I seem to have a touch of the multiple sclerosis, or Super Edition: Special Christmas

Reeeeediculuuuuuusssss! But, this one reminded me of why I love SVH. As in, truly enjoy it for its own sake. The drama! The intrigue! The scheming!

First of all, I want you to know it took me a lot to do a “Christmas” book. I don’t celebrate it, detest the commercialization of it (I suggest you watch this movie) and am tiring of it being shoved down my throat every year. My current job is the first job I’ve had that has not forced me to take vacation days during the break. Anyway, this is not about me. On with the drahma.

It’s nearing winter vacation, and SVH classes are winding down. In fact, they cancel classes one day to have a Christmas party in the gym. Okay, maybe it is before schools realized the idea of inclusiveness (my elementary school classrooms always had Xmas trees) but canceling classes? They are also doing a secret Santa, and Jessica has her sights set on rubbing her loins on the new German exchange student, Hans. She is convinced that he has her as her SS. but actually he has Lila. Also, Lila and Jessica are competing for the title of Miss Christmastime, which a useless titles sponsored by the town. Probably the same town councilmember that proposes the Miss Teen Sweet Valley. Gross.

Oh, and the Xmas ball is being held at the Patmans. Is everyone invited? All 83 students?

The Wakefields set up their tree and Ned suggests blue and silver decorations. Maybe because he is secretly one of the chosen people? Do the twins even know they are a quarter Jewish? If they found out would the whole school be spreading rumors about it? Would Jessica be kicked off the squad?

Ok, onto the good stuff: the Wakefields find out that Suzanne Devlin is coming to visit again…her last visit was less than good for the frail egos of Sweet Valley. The Wakefield offspring are horrified and they pretend it is because Suzanne was so horrible last time. Really, Liz is mad because Suxanne made a fool of her, Jessica is pissed because someone will potentially out-sociopath her and take the attention away from her. Steven, I am not sure why he is mad. Maybe because Suzanne being around will cause him to spend more time at college, where I’d imagine his parents are paying through the roof for his housing which he is never at.

The Wakefield bunch scheme and scheme…Liz tries calling Suzy to convince her not to come. Jessica plans on…shortsheeting her bed. Steven just sits there and offers no helpful suggestions. Pretty much like always.

Meanwhile Todd is planning a visit home. He will be staying with Ken and the genetically-engineered Matthews family. Firstly, Liz doesn’t blonk an eye at this…considering SHE HAD AN AFFAIR WITH KEN RIGHT AFTER TODD MOVED. Oh, that’s right, they stuck that in after the fact. Liz is nervous about being alone with Todd.

Meanwhile, we get a lil bit from Todd’s perspective, including a flashback to when he was skiing in Killington, Vermont when he ran into Suzy. And one thing led to another and…they took a WALK TOGETHER! I know, totally scandalous. What a whore.

So we also get a brief POV from Alice when she picks up Suzy from the airport. I actually hate when the writers write from the adults’ perspectve. It’s insulting or something. Alice has decided to hide the fact that Suzanne has multiple sclerosis from the twins because Suzanne has asked her to. Of course, the parents in this worls are always at the mercy of the sixteen year olds that tell them what to do. Alice notices that Suzanne looks pale and weak, and that made her look “lovlier than the last time she saw her.” Note to teenage girls: get a serious illness.

Finally, Jessica cooks up a scheme with Aaron Dallas, whom Suzy screwed over last time. Jess makes Aaron invite Suz to a pre-party as his cousin’s house and tells her to meet him there. When, in fact, he will give her the address of a run-down warehouse or something. What? That is the worst they could come up with? Oh yea, this is coming from the twins who once in middle school decided to get back at someone by making them a faulty chair.

So the twins and Suzanne share some champagne before they head out [WAIT, THE TWINS ACTUALLY ARE DRINKING? And they do it like it is no biggie. I am actually kind of proud of them for acting like real teenagers.] Suzanne also takes her new meds and wonders briefly about the interactions. She calls her doctor in NYC to ask him but just leaves a message. Suz heads out in the Fiat and of course passes out while driving and the car flips over or something. She ends up in the hospital and the “look on Todd’s face” was all she needed to know about how he felt about Suzanne, and she is okay with that.

