Poor Little Rich Girl

Courtesy of The Closet

Courtesy of The Closet

Oh Lila. Why do you have to be this way? We love your cool, snarky exterior but when you got your own Super Star, we thought we’d see the real Lila, one that was actually cool and smart and had it together. Unfortunately, it took for you to experience sexual assault until you had feelings and dealt with your problems and had emotions.

Mr. Fowler (who I imagine as John Hamm) has a new ladyfriend, Joan, who has a daughter Jacqueline. Fuck, I have to type that name every time. Lila suspects Joan is after her father’s money, because she never pays for anything and they always are staying at Fowler Crest (in the guest room of course!). Lila tries to tell her father but he won’t have it, he’s totally hot for Joan. Lila and her father have an odd relationship, but that’s the most obvious statement ever. Also, did you know that the Fowlers have a housekeeper named Eva? Who Lila has known since she was little? Not like we ever hear from her. And I hope Eva gets a good fucking salary, because you wouldn’t believe the crap she needs to do. Joan and Jacqueline are over for lunch, and Eva has to prepare lobster tails and shrimp cocktail, creme brulee and swan ice sculptures.

Meanwhile, Lila’s got problems of her own. She meets Evan Armstrong as a concert, and decides she’s in love. Evan is nuttin’ special. Kind of a cross between Todd and Ken Matthews, if you can imagine that snoozefest. Problem is, he’s dating some gal named Sonia. Lila enlists Bruce into luring Sonia away. And damn! The sexual tension between Lila and Bruce jumps out of the page. Bruce of course has Sonia dropping her panties at the first revving of 1BRUCE1, and Lila seduces Evan with her womanly wiles.

So, Lila’s scheming to get Evan is pretty much like Joan scheming to get George Fowler, amiryte? You’d think it was a parallel story, right? Let’s not give the ghost writers that much credit. Joan and George leave for the week and leave the gals at Fowler Crest. Jacqueline reveals herself to be a scheming shrew, and steals Lila’s car to go off and jaunt with Lila’s friends who love her.

Finally, Lila is able to reveal Joan’s true intentions by hiding microphones in her dressing room before the wedding, while she conveniently talks about her scheme to marry him and take his money. George apologizes profusely to Lila, and somehow is not too upset, and decides to make the wedding a party for Lila instead. Woopsies! No real adult reactions allowed in Sweet Valley. Meanwhiles, Lila finds out that Evan has been canoodling with Jacqueline, but dumps his ass before he can dump hers. So really, Lila didn’t really learn a lesson, she just got away with her bratty tactics. And the universe is aligned in the world of Sweet Valley.

You know what? I don’t even think Liz was in this book. So it had that going for it.

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55 thoughts on “Poor Little Rich Girl

  1. Jen says:

    I’m not even going to lie, this was my favorite SVH book for the longest time. I think I re-read this sucker a gazillion times when I was younger.

    Perhaps it’s the dazzling lavender turtleneck on the cover? Seriously, only Li could make that shit look glam.

    And does anyone else always think of The Unicorns anytime they see someone in purple? Thanks Francine (ghost writer).

    Still, the best of the Super Stars I think.

  2. JasDramaqueen says:

    Ahhh!This was the very first SVH book I read…I must have been about 8 years old (oh so precocious!) and I truly ‘hearted’ this book!

    Jen- I totally agree that some of my infatuation may have been associated witht he book cover. My opinion of Lila was forever solidifed by this book…for some reason, a $100 black and gold maillot’ just popped into my head. Didn’t Jacqueline have one? And also a car phone in the Lime green Triumph…odd what you remember!

  3. Malika says:

    Disclosure time: After reading this book i went out and bought a lavender turtleneck, just so i could emulate Lila! Unfortunately, that was the only way i could emulate Lila. No whizzing up to school in an amazing car. More like arriving puffing and sweaty on a wreck of a bycicle! Why was Lila destined for swan sculptures and Malika for dried up cheese sandwiches for lunch?

