Mean People Suck.

[Cover from The Closet]

So, Enid’s grandmother movies in with Enid and her mom and…


Yea really, it’s that bad. There’s a reason that this was one of the first books I found but put off reading it. Grandma Rollins, who throughout the book is referred to as Mrs. Langeven, which really annoyed me, moves in after her husband dies, and proceeds to act like a manipulative self-centered wench. Enid feels bad and drops plans with her friends and her boyfriend Hugh to spend with her co-dependent grandmother. Gram, ehm, excuse me, Mrs. Langevin, sees the error of her ways after one outburst from Enid and decides to move back to Chicago. Case closed. The end. Whatever, I don’t even need to go into detail. (Although props to Ms. L for saying that Liz seems bossy.)

The subplot is infuriating. Susan Stewart’s famous director father (wow, she’s mentioned again?) has too much time on his hands, I guess, and sponsors a documentary film making contest. The Scooby gang decides to enter and make a documentary about…what else…. A DOCUMENTARY ABOUT THE TOWN OF SWEET VALLEY. You love it, it’s wonderful. Of course, Jessica is the host, and of course what’s featured is the beach and all the students of SVH. Of course, there’s no mention of the poor shitty area where Betsy Martin lives and where the Good Friends cult house is, or the Shady Lady. During one taping, Winston Egbert comes out of a joke shop (yes, in Sweet Valley it is possible for a joke shop to thrive) wearing an arrow through his head and follows Jessica around and stands behind her in the shots. Omg, he is HILARioius! He should be a comedian! They have a world premiere at the Wakefield’s split-level house, but then…the winner is never announced? This writing is so sloppy.

What I want to talk about is the very weird friendship between Liz and Enid. I know people have joked that they are lesbionic for each other, but I’m not really referring to that. Best friends in high school, no matter what “type” you are, share private jokes and laugh a lot. I mean, at any age, that’s what a best friend is. They just don’t do that. Enid’s whole world revolves around Liz, and doesn’t really have any other friends. They go to craft fairs and play recorders together. Whenever Enid is upset I half expect Liz to run over, whip out a boob, and start nursing Enid. Check out this exchange.

Elizabeth and Enid found an empty table [at the Dairi Burger] across the room and sat down gracefully. “You stay here,” Enid suggested, instantly rising to her feet, “and I’ll go get us some sodas. It’s so crowded today we’d probably lose the table if we both went. ” Elizabeth grinned up at her friend. “Ok- make it my usual, bartender. ” “One root beer, coming up!” With a salute, Enid turned and picked her way across the popular after-school hangout.

Shut up. Just shut up.

In other news, please read my column in the Oakland Examiner.

Don’t get our hopes up!

Don’t we wish that Liz left the country for a while and we didn’t have to deal with her barrettes and piousness? Regina Morrow apparently handed Liz one brochure about some school called Interlochen and Liz had dreams of wiring her amazing short stories overlooking the alps. Liz found out about this place too late after the deadline but fuck me gently with a chainsaw! There’s still a scholarship that she is eligible to apply for! The possibility of Sweet Valley without Liz is too much for her friends and family to imagine. It would kind of be like Jessica without a halter top. Or Robin Wilson without a cheesecake. Or Todd without cheating. You get the picture. She’s INTEGRAL! So everyone reacts to this in the most illogical, irrational, immature way ever. Did we expect anything less?

Q: Liz notices that Jeffrey seems kind of bummed and quiet when she talks about going away. Why do you think this is, Liz?
A: Well, he probably doesn’t realize how important this is to me! So I think the solution is to talk about how much fun I am going to have there nonstop! That will make him realize how much I want to go, and then of course he will support me!

Q: Well, Liz, Enid seems kind of bummed too. Do you think it is for the same reason?
A: Of course not, she doesn’t want to see me be happy! She’s just SO SELFISH! I am just going to not talk to her anymore. Screw any feelings she may be having about the matter! She’s supposed to be my best friend and worship me unconditionally!

Q: Jeffrey and Enid, what are you going to do to make sure Liz stays?
A: Well, instead of talking to her about how we feel, we are going to make her a super-secret but super-special scrapbook filled with pictures of her with us. And we’ll sneak around suspiciously together to get it complete. And in no way would it give her the idea that we are seeing each other.

