Stop it you guys, it’s not funny anymore.

Every time I read a “Reader of the Month” entry, a little part of my soul dies.

Hi, my name is Jayme _____.

I’m going to save her some dignity and not print her last name on here. I did google her and lucky for us, she turned out okay. She’s an employee benefits consultant, and has three kids. And volunteers at her church’s winter carnival and founded an association for state ambassadors. Hrrrm, sounds a bit Liz Wakefield-ish, no?

I am thirteen years old and entering eighth grade. My favorite subject is English and my least favorite is math.

Math is hard, you guys!

There are several reasons why I love all the Sweet Valley books. One is that they are pretty realistic.

Sigh. [Head in hands.]

I have never been to California before, but from the specific details in the Sweet Valley books, Sweet Valley sounds just like a real place and what I’ve dreamed it to be.

Make up your mind. Is it real or did you dream it?

The  Wakefields sound like a fun-loving family that anyone would want to be a part of. I feel like I know what the town of Sweet Valley and the Wakefield’s house, inside and out, look like.

So do I, Jayme, so do I.  The Spanish tiles are burned into my mind.

So, in conclusion, to all of the writers and contributors of Sweet Valley books, give yourselves a pat on the back for a job well done.

Well, at least she realizes that there are ghost writers. Who would love nothing more than a condescending congrats from a thirteen year old reader. Wait, I thought there were several reasons she loved the books. What are the other ones, Jayme, WHAT ARE THE OTHER ONES?

In other news, check out my tumblog.

Reader of the Month: Not even trying

Brandy Denton from Texas writes:

Three cheers for Sweet Valley! A gang of witty , humorous, lighthearted teens makes the Sweet Valley High series so enjoyable to read. I’ve been reading Sweet Valley books for years, and loved every book. For fun I write small adventures about the twins myself. Once at a slumber party, we girls acted out a Sweet Valley book and videotaped it. Francine Pascal’s style of writing makes me feel like I’m here in Sweet Valley. The characters are so real I forget that the books are fiction. She even covers subjects that teens can relate to, and I like that. There are morals to the stories, and the good always comes out. Francine Pascal’s positive attitude is a good influence on today’s teens. As my love for reading continues to grow, I intend to keep reading the Sweet Valley books.

A gang of witty , humorous, lighthearted teens? Yea, because Winston’s pizza-eating contests and clown costumes arem just sublimely hilarious. Lighthearted? Werewolves, rape, comas, dead boyfriends. Yea, that’s light.  And she forgets the books are fiction? What does that even mean? That she starts seeing the characters talk all around her? And the good always comes out? The only thing that comes out is Tom McKay. BAM! I’M HERE ALL WEEK FOLKS!

Reader of the month: somehow paid off by the California Department of Tourism

I think someone is California is paying Francine to make people who don’t live in Southern California think that they should. I don’t know what armies of eleven year olds begging their parents to move the family there will do.

Also, I’m pretty sure Francine wrote this one herself.

Jennifer Lucato, of New York, writes,

My name is Jennifer and my all-time favorite series is Sweet Valley!

I am eleven and have been reading Sweet Valley books since who knows when! If you ever asked me what high school I want to go to I would definitely say Sweet Valley High.

Sweet Valley books are action-packed, suspenseful starring who else but …Elizabeth and Jessica! Francine Pascal has done a wonderful job writing these books. You really feel if you are there, sharing in the twins’ triumphs and defeats.

Yea, I actually could imagine the taste of those frozen pancakes as if Carl was feeding them to me.

The twins lead very fascinating lives. They’ve even been to France, a place I would love to visit. Best of all, they live in California! Sun, sky and surfing! That’s what I think of California.

I think several million Northern Californians would disagree.

Every month I race to the bookstore hoping to see a new Sweet Valley book. If you ask this reader’s opinion, always have a copy of a Sweet Valley book with you. Don’t leave home without it!

Jennifer, have you ever tried stand-up comedy? You’re a regular Winston Eggbert!

Reader of the Month…and perhaps the only entry of the month

Seriously, do they get one entry a month for these things?  I think this may actually be the way they hire ghost writers. This one comes from Alexandra, who has some awesome crispy bangs.

