Sweet Valley High #116: Nightmare in Death Valley

SVH116Read part one of this miniseries here.

The Moral of the Story: Terrible things happen when you don’t listen to Elizabeth.

The Big Deal: Camping trip from hell

Synopsis:

Everyone is tired and hungry. Liz calculates it will take two days to get to the rendezvous point, so they start walking. It soon becomes apparent that Heather and her sprained ankle are going to slow them down way too much. Liz suggests Jessica stay with Heather while everyone else goes for help. A little while later, they come to a fork in the road. Ken and Liz think they should take the high road because they could die in a flash flood on the low road if it rains. Bruce and Todd think that’s stupid, so they all split up. Of course, the second they’re alone, Ken and Liz start to remember how attracted they are to each other. My god, these kids are ridiculous. I mean, each guy on this stupid camping trip has made out with each Wakefield twin at some point. Anyway, down on the low road, Bruce can’t resist taunting Todd about Ken and Liz being alone together.

That night, Bruce kills a snake, which Todd finds disgusting. Ken and Liz see a bunch of shooting stars. Jessica wakes up to find the escaped convicts snooping around the camp. She keeps quiet, hoping they’ll go away, but Heather wakes up and starts screaming.

The next morning, Todd is so tortured by the idea of Liz and Ken being together that he plots a course that will take him and Bruce right to Ken and Liz. Bruce figures it out after a little while and stays right where he is, letting Todd stomp off alone. Liz is climbing up a cliff while Ken waits at the bottom when the rock under her hand suddenly crumbles. She can’t go up or down because the rock keeps crumbling. She hangs out there for a pretty long while, and then suddenly Bruce is pulling her up. Unfortunately, a huge bald eagle swoops down and steals Bruce’s bag of gold while he’s saving Liz. Todd shows up shortly and they all yell to Ken at the bottom that Liz is okay.

Meanwhile, Heather and Jessica are tied up while the bad guys ask them where the gold is. They say they don’t have any. Jessica thinks two of the guys look like Moe and Larry from the Three Stooges, so that’s what she calls them. The third guy seems nice because he gives Jessica beef jerky and water when Moe isn’t looking. Jessica calls him Jack. Moe is apparently obsessed with explosions and stuff, so he fires off Jessica’s flare gun. When they see the flare, Liz and the rest of the gang figure Jessica and Heather are in trouble so they go running back the way they came. So then they’re all in trouble.

They hand over all their gold to the bad guys and then it starts raining. Liz yells that they’re all targets for lightning and they should get to lower ground. The bad guys tie the kids up and leave them to be lightning rods. This is exactly what Liz wanted. They get themselves untangled and start running away, but then they see Jack getting swept away in the rising river. They save him and then they all talk for a while. Jack wants to make it to the border and then try to make a life for himself, start over. Heather can’t stop flirting with him. She’s fucking weird.

Everyone assumes Moe and Larry are dead, but of course they’re not. The gang is walking by a cave and suddenly Moe reaches out and grabs Liz, dragging her in. Jack tries to reason with him and convince him to let the kids go, but Moe is a murderer and really just wants to kill someone. Jessica creates a diversion by acting like her stomach hurts, giving Jack time to get behind Moe and get the knife away from him. Moe pushes Liz away so he can fight with Jack. The fight results in Jack getting shot. So no help there. Moe cocks the gun and points it at Jessica, but just then everyone can hear an airplane outside. Moe runs out, telling Larry to kill the kids. Jessica manages to sweet talk him into not doing that. Larry fires all six shots over his head and then runs outside. Then the roof caves in, leaving the stupid kids trapped in the dark with no way out.

Jessica starts exploring and finds a path that leads deeper into the cave. Liz is the only one with a flashlight, since the others ditched theirs to make room for the gold. Following Jessica’s path will be dangerous, so Liz reinstitutes the buddy system and insists it will be safer if everyone stays with their original buddies. They walk for a while and then they’re suddenly walking through water. The water is rising and if they don’t get out soon, they’ll all drown.

