Archive for the ‘3. Sweet Valley Twins’ Category

Sweet Valley Twins #57: Big Brother’s In Love!

Saturday, March 18th, 2017

SVT057The Moral of the Story: Go ahead and try to steal your best friend’s girl. You’ll probably find the right girl for you along the way.

The Big Deal: Staying Up with Bob, whatever that is.


During a Unicorn meeting at the Wakefield house, Janet announces that she has somehow gotten her hands on two tickets to see Staying Up with Bob, a new television show that everyone is crazy about. As she’s making a big deal about who she might take with her, Steven walks through the room and into the kitchen. He looks like a zombie and manages to set off the smoke alarm because he forgot he put cookies in the oven. Everyone knows he’s still not over Jill Hale, and Janet makes fun of him. Jill is dating Janet’s brother Joe, so Janet feels like she’s involved in the situation. The twins are mad because they’re the only ones allowed to make fun of Steven. Jessica bets Janet that Steven will be over Jill in one week. If she wins, Janet has to give her and Liz the Bob tickets. If she loses, she says she’ll give Janet Liz’s brand new camera. Liz is furious, but what can she do? She’s a twin and twins have to make sacrifices. Jessica thinks the best thing to do is to get Steven interested in his platonic friend Cathy Connors, and the best way to do that is to make Steven think someone else is interested in Cathy. Then he’ll realize he has feelings for her.

At lunch the next day, Steven spills milk all over Jill because of course he does. She’s kind of bitchy about it, but Steven manages to save the day by asking her about her hobbies. She says she’s really into motorcycles, so Steven says he’s thinking about buying one. He buys a motorcycle magazine and is dismayed to learn that fourteen-year-olds aren’t allowed to get motorcycle licenses, but he figures he’ll buy one and Jill can just come over and look at it. His hopes are dashed when he skims the classified ads and sees that the thirty dollars he has to his name will not cover the cost of a motorcycle.

Steven is an idiot. I hate Steven stories.

The twins put their stupid plan into action and send Cathy a dozen tulips. Cathy is too busy daydreaming about her secret admirer to pay attention to Steven at lunch the next day, but she does offer to get him hired at the restaurant she works at. Steven, naturally, thinks he’s too good to flip burgers. He goes to the community pool after school to look for a lifeguard job, but the guy tells him he can’t hire anyone who isn’t certified. So he tries the music store, but the man there tells him he can’t hire someone whose only musical knowledge is the top forty. The manager at the computer store tells him he’s useless without programming skills. All of these people tell Steven to try flipping burgers. Steven goes home defeated. He still thinks he’s too good for restaurant work, but he needs a motorcycle, dammit.

Cathy gets Steven hired. He almost walks out when he sees the uniform, but Cathy convinces him to stay. He decides it might be fun working with Cathy, though he’s irritated with her these days because she’s always mooning over her secret admirer. The twins send a glittery letter with each present, and so far she has E, D, and L. Steven does not care because all he can think about is his plan to win Jill over. One day, Steven realizes it’s kind of shitty of him to be doing all this in order to steal Jill away from Joe, who is supposed to be his best friend. He tells Joe he still likes Jill, and Joe tells him to go for it because he doesn’t even like her that much. He says Jill only says she likes motorcycles because Joe likes them, so now Steven doesn’t know what to think.

Meanwhile, in Twin Land, Jessica finds Steven’s sock full of money when she does the laundry (yes, he keeps it in a sock and yes, he put the sock in his laundry basket), and Liz gets all freaked out when she sees Jessica using money she isn’t supposed to have to buy secret admirer stuff. When Jessica refuses to put the money back, Liz says she’s taking herself off of Project Get Rid of Jill and she’s no longer speaking to Jessica. That doesn’t last long, of course. At lunch on Monday, Jessica finally gives in and tells Liz she’ll put the money back.

That night at work, the manager leaves Steven and Cathy alone at the restaurant. They have a food fight because they’re idiots. Jill comes in to order some food and Cathy tells Steven to ask her out. Jill just laughs at him and walks out the door. Steven is depressed for a second, but then Cathy makes some joke and they start laughing again. In about two seconds, Steven realizes Cathy is really pretty, and he likes being around her, and maybe they can be more than just friends. Just then a little boy walks in and gives Cathy some more glittery letters. She pulls out the rest of the letters she has and arranges them to read STEVEN WAKEFIELD. Steven is confused, but he kisses Cathy and that’s when the twins come in and take a picture of the kiss while they jump up and down with glee. Then manager Rick comes in and fires Steven and Cathy.

The Wakefield parents are unhappy when they find out about the bet the twins made with Janet, so they say the twins can’t take the tickets. However, Steven is so happy to be with Cathy that he offers to give the twins money to buy the tickets. So at the Unicorn meeting the next day, Janet is super pissed when she sees the picture Liz took of Cathy and Steven, but she gracefully accepts the money for the tickets. Jill comes in and sees the picture, and later that night she calls Steven to ask him to hang out with her. He tells her no. Jill is a real piece of work.

