The one where Jeffrey French moves to town and everyone wants a piece, or #31 Taking Sides

I especially hate this cover. Elizabeth’s yellow barettes match her yellow shirt. Jessica’s hair irritates me. She is really balding, it seems. And it’s all feathered. It looks like what happens when I leave my hair wet and unbrushed and let it airdry. Ick.

Jeffrey French is making a big splash- Enid and Lila both like him. So Liz helps Enid get with him and Jessica helps Lila get with him because she can’t stand to see a hottie like Jeffrey with a drip like Enid. Kind of have to agree with her. So Lila turns on the usual charm and Enid acts like an ass and whines and never does anything to approach Jeffrey, she relies on Liz to set things up. Lila does what a usual 16 year old would do, which is a have a pool party and invite Jeffrey and purposely not invite Liz and Enid. Liz decides to get to know Jeffrey more so she can help him get with Enid. He works on the Oracle as a photographer so they chat a lot and of course like each other because if you don’t want to date a Wakefield twin, there is obviously something wrong with you.

Ok, stupid school event: a charity auction that students use canned food to bet and then the proceeds go to charity. I am not sure what they will do with all the food, the one poor person in Sweet Valley just became a Patman. Maybe give it to Betsey Martin’s drunk father? Or Jade Wu’s friend with the single Mom who we never hear from again? Guess who is the chair of the auction? Fucking Elizabeth. So Enid convinces Liz to make Jeffrey auction off himself so Enid can bid on him. Great idea Enid, pay to go out with him. Fucking idiot. The auction is for services, and here are the things being auctioned off.

  • A tape of the Droids playing live (barf)
  • A home made dinner cooked by Mr. Collins (please help this man set professional boundaries)
  • A pen that the history teacher used to mark papers (I’ll bet Liz bet a million cans on that)
  • A candid pic of Bruce in his bathing suit (BWAH!)

Again, WHERE ARE THE ADULTS? That is so not appropriate to do. Seriously, I am sure Bruce loved the attention, but I small a lawsuit.

Subplot: The Wakefield’s “little” cousin Jenny comes to visit. She is fifteen, a year younger, and they make her act like a mentally challenged eight year old. Guess why she’s annoying? Sigh. I can’t even say it. Because she’s a few lbs overweight, which is the kiss of death in Sweet Valley. And wears glasses. OH MY GOD DOES SHE HAVE NO SHAME? She clings to Jessica because obvs Jessica is the epitome of what every teen should be like. She tags along with Jessica on some dates with this guy Eddie, and Jessica gets annoyed that Eddie seems to be polite to Jenny and talking to her, but it turns out he likes Jenny because they like “stupid” things, like books, old movies and classical music. Yea, that’s bullshit, real people just like cheerleading, Pi Beta Alpha, and shopping at Lisette’s. HATE! At least Jessica didn’t get the guy.


This time when describing the twins, ghost writer adds: “they had the kind of looks that make California girls famous around the world”. First of all, HATE! Second, I believe David Lee Roth gets the credit for that.

Oh, and throughout this thing, Liz HAD NO IDEA why she felt weird around Jeffrey. How in the hell did she not realize she liked him? They’re sixteen, hormones are raging.

Well, we do learn some things about Jeffrey- he is from Oregon (woot!), likes soccer and photogaphy. That description alone makes him about 100% more complex than all the characters combined. Also, he’s kind of a tool. And probably gay.

Alice actually acted like a parent and told Jess to stfu when she was complaining about Jenny. Thank you for finally disciplining your spoiled, sociopath daughter.

Grade: C-

Poll: which one of the auction items would you take? They are all pretty bad. Sadly, I’d take the pic of Bruce.

34 thoughts on “The one where Jeffrey French moves to town and everyone wants a piece, or #31 Taking Sides

  1. nichole says:

    I forgot about Lisette’s!!! Before I knew better, I thought Jeffrey French was the best boyfriend ever. I liked him more than Todd. Looking back, I can only blame my ideals on the ignorance of youth.

