The one where Liz and Todd go to the videomat, or #102 Almost Married

Alrghty, if you remember last time, Bruce’ Dad and Liz’s mom were supposedly having an affair. Liz’s Mom is jetting off again to Chicago to work for Hank “Hanky Panky” Patman and Ned is off in a lawyer business trip. I think these ghostwriters actually have no clue what lawyers/interior designers do. You’d think they wouldnt be so keen on leaving when last time, say, AN EVIL PSYCHOPATH TRIED TO KILL LIZ. Just a thought.

Todd’s parents are away too, so they decide to live together! Wh Wh Eh what? Don’ even worry, Todd is sleeping on the couch. What is the point? And they can’t tell anyone because it is seeewww scandalous! And we know that SVH loves meaningless, non-scandalous gossip!

So in order to keep Jess fom yapping, she has Todd do all her chores like cook her breakfast. You would think this is awkward, considering he and Jess had a thing. But hilarity ensues when Todd tried to make bacon and French Toast.

So Liz is a total BEAST this whole time. You would think I couldn’t hate her more. Oh, but wait. Liz is supposed to be all sensitive and shit, but she keeps running off with Bruce because they have a connection. And if Todd looks at her the wrong way, she has a hissy fit and the world stops, but she can blow off Todd while he is living at her house to go splash around with Bruce in the pool. Her parents aren’t here, and she can bone her boyfriend on the kitchen table whenever she wants, and she is running off to do research on her parents.

Bruce and Liz spend time on campus where her parents met and relive the memories. Alice was a activitst (read: dirty hippie) and Hank was a frat boy, but there ws a sit-in and and Hank drove a fucking helicopter and dropped some food for the activists. Uh, okay. Liz declares she’s in love with Bruce and its weird because they may be siblings. They really throw around the word love too much. I know they are teens, but come on here.

Finally there is a party and Bruce and Liz make out and Todd finds them and then Liz dives in the pool, hits her head and Todd relalizes he loves her and all is well.

Edited to add: the parents come home during the party and Liz gets in trouble for having a party and have Todd stay over. In yer FACE Liz! Also, the parents are not having an affair. Alice left Hanky at the altar. They are just friends now.

Bleccccchhhhh.

Thoughts:

Gradually people find out they are living together and it is the talk of the school! Because the Wakefields are always the center of attention.

Bruce is supposed to be in love with this Pamela gal, who- you won’t blieve this- ia actual nice and down to earth, and not annoying. Bruce dumps her ass.

I actually like the way the twins look at the top of the cover. They have some wicked bangs, the kind that start way far back. And actually their faces are round and full, which I am inclined to say look really great but we really know what it means…bulimia bloat. And Todd actually looks 16. He has an overbite, it’s kind of cute.

In the back of this book, there is the opportunity to join the SVH fancub! Here’s what you get for the low price of $6.25:

  • A membership card with your own personal Fan Club ID number
  • A Sweet Valley High Secret Treasure Box
  • Sweet Valley High Stationery
  • Official Fan Club Pencil (for secret note writing)
  • Three bookmarks
  • A “Members Only” Doorhanger
  • Teo Skeins of embroidery floss with flower barrette instruction leaflet
  • Two editions of The Oracle newsletter

Did anyone have this? Sounds like a fucking blast. Did it also come with a raging STI and some laxatives/diet pills?

Anyone join this?

My grade: C-

Next time: Jessa Fields, anyone?

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47 thoughts on “The one where Liz and Todd go to the videomat, or #102 Almost Married

  1. Winnie Egbert says:

    I never read this far… how did it end? Did Liz and Bruce just randomly decide they weren’t into each other? Did the parents ever get back from their steamy affair? Is Todd Wilkins the biggest tool in Sweet Valley?

    Woot! The New Jessica! Been waiting for this one – it was my favourite for all of the description of outfits that actually sounded… cool. Tho’ I always wondered – if they were actually all of Lila’s clothes, why didn’t everyone swoon over her all the time?