Ugh, it’s just one thing after another with these fucking kids.

So the water rises to the level of their necks and somehow the flashlight gets knocked to the ground and everyone thinks they’re going to die. And then suddenly the water recedes. Everyone is super happy for a minute, but then Ken gets frustrated and punches the cave wall and part of it crumbles away. Turns out it’s just shale, so everyone starts punching and kicking the wall and they eventually come out not fifty yards from the rendezvous point. They all get to go home and everyone is happy, though Jessica is dismayed to find that the one gold nugget she saved is actually pyrite, and Liz is upset that the diary she found is a fake, probably left over from a movie set or a reenactment or something.

Quotes:

“Do you think you could manage for one second to get that tone of superiority out of your voice?” Todd asked Elizabeth flatly.

Ah, ha ha! Seriously.

“Well, I have, in fact, kissed both girls myself,” Bruce replied. “And between you and me, Todd, neither one is really that hot.”

I’ll admit that Bruce had me cracking up through most of this book.

The Cover: Ha, Jessica and Heather look like they’re being stalked by ghosts. I imagine Heather is the one in the baseball cap, even though I don’t think she would actually ever wear one. Elizabeth falling off the cliff is pretty funny. Her legs look way too long. And aw, look at Bruce actually caring about someone.

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Comments
  • Lindsay October 23, 2009 at 12:19 pm

    Okay, you know what? Bruce gets a few points from me for tormenting Todd. Because he knows Liz Wakefield is a hussy and isn’t afraid to say so. I feel a little dirty for liking Bruce here, seeing as how he tried to rape Liz 137 years ago.

    I wish Lila was on this trip 🙁

    Also, Todd is such a girl. So what, Bruce killed a snake, get over it.

    Wait. A bald eagle swooped down and stole a bag of gold? For reals? Holy cow that’s lame. And if that ever happened to me, I’d track that bird down and do whatever was necessary to get my gold back, endangered species list be damned.

    And when did these fucking kids become Indiana Jones? God, I hate them. Except for Bruce in this one. That last quote made me LOL, which has probably never happened (recently) in an SV book. He’s true, they’re not really that hot.

    [Reply]

    Shannon Reply:

    Oh, he definitely gets all kinds of points in this book. He’s really not that bad when he’s being mean to the twins. And that near rape was so long ago…

    The eagle was really just too much.

    [Reply]

  • Fear Street October 23, 2009 at 2:15 pm

    Bruce lost his gold to an eagle. Tee hee.

    [Reply]

    Shannon Reply:

    And I think he seriously considered letting Liz go so he could rescue it. That would have been kind of awesome.

    [Reply]

  • Merrie October 23, 2009 at 2:44 pm

    I kept waiting for Shaggy and the rest of the Scooby gang to show up.

    [Reply]

    Shannon Reply:

    Ha! That would have improved the story considerably.

    [Reply]

  • Darren October 23, 2009 at 3:03 pm

    Wow, I was hoping Chevy Chase would’ve came along! Poor Jessica and Heather all tied up, least they get to be together though! hahaahahahahahahaaaa! She should’ve called the last suspect Curly Joe!

    Wow, Bruce let some Eagle take his gold. That reminds me of a funny movie I saw Are we Done yet where Nick (Ice Cube) was talking to a little chipmunk and lo and behold, the EAGLE snatched it! That was something else!

    I say this is the lamest story, when did they go out to Death valley? I hope it was towards the winter and not 125 degrees!

    [Reply]

    Shannon Reply:

    No idea. You know it’s always either summer, Christmas or basketball season in Sweet Valley, so it must be one of those.

    [Reply]

  • Lori October 23, 2009 at 9:20 pm

    I love Bruce. He was awsome.

    Todd you should know by now Liz was born with that tone.

    Convicts, eagles and gold I wish my trip to through Death Valley had been that exciting.

    [Reply]

    Shannon Reply:

    I do believe that even Liz’s “googoo gaga” babytalk came out sounding smug and superior.

