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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Oh, just murder them already!

WHEN SHADOW PUPPETS GO BAD

UUUUUUUGHHHHHHHHH you guys I thought I had closed the chapter on the original Super Thrillers. To my chagrin (what’s a chagrin?) there is STILL this one and I don’t get it, it’s still summer, but Liz is with Todd, and they are still interns at the Sweet Valley News, and somehow they are not aware that this Seth guy writes mystery novels in his spare time. What is going on? Is Joseph Gordon-Levitt about to come in and kick Jessica’s chair over (better yet, a kick in the face).

So, yea. There’s a recent murder in town. Jessica overhears phone calls. The police are inept. Parents are not consulted. Drugs are involved. Jessica meets a twenty something accountant who of course has no choice in life but to ask her out. But he’s an undercover cop. Because, of course he is. There’s drugs in Sweet Valley! Someone must stop this! Jessica gets held hostage by their boss at the newspaper and is almost murdered. Liz saves the day at the last minute. After the FOURTH time Jessica is almost murdered in the same summer (or is it?) she skips off ready to shop at the mall and to get a boner over the latest hunky janitor who was just hired, or something.

Good Lord. Please don’t make me spell out the plot further. As Murtaugh would say….

And in case you haven’t heard…the SWEET VALLEY TEN YEARS LATER website has launched, confirming the actual release of Sweet Valley Confidential. I will admit, I didn’t believe that it would actually happen! But it IS for real! Although ten years for SV is practically 25 years for us. They must be 4 levels of dreams under…I’m going to implant the idea in their brains that Liz should shut the hell up. (Can’t stop with the Inception references!)I have my thoughts on the first chapter at a later time. Thanks to the site for linking me. And not hating me for crapping all over the author they represent. And who would have thought Francie liked poker?

And some housekeeping- I’d like to update the links to the right. If I am missing yours or someone else’s YA blog, drop me an email.

Coming soon- my interview with Amanda Howells, former Sweet Valley University ghostwriter and a giveaway of her new book….

‘Tis Pity She’s Not a Whore.

I don’t know why I subjected myself to more of this miniseries, it’s not like the previous one was so stellar.  This miniseries was also the point where the big changeover happened, where SVH tried to change into multi-book storylines. Kind of like when Beverly Hills, 90210 went from self-contained stories in single episodes (Brenda may have breast cancer! Brandon dates a teenage mom! Kelly almost gets raped on Halloween!) to a continuous melodrama. Yea, it didn’t work for that, either.

Nothing much has changed in this one. Elizabeth still feels guilty for killing Sam. Sam continues to be dead. Jessica still mourns over Sam and is mad at Elizabeth. Lila continues to not shut her trap about her mother Grace. Margo continues to murder small children, drowning them in lakes and killing old women in public restrooms. You know, the usual.

How does Jessica extract her revenge on Liz? By leaving the newspaper article about the arrest where Liz can see it. Oooo, burn. And putting the moves on Todd. You know, because he is just dumb enough to fall for it.

Lila finally meets her mother but is mad because she also has an annoying French boyfriend she pays attention to instead of Lila. This guy is such a French stereotype he wears a stripe shirt and beret while miming eating a baguette.

Also, Liz is arrested for the murder of Sam, and she spends the evening in jail. Uh, would they really put a minor in jail? Maybe, I don’t know. Also, while she is in the clink, Liz gets harassed by some badass hookers.  One of them was “wearing a lot of makeup, and was dressed in a short, tight, satin skirt, a skimpy halter top, and glittery silver stockings.” Isn’t that something Jessica would wear to the beach disco? They taunt her and call her rich girl, and tell her that her blond California looks drives the guys wild and could earn her a lot of money.  I am surprised at this point Liz doesn’t talk to these women and talk them out of a life of prostitution and into a life of crocheting or something. But Liz just shrinks back and is scared. Of course, because all sex workers are disgusting, immoral people who choose their line of work. Thanks, Sweet Valley for another lesson. Also, I am intrigued that Sweet Valley actually has sex workers. Where’s the demand? Probably when Ned is entertaining clients.

