Careers in Sweet Valley

Someone here or on another site Amber Tan brought up the ridiculous careers that people have in Sweet Valley, considering it’s a small town. Maybe they commute to LA? Anyway, considering it’s a small town, there is a large skew of obscure careers. What I can think of is:

-model (I think 25% of the women here modeled in a former life)
-interior designer (Alice is a successful one, so we are told)
-tv news anchor (Dyan Sutton)
-tv show host (the guy they meet in the hospital while candystriping)
-computer inventor (or whatever George Fowler is)
-socialite (Marie Patman)
-town drunk (Mr. Martin)
-model scout for Ingenue magazine
-teachers (duh)
-construction worker (Jack)
-domestics (Lila and Bruce’s “servants”)
-rock star

What else?

55 thoughts on “Careers in Sweet Valley

  1. perfectsize12 says:

    -school dietician (Lois Waller’s mom)
    -cult leader (Adam Marvel of the Good Friends)
    -soap star (Jessica and Elizabeth)
    -janitor (Roger Barrett – pre Patman days)

  2. irinaauthor says:

    Therapist – Nathan whom Lila falsely accused of attempted rape at the Jungle Prom

    Canning Factory Heir – Hank Patman

    Seducer of Canning Factory Employees – Roger Barrett Patman’s dad

    Professional Dirt Bike Racer – Jessica’s dead boyfriend James who had no last name

    Teenager With Mysteriously Important Responsibilities at a Global Microchip Firm – Nicholas Morrow

    Also, numerous investigative reporters, police detectives, and con men.

  3. Amber Tan says:

    “Seducer of Canning Factory Employees – Roger Barrett Patman’s dad”

    BWAH, irinaauthor! 🙂

    “Also, numerous investigative reporters, police detectives, and con men.”

    Which always struck me as odd — for such a “perfect place” there seems to be a lot crime.

  4. Jessa Fields says:

    Laundromat owners–a.k.a, Jade Wu’s grandparents. (Not at all playing to a racial stereotype there, ghostwriters…)

    And drug dealer, of course.

  5. Amy Slutton says:

    – I guess to name the obvious there are cops, mall security and retail salespeople

    – reporters at the Sweet Valley News

    – Dairi Burger (and other restaurant) employees

    – the people that run the Beach Disco

  6. greer says:

    on categories, it looks like it says “thin is in travel’ is one phrase. is this special cruise ships for size-6s like elizabeth and jessica, or is it where they send all of the sweet valley residents who are not perfect size sixes?

  7. Amy Slutton says:

    “Which always struck me as odd — for such a “perfect place” there seems to be a lot crime.”

    Amber Tan, tell me about it. During the course of the original four super thrillers, which all apparently take place during the same summer, there is one murder/framing, a murderer running for mayor (and attempting murder again later on), an escaped bomb-loving patient from the mental facility going on a rampage, and a family on a witness protection plan trying to hide in vain from a powerful mob boss and almost wind up getting killed along with Elizabeth.

  8. Jade Wu's Toe Shoe says:

    Don’t forget dance teacher (i.e. the instructor who told Jessica that he’d been so hard on her because she was too utterly brilliant to be believed, or whatever.) Did this praise come before or after she crashed and burned (getting her white leotard all dirty!) on stage at the pageant?

  9. Amber Tan says:

    Gah, I forgot all about the murderous wannabe mayor, Amy Slutton. Could the lowering of the character bar in SV elections have created the increase in political scandals that we see today? As Sweet Valley goes, so goes the United States…oh wait. That’s Ohio. 😉

    “Did this praise come before or after she crashed and burned (getting her white leotard all dirty!) on stage at the pageant?”

    Oooh, a trivia question c/o la Jade Wu’s Toe Shoe! “I’ll take ‘after she crashed and burned’ for $200, Alex.”

    And many thanks for the credit, ihatewheat. Please keep up the hilarious commentary! 🙂

  10. Magenta Galaxy says:

    I think there’s mention at least once of Mrs. Wilkins being a caterer?

