The Unicorn Club #23: Trapped in the Mall

The Unicorn Club #23: Trapped in the Mall

Title: Trapped in the Mall

Tagline: Shop ‘til you drop!

Summary: Tonight is too good to be true. The Unicorn Club got locked in the mall after closing! Can you believe our luck? I mean, who would know how to take advantage of an empty mall better than the coolest girls in Sweet Valley?

At first we were so excited, we hardly knew where to go: the sound booth to cut a CD, the photo shop to take modeling shots, or the shoe store to try on all those heels our parents would never let us wear. Of course, everyone had their own ideas—Jessica wanted to give everyone makeovers, Ellen begged for an ice-cream feast, and all Lila could think about was clothes, clothes, clothes! We would have wasted the whole night arguing if I hadn’t taken control of the situation. After all, I am the oldest Unicorn. The rest of the club just naturally looks up to me for direction.

It’s the night of a lifetime—no grown-ups are around, and I’m in charge. What could possibly go wrong?

Kimberly Haver

Initial Thoughts

A Kimberly book with the tagline “shop ‘til you drop”? She’d better end up a corpse by the end. (Yes, yes, I know, this isn’t Devil’s Elbow.) Otherwise, this is the same old same old. I love stories about people locked into public places after they close, and I am particularly fond of people in empty malls.

However, I am exhausted by this subseries, I hate Kimberly, and I have zero positive expectations for this book.

[Dove: Despite all my foot-dragging and bitching, I was really looking forward to this book. I love this trope. I loved the millennium episode of My Name is Earl, I love stories set in abandoned malls (Silent Hill 3, I love you), and I even loved the Dawson’s Creek episode along this lines, despite my passionate loathing of Joey fucking Potter. And that has to be a good sign, right? Because I hate Joey. She’s literally the worst. Everything about her sucks and Jen should’ve jammed a stake through her heart halfway through season 1. And even so, I really liked the episode where she and Pacey were locked in a department store overnight. So even though Kimberly sucks just as much as Joey, this is going to be fun, right? RIGHT?!?!

Spoilers: no.]

[Wing: Speaking of Joey Potter and stakes, I wasn’t even a Dawson’s Creek fan and yet I wrote a BTVS AU snippet as a part of Ten Slayers Who Never Were (The Of All the Women in All the World Mix). Self promo, I has it.]

[Raven: No love for the trope, no love for the series, no love for the Unicorns, no love for Kimberly fucking Haver. This is going to be BULLSHIT.]


Kimberly watches an action flick starring Jacques von Storm. JACQUES VON STORM. Amazing action hero name. Ellen keeps asking her questions, and Kimberly is deeply annoyed by her. After Kimberly shushes her, Ellen and Rachel start whispering about how Arnold Weissenhammer is a better actor and speaks English much better than Jacques von Storm does.

That is certainly something, but not nearly as entertaining as ghostie seems to think.

Kimberly thinks that Ellen and Rachel look like seventh graders, Rachel short and pudgy, Ellen too skinny, neither of them with Kimberly’s strong, athletic build.

Kimberly loves that Jacques’ character can’t be kept in a normal life with a family and a regular job, he has to live in the great outdoors, camping and leading fights against villains.

The rest of the Unicorn Club is with them, not that we’ve heard anything from them. We sure do hear a lot about the movie, dialogue and all. Why? I have no idea. I’d say better it than Kimberly actually interacting with anyone, but nope.

When it’s over, the Unicorns debate whether the movie was good or not, whether Jacques can act, etc., and since I have no reason to care about the movie, I have no reason to care about their conversation about it.

Kimberly thinks that Ellen and Rachel are too much alike, including because they both have divorced parents, and it feels like they’re ganging up on her. Plus Jessica and Lila, too. Mandy never takes anyone’s side. (Spineless, Dove would say, and she would not be wrong.)

Kimberly wants just one person who is always on her side. [Dove: Well, maybe if you weren’t a toxic harpy 99% of the time, maybe you’d have one. Also, despite that 99%, didn’t you just have a book where you learned that Friendship was Magic and your real friends are the ones who are there for you?]

