Deceptions: A play in 3 acts

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ACT I

Scene 1: The Wakefield’s split-level, Spanish-tiled house. A party celebrating Liz’s return from her crazy orderly captor.

NICHOLAS MORROW: Liz, I’ve taken one look at you and your perfect California looks, you’re ill-cut feathered bangs, and I’ve fallen deeply and madly in love with you. I must have you at any cost.

ELIZABETH WAKEFIELD: Wow, that is not all inappropriate considering a creepy man just kidnapped me and said the same thing. But he fed me frozen pancakes.

NM: Oh, I’m very rich and good-looking.

EW: In that case…wait! I’m in love with Todd!

NM: Fuck Todd I want you.

EW: Well, you are feeding my ego, so yes, I’ll go out with you secretly.

Scene 2: Enid Rollins’ pathetic fucking non-Spanish tiled house.

ENID ROLLINS: (answering the phone): Hello?

EW: Enid, omg! What am I going to do? This is SUCH a disaster!

ER: Ok, I’ve cleared my schedule. I’ve canceled visiting my dying grandmother to talk to you.

EW: Oh my gaaaawd! Nicholas is like totally in love with me! And he’s so rich and good-looking! But I am supposed to be in love with my good-looking boyfriend Todd! Two guys are in love with me! Life is SO HARD!

ER: Wow, that IS a huge problem. I mean, forget that I have a drunk father, I once almost killed a kid, and I was born with frizzy brown hair, how can you stand to be you! [puts a gun to her head]

Act II- at The Cote D’Or, a posh restaurant an hour outside of Sweet Valley

Scene 1- back of the house

WAITER: If I have to make one more pat of butter look like rose petals I am going to quit.

BUSBOY: If I have to clean up after one more of these waspy couples, I am going to scream. Wtf is with this place? Cote d’Or means Gold Coast in French. We should be serving fried chicken skins in a basket.

WAITER: Oh jeez. I have to go check on table number 3, which is some rich daddy’s boy and his underage date. Shoot me now.

Scene 2: front of the house

NM: So computer, computers, computers…my daddy’s Ferrari, computers, my deaf sister, computers….

EW: writing, writing, writing, my sister, journalism, writing, being boring….

NM: Well, do you love me now that’s I’ve tried to buy your affection?

EW: Nope, you’re actually quite boring…. and I’ve gotten the ego boost I need…Omg! Is that Todd? What is he doing here?

Todd Wilkins: (approaching the table) Liz? is that you??? Why are you cheating on me????

EW: No, asshole, it’s Jessica.

TW: Phew! I know Liz wouldn’t cheat on me. She’s the patron saint of morals.

ACT III

Scene 1: The basketball game

TW: Well, I’m glad that I found out that Nicholas and Elizabeth had a date without causing any drama or anything. I’m just going to fuck up the entire basketball game.

Scene 2: boy’s locker room

NM: Glad I could talk to you in here Todd, where the half-naked men are.

TW: hold on, let me lather up. Can you get my back?

NM: I wanted to tell you that I tried to get into Liz’s pants, but there’s a double padlock on her crotch with “Todd Wilkins” written all over it.

TW: Okay, I’ll let it go this time, because I know Liz would NEVER cheat on me again.

Scene 3: outside the school

EW: Oh Toddie! I never meant to hurt you! Will you ever forgive me?

TW: Well, I wasn’t going to, but I talked to Nicholas about it and..uh…well, those luscious lips, that Greek-god sculpted body, the….uh, I mean he was honest with me.

EW: Great! I’d never cheat on you! And I am 100% sure this is the last time we will ever fight or one of us will be jealous!

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Welcome to Enid’s pity party.

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I actually like the way Enid is depicted here. I like her full (healthy) face and think she looks pretty. Don’t love the hairstyle and the pink/green outfit combo, but you win some and lose some.

I decided to read this one because Enid is so often depicted as Elizabeth’s “yes” girl that I have been lying awake at night wondering what ENID’s hopes and dreams are. Well, the twins have their own chapters from their POV in this one. Enid can’t even get a whole book to herself!

