Sweet Valley High #10: Wrong Kind of Girl

The moral of the story: All you have to do to get into Jessica’s good graces and secure your spot on the cheerleading squad is attempt suicide.

The Big Deal: Everyone goes to the Beach Disco. I can’t decide if this is a party or a dance or what.

Synopsis: So, Annie Whitman lives with her single mother, who had Annie when she was only sixteen. You know what that means in Sweet Valley: trouble. Lack of a normal two-parent home has made Annie a slut. She goes out with a different boy every night. She probably even has sex, though it’s unclear. She and her mother live in an apartment, rather than a nice split-level ranch home. That’s how you know they aren’t the sort of people you want to hang around with. Mrs. Whitman’s boyfriend, a greasy jackass who flirts with Liz, lives there too.

Annie wants to be on the cheerleading squad more than anything in the world. But Jessica can’t let someone like that on the squad! What would everyone think? Most of the rest of the book consists of Elizabeth doing her damnedest to get Annie on the squad and Jessica trying equally hard to keep her off. All the while, Annie herself has no idea that she has a reputation that has earned her the nickname Easy Annie. Is she mentally challenged? How can she not know that if you go out with lots of different boys nobody wants to be friends with you? Wait, I seem to recall that Jessica goes out with lots of boys, too…

When Annie finds out she’s one of the eight finalists she tells Liz that she’s going to cut back on dating. She used to feel like she needed all that attention from boys, but now that she’s got cheerleading, she feels better about herself and blah, blah, blah. Really? It only takes sixty-two pages and a cheerleading tryout to undo all the whatever that made you that way in the first place?

Thrown in just for fun is a scene at Todd’s house. Elizabeth doesn’t want to tell him what’s bothering her for some reason and Todd gets all weird and accuses her of being interested in another guy. They make up on the next page. Todd’s mother is inexplicably baking a cake.

When it comes time to vote on the new cheerleaders, Jessica tells the squad she’ll quit if they vote Annie in. Annie has a fit about not being chosen and Ricky Capaldo tells her it was all Jessica’s doing. She disappears for a few days and then Ricky calls Liz to tell her Annie’s tried to kill herself. Seriously.

The twins race to the hospital where they meet Ricky. Jessica is feeling sorry for herself for having caused such a horrible thing. The doctor tells Mrs. Whitman that Annie has no will to live. Upon hearing this, Jessica tells the doctor everything, explaining her part in what happened. And instead of telling her that nobody can be blamed for a suicide except the victim, he tells her to tell Annie she can be a cheerleader.

Are you fucking kidding me?

Anyway…

So Annie’s on the squad, she and Ricky are boyfriend and girlfriend, Mrs. Whitman breaks up with her slimy boyfriend and everyone lives happily ever after. The end.

Quotes:

Elizabeth tried to imagine what life would be like without her mother and father. Impossible, that’s what! She was so proud of her tall, dark-haired, good-looking father…

Is it sad that the adjectives she uses to describe her father all pertain to his looks? Really, at sixteen, did we care in the least how attractive our parents were?

The Surfers’ Waves began whipping up a foam of music, and Todd and Elizabeth happily plunged into the rhythm…

*facepalm* Oh come on! I can’t decide if it would be better if this was done on purpose or not.

“How could they do this?” he snapped suddenly, sitting up. “What kind of stuck-up, mean kids could do this to a poor, scared girl?”

Jessica was crying now, tears running down her face.

Ricky saw her and slumped back into his chair. “Oh, no, Jess, I didn’t mean it. I – you – I don’t know what I’m saying!”

No, Ricky! Come on, give her hell! For once, someone knows for certain that Jessica really fucked up, but even when she’s caused an attempted suicide she’s too perfect to be called out on it.

“Mrs. Whitman, I don’t know why your daughter did this to herself, but she seems to have no will to live.”

Laughing hysterically, all I can think of is the doctor on South Park saying, “he needs more time.”

Jessica and the number 137

“The two of us together would be sensational!” she’d told Elizabeth at least a hundred and thirty-seven times. p. 2

The Cover: We have to talk about this cover. First of all, is that really Annie Whitman, the chick who’s supposed to be so beautiful that she turns heads wherever she goes? She looks like a reject from Fame or something. And what’s with Jessica’s expression? Either that’s her evil “I’ll get you, my pretty” face, or the artist started drawing Liz but threw a SVH cheerleading sweater on her when he found out what the tag line was going to be. And if you look carefully, you can see a tear rolling down Annie’s cheek. Go on, click on it. I linked it to a larger image just so you could see for yourselves.

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Comments
  • Kate March 19, 2009 at 9:36 am

    “Todd’s mother is inexplicably baking a cake.”

    My favorite part!

    Also, gotta love the tear!

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  • Sadako March 19, 2009 at 11:08 am

    ‘Cause no one who’s a cheerleader would want to kill themselves! Ever. Hahaha. Awesome.

    Thanks for your comment on my blog earlier! I really like your, too.

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  • Jeni March 20, 2009 at 9:14 am

    The cake part was my favorite, too! I’m really enjoying your blog, Shannon. Keep up the good work 🙂

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  • nugirl77 May 5, 2009 at 9:42 am

    I really LOATHED Jess in this story! I was so angry with her and her snobbish elitist attitude. Grr! I think the ghost writer tried to make Annie a combination of innocence and attractiveness, but the poor girl only ended up clueless, with a very skewed sense of values and priorities (ie she can only imagine life and living if she’s a cheerleader). It totally trivializes the issue of suicide and the meaning of life (ie for those 95% of us who are not and never will be cheerleaders). Not one of my favorite books!

