Posts Tagged ‘Liz-Todd Breakup’

Sweet Valley Confidential: Ten Years Later

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

This is it, folks. The day we’ve all been waiting for. The day we find out exactly why Elizabeth Wakefield left Sweet Valley and why she cries when she orgasms. There are obviously spoilers here, so don’t read any further if you don’t want to know the whole story.

Y’all ready for this?

Here we go!

Elizabeth Wakefield has left Sweet Valley and is now living in New York City, working for a crappy online magazine that nobody’s ever heard of. When our story opens, Liz and her boss, David Stephenson, are returning to Liz’s apartment after grabbing a post-workday dinner. Liz thinks David is handsome enough, but she doesn’t really want to sleep with him because he made her leave the tip at the restaurant. Get over yourself, Liz, it wasn’t even a date. The phone is ringing when they come in, but Liz lets the machine pick it up. It’s Jessica, begging Liz to talk to her.

Liz ignores Jessica and gives David a glass of wine. He asks whose voice that was on the answering machine and marvels at how much it sounded like Liz. Liz considers sleeping with him to get him to stop asking questions, but in the end the tip thing just bothers her too much and she tells him she’s tired and kicks him out. Once he’s gone, she curls up on her couch and feels sorry for herself.

FLASHBACK! We’re suddenly treated to a present-tense-first-person account of the day Todd Wilkins asked Jessica out back in high school. It’s kind of weird.

PRESENT DAY Back in Sweet Valley, Jessica is whining to Todd about Liz not answering any of her calls, texts, emails or Facebook friend requests. There’s kind of a lot of nonsense, but I gather that Liz and Todd were engaged at some point and Jessica slept with Todd. Then there’s another weird first-person-present-tense passage. It’s the exact same scene from before, this time from Jessica’s point of view. Anyway, Todd and Jessica are now living together and are going to be married in four weeks. Todd writes a successful sports column and the two of them spend most of their time trying to avoid the judgmental stares of their friends.

Todd and Jessica go to a party at Lila’s house, and we learn the latest about all our old faves:

  • Lila and Ken Matthews are in the middle of getting a divorce, but Ken is apparently still at the house most of the time. Ken is a successful NFL star. Lila doesn’t work, of course.
  • Caroline Pearce is a successful real estate broker and a cancer survivor. She’s still a big gossipmonger.
  • Jeffrey French is a successful dentist and is married to someone whose name Jessica can’t remember.
  • Enid Rollins and A. J. Morgan are having an affair or something and it’s bad for their image, but I don’t know why.
  • Robin Wilson is a successful caterer and restaurant critic, but somehow manages to keep herself slim.

You’ll notice that with the exception of A. J. and Enid, everyone’s life has the word successful in it. Sweet Valley is magic.

Everyone seems surprised to see Toddica, but Caroline is the only one who actually dares to ask about Elizabeth. Instead of answering, Jessica tells Caroline what a nosy bitch she is. Then she turns on Lila and hollers at her for inviting her to a party Caroline was going to attend, accusing her of wanting her there only for the drama.

All of Jessica’s chapters are like so infused with instances of like and so and they so make me want to like stab my eyes out.

Meanwhile, Liz goes to some crappy theater to interview William Connolly, a playwright who is currently auditioning actors for his debut play. He acts like a jackass and hardly even looks at Liz, but when he finally does, Liz freaks out a little because he looks exactly like Todd. Sigh. Of course he does. His resemblance to Todd throws Liz down memory lane and she thinks about a time in college when she was sick and made Jessica go to a party with Todd. As far as she knows, it’s the only time they spent any time alone. I guess that whole thing after the prom doesn’t count. And, of course, Liz doesn’t know about the other stuff.

Coincidentally, Todd and Jessica are also thinking of that party in college and…

FLASHBACK – COLLEGE, SENIOR YEAR Jessica doesn’t really want to go to the party, but Todd is the guest of honor and Liz really wants him to go. Neither Todd nor Jessica has any fun at first, but people keep assuming Jessica is Liz so she and Todd pretend to be a couple and have a good time tricking people. When they get in the car to leave, they apparently forget they were just pretending and they start making out like crazy. They eventually end up at the apartment Todd and Winston share. Winston isn’t home, so Todd goes ahead and has sex with his girlfriend’s twin sister. God, what a fucked up piece of fuck this guy is. Jessica’s wrong too, of course, but if I’ve accomplished nothing else with this blog, I know I’ve at least established that Jessica is insane.

