The one with the star-crossed lovers or #34, Forbidden Love

Ok, I want t get through this one quickly, because I just got a whole new batch of SVHs in the early 100s and am anxious to do those. Like when they get chased by werewolves and shit. Someone gave me an ebay gift certificate from my birthday and I was in a major biddng war for a set of books. You’d think at age thirty I’d be, I don’t know, buying property, but no, I buy SVH books.

Enough about me, let’s talk about these two crazy kids, Michael and Maria. They get engaged. In high school. Everyone thinks its seeeewwww romantic. But wait! They are forboden to see each other because their parents hate each other. Not because of an old family fued or because they come from different sides of the tracks, but because their father got into a fight over a business merger. Only in Sweet Valley can capitalism tear lovers apart.

Conveniently, in one of heir classes, they are doing the whole thing where they are paired up in marriages and have to do budgets and shit. Did anyone ever do that in school? I had a home ec class where I baked muffins and sewed a pillow, but that was about it. Well, wouldn’t you know, Michael and maria are paired up there too. They fight a lot about the budget and Michael wants Maria to stay home with the kids and wash his feet and be subserviant.

Meanwhile, in real life, they are having problems. Namely, Michael is a controlling, dominating sexist asshole. Maria wants to tell their parents but Michael doesn’t. Maria is Winston’s campaign manager for PTA representative and Michael is controlling and jealous and forbids her to do it.

Lila throws a surprise engagement party for them but M & M have a big fight in the middle and their parents find out about the party from aother SVH parent. When they arrive to confront their kids, they have a big laugh about their fight, and Maria makes out with Winston. The end.

The best part of this one: The cover. No way in hell these kids are sixteen. It looks like the cover to a shitty romance novel, you know the ones without the sex scenes. Or for an advertisement for Summer’s Eve. Michael looks like Ken Marino (go see The Ten if you can). Those are some serious pleats.

Other thoughts:

This was just overall dreadful.

Wow, apparently the campaign for the PTA rep is really huge, and I have no idea why. At least five people are running and candidates have actual speechwriters. it sounds like a shitty job to me. They have to attend PTA meetings and have no power in student governent. I really don’t get this school.

They do another chapter from the perspective of the adults- namely their parents. It is such bad writing, I can barely read it without cringing.

Winston was actually cute in this one and kind of makes a good boyfriend. I’m glad he gets some in this book.

Did I mention that this one was fucking awful?

My grade: F

Next time: THE EVIL TWIN!

Poll: which is the lesser of evils?

a. being Lila’s maid for a day
b. listening to a story Liz wrote
c. having unprotected sex with Bruce Patman
d. being Jewish in Sweet Valley

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30 thoughts on “The one with the star-crossed lovers or #34, Forbidden Love

  1. Anonymous says:

    Oh God, thank you, thank you, thank you!! I’m studying for this major exam at the end of the year, and today was one of my dumb days. This totally cheered me up. 😀

    Oooooh, I can’t wait for The Evil Twin!! I used to love that book, it’s only now that I’m realising how seriously screwy the whole premise was.

    As for the poll: A tough one. A very, very tough one. But I’d have to say b. If Liz’s stories are as preachy as the way she acts (which I bet they are), then I’d probably feel like slitting my wrists after the first paragraph.

  2. nichole says:

    oooh – tough poll. I’d have to say a , being Lila’s maid for a day. At least when the day is done, you don’t ever have to worry about it again. With Bruce Patman, you never know what is going to linger. And I don’t want the imagery of one of Liz’s stories stuck in my head for days.

  3. Stacy says:

    Hmmm…I’d have to say “C”. Lila’s maid is only a day, I’m really good at the glazed-eyed, “No, I’m really listening, not recapping my last fantasy!” sleeping-with-eyes-open look, and if only you get a nose job and put u a Christmas tree, everyone will still love you (after a huge drama that will seem impossible to overcome until five minutes later).
    Who knows what’s lurking in Bruce’s turkey baster.

  4. Kate says:

    OMG, I LOVED “the evil twin”. It scared the 12 year old shit out of me, but I loved it. CANNOT WAIT to read your take on it.

    I’d vote B. At least you could tune Liz out. Being Lila’s maid would be embarrassing b/c she would probably tell everyone at school about it, and then I’d be the new Roger Barrett Patman.

  5. Merrie says:

    Another cover observation — HE’S WEARING A WHITE BELT! Do we seriously want California people to be our fashion guides? So, so wrong.

    I sort of remember this book. I get it confused with the one about the Hispanic guy dating a cheerleader and she can’t tell her parents because he isn’t — gasp! — white!

    Who gets engaged in high school? Who throws engagement parties in high school? And why didn’t Lila make is a costume party, where everyone dressed in wedding attire?

    As for the poll, I’m going with A. Maybe I could swipe some of Lila’s stuff while I was “cleaning”.

  6. Winnie Egbert says:

    I did the marriage thing. My psych teacher wrote this whole curriculum for it and it went national. It was a lot more boring than when they did it in SVH and Saved by the Bell and every other teen show/book out there.

    Would deffo be Lila’s maid for a day because all three of the other choices made me shudder and gag. Not that there’s anything wrong with being Jewish, but in Sweet Valley you’d be, well, Winston Egbert at the very least.

    Hey, when did he and Maria break up? B/c didn’t they get together pretty early on in the series? When did this Michael guy step in? Was I too busy obsessing over The New Jessica to notice?

  7. Sara says:

    I’d go with listening to Liz’s story, because I imagine they are sappy and judgmental, so it’d be fun to see what the future writer’s actually capable of.