    Since I was a history major in college and my high school history teacher was my mentor, I would probably like Liz and go for the pen from the history teacher. Yes, I’m boring – but at least I can admit it 🙂

  2. Laura says:

    I’d have to say I would take the Bruce pic. Closely followed by the meal from Mr Collins — I always thought he was a little weird.

  3. kiwimusume says:

    So, wait a minute…Liz set up a situation where Enid would be bidding for Jeffrey? Against the richest girl in school? Yeah, that’ll work.

    Ha ha, the fat nerd got the guy instead of Jessica Size Six Blonde Wakefield! Score one for nerds and fat people!

    OMG, the twins’ glarey faces on the cover are cracking my shit up!!

    For the poll? Tough one. Did the Board of Education really not have anything to say about Pervy Collins giving one of his students a home cooked meal?! I bet all the guys (and probably the girls who weren’t interested in journalism or taken in by his Robert Redford looks) thought he was a dick. Nichole makes a good point with the pen (though in my case it wasn’t so much a mentoring situation as a raging crush situation) but it wasn’t my history teacher, so no go there. I’d prolly go for the tape. Laughing at crap singing can be fun. XD

  4. MaggieCat says:

    OMG, I’m pretty sure I still have a copy of this floating around somewhere (I recently found several SVH books in a box in the bottom of my closet) and if I do it’s solely because of the wonder that is Jessica getting dumped for her geeky little cousin. I actually remember the sense of vindication I got from reading that as a kid.

    Poll? Hmm, come to think of it the picture of Bruce might be handy for blackmailing purposes some day (I’m sure he had political aspirations at one point or another) although I find the pen far more amusing. Probably because my h.s. history teacher was fabulous. And I’m a geek.

  5. Ali says:

    I’d pick the Mr. Collins one…then when he got to my house, I’d call the cops, and end his perv-ness once and for all!

    This was a funny book. It was so obvious Jeffrey wanted Liz, but Liz was way to dense to see it. I much preferred Jeffrey to Todd. Maybe it’s because I just truly, truly hate Todd though.

  6. Shannon River says:

    That cover really is something else. Once again, the look like they’re about 35 or something. Wow. What is it with these kinds of books making the characters look decades older than they are? Like the BSC books too.

    Oh well.

    I’ve never really noticed how many “school events” they have until now. School event du jour.

  7. Winnie Egbert says:

    The one great thing about Liz & Jeffrey French was that they didn’t f’ing fight and break up all the time like she did with Todd. They didn’t do anything else either, but that’s because Liz was a boring old grandma “let’s share our hopes and dreams, and then go meddle in other peoples’ lives”

    Also, why would high school kids who are all-but-one in stable two-parent homes care about a stinking home-cooked meal? If they were college freshmen I could understand, but these kids get hot balanced meals with their perfect not-overweight families every day.

    I’d go for a tape of the Droids. If they were good enough to play at the school dances (every week) then they could keep me company on a long car ride.

  8. kiwimusume says:

    OK, I bought the books I mentioned a few posts back, and I just wanted to mention that Thriftbooks rock. Much better shipping deals than Amazon, they have practically ALL the Sweet Valley High books, and almost all of them are 1c each. Defo worth checking out if anyone else has found themselves wanting to buy some (or a lot ^_^;;) of the books.

  9. Shannon River says:

    PS I forgot to mention that I love the fact that you bought your books at B. Dalton.
    I kinda got into Sweet Valley Twins first, and I always bugged my parents to go to B. Dalton so I could buy the new book every month.

    /random odd comment. 🙂

  10. Merrie says:

    I was visiting my parents this weekend and had to check out the library’s book sale where I purchased two Sweet Valley books for 10-cents each. Earthquake and Dropping Out (one of the SVU) books. I need to find Aftershocks now and see if anyone else bites it.

    I love how after Liz and Jeffrey browk up, he totally became a secondary character.

  11. Merrie says:

    Olivia dies. And some little girl dies while Jessica tries to save her. Lila and Todd almost die — they kiss moments before they are saved. It’s weird because I stopped reading the series around the time Regina Morrow bit it, so I didn’t know half of the characters. Still, it sucked me right in. Damn you, ghostwriters!