Magically, it is Christmastime again. Not to be mistaken with the MS hoax or the psycho killer Christmases, mind you. Liz is fucking moping around because Todd is going to Vermont for the break. GET OVER IT. Really. She’s like so depressed about it and mopes the entire time. He’ll be gone for about 8 days. Liz, why don’t you cheat on him, that always seems to make you feel better.

So Liz is depressed so Enid of course feels it is her personal duty to be there for Liz and drop everything to make her feel better. Enid gushes how luuuuucky she is to be friends with Liz, because “she was warm and friendly and everyone at school likes her”. Once, when Enid was a raging alcoholic wildchild, she would never DESERVE the friendship of someone like Liz. Enid got high freshman year and drove around with a guy named Brian and they killed a kid. Yet another thinly veiled reason to scare kids off alcohol and drugs.

Oh barf: “Enid didn’t have a boyfriend at the moment. Recently she broke up with Hugh Grayson. It would be fun to go shopping, see movies, and just hang out with Elizabeth. Romance was special, but so was best-friendship.” Seriously, Enid has a really unhealthy obsession with Elizabeth. For her Christmas present, Enid buys her a silk, heart-shaped box. Um.

What else is going on in pathetic Enid’s life: oh yea, her parents are divorced, and her father is coming into to town but her mother is bad mouthing her father to Enid. Enid meets him at his hotel, and realizes he is already drunk before noon. She calls him out on it and tells him his drinking is out of control, he tells her “I remember a time when you enjoyed a drink or two.” BAM! HE WENT THERE!

Also, Enid has been hanging out with Jeffrey French, but it seems all he wants to do is talk about Elizabeth. Elizabeth, being the egomaniac she is, brings cookies to Jeffrey on Xmas Eve, and further torments him so he can still be in love with her. HATE. LIZ. SO. MUCH. Enid’s pissed because she came over to Jeffrey’s in her very special Xmas outfit, which consisted of “a white turtleneck, swingy red skirt, and green headband.” Welcome to third grade, Enid. And her present to Jeffrey, a quart of ice cream (wtf? Please don’t ask.) Enid finally starts to get mad at Elizabeth for always having to be the center of attention and making it all about her.

Furthermore, she sees Jeffrey and Liz together at the Xmas party, so she finally gets some ovaries and gets mad at Liz, and goes of with her friend Brian, a guy from her “wild past”. They get high and drunk at Miller’s point.  Jess meets a guy at the party and five minutes later she drags him to Miller’s point- and she calls people a slut? She sees Enid all sloshed and immediately runs back to the party to gossip about it. When she gets back everyone calls her a fucking idiot for not helping Enid. Hah hah. Also, why in the holy hell are these kids so uptight about alcohol and drugs? It’s one of the most unbelievable aspects of the books.

Enid and Brian go for a joyride and then drive off and Brian flips the car. Luckily, Enid’s father gets there just in time to save them from the exploding car! Plus, he’s cured! He’s going to rehab! Everything is perfect! It’s the miracle of Christmas!

So Jeffrey is suddenly over Liz, he and Liz have a hearty chuckly over their painful breakup, and he realizes that he maybe does like Enid, but Enid actually grows bigger ovaries and decides she doesn’t just want to be Jeffrey’s alternative to Liz. So it ends with their relationship up in the air. Hundred bucks says their realtionship is never mentioned again.

Enid really needs to get a new idenity other than Liz’s best friend. Actually, Enid with a substance abuse problem is waaaayyyy more interesting than Enid the sycophant.

Boxing Helena 2: This time it’s personal; or #13 Kidnapped!

Kidnapped! With an exclamation point! It’s scary! Firstly, the cover never happened in the book. Liz was abducted from her car and the guy came at her head on with a chloroform-soaked rag. But I am getting ahead of myself. Check out Liz’s arm and hand. It’s freakishly huge.

The theme of this book is that the Wakefield twins are so gorgeous and so desireable that it isactually dangerous for them. Like, people would commit crimes to be with them. It’s like the opposite of a hate crime! Someone pass some laws!

