left her husband, he killed himself.  Beth’s in laws completely blamed her for her husband’s suicide so Nora felt she had to leave town and make a new identity for herself to escape her in law’s threats and power. George Fowler finds out who Nora really is because George is friends with that prominent family in Arizona, so even though Nora had started dating Roger Collins and they were happy, but George Fowler pretty much forced Nora to date him again or else he would tell her ex’s family where she was.  And yes then when Lila finds out who Nora used to be, she also blackmails Nora by threatening to expose her.

Roger Collins- Starts to see what Lila is doing to Nora. He is still deeply in love with Nora, and that few months he spent dating Nora were some of the most terrific months in his life. ( Incidentally the parts that are written featuring Mr. Collins and Nora read like they are scenes from ” Guiding Light- and not in a good way). Nora finally confesses to Roger about who she used to be and is crying and junk, but Mr. Collins says none of that matters and her husband’s suicide was NOT her fault. Mr. Collins tells Nora to stay and fight, and he will support Nora no matter what and he still loves her. They make out and one assumes Nora dumps George F’s behind as soon as she gets back to Sweet Valley.  Roger is also the one who finally tells Liz the truth about Courtney when he sees Elizabeth crying like crazy after the forest fire and he finds out that Todd dumped Elizabeth for Courtney.  Elizabeth is also convinced she didn’t put out the bonfire properly and she caused the fire and says she will leave the bike trip, but then Todd tells everyoine what he saw Courtney do, and Courtney has to leave in disgrace.

After reading this, I thought Courtney was pretty bitchin.’  I hated her when I was 8,but now I am like YOU FUCKIN RULE COURTNEY!!! I still hated Lila Fowler’s behavior toward Ms. Dalton ( I am a Ms. Dalton fan what can I say- though slightly less after reading the horrid interactions between Ms. Dalton and Mr. Collins) and I also hated how Bruce Patman treated almost everyone on the trip but at least he turned around toward the end.  I also still felt bad for everyone dumping on poor Barry Cooper!!! I don’t know why just because Barry was chubby he had to be written to be an awkward geek! Well, maybe because Francine P.  hates fat people.

I have had MAJOR fun writing all of these blogs in a row, but it’s sort of exhausting!! By next week ( Monday  or Tuesday) I will be providing a full recap of the SVU Thriller Love and Murder. I may also recap the Gymnasts book about boys in the gym next week but it depends on how much I have going on- this month I have quite a few birthday parties to attend, and my one year anniversary w/ my boo ( who is totes better than Todd Wilkins and maybe even Jeffrey French) is at the end of this month and we are going away for a weekend so blogging towards the end of this month may be sparse.  But I am hoping to also recap ” Kate’s Camp Out” and ” Claudia and the Genius of Elm Street” by the end of this month if I get to them!! And in September look for quite a few more Sweet Valley Twins and University recaps,  as well as some Baby Sitters Club!!!  And maybe even a Little Sister book or two…. I also will have more Gymnasts, Fabulous Five and Elizabeth Gail books to write about!

Happy Monday- now time for another obsession of mine- VH 1 reality TV- wooo Real Chance of Love 2! Personally I think Real is pretty hot 😉

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4 Responses to “Perfect Summer”

  1. Seriously, what on earth is Lila doing on this trip? For that matter, what is Jess doing, too? Ridic.

  2. You had me at a Guiding Light reference.

  3. Stonehawk Says:

    I think Francine was a fan of Guilding Light hence the book turning out to be like a soap opera. hah.

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