Sweet Valley Twins #99: The Beast Must Die

Sweet Valley Twins #99: The Beast Must Die by Jamie Suzanne
Sweet Valley Twins #99: The Beast Must Die by Jamie Suzanne
Sweet Valley Twins #099 The Beast Must Die – Cover from Liz

Title: The Beast Must Die [Wing: This is a goddamn lie.]

Summary: When Elizabeth and Jessica Wakefield began babysitting for the Riccoli family, they soon learned of the kids’ bad dreams. And slowly, the terrifying truth becomes undeniable. The nightmares are real. Something evil is in the kids’ house and in their dreams—something that wants them dead. So when they can no longer stay awake, there’s only one thing left to do: the baby-sitters and the kids must enter the deadly world of their dreams…

Don’t go to sleep, Sweet Valley… you may never wake up! [Wing: The way I feel at this moment, never waking up sounds like a pretty good deal.]

Tagline: On a hill on the outskirts of Sweet Valley sits a beautiful old Victorian house—empty until a big family move in… the perfect clients for Elizabeth and Jessica Wakefield’s new babysitting service.

Initial Thoughts

The day I’m writing this, Ruth Bader Ginsburg died. I am heartbroken and in mourning. I am sharp edged and angry and even more afraid for vulnerable people in my country (including myself). Ginsburg meant a lot to me for a variety of reasons, and to this country, to the fight for equality and personal rights.

Which is to say, I am in a terrible place to be recapping Sweet Valley, have little patience, and even less ability to be funny. So this’ll be a grand old time!

(Not recapping the recaps, but here is the first book and here is the second book. We’ve not had much fun with this mini-series so far, though I liked the last book more than Dove and Raven did. Also: 99th main series book! I’m pretty pleased to have that number, and I’d like to party like it’s 1999 again.)

[Dove: I hate this whole series. I can’t even think of something witty to say. The entire thing is treading water. By the end of this, we’ve had 120k words of nothing happening, except Steven tits about on a lawnmower, which we’re supposed to find hilarious. I want to thump whoever came up with this. It’s fucking stupid and the Jamie(s) in question should be embarrassed.]

[Raven: Another chapter of this terrible mini series. Roundly bang the sounding brasses, let joy be unconfined, it’s time to get SHITFACED.]


We pick up with the twins still trapped in the hidden room with the Riccoli house on fire. They argue over whether Mrs Riccoli coming home will be a good thing or not (pro: she’ll let them out; con: they’ve let her kids be in danger in a house on fire, she’ll probably kill them for that) or if it is better that she’s late (pro: maybe she’ll never know about the whole kids in danger thing; con: the kids and the twins might be dead by the time she gets home).

Jessica gets distracted looking at a doll with curly blond hair. It reminds her of a doll that Grandma Wakefield gave her when they were in first grade, and she wants to know if her hair would look nice curled like that.


Elizabeth suggests they tear the boards off the window and climb down to the next floor. She also takes time to snark that she’s not really surprised Jessica would “start talking about hairstyles in the middle of a fire” since her main interests are frivolous.


[Raven: I’m irritated immediately. The last book signed off with the twins screaming for their life, but this one starts with them able to talk about doll hair and muse on how they are so similar but so different. Weak.]

Jessica has, at least, turned to something more useful, trying to strip the sheets off the bed to make a rope, but the sheets are apparently completely stuck. GHOST SHEETS.

They talk about whether the house isn’t just haunted but maybe fully evil. I mean, the bad dreams, the dead gardener (that time there was smoke like from a fire that they don’t actually mention this time) — it’s bad.

Jessica’s hit the locked door enough that her knuckles are bleeding. Damn, kid, look at you fight to survive. I like it. Jessica’s freaking out, of course, they both are, but refuses to let herself cry. She’s scared for herself and for Elizabeth and for the Riccoli kids, but she’s a fighter.

Ghost girl POV! I normally hate Bad Guy POV, but I’ve not been too put off by it in this mini-series. She’s hiding behind the closet door (…why?) watching as the fire nearly circles the bed. This will terrify them, she thinks, and that means they’ll leave her house even faster. She can’t believe the kid hasn’t woken up yet, but some kids sleep through anything. She didn’t, but this kid apparently is.

She’s also thrilled at the chance for revenge on Alice.

Oh god, what. Steven is riding the lawn mower to the Riccoli house. He’s been the absolute worst part of the mini-series so far, and he’s about to save the goddamn day, isn’t he? I hate this already. [Dove: Pray that he enters the house and dies in a fire. Shocking twist! It’s not supernatural at all. It’s about fire safety! Kids, don’t play with matches!]