The twins get to go to the stupid show, which I don’t really understand, but it involves audience members doing stupid stunts. Elizabeth gets called up to do her stunt, which is this: Jessica throws peas at her from across a table, and she uses a knife to fling them back and hit Jessica in the face. She discovered this talent at dinner the other night. Anyway, the twins are celebrities when they go to school on Monday. The end.


“Basketball,” [Jill] said. “That’s the game with the hoop, right?”

A girl after my own heart.

If he bought one now, he could keep it in the garage. That way, Jill could come over and look at it. Maybe they could even sit on the seat and pretend they were roaring through Sweet Valley.

That sounds like a dreadful date.

“You’re both fired,” he snarled.

Steven looked at Cathy. Cathy looked at Steven. Then they both threw their orange hats into the air and shouted, “Hooray!”

I just like that they shouted, “Hooray!”

The Cover: That uniform includes a neckerchief. I don’t blame Steven for almost bailing.

Sweet Valley Twins#56: The Wakefields Strike it Rich

Monday, November 14th, 2016

SVT056The Moral of the Story: Elizabeth Wakefield is the only kid you can trust with a hundred dollars.

The Big Deal: Visit from Aunt Helen


Aunt Helen is coming for a visit, and the twins go to Casey’s Place after school because they’re afraid their parents will make them clean the house some more before Helen gets there. Steven is at Casey’s too, and he’s feeling all inadequate because he likes a girl named Jill who pays more attention to Joe Howell than she does to Steven. Across the ice cream parlor, Jessica can’t pay for her sundae and Lila makes a big deal about loaning her two dollars.

When the kids get home, Aunt Helen gives them each a hundred dollars for no reason at all. Also, her arm is in a cast and she’s very vague with the kids about what happened. The next day, the kids all end up at the mall. Liz buys the new Amanda Howard hardcover and a book for Amy, Jessica buys sundaes and hair ribbons and shit for all her friends, and Steven buys some earrings for Jill. They all end up spending around thirty dollars and I’m so stressed out because I know they’re going to run out of money soon. Steven gets up the nerve to ask Jill on a date for Friday. She accepts, but she still seems way more interested in Joe. She barely pays attention to Steven.

That night, Liz overhears her dad and Helen talking about lawyers and sharks bullying Helen. And the next morning, an overnight delivery courier brings a letter to Aunt Helen during breakfast. She refuses to open it while the kids are still there. That afternoon, Amanda Howard is signing autographs at the bookstore. Liz asks her how she comes up with her ideas and Amanda tells her there are mysteries going on around them all the time if you pay attention. So now Liz thinks the thing with Aunt Helen is a mystery she has to solve. Thanks a lot, Amanda Howard. Liz and Amy search through Helen’s purse for clues and find a picture of a mean looking guy in a suit. Amy is convinced Helen is a spy. I’m sure she is not.

Jessica keeps buying stuff for her friends because she’s trying to make a point to Lila about being generous. Lila tries to give her financial advice, telling her people won’t remember the things she bought them, but Jessica won’t listen. By Friday she’s down to fifteen dollars. Liz has seventy because she’s boring, and Steven spends everything he has left on a disastrous date with Jill. She wants to dance and he doesn’t know how, and he accidentally jabs her when he tries to pin a corsage on her. He ends up having to borrow money from her and take the bus home.

This is one of those books that really wants to drive home that there’s a difference between the twins.


Liz goes to Amy’s house Friday night. She’s supposed to spend the night there, but after watching a courtroom drama she’s convinced Aunt Helen witnessed a crime and that’s why she’s hiding out at the Wakefields’ house. She and Amy rush back home to make sure she’s okay. They run into the living room, yelling that they won’t let anything happen to her. Everyone is just sitting around watching a movie and looking at Liz like she’s crazy. It turns out Helen was only in a car accident and the insurance company is being a jerk about paying for the repairs. The man in the picture is Helen’s boyfriend. No word on why she’s been so secretive.

Liz uses the rest of her money to buy a camera she’s been saving up for. She also buys a new shirt for Jessica. All of Jessica’s friends pitch in to buy her a pair of earrings to thank her for being so generous. Steven goes to Jill’s house to pay her back the money he had to borrow. She takes it and practically slams the door in his face. She seems like kind of a bitch, but (setup for the next book) Steven is in love.


“You know, you should really learn how to manage your money,” Lila said. “You’re always running out of it.”

“That’s because I don’t have any,” Jessica complained.

Story of my life, Jess.

The Cover: Look at Liz being all sassy, fanning herself with a fistful of dollar bills. And hey, that’s a real expression on Steven’s face!



Monday, November 14th, 2016

After receiving the first two Sweet Valley books from a friend for Christmas, I became re-obsessed with the series. I loved them when I was a kid, so I got a bunch of them from ebay and started reading voraciously. I was saddened to find that the books don’t hold the same magic for my adult self that they did for my adolescent self. Turns out Jessica is a crazy person and Elizabeth is obnoxiously sweet. I decided to share my feelings with the world.

