Sweet Valley High #88: Love Letters for Sale

SVH088The moral of the story: You are not allowed to do anything your boyfriend doesn’t know about. If you refuse to tell him what you’re doing all the time, he is totally within his rights to cheat on you.

The Big Deal: Nothing. Things sure are getting boring around here.


Jessica needs money, as usual. Her current moneymaking scheme is a letter writing service. She got the idea from Lila and Amy, who both have to actually leave a party to go home and write letters to relatives they don’t like. Of course, Jessica doesn’t really want to write letters, either, but that’s where Liz comes in. Liz thinks it’s a great idea because she wants to make some money to buy a present for Todd since she’s been neglecting him lately while writing for The Oracle. The twins agree to remain anonymous and use a post office box.

Something is going on between Shelley Novak and Jim Roberts lately and Liz is concerned about their relationship. She asks Todd to talk to her after basketball practice. Shelley tells Todd that Jim has been so obsessed with photography lately that he doesn’t have any time for her. Todd smiles at her with those warm brown eyes of his and tells her boys are dumb sometimes and he’s sure Jim still loves her. A few days later, Shelley goes to the photography club room to meet Jim, but Liz tells her he had to go retake some pictures for the yearbook. Shelley is all upset and tells Liz she wishes Jim was more like Todd. Liz says Todd has his bad moments, too, but Shelley is strangely insistent that Todd is perfect.

Letters R Us (if my company’s sole duty was to write, I would probably not use a cutesy name using stupid abbreviations) is doing well, but one day Jessica picks up the letter requests and finds one from Shelley Novak. She tells Letters R Us that she’s in love with the boyfriend of one of her friends and, though she feels bad, she can’t deny her feelings and wants them to write him a letter for her. She describes the boy, and Jessica realizes it’s Todd. She changes some of the details when she tells Liz about it so she won’t know what’s going on.

Speaking of Todd, Liz has been neglecting him again while she works on the letters. She cancels a date with him one night. He’s understanding, but tells her to make sure she keeps Saturday free because he has something special planned for her. But Saturday morning brings a ton of new letters to write, so Liz cancels on him again. Todd starts talking before Liz can say anything, telling her he rented her favorite movie and bought her favorite cheesecake from Howard’s Deli. Liz sucks and goes ahead and breaks the date. She tells him she’s working on a surprise for him, but Todd doesn’t care and they have a big fight. That afternoon, Shelley goes over to Todd’s and says she was just in the neighborhood. Todd invites her in to watch a movie and eat cheesecake.

A few days later, Letters R Us gets a letter from Todd. He’s gotten a letter from a girl who likes him and he wants to give her a chance since his girlfriend has been so negligent lately. He wants two letters – one to his girlfriend to explain that he wants to take a break, and one to the new girl to ask her out for Friday night.

Jessica rewrites Todd’s request and disguises her handwriting so Liz won’t know who it’s from. She plans to let Liz write the letters, but Jessica will remove them from the outgoing mail and replace them with a note to Todd telling him to be more patient with his girlfriend. When Liz goes to write the letters, she thinks the letter requestor seems like a nice guy and his girlfriend must be an idiot for ignoring him. She writes the girlfriend a nasty letter, and then writes a really nice one to the other girl.

Jessica drops the ball, of course, and after a few days, Liz gets her own nasty letter in the mail from Todd. She yells at Jessica and demands to know what the hell happened. Jessica explains everything. Liz goes to Todd’s and yells at him for a while, and he acts like Liz being so busy means he had no choice but to get involved with someone else.

Todd and Shelley go out, but it doesn’t take long for them to realize they really just want to be friends. They both confess to using Letters R Us, and are embarrassed about the whole thing. Since Letters R Us posters are hanging all over school, they figure a student is behind it. They decide to stake out the post office after school for a few days and see if they can figure out who it is, then ask that person to make sure their situation is kept confidential.

Todd pounces on Jessica at the post office, and she tells him everything. He wants to make up with Liz, and Jessica tells her so, but Liz still refuses to answer his calls. Todd writes a cheesy request to Letters R Us to write a letter to his amazing girlfriend apologizing and blah blah blah. Liz wraps the present she got him, a warmup jacket, and goes over to Todd’s, where they make up. Again. Todd is so touched by the present that he buys Liz a matching one so everyone will know they’re meant to be together.

In other news, Jessica is tired of her bedroom being Hershey bar brown. She paints everything purple.


Like the time Elizabeth had chosen to boycott the Miss Teen Sweet Valley pageant on the grounds that it was degrading to women.

Jesus Christ, they talk about this in every.single.book. Get over it, already.

“And Jennifer Mitchell was complaining about John Pfeifer the other day in gym. She said he was getting way too bossy with her.”

Oh, John.

And hadn’t [Elizabeth] been instrumental in getting Sam and Jessica back together after the Brandon Hunter episode?

Um, no. You actually had nothing to do with getting them back together.

When Elizabeth and Todd walked into the Oracle office a week later wearing matching blue-and-gold warmup jackets, they caused quite a stir.

That’s because you look like morons.

The Cover: I don’t really get what’s happening here. Liz looks super ugly and Jessica’s turtleneck is out of control.

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  • Callie August 7, 2009 at 1:25 pm

    “‘When Elizabeth and Todd walked into the Oracle office a week later wearing matching blue-and-gold warmup jackets, they caused quite a stir.’

