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.

Single mothers are chased out of Sweet Valley with torches and pitchforks, apparently

[cover courtesy of The Closet]

Sometimes it is ridiculous how convoluted and complicated these plots are. They’re like the Rube-Goldberg of plots. There’s a completely obvious way to simplify the story, but they decide to take the dubest, most unlikely route. Isn’t there some Occam’s razor theory that the simplest explanation is the best? I think Matthew McConaughey taught me that.

Ok, so here’s the ridiculousness. Susun Stewart, who we are hearing about for the first time in this book, is pretty and sophisticated and mostly hangs out with the rich kids from Bridgewater. Her boyfriend is Gordon somebody, a lesser version of B-Pat.  Also, Susan doesn’t have am mother, but lives with a “guardian” she calls her Aunt Helen. Aunt Helen has promised to let Susan know who her real parents are when she turns eighteen. It may seem like a mere two years away, but in this world, it’s more like 20 years, so Iunderstand Susan’s frustration. Susan’s mysterious guardian also supplies her with money so she can have fancy clothes and hang with the rich kids. Susan is going with Gordon to the Bridgewater Ball, which is THE event of the season for white people. Lila is super jealous that Susan gets to go, and goes all psychopath and starts a rumor that Susan’s mother is really in a mental hospital, and Gordon breaks up with her because he can’t stand the shame. Why do these kids care so much about people’s parents anyway? I never really knew that much about my friend’s parents’ repuations. I’m pretty sure my friend’s father was a mob boss, but I didn’t care because she had her own tv and vcr in her room, so she was like a goddess to me.

Anyhow, there’s also a famous movie director coming to Sweet Valley to cast his movie. Because everywhere else the shit stinks, and the sewers of Sweet Valley smell like roses. Turns out he is really Susan’s father, and he wanted an excuse to come to Sweet Valley and see her. So why not get on his fucking private jet and just go? And the rumor makes Aunt Helen tell Susan the truth- she’s really Susan’s mother! She had a baby with Mr. movie director before she was married and then he left her, and when she moved to Sweet Valley, she was afraid of what PEOPLE WOULD THINK OF HER IF SHE HAD NO HUSBAND. So, the solution is, lie to your child her whole life! And then, poor Aunt Helen worked a waitressing job so Susan would think she was rich! And Susan of course, forgives her in a heartbeat. Because teenage girls are so rational.So, that adds the the list of people that are not allowed to live in Sweet Valley, including black people, overweight people, divorcees, kids without fathers, poor people, and now, single mothers. Got it. Check.

Meanwhile, Susan starts going out with Allen Waters, a shy guy. If it weren’t for Elizabeth’s help, he never would have the courage! Another poor piece of shit saved by Liz! Gordon wants Susan back, but she’s having none of it. She’s just a plebian now!

Having babies out of wedlock is the them here. The twins think Alice is pregnant but afraid to announce it to the family. So they come up with the brilliant plan to talk awkwardly about how much they love babies. Meanwhile, Alice and Ned think it’s because of the the twins is knocked up and get mad. Hilarity ensues! Alice isn’t pregnany, because she and Ned sleep in single beds in the same room like on old 50s sitcoms. I’m just so glad they acknowledge the concept of sex. Also, it’s a relief when the twins are only the subplot, because it means some sort of wacky Brady-Bunch hikinks, instead of rape and werewolves.

In other news, I watched The House Bunny [please don’t ask why. It was an abomination of a movie.] But the screenplay read like the ghostwriters wrote it. It was like a Super Special, “Jessica runs a Sorority”. With the same dumb plot twists.

And if you are feeling Christmasy, feel free to reminisce about Sweet Valley Christmases past, with grossly misdiagnosed diseases, and almost being murdered by your lookalike…and again.