The Bloods and the Crips have nothing on SVH and Palisades; or In Love With the Enemy, #120

As I was reading every word of this, I felt like this book was written to be ridiculed. Like the ghostwriters were giving me a big wink with every inane pararaph. Yes, I know this was written in 1998, but let’s just pretend that they came into the future and knew I would one day be embarking on this project. Also, this convinced me that the ghostwriters were about 67 years old, from another country, or raised in a cave by wolves because their depictions of teenagers and high school is so fucking off-base.

Oh my god. Head spinning. So much to cover. So, the book opens at the big Palisades v. SVH football game. (Isn’t every one of their games the big game?) and Jessica is leading the cheerleaders in a super-amazing, awesome routine. Ready for this? It’s a rap routine and Amy puts on a backwards baseball cap and they point their fingers at the audience like “rappers”. WTF???? So bad I cringed when I read that. I think Heather stole this routine from the East Compton Clovers.

Well, Greg McMullen, a Palisades player, knocks Ken over and he gets all huffy about it. Isn’t that what football is? Get over yourself, pretty boy. After the game Greg and his neanderthalls rough Ken up in the parking lot.

Meanwhile, Jessica and her witches are at the beach during a surf competition, and the winner of the contest gets a trip to Hawaii and a tv interview. So Jessica decides she has to win the trip and be on tv, so SHE DECIDES SHE WILL WIN THE SURF CONTEST. Lucky we have Lila who reminds Jessica that she is a stupid egomaniac. Rosie Shaw, the top female surger totally overhears this and laughs at Jess. I like this Rosie. Can we get a spin-off series please?

So Jess gets up at five every day to try surfing. Luckily, a hunk from the beach is there to help her and of course falls for her instantly. His name is Christian Gorman. He could be Jewish, no? Except for the first name. Of course.

h, backtrack a little. At the aformentioned game, Liz and Enid meet Marla and Caitlin, who are the editors for the Palisades newspaper. They decide they need to out-nerd each other and collaborate on an event that will foster teamwork between the schools. So they wrack their brains and come up with….I’ll let you guess what the event is…haven’t figured it out yet?…. a DANCE. Because they NEVER have the idea to do that. And, it must be a Friday coming up. Also, don’t they need permission from the school? Of course not, when Chrome Dome bends over and takes it in the ass whenever a Wakefield wants something. I’ll bet Mr. Collins will be there.

Meanwhile,the two schools start to prank each other, which includes stringing toilet paper all over Ken’s lawn, spray-painting the foo0tball field, and other hardcore gangsta stuff. It reminded me of the East-West Coast rap wars.

Bruce, Ronnie Edwards, Ken, Todd and others go really hardcore and show up in school wearing jean jackets and sunglasses. WATCH OUT! They may start…breaking out in song! To save money, I am surprised Bruce didn’t pull out his Club X leather jackets. Also, I wonder if they are also wearing jeans? Because that would be horrifying, a jean jacket with jeans, which I call a jean tuxedo. It’s a big no-no.

Liz is all pissy that Todd is involved and that Todd is thinking for himself, and Jess actually doesn’t care what Ken is doing because she is ducking face with her mysterious surf teacher. He doesn’t tell her anything about himself and that unbalance of power in the relationship only makes Jess want him more. They exchange I love you’s after two days together.

So the rumor is that a big throwdown is going to happen at the upcoming dance, which is now a masquerade ball and will take place at an abandoned warehouse. This sounds more like a rave to me…where are the glowsticks? Also, who is funding this? Liz and Enid and Caitlin and Marla consider cancelling it, but it turns out the rumble will happen anyway, so they figure it is better to have people around. I don’t even know why Enid is involved, it just seems she is doing it because Liz is. Enid needs to go back to crystal meth, she was way more interesting then.

So the dance happens and the SVH gang heads out back to start the rumble with the Palisades guys, who are in leather jackets and sunglasses. They start to fight and it like West Side Story, although more like the the Gap commercials than the real thing. Ken goes down and Jessica runs out to see….that the gang leader is none other than Christian Gorman! Gasp! Then she passes out for some reason. Cliffhanger!!!!

Grade: A+ for being a complete parody of itself.

At the dance Bruce tells Jessica she looks like a bruise because she is wearing blue and black. Love that Bruce.

Liz and Enid meet Caitline and Marla over brunch at a swanky place. Now, I brunched all the time when I lived in NY, but what teenagers do this? Liz is a fucking grandma.

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31 thoughts on “The Bloods and the Crips have nothing on SVH and Palisades; or In Love With the Enemy, #120

  1. Magenta Galaxy says:

    As a real-life social worker that works with real-life incarcerated teenagers, 85-90% of whom actually ARE Bloods or Crips, this whole miniseries drove me beserk. Because trust me, the stories I hear about gang wars do not so much involve MASQUERADE BALLS. Yeah.