    And I can’t WAIT for The Evil Twin! It’s one of my most favorite SVH books! And I’m glad you got the later books, I loved the miniseries books so much more than the earlier ones.

  8. kiwimusume says:

    Oh shit! That was the LESSER of the evils!! For some reason I read it as “which is worst?” Fucking exam. Can’t wait til December.

    Soooo…the LESSER of the evils? My first thought was D, but then being a “poor” minority at SVH would probably mean Elizabeth “saving” me at some point. *shudders* God knows where Bruce has been, and like I said, listening to one of Elizabeth’s preachy stories would make me suicidal. So that leaves A, I guess.

  9. Diane says:

    I loved that whole mini-series with the evil twin. One of my strongest memories of 6th grade is reading those books while eating discounted Valentine’s Day chocolate. Good times. I was always kind of on Team Margo because even though she was crazy, bitch got things done.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Your entries = super hilarious. I love reading this blog, it brings back so many (dysfunctional) memories!

    I’m excited that you got the 100 SVHs, hopefully that’ll contain the book where Jess falls in love with Jonathan Caine, the vampire boy, and the entire school goes pseudo-goth. Gotta love it!There’s this book series everyone is crazy about called Twilight, and its premise reminds me EXACTLY of those novels.

    Keep up the great work!

  11. Stef says:

    I think the little arc spans three novels, but the one’s I have for it are #127 Dance of Death, and #128 Kiss of a Killer. I highly recommend them, if only for the hilarity!

    Oh, and much rejection of Jessica initially. Oh, good times!

  12. grace says:

    God, the Evil Twin books scared the shit out of me. Because I was a very lame 12-year-old who didn’t want anything bad to happen to our perfect, size 6, Aryan goddesses, I guess.

    For some reason, my strongest memory of a line from a SVH book is when Jessica, Elizabeth and Bruce Patman (of all people) are working together in some scheme (maybe having to do with the twins’ mom and Bruce’s dad?) and Jessica says, “It would be a Saab, Saab story.” I think of that EVERY TIME I pass a Saab on the street. Anyone know which one I’m thinking of?

  13. kiwimusume says:

    @grace – it’s from #103, Operation Love Match, when they’re sabotaging Lila’s parents’ lawyers’ Saabs so they can’t get together to get divorced. That God-awful pun has stuck with me through the years too…

  14. Stef says:

    Yay, excitement!

    I can’t wait for you to snark those novels in particular. They’re like a bad car wreck – horrible, yet fascinating.

  15. MaggieCat says:

    I’m not sure about the poll, since I still find it very difficult to believe that anyone in Sweet Valley was actually having sex.

    I had to do the budgeting blah blah blah thing for my high school behavioral sci class but, showing that I was in high school in the mid ’90s, we were all single parents- the scandal! (And if I hadn’t already known that I didn’t want kids, discovering how much it sucked to find day-care when I was one of the few people who got randomly stuck with an infant would have done it. Lesson learned Mrs. G!)

  16. Dwanollah says:

    I’m still bummed that the administration at my super-small, super-Christian high school thought the Fake Marriage project was unwholesome. We could’ve used some lessons in that department, and maybe most of my classmates wouldn’t’ve gotten married before they could drink legally.

    As for the poll, sex with Bruce would have to be bottom-of-the-barrel. If he’s egotistical on the tennis court, imagine how unbearable he’d be in the sack. “Yeah, I’m the best you’ve ever had, aren’t I, baby? I’ma rockin’ your world!” Being Jewish in SV, however, would ROCK, because you’d prolly get a whole book devoted to you and how special you are and might even get a token double-date with Liz and Todd out of it! It’d be like an episode of Little House on the Prairie. Wait a sec… which is preachier, LH or SV?

  17. Sarah says:

    In this one Jessica justifies Maria and Michael’s engagement with the comment: “Mr. Collins said Juliet was only fourteen when she met Romeo.” Here we totally see Pervy Collins using Shakespeare to rationalize his own shameless pursuit of underaged girls. I particularly love the literary allusions in this series.

  18. Tia Ramirez says:

    i didnt no there was something wrong w/ being jewish in sweet valley.
    well, of course, in sweet valley if u r not a six 6, blonde blue-eyed they might consider u different.
    is there a book about someone being jewish and is ashamed of it and liz comes to the rescue?
    Please tell

  19. Dani says:

    Interesting poll choices, but I’d have to say that I’d prefer to be Lila’s maid for a day, in comparison with the alternatives…

    If Bruce “kisses like a dead jellyfish” (according to Jessica), I shudder to think what sex with him would be like.

    And I have no desire to run the risk of accidentally getting pregnant and prolonging the Patman line.

  20. Goldray says:

    The poll:

    Obviously unprotected sex with Bruce is out. I’d not be looking forward to a case of the clap or worse from him.

    Being Lila’s maid is out. It’d be my luck that I’d be the maid on one of the six days of the week that she decided to have ANOTHER costume party and I’d have to make lobster tails for 5,000 of her closest dearest friends and then clean up after all those spoiled little brats.

    Listening to a Liz Wakefield story is out. I never mentally recovered from the book where Ken plagerized her short story. What a smuck!

    So, that leaves being Jewish in Sweet Valley. I guess it wouldn’t be so bad. I’m sure Charlie Cashman and his friends could entertain me with ethnic humor at the Dairi Burger. After which Bruce could throw rocks at me from his porche. And the whole book could be based about Charlie’s and Bruce’s feelings about someone Jewish living in Sweet Valley and how Charlie and Bruce had to cope with such a travesty.

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