This patterned jumsuit will make you feel as pretty as Linda Ronstadt! or #28 Alone in the Crowd

Raise your hand of Elizabeth’s all-knowing, demeaning look (plus her baby blue polo and matching barrettes) makes you want to punch her in the face! Also, Lynne is not bad looking. Those glasses…yikes. Although, take a trip to Williamsburg, Brooklyn. You’ll see some of the hipster kids wearing those.

Wow, Lynne Henry is a sad sack of shit. And the author really wants us to know that. This girl is actually someone that should be on suicide watch. And I’m not being fecicious. She wears dirty old clothing, has frizzy brown hair (because anything other than sun-streaked blonde is FREAKISH) and has glasses (THE HORROR). Plus, she looks like a stringbean, because she is tall and lanky and awkward. Wait, hold up, now that’s a bad thing? Of all the modeling that goes on in Sweet Valley, SHE should be the one who actually does the modeling. To make matters worse, her mother is head of a beauty salon and always trying to tell Lynne to take care of her looks. Could it get any worse?

She realizes what an unloveable loser she is when she hears Mr. Collins reading an Emily Dickinson poem: “I’m nobody! Who are you? Are you nobody, too?” She feels like Mr. Collins is saying this directly to her.
Check out more of these deep lyrics: “I never thought I’d be the one to say/A day is something more than just a day”. Wow…deep?

Ugh. Check out what Lynne thinks when she sees Jessica:

She couldn’t get over how grogeous Jessica looked in that shiny red sports car. She looked like an actress in a movie- her tanned skin, her perfect skin, her perfect hair, her sparkling bluish-green eyes. Lynne would have given anything in the whole world to be Jessica Wakefield just then. It just wasn’t her beauty, either, Lynne thought, Jessica was confident [I like to call it sociopathic].

Can it get worse? Yes it can. Guess who has taken an interest in Lynne? Yes, Liz “God complex” Wakefield. Liz bites her lip worrying about Lynne most of the time and thinks about how she can “save” her. Shut up and just go back to your privileged life.

The Droids are sponsoring a song writing contest. They don’t say why, but I am pretty sure that it is because since they play at every fricking school dance and they are running out of material. Lynne totally lurves Guy Chesney, the keyboard player, who lives in her neighborhood. They walk to school together and talk about music a lot. Lynne loves music and songwriting, but doesn’t tell anyone. At LEAST the girl has something she enjoys. I wanted to kill myself by proxy just reading about her. However, they talk about Linda Rondstadt and Lynne thinks Guy only likes attractive singers. [Checking date of book: 1987? Did teenagers seriously like her then?] I can see her wanting to look like Samantha Fox, Madonna or Susanna Hoffs, but Linda Ronstadt? Omg, remember Samantha Fox? Anyway…

Lynne secetly enters the singwriting conrest with a song about Guy. I seriously want to make fun of the song, but it is seriously so pathetic it hurts to laugh.

Day after day I’m feeling kind of lonely,
Day after day it’s him and him only.
Something in his eyes
Made my hopes start to rise.
But he’s a part of the world that doesn’t include me.
Nothing he says could ever delude me.
I’ll never win.
This is how it’s always been.
I’m on the outside…looking in.
Night after night I’m saying a prayer
Night after night…hat somebody will care!
Somebody to hear me,
Somebody to stay near me…
But nothing’s going to change. Dreams can’t deceive me.
I’m all alone. You’ve got to believe me.
I just can’t win.
This is how it’s always been…
I’m on the outside- on the outside…
Lookin’ in.

Oh, get a load of this. Jess and the cheerleaders need new uniforms, so they are sponsoring a fundraiser. (Why not give the money to the needy families of Sweet Valley? Oh yea cuz they are gross and deserve whatever they get.) So she decides to have a rock-a-thon at the gym where people will pledge the cheerleaders for each half-hour they rock. They turn it into a party and have the Droids play. (Won’t the dance cost money therefore eating their profits???) The Droids are going to annouce the winner of the contest at the dance.

Of course they are BLOWN away by Lynne’s song, and Guy practically goes insane with lust for the girl who wrote it. I think he actually puts the cassette down his pants. Lynne doesn’t want to reveal herself because she thinks Guy will be disappointed.

Elizabeth is at the guitar store (for no fucking reason) and hears Lynne giving lessons and realizes that she is the songwriter. She of course, gives Lynne the pep talk that only Liz can give In fact, Guy ALSO confides in Liz about his obsession with the singer. Why is Liz always the patron saint?

