some thoughts

Hi all, I am taking a quick break to get a bit mushy and sincere- I know, I know – to say a big thanks to all my readers. Some of you who read this lil ol’ blog were nice enough to write about it on other blogs, and I have gotten a great number of new readers and really awesome email from all of you. Thanks especially to those who posted this in the Seattle Times and in Feministing.

This started as a little project for me when I was having bouts of insomnia and now I feel fantastic knowing that I have exposed a shared experience for lots of women out there and helping you all remember your awesome tween years. And by awesome I mean horrible.

Just to note I just started watching the first season of Heroes and I love how Ali Larter’s “evil” personality is named Jessica. She kind of looks and acts how I would imagine Jessica would.

Also, because she was copied in an email where I was mentioning this blog, my mother now reads this blog too!!! Omg!!! She told me that she feels really bad for buying me all these SVH books when I was younger and she had no idea that they were sending such bad messages…don’t feel bad mom. You can make it up to me by paying my therapy bill. Hardy har!

Finally, just a quick plug for someone who made some awesome icons over at 1bruce1. These are fantastic! Sign up for a wordpress account so you can use one.

Ok, back to the snark. I’m pretty stoked because I did a bit of an ebay spree and got some Secret Diary books. Holy shit! It’s out of control. Liz and Jess have basically cheated on each other with every boyfriend. It’s out of control.

22 thoughts on “some thoughts

  1. Amy Slutton says:

    No, thank YOU! This site rules, and was much needed πŸ™‚ In fact, I came across it because I googled Sweet Valley High in the hopes of finding a site that analyzed the series. The fact that I crack up at my desk all day reading it is a plus πŸ˜€

  2. Harpy says:

    Do you remember Electric High?

    “After the death of her father, teenaged rock singer Lexi Turner leaves her Forest Hills home to live with her aunt Barbara in SoHo, where she meets an interesting new boy and joins a rock band “Electric High.””

    Yet another YA series! I remember it was considered a bit racy because there was a scene describing the “interesting new boy”‘s hand being inside Lexi’s top when they made out. I also think it petered out after like 5 books.

  3. Redstar says:

    I am a new reader (via Feministing) and have already plugged you on my own blog and am laughing out loud in my apartment. This site is fantastic, I can’t say it enough. You also have me wondering – and I remember wondering this when I was younger – how much did these ghost writers get paid? As an aspiring writer and SVH fan, I was always perplexed by the fact that Francine didn’t write the books, she only “created” them, and then some other person’s name would be in smaller font on the inside pages. How’d Francine get such a sweet gig, I’d wonder. Then, as I got older, it took me awhile to realize she was not Francine Prose.

    I was a huge fan of Cynthia Voight books, Lois Lowry (I just re-read Anastasia Again), and Zylpha Keatley Snyder. But my fave fave fave kids book of all time is The Long Secret, the sequel to Harriet the Spy. The book is subversive genius.

    Keep it up!!

  4. Shannon River says:

    Oooh Redstar, I loved Cynthia Voight books as well! I think I might need to track them down again to keep.

    And thanks for this site Ms. Dairi Burger!! We appreciate you!

  5. jamie says:

    New reader, found you through Feministing. I have added this blog under my bookmarks.

    Keep it up. You make me want to go back and reread all of these over Christmas break!


  6. kiwimusume says:

    Dude, you deserve all of it. This blog fucking ROCKS (apart from the part where it made me spend US$600 to have a hundred and thirty seven SVH books shipped to me from Thriftbooks, but what the hell? It’s fun reading them again…) Seriously, there is so, so much in those books that I never even NOTICED when I read them, and it’s fun to read your blog (or reread the books themselves as a result of your blog) and go “Oh my GOD! How come I never noticed that Mr Collins was two hundred and thirty seven different kinds of pervert?!” or “How come I never noticed how disturbing the “moral” of this story is?!” And your wording cracks my shit up. That bit about Bruce “shoving it” up Amy Slutton made me die.

    So yeah, keep up the fucking awesome work, and THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for adding Kidnapped By The Cult to your list! That was one of my first ever SVH books, and I can’t wait to see what ludicrosity 13-year-old!me didn’t pick up on.

  7. danae1 says:

    Hi! Here via the Seattle PI. Again, lurve this site and I forgot about the Secret Diary ones! I cannot wait until you post about them on here. Oh, and I’ve already pimped you out unmercifully on my own blog

  8. Jessa Fields says:

    Congrats on your success. I love this blog. I discovered it when I was eight months pregnant and *miserable*; I was too huge and in pain to go anywhere so I’d spend all day googling inane things like “Enid Rollins” to see what happened. What happened is I found this site and I’ve been checking back ever since, my baby daughter — who, sadly enough, was born into a Gossip Girl world so twisted it makes Jessica Wakefield look like Betty Friedan — on my lap.

  9. Merrie says:

    When I was in fifth grade, there was a book out that made the rounds of all the girls in my class — The Trouble With Soap. It was sooo risque because the narrator is on a double date at the moves and she sees the boyfriend of her friend trying to unhook her bra as they make out! OMG!

    I found the book at a used book store years ago. I bought it. When I brought it hime, it flipped open to that page. Hee, hee.