No, Kimberly, you want just one person who will agree with you no matter what you say. That’s not the same thing at all. Also: fuck off. This could be sympathetic and good character insight, but Kimberly has been so terrible, including in her own books, that it’s not and I am just annoyed.

Their talk turns to how much fun it would be to spend the night at the mall rather than at Lila’s house, and even Kimberly thinks that fantasy would be fun.

Ellen interrupts all this talk to point out that they’re rereleasing Battle of the Planets, her absolute favorite movie that has Martin Starsurfer and a princess tightrope climb into the enemy’s space cruiser. Amazing. [Raven: So many fake Star Wars nods here. Pissed me off a bit, to be honest. I think I’m just a curmudgeon today.]

All the rest of the Unicorns are also excited about this, but Kimberly simply feels old and thinks that the movie is for children, they shouldn’t care about it so much. The rest of the Unicorns aren’t exactly immature, but they’re not mature, either, and that’s why they don’t appreciate things like Kimberly does, like Jacques as a good actor. [Raven: I’m absolutely sick to the back teeth of the “you are all so childish, not like me who’s six whole months older than you babies” plotline. It’s so overplayed in the Twins series. Get a fucking grip, you molluscs.]

Kimberly wishes that Janet was there because Janet would understand, and they were more adventurous with her around leading the Unicorns. Kimberly doesn’t want to leave the group, not really, she even turned down the Eights for them, but she wishes they would do something more exciting and sophisticated.

Fuck off to the Eights, Kimberly, and let the Newnicorns come back for the last few books. [Dove: Ah, yes, the sophistication of bullying someone so hard they take a week off school. That’s so much more mature than volunteering to look after underprivileged kids.]

Lila starts to point out some guy who looks vaguely familiar to Kimberly but changes it at the last minute to a woman who looks absolutely nothing like Mrs Pervis, her housekeeper. Mandy figures out the guy is Jerry McAllister, though, and Lila tries to distract them by taking them to Ina’s Trends, but the girls give her grief about having a crush on him.

Kimberly is determined to track him down so she can ask if he likes Lila, and even though Lila tries to keep her from doing it at first, eventually she agrees and they all go together, because that’s not awkward, but for Lila who hides in Ina’s Trends while the rest gather outside Scoops.

Jessica suggests they just go up and ask him, and Mandy agrees, but Kimberly wants to do something more creative like they used to do. Play a game with him, maybe. Mandy’s wary about this and calls her out on it being something Janet would have made them do. Kimberly complains that they don’t do exciting stuff anymore, Mandy defends Ellen’s presidency and says that things are better now. Rachel defends her, too, of course, and the democracy of the club now, making decisions together as opposed to Janet the dictator. Kimberly misses that control sometimes, though.

Jerry overhears them talking about putting life back into the club and teases them that they need to get a life in the first place. He’s annoying and awkward, tells a bad joke about Lila having one horn and flies, and Kimberly decides they have to get back at him for badmouthing Lila and the Unicorns as a whole. [Raven: Has Jerry McAllister always been a prick? I thought he was okay, but I also remember something abut him and Charlie Cashman being bullies…?

[Wing: Well, he and Bruce team up in Deadly Voyage, so it doesn’t bode well for him. We’re not great at tagging him, though, based on my quick search. I say having forgotten to tag him for this one originally.]

Mandy continues to think they’re being too mean to Jerry, but the rest of the Unicorns remind her of all the ways he’s been a little shit to them and she goes along with it.

The prank: Ellen goes into Scoops [Raven: Scoops! I guess Casey’s Place has been closed down?] to tell Jerry that she has a message for him from Lila. He’s eager at this for a moment before he goes back to mocking her, and Kimberly’s theory that he likes Lila seems to be true. Ellen directs him to the cd booth to record a song with Lila.

At the cd booth, the Unicorns tell him she was waiting for a guy to sing with her but he never showed. They send him on to the skating rink where she might have a free pass for him. Jessica and Rachel send him from the rink to Manicurious, which is one of the better store names in Sweet Valley, a sad truth. [Dove: We’re on the final book of the entire run, and now they break out the fun shop names?]