  4. Magpie says:

    I also loved this book, and read it loads of times, but the details of the plot had magically vanished from my mind until I saw the names Joan and Jacqueline.

    Shouldn’t George have disciplined Lila for bugging Joan’s room to spy on her? I know the outcome was kind of positive, but jeez, these SVH kids need to learn some boundaries. Then again, I guess this would fall into the category of parental discipline, which is obviously unheard of in Sweet Valley.

    “The sexual tension between Lila and Bruce jumps out of the page”

    Bruce and Lila getting together in the SVU series was even more predictable than a Liz/Todd break-up. I can’t believe how long it took the ghostwriters to think of that pairing.

  5. gnatalby says:

    I’m going to have to concur, Lila’s cover look holds up really well.

    Shouldn’t George have disciplined Lila for bugging Joan’s room to spy on her?

    Lila is lucky she didn’t accidentally overhear George fowlering Joan. I can’t imagine the horrible sickness that would have to come over me to prompt me to put a microphone in my newly coupled up father’s girlfriend’s bedroom. Yuck.

    It seems to be unusual on this blog, but I was actually a primary reader of the Sweet Valley Twins series and only dabbled in SVH. I remember the first one I ever picked up took place after Lila was raped and she was starting to get amorous with some dude and flipped out.

    I was kind of traumatized and returned to the Twins for awhile. Definitely ludicrous, but a land gloriously free of sexual assault.

    • Magpie says:

      “George fowlering Joan”

      That is seriously the best euphemism I’ve ever heard! And yes, you would be right, but this is Sweet Valley, where sex doesn’t exist. Nobody has genitalia, and babies are delivered by the stork.

      • Lauri says:

        I thought she hid the microphones in the hallway near where they would be waiting to go down the aisle rather than the bedroom. I guess it’s George’s house and he can do it where ever he likes, but hallway is a little less likely than the bedroom to pick up certain things.

    • kc says:

      WTF???? Lila was RAPED??? Please, can someone explain this to me? I started reading SVH pretty late in the game on account that I was forbiden to even touch them. I’m more familiar with SV Teens-verse

      • Magpie says:

        John Pfeiffer tried to rape Lila in the subtly-named book, “Don’t Go Home with John”. Initially, I thought it was one of their better storylines, because Lila was actually traumatised by it and it was mentioned in more than one book afterwards. But then they ruined it by turning John into a pyromaniac/psycho later on.

  6. Namrata says:

    “Bruce of course has Sonia dropping his panties at the first revving of 1BRUCE1”

    Ha…and I think that’s supposed to be Sonia dropping HER panties, but i still got a good 10 minutes of laughter out of picturing Bruce in panties 🙂

    Also – “no real adult reactions allowed in Sweet Valley”? You basically summed up every book right there! Sheer genius.

  7. Renee says:

    Bruce dropping his panties felt intentional to me. I don’t know, I guess I’m realistic that way.

    Holy cow, and YES Lila’s hair.

    Remind me. Did Eva have an accent?

  8. bookslide says:

    Eva’s in the board game, on one of the cards.

    I made my boyfriend play. He was amused by the stealing boyfriends thing, but then was as bored by the gameplay as I was.

    There has to be a better board game to represent this universe than what boils down to memory.

  9. Jen S. says:

    Lila is even prettier than Robin on that cover! Stunning.

    One thing I love about the SVH books is that if they tell you someone is golddigging, insincere money grubbing shrew whore, that’s exactly what they turn out to be. Any other YA novel, Joan would have been talking to the air about how much she loves George and she doesn’t care about his money and blah blah blah, and Lila hears this and feels ashamed and gives Dad her blessing and is co-maid of honor with Jaqui at the wedding and it all ends with them laughing and eating cake and PUKE.

    Not in Sweet Valley though! If you think people only love you for your money, you are right on the nose, and if you think people hate you for your lack of same, well, congrats, you’re a wretched peasant but correct. Is there a pleasure more pure and undiluted than driving the co-witch marriage conspirators out of town on a rail? Nay! The only thing that can top it off is forcing your housekeeper, mute and numb with years of catering to your outrageous demands, to create elaborate ice sculptures of the entire event, so you can watch them melt and twist and collapse on themselves as you dance around them in your mansion! HA HA HA HA HA!!!!!