Carl is a loser orderly in the hospital who develops the hots for Liz and decides that he is going to kidnap her because he is in love with her and if he keeps her prisoner, she will learn to love him. When has that ever worked? Okay, maybe once. He keeps her in his loser apartment. Because he’s not a blond surfer and married, he needs to live in complete filth and exile. He feeds Liz frozen pancakes, and she’s really judgemental about it. She tries to talk him out of it, but Liz, this is one situation you can’t counsel/condescend your way out of! Cue the music. I don’t mean to be harsh here, but I think most women’s fear about being abducted by a strange man is some fear of sexual assult. Of course that is never brought up here. Especially after being abducted by a man that is obsessively in love with you? One thing is that Liz has to be freed so she can go to the bathroom. THAT’S THE FIRST TIME ANY CHARACTER HAS ACTUALLY EXPRESSED AN URGE TO URINATE! It’s a miracle. The never mention bodily functions. Except when Jess poisoned her family with her cooking.

Jess lets many hours go by because she is do busy rubbing her genitals up against Nicholas Morrow at his party. The Morrows just moved to town and they are throwing a party. Jess is at home getting ready and is wearing a new dress that “leaves little to the imagination”. Doesn’t she always dress like that? And what does that even mean? Her vagina is showing? She asks Steven to zip her up, who comes out of the shower in a towel to help her. Scuse me what? This gives ghostwriter an opportunity to launch into the perfect-size-6-aqua-eyes-tanned-body description, using Steven’s view as a device to mention it. What? WEIRD! Also, Steven, please go back your dorm for once. Your parents are working extra hours to afford it.

So they get to the Morrow’s house, and the place is so over the top dripping with money it’s like an epi of Cribs. You know, like the one where mariah Carey is drunk and changes outfits about five times. I thought the Morrows were modest: “Flanking the main entrance were twin rows of neatly manicured cypress trees, all planted in huge brass urns. In the center of the circular drive were three pure-white marble fountains that sprayed mists of water into the crisp white air.” Basically, the Bellagio hotel. Furthermore, they have a Ferrari.

Also, Jessica is all judgy when she meets Regina and concludes she is a drunk (not knowing she is deaf). After she finds out, her first thought is gee, I hope Nicholas isn’t deaf! Oh Jess, you never disappoint. Todd is at the party and is all worried about where Liz is, and Jessica only being Jessica lies and says Liz is on her way so she can continue to dry hump Nicholas’ leg. He is so pissed he pushes her into the pool. NOYCE!

Oh, there’s this whole thing where Max Dellon is implicated, snoresville, but he and Jess go to the hospital and Carl thinks its Jessica who escaped from his creepy house and implicates himself. My question is: did he not know they were identical twins? Wasn’t he stalking Liz like crazy when she worked there?

After Liz is rescued, they all have a fucking pancake breakfast at the Wakefields and everyone is ok, making kidnapping jokes. Ok, kidnapping, coma…why isn’t this gal in therapy? Finally Nicholas stops by and of course when he sees Liz is love at first sight. I don’t know why, he’s already seen Jessica and aren’t they supposed to be absolutely identical? Maybe he was attracted to Liz’s barettes and sensible cardigan.

I need to share some direct quotes because I can’t do it justice with a summary:

[Cara] knew that Jessica was like the Royal Canadian Mounted Police- she always got her man.

[Nicholas] was blessed with a full head of black, wavy hair, which he wore swept back off his face, the waves falling in perfect layers down to the nape of his neck. From his piercing, deep-set, emerald green eyes to the cleft in his chin he had a face that would make any male model burn with envy. Nicholas?

Love is blind or #60, That Fatal Night

Whoa boy. What an SVH. It’s like a combo of every other SVH story: an accident, a handicap, an unpretty brunette. First of, what the hell was fatal about the night? No one died. Someone was just blinded, temporarily. But I am giving it away.

Jimmy really likes this pose. See exhibits A and B. Can Ken make any other expression?

