Super Star: Lila’s Story

30 Jan

lilasstory Estimated Elapsed Time: Something like 6-8 weeks?  SUMMER VACAY, Y’ALL.

Summary/Overview:

Lila’s got her panties in a twist because her dad is seeing a new woman and not spending enough time with her as a result. The woman in question is a beautiful lady named Joan Borden (prove it), and it turns out that she has a daughter named Jacqueline who is about Lila’s age.  Lila’s not thrilled about any of this, and she’s even less thrilled when her father sort of forces her to hang out with Jacqueline.  Lila’s sure that there’s something off about Joan and Jackie, and she decides she has to prove that they’re money-grubbing mooches.

At first, her hunch about Joan and Jackie is just based on speculation, but she starts to notice that for wealthy people, they let George Fowler pick up the check all the time.  Joan is so sweet that it crosses over into fake territory, and Jacqueline’s constant copying of Lila isn’t just cloying and annoying–it’s also creepy.

Things get worse when Joan and George return from a vacation and announce their plans to get married.  Apparently they got a deal on a rush-order wedding, because the nuptials are in three weeks.  When Lila overhears Joan talking about the fact that she’s only marrying George for his money, Lila goes to her father and tries to reason with him.  George won’t hear it, though, because Lila has been complaining about the Bordens since they arrived in her life.

Lila comes up with an elaborate plan to plant microphones in the room and get Joan to admit that she’s only in it for the alimony (someone should explain to Joan that that’s not how it works).  Lila manages to convince George with the recorded confession just in time, since Joan ‘fesses up minutes before the wedding ceremony.  George calls the whole thing off and everyone celebrates Lila.

The B-plot involves Lila’s crush on a guy named Evan.  Evan just happens to be dating a girl named Sonia, but Lila decides he’s a better match for her.  She enlists the help of Bruce Patman, because Sonia used to have a huge crush on him.  The two conspire to break them up, and because they’re awesome, they succeed.  There’s some more plot about car racing and money and favors, but it doesn’t really matter.

What does matter is that Evan has totally been cheating on Lila with Jacqueline.  Whatever, whatever, Lila ends up dating Toby, who won the drag race.  I don’t really get it, but this was all part of the story, I guess.

Trivia/Fun Facts:

  • Lila is 5’7″, which makes her slightly taller than the twins (who come in at–say it together now–5’6″).
  • According to Jessica, the sexiest car on Earth is a Lancia. You’re welcome.
  • Lila and Jacqueline have to wear peach-colored bridesmaid dresses with “little girl necklines and high waists.”  BARF.

Memorable Quotes:

  • “‘Your father’s putting us in the most gorgeous guest suite. Each of us has a bedroom and a bathroom.'” (86) [blogger’s note: George and Joan aren’t sleeping together?]
  • “There was no way Evan would borrow money from her unless he felt as serious about her as she did about him.” (114)

(Totally Unqualified) Critical Analysis:

This is the first of the Super Star books, which focus on secondary characters in the Sweet Valley world.  If all the Super Star books were like this one, I’d be a happy camper, because Lila is awesome (but I’m preaching to the choir, right?).   Even though she does some pretty shady things in this book, she still can’t hold a candle to Jessica’s constant sociopathic behavior.  And it turns out that Lila’s right about everything regarding the Bordens, so all is forgiven, right?

The only thing worth picking on in this book is how weird it is that we’re supposed to believe that George and Joan aren’t sleeping together before the wedding.  There’s nothing to indicate that the Fowlers nor the Bordens are particularly religious, and yet when Joan and Jacqueline stay over, Jacqueline talks about the fact that she and her mother have been given rooms in the guest wing.

Did this bother anyone else?  Like, why go to the trouble of pretending that sex isn’t happening?  I realize the original audience was fairly young, but there’s a ton of racier stuff in the other books.  Why wouldn’t George and Joan be sleeping together?  Why does this bother me so much?!

At any rate, I guess that helps explain their race down the aisle: they wanted to get it on.  Or whatever.

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