Posts Tagged ‘Jessica: Manipulation’

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.

Synopsis:

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.

Quotes:

“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 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

Synopsis:

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.

Quotes:

“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 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

Synopsis:

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!

Quotes:

“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 #49: The Twins’ Little Sister

Monday, October 12th, 2015

SVT049The Moral of the Story: Babysitting sucks.

The Big Deal: Party at Janet Howell’s

Synopsis:

The twins think it would be super neato if they had a little brother or sister. They think if they can just prove how good they would be at taking care of it, their parents will decide to go ahead and have another kid. As luck would have it, some friends of the Wakefields’ are going out of town and need someone to watch their five-year-old daughter, Chrissy. The twins volunteer.

As you probably expect, the kid is a real brat and the twins have a hard time keeping up with her. Then Chrissy overhears the twins talking about boys and she tells brother Steven that Liz has a boyfriend named Todd. Liz gets pissed and blames Jessica for everything because it was her idea to watch Chrissy.

Jessica gets home from school one day to find Steven in the kitchen with THE CUTEST BOY IN THE WORLD. His name is Chad Lucas and he totally flirts with Jessica (in Jessica’s mind, anyway). Even though Jessica is dating Aaron Dallas, she flirts back and has fun imagining what it would be like to be Chad’s girlfriend. After seeing him at the house a few more times, Jessica is convinced he’s in love with her and she gleefully frets about how to choose between him and Aaron. Chrissy, having overheard Jessica talking about Chad, blabs to Steven. Steven tells Jessica he’s going to tell Chad and Aaron about her crush.

Janet Howell and her brother Joe are having a party Friday night, and the Wakefield parents have agreed to watch Chrissy for the twins. However, we all know the Wakefield parents suck at life and they end up having to bail. Alice has to work and Ned gets a flat tire or something. Meanwhile, Amy is trying to earn enough money to buy her parents soccer tickets for their anniversary. She’s still short seven dollars, so the twins ask her to babysit.

At the party, Steven tells Chad that Jessica thinks he has a crush on her, but then he asks him to dance with her and kind of let her down easy. Chad is cool and even gives her a kiss after their dance. Lila and Ellen see them dance and they think Jessica let Chad down so she can be with Aaron. It’s all terribly romantic. They all go off to find their boys, and are pissed when they won’t stop playing with Joe’s model train. Jessica goes home, but Liz stays to talk to Todd. He tells her he doesn’t mind if people think he’s her boyfriend. Which is romantic, I guess?

Back at the Wakefield house, Amy and Chrissy play hide and seek. Amy is an idiot and tells Chrissy to hide anywhere. So now Chrissy is lost. When Jessica gets home, she and Amy look everywhere. Then Mrs. Wakefield gets home and they expand the search to the backyard. Jessica finally finds her at the neighbors’ house in front of the aquarium. Chrissy has asked to go there every day after kindergarten because she likes the fish. The neighbors aren’t even home, but they left their back door unlocked because there’s no crime in Sweet Valley. The twins decide they don’t actually want a little sister.

Amy buys her parents the soccer tickets, Chrissy finally gets the fuck out of our lives, and – setup for the next book – there’s a new girl starting school soon.

The Cover: Chrissy totally looks like a brat, doesn’t she?

Sweet Valley High #46: Mademoiselle Jessica

Friday, September 11th, 2015

SVT046The Moral of the Story: If you’re going to make up a story, do not leave it around the house. Your conscientious sister will mail it and then you have to pretend to like France.

The Big Deal: Unicorn party at Jessica’s, Dynamo concert, fake French dinner

Synopsis:

Lila calls all the Unicorns to the Dairi Burger to announce that she has decided Brooke Dennis is Unicorn material. She states her case, everyone agrees, and then Lila goes on to talk about the new stereo her father just bought her and her latest trip to Hawaii. Jessica, as usual, is super jealous and wants Lila to shut up. Brooke, meanwhile, is enjoying an afternoon at the beach with Liz and Amy. She tells them she’s been hanging out with Lila a little lately, but she’s going to back off from being friends because Lila never stops bragging about herself. Case in point, Lila calls Jessica later that night to talk at her for half an hour about the VIP sky box from which she’ll be watching the next Dynamo concert.