  2. ihatewheat says:

    After declaring their undying love for each other, after they were caught they realize that they got caught up in their parents romance or something. Poor cuckolded Todd believes it and it is a happy ending.

  3. nichole says:

    I swear – I don’t know how the ghostwriters came up with this plot. I mean, there are many contrived plots that you needed to suspend reality for – werewolves, anyone? But for this one, they try to get us to suspend our reality of what we know 16 year olds are like. I’m sorry, but the liklihood that all parents are out of town at once, that no-one was going to find out that Todd was staying at the Wakefields, and he really slept on the couch? I agree with Winnie – Todd is the biggest tool in Sweet Valley. It almost makes you want to see Liz and Bruce really get together, not some fake romance because they got all caught up in tehir parents past.

  4. Merrie says:

    OK, I read this book a few years back in a wave of nostalgia and I was thoroughly disgusted by it. Would a 16-year-old buy living with his girlfriend really sleep on the couch? Doubt it! And why wouldn’t Liz stay at his house instead? Isn’t he loaded? And then Jess can’t blackmail him! Stupid Todd. And stupid Liz. I love how she totally forgot that Bruce tried to date rape her once. It’s like the General Hospital Luke and Laura romance all over again.

    Jessa Fields. AWESOME! This was one of my favorite SVH books! This one and the one with the nerdy girl (Lynne?) who falls in love with Guy (I think that’s his name) from The Driods and gives herself a makeover and finally catches his eye. I can’t remember the title of the book, but I remember the song — Outside Looking In — for the music contest. The Driods were all “What a strange title.” Idiots! At 13 years old, I knew what it meant!

    I’m done ranting. Go Jessa Fields! This book has the great lines “You can never be too thin.” “Or too thin.” That made Francine Pascals year right there.

    It’s so sad I remember this …

  5. jen says:

    So Bruce and Liz think there’s a possibililty they could be siblings and they’re making out in the effing pool?

    That would make an awesome spinoff series – Sweet Valley White Trash? Something like that…

    And I agree; I don’t know a 16 year old boy alive that would settle for sleeping on the couch at his g/f’s when her parents weren’t home. If he did, it would only be until her siblings went to bed, then….”Baby, I was cold.”

  6. Eliza says:

    Jessa Fields! SO excited. That was totally the best one. I spent my entire youth trying to figure out what the hell a geometric cut was.

  7. Heidi says:

    Isn’t there a SVU book with the same title? **checking wikipedia** Nope, that one is A Married Woman. Damn, can’t they come up with better titles? All the ghostwriters need to consult their SV references!!

  8. lizzie says:

    Ahhh The New Jessica…an exellent choice. Any book that features Jessica trying to change her image always proves to be among the best -see “Jessica vs Bruce” or even the gloriously awful “Kidnapped by the Cult!”, among many others.

    (Note also that while the New Jessica is among the better books in the series, the New Elizabeth is a total drag. Shocker.)

  9. MaggieCat says:

    “This one and the one with the nerdy girl (Lynne?) who falls in love with Guy (I think that’s his name) from The Driods and gives herself a makeover and finally catches his eye.”

    Alone in the Crowd. Geektastic Lynne anonymously enters a submission into The Droids songwriting contest and Guy Chesney (worst character name ever) falls in love at first sight-read, and goes on a mission to find the writer. (My cynical side wants to say it’s because they couldn’t legally use it with attribution, but I’m sure SVH believes it’s all in the service of true love.) Of course Liz ends up poking her nose into everyone’s business as usual and saves the day. Because teenagers would never manage to date without Saint Liz’s assistance. Especially the resident rock band members- always such a chaste group, you know.

    No, I did not just reread it last week, I don’t know what would ever give you that impression.

  10. Jessa Fields says:

    Oooh, “Jessica vs. Bruce”–that one is the best! That might be my favorite SVH of all time.

    Also, how about some Magenta Galaxy/Daniella Fromage action?