And, of course, he plans to scare the twins again because they told Alice and Ned what he did when he and Joe pranked them. And, you know, terrified little kids.

Can I just skip all the Steven sections? Because fuck this noise. [Raven: You have my fucking blessing. #CancelSteven]

He’s wearing a gross mask to scare them and manages to drive the mower through small bushes into the front porch. Jesus fucking christ, Steven Wakefield, why won’t you just die? [Dove: How is he this incompetent? I’m genuinely asking. If his motor skills and spacial awareness are so completely lacking, how can he ride a bike, play basketball, etc.? As Liz, our commenter, pointed out: mowers are slow. If you’re trawling along at 5mph, and you can’t figure out how to avoid a tree 20′ down the road and you cannot remember how to stop the mower, you should probably walk. And maybe get a job where there are less sharp things around you.]

Ghost girl! Hey, ghost girl! I’ll make some sort of deal with you if you’ll take out Steven (…and a few other people I have in mind right now).

Steven calls 911 then rushes up to check on the kids. He puts the fucking mask back on so maybe it will protect him from the hot flames. Unfortunately, the rubber mask does not melt into his face, killing him slowly. [Raven: Hah! I thought the same. Death by Molten Latex.]

Ghost girl is furious that he puts out her fire and decides he has to die, too. See, ghost girl? We can team up, make this work.

The twins manage to kick down the door by running at it and kicking together. I am having a really hard time picturing exactly how they manage to run and kick and get enough momentum to bust open the door that Jessica’s been throwing herself at and — you know what, I don’t care.

They both try to run down the spiral stairs at the same time and pretty much fall straight into a monster that looks like it came out of everyone’s bad dreams. The monster takes a step toward them and Elizabeth tackles it, Jessica just a second after her.

Damn, girls, you’re having some badass moments.

Andrew treats Steven like a hero, Elizabeth and Jessica promise to get him in trouble with Alice and Ned again, Jessica blames Andrew and his history of playing with matches (god, the parenting fail in Sweet Valley, even parents newly arrived in Sweet Valley [Dove: I now want to read a psychological thriller where a family moves to SV, and the kids are terrified because their previously competent and loving parents are now hopeless, and y’know, is it something in the water, is it aliens, etc.? That. Someone write it.] [Wing: …so tempted.]), the fire trucks show up before they can examine Andrew’s room, six firefighters nearly knock Jessica down the stairs and it’s clear ghostie has no fucking idea how firefighters work, Jessica forgives them because one of them is gorgeous, Mrs Riccoli shows up with the firefighters still there and understandably freaks the fuck out, Elizabeth and Jessica take credit for Steven’s rescue because Elizabeth doesn’t want to admit they were locked inside a secret room, Mrs Riccoli blames Andrew for the fire too, and I kind of hate everything. [Raven: While I hated the barging firefighters crap, Jessica’s swooning over a cute man in uniform is entirely on brand.]

Steven and Elizabeth talk about how Andrew couldn’t have started the fire because he was asleep when Steven made it to his room. Elizabeth points out he might have left a lit match out before he fell asleep, but neither she nor Steven really believe he was playing with matches and now lying about it. [Raven: If you believe that Andrew started the fire with matches, get him to tell you where the matches are and take them away. If you DON’T believe he started the fire, investigate the spooky shit. This is waffle-cock toss that’s slap in the middle, because PLOT.]

Haunted, Elizabeth decides. The house is definitely haunted.

Before the Wakefields leave, Mrs Riccoli notices the lawn-mower shaped hole in her hedge, so now Howell and Wakefield Landscaping have to replace the hedge, too. God, I hate this subplot. [Dove: Hate it more when you recall that Steven tries to blame the firefighters. You know, the dudes who just saved eight minors. Those guys. #DieStevenDie]

The next morning (Friday), Jessica declares that she will never go back to the Riccoli house ever again. Elizabeth tries to talk her out of it, especially because the kids adore her. Jessica doesn’t give a fuck about that; there are plenty of other baby-sitters and also, fuck a ghost, she wants to have a social life again.

So shallow, right Elizabeth — oh wait, no, because Saint Elizabeth wants to have a social life, too. She still tries to talk Jessica into not abandoning the kids. Good lord, Elizabeth, it’s not like you’re dumping them in a forest all on their own.

