the first death of the series or #12 When Love Dies

Hey all, I had some time to read an old skool one…be back next week!

Good lord, Tricia Martin. Leukemia is the least of your problems. Let’s talk about how you are dressed as an Amish school teacher. And I’d suggest some hot oil treatment.

So Tricia has leukemia and breaks up with Steven so it will be easier for him when she dies. Cara throws herself on Steven and to get back at Tricia he goes for it. Finally, Steven finds out the truth and goes to Tricia to be with her when she dies. Blah blah blah.

Meanwhile Jessica finds out that local tv star Jeremy Frank (are there really local tv stars? Who actually watches public access?) has broken his leg so Jessica convinces Liz to volunteer to be a candy striper with her. Jess acts like an ass if front of Jeremy and keeps hurting him and spilling stuff on him. She even walks in on him naked. It’s crazy! I thought everyone in Sweet Valley had no genitals. They just looked like Barbie and Ken dolls. So Liz and Jeremy plan on getting back at Jessica (the ONE time I thought Liz had a good idea) and Jeremy pretends he is in love with Jessica and proposes to her. You’d think Jessica would catch on but she is so dense that she is flattered and accepts his proposal. Jeremey then pulls a “you’ve been punked!” on her.

Oh, and Liz is the one that discovers that Tricia has leukemia and convinced her to go to Steven because of course without Liz’s advice how would anyone ever live their lives?

Whenever anyone goes to the poor side of town, the streets are always littered with bottles and garbage. Like the city of Sweet Valley is so disgusted with poor people that they do not ever send over sanitation trucks.

At the end, Liz is kidnapped by Carl, a creepy orderly in the hospital. Probably has something to do with her beauty and size six figure. We’ll figure it out in the next book, peculiarly named Kidnapped!

How about some vomit-inducing Liz and Todd foreplay talk:

“He thinks Tricia has another boyfriend, but I’m not so sure. Why would she be so miserable if she had someone else?”

“You’re right. I don’t buy it either. Somehow I can’t imagine Tricia with anyone but Steve. They seemed perfect together.”

“Like us, you mean?” Elizabeth fed Todd a french fry off her plate, yanking her hand away with an outraged giggle when he began nibbling her fingers.

Todd laughed. “Face it. Nobody is like us. If we were crazier about each other, they’d have to send out the little men in the white coats.”

“You’re so romantic, Todd.”

Lesson learned: having a deadly disease is great for your looks. If I had a nickel for every time I read about Tricia’s thin frame and beautiful pale skin…

Grade: C

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61 thoughts on “the first death of the series or #12 When Love Dies

  1. patience says:

    An “outraged giggle”? One thing I remember about that series is how awful and fake all the dialogue sounds, and how every time the characters are laughing about something, it’s never funny.

  2. Club X says:

    Seriously…Liz and Todd make me sick.
    “At the end, Liz is kidnapped by Carl, a creepy orderly in the hospital.”
    Carl The Orderly!! Obsessed with Elizabeth! Are you going to recap that one? That would be awesome.

  3. Beth says:

    I soooo remember this one! I also had a hard time with the cover. Honestly, if I were dying, I’d at least spend some time with a relaxing makeover, come on! Seriously, the Liz and Todd thing (in EVERY book they are together in) makes me want to puke! I even recognized this back in the day- who the HELL talks or even acts like that? When my hubby takes food from my plate, he gets hit, let alone ME feeding him. Ick- I just threw up a little in my mouth…..make that alot….

  4. JenS says:

    I remember this one! That hideous blouse bugged me even in high school. What was it with the eighties and horrible blouses? It was either the high necked lace THAT BUTTONED UP THE BACK or that horrible floppy bow with the white collar, remember?

    And yeah, it’s easy to mock Tricia’s hair here, but Steve’s is no better. It looks like he combed every hair straight to the front of his head, some kinda weird combover action going on.

  5. Cheryl Slade says:

    I really don’t know who’s dumber: Jessica for agreeing to such an obviously fake proposal, or Liz for falling for Jessica’s bullshit in the first place. And yeah, what’s up with Tricia being repeatedly described as ‘angelic’ looking, then showing up on the cover looking like a poodle wearing a doily?

  6. Sarah C. says:

    This is Francine’s favorite, right?