So, obviously, all the plot twists can only point to one thing: A MAKEOVER! Lynne decides that she needs to start taking care of her looks and puts on some stylish clothes- which includes a patterned jumpsuit and her mother’s earrings. HAWT! Her mother then takes her for a day at the salon and they do her hair and makeup. Lynne has “never felt closer to her mother”. Thanks Ms. Henry for withholding your love until Lynne wants some finger curls. Also, they have the requsite “self-esteem comes from the inside, not the outside” speech. So why the hell do we need this makeover montage? (Not that there is anything wrong with makeover montages. I happen to love them).

So finally, mentoning Linda Ronsdtadt to guy makes him realize it is Lynne Henry. Okay, random: he has a POLICE SKETCH artist sketch what he thinks the artist looks like and of course it looks like Lynne and she knows that he knows and BOOM! They fall in love and of course, everything is sealed with one big kiss. Isn’t that magical? [VOMIT]. I wonder if he would have kissed her pre-jumpsuit.

You can probably predict what I am going to say. Lynne’s happiness and “success” should be because she wrote a great song and won a contest, gained some self-respect, and finally connected with her mother. Instead, the ultimate end result is kissing the boy she likes. It seems that Guy’s and Lynne’s relationship is based on something deeper than most relationships, but it is so not going last. Lynne has dealt with serious depression issues and the second Guy doesn’t call her back right away or says something that she interprets wrong she is going to freak out and get seriously clingy. You can’t “cure” the years of depression and self-doubt with one kiss. She needs to be okay with herself before she is able to love someone else. I hate to sound like Dr. Phil, but that’s the reality. And I hate that this is sending the message that getting a boyfriend cures all ills. But am I really surprised at the lack of social accountability?

Other thoughts:

Guy actually seems like one of the more interesting guys at SVH. And thats not saying much.

Jess dances with Ken Matthews at the dance and Liz doesn’t blink and eye. Isn’t she supposed to be crazy jealous? Oh, that’s right, the writers put in that story AFTER THE FACT! CONTINUITY PLEASE!

Aside from her stupid rocking chair dance, Jessica actually did not do anything manipulative or assinine. it was kind of weird.

In case you care, the team DID raise enough money for the outfits. They bought ones that were super-slutty.

Classes are canceled on a Friday so the school can play a softball game in the park. You can guess who the members of the team are- the same ones on the volleyball team. How does the school allow this? The school board is probably in the Soviet Union again.

Grade: B

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43 thoughts on “This patterned jumsuit will make you feel as pretty as Linda Ronstadt! or #28 Alone in the Crowd

  1. Jessa Fields says:

    I will comment more on this excellent review later. Thank you for those lyrics! But for now can you please tell me the names of all of the Droids? I was up last night at 3:00 trying to remember. (Some people count sheep, I count SVH characters). Dana Larson, Guy Chesney, Max something (the semi-scummy guitarist–I believe he was spotted at Kelly’s at one point). But who played bass and drums?

  2. Club X says:

    It was Max Dellon…I remember them saying that he smoked!! OMG!! The bassist was Dan Scott and the drummer was Emily Mayer…they end up dating in another book. How sad that I know this. 😦

  3. Club X says:

    Another great recap!! The whole Linda Ronstadt thing is hysterical….as is most of the book. This was one of the books my mom picked out for me at the book store….if only she knew how warped it was. I think when I first read it, I wished she was the manager of an upscale salon so I could have a free makeover.

  4. Robyn says:

    Oddly enough, the thing I remember most about this book is when she plucked her eyebrows. Is it wrong that I took all my early grooming tips from SVH?

  5. George Magrath says:

    Jessa-

    Didn’t Emily Meyer (or something like that) play drums? Or another instrument? She was the one who hated her step-mother. I think that was #25. (The books of this era were rather Droids-heavy.)

  6. The Kuus says:

    I love how Lynne looks considerably more attractive than Elizabeth on the cover, but we’re supposed to be fooled into thinking she’s a dog because she wears glasses.

  7. kiwimusume says:

    Lynne has dealt with serious depression issues and the second Guy doesn’t call her back right away or says something that she interprets wrong she is going to freak out and get seriously clingy. You can’t “cure” the years of depression and self-doubt with one kiss. She needs to be okay with herself before she is able to love someone else.

    Yes, but Sweet Valley girls do not have depression. Depression is something that losers have, that must be shed instantly in order to become an acceptable Valley Girl. Just like if you’re fat you have to magically drop ten dress sizes, in a single weekend if necessary. *eyeroll*

  8. Merrie says:

    Robyn, I totally agree with you on the plucking the eyebrows bit! To this day I can’t pluck mine without thinking about this book. It’s sad.

  9. EnidRollins says:

    Ouch. Ouch. And double ouch. Dos ouches y delors! :p
    Being plain is the kiss of death in Sweet Valley. You don’t deserve friendship, love, or acceptance! YOU ARE SCUM IF YOU DON’T HAVE SHINY HAIR AND SLIM FIGURES!

