Sweet Valley High #35: Out of Control

The moral of the story: Don’t baby-talk your boyfriend in front of Elizabeth Wakefield.

The Big Deal: Jessica’s Tofu-Glo party

Synopsis:

Jessica’s newest scheme to make a million dollars involves selling Tofu-Glo, “a line of beauty and health products made from soybeans.” Liz is skeptical, her “reporter’s instinct” on “red alert.” She acts encouraging, though, when she sees how serious Jessica is. Then Jessica asks to borrow fifty dollars for the starter kit. Liz hesitates, Jessica whines, Liz gives in. Just a regular day in Wakefield Land.

Liz goes to one of Jeffrey’s soccer games or practices or whatever. Aaron Dallas is on the team and he gets all bent out of shape over some call or other. Liz knows he’s having family problems but she’s fresh out of sympathy because she thinks he should at least try to control his temper. Or, more likely, she’s secretly jealous because Jeffrey is Aaron’s only remaining friend and he’s spending more time with Mr. Angry than with Liz. Either way, Liz isn’t her usual obnoxious self. Instead of wanting to help, she just wants Aaron to get over it and she doesn’t approve of Jeffrey’s unwavering loyalty. I guess only doormat twins are allowed to be unwaveringly loyal.

Jeffrey and Liz go on a double date with Aaron and his girlfriend Heather. Liz is a judgmental bitch all night. She doesn’t like Heather because she thinks she’s vapid, but it’s not like she gives her any kind of a chance at all. They go to Casey’s and Aaron starts yelling at his soccer team co-captain about the same call he was pissed about earlier. Jeffrey makes him sit back down at their table and Heather baby-talks at Aaron until he calms down. Liz is appalled at the baby-talk and it makes her hate Heather and Aaron even more. What the fuck is Liz’s problem? Is she PMSing or something?

Heather calls Liz for no reason I can figure out. I guess she’s going to be another one of those characters who are delusional enough to think the Wakefield twins are their best friends. While Liz is on the phone, Jessica makes her invite Heather to her Tofu-Glo party. Liz puts up a fight, but gives in. Of course. The party is a huge success and Jessica sells lots of crap. After Heather leaves, Liz tells everyone about the baby-talking and they all start making fun of poor Heather. Liz suddenly finds her conscience (which I think ran away because it was feeling overworked) and feels “deeply ashamed” for making fun of Heather behind her back. She’s not even worried about Heather finding out, she just can’t believe how malicious she just acted.

We get a quick peek inside Heather’s head and find out she was really embarrassed to baby-talk in front of Liz, but she did it because it calms Aaron down. Heather would like to be friends with Liz, but Liz is so poised and confident she makes Heather feel dumb and immature. She’s sure Liz doesn’t like her and it makes her feel bad. Liz is so awesome she makes other people feel bad for not making her love them. Heather also thinks about Aaron and how he’s starting to act like his dad.

At the next soccer practice, Aaron attacks a teammate and gives him a bloody nose. The coach suspends him for a few days and warns him that any more outbursts will get him kicked off the team. Liz writes an article for The Oracle about it, even though she knows Aaron won’t like it and Jeffrey will be mad at her. I don’t know why Liz thinks she’s a real reporter instead of a gossip columnist for a school paper.

Jessica is selling Tofu-Glo stuff like crazy, but then Cara calls and tells her the shampoo won’t rinse out of her hair. Jessica tests the products herself and has the same problem. And the facewash burns, so now she’s got sticky hair and a red face. People start calling, demanding their money back because Jessica stupidly offered a money back guarantee to everyone she sold to. Turns out she was supposed to keep the stuff refrigerated.

Liz’s article comes out. Jeffrey is super pissed and Aaron doesn’t even want to come near her. Only Heather thinks the article was a good idea. She tells Liz she thinks it might be good for Aaron to see what he’s doing to himself, and now that she’s properly kissed Liz’s ass, Liz doesn’t find her so unpleasant anymore. But she makes sure to tell herself it’s not just because Heather took her side. Yeah, right. Then she berates herself for being so snobby before.

Finally, it’s the day of the Big Game. Jeffrey and Liz have agreed to disagree about Aaron and are back to being as perfect together as always. They run into Aaron and Heather at lunch. Jeffrey steps up and asks Aaron to get over it and stop being so mad at Liz, but Aaron wants Liz to apologize for her article. The argument ends with Aaron punching Jeffrey in the face and then running out of the cafeteria. Heather runs after him and calms him down (without baby-talk this time) and manages to convince him he and his father both need professional help for their anger. Aaron is sure Jeffrey will never forgive him for hitting him. It turns out Aaron’s dad hit him once and Aaron never forgave him.

Aaron goes to Mrs. Green, the guidance counselor, and she solves everything. She gets the coach to let him stay on the team because it’s so important to him and she gives Aaron the number of a therapist he and his dad should go see. Sweet Valley beats Big Mesa in the big soccer game, just like we knew they would.

Oh, and Ned finds out there was some kind of lawsuit against Tofu-Glo and all the salesgirls are getting a settlement. Because the universe always makes sure things go Jessica’s way.

Quotes:

Like the time in the sixth grade, when [Jessica] was supposed to take care of a neighbor’s dog for a few days. But she managed to sneak off to a concert, and the dog ran away unnoticed. That was a nightmare!