And does Sweet Valley have the WORST police force ever? Liz cannot remember anything about the night of the accident, and doesn’t know why she had alcohol in her system. Don’t the cops ever ask her IF SHE HAD ANYTHING TO DRINK at the dance and finding out the punch? Spiking punch at the dance is the oldest high school cliche in the book, right up there with spying on girls in the locker room. They couldn’t think of this? What the hell are they teaching them in the police academy?

There’s also some, ahem, comedy, in this one. I guess the ghosties wanted to offset the image of the bloated body of a dead child floating in the lake. Nicholas Morrow goes on the show Hunks and has to go on three dates with three girls and talk about it on the show. And it’s about as funny as Winston’s lunchtime comedy shows. It also reinforces that anyone outside of the mainstream, chino-wearing, cheerleader/football player archetype is beyond FREAKISH! The first woman he goes out with is kind of punk, has tattoos and takes him to a biker bar. Therefore, is a total freak who doesn’t deserve to live. Nicholas is all embarrassed by her and is harassed by the people at the bar who think he is a narc. I just think he is a tool. The other girl he goes out with giggles all the time and wears a sweatshirt and jeans on their date, The NERVE! She should be burned at the stake. The third girl is pretty and perfect looking, but Nicholas screws up the date by getting a flat tire and puking, but she doesn’t mind and kisses him on the show. She doesn’t seem to have any sort of personality. Just like the perfect Sweet Valley girl should.

Can I get an ahem for this being the worst cover ever? Todd and Jess have the longest legs ever, and Liz’s hair confuses me. And OMG! Is that the Wakefield’s splkit-level pefect house in the background??? Is this the first time we’ve seen it?

Return of the Evil Twin

Unnecessary sequels

Unexplained time travel

Multiplicity

Twin invasion

Manipulative plot twists

Sociopath mentality

Omg you guys. Don’t you hate it when you find out you have a long lost twin and when you go to find her, she’s hatching an insane murderous plot and then she lets you in on it but then she like becomes total control freak about it? Man, that is on my list of top five pet peeves.

Oy gevault. What is there to say about this plot? On the one hand, it is so ridiculous and rehashed. On the other hand, kind of awesome.

Oooh, the broken glass angel. Sooooo much symbolism! Or some Visual Communication major’s final project!

And seriously, the ghost writers REALLY need to read each other’s books, because then they wouldn’t use the same shit all over again.

We begin with boring old Enid having a caroling party at Secca Lake. Leave it to Enid to have such a dorky party. It’s kind of foggy or something and Todd gets into an accident on the way up and gis car flips over and is hanging on the edge of a cliff. Jessica comes by and drags him out of the burning wreckage and she’s a hero. I know this is like the 10th burning car wreckage I’ve read about.

Elizabeth, instead of being grateful that her sister saved the only guy that would ever put up with her shit, turns into a NEEDY, BRATTY, jealous person, jealous that Jessica and Todd have a special bond, jealous that Jessica is getting all this attention to being a hero. Are we surprised, really? And, may I add that this is totally ridiculous for her to suspect they are having an affair, after they actually did after she was arrested for the jungle prom punch incident? And, may I add, in some secret diary where Jessica and Todd suck face? Why do I even try to find the logic? At one point Todd tells her, “Liz, it’s not like you to be jealous!” Chyah.

Anyway, Nora is a poor tragic girl from the south whose father died and whose stepmother kicked her out. She finds out about Margo and goes on a quest to find her, only to find out she is alive. Even Nora is a bit creeped out by Margo. Margo shares her plan to take over the Wakefield twins and figures, hey, there are two of us, let’s just kill them both. Only problem? They are fighting over who gets to be who! They both want to be Jessica because they think Liz is boring. Ha! I also kind of love the idea that they hate the Wakefield family because they are so sickeningly perfect. It’s like this book was the way for a ghostwriter to hate on the twins. Kind of a passive-aggressive protest.

