Sweet Caroline…stfu.

The wrath of the color-coordinated barettes

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.

Exhibit A. Also, I hate Debra Messing.

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.

Exhibit B "She was preapred for anything untill love stormed in." Apparently not prepared enought to wear pants.

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.

Nob Hill” An especially crime-ridden area of San Francisco

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.

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35 thoughts on “Sweet Caroline…stfu.

  1. Namrata says:

    Oh god, I always wanted to smack Caroline across the face, but i think I respected Bitchy!Gossipy!Caroline FAR more than Whiny!Wannabe!Caroline. Too much of the latter in this book!

  2. Janelle says:

    Caroline was always one of those weird characters who was sometimes hated by everyone in the “popular” crowd, but sometimes described as one of them and a “good friend”- it always annoyed me!

  3. Nina says:

    “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’s curl up in the fetal position and in her mind go to Sweet Valley- it’s her happy place.”

    That’s total gold right there. I picture Sweet Valley a lot like Pleasantville — no one knows what’s outside of it. And why would you want to know? Pleasantville/Sweet Valley is the best place ever!

  4. tinypants says:

    Without Google (or something like), how would Jessica know Caroline was plagiarizing Browning and not that Elizabeth was plagiarizing Caroline’s fake boyfriend’s letters? I’m just saying! Even if she had that poetry moment when she was trying to impress A.J. Morgan, I just don’t think Jess is working with an especially high wattage intellect.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Going off of that- why wouldn’t Jessica just think that Caroline’s boyfriend was plagiarizing the poems? How does she know that Caroline wrote them herself?

  6. Jen S. says:

    I remember Caroline being “uncomfortable” if her polo shirts weren’t buttoned all the way to the top, larynx strangling button. So not only does she not cocktease like the popular girls, she’s wearing the Sweet Valley version of Amish clothing. Who the hell buttoned their polo shirts? How stupid was she? I was the biggest nerd alive in eighth grade and even I knew THAT!

    This book was also the first time I heard the phrase “left handed compliment” and was offended. From the lips of Liz, naturally.

  7. Magpie says:

    On the topic of Caroline’s fake love letters, wouldn’t they all notice that it looked like Caroline’s handwriting? My sister had a school friend who did this exact same thing, and it was really, unbelievably blatant that the girl was just trying to disguise her own handwriting. I don’t believe for a second that Caroline could get away with that for so long.

    “I am imagining that whenever Francine would get upset, she’s curl up in the fetal position and in her mind go to Sweet Valley- it’s her happy place.”

    This whole paragraph made me LOL. I read somewhere that Francine never went to her own prom, and ever since I read that, I’ve been picturing all the prom/school dance storylines as her way of acting out her lost prom fantasies.

    Also, I love San Francisco – what are the twins complaining about?!

  8. Lauri says:

    I think “Adam” only typed his letters, and Lila and Jessica thought that wasn’t very romantic. And then Lila thought Adam was doing the stealing, but Jessica was convinced it was Caroline. (You know I would so have passed the CPA exam if I could so replace SVH facts with accounting facts)
    Does Anita transform Caroline by giving her Elizabeth’s barrettes?

  9. ihatewheat says:

    Yes, Caroline typed the letters. If she was smart, she would have just said that Adam wrote her Robert Browning poems. But I’m expecting too much.

  10. RollingStone says:

    There already IS a play about Elizabeth and Robert Browning: “The Barretts of Wimpole Street.” Some students performed it at school when I was in ninth grade. According to the IMDB, it was made into a movie twice!

    The contest judges obviously didn’t care much about originality.

  11. Mrs Dallas says:

    Can we all just take a moment to celebrate Caroline’s hair here? Obviously this is the BEFORE shot… once she has Liz’s barrettes she is of course totally transformed.

  12. Pauline says:

    Once we find out the BEST SVH BOOK EVER, I’d be curious to see a poll on who folks hated more: Liz or Jess.

    Aw, I say their pet names with such familiarity & affection. Gag.

  13. Magpie says:

    “Adam” typed the letters??? Points to the ghostwriter for trying to cover the potential plot hole, I guess, but computers didn’t enter the SVH world until at least 50 books after this one, so “he” must have used a typewriter instead. Caroline seriously expected everyone to believe that a sixteen-year-old guy would sit down and write love poetry on a typewriter?

