Caitlin is made of win


Ads for the Caitlin Love Trilogy series starting appearing in the back of the SVH books and I was foaming at the mouth to read them. Of course, because they took place at a boarding school. And you all know how I feel about boarding schools.

The cover I found was the one pictured above, but I remember the copy I owned way back when had an actualy photograph of Caitlin, and I remember she was wearing a white peasant shirt and had a huge need for some hot oil treatment.

Well, well, where can I even start to explain the intense, complex entity that is Caitlin Ryan? Think Jessica Wakefield, but brunette (oh sorry- “raven-haired”) and a trust fund. Caitlin goes to Highgate Academy, a waspy boarding school in rural Virginia. She was raised by her grandmother after her parents died when she was a baby. Grams is a mining magnate and is killing the earth one day at a time. Grams is not very affectionate towards Caitlin because Caitlin killed her mother by coming out of her.

Caitlin’s family had a long history of owning plantations, and that is supposed to impress us?

Because Caitlin lives a loveless, but materialistic life, she is looking for that one man that will fulfill her life. I think that Francine decided that this makes for a romantic story, but seriously, for me, it translates to Caitlin needing the admiration of others and attention from boys to validate herself. Not very romantic. Kind of sad. Good one, Francine.

Jed Michaels is the new guy from Montana, and he is extremely bland and has kind of an accent. In other words, Caitlin is getting her panties in a twist over him. However, he doesn’t fall at her feet so what the fuck is wrong with him? His cousin Emily is also at Highgate and they have a friend Diana Chasen who is a SCHOLARSHIP GIRL!!! Oooooh, I’ll bet she wears ragged pants and has dirt smeared on her face. She’s also ultra shy, and Jed feels protective of her. Caitlin gets really annoyed about this, but to tell you the truth, I’m kind of on her side. Diana like, needs someone to cut her meat for her.

Caitlin has a super special magical party at Grams’ house one weekend under the guise of nabbing Jed, but Diana gets all needy and he spends the time with her. Caitlin is all pissed because she put on her best leather pantsuit for him. Yes, that’s what she wore.

She also tries to nab Jed by taking him riding and having the world’s most boring conversations with him. Seriously, I have more game than Caitlin. There’s also a lot of horse talk in this one, I guess to appeal to girls with the generalization that girls love horses. Fun fact: I hate horses, always have. In fact, I may have a little phobia. I don’t like animals that are bigger than humans, I feel like they could overcome humans in a matter of minutes.

At one point Caitlin gets pissed because Jed seems to be paying more attention to her horse than him. Fuck.

There’s also a pointless fundraiser that Caitlin puts on, which is a male beauty pageant. The guys dress as farmers and Napoleon and other gay stuff. One guy does drag and he of course wins. You all know how I feel about using drag for comedy, so I’m not touching that.

Are you ready for the big drama? Diana babysits for the headmaster because the school has to further alienate her by parading her socioeconomic status around. Caitlin goes to borrow a pitchfork for the pageant and leaves the shed open on the family’s property and the kid goes in and eats poison wheat or something. So the kid is on a coma and Diana is so ashamed she drops out of school and rumor has it she’s in…public school! Oh the horror! Caitlin doesn’t tell anyone she was responsible because she’ll never get Jed in her clutches.

BUT! Since Caitlin is acting all mopey and depressed about her guilt, that only makes Jed want her MORE! So, the moral of the story is, if you are beautiful, you’ll always get your way no matter what. Jed and Caitlin have a picnic, swap some spit, and then are throwing out the “I love yous” after about five minutes.

She decides not to tell Jed about her secret because she’s a narcissistic maniac and decides its more important to have his attention than to come clean. Hundred bucks say that at some later book he finds out.

Quotey time!

Caitlin’s house: “Caitlin noticed the three of them looking around the impressive interior, taking in the beauty of the high-ceilinged hall with its crystal chandelier, the graceful, curving staircase, the priceless oil paintings on the walls, the Persian carpet on the gleaming marble floor, the Chippendale side chairs, and Hepplewhite ball table.” Wow, twelve year olds really care about Chippendale chairs.

Jed’s taking lessons from Patman!

“I love you, Jed.” She let him pull her closer, and his mouth covered hers, she was enveloped again in a dizzying cloud of happiness, until his hand slid slowly , gently over her breast and down the curve of her hip. She tensed. The subtle pressure of his hand made her aware of where they were heading. Racy!