Amy Sutton is vile. She has her sights set on Ken Mathews and is all up in him during the big game and the after party at her house. Meanwhile, shy Terri has a thang for Ken. We know that Terri is a sad sack of shit because she’s brunette and not a Wakefield. Actually, she seems to have an okay life. She’s a statistician for the football team, and has a solid group of friends including Jennifer Mitchell and John Pfeiffer (okay, so this was BEFORE he was a rapist). But, of course she pines for Ken because of his DYNAMIC personality. So Amy’s party winds down around midnight (wtf? these kids are losers) and situations make it so Ken ends up giving Winston, Maria and Terri a ride home. Terri is in the car alone with Ken, and they say two sentences each and it’s the greatest moment of Terri’s life. Ter, you need to get out more. It’s also raining pretty hard, and Terri asks Ken to wait until the rain stops, but Ken decides to go. On the way he is hit by a drunk driver. (Was it Mr. Martin? He is the official town drunk.)

Who of course notices that Terri is pining during the party and takes it upon herself to go solve her problems for her? I don’t even need to tell you. In fact, Liz is LISTENING outside the bathroom door as Terri is crying.

Liz, Todd and Jess see the accident on their way home. Liz doesn’t seem all that upset considering she supposedly just ended her secret affair with Ken. Oh right, that was added in later, randomly.

He wakes up at the Joshua Fowler Memorial Hospital and it turns out he is blind, His life is over! God forbid you have to live differently-abled! Unless you’re attractive, of course. Amy freaks out and doesn’t want to see him. Ken goes to rehab and its a very Regarding Henry moment. In a month he is perfectly capable of anything and is ready to head back to school. No disrespect, but it prolly takes more than a month…but of course Ken has a magical rehab therapist that changes his life.

Terri wants to visit him while he is in rehab, but can’t decide what to do, so she decides to call Liz Wakefield, who practically wets her pants with the idea of helping Terri. So they go visit Ken at rehab. Later, Terri and Ken hang out and Terri helps him with everything. It’s all At First Sight, except this makes that look Oscar-winning. Ken doesn’t allow himself to feel things for Terri because…I don’t know. It’s not explained. Maybe because Ken is a complex guy. Pshaaaahh right.

So Terri wants to “see” what it is like to be blind, so she blindfolds herself for an hour in her house and stumbles around like a fool. ARGH. I hate this idea that visually impaired people are completely helpless and stumble around. In my work I do workshops on ableism and someone always suggests that we do an exercise where someone blindfolds someone and takes them around for a day, and I LOATHE the idea. Like if you are differently able, you are hopeless and not self-sufficient. What did Terri learn from the exercise? Being blind is HARD. And she appreciated the sound of chirping birds in her backyard, which she took for granted. Terri’s not too bright.

Then she and Ken have a random fight because Terri grows a spine and says she can’t do everything for Ken and then they realize they love each other and Ken takes the bus all by himself to their favorite beach and we get the magical end kiss that always closes a SVH dilemma. Just like Lynne, her self-esteem is restored by that one kiss. Oh, also, Ken starts to see the sunrise which indicated he is getting his sight back. They also never say what causes the blindness. Brain damage? Is it possible to be blind temporarily?

The whole storyline totally reminded me of my favorite Little House episodes. ‘Member when Mary goes blind and she sulks around and her parents are fed up and ship her off to a blind school in the city, where she still acts bratty but with the love and help of Adam Kendall, she takes over and helps run the blind school? The one that catches of fire and kills her baby? And then they have to move the blind school to Walnut Grove and Mrs. Olsen comes with them through the wilderness, hijinks ensue, and she learns to not be a racist? Then Mary thinks she can see light and dark and she thinks she is getting her sight back but she doesn’t? Damn, what a good show.

Oh, back to the point. What is the moral of this one? If you are not blond and beautiful, the only way your love will be requited is if the guy goes blind. Nice.

Here’s my favorite quote: Jessica says, “”I hate to admit it, but seeing Ken around school with his white cane makes me feel kind of strange.” Elizabeth didn’t know how to respond to her sister’s comment. It wasn’t like Jessica to be so insensitive.” Hello ghostwriters! Do you even READ each other’s books?

Grade: B-

next up: the return of Suzy D.

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.

