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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Choose your own (mis)adventure: Two Boy Weekend

You’re a popular, blond teenager. Your boyfriend is going to be away for four days. Do you:

  • (A) Pine after him by listening to your favorite songs that remind you of him, and spend the time hanging out with your girlfriends- it’s fun to have some girl time anyway!
  • (B) throw a massive temper tantrum, try to convince said boyfriend to cancel his plans despite it being important to him, practically threaten suicide, and sit on the beach for hours crying and feeling sorry for yourself

Great! You chose (B). Now, while you sit on the beach contemplating how awful your life is, you see a cute guy on the beach. Do you:

  • (C) Be faithful to your boyfriend for two fucking seconds. Maybe just admire him.
  • (D) Decide that he is the best looking guy you have ever seen and declare yourself in love with him. Of course agree to go out with him because he is instantly in love with you.

Great! You chose (D) You guys spend the whole weekend together. He doesn’t share anything about himself, but spends hours listening to you babble on about yourself.  After that weekend, and after your boyfriend returns, this guy, Christopher calls you incessantly after you ask him not too. Finally, you agree to go out with him one more time, and he threatens to smash into a brick wall with you in the car unless you promise to go out with him. Do you:

  • (E) tell your parents and seek help immediately. Maybe even call the police?….
  • (F) Decide to go out with him anyway, because you don’t want your boyfriend finding out about him. After all, your boyfriend is getting an award at a dance at the country club, and that will make you and him king and queen of the party, so you don’t want to miss that opportunity and therefore will continue to let Christopher harass you and threaten you. After all, you got a new dress!

You’ve chosen (F). Great! It’s the day of the party. However, Christopher finds out about the party, since he’s been stalking you. He shows up to break the news to your boyfriend, and probably to physically harm you for not choosing to be with him. When he arrives, he sees your identical twin sister and thinks it’s you. He starts talking to her and trying ti win her over. Should your twin sister:

  • (G) avoid this psycho, reveal herself to be your twin, alert some security at the party…or get the fuck away from this guy, or
  • (H) pretend to be you and agree to take a walk in the deserted woods with Christopher, so he won’t ruin your chances of being queen of the country club dance.

Well you chose…(H). Way to go…I guess? Still thinking your sister is you, he ties her up and shoves her in the trunk of his car in hopes of kidnapping her. This brings up some major issues because this is not the first time your sister was kidnapped. Not long ago, she was held hostage and fed frozen pancakes. Finally, after about an hour of dancing in the spotlight, you begin to feel a TAD BIT worried about your sister. You find her boyfriend and go off to find her. Just your luck! You catch them just as Liz is being thrown in the trunk. Jeffrey punches him out and you free Liz from the ropes. Yay! Does Liz:

  • (I) freak out from the incident, go ballistic on you, screaming for the police and have a flashback to her earlier ordeal?
  • (J) Hop out of the car, smooth her sensible skirt and laugh the whole thing off.

Great, you chose…..give me a fucking break. You chose (J)? Really? Really? Well, ok. So Christopher gets hauled off by security. Turns out he’s an escaped mental patient who has done this to girls before. Tee hee! Silly you! You probably should have asked more about him and not talked so much about yourself. You all head back to the party. Your boyfriend, A.J., asks you where you’ve been. You:

  • (K) Explain that you were cheating on him and because of your selfish actions, almost got your sister raped and/or killed.
  • (L) Say that things just aren’t working out, maybe you need time apart, and end up parting amicably so that the break up is NO FAULT of yours and he actually apologizes to you.

of COURSE you chose (L). You’re Jessica Wakefield.

—-

Francine, stop trying to make rape-chic happen. Seriously, were we supposed to think Jessica was dumb? Or that this was funny? What is the lesson learned? That they should just expect it because they are Wakefields, it’s part of life, if this happens it will all work out? That if they just ignore the guy threatening them, they can work it out themselves? That girls are powerless about the men that threaten violence against them? There was no lesson learned….Jessica has NO consequences from cheating on her boyfriend, not telling anyone about the guy threatening her, almost getting Elizabeth killed. She learns nothing. Elizabeth, as usual, enables her by cleaning up her mess.

Meanwhile, Jessica may be an even bigger sociopath than this Christopher guy. I’ve GOTTA transcribe Jessica’s reaction to A.J. having the NERVE to go away for four days. And when her friends wouldn’t wallow in her self-pity with her.