    Tricia is a type of the saintly Victorian consumptive, Helen Burns in Jane Eyre having set the standard. Ruby Gillis in the Anne of Green Gables books would be a later incarnation. I still remember how thin and beautiful old Ruby looked with her flushed cheeks. Is anyone else getting a Six Months to Live vibe? Six months to Live, by Lurlene McDaniel. . .please tell me I don’t have to explain myself.

  7. Magenta Galaxy says:

    You know, there’s a slight chance Steven would’ve been REALLY hurt if Tricia died of cancer and he found out she purposely didn’t tell him after she was gone. Her altruistic motives were very strange to me, even when I read this is an 11 year old.

  8. Sarah says:

    Sarah C – Ruby Gillis reference for the win! I especially enjoyed how Ruby was always portrayed as kind of a party girl, until she got terminally ill and then went saintly.

  9. Eli says:

    AH! Lurlene McDaniel! I loved to read those books when I needed a good cry. I especially loved the two book series about Melissa, the brainiac cancer patient, her hot brother, and her rich bestie. Sigh.

    And speaking of Ruby Gillis, I spent the weekend having an Anne of Green Gables movie marathon (1 and 2 only, I do not acknowledge the other one). Not as good as the books, but it does have hot, noble Gilbert. Double sigh.

  10. bazu says:

    Lurlene McDaniel! I remember all of us reading these books in junior high, but now that I think back to them, those books seem crazy macabre. Possibly disturbing. Which one was the guy dying of cancer and moving into a hospice- I’m getting a lump in my throat just thinking about it.

  11. Penny says:

    Love Runy AND Lurlene…..le sigh. So many memories of both! Thanks for the reminders 🙂

    A Lurlene blog would be just too easy, you know? Yet you’d feel horrible about it the whole time. Can only make so much fun of the terminally ill before you wind up terminally bitchy.

    Unless someone is up for the challenge….? 🙂

  12. Kellie says:

    TOTALLY agree with the fact that the characters laugh at unfunny shit. Seriously, they’ll be practically rolling around in hysterics over some corny comment from Winston, which makes him sound more like someone’s 50-yr-old-uncle

  13. Magpie says:

    Kellie, I totally agree, I never found Winston in the slightest bit funny! They would always refer to him as the hilarious joker, but I think even Todd was funnier most of the time.

    I just ate, and that dialogue between Liz and Todd seriously made me feel nauseous. No sixteen-year-old boy in the world talks like that!

  14. Genevieve says:

    Just like Sandy in six months to live! With her paleness and cute west virginia accent.

    I sooo want a Lurlene blog now.

    Those books were ridiculous.

  15. Eli says:

    The worst part about Lurlene McDaniel’s books is that she set them up to be as tragic and emotionally damaging as possible. The soon to be dead person was always the smartest and best looking, had just fallen in love, had just been accepted to the best college, and of course all their teenager dreams were coming true, and then bam. The characters were so over the top in their awesomeness. There was never a story about a dorky loser with acne who had no friends and junkie parents who was struck down. Gotta amp up the tragedy factor to Mach 5. Yeah…and I totally bought into it.

  16. Genevieve says:

    oh yea like when Melissa died in that two parter. She was sweet, came from a single mother close family and had just won a national merit scholarship. Someone start a Lurlene blog!

    I might do it, with encouragement

  17. Jo says:

    Oh, this was one of my favorites. This and “Dear Sister.” I really enjoyed the ones where people’s lives were in peril. So sad and dramatic. I never did read Lurlene McDaniel, though.

  18. Kellie says:

    Dear Sister was awesome, until Bruce Patman turned into a date rapist which was never even acknowledged.

    I really want to read these Lurlene McDaniel books now!

  19. Kellie says:

    ***does anybody else notice that Steve has a very large adam’s apple?***

    yeah, that and the fact that he looks old enough to be the twin’s father.

  20. Jamie says:

    I just finished watching Anne of Green Gables the Sequel! lol. So weird that you guys are talking about that shit and Ruby Gillis and….Gilbert. I had such a crush on him. What a cutiepie and the way he loved Anne secretly for all those years, sooo sweet….*sigh*….although, now when I watch the series I have suspicions that the guy who played him is gay?? My heart won’t allow me to really believe that, but I can’t help but wonder….

