I liked Robin Wilson better when she was fat.

Cover Courtesy of The Closet

I feel bad for Robin Wilson. Not only does she no longer remember what cheesecake tastes like, but she really is miserable all the time. So much for losing all that weight, winning Miss Slut Teen Valley or whatever, and being co-captain of the cheerleading team. And she doesn’t have those two candy bars smushed in her purse to look forward to as an afternoon snack. She must have lost her personality and backbone from dieting so much. All she does is mope around school with no true friends, and mope around until the weekend when she can see George Warren, and then mope when she’s out with him. This girl is just screaming for some Cymbalta, because her depression hurts everywhere. But she’s a cheerleader! And thin! Life should be perfect.

To make matters worse, her own mother sold her out for a new kitchen! Aunt Fiona, and it’s never explained whose aunt she is, has offered to pay for Robin to go to Sarah Lawrence College. If she enrolls, and a year early, not only will she pay, but she will also remodel the Wilson’s kitchen. Ms. Wilson already had her tiles picked out before she considered what Robin wanted. Robin has no backbone the entire book and misses out on every chance to stand up for herself. She is seething inside, and everyone talks about how Robin is independent and makes her own decisions…but Robin, you need to let people know what those are instead of just walking around, being all emo. Also, is Sarah Lawrence code for lesbian?

Well, Robin has a big diving match coming up, and everyone who’s anybody is going to be there, simply because Elizabeth wrote a feature on it in The Oracle. (Technically, shouldn’t John “Rapey” Pfeiffer be covering sports? Detail, details. ) Robin’s family and Aunt Fiona don’t come because they think it is a waste of time. And Robin’s mother is too excited on the plans for her new kitchen. Why don’t you take that money and get some psychotherapy for your daughter? George is at the match, and realizes that Robin’s family should be there, and goes home to get them. Robin, meanwhile, watching from the diving board, suspects that George is cheating on her and has a mini-mental breakdown. Yea, this girl’s self-esteem is through the roof! George brings her family back, Aunt Fiona has a change of heart, and Robin tells them that she doesn’t want to go to college early because she’s so happy in Sweet Valley. Really? All is well. Until Robin develops a raging case of anorexia.

Robin is Jo from The Facts of Life, and George is 39 years old.

This is definitely in the top 5 worst.

Oh yea, even the subplot is…what’s the word?…oh yea, FUCKING RETARDED. I hate to use that word, but nothing else really fits. Jessica has to make some money (I think to pay off a credit card debt or something) so she takes a babysitting job. A college guy who writes music needs someone to watch his sister so he can have time alone to compose music. Of course, this guy is the most!gorgeous!guy!Jessica’s!ever!seen! so she plots ways to be around him, and manipulating his sister to get his attention. When the guy seems annoyed by Jessica, she is dumbfounded- how is it possible that anyone can resist her? he must be faking it. Jessica tells him that she’s a master at the recorder* to impress him, so she figures she can learn to play the recorder in a day. She buys one, but of course gives up after five minutes because it’s not lip gloss or the local escaped mental patient she can flirt with.

Elizabeth wanders into her room one day (but how can she find anything? It’s like a TORNADO struck Jessica’s bedroom!) and picks up the recorder and plays it a little. Turns out she’s FANTASTIC at it, and loves it. However, she doesn’t want to tell Jessica, because she knows that she is always better than Jessica at everything and doesn’t want to make her feel bad once again. Chyah. So she sneaks around with the recorder while Jessica is not home. She shows more guilt over the recorder than she does when she cheats on her boyfriend of the moment. To not keep you in suspense, Jessica finds out, doesn’t give a shit, and Liz becomes a recorder virtuoso. Fuck a duck.

Oh yea, Jessica and her soulful musician. Finally, she resorts to fainting in front of him to get his attention. Musician guy is so upset that he reveals that all along he’s secretly liked Jessica (DAMMIT! Can anyone please reject Jessica? And not validate her selfish behavior?) and asks her out, although he’s off to Julliard in a few weeks. Jessica loses her boner because she doesn’t do long distance relationships. Well, at least she’s aware of it, considering she threatened suicide when her boyfriend was away for the weekend.

*Before you make fun of the recorder, I’ll have you know it’s way more than the plastic instrument you played “Hot Cross Buns” on in grade school. My mother is quite the accomplished player and performs with legit ensembles (and sometimes at Renaissance faires, to her chagrin). Shout out to my Mom! [waves].

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30 thoughts on “I liked Robin Wilson better when she was fat.

