Robin Wilson should be in the X-Men

[photo from The Closet]

Can we come to a consensus that this may be one of the best covers ever? Robin is GORGE! FEROSH! FIERCE! (I’ve been watching Season 4 of Project Runway). She does look a bit like Britney Spears in the face. Also, cute shirt! But look, it’s so beeeg! She us just wasting away!

Ok, so this book was especially difficult to read, especially as someone who has struggled with weight issues since…well, birth.I will give this ghostie credit; they did seem to do some research about eating disorders.

We once again are from the viewpoint of Robin Wilson, only 70 books later and after her magical transformation. However, she is still unhappy, maybe even more so. She is really insecure about her boyfriend, George Warren, who isn’t coming home from college to see her as much and he is spending time with his attractive partner. ONCE A CHEATER ALWAYS A CHEATER, RIIIIGGHHHHT?

Robin is quite insecure, and acts all passive-aggressive with George and doesn’t say how she is feeling but acts all withdrawn and mopey. I want to hate her for it, but she does have some issues, and hasn’t exactly have friends who role model appropriate relationships. Which brings me to…Robin still hangs out with the cheerleader/sorority gang who she supposedly was shunning? I guess Maria and Sandra are alright (i.e. boring) but she is around Jessica a lot, and Jessica still hasn’t gotten over the fact that Robin was once fat. In fact, they all are planning a fundraiser with the world’s largest ice cream sundae, which Robin was in charge of, but Jessica keeps passive-aggressively taking over. Ugh. And Robin kind of takes it. And does she really want to be a cheerleader that badly? She’s also on the diving team. Which leads me to something else: Robin gets thin and suddenly she’s a superior athlete. Doesn’t that take some work? You can be thin and a shitty athlete, easily. This concept is insulting to athletes. Wow, is there anyone SVH doesn’t offend?

And since when are Robin and Elizabeth such besties? Of course it is convenient for Liz to be the friend so she can jump in and save her.

Robin at first feels that she needs to be skinnier so George will not dump her. But then it kind of spirals out of control and Robin stops eating as a sense of control because she is so anxious about planning the fundraiser and not being confident in her relationship with George. And it is pretty heartbreaking and shockingly realistic when she has a panic attack when trying to eat her lunch.

BUT as serious as her eating disorder is, about a week or two passes and suddenly her cheerleading uniform is 3 sizes too big and her bathing suit is practically falling off. I mean, seriously? This girl has insane metabolism. I mean, seriously, if skipping dinner one night allows her to lose 20 pounds, what the fuck? Either that or she has an insane mutant X-Men superpower.

Finally, at the fundraiser she collapses from pneumonia from having not eaten. I’m no eating disorder treatment expert, but at the hospital, a doctor comes in and curtly says “you have anorexia. So eat your breakfast.” Um, problem solved?

George comes to see her in the hospital and is concerned and apologizes for being distant. Now, the way this COULD have gone was that George could have said, I love you, you’re beautiful, and George’s love could have cured her and they all go laughing off to the Dairi Burger for triple cheeseburgers. (Kind of like that rad episode of Full House where DJ is ano for a day and then after the big family talk, they all have a spaghetti dinner and stuffs her face.) BUT, some credit here, Robin acknowledges that the problem lies within her and having George as a boyfriend doesn’t solve everything, and she needs to get help before she can be with him again. Well done, ghostwriter, whoever you are.

Lois Waller makes an appearance again, only for Robin to be mortified at how Lois can be so chubby and STILL have a boyfriend? I think Robin is more baffled by Lois’ apparently healthy attitude toward her body. Go Lo!

Um, yea. Pretty intense. I have to say it was handled better than I thought, but of course the issue is not brought up again and Jessica starts picking on fat girls again.

Quotes!

“Why is everyone in this country so obsessed with being skinny?” asked Elizabeth angrily. “it’s not right. Girls and women are made to feel ugly if they don’t look like models or beauty pageant contestants.” Um, maybe BECAUSE OF BOOKS LIKE THESE?

[Elizabeth] glanced over at Lois one more time. Lois would never be a fashion model, but she clearly had a great relationship with Gene, and her outlook on life was completely optimistic. So what difference did it make if she couldn’t wear size-six jeans? None at all, Elizabeth told herself confidently. None at all. SMUG BITCH!

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44 thoughts on “Robin Wilson should be in the X-Men

  1. Kats says:

    I agree, one of the only covers where someone looks genuinely attractive – Robin looks really pretty.

    I love how Jessica and co. are always scarfing down burgers and fries and never gain weight. I remember a book (this one?!) where someone (maybe Robin) is longingly watching someone eat a grilled cheese sandwich while she has a salad. It made me question grilled cheese sandwiches – my 12 year old self thought they were quite a healthy option! Thanks, SVH.

