Trouble at Home, as acted by the cast of Tommy Wiseau’s “The Room”

Picture provided by L.L.Bean's special emo edition


Ned: Oh hi Alice.


Alice: Oh…hey Ned.


Ned: Wow, you look really sexy.


Alice: I guess. My mother has breast cancer. And I just got a big interior decorating design job at the mall, so I won’t be around more.


Ned: Wow, that’s great Alice. Haha.


Alice: Did you get the big case at work?


Ned: No.


Alice: You didn’t get it, did you?


Ned: No, it’s not fair. I have to work harder. But I bought you something.


Alice: Flowers again! I love you!


Ned: I love you to, Lisa. Let’s do it.

—–

[The next day…]


Alice: Hey everyone, sorry I’m home late. I was spending lots of time on my important architecture project.


Steven: Hi everyone.


Ned: Oh hi Steven!


Steven: I’m home from college.


Ned: Oh that’s nice. Your mother and I are going upstairs.


Steven: Can I come?


Ned: Oh, Steven, you are so funny. Haha.


Alice: Steven, I told you not to!


Steven: I just like to watch you guys. You are like the perfect couple.


Alice: btw, the way, I have to work tomorrow also.


Ned: Alice, YOU ARE TEARING ME APART! You don’t care about this family at all!


Alice:  I don’t want to talk about it!

—-


Maria: Oh my god Liz, my father, the mayor, was framed as a briber. Now he will go on trial. He needs a lawyer.


Liz: My dad will probably do it.


Maria: Thanks Liz. Your dad is my dad’s favorite lawyer.


Ned: That’s me!


Liz: Dad, are you going to defend Mr. Santelli in his bribery trial?


Ned: Yes. No one hurts Peter. Those motherfaaaaakers.


Steven: Thanks for meeting me for coffee. So Dad, how’s your sex life?


Ned: Oh Steven, not so great. Maria Santelli’s father, the former mayor, asked me to defend him in his trial. I’m a very important lawyer, who can practice every type of law. Although, this will cause your mother and I to see each other even less.


Steven: Oh that’s too bad. Well, I have to get going.

—-


Liz: Oh my gosh! Mom and Dad fighting is awful. It makes me not believe in love.


Enid: Oh hi Liz, I didn’t know that was you. You are my favorite friend.


Liz: Yes, that’s me. I am so glad we are going on vacation as a family. It will finally reunite my parents. No work will be involved. Although, I did give my mom’s secretary the number at the cabin just in case they need her.


Ned: Oh wow, we are taking a vacation and you invited the whole family. What a good idea.


Alice: Yes, but I just have a little work to do.


Steven: Mom, you promised!


Liz: Mom, the front desk says you have a call from your secretary.


Ned: That’s it! Everyone deceived me! I hate everyone! Goodbye world!


Liz: I can’t believe Mom’s secretary called us on vacation and Dad got so mad he said they were getting separated!


Jess: Oh Liz, stop being judgmental. I can do what I want. In fact, since Mom and Dad are barely paying attention to us anymore, and I wanted to something that will impress Lila, I’ve been calling a party chat line, and I’ve met someone!


Liz: Wow, that’s great Jessica. What’s he like?


Jess: Well, we haven’t actually met yet….

[flashback to the teen line]**


Charlie: How’re you doing gorgeous? I’ve been thinking about you all day long….I’ve been building a mental picture of you today. I’ve decided- just from your voice- that you’re blond. Am I right?


Jess: [giggling] You’re right.


Charlie: I could tell. You have the blondest voice I’ver ever heard.


Jessica: [thinking] Imagine how thrilled Charlie was going to be when he discovered how blond she really was! I can’t wait until we actually meet. It will be perfect.

**This scene contains the actual dialogue from the book.

—–

For those not familiar with with the masterpiece that is The Room, check out info  here and here.  Even if you don’t, there is nothing in this book that is important, except that Ned and Alice break up after squabbling. Ned is allowed to work at all hours, but once Alice starts putting more time into her career, she is neglecting her family. Good old fashioned family values. We know that Liz makes it all about her by running away and Jessica doesn’t give a shit about Charlie after she meets him, and prefers his hot but stupid impostor and then the twins get their parents back together whilst exposing a political scandal.

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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!

BUT! ALICE WAKEFIELD ACTS LIKE A PARENT!:

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.

Cara and Steven vie for the title of most irritating couple. Ever.

Photo courtesy of The Closet.

This one has me 100% convinced that each writer makes no effort to read the previous books. Or the editors suck. Or else they don’t care. I hate Cara and Steve.

