Regina’s Legacy

Liz: Broad-shouldered and...constipated?

I was going to try to make this one into a one act play or some other format, but it is so goddamn horrible I have to spell it out for you. I couldn’t have made this worse if I tried.

Elizabeth is the center of everyone’s world. The Morrows are going through dead Regina’s stuff, trying to decide what to do with it. Her most prized possession is her camera, so instead of giving it to Nicholas, or, say, the doctor that cured her deafness, they give it to Liz because Regina liked her so much. Of course.

Sweet Valley High is the most unrealistic school in the world. Some guy Jim (who?) starts a photography club and it’s all the rage. BAM! Suddenly SVH has a state of the art darkroom. Wow, Liz, how convenient that you were just given a camera! The club decides to work on a project together. They could do anything in the world, like to a photo essay about the elderly, endangered species, still-lifes…Of course, what do they do? “I could be about life at Sweet Valley High”, Elizabeth suggested. “It could be aphoto essay. Barf! Vom! More navel gazing. And apparently the whole school is supposed to care about the activities of these kids. It’s almost like in High School Musical 3 when their school musical is based on the lives of the main characters, as if the whole school gives a crap. Or, even better, remember in their senior year, the kids of Beverly Hills 90210, had a senior breakfast, and they highlighted the activities of only Brenda and Brandon and their friends? As if West Beverly High cared about their camping trip? I digress.

The kids get entangled in a crime and seek no help from the authorities or their parents. Liz is out taking pics at the beach, and photographs some shady looking guys. They try to attack her to get the camera, and she doesn’t tell any adult. She decides to enlist Todd in investigating the crime, and Todd is happy to go along because it means no fighting and Liz gets all worked up about fighting crime he probably saw a chance to grab some boob. It’s like when Tobias and Lindsay rekindled their passion while spying on Michael’s blind girlfriend.

Jessica is a total idiot and will do anything for the attention from a guy. The creepy criminal who chased Liz sees Jess in her car, pulls her over, and asks about the photograph. Jessica pretends to be Liz because she thinks this creepy thirty-something guy, Chad, is in to her. They go out and Chad demands the picture, so she tells him its in the SVH darkroom. The darkroom gets trashed, and JESSICA TAKES NO RESPONSIBILITY.

Sweet Valley is in an alternate universe. The bad guys…get this… are into DRUGS! ZOMG! How can anyone be that horrible awful? Liz and Todd trail Chad as he tries to take Jessica captive, they get stopped by a cop for speeding, and…

“She’s in terrible trouble,” Elizabeth continued. “The man she is involved in may be involved with drugs!” Elizabeth had never been so serious in her life. The police officer must have sensed this.

After the bad guys are caught, their trial makes national news. Because selling drugs is so horrific! It almost never happens…IN THE FUCKING WORLD! I think the ghostwriters are raised in caves in isolation and have to write in order to be fed. That can be the only explanation for the fucked up, out of left field ways they view teenagers and the world.

Once again, the twins are the center of the universe. The photo club has been keeping their secret photo essay project a secret from anyone, all to the extent that their friends get mad and Jim’s girlfriend breaks up with him. All over this fucking stupid photo essay. Also, the Morrows decide to donate money to rebuild the darkroom so the twins and their friends can continue to have a photography club, and it’s something Regina would have enjoyed.

And here’s and ending that will bring tears to your eyes and chunks to your throat:

“Todd, do you think it might have been partly due to my memory of Regina, and the fact that I was using her camera, that I felt so driven to discover the connection between the photo and the three men on the beach and the news story about the drug ring?”

“You mean because drugs caused Regina’s death?

Elizabeth nodded. “It’s almost as if, in a weird sort of way, some justice has been done. With the help of Regina’s camera, a major drug ring was exposed! Who knows how many lives have been saved?”

Yup, the Wakefield twins are the same annoying shrews in France, too

Elizabeth "Wow, France is full of poor schmucks I can help"; Jessica: "Hey France, check out my boobs!"

I really hate when an SVH book exceeds my expectations, but that happens…rarely. Here is the last of the “old school” Super Editions I have yet to caption, and I was avoiding it because I thought I knew the plot. The twins head to France, so I thought that meant Elizabeth getting a job as a famous artiste and meeting men at the Louvre, and Jessica falling in love with a guy in a beret and making out on top of the Eiffel Tower. But shame on me, the girls are actually off to Cannes, not Paris. Way to throw me a curve ball, Francine!