Her friends’ laughter drifted to her, and Jessica felt a surge of loneliness and betrayal. They were acting as if nothing was different, she thought. They weren’t making the least effort to cheer her up, and they were all going to Ken Matthew’s party later and didn’t even care if she went or not. I could disappear off the face of the earth, and they’d never know the difference. Feeling completely rejected, she dove into an oncoming wave and swam a few quick strokes out. She cut through another wave and felt her hair drag out behind her. They’d be really sorry if I drowned, she added silently. Then they’d wish they’d been nicer to me when they had the chance.

I call your bluff, Jessica. Drown yourself.

Penny Ayala, pathetic piece of crapa

[Cover from The Closet.]

The halls of SVH are all abuzz with the new personal ads in The Oracle. Oh, how archaic! People place personal ads and then people write letters to an anonymous mailbox. High-schoolers nowadays can place an ad on craigslist and be banging a thirty year old within the hour. Anyway, for some reason, Lynne Henry is organizing the whole thing, and she doesn’t even work for the paper. I don’t know why. One smooch from Guy Chesney and she goes from frumptress to Mary Tyler Moore.

Liz suggests that Penny place an ad and Penny gets all stand-offish, and Liz decides to pity her because Penny doesn’t have a boyfriend, and Liz is all, well, I’m awesome and I have a hot boyfriend so I should help her.  And Liz seriously won’t leave it alone, and writes endless entries in her journal about poor, pathetic, unlovable Penny. And practically puts a gun to her head to write an ad. And here is where we get to know the real Penny. No longer is she the secondary character that dumps big deadlines on Liz’s shoulders, but she’s someone who appears to be a bitch on the outside, because deep down, she just wants to be loved! Even Jeffrey thinks Liz is being annoying about it.

“Anything wrong?”

“Not really,” she said slowly. “Just someone I wish I could help, that’s all. ”

He chuckled. “The usual.”

Seriously, the gross thing about Penny is that she’s into school and writing and ambitious. My god, what a troll! This will all resolve itself when she goes off to college and meets a hot literature grad student but not having a date to the dance in Sweet Valley is akin to leprosy, so let’s all pity Penny for a moment, shall we?

Penny places an ad that tries a bit too hard, but is kind of funny and gets in equally funny response. Little does she know that who answered her ad was Neil Fremount, who hangs out with super dick Kirk Anderson. And we know Kirk is a dick because he drives a Trans Am. They answer the ad as Jamie, as a goof. They make plans to meet at the mall so they can see the gal show up and see what she looks like. And hence we get one of the first covers from Jimmy where the characters are not posing for a Sears portrait studio. That’s Penny, in the mall bookstore, annoyed that Jamie is late, and wearing her red headband to let him know that it is her.

The guys show up, laugh that it is Penny and tell Neil that she will make him write term papers for her. Seriously though? That seems way more exciting than stuffing my face with cheeseburgers and going to the Beach Disco every five minutes. Meanwhile, it started as a joke, but Neil has really started to feel something! And he’s gone out with lots of pretty girls (ahem, Jessica) but finds them boring. He likes Penny’s sass and brains.

Penny gets upset and Neil finally stands up to his dick friends and he and Penny meet at the Dairi Burger for some cutesy flirting. All is resolved. And Penny has a date to the dance! Phew! I thought she’s have to spend all weekend at home studying for the SATs. Thank god she was saved for that.

Meanwhile, Jessica and Lila have a wager over who can attract the best guy with their personal ad. Jessica meets one guy, Paulo, who she can’t even deal with because he’s overweight. Jessica makes up a story about how she has a deadly disease (Mono? MS?) and gets headaches. Paulo, the bumbling fat idiot thinks she’s really brave. Then she meets a totally hot college guy who wants to know all about her. Turns out it’s the same guy that Lila has met as well. Turns out that he is a student doing a sociology project on girls who place personal ads. So Jessica is made an ass of, which was nice.  Why in the holy hell are college students answering ads placed in a high school newspaper?

Here is Jessica’s ad:

Are you devastatingly handsome? Are romantic and wild? Do you like girls who aren’t afraid of danger? Are you the type of guy who goes for what he wants? Are you in college? If you answered yes to all the above questions, drop me a line. I’ve been looking for you.

That sounds like an open invitation for someone to kidnap her and feed her frozen pancakes.

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.

The Big Night- the prom they’ve been waiting fourteen years for where everyone acts like a complete sociopath and I can’t believe I fucking read this whole thing

Elizabeth shook her head, fresh tears streaming down her face. “But it’s prom night…and I’ve ruined it! Because I’m such a ba-bad person.” She swiped at the moisture soaking her eyes and cheeks, knowing she was probably smearing mascara all over her face but not caring. What did it matter now? Bit by bit she ripped the tissue in pieces, watching morosely as the scraps fluttered to the floor. Just like her chances with Todd and Devon, the tissue was shredded and mangled.

