Because nothing is worse than having divorced parents.

There is a reason that I’m not all that keen on trenching through the books past 100. They text is longer, the covers are glossier, and the stories are blander. Not that they are better, but they lack that cringe-worthy crappy writing and storylines that we’ve come to love so much. It’s almost more of a form of Stockholm Syndrome, where I crave the crap that the older books give me, because I feel lost without them.

Waaaaayyyyyyy back when I read the previous book where Liz and Todd practice being married for real by having a strained, sexless relationship. Just like real marriage! Rim-shot! Meanwhile, Bruce and Liz got total boners out of investigating their parents ancient affair. After everyone in the school, including Todd saw them dry-humping in the Wakefield kitchen, the twins vowed to help Bruce get his parents back together.

The twins show off their prowess as comediennes by having goofy adventures and mishaps as they try different tactics to get Bruce’s parents to call off the divorce. The methods are pretty much as useful and realistic as Wile. E. Coyote’s. Highlights include krazy-gluing the ignition keyholes in their divorce lawyer’s cars so they miss the divorce proceedings, Jessica mailing a love letter, forgetting the stamp, sticking her hand in the mailbox and then getting arrested for it. And the police don’t seem to remember her from the time she witnessed several murders, spiked her twin’s punch thus killing her boyfriend, and almost being killed twice by an evil doppleganger. But, whatevs.

It’s all worth it just for this self-important journal entry from Liz:

Todd can’t understand why I want to help Bruce so much. I’ve explained to him that Bruce is my friend and that I know what he’s going through. Todd acts like he understands, but I know he is still sort of baffled. I guess I am not being completely honest with him. But how can I tell him that I need to know once and for all that Bruce and I are not meant to be with each other? The parallels between my relationship with Bruce and Mom’s relationship with Mr. Patman mskr me uncertain? After everything that has happened, how can i tell him that I am still plagued with doubt?

Because the marriage troubles of two adults is somehow all about her.

Er, maybe that little old incident where Bruce tried to get you drunk and take advantage if you while you had your personality transplant may help you clear up your doubt? Or when Bruce fucked over your friend Regina and drove her to her drug-induced death? Just sayin’.

As we’ve deduced so far, Bruce doesn’t really have any real friends. he mopes around all the time feeling sorry for himself over his parents’ impending divorce. I’m not sure why this is making him emotional- did he ever actually show any love for his parents before? Nevertheless, emo Bruce is almost as sexually alluring as asshole Bruce. His brooding and nasty remarks to the twins totally do it for me. I HATE MYSELF.

The B-story is supposed to be cute, but just further shows what a shallow witch Jessica is. Michael Hampton is new at school, and is shy and awkward, which Jessica reads as cool and a sexy loner. He always manages to be around when Jessica looks like a doofus, so she pretends to be Elizabeth. Michael declares he is in love with Elizabeth and gets total bone over the fact that he meets a girl who is as awkward and clumsy as he is. Elizabeth realizes this and makes him realize it’s Jessica he really wants (of course) and finally he asks Jessica out. Because it is inevitable- any guy will end up asking her out. We find out after the fact that the date was horrible because Michael was so nervous he spilled stuff all over Jessica. Instead of relating to him because she just went through a clumsy phrase herself, she dumps it and has a laugh about it with her friends. She also remarks that his famous movie director father already cast his movie, so there was no need to try to date Michael anyway! Meanwhile, Michael Hampton is crushed and is probably on the verge of suicide. That, or is being all emo with Bruce and/or writing I-hate-love songs with Dana Larson.

I want to make sure I mention that Winston Egbert hosts a cookout on the beach for the junior class. He runs around the party in some stupid apron/chef’s hat combo and yells ‘Boy-gers, get your boy-gers here!” like some New York Street vendor. What a chode. I’ll bet he grows up to be Jeff Dunham.

34 thoughts on “Because nothing is worse than having divorced parents.

  1. JP says:

    The stories are blander past 100?

    No no no no no.

    Are you forgetting about the werewolves in London? The vampires? The West Side Story mockery of gang warfare?

    The cheerleading competition? And, of course, the earthquake?

    • Miss Moppet says:

      The cheerleading books are gold.

      Jess finds it harder to look evil/distinguish herself from Elizabeth with straight hair. She has to put on a more evil expression. She really does.

  2. JM says:

    I’m with the previous poster on the lack of blandness–while I’m all for the ludacriousness (is that a word?) of the early books, I still have to say that the cheerleading competition is my fav miniseries, followed closely by the getting lost in the desert one.

  3. Amy says:

    I remember getting Love and Death in London in the fifth grade from the Scholastic book order. It perhaps got a raised eyebrow or so from my teacher.

    Also, I still can’t hear “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” without thinking of Todd and Liz trying to make it happen.