Yea, but the book turned out to be full of rehashed plots from other books. I ask for the thousandth time- do the ghostwriters even READ the other books? Quality control was not big in the 80s I guess.

So we are on another mysterious Spring Break, this is when Liz is between Todd and Jeffrey (not that way, you pervs!) The twins are on a French exchange program, sponsored by Ms. Dalton, who, is nowhere to be seen chaperoning this thing; the twins are by themselves on the plane. I don’t even know where the other students are. Furthermore, the twins are just pawned off onto a single mother who does enough and now has to feed and house these spoiled brats.

Liz is excited to improve on her French and thinks that by the end of the week she will be fluent. Ferme la bouche, Liz. Also? The twins are like, super stoked to make friends on this trip, and the first few days are all up in arms that they don’t have someone to hang out with. Like they can’t possibly fathom being somewhere where not everyone is clamoring to hang out with them.

They are staying with a woman named Avery Glitze, who we hear several times is a slender woman. The fuck? Like it matters? The fam speaks English, but Liz insists on speaking in French. Of course.

Avery has a son named Rene, who at first is awesome, because he hates the twins on site and makes overtly snotty remarks to them all the time.  But as meddler Liz finds out, Rene is ANGRY! He’s HURT! Because his American father abandoned the family. And you know what happens to teens without a heterosexual two parent household…So Rene hates all Americans. Plus, he was swimming at the beach once and his friend drowned so he’s also afraid of the water. Kind of unrelated, but very convenient to the plot. The meaner he is to Liz [he actually invites her to go to lunch with he and his friends, and berades her the whole time. It’s kind of awesome] the more she tries to meddle with him and find out his feelings about his father and Americans. It’s such an unstable inverse relationship between the two.

Jessica decides to take a jog one morning, and meets some guy at his house because he drivesd an expensive car. She agrees to let him take her out and see the town. Oh, I mean “the Riviera”. She finds him boring because he doesn’t want to talk about her all the time. Meanwhile, Liz finds a puppy and it turns out that it belongs to a Countess. The Countess invites Liz over and they chat and she tells liz that she is an intelligent, intriguing young lady. This is the theme of the trip- Liz seeking out people who will kiss her ass. The Countess instroduces Liz to her grandson, Jean-Claude (of COURSE that’s his name) and they go and hang out. J-C is like the French Bruce Patman.

Jessica is bored with Marc but of course gets all hot under the collar for J-C, so she pulls the old twin switcheroo (A-GAIN) and pretends to be Elizabeth and secretly hangs out with J-C behind Elizabeth’s back. Liz thinks J-C dumps her so she spends her time working on Rene. She discovers that Rene’s father writes him every month but Rene throws away the letters. Liz, in her meddliest of meddling, SAVES one of the letters behind Rene’s back and convinces him to read it. BUTT THE FUCK OUT, LIZ. (I couldn’t figure out how to say that in French).

Meanwhile, nerdy Marc stops by the house and Liz figures out what Jessica’s been up. Liz, so devastated by the fact that she hasn’t made ANY friends on the trip, forces Marc to hang out with her. He takes her to a gallery opening, where she talks to the artist about her interpretation of his work, and the artist points out that Liz is a mature, intelligent insightful young lady. Of course.

Liz, of course, is talking to all of these people in perfect, fluent French. Of course.

One night Jessica is late for dinner because she and J-L were picnicking on a small island (where J-C of course brought several types of cheeses to sample) and the sailboat capsized in the storm. Liz makes Rene help save them and they both dive in the water, saving them! I feel like this is the eighth time that one of the twins jumps in water to save someone. Well, at least here , here, here, and here. In fact, Rene suddenly overcomes his fear of swimming, JUST TO SAVE THE WAKEFIELDS! Liz cures his fear! He also then decides that Liz helped him overcome his hatred for his father! Liz is all, “good thing I saved the letter from your father and read it!”

Liz also forgives Jessica for deceiving her, pretending to be her, and stealing her date, and thus enabling her. Audrey Glitze also forgives Jessica by totally disregarding her rules and staying out late. Because she’s a fucking Wakefield.

