help me out!

Hi all, I have a couple of questions that have seriously been keeping me up at night, and maybe you can help.

In the SVH I am currently reading, they keep alluding to an instance where Todd was involved in some really bad pledging stuff that Bruce was organizing (typical). Is this an actual book? Does anyone know which one?

In what book do A.J. and Jessica break up?

I know that SVH was the original series, but when was the Sweet Valley Twins series created? Which came first, the Amy Slutton of high school or tomboy Amy?

Are the Sweet Valley Junior High Series and Sweet Valley Senior Year series in the typical SV universe? Or are they in an “alternative” reality? Meaning, do they fit into the SVH timeline? There are characters introduced senior year who never appear in the Sweet Valley University series, for example.

When does Ken go blind? What book is that? I’d love to do that one.

I’m away for a few days, but great things ahead! I started rereading the Pen Pals series and omg they are fucking awesome. Does Simmie Randolph the Third ring any bells? I’ll write it up soon.

35 thoughts on “help me out!

  1. Anonymous says:

    Rosa’s Lie is the one where Todd and Bruce are involved in the Fraternity Hazing. They tried keeping each others choices for membership out.

  2. Shannon River says:

    These are some seriously good questions. Heck, I was even wondering the Amy Sutton one myself! I do believe that snobby Amy came first. The Twins books began after SVH… I’m fairly certain of this. (Hope I’m right!) It’s just odd that they took a snob and turned her into Lizzie’s friend. Though Amy didn’t even show up in SVH for awhile. So yeah! I must be right in the fact that Snob SVH Amy was first.

    WOW. I forgot about Ken going blind. Though wasn’t it temporary or something else typical in SVH land?

    Have you read some University books? I’ve read a few of them.

    Wow. Can you imagine. Start at the Kids books, move to Twins, move to the original series, move to Senior series, move to Unversity. Holy cow! That would be ca-razy!

  3. Shannon River says:

    Aw heck. I’m confused myself now. Who knows. But I always thought Snob Amy came first.

    Silly how these kinds of questions can really eat at you. πŸ˜‰

  4. Bec says:

    Because the Amy Sutton thing was plaguing me, I googled the first publication date of “Bitter Rivals” (SVH #29 – the first book in which she appears). It was published on the first of July, 1986. (I also discovered there’s a West Australian model named Amy Sutton. I envy her name!)
    The first Sweet Valley Twins book (“Best Friends”) is listed as being published on the 26th of June, 1987.
    So I guess Shannon is right. Snobby SVH Amy came first. It’s weird they did it that way – it somehow seems like it should have been the other way around, don’t you think?

  5. moonspinner says:

    Actually, snobby Amy came first. It’s one of the rare occasions of continuity between the series because they set up the back story that she was a tomboy and Elizabeth’s friend back in middle school in that story.

  6. Stellanova says:

    As has been previously mentioned, the Ken book is ‘That Fatal Night’, which is a seriously misleading title because no one actually dies so it’s not fatal at all! And of course Ken does indeed regain his sight by the end of the book, but not before evil Amy, who had been dating him before the accident, rejects him because of his tragic blindness.

  7. Winnie Egbert says:

    I think the SVJH and SVSY series are the most out-of-sync with everything else simply b’c they were written so much later than the other books. Elizabeth has a total personality overhaul in SVSY which is apparently forgotten entirely by the time she gets to college and is back dating and being best friends with the same two people from before. Ditto Jessica – she learns “lessons” in senior year which she promptly forgets all about when she gets to college.

    I want to know where Cara Walker comes in. She’s always there in SVH but she never existed in the Twins series and she must have an interesting backstory – anyone who hasn’t spent their entire life in Sweet Valley must therefore have a dark hidden past!

  8. Magenta Galaxy says:

    There are tons of characters in SVHSY that aren’t in SVU – but, the writers in that series made all the new characters go off to different colleges or jobs, and not to SVU. So at least that’s something.

    Never read SVJH. Hated the format of the one book I tried to read.

  9. Jessa Fields says:

    Oh definitely do the “Ken Matthews goes blind” book–it’s a classic! Then you can wrap a bandana around your eyes and wander around your house like Terri did.

    I’m also curious what you and others think of Senior Year. I couldn’t stand them (but of course read every single one); I hated their “realism” and loathed that Dylan McKay knock-off that Elizabeth was dating.