    On another note, if George is John Hamm, I see Joan and Jaqui as Joan and Jane, respectively. Black hearted evil, but ice sculpture melting hot!

      • Jen S. says:

        Hmm, yeah, I can see that, but I think the actress who plays Joan has that bombshell, Marilyn “gentlemen prefer blondes” vibe going on–a little like the character she played on Firefly. But she’ d be great as the sainted dead mom too.

        And Todd is TOTALLY Petey. And Ken Matthews is–Ken!

  10. Janelle says:

    I agree about the gorgeousness of Lila on this cover! I must admit that I’ve always loved her and I think it’s because of the brown hair (I, too, have long dark brown hair!) Anyways- it is this picture that makes me think Nina Dobrev would be the perfect Lila in the Sweet Valley High movie! Seriously, check out this Vampire Diaries poster and tell me that girl doesn’t look just like this cover:

    I think this is probably my favorite of the superstars, too, unfortunately, that isn’t really saying much! Good idea in theory- but these books could have been way better!

    Gotta love how everyone in Sweet Valley is always dumb enough to completely love the new girl in town- except for the one person who knows how much of a fraud she is! case in point: suzanne devlin, that creepy girl who wanted to steal Jessica’s part in MacBeth, Jacqueline, and probably several more!

    • maybeimamazed02 says:

      Sasha Grey is so freaking gorgeous. I picture Lila as her or Leighton Meester (Blair Waldorf does have some Lila tendencies).

      Pete Campbell as Todd, hee hee. In some very weird ways, that actually kinda fits.

    • Janelle says:

      haha- I guess I could see that one… I have to give a big NO to the girl from Gossip Girl though, she’s just not Lila.

    • Vanessa Saxton says:

      I still say Leigton Meester or Nikki Reed as Lila. I am just not feeling the others. Lila has a certain attitude that won’t be easy to capture. I feel Leighton and Nikki have that same ‘tude. Anything is better than that awful 40 something year old, skinny red headed chick that played her in the tv series, though!

      • anastasia says:

        I can totally picture Leighton Meester as Lila! I just finished watching the first season of Gossip Girl, and Blair = Lila!

  11. Merrie says:

    Lila’s story was the best of all the Super Star books.

    I so remember the sexual tension between Lial and Bruce. I always wish those two would have gotten together. Imagine the parties!

  12. Neek1981 says:

    Lila is pretty here, and she was also pretty on the SVT covers. I always imagined Lila as the prettiest of the SVH gang. The description of Regina Morrow makes her sound pretty, but she didn’t look all that cute on the covers of Hostage or On the Edge, in fact, she looks like two different people on those covers.
    I also like the physical description of Nicholas Morrow, but he didn’t look like himself on the cover of Deceptions. (Maybe he had a face transplant and bleached his hair?
    The twins never took my breath away on the covers, which is beyond ironic, because they’re supposed to be all that and 137 bags of chips.

  13. RollingStone says:

    Someone (I think it was on the 1bruce1 site) said that Lila looked like Jennifer Connelly in this picture, and I have to agree. Lila’s hair even looks darker than usual.

    I doubt that Jennifer could play her in the movie though, even with brown dye. Her characters tend to be more sweet than bitchy, at least in the movies I’ve seen.

    • EmilyKate says:

      Yeah, she’d be great, back in the day she would have been a dead ringer! She’s just too old now, I think 38? Teen shows DO use older actors a lot, Luke Perry and Gabrielle Carteris were pretty old when they were on 90210, but I donlt think they were more than 30 at the time… ah, Labyrinth-era Jennifer Connelly would be great for Lila!