This all happens in the first three days of their vacation. I shit you not. The book ends with the twins looking forward to the second half of their time in Cannes, now that they all have made friends and established themselves as the center of the world. If the book were to go on, I am sure the French president would have made them dignitaries or something.

Oh, I almost forgot. Audrey’s daughter, Ferney (yea), is staying with the Wakefields. It is an exchange, remember? Ferney is a dead ringer (pun intended) for Tricia Martin. Wait, another one? What, is she a cylon? Of course, Steven, who is always home to hang out with her, total neglects Cara and Cara has a near-meltdown. The exact same thing that happened when that Andrea girl showed. up. DO YOUR HOMEWORK EDITORS. Is that too much to ask. Also, do Cara and Steven fight as much as Liz and Todd? That might be true.

‘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?

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.”

Robin Wilson should be in the X-Men

[photo from The Closet]

Can we come to a consensus that this may be one of the best covers ever? Robin is GORGE! FEROSH! FIERCE! (I’ve been watching Season 4 of Project Runway). She does look a bit like Britney Spears in the face. Also, cute shirt! But look, it’s so beeeg! She us just wasting away!

Ok, so this book was especially difficult to read, especially as someone who has struggled with weight issues since…well, birth.I will give this ghostie credit; they did seem to do some research about eating disorders.

We once again are from the viewpoint of Robin Wilson, only 70 books later and after her magical transformation. However, she is still unhappy, maybe even more so. She is really insecure about her boyfriend, George Warren, who isn’t coming home from college to see her as much and he is spending time with his attractive partner. ONCE A CHEATER ALWAYS A CHEATER, RIIIIGGHHHHT?

Robin is quite insecure, and acts all passive-aggressive with George and doesn’t say how she is feeling but acts all withdrawn and mopey. I want to hate her for it, but she does have some issues, and hasn’t exactly have friends who role model appropriate relationships. Which brings me to…Robin still hangs out with the cheerleader/sorority gang who she supposedly was shunning? I guess Maria and Sandra are alright (i.e. boring) but she is around Jessica a lot, and Jessica still hasn’t gotten over the fact that Robin was once fat. In fact, they all are planning a fundraiser with the world’s largest ice cream sundae, which Robin was in charge of, but Jessica keeps passive-aggressively taking over. Ugh. And Robin kind of takes it. And does she really want to be a cheerleader that badly? She’s also on the diving team. Which leads me to something else: Robin gets thin and suddenly she’s a superior athlete. Doesn’t that take some work? You can be thin and a shitty athlete, easily. This concept is insulting to athletes. Wow, is there anyone SVH doesn’t offend?

And since when are Robin and Elizabeth such besties? Of course it is convenient for Liz to be the friend so she can jump in and save her.

Robin at first feels that she needs to be skinnier so George will not dump her. But then it kind of spirals out of control and Robin stops eating as a sense of control because she is so anxious about planning the fundraiser and not being confident in her relationship with George. And it is pretty heartbreaking and shockingly realistic when she has a panic attack when trying to eat her lunch.

BUT as serious as her eating disorder is, about a week or two passes and suddenly her cheerleading uniform is 3 sizes too big and her bathing suit is practically falling off. I mean, seriously? This girl has insane metabolism. I mean, seriously, if skipping dinner one night allows her to lose 20 pounds, what the fuck? Either that or she has an insane mutant X-Men superpower.

Finally, at the fundraiser she collapses from pneumonia from having not eaten. I’m no eating disorder treatment expert, but at the hospital, a doctor comes in and curtly says “you have anorexia. So eat your breakfast.” Um, problem solved?

George comes to see her in the hospital and is concerned and apologizes for being distant. Now, the way this COULD have gone was that George could have said, I love you, you’re beautiful, and George’s love could have cured her and they all go laughing off to the Dairi Burger for triple cheeseburgers. (Kind of like that rad episode of Full House where DJ is ano for a day and then after the big family talk, they all have a spaghetti dinner and stuffs her face.) BUT, some credit here, Robin acknowledges that the problem lies within her and having George as a boyfriend doesn’t solve everything, and she needs to get help before she can be with him again. Well done, ghostwriter, whoever you are.

Lois Waller makes an appearance again, only for Robin to be mortified at how Lois can be so chubby and STILL have a boyfriend? I think Robin is more baffled by Lois’ apparently healthy attitude toward her body. Go Lo!

