Tagline: "Are Elizabeth and Todd heading for disaster?" Well--some might call it that. Let's ask Cousin Rexy what he thinks.
So Todd got a motorcycle. For his thirty-fifth birthday. You still look good, Todd! You've got all your hair, and stuff. And your all teeth, presumably.
But despite this, all is not well in Todd's world. You see, his girlfriend Elizabeth isn't allowed to ride his hog (ha!) because her cousin, Rexy, died in a motorcycle accident recently. I love how the ghostwriter feels the need to justify Ned and Alice's parenting decision beyond "You just can't because it is dangerous, and we say so." Who is cousin Rexy? It doesn't matter. We don't ever hear about him again, or get to find out which of Jessica and Elizabeth's collateral relatives were awesome enough to name their child "Rex." And foolish enough to put the -y on the end, so people would forever think he's a girl.
Anyway, Todd Just Doesn't Understand, and he's all pissed, and he even got Elizabeth a pink helmet to wear, but she just won't disobey her parents, what a bitch! Jessica thinks that this rift in the most perfect high school relationship ever should spur Elizabeth to find somebody else. But Elizabeth doesn't want anybody else, so she throws her efforts into helping Enid plan her My Super-Dull Sixteen party and the re-opening of the Dairi Burger, which has been renovated and spiffed up.
Todd paid good money for that pink helmet, though, and it's not going to go to waste, dammit. If Elizabeth won't ride his hog (I can't resist, sorry) there are plenty of girls who will, and he takes them all out, and Elizabeth now is both sad and jealous. Also, have I mentioned that Todd's bike gives him magical powers? Behold: Crunch MacAllister, resident bully, is going to beat up some poor kid who scratched his van, when Todd offers Crunch a ride on his hog (LOLOL) to distract him. "You saved my life," says the kid who was about to get beat up, and to reward Todd's bravery, and motorcycle-owning status, and magical powers, the owner of the Dairi Burger offers to give his girlfriend "a free hot clam special," which cracked me up, because it sounds so dirty. What is wrong with me today? (But that really does sound dirty, right?) Only--oops! He thinks Todd's girlfriend is some girl named Mandy, who was riding on Todd's bike with him. Elizabeth is sad and jealous and hungry.
Strife between Liz and Enid ensues when Enid rides Todd's hog! (I'm going to stop, I promise. Soon.) But Elizabeth still shows up for her birthday party. Jessica goes, too, because she wants to be introduced to Enid's hot cousin, Brian. You know who else has come to this sixteen year old girl's party? Mr. Collins. Their teacher. I swear to God, he is a lawsuit waiting to happen. And then you know when it does he's going to be all, "WHAT? They're my pals." After the first half of the party, which is held at the Sweet Valley Country Club, Scoob and the gang are going to head down to the Caravan, for dancing. Jessica was supposed to give Liz a ride to the club, but Jess has disappeared with the hot cousin, and Liz is stranded...until Todd rolls up on his bike.
At first Liz is like, WTF? How many times do I have to tell you no? But then Todd makes this speech about how he's selling the bike because it has come between him and Liz. Then he sort of suggests that they go for one last ride on it together, and Elizabeth figures that once couldn't hurt, because she has never read a book in this series before. Once is enough. One line of coke? DEAD. Why should one ride on a motorcycle DEATH MACHINE be any different? She gets on the bike, and somewhere the specter of Rexy Wakefield's starts rattling its chains and moaning. Because Liz and Todd crash, of course. Or rather, Crunch MacAllister crashes into them. With his van.
Jessica is making out with the hot cousin when she remembers Liz, and she and Brian go back to get her from the Country Club where Jess left her. But before they can get there, they come across the scene of the crash, and "it doesn't look good" for Todd. Then Jessica sees Elizabeth, and wigs, and you'd think at that moment in her life she learns a lesson about punctuality and reliability, wouldn't you? Yeah. You would.
Jess and her family are at the hospital with Liz, who's in a coma. The Wakefield pere and mere are awesome, here. "She's alive, no thanks to you!" shouts Ned. "You broke your word to us, Todd," says Alice. I would be screaming: YOU LITTLE FUCKING SACK OF SHIT! I NEVER SHOULD HAVE LET MY DAUGHTER DATE A THIRTY-FIVE YEAR OLD! while I strangled the life from his body. But from Ned and Alice, this is pretty rough treatment. Todd feels even worse. Mr. Collins cruises home from Enid's birthday, checks the Tivo, sees there's nothing on, and then moseys on down to the hospital to see what's up. He arrives just in time to hear Steven Wakefield cry out that Liz has taken a turn for the worse! They don't think she's going to make it!
What they wore: At the start of this book, Elizabeth shows up for school with her hair tied back with a blue ribbon, dressed in jeans, blue oxford shirt, and dark blue blazer. Todd is a loser, and he's not too bright, because does that sound like the type of girl who's going to be super-excited about her boyfriend getting a motorcycle? Also, Liz--that's a lot of blue. There are other colors, you know. Anyway, altogether, it's not a bad outfit. It is much better than the Detective Sipowicz shirt she's wearing on the cover, that makes her look like a linebacker.
Mr. Collins's typical school-day outfit is detailed for us: a blue crewneck sweater, worn with jeans and a tweed jacket. That's not bad, but doesn't it just scream to you that Mr. Collins is the type of dude who tells his students to call him by his first name, and considers himself their friend? I always hated that kind of teacher. My friends don't give me homework, dude.
Now for the party! We don't know what Enid, the birthday girl, is wearing, but we get a paragraph about Jessica's black-and-white satin jumpsuit held in place by two tiny spaghetti straps (noooo!). Her hair is piled atop her head and long black and white earrings [dangle] from her lobes. Jessica looked stunning. Or you know, like newsprint. A pop of color never harmed anybody. By the end of the night, Jess's makeup was streaked, and her satin jumpsuit was heavily wrinkled from the night of sitting by her sister's bedside. And I don't want to sound cruel, but maybe someone could get her something from home to change into? Because satin is really hard to iron. It scorches easily.
And Elizabeth is wearing a hospital gown, because she's in a coma! Uh-oh, uh-oh, it's seeeerious.