Sweet Valley Twins #1: Best Friends

The Moral of the Story: It’s rough being the nice twin, especially when you don’t know your sister is evil.

Synopsis:

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.

Meanwhile…

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.

Quotes:

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.

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Comments
  • Megan February 16, 2011 at 9:09 am

    Yaaay you’re back! (I’m one to talk, I know)

    I LOVED this book when I was a kid. I’ve remembered Jessica’s outfit for the first day of ballet class forever.

    [Reply]

    Shannon Reply:

    Oh, I know! I wanted purple legwarmers soooo bad!

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  • Fran February 16, 2011 at 9:11 am

    So excited you’re doing Sweet Valley Twins! They were always my favorite. The twins look normal on these covers (a little older looking than 12 but still nice). It is funny that Steven liked him young even back then.

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  • Svugirl90 February 16, 2011 at 10:26 am

    I begged my mom for one of those sweaters! Glad your back^.^

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  • Patty February 16, 2011 at 11:39 am

    So glad you’re back Shannon! I have strangely been looking forward to these recaps. This is one series I did not read in its entirety, so I appreciate that you are taking the time to recap it.

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  • rebecca February 16, 2011 at 12:57 pm

    You’re back! I shrieked a little when this post popped up in my Reader.

    The comment about Liz wearing the yellow sweatsuit totally reminded me that my sixth-grade “wardrobe” was entirely sweatsuit based inspired by Liz. It. Was. Awful. What was I thinking?!?!

    Also, I hated Janet from the very beginning. She reminded me so much of the awful “Mean Girls” at my school. Well, I guess before there were “Mean Girls,” there were Unicorns.

    And I now need my mom to ship me my crate of Sweet Valley Twins/Babysitter’s Club/Sleepover Friends but I want to read them all right now!

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  • SarahJ February 16, 2011 at 3:44 pm

    Yay! I’m so glad you’re back. I love your blog, looking forward to the next recap!

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  • MV February 16, 2011 at 4:07 pm

    I’m so excited that you are back! I read a ton of Sweet Valley Twins books as a child so I’m super excited for your reviews! I read somewhere that Ann M. Martin (ghost)wrote this one.

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  • megan s. February 16, 2011 at 7:18 pm

    Welcome back!!

    Since when do they kick out Unicorns for making out with high school guys?? Thought they tried to do that anyway! and I hope she was an 8th grader lol

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  • Lindsay February 16, 2011 at 8:33 pm

    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.

    No, Elizabeth. Just no. That’s freaking creepy.

    Know what else is creepy? A high schooler dating a middle schooler. There is something seriously wrong with the Wakefield family.

    Does it make me weird I spent hours of my childhood trying to figure out which twin was which on that cover? Yes? Thought so.

    Welcome back!!!

    [Reply]

    beej Reply:

    is it just me or was elizabeth too sensitive?so what if her twin wanted to be her own person?twins are individuals too.and what was the deal with the parents?

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  • Amiee February 16, 2011 at 8:57 pm

    I always thought Jess was the one on the right

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  • Kristine February 17, 2011 at 2:10 am

    I’m really really happy that your recaps are back. During the poll, I voted for Sweet Valley Twins as the next series for your recaps. The twins and their friends as middle schoolers are better, hilarious, realistic, and much more interesting than the twins as college students. Always looking forward to your recaps.

    My favorite SVT series is a Super Edition, entitled “The Unicorns Go Hawaiian.” I also like the characters Mandy Miller, and Joe Howell (Steven’s best friend). Steven is really funny in these series. 🙂

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  • Barbie February 17, 2011 at 11:27 am

    yayyyyyyyy I’m so happy you’re back 😀
    what happened with SVU recaps??
    i love any recap you do anyway!

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  • Karla February 18, 2011 at 12:26 pm

    Yay! You’re back! I’m so glad you’re recapping SVT. They were my favorites when I was in sixth grade and I was adjusting to the “raciness” of SVH. I wore purple all the time because of this series. It didn’t make me more popular, though.

    And what group of popular mean girls would excommunicate someone for making out with a high school boy? Are The Unicorns doing True Love Waits?

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  • Karina February 19, 2011 at 7:17 am

    Is this when we get introduced to Lila’s lovely long brown hair that doesn’t get frizzy? Lol

    I can read these through you…great. I never read the twins.

    [Reply]

  • Emmy February 19, 2011 at 4:19 pm

    Check out my dream cast for the SWEET VALLEY HIGH MOVIE!!! Hope you all like it! 🙂

    [Reply]

  • Rainey February 21, 2011 at 2:04 pm

    Oh yay you are back!

    [Reply]

  • Jennifer February 21, 2011 at 7:01 pm

    I am glad you are back, too. This was one of the first Sweet Valley books I ever read. It’s to blame for my rampant Sweet Valley addiction during my formative years.

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  • Erin February 21, 2011 at 8:33 pm

    I’m so excited to see a new recap from you! I missed you, Shannon!
    I haven’t read this one in ages…I always thought it was weird that Liz laid out Jessica’s clothes for her, like she was her mother or something. And seriously, I can’t imagine someone getting kicked out of the Unicorns for making out with a high school guy. I thought they would give her an award for something like that.

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  • Darren March 4, 2011 at 1:59 am

    HEy Shannon, thanks for the great memories. I loved a few of the twins books: 17, 24 is a scream when all 3 of the wakefields team up to save their parents’ supposed failed message. I liked the ones with Sophia Rizzo and Sarah Thomas, they’re fun to write about, and their brother Tony is a nicer guy. Book 1 was so funny as it seems Elizabeth never really grew up, laying out Jesica’s clothes, oh brother!