Jessica is feeling pretty inferior about her stupid regular family. Just then, she comes across a contest in Teenager Magazine. Just write an essay about your perfect family and you could win a trip to France! Jessica fictionalizes her family members: Ned is a high powered lawyer who paints magnificent paintings on the side, Alice supplements her interior design income by being a prima ballerina, and Steven is a star basketball player who is also a trombone virtuoso. She just writes the essay for fun and has no plans to send it in, but Liz sees it laying around and assumes it’s supposed to be mailed. Jessica is horrified, but forgets about it after a week or so.

The Unicorns throw a party/meeting at Jessica’s house and invite Brooke. They tell her they want her to join and can’t figure out why she wants to think about it for a day or two. Then a special delivery from Teenager Magazine arrives. Jessica’s been chosen as a finalist. She thinks she’ll have to contact the contest people and tell them they’ve made a mistake, but Lila is such a bitch about the whole thing (Paris isn’t that big a deal and you’ll never win anyway, Jessica) that she decides she’ll actually try to win.

Brooke tells Liz about the contest, and Liz tells Jessica to withdraw. But when Marie Harris from the magazine calls to schedule a time to come and observe the family, Jessica is so caught off guard that she agrees. She finally presents the situation to her family, and she’s amazed when her mother agrees to go along with it. She’s so happy she runs out the door, leaving Alice to explain to everyone else that she thinks Jessica needs to learn a lesson. She calls the magazine people and tells them what’s going on, and the rest of the family plans the best way to humiliate Jessica when Marie gets to their house. What a really great family.

At lunch that day, Jessica tells the Unicorns her idea for Brooke’s pledge task is to have her dress in a maid’s uniform and serve dinner when Marie is at the house. Brooke spent a year in Paris and she speaks French, you see. Brooke agrees because she thinks it’s amusing, especially when Liz tells her about Alice’s plan. Brooke even comes over with some old costumes for the Wakefields to wear, telling Jessica they’re all the latest rage in Paris. Jessica thinks they all look weird, but whatevs, Brooke says they’re French.

Jessica spends an entire evening cleaning the house and thanking her lucky stars that she has such an awesome family that really comes through for her. She doesn’t know they’re all a bunch of jerks. The night of the interview, while Jessica is upstairs getting ready, Steven messes up the house, cluttering up every room. Jessica is mortified when Marie gets there and the house is a mess. She tries to keep things okay, but Ned comes in wearing a beret and has a paintbrush behind his ear, Alice serves macaroni for dinner while wearing a chef’s hat, and Steven actually plays his trombone. Badly. After Ned shows off his latest painting (it’s horrible), Alice announces she’s going to perform a dance in the living room. That’s when Jessica demands to know what the fuck is going on.

Marie explains that Alice contacted her and the whole evening has been a joke. Everyone gives Jessica a hard time about exaggerating in a contest SHE DIDN’T EVEN MEAN TO ENTER. It’s all good though. Alice has been doing an interior design job for the parents of Dynamo’s lead singer, Nick England. She gets front row tickets for Brooke and the Wakefield kids, and Nick England pulls Jessica on stage to dance with him. Meanwhile, Lila is stuck in the VIP box, where the PA system is out and the closed circuit television isn’t working. Sucks to be you, Lila!

Oh, and Brooke turns down the invitation to be a Unicorn. Lila doesn’t understand.

Quotes:

“You all remember, don’t you, that my father just bought me a fantastic new stereo?”

Oh, Lila. You’re the greatest.

The Cover: This cover is boring, but Jessica’s hair is really good.

Sweet Valley Twins #44: Amy Moves In

Wednesday, September 24th, 2014

SVT044The Moral of the Story: Tell the truth and be yourself! Otherwise, you have to be friends with the Unicorns.

