The one where all of Jessica’s boyfriends die or #100, The Evil Twin

As someone mentioned earlier, Margo, aka the evil twin, is good because she “gets shit done”. I totally agree. But let’s go back to the beginning.

So as I started reading this, I realized it was sixth in a miniseries and was worried that I should have read the first few before this. Then I realized that my IQ is over 40 and I would have no problem. Some background: Jess and Liz were in competition for Jungle Prom queen, and Jess wanted Liz to look like an idiot so she spiked her punch. She accidentally spiked her boyfriend’s Sam’s punch too, and then they drove off and Liz killed him. There was a trial and shit, and in the meantime Jessica stole Todd for a while but then there was a not guilty verdict and Todd is back with Liz, but needless to say, Jess and Liz are talking. Meanwhile, Margo, who is a fucked up foster child who HAPPENS TO LOOK IDENTICAL TO THE TWINS, is on her way to SV to take over Liz’s identity after seeing her picture in the papers. Along the way, Margo killed lots of people, including some boy named Georgie. Georgie’s bro, Josh, is on Margo’s tail to take her down. Margo also hired some guy, James, so spy on the twins, but meanwhile he has fallen in love with Jessica. Because no one can ever not fall in love with them.

I feel bad for Jess- all her boyfriends dying. I mean, I hate Jessica, but isn’t that a little much to put her through? I did start to feel a lil bad for her. And why the hell do boys always fall in love with her? I mean, in high school years “love” really means “lust” but let’s just call it like we see it and not have guys professing their innermost feelings for her, but rather just trying to get into her pants.

Oh, and Jess and Liz are not talking to each other. Because at one point during the trial, Jessica intercepted some love letters from Todd and had her way with them. Also, Liz doesn’t know that Jess was the one that spiked the punch. They both have dreams about the incident, cuz their twins, they have a connection. I guess it must be the matching size six figures.

Finally, Margo gets the same dress as Liz and goes to Lila’s New Year’s Eve ball and lures Liz into a boathouse intending to kill her, but Jessica and Josh show up in time to push Margo through a glass window onto concrete, and a shar of glass goes through her jugular. Didn’t that happen in Ghost?. Good times. Murder always makes for a happy ending.

Ok, plotline out the way.

Showing you the cover here is kind of pointless, because it is a SPECIAL fold out cover, and the inner flap shows Margo dressed as Elizabeth weilding a knife, and Liz showing fear. Also, an inset of the twins in bathrobes opening presents under the tree, and they look about 47. If you own the book you can enjoy it yourselves.

Margo is batshit crazy. No doubt. Something about her growing up in foster homes and being abused. Okay, I’ll give her that, but she kills anybody in her way just for the chance to become a Wakefield. Seriously, Francine makes it seem as if you don’t grow up in a heterosexual nuclear family, you are a lunatic. Suzanne Devlin was a sociopath because she had neglectful parents, Lila is all fucked up because of her broken home, Tricia Martin and the whole town drunk dad thing, etc. etc. Like the Wakefields are the perfect family- pshah. Do Alice and Ted realize one of their twins is a raging cock tease and the other one is a condescending hypocrite?

Speaking of Ned and Alice, Margo hatched a plan to send them on a fake trip to San Francisco on some “lawyer consulting” thing. With a big-shot lawyer that Ted is, why in the hell did he fall for the bait? Well, as soon as they get to San Fran of course they do the toursity stuff- Fisherman’s Warf, Golden Gate, blah blah. I’s like to see Alice end up at Haight-Ashbury and reminisce about her hippy days. Anyway. Alice starts getting mother’s intuition that something is wrong and they try to get home despite train derailings and shit. I hate when they write from the adults’ point of view. It’s insulting.

Ok, so Margo apparently looks so much like the twins she sneaks into the house a lot and pretends to be them. Uh, even their mother couldn’t tell them apart? She also goes shopping with Lila and hangs out with Enid, and they are none the wiser. They just think their friend is in a weird mood. Whatever. Also, didn’t they have a dog, Prince Albert? Where did it go? Wouldn’t the dog detect strangers? Ghost writers, check your notes!!!!