Q: Jessica and Steven, how will you handle this.
A: Well, in the most mature and reasonably way possible- by sabotaging her interview! Jessica will wear a slutty outfit, and Steven will act like an imbecile. In other words, like ourselves.

Q: Liz, how do you feel about the way everyone is acting?
A: Well, in the last minute, I decided that I don’t want to go anyway. I thought Switzerland was magical. but what could be more magical than Sweet Valley and all of my friends?  The people are too snotty and judgmental. However, I’ll just forgive everyone for the way they are acting! What? of course I won’t hold Jessica accountable for her hideous actions! I’ll just hig her and tell her that I’m so glad she’s my sister, thus enabling her selfish behavior! Yay for friends! let’s all get triple scoop Sundaes at Casey’s!


You seem to be asking an awful lot of [Jeffrey]. You suddenly announce that what you want more than anything in the entire world is to move to Switzerland for an entire year and study creative writing. The way you put it, Jeffrey would be a real chauvinist if he didn’t back you on the whole project. You keep emphasizing how important it will be for your development, your writing, your future. Have you even asked Jeffrey how he feels about the whole thing? It seems you’ve done an awful lot of assuming for him. You’ve assumed he’s behind your plan. You’ve assumed that he is going to wait around for you. And now you’re assuming that he’s interested in your best friend! Don’t you think it’s time you two actually sat down and talked?

Then, in a plotline best suited for an ABC Family original movie, Winston has some shenanigans with a lottery ticket. Somehow he accidentally switches his coat with a poor old man’s, and the lottery ticket in the pocket is the winning ticket! Winston is so con sumed with guilt that he returns the coat and the money to the old man, and now his little granddaughter can go to riding camp. Wait, there’s a poor man in Sweet Valley? He must live next to the Martins.

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.”

#92 She’s Not What She Seems: The formula

Single White Female

Crazy Margo

Lady Macbeth

Competitive Eating

Vapid friendships

Saved By the Bell group mentality

Donald Trump Hair

She’s Not What She Seems is Evil Twin lite. The Val’ is putting on Macbeth as their school production. Thankfully, they actually reference the time 90 books ago when Bill and Jessica were in Splendor in the Grass. Jessica is obsessed with playing Lady Mac and doesn’t shut up about it. Of course she gets it and gets so into it and herself and her friends start getting annoyyed. [Let’s stop here a second and say Shakespeare is hard to pull off for seasoned actors, you really think this stoopid lot can do it?] It takes this to get her friends to hate Jessica?

Paula is the new gal in town, and immediately suctions herself to Jessica’s ass. She becomes her own personal obsessed fan, and trails her and helps her prepair for the part. Eventually everyone hangs out with Paula because she tells them her mom is dead and her Dad beats her. Because having a non-nuclear family in Sweet Valley is the equivalent to having syphilis. You can imagine how much Liz was foaming at the mouth about a new project. Jessica starts to suspect that Paula is…get ready for it…not what she seems! And that she is trying to undermine Jessica. The gang doesn’t believe her and thinks Jessica is jealous.

Finally, just when you think Paula is going to do something like, I don’t know, try to kill Jessica, she goes and makes her miss opening night so she can play Lady Macbeth. And turns out she lied about not having parents. And as using Jessica to be friends with the popular crowd. Eventually everyone finds out and Jessica is reinstated to her elevated status and the homeostasis of Sweet Valley is restored.

Other things:

  • Lila is cast as a witch and is all embarassed and annoyed. Cue the “Lila, you don’t have to act!” comments.
  • Winston is cast as the crazy kooky sidekick. Shocker!
  • Liz is of course in charge of the publicity committee, and they act like this play is fucking summer stock. It’s the headline of the Sweet Valley News, and even LA magazine does a review! Wtf, I am sure people in LA care about a high school play.
  • After every rehearsal, the Scooby gang goes to the DB and get quadrouple orders of onion rings. Per person. Yeeks. Like all those cheerleaders would eat that.
  • The whole gang hangs out together all the time in this one- Lila, Amy, Liz, Annie, Robin, Todd- uh, I thought Liz hated those people? Also, it annoys to no end me that Annie and Robin hang out with this group- the same group that mocked them and say…drove them to a suicide attempt?
  • The SVH teachers are giving less work to cast members and going easy with them on exams. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. They cancel classes to have an assembly everytime a Wakefield has a bowel movement.