    Oh, wait… this is the same universe in which teenage boys wear suits and ties and eat finger food at school dances organised by the PTA. It makes sense now 🙂

  14. Peepors says:

    I dunno what would be worse. SVH’s annoying twins from hell. Or San Fran’s troll twins from Full House.

  15. tracy london says:

    i too always wondered why caroline just didn’t cop to her boyfriend being a plagiarizer rather than giving it up that she is so pressured by the perfect size six, blond like the sunshine, aqua like the ocean wakefield twins that she made her up a boyfriend so those little bitches would accept her.

    anyway, if there was a poll, i hate liz more. liz. a thousand times liz.

  16. Amy Slutton says:

    The thing that bothered me most about this book is Liz’s outfit on the cover. Is that a yellow oxford shirt with red pants/skirt? Ah, the 80’s.

    • Amber Tan says:

      Is it me or are Caroline and Liz both wearing the same gawd awful shirt?

      BTW, I love the Nob Hill picture, ihatewheat. Memmmmorriieeesss…but wouldn’t Liz have to go to the Castro or Tenderloin to “save” some gays and/ or drug addicts? Actually I think that would be a prime candidate for the Best Sweet Valley High Story Never Written. 😉

  17. Jemgirl83 says:

    I loved this book back in the day but Caroline is gotta be the least sympathic of the “loser” types that Liz had to “save”. Didn’t she find out about Alice’s promotion by rooting through the Wakefield’s trash? WTF!!! So she’s a voyeurist, a liar, a red head AND UNPOPULAR. This girl didn’t have a chance.

  18. Monic says:

    I actually don’t think Caroline looks too bad on the cover. I like her hair color, the top part of the haircut looks kinda big though, like a hairstyle from Designing Women. Elizabeth just looks insane of this cover. Instead of looking curious, she just looks upset, and the arm crossing thing makes her look like a mom or a cop. LOL Jen S. about Caroline buttoning her shirts all the way to the top button. I don’t think I’ve seen anyone do that, not even back in the fashions-from-hell 80s!

  19. katie says:

    LOL…san francisco…lately theres a lot of crimes? Ive read almost every single one of SVH novels and crime is one of the main plots. Kidnapping…murderers..hello?

    Why is it that all the characters want to be friends with the Wakefield twins? Yeah, great, we know that they are the most popular girls..but there have to be someone that at least hates them. Not everyone is well liked by others.

    God. I hate Liz’s expression on the cover.

  20. Roger Patman says:

    Remember the lame ‘The New Elizabeth’ when Caroline falls off the wagon and starts gossiping again? And it was about Jessica and her split personalities, Daniella and Magenta? My gawd, Lame-o Lizzie was just crushed to see she was back to her old ways..

  21. upstatestruggler says:

    I’ve been feeling like the friend who moved away and promised to write- and did, once, to tell everyone how awesome her new life was, while washing a bottle of aspirin down with a stolen wine cooler because no one in my new school understands me and I miss doing simple morse code with a flashlight every night…how I’ve missed this! wheat, so glad to see this still in full effect.
    the cover of the book scares me, mostly because their similar oxford shirts (though I am sure Caro’s is a MEDIUM, not a size-six SMALL) make them look like a two-headed, butt-crack-haired early 80s talbot’s catalog reject.
    the conversations it would have!
    “I TOLD YOU we had to go to the bathroom!”
    “hit the damn brakes already! this fiat can’t stop itself! oohhhh nooo”
    “quit looking at ken’s package! I said stop! you’re not, huh? well, what else would you be doing with that magnifying glass?”

  22. svhrules says:

    Not surprised Jerry fell for Caroline. It’s natural to fall in love with the girl you’re escorting to a party as a favour to a friend under the pretence that you’re her fake boyfriend Adam. Not weird at all…

    • Goldray says:

      Svhrules, I think you are forgetting that Caroline was wearing Elizabeth-Wakefield-like barrettes to that party, so, of course he’d have no choice but to fall madly in love with her.

  23. edkchestnut says:

    I did not pick up on the Bruce calling Regina thing but think it is hilarious. Also, how can someone be allergic to Chinese Food.

    My most hated twin–Jessica, which is funny because I loved her as a kid but every book I read now just makes me hater her more and more.

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