Sweet Valley High Super Edition #9: Mystery Date

SVHSE10 - OuterThe Moral of the Story: All it takes to make everyone get along is a party!

The Big Deal: Big dance, big football game, big party

Synopsis:

The book opens with a dance at which the popular students finally seem to realize that there are other kids at Sweet Valley High. A big fight breaks out over what kind of music the DJ should play. The jocks want to hear the Beach Boys so they can dance to it, Justin Belson and the burnouts want some heavy metal, Keith Wagner and the hippies want something with meaningful lyrics and Dana wants some punk. The arguments escalate until finally Tad “Blubber” Johnson punches Justin in the stomach. And this is why the Droids should always perform at school dances.

Mr. Collins says the dance is officially over, so everyone leaves. The jocks end up at Ken’s house, where Jessica has to defend her sister, who dragged Todd off to the Dairi Burger. Olivia goes home and feels sorry for herself because she’s so weird that she doesn’t even know which group she fits into. She gets online and goes to her favorite chatroom, Virtual Hangout. She feels so much more confident under her screen name, Freeverse, because she can just be herself and nobody cares how she dresses. You know, Olivia, your clothes seem to cause you an awful lot of stress. Maybe you should, you know, stop dressing that way. Just for your own peace of mind, you understand. Olivia meets a guy whose screen name is Quarter and they start flirting. Olivia has no idea that Quarter is really Ken, who’s been feeling all sad and lonely since he broke up with Jessica.

Things at school aren’t going very well. Somebody puts a copy of Blubber’s D quality homework on a bulletin board, so the jocks get their revenge by spraypainting “Die, wimps, hippies, punks, and brains,” on the cafeteria wall. Then the hippies put little cards that say “Make Love – Not Football” in everyone’s lockers. It’s all very stupid. Then there’s a big football game. When Blubber goes out on the field, Nicky Shepard (I guess he’s back from San Francisco) starts booing him and calling him stupid. Blubber runs right into the stands and beats the crap out of him. Sweet Valley forfeits the game. Todd and the twins go to Casey’s afterward and Liz gets all bitchy and self-righteous when Jessica and Todd agree that Nicky got what he deserved for being an ass. She accuses them of sticking together just because they’re both jocks. Ken and Olivia each go home to their respective computers after the game, and I’m subjected to like ten pages of their crappy conversation. All you need to know is that they’re falling in e-love. They even have a cyber kiss that was a little uncomfortable to read about.

ist2_7588751-internet-love

Freeverse and Quarter think it’s time to meet in person. For some reason, each thinks the other goes to El Carro High, so they decide on an ice cream shop in El Carro. Ken and Olivia get to the place and wave at each other, then they’re both upset when their dates stand them up. Even though Freeverse and Quarter have both explained to each other in detail what they look like, Ken and Olivia don’t get it. They wait a while, and then they each go home and get on their computers. They finally figure it out, and Olivia is pissed that Ken never mentioned online that he played football. For some reason, this matters very much to her and she doesn’t want to talk to him anymore.

Jessica has been stringing along two football players, Danny Porter and Bryce Fisherman. She gets them to agree to a joint date because neither guy wants to leave the other alone with Jessica. The three of them decide to go over to Blubber’s house to see how he’s doing. Blubber is in big trouble. His grades have been going down the tubes, and now with all the violence he’s exhibiting, he’s been suspended from school and the football team. When Jessica, Bryce and Danny get to his house, an ambulance is wheeling him out on a stretcher. He tried to kill himself because of all this crap that’s been going on. Oh, and his parents are splitting up.

The clique war kind of takes a break for a few days while everyone digests what happened to Blubber, but Liz and Olivia are sure it’s only temporary. They decide the best way to fix everything is to have a Walk in Each Other’s Shoes party in the school gym. Everyone has to borrow clothes from someone they wouldn’t normally associate with and wear them to the party. Of course, it’s a huge success. Lila dresses in somebody’s grungy clothes and dances with Justin Belson, who is wearing one of Bruce’s tuxedos. Bruce has borrowed someone’s pocket protector and polyester pants. Keith dresses in Todd’s clothes and wins the heart of Jessica, who is dressed as Dana. Liz wears Lila’s clothes, Todd dresses as Nicky Shepard and Mr. Collins borrows Todd’s basketball uniform, all the better to confuse Liz, I imagine. Oh, Liz and Todd make up, of course.