Mandy is the only one who worries about how Lila will feel about all of this, considering that she does like him for some unknown reason. I call shenanigans on this, but whatever, I don’t actually care enough to put together my argument. Still, taking it at face value, she likes him and her friends are using her to play a prank on him. That’s shitty as hell. [Dove: Yes, all that Wing said. And also, why on earth would Lila like Jerry of all people? He’s a chubby bully who hangs out with Charlie Cashman. I know bully is everyone’s type, but chubby is not.] [Raven: Ah, thanks Dove. Then who was Lila’s long-time crush?]

While they wait and watch, a storm continues to build, lightning flashes and startles Ellen, and Jessica trips over her and falls onto her, making her scream. Kimberly snaps at them over it even though she knows she shouldn’t.

Jerry doesn’t go inside Manicurious until an announcement comes that the mall is about to close. Kimberly calls Manicurious from a payphone, identifying herself as Lila and asking to talk to her boyfriend, Jerry. [Dove: Shout out to the people trying to do their job and earn a living at all these places while Kimberly fucks about “for the lolz”. Entitled brat.]

Kimberly fools him with her excellent imitation of Lila, because she’s always been good at mimicry, a trait we’ve been told Ellen has but haven’t seen her use and now she seems to have lost it to Kimberly. Fuck Kimberly. [Raven: HARD AGREE.]

She tells him to have her name painted on his fingernails if he’s really interested in her, with a little star above each letter and each in different colors. He refuses the stars or the hearts she suggests after, and Kimberly finally agrees to just the name.

Jerry finally admits that he likes her, but … and then he goes running out into the mall. Lila is, of course, walking toward the exit, carrying a dozen different shopping bags and, of course, no phone.

Jerry sees Kimberly and comes to shout at her and threaten the Unicorns. The rest of them flee when he runs at the telephone booth, but Kimberly stands her ground. When the others are clear, Kimberly runs away too.

Lila is at first delighted to learn that Jerry does have a crush on her, then blasé about it, then angry that Kimberly made her look like a fool. [Raven: Standard.]

As it gets closer to closing time, some of the girls want to go meet Lila’s chauffeur while others don’t want to leave until Kimberly joins them. Lila is, of course, ready to do something dramatic because Kimberly deserves to be shaken up after the shit prank she pulled.

She’s not cruel enough to leave her, though. Instead, she thinks they should hide for a few minutes so they can then jump out at Kimberly.

Ellen and Mandy are both skeptical, but in the end the girls hide in a tent.

I’m sure everyone will be shocked when they get locked in the mall. [Raven: I DID NOT FORESEE THIS TURN OF EVENTS.]

Kimberly, meanwhile, hides from Jerry through an employee-only door, in a bleak hallway next to The Outback where the rest of the Unicorns hide. There are bags of trash piled up, everything stinks, and a window is leaking onto her.

It’s miserable, but at least she got away from Jerry.

Back with the rest of the Unicorns, Jessica warns them that Valley Mall is very ahead of the times when it comes to security and has electric current holding the gates in place. She knows this because Ned did some legal work for a guy who runs a store in the mall. What kind of legal work? We haven’t seen much of the Wakefields lately, and I can’t believe I’m about to say this, but I miss some of those interactions at home. [Dove: *headtilt* What kind of legal work? Because I’m imagining writing a contract that cites that the store agrees to use the Securiton 8000 system, in compliance with the mall or franchise owner’s requirements, or whatever, but I can’t imagine why he would need more detail than that. Unless maybe Ned now does criminal law, and is writing a witness statement of the checks the employee did before they were robbed or whatever. And no matter what it was, I can’t see this coming up over dinner. “Hey kids, the tent shop was robbed.” … “Oh, really daddy? What kind of security system did they have?” vs “Whatever. At least it wasn’t Valley Fashions. They have a really great-looking sweater I intend to buy.”]