My name is Alexandra. I am fourteen years old, and I am in seventh grade [ummmm, left back much?] I go to St. Andrews, and next year I will go to Connelly School of the Holy Child. I live in Bethesda, Maryland, which is outside Washington, DC [way to give pedophiles a map to your house, Alex].

The reason I like Sweet Valley High books is because they seek a new world, and they see things in a new way. Also, each character defines his or her own life. They also make me think about what it would be like if the things that happen in the books would happen to me when I am sixteen. For example, perhaps my best friend would be in a plane crash and I would help her get better. [Yea, I always wonder what it would be like if Bruce touched my boobs.] I really like to read about Elizabeth and Jessica because the author paints a picture with words about their life, school, and roots. The author also creates a world that is different from my life.

All the English teachers out there are probably gouging their eyes out. Maybe Liz could volunteer to tutor Alexandra after school. Just out of the goodness of her heart.

Thanks for the obvious, Alyssa.

I am making up for not reading anything else this week by posting our much-loved Reader of the Month. By this point, they must really be scraping the bottom of the barrel. Alyssa is apparently a bundle of raging hormones that likes to point out the obvious as well as ignoring the concept of organizing paragraphs into topic sentences.

I have been reading Sweet Valley High for almost three years. I like them because they have so much…everything.

Super Thrillers have danger, suspense, mystery, romance, fear, bombs, escapes and more. [Bombs, yes, she said bombs. May I also add crazy people who like to steal faces?]

Super Editions have feelings of love, hate, sadness, guilt, deception and more.

Super Stars, Super Thrillers, Super Editions and all the regular ones all make you feel like you are with them. [With what?]

I am more like Jessica than Elizabeth. I get into trouble and always expect my brother to bail me out. Until third grade I never knew or cared if boys lived. [What? So you murdered boys in first grade?] Now they are one of the most important things in my life. I am also usually outgoing. I’m like Elizabeth a little because when I grow up I want to write books. [And very much like Elizabeth in that you think you are a good writer when in fact, you are not. ] I like (love) to read, and one of my favorite kind of books to read is Sweet Valley High. [Huh? Are you saying that like and love are the same thing? Somewhere, your English teacher is having a seizure.]

Alyssa, you slay me with your writing.

I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried

This SVH reader of the month essay was so eloquently written by Jamie, who was kind of an unfortunate looking tween (I am sure she is totally fine now). Some of it has to do with the fan bangs- you know, one edge is totally straight up in the air and as it moves across your head, it gets gradually lower. I really wish she had given this to her English teacher before she submitted it.

Sweet Valley books are extraordinary. I like reading them because they cause suspense and are very emotional. I have read them since I was in third grade, and they have grown on me. And when I have children, I plan to give my books to them to read. [Someone call Child Protection Services] And I hope they pass them down too.

Sweet Valley books aren’t just stories, they are lessons in life. They actually helped me to know what to expect for junior high before I got there. [Yikes! Does your junior high pimp out its students for charity?] The books are so realistic, and they make you feel like you are actually there. When Jessica and Elizabeth go on vacations, I go with them and feel their experiences and tragedies. They also help me understand other people’s morals. [….?]

Sweet Valley books are my best friends. [I want to make fun of this, but my books were my best friends growing up. And…sometimes they still are.] Jessica and Elizabeth are like the sisters I never had. But what I am really trying to say is that Sweet Valley books aren’t just a series of books, they are a legend of reading. They are what gave this era a great series of books. They are the best and surpass all others, and I hope they grow into infinity.

Infinity, like they just keep going on and on in the series? Or infinitively present? Jamie, you are too deep for me.

vomtastic

Thanks to all of you that asked, I decided to name my cat Regina Morrow. Because of the heart murmur, and get this…I can’t believe I didn’t make the connection before…she has a gray face with a little bit of a white spot under her nose…like she has just snorted cocaine! It was just too perfect!

I started reading Rosa’s Lie, but I had to share this reader of the month. I think she thought that she was writing a Sweet Valley Saga. You ready?