We hear a thousand tiny violins playing for Jessica’s problems, or #21, Runaway

I feel like this storyline is repeated about a thousand times. The best part of the book is the cover.

Jessica actually looks really pretty! And now I see where American Apparel gets its ideas from!




For a mere $78, you can have this ‘Runaway Jessica” ensemble.

Poooor Jessica. No one cares about her. Her parents love Liz more. Whenever Liz says something they take her seriously. Well, Jessica, maybe if you stopped acting like a psychopath slut and manipulating everyone around you for five minutes, maybe they would take you seriously too.

Ok, there is also some big case that Ned is working on involving Ricky Capoldo, and quite frankly, I barely paid attention. There is some custody battle going on. You would think Ned took an oath to keep the details private, but he blabs it to his family. Liz is all, oooooo!!! a chance to meddle in people’s lives. And somehow she is writing about it for the Sweet Valley News. It must be a slow news day. Also, wouldn’t Ricky NOT want this broadcast everywhere? Jess is all grumpy because Ned asked Liz to go and not Jess.

BUT this is amazing, groundbreaking. Ned shows some decent parenting and actually calls Jessica out on her bullshit and gets snippy with Liz when she asks her dad to go up and talk to Jessica. Essentially, telling her father how to parent.

“Look Liz”, Ned Wakefield interrupted. “I know you have Jessica’s best interests at heart, but I don’t think your mother and I should have to bend to her every whim. First of all, you two are very different, and I just don’t think this is the kind of thing Jessica would be interested in.”

“But Dad, maybe if you just talked to her-”

Her father cut her off again. “No, Liz. We’ve always tried to raise you as individuals. Jessica can make up her own mind, and you have to start realizing that. There are lots of times when we do things for Jessica that don’t suit you. If Jess wants to come along, fine, but I’m not going to beg her.”

Hallelujah! So basically the trial happens and it’a all about family values, blah blah blah. Liz talks to Ricky and gives him saintly advice about his family and all is solved blah. Sorry I kinda skimmed that part.

Meanwhile, Jessica is all poor me and distances herself with her friends. She notices Nicky Shepard, who we never heard of before this and of course he notices Jessica. Nicky has a shitty homelife and is planning on running away to San Francisco. I thought that in the eighties, you ran away to San Fran to come out. Jess plans on joining him. Boo fucking hoo.

Jessica write a letter to Elizabeth for the purpose of her finding it and coming to beg her to come home. It’s pretty dumb, but the p.s. is priceless: “p.s., you can have my jeans because they make me look fat”. Jess continues to take the bus and gets more and more upset that her family doesn’t come to stop her. Turns out the letter fell behind the dresser.

She actually gets on the bus to San Fran and no one chases after her HAHAHAHA! Plus she’s stuck talking to an elderly woman. Because no one ever grows old and gross in Sweet Valley. Finally the family finds out and they go apeshit looking for her. Steven and Liz find her at the next bus station and BEG her to come home. Why did they give in to her manipulation and continue to kiss her ass? if I were them I’d be pissed at what a brat she’s been.

After she gets home, the Wakefields have a long talk. That’s exactly what the book says. They don’t even tell us what the talk was about– which is kind of important. Did they apologize profusely to Jess? or did they tell her to stop acting like a brat?

Meanwhile she stops giving a shit about Nicky Shepard, and he is never mentioned, he is probably living on the streets of San Fran now. That would be an awesome spin off.

Grade: C+

Regina’s overdose, or #40 On the Edge

Let’s talk about this cover. Regina? Quite pretty in a “normal” kind of way. Also? Not looking like model material. And the pic of Bruce- is that a headshot? I wouldn’t be surprised if he had some made up. Also, thanks to Merrie who pointed out that Bruce looks like a young John Barrowman.

Good call. Also, Torchwood is pretty good.

Bruce, reverting back t0 his old ways, is fooling around with Amy Sutton. They are working on a project together about teen drug use. (Foreshadowing! Dun Dun Dunnnn…) Regina doesn’t know and Liz decides not to tell her. You could say that’s asinine of Liz, but I have been in the same situation and it is hard to be the bearer of the bad news. (Did I just defend Liz?)

