Sweet Valley High #82-Kidnapped by the Cult!

Jessica has decided that her life is terrible because her parents grounded her after failing a math test, and she is missing all of Lila’s important parties. Jessica also feels that Sam would rather spend time with her dirtbike than with her, and that her parents think Elizabeth is so much better than Jessica is. OK the beginning of this book is a recycled plot- anyone remember Runaway? Jessica felt ignored by her family, felt they made fun of her and liked Elizabeth better, so Jessica almost ran away to San Francisco with that hunky rebel Nicky Shepard?  Jessica is just so upset by all of this that she starts crying in the mall. A boy goes right over to Jessica and asks if she’s OK and Jessica is amazed at how sensitive and serene this boy is. His name is Ted,  and Ted says he knows exactly how Jessica feels. Ted says that his parents treated him like he was a baby, and his girlfriend dumped him and Ted thought life was just the pits until he met a man named Adam Marvel. He runs an organization called Good Friends, and they raise soooo much money for charity and the Good Friends live simply in one house and are just very harmonious and live in peace.  Ted says the group is always there for one another and he invites Jessica to dinner at the house.  The house is in the ” dingy” part of time ( probably next door to Tricia Martin’s family) and Jessica is nervous at first,  and wants to turn around but then Ted sees her and invites her right into the house.  Jessica is impressed with the inside of the house, though, and Ted says they do all of the work to the home themselves at Good Friends. Jessica doesn’t like that the kids all dress from clothing probably found at rummage sales, and there’s only one blonde and the girl isn’t even a HOT blonde like Jessica, but then Jessica meets Adam Marvel, the leader, and Adam is the most gorgeous man Jess has ever seen. So of course Jessica is wanting to know ALL about the Good Friends now.  One girl named Susan is a bit cold to Jessica, but everyone else is so warm and friendly, and Jessica is really starting to feel she belongs. By the way, the kids in the house have to all share rooms except Adam- Adam has his own room because he needs privacy to do all his important charitible work.

Jessica then helps the Good Friends with a task for the day and Jessica is surprised that working toward a common cause can actually be fun! Adam has been telling Jessica that all of her friends and family are selfish and don’t really care about her, and Jessica thinks about how all of her friends only talk about clothes and boys and are very superficial and Adam and the good friends are so much more deep than Jessica’s superficial friends. Adam says that the people Jessica associates with are self centered and Jessica is so much better than that- she has the potential to be someone special.  Soon, the Wakefields start noticing changes in Jessica.  Jessica wears blouses and long skirts- and then Enid Rollins has the NERVE to say ” Jessica is going around dressed like a social worker’ all critical and shiz- God, FUCK YOU, ENID! First of all when was ENID described as Miss Fashion? Secondly, I am a social worker and we don’t all dress like Ms. Weiss in Precious- I, personally, am quite fashionable- I bet I dress a lot effin better than Enid! Well OK enough of that rant. Jessica also starts eating foods like meusli and tofu as the Good Friends only eat natural foods.  When Jessica is on an outing one day with the Good Friends, Adam grabs money from the bowl they are planning to give to charity to buy groceries. Jessica says Adam can’t do that, but Adam says it’s OK- they have to take some of the money from charity to pay for their own rent and food. Jessica is still a bit uneasy over this but lets it go- it seems legit what Adam says, after all.  Later, Annie, one of the Good Friends girls, tells Jessica the group likes to keep to themselves as much as possible and they don’t trust outsiders. Jessica, sure enough, starts to skip Pi Beta meetings and mall outings with Amy and Lila, and even starts avoiding poor Sam and she’s always picking fights with Sam and shiz.

