Do you give a crap about Dana Larson’s home life?

Yea, me neither. But this one will give you a glimpse into her boring suburban upbringing.

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Sally Larson grew up in foster homes and without a nuclear family, so therefore she is a sad, pathetic sack of shit. She is going to come live with her aunt and cousins, who is Dana Larson, lead singer of the Droids. Dana is totally stoked to have a project, and Sally has no personality of her own so she is thrilled to live with the glamorous Dana. Dana tried to make her over but Sally’s not into it. Dana’s bro Jeremy acts like a total asshole to Sally because his parents made him move his room to the attic so Sally can have it. So he treats her like shit. Sally decides she can’t go out with his friend because then Jeremy would hate her more. Still with me? Yea, I can barely keep my eyes open.

Sally decides she may want to work for The Oracle, and also because she gets to be around the awesome, beautiful Liz Wakefield. Liz has multiple orgasms when she finds out Sally is a former foster child needing some guidance. However, Sally is pissed that Sally is doing stuff other than worshipping her, and she doesn’t want to make Sally mad, so…this is the epic tragic struggle…she has to say no to Liz when Liz asks her to hang out with her at the mall! Oh my god, it’s just like Schindler’s List.

So then Dana starts resenting Sally because Sally tries to be extra helpful around the house and it makes Dana look bad for being a lazy shit. Finally Sally and Jeremy Mark are driving home from somewhere and Jeremy picks up two hitchhikers who threaten Jeremey to let them take the girls to Kelly’s with them. Sally is all “I’ll take one for the team and be kidnapped and raped, and allow Dana to go free. You know, because she’s just been so friendly to me” so she lets the guys take her to the bar. Dana and Jeremy go get Mark and there is a big rumble at the bar, and Dana and Jeremy realize that they love Sally and don’t want to send her away.

But….good news! The Larsons decide they are going to adopt Sally. Here’s my question: WHY DID THEY WAIT SO LONG? The poor girl was shuffled from foster home to foster home and she had living, well-off relatives that were known? I call bullshit on whatever caseworker Sally had.

Oh, and we can’t have a non-Wakefield plot, so this is the book that introduced Prince Albert the dog. Jessica sneaks the puppy in the house and they hide it from their parents while they try to convince Nalice they want a puppy. And then one day during a walk they lose the puppy. However, one day, Ned comes home from the pound with a puppy and fuck wouldncha know it’s Prince Albert. So the twins never get in trouble for keeping the dog and losing him! It’s such an Ingalls family moment.

Some really choice quotes in this one.

“Sally looked quickly in the direction her aunt indicated, almost expecting to see the same girl she had played with when they were kids. But standing in another doorway was a tall, leggy blond, whose pretty features were crowned by an outrageous hairstyle. She was wearing skin-tight, black stirrup pants and a gold lame dinner jacket, sleeves pushed up, over a black and white checkered shirt.” Whoa. It’s like she’s a backup singer on the Genesis tour.

“Elizabeth looked so earnest, so sypathetic, Sally thought. More than anything else right now, she desperately needed someone to confide in, someone she could count on as a friend. And Elizabeth Wakefield seemed to fit the part perfectly.” Watch out Sally! She practices that look in the mirror every night!

“Elizabeth nodded, thoughtfully rubbing her chin. “Uh-huh, I think she really needs some friends.” “Elizabeth Wakefield to the rescue!” Enid teased, raising her hand in the air. “Fear not, all you sad, lonely people! Elizabeth will save you!”” Hah, Enid grew some balls.

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The one in which we learn about the seedy underbelly of Sweet Valley, or #41 Outcast

I chose this one to read strictly based on the picture. First off, love Molly’s hair. That kind of feathering takes serious effort. Plus, who are those wicked old harpies in the back? Does this take place at a high school or on the Golden Girls’ set?

Ok, this is the book directly after the one where Regina dies (she was the one who “tamed” Bruce Patman) from taking cocaine at a party. Molly had the party where Regina overdosed, and feels guilty and like an outcast. Her bff Justin won’t talk to her and she feels close to the edge. Because SVH is the moral police and apparently she is the only one at the school who has dabbled in drugs. Pshaaaah, right. Like Bruce Patman hasn’t done a couple lines off of a hooker’s ass? Like Lila Fowler hasn’t snuck into Daddy’s liquor cabinet? Like Jessica wouldn’t do some mushrooms if a hot college boy told her to? I’ll bet Liz would take Aderol to get better grades. I hate these people.

So, Jessica seemingly does an unselfish thing and decides to set up a scholarship fund in Regina’s memory. Because Regina was deaf and overcame odds. Or something. Really she is doing it to be in the spotlight and to make the Pi Beta Alphas and the cheerleading team look great. Asshole. Her father decides that his law firm will handle the collection and investment of the money. Shouldn’t a financial planning firm do that? Isn’t Ned a civil lawyer? Why am I even questioning this? Oh, and they will sponsor a dance marathon to raise money. Seriously, these kids wouldn’t know what to do if their school didn’t have a dance every week.

Where was Bruce in all this? Didn’t his girlfriend just die? Oh right, he takes out his anger on some innocent pledges later on.

So Molly’s all wah wah poor me and decides to visit Regina’s grave to ask for forgiveness. Nicholas Morrow, her brother, is there and yells at her and tells her to eat shit and die basically. [I totally forgot about Nicholas Morrow and what a BABE he is.] So then Molls decides to run away with Buzz, the dealer who gave Regina the coke at the aformentioned party. Buzz lives in a run down apartment in the run-down area of Sweet Valley. And hangs out at….you guessed it, Kelly’s. The ONE seedy bar in Sweet Valley.