    Then again, I was in my early twenties when these came out. (Yeah, I know, mortifying–my sister and I wouldn’t even pay for our SVH with a credit card at this point for fear that in some way it would get traced back to us.)

  10. ihatewheat says:

    Thanks for all your help, friends! That Fatal Night sounds incredible. Francine does a great job of really representing people with disabilities.

    I can’t see myself doing an Senior Yr books, because I never read them before and I love the sheer ludacracy (is that a word?) of the originals.

    Also, where did some of the characters go after junior high? Ellen something? That bitchy Unicorn leader?

  11. Merrie says:

    I picked up two of the Sweet Valley University books at a library book sale a few months back (10 cents each — what a deal) and I can’t even finish them. Maybe it’s because there are so many people I don’t know, but everyone is so different. Todd became a real ass, and not the shove people in the pool when they piss him off and cheat on Liz ass we got to know and loathe in the SVH books. Maybe Ann M. Martin did us all a favor when she ended the BSC series after eighth-grade graduation. True, it took eons, multiple spring breaks and dozens of Sea City vacations to get there, but you know what I mean.

  12. Kate says:

    I LOVED Pen Pals!!! I totally wanted to go to boarding school. I remember the rich snob named “Palmer”- i always thought that was hideous. And the nerd, Shanon with one “n”. Would LOVE to see some recaps on here!

  13. Club X says:

    Awww…everyone answered all your questions already. Damn…I was hoping to impress you with all of my SV knowledge! 😦
    Can’t wait for the next recap…That Fatal Night would be hysterical!

  14. Merrie says:

    I think we all missed the most important part of that post. ihatewheat will be gone for a few days! ACK! Why???

    Hurry back! πŸ™‚

  15. ihatewheat says:

    Aw thanks. I’ll actually be in Reno for a conference. I’ve considered taking some SVH books to read, but I’m a lil embarrassed about explaining that to colleagues.

  16. Count Tisiano says:

    Jessa Fields- gee, thanks for outting me as an aging SV Senior Yr reader. At least I was still technically in (grad) school when they ended. πŸ™‚

    Anyway, the SV Senior Year books mostly fit into the timeline (with the notable exception of Olivia taking one on the chin from the Wakefield’s copper colored refridgerator in the pre Senior Year Earthquake, yet reappearing in the Christmas reunion SVU book at a San Francisco art student)- even though the books alternate the SV universe a bit- Elizabeth dates an alcoholic, Jessica is briefly outed as the arrogant slut that she always has been, I do recall that at the end of them they talk briefly about Elizabeth and Todd hanging out again, and Lila and Jessica talking some more…so they did try to bring it back to “reality”.

    (Though I don’t believe that they ever explained what happened to Prince Albert. Did he live at Fowler Crest with the Wakefields?)

  17. Gretchen says:

    I read maybe 5 of the SVU books, including the first one, and they were worse than SVH. Todd pressures Liz to have sex with him and she feels guilty when she’s not ready – WTF? That is so not Todd. Plus, if Elizabeth was such a great student in high school, why did she go to the same small town university that Jessica went to? It didn’t make sense.

    OH and another thing – in the first one, Steven gets a roommate and never even speaks to the applicant before the move-in – everything is done through notes, and it all happens in like 3 days. So he’s of course STUNNED when the roommate turns out to be female.

    Actually, looking back, they weren’t necessarily more ridiculous than SVH, with the implausible plots and everything. But they did suck.

  18. ihatewheat says:

    I actually did read the first few SVU books- a friend of mine in high school and I used to read them in secret ( you know who you are, O) but I barely remember it. I don’t remember the Todd thing at all (and just NOW he’s pressuring her? after they lived together?) but I do remember Liz falling for the newspaper editor guy and Jessica getting married. And she finally has sex. I hate that everyone went to the same school. Very Saved by the Bell the College years.

  19. Jessa Fields says:

    You forgot the most nauseating thing about the SVUs–Elizabeth gains ten pounds and–horrors!–becomes a size eight. It’s a miracle she even fit in her dorm bed! Naturally she is shunned by all, including, apparently, the ghostwriters. πŸ˜›

  20. LaceyB says:

    I think Prince Albert ran away in the earthquake. I assume he never returned? Does he appear at all in the SVU books?

    A size EIGHT?? Ewwwwwwww!!! How did she cope?

