I get by with a little help from my memes.

I guess at some point someone at Bantam books suddenly read one of their own SVH books and thought “we still publish these? Really?”  and realized how horrible they are. Someone thought- “we need a new image!”  So they brought some “young hip” consultants  to revamp the SVH books. So, just like Robin Wilson, within a month, we get new fancy new look covers and more schmaltz and intrigue. the new era of SVH- the one that led to the eighteen-book-long miniseries including police, jail, arrests, fighting, tv dating shows, high school gang rivalry, and of course, everyone’s favorite child-murderess. There’s really no way to capture the absurdness of this one, except for having an imaginary conversation with this book and scream at it and also incorporate some of my favorite memes.

Liz and Jess are getting ready to go out one night with their bestest, nicest, genital-less boyfriends when somehow they both come to the conclusion that they haven’t had a school dance in a while.

REALLY? REALLY? ARE YOU SERIOUS?

Then they come up with the idea that it should be a JUNGLE prom. And…..that they should get the local non-profit, Environmental Alert, to sponsor it.

For sers, Capt. Picard. HOW WOULD THIS HELP A NON PROFIT ORG? THE MEASLEY TEN BUCKS A TICKET WOULD BARELY COVER THE PRINTER CARTRIDGE COSTS FOR THE OFFICE OF THIS ORG. I’ve worked in non-profits, I know unless you are going to write a check with six zeroes, nothing truly can make that big an impact. AND IF YOU WANT TO HELP THE ENVIRONMENT, DON’T HAVE A DANCE! NO CREPE PAPER AND LEFTOVER FOOD THAT IS WASTEFUL! NO CONSUMERISM FROM BUYING ALL THE CLOTHES!

Later the gang is at a beach party and they CAN’T STOP TALKING ABOUT HOW AWESOME THEIR SCHOOL IS. And here is the description of how happenin’ this party is.

DeeDee Gordon and Bill Chase, the drama club president and top surfer, respectively, were doing the twist. Amy Sutton, whose knockout legs looked longer than ever thanks to a hot pink lycra mini-skirt shimmied up to her boyfriend Barry Rork. Tall, well-built Ken Matthews grasped his petite girlfriend, Terri Adams, by the waist; she squealed with delight as he lifted her high over his head. April Dawson and Michael Harris were hopping around, clapping their hands and singing along to the music.

IS THIS REAL LIFE???? REALLY FUCKING CURRENT AND HIP WAY TO DESCRIBE A HIGH SCHOOL PARTY. PEOPLE CLAPPING? NOOOOO!!!!!!!! MY MIND!!!! IT IS BLOWN!!!!

Meanwhile, kids from Big Mesa come by and raid the party, wearing Big Mesa gear. And by raid, I mean, steal the boombox and knock over the table of chips and dip. Big whoop. No big deal. of course Bruce Patman has a roid rage and THREATENS TO WEAR HIS CLUB X JACKET AT THEM. Apparently, it’s an all-out war of the schools…just like twenty books later? Really? DOES ANY EDITOR EVER FUCKING READ THESE THINGS? In the midst of the raid, Bruce spots a beautiful girl who saves him from being trampled, and his boner gets a boner. Don’t even worry about that, because it’s not resolved until the last book of the series and he ends up dumping her to get an over-the-pants hand job from Liz. But whatever.

Even better: at some point, Big Mesa’s newspaper publishes as issue that INSULTS THE ORACLE. OH NO THEY DI’INT!

Oh then something something, Jessica does something to piss of Liz but then makes Liz feels bad for feeling bad for Jessica, and Elizabeth declares she will never fall prey to Jessica’s selfishness again, it’s time to put Liz first! That will last five minutes.

Then someone decides that there should be a prom king and prom queen, BECAUSE THAT WILL HELP THE ENVIRONMENT. And the group likes the idea so much, they will send the prom queen (not the king, mind you) on a trip to Brazil to represent the org and give speeches.