Margo also went out with Todd and they made out and shit, and Todd didn’t say anything. He just thought it was Jessica. What a dick boyfriend.

I love how it is ony Christmastime, and apparently everything that happened in the last 99 books took place over three months. Including several spring breaks, summer trips, etc. Gotta love warped Sweet Valey time. Also, the day before Christmas vacation, every class at SVH has a party. Wtf?

Ken Matthews dressed up as Santa to deliver candy canes. What? Is he showing a hint of personality?

Also, a Jungle Prom? What is going on with that? I’m kind of offended.

Jessica’s friends really don’t offer her support after James dies, because they don’t know what to say. Assholes.

Can I mention that I am still reeling at the possibility that there is a lunatic foster child that LOOKS EXACTLY LIKE THE TWINS??? This is the likedaytime soap fodder.

Now, here is the big question. Why does everyone worship the Wakefield twins? People are dying to be friends with them, idolize them, and go on a killing rampage to become one of them. Surely, SOMEONE must hate them with a passion. Even when they treat one like shit (ahem, Robin Wilson) they still come crawling back for approval/acceptance, and this drives me fucking crazy. My god, Jessica has screwed over countless boys, I am sure they are not too happy with her. She basically hates and ridicules other girls, so there must be some goth/alterna chick at SVH who hates her. And Liz…she acts all perfect and sweet, but we know she is a hypocrite. If we ever saw them in classes, I have a feeling that Liz would be such a know-it-all and a teacher’s pet. Even through grad school there was always one of those in every class and I always loathed them. I mean, this is high school. Jealousy and exclusion are enough to fuel school shootings. Also, have you ever known someone where other people keep telling you how awesome they are and that alone makes you kind of hate them a little? Maybe that’s just me.

My grade: B. The later ones seem to have a totally different feel, and are way dumber. In a good way.

Next time: I got a whole new batch of books from ebay, so I don’t know. I want to get into the trilogies, but there are so many other shit-tastic ones from the 50s and 60s. We shall see.

Today’s poll: If you could look identical to a SVH character and murder them and take over their life, who would it be? I would say Penny Ayala, and turn the boring Oracle into an underground anarchist publication.

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48 thoughts on “The one where all of Jessica’s boyfriends die or #100, The Evil Twin

  1. Anonymous says:

    Now you’ve done this maybe you could try and do “Return of the Evil Twin”, more illogical/improbable events to laugh at, basically every WTF?! moment in this book, but better becuase it’s the second time and still no one notices. And – oh, you should definately try to read it sometime.

    Oooh, whose life would I steal? Everyone seems to have so many screwy problems in Sweet Valley… so I don’t know.

  2. Stephanie says:

    I would like to kill Lila. She has a kick ass life and I think I could really work with all of that money.

    Didn’t Margo look the same except she had brown hair? Only one bottle of dye fixed that. Yea right.

  3. nichole says:

    I didn’t read long enough to get to this one, but I loved your analysis nonetheless. It kind of makes me wish I had kept going.

    Good question, if I were to “replace” someone, it would be Cara Walker. I’ve always wanted to live in London.

  4. Ali says:

    I was too logical for this book, I think. I always wondered stuff like, wouldn’t her brown roots show as her hair grew out? Wouldn’t someone notice her brown eyes because you likely wouldn’t wear contacts 24/7? How would she know when anyone’s birthday was? Yeah, because THOSE were the outlandish things…

    And I liked how everyone assumed that the psycho was Jessica, and Lila never even suspected Margo when Margo was pretending to be Jessica. Says a lot about her personality.

    As for who I would be…I’m going with Robin Wilson, so I could tell off Jessica once and for all for being such a bitch to me when I was still overweight.