Choose where to start! Or head to the Book List and start wherever you want.

Sweet Valley High (Original Series)

Sweet Valley Twins

Senior Year

Sweet Valley Confidential

Sweet Life

Sweet Valley High #55: Brooke and Her Rock-Star Mom

Thursday, October 27th, 2016

SVT055The Moral of the Story: Sometimes just running away or spilling a secret isn’t enough to get you what you want. Sometimes you have to do both.

The Big Deal: Video watching party at Lila’s, concert celebration at Lila’s, Coco concert


Brooke Dennis is freaking out over who she’s going to write her next Sixers article about. Everyone is doing pieces on celebrities and she can’t think of one that hasn’t been taken yet. She goes to the Wakefields’ and Jessica has her listen to a song on the radio by Coco, a hot new singer that nobody knows anything about yet. Brooke calls Coco’s agent and they promise to send her some info, and Jessica decides to start a fan club called Coco Crazy. Brooke is also nervous right now because her mother is coming to town to visit. Brooke hasn’t seen her for like nine months and she’s worried she won’t fit into her mother’s new family.

Brooke goes to the hotel where her mother is staying with her husband and new baby. She’s super excited to find out her mom is going to be staying in California, and then mom drops the bomb: she’s actually Coco (spoiler alert in the book title). Brooke is barely managing to wrap her head around that when Coco’s manager comes in and announces that Brooke can’t tell anyone who she is because it will ruin Coco’s rock star image. Celebrities with kids are BORING. Brooke’s mom and stepdad don’t really like it, but they’re going along with it for now because Bernice the coldhearted manager has gotten Coco this far.

Coco’s first music video comes out a couple days later and Lila has everyone over to watch it. Brooke won’t go, and she spends a lot of time by herself over the next week. One day, when the entire sixth grade class is at the mall for Coco’s autograph signing, Liz goes to Brooke’s house to find out what’s going on with her. Predictably, Brooke tells Liz everything. Meanwhile, at the autograph signing, Jessica overhears Coco’s manager mention the Sweet Valley Plaza, so she goes there to spy on Coco and find out why she answered all Jessica’s questions so vaguely. She follows Coco to her room and sees her hug a man and baby, and this brings her to the shocking conclusion that her favorite rock star is a MOTHER.

Jessica goes home and tells Liz what she found out, but in a bumbling way that somehow leads to Liz telling Jessica that Brooke is Coco’s daughter. Jessica promises to keep it quiet, but it doesn’t matter. The next morning Brooke, angry because her mother canceled weekend plans so she can do rock star stuff, calls the Sweet Valley Tribune and tells them Coco has a secret family. When the article comes out, Brooke is mobbed all day at school by people who suddenly want to be friends with her. She’s miserable and regrets what she did. Bernice the Cold-Hearted Manager pulls up while Brooke is walking home and tells her she’s ruined her mother’s career. Brooke decides to run away.

The next morning, after the police have been called and everyone is freaking out appropriately, Jessica tells Liz that Brooke is hiding in the basement. They ran into each other at a bus stop the day before and Jessica convinced Brooke to come home with her until she figures out where to go. Liz tells Brooke she can have some pancakes if she calls her mother right away. Pancakes are important.

Brooke and her mom have a talk about how Coco’s family is more important than her career. She’s going to fire Bernice the Terrible and find an agent who isn’t a witch. She had canceled her concert for the next night, but at Brooke’s insistence she un-cancels it. Brooke goes to the concert with Colin Harmon, a boy she’s been crushing on, and Coco pulls her onstage and everything is awesome.

In other news, the Wakefield parents keep finding food and messes around the house in weird places. Jessica thinks they’re getting suspicious so she convinces Liz and Steven they need to confess about the party they had while the parents were gone. Their punishment is that they have to clean the house in preparation for Aunt Helen’s upcoming visit.


Since she had moved to Sweet Valley many months before, [Brooke] had become one of Elizabeth’s closest friends.

That must be why we haven’t seen her since book #6.

“I think I’ll throw a big party to celebrate Coco’s concert,” Lila said importantly.

Parties to celebrate concerts are very important.

The Cover: You guys. You guys, stop dancing. You’re terrible. And untuck your shirts. You look ridiculous.

Sweet Valley High Super Edition #4: The Unicorns Go Hawaiian

Monday, July 11th, 2016

SVTSE04The Moral of the Story: If you go to Hawaii, don’t talk to any natives. No, I don’t care how cute they are.

The Big Deal: Trip to Hawaii!