    And it’s mentioned in SVHSY that Maria Slater’s mom is a baker/caterer. However, in SVH they talk about her being a record industry executive of some sort. Just a tiny little career switch, there.

    Ken Matthews’s dad is a sports reporter in SVHSY, too. Of course, Ken’s parents were married at the end of SVH (they were together when Olivia was killed in the earthquake), but somehow in SVHSY his parents are divorced and his mom lives in Florida, so who knows how long his dad’s career was as a sportswriter?

    Isn’t Cheryl Thomas’s dad a fashion photographer?

    Devon Whitelaw’s guardian, Nan Something, runs a preschool.

    Six Hanson’s dad teaches at a community college and her mom runs a sporting goods store in SVHSY.

    Trent from SVHSY’s mother is a doctor.

    And also in SVHSY, Jade Wu’s mom works at a bar and a bank.

    I really, really hate that I remember all of this…although in my defense, I only recently read the SVHSY series.

  11. Abby says:

    speaking of commuting, does the setting ever get more specific than Southern CA? I’m assuming they don’t live terribly far from LA, but that could be wrong. I guess they could be down by San Diego, or even further south.

    Does anyone know?

  12. Sarah says:

    Abbie Richardson’s mother is a psychologist; Amy Sutton’s father is a photographer; Maria Santinelli Michael Harris have fathers who are business partners; Julie and Joanne Porter’s father is a violinist with the LA symphony and Mrs. Porter is an opera singer before she dies in a car accident.

    And even though they are not from Sweet Valley, we can’t forget those brilliant Swiss researchers who cured Regina’s deafness (I keep imagining the St. Ives lotion laboratory).

    Abby, in The Wedding when Josh is trying to find murderous evil twin Margo (who is on her way to “replace” Elizabeth), he trails her from LA to San Diego to Sweet Valley for whatever that’s worth.

  13. Laura says:

    Sweet Valley is a bit like Springfield in that respect…it’s small enough to, say, put a dome over but large enough to have its own movie stars and, er, Krusty. And no one ever leaves…

  14. Bob Russo says:

    Abby, I think they are pretty near San Diego. In the book Rosa’s Lie, Rosa’s grandma has a flier for a fruit market that she wants someone to drive her to and the place is called something like San Diego Fruit Market.

  15. Amber Tan says:

    “Sweet Valley is a bit like Springfield in that respect…”

    Apt comparison, Laura! 🙂 I wonder if SV smells funny too? “You’ll get used to it in about six months, dear.” [avid Simpson fan]

    “…in my defense, I only recently read the SVHSY series.”

    It’s OK — you’re among friends here, Magenta Galaxy. We’ve all got the same monkey on our back. 😉

  16. Magenta Galaxy says:

    ^ Amber, that’s why I love this site – since we’re all in the same boat! It’s just amazing that I can’t remember things like all of the chemistry I learned in high school, yet if you said to me, ‘What was Dyan Sutton’s occupation?’ I’d immediately scream out ‘SPORTSCASTER!’

    As for SV’s proximity to LA, that’s always seemed kinda dicey – in the miniseries where they work at Flair magazine they make it seem far, and in SVHSY they mention driving a few hours to a club in LA, yet in the miniseries with Jeremy and Sue and all that jazz, they say that LA is about a half hour away, as Jeremy and Sue go there to work at Project Nature. Of course, Sweet Valley University is apparently somehow 2 hours from Sweet Valley itself. And apparently also completely accessible by plane, seeing as how Lila and Bruce flew back and forth. Funny, I don’t remember hearing about Fowler Crest having a landing strip…and to fly somewhere that takes 2 hours to drive would be about a 3 minute flight. Makes no sense!

    But, come to think of it, if SVU is in fact in Sweet Valley, Mike McAllery was a mechanic!

  17. Enid Rollins says:

    Amber Tan–did you hear the Moe quote, “That is the stupidest thing I ever heard, and I read the entire ‘Sweet Valley High'”? LMAO x 10.