Jessica even points out that maybe they’re the ones jinxing the Riccoli place and making strange stuff happen because Mrs Riccoli is always fine and none of their friends have had anything really freaky happen while baby-sitting.

Alice walks in on them talking about the house giving them the creeps, but they don’t want to give her any details because they don’t want to worry her. Alice of course encourages them taking time away from baby-sitting. Once the girls leave, she thinks back to when she was a baby-sitter at the house.

Eva’s having nightmares again, and Alice is worried about her. She may be the most difficult child Alice baby-sits for, but is also one of the sweetest.

That night’s dream was about Halloween. Eva was running away from a scary monster, a real one, not a costume, and she grabbed Eva’s ankle and — Alice tells her not to worry about it, not to think about it, to forget she ever dreamed it. Apparently she has basically the same dream every time. Alice again promises that dreams aren’t real and can’t hurt you; no matter how scared she is in a dream, she can always wake up.

Yeaaah, that’s going to come back to haunt you, isn’t it. (Heh.) [Dove: Oh good. Another scene in which we establish Alice baby-sat in that house. Thank fuck. The other eighty-seven billion didn’t do it for me.] [Raven: Totally agree. It’s all “Alice thinks back to her time at the Sullivan Mansion….” before a flashback in which NOTHING FUCKING HAPPENS. Alice, why the fuck are you flashing back in such an episodic fashion? Because of the need to low-reveal what exactly happened, that’s why!]

Joe and Steven talk about the hedge and how to get more jobs. They get a job from a Taylor Morgan to get a lot of yard work done before a housewarming party on Sunday. (Remember, it is Friday.) Is anyone going to be upset if I really do mostly skip this shit? Because I’m going to.

Jessica is catching up on The Guilty and the Glamorous, her new favourite soap opera, which comes on right after her old favourite, Days of Turmoil. I am kind of charmed by her love of them. She’s interrupted by a call from Mrs Riccoli with an emergency. Her mother has had a heart attack and Mrs Riccoli has to go visit her. She wants Elizabeth and Jessica to watch the kids while she goes.

Oh boy. Here we go.



[Dove: Where is Mr Riccoli? I know he visited in the last book, but can’t he come back in this emergency situation? Maybe not, given how American companies seem to be offended that their worker bees have other commitments. Even so, is there literally no adult available? Side note: I once had to stay with two kids while the parents went away. I was fourteen, and you know what? An adult was needed, so my mother stayed with me in the house. Because, y’know, child safety laws.

Also, remember when Melissa McCormick lost her mother (only for a few books, admittedly), and she was not allowed to stay with her 16 year old brother, Andy? Y’know, because they’re children?

Or finally, how about that time the Wakefield parents went to Mexico, and they hired a baby-sitter to look after their kids?]

[Raven: Yup. COMPLETE SHIT. Although Mr Riccoli is flying to support his wife. But still. COMPLETE SHIT.]

The Morgan house is basically an estate, the Morgan daughter is hot, Steven makes a fool of himself, they decide to start work at 10 a.m. on Saturday, giving them 10-12 hours to do all the work, Steven bets he can get a date with Karen Morgan before they’re done landscaping on Saturday (even after Joe points out he’s, you know, dating Cathy who is far too good for him and Steven is a shit about it, swearing she won’t mind and she’s in New York that weekend anyway and it’s not like he and Cathy agreed not to see other people and Karen is the girl Steven’s dreamed about his entire life and I hope you burn) — right, I’m still skipping all that. [Raven: I fucking hate Steven in this mini series. Why don’t any of the boys have ANY teenage doubt? Like, every one of them is written like a cocky little asshat with supreme confidence. Maybe it was just me, but I was plagued by self doubt at that age. Or is it an American thing?] [Wing: Wish fulfillment in the writing + a certain stereotype of jock boys and their confidence, maybe?]

Somehow, having two 12-year-old girls stay the weekend with her young kids is more acceptable to Mrs Riccoli than letting the neighbours take care of her kids because they have their own young kids and it would be too much.

Also, no word on the twins, you know, telling Alice and Ned where they’ll be. Everything about this is so stupid and unbelievable. At least the Baby-Sitters Club nods at the idea that 12-year-old baby-sitters would need permission from their parents before taking late jobs, much less an entire fucking weekend.

Elizabeth falls asleep nearly the second they get the kids to bed, leaving Jessica on her own with lots to think about – Elizabeth maybe having that nightmare, Jessica missing the Unicorn party, the fact that she’s spending the weekend in a house she swore she’d never step foot inside again, you know, little things.

