Ted Kaczynski would agree; Who’s Who?

Image courtesy of The Closet

Maybe Ted Kaczynski would agree with me here…. about how technology is a harm to society (to grossly paraphrase). Because, the use of the internet and cell phones would completely negate the occurrence of this book ever being released. But wait, he would say that the use of any telephones takes away personal freedom. Wait…I don’t know. But I did just have a flash of a super thriller in which someone is sending mail bombs in Sweet Valley and Liz coaxes the person to stop by offeringt to co-write their manifesto and publish it in the Oracle. But anyway.

Let’s all thank god that we were able to have this bestowed on us as a reminder of simpler times when lack of cell phone and internet communication can lead to wacky dating hijinks.

Liz and Jess are at the mall together and they see a new company called Lovestruck Dating Service where “Teens Are Our Specialty.” Ok, stop right there, that is really weird and creepy. Someone wants to make money off of getting teens to hook up. Of course, Jess is interested. She doesn’t want the same kind of guy she always dates (someone with a pulse and the ability to walk on the beach at night) and doesn’t know if she wants a daring, wild type or a cultured sophisticated type. So she’ll fill out two, and invent two alter-egos!

Daniella Fromage seemed to be an intellectual. She liked foreign films, modern poetry, French cuisine, and world travel. Her idea of a perfect evening was meaningful conversation in front of a crackling fire, with opera on the stereo.

In other words, seventy-eight years old.

Magenta Galaxy was a wild rocker whose passions were “everything new and hot”. She liked fast cars, loud dance bands [what is that? Like a jam band?], the latest fashons- the wilder the better. Her perfect evening consisted of cruising the hippest music clubs in L.A. and ending up in a coffee shop at four in the morning, eating hamburgers and dancing on the countertop.”

In other words, a bartender at Coyote Ugly or a speed addict.

Two buys answer her ad, Pierre (the sophisiticated one) and Bret S (the rocker type). Jessica models Daniella after Suzanne Hanlon, the uppity bitch who Ken used to date. Suzanne teacher her about vacationing in Italy and famous painters and old art films and gives her Gucci shoes and silk blouses. Magenta is modeled after Dana Larson, who tries to make her listen to punk bands, but of course is weird and bizarre to Jessica, because of course anything mainstream that the twins listen to is really what is cool, and any subculture is used for comedic affect.

Pierre takes her to a French restaurant, where they talk about the French Riviera or Monet paintings or some shit. Brett takes her to the Rock Spot, which plays loud music that Jessica has to pretend to like. Here’s my beef with this book. Jessica pulls of her personas so the guys are convinced, but the guys seem really boring, and it doesn’t seem as if Jessica actually likes them, or has fun. The important thing is that her plan worked, and she is delighted when they both ask her out again. So, apparently, the most important thing here is to trick the boys and have them ask you out, not that you actually like them or enjoy their company. But am I surprised by this by now? Why do I keep having expectations for reasonable, healthy behavior from these books?

Pierre’s date of course makes fun of people who dare to be intellectual. Jessica actually mutters “Viva la differance!” which made me laugh, but of course they go to an artsy film with weird symbols. Jesus, they could have seen an indie film, not The Cremaster Cycle. And of course, the punks at the rock club are just weirdos who thrash around to the music, not people who have an obvious passion for the music or the culture. If it’s not Jamie Peters music, it’s just “weird”.

Jessica can’t have Brett or Pierre call her at home, so she gives them Lila’s number, who will take a message for Jessica. Because Lila doesn’t really give a shit, she mixes things up and now both Magneta and Daniella have dates on the same night. If course, it’s aperfect time for a twin switch! They will all go to the same restaurant but Liz and Jess will meet in the ladies room and switch outfits every fifteen minutes. Liz, of course agrees to this assinine plan. They both wear black leotards and black skirts and just switch up the accessories. Hence we get the outfits depicted on the cover. And for once, we really don’t know who is who! Well done, Jimmy, well done. Well, the plan works…sort of. Elizabeth exposes Pierre as a fake, and Brett tries to tell Jessica something, but she is too busy thinking about her awesome plan to hear what he has to say.

Liz has both guys come over on Saturday afternoon so Jessica can come clean. Coincidentally, Dana and Suzanne also come by to pick up their clothes. ….and if you don’t see this plot twist coming, you’re as dumb as Jerry “Crunch” McAllistar. Turns out Pierre was really a rocker trying to be sophiticated, and Brett was a suave cultured guy trying to be a rocker. Oh the hilarity! So they actually hit it off with Dana and Suzanne, who are more like them, and Jessica has no one. But, just so the ghostwriters can assure us that Jessica never loses, some guy asks for her number while she’s playinbg tennis, because he enjoys her fierceness.

My dear readers, I realize you want me to get on with the outfit descriptions, because that’s really the point of this book.