“Caitlin drew her fingers through her long, black hair, pulling it away from her face in a way she knew was becoming, yet seemed terribly innocent.” Isn’t Caitlin a peach?

40 thoughts on “Caitlin is made of win

  1. Fraser says:

    I can’t stand riding horses because they feel very wobbly and unstable.

    Great review of what sounds like a horrendous piece of work. More!

  2. Cheryl Slade says:

    Damn I wish the local library had this one. I never see this series around anywhere.

    How bad is it that when I was a kid, I always thought Chippendale had to do with naked dancing guys? I would’ve thought Caitlin had some sort of stripper chairs in her house.

  3. Jen S says:

    I remember even at the time thinking Caitlin seemed a bit heartless for the central character. I’m pretty sure I hadn’t heard the term “sociopath” at the time.

    I distinctly remember a passage between Ginny and Caitlin where she’s warning Ginny not to wash her face with regular soap because it’s too drying. “You may not care now, but once you hit thirty and all the wrinkles start…” Damn, what sixteen year old was that panicky about future wrinkles? All I cared about was zits.

    Ohhhh, you know what would make a trillion dollars? A hot oil wrestling match between Caitlin and Jessica! Who wouldn’t pay to see that??

  4. tinypants says:

    “Made her aware of where they were heading?” Um, Caitlin, sounds like he already went there!

    These books sound awesome. I never read them, but totally remember the ads — which made them sound way more boring than this! I think for some reason I always assumed they were historical romance since the ads made them sound so musty and dusty. Who knew this whole time I was missing out on what was that? A leather pantsuit? Damn, girl!

  5. BadKat says:

    Whoa, I do not remember these books, with that dirtiness I would have sought them out!
    And I would have totally started looking for crystal chandeliers and Chippendale chairs at my friends’ houses to make sure they were cool enough for me.

  6. Billie Layton says:

    There’s another Caitlin Ryan?! As I am currently on a Degrassi kick, I am only familiar with the one.

  7. JordanBaker says:

    I seem to remember not being allowed to read Caitlin, even though I read SVH. Maybe my mom skimmed them and decided all the sexing and child poisioning wasn’t suitable.

  8. KimmyMac says:

    I’m familiar with Caitlin Ryan from Degrassi, I love that show. I watched the original and being a 26 I’m kinda ashamed to admit that I watch the next generation as well.

    The Caitlin on the cover of this book looks like Yasmine Bleeth.

    I never read the Love trilogy. I was never able to find them at the stores.

  9. Melody_Grey says:

    ihatewheat, are you going to do the Promise Trilogy, too?

    @KimmyMae: I sadly watch DTNG, as well. Even as my favourite characters get less and less screentime (and killed off).

  10. megan says:

    ooooo i’ve never read these and i really want too…do they actually get to have sex in these books?!

    what are chippendale chairs anyway?

  11. Nancy says:

    Ok, to me, that cover absolutely does not convey ‘Beautiful. Dazzling. Charming. Outrageous. Rich. Unforgettable. And very, very clever.’
    It just screams ‘unremarkable spoilt brat’.

  12. Lauren says:

    Oh no, not public school!!!
    A leather pantsuit?? That sounds like something off “MIB II”. I hope to God it was a costume party.

  13. Jennifer says:

    Oh god, those were awesome. Remember the guy who SWORE REVENGE on the Ryan family by dating Caitlin and then treating her like shit? And then when Jed got paralyzed, jerkass revenge guy was not only the one who could do the surgery, BUT was dating Caitlin’s best friend? Awesome!!!!! Can’t wait for more of these.

  14. tygre says:

    Oh wow. I still have all of these. Happy to unearth the last trilogy: the FOREVER ones: or as they ought to be called, the FAIL ones., for they make a glamorous career as a journalist/model/mining company owner who has a fancy wedding sound about as interesting as reading the label on a can of soup.

    I wanted to like them, I did but…Caitlin is a spoiled brat.

  15. Dwanollah says:

    Rumor has it Yasmine Bleeth was the cover model for the Cailtin books, but I’ve never found proof.

    The biggest lesson I learned from Caitlin was to be weak, needly and vulnerable… THEN your twu wuv will want to protect and love you and bells will ring and birds will sing and forest creatures will gather ’round while you weave flower chains and feed each other strawberries. (Which, if I remember correctly, are things that Caitlin does on several different outings.)

