Sweet Valley High Super Edition #3: Spring Break
The moral of the story: 1.) A Wakefield twin can change even the most racist jackass’s opinion about Americans. 2.) It’s okay to steal your sister’s boyfriend as long as you really love him. 3.) Just because two people look the same doesn’t mean they are the same. (This lesson has to be taught to Steven, the dumbass brother of identical twins who are like night and day.)
Best Outfit: Jessica – “a pair of velour jogging pants and a loose, man-tailored shirt.” She also wears a pair of stirrup pants later.
Well, the twins are off to France for a ten day student exchange organized by Ms. Dalton. On the plane, Liz looks at a picture of the family they’ll be staying with and Jessica teases her for having a crush on the seventeen-year-old in the picture. He’s wearing very tight jeans, but Liz insists she’s not interested. Then for some reason they start talking about Cara and Steven’s new relationship and how Enid can’t go to France because she has to stay home and babysit.
When they arrive in France, Avery Glize and her son René – he of the tight jeans – pick them up at the airport and it soon becomes clear that René is a big ol’ jerkface who hates Americans. Liz decides she finds him “as attractive as an algebra exam.” He says some mean things and his mother scolds him and they have a big argument in front of the twins.
Meanwhile, in Sweet Valley, Steven is getting along swimmingly with René’s sister Ferney. This is because Ferney looks exactly like Tricia Martin. Not only that, but she likes science, just like Tricia did. Ah, jeez. He feels a strong attraction to Ferney and feels bad for Cara, but then rationalizes his feelings with all kinds of thoughts about how Cara would understand and he’s only attracted to Ferney because she looks so much like Tricia and really there’s nothing to worry about. Yeah, right. We’ll see. Ned and Alice are worried about Steve, but they decide the best course of action is to do nothing and let Steve come to them when he needs to. Man, they are really excellent parents. Steve starts ignoring Cara’s calls and spending all his time with Ferney.
Liz and Jessica go jogging, but Jessica turns back after a while because she’s tired. She meets a boy named Marc. He’s kind of funny looking, but Jessica thinks he’ll do. They agree to meet in an hour for him to take her to the beach. It ends up being a nude beach and Jessica is all excited about not having tan lines. Back at the house, Liz overhears an argument between Avery and René. René doesn’t want to take the twins out and show them around. He says some things about selfish Americans and something about his father leaving and Liz doesn’t put two and two together and figure out that René’s father was an American who left the family at some point. Let’s see if I’m right. Oh, it only takes her ten pages to deduce that! Well done, Liz. René reluctantly takes Liz out to meet his friends at a café, and while he’s in the bathroom, his friends confirm her suspicions about his father. They also stick up for Liz when René humiliates and makes fun of her. He kind of freaks out when Liz asks if they can go to the beach. He’s a real jackass.
Back at the house, Liz goes outside to write in her diary and finds a lost puppy. She figures out where he lives and takes him to his owner, who turns out to be a countess. She invites Liz in and they have a marvelous chat. She goes back the next day and meets the countess’s grandson, Jean-Claude, who is, of course, gorgeous. Jean-Claude tells Liz that René’s best friend died a couple years ago while René was swimming with him. So now Liz understands why he was all pissed off about the beach and she’s all torn about him. Is he an asshole or is he just a tortured soul? Either way, he’s treating you like crap, Liz, so just leave him alone.
Liz has plans to go out with Jean-Claude again, but Avery calls and asks her to run an errand for her. When Jean-Claude gets to the house, Jessica falls in love with him on sight and pretends to be Liz to go out with him. Liz gets home and has an argument with René because he’s a jackass, but then she feels bad for him and tries to reach out. He rejects her efforts because he’s a jackass. The next day, she tries to get him to read a letter from his father and is just starting to get through to him when Jessica flounces in and says something really mean about René being afraid of water. The moment’s over and René leaves the room in a huff.
Back in Sweet Valley, Steven finally introduces Ferney to his friend David, a French student. When David starts translating for them, Steve is shocked to learn that Ferney is more interested in lipstick and fashion magazines than science and books. He wises up and realizes Cara’s soul is more like Tricia’s, even though she doesn’t look like her. Steve hasn’t really learned anything here if he thinks he needs his new girlfriend to have Tricia’s soul. I hate Steven.
Funny-looking Marc shows up to ask Jessica to go to an art exhibit, but Jessica is out so Liz goes with him instead. Of course, she handles it correctly, explaining to Marc that she’s not Jessica but that she’d like to accompany him. At the exhibit they meet a girl named Veronique and the three of them hit it off. When Liz gets back to the Glizes’ house around five, she’s concerned that Jessica isn’t back yet. She said she’d be home at three-thirty. At seven Liz is starting to get panicky when René comes home and says Jessica is with Jean-Claude. Liz calls the countess and finds out Jean-Claude took Jessica sailing. There’s a horrible storm raging outside, so Liz is all freaked out. She asks René for his help and he drives her to the beach where he puts aside his hydrophobia and jumps into the water with Liz to help her save Jessica and Jean-Claude. When Jessica comes to, Liz can see the love on her face when she looks at Jean-Claude (gag) so she introduces herself to Jean-Claude as Jessica, thereby letting Jessica get away with pretending to be her to steal her boyfriend. I HATE when Liz is a doormat. UGH.
Jessica ends up coming clean to Jean-Claude and he still loves her. René apologizes to Liz for acting like a piece of crap and they make a date for the next day. Steven apologizes to Cara and she takes him back and everything is just terrific.
His tightly fitting jeans were unmistakably French.
What the hell do French jeans look like and how does Liz know?
If only Jean-Claude would quit calling her Elizabeth. It was the one dark cloud in an otherwise flawless day. But she couldn’t tell him the truth. Not now, at least. It was still too soon. She would have to wait until he was so much in love that he wouldn’t care who she was.
I hate Jessica.
“I know you think I’m like that, the kind of person to meddle in other people’s business, but that’s not true.”
Since when, Liz?
He kept anticipating Tricia’s wit, intelligence, and maturity in Ferney’s answers, and he was getting none of that. Perhaps he was asking the wrong questions.
Perhaps. Or perhaps she’s not Tricia, you psycho.
Jessica and the Number 137:
“Look, I’ve thanked you a hundred and thirty-seven times for pulling me out of there, and I appreciate your concern, but I’m absolutely fine.”
The Cover: Jessica looks like she’s doing some kind of evil villain laugh and Liz looks like she’s found something shocking in her little France booklet there. And why is she dressed like an old woman?