    Don’t forget Roger Patman, who was formerly–EWW–a janitor who kept things hygenic and clean!

    Mr. Collins–inappropriately close student advisor :p

  18. Amber Tan says:

    “did you hear the Moe quote, “That is the stupidest thing I ever heard, and I read the entire ‘Sweet Valley High’”?”

    OMG yes, Enid! IIRC that episode was re-played a few weeks ago (thanks to syndicated TV). I d*mn near snorted shiraz through my nose. KLASSY. Needless to say neither the Patmans nor the Fowlers will be inviting me to the next soire at the Club. 😉

    ETA: According to the Hidden Bookcase, the SVH quote was uttered in Episode 3, Season 13. Reference:

    BTW, maybe it was mentioned here before but the Hidden Bookcase also has links to all the book covers for both the SV and BSC series on its site.

    SV covers –

    BSC covers —

    My, but it’s turning out to be a GOOD DAY. 🙂

  19. Dwanollah says:

    “yet in the miniseries with Jeremy and Sue and all that jazz, they say that LA is about a half hour away”

    Even Los Angeles isn’t a half-hour’s drive away from Los Angeles! It’ll take me an hour to get from my house (West Hollywood) to Century City or Downtown if traffic is bad!

    I used to spend useless time wondering about SV’s locale when I was a teen reader. Back then, I decided that Sweet Valley was the approximation of San Clemente or Capistrano or something else very upscale Orange County-ish. Most of the books then made it sound like it was between LA and SD, and actually, it’s possible that there WOULD be some famous/rich people in a place like that… people who didn’t want to deal with the hassle of living here in Los Angeles. But over the years, the Consistency Fairies abandoned us, and sometimes it sounds like SV is north of Los Angeles, and details kept getting more and more contradictory and-

    Ah, I guess what’s important is that Sweet Valley is located in our hearts.

  20. Galleta says:

    Hey, I thought of other occupations:
    Spa owner: Lynn’s mom, Jade (can’t remember their last name, but they are from #28)

    Waitress/Seamstress: Susan Harris’s guardian (who was really her mom, from #37)

    Orderly: Carl the krazy kidnapper

    Aviation school operator(s), teacher, etc.

    Diving coach (Robin’s)

  21. MaggieCat says:

    “And apparently also completely accessible by plane, seeing as how Lila and Bruce flew back and forth. Funny, I don’t remember hearing about Fowler Crest having a landing strip…and to fly somewhere that takes 2 hours to drive would be about a 3 minute flight. Makes no sense!”
    Maybe all Sweet Valley mansions come equipped with a personal helipad on the grounds?

  22. Winnie Egbert says:

    I always pictured SV as an hour or so north of LA, like somewhere between Santa Barbara and San Luis Opispo, partly b’c there seems to be a proximity to San Francisco for all the travelling the Wakefield parents etc. do there, and to Silicon Valley (Mr Fowler). They have local media stations up that way, which allows for small-time newscaster and radio personality occupations. There are plenty of beaches and wealthy bedroom communities, and there are really tops local state universities and small local airports that the denizens of SV would use (tho’ the Missions sadly never got a reference in Sweet Valley, which is VERY odd). The only other thing that’s missing is the random lake (where Ken Matthews lives, in which Bruce Patman undid Jessica’s top).

    “Even Los Angeles isn’t a half-hour’s drive away from Los Angeles!”
    Oh, SNAP!!!

    Amber Tan – nice Tales of the Dead Men reference! I like the idea of the twins on my back, snatching away any other book I tried to read but SVH.

  23. Amber Tan says:

    “the Missions sadly never got a reference in Sweet Valley, which is VERY odd”

    True, Winnie — The lily-white SV denizens would probably consider the Missions to be too “ethnic” or some other BS. O the horror! 😉

    “I like the idea of the twins on my back, snatching away any other book I tried to read but SVH.”