  2. Anne says:

    Didn’t Robin have a personal trainer though that whipped her into shape that week where she was out of school. Maybe he taught her how to dive. Then again, MY personal trainer never taught me how to dive and I paid her for 3 months 😛

    I HATE LIZ!!! Having re-read the third book (??? Maybe the fourth) where Robin is el-chunko, she is so uber-smug. I really want that chick to gain weight… badly. I don’t think that I’ve seen size six since I was about age 6, and am currently size 20, but working on that. And it’s true you do often feel self conscious when you eat/buy junk food. Cause you always think people will judge you. Maybe that’s because Liz is always such a condescending ho-bag to anyone who is bigger than a perfect size-six.

    Argh! This book fills me with hate.

    Though props to Robin… she does look hot on the cover.

  3. Rio says:

    I have to say, on this cover, Robin is a hottie pitottie. And the story even had a realistic ending. And it tackled some significant issues. My vote is in for this as the highest-quality SVH book.

  4. ihatewheat says:

    I think you’re right- Although it wasn’t the best storyline, I guess it was the most realistic and well-informed? But I hate to put “quality” and “Sweet Valley High” in the same sentence.

  5. yasoup says:

    “So what if she can’t wear size-six jeans?” WTF? What, is size six the magic number? Ye gods, and I thought the original Nancy Drew was perfect.

  6. Anne says:

    I really like that Robin at the end didn’t just think her life was perfect because George apologized. And props to the Full House reference, btw. I forgot about that episode.

    It’s not so much the book that fills me with hate… more like Liz (or the ghosties). I’ll have to see if they have this one at the Library so I can give it a go.

  7. Amanda says:

    I have to pick being able to buy anything you want, because then you can buy liposuction and a personal trainer along with super expensive clothes and all that other fun stuff.

  8. Jen S says:

    I remember this one, and am also grateful Robin was not cured of her life-threatening complex condition by a George apology.

    And sadly, I voted to lose weight as my superpower, and it looks like a majority so far agree with me. We can rant against eating disorders and our fucked up culture all we want, but that doesn’t change what we’d really do if we had the chance.

  9. Onnie says:

    I got so hungry reading this i immediately stuffed my face with 3 huge, soft baked, chocolate macadamia pepperidge farm cookies. guess I’ll never be that perfect size 6…err, or is it now 4?

  10. Magpie says:

    “Why is everyone in this country so obsessed with being skinny?” asked Elizabeth angrily. “it’s not right. Girls and women are made to feel ugly if they don’t look like models or beauty pageant contestants.”…

    …Don’t miss the next-but-one instalment, “Miss Teen Sweet Valley”, in which Elizabeth ends up participating in a beauty pageant dressed up as Jessica!

    Jeez, what were the Sweet Valley editing board thinking, screwing over their ONE decent portrayal of teenage self-image and insecurity by following this so closely with the gem that is SVH #76???

  11. Magpie says:

    OH, and I voted for Jessica’s superpower. If I could behave like a total asshole and still have everybody bend to my will all the time, that’d be pretty awesome. And since I’d be a sociopath, I wouldn’t even have any pesky sense of conscience telling me not to! 😉

  12. Vanessa Saxton says:

    Thanks for the re-cap. As a Robin fan, I have wanted to read this one but i never got the chance. I think I “cheated” and read the diaries, so I thought I read all of them.
    Isn’t Lois a size 10 in these books? I think I read that somewhere. That cracks me up that a size 10 is considered fat.

  13. sarah says:

    I loved in the 2nd book how Robin was supposed to be seriously overweight, from the sound of it (I mean would she really be made fun of that much and the class pariah if she was only like, 10 lb overweight?)…and managed to go on a diet and lose it ALL before homecoming. So maybe we’re talking like, 50 pounds, in less than a month.

    She IS a superhero…

    As a fat kid reading SV books, I was always puzzled by the fat characters. My favorite was the annoying cousin. Who WAS actually only about 10lb overweight, I think they mention it in the book. I mean, 10 lb? That warrants Jessica abuse? I’m 100 lb overweight! More even! Fuck. I have no point. 🙂

  14. Krysten says:

    I love the being able to get perfect grades while never attending college. Why was he always around stalking high school girls? He should have pitched a tent on the high school lawn & waited to lure girls in.

  15. BadKat says:

    I have a close friend who is a nurse in an eating disorder ward at a hospital. All of the tables are clear so no one can sneak food and there are no plants or decorations because people puke in them. They also have an escort to go to the bathroom. It sounds insane, and they are expanding because there are so many people being checked in. I realize this fun fact has very little to do with this book.

    Since when is pneumonia caused by not eating?

  16. Cat says:

    What about fat people who are good athletes? There was some chick at my gym who was a way better gymnast than I was and had to be a good ten pounds up the scale and it right pissed me off. OK, so she technically wasn’t overweight, but my point is thinner =/= better athlete.