  21. Beth says:

    Lurlene……I say that name and I automatically start to cry- my body reacts to that name like Pavlov’s dog and the bell, crazy! I don’t think I could handle a blog about all those dying books! I actually tried to read one a few weeks ago and I could not get past the perfect teenagers! I swear, they all either have perfect, still married parents or the hard-working single mom who is also still perfect- and the kids always win scholarships to some big school. Then, the fight to live- and, finally, the untimely death of the courageous prom queen (or whoever the hero of the book is). BLAH!!!! I need some total, obvious bullshit in my young adult lit!! Just because I believed it when I was 10 doesn’t mean I do now- however, I like to read all that shit and remember how much of a dork I was to believe certain things! Although- I am still convinced that I have MS every time I feel a little “run-down”……….

  22. Eli says:

    Jamie…there is a raging Internet debate about that actor’s sexuality. Heh. I don’t care though…Gilbert is still my dream man, hehe.

  23. Jade Wu's Toe Shoe says:

    Despite the hair and pastel-striped shirt . . . I can’t help but consider this Steven to be aesthetically superior to the Steven pictured on later covers (i.e. ARE WE IN LOVE?)

    Come to think of it, I remember liking ALL the old-school covers better than the “newer” ones – and that went for SVT as well as SVH!

    Lastly, Steven is totally giving Tricia the “look” that is normally reserved for Liz on a power trip.

  24. Kate says:

    I’m actually reading this one right now! I got into bed to read it, logged on to this site, and went AHHH!!! Oh man, this is over the top. My copy has a SVH trivia contest in the back – first prize- a trip to NYC! While there, the lucky winner would see a taping of the show ALL MY CHILDREN, get a department store makeover, see an unidentified Broadway show (of the sponsor’s choice) and have dinner with old Francine herself.

    If only I could go back in time to experience the glamour.

  25. EnidRollins says:

    Ruby Gillis! Score! Oh, and a dinner with Francine contest? Whoa…I remember when the 80’s\90’s series had those cheesy contests and ‘clubs’. For your entire month’s allowance you could get a cheap pencil, a box, and a bookmark…

  26. Genevieve says:

    Thanks to Lurlene, for about four years, everytime I got a few bruises or a cut didn’t clot right away, I was convinced I was d ying of leukimia.

    Thanks, Lurlene.

  27. wezee says:

    I looooved this one when I was a kid! I’m not gonna lie…I cried a lot when Tricia Martin died. Ugly hair aside, I was sad. I mean who thought Sweet Valley residents were even mortal? Perfect size 6’s can’t die, that’s for DAMN sure.

    I hope everyone is getting out there to support Hillary today!

    Happy Mardi Gras 🙂

  28. Robyn says:

    I haven’t read those Lurlene McDaniel books in years, but thanks to those, I consider myself an expert on the symptoms of lukemia and diabetes. Thirsty? You probably have diabetes. Bruises? It’s probably lukemia.

    I think Lurlene made me the mild hypochondriac that I am today…

  29. Laura says:

    LOL Sarah C – thank you so much for referencing Ruby Gillis, with her super-flushed cheeks and hair that looked even more golden than ever and her heroic attempts to flirt… looks like I’m not the only one who immediately thought of her…

    Our local library had this but NOT Kidnapped, luckily I was armed with the knowledge that even though the Wakefield twins would be held captive/threatened with imminent death/in car crashes a million times, they would never ACTUALLY get hurt, or emotionally scarred in the slightest.

    The fact that the gap between Steven’s eyebrows and his hairline is so small is kinda weirding me out…

  30. Mary-Anne's Braids says:

    I am totally adding a Lurlene McDaniel section to my new blog.

    And I hateWehat – you must check them out – I cant believe you havent read her! Six Months to Live is a classic…

  31. Mary-Anne's Braids says:

    er… wheat. Either I can’t type or my keyboard has gone to shit.

    …and I totally triple-checked this entry for typing errors.

  32. Eli says:

    Wow I just looked on Amazon.com and it appears that Lurlene is still cranking out the tearjerkers. I wonder if she uses a ghostwriter too.

  33. aaaames says:

    A friend of mine who works for Random House just snagged me some free Lurlene McDaniels books. I can’t believe I actually ENJOYED them. It’s not just that they’re so cheesy and that the kids are too perfect and OH MY GOD THE DRAMA… the writing is just seriously so, so bad. Ihatewheat, pleeeease dig some up and start covering them!

    (She must have ghostwriters, right? McDaniels, that is, not Ihatewheat. I mean, geeeeeeez there are a lot of new books, a bizarrely high number, yes?)

  34. Stacey says:

    You know, about that blouse of Tricia’s…

    Even as a kiddo I remember thinking that that victorian thing, must have been supposed to have been symbolic for her angelic personality…I mean wasn’t she the only good girl in that entire house of flouzies and drunks?
    Surely Betsy wouldn’t have worn a blouse like that….