Um, yea. Pretty intense. I have to say it was handled better than I thought, but of course the issue is not brought up again and Jessica starts picking on fat girls again.


“Why is everyone in this country so obsessed with being skinny?” asked Elizabeth angrily. “it’s not right. Girls and women are made to feel ugly if they don’t look like models or beauty pageant contestants.” Um, maybe BECAUSE OF BOOKS LIKE THESE?

[Elizabeth] glanced over at Lois one more time. Lois would never be a fashion model, but she clearly had a great relationship with Gene, and her outlook on life was completely optimistic. So what difference did it make if she couldn’t wear size-six jeans? None at all, Elizabeth told herself confidently. None at all. SMUG BITCH!

The Mexican Festival comes to Sweet Valley.

Yay, because one West Side Story rip-off is not enough.

Here’s what you need to know about Manuel:

  • He’s Mexican, and usually hangs out with the other Mexican students in school. What there’s other Mexican students? Oh yea, there is. One other person.
  • He’s totally in love with Sandra, even though she seems to have zero personality.
  • He and his family are totally stoked for the upcoming Sweet Valley Mexican festival. Yes, you heard me right.
  • He’s pissed that Sandra won’t tell her parents about him and feels totally disrespected.
  • He actually seems like a decent guy.

Here’s what you need to know about Sandra:

  • She has no personality and is supposedly a cheerleader and in Phi Beta Pi.
  • Her parents are country-club membership carrying, old-fashioned racists. In fact, her father wrote a letter to the Sweet Valley News”complaining how minorities and immigrants are ruining the community”. I was thinking about trying to recreate that letter, but maybe that would be going too far?They are also the kind of racists that cover it up with “we just want what’s best for you Sandra, and you will have a hard life if you associate with ‘that sort of crowd'”.
  • She hides her relationship with Manuel from her parents and makes everyone cover for her. Manuel feels disrespected but she ignores that. Good job Sandy.
  • She appears to be 37 years old.

How does Liz get involved?

Well, it wouldn’t be an SVH book if Liz didn’t get to stick her nose in people’s business and tell adults how to raise their children.

Suddenly, she is Sandy’s best friend. Considering Sandra is a cheerleader, why wouldn’t she go to Jessica? Anyway, Liz is about to print something in Eyes and Ears about Sandy and Manny and Sandra asks her not to print it. Liz gets all huffy and spouts off about journalistuic integrity and takes this opportunity to coach Sandra on the right thing to do. And then wonders to herself that she’s soooo lucky that she has such a tolerant and accepting family. I’ll let you do the vomit noise.

Then, to further assert her whiteness, Sandra asks Manuel out on her sailboat, but she needs to tell her parents that she’s taking a friend. So that friend gets to be Liz. Miracle of all miracles. the engine catches on fire and Manuel saves both Liz and and Sandra, but Sandra tells him to scram when the police come and to let Liz take the credit for saving them. Sandra’s a real peach.

Lix secretly loves being the hero, but still urges Sandra to tell her parents, especially after bystanders report seeing a MEXICAN BOY tampering with the motor. So now the police suspect Manuel! And when they bring him in for questioning, Sandra pretends that she doesn’t know him. Why in the fuck does he not dump Sandra?

Finally, her parents found out that Manuel was the one who saved her, they totally absolve their racism, decide to go to the Mexican Festival with Manuel and his family, and invite him to the dance at the country club. Yea, because that’s all he ever wanted, so be accepted into the snooty white crowd. Of course every person of color in Sweet Valley’s ultimate dream is to be treated just like the white people! Happy Ending!

Return of the Evil Twin

Unnecessary sequels

Unexplained time travel


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!]

You never forget your first time.

I guess I never mentioned it before, but No Place to Hide was my first Sweet Valley High book, ever. I think I had been reading a couple of the twins books before I picked this one up at my local B. Dalton. And I remember totally choosing it for the cover.

Yes, that Microsoft Paint magnifying-glass thing totally hooked me. I guess I thought the twins were beyond gorgeous on the cover and my shallow self wanted to glance at the glossy cover and dream of the day that I, too, could grow up and be just as glamorous.