    But yeah, this one didn’t fill me with quite the same irrational fury as other SVH books have in their ham-handed handling of “real issues.”

  17. Pacey1927 says:

    What about the girl that plays Martha on High School Musical (s). She isn’t Miss. Skinny and the girl can move!

    I was actually impressed that they had her as a cheerleader and stuff in HSM3.

  18. BartTempleton says:

    Anne, your rage about POWER PLAY has nothin’ on mine. Just do a search on this blog and you’ll see my incandescent fury in action in the Comments.

    I voted to have Lila Fowler’s wealth. Nothing will stop my love for this woman. Or her spending power. She’s a one-woman economic stimulus package.

    And old Jimmy did himself proud here with Robin’s closeup: she looks (a) attractive and shockingly, (b) not 37.

  19. ihatewheat says:

    Yes, I also noticed that most people chose the losing weight superpower. I admit it, I would pick that too. All this talk about accepting yourself and being comfortable is fine, but until the rest of society backs the fuck off, it ain’t happening.

    Yes, Martha in HSM3 is a larger gal, but she still fucking annoys me because she’s always so hyper and super-ramped up.

    I hate Elizabeth. Do I say that enough?

  20. Sarah C. says:

    Okay, I am so glad I now know what this book is about. I seriously thought Robin tried to join the football team to be close to George and the cover pictures her wearing his oversized jerse

  21. The Black Sheep says:

    Zomg. I hate Liz. I really do. Its been said at least a thousand times, but I just had to say it again.

    A SIZE TEN IS FAT? A SIZE TEN!! Good Looorddd. This book makes me think of Americas next top model.

  22. Cara Walker says:

    I always loved this book and read it about a zillion times. As someone who suffered from an eating disorder (resrticted eating, not full-blown anorexia) I thought this book did a reasonable job (as far as SVH books go). I kind of couldn’t help but hate on George, though. I wouldn’t trust a guy who had cheated before and there were times he seemed pretty unsympathetic. Robin’s a sixteen year old girl, for goodness sakes – she shouldn’t have to be so adult in understanding George hanging out so much with Vicki! I would have been pissed if I was Robin!

    I voted for Lila’s wealth. That would be awesome.

  23. maybeimamazed02 says:

    @ Magpie–Oh, Jesus. That is just awful awful awful.

    No lie, this was the first SVH book I ever read (my cousin gave it to me as an Easter present–random, but really sweet). Needless to say, it was all downhill from here.

  24. Becca says:

    Wow, Robin really does have a Britney-like quality there. That is definitely not how I pictured her at all when I read Power Play, but I suppose that was when she was “grossly” overweight. I haven’t read this one but it doesn’t sound too bad!

    I can’t decide if I loathe Jessica or Liz more. It’s usually Jessica because, really. She can’t get over the fact that someone used to be fat?! Ridiculous. But at least Jessica can be up front about her bitchery (some times), while Liz masks hers by meddling in everyone’s lives and wearing khaki pants.

  25. BartTempleton says:

    “But at least Jessica can be up front about her bitchery (some times), while Liz masks hers by meddling in everyone’s lives and wearing khaki pants.”

    Just so, Becca. It’s Elizabeth, hands down.

  26. Abby says:

    Liz is definitely a hypocrite on top of being a judgmental bitch, but I still think Jess is worse in most books. She’s downright cruel in the majority of early SVH. The ghostwriter toned her down quite a bit in the books after SVH 100 and she’s almost nice in SVU. I’d say before the Sam arc, Jessica was worse than Liz. After, I’d give the edge to Liz. Not only was Jessica nicer in the later books, she also started getting her comeuppance a lot more.

    “A SIZE TEN IS FAT? A SIZE TEN!! Good Looorddd. This book makes me think of Americas next top model”

    We had this discussion following another book on this website, but I don’t remember which one. Anyways, I wouldn’t call a size 10 fat, but a size 10 in the early to mid 80s would really be more akin to about a size 14-16 or so now. Still not morbidly obese or anything, but apples and oranges comparing then and now.

  27. Amber Tan says:

    “Wow, is there anyone SVH doesn’t offend?”

    Um, upper-upper-middle class WASPs maybe? I agree that Robin does look great despite being draped in an oversized football jersey. And George? Is a major dickwad who deserves to be kicked to the curb. Repeatedly.