The Big Deal: Fire!

Synopsis:

The Suttons’ house burns down and Amy moves in with the Wakefields while her parents look for a new place to live. Since this is the biggest thing to happen in Sweet Valley since the latest kidnapping/murder, Jessica is thrilled to have Amy in her house. She calls the Unicorns to come over and makes Amy tell them her story. Everyone is convinced Amy had to jump out the window and that’s how she broke her arm, and Amy is interrupted every time she tries to dispute the story (she actually broke it when she tripped over her shoelace). When Amy realizes the Unicorns are actually interested in what she has to say, she starts playing into their drama and embellishing her story. Only Liz knows the truth.

When Liz sends Jessica away so she and Amy can get ready for bed, Jessica starts feeling all hurt and jealous. Liz was spending all her time with Amy even before the Suttons’ house burned down and now she’s trying to hog all of Amy’s time. She sends Liz downstairs to make breakfast the next morning while she braids a purple ribbon into Amy’s hair. Then she calls Lila and arranges to have Mr. Fowler take her and Amy to school. There’s no room for Liz in Mr. Fowler’s car, of course, but she insists Amy take the ride because she needs to “take it easy” right now. You know, because she has a broken arm.

The Unicorns make Amy sit with them at lunch so she can tell them her super exciting story. When they start asking what might have caused the fire, Amy squirms because she’s pretty sure it was all her fault. She had made a fire in the fireplace that night and apparently shoveled the ashes into a paper bag because she’s so smart. So that’s why she acts kind of bitchy when Liz says she wants to interview Amy for the Sixers. Amy says she’d rather not work with Liz; she wants to write the story herself.

Things are tense between Liz and Amy, and it gets worse when Jessica brings home a ton of clothes for Amy donated by the Unicorns. She’s also eating lunch with them every day. The only time she hangs out with Liz is when she needs someone to do something for her. Because, you know, she can’t do anything for herself with the cast on her arm. She feels crappy for the way she’s been treating Liz, especially when she accidentally lets it slip to the Unicorns that Liz sleeps with a stuffed koala bear.

Liz yells at Amy about the way she’s been acting, and Amy moves into Jessica’s room that night. But Jessica’s room kind of sucks because Amy’s sick of hearing about how Liz’s sleeping with a stuffed animal has ruined Jessica’s life. Then she gets roped into spending the entire weekend with the Unicorns, but now they seem to be growing tired of her and her stupid fire story. They’ve moved onto other things, like helping Brooke Dennis prepare for her upcoming party.

Liz notices that the Unicorns have kind of ditched Amy, and she feels bad. She starts speaking to Amy again, and Amy apologizes and everything is okay again. The very next day, Amy’s parents come over and say they’ve found a new house that they can move into that week and it’s only a block away from the Wakefields’ house. Also, they’ve found out the cause of the fire was faulty wiring, so Amy’s off the hook for that. Everything is back to normal.

Quotes:

“Why don’t you go downstairs and help Mom with breakfast, Elizabeth?”

“Good idea. Is cereal OK, Amy?”

Does Alice really need help making cereal?

Elizabeth felt her face flame. Slob was the very worst name she had ever called anybody.

That’s the worst thing she’s ever called anyone and she feels bad about it? Ugh, such a goody-two-shoes.

The Cover: Lila and Amy have weird faces. Actually, Amy looks like Diana Scarwid, who you may remember as Isabel from Lost, the mom from Wonderfalls, Mother Superior from Pushing Daisies…or really any of the other ten million things she’s been in.

Diana_Scarwid

 

Sweet Valley Twins #29: Jessica and the Brat Attack

Monday, June 18th, 2012

The Moral of the Story: Just let people throw water balloons at you and save yourself a lot of trouble.