Olivia wears Claire’s football uniform and Ken comes dressed as a hippie. Ken apologizes for not being totally honest and Olivia apologizes for being so judgmental. They dance together and, I don’t know, I guess they’re a couple now.

Quotes:

“Hi, all!” Olivia typed. “Anyone ever feel all alone in a room full of people? : (“ She ended with an emoticon, a frowning face that could be read sideways, and then hit enter to send the message.

Yes, I got to learn all about emoticons and LOL and chatrooms and flaming.

Claire had been dating the powerful linebacker since a few weeks after he’d transferred to Sweet Valley High – since just after Jessica refused to go steady with Michael [Lewis].

Oh, I guess this actually happened.

“This is so bizarre,” Enid said. “Everyone usually gets along just fine.”

I know, Enid. It’s much easier for everyone to get along when we can pretend half the students don’t actually exist.

“When [Liz and Todd] are mad at each other, the whole school feels it.”

Ugh. Why?

“And then you kiss me back, Freeverse, long and hard. And nothing has ever rocked me the way your kiss does.”

Ew.

The Cover: I hate this cover. This chick looks like she’s thirty years old and I just don’t see Olivia wearing that. And then on the inside we’ve got some denim tuxedoed guy making her laugh for some reason. Blah.

SVHSE10 - Inner

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Comments
  • Keri December 18, 2009 at 12:06 pm

    Why are Olivia and Ken having creepy e-kisses but still calling each other by their e-names? Ew.

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    Darren Reply:

    Olivia seems ‘feminine’, whereas in looking at her back in book 89, she doesn’t quite strike me as the “pretty woman” type girl. I mean, she is good looking, but the dress, it’s like she’s playing dress up and not acting like herself. If that’s Ken, he really looks strange. It’s like Ben Oliver invaded his body! Man, from book 57 to book 89 and now this, Olivia went thru a lot of changes in…one year of going to school?

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  • Callie December 18, 2009 at 1:14 pm

    Oh God. The humanity of having the interwebz explained by an SVH book. Also who in the hell says, “Hi all!” and then ask an emo question like that? Technology fail, Francine’s Ghostwriter, technology fail.

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    Shannon Reply:

    It’s really horrible. I mean, I guess it was all pretty new back then, but still. The explanations just kill me.

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  • Maggi December 18, 2009 at 6:42 pm

    Ugh…just ugh to the whole thing.

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    Shannon Reply:

    I agree.

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  • Christine December 18, 2009 at 7:59 pm

    Make love, not football? o_O I didn’t know you could “make” football. Oh, I get it! It’s like they’re saying football is like *war*! All aggressive and mean and stuff. Deep.

    Great snarky recap. 🙂 This just cracks me up:

    “Mr. Collins borrows Todd’s basketball uniform, all the better to confuse Liz, I imagine.”

    Love the clunky explanation of emoticons! That cyber-smooch really was icky. :Þ So is Ken supposed to be Jessica’s true love, or Amy’s, or Olivia’s or …am I missing someone? These Sweet Valley teens change boyfriends/girlfriends like they’re… trying on new clothes. 😉

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    megan s. Reply:

    did Ken and Amy date in HS? I thought they only went out in middle school. Oh and you forgot Maria !

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    Darren Reply:

    Ken and Amy were a brief item. Then when Ken had the auto accident, Amy broke up with him to date Scott. Then Amy broke up with Scott. All that was before Bruce and Amy called it quits after Regina’s death. Amy wanted to have a fling with Tom McKay (Book 75), and it’s funny how Tom had no interest for Amy for he was going thru problems with his sexuality (meaning he wanted to know if he was gay or not). Amy eventually dates Barry Roark, and stays with him.