One day, Jessica and Mandy Miller are hanging out and they see a contest in a magazine for “the most outrageous pineapple recipe.” Just for fun, they throw everything they can find in the kitchen into a bowl and enter the contest. A couple months go by and they forget all about the contest until Lila happens to be reading the latest issue of whatever magazine it was and sees Jessica’s name. They actually won, and the prize is a trip to Hawaii for Jessica and two friends. She chooses Mandy, of course, and Mary Wallace. She wants Liz to go, but the Wakefields already have a ski trip planned with the grandparents over Christmas break and Liz would feel too guilty if she and Jessica both bailed. The Wakefield parents say Jessica can’t go because there won’t be a chaperon, so Jessica’s life is over for a minute, but then Lila calls and says her father agreed to pay for Lila, Janet, and Ellen to go, and he’ll even go to chaperon. Hurray!

As soon as they all get to their hotel in Hawaii, Mr. Fowler runs off to a business meeting, leaving his girlfriend in charge of the girls. Her name is Bambi. She’s an aspiring actress. Lila hates her, but Jessica thinks she’s actually pretty cool. Over the course of the first day: Lila finds a strange ring in the sand and decides to keep it even though everyone tells her she should give it to the police or something; Janet meets a boy named Kenji who tells her she’s the reincarnation of a Hawaiian princess named Keiko, and the legend says that if Janet leaves Hawaii, Pele will erupt and kill everyone; Mandy and Mary overhear Mr. Fowler telling Bambi she’ll be a great mother and assume that means they’re getting married, but they decide not to tell Lila what they heard until they have more information.

The next morning, Jessica gets a call from the Pineapple People, the company that held the contest she won. She and her friends have been invited to a tour of the pineapple factory. When they get there, it becomes clear to Jessica and Mandy that there’s been a mistake. Everyone keeps calling her Ms. Wakely, and when the Pineapple People bring out her recipe for a tasting, it’s a cake, rather than the weird concoction Jessica and Mandy made. Once they realize what’s going on, Mandy and Jessica feel bad, but they’re afraid they’ll get sent home if they say anything. That night, Lila has a nightmare that she’s on trial for stealing an artifact, Janet dreams that there’s lava everywhere, and Jessica dreams she’s drowning in crushed pineapple.

The only pineapple people I care about.

The only pineapple people I care about.

Things just keep going badly for everyone. Mr. Fowler buys Bambi a nice ring (not an engagement ring), which makes Lila mad. Jessica falls out of a tour boat and thinks she’s drowning, but then realizes she can stand up because the water is only three feet deep. Janet keeps asking locals if she looks familiar and is disappointed nobody recognizes her as Princess Keiko. Kenji, the same boy who told Janet she was a princess, runs into Lila and tells her the ring she’s wearing is cursed. Lila tries to take it off but it’s stuck. Jessica also runs into Kenji at some point, and he tells her she’s having such bad luck because she told a lie.

Mandy and Mary let the rest of the girls in on the conversation they overheard. While Lila is off with her cursed ring, the rest of the girls sneak into Bambi’s room to look for evidence that an engagement is happening. They don’t find anything, but Bambi comes in. While the girls are hiding, they overhear Bambi on the phone talking about how she hopes she’ll be a beautiful bride, but there’s a lot of competition out there. It’s obvious she’s talking about an acting role she’s auditioning for, but the girls don’t get that and they think they have their evidence.

Jessica, Janet, and Lila continue to have terrible luck at everything, and they each seek out Kenji separately to find out what they can do about their fate. He tells Janet there’s nothing she can do. She has to stay in Hawaii forever. He tells Lila she has to go to the tomb of some Hawaiian king in the middle of the night and the ring will come off. He gives Jessica a recipe and says she has to make it at midnight while wearing a ponytail on top of her head. This guy is a dick.

Lila and Jessica both try to carry out their tasks that night in secret, but run into each other and end up waking everyone up. The girls all finally talk about their bad luck and realize that bastard Kenji has been having fun with them. They come up with a great plan to have Bambi dress as the goddess Pele and scare the crap out of him, but Lila wants nothing to do with Bambi. The girls decide it’s time to tell Lila she’s going to have a stepmother.

Lila confronts her father the next morning and AS I SUSPECTED, all Bambi’s talk about motherhood and weddings was for an acting role. She and Lila have a talk and Lila realizes Bambi really isn’t so bad after all. The girls carry out their plan, and Kenji is good and scared. He invites them all to a New Year’s luau the next day.

Jessica finally goes to the Pineapple People and tells them their mistake, but it turns out she actually did win. For fun, they decided to give the prize to the grossest recipe. And Bambi, who left Hawaii early for her audition, calls Lila to tell her she got the part.


“Mandy, do you realize it’s only October?”

HOW IN THE FUCK IS IT ONLY OCTOBER? And then three pages later…

“Can you believe it’s almost Christmas?” Elizabeth asked one Saturday afternoon in late December as the twins entered the Sweet Valley Mall.

I give up.

The Cover: So, from left to right, we have Ellen, Mary, Janet, Mandy, and Lila, with Jessica front and center. Janet is…not what I was expecting.

Sweet Valley High #54: The Big Party Weekend

Friday, May 27th, 2016

SVT054The Moral of the Story: No consequences! Ever! Do whatever you want!

