For those of you who don't read my personal journal: a few days ago I ordered a Sweet Valley book had had it rush delivered to my apartment. Why? Because it was an emergency, that's why. A fucking Sweet Valley emergency. I had never read this far into SVU and when I heard about this plot, I needed the book.
If you (like me) didn't read this far, you should go read daniellafromage's recap of SVU #27: Elizabeth and Todd Forever. That'll get you mostly caught up since there's only one book between these two. Basically: Todd got back with Liz even though he was dating someone else. Whoops!
As we know from the fate of Regina Morrow, once your boyfriend starts kissing someone else it's time for you to die.
Gin-Yung Suh is dying. For some reason, Liz and Todd are in the doctor's office when the doctor breaks the news to her sister and mother (can someone recap 28 and let me know what's the deal-io? Do the Asians not speak English or something?). She's got a brain tumor and has only days to live. Todd tells Liz he doesn't believe it. He says its, “not possible.” Apparently when Todd doesn't want things to happen, they can't.
Liz tells him that no doctor in “the world” would make that mistake. (Malpractice lawyers would tell you differently but let's assume Liz is the ultimate authority on all things medical.) Todd asks to see Gin-Yung, who is in the ICU. Liz decides she shouldn't go since Gin-Yung probably doesn't want to see her, but Todd heads toward the elevator.
It’s in these first few passages that I learn that Gin-Yung had given Liz and Todd her “blessing” to have a relationship. I laugh out loud. Only in Sweet Valley would a girl dying of brain cancer fly all the way back to the US to confront her boyfriend over his cheating ways only to say, “Oh it’s okay, because he’s dating Liz Wakefield and they are ment 2 b.” If it were me, I would beat him over the head and shout, “I’m going to be dead in a week! You could at least have waited that long, you cheating cheater!” (Can I move to make #28 anathema without having read it or recapped it? Inquiring minds want to know.)
I’ve decided “Gin-Yung Suh” is too long to type out so I’m just going to call her Gin, since that’s what you have to drink a lot of to make this storyline work.
Then Liz goes out to her Jeep and cries, cries, cries. She also talks to herself in a melodramatic fashion. I sort of wish I could quote these entire pages and laugh at them with you all. But then we’d be here all day. But it’s worth noting that Liz and her “conscience” have something of a conversation here. She berates herself for caring too much about the dying girl—part of her wants to go tell Gin that Todd is hers. We’re supposed to feel badly for Liz as she is cursed with caring too much for dying girls (but not enough to not steal their boyfriends in the first place).
Todd goes to see Gin. She is—gasp—no longer tan. Her skin is “sallow” and she is “thin” and her hair is gone. Oh, the horrors of dying; it makes you ugly! Todd berates Gin for not telling him she was ill. Smooth, Wilkins, smooth. No wonder all the girls are fightin’ over you.
Liz wakes Jessica up and muses how different they are. (They’re different! Did you know?) Jessica was dreaming she got stranded on a desert island with Nick Fox, and she had the best! Tan! Ever! No, I’m not making that up. When Liz tells Jessica what’s going on with Gin, Jessica thinks Liz is being too nice to the dead girl. She shouldn’t let her have Todd even if these are her last few days on Earth, because what if she miraculously recovers and then where would Liz be? Without Todd? Oh noes!
Meanwhile, Former boyfriend Tom Watts is going to confront his “father” about his obsession with Elizabeth. I guess last book Tom discovered that his biological father, George, with whom he was desperate to have a relationship since HIS PARENTS ARE DEAD (tm Batman). Then it turned out George was hot for Liz and Tom didn’t believe her when she said he made a pass at her. But now Tom has found George’s creepy pictures of Elizabeth sun bathing in a bikini. Apparently George was stalking her and taking pictures. Now Tom is full of righteous indignation at George for having messed up his wonderful relationship with the perfect Elizabeth. In the description of Tom walking through George’s law office it actually says that “Tom's brown leather loafers burned a trail across the cranberry colored carpet to his father's walnut desk...” Again, not making that up. This ghostwriter went way overboard with details and figurative language. Unless she means that literally and Tom is some kind of cartoon character that causes the world melt as he walks through it… which I guess is also possible.
Tom spills coffee on a photo of Liz with his wild gesticulating and his father freaks out trying to rescue the treasured photograph of Liz. Seriously. This is the best book ever and I’m not even to chapter three.
Gin's sister, Kim, comes and yells at Todd. She tells him he's a jerk for cheating on her dying sister while she was in London. Further, she tells Todd he's an idiot for believing Gin's story about having another boyfriend in London. Gin just wanted Todd to be happy with Liz, but she was really pining over him while she was abroad. Boy, this dying girl is really playing the martyr card to perfection; I'm a little impressed. Todd feels guilty, as he should. She bullies him into coming to visit Gin often and makes him swear he will not be late or distant and he will treat her affectionately. She wants her sister's last days to be happy and peaceful. It's not really a lot to ask, is it? Whoever could make this into a big deal?
Nick Fox talks to his captain. I zone out.