    I also have always loved that Jed starts pawing Caitlin on their second date, TRIES TO DATE RAPE HER AS REVENGE in the next book… yet it’s implied that she’s a virgin on their wedding night. I wonder what went on behind the scenes after their one-of-ten-million melodramatic reunions to seal THAT deal. *eye roll*

    Git ’em, ihatewheat!

  16. Amber Tan says:

    For those wishing to know what Chippendale chairs look like so as to be able to easily identify potential friends based on their home furnishings:

    “A leather pantsuit?? That sounds like something off “MIB II”.

    Or from the Lila Collection…did it have a belt? 😉

    “argh, frak you guys! I just bought six more Caitlin books on Amazon.”

    Awww! Thanks for taking one (well, actually six) for the team, ihatewheat. You totes rock our collective world and will always have the undying gratitude of those of us who haven’t read the Caitlin series. Seriously. 🙂

  17. snappleaddict says:

    Add me to the Degrassi fan list. I haven’t even read this whole recap yet because as soon as I read that her name was Caitlin Ryan I had to scroll down to the comments to see if anyone else noticed.

    I always wanted to read these books when I was younger. Certain SVH books in my school’s library had excerpts of the Caitlin books, but that was all I got to read of them because no library around me had them. I nearly died of happiness when I found one of the books in a thrift store last week.

  18. Beth says:

    When did the Caitlin series come out? I had never heard of them until now. BTW- I hate horses, too. They creep me out, yet almost all YA books dictates that as a female, I should have been “horse-crazy”. Weird…

  19. Cassie says:

    The Caitlin books are even more manipulative than SVH. I remember thinking Jed was rather sexy. Great recap. More, more!

  20. Fi says:

    I’ve just bought 8 of the 9 Caitlin books and am looking forward to re-reading them. I think I missed a few when I was a kid, only got what the library had.

    I have the Loving series with a photo of a girl on the front – she’s got mousy brown hair, not raven in the slightest! The later books have a different girl on – all pale skin and black hair. She’s the Caitlin I remember.

    Fantastic site, love the SVH recaps. Keep it up!

  21. Lemur says:

    I went from the Babysitters Club books right into John Jakes and trashy romance novels as a kid, so I sadly missed all of SVH, VC Andrews and these Caitlin books. Mores the pity for me, as these seem about as trashy as the romance novels I was reading and getting in trouble for.

  22. Enidrollins says:

    You know, the author of the first Caitlin books is Joanna Campbell, who wrote the Thoroughbred series.

    Ashleigh, Sammy, and Cindy were such horse-eyed goody-goodies that it’s hard to believe JC could write Caitlin. Hey, I loved the TB books. And horses! And the horses in Caitlin. But wow!

  23. Suzanne Devlin says:

    Fun fact: I hate horses, always have. In fact, I may have a little phobia. I don’t like animals that are bigger than humans, I feel like they could overcome humans in a matter of minutes.


  24. Dwanollah says:

    I’ll be going to summer school in Virginia again this year. And I’ll ‘fess… more than once, I’ve looked at maps and driven around, because based on the books, this might be the area where the Caitlin books took place.

    I am made of Epic Suckage.

  25. Kaitlin says:

    Oh, man! I totally forgot about this book until I saw it on your site. Talk about weird memories. I remember reading this series specifically because of the name. I remember thinking it was horrible.

    And I came across your blog not that long ago. I remember LOVING SVH, but with your descriptions bringing them all back to me. *shudder* Scary thoughts!

  26. Lorrie says:

    I loved the Caitlin books. Then again, that may have been because I was between 10 and 12 years old when I read them. But I remember them fondly, even more so than the SVH series, probably because the series had a beginning and an end.

  27. acconcate says:

    Очень интерестная статья) Подсел на ваш блог, уже месяц читаю ваши статьи, очень нравятся.

  28. walgreargobug says:

    С плюсами согласен.. в противовес хорошо бы смотрелось оценка трудозатрат 😉 Не всё же легко даётся.

  29. Karen says:

    LOL!!! I looooove your commentary! So right on target! Hahahahahhahahah! Yup that’s Caitlin alright… and yuh, the books were quite sensual. Too sensual for the young audience…

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