The Big Deal: Party at the Wakefield house


The Wakefield parents are going to Mexico. Good riddance. They never do much parenting anyway, which is probably why Jessica and Steven assume the kids will get to look after themselves. They start planning a party for Saturday night and inviting all their friends. It’s not until the day before they leave that the parents tell them a very nice elderly woman named May Brown will be staying with the children. She’s a total stranger, but she comes “highly recommended” so I guess that’s safer than leaving the kids alone?

The parents leave Wednesday after the kids go to school, and when the twins get home that afternoon they find Steven and May glaring at each other in the kitchen. The old woman won’t let them have any snacks, they have to go to bed at nine, they only get one hour of TV a day, and she has the nerve to suggest the twins wear nametags so she can tell them apart. She’s a real bitch about all of it. The kids decide to get rid of her. They pull a few stupid pranks, like putting garlic in May’s coffee and setting her alarm clock to go off in the middle of the night, but all that gets them is the loss of phone privileges.

While all this is going on, Steven and the twins are also on a mission to clean out the garage and have a garage sale. They don’t get many customers, but Jessica manages to accidentally sell their mother’s antique wooden rose, given to her by her great-great-grandmother. So now Liz is freaking out, but Jessica is happy they’ll have money to buy stuff for the party she’s still convinced she’s going to have. Liz goes to every pawn shop in town trying to find the rose, but no luck.

In other news, Amy Sutton has a boyfriend all of a sudden. His name is Rob. Amy found him at the mall. Liz is surprised because she thought Amy liked Ken, but Amy says Ken is more interested in sportsball, and besides, Rob is in eighth grade and he’s really cute. Amy is showing signs of becoming her future self. Amy and Rob drag Todd and Liz on a double date to Casey’s, and Rob is a total ass.

Saturday rolls around and May is still the worst baby-sitter ever, so Steven and the twins put their latest plan into action. Steve tries to get himself a snack, which prompts May to yell at him about her no snacking rule, so Steven packs a bag and leaves the house, saying he’s never coming back. A few hours later, he calls May and tells her he got a ride to a friend’s house really far away, but the friend isn’t home and May needs to come get him. When she’s gone, Steven comes home from the supermarket with party supplies.

The party starts out okay, but it gets out of control pretty fast. Amy’s stupid boyfriend keeps putting on terrible music and turning it up too loud, there are people outside throwing food into the pool, and half the guests are people the Wakefields don’t even know. Amy tells Rob to get lost and then asks Ken to walk her home, so that’s all right. Then Aaron says he has to leave and just as he’s kissing Jessica good night for the first time ever, someone starts a food fight and Jessica gets hit in the face with a piece of bologna. Soon, the only people left are strangers who want to dance on the furniture. That’s when May comes home.

May is royally pissed, and she goes right upstairs and starts packing. The twins apologize and beg her to help them get rid of the kids downstairs. May relents and starts yelling, and pretty soon all the jerkface kids are gone. Steven and the twins apologize some more, and May apologizes to them for being so strict and terrible all week. They all call it even. The next morning, the kids wake up super early and clean the house while May is off on some errand. She comes back later with the antique rose Jessica accidentally sold. It turns out one of the pawn shop guys Liz talked to was at an auction in Big Mesa and he saw the rose. May went up there and bought it back. When the Wakefield parents finally come home, the kids are actually sad to see May leave.

So, to recap: the kids threw a raging party and did not get in trouble, and the antique rose is back where it belongs. Nobody is grounded or in jail. Everything is wonderful.


“I’m not wearing a nametag,” Jessica said. “You can tell us apart by our hair. I wear mine down, and Elizabeth wears hers up.”

Always and forever.

The Cover: Steven, with his expressionless face, is apparently sweeping the couch. Well done, young Steven.

Sweet Valley High #53: The Slime that Ate Sweet Valley

Thursday, March 10th, 2016

SVT053The Moral of the Story: Follow your dreams! You’re probably actually really good at acting if that’s what you really want to do.

The Big Deal: Humiliation party, movie screening


The kids are getting restless at school, so Mr. Bowman asks them what kind of fun project they might like to work on for English class. Leslie Forsythe, a nerdy girl that never talks to anyone, suggests they all make a movie together. Everyone thinks it’s a great idea. Liz and Amy go with Leslie after school to Sweet Valley Video to hang out with Leslie’s friend Deirdre who works there. Deirdre studied acting at UCLA and now she works at a video store, so clearly she knows everything there is to know about making movies. The girls browse around the store for ideas, and finally settle on a horror/love story spoof.

Liz and Amy come up with a title. The Slime that Ate Sweet Valley. It’s about a kid growing cucumbers in his basement, and one day the plants turn into a slime that eats people. The kid will have to save his girlfriend from the slime. Jessica and Lila have been arguing over which one of them should get the lead role and they both audition for the part even though they’re both disgusted by the plot. Lila is terrible. Jessica is pretty good, but that’s mostly due to the surprising talent of nerdy Randy Mason, who reads opposite her. Leslie hangs out in the back of the auditorium, trying to get the nerve to audition. She secretly wants to be an actress, but she’s much too shy. She also secretly really likes Randy and she’s so nervous about auditioning with him that she decides she’s just not gonna do it.