Star commenter Rio pointed this out for an earlier book, but this one is basically a to-do list of SVH cliches.

1. Jessica manipulates other people to serve her. Despite wanting them to get together originally, she finds Cara boring and always talking about Steve, and doesn’t like it. She convinces Cara that she needs to play hard to get and addm mystery to the relationship. Thus backfiring. And thus Jessica not having to take any responsibility for it.

Steven Wakefield today.

2. Steven has a phobia of college. Get this- he’s sick and arranges to come home for two weeks because HE HAS ALLERGIES. My theory is that the wet the bed the first night of college and the guys in the dorm constantly berade him. Cara is stoked to spend time with him but he acts all annoyed because he has work to do. Yea, I'[m sure a guy would come home for college for two weeks and NOT want to spend time with his underage girlfriend who is constantly rubbing up against him.

3. The Oracle is apparently the most important journalistic medium in the world. Oh noes! Readership is down. They decide that they need a humor section. Don’t worry, they ask Winston to be the editor. He turns them down. They decide to have a contest for a new humor columnist. Cue convenient plot device to introduce Abbie Richardson.

Abbie' future cartoon career.

4. A poor pathetic schmuck is taken under Elizabeth’s wing. Abbie Richardson dated a guy from another school for two years, and thus never hung out with anyone at SVH. They broke up and now she is trying to reintegrate herself into SVH social scene. I have to say, that’s pretty weak of Abbie. “Oh, I didn’t need you when I had a boyfriend, and now that I’m alone, I’ll make the effort.” Of course, her dream is to hang out with the Scooby gang, who kind of finds her annoying. SWhe’s not invited to Cara’s super special birthday lunch at the yacht club (what is she, 67?) and is devastated. She does, however, enter the humor contest with a comic strip called Jenny, about a socially awkward sixteen year old girl. Get it? She can’t express her feeling through real life, so she does it through the comic strip. OMG SO DEEP. bbir comes and hangs out at the Wakefields every afternoon and Elizabeth helps her with her comic strip. How?

But Abbie didn’t want to burden Elizabeth with her problems. That wasn’t the way to make friends, she reminded herself. The way to make friends was to be nice to people, to listen to them, to offer the help them, not to dump your own troubles on their shoulders. Abbie thanked Elizabeth warmly for all her help and sighed as she watched her walk down the hallway. She wished she were Elizabeth Wakefield- she was so popular, so self-assured.

Since Steven is always around, he befriends Abbie too, because he loves hanging out with high school girls. Abbie is so sweet and kind, he tells her all about his problems with Cara. Abbie foams at the mouth because she hangs with the Wakefields. Jessica is suspicious, and suspects Abbie is trying to steal Steven from Cara. Yawn.

5. A ghost of Tricia Martin haunts Steven. So, in order to add mystery to the relationship, Cara starts writing anonymous love notes to Steven on floral stationary. But guess what? It’s the same magical wonderful stationary that perfect wonderful brave Tricia used to have. What are the odds? Steven thinks its someone playing a joke on him. Turns out it was Cara, and they laugh about the whole thing and promise to be more open and communicative with each other. Except until they get engaged when neither of them wants to get married. Not to speak ill of the dead, but what was so great about Tricia? Her pale, luminescent skin and her thin figure (caused by the Leukemia?)

Once everything is straightened out, the whole gang realizes they were not treating Abbie all that great. They all make a pilgrimage to her house and declare how awesome she is, and Elizabeth tells her that her cartoon Jenny won the humor competition. It’s the happiest day of Abbir’s life! Except that we never see her again after this book. Typical.

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.

Steven’s Bride: The Condensed Version

[Cover courtesy of The Closet]

Steven: Oh noes! Cara is moving to London!

Jessica: Why don’t you marry her? That way she won’t have to move.

Steven: What a great idea! Jess, your ideas always work, so I will do it!

Steven: Cara, will you marry me?

Cara: Marriage! That means my own apartment, I can have parites when I want and stay up as late as I want! Why yes Steven!

Lila: Cara, we are throwing you a bridal shower. Any excuse to throw a party at my house. My housekeeper gets bored so I have to give her stuff do do.

Amy: Here, I got you a sexy negligeee!

Cara: Gulp. Oh yea, I guess if we are married, I have to have sex with Steven. I had not thought of that until just now.

Jessica: Here! I got you dishes!

Cara: Gulp. Oh yea, I guess if I get married I have to have responsibilities and do housework. I hadn’t thought of that until now.

Steven: Whoa is me. I just got into a the pre-law program at college but I can’t do it because I have to get a part time job to support Cara and our shitty apartment. I really think this marriage is a bad idea but I’m just not going to say anything.