HOW IN THE FUCK DOES THAT HELP? ThE JET FUEL ALONE COULD POWER A WHOLE THIRD WORLD VILLAGE.

Obviously, Jessica is thinking about bikinis and men she could hypnotize with her crusty blond bangs, and Elizabeth is thinking about helping poor Brazilllians start a gossip column in their village. This heat things up, and both girls want to be prom queen. Jessica is mad at Liz because obviously, Jessica is destined to be prom queen and Liz should be aware of that. Um, Jessica,

Liz and Jess fight, and Jessica goes into turbo-sociopath mode. They actually have daily prom committee meetings – because the school decided they would sponsor this- because it is the Wakefields after all-and Jessica never shows up and expects Liz to do all the work. liz knows this, but her nipples get hard when she makes to-do lists, so she can’t resist. Then the twins start campaigning for prom queen against each other, like it’s the only thing that matters. And blah blah blah, fight, fight, boyfriend snuggle, silent treatment, etc. Then Jessica decides to not allow people from Big Mesa because of the rivalry to win her favors. And then does a half-assed attempt at sticking to the theme by giving out “save the rainforest” and if A WHOLE RAINFOREST WAS PROBABLY KILLED TO MAKE THESE BUTTONS.

Liz mopes around because she’s fighting with Jessica, and thinks she should maybe drop out of the prom queen campaign. Her friends convince her she’s still worthy, she keeps protesting and OF COURSE they have to tell her a thousand times that she’s fabulous. Enid does a power point presentation for Liz on why she’s such an awesome friend. Except that liz remains a sad Keanu.

Time to get ready for the prom- the twins, although not speaking to each other, bith picked dresses that match their personality. Jessica chooses a pink, low cut number (to represent her vagina) and Liz picks a froffy blue off the shoulder number (to represent the cold glare of judgement). So how did they look? Let’s find out….

My thoughts:

How does Jessica get her hair so….crusty? And SOMEONE GET HER A FLAT IRON…STAT! And Liz….I just don’t even…

Elizabeth decides to make a prom mini-year book for the prom. Documenting all the pics of them prepping the prom and to…remember the three hours they spent in their high school gym? These kids are the most self-fellating bunch of kids ever.

And thus we have the part where Jessica turns into SOCIOPATH-OTRON 5000 ™. She starts seething at Elizabeth for taking what is RIGHTFULLY HERS. Todd wins prom king and she thinks Liz is a shoe-in. She then sees her dancing with Sam, and luckily, some kid wondered in from a another, more realistic YA novel where they drink, and Liz spikes Liz’s drink with vodka. Liz and Sam get drunk after a few sips and they do the tango and the Charleston (YES THAT HAPPENS). Suddenly Big Mesa raids the gym and everyone runs out to their cars, and Liz and Sam jump in the jeep, and apparently have an alcohol blood level of .98, they crash the van and Jessica and Todd run after them, only to see the jeep turned over and Sam and Liz presumably dead.

WHERE ARE ANY ADULTS/SCHOOL OFFICALS DURING THIS DANCE? GOOD FUCKING LORD.

Meanwhiles, during this time, Lila is seeing a counselor at Project Youth named Nathan because of her traumatic experience with J-Rape Pfeiffer. Who is also a counselor at SVH. Is that ethical? Real-life therapists, please shed some light. What is NOT appropriate is that he calls her “Li” and sees her on the beach and approaches her and wants to hang out with her.

WHAT? One of the first things i did with my new therapist was decide what we would do if we ever saw each other in public (we would not acknowledge each other- that’s how I roll). Lila starts having feelings for Nathan, because of course she’s a damaged, silly woman who will stupidly show misguided affection for the first man that pays attention to her. During the Big Mesa raid, Lila freaks and NATHAN THINKS IT IS A GOOD IDEA TO PULL HER INTO AN EMPTY CLASSROOM SHUT THE DOOR AND ATTEMPT TO EMBRACE HER.