Elizabeth has a nightmare about the monster in the secret bedroom. Jessica wakes her up, they talk about how they’re having the same dream (and so is Juliana) and how they keep waking up with damage from the dream becoming real: the deep scratches down Julianna’s back, Jessica’s ripped sleeve, and now Elizabeth’s neck has ten red marks from the strangling in her dream.

This is such a creepy thing. Obviously, it’d be creepier if the writing was better, but the entire concept of it is great. (And not original to this book, but that’s not a deal breaker for me necessarily.) [Dove: Also, it would be better if it didn’t tread water so much. How many billions of dreams or conversations about dreams do we need to go through for it to escalate? In the case of Jessica’s torn sleeve, an entire book. These books are so bloated that even the good stuff isn’t good because they’ve dragged it out so long with pointless scenes (and Steven and his fucking lawnmower) that they’ve burned out all of our enjoyment. Fuck whoever came up with this stupid as fuck concept.]

Alice calls to check on the girls, so Alice fucking knows that her 12-year-old daughters are spending the weekend alone in a house with five young children. Alone in a house Alice refused to enter, much less do any work in. Alone in a house where a child probably died under her watch.

And Alice is okay with this despite not too long ago being glad the girls were taking a break from baby-sitting.


Alice thinks about baby-sitting there again. She heard something scratching at the window, thinks it is first a cat and then something she doesn’t know — and it turns out to be three of her friends, Dyan Robbins [Dove: Amy Sutton’s mom, if you didn’t catch the first name.] [Wing: I did not! Thank you.], Walter Egbert, and Jim Wilkins, her crush. Even though Eva’s parents don’t want her to have visitors (UNDERSTANDABLY), she’s glad to see her friends and lets them in long enough to have some ice cream. They talk about Halloween, she and Jim flirt, and Jim ducks back to have a moment alone with her to ask her out. Okay, kind of adorable, I’ll admit. He’s awkward as hell, and it’s fun.

Back to Jessica and Elizabeth, Elizabeth’s still trying to deal with the creepy nightmares leaving marks on people. Finally she comes up with a plan and needs Jessica’s help: Elizabeth is going to fall asleep on purpose and Jessica is going to wake her up after five minutes. Elizabeth hopes this will give her the chance to find out something about what’s been happening without fully going into deep sleep. [Dove: Oh, like in A Nightmare on Elm Street, where Nancy asks Glen to keep an eye on her while she sleeps, but he falls asleep and she nearly dies? Golly gosh, I do wonder how this will pan out for our heroes.]

Understandably, it takes Elizabeth awhile to fall asleep; Jessica needs to wake her up at 9:03. While she’s waiting, she channel surfs until she finds a natural program tracking a leopard family. It’s not her favourite kind of show, there’s no drama or human romance, but she does get into it and the adorable leopard cubs and the soft purring.

And, of course, to that peaceful sound, she falls asleep.

Elizabeth dreams and climbs to the third floor without wanting to do so. Even in the dream, her thoughts are clear enough that she knows Jessica should be waking her up any minute now. When she gets upstairs, the secret bedroom isn’t secret, it’s not hidden or locked and the glass doors are open to the balcony. The monster torments Elizabeth a little, but confronts her after not too long, shoves an old, scarred teddy bear at her, and tells her she’s going to pay. For a moment, the monster looks sad and disgusted, but then it lunges for Elizabeth. Elizabeth manages to slip free —

— and can’t run out the door because Jessica is there. Both Elizabeth and the monster want to know why Jessica’s there (…really), and Elizabeth drags Jessica into the closet before the monster can get to them. Everything goes quiet and Elizabeth thinks they might actually be safe —

— right up until the monster starts talking to them. She’s in the closet, too, and she wraps her hands around their necks, strangling them —

— until Todd arrives and wakes them up. Apparently, he’s supposed to be there or something? Even though it’s after 9 p.m. at this point.

They explain things to Todd, who is skeptical, understandably. Jessica gets annoyed with him, Elizabeth is slightly gentler about it, and a teddy bear falls off Jessica’s lap when she stands up. Yes, of course, that same teddy bear the monster had. There’s a tag sewn into this one with Eva’s name on it. Jessica’s absolutely certain now that the monster is Eva Sullivan. [Dove: Oh, like that scene in A Nightmare on Elm Street, where Nancy’s mom takes her to a sleep clinic, and she pulls Freddy’s hat off his head, and has it with her when she wakes up? Nancy’s hair turned grey. I guess that’s not sexy enough for our twins.]

