Sweet Valley High Super Edition #11: Earthquake

SVHSE11Read part one of this miniseries here.

Synopsis:

Despite this being the penultimate book in the series, not a lot actually happens and it only seems to span about an hour of Sweet Valley time. If this were a television show, Earthquake would be a clip episode, with the current action only taking up five to ten minutes and the rest being flashbacks to episodes past.

On the streets of Sweet Valley: Jessica and Steve are both okay, but the Jeep is wrapped around a telephone pole. After administering some first aid to each other, they manage to get on the road, but then have a fight about whether they should go to the gas station to get Billie or go home to Liz. They settle on going for Billie, and once they have her, she and Steve send Jessica on home while they walk up the street to see if they can find Ned and Alice, who went to the movies earlier. Jessica wants nothing more than to get back to Liz because she’s got that freaky twin psychic thing going on and knows Liz is in danger, but on her way home she stops to help a twelve-year-old girl who’s about to fall into a crevasse in the road. Despite her best efforts, the girl falls and Jessica blames herself for her death.

In the Wakefields’ kitchen: Annie has a broken arm, but she, white Maria and Winston are okay. The refrigerator is pinning Olivia’s arm to the floor and Ken is trying to get it off her. Winston and the girls tell him they’ll go for help. Just after they go outside, an aftershock fucks up the house even more and their path back inside is blocked. Olivia is calm and numb. She knows the house is on fire and there’s no way anyone will be able to free her before it gets to her. She tells Ken to go for help, and after a passionate argument, he agrees and starts trying to dig his way out of the house.

In the bathroom: Lila and Todd are trapped because the doorframe has buckled around the door. They spend most of the book bickering, but when Lila realizes there’s a fire, she has flashbacks to John Pfeifer trying to burn her house down. Todd can’t think of any way out.

In the back yard: Ronnie Edwards is dead, smashed by a tree. Most people who are conscious are getting the hell out of dodge. Liz can’t find anyone who will help her save Enid, who is lying in a pool of water right next to some exposed wires. Devon is sitting moodily on the patio refusing to help anyone and Liz spends way too much time trying to convince him to help her. She finally goes to help Enid alone, but falls into the pool. Then, just to make sure the book lasts the requisite 230 pages, a rattlesnake tries to attack her and she beats it away with a piece of crown molding floating nearby. Then she gets out of the pool and goes to Enid, who is uncomfortably close to the raging fire. She starts dragging Enid and almost manages to get away, but then a writhing wire touches her leg. She and Enid slump to the ground, and Liz passes out.

In the end, the cavalry arrives in the form of an EMT team. They get Liz, Enid, Todd and Lila to safety, but are too late to help Olivia.

Quotes:

In the midst of a full-blown disaster – with the house apparently self-destructing around them – Lila was calmly filing her nails.

Duh, Todd. She needs to look good for the rescue team.

The Cover: I guess this ugly piece of crap cover fits in with the “clip show” style of the book. Except…who’s that guy in the bottom left corner? I have never seen that guy before.

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Comments
  • Lindsay January 5, 2010 at 12:56 pm

    On the streets of Sweet Valley: Jessica and Steve are both okay

    Damn. Boo, hiss!

    Wow, some poor 12 y/o falls to her death? That’s pretty heavy for a Sweet Valley book.

    You know, if my arm was pinned by a fridge and the house was on fire, I’d be gnawing the shit out of my arm because there’s no way I’m going out like that.

    And really, Liz is soaking wet, standing in some freaking water and gets electrocuted and she STILL lives? Damn. Boo, hiss!

    Ahahahahahaha a rattlesnake.

    [Reply]

    Lindsay Reply:

    Oh, I forgot to mention, Lila, I heart you forever and ever.

    [Reply]

    Shannon Reply:

    Yeah, I was kind of bummed that Jessica wasn’t the one to fall to her death. And would it have really been so awful if they’d killed Liz? She could have died saving Enid and gone out a hero. It would have been fitting.

    And yeah, fuck dying because of a refrigerator. Ken could have found an axe and taken care of that right quick.

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    Lindsay Reply:

    If they would have killed Liz, we wouldn’t have that crappy spin off series Elizabeth that lasted a hot minute. And the world would be a better place for it.

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    Christine Reply:

    The writers didn’t have the guts to kill off one of the twins… but it would’ve been soooo satisfying. But no, they obviously wanted to leave the “important” characters alive for future spin-off series.

    Killing off a random 12 year old…daring, or just a big F-you to the demographic reading the books? Any kids reading SVH should know, Jessica would totally let you die. (Am I remembering wrong, or didn’t the dead kid’s parents go out of their way to make Jessica feel better about the whole thing?! ‘Cause easing Jessica’s guilty conscience is more important to them than mourning their dead daughter. Or taking the time to bury her first.)