I’ve always been a fairly advanced reader, but seriously this whole Sweet Valley High project is seriously making me dumber. The writing above makes Stephenie Meyer look like Tolstoy.

Really, in order to be a ghost writer, you’d think a requirement would be to at least be familiar with the other books. So we won’t get something like this which makes no sense and rehashes almost 30 other book plots.

But, kudos to making this about the junior prom! We’ve made some progress in our completely illogical timeline! No worries that a Jungle Prom already happened and Jessica’s beloved died after it and Elizabeth was almost given the electric chair. Nah, it wasn’t even mentioned despite some of the prom stuff triggering that. But our twin femme-bots have much more to worry about.

This is part of a five-part miniseries [good lord] and this is the second book, and apparently in the book before this, Liz and Todd break up (no you guys, for realsies this time!) and she starts going out with Devon Whitelaw, a poor little rich boy with a motorcycle. Wait, a MOTORCYCLE? Didn’t Liz, uh have some issues with that, say 130 books ago? never mind that. Of course Jessica wanted him for herself, but he preferred Liz. What else is new? Jessica should have cried rape on him like she did with Todd, because that worked so well last time. No, I’m not being sarcastic. She and Todd actually did have some flings, no?

Meanwhile, Lila and Jessica don’t have dates, and they interviewed guys but both liked the same guy but promised each other they wouldn’t ask the guy, but they both did behind each other’s backs because they are heartless nasty bitches. This guy, Jordan, is awesome because he called shenanigans on them and dumped them both. So for Lila, this is the worst thing in the world for her. For Jessica, she decides to steal someone’s date. Just another day in the life of these horrible wenches.

Meanwhile, on Friday afternoon, Elizabeth was out doing something and Jess was home to take Devon’s message that he would meet Liz at the restaurant instead of Secca lake. Jess is too busy getting ready to remember to tell her. So Liz is waiting like a sad sack at Secca Lake, and Tood shows up because he wanted to go there and think about all the good times he had with Liz. Of course, they get back together and Liz is all fuck Devon, he stood me up and decides to go to the prom with Todd. [smacks forehead] Gah Liz, you were making so much progress with breaking up with him!

Jessica decides to go to the restaurant to explain things to Devon but takes one look at him and her loins vibrate and she decides to be Liz for the evening and at the end of the night Devon will be so in love with her that he won’t care that she tricked him. She acts all Jessica and they head out to the prom. Meanwhile, when they get there she runs into Liz with Todd, and hatches a plan. She convinces Liz to let Devon think she is Liz, therefore she won’t hurt Devon’s feelings and Liz can also be with Todd. Liz, supposedly being the sensible one, agrees.

Back the fuck up. Soooo many stupid things about this.

So what will Liz do at the end of the night? Date them both? Think that they won’t ever find out about each other?

Will they not see each other at the same prom, supposedly dancing with “Elizabeth”?

Apparently, their personalities don’t matter, because no one can ever tell what twin they are with. This is what annoys me about the twin switch- apparently people are so enraptured with their looks, that they don’t seem to notice the person has no idea about any past conversations. Hey, if Margo and Nora pulled it off, go to town.

Yea, so as you can imagine, it doesn’t work out. Lila is so pissed that Jessica is with Devon and that she doesn’t have a date, she decides to tell Devon the plan, and Devon feels like a total ass, so he yells at Liz, and so does Todd. Waaaaahhhhhhh! Liz runs off and Enid of course is right behind her, foaming at the mouth about the thought of comforting her.

Meanwhile, Courtney Kane, who we know is evil because she is wearing a slutty dress, is pissed because Todd dumped her for Liz. For like the third time. Oh Court, when will you learn that the Wakefield twins poop rainbows? She and Lila hatch a plan to make them miserable and Lila can get with Devon. Apparently this plan includes locking the twins plus Enid and maria Slater in a tool shed while the rest of the class goes on a yacht for the after prom party (all paid for by the school, mind you).

Finally the Scooby gang gets out of the shed and they miss the yacht launch, and here is where the book turns into a Michael Bay film. Liz and the gang jump into a speed boat and Liz drives the thing at like 90 miles an hour and they catch up with the yacht and they see Courtney push Todd over the edge. Liz of course jumps off the boat to save him, and pulls him to safety. She is more concerned that he will then profess he undying love to her instead of him being alive. He gives her the brush off and she bursts into tears again.

What would a Sweet Valley prom be without deranged killers, high speed boat chases and a Liz and Todd fight?

Also, I want to note that Enid’s date was Blubber Johnson. And he’s kind of a moron.  Maria Slater’s (who is she? Another Liz disciple?} goes with a black model named Tyler Becksmith, obviously supposed to be Tyson Beckford. Ah, the late nineties.