  21. Count Tisiano says:

    Oh, I guess Prince Albert had the right idea then. Maybe people like Jean West and Aaron Dallas and, gosh, Enid ran away with him for the duration of senior year. (She was probably doing drugs again.)

    I loved Elizabeth getting” fat” in college- it made no sense at all based on the fact that a couple weeks of cookie-eating as an 18 yr old is nothing compared to 20+ yrs of being a 16yr who is always at the Dairi Burger, Guidos, Box Tree Cafe, etc. One would think that if her SVH habits didn’t make her an oh-my-gosh-size-8, then nothing would.

    But then again, this is Sweet Valley. I shouldn’t expect anything to make much sense.

    SVU was somewhat saved when Lila came back from Italy. Isabella Ricci was really Lila-lite and couldn’t keep up. THe books are always worse without Lila- that was the major flaw of SV Senior Year as well.

  22. nichole says:

    OMG – I loved Pen Pals. Simmie Randolph the third πŸ™‚ I never thought I’d hear that name again. Isn’t there a Winter Carnival or something in the first book?

  23. WickedWonder says:

    I really liked the Senior Year books, but then again, I had stopped reading the old series years before and could come back and look at the series as two totally different things. If you wanna see Jess get her comeuppance, definitely check this out- but be prepared to disappointed, as usual, in how fast everyone loves her again.

  24. CMD says:

    Count Tisiano: Great name!
    There is one great SVU book, a thriller, that’s a straight rip-off of Single White Female.
    Also, wasn’t Liz a size ten?

  25. Magenta Galaxy says:

    The first few books of SVHSY have Jessica getting tortured for being a slut. She makes out with another girl’s boyfriend and legitimately doesn’t know that the dude had a girlfriend, and then the girlfriend (who is semi-psycho-obsessed with her boyfriend) decides to just torture Jessica. Although she didn’t necessarily deserve it in this case, it’s kinda nice to see her get treated like crap for no real good reason, much like she often treated others like crap for no real good reason in early SVH (paging Annie Whitman, Robin Wilson, etc.)

    As for SVU, at least there was one continuity – at the end of SVH, Steven and Billie are dating, and they are still living together in SVU.

  26. kiwimusume says:

    LOL! I’ve been reading That Fatal Night tonight, and I swear to God the ghostie’s trying to say something here:

    “I think he’s made a lot of progress, getting used to being blind. Now he has to get used to being blind at Sweet Valley High. That’s got to be pretty hard.”

  27. Janelle says:

    To answer your questions about Ellen Riteman and Janet Howell (the bitchy unicorn leader), I think that Ellen moved away during the Unicorn Club books. Janet was in 8th grade when the twins were in 6ths so she would have graduated from SVH by the time the twins were juniors. There are tons of other Unicorn club members, however, who seem to completely disappear.

    I read all of the series, most of them were already out by the time I started reading them in the early 90s. I’ve been doing my own reread of the SVH books cause there are still a bunch of them that I’ve never read! Senior Year and Junior High were good if you considered them as separate from the original series

  28. Cat says:

    About the Amy question — the SVH books came out first. Then in the late 80s, the SVT books with nice Amy started coming out. Then not long after that, they decided to write her into the SVH books and “snobby Amy” was introduced.

  29. wanderingfrog says:

    SVJH and SVSY are not supposed to be in an alternate universe, but the inconsistencies often make them seem that way. I just read the first SVJH book (and was surprised that I actually liked it quite a bit), in which Elizabeth and Jessica start eighth grade, and Elizabeth says she’s not in the Unicorns because they’re snobs. It’s true that she didn’t want to be a Unicorn in sixth grade, but there’s a 23-book SVT spinoff series, The Unicorn Club, which takes place during seventh grade, and Elizabeth is a Unicorn in this series. Brain go splodey.

  30. Wakefield says:

    To this day, when I meet people they get excited about the fact that my last name is Wakefield.

    I loved the middle school series(es), so reading SVH was a challenge when all the characters were so different. And also I was in like the 4th grade, so I never really could figure out the high school stuff. I should read them all now!

    But you should definitely do the Sagas (2 Wakefield ones, the Fowlers, and the Patmans) because they were INCREDIBLE. I think that’s how I got into trashy romance novels. I wanted to write my own sagas, and this was before I knew fan fiction existed.

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