Also, Suzanne’s doctor from New York flies in to see Suzanne. Um, inappropriate much? He also comes to deliver the news that…oh my god, this is the worst plot twist…that she has mono, not MS. Can someone revoke his license immediately? “We’ve been racking our brains all day, and we finally figured out what happened. You see, you had an udetected virus and several months later began to experience a very rare complication from it.” I don’t have a medical degree, but isn’t there a very simple blood test to see if someone has mono? I only know because everytime my nose starts running I am convinced I have mono and demand that my doctor do the test.

So Todd and Suzanne have Liz’s blessing…yea right, like she’s give Todd up that easily.

Oh, and Winston is really Jessica’s secret santa. Yawn. Jessica switches Lila’s Miss Christmastime dress with an elf costume and hilarity ensues. Double yawn.

So many tidbits!

  • Dues for Pi Beta Alpha are seventeen dollars a semester, and Liz complains its too much. YOu know what Liz, then QUIT!
  • Olivia’s secret santa arranged for the swim team to come serenade her in the Dairi Burger wearing only speedos! Hotttt!
  • The Droids were performing at the Beach Disco, and they wrote a song for Todd’s homecoming for him and Liz called “I’ll Wait for You.” Why are the Wakefields in the center of the fucking universe?
  • Aaron Dallas: “Jessica, you should really go into politics. You’re really good at getting people on your side you know that?” Jessica: “What a wonderful way to put it.” Don’t encourage her!
  • When their parents tell the twins about Suzanne’s MS and how she could possibly end up in a wheelchair: “A wheelchair!” Elizabeth exclaimed. As hard as she tried , she couldn’t imagine pretty, vivacious, independent Suzanne trapped in a wheelchair. I know! It is such a tragedy when an attractive person has a disability!

My grade: A++++

p.s. I totally scored at a used book store and got one of the BSC Claifornia Diaries, a Friends Forever book, and other good stuff. Stay tuned.

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37 thoughts on “I seem to have a touch of the multiple sclerosis, or Super Edition: Special Christmas

  1. greer says:

    if someone gets ms that young it’s pretty much be a death sentence. and they do 939039397 neurological tests before diagnosis. good job on your research, sweet valley high writers. wtf.

  2. Rita says:

    Don’t forget that they sent Suzanne little “Secret Santa” gifts including an empty box. And Suzanne didn’t know what a Secret Santa is, because she’s sophisticated and from New York….

  3. Magenta Galaxy says:

    There’s just so very many things wrong with this book, that it is absolutely absurd, which makes me love it even more! Mono, mistaken for MS? Todd falling in love with Suzanne after taking a walk in the snow with her? And you’re totally right about the “plot” to send Suzanne to that abandoned house. It makes NO SENSE!!! LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!

    Merry Christmas!

  4. Anonymous says:

    who is allowing this doctor to still pretend to practice medicine?!

    i remember this this is the book where i FINALLY picked up on jessica’s overuse of the number “37”

  5. Anonymous says:

    hey, any chance for a boxcar children book?

    and i’m SO excited you have a california book and a friends forever book. i can’t wait til you recap those!

  6. Anonymous says:

    So my sister’s been dating a guy who’s last name is Wakefield for about 3 years. I’m very pleased with this, even more so now that I’ve found out his mother’s name is Elizabeth…

  7. Shoshana says:

    I remember reading this one, and getting all emotional because my mom has MS. Then I got excited for a second at the end of the book because I thought that maybe the doctors had misdiagnosed my mom, and she too had mono, and didn’t have to be condemned to life in a wheelchair. I showed my mom the passage in the book, and she had to break it to me that this was in no way medically possible. Yes, it was most certainly a special Christmas that year. (No big deal. I’m Jewish. All Christmases are pretty much the same for me.) Sweet Valley=broken dreams.

  8. Shannon River says:

    Ah yes, this one is a “classic” for me. You summed it all up so perfectly. I even remember the Blue and Silver scheme that Ned wanted to do for the tree. And how it starts off that way, but then they always say “Let’s just add some red. Ok. Let’s just add some green.”

    The strange things that stay with you. And thank you for the link to 1bruce1! I love LJ.