Can I add that how awesome would it be to have had a spin-off series about Nora and Margo and extend their obsessive hatred of the Wakefield twins? Their snarky observations and they shenanigans about impersonating them? I would so read it. Fanfic anyone? If I had time I would so create a blog from their perspective chronically their hatred. Or, if anyone has mad photoshop skills, it would be awesome if someone can make a cover for the series.

So the Wakefields continue to be their fucking selves and plan a Christmas carnival to raise money but are fighting and not talking because Margo made sure that Elizabeth saw Todd with her, thinking it was Jessica. Margo goes ahead and plans kidnaps Jess to beat Nora to the punch but then Nora has the same idea and goes to the Wakefields house and stabs Jessica in her sleep, but the Wakefields get home and ruin her plans to hide the body and take over her life, so she flees and Liz sees her and claims that its Margo, but the po-po thinks she is crazy, because Margo died. My computer indicated to me that that was a run on sentence, and seriously, it’s a run-on plot.

One other thing about Sweet Valley that we should add to this list: apparently coroners and medical examiners do not have time to check DNA, fingerprints, or positively id their dead bodies.

So this gives us a whole chunk of time where there is a big memorial services for Jessica and the whole town is distraught and they make all these huge speeches about how wonderful she is and blah blah.

Liz has twin intuition and knows Jessica is still alive and MUST be at the school since that’s the place Jessica loved the most. (Huh? Really?) The police won’t believe her so LIZ FUCKING STEALS A POLICE OFFICER’S GUN and heads over there. Nora also thinks Margo is hiding out at the school so heads over there to murder her before Margo decides to murder her. People, this is a book for teens, mind you.

There’s a big show down and Liz goes to find Jessica, but is not sure it is her, but then Nora shows up too and Liz can’t tell who is Jess and who is Margo because they don’t even know that Nora exists and its this whole wacky showdown and finally Liz saves the real Jess and the authorities apprehend Nora, because as it turns out it was really Margo in Jessica’s bed that night and she killed her own sister.

This is the best part: the police FORGIVE Liz for stealing a gun from them because she’s such a hero! And Jess is all jokes and smiles as she emerges from being left for dead for three days! I am surprised the Wakefields didn’t celebrate with a pancake breakfast. Wouldn’t Jessica have soiled herself for being tied up for three days? Oh yea, the Wakefields don’t have BMs.

Oh wait, they do have a party in Jessica’s honor. Everyone is ok, no therapy needed! And this gives everyone else another chance to kiss Jessica’s ass and tell her how great she is!

Goddammit. How many Xmases have the Wakefields seen?

Aaaaaaand…the return of Todd says something homoerotic:

“I definitely see hot dogs in your future, Matthews” he repeated.”Very big hot dogs”.

Elizabeth groaned. “How can you two be eating again, after all the junk we’ve been stuffing ourselves with?”

Ken shrugged. “It’s lunchtime”, he said if that explained it.

“You girls stay here and have your fotunes told,” Todd suggested.”Then meet us over there at that concession stand.” He pointed. “In the meantime Ken and I will do some research on those foot-long hot dogs.” He and Ken hurried toward the hot dog stand.[I’ll bet they did!]

Tricia, we hardly knew ya

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So Tricia dies a dramatic death and of course the whole Wakefield family is present, because they are the only people that matter in thw world. Tricia makes Steven promise to take care of Betsy when she is gone, because as we know, their father is the town drunk. Meaning, the only one.

Betsy is a mess and the Wakefields demand that Bets come home with them. Liz is ecstatic to heal someone and Jess is mortified because Betsy is a walking STD. I can’t stand Jessica calling Betsey a whore, but seriously, hypocrite alert! What is it that Jess does that doesn’t make her a tramp?

And, apparently, Jess is mortified that Betsy is with with them because everyone at school is talking about it, like that’s what they fucking care about. But oh yea, the school is all in a tizzy when someone writes someone else a letter. She is also pissed that Betsy is getting more attention that her. Yawn.