Todd remains skeptical, the twins try to stay awake playing cards but he’s exhausted from playing basketball, I’m still confused as to why he’s here. Three 12-year-old kids are better than two? And Alice and Ned don’t give a fuck that Elizabeth is spending the night with her boyfriend in a house that Alice hates/is terrified of.

This fucking plot, y’all. This fucking plot.

Todd falls asleep, Todd has a nightmare, Todd is a believer.

Saturday morning, Amy and Winston rock up to take their turn, I guess? Because let’s just have all the 12-year-old kids staying alone in a house with a bunch of little kids, sure, why not, this makes total sense.

The twins and Todd are groggy and annoyed at how perky Amy is, but also relieved that they get to go home and sleep for awhile. Alice thinks the girls look exhausted when they get home, which, duh, and yet Ned and Alice remain totally cool with this entire situation. Fuck you, ghostie. Fuck. You. [Raven: Your anger is delightful. I am in agreement SO MUCH.]

Jessica goes straight to bed, but Elizabeth sticks around downstairs until she’s alone with Alice and then asks her about Eva Sullivan. Alice drops a knife and is all flustered, but she tries to wave it off as her having people coming over, and then she gets agitated when Elizabeth keeps pushing. Finally, Alice flat out leaves the house. AND YET YOU’RE TOTALLY COOL WITH YOUR DAUGHTERS SPENDING THE NIGHT THERE ON THEIR OWN. [Dove: On the plus side, this shitty mini-series has finally explained Alice’s alcoholism.]

Alice POV again. She’s worried that if the twins keep pressing her for information, she’ll break down and tell them even though all she wants to do is forget about Eva. Good lord, woman, you are the adult here, you remember that, right? You don’t have to tell them even if they push. Alternatively, you could decide to tell them since you don’t seem to give a fuck about them spending all that time in the house you won’t go near.

Anyway, we’re back to that same goddamn night from her last POV. Her friends have just left and the Sullivans just come home. As Alice gets ready to go, Mrs Sullivan asks if she’ll baby-sit for awhile on Halloween since they’re having another company event. They don’t want to attend it, but feel obliged. Look, woman, you can say no to company events. It’s okay. You don’t have to go to all of them, especially for your husband’s work and not your own. [Dove: Yeah, it’s not as if the conversation, “No spouse with you tonight?” // “No, we couldn’t get a sitter.” hasn’t happened a zillion times at company events all over the world for ever and ever.]

Alice tells her no but then feels guilty because what if Eva gets scared from a nightmare and another baby-sitter doesn’t know how to comfort her. Alice decides that she’ll baby-sit if the Sullivans will come home kind of early, nine or ten. She’ll miss the school party but can meet her friends after. [Raven: More passive aggressive dickery from Sweet Valley adults. Poor Alice.]

Oh god, it’s Saturday, that means we’re back to Steven’s subplot. Still skipping this, I swear, or at least as much as I”ll let myself do in a recap. Steven wears expensive clothes that are important to him to do the work, because Steven is an idiot.

Steven tries to impress Karen, Karen ignores him in favour of reading a magazine by the pool, he ends up making some weird patterns in the grass as he drives the lawnmower around and around (so that it looks like crop circles, basically, and, to be honest, I’m down for a lawn that has crop circles), Joe and Karen laugh at him, blah blah blah.

Karen feeds them lunch, Joe flirts with Karen, Steven is grumpy, wash, rinse, repeat. And then she starts to smell something terrible, which turns out to be Steven’s beloved basketball shoes, which he wore when he jumped into the pool last week. Because he is an idiot. They’re leather and they stink because of it and he’s not even wearing socks with them for all this work. Steven is disgusting. [Dove: But he’s slender, so that makes every shitty thing he does ok. Traumatise kids, eat like a pig, lie to parents, cause untold damage, cheat on girlfriend… all good (and more), because he’s handsome. That’s how Sweet Valley works. Fuck everything.]

Steven gets back just in time for Karen to leave with her boyfriend, Jake. Joe, of course, gives him a rash of shit over this. I’m still bored and annoyed.

Elizabeth, Jessica, Todd, Amy, and Winston all baby-sit that night, even though Amy and Winston have been there all day. I see ghostie believes in the throwing 12-year-olds-at-it school of problem solving.

Winston’s mother brought them cookies but refused to go into the house while she did. So — so you’re telling me she and Alice both have issues with this house and yet are fine with their kids staying there all weekend with no adult supervision? WHAT THE EVER-LOVING-FUCK, GHOSTIE.