  9. patience says:

    “Alice notices that Suzanne looks pale and weak, and that made her look “lovlier than the last time she saw her.” Note to teenage girls: get a serious illness”

    Yes, bad health is so sexy.

  10. Redstar says:

    The thing that stuck w/me from this book – didn’t even remember that it was an Xmas special – was Suzanne looking so beautiful cuz she was sick. Luminous.

  11. Jade Wu's Toe Shoe says:

    What on earth is Jessica doing on the cover? (No offense, Jim.) It looks as if she is aiming a hand to her heart in surprise over Elizabeth’s utterly fabulous gift, but missed and landed on her shoulder (a subliminal message that Jessica doesn’t know where one’s heart even is? If so . . . nice one, Jim! Although I think I’m reaching here.)

    All I remember from this book is that on Christmas Eve, Suzanne wondered if she was overdressed, but “didn’t realize that she had never looked more beautiful in her life” or something along those lines. GAG ME! I’m sure my poor, insecure self was even further wounded as I mentally compared myself to Suzanne. If I am ever blessed with daughters, I vow to never let them so much as breathe in the direction of these books.

    Oooh, love the snowing blog!

  12. Cheryl Slade says:

    I do so love the Christmas specials; they’re always cheesy enough to be funny. I actually liked the fact that Suzanne used to have a bitch streak, and in my experience, people like that who get a serious illness become even more self involved and demanding, not less. Both Elizabeth and Jessica got beat with the clue bat here, how ’bout doing the same to the writers?

  13. Merrie says:

    The one thing I remember from this book is Todd telling Elizabeth that he’s going to “hug her so hard” when he sees her. Yeah, because that’s what 16-year-old boys think when they see their long-distance girlfriends.

  14. Suzanne Devlin says:

    My most vivid Christmas memory from an SVH book was in Enid’s Story, when she had a little crush on Jeffrey French and bought him a postcard of Sonja Henie (the Norwegian figure skater, ya know) and a pint of ice cream for Christmas. She got all dressed up in a festive red and green outfit and went to his house, and all he wanted to do was ask about Elizabeth. Heartbreak!

    That, and Ned Wakefield’s blue and silver Architectural Digest tree.

  15. Amber Tan says:

    “Dues for Pi Beta Alpha are seventeen dollars a semester, and Liz complains its too much. YOu know what Liz, then QUIT!”

    Amen, ihatewheat. But how damn refreshing that the PBA doesn’t cover the dues for Our Resident Ingalls. After all, Liz is a Wakefield. Seriously, the Droids are writing songs about her and the PBA can’t cough up $17 lousy bucks a month?!? F***ers.

    “Yes, bad health is so sexy.”

    The Victorians thought so… 😉

  16. Laura says:

    Hee! I see you wrote Suxanne by mistake…but left it in…Sux-anne – I like it. How many Christmases had the 16 year old Wakefield lasses celebrated at this stage? Ah, inconsistencies. Loving the snow BTW!

  17. southcitysadie says:

    And of course this miraculous medical announcement was made within the blue-green-to-match-the-twins’-eyes healing waters of Sweet Valley.

    My personal favorite moment from this book: Steven, Jessica, and Elizabeth talking about/around Suzanne’s NYC boyfriend, who assaulted Jessica on the Devlins’ living room floor. Steven is intrigued and asks “What exactly happened?” (because he is sexually clueless), and the twins change the subject pronto. I believe Liz “bit her lip in sympathy.” But I lost my copy of this book, so I can’t be sure. Sounds like a Liz thing to do, though.

  18. Kristin says:

    I wish this ghostwriter knew about consumption….that’s the it disease for fiction writers to give characters so they are somehow more ethereal and beautiful but also tragically sick. Consumption the fey maker.

    Also, the MS thing is so outrageous I can’t even really get angry about it. Really? Would any doctor just sort of be like “oh, no bigs it’s MS, here inject yourself with this once a week” I guess this was before WebMD made everyone a pseudo-doctor….

  19. Kristin says:

    Can someone explain what “short-sheeting” a bed actually means? I read many books as a kid that featured this prank, but I could never figure out what it was.