    Um, sorry for the downer post. 😉 Sweet Valley is normally so uplifting and full of good messages, so Earthquake has SHAKEN me to the CORE! (Winston lent me that awesome joke there, gotta give credit.)

    [Reply]

    Shannon Reply:

    Oh, that Winston. You can always rely on him for a bad joke, lol.

    Yes, the dead girl’s brother was kind of an ass, but her parents came to see Jessica and thank her for trying.

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  • Dee January 5, 2010 at 1:03 pm

    The rattlesnake was just one of the stupidest things in all of the Sweet Valley books. And as many of us know, there were a lot of stupid things in the books.

    And I’m assuming that guy in the left corner is Ken? Since he looks like he’s jogging or something, I guess that’s supposed to imply that he’s an athlete.

    [Reply]

    Shannon Reply:

    Yeah, I’m thinking that must be Ken, but I’ve never seen him before.

    The rattlesnake was so ridiculous.

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    Christine Reply:

    There are a few too many smiling faces on that book cover. All things considered.

    Well, they packed in as many disasters as possible in this book. Reading your recap, it’s like one thing after another and pretty soon I’m thinking, yeah, naturally there’s a rattlesnake now. Bring on the stampeding zoo animals too (hey they could get loose after an earthquake, why not?)

    I have a bit of a phobia when it comes to earthquakes and fires, but this book fails to trigger my fears. Getting trapped in a confined space with Todd, or depending on dopey Ken for rescue… that’s scary. Funny, both Jessica and Elizabeth FAIL in their attempts to save someone (Liz isn’t *really* responsible for Enid surviving, and she took long enough/bravely tried to get someone else to do it, as you pointed out.) …ladies and gentlemen, the stars of our series!

    Shannon, you’re the real hero of Sweet Valley. I want to congratulate you for recapping this whole insane series! Yay, you! I’m so glad you’re continuing with Senior Year, etc, ’cause I love visiting your blog and look forward to the spot of humour in my otherwise dreary life. 🙂 Happy Belated New Year, btw.

    [Reply]

    Shannon Reply:

    Thank you! I do kind of feel like I deserve a medal or something.

    I agree that the scariest part of this book is people relying on Todd, Ken and Devon for help.

    [Reply]

  • Merrie January 5, 2010 at 3:56 pm

    What’s worse? The rattlesnake or the bear attack from Lost @ Sea?

    [Reply]

    Shannon Reply:

    I think the bear attack is more humorous because Winston tries to hide behind Jessica.

    [Reply]

  • Amanda January 5, 2010 at 6:24 pm

    Wow I can’t believe your almost done.

    [Reply]

    Shannon Reply:

    I know! Last post tomorrow!

    [Reply]

    Amanda Reply:

    Are you still going to do the senior year books?

    [Reply]

    Shannon Reply:

    Yes, ma’am!

    [Reply]

    Amanda Reply:

    I’m so excited! I love reading your recaps!

    [Reply]

  • Lori January 5, 2010 at 8:27 pm

    Wow a rattlesnake.

    I wish bigger names had died other then Olivia and some other person we rarely heard of.

    [Reply]

    Shannon Reply:

    Me, too.

    [Reply]

    Dee Reply:

    You’re doing Senior Year? Yay! 🙂

    [Reply]

    Shannon Reply:

    I’ve actually got the first two books done, but I still need to obtain a few volumes before I can really dive in.

    [Reply]

  • Lorelai January 5, 2010 at 9:16 pm

    It took me YEARS to work out that they were talking about an actual rattlesnake. Even my tiny ten-year-old brain immediately assumed they were talking about a metaphorical rattlesnake or something. Then I read it later on and realised that, no, it was an actual, real life rattlesnake. Stupid.

    Also, “Todd can’t think of any way out”…so he randomly decides to make out with Lila? Todd really is the dumbest person on the face of the planet.

    [Reply]

    Amanda Reply:

    Does anyone else doubt Todd’s ability to find his way out of a paper bag?

    [Reply]

    Shannon Reply:

    Most definitely.

    [Reply]

  • Darren January 5, 2010 at 10:43 pm

    I never liked the part of Jessica and the little girl Alyssa Hewitt. Jessica has had bad luck to say the least in one year: AJ Morgan leaves her, Sam dies, Christopher dies, Ken and Jessica split up, now Jessica unwittingly lets a girl in Alyssa Hewitt fall to her death and her douche of a brother blames her until the next chapter where he tells why he did it, and Jessica should’ve said: Does making me feel like shit make you feel better about yourself?

    I can’t wait for Devon to be exposed as the bigger fraud then that movie Hero, remember that other guy that got the honor, but it was Dustin Hoffman that saved the lives? Devon, you douche, you and Margo should meet up and make out like slithering snakes.