  11. Onnie says:

    C-??? i have to say that this was one of my favs, hersh…but i do have to say, a part of me always wanted bruce to get with liz…he is such a dick, he would be good for her.

  12. ihatewheat says:

    On, I know this one is near and dear to you…but seriously, reading it this time around din’t have the same magic it did the first time. Don’t worry, I am going to do the cheerleading trilogy just for you.

  13. Club X says:

    This is my first time posting because I just found this site yesterday. I love it!! Every comment is spot on and hysterical! My eternal gratitude to the author for creating it. 🙂
    Just had to say this book is one of my favorites because of the action between Liz and Bruce. I have to admit, I’m a Bruce fan…whether he’s acting like a dick or he’s being sweet (during the Regina Morrow days) I love him. Some people might find it weird but I just can’t help myself lol. I can’t wait to see Jessica vs. Bruce on here (I know someome already mentioned that)…that was a great book. Loved how they described Bruce’s grin as “wolfish”. Man, that’s sexy!
    Sorry this was such a long post but I’m new…hope I didn’t annoy anyone too much!

  14. Dwanollah says:

    Bruce always looked to me like a preppy version of a bad John Travolta knock-off on those earlier book covers.

    And I still secretly covet the SVH fanclub stuff. I want to see what The Oracle said!

  15. Anonymous says:

    Ok yes I joined the fan club. I’ll admit it! I think the “treasure” box is still somewhere in my parent’s basement. It was bright pink with the SVH logo on the outside. And I remember only getting ONE edition of the Oracle and being really pissed off about it. The embroidery floss was stupid too I dont think I ever even took the wrapper off it. Overall, waste of $6.25

  16. Anonymous says:

    Sorry guys….I didn’t save it. I was an unorganized 10 year old lol. But again, I remember being dissapointed when it came that it wasn’t more exciting.

  17. Club X says:

    I had the board game and I loved it! You had a choice of being either Jessica, Lila, Elizabeth, or Enid. The board was set up as the halls of SVH and you had to collect various items to win the game, including your boyfriend lol. You could also steal someone else’s boyfriend…scandalous!! I remember the pictures they used, too…the picture of Ken Matthews (whom they chose as Lila’s boyfriend for the game…go figure) was that horrible picture from the cover of Lovestruck. Gross. Didn’t they use the same picture for That Fatal Night??
    (Yes, I am 29 years old & married and still obsessed w/ SVH. My poor husband knows more about those books then he probably ever cared to lol)

    • Lisa says:

      for the record – i still swear they used Jerry O’Connell as a model for Bruce’s pic in the game. It was when “My Secret Identity” was on tv, and i thought he was DREAMY.

  18. MaggieCat says:

    Ooo, the board game! I’m having serious childhood flashbacks all of a sudden, and an uncontrollable urge to go search through my mother’s basement to see if I kept it. Or perhaps save myself all the effort and just buy it again. Of course then I have to live with the idea of buying that again.

    IIRC, Lila had the best stuff. Obviously. Jessica’s stuff was all an annoying pink, Enid was well- Enid, and does anyone really want to be Liz and go on a bicycling date?

  19. Club X says:

    Oh wow…Girl Talk and Mall Madness…talk about memories. Ugh.

    Lol…you’re right, MaggieCat…Lila did have the best stuff. And I forgot about the bicycling date…geez, she and Todd were so boring sometimes. Do you remember Enid’s boyfriend in the game was Winston??

  20. MaggieCat says:

    Sadly, yes, and I remember feeling very sorry for her because of that- not because I disliked Winston that much, but because there wasn’t even a hint of history there, which meant they’d just grabbed whatever random male character wasn’t taken. What, they couldn’t let her have George back for the sake of the game? It’s not like Jessica dated Bruce for more than 2 minutes, it would have made just as much sense.

  21. kel says:

    Yeah, this one was one of my favorites, too. I always secretly (okay, not so secretly) wanted Liz and Bruce to get together, so I was all about the making out.