Ellen is terrified because of the security and the storm just makes things worse.

Kimberly finally leaves her hallway and finds herself in a dark, empty mall. She, too, is frightened and finds the mall and the storm spooky.

[Dove: Um. I know every recapper here as worked retail. Any of you guys ever leave exactly at 17:30 when the stores close? Or was it more like 18:15, after you’ve shoed out all those annoying “I know exactly what I want, I’ll be two ticks” shoppers (who then browse every single item you have for sale, and get really pissy when you tell them to fuck off because you’re no longer being paid), and then cashed out, and checked that everywhere secured and free from errant shoppers that were hiding? It’s the latter, isn’t it?] [Raven: Yeah, pretty sure they’d be ushering folk out for another 30 minutes at least. Also, I’d suggests that there’d be some stores being restocked by late-working staff too.] [Wing: At least another 30 minutes. Last time I worked retail, we weren’t in the mall itself, but we were adjacent to it and so people leaving the mall came to us after it closed. They would still be turning up an hour after it closed, if not later. Also, not all mall stores always close at the same time.]

She freaks herself out over a mannequin for a bit and then starts to feel like being trapped in the mall isn’t too bad. She can be like her action hero, enjoying herself and having an adventure. She tries to go into a shoe store to try on some of the fancy shoes, but the gate is locked, of course.

She decides that her friends must be hiding in The Outback because that’s a logical assumption.

While she thinks about this, lightning strikes and the power starts flickering, including part of the gate across Chez Foot opening. She slips inside and triggers no alarm, so she’s off to have her own adventure.

The Unicorns continue to be terrified, hear heavy footsteps coming and assume it’s Jerry, and then are shocked when it’s Kimberly wearing work boots.

Kimberly’s glad to have the Unicorns with her because they will appreciate the excitement and adventure — all except president Ellen who remains frightened. Mandy defends Ellen when Kimberly mocks her again.

Ellen thinks they should call the police to get them out even though their parents will freak out if they see them in a patrol car. Okay, first of all, call your fucking parents. Second, your parents should be happier to have you safely returned. You’re almost all white and most of you are well off, if not rich.

…for that matter, Rachel, the one who should have concerns about calling the cops, especially in southern California, says nothing.

Kimberly talks most of them into having fun and comes up with a plan to make sure that Richard the driver and Mr Fowler don’t worry about them: they’ll call Richard on his car phone and tell him they forgot they changed their plans and are spending the night at Kimberly’s house instead.

Ellen worries that security guards will find them, and Kimberly argues that security guards will only patrol outside to look for people breaking in. That is absolutely untrue, Kimberly, you fool. [Raven: This book would have been GREAT if the girls did the “getting dressed up / recording a pop song / eating loads of ice cream” thing as they did, only with a group of fabulous security guards doing all those things a few steps ahead of the protagonists.] [Wing: I have stars and hearts in my eyes.]

Most of the girls talk about how awesome this is, better than the cruise and the ski trip and meeting Johnny Buck. Then they argue about what to do first: cut a song at the cd booth (Johnny Buck’s new ballad, Mandy), try on clothes in all the stores including where the older kids shop (Lisette’s and Bibi’s, Lila), and ice cream at Scoops (Ellen, mostly, because apparently her two traits this book are fear and ice cream), makeovers (Jessica), modeling photo shoot (Rachel).

Kimberly loves that they’re getting into it and everyone is feeling the excitement but she also wishes that Janet was there with them. Kimberly, I need you to let go of Janet. She’s gone. The Unicorns have changed. You’ve fucked them back toward their old way, but they still changed. Give it up.

Kimberly takes charge and tells them that since this was her plan, she’ll decide where they go. Shoe store first, cd place, Scoops, and then they’ll see. No one argues with her over this, and she thinks this means they all miss having a president like Janet as much as she does. Maybe she should be president and not Ellen. [Dove: You know what? Who cares? After this book, she and many other characters just disappear into the void and never appear at SV High. Let her do what she wants. She’s on borrowed fucking time.] [Raven: I understand your view, although I do not support it. She should fuck off in a rocket to the sun.]