Sometimes I like to pretend my grandmother is my cleaning lady, or Rosa’s Lie #81

Wow. No words for this glorious cover. First off, it looks like Rosa’s left boob is going to keep growing and overtake her whole body. Jessica’s jacket? Dayum. And Liz’s jeans are way high. My question is, how can one ever look at this and be okay with it? I guess we were. I was watching old episodes of 90210 and realized that Brenda’s jeans were under her armpits, but I still wanted to be her. So much that I had her bangs from age 15 to 22. That’s another story.

Rose Jameson is a sensation! She just started SVH, and at least 10 boys have asked her out so far. if you are a poor sophomore, that makes you the town whore. Pi Beta Alpha is alo accepting new pledges, and off course they want Rosa! She’s pretty! She’s popular! Does she hae any sort of personality? The book doesn’t indicate so. But, I guess, who cares?

But…shhhhh, don’t tell anyone…Rose is Mexican. She is really ashamed and doesn’t want anyone in Sweet Valley to know. That is why she changed her name from Rosa to Rose, and it relieved that her parents could pass for white. Now, before you pass judgement on Rosa, think about it. She is just a kid and living in Sweet Valley. Wouldn’t you jump at the chance to not be ostracized and tokenized? To further make her feel like shit, she watched Lila act like a bitch to her maid, who is Mexican. Lila complains….oh Lila, stop making it hard to like you! Apparently, all the Mexican kids at school hang out together. This is first I’ve heard of any non-Caucasion students, minus Jade and Manuel.

She is doing everything she can to hide it, and in fact, makes up this whole story about how she moved from Boston and her parents are decendents of colonists and her ancestors came over on the Mayflower. She goes overboard with the whiteness there. I am surprised she doesn’t tel anyne her family runs a working plnatation. She tells Lila that she was a debutante in Boston Society and that makes Lila putty in her hands.

Through all this pledging, Liz and Enid are both involved in the festivities. Oh, it’s okay for them to bash PBA but when they get the chance to judge people they jump right on board! Hypocrites! hate!

To make matters worse, Rosa’s grandmother will be visiting from Mexico. This is the first time she has seen Nana in years, and of course all she can think about is what will her new friends think? Also, Nana rules. I want her to have her own spin-off series. Could have been an awesome SV Saga, but can you imagine their depictions of Mexico? Lots of burros and sombreros. Anyway. Nana does awesome things like copy the pattern of Rosa’s favorite “American” dress and make her own with emroidery, etc. And bakes a fantastic cake for party Rosa is having for her friends, but Rosa thinks it looks too “Mexican” and throws it away, uneaten. At that same party, she had planned for her parents to take Nana to a concert, but Nana comes back because she frgot something and Rosa tells everyone that it “was just the cleaning lady.” OH. MUH. GAWD. Can we make a list of the most awful things that characters do? This may even be above anything Amy Sutton ever did.

Finally, at the closing pledge picnic, Rosa thinks she is going to get away with everything, but wouldncha know, a pesky Mexican girl has to go ahead and wonder into the picnic and fall into a well. What are the odds? Rosa can either let the girl suffer and die and keep her secret, or talk to the girl in Spanish and tell her to calm down. She actually hesitates for a while with that one. Finally, she decides to talk to the girl. Now, if I were Rosa, I could have still kept my cover by saying something like, “I picked up my Spanish during summers at our resort in Cabos San Lucas” or some shit like that. But she runs away in tears, and the gals come find her at home and tell her “It’s okay that your Mexican, we don’t mind, we’ll overlook it.” What the fuck? Again, another time that I wish a character would tell the SVH posse to fuck off and die and just be theselves, but no, acceptance by them is the only thing that matters.

Wait, Rosa has a little bit of a spine, because at the induction ceremony she decides not to join, because she needs to be a part of something that celebrates who she is and not “overlooks” it. Well, that was kind of a victory, although she vows to stay friends with everyone. Which, I don’t think happens because I am pretty sure we never hear from her again.

The secondary story is that Todd wants to amp up the frat because he is sick of Bruce being a dick. It took 70 books for him to realize this? They both propose pledges and keep proposing more and more obnoxious dares for each one. Finally, at the end, they kiss and make up and let everyone in. They WISH they kissed. Again, can we get some adult at the school to grow some balls and monitor this? One of the tasks is to steal a clock from the school and to steal a schoolbus. The good thing is that we get tons of SVH students coming out of the woodwork to add to the list. Although it is kind of weird, being at we are in book 70 and we’ve never heard about them until now.