Bets is a mess, but wouldn’t you know, is a fabulous artist. And conveeeeeeniently, Steven has a friend who is an art teacher. And conveeeeeeeeniently there’s a scholarship to an LA art school whose deadline is fast approaching. Besty considers herself nothing more than a drunk ho and thinks that Steven’s art teacher friend is complimenting her because he wants to fool around with her, so doesn’t enter. Really, don’t flatter yourself Betsy. You have the hairstyle of Mary Jo Buttafuco. So Liz, Steven and artteacherfriend secretly submit an application for her. Isn’t that illegal?

Betsy also hangs out with the town embarassment Jerry “Crunch” McAllistar, who we are told is the one that caused Liz’s motorcycle accident. Why isn’t he in jail? Even perfect Liz had a trial and hoopla after the magic jungle prom juice.

Oh yea, Betsy is in love with Steven but then finds out about Tricia’s promise and gets mad and falls off the wagon. Steven and artteacherfriend go to Kelly’s and she’s not there, so they are all “Let’s try the Shady Lady, duh” because we know there are only two bars.

Then Betsy gets in and is all happy. And everything is solved, for now, I guess.

Oh, another pointless subplot. Winston, because he is desperate for attention, decides to declare he can eat six cafeteria grilled cheese sandwhiches in like ten seconds or something. Really, WInston, stop trying to be the goofy guy. It’s so tiring. Then he decides to try for the world record in eating pizzas at Guido’s and the news channel is there to cover it. Aren’t there tons of kidnappings in Sweet Valley that they should be covering? He eats six pizzas and I want to barf, both because I don’t eat cheese and as you know I hate wheat so I am allergic to the crust. Most pointless subplot ever.

I am going to try to redeem this horrible review with some choice quotes.

[On when he saw Tricia for the first time] Steven hoisted himself up and moved over to the edge of Tricia’s bed. “I’ll never forget”, he told her, cupping his large hands around her pale face. “When I close my eyes, I can see exactly the way you looked, splashing your feet in the ocean and trying to catch raindrops on your tongue. While everyone else on the beach ran as fast as they could to get out of the rain, I joined you at the water’s edge.” [This sounds like a sixth grader trying to write a romance novel. Ugh. Hack.]

Ned and Alice Wakefield rushed to their son’s side, Elizabeth and Jessica at their heels. Gently Mr. Wakefield loosened Betsy’s grip on Steven and hugged her to his own powerful chest. “I think what this young lady needs right now is a warm bed and a solid night’s sleep.” [Ugh, inapprop much? Ned wants to git some.]

Jessica: “Did you hear who was [at Miller’s Point] with Betsy Martin last week?” “Jess, give her a break, won’t you?” Elizabeth’s light mood vanished instantly. “Charlie Cashman AND Jim Sturbridge, that’s who. Both of them at the same time. What do you think of that?” [Did they actually mean a THREESOME? If so, this is monumental.]

That tramp” Jessica moaned, “has moved into my house!” “No!” exclaimed Lila. How positively awful- having to share your home with such low-class trash. Why, are stable boy has more class than Betsy Martin.”[ Lila is so Nellie Olsen sometimes. ]

And now for more Todd gay talk: “Suit yourself,” Bruce shrugged. “And now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a bit of romancing to do myself.” He took off after a tall, statuesque brunette. “Poor girl” Elizabeth commented. “Oh, I wouldn’t necessarily feel sorry for her. Some people go for arrogance. And anyway, Bruce IS handsome.” [Show me teenage boys that use the worlds handsome and romancing, seriously.]

And this image just made me laugh: “Todd spun Elizabeth around in the air, putting her down with a flourish. They made a perfect team as they danced under the flashing strobe lights, Elizabeth’s smooth, graceful movements complementing Todd’s more playful style.”

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

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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.

the first death of the series or #12 When Love Dies

Hey all, I had some time to read an old skool one…be back next week!

Good lord, Tricia Martin. Leukemia is the least of your problems. Let’s talk about how you are dressed as an Amish school teacher. And I’d suggest some hot oil treatment.

So Tricia has leukemia and breaks up with Steven so it will be easier for him when she dies. Cara throws herself on Steven and to get back at Tricia he goes for it. Finally, Steven finds out the truth and goes to Tricia to be with her when she dies. Blah blah blah.