    As for the Jess-Christian thing…well, considering every guy she meets becomes the guy she loves more than she’s ever loved anyone before, we shouldn’t be surprised. Too bad for him, that means becoming Dead Boyfriend #3. Does anyone else get sick of hearing how every guy the twins meet, is the most gorgeous perfect wonderful fabulous god-like human being to ever walk the earth?

  2. Katee says:

    Ok, I’m confused. Wasn’t there a book where Liz (sick of being the nerdy non-athletic one) takes surf lessons in secret and then participates in a surf competition?

    Or am I confusing my YA series?

    This book was probably written by someone who thinks a gang war centers on tipping cows and stealing tractors. I’m also very glad I didn’t read it because I probably would have loved the dang book

  3. janevain says:

    katee, you’re right. liz entered a surf competition, but throws the contest on purpose so her instructor can be with the girl of his dreams, who is now the winner. because if liz HADN’T done that, he would’ve been in love with her instead. because she would have won. because she is elizabeth wakefield.

  4. Jamie says:

    You’re awesome. I love this blog and I think
    your snarks are top notch…and yes I know no one under the age of 60 says “top notch” but I have the soul of a 80 yr old woman even though I’m 25 so whatever 🙂 Anywho, I laughed out loud like 5 times, yay!

    The guys at SVH and Palisades sounds like total lame-asses…and umm only really suburban, spoiled, pretty white boys are gonna dress up in coordinated AND fitted, jean outfits (see the cover) with sunglasses to go brawl at a barn/masquerade ball. I mean, its almost borderline gay. If the writers were going for thug or anything remotely bad ass…yeah, they missed. I wish some real gang members really had shown up lol…someone should write that.

    While reading this I kept having flashbacks to the movie “The Outsiders”…..a young Matt Dillon and Rob Lowe, mmmm yum 🙂

  5. Laura says:

    Oh my gosh, SVH and its improbable storylines. Love how there has to be a dance. Has To. Ooh, jean jackets and sunglasses. Hardcore, lol. Good grief, I see what you mean about the pack of wolves description of the ghost writers – it sounds embarrassing to read!

  6. Jessa Fields says:

    His name is Christian Gorman. He could be Jewish, no? Except for the first name. Of course.

    LOL!

    I agree–this was embarassing and a parody of itself. I tried to reread it when I was at my parent’s house last week and it was just too painful, especially all the sections from the boys’ point of view. Too Logan Bruno for me. Great review though.

  7. nichole says:

    “It reminded me of the East-West Coast rap wars.” HA HA HA – I agree with Jamie, your snarks are hysterical. I never got this far in the series, but had I gotten this far, reading this one probably would have caused me to quit the series.

  8. Club X says:

    Ugh…this entire story arc was completely ridiculous. All I kept thinking of was West Side Story. I can totally picture Todd dancing around and snapping his fingers. I can also picture the entire gang doing “Mambo” at their stupid masquerade ball.
    ihatewheat you are awesome!! I couldn’t wait for you to recap this one because I knew it would be hysterical. I laughed my ass off!

  9. Abby says:

    Wait, Christian would be dead boyfriend #3?

    Who was between him and Sam?

    And do any of her boyfriends die after Christian (in high school), or do we have to wait for SVU for another Tragically Dead Love of Jessica’s Life?

    BTW- Jessica discovers she’s in love with Ken in book 112 (after thinking she’s in love with creepy Jeremy). I believe she cheats on him during the college miniseries (#117-119) before discovering Chrisitian is actually her true love in #120. By #123 (A frigging ONE BOOK after Christian dies and Jess will never love again–hope I didn’t ruin that for anyone) she’s in love with a townie she meets while working at a summer camp in the mountains. I quit SVH shortly after, so don’t know who’s next in line.

    You know, I’m all for 16 year olds being fickle, but you would think after being in love 5-10 times in ONE school year, you would start to realize it’s not “true love” .

  10. Tiny Pants says:

    “Because that would be horrifying, a jean jacket with jeans, which I call a jean tuxedo.”
    It’s bad, but I’ve heard this look referred to not infrequently as a “Canadian tuxedo.”

    Katee, the one you’re thinking of is “The New Elizabeth,” which comes like 50-60 books before this one. I wouldn’t be surprised if they rolled out the “creating a new image by learning to surf” plot in Sweet Valley Twins, too. And SVU — after all, isn’t college all about reinventing yourself? (Since apparently surfing is!)

  11. Kellie says:

    OMG I need to read this miniseries again. It’s not easy to find… I remember the tragically dead Christian, whom Jessica was over by the next book… oh and of course, she’d never loved anyone the way she loved Christian – except AJ Morgan, Bruce Patman, Sam Woodruff, Jeremy Randall, that James guy and a whole horde of others who were pretty forgettable.