Cara: Yikes. I’m afraid to get married because I’m young and it is pretty much a felony so I am just not going to say anything.

Jessica and Elizabeth: We are going to do something we never do: go to our parents when we need help.

[The Wakefield fam stop the wedding just in time for Cara to get cold feet at the altar.]

Cara: Apparently, I do have to move to London because my character is probably too boring for this series.

Jessica: I am a sociopath devoid of all human empathy so I’m actually not that sad that my supposed best friend is moving.

Elizabeth: I am awesome because I totally know what’s right for everyone.

Steven: I’m a massive tool.

The End.

the first death of the series or #12 When Love Dies

Hey all, I had some time to read an old skool one…be back next week!

Good lord, Tricia Martin. Leukemia is the least of your problems. Let’s talk about how you are dressed as an Amish school teacher. And I’d suggest some hot oil treatment.

So Tricia has leukemia and breaks up with Steven so it will be easier for him when she dies. Cara throws herself on Steven and to get back at Tricia he goes for it. Finally, Steven finds out the truth and goes to Tricia to be with her when she dies. Blah blah blah.

Meanwhile Jessica finds out that local tv star Jeremy Frank (are there really local tv stars? Who actually watches public access?) has broken his leg so Jessica convinces Liz to volunteer to be a candy striper with her. Jess acts like an ass if front of Jeremy and keeps hurting him and spilling stuff on him. She even walks in on him naked. It’s crazy! I thought everyone in Sweet Valley had no genitals. They just looked like Barbie and Ken dolls. So Liz and Jeremy plan on getting back at Jessica (the ONE time I thought Liz had a good idea) and Jeremy pretends he is in love with Jessica and proposes to her. You’d think Jessica would catch on but she is so dense that she is flattered and accepts his proposal. Jeremey then pulls a “you’ve been punked!” on her.

Oh, and Liz is the one that discovers that Tricia has leukemia and convinced her to go to Steven because of course without Liz’s advice how would anyone ever live their lives?

Whenever anyone goes to the poor side of town, the streets are always littered with bottles and garbage. Like the city of Sweet Valley is so disgusted with poor people that they do not ever send over sanitation trucks.

At the end, Liz is kidnapped by Carl, a creepy orderly in the hospital. Probably has something to do with her beauty and size six figure. We’ll figure it out in the next book, peculiarly named Kidnapped!

How about some vomit-inducing Liz and Todd foreplay talk:

“He thinks Tricia has another boyfriend, but I’m not so sure. Why would she be so miserable if she had someone else?”

“You’re right. I don’t buy it either. Somehow I can’t imagine Tricia with anyone but Steve. They seemed perfect together.”

“Like us, you mean?” Elizabeth fed Todd a french fry off her plate, yanking her hand away with an outraged giggle when he began nibbling her fingers.

Todd laughed. “Face it. Nobody is like us. If we were crazier about each other, they’d have to send out the little men in the white coats.”

“You’re so romantic, Todd.”

Lesson learned: having a deadly disease is great for your looks. If I had a nickel for every time I read about Tricia’s thin frame and beautiful pale skin…

Grade: C

The Wakefields end racism, or #94 Are We in Love?

I should be careful what I wish for: I’ve complained that SVH does not even touch on issues of race in its WASPY world, and then we get one that touches on it directly and…I wish they just hadn’t even tried.

Some quick backstory: Cheryl Thomas’s Dad and Annie’s Whitman’s mom are getting married, and they just bought the house next to the Wakefields (also, their parents are living together BEFORE THEY ARE MARRIED!!! Oh my. And least someone’s having premarital sex in SV.) Cheryl and her dad moved from New York City. Oh, and also, she’s black. Because you may not infer this from the plot. She has recently become friends with Steven, who still insists on hanging out with high school kids.

Everyone acts overly friendly with Cheryl, I guess to assuage their guilt about their white privilege. And to prove that they are okay with black people. Also to say that some of their best friends are black, I guess. Steven is teaching Cheryl to drive, and one afternoon after a lesson they stop at a cafe and everyone is staring at them and some skinhead guys are giving them dirty looks. It’s pretty awful. They are both so upset that after they leave they take comfort in each other and make out. It was actually pretty horrifying, and it proves to me that SV is about as liberal as 1954 Alabama.