Gin is sleeping or so it appears. She’s really just too tuckered out to sit up or speak so she lays there while her mother talks to Todd, thinking about how much she “needs” him and doesn’t want him to leave. Why didn’t she tell him this stuff last book? You’d think dying would be the time when you could act selfish and get away with it. It’s really the only perk of kicking the bucket.
Then the POV switches to Todd. I’m trying to overcome my childhood crush on Tom and like Todd, but he makes it hard for me. He thinks, “It’s not that I don’t want Gin-Yung to get better […]. It’s just that I don’t have the time” to sit around with her on her deathbed. Todd, I might kick you in the nuts right now. I really might. They talk for awhile and Gin confesses that there was no boyfriend in London and that she’s scared. Todd thinks his “undying love for Elizabeth ” blinded him what had been right in front of him. Seriously Todd, who uses the phrase “undying love” for serious even in their thoughts?
Speaking of undying love for Elizabeth (this book is just a Liz love fest), Tom is still yelling at his father. George explains that he met Elizabeth before he met Tom. She offered to help him locate his son. Liz was just so kind, so talented and so beautiful that he couldn’t help but fall in love with a girl young enough to be his daughter! And then he found out his son was dating her. What was he supposed to do, just stop loving Liz? Unpossible!
Back to Nick and Jessica. She wants to do something “exciting” like go to the beach and he just wants to stay at home and rent videos. Jessica tells him she might become a professional “narc” and they could fight crime together to put excitement in her life. He tells her she’s been watching too many cop shows on TV. I didn’t realize narc was a profession. How do you tell the difference between a pro-narc and an amateur?
Tom runs into Dana, the girl he dated after Liz. She's all in love with him but he's, you know, just not that into her. Especially now that perfect Liz has been cleared of all wrong-doing. I guess we're supposed to feel sorry for Dana but she just creeps me out. She's very desperate to “keep” Tom even though, from what I can tell, they only went on one successful date.
Liz whines about how hard it is for her to be apart from Todd for a freaking night while he sits with the dying girl. Jessica likewise whines about how Nick only wants to watch movies that evening. I feel more sympathy for Jessica, actually. We've all been there. Liz hangs out with the girls on her hall. They watch Tom on the news and Liz thinks how she hates him or some such. They ask why she doesn't do the news anymore and she resolves to not let Tom stop her from her dream of becoming a brainless talking head for the current administration. (Okay, I added that last part.)
Gin lays in bed while her family pretends she's not dying. She wonders why she's the only one who has to accept it. This bit would be kinda moving if the ghostwriter weren't laying it on so thick. Kim tells Gin that Todd is coming back and she gets all excited. Kim gives her accessories to prepare for her “date.” I love sisters.
Nick gets called away from movie night to stake out a chop shop. Jessica wants to go with him because she thinks it sounds exciting. She's clearly never seen Veronica Mars; staking out is a lot sexier in the movies. She stays in alone but gets a phone call from another cop. He leaves a message for Nick about an important important hub cap, and Jessica becomes determined to get involved. This is stupid; when is a hub cap ever important?
Todd has a dream that Gin makes a full recovery and they're making out on the beach and he sees a beautiful blonde mermaid (with Pacific Green eyes!) who disappears. He melodramatically thinks that if Gin lives, he'll never be with Elizabeth again. Because he couldn't break up with her like a normal person in that case. No, Liz, is a perfect mermaid who will disappear with the tide. You'd think Todd would get it through his head that he and Liz will always break up and/or cheat on each other, and then get back together again.
Liz marches over to the WSVU office. She doesn't want her fear of Tom to stop her. She actually thinks to herself, ”Do it [...] then watch him weep like a baby when you win the Pulitzer.” I'm dying over here, you guys. I feel like telling Tom, “You have nothing to worry about, she can't write for shit.” Liz finally does enter WSVU to immediately come across a gorgeous new intern she'd never met before who is a huge “fan” of hers. He worked for a print newspaper but decided, after seeing some of Liz's reports, that TV wasn't as vapid as he thought.
He makes the fourth guy in this book that's hot for Liz. Liz is Francine's Mary Sue.
Nick's fellow cop shows up and is all, “Hey, where's the hub cap?” Nick, since he has met Jessica before is like, “Oh, crap, she's going to do something stupid.” Indeed, Jess has watched some police movies to get her outfit right, and then drove to the marina with the hub cap. It's awesome that she put thought into her outfit and not what she was doing. She walks into the chop shop with the hub cap, just as Nick and the other officers bust them.
She watches, horrified, as one of the bad guys puts his gun to Nick's head.
Meanwhile, Gin is in horrible pain and wants to die. I'm not saying it's not possible, but she sure did go from “La, my biggest care in the world is who my boyfriend is dating” to “OMG! Kill me now” really fast.
Liz hasn't even finished her lunch with her
Back at the TV station, Todd has just had a talk with her roommate Danny, and Danny convinced him he needs to apologize to Liz—even if they don't get back together, it's just the right thing to do. I guess he has offended the great St. Elizabeth and he must offer contrition and repent. He leaves a note for her at her desk at the station because he “knows” she can't stay away from journalism forever.