  5. Marie says:

    So by the time Jessica was 18 she lost 4, sort of 5, boyfriends – Sam, James, and Christian during Jr. year of high school, and Louis and sort of Nick during freshman year of college. All of whom (except James, maybe) she loved with all her heart, like she’d never loved anyone, blah blah blah. And she never needed massive therapy, or even more than a book or two to get over it? Sheesh.

  6. kiwimusume says:

    Oh God, THIS BOOK!!! I remember I used to love this book in my early high school years, I even made Sue-mangas about it. ^_^;; It didn’t occur to me how whacked-out the storyline actually was.

    If I had to take over someone’s life, it’d probably be one of Elizabeth’s teachers, so I can shoot the twunt down. I fucking hate people like her. I’d pick someone in a really senior position, so I could also stop some of the other shit that goes on at that school, like Pi Beta Alpha’s ritual humiliations, and Pervy Collins’ seriously creepy interest in his students.

    @Marie: I remember she went fruit loops rather spectacularly for a couple of books after she lost Nick. But yeah, the rest of the guys she lost, not to mention all the times she and Elizabeth have nearly been killed! How do they not need a ton of therapy just to leave the house? I guess it’s those perfect genes…

  7. kiwimusume says:

    Christian Gorman (I remember his last name because it was the name of the art teacher I had the year I read it) was the leader of the rival gang in the gang war trilogy (yes, you read that right), who got killed for some reason relating to the fact that he fell in love with Jessica’s size six figure, blonde hair and aquamarine eyes and no longer wanted to smash the shit out of the Sweet Valley guys. I think there was surfing involved?

    Louis was her professor at SVU, he was stalked by his wackoid ex-girlfriend and eventually drove her and himself off a cliff. Since I had a crush on my teacher at the time, and am a sucker for the kind of vanilla romance they had, I found this story sooo romantic.

    Nick was her boyfriend for most of the freshman year books in the SVU series. He was a cop, and “died” after he testified against some powerful criminal. Jessica went fruit loops for a couple of books, until Nick popped up in disguise and said he was alive, he just had to go into witness protection, and he was never seen again after that. And if I recall, Jessica made a miraculous recovery.

  8. Marie says:

    Yup. Ironic that the only one she really reacted to for awhile was Nick, the one who was alive. I guess in the short-term she reacted to losing Sam pretty badly…but 3 books later she was dating James.

    Christian was killed trying to stop the SVH/Palisades gangs from fighting. He hit his head on the pavement, rolled into the pool, and Jessica tried CPR but it didn’t work. He had been a ‘secret boyfriend’ because they fell in love while he was teaching her to surf, but he went to Palisades, SVH’s biggest rival. And in the next miniseries, the camping one, Jessica fell in love with some local townie-type.

    I just remembered that in SVH Sr Year there actually is a mention of Margo coming to town the year before…I believe Jessica recalls her as “that psycho chick, Margo.”

  9. Merrie says:

    I never read the series through the triple digits. I might have to hit some used bookstores over the long weekend and rectify that.

    Great recap, as usual. I had to stifle my laughter because I’m at work and I’m supposed to be “working.”

    I’m thinking I’d swap placed with Enid Rollins, just so I can have full access to the Wakefield home and %^&# up everyone’s perfect life. Muh-ha-ha!

  10. Winnie Egbert says:

    Great recap! I remember this as the last bunch of SVH books I ever read – felt it had jumped the shark with the whole evil twin thing, but I loved how bitchy and horrible the twins were to eachother in A Night To Remember. Remember Liz openly trying to bar Sam from coming as Jess’ date because he was from another school and she just wanted to piss off Jessica? Classic!

    I would be Jessica – first, I’d kill the bitch, then I’d take over her perfect little life and her ability to get away with f***ing ANYTHING. Plus I’d get a twin whom I could walk all over and have adore me and switch places when I was in trouble. Very key.