You know what happens in the next few books. The judicial system changes to fit Liz’s needs and Margo drowns children. Double fried-chicken skin butter bacon burgers all around at the Dairi Burger!

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32 thoughts on “I get by with a little help from my memes.

  1. hungryandfrozen says:

    Amahzing. Bravo. Love the use of memes to illustrate the great, great uselessness of Sweet Valley. And agree that the cover images (Something about Jess’ neck in the top left corner image freaks me out) are painful.

  2. Cath says:

    Soz, but is it me or is Sam actually in his eighties on the cover? I have never seen a teenage boy who looks like that! It comes to something when TODD (zzzzz….) is the most normal looking one there! Thanks, poss, to no salty french-fry kisses, yeuch!

  3. Amy Whipple says:

    Absolute favorite: come the end of Senior Year, when Jessica is reflecting on her high school experience, what comes to pass post-Jungle Prom is relegated to “that crazy Margo chick.” That’s it. No mention of drunk twins and dead boyfriends. How many times the twins are almost killed. Just, that crazy Margo chick.

    Brilliant.

  4. Magpie says:

    Love the inclusion of the memes, especially “What is this I don’t even”, which is a pretty accurate summary of the entire SVH series.

    That description of them all dancing at the Beach Disco is hilarious. It sounds more like a carefully choreographed scene from Grease than anything that resembles real teenage life. Everything about this book is totally insane, from the inappropriate therapist, to how inexplicably lightweight Liz and Sam are, to the theme of “jungle” for a prom (I have images of them all turning up wrapped in tiger skin instead of dresses and tuxes). Only the SVH students would think their own school dance could help save the planet.

    I despair of the cover. Sam is all wrong: he’s meant to have curly blond hair. I also noticed that the image of the twins together is adapted from the cover of “Double Love”. The craziest thing about Jessica’s hair is that at some point she mentions DELIBERATELY curling it to create that awful style, because she regrets being born with straight hair.

    • Miss Moppet says:

      Yes, the dance made me think of Grease – or the Enchantment under the Sea dance from Back to the Future. I think the shimmying is the only thing that could plausibly happen at a teenage disco any time in the 90s.

  5. Whallie says:

    OMMEMES this is too crazy. I’m glad I never read this one but it reminds me of Saved by the Bell. What did they do, talk Chrome Dome (the only adult there and their Mr. Belding) into not attending? Like SBTB, the kids run the school. Also, now that we can reread all of these books instead of waiting for new ones to come out, we really see just how psychotic Jessica is. I’m actually pretty terrified of her mood swings and what sees capable of. Definitely the case where it’s best to be on the devil’s side than not at all. And even then you need to watch out. Are we sure that she’s not really the “Margo”?

  6. Kidd says:

    According to my clinical psychology class, mental health professionals and their patients are ethically never allowed to have a relationship, even if the therapy has ended and the client is no longer a patient.

    • Jen S says:

      These books jumped the shark from sentence one of volume one. SVH lives every week like it’s shark week! Let’s hold a dance to save them!

      I will be prom queen! THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE!!!!!!

  7. Whallie says:

    Jessica doesn’t look like Jessica either. Her face is…hollow looking somehow. And Liz… It’s a special night and half of your hair is pulled back, in hair barrettes I bet.

  8. maybeimamazed02 says:

    Laughed my ass off, per usual, when I wasn’t totally spewing at the ridiculous plot:

    1. I plan fundraisers for a nonprofit. There are ways to do it well, most of which involve inviting people with money. A Jungle Prom with cheap-ass teens? No. Also, most nonprofits can’t afford to send anyone to Brazil. Even if they can, it’s not going to be teenagers who don’t know shit about the environment and will probably just end up drinking and making out anyway.

    2. When I was in high school, we mainly bitched about our school. Even my little brother, who actually liked his high school, didn’t constantly wax poetic about how awesome it was. Because high school kids DON’T DO THAT.

    3. Isn’t it a law that school-sponsored stuff has to have a chaperone or adult present, like all the time?

    4. I’m the lightest of the lightweights, and even I don’t get wasted after a few sips. Although a drunk Charleston does sound pretty awesome.