I think this incident has been mentioned in every book since the appearance of Prince Albert. Can we all just get over it already?

“Oh–it’s just–well, all I can say is, I’d never do anything so–so déclassé,” she finished on a note of smug satisfaction.

Narrowing her eyes, Jessica glared at the phone in her hand. Where did Lila get off being so superior, using words like “déclassé”?

Lila can say shit like that ’cause she’s way cooler than you, Jess.

Liz: “Maybe I needed a little positive reinforcement from an authority figure.”

Mr. Collins: “Oh, please! Never call me that!”

Liz: “Okay…Thanks.”

Mr. Collins: -winks- “Anytime, Liz.”

Mr. Collins, you know you’re supposed to be an authority figure, right? You’re probably not supposed to hang out with junior girls and flirt with them.

“Do you believe me now?” Elizabeth asked, her voice gentle. There was no satisfaction in being proven right.

Yeah, right. Why ask, then? Jeffrey just got punched in the face by his best friend, so I’m assuming he now believes you about Aaron’s temper. No need to do the I-told-you-so thing. Ugh, I always hate Liz, but I hate her more than usual in this book.

Jessica and the Number 137:

“I bet I can sell a hundred and thirty-seven tons of the stuff.”

“A hundred and thirty-seven wild horses couldn’t make you fetch.”

The Cover: Jeffrey and Liz both have Village of the Damned eyes and they’re creeping me out. No wonder Aaron wants to punch them.

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Comments
  • Abi April 30, 2009 at 2:43 pm

    No, this wasn’t the one… the one I am talking about centers around Jeffrey and Liz… I think. OH YEAH, it’s the one much later where Jeffrey gets caught by a loan shark and he has to mess up the winning goal for some reason or the other, but everything magically turns out fantastic at the end of the day.

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  • Erin May 2, 2009 at 2:17 pm

    Abi, I think that one is Against The Odds. Ronnie Edwards borrows money from a loan shark and then asks Jeffrey to fix the soccer game. Really…a high school soccer game.

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  • nugirl77 May 5, 2009 at 5:04 am

    I had a Ken doll who looked a lot like Aaron Dallas on this book cover! Jeffrey French also looks a little gaunt, like he needs more food, and, I agree, Liz’s eyes are creepy. The story also trivializes abusive relationships and victims. Not one of my favorite SVH books! 🙁

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    Anonymous Reply:

    Aaron looks like Tom Cruise. Maybe he found out that Liz & Jeffrey were only pretending to be aliens.

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  • nugirl77 May 5, 2009 at 5:07 am

    Oh, forgot to add that (seriously) the only saving grace of this book was Jessica’s Tofu-Glo misadventure! Without it, I wouldn’t have forced myself to read it to the end!

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  • Shannon May 5, 2009 at 8:44 am

    Yes! Seriously, the Tofu-Glo stuff was the best.

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  • girltalkread June 3, 2009 at 5:56 pm

    What about Liz’s awful pleated pants??? I think my grandma owns a pair like that!

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  • Alex September 23, 2009 at 9:58 pm

    Why doesn’t Liz ever report on Jessica’s screwups in the Oracle? Surely “SVH Cheerleader injures classmates with poisoned cosmetics” counts as news?

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  • Shannon September 23, 2009 at 10:36 pm

    You know, that’s a good question, Alex. As goody-two-shoes as she is, I’m surprised her twin loyalty carries more weight than her dedication to the newspaper.

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  • Darren July 21, 2010 at 3:59 am

    Wouldn’t it be funny if that COULD HAVE been HEather Malone! Ha ha, that would’ve been BETTER, then Jessica freaks out that Heather dated her former boyfriend Aaron and wants to be a cheerleader!

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  • Ms. K May 14, 2011 at 8:07 pm

    The whole thing about Mr. Collins saying, “Don’t call me that!” just creeped me out. Okay, so he’s not into Cops & Robbers… makes me wonder what he might be into?
    Hey, he’s supposed to be a perv, right?
    (And when I saw authority figure, cop was the first thing I thought of. Sorry if that offended anyone.)
    Oh God, my brain…

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  • Anonymous February 17, 2013 at 9:14 pm

    Elizabitch was absolutely insufferable in this book. I love how she judged the hell out of Heather for talking only about boys and clothes. Um, Liz? Isn’t that what Jessica only thinks about as well?

    My favourite Condescending Bitch moment was when Liz internally scowls at Heather for not eating ice-cream, saying her constant dieting is just another “symptom of her vanity.” Somebody needs to tell these twins not everybody can eat anything they want and still keep their perfect size 6 figure.

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  • kylie90210 April 24, 2013 at 1:43 am

    I loved Aaron in SVT, so this kind of ruins him for me, even though I know it was written first! And the natural cosmetics is kind of funny given Jessica’s future career in the Sweet Life. And yeah, Liz sucks for judging people who are just like Jessica so harshly. She’s so judgmental. And um, if Aaron’s Dad hit him, shouldn’t he be taken away? Not just seeing a therapist?

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  • Alex Kennedy July 9, 2016 at 6:02 am

    I loved the Tofu-Glo storyline. I am surprised that any product which was obviously so poorly made would be allowed to sell to customers. Well, it is SV and Tofu-Glo is in liquidation so once again Jessica comes out on top.

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