    Totally agree with Jessa Fields – the hardcore gangs in SV were very Logan Bruno and the Badd Boyz.

  12. katee says:

    Thanks janevain and Tiny Pants! I’m sure that The New Elizabeth was one of the last SVH books that I read.

    The main reason why I love this blog is a get a recap of books I have and haven’t read along with great snarky commentary.

    Hey Ilovewheat, have you named your kitty yet?

  13. kiwimusume says:

    I think Heather stole this routine from the East Compton Clovers.

    No, no, that was the one where the Clovers came up to her afterwards and said “That was…interesting! Y’all shoulda just stuck with our routine.”

  14. Laura says:

    Oh my goodness, Tinypants – was reminded of a brief and regrettable “thing” I had with a Canadian guy who wore what you described, and what we called “double denim”…didn’t realise there were more of them out there. But apparently it’s a pretty sharp look, if Bruce and his man-friends are cultivating it…

  15. ellie says:

    I love that you are covering these classic epic works of literature.

    I’m so looking forward to moving to the Sweet Valley University series when the book tackles serious Lifetime film style issues like date rape and domestic abuse. Plus, Sweet Valley gains .01% of diversity with one black character.

  16. Jen S says:

    I’ve been reading the blog for a while, often cracking up so hard my husband keeps coming in the room to see what’s funny. I laughed so hard at the headline ” I Seem To Have A Touch of the Multiple Sclerosis” I fell off my chair!

    I never got this far in the series–I quit before the photos on the covers–but this is a classic. Ahh, the jean tuxedo, preferably with huge, spotlessly white sneakers that practically glow in the dark . Nothing says “dangerous punk ” like that ensemble.

    Seriously, are the ghostwriters from Bizarro World? What the hell kind of gang warfare is this? Thirteen year olds reading this in Kansas must have been snorting milk out their noses.

    ihatewheat, are you going to do the Beverly Hills High books? I collected Sweet Valley, my sister did Beverly Hills, and we traded off all the time. Oh, and oooh, Crystal Falls too!

  17. Melody_Grey says:

    @ ellie: “I’m so looking forward to moving to the Sweet Valley University series when the book tackles serious Lifetime film style issues like date rape and domestic abuse. Plus, Sweet Valley gains .01% of diversity with one black character.”

    No, no, no. There were THREE black characters:

    1) Nina – Elizabeth’s best friend with whom she bonded over their mutual size 8 bodies after Enid got hot, changed her name, and became an alcoholic. Got the crap beaten out of her by Elizabeth’s racist boyfriend.

    2) Bryan – Nina’s boyfriend and head of the Black Student Union. Is uptight and kind of conservative. Also got his ass kicked for “not knowing his place.”

    3) Danny – Jessica’s best friend’s boyfriend. Is also Elizabeth’s boyfriend’s best friend/roommate. Is basically there for the ghostwriters to comment about how good he looks with Isabella’s “porcelain” skin and for Tom to vent about Elizabeth & Todd.

  18. Ellie says:

    I stand corrected! SVU had a .03% diversity rating. Thanks for the correction Melody, it was both informative and entertaining.

  19. Amber Tan says:

    “only really suburban, spoiled, pretty white boys are gonna dress up in coordinated AND fitted, jean outfits (see the cover) with sunglasses to go brawl at a barn/masquerade ball. I mean, its almost borderline gay.”

    Those outfits are just…so….eeeeewww. I’d wager hard cash that gay people wouldn’t be caught dead wearing ensembles this horrible and certainly not to a barn/ masquerade dance. [Signed, She Who is Dressed almost exclusively by Her Beloved Gay Brother]

    “All I kept thinking of was West Side Story. I can totally picture Todd dancing around and snapping his fingers. I can also picture the entire gang doing “Mambo” at their stupid masquerade ball.”

    You owe me a vat of brain bleach, ClubX! 😉

    “I kept having flashbacks to the movie “The Outsiders”…..a young Matt Dillon and Rob Lowe, mmmm yum”

    Gawd yes. Remember that scene where Soda Pop (Rob Lowe’s character) comes out of the bathroom and almost loses his towel? My girlfriends and I must have re-played that moment about 1,000 times always hoping to catch just a glimpse — never did of course. [d*mn editors] 😉

  20. MaggieCat says:

    “Bruce and his man-friends”

    Did anyone else read this, suddenly remember the observation made a while back that one of the covers made Bruce look a lot like a young John Barrowman, and then have their brain take a weird, Torchwood influenced turn that led to giggling for 5 minutes? Like with aliens invading Sweet Valley and Bruce dating one or two of them?

    No no, don’t get up– I’ll show myself out.

    • Margo Black says:

      Bruce Patman looking like John Barrowman? Holy shit, I DO see that now!
      BP had a total Captain Jack charisma when you think about it!

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