The New Elizabeth


I know you all wanted me to make this into a dramatic reading, but I really, that won’t help me express how goddam ridiculous and loop-holed this is.

Firstly, I don’t think the ghostwriters even keep up with the series. Pretty much there was a “New Jessica” book, and this one is about Elizabeth learning to surf, and later on, when Jessica wants to learn to surf, it isn’t even mentioned.

Ok, so Liz is finally tired of everyone saying she is predictable and boring. Doesn’t this happen like every third book? And isn’t she all smug about it all the time? So, instead of maybe, say, getting a little tipsy at a party like many a teenager would do to prove their wildness, she decides to learn to surf. Uh, okay.

Well, CONVENIENTLY at the Big Mesa Surf Club, a few friends are betting some guy Sean that he can turn the first person that walks in the club to be a champion surfer. CONVENIENTLY Liz is the one that walks in. CONVENIENTLY Liz is so amazing he can’t help but fall in love with her. CONVENIENTLY Liz neglects to mention she has a boyfriend because she is an egomaniac who loves the attention. CONVENIENTLY Liz has amazing skills that allow her to surf like a pro within a month. Like how she can suddenly do flips and cartwheels.

Liz tells everyone that she is spending her time doing some dorky extra credit science project on the beach, and they all believe her, but Todd suspects she is cheating and gets all mad. I’m fucking falling asleep thinking about it. Liz is of course about the win the big surfing competition, but she throws the win to some girl Laurie, who is secretly in love with Sean and only when she wins a surf competition will Sean he pay attention to her. Wow, Liz being a champion surfer but also can’t resist helping the poor and pathetic. CONVENIENTLY she never speaks to Shaun again, because he is never mentioned again. I guess because she didn’t need him anymore because she was done with surfing. She can go back to playing scrabble on Saturdays with Todd (which she does in this book. Hawt.) Liz is so high and mighty but acts so self-centered. She even knows what sciopathic plan Jessica is hatching and just waves it off.

Which is making Caroline Pierce’s life a living hell. Caroline is working at an expensive boutique, and Lila and Jessica go to be difficult and make her wait on them. Finally Caroline gets back at her by managing to trick Jessica into be left in her underwear in the dressing room. Noyce!


So what did we learn? That Elizabeth is pretty much as conniving, manipulating, lying, cheating as Jessica, but at least Jessica is up front about it and doesn’t hide behind some facade as a bookish, well-behaved saint. In a weird way, I can respect Jessica for being honest.

28 thoughts on “The New Elizabeth

  1. LucyLou says:

    I really really hate Liz. She’s so two-faced. Jessica is definitely more honest about her bitchiness. 🙂

  2. megan says:

    That’s why Jessica was always my favorite. Because Liz cheated a lot and I don’t think Jessica ever did. Maybe once or twice, but not on purpose!

  3. The Black Sheep says:

    Jess is always so much more interesting to read about! Liz is always either writing in her journal, hanging out with the cool crowd, otherwise known as Enid and Olivia, or snuggling with Todd whilst playing boardgames. Yeah, she’s riveting all right.

  4. Gingernut says:

    That totally makes me want to read this one again! I thought it was the one where Elizabeth and Enid become park rangers or something, but actually I think that’s the one where Jessica plays Lady Macbeth?

  5. nikkim602 says:

    I think I had a bathing suit like the one Liz has on the cover.

    I was a huge Elizabeth fan reading these books, and even to me this book was one of the worst of the bunch. It just made no sense that to break out of her every day life she would take up surfing.

  6. Cara Walker says:

    Exactly! I always hated Liz acting like such a goody-two shoes and so superior to Jess when she was as much of a skanky cheater.

    I hated this book because, like the cheerleading series, suddenly Liz can do all kinds of athletic manouvers within a couple of weeks of starting out. Seriously. Pisses. Me. Off. And why is it that every guy Jess or Liz ever meets falls instantly in love with them? Oh, yeah, silly me. It’s because they’re perfect size 6 (or is that 4?) blondes with sunkissed tans.

    By the way, I always found Liz kind of fugly on this cover – I really didn’t like the hair or that bathing suit! Ew!

  7. yasoup says:

    I think the reasoning behind ‘St. Liz’ is–it is ok for her to be bitchy because [the books try to convince us] she does more harm than good and she always feels shitty about it. Jess loves devious plans and is a bit snobbish, so that’s wrong. Apparently.

    I really tried wearing new outfits and foundation to get guys. I thought looking hawter than usual would win me guys. Luckily, I came to my senses. I don’t need male dependency! So I laugh when some well-stacked, drywall-flavored personality girl gets a stuuupid guy.

  8. southcitysadie says:

    Gah. At least they could have brought in Bill Chase as surf instructor, since he historically had such a hard-on for Liz.

  9. Alicia E. says:

    When Jessica starts surfing later, she goes to the same beach that Liz went to. So that’s at least one point to the ghostwriters for consistency.

  10. Amy Slutton says:

    I haven’t read this one but I plan on buying it! Reading SVH again now all these years later, I tend to look at Liz differently. Back then she was supposed to be the “nice” one, and I could never understand why some people didn’t take to her (like that Darcy girl in one of the Super Thrillers). But now I can totally imagine how superior/condescending and goody-two shoes Liz must come off as, not to mention totally boring and anal. People like that are irritating.