Meanwhile Jessica finds out that local tv star Jeremy Frank (are there really local tv stars? Who actually watches public access?) has broken his leg so Jessica convinces Liz to volunteer to be a candy striper with her. Jess acts like an ass if front of Jeremy and keeps hurting him and spilling stuff on him. She even walks in on him naked. It’s crazy! I thought everyone in Sweet Valley had no genitals. They just looked like Barbie and Ken dolls. So Liz and Jeremy plan on getting back at Jessica (the ONE time I thought Liz had a good idea) and Jeremy pretends he is in love with Jessica and proposes to her. You’d think Jessica would catch on but she is so dense that she is flattered and accepts his proposal. Jeremey then pulls a “you’ve been punked!” on her.

Oh, and Liz is the one that discovers that Tricia has leukemia and convinced her to go to Steven because of course without Liz’s advice how would anyone ever live their lives?

Whenever anyone goes to the poor side of town, the streets are always littered with bottles and garbage. Like the city of Sweet Valley is so disgusted with poor people that they do not ever send over sanitation trucks.

At the end, Liz is kidnapped by Carl, a creepy orderly in the hospital. Probably has something to do with her beauty and size six figure. We’ll figure it out in the next book, peculiarly named Kidnapped!

How about some vomit-inducing Liz and Todd foreplay talk:

“He thinks Tricia has another boyfriend, but I’m not so sure. Why would she be so miserable if she had someone else?”

“You’re right. I don’t buy it either. Somehow I can’t imagine Tricia with anyone but Steve. They seemed perfect together.”

“Like us, you mean?” Elizabeth fed Todd a french fry off her plate, yanking her hand away with an outraged giggle when he began nibbling her fingers.

Todd laughed. “Face it. Nobody is like us. If we were crazier about each other, they’d have to send out the little men in the white coats.”

“You’re so romantic, Todd.”

Lesson learned: having a deadly disease is great for your looks. If I had a nickel for every time I read about Tricia’s thin frame and beautiful pale skin…

Grade: C

A canning factory in SoCal

Okay, I have forgot that I was doing this book in parts and half forgot on purpose because it was pretty boring. Okay, let’s get this done.

Helena and William’s baby dies suddenly, and Helena cannot have anymore children. Coincidentally, William’s new junior executive on Wall Street, Reginald looks very much like William, but somes from a poor family. Suprise! He’s really their son! They were switched at birth at the hospital. What are the odds? Just about as likely as their ancestors almost marrying each other at least eight times.

Then Katherine (the actress)’s daughter Cassandra becomes a doctor for the troops in World War II, but miscarries after she finds that her husband has been killed in battle. What’s with the dead babies storylines? Then she marries his bff Paul and they have a daughter Marie (Bruce’s mother).

Reginald has Henry Patman, which is Bruce’s father, who is engaged to Marie Vanderhorn but she finds out she has leaukemia and breaks it off with Henry because she is so selfless and wants him to live his life to the fullest! No regrets! So Henry goes off and canoodles with Alice at SVU and after she leaves him for Ned, Henry and Marie reunite and begat Bruce. Henry proclaims that the name Bruce sounds like “a strong , successful guy who knows what he wants.” a.k.a “date rapist”.

Meanwhile, this does not explain why Marie is a cold bitch towards Roger Barrett or why Henry wants to leave her. But it does answer a few of our burning questions. It does mention that Sweet Valley is outside LA and that SVU was once called Southern Calforinia University and is actually several miles outside Sweet Valley.

eating disorders, alcoholism and unemployment, oh my! or Sunset Island #6, Sunset Secrets

These covers are really getting irritated. What is more irritating, Carrie’s jumper or the guy in the short shorts with the parrot? Can you imagine how obnoxious these photo shoots must be?