Some quotes. I’m going to let them speak for themselves:

Sweet Valley, California! Rosa thought. It really is a place where dreams come true!”

[upon arriving at the PBA meeting at Casa Fowler] “In the back by the pool, there are a dozen fairy-tale princesses, Rose thought, and they’re going to make me a fairy-tale princess too.

[Lila, upon seeing Sandra Bacon with her boyfriend, Manuel] “I don’t know how she can date him” she murmered to Amy. “He’s so ethnic and working class.”

Shocker! The PBAs are co-sponsoring a dance with Phi Episilon. It must be a Friday.

One of the pledge tasks was to sneak into the men’s locker room and steal things. Liz claims she knows what kind of deoderant Todd uses. Ew.

The One with Todd’s Evil Twin, or #24 Memories

It’s a lucky day here at the Dairi Burger, because I recently uncovered a fantastic cultural artifact: an agenda from a Sweet Valley High PTA meeting.

October 25, 1993

1. Welcome!
2. Update on annual fundraiser: Father-Daughter Date Auction. Fathers, start prepping your daughters to auction off to the fathers! Highest bidder wins a free membership to the Country Club!
3. Beware of the town drunk. He’s been showing up at the school and peeing in our perfectly manicured, size-six bushes.
4. The vote was unanimous: Yom Kippur will be canceled this year, and we will have two Spring Breaks instead, so that our students can have more than one kooky vacation adventure.
5. Scoliosis screenings will begin this week. Mr. Collins has graciously volunteered to conduct the screenings.
6. The Wakefield twins took a shit this morning. It was so lovely and perfect and slender, we will have it on display at the school for all to admire.

My main motivation for reading this one is: what is the motivation for Cara to wear that sailor suit? Although it is kind of cute. Steven also looks like Christopher Reeve. And 37.

So Tricia died recently, aka about 20 books ago, and Steven is pretty crushed. He often gets together with Betsy, Tricia’s sister, to talk about Tricia and look at old pictures. If you remember, Betsy and Tricia’s dad is the town drunk. Recently, Steven has been having fun with Cara Walker, former gossip and Jessica’s friend. See, Cara has changed. Her parents got a divorce so she knows what it is like to lose someone. I don’t want to play who hurts more, but is a divorce the same as a teenager dying of cancer? I would say no. Stop making Cara out to be a saint.

Steven feels guilty for liking Cara because he feels he is being disloyal to Tricia. So he struggles with that and keeps being an ass to Cara. Cara takes it because she has always had a crush on Steve. They do date-y things like go on a picnic at the zoo (huh?) and go to the Village Inn and eat the early bird special and dance to the cheesy band. Meanwhile, Steven’s friend Artie Western(yes, his real name). And yay! We’ve identified another senior at SVH! So far he and Bruce are the only seniors at the school, apparently. Cara doesn’t want to compete with a ghost, she dumps Steven’s whiny ass.

Steven mopes around long enough for Jessica to spout the most insightful thing she has ever said. She tells him that he should go for Cara, because the advantage she has over Tricia is that “she’s still alive.” Steve gets super peeved, but that wakes him up. The twins trick them into meeting and he and Cara walk into the sunset together.

Oh yea. Elizabeth, as the fucking patron saint, pays a visit to Betsy and asks her to let Steven go and to let him have a life. Because Liz has wisdom far beyond her years. It is so fucking condescending and classist, because as Liz travels to Betsy’s house on “the wrong side of town”:, suddenly the streets are lined with filth. Wasn’t Sweet Valley supposed to be perfect? I’ll bet there is one street where the Martins, David Prentiss, and Roger Barrett’s mom lives. Because if you don’t live the typical waspy, rich lifestyle in Sweet Valley, you live in squalor and filth. No in-between.

Secondary story: Jess hears that Winston’s cousin is coming to visit and is a big time Hollywood producer. So she signs up to do a project with him so she can meet this visiting cousin. It is uber creepy how she keeps inviting herself over to hang around with him and the adults are okay with that. Turns out Jess heard wrong and he is a really a civil engineer working on waste disposal. Hahaha, how hilarious, Jessica is once again a manipulative sociopath with no regard for anyone’s feelings but her own. I feel like this storyline has been used a dozen times already. And how when the twins are secondary characters, there always seem to be a really bad attempt at a humorous storyline.