Jessica gets the female lead, and she’s horrified when Randy gets the male lead. He’s so geeky! How can she ever pretend to be his girlfriend? Lila is offered the role of the Slime, which is kind of hilarious, but she indignantly turns it down and Winston gets it instead. Mr. Bowman tries to put Lila on the cleanup crew, but she insists on being a camera person because her father just bought an expensive new camera. He’ll let the school borrow it on the condition that Lila be the only one to use it. She starts taking the camera everywhere and filming her friends in all kinds of embarrassing situations and generally pissing everyone off.

Liz, Amy, Maria, and Leslie start writing the script. Liz and Amy want to get to know Leslie better and figure out why she looked like she wanted to cry when the lead roles were announced. Leslie sort of wants to tell them about her crush on Randy and her secret desire to be an actress, but for some reason she thinks Liz and Amy will think she’s dumb or something. Every time she talks to them, she thinks they’re going to hate her. She’s got some issues.

Jessica is furious when she reads the script and finds out she has to kiss Winston and Randy in the movie. They’re both huge nerds, but that’s not the whole problem. Jessica has never kissed anyone before and she’s nervous. She doesn’t want her first kiss to be taped by Lila. So when rehearsals start, she acts like she has a cold and can’t kiss anyone. She also acts like a prima donna and won’t bother to learn her lines. She figures if she has to kiss nerds, she’s going to demand star treatment.

Lila suddenly starts acting like she’s not mad at Jessica for getting the lead role, and she invites her over to teach her how to pretend kiss. She videotapes Jessica kissing a pillow and says she’ll let Jessica watch the tape as soon as her VCR is back from whoever is borrowing it. Jessica thanks her for her help because she’s an idiot. Lila has a party the next day and invites the whole damn school. OF COURSE she shows all the embarrassing videos she’s been making of her friends, including Jessica’s pillow kissing. Jessica and the other girls Lila has humiliated get back at her by taping her doing the balcony scene from Romeo and Juliet. It’s at a sleepover, she’s in her pajamas with a facial mask on, and her Romeo is a dust mop.

After the humiliation at the party, Jessica quits the movie. Nobody is sad to see her go. Leslie has finally told Liz, Amy, and Maria her secrets, and they cheer her on while she auditions. She gets the part because she’s secretly been a really great actress all this time. The movie is a huge success. The best part is that Jessica got one of the guys to edit in Lila’s Romeo and Juliet scene as a coming attraction before the movie. Leslie’s friend from the video store is so moved by Leslie’s courage that she’s decided to take up acting again. Good for you, Deirdre.


“It’s really too bad you got that part, Jessica,” Lila continued. “But I guess there’s nothing you can do about it now, is there? Is there?”

Lila is downright diabolical.

The Cover: Liz is taking entirely too much enjoyment from Jessica’s pain.

Sweet Valley Twins #52: Booster Boycott

Sunday, January 10th, 2016

SVT052The Moral of the Story: Discrimination against boys actually is a thing. Who knew?

The Big Deal: Cheerleading competition


Winston Egbert wants to join the Boosters. He knows it’s full of snobby Unicorns, but he’s actually a pretty good gymnast and he just wants to do it, you know? Grace Oliver and Amy Sutton are all for it, but the rest of the squad aren’t having it. Winston starts a petition, and Janet snarkily tells him she’ll let him try out if he gets a hundred signatures. Most of the girls are worried about two things. First, their image. Of course. And second, their very first championship competition is coming up and they’re sure Winston will ruin their chances.

Winston actually manages to get over a hundred people to sign his petition, but Janet and the rest of the Unicorns tear it up at Casey’s Place after school. Liz, Amy, Todd, and Ken show up and get all pissed off when they realize what all that paper on the floor is. They go to the mall’s food court to get away from those bitches. Todd gets all irritated and jealous when Liz keeps talking about how unfair all of this is to Winston.

Winston is pretty calm about the Unicorns’ reaction to the petition. That’s because he’s already made a copy and given it to Ms. Langberg. Langberg tells the Boosters they have to let Winston try out. And can I just ask where the fuck this woman is the rest of the time? Why are the kids running this show? Anyway, the girls get together at the Wakefields’ house to watch cheerleading videos and come up with some impossible stuff for Winston to do. Liz and Amy, along with Grace Oliver (she’s on the squad but she likes Winston) head over to Winston’s house to warn him. When they leave, Liz sees Todd riding his bike and calls to him, but he rides on by because he’s still being a jealous little punk.