  11. Katy says:

    I’d make fun of Elizabeth for playing Scrabble with Todd on a Saturday night, but now, because of Scrabulous on Facebook, I do the same thing.

    Of course, I am 30 with two kids.

  12. ihatewheat says:

    “Gah. At least they could have brought in Bill Chase as surf instructor, since he historically had such a hard-on for Liz.”

    Actually, he came up to Liz and told her that he knew she “threw” the competition.

    “When Jessica starts surfing later, she goes to the same beach that Liz went to. So that’s at least one point to the ghostwriters for consistency.”

    Well, it also seems that beach also has plentiful guys just waiting to give girls surfing lessons.

  13. Genevieve says:

    Actually, it was mentioned in the one where Jessica learns to surf from Christian Gorman- When Jessica is at the RockTV contest and Elizabeth is watching, she thinks to herself about the time she took some surf lessons to prove that she wasn’t the stodgy old Elizabeth, but that she was nowhere near Jessica’s incredible skill.

    Curse my photographic memory. Curse it to hell. Do you know how much brain space is wasted with stuff like that?

  14. Gingernut says:

    I actually really liked Liz and wanted to be her. All those guys falling in love with her after just one look! My teenager years were a big disappointment after all the high hopes I got from SVH 😀

  15. Magpie says:

    “By the way, I always found Liz kind of fugly on this cover – I really didn’t like the hair or that bathing suit! Ew!”

    Wasn’t this just after Liz had had a “temporary perm” (surely a contradiction in terms??) as her first step towards proving how unpredictable she can be? Good thinking, Liz.

  16. cyanne says:

    I think I really says something about what goes in in each twin’s mind when they think the words “The New Me:”

    Jess: black hair, vampy makeup, new olive-green heavy wardrob, and an ACCENT.

    Liz: a perm and a couple of surfing lessons. And it still looks like she has her trademark barrettes in her hair.

    Bored now.

    Man this book sucked.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Hey, I just wanted to say that I love reading your recaps. They’re really funny. But I have one peeve – could you maybe take the time to proofread your recaps before you post them? I’m not trying to knock you or anything, ’cause like I said, I love the snark, but it does detract from the quality of the recap when there are a bunch of misspelled words and such.

  18. BadKat says:

    I swear, if Todd was my significant other I would bludgeon him and drag his body down to the creek. Then I would of course blame my (imaginary) twin sister, who is possibly evil.

    I had Liz’s swimsuit in 1990. It had a zipper, I totally thought it rocked!

    I wanted a bodywave because some BSC book (Camp Mohawk?) said Stacy had one and I thought it sounded cool!

  19. RollingStone says:

    “Caroline gets back at her by managing to trick Jessica into be[ing] left in her underwear in the dressing room.”

    This is supposed to be a BAD thing for Jessica?
    I’m surprised that she didn’t show herself off to a cute male employee who just happened to be an undercover modeling agent who falls in love with her at first sight and gets her a contract with Victoria’s Secret.

  20. Donna says:

    I recall in one of the very early SVH books, Liz describes Jessica (amongst other things) as a sensational surfer – again another nitpicky inconsistency from the ghostwriters if Jessica learns to surf much later in the series.

    Gingernut – I think Enid and Liz become park rangers in the book where Jessica is going to be interviewed on TV by a local talk show host – can’t recall the title. But would love for you to recap IHW! Jessica plays Lady Macbeth in another book (whose title I have also forgotten) where she has a personality transplant and actually puts herself out and tries to help the new girl fit in with the cool crowd.

    Man, how do I ever remember this shite??

  21. Amy Slutton says:

    Isn’t a bodywave like a perm, but softer, like wavy instead of curly? And less damaging? I remember I wanted a perm when I was in like 6th grade and I think my mom was trying to convince me to get a bodywave instead.

    I almost forgot about Liz’s perm. When I saw the cover of Who’s Who, the one before this one, I thought the cover artist had been switched out. Not only do the twins’ faces look different, but the hair! It looks awful! Then towards the end of the book it reveals why both had curly hair.

  22. glittergirley says:

    why is her swimsuit all gross and baggy at her waist/back area? did she forget and buy a size eight suit?

  23. kiwimusume says:

    I almost forgot about Liz’s perm.

    I have no idea why, but I totally read that sentence as “I almost forgot about Liz’s penis” and did a double take. O_o

  24. Sarah C. says:

    Liz’s face on this cover reminds me of the fugly “before” pictures of Hilary Faye (Mandy Moore) in the movie “Saved!” that are posted on the school computers.

    It’s nice how both J&E are so athletic, yet never appear to have visible muscle tone.

  25. Margaret says:

    hahaha I haven’t been here in a while, but it’s just as funny as ever! I recently gutted the teen section of the library I work at – omg there was so much super cheesy 80’s crap in there! You would have been salivating at the sight of so much Sweet Valley, Christopher Pike, RL Stine, Girl Talk, BSC, etc.. all in one place. Plus, you can’t forget those one hit wonder 80’s teen authors who always have some kind of cheesy cover with a Tom Cruise from Risky Business lookalike. Finding all those books actually reminded me to come back and check out your site again. Is it bad that I’m probably going to reread most of them before I withdraw them?

  26. amanda says:

    re: your last paragraph: It’s like Elizabeth is Britney Spears and Jessica is Christina Agulera, circa 2000. At least Christina can sing.

    By the way, why is Liz’s bathing suit on the cover BAGGY? Weird.

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