Sweet Valley Twins #25: Standing Out

The Moral of the Story: Babies solve everything!

The Big Deal: Party at Julie’s, big baseball game

Classmate with a Problem: Billie Layton, crappy life in general


Billie Layton is pissed. Her mom is having a baby – right in the middle of Little League season! Billie would love to talk to her best friend, Jim Sturbridge, about how neglected she feels, but he’s always hanging around that damned Sally Holcomb, the biggest flirt in school. When Billie gets her first period, she assumes her life is over.

Billie’s mom is the school librarian and Billie goes to the library to share her womanly news. Mrs. Layton is too busy helping other kids find books (you know, doing her job) and Billie gets mad. So Billie is already feeling pretty down about things when her parents tell her they’ve decided to name the new baby William. That’s right, they’d like Billie to start going by her real name, Belinda, so they can call the new baby Billy without feeling weird about both their kids having the same name. On top of all that, Billie has found out Jim and Sally are now dating.

To recap Billie’s week:

  • Got her first period
  • Lost her name
  • Guy she liked hooked up with someone else

Meanwhile, the Unicorns have finally figured out that people think they’re snobs (nobody ever accused them of being smart). They simply must fix this image problem so they can win some service award and a trip to wherever they want to go within fifty miles.

There’s a big baseball game on Saturday, but Billie is so distracted by her terrible life that she plays like crap and the coach ends up taking her out. Whatevs, Billie’s dad couldn’t be bothered to show up anyway, so who cares, right? There’s a big party at Julie Porter’s house after the game and the twins take it upon themselves to get Billie ready. You know what that means, don’t you? Fakeover! I love a good fakeover. So Billie goes to the party and all the boys ask her to dance because she’s suddenly so beautiful. Jessica does her best to get Jim to talk to Billie because she figures it’ll be some kind of good deed if she gets them together, but Mr. Layton shows up to take Billie to the hospital because her mom is in labor.

Once the baby arrives, Billie decides everything else is unimportant. She gladly gives her up her name and insists on being called Belinda. There’s another baseball game and her dad comes to this one, which is great because Billie Belinda wins it for the team. Afterward, Jim says he was totally going to ask Billie Belinda to dance at the party. And then Billie Belinda is asked to join the Unicorns because having an athlete in the club will surely make everyone forget how snobby they are.

Setup for the next book: Patrick Morris has strict parents.


“It’s wrong to meddle or be a tattletale.”

I just had to relate this hilarious Elizabeth quote.

“I got my period today in gym class,” she confided, staring at her feet.

“You did?” Elizabeth exclaimed. “Wow, that’s great!”

I can’t remember a time when I ever thought getting my period was good news. Unless it was late. Am I right, ladies?

“Secca Lake is the perfect setting for a concert. Everybody will be there.”

“Everybody but me,” a gloomy voice said behind them.

Meet Patrick Morris, subject of the next book. Clearly, he’s full of rainbows and sunshine.

The Cover: I hate when the tagline doesn’t match the book. This isn’t about Billie trying to fit in with the guys. It’s about this one lousy week in her life.

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  • Kathryn April 14, 2012 at 8:02 am

    Haha, this was one of the first SVT books I ever read. At the time I thought Billie’s parents were both jerks for asking her to change her name. Then again, I still think that now …


  • Megan April 14, 2012 at 8:12 am

    Okay, giving up her NAME? Billie’s parents suck. There are *three* variations of Bill/Billy in my family and will likely be more, and somehow we manage. I mean, Will? Liam? Bite me, terrible parents.


  • MV April 14, 2012 at 10:53 am

    YES on your note about the period quote! I was always confused by books like this which made it seem like such a great thing to get your first period. I just thought it would get in the way and never wanted it! I was annoyed when I got mine, lol.


  • Beth April 16, 2012 at 10:51 am

    Anybody else ever wonder what is going on with that boy on the far right on the cover (Jim S, maybe?) Why does it look like he has a perm with a little Elvis type swirl in the front? He also looks vaguely like someone famous, although I can’t really place it. Alfred E. Neuman comes to mind, but there’s someone else. AND WHERE IS THE BLOND BOY’S HAND???? The only place it could be is on Billie’s butt unless he is missing an arm. Anyway, that illustration has always kind of messed with me–hope I’m not the only one! (Great recap by the way)


  • Amiee April 17, 2012 at 3:30 am

    In a future book don’t the twins have a freakin period party with their mum? My mum taught me that the world stops when you get your period and I’ve lived that way ever since the 8th grade!