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  • Anners, Lover of Chandler July 18, 2009 at 4:28 am

    The tear is awesome. Also, Annie looks an awful lot like Courtney Cox.

    Feel free to ignore me, just catching up on recaps.

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    thea Reply:

    so true. in that bruce springstein video.

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    Shannon Reply:

    Hmm, yeah, I can see some Courtney in there.

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  • Darren August 16, 2009 at 3:54 pm

    That’s a nice picture, you can see the tear if you look at it close up. All Annie wanted to feel was wanted, and who was Jessica to question reputation? She dates more guys then she changes her clothes! I wonder if Jessica went to Space Mountain with Ric Flair? I already picture her going whoo. I’m glad Jessica learned a very valuable lesson and Annie got to be a cheerleader. It would’ve been sad if she wasn’t a cheerleader.

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  • Karla January 14, 2010 at 10:19 pm

    That tagline makes me think of Blondie singing “One way or another, I’m gonna finda ya, I’m gonna getchagetchagetchagetcha…”

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  • Erin January 22, 2010 at 1:37 pm

    I remember Mrs. Whitman’s boyfriend telling Liz something like, “Just call me Johnny,” and that made me think of Johnny Depp (whom I absolutely adore). For some reason, I think it would be hilarious for Diablo Cody to have him make a cameo in her movie. I don’t know, I’m weird I guess.

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    Shannon Reply:

    That would be pretty cool, but alas, I cannot see Johnny Depp agreeing to such a thing.

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  • Chelsy February 18, 2010 at 1:58 pm

    I find your observations hilarious! Thank you!

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  • Kylie90210 July 19, 2010 at 1:01 am

    Agh, I hate this book! The message it sends is sooo wrong! Why can’t Annie have turned down the offer to be a cheerleader? Whyyyy?

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  • Suzanne April 4, 2011 at 8:05 pm

    Annie’s definitely looking like Courtney Cox, though I don’t think that video was done yet, or was it? I’m also seeing some like Jami Gertz or someone in there.

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  • Lauren Knott April 24, 2011 at 11:55 pm

    “Todd’s mother is inexplicably making a cake.” Hahaha that makes me laugh.

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  • Carol September 30, 2011 at 1:12 am

    “The Surfers’ Waves began whipping up a foam of music, and Todd and Elizabeth happily plunged into the rhythm…”

    LMBO!!! Too funny

    When I first saw Annie, she also reminded me of someone from Fame lol

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  • Twisted Sister October 5, 2011 at 5:41 pm

    I didn’t like being a cheerleader too much when I was in elementary school, I only did it for one year.
    Really though? She tried to kill herself because Jessica wouldn’t let her be a cheerleader?
    Then again, Jessica is a psychopathic cunt…

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  • Nadia September 20, 2012 at 1:16 am

    The bizarre aspect of this book was that Jessica keeps harping that Annie is “Easy Annie” when she herself behaves like a slut and play the field. Why the double standard? Love your recaps though. 🙂

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  • miu December 26, 2012 at 11:06 pm

    i dont understand why jessica was so against annie unless she wanted to win to liz. she seems to have this underlying inferiority complex through the whole series regarding liz despite being popular and arrogant

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  • Kanna-Chan February 4, 2013 at 4:38 am

    The freaky nose again!!

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  • Aria September 17, 2013 at 10:01 am

    Is it just me or does Easy Annie look like Courteny Cox? I wonder if she was the model for the illustrator? I know she was on the cover [a photograph not illustration] of another one of my teen books in the 80s…

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  • Gia January 8, 2014 at 6:35 pm

    Actually I think Annie looks more like Demi More in Nothing But Trouble.

    Love the recaps. This blog is super AWESOME! I was so wowed by this series as a kid and now laugh at the cheesy-ness of it all.

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  • Nikki July 7, 2014 at 10:21 pm

    “She goes out with a different boy every night.”

    So Annie does the same thing Jessica does, yet Annie has the rep of being “easy” and Jessica doesn’t? One of the many benefits of being a Wakefield, I guess.

    “Wait, I seem to recall that Jessica goes out with lots of boys, too…”

    Maybe Jessica has that “easy” rep too and doesn’t know it. Wasn’t Bruce telling everybody he was getting what he wanted when he wanted it from Jessica? Maybe Jess shouldn’t be so quick to throw those stones at Annie.

    “Ricky calls Liz to tell her Annie’s tried to kill herself. Seriously.”

    As always, Liz to the rescue. Why bother calling her mom, another adult or 911.

    “No, Ricky! Come on, give her hell! For once, someone knows for certain that Jessica really fucked up, but even when she’s caused an attempted suicide she’s too perfect to be called out on it.”

    I’m gonna cosign this.

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  • Jenna October 28, 2016 at 9:46 pm

    I actually think Annie’s face is gorgeous. She just has really unfortunate hair.

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  • Alex Kennedy February 5, 2017 at 10:55 am

    I am sure that Jessica has been with more guys than Annie.

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  • Alex Kennedy February 22, 2017 at 8:31 am

    So Jessica does not like Annie because she has been with too many guys? Jessica – POT!!! KETTLE!!! BLACK!!! Which SVH men have you NOT dated except for Winston? You are hating for Annie for stuff you do on a weekly basis!!! Jessica tell the squad she will quit if they vote Annie in… Good bye, Jessica!!! Do not let the door hit you on the way out!!!

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