    Finally, I somehow recall a mention of Sam and Jessica planning to spend the night together after the Jungle Prom – the only real mention of high school kids having sex in the whole series, but then they had to go and kill Sam to preserve Jessica’s… ahem… yeah, right.

  11. Emily says:

    I found this blog through Pop Culture Junk Mail and I’m loving it. I’d have to take the place of Lila. So many fierce, bitchy opportunities. Plus, that Triumph did look like a pretty sweet ride.

  12. kiwimusume says:

    I firmly maintain that if she wasn’t blonde and hot and a twin, Liz would be the nerdiest nerd at SVH and everyone would hate her for her brains.

    Hee, you’re right! And since she’s such a fucking know-it-all, she’d get twice the hate!

    And that just made me think of Tracy Flick from Election, so now I have a mental picture of her storming around the school with a bee up her ass before pashing Pervy Collins in a cupboard…

  13. Heidi says:

    I never understood why Margo wanted to be Elizabeth. She woulda worked out much better as Jessica. That’s who everyone thought she was anyway!! Also: Georgie and Josh Smith’s first appearance in this arc gave them the last name Russo.

  14. Kate says:

    Woo-Hoo I LOVED this book at the time, it was only years later that I realised how completely absurd the whole Gawddamn thing was- but even so it still rocks! Believe it or not, I actually started writing a sequel to this when I was about 9, where Margo dug her way out of her own grave (no 5hit- Kill Bill 2 anyone?)- imagine my absolute joy when Return Of The Evil Twin was published? All my Xmas’ came at once (almost like the SVH series itself, where in one year the twins experienced approximately 68 Xmas’!)! Anyway, I agree, Return of the Evil Twin should be reviewed next. And if I were to kill someone and take over their life, I would have gone for Liz too, and sassed myself up into a hottie and outdo Jessica and completely pi55 her off. Har har.

  15. Club X says:

    Speaking of the gang wars….Jessica secretly dates the leader of the rival gang at Palisades…the violence escalates until Christian dies and then everyone realizes the error of their ways blah, blah, blah. Can we say West Side Story??

    Plus…talk about the worst SVH story arc…how about the one where a vampire moves to town and becomes the coolest guy at SVH?? And I don’t mean he just thought he was a vampire, like Liz’s psycho werewolf boyfriend. This guy was supposed to be a real vampire. Sadly enough, that miniseries intrigued me. I have a bit of a thing for vampires. (embarrassed)

  16. Jill says:

    I am totally late coming to this, but it totally brought back memories. My mom used to work at a bookstore and would give me the left over, cover stripped Sweet Valley books, but I wanted this one right away so it was the first one I bought myself. LOL.
    BTW, have you ever thought of recapping the Sweet Valley University ones? I remember reading those when I was in junior high and totally sneaking around with one of the early books in my knapsack becauseit mentioned that Jessica had had sex and I didn’t want my mom to bust me with it (as it was, the book only mentioned something about how “now she was a woman,” but I was 12 and easily embarassed.)

    • Chaichana says:

      omg. I had, still have at least twenty of the Sweet Valley High sriees! I haven’t read them in years though. The new book sounds pretty awful, I agree. I never actually saw the TV show not sure if it aired in Australia or not. But tv and movies are never as good as the books, (in my experience anyway) so I think I’ll steer clear of those too. Totally going to have a read of some old SVH books tonight.. x

  17. Becci says:

    All of your entries so far have been hilarious (I’m reading backwards from the most recent) but I have to tell you–I laughed the entire time I read this one. Nice job.

  18. tatsu says:

    Totally Lila; she has the money required to get the hell out of SV and from reading the earlier books religiously as a child (thank you for this blog- i love) i recall that actually she had the much prettier colouring (plus no sun damage wrinkles- yea, there’s a reason the perfect twins look so old in their pictures).

    Jessica doesn’t need therapy because she’s an utter sociopath. Were you guys not paying attention? It’s the one piece of continuity evident throughout.

    Anyone remember St Clares and Mallory towers btw?