This Devon Whitelaw character is so entranced with Liz that he’s kind of scary stalkerish. And he may be even more of a tool than Todd. “You have a way with words, Ms. Wakefield. The next thing you know, you’ll be spouting poerty. maybe you’ll even write a special poem abouyt our first dance together and read it to me by the beach one night.”

The winter of my discontent

Exciting news! Our super sleuths have uncovered a relic of the SVH series, the Automatic Super Edition Plot Generator ™, which the ghostwriters used to save time. Some would say it is the precursor to the Family Guy Joke Generator (as seen here). Ghost writers just had to pick these categories out of a hat and throw in some stuff about lavelieres and the beach, and bam! Another super edition.

Time of Year:
summer
Christmastime
a break from school
an unspecified time that will never be mentioned again

Jessica is: (you may choose more than one)
in love with a new boy
out to make herself a celebrity
having a pity party
hatching a plan to ruin the life of an overweight/ugly girl
fucking Liz over

Elizabeth is: (choose six)
bending over taking it from Jessica
enabling Jessica’s behavior
cheating on Todd
cheating on Jeffrey
fighting with Todd
fighting with Jeffrey
fighting with Jessica
solving a crime
talking about writing

The big event where everything comes to a head is:
A dance
a party at Lila’s
a trip to a foreign country
a vacation
a battle of wills against a crazy psycho

Photobucket

Seriously though, this one was kind of a rip off. We didn’t get to the actual fucking carnival until the last few pages, and it seemed like it took bits and pieces from every other plot.

Firstly, the time continuum thing here was so wacked. So, it’s wintertime again, and Liz is with Jeffrey and Todd is going to be in town. However, not the same winter where Todd and Suzanne get together, or where Enid gets with Jeffrey because Liz already dumped him for Todd. I’m not even going to try to wrap my head around that.

There’s a big winter carnival up at a ski lodge for Sweet Valley high students and alum. Of course Steven will be there, because why the hell would be be at class? The way they word it is that Steven is “taking time off from college” to attend. Like he actually contacted his professors and asked to be excused because he wanted to romp in the snow with his high school friends, instead of just leaving for the weekend. That is something Steven would do, and in the SV world, it would be perfectly acceptable.

Liz is with Jeffrey and Todd is coming in for a visit, and he wants Liz to go to an awards banquet with him to honor him for being a Big Brother is a child or something. Because Todd’s a saint. Jeffrey gets mad and Liz has no idea why, when, oh SHE GETS FUCKING JEALOUS EVERYTIME HER BOYFRIEND IS WITHIN 5 FEET OF ANOTHER WOMAN. There’s also this bullshit where she keeps mentioning that Jeffrey really doesn’t understand how relationships work because this is his first relationship. Excuse me, WHAT? Because Liz is an expert? Bish plz.

Oh and Jessica keeps fucking her over, what else is new. Liz and Enid were going to be on a trivia show but Jess and Amy stole their answers and went on the show instead. (And Jessica tried to get on the opposing team captain to convince him to let them win. Prostitute much?). Oh, and Jess forgot to give Liz several phone calls which causes her to look like a fool. For once, Liz actually gets pissed. Finally, Jess is tired of watching Liz and Jeffrey fight (welcome to the club) and up at the lodge pretends to be Liz so she can have them make up. Liz sees them and thinks that Jess and Jeffrey are doing it (although according to one of the stupud Secret Diaries, Jeffrey and Jess did get up on each other). Liz proclaimes “I wish I never had a sister.” Dun dun dun. This is the equivalent to “I wish the goblins would take you away…right now.” Anyone? Anyone?

So Liz becomes a huge attention whore and runs away to the bus stop and goes home. Jess calls her and demands whats wrong but Liz won’t tell her. Jessica then drives home from the lodge but on the way home gets into an accident and is killed.

OR IS SHE?

We can only hope, right? I wonder if people reading this one for the first time thought it really happened. Turns out Jess is alive and Liz forgives her for everything because she was so upset aout her dream. Therefore, Jessica is once again enabled and doesn’t have to truly apologize for the crap she did to Liz.

All is well and they have a jolly time at the carnival, throwing snowballs and luging and crap. Jeffrey and Todd share a homoerotic moment. Maybe I am just overananalyzing it.

Shit, I was bored just writing the recap. This one totally fails.

At the carnival, Liz is sharing a room with Enid, Olivia and Regina. Most boring room ever.

Everyone thinks Winston is a kook because he wants to name the dance “The Snow Ball”. I think it should be called “The Blue Ball.”