    [Reply]

  • Anna March 9, 2011 at 6:54 am

    You’re back! Yay!

    [Reply]

  • lindsay March 29, 2011 at 1:22 pm

    OMG i looooooooooovedddddd the Unicorns Go Hawiian! I still have it! Must read that again ASAP…

    [Reply]

  • The World of Sweet Valley April 2, 2011 at 7:38 pm

    I just finished all of your SVH recaps and started on these ones. I loved SVT and your recaps are so entertaining.

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  • Jenn April 8, 2011 at 2:35 pm

    Wait, she got kicked out for making out with a high school boy? In the later books, she’d be their queen…especially since Jessica is treated so great for “dating” a high school boy in book 15(?) lol

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  • Sonnie April 28, 2011 at 2:22 pm

    I like these covers better as well, but the twin on the left has a serious lazy right eye.

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  • pibetaalpha May 18, 2011 at 1:48 am

    I always thought it was Liz with her arm around Jess, because Liz was the self-sacrificing one who would show affection for her twin while Jessica would only be concerned with mugging for the camera.

    I totally wanted one of those sweaters, too.

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  • Jenna May 28, 2011 at 11:38 pm

    Does anybody know the name of the models who posed for this cover?

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  • Beth June 17, 2011 at 6:39 pm

    Anyone notice that the twins also wear yellow sweats in Sweet Valley Kids? Proof that Elizabeth never stops dressing (or acting) like a seven year old.

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  • biankoy August 16, 2011 at 5:00 am

    hey! thanks for your recaps!! I’m new here and aside from the recaps I’m really enjoying your views and opinions about the book. I hope you’ll continue recapping the rest of the Sweet Valley Twins series!

    [Reply]

  • Amanda May 17, 2012 at 8:59 pm

    I love your blogs! They’re really funny! I’ll read a book and then find myself checking this website to see how you viewed. This is wonderful:)

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  • Kylie January 1, 2013 at 10:02 pm

    Yes! I’ll be reading these now, thank-you!

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  • Ally B June 18, 2013 at 10:06 am

    What guided reading level are these books?

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    Shannon Reply:

    I’d say this series is grades 4-6.

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  • Steph June 25, 2014 at 8:36 pm

    Hey Shannon! I loved these books when I was a kid! Do you know where you can purchase these still? I’m from Australia and am dying to get my hands on a copy!

    [Reply]

  • mehdisufi April 15, 2015 at 10:32 pm

    Can someone do me a favor and send the pdf files of tSweet Valley Twins? My email is msoofloo@yahoo.com

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  • Steff September 10, 2015 at 5:31 pm

    Only Elizabeth would think it´s cool to dress alike and like the same stuff just because you are twins.
    And Jessica´s excuse to make the Unicorns invite Elizabeth?? something like.. you know my parents… they think about twins… super lame.
    Liz is way too sensitive in this one 🙁

    [Reply]

  • Favourite Childhood Books | Amy Elize November 21, 2015 at 7:54 pm

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    Shannon’s Sweet Valley High Blog » Blog Archive » Sweet Valley Twins #1: Best Friends

  • Alex Kennedy July 9, 2016 at 11:25 am

    I love this site. Shannon, thank you so much for doing this. It is lovely to read the perspectives of other people. Was Jessica evil before this? I have yet to read Sweet Valley Kids. Perhaps it was as a consequence of being in the Unicorns which brought out the beast in Jessica. Perhaps it would have happened anyway. This is one of the few covers which show the twins happy to be in close proximity to one another. In this one, there is a distinct absence of malice in their eyes and no one is clenching a fist or giving an evil look. At least you know now that it is not going to be a case of twins dressing alike every single day, eating the same amount of food so that they can maintain their weight and sharing the same boyfriend. Things like this do exist. Unfortunately, I spend copious amounts of time on You Tube so I know a lot about the silliest of things. I do, however, like to think that I have a few modicums of intelligence.

    I do love the bit of the Future Plumbers. Quick thinking, Jessica! It is also nice to know that you are actually looking after your sister and preserving her dignity. Times will change, times will change. Sweet Valley High Jessica would have sent Elizabeth into a lion’s den if it meant that Jessica could profit from it.

    In terms of continuity – the makeup thing confuses me. In some of the books, Jessica wears make up and Ned and Alice frown upon it. In other books, they allow it. Mr and Mrs W, you are two of the most prolific victims of the inconsistencies of the writers.

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  • Alex Kennedy August 23, 2016 at 7:06 am

    Why on Earth did the twins share a room initially? Surely, they should have had rooms of their own as soon as possible.

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  • Shoulder Blog October 3, 2016 at 3:52 am

    Say Yay To Looking Super Sweet

    […] other. In this one, there is a distinct absence of malice in their eyes and no o […]

  • Alex Kennedy February 5, 2017 at 10:30 am

    Did anyone else feel compelled to write wriiten responses to the questions which were posed at the conclusion of the books???

    [Reply]

  • Alex Kennedy February 8, 2017 at 8:17 am

    Did it seriously take twelve years for the twins to realise that they are actually quite different? Did they start out normal, and all of a sudden Jessica morphs into a psychotic narcissistic wack job? Was there something in Jessica’s genes which turned her into a certified homicidal maniac at sixteen (ie she, after all, plotted to spike her sister’s drink)?

    [Reply]

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    Shannon's Sweet Valley High Blog » Blog Archive » Sweet Valley Twins #1: Best Friends

  • Forever Sweet Valley May 4, 2017 at 7:25 am

    Didn’t Liz wear that yellow sweat suit of hers in “Elizabeth the Impossible?”

    [Reply]

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