Oh, and this one got really Saved By the Bell on us. SVH is playing a charity volleyball game with another school, and of course the team to represent is Liz, Jess, Ken, Bruce, Lila and some others. Isn’t that basically the whole school? The opposing team has a Todd lokkalike that Liz goes gaga for but it turns out he’s pretty chauvinist and nothing like Todd. The moral? Stop living in the past and move on! Also, Todd’s a tool!

Steven reeeeaaaaallllyyy needs to not hang out with high school students anymore. It’s becoming borderline pathetic.

The one where the Swiss invent the miracle cure for deafness, or #18 Head Over Heels

Sorry, going old school for this one. Regina and Bruce are in lurrrrve. You know how we know they are in lurve? They sit in Bruce’s Porsche and murmur sweet nothings to each other. Except Regina needs to be looking right at Bruce, since she lipreads, so I don’t know if and how that interferes with the cuddling. Anyway, Bruce is a changed man. No more date raping girls with amnesia or anything like that. In fact, Regina is the first girl he tells he loves, and Bruce is the first boy that Regina has kissed. For a second, and I mean a SECOND, it kind of softened my heart a little.

Lila is still totes jealous of Regina, because there is only room for one rich brunette. Apparently there is room for two size six blondes, thank god. Jessica is still bitter Bruce dumped her ass and is basically a selfish heartless cunt, so she doesn’t want to see anyone happy, so she really wants them to break up. Jessica and Lila make a bet about their longevity- and the loser has to write the other person’s history term paper. AND it’s 15 pages long. Remember is high school when anything over 5 pages was like writing a novel? Of course this is the mid-80s so no computers, so maybe it’s handwritten. Anyway, why I am fixated on that?

Meanwhile, SVH is holding a carnival (along with dances, they have picnics, carnivals and talent shows ever week) and oh guess who is chairing the committee. Yes, fucking Liz Wakefield. The committee consists of what I guess is the only members of the junior class, so Liz, Todd, Enid, Ken Olivia and Roger, and Todd. Todd acts like a tool at all the meetings and makes bad puns. Winston won’t shut up and keeps trying too hard. Mr. Collins is advising, duh. Apparently you have to run a campaign to be president of the Centennial Committee. [Did I dream it, or is there another book in which they have a Centennial Carnival? Anyone? Anyone?] Ken wants to job, put is peeved when Bruce signs up to run also. Bruce is actually doing it as a surprise fo Regina (yea, cuz that’s the way to woo a high school girl).

Meanwhile, Regina’s fam breaks the news to her: there is a doctor in Switzerland that can cure her deafness. Wow! That’s amazing! That is great news for the deaf community! It’s a mirac–oh. It cost a thousan jillion dollars and only super-rich deaf people can benefit. Fantastic. Regina has to move to Sweden to undergo the treatment. She doesn’t want to go because she doesn’t want to leave Bruce. She doesn’t tell Bruce so she won’t feel guilty.

Jessica, wanting to win her bet, tells Regina that Bruce is only dating her so he can gain credibility and win the Centennial committee election. Only a moron would believe that. So, naturally Regina does. So she breaks up with Bruce and decides to go to Switzerland after all. Liz of course becomes Meddley McMeddlesalot and and tells Bruce about Regina’s cure and how he can’t tell her he loves her so she may not go. So essentially, they manipulate her. Bruce writes Regina a letter to read on the plane, and it is so awful (awesome) I have to reprint it.

Dear Regina,

By the time you read this, it will be too late to change your mind about the treatments. And you musn’t change your mind, my dearest. [Yes, teenage boys love to use musn’t. And dearest? Is he in the Victorian era?]- not for anything. Elizabeth told me everythind, and I must admit that at first all I could think of was rushing over to your house and putting things right again. I never cared about anything but you. I signed up to run in the election last Thursday- exactly five days ago. I was wrong not to mention it to you at once, but I wanted to surprise you if I won. I can’t believe you could ever imagine my using you. I love you with all my heart, and always will [unless you one day die from a drug overdose]. In fact it’s because I love you that I can’t explain this all to you before Friday. If there’s the slightest chance that you might be able to hear again one day after these treatments, you must go through them. I’m, not selfish enough to let you stay in Sweet Valley for my sake, Regina. But I’m too selfish to let you go thinking badly of me. You must know that I’ve loved you with all my heart from the first. [first what? Ghost writers, finish the phrase!]