  12. Magenta Galaxy says:

    Merrie – someone else does bite the big one! (although I can’t remember if it is mentioned that this person dies in Earthquake or in Aftershock…hmm…trying not to ruin it for you…)

  13. Merrie says:

    Magenta Galaxy — someone else dies??? AUGHH! I had myself talked out of ordering a used copy of the book. Now I must have it!!!!

  14. shelley says:

    Love the site lol….I was cracking up. I hope you eventually get around the doing the Unicorn Club series, where all these new characters show up and the girls are all modern and shit. Oh, and Jessica is actually depicted as friendly and sort of cool with the “uncool” crowd. HA! I never realized how skanky these girls were when I read the series…where is the parental supervision? These chicks get more action that I do…at 25 lol, wtf?!

  15. Kristin says:

    Why would anyone bid on a picture of Bruce in a bathing suit? I mean, don’t they have at least 10 pool parties per chapter? Bring a camera next time ladies and go to!

  16. BurtonFanatic says:

    I’m torn… but I’m gonna go with the meal from Mr. Collins. Sure he’s got student/teacher boundry issues… but that’s got nothing to do with me getting a day off from cooking dinner after a 10 hr day…
    If my b/f is reading this *hint*hint*

  17. janeprimrose says:

    I’d get the photo of Bruce, duplicate it many times and stick it up in the bathrooms of gay bars with his phone number at the bottom.
    I assume he’s wearing the speedo that ‘leaves little to the imagination’?

  18. James says:

    Jeffrey was about as lame as Todd, but he was a much nicer, more humble guy. He’s one of those nice guys who just does EVERYTHING right and ends up boring his girlfriend so much he gets dumped. In this case, he dumped HIMSELF (SVH#58 Brokenhearted)

  19. Sarah C. says:

    I just finished this one and was delighted to learn that Alice is “still slender enough to trade clothes with the twins.”

    Also, chubby Jenny (who really isn’t so chubby–10lb over the size 6 SV ideal is what, a size 8?) stuffs her face publicly all the time and is a really messy eater. Robin Williams, can’t you show this girl how to become a proper anorexic?

  20. BartTempleton says:

    HAHAHA, Sarah C. (“Robin Williams, can’t you show this girl how to become a proper anorexic?”)

    LOVE (to hate) the Alice quote. It’s really bizarre to me how Pascal makes the ghostwriters harp on small body size as almost a measure of moral worth, of decency. Whereas nice, overweight people in SV have a host of personality or life ills, nice people who maintain a low to average body weight are presented as kinder, fairer, more rational, upright.

    Ned, Alice and Steven’s physiques and personalities being the primary examples, but there are many others.

  21. Sarah C. says:

    You’re right, BartTempleton, these books exhibit a sense of disgust toward overweight people that is really pretty disturbing. Being larger than average is a moral failing and thus the overweight deserve to be ostracized until they become virtuous and Jenny Craig it.

    It also seems that there are never any overweight men, which is kind of odd. All of the fat loathing seems to be directed to female characters.

    Can anyone think of an overweight male character in Sweet Valley?

  22. Rio says:

    “Can anyone think of an overweight male character in Sweet Valley?”

    Jerry McAllister, affectionately known as “Crunch,” was described as “slightly overweight” in SVT. Nonetheless, he was seen in one book making fun of Lois Waller (Patman called her “Miss Roly Poly” that day).

  23. Sarah C. says:

    Thanks, Rio. Crunch is also the drunken highschool dropout who crashed into Todd’s motorcycle (and sent Liz into a coma) in Dangerous Love. He and Betsy Martin should go out.

  24. Whallie says:

    Enid is really pathetic. Same thing happened on the SVH show. She liked some football player from a different HS but made Liz pretend to be her when they met. So they went on a date where Enid was the 3rd wheel and the football dude too busy looking at Liz to notice Enid. How can we feel bad for this girl. She deserves to be treated like crap.

    • Goldray says:

      “How can we feel bad for this girl. She deserves to be treated like crap.”

      Well of course she deserves to be treated like crap, but not because of her lame personality. She deserves to be treated like crap because she is a brunette.

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