  1. Rio says:

    “Elizabeth wanders into her room one day . . . and picks up the recorder and plays it a little. Turns out she’s FANTASTIC at it, and loves it. However, she doesn’t want to tell Jessica, because she knows that she is always better than Jessica at everything and doesn’t want to make her feel bad once again.”

    Please just kill me already.

  2. Whallie says:

    I hate how in every damn book Jessica always has these stupid plot ways of getting a guy’s attention. Nice one, ghost writers, faking a faint. Wonder what she’d do in a room full of the MOST!GORGEOUS!GUYS!EVER! Hold her breath until she passes out. And of corse the dude is always like, “Oh…let me take care of you. I heart you.” It be nice if these guys called her out on it too. They can’t all be that blind, but then again…this is Sweet Valley, home of the “fucking retards”. HA!

    • Beth says:

      Isn’t it the truth? Faking a faint is the lamest way I have ever heard to get a guy’s attention. And the ghostwriters made THE MOST POPULAR GIRL IN SCHOOL do it, and the guy fell for her as a result!! That’s dated even for the eighties. In fact, I often thought even as a kid that the teenagers in SVH looked and acted more like teens from the fifties than the eighties. Maybe the ghostwriters were all middle aged and that’s how they remembered teenagers acting. In any case, I’m glad that most girls today would laugh their asses off at the thought of pulling such a blatant “damsel in distress” act. I hope so, anyway.

  3. Miss Moppet says:

    I had a jacket just like Robin’s.

    Her BF certainly looks at least 39 on the cover. In fact I wouldn’t be surprised if the tagline read, ‘Robin’s Dad says she has to be in by 10 pm on school nights, or else!’

    But I don’t know why I snark on these covers so much, because I love them a million times more than the photo covers from the later books.

    • Neek1981 says:

      I agree that these covers overall look better than the later SVH covers. However, the twins never look as pretty as the books claim. The twins look their best on the SVT covers. On most SVH covers, they look too old, and their hair is styled poorly. Also, in the twins series, I distinctly remember the ghosties describing them as having a peaches and cream complexion. I’ve probably asked this on these boards before, but what the hell is a peaches and cream complexion? The only other time I’ve heard of it was in that lame 50s song, Mr. Sandman.

  4. Mary Anne Bruno says:

    Too Good to be True #11 has Jessica getting what she deserves! She goes to New York and meets a gorgeous guy there who is amused by her “charms.” He totally puts her in her place each time she tries flirting with him. She also goes to a New York party and everyone basically ignores her. During her last attempt to flirt with the guy, she goes all out on her charm (she basically comes off as a slut) and then gets offended when the guy tries to get lucky. He makes fun of her and basically calls her a child and a tease and asks her what she expected out of her slutty flirting.

    I enjoyed her humiliation a little too much.

    • ihatewheat says:

      Good point. I would like Jessica to be out in her place, but not in such a way that sexual assault is threatened. I’d like Jessica to be called out for being a sociopathic manipulating awful person, and not to do with her fitting in/not fitting in with expected gender roles.

      • MT says:

        I hate how Francine never addresses rape/attempted rape properly. (Maybe she does in Don’t Go Home with John, but I’m not up to that book yet.) So far, she always holds out sexual assault as the end result of acting like a cocktease, OR as a story girls can make up to get back at someone who rejects them, a la Suzanne/Mr. Collins or Jessica/Todd. And while I think Jessica’s behavior is ridiculous, it’s almost like old Fran’s encouraging readers to adapt a “She’s asking for it” attitude — like it’s suddenly okay for the dude to morph into a rapist. LAME! Can’t we have someone just laugh in her face and walk away without trying to force themselves on her?
        ~M.

    • Miss Moppet says:

      I remember that one so well! Especially the attempted date-rape scene. But I’m not sure what the message was. Maybe it was ‘the big city is evil, if you want to be a tease, stay in your small town.’ But that won’t help you while Bruce Patman and John Pfeiffer are around.

  5. Gillianna says:

    George looks like Wesley from Angel. 😀 And I rather like that cover as a result.

    Anything the twins ever do not so well is retconned later on by the ghostwriters. Jessica was a rubbish babysitter whom the kids hated in The Boyfriend War. Later in that Frnech saga? She was amazing and Liz was the rubbish one. Her talent at singing also changes accordingly, at least in the Twins books.

  6. Neek1981 says:

    Wow, Aunt Fiona sounds more like a sugar mama than an aunt. Why is she paying for her sister’s new kitchen AND offering to put her kid through college? Wish I had a sugar mama.

    Mary Ann Bruno, Too Good to Be True sounds too good to be true. I’d love to witness someone bursting Jess’s bubble. Hate how every guy falls for her. When I started reading these around age 10, I actually thought it was possible for a girl to be irresistible to EVERY man in the world, but I’ve learned that different people like different things and men will try to sleep with these Jessica Wakefield-type girls, but pretty soon they move on to the next cute girl.