The Big Deal: Sixth grade fair

Synopsis:

Amy Sutton has been looking forward to running a booth at the sixth grade fair, but it turns out she has to baby-sit at Mrs. Sampson’s house instead. Liz says she doesn’t mind missing the fair so she’ll take Amy’s place. Jessica wants to run the Wheel of Fortune booth, but ends up getting assigned the water balloon throw instead, which is apparently just people throwing water balloons at you. This is no job for a glamorous Unicorn, and she vows to find some way out. Can everyone else see exactly where this is going?

Mrs. Sampson calls to go over some details with Liz, but Jessica answers the phone, which is always trouble. When she finds out the job pays seventy dollars (good lord!) she tells Mrs. Sampson Liz can’t do it, but she’ll be there instead. Mrs. Sampson doesn’t care who the fuck watches her kids, as long as somebody’s there from ten to five on Saturday. Hooray for Sweet Valley parents. Liz is kind of irritated at Jessica taking her job, but doesn’t push the issue. Jessica thinks the job is going to be easy money and it also gets her out of the stupid water balloon throw.

For some reason, when Jessica tells Julie Porter she won’t be able to do the balloon throw, she offers up Liz as a replacement. When Julie asks Liz if she’ll do it, Liz says yes but she’s not happy about it, folks! Ugh, you can’t agree to something and then be pissed about it.

The Sampson kids don’t seem all that bratty to me, but Jessica thinks they’re horrible because they can’t agree on anything to do. Then the boy throws up and the girl breaks into the living room, which is for some reason locked and off limits. The other two kids, who were supposed to be gone all day, show up and Jessica freaks out. She calls Lila’s “new cordless phone.” Get this. Lila has a new cordless phone and she’s brought it to the fair and plugged the base in at the guard house at the park. Everyone thinks it’s the height of technological awesomeness. Anyway, Jessica calls and tries to get Liz to come over and help her, but Liz tells her to clean up her own mess.

Also, Jessica fucks up lunch because she doesn’t know how to work a microwave.

After Jessica calls for about the millionth time, Liz decides it’s finally time to help out. She finds out what Jessica is wearing, then goes home, dresses in identical clothes and heads over to the Sampson house. Jessica gets all the kids outside and tells them she’s going into the kitchen. The kids run inside first and find Liz there. They think Liz is Jessica and that she has super teleporting powers. They play that game until the kids are pretty well convinced Jessica is magical and could turn them into newts if they’re bad. She gets them to clean the living room, and when the Sampson parents come home, they’re just amazed that Jessica was able to take care of all four children all day. They give her eighty dollars and she goes along on her merry way.

Liz is pissed when Jessica tries to tell her parents she handled the kids on her own, and Lila is pissed because she had to take over the water balloon booth when Liz left to go help. So after school on Monday, everyone pelts Jessica with water balloons.

Quotes:

“Well, we have one rule in the Sampson household. And it’s a golden rule, not to be broken under any circumstances. No one goes into the living room.”

What’s the point of having a living room then?

The Cover: Jessica is not wearing purple and her hair looks like crap. What’s up with that?

Sweet Valley Twins #28: April Fool!

Monday, June 11th, 2012

The Moral of the Story: April Fool’s Day is the worst.

The Big Deal: April Fool’s Day

Synopsis:

Well, it’s April Fool’s Day and the twins are all excited about their traditional April Fool twin switch. But they’ve decided to do it differently this year. Instead of pretending to be each other, they’re going to pretend to pretend to be each other. So they’re going to dress as themselves but even more themselves, if you know what I mean. Jessica’s going to wear more makeup than usual and Liz is going to look nerdier than usual. There’s a big April Fool party in the gym that night and that’s where they’ll let everyone in on the joke. It’s going to be awesome.

The day doesn’t start off very awesome for Liz. She wins an essay contest, but Mr. Davis makes Jessica accept the award, a year’s subscription to the magazine of her choice. Now, Liz has thought long and hard about her choices and she finally decided on a mystery magazine, so she is devastated when Jessica goes ahead and asks for Teen Rock. Then, after class, he gives Liz-as-Jess a detention for a note Jessica passed one day. Liz runs to her next class and gets another detention from Mr. Clark for running in the halls. In cooking class, Liz makes the best soufflé ever, but Jessica gets the A while Liz gets Jessica’s C.