  35. Genevieve says:

    I told the BF to get order me some Lurlenes off ebay for valentines day, so if he complies, I’ll make sure to recap somewhere, and I’ll let you guys know

  36. aaaames says:

    Yeah, I am thinking of recapping them too. I wrote a bit in my LiveJournal; if you click on my name it’s a direct link to the post about one book in particular.

  37. audreyapple says:

    Seriously, if Todd and Liz were so fucking crazy about each other they would have done it by now. Instead, he has to dump her in college because she doesn’t even want to take her bra off. He has never even seen her breasts!

  38. aaaames says:

    Aw thanks Amber!!! I am almost out of the ones I own!! My friend in publishing is supposed to send me another bundle soon; I don’t quite have the nerve to just WALK IN A STORE AND BUY THEM IN PUBLIC.

  39. Sarah C. says:

    I also love the Lurlene recaps. Everytime I found a strange bruise or felt a little bit tired as a teen I thought I had leukemia. Thanks Lurlene!

    BTW, was anyone else freaked out by the outdated info. in the Judy Blume books? I mean her frankness about sex and bodies was amazing for its time, but I can remember reading Deenie and being really frightened about having scoliosis and wearing a big brace and being ostracized; I also didn’t understand the period paraphernalia in Are You There God. . .Margaret–I mean a belt? I think in some ways J. Blume made me more self-conscious about my body. Is there anything in the SV High/Twins universe about menstruation, boob-size or the like?

  40. aaaames says:

    Sarah C., I was seriously TERRIFIED after Deenie; every time we had scoliosis checks at school I spent the week before convinced I’d get it and have to wear some ginormous brace that would RUIN MY LIFE. Honestly, my whole childhood was basically spent in fear of one disease or another. Thanks, writers!!

  41. Magpie says:

    Sarah C, there was an SVT book called “Jessica’s Secret” that covered the topic of starting their periods. Liz gets hers first and assumes that she and Jessica started at the exact same moment (isn’t she meant to be the smart one?), and Jessica feels all embarrassed that she doesn’t have hers yet. There’s a lot of talk about “becoming a woman”, and it’s all quite barf-making.

    I think reading that book was the first time I’d ever heard anything about menstruation, and it terrified me!

  42. aaaames says:

    Magpie, wasn’t there also a SVT book where some tomboy friend of theirs got HER period? And also her mom was pregnant? So the tomboy knew she had to start dressing like a proper lady?

  43. Magpie says:

    aaaames, that sounds really familiar, but I can’t remember which book it was. Was it definitely SVT? That would be such a good one to re-read. Because we all know that once we start our periods, we have to wear frilly pink skirts and bake cookies!

  44. aaaames says:

    It was definitely SVT because I remember discussing it with my grade school BFF and how we were all “THIS IS A VERY IMPORTANT BOOK YOU SHOULD READ IT” which is basically humiliating now to me. Sadly, from the small details I’ve gleaned about former BFF’s current life, I think she would probably still hold it up as a significant work of literature.

  45. Stacey says:

    The Twins book you are referring to is #25 Standing Out. In it, Billie Layton is a tomboy. Her mom is pregnant and she is having a boy. They want to name the baby Billy and Billie resents that her parents want her to be Belinda. Billie does start her period. By the end of the book she has decided she likes wearing dresses, and likes Jim Sturbridge, and doesn’t mind being Belinda instead of Billie. And just to make the whole ‘girl’ transition complete she joins the Unicorns. WTF?

  46. Liz says:

    Sarah C., good news! …Margaret has actually been reprinted with updated information–as of 2006 (according to WikiPedia), the world of Judy Blume has finally discovered adhesive! Woot?

  47. girlwiththeradio says:

    when i read these aged 11 i didnt realise tricia was pronounced “trisha” so i thought her name was “tri -seeya” the whole time. thats pretty much the most interesting thing about the whole series. so much fun to ridicule on the retrosect though. love the blog!!

  48. Goldray says:

    “Whenever anyone goes to the poor side of town, the streets are always littered with bottles and garbage. Like the city of Sweet Valley is so disgusted with poor people that they do not ever send over sanitation trucks.”

    I’ve read through this blog already, although not in order, so I’m reading it through for the second time now and I have to say that the above line is by far the funniest of an extremely funny blog. I still laugh every time I think about it.

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