Most of the school comes to watch Winston’s audition, The Boosters try their hardest to embarrass Winston, but he just keeps doing everything he’s told, including back handsprings and no-handed cartwheels. When they try to get him to do the “he’s our man” cheer, he shocks them all and changes it to “Grace, Grace, give her a hand.” At the end of the tryout, he has Grace stand on his shoulders and do a flip down to the floor. The crowd goes wild, and Winston is a now a cheerleader.

Most of the school is either congratulatory or they just don’t care, but then there’s the Neanderthal fringe. Charlie Cashman tries to give Winston some shit in the cafeteria, but Winston turns the joke around by telling Charlie he’ll make a place for him on the squad. Charlie doesn’t take kindly to that, so he finds Winston after school and punches him in the face. Then Winston gets to go to Booster practice, where the girls – minus Grace and Amy – do everything they can to make his life miserable, including putting peanut butter in his shoes and super glue on the bleachers where he’s sitting so he rips his pants when he stands up. Winston takes it all in stride.

By the next day’s practice, the girls have pretty much resigned themselves to having Winston on the squad. However, Todd is still being a dick about Liz defending Winston. Liz comes up with a plan that involves Amy asking Todd to help her with a science project. It’s all Liz’s idea, but when she sees them in library one day she gets all pissy and jealous. Things all work out when she goes to Amy’s after school one day when she knows Todd will be there. She yells at him while he insists that he and Amy are just friends, and then tells him the whole thing was a setup. They make up. It’s lovely.

Grace draws a cartoon of Winston in a skirt and has Liz print it in the paper to welcome Winston to the squad. She and Liz both think Winston will get a kick out of it, but he quits the squad instead. When Liz asks him why, he tells her he has a huge crush on Grace and it seems like she thinks he’s a big joke. Liz tells him she thinks Grace likes him, too. Winston tries to rejoin the squad, but Janet tells him to get lost.

The day of the competition arrives. The other schools’ squads all have boys on them. The Boosters…well, the Boosters suck it up all over the gym floor. After the first round, they all stand around feeling sorry for themselves and, of course, they realize they were much better with Winston on their squad. Just then Winston arrives to wish them luck, and they ask him to come back to the squad. He goes to the locker room to change, and that’s when Charlie Cashman comes out of nowhere with three of his friends, cracking his knuckles and making snide remarks. He’s about to start throwing punches when the rest of the Boosters shows up. The girls threaten to spread so much gossip about Charlie and his friends that no girl will ever want to date them again. The boys back off.

Because of the disastrous first round, the Boosters don’t win first place, but they take second! And Grace and Winston are holding hands by the end of the day, so that’s great. Todd and Liz are back to being obnoxious together, so all is right with the world.


Could it be that he was actually jealous of her friendship with Winston? She pushed the thought out of her mind. Todd, jealous? Impossible.

Oh, Liz. Just run away. Run away now. There are so many years of horrible Todd jealousy ahead of you.

The Cover: It’s Winston’s first cover! We’ve never seen what he looks like before. He’s not so bad, right? What’s everyone’s problem with Winston?

Sweet Valley Twins #51: Elizabeth the Impossible

Sunday, December 20th, 2015

SVT051The Moral of the Story: Never let on to someone how well they’re doing at life. It’s nothing but trouble.

The Big Deal: Model Student contest


Liz recently won fifty dollars from the Sweet Valley Tribune when she entered a Junior Journalist contest. Today, she’s won an essay contest from Teen Scene magazine. The prize is two hundred dollars and a trip for two to Los Angeles. When Mr. Davis announces a nationwide search for the model student (no word on who is actually conducting this search), Jessica decides to convince the teachers to nominate Elizabeth. She spends the entire day talking to all the teachers she can find.

This weird chick, Pamela McDonald, has been following Liz around for weeks, copying her hairstyles and wearing outfits just like hers. It’s weird and creepy and totally annoying. When Pamela tells Liz she wants to start a petition to get Liz nominated for Model Student, Liz firmly tells her no. But Pamela, along with Liz’s actual friends, keep telling her she’s perfect for this Model Student thing. So when Liz overhears Mr. Bowman telling Principal Clark that Elizabeth is his best student and “she’s the one I’d nominate,” Liz assumes the nomination is in the bag, so she tells Jessica and the rest of her family.

The next day, wanting to look the part of the Model Student, Liz wears the terrible outfit you see on the cover. Everyone tells her she looks like a librarian and Liz almost takes her hair down, but Pamela tells her to leave it. Pamela also urges Liz to make a change at the Sixers after some errors slip past final editing. From now on, all changes have to go through Liz. Everyone is pretty pissed at her, but Pamela tells Liz she did the right thing. Liz continues to act all sanctimonious and annoying. She lectures Aaron when he calls during dinner and tells Jessica she should take up a worthwhile hobby like chess. She makes everyone eat brown rice pudding for dessert and tries to throw away all the junk food in the house.

