The one where Tom McKay is too gay to function, or #75 Amy’s True Love

Wow, this is crazy! There are characters calling each other out on their faults! And character growth! And accountability for actions! And GAYS!!!!! Of course, within 132 pages all is resolved and homophobia is eradicated, but at least its better than using date rape and parties as a centerpiece of the plot.

We get some Amy Sutton point of view. She thinks her parents ignore her because they are famous (Mom’s a sportscaster and Dad’s a photographer) and she is mad because she thinks her dad likes spending more time with her mother than her. (Wow, and I thought Lila had daddy issues). And I think they are hinting that that is the reason that she seeks approval from men. When her parents ask her what is new, she talks only about boys and nothing else. Mama Sutton tells Amy that she needs to stop being so shallow and start thinking about her future. Yay! A parent doing her job! Take note, Alice Wakefied!

Amy is also failing sociology [hold up. They offer sociology at SVH? I am so jealous. All schools should do this, instead of trying to get everyone to simply regurgitate dates from eurocentric history. You’d think the kids from SVH would be more aware of race/class issues. But why am I even putting faith in the SV public school systems? They practically sponsor orgies and pledging]. For extra credit, the teacher reccomends that Amy volunteer at Project Youth, which I guess is a like a counseling center for troubled youth. Amy doesn’t want anyone to know she is doing it, because it may ruin her image. There is another student, Barry Rork who works there, and of course loves Amy but she thinks he is beneath her because he wears glasses. I think they try to infer that he is Jewish.

So Amy’s solution is…to get a boyfriend. Yes folks, that is how she thinks her parents will take her seriously. This gal needs therapy, stat. Also, Lila and Jessica are being cunts as usual and getting annoyed at Amy for being so self-centered and boy-crazy. I don’t even have to say hypocrite alert. So they freeze Amy out.

So Amy’s target is Tom McKay, tennis player extraordinaire and otherwise nondescriptive jock. Amy tries way too hard and Tom is obvs not interested. Barry is a friend of Tom’s and promises Tom he will try to keep Amy away and promises Amy to help her get Tom. Wheeee! I feel a spin-off rom-com coming on! Although Amy really comes on strong and chases him around and is totally oblivious to the fact that Tom is getting creeped out by her. Heeee! I love it when these broads get rejected.

Meanwhile, Enid’s cousin Jake comes to visit, and everybody loves him, and Jess and Lila try to get with him. And Tom plays tennis with him and when he is with him, he feels warm and fuzzy …down there. Alas, Jake is GAY!!!! I didn’t think that gays existed in Sweet Valley. Or were allowed to set foot in the town. Enid is a big ol’ homophobe when Jake tells her and Tom gets all weird when he finds out because BAM! suddenly he realizes he is gay. So he goes to Pro-Yo (Project Youth, duh) to talk about it and runs into Liz there (she is inerviewing Amy and Barry for The Oracle) and runs into Tom and of course has to meddle and becomes Tom’s informal counselor because she can’t help but stick her fucking nose in everyone else’s problems.

And Amy actually likes working at Pro-Yo and realizes she likes Barry, and Barry has glasses and thus no self-esteem to he settles for being second choice. So she gains some purpose and builds some character. Well, good for her I guess.

Finally Enid realizes that Jake is a person too, and Tom comes out to his friends, and everyone skips of hand in hand into the rainbow-colored sunset.

Thoughts:

Amy was always annoying, but reading this from her point of view made me think she is retarded. As in, actually retarded.

I love how the ghostwriter justifies that Jake is gay: he’s from San Francisco and that he has no attraction to either Lila or Jessica (because if you are guy and you don’t like them, there is no other possibilty…HATE!)

Ugh, the cover. Is that supposed to be Tom? And how does no one know he’s not gay? I think he is wearing foundation. And jeez, Amy looks BUSTED! A little like Sloth from the goonies.

I expected a post-script from Francine talking about how it’s okay to be gay and maybe a hotline, but maybe I expected too much, because all there was some feature on the reader of the month. Shannon Allison from Hawaii claims, “Reading about Regina’s death really taught me about drugs.” BWA! Reading about the twins size six figures gave me an eating disorder, so Shannon, we have something in common.

I’ll bet anyone a sundae at Casey’s that no book ever touches on sexuality issues ever again. Although….