As I curl up in front of the blue-gray woodstove on a chilly winter night or lie on my bed under the ceiling fan on a hot, lazy day, I drift over to another place. [Does it matter what the color of the woodstove is? Seriously.]
Francine Pascal can take an ordinary situation and elaborate it into an introguing novel. The printed lines in her books provide a perfect mental picture of Sweet Valley and its inhabitants. I am transported into the California dream. [The California WASP dream, that is.]

I escape from my worries and pressures to Jessica’s exciting schemes [sociopathy] and Elizabeth’s continuous rescues of her sister [doormattopathy] and her drive to do better.

Francine’s books furnish me with dreams and an attitude to do my best [i.e., be really thin and blond]. After finishing a book I feel relaxed and ready to tackle the obstacles in my life [if those obstacles include winning a cheerleading competition and/or escaping a deranged kidnapper].

I feel Francine’s books not only provide pleasurable liesure time but also give me insights on how to live my life.

That was from Becky, and when I googled her full name, got nothing. If you are not googable, you are nothing.

Douchebag of the Month

The SVH I’m currently reading has another “reader of the month” submission and I totally had to share it. I googled the person who wrote it and she is a former college soccer player and a graduate of Columbia Teacher’s College. Thank god another victim of SVH has moved on and made something of herself. Therefore, I’m not going to use her last name here. That’s something Jessica would do.

I sigh with happiness, close my novel, and put it in my bookcase. My name is Kari _____, and I have just finished a Sweet Valley High book.

My whole family has become used to this process, because I’m a big fan of the series. In fact, I’m known for buying a Sweet Valley book at the mall and finishing it before I get home! [Known for it? Known around where?]

You must think me a terrible bookworm. [No, I am actually thinking you are something else….]

Actually, I have a lot of interests. I love to dance, act, baby-sit and write, and also like to play basketball and volleyball. I don’t really look like a bookworm either- I have blue eyes and light brown, curly hair. [Really? What does a bookworm look like? Anything over a size 6?]

I guess the reason I love Sweet Valley High so much is that I grew up with them. My mom purchased two for my friend’s birthday, but I begged her to let me keep them if I promised to by my friend something else! When I tried the books, they were so good, I’d stay up late, wanting to read more! Kate William is a super writer, and she has a very good perception of high school students- so good a writer that I have not missed one of her books. And that is why, even if I don’t win this contest, Sweet Valley will be tops with me.

Oh, poor misguided child. Even thinking Kate William is a real person. I think they printed this essay to keep up the illusion that she’s real.

Also, you should try reading this out loud as a dramatic reading. I think I am going to use it as a monologue for my next acting class.

ode to Sweet Valley

In some of the books, there is a “reader of the month” section where readers send in essays kissing Francine’s ass and they publish them. This one was in the back of one of the current one I am reading, and it had to be shared. This was written by Robbenmarie _____ of New Jersey. I hope she does not do a google search of herself, because I feel bad for making fun of her, but really, she put herself out there, so all’s fair I guess. Anyway, she wrote a poem, and I wish I wrote it myself.

Tell me a place where the romance is hot:
Where the parties never stop:
Where I can find so many gorgeous guys.
And identical twins with blue-green eyes;
Where sports cars are fiery red,
A Saturday night without a date
Is cause for dread!
Still haven’t guessed?
I’ll tell you on the sly,
I’m talking about Sweet Valley High!
It’s so fun to read;
It has all the dating tips you need!
In the end, the good guys always win,
With a little help from the Wakefield twins.
If you are looking for fun, the come on!
We’ll go to Beach Disco
And hear the Droids play their newest song.
Don’t get hurt
When Jessica decides to flirt with your guy;
But Elizabeth’s there
And on Jessica she’ll keep a close eye.
Come along if you choose;
This is Sweet Valley High
You’ve got nothing to lose!

Yea, well, there it is. I hope Robbenmarie has kept this poem to justify the hours of therapy she will need as an adult. And also, her rhyming pattern isn’t consistent. And there is some awkward passive voice in there. I think Mr. Collins would write a red “see me after class” on this one. Maybe the droids could set this to music.

Edited to add: thanks to Erin, we learned that Robbenmarie is actually a practicing lawyer. I took out her last name at the top to save her the humiliation and a possible libel suit. But congrats on being a lawyer! See, SVH didn’t ruin her life like it did to mine.