Confessions Of A Bookaholic – Guilty Pleasures Edition #29 – Sweet Valley High #41 – Outcast

Regina is dead. Regina is dead. I’m sorry, I cannot focus on this book, because Regina is dead…



Sweet Valley Scale: 4 out of 5 Twins

Everyone is treating Molly Hecht as if she has the plague, ever since Regina Morrow’s tragic death at Molly’s house party. Nobody at school wants to talk to Molly, her parents have permanently grounded her, and even her closest friend Justin Belson is ignoring her. Every time Molly tries to make amends, no one will listen. So when Buzz, the drug dealer who is responsible for Regina’s death and who has been hiding out from the police, calls Molly and tells her that he is leaving town, she is more than ready to go with him. She’d much rather flee to Mexico with Buzz than walk the cold halls of Sweet Valley High alone. Only Elizabeth senses that Molly is in trouble, but even she may be too late to stop Molly from running away with a fugitive.

Everyone is still sad about what happened to Regina and doing the only thing they know to do in order to feel a little better about it is placing blame. And all of that blame is being sent Molly Hecht’s way. I can’t say that I disagree. Yes, Regina chose to succumb to peer pressure – yes, Regina was her own person. But the party was at Molly’s, and if Molly hadn’t made Regina feel so terrible, she probably wouldn’t have tried anything, because she just wasn’t interested. So, I understand why everyone was pissed at Molly in this book (if it was several books later, I might be concerned, but Regina JUST died), but what I don’t understand is why no one seems pissed whatsoever at Justin Belson. Justin was supposed to be Regina’s friend. He took Regina to the party when she didn’t want to go. He abandoned Regina there and then when she tried to leave because everyone was doing drugs, Justin is the one who stopped her and had her sit down next to him, where the coke was. So why is Molly getting all the hate, when Justin is just as ‘responsible’ or even more so? I wasn’t this short-sighted… I hated them both while I read this book. It’s important to be an equal opportunity hater.

So anyway, everyone hates Molly and everyone blames her, even her own parents. She wants to transfer schools, but her parents think that she deserves the crap that people dish out to her. Molly tries to approach Elizabeth Wakefield (resident saint) but gets the cold shoulder. So, Molly goes to the cemetery to apologize to Regina, but Nicholas Morrow is at Regina’s grave and he screams at her, when he sees her. Justin is ignoring Molly. If I was the writer I would have made this some kind of deep thing about how he feels guilty himself and can’t face anyone, least of all Molly because he is trying to convince himself it is her fault to take the heat off himself. But the ghostwriters of this series are not that deep. Justin is ignoring Molly because he blames her just like everyone else and doesn’t want to be pulled down by some hardcore druggie (if only he had figured that you in the last book!).

Buzz, the drug dealer from the party, contacts Molly and asks her to meet him at Kelly’s (a bar). Since everyone is treating her like crap, Molly agrees hoping to find comfort. Molly is out of it after a beer (yes only one, how hardcore could she possibly be) and then they get stoned in Buzz’s car. Buzz makes out with Molly and confesses he has all of these feelings for her, and they should run away together. Molly is lonely, desperate and pathetic so she doesn’t exactly buy it, but tries to convince herself that she has does. As long as Molly empties out her savings account – the two of them can be on their way to Mexico!

While all this is going on, Jessica has an idea… I know, I know this is usually cause for concern, but for once she has a good idea (and more shocking a selfless one – hey, she is kind of due). She wants to set up a scholarship in Regina’s name and have it go towards someone who has overcome a disability or other unfortunate circumstances. She gets the entire school (the cheerleaders, the PBA sorority) involved, looks for sponsors and is quickly overwhelmed, but her father offers to administer the scholarship and Nicholas will help review who should be awarded the scholarship each year. It’s an absolute success and something I would have pegged Elizabeth would do. (Sadly, since it is Jessica, this will probably be the only good and/or selfless idea she has for another sixty books.)

Back to Molly… Elizabeth feels guilty that she blew Molly off, and Nicholas feels bad for screaming at her. They decide they have been too hard on her. Elizabeth reaches out to Justin and tells him that Molly needs a friend and he blows her off. She tries again the next day and he finally relents. Justin wants to make things right, so he blows off his classes and tries to catch Molly between her classes – but she isn’t there. She is at the bank, emptying her savings account ($2300) so she and Buzz can leave that night. Elizabeth finds Molly and tries to talk to Molly herself, but Molly tells her to “take your talking and shove it”… all righty then. Back at Sweet Valley High, the principal (Chrome Dome) catches Justin loitering and takes him to detention. And Mr. Collins, the English teacher and newspaper adviser says something that finally seems to get through to Jessica and some others about how it isn’t Molly’s fault and everyone is being unfair to her.

Elizabeth and Justin try to go see Molly that night, and when they get to Molly’s house they see her leaving with a bag and taking her mother’s car. They follow her to Kelly’s where they see Buzz (who the police are still looking for, but don’t get me started on Sweet Valley police). Molly gets into Buzz’s car and they take off. Elizabeth runs to a pay phone to call the police and let them know where Buzz is headed while Justin takes off after them. Justin forces Buzz to stop the car by pulling front of him (it must be a narrow road or something). They both get out, Buzz makes threats, Molly sees the light, but Buzz has her money. Justin tries to get Buzz to surrender so Buzz pulls a knife on him and in response Justin beats him with a stick (yeah, not even kidding). Finally the police arrive and Buzz is taken into custody.

Molly promises she will change for the better. She is done with drugs and all of the bad choices she has made. And guess who is awarded the first annual Regina memorial scholarship? Yeah, it makes me kind of ill – excuse me while I go throw up a little.

I am sure I will get over Regina’s death as time goes on, and I will even forget the parts Molly Hecht and Justin Belson played in her demise. But I seriously hope they aren’t featured in any future Sweet Valley High books because this bitch (me) can hold a grudge for awhile. 😛


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