The gals gear up for another reunion, this time over their spring break. Except they all have secrets. I wonder if that is how they picked the title for this one:

  • Carrie has gained weight during her first year of college, due to stress and her relationship with old boyf Josh. So she becomes bulimic.
  • Emma hates Goucher and is all depressed about rich so becomes an alcoholic (mostly from expensive wine, natch)
  • Sam got fired from her job at Disneyworld and has been waitressing at a Denny’s like establishment and is too embarrassed to tell anyone.

They all plan on heading back to Sunset Island and Graham and Claudia allow the girls to throw a big bash at their mansion while they are not there. Have no idea why, considering Carrie keeps fucking up.
Emma’s daddy buys her a new car out of guilt so she and Sam drive up the Coast together to meet Carrie. They have many madcap adventures and stuff. Blah blah blah.

When they get to Sunset Island, Emma is all mooney with Kurt. Carrie sees Billy and he is dating another gal. This totally broke my thirteen-year-old heart when I read that.

Danny, Sam’s friend from Orlando, comes up with his friend, Kevin.They all have a wild time at the party and decide to go to the beach to watch the sunrise. They are all drunk so Kevin drives. There is a crazy accident and Kevin dies and they all sustain minor injuries, despite being thrown from the car. The fleeting and preciousness of life makes them feel SO ALIVE! They all come clean and admit their secrets to each other. Kevin is forgotten in about 5 pages.

Oh, and all their employers ask them to au pair again next summer. Don’t know why, because at one time or another they all fucked up pretty badly. I feel like this was written to be the last book, but then the series picks up and the second summer lasts about 20 years, and all crazy Sweet Valley High shit happens. In other words, awesome. Like I saud, this stuff needs to be read if you haven’t.

The Patmans of Sweet Valley: Nice shootin’, Tex!

Previously on the Patman saga…

April 1886. Katherine Richmond is the granddaughter of Vanessa Saxton, who we last saw being randomly assaulted and taken in by men of London. She is also an actress and has just served as an understudy for the lead who had dyspepsia. That means heartburn, but they are trying to make it old-fashioned sounding. So, she gets asks to join the Royal Shakespeare Company who will be touring the US. They stop in Kansas City and Katherine is sweating and a strapping young lad offers her lemonade. And wouldncha know, it’s John Patman, the son of James Patman, our friendly slave-emancipator. And like in true Sweet Valley fashion, they are suddenly in love and want to make babies.

John comes to every one of her shows and sits in the front row. Creepy. Then he spends his earnings at the local saloon on an engagement ring which he plans to give Vanessa on her last night so that she will stay in Kansas City with him. He might as well pee in a circle around her. Right as he is closing up the saloon, two bandits come in and hold up the place. I think the ghostwriters did their historical research by watching Back to the Future III. So he never makes it to the play and Katherine heads off to New York, heartbroken. Somehow in New York, she learns about the hold up so she simply hops a train back to Kansas City to find John. She goes to his house where he finds his brother Brewster who is essentially, “John’s not here, but I’d hit that.” Katherine hops the train back to New York. Then she gets a telegram in New York that her parent’s theater burned down in London and her whole family was killed. What?? They really like to drop bombs in this one.

First of all, I love how Kathrine just hops a train back and forth from New York to Kansas City. Google maps tells me it’s 18 hours with modern cars, with trains it must take I don’t know, 2 weeks? Furthermore, the men in the Patman line get to do heroic shit like help slaves to freedom, and the women are all about lost loves. I know the times weren’t exactly ripe for women’s lib, but come on here.

Next up: John Patman joins the Rodeo. Think Gyllenhaal in Brokeback. Hawt.

This is surreal. It’s like I am relieving the early 90s. I am writing this as I am watching the My So-Called Life dvd box set that I just got. Angela went to the Buffalo Tom concert hoping to hang with Jordan but he totally snubs her. “By the way, I spell my name with one L!” Go girl.

Speaking of historical fiction, I thought I’d recommend the House of Elliot series. It is awesome. Two sisters start a fashion design house in 1920s London, and all sorts of dramatic Sweet Valley High-esque drama happens. Someone tries to sabotage the company, there are all sorts of romantic drama, etc. And amazing clothes, obvs.