More confusion all day long. The entire school is all about April Fool’s Day and the jokes never seem to stop. Even Mr. Clark makes a fake announcement about the buses being canceled so everyone has to walk home (Lois Waller gets upset because, you know, she’s fat). After school, Liz is relieved to find that both her detentions have been postponed, but the Unicorns come along to ruin her day some more. They tell Liz-as-Jess that they’re doing a car wash and since she’s late, she’s the only one left who hasn’t washed a car. After she washes this Mercedes at the service station, the Unicorns yell, “April Fool!” at her. When Liz gets home, she gets in trouble because Jessica was supposed to mail some important plans for Mrs. Wakefield and she apparently forgot. Liz’s punishment is that she has to come to a Town Council meeting with her parents instead of going to the party. Meanwhile, Jessica-as-Liz gets to go to Amy’s to swim before the party.

The Council meeting is being held in the school library. When they get to the school, Mrs. Wakefield says “Liz” called earlier because she spilled something on her shirt and needs another one. She hands Liz a bag and tells her to go to the gym and give it to Jessica. Everyone in the gym looks at her and whispers and giggles. Then Mr. Wakefield calls her Elizabeth and says this is her party. The misunderstandings all day have been part of a big April Fool joke on Liz, cooked up by Jessica, of course. Liz thinks about being mad, but, you know, there’s a cake and everything so she just enjoys her party.

Quotes:

Lois Waller heaved an enormous sigh of relief and pushed her chair back from the table. “Thank heavens,” she said. “I won’t have to walk home after all!” She got up and went to the end of the lunch line for a second helping.

Because she’s fat. Don’t forget, Lois Waller is fat.

Jessica nodded happily. “Do you remember when we were scheming yesterday…and I suddenly remembered I had to tell Mom something?”

“What she had to tell me,” Mrs. Wakefield said, “was that you’d agreed to her April Fools’ idea – which was really a joke on you!”

I think Alice is taking a little too much joy in this. Liz had a miserable day.

The Cover: I LOVED Jessica on this cover. I tried to emulate that look as much as possible. Liz looks stupid and I don’t even want to look at her.

Sweet Valley Twins #24: Jumping to Conclusions

Tuesday, March 13th, 2012

The Moral of the Story: Go ahead and make your mom look like an idiot in front of an important client. Everyone will think it’s adorable!

The Big Deal: Wakefield parents’ anniversary

Synopsis:

Alice Wakefield has been working a lot lately. It’s obvious to the twins that she’s having an affair with her newest client, millionaire Frank Howard. This crisis comes at a super inconvenient time for Elizabeth; as part of a “Living History” project she’s doing with Pamela and Amy, Liz is supposed to interview her loving parents and find out how they met. They’re both so busy and distracted that Liz can’t get them to concentrate on the interview. There is, of course, other evidence that Alice is stepping out: she and Ned both forgot their anniversary and Alice keeps going into the other room to take Mr. Howard’s phone calls.

The twins think the best course of action is to make Frank think they’re dirty ragamuffin kids. They even get Steven on board. The twins deliver some plans to Mr. Howard’s office and make sure to look their grossest while they’re at it. They make their hair look stringy and wear mismatched clothes. Then when Frank shows up for lunch, Jessica makes him a salad and puts chili peppers in the dressing, telling him it’s her mom’s favorite recipe. When Jessica walks him to the door after lunch, she mentions that she has all kinds of brothers and sisters from Alice’s first two marriages.

  • Make Alice look like a bad mother: check.
  • Make Alice look like a bad cook: check.
  • Make Alice look like a whore: check.