    5. It’s been a loooong time since I’ve read this, but was Nate a peer counselor? Even in that situation, however, I can’t imagine they wouldn’t institute a “no hooking up” rule. Also, I remember being a peer counselor and anything super-serious, you were supposed to refer out to a place with trained counselors. I’m thinking attempted date rape would definitely be one of those situations.

    The memes were incredible, BTW. Especially the last one wtih the baby.

    • Vanessa Saxton says:

      I am sure there is a law that adults must be present on school property. However, I vaguely remember Mr. Collins being there. I mean, Liz was there so why wouldn’t he be there?

    • Magpie says:

      I totally agree that the students waxing lyrical about SVH is just ridiculous. I’ve never heard ANY teenagers being so consistently positive about their school, ever. I went to a really good high school, but we didn’t walk around saying how great it was. All we ever did was bitch that they gave us too much homework. Because that’s what real-life teenagers do.

      This was either the writers’ attempt to make us feel excited about school, or one more way to make us feel like sadsacks because we don’t live in Sweet Valley.

      • Miss Moppet says:

        I think it’s just another aspect of the ‘high school is really college’ theme. I bitched about school non-stop as a teenager, for no particular reason other than everyone else did, too, but college was different – for one thing because we were older and also because we’d chosen to be where we were. School spirit was suddenly something everyone was expected to have instead of being a joke. So in a way I think the writers are trying to make the students seem like they’re older and more sophisticated, but actually it has the opposite effect.

  9. Neek1981 says:

    I love the excerpt from the party. Why the hell are DeeDee and Bill doing the twist? Didn’t this book come out in the 90s? The fact that Ken lifts Terri above his head makes me think they are figure skating partners. I hate how they describe Amy’s pink lycra mini-skirt. It sounds cheap as hell!! There’s no way it could look good or expensive…it’s pink! and it’s LYCRA! Yuck.

  10. Anonymous says:

    “…They do the tango and the Charleston.” WTF?? I thought the Charleston was for speakeasies in the 1920s and the tango was for couples who ballroom dance. Aren’t they supposed to be the cool kids? I hate Sweet Valley. Why do they have to do specific dances anyhow? Can’t they just shake their non-existent asses?

    P.S. At first I thought Jess’s dress was made of pink leopard print material…actually pink leopard print would probably be better than shiny pink fabric. Liz’s gown looks like something Blanche Devereaux would wear to a geriatric fund raiser.

  11. Becca says:

    Okay, I admit, I read every single one of the books in this particular arc simply because Margo was the most fully developed charater in the SVH universe, which I think speaks volumes for the ghostwriters.

    I especially loved how she just kept slipping in and out of the twins’ lives, making out with Todd one minute, hugging Jess the next. It was AWESOME! Even as a junior high student, I wanted her to win by killing Jess.

  12. Faden Faden says:

    I laughed so hard and I promise it’s not just because of the pills. XD

    I love love love love love the Jungle Prom storyline and I will never never never never forgive myself for selling my Jungle Prom Liz and Jess dolls in a MFING GARAGE SALE FML.

  13. I hate meat. says:

    “Bandwidth exceeded”. That’s what it says on all the threads in place of the pictures IHW posted with the recaps. Is there something I need to download in order to get bandwidth back or something? Obvs, I am not a computer junkie, embarrassingly so. But the pics make the recaps fun to read, so I wonder if anyone knows what’s up.

  14. Nalice says:

    Best. Review. Ever. I laughed so incredibly hard at this, the images, the snark, the excerpts. Now I’m going to go hopping around and clap hands to the music because that is how we get down.

  15. italianbella says:

    Why oh why did I just now stumble upon this? SVH was my whole childhood! Lol please tell me there’s more to come and you haven’t disappeared.