Jessica throws the hub cap, meaning to hit the guy who is holding up Nick with it, I assume. She misses but Nick gets the drop on the guy. Then more guys (shouldn't they know how many guys there are when they go in?) come out and start shooting. Jessica and Nick have to dodge bullets, whilst Nick berates Jessica for having come to the bust. Nick gets a gun in his face again—is he always this bad of a police officer?--so Jessica gets a second chance to rescue him.
Naturally, the book cuts again here. We're back to Liz and her sycophant. She leaves WSVU for Scott's newspaper without even opening the note she sees on her desk that has her name on it. I find it hard to believe that Liz can turn off her nosiness like this.
Jessica hits a dude with a wrench.
Todd shows up at the hospital. The Suhs tell him that Gin will die soon. It's been like a day. What's with all the super fast cancer in Sweet Valley? Todd goes in to say good-bye to Gin. A random nurse shows up and tells him to leave. Gin doesn't want him to leave. Todd says he won't. The nurse threatens to call security. Okay, I'm not a nurse but if it's visiting hours and the patient is dying what's the harm in letting him sit with her? This is so melodramatic.
Todd realizes he loved Gin. He was just unaware of it the entire time he dated her. Yeah, well, a little late. Gin asks him to sing her a lullaby. Todd sings?! Since when? Unless I know someone is a good singer, I'm not going to ask them to sing me out of this world. You might get a William Hung or something. I mean, the girl is in pain. Why make it worse with Todd's singing?
We get one last drug-induced dream from Gin. Then she wakes up to see an “angel” at her bed. The angel says his name is Todd. She asks him to give her the titular one last kiss before she dies. He tells her he loves her and she says, “Love” and falls asleep. (I thought she died her but no! We're going to drag it out some more!)
Dana—the girl Tom went on one date with—snoops through his stuff at WSVU after deciding she wanted to “fight” for him. She thinks lots of negative things about Liz. She sees the envelope on Liz's desk and recognizes Tom's handwriting, which is odd since Liz who dated him longer didn't recognize it... whatever. She reads it. The letter goes something like this:
My dear darlingest Elizabeth:
You were right about my father. You're always right about everything. I'm sorry I was a dillweed. I was such an idiot. My life has been meaningless without you. Seriously, nothing without you. Let me now recount the myriad of embarrassing ways my life has been bad since we broke up. You're wonderful; you're perfect. Your eyes—perfect. Your hair—perfect. Your tan—perfect. Well, you get the idea. Please take me back, I'm begging you. If only you'd date me again, my life would have meaning once more.
Hugs and kisses,
I'm embarrassed for Tom. If this were a sitcom I'd change the channel because it's just too wrong and weird. Oh, sick. You know I started this book trying to like Todd again but now I don't think I'll be able to like Tom again. Progress? Y/N?
Of course, Dana steals the letter so Liz will never be able to read it and take pity on Tom and take him back. Oh noes! His life will remain meaningless!
So it turns out the other police officer just needed the hub cap for his own car but Jessica though it was for the bust for some reason? Whatever. This B-plot is ridiculous. Nick hopes Jessica would be scared by the whole almost-dying thing and not want to do police work anymore. Boy, he's got a thing or two to learn about Wakefields. This was a boring day for her. Jessica still wants to fight crime with him however. Nick realizes he can't be a cop and Jessica's boyfriend. Any sane person would immediately dump the crazy bitch. But Nick thinks he loves Jessica... so he has to decide between his career and his girl.
The next few pages are in all italic. I guess it's supposed to give an artsy feel to the book. Ha! It'll take more than that to fool me, Francine. It's just Todd having a dream about Gin's funeral. He thinks he could've saved her. How, we're not told. He wakes up and she's just barely alive. But wait! Now she's dying again!
Oh, it looks like he couldn't save her after all.
And here she really dies this time. I think. Unless she comes back like Margo.
Liz heads happily back to WSVU for some contrived reason. On the way she spots Todd running toward her. He ran from the hospital? And he knew she'd be there even though she stopped going when she broke up with Tom? Makes no sense. But he falls into her arms and she comforts him. Wow, he sure loved Gin a lot to run immediately from her deathbed into the arms of another girl.
Tom, who sees that his letter is gone from Liz's desk, assumes she has read it. He also sees Liz approaching the station and vows to talk to her. But then she doesn't come in so he goes to see what's the what. And Liz is cradling Todd in her arms. Woe is Tom Watts. Upset, he throws a coffee mug at the wall.
Do I detect a whiff of eau de psycho? It makes me wonder if Liz is a crazy person magnet OR if she turns normal people into crazy people. Maybe Margo would’ve been fine if Liz never existed.
Chronologically it's the highly awesome Dead Before Dawn thriller.
Next numerically is #30, Beauty and the Beach which I already recapped. (It's the start of an entirely random summer-beach-fun mini series. I really can't put into words how awesome I think that is. I love the idea that there was some little girl tearing her hair out about what would happen with the Todd/Liz/Gin love triangle and just waiting for that next book. So the girl ran out to the bookstore that Tuesday and picked up "Beauty and the Beach" and then Francine jumped out from behind the stacks all, "PSYCH!" Ha!)
But next up in this storyline is #33: Out of the Picture which I have already started to recap!