    Thanks Mr. Dairi Burger for this blog. You are a million kinds of awesome!

  10. Sue says:

    I love the icons. It makes you realize just how much they used the “girl lays her hand on the boy’s chest” and “Liz looks on with faux sympathy as another girl looks away, trying to avoid her” looks.

    I’m loving the blog. If you’re looking for other suggestions of other books to blog (which you’re probably not, since SVH has a gazillion on its own without the spinoffs, even), may I suggest the “dance” books? It was four books by Caroline B. Cooney (I think?) about five girls over the course of a year – maybe two years – and each one takes place around a dance. I’m pretty sure the first one is “Saturday Night,” then “New Year’s Eve,” then “Summer Nights” then “Last Dance” although that order may be wrong. I remember that Molly was the bitch, Kit was the girl who organized everything at the dance, Beth Rose was the wimp, Emily was the nice girl with the steady boyfriend, and Anne was the perfect prom queen who gets pregnant. Fun stuff. (Anyone else remember these?)

  11. katee says:

    I love love love your site.

    I snuck my SVH books so that my mom wouldn’t find out. And now I get the benefit of re-reading them with added snark.

    Everything is better with snark.

    I have a feeling when I start working on my MLS, I’m going to be wasting A LOT of time here.


  12. Margaret says:

    Your site is awesome, too funny all the time! plus it got me off my ass and doing some writing of my own, so that’s a good thing too, cause I’m having a good time with it so far.

    Kate: I have the feeling that half of the people on here are either getting their MLS or working librarians. I know I am, so you’re definitely not alone!

  13. Amber Tan says:

    Yet another librarian (and survivor of the SVH and SI series) chiming in to say this blog ROCKS. It’s so snark-O-licious that I can’t stop reading and laughing. Major props to you, ihatewheat, for your insightful and amusing analyses.

    For those looking seeking dirt-cheap copies (i.e. $0.01 and up), try AcqWeb at I personally prefer but is satisfactory.

    Does anyone else see the ironic justice in the fact that so many online vendors are offering SVH and SI titles for mere pennies? πŸ˜‰

    And how about “The Wakefield Legacy”? To jog your collective memories, here’s the book description on the back cover (c/o

    “Follow the compelling stories of the women and men who came before Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield:

    Frontiersman Theodore Wakefield thought he’d lost his heart forever; will Dancing Wind make him love again?

    Turn-of-the-century beauty Sarah Wakefield marries against her father’s wishes — only to become the mother of a fatherless child.

    Betrayed by his true love, Ted Wakefield must forget his past to find happiness with brilliant journalist Julia Marks.

    During World War II Robert Wakefield receives vital radio messages from P.O.W. Hannah Weiss and vows to find her when the war ends.

    Ned Wakefield struggles against injustice in the idealistic sixties, then fights for the heart of beautiful Alice Robertson.”

    Truly this book is chock-full of snark-worthy material. Check out the book cover and read the excerpt at

    Peace yo.

  14. Count Tisiano says:

    The Wakefields/Legacy/Patmans/Fowlers of Sweet Valley are the best! I love how every ancestor of Sweet Valley managed to make sure that they were at every possible important historical event (rattled during the 1906 Earthquake, killed in the Hindenberg disaster, fighting as a part of the French Resistance…), and that they all have the same lame names as their progeny (e.g. Jessamyn and Elisabeth, lame Tom Wilkens, bad-ass Bruce Farber).

    Also love that during each generation’s story, the two sides of the family (e.g. the Wakefields and the Robertson ancestors) come very close to getting together, only to be torn apart by those superfluous historic tragedies.

    The continuity of suffering the death of a boyfriend and conveniently getting over it in the next chapter with a new guy is refreshing as well. (I guess it’s an inherited trait.)

  15. Amber Tan says:

    Sounds like a great plan of action, ihatewheat. We eagerly await your commentary and hope the re-read doesn’t interfere with your digestion. πŸ™‚

    And Count Tisiano — WORDY WORD WORD re: the numerous Amazing Historical Coincidences and the plethora of dumbass family names. I especially love that “Wuthering Heights” is mentioned a few pages into The Wakefield Legacy as a device for establishing location. Apparently, Emily Bronte was a neighbor of the ancestral Wakefields. Wow — who knew? My HS lit teacher sure as hell never mentioned that little “fact” during class.

    Then again, my school didn’t have a dance, big game, pool party, and/ or fundraiser every week. I clearly attended an inferior institution of learning, no doubt due to my lack of sun-streaked blonde hair. πŸ˜‰

    ETA: Since Bronte died in 1849, I’m a little disappointed that the ghost writers didn’t attempt a storyline that had her dating Theodore and James’s Dad. Eh, probably wouldn’t have worked. Being a smart brunette and all, Emily would have been the English moors equivalent of Winston Egbert.

  16. Wasif says:

    I know I must have issues, but is this the same Erica that Will chteead on Melissa with during Senior Year?I did read somewhere that Tia was the only new sr.yr. character to appear in the orginal series.[]megan s. Reply:December 31st, 2009 at 12:23 amwhen did will cheat with an Erica?[] Reply:December 31st, 2009 at 1:02 amI’ve only read the first Senior Year book, so someone else is going to have to field this one.[]

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