Well, that about does it for Alice, I guess. But wait! Liz goes to Casey’s Place in the mall and sees Alice and Frank walking around, looking in shop windows together. Jessica is following them. (And she’s wearing the outfit in the cover illustration, complete with newspaper.) The twins see Alice and Frank go into the jewelry store and start looking at engagement rings. Jessica goes to Frank’s office, intent on telling the man to back off, but she overhears him talking to someone on the phone. Whoever he’s talking to, he calls her “darling” and says they’ll be together forever after Saturday night. Jessica immediately goes off to find Liz, and then the twins go to the high school to get Steven. The three of them work out a great plan to keep their mother from eloping.

The plan is this: The twins convince Ned and Alice to go out to dinner to belatedly celebrate their forgotten anniversary. They’ll be out of the house by seven o’clock. Then Jessica calls Mr. Howard’s office, pretending to be Alice, and invites Frank over for dinner at seven-fifteen. Just after seven o’clock, Amy shows up with Pamela and a bunch of Steven’s buddies from the basketball team. They’re all dressed like gypsy children. The kids drag a bunch of old, ratty furniture up from the basement. By the time Frank shows up, the house looks like poor people live there. I guess it doesn’t really matter to anyone that Frank was just at the house the other day for lunch and it probably did not look like poor people lived there. Whatevs.

Frank is very confused when he gets there. Jessica tells him Alice was probably drunk when she invited him for dinner, and then she introduces him to all her other “siblings.” After a few minutes, Frank realizes this is all some kind of big joke. He gets pissed and tries to leave, but Ned and Alice are just coming in when he opens the door. Amy and the rest of the other kids clear out and Ned demands an explanation. And that’s when a beautiful woman knocks on the door and introduces herself as Karen, Frank’s fiancée. Oh, dear.

Everyone troops into the crappy living room for story time. When Jessica finishes explaining everything, the adults are all totally amused at her wild imagination. Instead of getting into trouble, the kids are invited to join their parents at dinner. That’s why Ned and Alice came home in the first place. They realized they haven’t been spending much time at home and they want to change that. So they all go to dinner at DeSalvio’s. On the way there in Frank’s silver limo, Alice says DeSalvio’s is where she met Ned. She was a waitress and she spilled food on him and it was HILARIOUS. (This is quite different from the saved-her-from-drowning story most of us are familiar with.)

Quotes:

“I’d probably hate it in Beverly Hills. I mean, they have so many stars and beautiful people, nobody would notice me.”

This is Jessica’s initial reaction to the idea of Alice getting married to Frank and moving to his mansion in Beverly Hills.

A figure in a long trench coat and large felt hat peeked out from behind the marble pillar, then scurried in little steps to the door of Brass and Glass. From the pocket of the tan coat, the person took out a newspaper and pretended to read.

Jessica’s been watching too many old spy movies.

“We’ve got to stop her!” Elizabeth said with determination.

“We’ll help!” Amy and Pamela chimed in.

 

I was trying to find a screenshot of all the guys in the donut shop standing up and saying, “We’ll help!” but this is the best I could do. And for some terrible reason, I do not have Wayne’s World on DVD. What is wrong with me?

The Cover: I HATE this cover. Hate it. So much. My husband wants to know why this kid is dressed like Dick Tracy.

Sweet Valley Twins #22: Out of Place

Monday, January 30th, 2012

The Moral of the Story: People from Tennessee are doll-whittling horse whisperers.

The Big Deal: Arts and Crafts Fair

New Kid with a Problem: Ginny Lu Culpepper, hillbilly

Synopsis:

Ginny Lu Culpepper has moved in with her aunt, Mrs. Waldron, a teacher at Sweet Valley Middle School. Ginny Lu is from Tennessee, so she has red hair and talks loud. The first thing Ginny Lu does when she rolls into town is go to the middle school to find her aunt. She interrupts Elizabeth’s class to ask Mrs. Arnette where Mrs. Waldron is, and her voice and clothes make Ellen Riteman hate her immediately.