  20. BurtonFanatic says:

    Kristin- I was wondering the same thing…
    So I “goodsearched” it and this is what I found out:
    “Short sheeting” beds is a common prank played on people so they can’t stretch their legs when they climb in to bed. The following is a brief explanation as to how that is done.

    Method 1:

    Fold the hemmed end over itself and bring it up towards the head of the bed to the place where the top sheet normally is. Tuck the sides of the top sheet in. Put on blankets, bedspread or quilt.

    Method 2:

    Leave bottom (fitted) sheet on bed. Place the unhemmed end of he top sheet over the fitted sheet leaving an extra two feet at the top. Bring hemmed end down towards the foot of the bed, then fold it over itself and bring it up to the place where it normally is. Tuck top sheet in at the top and sides of the bed. Finish making the bed

    I know the BSC did this to Claudia in Claudia and the new girl because she kept missing meeting to hang out with Ashley.
    I am such a BSC club dork.

  21. janeprimrose says:

    Olivia’s secret santa arranged for the swim team to come serenade her in the Dairi Burger wearing only speedos! Hotttt!
    Mmmmmmm, goosepimply boys in swimming togs.

  22. Krysten Hager says:

    I didn’t realize disease could be sexy. I guess I’m looking at my gluten-free diet all wrong. It’s making me hotter. And I had mono & I was luminous…because I had fevers that kept me sweating like a pig. I’m surprised the pharmacist could keep his hands off me.

  23. penny ayala says:

    After rereading this for the 1st time since becoming a doctor – oh lordy, where to start? The weird-ass doctor who FLIES in from NY to see his patient; the even weirder-ass idea that mono can present like MS just a couple of months later… To be fair, the most commonly prescribed meds for MS, interferons, can cause some liver damage but there is absolutely no evidence that they can make half a drink “knock you right over the edge” as Suzie’s very inappropriate doctor put it. Methinks it’s another case of magic jungle-prom juice which apparently the old valley kids cant handle
    PS – does anyone else HATE Todd Wilkins in this book?

  24. Leila says:

    Oh, I’ve hated Todd every since he appeared in the SV series. His patheticness is almost as annoying as Bruces arrogance. They are making him like this dream boyfriend, so romantic and so perfect it makes me vomit. Hell I wouldnt mind a guy that is romantic, but his convo with Liz and lovey dovey talk makes me skip those pages.

    I know! When I read about the whole “lovlier than the last time she saw her”…what the?! How is weak and pale look sexy? Unless you’re suppose to look like a vampire….thats dreadful. Remember when Tricia was sick, and was about to die, she was portrayed as looking fragile and gorgeous?

    I liked the twins on the cover. I thought they looked purty…Id say Jess usually looks prettier…Li’z barette drives me bonkers.
    I didnt understand Jess’s plan…it makes no sense. Her plans r driving people towards suicide or some sort. Nalice should attend parenting programs before they even consider to have kids.

  25. Sally the purple unicorn says:

    About 5 years ago I went out and bought only blue and white/silver decorations for my Christmas tree. I now know why, I am so ashamed.
    This cover always bothered me because I thought Liz was dressed like Jess and vice versa.

  26. MT says:

    I hate the way the Sweet Valley books portray teen drinking as unusual and awful, but then in some books their parents let them have wine or whatever, and then in one of the early books (I think 12) Cara has a small party and brings out some beers, and nobody bats an eyelash!

  27. Trina says:

    Hmmm…I vaguely remember this book. I was dx with MS two years ago. There were no drugs for MS until the 90s. Four of the current disease modifying treatments were approved in the late 90s. A few have come after, but none before that I’m aware of. Perhaps they were referring to drugs used to ease the symptoms of MS? A scary, mysterious illness makes a better story, I guess. Pre-internet readers couldn’t check the facts as easily.

  28. Regina Morrow says:

    Miss Christmastime? Good Grief! How many of these stupid pageants are there? and am I wrong or didnt in the last teen pageant Jess have to give out cheese samples in the mall or something? you’d think she’d learn. Or maybe this happened before Miss Teen Sweet Valley? Idk these super editions totally screw up the Sweet Valley Time Continuum , if there is such a thing. Also every super edition they switch up whether Liz is dating Todd or Jeffery.

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