So the Wakefields have a BBQ and Amy and Bruce fool around and everybody knows it is going on and Regina feels like an idiot. She gets mad at Liz for not telling her and basically tells Bruce to shove it. And he does, right up Amy Sutton.

Regina ends up hanging out with Justin Belson, who is a troublemaker with bad grades, who also hangs out with Molly Hecht and some badass named Jan. Honestly, these people actually seem interesting. She is invited to a party at Jan’s house, which will be WILD because Buzz the drug dealer will be there. And he doesn’t get his name from a bumblebee, if you know what I’m saying.Everyone warns Regina that he is bad news. God, they are so judgmental! Like BRUCE is so perfect?

So Bruce and Amy meet with Amy’s cousin Mimi about their drug project. I get the impression that Mimi is a social worker or someone who works in drug rehabilitation, but apparently she’s all that ans a police detective or something. She’s all, “we are hearing about a drug deal that is going to go down at a party with some guy named Buzz”. The fuck? Like there is only ONE drug dealer in all of Sweet Valley?

So Nicholas Morrow gets word about the party and jumps in his car and speeds towards the party. He gets stopped by cops because he was doing, I think, a hundred in a thirty-mile-an-hour zone and doesn’t have his license. He’s all “but there is a teenagers having a party! We must stop them!” Instead of cuffing him right then, the cops are all “we MUST get to that party! You’re right!”My head is in my hands.

Meanwhile, the party is in full swing. it seems WAY more fun that any party that Lila has with her fucking finger sandwiches and dumb decorations. Molly is peeved at Regina for hanging out with Justin, who is her ex-boyf and Regina actually feels bad because she knows the feeling. She wants to come clean with Molly, but big mean Jan decides to give her a hard time, goading her on to snort the cocaine. Regina does like three lines in a row, and I am no drug addict, but I know that is kind of a lot. She goes into cardiac arrest just as the cops and Nicholas burst in.

Okay the Scooby Gang are hanging out at Lila’s when they hear the news. Of course, Regina is kind of conscious for a bit and the first person she asks for is Liz. Because of course, the Wakefields are in the center of EVERYONE’s world, and if course you don’t want to walk into the light without getting one last glimpse of their sun-streaked hair!

Anyway, it’s too late. Regina is dunzo. It seems she suffered from a heart murmur and the cocaine gave her a heart attack. Ok, so, if the ghostwriters wanted to send a “drugs are bad” message, they totally fucked up. It comes across as, “if you are going to drugs, make sure you don’t have a rare congenital heart disease. Otherwise, go for it. Especially if you are ugly.”

Liz gets a letter that Regina wrote to her before she went to the party and mailed it. Who MAILS letters to their friends? Oh yea, this is before cell phones and emails. What would SVH look like with that technology? It forgives liz for everything and practically anoints sainthood on her for being a good friend.

Then, as you know, Justin and Molly become outcasts and of course Liz saves the fucking day.

I find it HIGHLY unlikely that Bruce or Lila have never done coke before.

Also, why is Enid and Liz invited to Lila’s? Don’t they all hate each other?

Speaking of Enid, she is all “I know what it’s like to run with the bad crowd”. Oh yea, like that one time you got a parking ticket? Shut up.

Grade: A-

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 where all of Jessica’s boyfriends die or #100, The Evil Twin

As someone mentioned earlier, Margo, aka the evil twin, is good because she “gets shit done”. I totally agree. But let’s go back to the beginning.

So as I started reading this, I realized it was sixth in a miniseries and was worried that I should have read the first few before this. Then I realized that my IQ is over 40 and I would have no problem. Some background: Jess and Liz were in competition for Jungle Prom queen, and Jess wanted Liz to look like an idiot so she spiked her punch. She accidentally spiked her boyfriend’s Sam’s punch too, and then they drove off and Liz killed him. There was a trial and shit, and in the meantime Jessica stole Todd for a while but then there was a not guilty verdict and Todd is back with Liz, but needless to say, Jess and Liz are talking. Meanwhile, Margo, who is a fucked up foster child who HAPPENS TO LOOK IDENTICAL TO THE TWINS, is on her way to SV to take over Liz’s identity after seeing her picture in the papers. Along the way, Margo killed lots of people, including some boy named Georgie. Georgie’s bro, Josh, is on Margo’s tail to take her down. Margo also hired some guy, James, so spy on the twins, but meanwhile he has fallen in love with Jessica. Because no one can ever not fall in love with them.