  4. Whallie says:

    I too am with the others on this one. Murder in Paradise – classic cheese! Then there are the books where Lila and Steven hookup and they both tell the twins to eat shit and die. You’re going to not only miss out on a lot, but I may have to end visiting your site if this happens. All we care about is SVH. The other books out there getting recaps on are not important to us. Listen to your readers, please! We want SVH all the way or nothing! I mentioned this in another post. If you don’t want to read past 100, then I’ll send you a few recaps of the books. Hell, put them under your name even, as long as we have something to look at every now and then from SVH.

    • Magpie says:

      They’re just repeats of the originals anyway (but even worse if that’s possible), so you’ll already have snarked on them. Surely we’re not mean enough to demand that you read the same crap TWICE? 🙂

  5. Smack says:

    Ugh, for the most part, IHW, I am totally with you on the books past 100. While I remember enjoying them at the time they came out, they just don’t give me the same warm fuzzies the earlier crap did.

  6. Sara says:

    I used to loooooove this mini-series when I was younger. I thought it was sooo romantic when Todd moved in with Liz, and I couldn’t wait for them to makeup in this book so he could give her one of his lame kisses. T.W. + E.W. 4EVA!

    I wouldn’t call the stories blander past 100, they’re just… not as good. It starts taking 3 books to tell a story that the old books would have had wrapped up in 150 pages. Not only that, but they get ridiculous, like werewolves and vampires (before they were popular!). I’m with you on the old books being better. Even as a kid, when in love with Todd, I thought the new ones were kinda lame. But I did like this mini-series and the cheerleading mini-series.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I was well into high school by the time the newer books came out, so I was sooo over SVH (I’d become obsessed with Liz and Tom’s tortured romance from the SVU books).

    Also, I didn’t like the newer covers. They seemed too current or something. The covers of the older books were so old-fashioned that they intrigued me, even though they came out in the 80s and I read them in the 90s. I guess it was because their clothes and hair were so out of date. I liked reading about the Fiat (though I had no idea what that was at the time, still don’t!) and I liked the outfit descriptions. Chinos and polos seemed so classic and cool when I was a kid. Reading the old ones was like going back in time. The newer ones seemed like they were written for a younger generation. I’m tho’ back, I guess.

    Anyway, this one sounds like shit. How in the world could Liz think she has feelings for Bruce?

    I was really sad with to read about your blog possibly coming to an end. Recently, I tried to re-read Dear Sister, and it was so bad I couldn’t get through the first 20 pages. Your recaps are so much better than the actual books! I wish you would jump into recaps of SVU and SVT. That’d be enough snark to keep you blogging for the next decade. 🙂

  8. Mary Anne Bruno says:

    I’m totally with you on the cover’s of the new books. The old cover’s are my favorite. Such fashion and snark gems. I don’t really like the newer books either (with the exception of the Cheerleader miniseries). I actually have several of the new one’s that I haven’t read. Even the SVU books are better than some of the newer SVH books.

  9. Roger Patman says:

    I agree that books 100+ suck ass. I’m thinking that Francine must have jumped the shark at that point?!?!

  10. Vanessa Saxton says:

    I’m echoing everyone here on 100+. After the Margo fiasco how can you top that? These story arc books seemed like a different series. But, I actually liked this one. I love how Liz and Bruce are “friends.” I hate Liz. She’s so damn condescending. I also hated the new covers. They weren’t as bad as when the Daniels twins took over, though. Where are the Olan Mills portraits? Was Jimmy the cover artist for 100+?

  11. I hate meat. says:

    Yeah, in an earlier post I had tried to convince IHW into recapping SVT/SVU; plenty of stuff to snark on in both series. Don’t know if she’ll bite, though, so if ya’ll want these books, let her know!!

  12. BartTempleton says:

    As I have stated before here many times over the years (including here: ),

    IHW cannot depart the DB without fully recapping all three books in the LOVE AND DEATH IN LONDON series.

    I expect nothing less than the FULL treatment, IHW. Dramatic readings with cast “pics” all the way.

    These rival the Margo books for tomfoolery. When you read them, you will at last know and bow down to the effed up glory that it the 100+ SVH miniseries.

    P.S. ihatewheat…will you please at least leave all of the blog up for us to read back through the archives at our leisure when we need a pick me up in the dark days ahead? Bless you, for real.

  13. BartTempleton says:

    As to this book:

    I too loved the new sides of Bruce to which we were made privy. The thought of him and Liz having a genuine affair (DEAR SISTER near-date rape /=/ “relationship”) is actually quite appealing. I love it when prudes and self-righteous sticks in the mud discover–to their horror–that they like gettin’ down and dirty with the unscrupulous folk.

    I’m pretty sure I read once that Jimmy did the whole SVH series. You can see it in the portraits at the top, but the “action” scenes look slipshod and unworthy of him. Maybe he had an apprentice do some ghostpainting for him. Fitting, no?

    And yes, I too was well into high school when these came out. I stopped circa the POM POM WARS. Nobody at school knew, of course (it would be an embarassing fact to become known about the the star of AP English, advanced media studies, etc.). But I knew. And the shame made me die a little inside.

