Wow, did anyone ever tell you that you should be a model?

Well, this will be an easy one to sum up. Just reread Alone In the Crowd and replace songwriting with basketball. And being frizzy-haired with being very tall. And Guy Chesney with Jim Roberts, who is apparently 43 years old.

Shelley Novak? Really tiresome. She’s super awesome at basketball, but that doesn’t stop her from moping around 24/7 because she’s too tall for boys to like her. She meets Jim at a dance lesson** and he takes pictures of her. CONVENIENTLY there’s a photo contest but Shelley makes him promise that he won’t submit any pictures of her because-my god, she’s so tall! And so thin! And athletic! God, it is so embarrassing! Well, Jim does submit it, he wins, Shelley gets mad, makes a hundred people tell her a hundred times that she’s gorgeous and should be a model, realizes Jim is the same height as her, they kiss, and everything is fantastic. Nevermind that she’s a talented athlete. At the final game, everyone in the universe shows up to cheer her on and of course she wins the championship game through the power of having a boyfriend. Aaaaannnd the women’s basketball team is never heard of again. The SVH cheerleaders also cheer at this game- I am surprised Jessica doesn’t protest because it’s not a men’s game.

Again, Shelley’s life problems are solved once she gets a boyfriend. And is being tall really that awful? Shelley is six feet tall and very thin and pretty, and apparently in Sweet Valley, there are model scouts crawling the place, but they never see Shelley? I’m also sick of these non-Wakefield characters moping around and thinking their lives suck and being totally self-absorbed. Yes, they are teenagers, but please, Sweet Valley needs to put Zoloft in the water pumping to all non-Wakefield homes. That or their parents need to smack some sense into them. In Ms. Novak’s defense, she does try. But of course, a mother’s love is no match for the kiss of a teenage boy.

**Yea, this happened. In order to create a plot device where Jim and Shelley meet, they have a college student majoring in dance just randomly offer to teach dance classes after school. And Jim and Shelley sign up, which is so ubnlikely because they are both really shy. There are no  other teachers/chaperones present, of course. It turns out this dancer guy is the most!gorgeous!guy!Jessica!has!ever!seen! and she and Lila and Amy make fools of themselves trying to get his attention. Turns out he has a girlfriend. In reality, he would likely be gay. Wahhh-waaaahhhhh. Wacky hijinks all around.

Wow, and the title- see what they did there? It’s a pun. And has not two- but THREE different meanings! Shelley does “perfect shots” in basketball, and she has the “perfect shot” at love, AND Jim takes the “perfect shot” of Shelley to enter in the contest. Bravo, writers. [slow clap]

The New Elizabeth


I know you all wanted me to make this into a dramatic reading, but I really, that won’t help me express how goddam ridiculous and loop-holed this is.

Firstly, I don’t think the ghostwriters even keep up with the series. Pretty much there was a “New Jessica” book, and this one is about Elizabeth learning to surf, and later on, when Jessica wants to learn to surf, it isn’t even mentioned.

Ok, so Liz is finally tired of everyone saying she is predictable and boring. Doesn’t this happen like every third book? And isn’t she all smug about it all the time? So, instead of maybe, say, getting a little tipsy at a party like many a teenager would do to prove their wildness, she decides to learn to surf. Uh, okay.

Well, CONVENIENTLY at the Big Mesa Surf Club, a few friends are betting some guy Sean that he can turn the first person that walks in the club to be a champion surfer. CONVENIENTLY Liz is the one that walks in. CONVENIENTLY Liz is so amazing he can’t help but fall in love with her. CONVENIENTLY Liz neglects to mention she has a boyfriend because she is an egomaniac who loves the attention. CONVENIENTLY Liz has amazing skills that allow her to surf like a pro within a month. Like how she can suddenly do flips and cartwheels.

Liz tells everyone that she is spending her time doing some dorky extra credit science project on the beach, and they all believe her, but Todd suspects she is cheating and gets all mad. I’m fucking falling asleep thinking about it. Liz is of course about the win the big surfing competition, but she throws the win to some girl Laurie, who is secretly in love with Sean and only when she wins a surf competition will Sean he pay attention to her. Wow, Liz being a champion surfer but also can’t resist helping the poor and pathetic. CONVENIENTLY she never speaks to Shaun again, because he is never mentioned again. I guess because she didn’t need him anymore because she was done with surfing. She can go back to playing scrabble on Saturdays with Todd (which she does in this book. Hawt.) Liz is so high and mighty but acts so self-centered. She even knows what sciopathic plan Jessica is hatching and just waves it off.

Which is making Caroline Pierce’s life a living hell. Caroline is working at an expensive boutique, and Lila and Jessica go to be difficult and make her wait on them. Finally Caroline gets back at her by managing to trick Jessica into be left in her underwear in the dressing room. Noyce!


So what did we learn? That Elizabeth is pretty much as conniving, manipulating, lying, cheating as Jessica, but at least Jessica is up front about it and doesn’t hide behind some facade as a bookish, well-behaved saint. In a weird way, I can respect Jessica for being honest.

Deceptions: A play in 3 acts



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.


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!