Next time: Sweet Valley holds its first gay pride parade, and Elzabeth is in charge of the committee but falls into conflict when she cheats on Todd with the lesbian co-chair, but of course they make up in the end. Meanwhile, a new gay club opens up in town and Alice is called upon to design the interior, which makes her spend less time at home driving Ned into the arms of a wayward go-go boy. Mr. Collins moonlights as a shirtless bartender which gets him in trouble with the schoolboard, but the kids stage a sit in demanding they let him keep his job. In order to be more inclusive, Liz makes sure she adds gay rumors to her Eyes and Ears column. Meanwhile, Jessica is mistaken for a drag queen and asked to compete in a drag show., which she does just to win but then Lila gets jealous and also enters. At the last minute Jess gets hurt forcing Liz to compete at the last second, thus saving Sweet Valley Pride from cancellation. Bruce heads up the Sweet Valley Committee Against Gay Marriage, but then changes his tune when Tom and Jake ask him to officiate the wedding. Meanwhile, Winston discovers the cure for AIDS.

Grade: A

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22 thoughts on “The one where Tom McKay is too gay to function, or #75 Amy’s True Love

  1. Laura says:

    Does Tom really end up being gay? I thought he was just confused. Lol about the post-script — you’d think you’d know better by now.

    I love this blog.

  2. Winnie Egbert says:

    Barry Jewish? Is Sweet Valley really ready for another Semite? Was this around the time that they were writing about racial tensions surrounding SVH’s token black students? Way to handle the thorny issues, Francine!

  3. Merrie says:

    I’m still trying to block out the SVH video. I never watched the show, so I was curious to see what I missed — eek! I felt the same way I did after rewatching Swan’s Crossing on You Tube. So, so bad. And one of the twins was on both shows. You’ve got to wonder if she’s still “acting.” 🙂

    I can’t believe Francine actually touched upon gay issues. This is around the time I stopped reading the series. Is Tom’s sexuality ever mentioned again?

  4. olivia says:

    the better question merrie, is tom himself ever mentioned again? i love it when random characters are given these heartfelt (!!!) stories and then tots disappear. sweet.

  5. Onnie says:

    that is supposed to be barry, not tom…tom is blonde. didnt amy used to be a stellar student on top of being a tom-boy before they moved out of svh?

  6. Magenta Galaxy says:

    Tom was mentioned in Miss Teen Sweet Valley (which may have been the next book?) Liz ends up talking to him and there’s a mention of how Tom told her he “thought he might be gay.” Other than that, I forget.

    What was the part about Barry being Jewish, I don’t remember?

  7. kiwimusume says:

    Title love!!! XD

    So, sexuality is determined by whether you find Lila and Jessica attractive? Hmmmm, by that definition I’m actually straight!

    I remember desperate!Amy, that was funny. I also love the bit where her parents ask her to describe this guy she’s got the hots for (Tom) and she’s like “He’s blonde! And he plays tennis!! And, uhhhh…” WIN. XD

  8. Shannon River says:

    Oh I just read the other comments. So that’s supposed to be Barry? That would help make sense. So my Tommy is still blond. Whew. I can sleep now. (hahahaha)

  9. Heather Mallone says:

    Here I was, thinking I was the only one who developed an eating disorder after reading SVH. This is fucking hilarious!

    A review of SVH #74, anyone?

  10. JP says:

    I am crying with laughter here.

    CRYING.

    There were further homo adventures in Sweet Valley University, when Jessica acquired the latest must-have accessory – a gay best friend

  11. Vanessa Saxton says:

    I just finished this one the other night (how did I miss all of these fabulous books growing up? Perhaps I just stopped when I realized how ridiculous they were, or i was embarrassed to be seen with a SV book post high school…but i digress)
    I love how Francine couldn’t make him out right gay, but he is bi-curious. Also, yeah, who is on the cover? Barry has curly hair and glasses while Tom is a hottness with blonde hair. Plus, Amy and Tom never got that close in the storyline, so why would he go to Olan Mills to pose with her?
    In any event I actually thought this one was really good. It gave you some insight into Amy and why she is how she is, and I had been waiting for that. Secretly, I wanted Amy and Liz to be friends again after the way Lila and Jessica treated her (pot calling the kettle black…)
    PS- loved the SV reader of the month. I have got to find that girl on facebook and get her on here!

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