Awwww. This sounds like my fifth grade self attempting to write a romance novel. Which I did attempt, by the way. Don’ even ask me about it, it is long gone. I made sure I burned that shit. Anyhoo, Jessica obvs loses the bet and Lila writes her history paper and gets a bad grade. So I guess that is supposed to teach you not to cheat? Or that if you do cheat, make sure you pick someone who is smart? Oh and the carnival is a success, blah blah.

Covergoodness! Sorry to say, but Regina does not look like model material. And Bruce is a hottie pitottie. It’s that cleft chin, gets me everytime. Or maybe it’s the pleated chinos. And the fearthered hair. He looks about 30 years older than her.

Other stuff:

Regina has dinner at the Patman estate. Bruce’s mom yells when she is talking to Regina. Marie Patman is such a peach.

Winston runs a booth at the carnival where people can pay to throw pies at him. Oh Winston, making people laugh with you is not going to stop them from laughing at you.

Jess describing Olivia Davidson: “she dresses like a freak in Indian cotton dresses and funny sandals and doesn’t care about anything but drawing and poety. A fate worse than death”. Actually, for me, a fate worse than death is to hang around with a vapid blond twin. But that’s just me.

Oh, Lila flirts with a construction worker she meets at her dad’s office. Ooooo, a working class man! Hawt. I think it’s the setup for the next book.

In the back of the edition of the book I have, there is an exerpt from a Francine book called Loving, about a rich, pretty vapid girl in a boarding school. I think I did read this series. Anyway, if you have the book and read it’s it’s awesome, and actually even more awesome (worse) than SVH. I wish I could find it somewhere.

My grade: B-

Okay, let’s get down to the nitty gritty with this week’s poll. It’s going to be your old standard “who would you rather do”

Nicholas Morrow / Steven Wakefield

Bruce Patman / Ken Matthews

Next time: the miniseries where the twins’ mother and Bruce’s dad supposedly have an affair, Todd moves in, and Liz gets with Bruce again. In other words, awesomeness. I know lots of you have been requesting stuff, but some of the books I don’t have (yet). I am currently on ebay bidding on Return of the Evil Twin and the pom-pom wars miniseries, but I don’t want to jinx it.

The one where we learn that Ms. Dalton has a double identity, or Super Special: Perfect Summer

Perfect summer indeed! Wow, these kids must be left back a lot. Because this is about their eighth summer after their junior year in high school. So they are going on a bike trip up the coast of California, and camping out and staying out in hostels along the way. Actually, that does seem pretty cool. We get all Saved By the Bell style, and out of the twelve students who are on the trip, most of them our the Scooby gang: Jessica, Elizabeth, Lila, Bruce, Charlie something, Annie Whitman (former slut), Todd, Olivia Davidson, Roger Patman, and Chome Dome’s nephew, Barry from Ohio….uh, I don’t even know who the others are. They don’t even mention them. You’d think they could throw in a couple more names. I am surprised they don’t throw in Ken Matthews, he’s always a good placeholder. And guess who is chaperoning…none other than our favorite inappropriate teacher, Roger Collins. Oh, and Ms. Dalton. But it’s awkward between them! More on that later. Enid has to stay home for the summer and work at Casey’s. Hahahaha, fuck the poor kids.

Ok, first things first. Why would Bruce and Lila go on the trip? Wouldn’t they be going to Europe or something? Do they really want to rough it?

Second things second. I have phantom camel toe looking at Jessica’s shorts. Are those comfy for bike riding? Also, is Liz wearing a onesy?