Mrs. Waldron takes Ginny Lu to the mall for some new clothes, and Ginny Lu is simply amazed at all the shiny sparkly things that just don’t exist in Stony Gap, Tennessee. Ellen and Lila appear out of nowhere and pretend to be helpful, giving Ginny Lu a bunch of really ugly clothes and telling her they’re all the rage out here in California. She comes out of the dressing room wearing the following items of clothing:

  • Leopard-skin tights
  • Blue and white striped knee socks over the tights
  • Orange leather miniskirt
  • Huge green sweater
  • Banana earrings

Here is a visual representation of this outfit:

Not pictured: banana earrings

The saleslady asks Mrs. Waldron if Ginny Lu is color blind. Ellen and Lila have gathered a crowd outside the shop to laugh at Ginny Lu. The Unicorn Welcome Wagon, ladies and gentlemen.

The next day at school, Ginny Lu overhears Ellen, Janet and Lila talking about her. She decides she’s had enough and she runs away from school. She doesn’t stop running until she comes upon the stables, which is where Liz finds her when she goes for her horseback riding lesson. Ginny Lu has a way with horses, and she’s made friends with a pregnant mare named Snow White. Naturally, Snow White is Ellen’s horse. And naturally, Ellen shows up and yells at Ginny Lu to go away. Liz tells her to leave Ginny Lu alone and stop being such a bitch. Not bloody likely.

Ginny Lu gives Liz a doll she whittled, and Mrs. Wakefield says it’s “a lovely example of Appalachian folk art.” She’s an interior designer so she knows about these things. Liz decides Ginny Lu should enter her dolls in the big Arts and Crafts Fair at school. Ginny Lu would rather keep her head down and keep out of the Unicorns’ way, but Liz is determined and she eventually convinces Ginny Lu to enter.

Things are going just fine at the fair and everyone seems to be getting into Ginny Lu’s weird poem that she’s decided to recite, but Ellen makes fun of her. And so, like a true Sweet Valley girl, Ginny Lu freaks out and runs away in tears. She goes home and packs a suitcase, then goes to the stables to say goodbye to Snow White. She’s running away, back to the mountains, where life is simple for a redheaded girl who talks too loud and wears gingham dresses.

When she gets to the stable, Snow White has given birth and Ted the stable boy is having some trouble. The foal is premature and won’t stand up to nurse and Snow White won’t let Ted get near him. It’s Ginny to the rescue. Ted has called the Ritemans, so of course Ellen shows up during Ginny Lu’s rescue operation, but she finally gets it through her head that the foal will die without Ginny Lu’s help. After things settle down, Ellen apologizes and lets Ginny Lu name the foal. She names him Sooner. “Because he decided he’d rather get here sooner than later. And now that he’s here, he’s decided he’d sooner stay.” Ugh.

Meanwhile, in Jessicaland… Jessica let Janet Howell borrow Ned’s prized tennis racket, and she broke it. Jessica wants to buy a new one before her dad notices the old one is gone, but it’s fifty dollars. After a couple of failed attempts at getting money (selling Liz’s clothes in a garage sale and doing Steven’s chores to get his allowance money), she hits the jackpot when she finds out a local shop will buy Ginny Lu’s whittled dolls for twenty-five dollars each. She sets herself up as Ginny Lu’s agent and slithers away with ten percent. The new tennis racket is on the way and only Liz is the wiser.

Quotes:

Their father, who was usually warm and funny, had no sense of humor when it came to his tennis racket.

Well, sure. Who does?

“I think you should get started right away,” Steven declared. He pulled a broom and dustpan from under his bed and handed them to Jessica.

I’d just like to know if anyone else keeps a broom and dustpan under the bed.

The Cover: First of all, let’s just take a moment to really soak in Liz’s smugface. That self-satisfied “I sure am good at making friends” face just makes me want to puke. (Also, doesn’t she look a little like DJ Tanner here?) And second, Ginny Lu looks exactly like you would expect a Ginny Lu to look: like she came straight out of Little House on the Prairie. (No offense meant to any Ginny Lus in the audience.)