    Hee! Those self-centered bitches totally would too…after all they’re Wakefields. “Pay attention to US…to US!!!”

    BTW, I’m almost finished with “Dragonfly in Amber” and am lovin’ it — many thanks for the recommendation. I plan to read “Voyager” next…

  24. Abby says:

    I realize consistency was never huge priority for the SV team, but for what’s worth, in a SVT book the twins go to the San Diego Zoo for a field trip. They’re only gone for a regular school day, so I can’t imagine the kids would be willing to sit on a bus 2+ hours each way just to go to a zoo.

    Has anyone ever been able to figure out how SVU is in Sweet Valley but is still 2 hours away from the high school and the twins’ house in SV?

  25. Winnie Egbert says:

    Heh. Maybe someone from Sweet Valley moved all of 100 miles away and missed the place so much that they built a university and named it in Sweet Valley’s honor. Because who would ever want to live anywhere else?

  26. Magenta Galaxy says:

    ^Abby – that’s exactly my point!! Plus a few times at SVU, they mention being on the way to Sweet Valley when they are talking about going home. That’s like saying I’m on my way to exactly where I already am! Unless Winnie Egbert^ is right. Even if it is Sweet Valley County (which I think is mentioned once?) I still don’t think it makes sense. Drives me NUTS!

    But perhaps we can add college professor to the list, if SVU really is in Sweet Valley.

    Oh, and there’s the occupation of boarding house owner, a la Mrs. Palmer from the Evil Twin books. Fortunately for her, Margo didn’t kill her, she just wrecked her room.

    And of course, lifeguard, from the SVU books where they are at Sweet Valley Shores.

  27. Eli says:

    God that thing about them talking about going “away” to college when they went to a university with the same name as their town used to drive me CRAZY. It’s like, either it is across town from the split level w/spanish tiled kitchen, or the provost of the university visited Sweet Valley one time, and decided it was so idyllic and perfect and full of size six blondes that he would rename the university after the awesome town, even though it is not in said awesome town. Then it would become a self fulfilling prophecy, where the uni would grow to be as perfect as its namesake town.

  28. olivia says:

    I’ve never understood the whole SVU being so far away from Sweet Valley thing myself. I used to spend way too much time trying to figure out the logic behind it. Particularly for a girl who grew up in Pennslyvania, where every town is small and incorporated and counties are also relatively small, I could never wrap my mind around the fact that 2 hours away was still basically the same town (but yet not?). 2 hours away from me is 3 counties away and most people would have never heard of my town. Even figuring into it what I knew about the West Coast (bigger counties more annexation onto cities, etc.) I still couldn’t get it. They never even give the town that SVU is located in a name. They just refer to places, so it is insinuated that a town must exist, but it remains nameless.

    On a related note, I could also never figure out why Elizabeth would want to go to a college that would let her sister in (low standards, much?). She was portrayed as so academic and intellectual, wouldn’t she want something on the order of Sarah Lawrence? She seems like the type that detest big public-type (is it public or private? another thing I never understood) universities. At the very least, you would think Liz would participate in the Honors College-type program that most such schools have. Or, if SVU is supposed to be such an excellent institution of higher learning, how the heck did Jess get in? Also, why does it seem like every other SV high school friend of theirs also attend? Sure, quite a few of my friends from high school ended up going to the state university together, but there was also a significant portion of the class that went elsewhere (other public schools, private colleges, out-of-state colleges). If Todd was such a basketball star, why did he end up at SVU and not UCLA? Although apparently SVU has a good team? How can this university be so awesome in every facet?

    Seriously, these things grate me. (Yet I will always love the books.)

  29. ihatewheat says:

    Jessica actually got a perfect score on her SATs. No joke. They all thought Liz took it for her and made them take it over again. It was in the college weekend miniseries, the same one where Liz visits the school and everyone is so impressed with her they like offer her admission on the spot. It was ridiculous.

  30. Amber Tan says:

    “wouldn’t she want something on the order of Sarah Lawrence?”

