I remember reading this book and really wanting to take ballet. I begged my mother and she said yes, but 2 days later I lost interest in it, as most kids tend to do. I seem to remember though that I constantly wanted to do what I read in books. I was a pretty shy child so I guess that was my way of trying to fit in. Books and movies made everything so nice, why couldn't I have the same experience? Good thing I got over that and turned out okay as an adult. Then again I saw Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland the other day and just for a fleeting minute (okay 20) I really wanted to be Alice. Oh well.
Anyway, this one starts off with Jessica and Elizabeth starting ballet classes. I always thought it was weird since Liz didn't seem like the type that would be interested in ballet, but maybe that was just another way she could be close with her sister. They're both in Madame Andre's class, as well as a lot of other girls in their grade. On the first day of class Jessica gets the bright idea that flashy and colorful means she will stand out more. So she puts together a ridiculously colorful outfit, glitter included, and goes prancing out to the room thinking she'll wow Madame Andre upon sight. To her shock and horror, Madame Andre rips her apart for dressing that way and insists all girls must only wear neutral colors and simple leotards. Then she proceeds to praise Elizabeth and ask why she can't dress more like her. Seriously? Madame Andre must not be too bright because you never compare one sister to the other. That's like the ultimate confidence killer and a sure-fire way of creating a lot of jealousy. Then again the series had to hurry and start making Liz perfect in every way or the SVH books wouldn't make sense, would they? Okay, now I get it.
Anyway, Jessica runs away tearful and manages to get herself together to come back to class. Unfortunately she's ruined her chance with Madame Andre, who's now convinced that Elizabeth is the most perfect gift to her ballet class ever. Seriously I don't blame Jessica on this one. Madame Andre goes on and on and on about how perfect Liz's form is and how every move is magical. Gag me. If I had to hear my sister described like that I'd grow up to be a deceitful little witch too. Jessica considers quitting but Mamma Wakefield, still in parent form, convinces her to keep trying and sooner or later the teacher just has to see how good she is. Of course it doesn't work and to make matters worse, Elizabeth seems completely shocked when Jessica has to help with a move. No, you are not perfect Elizabeth.
The main point of the story is the big recital. Jessica wants the part desperately but doesn't think she has a chance with Elizabeth around. So she schemes and tells Liz the time of the audition has changed so she goes out shopping with their mother instead. Of course Liz ends up making it to the audition on time and lands the part. Jessica throws a fit and Liz thinks she's just jealous and doesn't understand. She then has a "lightbulb" moment and realizes Jessica is, in fact, the better dancer and deserves the part. So she pretends to twist her ankle at the last minute, Jessica does the recital and Madame Andre finally realizes her mistake. All is well again. In the Sweet Valley Twins world it usually does. No murder attempts here.
This one was kinda boring to me, but I tend to like the books when more of the other students have stories. Just having Jessica and Elizabeth go back and forth gets a little old. We do hear more about Amy Sutton in this book, and she becomes a major character from now on. Amy is a tomboy who hates the Unicorn club and she's a tougher, un-wimpy Enid Rollins.
So that's it for that one. Next is #3, The Haunted House, which gets more characters involved.