Analyzing the cover: Must be Nancy trying to explain or confront an angry Olivia about how she and Walt ended up getting picked up together at the makeout place. Olivia ain’t having it.
Olivia is insecure about Walt going to a pool party while she has to go to a wedding with her parents. Angie tries to comfort her during a game they are cheering at, while admiring Walt doing stupid tricks in a mascot uniform.
Pres teases Angie about her being too heavy to lift, for the 2nd book in the row. Someone please punch him in the face. Angie normally takes jokes like this in stride, but this time it hurts her feelings. It doesn’t help when she has to ride to the pool party with her brother Andrew and his girlfriend Kerry, making her feel like extra baggage.
Angie notices Pres trying to impress a “non-student” at the party, noting that she will likely become one of Pres’ older lady conquests. Uhhhh okay. Pres offers the girl a drink and gets her name – Claudia Randall. She is actually only 18. He takes her willingness to converse with him as an opportunity to talk about himself for a long time.
Meanwhile, Patrick is trying to get Mary Ellen’s attention and bets her that he can do a somersault off the high diving board. If he can’t do it, he’ll leave her alone for a week, and if he can, she has to go on a date with him within the next week. These two are a worse couple than Selena Gomez and Justin Bieber. He completes the dive successfully.
Nancy and her boyfriend Ben start fighting over stupid crap, and she pushes him in the pool, then walks away. Fun times. Nancy runs into Walt who has been moping around because Olivia isn’t there. He agrees to take her home, and as they’re getting ready to leave, Nancy notices Villainous Vanessa watching them. Because she’s ridiculous, Nancy decides to give Vanessa something to talk about and hugs Walt a little too friendly, then makes a big show of saying, “Let’s get out of this place, just the two of us.” She may be wanting to spite Ben, but I’m not sure why she’s stupid enough to think it wouldn’t get back to Olivia too.
Walt and Nancy decide to get a pizza, but the pizza place closes right after they pay their bill, so Walt suggests they just go park at the Overlook to eat the pizza. While they’re there talking and eating, police come by and make them get out of the car. There’s been a burglary and the officer says they need them to come down to the station and give statements. The police don’t explain what connection they have between Walt and the burglary, but they say if the Pizza Palace manager confirms his story that he was there at closing time, they will be free to go home. I’m pretty sure unless they’re being arrested, they’re free to go home anyway. Walt and Nancy need to learn their rights. At the station they listen in to the Keystone Cops discuss the likelihood that Walt is the one who drove to the village and broke into a jewelry store, stealing a $700 ring. Finally, one of the cops gets tired of the conversation and says “You guys have been watching too much TV.” He tells them they’re free to go, and they’re so relieved that their parents won’t ever find out.
That is until they step outside the police station and somehow the TV news media is there with cameras. Walt’s parents host a local talk show, so apparently his being brought in for questioning is big time news. “How does it feel to be the son of an ideal TV couple and find yourself in this fix?” is a question a reporter actually asks him. Nancy babbles about what really happened, then Walt tells her to shut up and drags her to the car.
Ben sees the news coverage and calls Nancy, angry at first but then laughs at how pathetic she looked claiming their innocence. Nancy angrily hangs up on him. Olivia is furious, which makes Walt mad for her not trusting him. Vanessa starts spreading the word that Walt and Nancy were getting cozy before they left the party, and plans to tell her father, the superintendent, that he should do something about the cheerleaders who are giving their school such a bad name in the media. Nancy was kind of asking for it.
Everyone keeps their cool at practice, even when Mary Ellen makes the comment to Angie that “For someone who is always pigging out on chocolate and hates sports, you sure have a lot of energy.” Ben comes by and demands to speak to Nancy, then Walt gets all up in his face and tells him to leave her alone. Ben calls him a “pipsqueak.” Everyone is upset. Olivia blames Angie for assuring her that nothing bad would happen if she left Walt alone for a weekend, because she was DEAD WRONG. Poor Angie is the squad doormat.
Pres’ boring storyline with Claudia continues. She says she’s attending a local nursing school. She schmoozes his mother pretty easily. They are definitely having sexual relations. And she still has an air of mystery around her. Yawn.
Patrick tries to get Mary Ellen to commit to the date he won in their bet at the pool, and she notices his wrist is swollen and discolored. He thinks he hurt it while showing off at the pool party, and she insists that instead of going on a date that night, he should go to the hospital. He is frustrated with her everlasting ambivalence toward him, but at this point I am done feeling sorry for him. There are other fish in the sea Patrick!!! He goes to the emergency room and while waiting, he spots Claudia Randall, Pres’ new lady friend. While most likely violating medical privacy laws, Patrick’s doctor tells him that Claudia was a champion horsewoman who got thrown off her horse and seriously hurt her back to the point where she might become paralyzed soon. Patrick eavesdrops on Claudia and her doctor discussing an operation she doesn’t want to have. “The bone fragment is lodged near the spine,” the doctor says. “If you don’t have it removed, it’s likely to shift position sooner or later. You could be paralyzed for life.” After they’re gone, Patrick gets his wrist bandaged.