  10. Cat says:

    Great review! I love makeover montages too. I would add “The Breakfast Club” to your list, when Molly Ringwold’s character makes over Ally Sheedy. Oh, I also loved the pics of your cat 😀

  11. Hilararious says:

    Dearest WheatiDarling,
    I heart you and your blog – it gifs me the greatest pleasure! I cannor express the joy it brings to me, as my loathing for Jessica during my preteen years is only now being validated.
    Thank you for all your hard work!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    HMC

  12. Redstar says:

    This was one of my favorite SVH’s, along with Kidnapped! (#13, I think….) Thanks for bringing me back. I remember being envious or enamored or something of Lynne with her willowy, awkward girl makeover.

  13. christine says:

    This was my favoritest SV book because i was a loser, just like Lynne, only i was short and dumpy. What i remember about her makeover is the pair of espadrilles. i had my mom buy me a pair and the kids at school made fun of me.

    Thinking back on it now, wow.

    You’re funny.

  14. Anonymous says:

    i just found this blog and i love it! i read SVH books all the time and “alone in the crowd” is one of my favorites. i too fondly recall the espadrilles! i kind of related to lynne, although i thought she was a bit whiny about being tall – i guess compared to the perfect SVH-ers, 5’9″ is gargantuan, but i was 5’11” in high school, so quiet, whiny mcbaggyshirts. still, this was one of the better books of the series, at least for me. i loved any mention of the Droids, too. what high school had their own band?!

  15. Amber Tan says:

    @ Anonymous — By “band” I take it you meant “rock ‘n’ roll band” and not “marching band” / competition band” which lots of schools do have as part of their respective music programs.

    BTW, I distinctly recall Devo did a guest spot on “Square Pegs” which thrilled my teeny bopper self to no end. They played at Muffy’s bat mitzvah which was Very.Big.Deal. because only the most popular students were invited.

  16. Marisa says:

    YES! The eyebrow plucking! It said something like, “Plucking her eyebrows HURT! She kept sneezing too. But the magazine warned her that would happen.” Hahahaha. Then Moms walks in and Lynnie freaks out as though she has been caught doing unspeakable acts (“Don’t laugh!”, she cried, as tears sprang to her eyes, or some shiz like that).

    God, I can’t believe I remember this stuff. This blog is the best.

    Remember the book where Jessica decides she wants to be French and dyes her hair black and starts reading Paris Match? I loved that one too.I’m a sucker for the makeover ones.

  17. janeprimrose says:

    “What high school had their own band?!”
    The school I teach at has several, one of which came second in a national competition last year (they’re aiming for first this year).
    What can I say, kids wanna rock.

  18. Cassie says:

    This is one of the SVH books that stuck in my head the most. I remember thinking, who the heck is Linda Ronstadt? Really keeping up with the times there SVH.

    Along with the eyebrow plucking thing, isn’t there a bit where she’s learning to apply mascara and her sister or someone tells her you can’t keep your mouth shut while doing it, it always falls open? An important life lesson, I feel like I learned something important. Or was that from another book?

    • Goldray says:

      Pull yourself together. It’s a blog and I’ve seen much worse spelling in Sweet Valley High books and they get an editor.

  19. Sonnie says:

    The ghost writer who wrote the lyrics to the song is a dipshit. It’s not even a song at all. It’s a stupid poem that lacks any melody thought when I read it. Unless she wrote that in the 70’s then it’s hard to believe that it’s an 80’s song that actually won.

  20. Monic says:

    Reading this blog, a lot of makeover/transformations come to mind from the movies. Here are a few:
    1)Julia Roberts trying on the outfits in Pretty Woman
    2)The scene in Clueless where Cher and Dionne makeover Ty, by coloring her hair and letting her shop in Cher’s closet
    3)Cinderella dressing up and winning the prince’s heart with just one glimpse of her
    4)She’s All That
    5)Miss Congeniality

    Isn’t it sad that females are taught that the only way to get a man or feel accepted is to look good on the outside? But at the same time, we all play into this. I mean, that’s why they keep making these types of movies, right? Or more accurately, they make them because they know women will go out and see them and that lines their{Hollywood moviemaker’s} pockets.

  21. Karla Keffer says:

    I remember reading Lynne’s song when I was twelve and thinking how godsawful it was and then thinking there was something wrong with me for thinking it was godsawful. Ah, yoot.

  22. pyeknu says:

    This has always been my favourite SVH novel. Being a loner and rather quite tall myself – not to mention the victim of a four-year military academy high school education where I couldn’t interact with girls as normal public school teens could – I was quite sympathetic to Lynne and her struggles.

    Looking at the series these days, it’s quite easy to notice all the glaring errors . . . but these books are fondly remembered for all the good feelings they produced when I read them.

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