    HAHAHAHA — Liz doesn’t wear enough black to attend SLC. [SLC alum] She’s more of a Bryn Mawr or Vassar type. 😉

    “How can this university be so awesome in every facet?”

    Because it’s a reflection of the most wonderful place on Earth of course! 😉

    “Jessica actually got a perfect score on her SATs. No joke.”

    And presumably Liz also received a perfect score too,especially since the admission board were all creamy panties over her, right? Mmm, okay…

  31. Abby says:

    Liz actually barely broke 1000.

    When the girls retook the tests, Jessica scored low and Liz got pretty close to perfect. I think they attributed it to stress– Liz was so nervous taking her test the first time, and Jessica scored low the second time because she was so nervous and over studied.

    They weren’t accused of cheating– someone said they saw Jessica switch the names on the tests (untrue). As if you could even do that. But it seemed to be true seeing as how each girls retake matched the other one’s first test.

    Another thing I found annoying– when Liz is opening her first test results, she thinks to herself, Oh, I hope I got a perfect score…as if that was a likely scenario and anything less (like a 1550) wouldn’t be impressive.

  32. Amber Tan says:

    “Liz actually barely broke 1000.”

    Dude! Seriously? I mean, don’t you receive, like, 150 points for just correctly filling out the personal information box with your name, etc.?

    “anything less (like a 1550) wouldn’t be impressive.”

    Yabbut…a mere 1550? *sniff* Why, that’s barely worth mentioning on the application, Abby.

  33. Eli says:

    Haha. I didn’t read the senior year books…I went straight from regular SVH to SVU…so I missed that gem of a plotline. Which totally sounds like the ghostwriter ripped off of Saved By the Bell, when Zach scores almost perfectly and Jessie gets a much lower score. Heh.

    At least on that show they didn’t go “away” to a place called Bayside College. Although the show did randomly jump from Indiana to California back in the jr high/high school transition.

  34. Abby says:

    Hey Amber, at least Liz scored close to 1000. Donna Martin only got a score in the 600s.

    And I must defend the SBTB writers…the kids didn’t go to “Bayside College”, they went to Cal U.

    And two of the main characters (3 if you count Kelly) went to different schools (jessi was at Columbia, Lisa was at FIT, and Kelly transferred to Cal U from a community college)– unlike SVU, where every main character went to the same school– and only made one new friend each.

    I would never call SBTB realistic, but sadly, it’s still closer to it than anything Francine’s team coughed up.

  35. calico drive says:

    indeed it was in #117 Jessica the Genius Liz studys like crazy but Jess stays out late the night before the SATs. then Jessica gets a higher score on her SATs than Liz, causing Liz to freak..

  36. calico drive says:

    someones dad was a photgrapher – possibly it was Cheryl (of #93 and #94), stepsister of Annie Whitman (who Jess was SO nice to in #10 wrong kind of girl)

  37. LucyLou says:

    I don’t take SATs in New Zealand- what’s the deal with the soring? What’s a pass, and what’s the highest grade you can get? I’m guessing ‘barely scraping 1000’ isn’t too good?

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

    from Jessica the Genius:

    “As Jessica flipped one last time through the racks of chic clothing, she noticed with satisfaction the number of patrons and clerks who turned their heads to stare at her.
    ‘I think they’re looking at us,’ Jessica whispered, nudging Lila.
    “‘They should be,’ Lila said.
    Jessica liked the way people looked at her. It was true that the combination of Jessica and Lila, either in jeans and T-shirts or dressed to kill on a Saturday night, set Sweet Valley on fire.” (Kate William 32).

    aughhhhh! fire!!!!