    I don’t believe Ken and Amy dated in the SVTeens series. I recall Amy was a tomboy, not into boys for a 12-year old. I’m not sure who Ken was interested in back in SV Teens. I know in Teens, LIz and Todd were having the Kevin/Winnie relationship and Jessica and Aaron Dallas were the off/on couple. It was funny in a Twins book, forgot what number, Aaron did go to another school, but seemed to have transferred to the junior high.

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    Shannon Reply:

    I believe what Darren is trying to say is yes, Amy and Ken did date for a minute.
    http://shannonsweetvalley.com/2009/06/11/sweet-valley-high-60-that-fatal-night/

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  • Lorelai December 19, 2009 at 2:36 am

    I’m sorry, I know I’m leaving myself open to mocking here, but this is truly a great SVH book. I mean…come on! Class wars, web love, attempted suicide, a crazy theme party where Lila wears grunge and almost dances with Bruce. (Justin Belson’s wearing Bruce’s clothes, so that counts, right?)

    I do love that these kids have such ridiculous characters/personalities that they can actually go to a party/dance dressed as ONE ANOTHER.

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    Shannon Reply:

    I think that totally counts as Lila almost dancing with Bruce.

    I promise not to mock you for loving Sweet Valley.

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  • Darren December 20, 2009 at 2:27 am

    For some reason when I look at Olivia, she reminds me of the Knots Landing Olivia character Abby had. Kind of weird.
    The romance with Ken doesn’t last long, the massive Earthquake comes up to change everybody’s lives.

    Then if you read Sweet Valley University, chapter 20 I think, Olivia Davidson makes a mysterious resurrection in a ‘school reunion’, weird!

    It’s amazing in the picture on book 89, Olivia has like a bitch face about Elizabeth running the paper. Talk about jealousy!

    I find it weird that Nicky Shepard returns, but isn’t mentioned again. Justin Belsom…doesn’t he date Molly Hecht if I recall? What happened, they broke up or did MOlly relapse into drugs and killed herself?

    Olivia acting all gushy, it seems intimidating to me for some reason.

    And what’s up with Mr. Collins? I mean, this reminds me of Saved by the bell when Zack Morris had to be Mr. belding and Mr. Belding had to be Zack! That was too much! for Mr. Collins to act ‘cool like Todd’, reminds me of that Saved by the Bell episode, never forgot it!

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    Shannon Reply:

    Justin and Molly were just friends.

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  • Erin December 20, 2009 at 2:36 pm

    This was one of the few SVH books I didn’t read and I just have to say WHAT THE F**K??? Maybe it’s because I didn’t actually read it, but the events in this book strike me as more bizarre than the vampire/werewolf/evil twin crap. I guess that’s how I know I read too much Sweet Valley. Great recap as usual!!

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    Shannon Reply:

    Thank you!

    Yeah, this book was ridiculous and the plot was just a mess. It’s got one of those horrible cheesy endings where suddenly everything is okay again and everyone is happy.

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  • Jannie girl talk December 21, 2009 at 3:31 pm

    Justin and Molly did date for years but then Justin broke up with Molly over her drug use- Justin explains this to Regina in SVH 40. But then at that point Justin and Molly are friends but Regina sees at the party that Molly wants to be ” more than friends” with Justin, then Regina feels all guilty and it leads her to do fatal cocaine. And Amy and Ken dated for quite awhile in Sweet Valley Twins- jr high. They started dating in like Book #43 Elizabeth’s First Kiss.

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    Shannon Reply:

    I didn’t know Amy and Ken were together in SVT. That seems weird.

    You’re totally right, I’d forgotten all that stuff with Justin and Molly. I only remembered that they were just friends by the time Regina started hanging around Justin.

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    Darren Reply:

    I assumed Justin and Molly got together at the end of book 41, but I guess with Regina’s death, maybe they never made it past friendship to romance, though Regina did encourage Justin in book 40 to talk to Molly.