    The Wakefields wind up shacking up with the Fowlers until their house is built, and…did the high school substain damage, or did the El Charro school substain damage? I know from what I heard in Seniors a lot of El Charro kids were amongst Sweet Valley. Not sure if it is El Charro or El Carro, forgive for my spelling.

    I feel this book would’ve been made into a 2 hour movie. Maybe that’s what the Sweet Valley movie should be about, Sweet Valley devastated by Earthquake, see the flashbacks!

    [Reply]

    Shannon Reply:

    It’s El Carro, and it’s their school that gets messed up and they have to go to SVH.

    Devon really is a douche.

    [Reply]

  • Darren January 5, 2010 at 10:46 pm

    Last post tomorrow, Shannon? Thank you so much for giving us plenty of memories. You turned my bad days from the job into great days to read a good tale and sip some soda. When you do Seniors, try to note what happened to other characters that were not around. It seemed like a version of the All in the Family sitcom ‘ARchie Bunkers’ place’ with just Elizabeth, Jessica, not sure if their family is mentions, and a lot of unheard of friends and ‘appearances’ by people like Lila Fowler.

    [Reply]

    Shannon Reply:

    Thank you so much for reading, Darren. You’re one of my most frequent commenters, and I’m glad I could entertain you so much.

    [Reply]

  • Anastasia January 25, 2010 at 1:37 am

    Hi, loving your blog… even though I am a latecomer… can’t wait to see what you do with Senior Year (I myself, have only just finished reading that whole series!).

    I just wanted to add my 2 cents about who the guy in the left hand corner of the cover is. It is from the re-issue of SVH#9, Racing Hearts, so it is Roger Barrett (before he became Patman). But I think the book editors want us to assume it is Ken.

    🙂

    [Reply]

    Shannon Reply:

    Thank you! I didn’t know they reissued any more after #6.

    Senior Year should be starting (hopefully) in the next couple weeks!

    [Reply]

  • Sandy January 26, 2010 at 1:21 pm

    Only in SV would refrigerators be so heavy that 2 people can not lift them even a foot for Olivia to scoot away. Ugh.

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  • LLu December 6, 2010 at 9:03 am

    Clearly the guy in the bottom left corner is Ronnie Edwards. Other than giving Caroline Pearce a reason to disappear after the beginning of the book, he served no other purpose. This picture WAS his funeral.

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  • maryse November 27, 2011 at 3:20 pm

    I dont understand does the person who owns this website actually like any of the SVH books????

    [Reply]

    Shannon Reply:

    No. No, she doesn’t.

    [Reply]

  • Dane Youssef November 11, 2012 at 3:33 am

    I was wondering the same damn thing. What the fuck? Are all these reviews just meant to be tongue-in-cheek? I guess the harsh scathing editorials are all the more fun to read.

    But I have to honestly ask if Sharron has enjoyed so much as one book–or even one written paragraph. Or word from the likes of this entire series.

    –Sincerely Asking, Dane Youssef

    [Reply]

  • Shannon November 16, 2012 at 12:12 pm

    Okay, I loved – LOVED – these books when I was a kid. And I love blogging about them now. But come on, they are terrible books. I’m just having fun viewing my childhood obsession through an adult’s eyes.

    [Reply]

  • Jess December 15, 2012 at 9:57 am

    I just discovered your posts about a month ago, and I’ve obsessively worked my way though them on the weekends. I LOVED these books when I was 10-12, but stopped reading before the Sam/Jessica stuff. THANK YOU for this trip down memory lane. Realizing how these books set me up with unrealistic expectations of high school and romance back in the day might have saved me from an s-ton of heartache!

    [Reply]

  • LooksLikeCRicci May 11, 2013 at 3:36 am

    Agreed. I devoured these books as a 12-14 year old. My God, I had no idea how bad they were.

    Such a fun blog to read! Thanks for the laughs!

    [Reply]

  • Dane Youssef May 20, 2017 at 3:59 am

    “Okay, I loved – LOVED – these books when I was a kid. And I love blogging about them now. But come on, they are terrible books. I’m just having fun viewing my childhood obsession through an adult’s eyes.
    Yeah… I guess I am too… ” –Shannon

    That’s what YouTube commenting was made for, wasn’t it?

    [Reply]

  • Dane Youssef May 20, 2017 at 4:00 am

    “Okay, I loved – LOVED – these books when I was a kid. And I love blogging about them now. But come on, they are terrible books. I’m just having fun viewing my childhood obsession through an adult’s eyes.” –Shannon

    Yeah…

    I guess I am too…

    That’s what YouTube commenting was made for, wasn’t it?

    [Reply]

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