Also, the cover picture never happened in the book. I wish they would fall down that mountain on their size six asses.

Sometimes I like to pretend my grandmother is my cleaning lady, or Rosa’s Lie #81

Wow. No words for this glorious cover. First off, it looks like Rosa’s left boob is going to keep growing and overtake her whole body. Jessica’s jacket? Dayum. And Liz’s jeans are way high. My question is, how can one ever look at this and be okay with it? I guess we were. I was watching old episodes of 90210 and realized that Brenda’s jeans were under her armpits, but I still wanted to be her. So much that I had her bangs from age 15 to 22. That’s another story.

Rose Jameson is a sensation! She just started SVH, and at least 10 boys have asked her out so far. if you are a poor sophomore, that makes you the town whore. Pi Beta Alpha is alo accepting new pledges, and off course they want Rosa! She’s pretty! She’s popular! Does she hae any sort of personality? The book doesn’t indicate so. But, I guess, who cares?

But…shhhhh, don’t tell anyone…Rose is Mexican. She is really ashamed and doesn’t want anyone in Sweet Valley to know. That is why she changed her name from Rosa to Rose, and it relieved that her parents could pass for white. Now, before you pass judgement on Rosa, think about it. She is just a kid and living in Sweet Valley. Wouldn’t you jump at the chance to not be ostracized and tokenized? To further make her feel like shit, she watched Lila act like a bitch to her maid, who is Mexican. Lila complains….oh Lila, stop making it hard to like you! Apparently, all the Mexican kids at school hang out together. This is first I’ve heard of any non-Caucasion students, minus Jade and Manuel.

She is doing everything she can to hide it, and in fact, makes up this whole story about how she moved from Boston and her parents are decendents of colonists and her ancestors came over on the Mayflower. She goes overboard with the whiteness there. I am surprised she doesn’t tel anyne her family runs a working plnatation. She tells Lila that she was a debutante in Boston Society and that makes Lila putty in her hands.

Through all this pledging, Liz and Enid are both involved in the festivities. Oh, it’s okay for them to bash PBA but when they get the chance to judge people they jump right on board! Hypocrites! hate!

To make matters worse, Rosa’s grandmother will be visiting from Mexico. This is the first time she has seen Nana in years, and of course all she can think about is what will her new friends think? Also, Nana rules. I want her to have her own spin-off series. Could have been an awesome SV Saga, but can you imagine their depictions of Mexico? Lots of burros and sombreros. Anyway. Nana does awesome things like copy the pattern of Rosa’s favorite “American” dress and make her own with emroidery, etc. And bakes a fantastic cake for party Rosa is having for her friends, but Rosa thinks it looks too “Mexican” and throws it away, uneaten. At that same party, she had planned for her parents to take Nana to a concert, but Nana comes back because she frgot something and Rosa tells everyone that it “was just the cleaning lady.” OH. MUH. GAWD. Can we make a list of the most awful things that characters do? This may even be above anything Amy Sutton ever did.

Finally, at the closing pledge picnic, Rosa thinks she is going to get away with everything, but wouldncha know, a pesky Mexican girl has to go ahead and wonder into the picnic and fall into a well. What are the odds? Rosa can either let the girl suffer and die and keep her secret, or talk to the girl in Spanish and tell her to calm down. She actually hesitates for a while with that one. Finally, she decides to talk to the girl. Now, if I were Rosa, I could have still kept my cover by saying something like, “I picked up my Spanish during summers at our resort in Cabos San Lucas” or some shit like that. But she runs away in tears, and the gals come find her at home and tell her “It’s okay that your Mexican, we don’t mind, we’ll overlook it.” What the fuck? Again, another time that I wish a character would tell the SVH posse to fuck off and die and just be theselves, but no, acceptance by them is the only thing that matters.

Wait, Rosa has a little bit of a spine, because at the induction ceremony she decides not to join, because she needs to be a part of something that celebrates who she is and not “overlooks” it. Well, that was kind of a victory, although she vows to stay friends with everyone. Which, I don’t think happens because I am pretty sure we never hear from her again.

The secondary story is that Todd wants to amp up the frat because he is sick of Bruce being a dick. It took 70 books for him to realize this? They both propose pledges and keep proposing more and more obnoxious dares for each one. Finally, at the end, they kiss and make up and let everyone in. They WISH they kissed. Again, can we get some adult at the school to grow some balls and monitor this? One of the tasks is to steal a clock from the school and to steal a schoolbus. The good thing is that we get tons of SVH students coming out of the woodwork to add to the list. Although it is kind of weird, being at we are in book 70 and we’ve never heard about them until now.

