Synopsis: There’s a contest on who can make the best amateur music video on Rock TV, the winner gets a new AV system for their school. The Unicorns go for it, and Lila HAS to be the lead singer. Problem? She can dance, she can look the part, but she can’t carry a tune in a bucket. Meet Johanna Porter, shy dork extraordinaire, who is a song writer that they suckered into writing a melody for the video, and has the most fabulous voice you’ve ever heard. Lila doesn’t want to give up the lead singer gig because she doesn’t want to give Jessica Wakefield the satisfaction. Lila therefore decides to pull a Milli Vanilli/ Singin’ in the Rain / Ashlee Simpson (whatever reference floats your boat). She dances and lip synchs to Johanna’s singing behind the curtain. She tricks Johanna by acting like a buddy, then when they pull it off she disses her. Then Lila wins a voice contest, and has to sing live. Johanna proves that she’s a real friend when Jessica rightfully accuses her of lip-synching, and Jo lies for Lila. They make up, decide to try it again, when the tv studio only allows one person in. Johanna goes and overcomes her shyness. No consequences for Lila since she became clean, and Johanna gets all the glory.
- I thought I’d try a Sweet Valley Twins to compare to the Unicorn series, to see if I really did prefer one over the other. For the most part, yes, I liked the Unicorns better, for writing style, POV, etc., but attitude didn’t really change. Because what’s the refrain in both? “We’re Unicorns, everyone wants a chance to be with the pretty popular people!” As a non-popular ok-looking person, I never understood the popularity thing. Those kids are never nice. They’re always putting you down. I always kinda figured “popular” people were only popular amongst themselves, since, ya know, they don’t hang out with other people besides “popular people.” Perhaps a better term would be the in-crowd? The “well-known because we think we’re better than everyone” crowd?
- Plus… Unicorns? I like unicorns and rainbows as much as the next gal, but the mythical creature is supposed to be UNIQUE and hard to find. There’s about twenty in this exclusive club. The purple dress code? Are they saying they’re royalty? Everytime I read one of them talk in this book, I thought about the cartoon Daria. Remember the Fashion Club? Yeah, I hear Sandi going, “Hello, we’re like, the Unicorns. They’ll bow to us!” (La la la la la.)
- Lila is shocked, SHOCKED, that dorky Johanna would say no to a Unicorn, until Lila convinces Jo it’s for the good of the school.
- Liz is out with the flu, and Amy Sutton is playing editor for the Sixers. She recently read a book about an investigative reporter, Carl Birnbaum (a knock off of Carl Bernstein of Watergate fame). Her attempts to find scandals include the trash cans being dirty and buying pushpins with student counsel money– until Jessica shows up with the scoop on the video. (Jess watched it and noticed the lips not being perfectly in-synch.)
- Johanna performs for television, and they’re like, “hey, you look different… same great voice!” And she’s like, “I’m not Lila. It’s a long story, but thanks Lila for getting me here!” And, nothing. It’s done. No drilling, no investigative reporting, nada. Seriously, the only consequence Lila has is she didn’t make a butt out of herself on television.
- Sidenote, I have an autographed Sweet Valley Twins book somewhere, signed by the ghostwriter. I felt really bad because I was like, “You’re not Francine Pascal!” And she was like, “No honey, I WROTE the book.” It must suck to be a ghostwriter. Little kids probably hurt your feelings all the time.
Grades: Back of the book says “RL 4.” Third grade may be interested, up to sixth grade. I can’t remember when I read these books, but it came out in ’93, so my guess is 3/4 is accurate.
Grade: B It’s not a bad little book. I like Jess books since Liz is a little boring (look, I relate to being the bookish goody-goody type, but you wouldn’t want a book about me). I didn’t feel much sympathy for Lila, felt a lot more for Johanna, but will their friendship ever be mentioned again? Doubtful. One of my favorite joke is, “If Milli Vanilli fell in the woods, would somebody else make a sound?” In Lila’s perfect case, yeah, someone else does, and no backlash is seen. Booooo. I mean, even Lena Lamont suffered some laughter.