    [Reply]

  • Lorelai October 24, 2009 at 3:16 am

    Ha HA! Suddenly my Bruce-loving doesn’t seem so weird, does it?
    I remember in an SVK book Bruce was scared of birds, so I find it ironic that a bald eagle swooped down and stole his gold. Oh man, I couldn’t even write that sentence without laughing. The fact that he DIDN’T let Elizabeth go in order to save it is possibly his biggest failure in life.
    Also, Bruce killing snakes = sheer manly awesomeness.

    [Reply]

    Sandy Reply:

    I was thinking the same thing about Bruce killing the snake! And what a fag Todd was.

    [Reply]

    Shannon Reply:

    Yeah, Todd gets all squeamish about it. In his defense, Bruce did kind of go crazy bashing the snake with a rock even after it’s already way dead. But still, man up, Todd.

    [Reply]

  • Darren October 25, 2009 at 8:14 am

    Gee, how could it be a story without LIla Fowler along? I am now crushed and so disappointed.

    [Reply]

  • Nikki August 11, 2012 at 1:09 am

    was Sweet Valley always this um…dramatic? I don’t think I ever noticed b4.

    [Reply]

  • Carly September 30, 2012 at 10:19 pm

    I can’t believe one of the boys guessed that Heather was only 120 lbs and she was OUTRAGED at that, saying she was nowhere near 120 lbs! So sad! That means that as a kid I probably read that and thought 120 lbs meant someone was fat and disgusting… I mean, with heather’s horrified reaction what else would I assume? So disgusting.

    [Reply]

  • Erica December 8, 2012 at 3:58 pm

    Heather looks and acts like Lindsay Lohan. Seriously!!

    [Reply]

  • Dane Youssef October 8, 2015 at 7:29 pm

    “Jessica is dismayed to find that the one gold nugget she saved is actually pyrite, and Liz is upset that the diary she found is a fake, probably left over from a movie set or a reenactment or something.” –Shannon’s Blog

    Isn’t that always the way? Always…

    –Always Sincerely, Dane Youssef

    [Reply]

  • Dane Youssef October 8, 2015 at 7:32 pm

    “Do you think you could manage for one second to get that tone of superiority out of your voice?” Todd asked Elizabeth flatly.

    I’m so glad SOMEONE FINALLY said it. And I’m especially glad it was HIM. I wish he said stuff like this kind of thing more often.

    Thank you, Todd. And Bless you infinitely…

    –Sincerely Sincere, Dane Youssef

    [Reply]

  • Dane Youssef October 8, 2015 at 7:34 pm

    “Well, I have, in fact, kissed both girls myself,” Bruce replied. “And between you and me, Todd, neither one is really that hot.”

    Thank you, Bruce. You are salvation. Heaven-sent.

    –Sincerest, Dane Youssef

    [Reply]

  • Kim December 13, 2015 at 2:26 am

    “Well, I have, in fact, kissed both girls myself,” Bruce replied. “And between you and me, Todd, neither one is really that hot.”

    So why the hell does he keep trying to make out with them and get into their pants? Seems to me Bruce is hating on the twins so much to cover up his own lust, I’m just saying.

    “That night, Bruce kills a snake, which Todd finds disgusting.”

    I can’t help but be turned off by Todd’s constant wimpy bitchassness. Yes, killing a snake is gross, but be glad he did it, otherwise the snake could’ve bit someone possibly killing them.

    “Unfortunately, a huge bald eagle swoops down and steals Bruce’s bag of gold while he’s saving Liz.”

    So I’m guessing the bird thought his bag of gold was food. I remember going to the beach with my family and we pulled out our food and all these birds just started swarming us lol.

    [Reply]

  • Areeba Khan August 6, 2016 at 8:06 am

    Thank you so much for this synopsis! Saves me a lot of pain, I have been looking all over the place for this book. Your style of writing is great?

    [Reply]

  • Areeba Khan August 6, 2016 at 8:07 am

    *your style of writing is great!*

    [Reply]

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