    FWIW, I voted to have Lila’s purchasing power. That way if anyone called me fat/ ugly or tried to meddle in my affairs (a la St. Liz), I’d just pop a serious cap in said offender’s (size 6) a$$ and hire a super-team of high-powered attorneys to get the charges dropped. After posting bail. In cash. 😉

    “…you’ll see my incandescent fury in action…”

    BTW, BartTempleton, may I borrow this for a new tagline? Pretty please with sugar on top? 🙂

  28. The Black Sheep says:

    Lol at Magpie. I seriously cant believe that size six could possibly be considered plus size. I still can’t believe that right now size twelve and fourteen are plus size. Don’t trust me on this because I’m not sure, but I think I remember Demelza on Australia’s next top model being told she was to big because she was SIZE TEN! AGGH! And that was now.

  29. "Kitten" Whitman says:

    Totally digressing from the weight convo to snark on such a blatantly obvious lack of continuity…

    “And since when are Robin and Elizabeth such besties? Of course it is convenient for Liz to be the friend so she can jump in and save her.”

    Totally agreed. And furthermore, because Liz and Eeny are thisclose, wouldn’t Liz kind of have to hate Robin by default? Not only did she steal George , but it WAS indirectly her fault that Eeny wound up in a wheelchair! (Sixteen-year-olds flying planes-WTF??) At least the demon spawn of Collins came along and pretended to drown. I’ll bet Roger was thrilled the plan– anything to see Liz in her bathing suit.

  30. Vanessa Saxton says:

    Carrie Underwood was a size 6 when she won Idol. I read somewhere (People, US Weekly or was it something on VH1) that she was told she had to lose her “baby fat” in order to make it in the biz. She is now a size 2.

  31. BartTempleton says:

    Kitten Whitman:
    “At least the demon spawn of Collins came along and pretended to drown.”

    At first I thought you meant Collins had spawned someone, and I was like, “you mean he and Liz really had a lovechild together?” But you’re right, he be a demon…lover.

    “I’ll bet Roger was thrilled the plan– anything to see Liz in her bathing suit.”

    You called him Roger, ha!

    “BTW, BartTempleton, may I borrow this for a new tagline? ”

    My dear AmberTan, there’s no need to beg. My fury is your fury…as you would discover if you were to pick up a copy of POWER PLAY.

    I picked Lila’s wealth too! We must get together at Lisette’s and Bibi’s to shop for women’s tuxedos, white silk jumpsuits and bronze lame bikinis.

  32. Amber Tan says:

    “he and Liz really had a lovechild together?”

    Eww — GROSS. There isn’t enough brain bleach in existence that could erase that visual. Heh. You must be hella fun at Halloween, BartTempleton. 😉

    Many thanks for the sparkly new tagline, BT — you are too kind. Rest assured that I shall display it proudly. And I totes understand your take on ‘Power Play’, especially the “murdermurdermurderkillkillkillkillmurderhate” part.

    In fact, my therapist strongly recommends against my re-reading that particular SVH book because it incites me to the point of wanting to push people in front of moving trains. Of course all my victims fall into the “smug yet vacuous, size 6 blonde biatch with sea-blue eyes” demographic. 😉

    And let’s do get together for shopping and skinny lattes, dah-ling. We can buy resort islands to match our bronze lame bikinis. 🙂

  33. calicodrive says:

    Jess ia more upfront about it eg ‘at least Robin isnt fat anymore’ whereas Liz is more ‘its ok that Robis is not a skinny or hot as me. its totally fine.’ for some reason i LOVED this book when i was a kid. read it heaps of times. and something about the super sundae just seemed really impossible to me. i mean ice cream in kiddie pools? does anyone else try to imagine this and go ‘so not possible..’

  34. Magpie says:

    OK, I just googled Carrie Underwood and she looked SO much better as a size six than as a size two. IMO.

    Also, I am still in the “Jessica for biggest bitch” camp. I know Liz has her smug bitchy moments, but Jessica is just sociopathic. And has nearly driven people to suicide with her bullying!

  35. Cheryl Slade says:

    As usual, the SVH timeline screws everything the hell up. Robin gets a full-blown eating disorder and lands herself in the hospital in two weeks? And then recovers in a few days? *headdesk*

  36. Jade Wu's Toe Shoe says:

    I swear, there is a correlation between reading SV books and suffering from eating disorders. Someone take a survey!

  37. Sonnie says:

    “Why is everyone in this country so obsessed with being skinny?” asked Elizabeth angrily. “it’s not right. Girls and women are made to feel ugly if they don’t look like models or beauty pageant contestants.” It’s pretty damn easy for Liz to say that when every one licks her skinny size 6 brownstar every fucking five seconds!

  38. Margo Black says:

    I always hate “eating disorder episodes” of YA books or 80’s sit.coms Why is a mental illness like anorexia or bulimia solved by a heart to heart and a bowl of Campbell’s (blow) Chunky?

  39. Claire Muncaster says:

    Hiya,

    I read all these because my cousins absolutely loved them & passed them onto me. To be honest I preferred Point Horror. I remember this book being very sad, but on the plus side it’s an SVH book where SOMETHING ACTUALLY HAPPENED.

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