One of Dana’s outfits: “She was wearing four thick bangles on each arm. They went perfectly with her skintight black pants, black and white checkered shoes, and lime green t-shirt. In one ear she wore a guitar pick dangling from a silver wire.”

Jessica’s first date as Daniella: a cream colored silk blouse, blue linen pants, a red, blue and gold silk scarf, and blue suede flats, and a small red bag. As Michael Kors would say, “too matchy-matchy.” As I would say, “real estate agent.”

Jessica’s first date as Magenta: “tight black bicycle pants, a black tank top, and a red leather jacket she had borrowed from Lila” and bnagle bracelets and guitar pick earrings. And, of course, the infamous blue stripe in her hair. This sounds like my outfot for the first day of fourth grade. (Minus the blue hair and my jacket was a windbreaker, not leather.)

Another outfit for Magenta Galaxy: “a strapless minidress with a necklace of dice and tiddlywinks around her neck. In among the clicking pieces were Scrabble tiles that spelled out ‘Hard Rock’.” Wow, tiddlywinks IS an actual word. It passed my spellcheck. And, isn’t that one of those obnox necklaces that everyone had, that weighed ten pounds because of all the charms?

Yea, and wearing something that says “Hard Rock” does not make you more “rock”. It’s like wearing the band t-shirt to the band you are going to see.

The highlight of the book? The fact that the proper grammar was used for the title.

37 thoughts on “Ted Kaczynski would agree; Who’s Who?

  1. Kaitlin says:

    Tiddlywinks is a game. I’m not completely sure how it works, but I think it involves flipping small plastic chips into a cup. So I guess the necklace had dice and plastic colored circles on it?

    I had one of those charm necklaces when I was little. I loved it!

  2. jms says:

    I had the diary charm and loved it. Unfortunately, the little colored pages eventually started to fall out.

    I’m pretty sure a dating service for teens would be illegal in some way.

  3. Magpie says:

    My university had a tiddlywinks club. I think they even played games against other teams. Who knew there were so many tiddlywinks fanatics in the world?

    This book is totally insane. I never noticed before how creepy it is to have a teenage dating service operating at the mall. Also, I’m not really sure why teens would need a dating service in the first place – Jessica never seems to have trouble finding a new boyfriend from the never-ending supply at school.

    Love the outfit descriptions! Very Claudia/Stacey. Though Dana’s clothes seem kind of mainstream now that everybody seems to be channeling the ’80s.

  4. Kate says:

    I reckon I know who’s who on the cover – just look at the smug look on Magenta’s face, that’s gotta be Jessica. And that little holding-her-hand-to-her-face thing that Daniella’s doing is something that Jessica would never do, so it’s gotta be Elizabeth. You can’t fool me, Jimmy!

    I always thought it was funny too that Daniella’s last name meant ‘cheese’. Daniella Cheese. That’s the height of sophistication, that is!

  5. Neek1981 says:

    “They switch outfits every 15 minutes.” Why? So Jess can see if she likes one of the guys more than the other, or so Liz can have an excuse to cheat on Todd by dating two guys in one night? This sounds bad, even for a SVH book.

    I had a gold charm bracelet back in the day, but it had a basketball, a basketball hoop, a catcher’s mitt, and a softball on it, I think. I was obsessed with neon snap bracelets back in middle school. Anyone remember those?

    • I hate meat. says:

      OMG! I had one of those! It was hot pink with squiggly marks, I believe. Do you remember that weird health scare that cropped up over those things too? Something about if you wore them too long they’d cut into your wrist or some shit like that. Figures. We’d find ways to have fun, and they’d just HAVE TO ruin it for us.

  6. Cally says:

    What I never understood (and STILL don’t understand) about Jessica’s double-dating plan towards the end is this: Why does she need to switch dates with Liz throughout the evening? Why not just teach Elizabeth thoroughly about Pierre’s (or Brett’s) personality and previous dates, then have each twin stick with ONE of the guys only that night? Way less mishap-y.

    • Jen S says:

      Yeah, I don’t get that either. Why the switch? Isn’t the whole point of having an identical twin lying around is having her obey your commands and date your spare men while pretending to be you? Jess just couldn’t bear the thought of losing a man’s attention for even a split second, because without the focus of some random guy you met through a personals ad and have nothing in common with and have, in fact, tricked into believing that a simulacrum of a false persona is actually your real self is the ULITMATE FEMINIST VICTORY! IN 1879!

      • Jen S says:

        Sorry, that last sentence changed horses midstream. Here’s what I meant:

        “Because without the focus of a random man […]You are nothing! It’s the ULTIMATE….”

        Yeah, and it goes on like that.

  7. Amy Slutton says:

    I in fact still have one of those necklaces with a bunch of charms on it. I keep it in a drawer with other nostalgia-inducing stuff. 🙂

  8. Sada says:

    My third-grade charm necklace had at least five of those charms–plus a heart-shaped Madonna charm that was filled with sparkly purple mystery liquid AND had a bell. It was like the mother of all plastic charms.

