Caroline is a sad sack of shit. And by that I mean she’s a perfectly normal teenager except that she’s not in the super special Wakefield inner circle. She also is a gossip and that makes people hate her. You’d think she’d learn. Or….they would make her write the Eyes & Ears column. That would make sense, right? Anyhoo at some point, probably in the leadup to this book, she’s made up an imaginary boyfriend, Adam, and that makes people interested in her, mostly because they can’t believe a TOOL like Caroline could have a boyfriend. Adam lives far away and only can write her letters. Caroline uses Robert Browning’s poems in her letters, pretending Adam writes her love poems. Say it with me: GHEY.
Well, what a coinky-dink! There’s a play writing competition and guess which teacher’s pet aspiring writer is entering? AND GUESS WHO IS BASING HER PLAY ON ELZABETH AND ROBERT BROWING! Ruh roh! This can’t end well. Actually, Liz is annoyed by Caroline, suddenly when the person that needs help is not so subservient and pretty, she doesn’t want to help. Despite her constipated/interested look on the cover.
Carline wants nothing more than to hang out the with Jessica/Lila mean girl crowd. She’s kind of pathetic, even more so than Abbie Richards. She hears them mention the beach, so she gets all excited like she’s invited, and when she gets there, Jessica makes fun of her because she is wearing a ONE PIECE BATHING SUIT!
Carline’s sister Anita also suddenly respects her more that she has a boyfriend. They go to the mall for makeover madness. Lila calls bullshit on Caroline and decides to throw a party so Carline can bring Adam. You know, because Lila throwing a party is nothing, but let’s take a moment and feel bad for Lila’s maid who has to work an evening, taking people’s coats and making 400 cucumber finger sandwiches.
Carline is torn, she should tell the truth but she’ll look like an idiot! Jessica ends up reading Elizabeth’s play (which wins the competition of course GAG) and makes the connection that Caroline plagiarized the poems from Robert Browning and was writing the letters to herself. Suddenly Liz sees a chance to parade her perfect (um?) relationship with Todd in front of Caroline and suddenly feels bad for her. so she talks her into telling the truth at the party. Only, Todd arranges for his friend Jerry to come and pose as Adam. Caroline however still comes clean, because that’s what typical teenagers would do! They would rather have integrity and honesty and give up their popularity. Actually, Jerry and Caroline get along well and he likes her because big sis Anita bro9ught her to the mall and bought her hairclips. So Carline gets a boyfriend after all! All is well! Except that it’s not, because Caroline is still a gossip in all the rest of the books.
And thus, several rom-com plots were born. (See Exhibits A and B). The neurotic unlucky-in-love female protagonist invents a fake boyfriend to prove something to someone, and then to no one’s surprise, falls in love with the fake boyfriend.
In the irritating subplot, Alice gets a job offer from a firm in San Francisco. It’s an amazing opportunity for her, but the twins never think that, ebcause they are too busy whining about how it will affect them. And they can’t believe that anyone would want to live anywhere other than Sweet Valley! So they embark on a campaign to convince their parents to stay, by bombarding them with borchures about Sweet Valley and always talking about how awesome everything is in Sweet Valley. In other words, once again bombarding the reader with how awesome Sweet Valley is and how everyone who doesn’t live there should feel like shit. They talk about how awful it is to live in San Francisco (yea, it’s AWFUL) and how lately there’s been a lot of crime. Actually, I think Liz would love it. She could “save” all the gay people.[At left: Nob Hill, a crime-ridden eye sore in San Francisco.]
Speaking of this whole obsession with always saying Sweet Valley is the best place to live- I am imagining that whenever Francine would get upset, she’d curl up in the fetal position and in her mind go to Sweet Valley- it’s her happy place. Shit could be going on in her real life, but in her mind, she’s just shopping at Lisette’s or binge eating at Casey’s.