Hoever, I have NO idea why I continued reading, because this was beyond wretched. Maybe even worse than the other non-chlling super thriller. I think after this one I was at the library and saw All Night Long and decided to give it another chance. I cry wolf all the time, but really, this may be the worst one yet.The plotline of this is off the grid. ANd unecessarily complicated.

But, I suppose you want a summary, eh? Okay, I’ll try to muster up the patience to tell you this inane plot.

So it’s back during the summer, and the twins are back working at the newspaper, and Liz is with Jeffrey, and it’s supposedly right after Regina Morrow (shout out to my cat!) has just died. So you work with that timeline.

Oh, the big news? Sweet Valley’s mayoral campaign. Russell Kincaid v. some other old white guy. I can only imagine their campaign promises: “We promise to limit the sumber of ‘minorities’ in the town, make Wakefield day an offical holiday, and build an expansion on the valley mall.” What about the insanse crimes that happen in Sweet Valley?! The cults recruiting innocent kids? The gang warfare?

The twins invite Nicholas Morrow with them to their company picnic down in some podunk town and they take a walk and find this big old house and meet this gal, Barbara who Nicholas gets a big bone for. The big old house belongs to Babs; grandmother, and she is staying there with the housekeeper and her very strict uncle. Okay, so the uncle is kind of a dick and controls Barbara, but Nicholas and the twins kind of freak out and feel it’s a crime and Barbara is totally being abused and want to call Human Rights Watch on them or something. All the man does is give her a curfew and shit.

Nicholas sneaks to the house every night and he and Barbara hang out in the woods, NOT fooling around, NOT groping each other over their clothes, but hanging out with her dog Rory and talking about woe is Babs and her mean family. And talking about possible escape. Um, how about, what movies you like? Silly stuff? They’re teenagers for god’ sake. There are some close calls where they almost get caught and Nicholas keeps getting followed.

Then, of course, instead of calling the police and say, some ADULTS to help, the twins and Nicholas hatch a plan to help Barbara escape. Who do they think they are, the Baby-Sitters Club?

Fast forward about 70 more pages of close calls and Nicholas bemoaning Babs’ plight and we find out that Russell Kincaid, mayoral candidate is the brother to Babs’ Uncle John, and Uncle J wants to get back at Russell for something, so he lures Babs to the house for the summer because she is the spitting image to her grandmother Barbara, who Russell murdered way back in the day, and John wanted him to think he saw a ghost. Because it’s really appropriate to have you middle-aged brother lusting after an underage gal who reminds you of your dead lover. Nice one, ghost writers.

So Barbara of course will never show up in another book, so she breaks up with Nicholas when she moves to Switzerland. To the land of doctors that cure deafness.

Ugh, Terrible. Awful. Shit, the twins are still working at the Valley News? Couldn’t they get real interns from Sweet Valley University? Why am I questioning the logic?

Shouldn’t this be a super chiller?


The Ghost of Tricia Martin: A Play in Two Acts

Act 1

[Scene 1: Lisette’s Boutique]

Andrea: Woooooooooo!!! I’m a ghost!!! Whooooooooo! Of Tricia Martin!!!!!! WhooooooOOOOOOOOOOoooo

Steven: Your haunting beauty and nondescript personality reminds me of my dead girlfriend!

Andrea: WhooooOOOOOOOoooooooo

[Scene 2: on the phone]

Cara: Hi Steven!

Steven: Fuck you bitch, why are you so annoying? You’re not Andrea! Go away! I hate you!

Cara: Oh my god! This is all my fault? What did I do wrong???

[Scene 3: At the aquarium]

Andrea: So what are we doing for lunch?

Steven: THAT’S AMAZING! TRICIA LIKED LUNCH! This is such a coincidence.

Andrea: Ok, whatevs, can we just go?

Steven: AMAZING! Tricia also spoke English! I can’t believe my Tricia is back for me! Steven: Andrea, I am going to give you a test now to see if you are like Tricia or not….so I am thinking of taking hang gliding lessons….

Andrea: Ok, whatever…so as I was saying…

Steven: OMG! Tricia would have totally supported me in my desire to randomly hang glide! It’s a miracle!Also, can you wear your hair down and put on this ruffly shirt?

Andrea: Um, why?

Steven: Because it will make you look like Tri….it will make you look good.

[Scene 4[At hang gliding lesson]


Steven: Ouch!