Mary Ellen and Patrick go on a date to the Pizza Palace and they see Pres and Claudia eating as well. Patrick tells Mary Ellen all about Claudia’s operation dilemma, and they start gossiping like old ladies. ME wants to tell Pres the truth, but Patrick says not to get involved. “What if Pres is the only person in the world who can talk her into having the operation?” ME asks. A guy she’s known one week? I’m so sure.
Ben is also at the Pizza Palace where he runs into Vanessa, who seductively suggests that he take advantage of her willingness to make Nancy jealous. He thanks her for the idea and leaves, which pisses Vanessa off. Instead, he calls Olivia. Ooh, good idea. I would want to do the same thing. Kind of like how Shania Twain ended up marrying her husband’s (alleged) mistress’ husband. Ben asks Olivia if she wants to get even with Walt and Nancy, and she agrees. They go back to the Pizza Palace and order a pizza, then Ben basically announces to the whole restaurant that they’re going to take it to the Overlook. Ben has no chill. They go to the Overlook and almost kiss, but can’t go through with it because they still love Walt and Nancy.
Vanessa hilariously wastes about 10 minutes before she calls Walt to tell him what she heard about Olivia and Ben. Even though she’s telling the truth, Walt really shouldn’t believe her due to her track record. But he does anyway and is pissed.
Patrick and Mary Ellen rope Angie into the Claudia drama. They want Angie to be the one to tell Pres about Claudia’s operation. None of them have ever spoken to Claudia in their lives, and Patrick even hearing/being told what’s going on is a huge invasion of privacy, but they are all set on saving the day. ME guilt trips Angie the Doormat – “If you don’t help us, Claudia may never get that operation. She could spend the rest of her life in a wheelchair.” WHYYYYY do any of them care or even think it’s their place to make someone they’ve never met have an operation? This is officially the dumbest plot I’ve read in Cheerleaders so far. Of course Angie gives in. If something happens to Claudia before she can tell Pres, she’ll never forgive herself!!! Sigh.
Angie runs to Pres and tells him the whole story. Pres can’t believe it. He thinks Mary Ellen made it up because she’s jealous that he’s found someone he likes “a hundred times more” than her. Oh please, get over yourself Pres. If ME was going to sabotage your relationship she’d pretend your girlfriend hurt her back and needs a paralysis-preventing surgery? That’s brilliant. He also calls Angie gullible, which makes her mad. Everyone is so mean to poor Angie. But later Claudia admits the truth to Pres and says she lied because she didn’t want his pity. He says he loves her and tries to guilt trip her about not being brave enough to get the operation. She rightly tells him he has no clue what kind of position she’s in.
Angie is tired of being called chubby and gullible, so she goes home and puts on a sexy outfit, does her hair differently and heads out to a random place called Garry’s, where a guy named Lester Lightning offers to buy her a drink. Seriously. She decides she doesn’t like him, and he tries to change her mind by offering a ring out of his pocket. What do you know, it’s the ring that was stolen from the jewelry store! What a huge freaking coincidence. Angie tells him someone named Vanessa Barlow might be interested in the ring, then tries to get away sneakily, but her car won’t start. So as Lester starts to come after her, she runs out to the road and waves her arms. Miracle of miracles, Pres just happens to be driving by and stops for her. They drive to Walt’s house, where they come upon Walt and Olivia making up. They tell him what happened, and then they all call the police. It’s a good thing everyone was treating Angie like crap or she might have never found the jewelry thief!
After the next game, news reporters are waiting outside the school again. This time they are looking for Superintendent Barlow – apparently Vanessa has been arrested for possession of stolen property. “Your daughter says she agreed to buy the goods only because she was conducting an independent investigation on your behalf,” the news reporter tells the superintendent. “I’ll wring her neck!” he proclaims. “I mean… I won’t really.” This was a very random and out-of-place turn of events. Apparently Lester Lightning looked Vanessa up as a potential buyer of the ring thanks to Angie’s suggestion. Everyone compliments Angie on accidentally screwing Vanessa over and she feels good about herself again.
At the end of the book, Claudia comes to see Pres and tells him she’s going to California to have the operation. Of course she says Pres is the one who changed her mind. I mean, they are in love after 2 whole weeks of dating, so of course he did.
I have to say, this book was pretty terrible.
Interesting notes and quotes:
- Nancy wears a hot pink bikini and three gold chains to the pool party. So fetch.
- Nancy and Ben also make up and Mary Ellen times their makeup kiss as lasting a minute and a half.
Author: Lisa Norby
Next time on Cheerleaders… Will New York City steal Mary Ellen’s heart from Patrick? Read Cheerleaders #14 LIVING IT UP.