Some quotes. I’m going to let them speak for themselves:

Sweet Valley, California! Rosa thought. It really is a place where dreams come true!”

[upon arriving at the PBA meeting at Casa Fowler] “In the back by the pool, there are a dozen fairy-tale princesses, Rose thought, and they’re going to make me a fairy-tale princess too.

[Lila, upon seeing Sandra Bacon with her boyfriend, Manuel] “I don’t know how she can date him” she murmered to Amy. “He’s so ethnic and working class.”

Shocker! The PBAs are co-sponsoring a dance with Phi Episilon. It must be a Friday.

One of the pledge tasks was to sneak into the men’s locker room and steal things. Liz claims she knows what kind of deoderant Todd uses. Ew.

The Bloods and the Crips have nothing on SVH and Palisades; or In Love With the Enemy, #120

As I was reading every word of this, I felt like this book was written to be ridiculed. Like the ghostwriters were giving me a big wink with every inane pararaph. Yes, I know this was written in 1998, but let’s just pretend that they came into the future and knew I would one day be embarking on this project. Also, this convinced me that the ghostwriters were about 67 years old, from another country, or raised in a cave by wolves because their depictions of teenagers and high school is so fucking off-base.

Oh my god. Head spinning. So much to cover. So, the book opens at the big Palisades v. SVH football game. (Isn’t every one of their games the big game?) and Jessica is leading the cheerleaders in a super-amazing, awesome routine. Ready for this? It’s a rap routine and Amy puts on a backwards baseball cap and they point their fingers at the audience like “rappers”. WTF???? So bad I cringed when I read that. I think Heather stole this routine from the East Compton Clovers.

Well, Greg McMullen, a Palisades player, knocks Ken over and he gets all huffy about it. Isn’t that what football is? Get over yourself, pretty boy. After the game Greg and his neanderthalls rough Ken up in the parking lot.

Meanwhile, Jessica and her witches are at the beach during a surf competition, and the winner of the contest gets a trip to Hawaii and a tv interview. So Jessica decides she has to win the trip and be on tv, so SHE DECIDES SHE WILL WIN THE SURF CONTEST. Lucky we have Lila who reminds Jessica that she is a stupid egomaniac. Rosie Shaw, the top female surger totally overhears this and laughs at Jess. I like this Rosie. Can we get a spin-off series please?

So Jess gets up at five every day to try surfing. Luckily, a hunk from the beach is there to help her and of course falls for her instantly. His name is Christian Gorman. He could be Jewish, no? Except for the first name. Of course.

h, backtrack a little. At the aformentioned game, Liz and Enid meet Marla and Caitlin, who are the editors for the Palisades newspaper. They decide they need to out-nerd each other and collaborate on an event that will foster teamwork between the schools. So they wrack their brains and come up with….I’ll let you guess what the event is…haven’t figured it out yet?…. a DANCE. Because they NEVER have the idea to do that. And, it must be a Friday coming up. Also, don’t they need permission from the school? Of course not, when Chrome Dome bends over and takes it in the ass whenever a Wakefield wants something. I’ll bet Mr. Collins will be there.

Meanwhile,the two schools start to prank each other, which includes stringing toilet paper all over Ken’s lawn, spray-painting the foo0tball field, and other hardcore gangsta stuff. It reminded me of the East-West Coast rap wars.

Bruce, Ronnie Edwards, Ken, Todd and others go really hardcore and show up in school wearing jean jackets and sunglasses. WATCH OUT! They may start…breaking out in song! To save money, I am surprised Bruce didn’t pull out his Club X leather jackets. Also, I wonder if they are also wearing jeans? Because that would be horrifying, a jean jacket with jeans, which I call a jean tuxedo. It’s a big no-no.

Liz is all pissy that Todd is involved and that Todd is thinking for himself, and Jess actually doesn’t care what Ken is doing because she is ducking face with her mysterious surf teacher. He doesn’t tell her anything about himself and that unbalance of power in the relationship only makes Jess want him more. They exchange I love you’s after two days together.

So the rumor is that a big throwdown is going to happen at the upcoming dance, which is now a masquerade ball and will take place at an abandoned warehouse. This sounds more like a rave to me…where are the glowsticks? Also, who is funding this? Liz and Enid and Caitlin and Marla consider cancelling it, but it turns out the rumble will happen anyway, so they figure it is better to have people around. I don’t even know why Enid is involved, it just seems she is doing it because Liz is. Enid needs to go back to crystal meth, she was way more interesting then.