Actually, this totally felt like a Baby-Sitters Club book because most of the chapters started with a letter the twins wrote to Cara and Enid. Elizabeth’s letters are annoying and she analyzes everyone on the trip and thinks she knows all and also assumes that Enid gives a shit. There are so many stories intersecting, I hope you’ll be able to follow. Their first stop is to some movie star producer that is a family friend of the Patmans. But get this….they set up tents and stay outside on the lawn. The fuck? They don’t have a guest house or something? The guys daugher, Courtney Thomas is a total beotch to everyone and is always sneaking off with her boyf, Nolan Ruggers. He has tats! And drives a motorcycle! And is bad news bears. To get his daughter away from him, the prducer guy makes Courtney go on the trip with them. How is that logistically possible? She doesn’t go to svh, so is she allowed? Are their liability issues? Also, Jessica is so judegmental about Nolan. Didn’t she whore it up with Rick Andover not so long ago? And stay out all night with a college guy? And dry hump Bruce Patman? I could go on and on…

Meanwhile at one of the hostels, Lila meets some boys who tell her Ms. Dalton is a former teacher of theirs from Arizona, who was called Beth Curtis. Lila uses this to blackmail Ms. Dalton into doing her chores and picking up her shit. She has it out for her because Ms. Dalton is dating her father. My god, Lila has massive daddy issues.

Barry Cooper, Chrome Dome’s son is overweight…so you know what that means….he’s a disgusting, lazy, idiotic awkward person desperate for approval. And the kids make fun of him the whole time. And he has a crush on Jessica. Because she’s sooooo beautiful. She’s a perfect size six, you know. Because they never mention it.

Courtney does a 180 and acts totally nice and everyone loves her, except Elizabeth, mostly because Todd is friendly with her. Courtney’s plan is to steal Todd away from Liz and bring him home with her to give her Dad the illusion that she’s reformed so she can keep sneaking off with Nolan Ruggers. I don’t know how that will work exactly. She concocts this story that her dad is an alcoloholic and she’s had a terrible childhood, blah blah. Elizabeth doesn’t buy it and Todd basically calls her a heartless bitch. It’s kind of one of the best fights they’ve ever had, and that’s saying a lot because they fight every five seconds. They actual break up and Liz mopes around. Todd is such a gullible prick. Finally he agrees to go home with Courtney for the rest of the summer.

Meanwhile, Jessica meets an older guy, Robbie October, at one of the hostels and is in love with him. He is totally not interested, and Jessica keeps trying. I loved seeing Jessica rejected and embarassed. Bruce cock blocks her a couple of times, and it’s awesome. Finally they meet up at a campsite and Jessica plans to sneak out of her tent at midnight to go into the woods with him. And we are supposed to believe that she has no intention of giving it up. Pshahhhh.

They get caught in a cave with a bear and her cubs and are on the brink of death. The crew starts a search party and Courtney says she wants to stop because she doesn’t feel well. Todd takes her back to the campsite, obviously not caring that Jessica could be dead. Frankly, I don’t blame him. Finally….duhn duhn duhn…Barry saves the day! Now everyone accepts him and is nice to him and he feels like a winner. Bar, these people were mean to you not so long ago. Fuck ’em! They are not your friends! But asw Francine has taught us, the best revenge is to be accepted by your tormentors.

Ms. Dalton comes clean and explains that she was married to a schizophrenic man who killed himself after she left him and his family blames her for his death, and were stalking her, so she had to create a new identity. Um, WHAT? That is heavy shit. This is a teen novel, people.

Other stuff:

Once in a while, there is maaayyyybe a funny line that is actually funny. When they were visiting the estate of a historical figure, Bruce and Lila were competing over who seemed the most unimpressed. Heeee!

Oh also, Charlie, who is Bruce’s friend, starts up with Annie Whitman, but Bruce keeps telling him about Annie’s slutty past (double standards much?) but love prevails. They also mention every line that Annie is “thin”, “slender” or some derivative. We get it. THIN IS IN! OK! STOP SHOVING IT DOWN OUR THROATS!

Every place they visit, they hang with some locals and tell them how awesome Sweet Valley is. Uh, really? A waspy town with one bar and judgemental residents?

Apparently Todd’s eyes crinkle when he smiles. Swoon!

They make a stop in Anaheim and Disneyland, and this ghostwriter actually stops to explain what Disneyland is. Wtf.

Robbie October was kicked out of a hostel for throwing a beer bottle out the window! The horror!

There’s a really cringe-worthy chapter that is written from Mr. Collin’s POV and then Ms. Dalton’s where they make up. He saves her from a jellyfish. It’s just bad, having these writers trying to take an adult perspective.

Todd and Liz make up, Jessica lives, Roger and Nora get back together, Courtney is exposed as a fake. Whatever, just another day in Sweet Valley world.

My grade: B

Next up: #27 Lovestruck, and then Francine’s attempt at diversity, #50 Out of Reach. I’m doing that one for you, Onnie.