    That’s because you look like morons.”

    So, so, SO true. I refuse to believe that matching outfits were ever “in style.” Sweet, sweet Lord how ridiculous.

    Didn’t Todd just break up with Liz to go out with someone else like 3 books ago? I’m disgusted with both of them.


  • Kate August 7, 2009 at 1:43 pm

    Turtleneck overload!

    Also, I can’t BELIEVE that they wear matching warmup jackets… that’s pretty much the same as tracksuits, right? I’ve never seen a couple under the age of 80 in matching track suits, but if I did, I’m sure it would cause a stir!

    I think the most interesting thing that happened in this book is Jessica painting her bedroom purple.


  • Shannon August 7, 2009 at 1:47 pm

    Yeah, I can’t believe a high school couple would think it’s cool to wear matching anything unless it’s like a school letterman jacket or something.

    Callie: He did! He’s such an ass.

    Kate: And she got new accessories, too! Like a silver phone. It really sounds like an awesome color scheme. (I love purple and silver.)


  • Daners Isadora- Bond Girl August 7, 2009 at 3:50 pm

    Oh. Dear. Baby. Jesus. Todd is such a douchebag. And Shelley is as crazy stalker.

    Dressing in matching outfits is what suburban couples where the dude is secretly gay do. And old people in retirement homes.

    And why isn’t Liz even looking at Jessica on the cover?! It’s like she’s scowling at a wall or something.

    I so had a purple bedroom when I was a kid. Jess copied that offa me!

    You just don’t go home with John, ya know.


  • Anonymous August 8, 2009 at 1:02 am

    I hate to be all self-righteous, but it’s not a crime to be busy and cancel dates with a boyfriend that you’ve been going out with for way too long. Jessica is also a horrible sister, lol, considering that she a) sent Liz the letter and b) made Liz write Todd’s letter to begin with. I just don’t GET these SV girls… do they have no backbone or sense of dignity?


  • Shannon August 9, 2009 at 12:21 am

    No, it’s not a crime, but Liz still sucks. It seems like she could put off her letter writing for an hour or two and at least eat some delicious cheesecake.

    I don’t know why Jessica didn’t just throw the request away or something. How shitty to make Liz write her own breakup letter.

    As far as having backbone or dignity, you know as well as I do that these girls have neither, ha.


  • Misty August 9, 2009 at 7:23 pm

    Am I the only one imagining Todd and Shelly wearing sweat pants, eating cheesecake, and watching some crappy chick flick like “Terms of Endearment”? The next thing you know, they will be singing oldies songs into spatulas and hairbrushes.


  • megan August 9, 2009 at 10:28 pm

    And hadn’t [Elizabeth] been instrumental in getting Sam and Jessica back together after the Brandon Hunter episode?

    When did this happen?


  • Sandy August 10, 2009 at 1:03 pm

    Yes, I’m caught up!!! Except I do need a link to Enid’s story. When I click on the timeline thingy, it doesn’t do anything.


  • Katia November 25, 2009 at 9:44 pm

    Todd feels neglected…. Cry me a bloody river


  • Darren August 17, 2012 at 2:20 am

    Callie, that would be SV #84, when Todd broke up with Elizabeth to go out with PEggy Abbott and then ‘Kris Lynch’ wanted to date Elizabeth as she was ‘free.’ But Elizabeth inadvertently wrote a few bad things in her journal, which Kris took and then used the journal against Elizabeth in telling elicit secrets of her friends. Todd and Peggy did breatk up, but then he and Enid acted like 2 idiots in believing the lies Kris told. It amazes me how many times ELizabeth and Todd do their ‘we fight and break up, we kiss and make up’ as Katy Perry would sing. Also, why in the world would Todd want to date Shelly, and why is Shelly insecure about Jim again? I hate seeing Shelly Novak in bad situations. Tall girls need love too.


  • JBlaze October 28, 2013 at 12:05 pm

    Matching warm up jackets! My favourite Liz to Todd gift still has to be the watchstrap tho…classy!


  • Dane Youssef July 30, 2014 at 2:32 pm

    “When Elizabeth and Todd walked into the Oracle office a week later wearing matching blue-and-gold warm-up jackets, they caused quite a stir.”

    They DRESSED alike?! Not her and her sister… her and her boyfriend. Wow. I’m just picturing that… Dear God, it’s an embarrassing, excruciating thought. I’m cringing–nay, writhing with nausea just at the very vaguest idea of it.

    I mean, it’s gimmicky enough when Liz and Jess dress exactly alike, but…

    Jesus. Liz and Todd are so lame… They really do deserve each other…

    –Sincere As Ever, Dane Youssef


  • Julie October 30, 2015 at 10:00 pm

    Believe it or not they actually were back when I was in the high school in the mid 90s, however it was never tracksuits! It was jeans and t-shirts or something like that


  • hippiegeekgirl February 8, 2016 at 10:42 am

    I hate Todd. And Liz. And their whole stupid relationship.


  • Dane Youssef May 15, 2017 at 12:43 am

    But… Elizabeth did deserve this one, didn’t she?

    Huh. Maybe worse…


  • I heart Dane May 25, 2017 at 12:17 am

    Spot on as usual, Dane. Clever to the core, witty as ever.


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