Ellen says she wants to make sure they’re not doing anything wrong like stealing or something. Jessica says they’ll leave money for ice cream and people are allowed to try on clothes and shoes, they’ll put the skates back if they skate, etc. Ellen decides they have to clean up after themselves and pay for any food, and the others go along with it.

Despite going along with it, Ellen continues to stress, though she tries to hide it from the others. Finally she talks herself into having fun even while she’s afraid they’re going to get caught. [Dove: Literally me in every single social situation.]

They try on shoes, go to the cd store to record a song and Kimberly tries to decide what they will sing. This time the girls argue with her until she comes up with an explanation that Dancing Demon doesn’t come out until tomorrow so they can be the first people to record it and show they’re the coolest club in Sweet Valley.

This, of course, only makes Kimberly more certain that they need her leadership.

Kimberly keeps trying to take credit for the best parts of their recording and Mandy calls her on it. Ellen worries about it turning into a fight until Kimberly distracts them with the idea of getting clothes and dressing up like the music video dancers. They could put on their own show. Ellen wants to go to Ina’s Trends, a fancy boutique where only Lila and Rachel can afford to shop.

Kimberly wants Hot Spot, though, a trendy clothing store that is also a popular teen hangout. (Hot Topic, is that you?) Ellen loves Hot Spot, but she can go there anytime, it’s not the same as Ina’s.

Ellen goes along with Kimberly, though, because she doesn’t want to fight with anyone.

Mandy tries to direct the girls toward specific clothing so they can look like the video, but Kimberly gets annoyed that someone else is controlling something and tells them they’ll look like babies if they wear pastel like the dancers in the video. Jessica defends Mandy, and Kimberly gets even more annoyed because Janet would never stand for them ganging up on her.

Fuck off into the sea, Kimberly.

She insults them again, telling them they look like children, and finally go along with what Kimberly wants, because they are all spineless fucks right now. [Raven: Absolute passive-aggressive bullshit.]

Ellen thinks that Kimberly is being too bossy and turning them into people they’re not. Which is a lesson Ellen recently learned and is decent continuity for her, even if the others also learned this lesson and have apparently forgotten everything about it.

They go to Scoops next, and Kimberly says they can only get frozen yogurt. They can’t get fat, after all, especially not Ellen, not any fatter than she already is. [Dove: Didn’t she literally just complain that Ellen doesn’t look mature because she’s “too skinny”? This is some nasty fucking bullshit. This is what gives people body issues. Ellen, you’re a beautiful girl made of sunshine and rainbows and a bizarre kind of wit that we all love. Kimberly is withered hag made of spite, envy and viciousness and even if her outside is pretty, she can never ever be beautiful.]

Fuck. You. Kimberly.

Ellen can’t believe this but also checks her stomach, wondering if she is fat. Mandy defends her yet again, sort of, by saying she’s so thin she disappears if she turns sideways. Not that it would matter if she was fat. Guess we haven’t had Lois around, so someone else has to get the fat hate.

Get the fuck out of here, Kimberly.

Everyone else wants ice cream, too, and instead of focusing on the healthiness of frozen yogurt, says there won’t be as much mess if they stick to frozen yogurt and it’s not fair to the staff if they leave a big mess to clean up.

…guess you won’t be cleaning up after yourselves, will you. [Raven: Also, what sort of ass-clown logic suggests that frozen yoghurt causes any less mess than ice cream?]

Kimberly gets even more annoyed that they dare have differing opinions.

Lila realizes they’re still wearing the clothes from the Hot Spot, and Jessica says they didn’t pick up after themselves in Chez Foot, but Kimberly uses that as an even more important reason for why they should be less messy in Scoops. Instead of everyone getting what they want, they’ll all have mocha strawberry frozen yogurt, which is, of course, Kimberly’s favorite flavor.

Kimberly tells them that if they don’t like it, they can leave.

Ellen finally snaps and tells her that she won’t have it and she won’t leave. Kimberly has good ideas, and sometimes they are fun, but she won’t be pushed around about ice cream.