Ned Wakefield is investigating the Good Friends! He tells Elizabeth that many of the charities Adam and his cronies say they raise money for are not even registered and the reputable charities say they have never heard of the Good Friends. Some of the charities have asked Ned to look into the Good Friends, as they believe that the Good friends are using the charities’ names to raise money and money is never going to any of the charities.  Elizabeth asks if that is even legal and Ned says it is not. Ned also tells Elizabeth that Adam is very manipulative, and that Adam has started groups like this all over the country and it may even be a cult. Liz is all ” a cult in Sweet Valley? Impossible”. Yes, Sweet Valley is shang ra la, Liz- we get it. UGH!  Elizabeth tries to tell this to Jessica and Jessica runs to Adam who says that people always try to spread lies about Good Friends  and Jess says she knew Mr. Wakefield was wrong and that the Good Friends are only out to do good deeds.

Elizabeth crashes a Good Friends meeting and one of the boys, Brian, has ” disappeared” from the mall according to Annie. Adam is all livid and goes to run off to find him and Susan flinches.  Then Susan tells Elizabeth to get out while she can. When Liz goes to ask why, Adam asks what they are talking about and Elizabeth says she’s just teasing Susan about having a crush on Brian, and Adam says all creepily that Good Friends don’t get crushes. Ummm OK.

Adam asks Jessica to tell Brian’s parents to bring him home. Jessica doesn’t know how to find Brian, but then tells Adam she can see if the address is at her dad’s office space at home. Jess does find the address in her dad’s Rolodex and writes it down.  Adam then tells Jessica the group has to leave Sweet Valley after they get Brian back.  Jessica asks why and Adam says the Good Friends can start anew and be whoever they want to be.  Jessica tells Adam that would be wonderful. After all, her parents and Liz wouldn’t miss, and none of her friends would care. This way, Jessica could be whatever she wanted and not just be known as superficial.  Jessica goes to leave, and Elizabeth and Sam go after her as they just realized that Jessica isn’t at home as Sam thought or with Sam as Liz thought. Elizabeth thinks Jessica may be trying to run away with the Good Friends.  Elizabeth runs to the house and sees Jessica with Adam and cries, telling her to leave with Elizabeth and that she loves Jessica. As Jessica says she doesn’t want to go with Liz, Sam has Susan in his arms- Susan was found unconscious and tied up upstairs!  Adam had claimed Susan went home and Jessica asks Adam what happened and Adam said he’ll explain later and Liz screams ” no explain now!”  Well, turns out Susan is a reporter who was undercover in the Good Friends and Susan explains that Adam has manipulated vulnerable teens for years, and Adam is a fraud.  Elizabeth bakes brownies for the group, as Sam says he is sorry for not knowing Jessica was depressed. As the group of Sam, Susan, Steven, ( he is home from college visiting his GF, Cara Walker) Elizabeth and Jess eat brownies, Steven says he’s worried that Cara will be in London for a week- he’s not sure why, but he is concerned about this trip. And that is the intro to one of my favorite Sweet Valley High books that I wish I had, Steven’s Bride!

The subplot in this book is that Elizabeth and Todd join the bowling club at school and Elizabeth almost cheats on Todd with the hot senior leading the group, Justin Silver, but decides against it at the last minute. And Todd is none the wiser.

Sometime after Easter ( maybe even ON Easter) I will be recapping a Sweet Valley Kids book. Coming up after that- some more Sleepover Friends, some BSC ( Mary Anne’s Makeover and a Super Special or two) and Sweet Valley Twins.  Catch up w/ ya then!


3 Responses to “Sweet Valley High #82-Kidnapped by the Cult!”

  1. “Elizabeth thinks Jessica may be trying to run away with the Good Friends.” Ugh, why didn’t they just let her go?

    • girltalkread Says:

      Seriously!!!! Even better- Jessica should have convinced Liz to go with her!!! Who needs those Wakefield twins?

  2. I can’t believe Elizabeth (almost) cheated on Todd, AGAIN. Seriously, someone should create a list of every time she goes behind his back with some other dude. It’s practically every other book.

    But they’re so in LUV (sorry Stacey moment)!

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