    1st SAT scores

    Jessica: 760 in verbal, 750 in math
    Elizabeth: 490 in verbal, 480 in math

    2nd SAT scores

    Jessica: 470 in verbal, 440 in math
    Elizabeth: 750 in verbal, 720 in math.

    but thanks to Elizabeth’s Clarence Darrowing, Jessica got to keep her old scores.

    a lot of hammered gold earring action in this one, as well. along with a bit where Charlie Cashman [food fighter/miscreant from SVTwins] loops his fingers or thumbs through loops in his leather jacket! eeee

  39. Eli says:

    *And I must defend the SBTB writers…the kids didn’t go to “Bayside College”, they went to Cal U.*

    That’s what I was saying…at least they were inventive enough to not name the college that was “away” from the town after the town. Heh.

    *indeed it was in #117 Jessica the Genius*

    Ah…you know, I thought I had read all of the SVH books up to Sr Year, but I guess I didn’t. I think I stopped after the cheerleader miniseries. After that bit of perfection, I guess I knew the rest of the books would not live up.

  40. Jessa Fields says:

    Amber Tan–When were you at SLC? I have a close friend who went there who was also very into SVH (although she’d die if anyone knew that). Now we know what really lurks behind these black-clad, ultra-intellectual facades! Although I have to admit, I first heard about that college because Robin Wilson’s snooty grandma went there. So perhaps there is some sort of intrinsic connection after all.

    And yeah, Liz Wakefield is sooo not an SLC girl. She would have become exhausted trying to “fix” all the lesbians.

  41. Amber Tan says:

    “Donna Martin only got a score in the 600s.”

    Day-um, now that’s low. Um, BTW, how can y’all remember the SAT scores of all these fictional characters? I don’t even recall what I got on my SATs IRL! 🙂

    Jessa Fields, I attended SLC from 1990-1993. My favorite movie comment re: SLC is from the Hotel New Hampshire when Natassia Kinski’s character says, “Sarah Lawrence, what an elitist crock of shit that was.”

    “Liz Wakefield … would have become exhausted trying to “fix” all the lesbians.”

    BWAH! I can soooo picture Liz Ingalls freaking out during one of the group kiss-ins prominently featured in the dining room at Bates.

    Ah, Coming Out Week, truly the most wonderful time of the year… 😉

  42. Magenta Galaxy says:

    LucyLou – at the time the book was written, the SATs were out of 1600 points – 800 math, 800 verbal. Barely scraping 1000 isn’t horrendous, but it’s not great, and a 1600 is pretty tough to get. Scoring is now out of 2400 (an additional 800 for a writing section), but when this was written, it was the old scoring system.

  43. Emma says:

    Hi everyone – I apologise if this topic has been covered, but I was wondering what people think of the new US proposed covers for the republishing of SVH #1 and #2? (On April 8th 2008)

    I must say I like them so much more than the new UK covers…but am not really liking another set of twins being added to the covers!

    FYI – I’m the owner of The Hidden Bookcase, ( just wanted to say thanks for your kind comments about my site!

    I have recently started a new YA fiction and TV site, called Character HQ, which is a collection of profiles for your favourite fictional characters.

  44. "Kitten" Whitman says:

    Don’t forget the bartenders at Kelly’s and
    Seth, the hot twenty-five year old reporter/novelist from the Super Edition! :p

  45. kishmish says:

    Well, there’s Jackson Croft, the famous director and father of Susan Stewart I think..and Coco, Brooke Dennis’ mom who is a famous singer…I think Margo got some sort of data entry type job didn’t she? Todd’s dad does something business-y that got him transferred to Vermont for awhile. I’m curious about what Winston’s parents do. When Jessica got that part in a soap opera, she didn’t go out of Sweet Valley to shoot did she? That would mean a bunch of soap stars live and work in Sweet Valley lol. Sam Woodruff was also a dirt biker, there must have been quite a few for them to compete so much. haha irinaauthor “Seducer of Canning Factory Employees – Roger Barrett Patman’s dad”. Maria Slater was an actress. Norah Mercandy’s grandfather is a retired magician. There were welfare workers too in that shelter where Liz volunteered in A Christmas Without Elizabeth I think it’s called. Everyone who works for Amy’s helpline, whatsitcalled. Project Youth? There must be some salons and spas with employees around for Lila to frequent.

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