  • Patty April 17, 2012 at 2:46 pm

    Yeah, I’m with you, I never thought my period was something great. I haven’t had it for years now and quite frankly do not miss it! Great recap. Love that Elizabeth quote too! Like she would ever meddle or tattle. Not Elizabeth!


  • Pbellyup April 19, 2012 at 11:29 pm

    That’s funny about the period thing. I actually remember being on my period when I was reading this book and being disgusted with that line. But if you think about it, the twins are so perfect they probably don’t get bloated, have cramps, no pms and wear all white with no problem…so lucky!!


  • Whallie April 23, 2012 at 2:36 pm

    Wow! Sweet Vallians get periods? This book is the ultimate alternate universe! I was a late bloomer, so I was happy when I got my period up until about 5 minutes later, when I realized what a period and all of the “fun” stuff about it really meant. Never had a period party or knew anyone that did. That’s just really bizarre. What do you do at those (in the ’80’s), eat ho-hos and talk about how much cramps suck?


  • Busty St. Clair May 12, 2012 at 2:47 pm

    I assumed my life was over when I got my period, too, Billie.

    Billie’s parents are assholes


    Busty St. Clair Reply:

    can I also just admit here when I was a kid, I always read Secca Lake and Seneca Lake and Lila’s Fowler and Lila Flower? And I was all sort of messed up when the Ciao, Sweet Valley book came out and I have no idea how to say the cover so I could tell my mom I wanted it.


    Pbellyup Reply:

    Ciao, Sweet Valley? That book sounds so familiar, I just can’t remember now which one. I only remember that I liked it. That’s sad in my 30s and a Sweet Valley book title jumps at me!


  • Amanda June 9, 2012 at 3:14 pm

    Hey, Shannon! Do you think you could pretty please do Sweet Valley Junior High next? :] It is my favorite series out of all of them.


  • miu December 26, 2012 at 10:32 pm

    i loved this book. billie seemed like more normal as opposed to liz’s passive agressive goody two shoes-ness, jessica’s ridiculousness, and both twins’ usual hypocrisy. and i loved all the clothes description.


  • Kanna-Chan February 15, 2013 at 7:27 pm

    Jessica was nowhere NEAR as unpleasant in this book as she normally is. In fact, she was almost likable. Too bad it doesn’t last.


  • Christine June 13, 2013 at 12:19 pm

    This was one of my all-time favorite SVT books. I must have read this one 100 times. Something was just so likeable about Billie, and I totally related to her about getting her period. Too bad more books didn’t focus on her!


  • Kanna-Chan August 7, 2013 at 3:23 pm

    Lila did tick me off in this book when she was bitching about how some girl had no right to wear a purple sweater because she wasn’t a unicorn. If some girl in MY school had told me I couldn’t wear a certain color because I wasn’t part of some babyish club, she would have been spitting teeth.


  • Kanna-Chan November 19, 2013 at 4:57 pm

    One thing I don’t get is why Jessica had no problem with Billie being a tomboy AND getting asked to be a Unicorn but had a problem with Amy being a tomboy and trying to be in the Boosters.


  • Krista December 10, 2013 at 1:14 pm

    “That’s right, they’d like Billie to start going by her real name, Belinda, so they can call the new baby Billy without feeling weird about both their kids having the same name.” Yeah, that’s a dick move.

    “I can’t remember a time when I ever thought getting my period was good news” – no, it makes sense in this context: girls who’ve never had a period are the only ones who ever think it is something great and to be proud of. Then it happens and you realize how much it sucks and that it’s kind of embarrassing.


  • Alex Kennedy July 9, 2016 at 6:22 am

    I felt so sorry for Billie Layton in this story. At the age of 12, things will change fundamentally that baby arrives. Her mother clearly is not making an effort to spend anytime with her. She should realise that Billie is feeling a bit upset and jealous.

    How can any right-thinking parents take Billie’s name away from her? Do they not have any common sense? What is wrong with some of the adults in SVT? Is it a case of when you become a parent, you lose your sense of decency and common sense? Glad that Mr Collins is there to provide some guidance and sympathy.


  • Natasha November 1, 2016 at 2:10 am

    “It’s wrong to meddle or be a tattletale.”

    Excuse me?? Liz is the biggest meddler and tattletale around!


  • Alex Kennedy November 22, 2016 at 9:20 am

    ^^^Sorry – Mr Collins is SVH. My apologies… (regarding my above comment).


  • Jessica is Evil March 29, 2017 at 4:03 am

    I wish that Billie was more of a regular character in the series. I also think that her parents were horrible because of the fact that they took her name away from her because they wanted to raise some little brat.


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