There's a neat cover...Jessica and Lila in horrible bright-colored bikinis. If you open the front flap, the cut away (through which Alice Wakefield is showing) shows the hand that is grabbing Alice.
This book actually wasn't awful. It was pretty exciting at the climax, for a SVH thriller.
Anyway, Jessica and Elizabeth, their mom, Grace Fowler (Lila's Mom) and Lila and Enid Rollins, Lizzie's best friend, are going to a spa. You see, Alice Wakefield's number was randomly picked out of a phone book and she can take 6 people to Paradise Spa. Jessie, Liz, Grace, Li, and Enid make five. Enid is sad because her BF (now ex-BF) broke up with her over a pretty girl who has the personality of leftover macaroni and cheese. Seriously...poor Enid...she's a likable character! Her mom also can't make it because she has to work. So Lizzie comforts her friend while the group heads to the spa--Paradise Spa--on a train. Lila and Jessica gossip about the hot guys they'll meet and how pampered they'll be. Jessica says she's so glad she can relax after so many chores and so much homework. Give me a break, Jess! You barely keep up C's!!!
The guy who meets them at the train station is, of course, a mega-hunk. And he's NICE! Jess and Li almost have a girl-fight over him. Not that that's unusual. They're both shallow. It wasn't niceness that attracted them at first. Jess feels guilty because her BF Ken is at home, but she wants a summer fling. Even Liz is intrigued. Looks like she might be breaking up again with her perfect boyfriend, Todd, again. Because, you know, Sweet Valley High's so-proclaimed "perfect couple" sets the standard for perfect couples by breaking up over and over. Cheating is HEALTHY for a relationship, girls ;)
The spa is all perfect and the staff are all gorgeous. The guys are hot, but Li is having qualms about the hunk at the train station. He is the spa's EMPLOYEE, you know. You know how yucky people who work for a living are. Li wants to meet a rich movie star. No, seriously.
Jessica's having no problems.
Eventually they meet Tatiana Mueller, the spa's owner, whose face is scarred. She is really kind, and the girls start getting into all the spa's activities. Enid almost finds a really nice guy while playing tennis. However, beautiful, virtuous Jessica Wakefield shows up and wants Alex, even though Enid's clearly playing doubles with him--and is attracted to him. So she (Jess, not Enid) gets up on a bench and starts cheerleading! She flashes her sexy, long, tanned legs. Of course, that totally mesmerises Alex, so much that he keeps missing serves. Poor Enid, I really want to punch Jess.
So everyone's having fun except Enid. Eventually, even Liz ignores Enid. Tatiana starts giving Enid special attention--but before long, Enid starts thinking that Liz is a snob, that she (Enid) is ugly, and her life will be so much better if she's beautiful. She agrees for Tatiana Mueller to give her plastic surgery.
The gang discovers that the spa staff can't leave the spa, but everyone insists they are happy--except for Katya, a pretty and genuine girl who's really athletic. Everyone's also really gorgeous. Too gorgeous. Katya's lonely, and she wants to go back to her mom, but when questioned, she says she's 'definitely' happier at the spa. Eventually, though, she starts to open up to Alice...and is found dead in a steam room. Tatiana doesn't seem to care, and she doesn't want an autopsy. This is suspicious. There is also a white building in the woods that none of the staff will say anything about. *gasp!*
Then Elizabeth finds out that Enid's going to have a facelift, major time. She was snooping in Tatiana's office. Enid comes and very calmly says that she is thrilled to be going through with this. She acts SUSPICIOUS!
Then Alice goes missing! The gang splits up to solve the mystery. Elizabeth is captured by one of the hunk guys (can't remember the name) and taken to a lab--the mysterious white building!--, where...da, da, da! Tatiana is about to do a face switch with Alice! WTH?
Well, after some drama, the whole gang tries to save Alice. They actually called the police this time, too! But the police may be too late. Well, we know that it will end with no fatalities (to the gang, sorry about Katya), but the book is still exciting near the end. Alex and another hunk try to keep the girls from saving their mothers. Liz talks to one of them, I think it was Alex. She figured out what was going on. Tatiana has been taking in lonely and runaway kids, and practicing her art of plastic surgery on them so she can better become Alice! Enid pops in, talking about how she wants plastic surgery too. She'll be beautiful. But Liz's words reach her and pull her back, and she joins in the fight. And miracle! The hunks come back, too!
They overpower Tatiana and Tatiana's assistant. Tatiana tells her story. It's along these lines:
"Alice, you were the most beautiful, popular girl at Sweet Valley University. Everyone loved you. I was small, insignificant, ugly. How I wanted to be gorgeous like you! Then I'd be loved and popular. Everyone called me Tatty Mule. My mom took me to so many spas and laughed at my plainness before her friends."
Well, her story is sad. Alice was a perfect blonde girl too. And popular! The book also implies that Alice took part in calling Tatiana 'Tatty Mule'. And in case you're wondering, Alice conveniently forgot about Tatiana going to SVU with her until the climax, though the name annoyed her as familiar. It turns out the random phone number thing was far from random! SCARY! xDThe staff are freed from the evil Tatty Mule! They can find jobs, go back to their families, and explain the ludicrous plot to them!
To wrap things up, here are a few notes: The gang goes back to Sweet Valley. Enid now has a boyfriend who's plain, but he's caring and genuine. Learn from this, Lila and Jess. By the by, Lila almost had her rich star, but his voice was squeaky and she left him after the first twelve seconds! OH NOES! Elizabeth promises to stay loyal to Todd, but will write her hunk anyway. Everything's happy!
Well, that's my first cap. I actually had it in my Livejournal at first! It's not nearly as good as the others. It's more like a "Jessica Wakefield school paper"...hee hee!
P.S. Tatiana's assistant is named Margo. No, really.