Sweet Valley Twins #1: Best Friends
Elizabeth and Jessica Wakefield are just the cutest identical twins alive and they do everything together. They share a room, they dress alike, they join all the same clubs and have all the same hobbies. So when Liz says the school is letting her start a school newspaper just for the sixth graders and asks Jessica to write for it, she’s shocked when Jessica says she’d rather hang out with Lila Fowler and join the Unicorn Club. Liz decides to ask her friends Amy Sutton and Julie Porter to help her out, figuring Jessica will want to join once she sees what a success the paper is.
At lunch the next day, the twins sit at separate tables for the first time ever so Liz can talk to Julie and Amy about the paper. Jessica sits with the Unicorns and tries to get an invitation to join the club. The day after that, Jessica stands Liz up after school to go to the Dairi Burger with the Unicorns. Just as she hoped, they ask her to join and give her three pledge tasks to complete. Janet Howell, the club’s president, tells Jessica she can’t tell anyone what her pledge tasks are, not even Liz. Jessica asks about Elizabeth’s pledge tasks, and Janet says Liz isn’t going to be asked to join. Jessica is shocked at first, but then realizes Liz wouldn’t like being a Unicorn anyway.
Jessica’s first pledge task is to take Mrs. Arnette’s lesson plan book off her desk and get it back into the teacher’s bag by the end of class. Jessica manages to get the job done with help from Lila and Winston. Her next task is to stand outside the girls’ restroom, tell people it’s flooded and get at least three girls to use the boys’ room instead. That one gets done pretty easily, too. The only task left is to come to school looking so different from Liz that nobody can tell they’re twins. Oh, calamity.
On Monday morning, Liz dresses in her yellow sweat suit (ugh) and takes the same outfit from Jessica’s closet and lays it out for her. As soon as Liz goes down to breakfast, Jessica jumps out of bed and dresses in something completely different. Then she curls her hair and puts on some makeup. She waits to go downstairs until it’s too late for Liz to change. Liz is hurt but Jessica doesn’t really notice because she’s so happy she’s completed all her tasks.
When the twins get to school, Liz locks herself in a bathroom stall and starts to cry. Then some girls come in talking about Jessica’s new look. They say they think it’s great that they can finally tell the Wakefield twins apart. When they’re gone, Liz decides to make the best of things by doing her hair in a style Jessica doesn’t usually like to wear. She decides it’s okay with her if she and Jessica stop dressing the same.
Jessica has asked her mother for dance classes and Alice has complied. The twins get to the studio just before their first class starts, but Jessica tells Liz to go ahead while she finishes getting ready. She finally comes into the classroom during roll call, and Madame Andre freaks out because Jessica is wearing a purple leotard, purple legwarmers, a purple scarf around her waist and purple barrettes with purple streamers. Also, blue eyeshadow all the way up to her eyebrows. Madame Andre yells at her, and it flusters Jessica so much that she messes up on all her ballet moves for the whole class.
Caroline Pearce comes up to Liz at lunch and says she thinks it’s super exciting that Jessica has been asked to be a Unicorn. Liz goes home crying that night about Jessica not wanting to spend time with her anymore. She talks to her mom, who says it’s really okay that the twins have separate interests. Liz doesn’t really like it, but she goes upstairs and tells Jessica she’s going to try not to let it bother her. Jessica offers to try to get her in.
Jessica goes to her first Unicorn meeting, and Liz asks Amy to come over to talk about newspaper stuff. Amy is a joy to hang out with and Liz has a really good time spending the evening with someone other than Jessica. She’s a little sad she won’t have time to do that kind of thing once Jessica makes her a Unicorn.
Liz won’t leave Jessica alone, so Jessica finally asks the Unicorns to let Liz join. They aren’t happy about the idea, but Jessica threatens to quit. Janet thinks that would make the club look bad, so they give Liz one pledge task. She has to go to the Dairi Burger with Lois Waller and replace the whipped cream on her sundae with shaving cream. Liz says no. She refuses to make Lois eat shaving cream. Jessica decides to do it herself. She calls Janet and tells her Liz is going to do it on Wednesday.
On Wednesday, while Liz is at a dentist appointment, Jessica poses as her twin and goes to the Dairi Burger with Lois. When Lois takes a bite of her sundae and starts spitting out the shaving cream, the Unicorns at the next table start laughing. Lois leaves all upset that Liz would embarrass her like that. A few days later, Jessica tells Liz she’s been voted into the club. Liz figures they must have realized their pledge idea would have hurt Lois’ feelings. Yeah, right.
Liz goes to her first Unicorn meeting and can’t believe that all they do is talk about boys and movies. Ellen comes up to Liz and congratulates her on a job well done at the Dairi Burger. Liz gets mad and goes home, where she cries to her mother. Again. Alice tells her again that twins can have different interests. Again.
Liz calls Lois and tells her it was Jessica at the Dairi Burger. Then she tells Jessica to apologize to Lois. If she doesn’t, Liz will stay in the Unicorn club and tell everyone else it was Jessica and not Liz who tricked Lois. Jessica apologizes. Liz isn’t satisfied, so she calls Lois and cooks up a scheme to get back at them. It really just boils down to Lila eating shaving cream on her sundae and Amy taking pictures for the newspaper. Good times.
Meanwhile, the twins are fighting about their room. Liz doesn’t like it being so messy all the time and Jessica, I don’t know, doesn’t like Liz’s books or something. Alice and Ned decide it’s time the girls have their own rooms. They’ll move Jessica into the guest room down the hall. What the hell? They’ve had an extra bedroom this whole time and just made the twins share because they’re twins? Not cool, man.
Somewhere in there, we hear about how some girl named Roberta Manning got kicked out of the Unicorns because she made out with a high school boy, and we find out the high school boy is Steven Wakefield. I guess he’s always liked them young.
Setup for the next book: The twins’ dance studio (which is called The Dance Studio) is putting on a production of Coppelia and Jessica wants the lead. Also, Amy’s mother is making her take ballet.
She undid her ponytail and let her hair fall free. Then she parted it in the middle, pulled it back from her face, and fastened it with a clip. It was a hairstyle she loved and Jessica hated…
“Hey, Liz!” Lois’s eyes were wide. “You should wear your hair like that all the time.”
So it’s Lois’ fault Elizabeth spends the next six years with her hair pulled back in clips and barrettes.
The Cover: I think the twins are so much cuter on these covers than they are on the SVH covers. I also think those sweaters look really comfortable.