I feel bad for Jess- all her boyfriends dying. I mean, I hate Jessica, but isn’t that a little much to put her through? I did start to feel a lil bad for her. And why the hell do boys always fall in love with her? I mean, in high school years “love” really means “lust” but let’s just call it like we see it and not have guys professing their innermost feelings for her, but rather just trying to get into her pants.

Oh, and Jess and Liz are not talking to each other. Because at one point during the trial, Jessica intercepted some love letters from Todd and had her way with them. Also, Liz doesn’t know that Jess was the one that spiked the punch. They both have dreams about the incident, cuz their twins, they have a connection. I guess it must be the matching size six figures.

Finally, Margo gets the same dress as Liz and goes to Lila’s New Year’s Eve ball and lures Liz into a boathouse intending to kill her, but Jessica and Josh show up in time to push Margo through a glass window onto concrete, and a shar of glass goes through her jugular. Didn’t that happen in Ghost?. Good times. Murder always makes for a happy ending.

Ok, plotline out the way.

Showing you the cover here is kind of pointless, because it is a SPECIAL fold out cover, and the inner flap shows Margo dressed as Elizabeth weilding a knife, and Liz showing fear. Also, an inset of the twins in bathrobes opening presents under the tree, and they look about 47. If you own the book you can enjoy it yourselves.

Margo is batshit crazy. No doubt. Something about her growing up in foster homes and being abused. Okay, I’ll give her that, but she kills anybody in her way just for the chance to become a Wakefield. Seriously, Francine makes it seem as if you don’t grow up in a heterosexual nuclear family, you are a lunatic. Suzanne Devlin was a sociopath because she had neglectful parents, Lila is all fucked up because of her broken home, Tricia Martin and the whole town drunk dad thing, etc. etc. Like the Wakefields are the perfect family- pshah. Do Alice and Ted realize one of their twins is a raging cock tease and the other one is a condescending hypocrite?

Speaking of Ned and Alice, Margo hatched a plan to send them on a fake trip to San Francisco on some “lawyer consulting” thing. With a big-shot lawyer that Ted is, why in the hell did he fall for the bait? Well, as soon as they get to San Fran of course they do the toursity stuff- Fisherman’s Warf, Golden Gate, blah blah. I’s like to see Alice end up at Haight-Ashbury and reminisce about her hippy days. Anyway. Alice starts getting mother’s intuition that something is wrong and they try to get home despite train derailings and shit. I hate when they write from the adults’ point of view. It’s insulting.

Ok, so Margo apparently looks so much like the twins she sneaks into the house a lot and pretends to be them. Uh, even their mother couldn’t tell them apart? She also goes shopping with Lila and hangs out with Enid, and they are none the wiser. They just think their friend is in a weird mood. Whatever. Also, didn’t they have a dog, Prince Albert? Where did it go? Wouldn’t the dog detect strangers? Ghost writers, check your notes!!!!

Margo also went out with Todd and they made out and shit, and Todd didn’t say anything. He just thought it was Jessica. What a dick boyfriend.

I love how it is ony Christmastime, and apparently everything that happened in the last 99 books took place over three months. Including several spring breaks, summer trips, etc. Gotta love warped Sweet Valey time. Also, the day before Christmas vacation, every class at SVH has a party. Wtf?

Ken Matthews dressed up as Santa to deliver candy canes. What? Is he showing a hint of personality?

Also, a Jungle Prom? What is going on with that? I’m kind of offended.

Jessica’s friends really don’t offer her support after James dies, because they don’t know what to say. Assholes.

Can I mention that I am still reeling at the possibility that there is a lunatic foster child that LOOKS EXACTLY LIKE THE TWINS??? This is the likedaytime soap fodder.