Oh, yeah, and Todd’s parents wouldn’t talk about the Sullivans, either, when he asked about it.

…whatever, ghostie. [Raven: The thing is, the whole reason why these now-parents are skittiish about the Sullivan house is bound to be SO FUCKING WEAK. It’s not as if they killed Eva and burned her corpse, as the trope would generally reveal. So not only is THIS book shit, but it’s also ensuring that the NEXT book is also shit, which is frankly depressing.]

Quick cut back to Steven and Joe, Karen gets back and Steven learns Joe already asked her out for next Friday night. And then Steven gets pulled over for driving the mower erratically. [Dove: And is so utterly Steven about it that he calls the police officer stupid. He means to give it as his name, but he’s such an utter tool it sounds like he’s calling them stupid. I wish they’d shot him.]

Baby-Sitters Club: Twins and Friends Edition play board games to try to stay awake. It doesn’t work too well, because Winston actually dozes off waiting for other people to take their turn. None of them are feeling very well, either, after drinking terrible coffee Jessica made earlier (which was decaf, so not even useful to keep them awake).

Jessica realises that Winston had a tiny little nap but they woke him up before he went into deep sleep. He still feels more refreshed, though, she claims, even though he’s actually pretty groggy. Therefore, they can all sleep and as long as an alarm is set to go off every ten minutes, they won’t ever be asleep long enough to get sucked into the dream.

…this sounds like a terrible plan. And, of course, everyone pretty much loves it. [Raven: Awful.]

Ghost girl watches them fall asleep, angry at them and their plan, until one of the boys (I think Winston) gets up, possibly sleep walking, and kicks the alarm, unplugging it. Which is bullshit, really, because she was going to unplug it anyway, so why do we suddenly need random sleepwalking from him? [Dove: Also, what did they do? Stretch it across the room? For fuck’s sake. I’d have been more impressed if Ghost Girl caused a power cut. I mean, if she can make fire, why not a power cut?]

Jessica dreams. She’s climbing to the third floor but certain that either the alarm or one of her friends will wake her up (Amy and Winston are now her friends, apparently; I guess being attacked in your sleep is a real bonding experience). Unlike previous dreams, though, she doesn’t go into the secret bedroom but up a ladder to the widow’s walk.

A strong, cold wind was blowing against her back as she gazed out toward the ocean. Only she couldn’t see the ocean. The sky was completely dark: no moon, no stars… even the lights that normally shone from the town of Sweet Valley were gone. What was worse, Jessica couldn’t see any lights on in the houses surrounding the Riccolis’—she couldn’t even see those houses. It was almost as if nothing else existed except her on that forlorn, empty roof.

I quite like that!

Then Amy joins her, and Todd, and Winston, and they’re all terrified because the alarm clock hasn’t gone off and they can’t wake up. Elizabeth is their only hope of coming back alive, and Jessica is certain that her sister will save them all.

Elizabeth is, of course, also in a deep sleep now. She climbs the ladder and joins the others on the roof. Thunder rumbles, lightning flashes, and the monster steps onto the roof, welcoming them to their worst nightmare, to their death…

Final Thoughts

Aaaaand that’s it for me. Next time, Dove will bring you “the terrifying conclusion of The Frightening Four miniseries.” How needlessly dramatic.

If last book felt like a filler (and some of us thought that more than others), this one is complete filler. Even the Wakefield and Howell subplot was fucking filler. The nightmares were repetitive and gave us very little new information, as were Alice’s flashbacks all to the same goddamn night, the actual plot setup in this makes no fucking sense (THEY ARE TWELVE FUCKING YEARS OLD), and there is very little entertainment to be had.

Like I said at the beginning, I’m not in a very good place for recapping. Not even in a neutral place. But I still think I’d be annoyed and bored by this book if I’d had the best day ever. This book and the last book could have been combined, streamlined and beefed up at the same time, and the miniseries would have lost nothing.

[Dove: I’ve started my recap for the next book and I spend pages ranting about where I am with these fucking books, so I won’t repeat myself (uh, did I just tease next week’s recap?). Basically, thanks, I hate it. And can Steven die now please?]

[Raven: Bizarrely, I think I enjoyed this book a little more than the last book. Was it good? FUCK no. But at least something happened in this one. I’m pretty sure the Riccolis need their kids taken into care, though. And Steven can fuck off into the sea, as usual.]