Not only does SVH have Saved by the Bell syndrome, but it also has what I am calling Little House on the Prairie Syndrome. Have you ever noticed that when other people in Walnut Grove are having problems, like personal or family problems, the Ingalls always swoop in and solve it, invited or not? They tell other families how to raise their kids and shit. It used to piss me off. Elizabeth does the same thing. She thinks that Molly needs help and calls Josh and some others to tell them to be nicer to Molly. Back off, you condescending meddler. It reeks of holier-than-thou-ness. So all is solved and everyone is happy. Molly decides to stay and quit drugs. They hint that Molly may even win the Regina memorial scholarship when she turns her life around and quits drugs. Or something.

I’ll bet that Molly and Justin Belson are never mentioned again.

Also, I’ve realized that the books become sucky once Jeffrey French is in the picture. Even if he isn’t directly involved with the plot, they are of lesser quality (quality being relative). Plus, he is SUCH a closet case. He comes over Liz’s house and they watch a PBS special together. GAY!

My grade: D-

The one where Todd and Liz get together (for the first time), or #1 Double Love

Well, book one seems like the logical place to start? Because if it’s one thing that Fran Pascal and her ghostwriters know about, it’s logical plot devices. Ok, so we meet the twins and their annoying perfect selves and all the gang briefly. Liz has a crush on Todd. Scratch that. She’s in LOVE with him. After he looks at her in the caf and then they have a five minute convo about some chemistry exam. But Jessical also likes him. No, she doesn’t actually like him, to her he’s just another notch on her belt to validate herself through her sexual attractiveness. So Jessica basically goes after Todd, and Elizabeth basically wants to commit suicide when she hears Jessica talking about him. In all fairness, Liz never even tells Jessica her feelings. Ugh. I hate defending Jessica.

Then Jessica walks home from cheerleading practice instead of catching a ride from her friend because she “enjoys the attention she will attract” if she walks home. Ugh. Then the town punk picks her up and asks her for a date (in Francine’s world, a boy always asks for a proper “date” even though he is a complete fuck up). Of course, because it strokes Jess’ ego, says yes and lies to her parents and goes with him to Kelly’s, the town bar (Sweet Valley has one bar, apparently), and she gets into a brawl, or caused a brawl, or something, and the police come. Because the system is unfair and Jess is a manipulative skank, she convinces the cop to let her off. So he gives her a ride home. THe policeman calls her Elizabeth on her way out of the car, and Carline Pierce, the school gossip, overhears and then spreads it all over time that Elizabeth was at a bar and arrested.

The next day it is all over school and I am surprised that they don’t brand a letter “A” into Liz’s chest. Because she was out at a BAR! And possibly DRINKING! Jayzus. Kids these days have blow job parties and cook crystal meth after school. But apparently no teenagers drink at SVH. Jessica let’s them believe it, and Liz’s friend Enid is ahamed and breaks off their friendship. Todd of course sees Liz in a different light and decided to go to the dance with Jess.

After the dance, Todd doesn’t want to make out with Jess, which of course if a man doesn’t want Jessica, there MUST be something wrong with him. So she tells Liz that he tried to sexual assualt her. Because Francine likes to perpetuate the sterotype that women often cry rape. Thanks, Fran. So then Liz thinks Todd is a creep and there is more miscommunication.

Finally, somehow, it is all worked out, and Todd and Liz kiss and use stupid metaphors about their love. So, at least Liz grows some balls and tries to get back at Jessica. Ok, back up. Liz writes the gossip column for the school newspaper, The Oracle, and no one knows who it is. When they find out, they throw the person in the pool. Liz lets everyone think Jess is her, so they storm Jess and throw her in the pool. Oh, those SVH kids and their hijinks!

Oh yea, the twins’ brother Steven, who is in college, keeps coming around. It’s because he is secretly seeing Tricia Martin, but he is embarassed about it because she comes from a bad family, and her father is the “town drunk”. Because there IS ONLY ONE DRUNK IN SWEET VALLEY. Well, I guess that can happen when there is only one bar.

Some other points.

  • First, the twins are rushing Pi Alpha, the “best” sorority on campus. And they have to pledge and be hazed. (Liz was forced to have a pizza delivered to her science class). If your high school had a sorority, please let me know because WTF???? How is that allowed and sanctioned by the school? How do they allow hazing? WHERE ARE THE ADULTS?
  • Ok, my high school had a joke of a newspaper. So it took them half a school year to print a story about a tree that was planted outside or something like that. This is like a full time endeavor. I also get it confused with The Blaze and expect Andrea Zuckerman to be shouting orders at everyone. And they have a gossip column? How is that okay? Can Mr. Collins, the pervy advisor, please put a stop to it?
  • I hate how Jessica never wears a watch, because things don’t really start “until she gets there.”
  • If someone wants to make a statement, is mad at someone, or wants to flirt, they use the person’s full name. “I’ll get back at you Jessica Wakefield, if its the last thing I do!”; “Todd Wilkins, you are one hunk of man!” When Todd and Liz fight (which is uh, ALWAYS) they call each other Miss Wakefield and Mr. Wilkins. How…kinky?
  • Francine aka Kate William does not understand how a sense of humor works. Do teens ever/have they ever talked like this?: When Rick asks her out again, she’s all, “No thanks, I’d rather go on a date with an Octopus!” HAR HAR HAR!
  • The Fowlers and Patmans are set up to be this Hatfield and McCoys of Sweet Valley. They are both fighting over property of the SVH foodball field.Like they’s give a flying fuck.

Two words ladies: hot oil treatment. What’s with the bangs? Oh I forget, it’s 1984. That denim jacket should have more pins on it, Jess. Oh, and btw, you have a combover.

My grade: C+