Mandy backs her up.

Kimberly asks if this is a revolution and reminds them it was her idea. Jessica says that no one likes mocha strawberry but her, and Ellen tells her that she’s being too bossy.

Kimberly is shocked, SHOCKED I SAY, that they dare call her bossy. They would never say that to Jacques von Storm, and if they thought Janet was bossy, they would never dare say it to her face.

Kimberly talks herself into giving in because it’s not like losing, really, it’s like being generous and proving she’s not bossy.

She does still think that she should be president. After all, Ellen can only stand up for herself when it comes to ice cream, that makes her a terrible president.

She tells them to eat whatever they want and then they should go on a big adventure. She’ll prove to them that she should be president and not Ellen.

Meanwhile, Ellen is proud of herself for standing up to Kimberly. Someone had to do it, and that she did proves that she’s the right person to be president.

Didn’t we … didn’t we already have this story, fighting over the Unicorn presidency, too?

Fucking hell, there’s nothing new in this series. [Raven: Agreed.]

Kimberly takes them back to The Outback and decides that they’ll do the climbing wall. Ellen admits that it looks dangerous and doesn’t think she’ll have fun. Kimberly mocks her for being a chicken and says that anyone who is too scared to climb it doesn’t deserve to be Unicorn president.

Mandy points out that the Unicorns don’t chose a president based on who can climb faster, and Rachel says it’s a dumb way to run a club. Kimberly, of course, spins this toward Ellen being a coward still and that saying enough on its own. [Raven: Ah, the classic McFly Gambit. Interesting.]

Ellen knows she shouldn’t take the bait, but decides she can’t back down from the challenge. Maybe if she beats Kimberly, the club will go back to normal.

How about you all kick Kimberly out and go back to the Newnicorns?

The storm gets worse as Kimberly and Ellen strap into climbing gear. Ellen, of course, doesn’t know much about putting the straps together, and Kimberly barely pays attention to her when she asks for help.

Kimberly makes it all the way to the top but Ellen gets stuck partway and they figure out that her harness is put together wrong. She starts to fall, and if she does, it’s a long way down.

Kimberly tries to get to her, but Ellen falls and hits the floor hard, her leg twisted beneath her, and can’t get back up.

Back on the ground, Kimberly whines that she didn’t mean for it to happen and they shouldn’t look at her like it’s her fault. Mandy says she’s not accusing her, but Rachel sure the hell is. Which makes sense, actually. [Dove: *falls over* Wait. Did Rachel finally do something that I don’t hate?]

Ellen actually defends Kimberly and says that she chose to take the dare and that she’ll be fine.

Kimberly starts to worry that she is at fault. Ellen hardly ever stands up for herself, after all, did she expect her to do so with this?

Ellen thinks her leg is broken and the Unicorns know they have to team up to get out of this mess. After all, Lila says, they’ve seen what happens when one person tries to be in charge.

Kimberly feels very guilty over this. Fuck off, Kimberly.

They decide to call the police, but the phone is dead. Then the lights go out and they’re stuck in complete darkness.

Kimberly tries to think of a way through this. As they others brainstorm ideas, she finally remembers there was a window in the hallway that was already broken so they can probably get it open. They have to find light sticks or a flashlight, and since Kimberly spends more time in the store than any of the others, she knows exactly where to go to get them.

Even better, though, she left a light near the tent when she came to scare them. It’s closer than the flashlights. They sing to keep her company and give her direction and she finds the light and then another working flashlight in the camping display to leave with Rachel, who stayed with Ellen.

The window is very high and the rest of the Unicorns worry about how to get to it and what they’ll do after. They’re on the second floor of the mall, and if Kimberly climbs to the window and falls, she’ll break her leg, too. [Dove: Or her neck, if we’re lucky.]

They go back and forth over plans and decide to build a pyramid out of trash cans because it’s sturdier than a stack. Kimberly will climb to the window. Because of the shape of the mall, the roof of the first floor should be right there and she’ll be able to use it to get to a fire escape. Kimberly will wear plastic trash bags as a raincoat with a hood to protect her from the water.

