Okay, so I don’t have the next book in the series with Jeremy-Sue-Jessica, so I read Kidnapped By The Cult! Because I wanted to read at least one book starring Sam Woodruff before he meets his untimely end.
Jessica, somehow, manages to get almost kidnapped by a cult because her friends, family and boyfriend don’t hang out with her for five days.
God. Fucking. Almighty.
Once my dad grounded me for three fucking months because I showered before washing the dishes.
BEWARE ALL YE WHO ENTER BELOW, FOR SPOILERS REMAIN
Okay, so Jessica literally gets upset that people in her life have plans during her five-day grounding.
You can’t make this shit up.
Also, I’m going to be making this face a lot:
Jess thinks she’s unloved because her friends have plans in the five days she’s grounded for, and apparently, that has turned into everything.
She’s also somehow pissed Cara is going to London with her mum for a week, which makes no sense, because it’s not like Jessica can go to London with Cara’s mum anyway, and we already know she gets to go, because Elizabeth dated a guy who thinks he’s a werewolf.
Sam turns up at Jess’s house and tells her he can’t hang out because he has to fix up his bike before the weekend because he has a big race.
Jess, furious that on her first day of freedom that Sam still has the big race he told her about, but she didn’t listen, and is pissed because she wants to go shopping.
You can’t write this.
On another note, these books are really easy to read, so if you have a kid that doesn’t like reading, these books will be pretty good for them. They’re hugely dramatic, but no one has sex, or drinks, and when Regina does drugs one time the book immediately kills her off as a lesson.
Anyway, Jessica, a sixteen-year-old, is shocked that another person might know exactly how she feels, even though she’s not in a one-sided relationship, although she doesn’t always have the best of friends.
Ted tells Jess about the group the “Good Friends”, and Jess feels a little sceptical but mostly okay, but I’m making this face:
On a side note, I didn’t really get Velvet Buzzsaw, but I fucking loved it.
I have this weird thing where if a movie doesn’t quite make sense, or doesn’t have a happy ending (the latter for Velvet), and it just makes it so much more fun.
I don’t know why. It makes it more realistic, I guess.
In slightly-related news, I wish I had the opportunity to leave my scarf at Jake Gylenhaal’s sister’s house. And yeah, I know that spelling’s not right, but does it matter? Ya’ll know who I mean.
I don’t know which would be better: Jake or Maggie.
Elizabeth is attracted to her bowling coach, and he’s definitely attracted to her.
Because of course.
Jessica drives down the block and sees “a dismantled car” out the front and a “broken washing machine” and it’s “the worst neighbourhood yet”, and I’ve got some bad news for you: Welcome to fucking Maryborough.
If that’s all that’s on someone’s backyard, it’s a good day.
Okay, Red just started playing, and I swear that song is about Jake Gylenhaal, and while there’s decent chances it’d come up with how frequently I play Taylor Swift, but that’s kind of creepy timing there, NSA.
Jessica has dinner with the Good Friends and they all talk about Adam Marvel and I’m making this face:
Jessica is very happy when she suddenly discovers that Adam Marvel’s gorgeous, and apparently only me and Sam remember Jessica has a boyfriend.
His name is Sam, in case you forgot too.
Jessica gets really pissy for no reason. Plot, I guess.
Jessica goes to help Adam, and it’s obvious he needs to work harder for her for some reason.
Adam convinces Jessica that Susan is jealous of the attention he’s giving Jessica, and Jessica believes him because she thinks she’s beautiful.
Jessica “really connects” with Adam before going to a movie with her boyfriend, who actually sounds amazing mostly because he puts up with all this bullshit, and she gets mad because Sam bought popcorn and she doesn’t like popcorn, but honey, no one likes movie popcorn. You get it because hopefully what you’re watching is riveting as fuck and you need something to shove in your mouth.
For some reason, Jessica already doesn’t seem to like her friends, and do cults work this fast? It’s been like twenty-four hours.
The Wakefields are concerned that their daughter is going through a “new phase” but don’t seem to do anything about it.
I feel like there’s a huge difference in your daughter wanting to move to Hawaii to marry the man of her dreams and your daughter changing everything about her.
The second one’s normal teenage stuff, and the other is a major red flag.
Jessica questions Adam when he removes money from the charity box, because that’s illegal, but he explains “overheads” and stuff, but she will not do this face when her father “coincidentally” brings up the Good Friends:
After spending the day with the Good Friends, Jessica gets into a fight with Sam after he turns up at her doorstep. She lies to him about her whereabouts, and slams the door in his face.
Shock twist: Justin, Liz’s bowling coach, asks her out. Liz pretends like it’s “just friends”, kind of like how she did with Nicholas Morrow for a bunch of books but will secretly kiss him.
Lila and Amy snitch on Jess to Sam about Jess skipping meetings and shit, and Jess and Sam get into another fight.
Liz and her parents discuss the complete 180 behaviour in Jessica’s behaviour and then the book slides very smoothly into a segue about the Good Friends.
Despite Liz literally stating something’s off with Jess, Ned goes straight into the Good Friends cult, and I’m like … Not … Connecting … The … Two?
And this guy’s meant to be a fucking lawyer?
And still no one’s making this face:
Elizabeth is shocked that there’s a cult in Sweet Valley, but fuck knows why.
Vampires, normal Tuesday occurrence; Cults, alert the media!
Elizabeth has a talk with Jess about how there’s a cult named Good Friends, and Jess flips out, and still Elizabeth is not making this face:
Jessica doesn’t seem to find it suspicious at all that Adam has a locked room that’s hidden away and gives the reaction of the Beast:
Jessica believes Adam’s excuse as to why her dad would think he was breaking the law, and Jessica leaps straight at it. I’m not gonna lie, Ned is obviously a terrible lawyer, but how is Jessica not connecting the dots?