  14. Magpie says:

    Like Bart, I agree that the idea of a Liz/Bruce relationship is strangely appealing… but my brain is still trying to process the fact that she pretty much only entertains the thought because their parents dated. What the hell? There seems to be a very advanced form of fate functioning only in Sweet Valley.

    I certainly don’t find the 100+ books blander, but they are definitely different. There were loads of supernatural/murder/criminal plots – even more than usual. It was almost like they’d run out of “issue of the month” topics to deal with, so this was what was left over. There is also definitely a treasure trove of snark waiting in the SVU series – plus the first few SVU books are like cathartic revenge on Elizabeth.

    • BarTempletom says:

      >>>”There seems to be a very advanced form of fate functioning only in Sweet Valley.”

      Ha! You said a mouthful.

      It’s a multi-generational fate, too, if you’ve read the “Saga” set of historical super-editions. Apparently fate = karma = a Westerner’s conception of reincarnation, as well, acording to the Sagas. Every current resident of Sweet Valley who MATTERS (i.e. the Wakefields and the Patmans, not the Betsy Martins and Jade Wus of this world)is the literal, physical clone-reincarnation of ALL of their direct ancestors, each of whom lived a life scarily parallel to the corresponding one in the current generation’s. Hmmmmmmmm. Riiiiiight.

  15. Jen S says:

    I really can’t blame you, Wheat–I quit reading SVH when Jimmy was still doing the covers. Once Francine started moving on from “ridiculously plotted and enragingly stereotyped ‘realistic high school’ problems” on into “Oh, hell, here’s some werewolves”, it just wasn’t my SVH anymore, you know? Like coming home on Christmas break and your parents have bought all new furniture because you’re not around to spill juice on it and they’ve turned your room into a sewing nook.

  16. deathy says:

    I started reading the books in the mid nineties and I made my way through most of the 100 plus books before i ever read anything earlier so those are the ones that stuck with me. the only ones i didn,t like were the college ones and the ones where they went to france. i would love to see the warewolf ones and the cheerleader ones gloriously mocked before db comes to an end. :p

  17. nikki says:

    Winston Egbert as Jeff Dunham makes a scary amount of sense.

    I never actually read past 100. Hell, I’m not sure I read past fifty. But that’s what this site is for – to discover what I missed out on.

  18. Natalia says:

    Haaa…hated this one at the time, this was around the stage when I started counting Liz’s 15-odd affairs and lost faith in the good twin.
    On another note, a bunch of friends of mine, all of us about to graduate from medical school, have started a once-weekly book club to keep in touch. We eat cake and have heated conversations that are not allowed to stray from SVH, give or take a side-reference to the bsc or gymnasts.
    At tuesday’s meeting I will be bringing up your blog on my laptop to support and refute our arguments..

    • BartTempleton says:

      You and your friends are awesome.

      My older sister and I quote SVH back to each other, but no one we know in real life has the devotion we, you and your friends do.

      An SVH-exclusive bookclub in 2010 + cake = nirvana

  19. Rachel says:

    I started reading SVH in the early 00s when the 100+ books were all that were really available in my library, I remember adoring the Flair and France storylines. I was very confused when I came across the earlier books where they went around saving people from kidnappings and whatever. However, even 11 year old me was confused that Liz had a different boyfriend in each mini-series despite apparently being committed to Todd.

    I never read the Werewolf books but they sound ridiculously snark-worthy – I’m sure we’d all love you forever if you tackled them!

  20. belledame222 says:

    This is me looking at the Jeff Dunham article:

    D: D: D: D:

    (yes, it was so horrifying I actually GREW THREE MORE FACES TO BE HORRIFIED WITH)

    dude, Jerry Lewis isn’t even dead yet (technically), right? Why did we need another?

  21. Kristin says:

    I discovered the blog about a month ago and read every single entry in a couple of weeks. My friends are now addicted too. Thank you for so eloquently echoing my adolescent disillusionment at the differences between Sweet Valley and anything resembling reality.

    I’ve been in withdrawal the last few weeks waiting for a new entry and am distraught at the news you’re toying with discontinuing the blog. Post less frequently if you really, really must, but you can’t offer the sweet smack of tearing up Francine’s fucked-up world and then cruelly snatch it away before finishing the SVH series and exploring Twins and SVU. There’s so much to tap into! Post-100 may not be classic SVH but there’s a whole higher order of unreality to be explored in the form of face-stealing, werewolves and cheerleaders. So I beg you, reconsider.

  22. aeacus says:

    I wish that I could get Jessica to ask me out, just so that I could look at her her with a derisive half-smirk, and then go down on my boyfriend…

    Or something. They’d probably just lynch me for being a gay (also, being tattooed, pierced, and an anarcho-feminist probably wouldn’t help).

  23. Megan says:

    I laughed out loud at your use of “chode” and also “I bet he grows up to be Jeff Dunham,” because Jeff Dunham licks taint.

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