Act 2

[Scene 1:At the hospital]

Steven: Oh, Andrea, swo glad you can visit…that means you are really in love with me.

Andrea: Actually, my boyfriend is waiting for me outside. You creep me out, kinda. Stop trying to make me wear a dead girl’s clothes.

Steven: Um, okay. Shit, I should have been nicer to Cara.


[Scene 2: Later that day at the hospital]

Steven: Cara, I know I cheated on you and treated you like shit, but now that Andrea dumped me, I figured I should probably try to win you back as my backup plan.

Cara: Because having a spine is not hot in Sweet Valley, I will take you back! Besides, it was my fault!

Steven: How so?

Cara: I don’t know, just give me a tender kiss!



Seriously, the ghostwriter was phoning this one in. And everyone say it with me on the count of three: STEVEN, GO BACK TO COLLEGE! Stop hanging around the mall and picking up chicks. Oh, but wait, they conveniently had him “taking time off” to work on an independent study project. At least they tried to give an explanation. As if that ever happens during the semester— all your classes agree to stop for an independent project? I guess they were banking on young girls not understanding how college works. Or something.

What were the twins doing? Being super annoying, of course! Liz of course was shaking a finger at Steven trying to tell him what to do. Jessica was annoyed at Cara for being depressed about Steven because it took the attention of her and she was being a drag. Jessica also met a guy at a beach party who was a crunchy lefty hippy but went for him just to prove she could. He was all into pamphletting, going to council hearings, on environmental issues, watching documentaries and playing the guitar and actually talking about world issues. Of course, this was played for comedic effect, and Jessica ends up dumping him because he is JUST SO BORING. Seriously, with Jessica in this one, bewtween getting mad at Cara for being a “drag” and with this guy, it could go either way…it’s a wink from the ghost writer to show how obnoxious Jessica was or it is played without any satire….maybe I am putting too much hope in SVH ghostwriters.

Hostage! A play in two acts


You asked for it, you got it…


Evil Computer Guy: Blast! That Mr. Morrow has done it again! He invented the super microchip before I could! He is always one upping me! First he marries the model and now this!

Claire Lewis: Don’t fret, I have a plan! It will be so foolproof not even a bunch of teenagers can foil it….


Scene 1: SVH

Liz: what’s up with Regina? She’s home from Switzerland and not wanting to talk to any of us. I wanted to give her some advice on how to overcome her disability.

Bruce: What? I luff her! How can she not talk to me! Oh, my bruised ego!

Jessica: Somehow I have to make this about me!

Scene 2: THe Morrow Estate

Regina: help! I’m being held hostage! Don’t involve the po-po! They’ll murder me and my parents!

Scene 3: The Wakefield backyard

Jessica: She’s right! I’ve been reading the BSC mysteries and they never involve parents! We should solve this ourselves!

Liz: Hey, I didn’t know you read!

Nicholas Morrow: Hey! I have a plan that is sure to not be dangerous. Let’s go and free the Morrows while Regina is at the plant being held at gunpoint while he steals the microchip! Despite the fact that these guys are violent criminals and have weapons shouldn’t mean anything

Jessica: And I’ll use my super sexy seduction powers to distract the kidnappers teenage son.

Everyone: Good idea! We knew you were good for something.

ACT 2:

Scene 1: Mr. Morrow’s super microchip factory


Evil Computer Guy: Ha! Thought you could outsmart me! I am holding guns at you know, you stupid idiots!

[Bruce, Nicholas and ECG’s son attack him and knock the guns out of his hands.]

ECG: Ah, nuts! Back to jail! I fucking hate these size six twins.

Scene 2: The Morrow Estate

MRS. MORROW: Well, I’ve been held at gunpoint for about a week and I thought my daughter was murdered. One would think I would need to recover from my PTSD and spend time with my family, but I think there is really only one thing to do in a situation like this…

EVERYONE: Throw a party!

Scene 3: Rockin’ party at the Morrow Estate

Liz: Well, wasn’t it nice of the Morrows to throw a party in our honor? Instead of celebrating the fact that Regina has been cured of her deafness?

Jessica: See, I told you I would make this all about me!


Unrelated, this is the one book where Jessica was barely tolerable. Also, is that a guy about to shove a chloroform-soaked rag to Regina’s mouth? That never happened.