The next morning, both are kind of regretting making out, they are not sure if they really like each other or were in an emotional state. Meanwhile, rumors are all over everywhere that Steven and Cheryl are a couple. Like all the kids at SVH really give a shit about Steven, who doesn’t even go there. Wait, he’s a Wakefield, so every bowel movement is big news. Both Cheryl and Steven both know they are really not into each other, but keep going out to prove a point, and I think Steven feels guilty that he is thinking about Cheryl’s race and wants to convince himself it doesn’t matter to him. It makes him sound shitty, but for real it is actually nice to see an SVH character have an internal dialogue that is actually intriguing and realistic.

So, for the next 70 pages or so, Cheryl and Steven hang out and each want to tell each other they aren’t that into each other but are too afraid to do so or are conveniently interrupted. It goes on forever and it is ridiculous.

Steven doesn’t want to be alone with Cheryl so invites her out to the Beach Disco with his college friends (wait, he has college friends?) and she hits it off with some guy Martin Bell, who is also black. Cheryl plays it off like, I just happen to like him and he also happens to be black. Again, to me, this is totally skirting the issue. I really would have appreciated it more if Cheryl was thinking, “wow, I am a person of color in this incredibly white, ignorant and privileged place, and it is really nice to be with someone who can really understand where I am coming from.” But noooo, it has to totally ignore the issues that she is going through.

So Cheryl and Steven stay together to fight for the cause of interracial couples, as if they were the first ones in Sweet Valley. Hold up- are they really the first? What about Jade Wu and that David guy? Don’t Sandra and Manuel have a West Side Story thing going? So they are really viewing race as a black and white thing here. Argh.

Of course, our friendly residents are not as supportive as the perfect, liberal, and accepting Wakefields. Lila is kind of shitty about the whole thing, More that she is cynical about the whole thing and doesn’t think anyone will ever accept them, so why try? Oh Li, you are making it hard for me to like you. Bruce, surprise, is even worse. He runs into the twins at the mall getting supplies for the cake they are baking for the wedding and is all, “these black and white liaisons are quite the thing these days” and Cheryl and Steven are “making spectacles of themselves” and finally, “make sure the cake is half-chocolate”. Real cute, Bruce.

Finally, Cheryl talks to Mrs. Whitman and tells her she’s proud that she is marrying her father to fight a cause. Mrs. Whitman is all, wtf, that is not why I am getting married. Cheryl finally gets the balls to break up with Steven. And how does she do it? By the toast she gives her parents. She directs it at Steven. Because it’s always about a Wakefield, and no one else. Finally it ends with Cheryl setting up a date with Martin. Who, by the way, likes jazz music. Stereotype much?

I do like Cheryl, because she calls Jessica out on her shit. Jessica is being overly friendly to her, and Cheryl tells Steven it’s because Jessica is trying to prove that she is “okay” with them and not because she is sincere. See, I told you Cheryl was likeable!

Oh yea, secondary storyline: the twins bake the cake for the wedding after some mishaps. Jessica’s samples taste like ass and they make fun of her a lot. Last time someone made fun of Jessica’s cooking, she threw a shit fit and almost ran away to San Fran. Also, Sam, Tod, Liz and Jess hang around together a lot. I thought Todd hated Jess…and I couldn’t help thinking that Sam, you’re days are numbered (the next book is the infamous Jungle Prom.)

Som brief mentions of ugly outfits for the wedding: “Elizabeth had borrowed an outfit from Enid [bleccchhhh]- a pale yellow silk dress, and in her hair she wore a lace bow [she is dressed as me for my second grade school pictures]. Jessica, however, had splurged on a peacok-blue minidress with big black buttons all down the front.” Yarf.

Ugh, that just ended too easily! Suddenly Cheryl’s life is perfect, everyone accepts, blah blah blah. Also, this is infuriating: Cheryl decides how lucky she is to live in Sweet Valley because it is just so beautiful. Yes, I am SURE Cheryl wouldn’t rather have stayed in New York City, where there are actually more interesting people and she is not the only person of color and everyone is always gossiping about her business.

Well, it is good to see Annie’s mom settle down. Back in #10, we were given the impression she was a bit of a drunk and a tramp. Apparently she met Cheryl’s dad on assignment when she was doing a modeling shoot. The models per capita in Sweet Valley is pretty high, doncha think?

Argh! So frustrating! On the one hand, some ghostwriter tries to address issues of race, but then just when they touch on something that could be somewhat deep, it barely discusses the issues realistically. And everything ends well at the end of the book!!! It’s almost like it would have been better not to happen!!!

And how can I leave without making a comment on the cover? Cheryl looks 38. Steven ACTUALLY looks like a sixteen year old boy, although he is actually older. He looks dorkier than he did in earlier books. The whole Sears Portrait covers really bug me. Who are they posing for?

Grade: C