    I think I actually still HAVE this one–like the only one I have left because I liked it that much. And maybe a few of the Epic Magna editions. Mostly because I liked the word “Magna.”

  22. Emma says:

    I have to say, being a huge Elizabeth and Todd fan, I was v disappointed with the lack of good scenes in this book!

    The sleeping over storyline SO needs to be re-written for the 21st Century audience tho! That would be the Liz+Todd book I have waited all my life for!

  23. Karla says:

    I was a member of the Sweet Valley High fan club! I had to wait forever for the stuff to arrive, and when it finally did it was way disappointing. The box was just a pink plastic lunch box that didn’t say Sweet Valley or anything on it, I only got one edition of The Oracle, and they gave me the embroidery floss for the barrette, but not the instructions. The bookmarks were teeny little pieces of cardboard with the Sweet Valley logo on them, the stationery had like 3 pieces of paper, and the pencil was a regular pencil with a Sweet Valley logo printed piece of paper wrapped around it. So not worth waiting that long. I still have my membership card, though.

    • Carmen says:

      Congratulations, Primito!! You and your beautiful wife look soooo peefrct together. Many blessings as you start this wonderful journey, filed with love and understanding.♥♥♥

  24. i'd like to service 1BRUCE1 says:

    Looooved the board game! Went over to my friend’s house a few blocks away and we made her older brother play with us. He played Lila and nobody played Enid. I hadn’t even graduated to SVH quite yet [and now I wonder why Jessica didn’t get Ms. Dalton], as those were in a special blocked off area of the school library. We had to be in at least 5th grade to check those out, the librarian explained. One time I overheard a conversation between her and the computer teacher who said Guess what’s on television tonight? Bugsy! “Ooooh!” said the librarian. Damn it.

  25. Annmarie says:

    But wait. Once we get to Sweet Valley University, dont we learn that Alice Wakefield was not an activist but the president of the sorority, and then they practically HAVE to join because of the legacy? Gahhh. (There are also about six different ways that Alice and Ned met, depending on the ghostwriter. This bothered me even in sixth grade, first time around.)

  26. Janet says:

    I so joined the fan club! I also had a calendar (that I re-found from a private seller on Amazon a couple of years ago), a planner, the slam book, an SVH yearbook, a couple of puzzles, the board game, and a sweatsirt, and the cassette tapes for Secrets and Playing With Fire. I still have these things. I LOVE your blog. Only a true fan can laugh and be amazed at how suckered we were as kids reading these books. I thought the Wakefield twins were the bees knees and that one day, I too, would have a Todd to have salty fries and milkshake kisses with. lol.

  27. heroine_tv says:

    I totally joined the fan club, but I don’t really remember what came with it very well. Like Karla, I remember it being somewhat disappointing. The membership card, door sign, and bookmarks are all I can recall. I also signed up for something where I got the books in the mail–like SVH book of the month club, or something like that. Did anyone else do that?

  28. natalie says:

    Ha, great review. I “wasn’t allowed” to read this one because of the book cover and title. If I remember correctly, it caused huge drama in my eleven year old life with my mom, who wanted the book back so she could return it where I bought it because it didn’t “look appropriate”. This made me hide it in my room at my grandparents house so that no one could steal my precious SVH book. I’m guessing that they found the hiding place because I could never find it again. All of that for Todd sleeping on the couch? Typical.

  29. Leela Gupta says:

    I never got this far in the series, (The last one I read was probably Brokenhearted.)but this reminds me of how unrealistic the books were. What couple of 16-year-olds that have been together that long and have such an intense relationship would seriously not be having sex ESPECIALLY IF THEIR PARENTS WERE OUT OF TOWN??? The only reason I could think of is if they were really religious. That doesn’t seem to be the case here. The only times they mention the family going to church, as far as I remember, was on Christmas.

  30. Esperanza says:

    Gorgeous!!! LOVE that shot of them kissing with all their gustes behind them. Can we please do that? You’re so talented!!! Can’t wait for you to be there for my day in just over five months. WHOO!

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