Sunset High – #1 – Getting Experienced

As you can see from the image to your left, this is yet another YA nostalgia read. One day, I will read another modern book – I swear! – but its going to be difficult. What with the Trilogy of Trilogies and my latest muse, Sunset High.

Perhaps I’m just dizzy from the low expectations set by my previous read – Loving – but I seriously think these books are freaking awesome.

Oh. Is that doubt I’m sensing?

Before we go any further, I think you should know something: Joan Collins makes a cameo appearance in this book.

That’s correct. JOAN F*CKING COLLINS. Of Dynasty and general 80s fabulousness!

She has actual lines and interacts with Nadia Laurence – Sunset High’s resident Poor Little Rich Girl.

Now, I know that Caitlin Ryan is RAVEN HAIRED and lives part time in a house with a name (Ryan Acres).  I haven’t finished the trilogies, but I’m pretty damn sure that JOAN F*CKING COLLINS dosen’t appear even once.

Nadia Laurence is a bitch of epic proportions, as well as super-rich and neglected by a busy parental figure.  But instead of organizing a drag show/costume contest like Caitlin Ryan – she attends the Academy Awards and hangs out with  JOAN F*CKING COLLINS.

So right off the bat, Nadia kicks Caitlin’s ass.

But, I’m getting ahead of myself. 

Our heroine, Kristin Sullivan, and her family have just moved to Beverly Hills from Minnesota. So she’s kind of like a non-bitchy, twin-less  Brenda Walsh!  Kristin is athletic, fun and freckle-faced. She’s one of those unpretentiously pretty girls, who dosen’t even know she’s pretty. I know, right? Gag.

But, its hard to hate Kristin because she’s really nice and has a normal relationship with her parents and the world in general. While she has episodes of self doubt, she has an actual personality and dosen’t even seem to despise herself. How refreshing!

At her old school, Kristin was a fearlessly popular cheerleader, who had a million friends and everybody loved her. In Beverly Hills, she’s just a boring old farm girl. Its like a totally different world in the 90210. For one, there’s no cheerleading! WTF?  At Sunset High, no one give a shit about sports, but there is a media class where the students make elaborate music videos. Kristin’s dancing skills make a great addition to the music video being produced by dark haired, blue eyed Grady Larkin. Grady clearly loves Kristin on sight and she feels tingly whenever he’s near.

Kristin also befriends Monica Miller, a 16 year old washed up child star trying to rekindle her career, without much success. As a child, Monica was on a show called The Twain Family, which seems similar to Little House On The Prairie.  But she hasn’t worked in years, despite auditioning religiously. Also, Monica has a mullet, wears pink overalls and high heels and rides a motor scooter. But that’s not weird or anything.

OMG. Camp Beverly Hills. Its like a drug flashback, right?

Things are going great with Grady and Kristin. They go on the cutest date EVER to a movie screening. Kristin is feeling insecure about being so Minnesota in Beverly Hills, so she buys a weird ass outfit from the store Camp Beverly Hills. It involves a scarf wrapped around her shoulders and it makes it hard to use her arms. Perfect date outfit, right? Kristin tries acting aloof and cool, and Grady is clearly confused by her insane outfit and attitude change. The date is soooooo awkward, until they stop at a batting cage and Kristin ditches the scarf and hikes up her skirt and they have a great time hitting balls for hours. (Not like that, Pervs!)

BUT, one night after drinking a beer Kristin almost goes too far with Grady and things get weird between them. (Teenage drinking! Bonus Points!) Oh, also – according to Grady, all Beverly Hills parents let their teenagers drink beer. So, Beverly Hills is officially teenage heaven!

Meanwhile, Nadia’s insecure attention is divided between attending the Academy Awards and trying to star in Grady’s music video.

Nadia’s dad is a famous movie producer whose movie The Last Stranger has been nominated for Best Picture. Nadia ‘s parents aren’t getting along so Nadia gets to be his date for the Oscars. This is very cool and Nadia buys a lovely white gown from Giorgio of Beverly Hills and is understandably really excited.

Please keep in mind that Nadia is also batshit crazy. She’s a bit of a pathological liar who is waaaaaay too into going on a date with her dad. She is apparently afflicted with both OCD and such dramatically low self worth that every weekend she uses her personalized stationary to score and graph the popularity of all the girls at school. Sadly, Nadia always comes up short. That’s pretty much low self esteem personified, isn’t it? She invented the scoring system and she assigns the scores, but she loses every week.

None of this matters, because while at the Academy Awards, Nadia and her father encounter JOAN F*CKING COLLINS. Miss Collins recalls a movie she made with Nadia’s father and calls Nadia “a stunner” before wandering off. Other famous actors of the 80s are spotted at the awards, like Cher and Ryan O’Neal and Sally Field, but they are not cool enough to have actual lines.

Chilling with JOAN F*CKING COLLINS and (**Spoiler Alert!**) watching her dad win an Oscar isn’t good enough for our stunning little sociopath. At the awards, Nadia is seated next to fictional movie star Scott Sawyer. She manages to spin this brief interaction into a whole fake relationship and tells everyone at school that they totally hooked up and are in love and he’s gonna be her date to the school dance.

At the same time, Nadia is positively sick with jealousy every time she sees Kristin.  So, in an attempt to destroy her perceived competition, she capitalizes on the awkwardness between Kristin and Grady and convinces Kristin that Grady is cheating on her.

But then, Kristin finds out that Nadia invented her romance with Scott Sawyer and she calls her out on it. Nadia begs Kristin not to tell anyone about her ridiculous lie . In a rookie move, Nadia tries to gain Kristin’s loyalty by admitting that Grady wasn’t cheating on her. But, Kristin wasn’t going to tell anyone about Nadia’s psychotic lies anyway. Kristin gets back together with Grady and everything turns out just lovely.

What random celebrity shout-outs and confusing fashion choices await us in Sunset High Book # 2 – A Chance to Make It? Stay tuned and find out!

Awesome outfits:

  • Form fitting khaki jumpsuit
  • Aforementioned pink overalls/high heels/mullet
  • Huge blouse, giant belt, fringed scarf wrapped weirdly around shoulders topped off with pink bobby socks and high heeled pumps

Cover Art:

I don’t have to say anything, do I? Just look at it.


2 Responses

  1. Those are the outfits I wore to work this week! I am SO glad you think they are awesome. My mullet is quite spectacular.

    • You are my inspiration. And no one rocks a mullet like you do!

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