Sam, Elizabeth and Todd follow Jessica to the Good Friends’ house, instead of, I don’t know, contacting their parents.
Though, given their parents’ track record, I can kind of understand why they wouldn’t.
Liz talks to Jess about the Good Friends, and Jess tells her everything about how perfect they are, and Liz isn’t suspicious because she thinks Lila and Amy are vapid.
Liz starts telling everyone her sister’s in a cult, and instead of being wildly concerned, everyone’s like “Ha ha ha ha typical Jessica”.
Dying your hair black is not the same thing as being kidnapped by a cult.
I’m just saying, one is typical of a teenager.
One is potentially very serious, especially when concerning a minor.
Liz gets the brilliant idea to impersonate Jessica.
She goes to the Good Friends house and is immediately infatuated with Adam Marvel, and seriously? Isn’t she concerned?
Liz starts panicking, thinking that Adam knows she’s not Jessica, but the others come back, saying that someone took Brian.
Susan tries to warn Elizabeth/Jessica that she should flee, but Adam returns before Liz can ask her anything more.
Jessica bitches to Sam about how the movie was shallow, and then Sam gives Jessica an actually not bad quip back, “Why don’t you lie to me and say you’d like to go for a pizza?”
Todd tries to convince Liz to talk to her parents, which is a better idea than nothing, which is what Liz chooses.
Elizabeth and Enid go to the Dairi Burger and order chocolate milkshakes, which is gross. I always order iced chocolates and make sure it’s light on the chocolate sauce because I like the touch of chocolate flavour, but I don’t really like the taste of chocolate. And I LOVE the whipped cream on top.
Unfortunately, my stomach doesn’t really do dairy very well, so I almost never get to have milkshakes.
But if I did, I would not order chocolate.
Ned tells everyone that his parents were able to kidnap Brian back from the Good Friends, and I don’t know, it seems weird to unbrainwash someone by kidnapping them.
Oh my fucking god. Ned literally says this:
“That’s right [his] personality had undergone a complete change, and they couldn’t [talk to him because he’d say] “That’s exactly what Adam said you’d say”‘ and but no one suspects that their teenage daughter, who is constantly prone to phases, whose behaviour changed dramatically overnight, might be knee-deep in the cult.
I mean, this shit would be obvious even if we never had Jessica’s POV, it’s not exactly Sherlock Holmes stuff.
Adam says the Susan had to leave suddenly because her mother is ill, but that’s not at all suspicious.
Liz, to the shock of no one, even Todd, is going out with Justin but convinces herself it’s “not cheating” because they’re just friends.
This one’s real simple: Usually, if you’re worried about cheating or thinking about cheating, even if it’s to say you’re not, you need to wonder if you are. If you are a really talkative, touchy person, that’s something that will translate with all people. You might modify your behaviour around new people, or around people you might know hate that type of thing, but you suddenly touching a potential romantic interest’s arm isn’t odd if that’s a part of who you are.
If you’re suddenly worried about it being odd, then you might need to consider if your actions really are as platonic as you think they are. (It’s okay – there’s no judgement. It’s literally perfectly normal to get feelings of any kind for other people while in a relationship. Seriously. More often that not, it’s those little tingles that help you reconnect with your partner, because it reminds you of romance and love, and because they’re usually fleeting (and can even be created by fictional characters, cause anyone saying they weren’t attracted to Tuxedo Mask is lying), we push them onto our partner. It doesn’t mean you’re unfaithful, or even thought anything along those lines. Sometimes it can be just recognising a positive trait in someone else, one your partner doesn’t have, before you’re reminded of all the amazing, other positive traits your partner has that makes them just perfect for you.)
And if you, like Elizabeth, have to keep repeating to yourself “it’s not a date, we’re just friends” there’s a good chance you’re either cheating or you’re out with your mega crush and are hoping it becomes a date but are trying to level your expectations in case they don’t reciprocate.
Elizabeth is shocked that people would find her pretty which pisses me off because a) they’re described as perfect by at least one person in every book, b) she literally is an identical twin, so if everyone thinks your sister is hot, even without make-up, everyone’s going to think you’re hot, too, and c) Someone is always in love with you. Seriously. I’ve read your Secret Diaries, Liz, and I know how many times you cheated on Todd in them alone, but …
Adam plans to kidnap Brian back, but why? If people go with you as easily as Jessica does, why would you bother?
Even Liz was like ‘Oooh he’s pretty’.
Sam comes over and Liz realises she’s going to run away with the Good Friends and now I’m making this face:
Liz finally decides to call the police. I don’t know what you’d report that in as, though. I guess I’d say kidnapping, cause Jessica’s sixteen, but I don’t know what you call it if someone’s willingly running away, even if it is a cult.
Liz turns up at the last second to save Jessica from the cult, and Jessica is kind of like “Yay!” but still mostly “Adam is hot, so he can’t be a liar”.
Honey, they’re all liars.
Jessica is adamant that the Good Friends really love her, even though it’s clear her family loves her, too, and then Sam suddenly produces Susan on cue, revealing her kidnapping.
Also, in case anyone wants to know what I’m watching this time round, it’s The Accountant, because I may hate Ben Affleck irrationally, but I love Jon Bernthal just as irrationally.
Also, he is seriously the Punisher.
The police turn up and arrest Adam and everyone, except Jess and Susan, who no one bothers detaining, because they wouldn’t have any valuable insight or intel into any of the crimes committed.
Especially considering Susan literally did it was a reporter who went undercover, so she probably deliberately found out a shit ton.
Jessica muses that she was “feeling pretty unloved” and fucking hell, you were grounded for five fucking days.
Everyone is sorry and tells Jessica they’re to blame, but they’re really fucking not.
I fucking love these books.