So the dance happens and the SVH gang heads out back to start the rumble with the Palisades guys, who are in leather jackets and sunglasses. They start to fight and it like West Side Story, although more like the the Gap commercials than the real thing. Ken goes down and Jessica runs out to see….that the gang leader is none other than Christian Gorman! Gasp! Then she passes out for some reason. Cliffhanger!!!!

Grade: A+ for being a complete parody of itself.

At the dance Bruce tells Jessica she looks like a bruise because she is wearing blue and black. Love that Bruce.

Liz and Enid meet Caitline and Marla over brunch at a swanky place. Now, I brunched all the time when I lived in NY, but what teenagers do this? Liz is a fucking grandma.

I seem to have a touch of the multiple sclerosis, or Super Edition: Special Christmas

Reeeeediculuuuuuusssss! But, this one reminded me of why I love SVH. As in, truly enjoy it for its own sake. The drama! The intrigue! The scheming!

First of all, I want you to know it took me a lot to do a “Christmas” book. I don’t celebrate it, detest the commercialization of it (I suggest you watch this movie) and am tiring of it being shoved down my throat every year. My current job is the first job I’ve had that has not forced me to take vacation days during the break. Anyway, this is not about me. On with the drahma.

It’s nearing winter vacation, and SVH classes are winding down. In fact, they cancel classes one day to have a Christmas party in the gym. Okay, maybe it is before schools realized the idea of inclusiveness (my elementary school classrooms always had Xmas trees) but canceling classes? They are also doing a secret Santa, and Jessica has her sights set on rubbing her loins on the new German exchange student, Hans. She is convinced that he has her as her SS. but actually he has Lila. Also, Lila and Jessica are competing for the title of Miss Christmastime, which a useless titles sponsored by the town. Probably the same town councilmember that proposes the Miss Teen Sweet Valley. Gross.

Oh, and the Xmas ball is being held at the Patmans. Is everyone invited? All 83 students?

The Wakefields set up their tree and Ned suggests blue and silver decorations. Maybe because he is secretly one of the chosen people? Do the twins even know they are a quarter Jewish? If they found out would the whole school be spreading rumors about it? Would Jessica be kicked off the squad?

Ok, onto the good stuff: the Wakefields find out that Suzanne Devlin is coming to visit again…her last visit was less than good for the frail egos of Sweet Valley. The Wakefield offspring are horrified and they pretend it is because Suzanne was so horrible last time. Really, Liz is mad because Suxanne made a fool of her, Jessica is pissed because someone will potentially out-sociopath her and take the attention away from her. Steven, I am not sure why he is mad. Maybe because Suzanne being around will cause him to spend more time at college, where I’d imagine his parents are paying through the roof for his housing which he is never at.

The Wakefield bunch scheme and scheme…Liz tries calling Suzy to convince her not to come. Jessica plans on…shortsheeting her bed. Steven just sits there and offers no helpful suggestions. Pretty much like always.

Meanwhile Todd is planning a visit home. He will be staying with Ken and the genetically-engineered Matthews family. Firstly, Liz doesn’t blonk an eye at this…considering SHE HAD AN AFFAIR WITH KEN RIGHT AFTER TODD MOVED. Oh, that’s right, they stuck that in after the fact. Liz is nervous about being alone with Todd.

Meanwhile, we get a lil bit from Todd’s perspective, including a flashback to when he was skiing in Killington, Vermont when he ran into Suzy. And one thing led to another and…they took a WALK TOGETHER! I know, totally scandalous. What a whore.

So we also get a brief POV from Alice when she picks up Suzy from the airport. I actually hate when the writers write from the adults’ perspectve. It’s insulting or something. Alice has decided to hide the fact that Suzanne has multiple sclerosis from the twins because Suzanne has asked her to. Of course, the parents in this worls are always at the mercy of the sixteen year olds that tell them what to do. Alice notices that Suzanne looks pale and weak, and that made her look “lovlier than the last time she saw her.” Note to teenage girls: get a serious illness.

Finally, Jessica cooks up a scheme with Aaron Dallas, whom Suzy screwed over last time. Jess makes Aaron invite Suz to a pre-party as his cousin’s house and tells her to meet him there. When, in fact, he will give her the address of a run-down warehouse or something. What? That is the worst they could come up with? Oh yea, this is coming from the twins who once in middle school decided to get back at someone by making them a faulty chair.

So the twins and Suzanne share some champagne before they head out [WAIT, THE TWINS ACTUALLY ARE DRINKING? And they do it like it is no biggie. I am actually kind of proud of them for acting like real teenagers.] Suzanne also takes her new meds and wonders briefly about the interactions. She calls her doctor in NYC to ask him but just leaves a message. Suz heads out in the Fiat and of course passes out while driving and the car flips over or something. She ends up in the hospital and the “look on Todd’s face” was all she needed to know about how he felt about Suzanne, and she is okay with that.