Amy comes over on Sunday afternoon to play Scrabble with the twins. Things are going okay until Pamela shows up. Amy gets fed up with the sickening compliments and the way Liz drinks them in. She storms out. Pamela tells Liz that Amy is just jealous, and that’s when Jessica dumps her tiles on the board and walks out in a huff, too. Pamela assures her they’re both jealous, and then they go to Liz’s room to pick out some more boring skirt-and-blouse outfits for the coming week.

Caroline starts telling people she’s heard that Todd might actually be nominated for Model Student. Jessica, Amy, and the rest of Liz’s friends all agree that someone else being nominated would be the best way for Liz to quit acting like a dick. So Jessica goes around to some of the teachers, campaigning for Todd this time. When she tells Liz that Todd might get nominated, Liz throws a hissy fit and starts talking about all the times Jessica has been wrong before.

It all comes tumbling down for Liz when she finds Mr. Bowman’s door locked. She assumes he and Mr. Clark are talking about the Model Student thing, so she puts her ear to the door. She almost falls over when the door opens. Liz gets a week of detention, and that’s what makes her realize she’s been a total asshole all week. She apologizes to her friends and tells Pamela to fuck off. At the Model Student assembly, Mr. Clark announces that Sweet Valley Middle School is allowed to nominate two students, and yes, Todd is one of them. And Liz is the other. So even though she’s a total jerkface, she still wins! Hooray!


“Listen, Elizabeth,” Jessica said. “I’m myself, and I’m satisfied with the way I am. I like to waste time. I love shopping with the Unicorns and talking on the phone and going to parties… Maybe I don’t have a lot of self-discipline, and maybe I’m not the most cultured person in the world. But I’m an individual, and I’m happy.”

A round of applause for Jessica. This is the most relatable thing she’s ever said.

The Cover: Ugh, what a brat! I don’t care how much you’ve brainwashed yourself, that’s not a good look. And Jessica looks high.

Sweet Valley Twins #50: Jessica and the Secret Star

Monday, October 26th, 2015

SVT050The Moral of the Story: Your lies will be forgiven as long as your friends get to party on a yacht.

The Big Deal: Yacht party

New Kid with a Problem: Maria Slater, secret identity


There’s a new girl named Maria Slater in the twins’ homeroom and Jessica thinks she looks familiar. She strikes up a conversation with her, and Maria is all mysterious about her last school. The next day, Jessica is out with a convenient cold and she watches a movie on TV. The little girl in the movie happens to be Maria Slater. Jessica figures she’ll keep Maria’s secret for now because she wants to remain friends with her, but she can’t wait until Maria introduces her to all the movie stars she undoubtedly knows.

Jessica is confused when Maria gets all excited about writing for the Sixers. Like, why isn’t she signing contracts and hanging out with movie stars? She invites Maria over after school, but Maria spends most of her time talking to Liz about the article Liz wants her to write for the paper. Maria forgets her backpack when she leaves. Jessica looks in one of the notebooks for Maria’s phone number, but “accidentally” reads the notebook instead. In it, Maria talks about how she’s learning to be an average kid as research for a movie.

The truth, as we find out during a conversation between Maria and her sister, Nina, is that Maria hasn’t gotten a job since she quit being a cute little kid and turned into an awkward adolescent. She’s a little worried she might never act again, but she’s excited about being a normal kid for a while, and she might even try out for the drama club. What Jessica read in the notebook was a short fiction story. Jessica calls to tell her she left her backpack, and Maria thinks she’s totally weird and way too eager about bringing it over after dinner. Maria tells her to just meet her early at school the next morning.

Of course, Jessica can’t keep her mouth shut. When she gives Maria her backpack, she falls all over herself about how exciting it must be to be a star. She confesses to reading Maria’s diary and asks if Maria knows Johnny Buck. Maria doesn’t know what to do or how to act, so she sort of says she knows Johnny and yeah, she’ll introduce Jessica to him one of these days. She feels guilty for lying and letting Jessica believe she’s still a movie star, but doesn’t really know what else to do.

OF COURSE Jessica tells the Unicorns Maria’s secret. They want to let her know they know, but they think it’s best if Maria tells them herself. So they have a sleepover and invite Maria, with the intent of playing Truth or Dare. Then she’ll HAVE to tell the truth! And so Jessica asks her if she’s an actress in hiding, and Maria tells them all the lie about how she’s researching a movie and they’ll all be invited to the set when it starts shooting. She’s mad at herself for lying. Again. She should stop doing that.

Maria’s lies are turning into a whole big thing, because Lila has now secured her father’s yacht for a party for the cast of Maria’s fake movie. Maria is freaking out, so she tells Liz the truth. Liz does the old shoulder-pat routine and tells Maria she has to tell the truth.

Maria is fashionably late to the yacht party, and she gives a speech about how she’s just a normal kid and she’s sorry for lying. Someone starts a slow clap and everything is totally all right.


Maria hung up the phone and sighed. The Wakefields might be twins, but she definitely preferred Elizabeth. Jessica seemed a little weird.

Finally, someone notices!

The Cover: Who are you posing for, Maria? You’re not a star anymore. Nobody is taking your picture.