They bond over always being there for each other. Kimberly has been a shit since she returned but especially in this book and it’s already all forgiven. Fuck that noise. [Dove: And if this series hadn’t been cancelled, I’m certain she’d have been back to being a fucking nightmare by the next book, having forgotten everything she learned.]

Ellen and Rachel talk about whether or not it’s Kimberly’s fault. Ellen defends her and thinks that they need someone who encourages them to have adventures, to take changes, but they also need to find ways to be safe, they have to be willing to tell Kimberly when to stop.

Kimberly makes it onto the roof, tries to make it to a fire escape, and starts to scream when she slips and the wind blows her to the edge. [Raven: I had so many fingers crossed that she would fall to her death, my twisted hands made me look like Zoidberg.]

The Unicorns start sobbing and screaming and shout to Ellen and Rachel that they think Kimberly fell off the roof.

Of course she did not, she’s lying right on the edge, just barely safe. She forces herself to start moving again because her friends are counting on her.

Kimberly makes it down the fire escape and runs toward a car she sees, but the driver can’t hear her over the storm — except then it turns and she sees that it’s a cop car.

Inside, Ellen tries to figure out how they can go save Kimberly who they think fell off the roof. Ellen has the girls find a fire alarm and they set it off. [Raven: This is presidential.]

We rejoin them in Ellen’s hospital room. The girls are in trouble, of course, but Ellen is going to be fine. She doesn’t even have a broken leg, only a sprain. The mall manager is there along with the cops and they have done a lot of damage to the mall.

Kimberly tries to take all the blame, Ned says he can’t believe Jessica wasn’t behind it in some way [Raven: Legit best line in the whole book, if not series, right there.], Ellen won’t let Kimberly take all the blame. They are a club and they face the world together.

The mall manager is treated as a greedy asshole because he wants them to work out who will pay for the damages rather than talk about who the president of the club will be (and he’s even named Mr Greedley), but HE HAS A FUCKING POINT. HE’S RIGHT. FUCK OUT OF HERE YOU FAILURES OF ADULTS.

Ellen remains president, the Unicorns will spend the next three Saturdays working off the damage, and they get in no trouble at all from their parents. What the ever loving fuck.


I hate everything about this. I HATE THIS.

Final Thoughts

I hate this. No consequences, they learned absolutely jack shit that they hadn’t learned before and definitely will not remember after this, the one adult being logical about things was presented as a greedy asshole, all the parents and the cops suck, and I hate everything.

Are we done yet? I know SVH will have its own problems, but I am so ready to leave middle school behind.

[Dove: Urgh. This book. As you can see from my initial thoughts, I was really hopeful that this could be a fun adventure. Like a kind of sleepover, where they moved around the mall, each doing an activity one of them wanted, and using that as a plot mechanic to bring up topics to talk about and bond, and in the morning they get told off for being there overnight, but since they didn’t cause a mess/damage shit, and since they were locked in accidentally (unlike the book), it’s not so bad. Instead, we got brats taking what they wanted, making a mess, and being spiteful to each other nonstop. Fuck that. It’s awful.]

[Raven: Hooray. Another one down. And yay, it’s the end of the Unicorn Club subseries.

As I thought, I was hard-coded to hate this. Kimberly is SO FUCKING BAD that skipping this book actually crossed my mind. And her whole plot in this book is the same as all of her plots: I am more mature, and the Unicorns need rewiring back to their pre-shithousery state. BOOOORING. If this book and plotline is the world record for the pole vault, I’m Mondo Duplantis (the pole vault world-record holder)… that’s right, I’m OVER IT.

I quite like Ellen in this, and I also quite like the Lila / Jerry sections (even if I cant accept their attraction that snuck up like a fucking ninja). But the trapped trope didn’t really work for me, entirely because it wasn’t given any form of importance: it merely existed as a plinth for which Kimberly barks her commands and shits on her character.

Three books left, and none of them are Unicorn Club stories. Let’s hope this is a good thing.]