    Sorry of how I described Ken and Amy, I had a little ESPN’s Chris Berman 3 minute highlight reel to get out of how I described their romance and what happened. For Ken’s life before Olivia, brief fling with Suzanne Hanlon, then Elizabeth (According to Liz’s diary), Terri, and then Jessica.

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  • Jenna December 21, 2009 at 6:36 pm

    Oh how I love Dana Larson 🙂 You’re right Shannon, why didn’t they have The Droids play? Lame! Everyone knows they are the hottest band in Sweet Valley.

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    Darren Reply:

    Did you know in the Sweet Valley rewrite that Dana’s hair is dyed black and she’s into gothic? They should’ve just had her wearing an old LA Raiders shirt, ah hahahhahaha! THe original of the Droids is more better then ‘Valley of the Dead.’

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  • girltalkread December 21, 2009 at 9:48 pm

    Shannon keep reading my Sweet Valley Twins recaps and you will know all about Amy and Ken hee hee

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    Darren Reply:

    I love Sweet Valley Twins recaps. My favorite is book 24 when Jess and Liz think their mom is having a fling. It was funny to involve Steven, Amy, and Bruce Patman’s soon to be girlfriend Pamela. The things they pulled off to scare that guy was outrageous.

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  • Jannie girl talk December 22, 2009 at 10:52 am

    See my favorite SVT is probably Book #43 Elizabeth’s First Kiss! Though Book 24 is really funny, and I also liked Book #9 where Elizabeth defies her snotty parents to hang out with Sophia Rizzo.

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  • Darren December 23, 2009 at 2:17 am

    I liked book 9 also in SVT. I liked 62 also when Sophia/Sarah were brought together when their parents dated/probably got married I would say. I liked in Down With Queen Janet how Sophia stood up to Janet and said she was acting like a jerk when she was badmouthing Lois Waller for spilling spaghetti on her blouse (Lois spilling food on Janet by accident, kind of like a rewrite on when Lois spilled food on Bruce Patman).

    I despised Veronica Brooks in SVT, she had it bad with the twins. Courtney Kane probably replaces her as ‘hated girl’ in the series. Hard to believe LIla would be friends with the snobbish girl. Boy if the ARchie Comic series didn’t have such an issue with copyright on characters, I would’ve used Cheryl Blossom as a rival more then Courtney.

    Did you notice how weird Janet looked in her title? I mean when you read the book, Janet tosses her hair over her shoulder in talking to Elizabeth and Sophia, yet in the drawing of her, she has such short hair and wears a purple tank top. It’s too bad in SVH that they didn’t have a lot of the SVTeens grown up. I would’ve loved to see Mandy Miller again, or the school’s fraternity club formed into ‘Unicorn’. A lot of good students were sure separated into the 8th grade.

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  • Dane Youssef December 4, 2014 at 7:24 pm

    “When [Liz and Todd] are mad at each other, the whole school feels it.” —

    “Ugh. Why?”–Shannon

    I think we ALLLL know why.

    But all are starting to celebrate it at THIS point. Break up and stay up!

    Or something to that effect…

    –Sincere As Always, Dane Youssef

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  • Kim January 6, 2016 at 2:37 am

    Lila dancing with a guy dressed in Bruce’s clothes and Jessica dancing with a guy wearing Todd’s clothes is kinda funny, maybe they’re dancing with these guys who look like the guy they secretly or subconsciously like, which leads me to this:

    “Mr. Collins borrows Todd’s basketball uniform, all the better to confuse Liz, I imagine.”

    This killed me. I can’t stop laughing at this one. If this doesn’t confirm the fact that Mr. Collins is secretly so hot for Liz that he’d dress like her boyfriend at a school dance, I really don’t know what to tell you lol.

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  • Dane is a literary genius January 1, 2017 at 2:25 pm

    Dane, you continue to amaze me with your insightful and entertaining comments!

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  • This series is very odd August 13, 2017 at 3:29 pm

    Don’t like thse new covers. Agree wit hthe above comment about Dane. He is very sarcastic and makes great contributions. Click on his name – I think he has a great FB page as well.

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