Now, here is the big question. Why does everyone worship the Wakefield twins? People are dying to be friends with them, idolize them, and go on a killing rampage to become one of them. Surely, SOMEONE must hate them with a passion. Even when they treat one like shit (ahem, Robin Wilson) they still come crawling back for approval/acceptance, and this drives me fucking crazy. My god, Jessica has screwed over countless boys, I am sure they are not too happy with her. She basically hates and ridicules other girls, so there must be some goth/alterna chick at SVH who hates her. And Liz…she acts all perfect and sweet, but we know she is a hypocrite. If we ever saw them in classes, I have a feeling that Liz would be such a know-it-all and a teacher’s pet. Even through grad school there was always one of those in every class and I always loathed them. I mean, this is high school. Jealousy and exclusion are enough to fuel school shootings. Also, have you ever known someone where other people keep telling you how awesome they are and that alone makes you kind of hate them a little? Maybe that’s just me.

My grade: B. The later ones seem to have a totally different feel, and are way dumber. In a good way.

Next time: I got a whole new batch of books from ebay, so I don’t know. I want to get into the trilogies, but there are so many other shit-tastic ones from the 50s and 60s. We shall see.

Today’s poll: If you could look identical to a SVH character and murder them and take over their life, who would it be? I would say Penny Ayala, and turn the boring Oracle into an underground anarchist publication.

The one with the star-crossed lovers or #34, Forbidden Love

Ok, I want t get through this one quickly, because I just got a whole new batch of SVHs in the early 100s and am anxious to do those. Like when they get chased by werewolves and shit. Someone gave me an ebay gift certificate from my birthday and I was in a major biddng war for a set of books. You’d think at age thirty I’d be, I don’t know, buying property, but no, I buy SVH books.

Enough about me, let’s talk about these two crazy kids, Michael and Maria. They get engaged. In high school. Everyone thinks its seeeewwww romantic. But wait! They are forboden to see each other because their parents hate each other. Not because of an old family fued or because they come from different sides of the tracks, but because their father got into a fight over a business merger. Only in Sweet Valley can capitalism tear lovers apart.

Conveniently, in one of heir classes, they are doing the whole thing where they are paired up in marriages and have to do budgets and shit. Did anyone ever do that in school? I had a home ec class where I baked muffins and sewed a pillow, but that was about it. Well, wouldn’t you know, Michael and maria are paired up there too. They fight a lot about the budget and Michael wants Maria to stay home with the kids and wash his feet and be subserviant.

Meanwhile, in real life, they are having problems. Namely, Michael is a controlling, dominating sexist asshole. Maria wants to tell their parents but Michael doesn’t. Maria is Winston’s campaign manager for PTA representative and Michael is controlling and jealous and forbids her to do it.

Lila throws a surprise engagement party for them but M & M have a big fight in the middle and their parents find out about the party from aother SVH parent. When they arrive to confront their kids, they have a big laugh about their fight, and Maria makes out with Winston. The end.

The best part of this one: The cover. No way in hell these kids are sixteen. It looks like the cover to a shitty romance novel, you know the ones without the sex scenes. Or for an advertisement for Summer’s Eve. Michael looks like Ken Marino (go see The Ten if you can). Those are some serious pleats.

Other thoughts:

This was just overall dreadful.

Wow, apparently the campaign for the PTA rep is really huge, and I have no idea why. At least five people are running and candidates have actual speechwriters. it sounds like a shitty job to me. They have to attend PTA meetings and have no power in student governent. I really don’t get this school.

They do another chapter from the perspective of the adults- namely their parents. It is such bad writing, I can barely read it without cringing.

Winston was actually cute in this one and kind of makes a good boyfriend. I’m glad he gets some in this book.

Did I mention that this one was fucking awful?

My grade: F

Next time: THE EVIL TWIN!

Poll: which is the lesser of evils?

a. being Lila’s maid for a day
b. listening to a story Liz wrote
c. having unprotected sex with Bruce Patman
d. being Jewish in Sweet Valley