Also, Suzanne’s doctor from New York flies in to see Suzanne. Um, inappropriate much? He also comes to deliver the news that…oh my god, this is the worst plot twist…that she has mono, not MS. Can someone revoke his license immediately? “We’ve been racking our brains all day, and we finally figured out what happened. You see, you had an udetected virus and several months later began to experience a very rare complication from it.” I don’t have a medical degree, but isn’t there a very simple blood test to see if someone has mono? I only know because everytime my nose starts running I am convinced I have mono and demand that my doctor do the test.

So Todd and Suzanne have Liz’s blessing…yea right, like she’s give Todd up that easily.

Oh, and Winston is really Jessica’s secret santa. Yawn. Jessica switches Lila’s Miss Christmastime dress with an elf costume and hilarity ensues. Double yawn.

So many tidbits!

  • Dues for Pi Beta Alpha are seventeen dollars a semester, and Liz complains its too much. YOu know what Liz, then QUIT!
  • Olivia’s secret santa arranged for the swim team to come serenade her in the Dairi Burger wearing only speedos! Hotttt!
  • The Droids were performing at the Beach Disco, and they wrote a song for Todd’s homecoming for him and Liz called “I’ll Wait for You.” Why are the Wakefields in the center of the fucking universe?
  • Aaron Dallas: “Jessica, you should really go into politics. You’re really good at getting people on your side you know that?” Jessica: “What a wonderful way to put it.” Don’t encourage her!
  • When their parents tell the twins about Suzanne’s MS and how she could possibly end up in a wheelchair: “A wheelchair!” Elizabeth exclaimed. As hard as she tried , she couldn’t imagine pretty, vivacious, independent Suzanne trapped in a wheelchair. I know! It is such a tragedy when an attractive person has a disability!

My grade: A++++

p.s. I totally scored at a used book store and got one of the BSC Claifornia Diaries, a Friends Forever book, and other good stuff. Stay tuned.

All the way with Tom McKay, or #30 Jealous Lies

I’ll manage to squeeze this one in before I leave.

I totally decided to do this one because I wanted some assinine sorority action, like Jessica organizing an assembly where she circle’s the pledge’ fat in the auditorium and having it sponsored by the school. Firstly, it involves Sandra Bacon and Jean West, who are really boring. I also get Jean West confused with Maria Santinelli.

Jean and Sandy are bffs and are in cheerleading together, but Sandy has always been jealous of Jean and doesn’t want her in Pi Beta Alpha so she can have an identity of her own. I can see her point, kind of. If Sandy is so plain and boring like she thinks she is, how is she a cheerleader and in PBA? I thought only the prettiest and most popular were in it, according to Jessica. Whatevs.

So Sandy sets up Jean with a difficult pledge task, taking a (pre-gay) Tom Mckay to the big party. Sandy lets on to Tom that Jean is only showing interest in him as a pledge, and Tom decides to stand her up. Jean’s next pledge is to make Tom fall in love with her and then snub him at the big Friday the 13th dance (what the fuck would this school do without a dance on Friday night? Probably kill themselves). Well, in case you’re an idiot, I don’t have to tell you that Tom and jean do end up falling in love, and Sandra comes clean to Jean and they make up. Snore.

Where are our favorite madonna/whore twins? Don’t worry, they are busy manipulating family members. Steven announces he wants to take some time off from college to work on a cruise ship. Everyone is of course aghast but you know what? I would say, go for it Steve, Firstly, get the hell out of Sweet Valley for a while and see other places! Get out of your privileged bubble! Realize that other places are not like Sweet Valley! There are non-thin, non-white, non-judgemental people out there! He spends too much time at home anyway. Also, it wouldn’t hurt for him to make an hourly salary for manual labor, let him gain some perspective. Also, if he is not feeling college right now, it’s called a leave of absebce! But of course, these are my rational reasons and everyone could NOT fathom WHY anyone would leave Sweet Valley. So the twins hatch a plan to convince him that they want him to go, and then he’ll realize he’ll want to stay. Wy to manipulate your family member’s emotions. Anf of course, he does stay. Duh.

I hate how Liz and Enid are still in the sorority, despite being opposed to it. If they really were against it, they would de-pledge. I think they secretly enjoy it but of COURSE would never admit it. Hypocrites.

Haha, about Tom: “He was exactly the kind of guy most girls dreamed about, but he seldom dated. The last girl he’d gone with was Jessica Wakefield, and a few people joked that she had turned him off the female sex forever.” Foreshadowing????

Other thoughts:

The girls do water ballet in gym class. Wtf?