  14. Bart_Templeton says:

    Lila dearest, do you remember how I read and re-read this, one of my top 3 SVHS, and always shuddered with revulsion every time that satanic upstart Jacqueline appeared on the page? Do you remember how I hurled the book at the my bedroom floor every time she tried on your $400 chocolate suede suit? Do you remember how I rooted for you and cheered at the end even as I acknowledged the microphone-in-the-green-room trick is a plot device as old as Kilimanjaro?

    This book is one of several that proves Lila has soul, heart, warmth–call it what you will. A typical biotchy character is someone like Amy Sutton–no brains, no character, just a general contempt for the non-privileged that’s too vapid to be malice.

    Lila has vulnerability–form her father’s neglect of her, from her secret fear that money can’t buy true friends or love, from her need for a mother-figure. And that’s why no two-bit CW starlet can accurately capture her essence. Lila without heart is like Liz without righteous disapproval, like Todd without White Privilege, like Penny Ayala with a meaningul storyline…WRONG.

  15. MT says:

    Hahaha, I’ve read this one a thousand times too! I always loved the scenes with confrontations between Lila and Jacqueline. And I remember Lila bitching about Jacqueline borrowing her bathing suit and going, “Yeah, but she got mustard on my maillot” to Jessica. Ahahahaha

    Does anyone else think Lila’s hair looks odd on the cover? She’s totally gorgeous — but when I was a kid I thought her hair looked like a boot at the end. Hahaha

  16. Vanessa Saxton says:

    I think Eva the housekeeper was introduced way back in Sweet Valley Twins. I definitely remember her. She made more of an appearance during the story arc that followed the Jungle Prom.

  17. Jen says:

    Do you remember how TERRIBLY they cast Lila on the SVH television show? (which I only watched about one episode of and then realized it was a total dud and no one looked like how I imagined them in the series.)

    I LOVE Leighton Meester, but I just don’t see her as Lila. Blaire is sort of a modern day Lila, but she doesn’t have the look. Plus, it might make Lila look like a bad Blaire impression.

    I just remembered that when I re-bought a huge lot of SVH books (after my little sister SOLD THEM ALL once I moved out of the house…still pissed), this was the first one I grabbed to re-read. Total fave.

  18. Roger Patman says:

    So, I’ve been watching 90210 from the beginning (it’s on SOAPNET)…and am I the only one who believes it’s loosely based on the SVH series??????? Brandon = Liz, Kelly = Lila, and let’s not forget the random people they bring on the show and then never hear from again…..thoughts??????

  19. gnatalby says:

    In some long-ago comments ihatewheat made the Brandon=Liz comparison (self-righteous journalists) but I hadn’t thought of the Kelly=Lila angle.

    Does Lila at some point undergo a total saintification? Because Kelly does and it’s basically the most obnoxious thing that has ever happened.

    • Vanessa Saxton says:

      I totally remember that commercial! As soon as I played the commercial I completely remembered the jingle. I noticed that the board game pictures of the characters aren’t the same in my game.

  20. Mary-Anne Bruno says:

    I loved this book! And yes, Lila was def the prettiest.

    Todd has a similar situation in his super star book. Stranger comes to town and everyone loves him, but Todd knows the guy is no good but is blackmailed into staying quiet. The stranger begins committing crimes and Todd becomes a suspect. Everyone turns on Todd (Liz shows her true colors and turns on him too) until Todd finds a way to clear his name and rescue Liz from the stranger.

    Ahh, SVH, what would my preteen (..and teen…and adult..) years be without you.

  21. Lala says:

    Sasha Grey is def. a Lila. That book really reminds me of this season of Gossip Girl, though. Bruce and Lila would totally be Blair and Chuck. They even did something where one of the girls on GG took a microphone so everyone at this party thing could hear Blair being a total bitch.

  22. 1979semifinalist says:

    I guess I can’t help but like Lila (still) because she’s just so damn pretty. Look at that freaking cover. I got so sick of seeing (and imagining) the twins, but Lila’s made of like 50% gorg and 50% badass attitude…for 100% win. I can’t help it.

  23. Laura says:

    Holy stromboli, Jennifer Connelly got featured the Lila Superstar cover!

    Through dangers untold and hardships unnumbered…

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