    Also, why is Robin so depressed again? The cover makes it seem like it’s because of a fight with George, however, the plot seems to be more about her Sarah Lawrence dilemma. Also, is Robin a brain? Don’t you have to be smart to graduate early, or at least work extra hard to study for your equivalency test? Since when is Robin on the diving team?

    The subplot with Liz infuriates me. She’s effortlessly good at journalism, music, cheerleading, mystery-solving, problem-solving, etc…Oh, yeah, she’s also a doormat, an unfaithful girlfriend, and a smug, condescending friend. Well, that makes me feel better. Still,kiss my ass, Liz.

  7. megan s. says:

    Sarah Lawerence is the college where the girl on 10 Things I Hate About You wanted to go too!

    Also, didn’t George cheat on Enid with Robin?

  8. RJ says:

    oh wow, i forgot all about this book! i remember the recorder though. hi-larious. i love your recaps, they are way better than the actual books.

  9. Keran says:

    Love this blog, makes me not feel like a freak for re-reading all my old favorites! Thanks for two new listings so close in a row.

  10. Magpie says:

    In the last few books Devon Whitelaw rejects Jessica – unfortunately, in favour of Liz. Also unfortunately, he is a stalkery douche, so being rejected by him is dodging the bullet. I was going to say that Todd rejects her, but then I remembered that the Secret Diaries totally destroyed that.

    Why is Aunt Fiona putting so many conditions on her offer to pay for college? Why does Robin have to enroll early? Why is Mrs. Wilson’s kitchen bundled in with the offer? This is definitely a contender for most contrived plot ever.

    • Galleta says:

      It has something to do with her going to Sarah Lawrence herself. How the kitchen is involved, I can’t remember. The good thing is that it gives Aunt F the opportunity to ask Robin’s mom if the interior designer (Alice Wakefield, who else?) who is going to do her kitchen is some housewife who took a correspondence course.

  11. MT says:

    Hahaha, how funny … I just finished book 23 where Jessica has to work at a dating service to pay her parents back for a credit card charge as the sub-plot. Maybe they should just take these charging privileges away from her!
    ~M.

  12. Amy Slutton says:

    I’d always desperately wished it would be revealed that George was cheating on Robin. Just to show what goes around, comes around.

  13. Laura @ Hungry and Frozen says:

    Like the new blog layout 🙂

    The whole plotline with Robin’s aunt seems so strange. How does Robin going to Sarah Lawrence become some kind of exchange for a new kitchen? Weird. That’s cool about your mother playing the recorder so proficiently – it’s a challenging instrument!

  14. Sadako says:

    I hate the way people deal with dieting and so forth in so many of these books. It’s like you’re not worth knowing if you’re fat, until you lose weight. And if you are fat, they have to keep bringing it up and talking about how you diet–i.e., Norman Hill in BSC world. And why is it that all the BSC-ers are either thin or average? Claudia, Stacey, Jessi, and Dawn are of course thin AND tall…the others are short or average but definitely not fat.

    Okay, end rant.

  15. Mary Anne Bruno says:

    I didn’t read these books in order and have yet to read them all so I was shocked when I discovered that George Warren was the same George that dated Amy! When did he switch over to Robin?

  16. Henna says:

    I thought Robin was quite a cool charector after reading power play when i first read it. After reading this book she became another moron of SV.

  17. jms says:

    Robin is a busy girl. In less than one school year, she loses about three tons (which takes approx. three weeks), dates Allen and George, learns to cheerlead and dive, almost goes to college early, and develops anorexia. Am I missing anything?

    Agreed that Robin is totally boring and personality-free post-Power Play.

  18. Julanar says:

    I find the idea of playing someone else’s recorder kind of gross, even your identical twin’s. Especially if she goes around kissing a lot of guys.

  19. Karla Keffer says:

    Two of my best friends went to Sarah Lawrence, and they got to design their own majors and spend the rest of the time hanging out drinking and playing D&D and having lots of sex, which sounds awesome to me. I’d love to scoop Robin the hell out of this book and plunk her down in Bronxville. She’d probably ruin it by being all mopey, though. Stupid, ungrateful Robin.

  20. Deitra says:

    The cover of this one is super weird ,actually why is it that sometimes they don’t make the guys look like they’re 16 ,sometimes they look 30 or older sheesh,they should have gotten the cast of Saved by the Bell to pose for the pictures cause you know they only feature the same people in nearly every book.Whatever I love your blogs.Could you do the Wakefields of Sweet valley I read it once .

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