  16. Dane Youssef says:

    MY VERDICT ON “SWEET VALLEY” NO: 97 by Dane Youssef

    Hear ye, hear ye. We will now come to order. The honorable, distinguished, fair and benevolent Dane Youssef now preceding. All rise.

    It’s been a great ride so far, but now Elizabeth Wakefield is going to adjudication for what happened in that car the night of prom. And… so will her sister Jessica.

    Ah, here we go. Here it is. The very beginning of the epic. Chapter one of the infamous “D.W.I Sam Murder Trial.” Boy, this was one of the more enthralling set of links in the infinite chain of “Sweet Valley.” The passage that started it all… “A NIGHT TO REMEMBER.” And none will ever forget. Not the likeable townsfolk of Sweet Valley, and not us who read all about it… the faithful subscribers of this tribune, “Sweet Valley High.”

    EXTRA! EXTRA! READ ALL ABOUT IT!

    One Jessica Wakefield, captain of the cheer-leading squad and Todd Wilkins, captain of the basketball team–the star and executive directors of SWEET VALLEY HIGH’S athletic divisions are crowned Homecoming Royalty… but their significant others abandon them at the inauguration… leave them for dead. And then find themselves making a brush with death themselves.

    And that’s just the headline. Brace yourself for the rest of the story… already in progress…

    Yes, Todd deciding to get back and Liz by fooling around with Jess. Starting up with her. A definite improvement there. Big upgrade. Yup. That’s my re-write.

    Liz snuck around on Todd plenty of times before. He only returned the favor a few. But he WAS having a sporadic thing with Jessica for a while, was he not? Seriously, for Liz there was a lot of other boys. But how many other girls did Mr. Wilkins have?

    And seriously… to our good Blogmaster General robin hardwick, the founder of “The Dairy Burger”… thanks again.

    –All Our Appreciation, Dane Youssef

  17. danessf says:

    MY VERDICT ON “SWEET VALLEY” PROM NIGHT by Dane Youssef

    Hear ye, hear ye. We will now come to order. The honorable, distinguished, fair and benevolent Dane Youssef now preceding. All rise.

    It’s been a great ride so far, but now Elizabeth Wakefield is going to adjudication for what happened in that car the night of prom. And… so will her sister Jessica.

    Ah, here we go. Here it is. The very beginning of the epic. Chapter one of the infamous “D.W.I Sam Murder Trial.” Boy, this was one of the more enthralling set of links in the infinite chain of “Sweet Valley.” The passage that started it all… “A NIGHT TO REMEMBER.” And none will ever forget. Not the likable townsfolk of Sweet Valley, and not us who read all about it… the faithful subscribers of this tribune, “Sweet Valley High.”

    EXTRA! EXTRA! READ ALL ABOUT IT! One Jessica Wakefield, captain of the cheer-leading squad and Todd Wilkins, captain of the basketball team–the star and executive directors of SWEET VALLEY HIGH’S athletic divisions are crowned Homecoming Royalty… but their significant others abandon them at the inauguration… leave them for dead. And then find themselves making a brush with death themselves.

    And that’s just the headline. Brace yourself for the rest of the story… already in progress…

    Yes, Todd deciding to get back and Liz by fooling around with Jess. Starting up with her. A definite improvement there. Big upgrade. Yup. That’s my re-write.

    Liz snuck around on Todd plenty of times before. He only returned the favor a few. But he WAS having a sporadic thing with Jessica for a while, was he not? Seriously, for Liz there was a lot of other boys. But how many other girls did Mr. Wilkins have?

    And seriously… to our good Blogmaster General Robin Hardwick, founder of the Dairi Burger… thanks again.

    –All Our Appreciation, Dane Youssef

  18. Megan @ Meg Go Run says:

    Oh my word. I just re-read this book last night. I remember LOVING this story arc… especially the Margo thing! But I was in middle school when I read it, so obviously, now that I’m in my 30s, I realized it was all SO RIDICULOUS. I am so glad I found your blog. This re cap was HILARIOUS!!!! I will be back to read your wraps ups, as I do plan to finish the arc!!

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