  19. JP says:

    I absolutely support “Return of the Evil Twin” as a future choice.

    And the one where Tom Mackay realises he’s gay because he talks to someone about jazz music.

    as for who I’d want to be …

    not Todd, not Bruce … Nicholas Morrow maybe?

  20. eemmiillyy says:

    I’d love to be Lila or Regina because they’re so damn rich. And if I was Regina, I wouldn’t die because I’m not stupid enough to do cocaine. At first I thought that it would suck to be deaf, but then I remembered that Regina had magical ear surgery that totally fixed it.

  21. Miss Rain says:

    Ooh, in answer to this poll i would totally be Robin Wilson, i’d quit cheerleading, put the weight back on and use my advantage of being bigger to COMPLETELY kick her ass. Then i’d drop the weight within a few days (like you can in SV) and become totally hot again and steal all of Jessica’s boyfriends, forever and ever, and i’ll keep doing it until she goes insane and kills herself. rawr.

  22. Sonnie says:

    I didn’t read this one. Did Jessica ever get caught or confess to the punch spiking? If so, wouldn’t she get her ass beat by the rents, and get charged some how? Apparently they can even get away with murder.

    • Jenna says:

      Liz finally remembers in a dream that she saw Jessica, out of the corner of her eye, spiking her punch. On New Years Eve Jessica and she reunite when Margo tries to kill Liz. Jessica starts to confess but Liz tells her she knows already and they hug and cry. No one ever tells the parents. Also, at trial, a guy came forward and admitted to causing the accident, thereby alleviating Liz OR Jess of manslaughter despite being drunk while driving.

  23. penny ayala says:

    hahahah i hate wheat, you are a genius! I remember reading that book at 8 and thinking i was too old for it. And I was 8. I would be Carl the orderly, only this time I’d get it right

  24. Lori says:

    I think its sad out of the entire Sweet Valley that Margo was my favorite. There’s just something about her. I was so sad she didn’t kill Elizabeth, take her place and then she could terrorized Jessica. Can you imagine how fun that would have been? Jessica borrows an outfit Margo cuts up all her clothes, Jessica

    • Lori contiune says:

      Jessica steals her boyfriend and wakes up to find Margo holding a knife. Seriously Margo as Elizabeth could have been so much fun. Forget revamping SVH and just give Margo her own series.

      • Suzanne's seedy doctor says:

        Totally agree! I used to play sweet valley with my barbies and 9 times out of ten the game would revolve around an evil Margo plot!

  25. Lorrie says:

    I’m pretty sure this was the last SVH book I bought. The series had just gotten too weird. And I finally realized that there would never be any sex. I wasn’t 10-years-old anymore. I wanted a little sex in my fiction.

    There was this one thing that crazy Margo said/thought right before she killed that little boy that made an impression on me: He was just too stupid to live. As I’ve lived my life, I’ve met a number of people I feel that way about. But don’t worry; only my evil twin does anything about it.

  26. heroine_tv says:

    Oh, I remember this one so well. The Margo plot was one of my faves. Plus, I always liked those larger special editions, with the fancy covers. As for the poll, I would totally want Lila’s life–didn’t even have to pause to think. Hehe.

  27. notemily says:

    This was my favorite SVH book ever.

    I have to say I think Margo would have probably just killed Prince Albert. I mean, we know she’s a psychopath, and if PA had presented ANY sort of threat, she would have just done away with him. So it’s probably good that they didn’t mention him in this book. 😛

  28. Jenna says:

    Sorry to be the person to use the word “actually” but I have to… so ACTUALLY Margo doesn’t manage to hang out with Enid. She tries but Enid immediately notices that it is not Elizabeth. However, she DOES think it’s Jessica trying to pull a twin switch because sorry but in what universe would a person expect the identical twin in front of them to be a pyschotic foster kid trying to kill one of the twins and steal their life? Oh yeah. In Sweet Valley of course. 😀

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