The one where Liz and Todd go to the videomat, or #102 Almost Married

Alrghty, if you remember last time, Bruce’ Dad and Liz’s mom were supposedly having an affair. Liz’s Mom is jetting off again to Chicago to work for Hank “Hanky Panky” Patman and Ned is off in a lawyer business trip. I think these ghostwriters actually have no clue what lawyers/interior designers do. You’d think they wouldnt be so keen on leaving when last time, say, AN EVIL PSYCHOPATH TRIED TO KILL LIZ. Just a thought.

Todd’s parents are away too, so they decide to live together! Wh Wh Eh what? Don’ even worry, Todd is sleeping on the couch. What is the point? And they can’t tell anyone because it is seeewww scandalous! And we know that SVH loves meaningless, non-scandalous gossip!

So in order to keep Jess fom yapping, she has Todd do all her chores like cook her breakfast. You would think this is awkward, considering he and Jess had a thing. But hilarity ensues when Todd tried to make bacon and French Toast.

So Liz is a total BEAST this whole time. You would think I couldn’t hate her more. Oh, but wait. Liz is supposed to be all sensitive and shit, but she keeps running off with Bruce because they have a connection. And if Todd looks at her the wrong way, she has a hissy fit and the world stops, but she can blow off Todd while he is living at her house to go splash around with Bruce in the pool. Her parents aren’t here, and she can bone her boyfriend on the kitchen table whenever she wants, and she is running off to do research on her parents.

Bruce and Liz spend time on campus where her parents met and relive the memories. Alice was a activitst (read: dirty hippie) and Hank was a frat boy, but there ws a sit-in and and Hank drove a fucking helicopter and dropped some food for the activists. Uh, okay. Liz declares she’s in love with Bruce and its weird because they may be siblings. They really throw around the word love too much. I know they are teens, but come on here.

Finally there is a party and Bruce and Liz make out and Todd finds them and then Liz dives in the pool, hits her head and Todd relalizes he loves her and all is well.

Edited to add: the parents come home during the party and Liz gets in trouble for having a party and have Todd stay over. In yer FACE Liz! Also, the parents are not having an affair. Alice left Hanky at the altar. They are just friends now.

Bleccccchhhhh.

Thoughts:

Gradually people find out they are living together and it is the talk of the school! Because the Wakefields are always the center of attention.

Bruce is supposed to be in love with this Pamela gal, who- you won’t blieve this- ia actual nice and down to earth, and not annoying. Bruce dumps her ass.

I actually like the way the twins look at the top of the cover. They have some wicked bangs, the kind that start way far back. And actually their faces are round and full, which I am inclined to say look really great but we really know what it means…bulimia bloat. And Todd actually looks 16. He has an overbite, it’s kind of cute.

In the back of this book, there is the opportunity to join the SVH fancub! Here’s what you get for the low price of $6.25:

  • A membership card with your own personal Fan Club ID number
  • A Sweet Valley High Secret Treasure Box
  • Sweet Valley High Stationery
  • Official Fan Club Pencil (for secret note writing)
  • Three bookmarks
  • A “Members Only” Doorhanger
  • Teo Skeins of embroidery floss with flower barrette instruction leaflet
  • Two editions of The Oracle newsletter

Did anyone have this? Sounds like a fucking blast. Did it also come with a raging STI and some laxatives/diet pills?

Anyone join this?

My grade: C-

Next time: Jessa Fields, anyone?

The one with all the humiliating pledging, or #47, Troublemaker

So, Julie Porter is a total nerd. She’s mousy, a brunette (which is the kiss of death in Sweet Valley) and she likes to play music. The recorder, actually. Ok, before you judge, my mother runs a recorder ensemble and it’s pretty hardcore. They really practice a lot and perform all over Florida. My mother is also 63.Of course,Liz is friends with her. In fact, they stay after school and play recorder duets together. Ok, again before you judge, I used to stay after school to hang out in the music wing and play string quartets. Then again, I was a fucking loser in high school.

Josh Bowen, another character we haven’t met before this, is a friend of Julie’s and is currently pledging Phi Epsilon, the fraternity. Bruce is being a total dick and giving all the pledges are hard time. They do typical pledge stuff. Ok, everyone say it with me: WHY THE HELL IS THIS ALLOWED? Josh totally hates it but his older bro was in the fraternity, so he wants to get in.

Julie looks about twelve. Josh looks hot, 25, and basically like a gay Abercrombie model. You can’t really tell from this picture, but Bruce’s eyebrow is raised to his hairline. He’s also wearing a sweater cardigan. Which would make him a hipster by today’s standards. Speaking of Bruce, I had mentioned that I was getting a James Marsden vibe, so here are some pics looking all Bruce Patman-esque.

Blah blah blah, Julie hates that Josh is pledging the fraternity. Bruce, for some reason starts flirting with Julie. Because she has zero self-esteem, she goes for it. She invites him to the frat party at his house, and despite every telling her that Bruce is a dick, she goes with him. So, Bruce brings her to this dark room and starts macking, but then gets up to go to the bathroom somewhere. Then someone she thinks is Bruce comes in and they start making out. SURPRISE! It’s Josh, not Bruce. Bruce set it up as a pledging prank because….I don’t know. I don’t even know why it was funny or clever. It turns out he told Josh there was a girl in the room who would be judging them to see who was the best kisser. I think Francine didn’t know how to end the story.

Ok, so the next day at school in the caf, Bruce gives Josh another pledge task: mash a whole bunch of jello together and give it to Julie. That’s uh…horrible? Josh doesn’t want to bother Julie again, and Bruce keeps egging him on, so Josh throws the plate of food on Bruce. Um, chyello? Isn’t that how Jessica got back at Bruce as well? Bruce seems to always have food thrown on him. The manuscript editors should have caught that one.

Ok, stupid sidestory: Jessica wants the lead in the school production of You Can’t Take It With You, but never reads the script and worries about having a good ballet routine. Well, she fucks up the audition, but gets the lead anyway, because the character she is playing is supposed to be clumsy. Jessica, always the brat, throws a hissy fit that she doesn’t want to be portrayed that way. However, she get s standing ovation, and because she is an egomaniacal beast, comes out on top at the end. I HATE when Jessica gets what she wants. Which is like, aways.

Other thoughts:

Bruce wears a gold watch and Italian glove-leather loafers. Not only is he in high school, he’s also a mob kingpin.

God, do these kids really talk like this? Jeffrey and Elizabeth are making out in the hallway, and Enid yells, “Hey, let go of that woman before I report you with intent to kiss!” Elizabeth responds, “Just in time to save me from the Sweet Valley Maniac!” and then Enid says to Jeffrey, “This is a high school, not a professional wrestling arena, you know.” God, I cringed just writing that.

At Bruce’s party, the pledges have to walk around in ridiculous costumes and act as servants. Josh has to dress up like a woman and Bruce keeps telling him he’s made a good housewife. Uhhhh….

My grade: D+