    The needlessly complicated double-date was giving my deja vu. Did that crap happen on an episode of The Brady Bunch or Saved By the Bell or ?

  9. Whallie says:

    I never understood why the 15 minute change, like if it was a bad Three’s Company scheme. Anyway, the description of Dana’s outfit made me laugh since I’m a rock musician. It’s funny that someone who’s into music or poetry or whatever has to dress the part in these books 24/7. I mean, I wouldn’t walk around during the day in a silver sequin stage outfit, or wear my business attire on stage when I’m not working my day job. So I’m wondering then what I would be considered in these books. A rockstar scientist? I dunno…

  10. Whallie says:

    One more thing. The twins look like retards (no offense). They don’t look like they normally do on the covers. Jessica (on the right) looks like Julie Brown in that “Cuz I’m a Blonde” video. And Liz looks like she had a weird facelift. Too much fun at Paradise Spa I guess. Did they have more than one artist doing the covers?

  11. Jen S says:

    And ANOTHER thing…

    Wouldn’t people who spend a lot of money and time on their looks and wardrobes be kind of protective of said clothing? I guess I could see a rich sophisticate unloading her last season’s blouses and heels on Jessica (so much easier that those tedious trips to that vulgar Goodwill!) But if Dana’s so into her lifestyle and look that she dresses rockstar 24/7, why would she let Jessica borrow her precious things? I know people who dress vintage, and they may pull you out a fire, but you are NOT borrowing that incredible 20s flapper dress they found at a church sale for eight dollars.

    • Whallie says:

      @Jen S: I totally agree with you. There is NO WAY my bff yet alone some chick I work with/whatever borrow my silver sequin skirt that was a great ebay find. Plus, WTF is up with their sizes too. Is everyone a perfect size 6 that they can swap misc. cloths without it falling off or being too tight? Even having a different breast size can make or break a size 6 outfit, ya know?

  12. Gillianna says:

    I never read this one but it sounds awesome! And I choose to believe Liz is on the left. She always looks absolutely terrible with Granny clothes so it’s nice to see her looking like a normal 16 year old.

    Ahh Jess. How did she manage to escape the reputation that Annie Whitman got?

  13. Sadako says:

    The teen dating service is skeevy. Only more skeevy than the real life dating service for people in relationships trying to cheat discreetly. (I’m NOT making this up. The world is a really messed up place.)

  14. Vanessa Saxton says:

    This was one of my favorites! I didn’t understand why they changed every 15 minutes. Wouldn’t that make the date think something was wrong her by going to the bathroom every 15 minutes! Oh, but I forgot. Nothing is ever wrong with a Wakefield. I also remember Liz ordering ginger chicken as for dinner with both dates and Jess saying she would have prefered sweet and sour pork. I don’t know why I remember that.

    • Roger Patman says:

      Was just gonna comment on the ginger chicken and you beat me too it!
      Had to chuckle when Pierre asked her if anything was wrong (when she kept going to the bathroom), and she blushed and said, “It’s kind of personal.”
      Is that the first reference of a Wakefield ever having a period???

      • Lucas says:

        What! The Wakefield twins having a period! No way! They are so perfect that even Mother Nature wouldn’t allow this to happen. I’m sure they are fully capable of conceiving, but they do not have to endure the rest of womanhood the way every other female does. They are like the Virgin Marys of Sweet Valley.

        Plus why did they decide on every 15 minutes. Was this their version of speed dating do they really have ADD.

      • Magpie says:

        Ginger chicken is the thing that sticks in my mind, too! I have no idea why.

        Pierre must be pretty stupid to fall for that excuse – going to the bathroom every 15 minutes because she’s on her period?! Maybe I’m just weird, but that sounds like the heaviest period in the world. If they insisted on switching at all, why didn’t they make it at most every 30 minutes?

  15. Janie says:

    OMG, why didn’t I have the wrench charm? My necklace, except for the rainbow-colored abacus charm which was my favorite, is buried somewhere in a box in my parents’ house. I keep looking for it, and when I find that treasure of I am going to wear it to work–noise be darned! By the way, if you only had one plastic charm on your plastic chain, would it be a lavaliere? (I’m looking at you, Liz.)

  16. Neek1981 says:

    Yeah, I remember the health scare about the snap bracelets. I think they supposedly cut off your circulation or something. That didn’t stop me from wearing ’em though.

  17. VLB says:

    I still don’t get why Jessica needed a dating service. She never seems to have any issue meeting boys. And yes the whole teen-dating service idea is pretty creepy!

  18. megan says:

    This is was one of my favorite in the series!!! I read it so many times and thought it would be so cool to date guys like that. Turns out, like in this case of teen match-making, online dating is often a terrible disappointment.

  19. al says:

    Wow i had that necklace. I used to trade charms with my friends. *sniff* memories!

    I actually loved the ending of the book in the restaurant with all the switching. The cover is just weird. I like the random blue streak. how WILD of her! XP

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