For the next month, Todd and Jessica meet every day at a diner nobody they know ever goes to. They don’t have sex again, but it’s still an affair. The guilt finally gets to be too much for Jessica and she breaks it off.

PRESENT DAY Elizabeth runs into Will Connolly at the bar across the street from the theater. They both get a little tipsy and end up talking. Will isn’t really the jerkface he’s made himself out to be, and Liz thinks it’s okay to like him because his eyes are blue and not brown like Todd’s. They introduce themselves to the gorgeous Irish bartender (Liz mentions that her cheating twin would go crazy for him) and then Will invites Liz back to his apartment. They make out for a minute.

Liz’s mother calls that night and tells Liz she’d like her to come home for her grandmother’s eightieth birthday party. (She would also like Liz to come to Jessica’s wedding because she’s a fucking idiot.) Liz tells her there’s no way in hell she’s going to sit through a dinner with Todd and Jessica. Then she gets to thinking that it would really show those bastards if she came home with a new man. She calls Will and asks him if he wants to go. He says he can’t get away, but jokingly suggests Liz take Liam the bartender and try to make Jessica fall in love with him. Liz doesn’t take it as a joke.

FLASHBACK – EIGHT MONTHS AGO Jessica has married some guy named Regan and they’ve been traveling the world. It’s been about six months since the wedding, and that means it’s about time for Jessica to move on. Not one to waste time, she decides she has to leave Regan immediately. She’s in France, but she calls Liz, who tells her to just come home and stay with her. Todd isn’t super happy about this, but he agrees to be civil.

In this flashback, we learn that brother Steven married Cara Walker, but he apparently has frequent affairs and at this moment might be involved with Lila. What a tool. We also learn that nobody likes Winston anymore because he “changed radically” after making a bunch of money.

PRESENT DAY Liz goes to the bar and insinuates herself into Liam’s life. They hit it off after Liz finds out Liam’s parents live in L.A. and he owes them a visit soon. After about five minutes of friendship, Liam agrees to schedule his visit so it coincides with Liz’s grandmother’s party and he can be her date.

Jessica goes out for a friendly drink with one of her coworkers and wonders if she should hook up with this guy instead of Todd and then she could have Elizabeth back in her life. But alas, her love for Todd is too strong to be denied. Then she thinks about when she came back from France and lived with Todd and Liz for a while.

FLASHBACK – EIGHT MONTHS AGO Todd is working from home and the house is beginning to seem very small. Jessica and Todd try to avoid each other, but he gets on her nerves one day and she goes to the beach. That’s where she sees her brother in a loving embrace with…Aaron Dallas. Yep, Aaron is gay now and so is Steven. Steve asks Jessica not to tell anyone, but she thinks she’ll be doing him a favor if she tells Cara. Oh, Jessica. This is why you’re the bad twin. Well, this and the whole stealing-your-sister’s-fiancé thing.

PRESENT DAY Liz has lunch with Will and tells him she’ll be taking Liam with her to Sweet Valley. Will was only joking when he suggested getting Liam to seduce Jessica and he does not approve. Liz, who has been telling herself that she’s only bringing Liam home so she’ll have some company, gets defensive and actually says, “fuck you,” and storms out of the pub. Nice. She talks to Bruce Patman on the phone (they’re best friends now) and tells him she’ll be bringing a friend home for her grandmother’s party. Bruce gets a little weird. Liz is irritated and Bruce hangs up on her. Then we get to spend some time in Bruce’s head. And wouldn’t you know it? He’s in love with Liz!

FLASHBACK – EIGHT MONTHS AGO Bruce and Liz became friends a few years ago when Bruce’s parents were in a car accident. Liz came to the hospital every day for moral support. (Both Patman parents wound up dying.) Bruce has always known about Todd and Jessica’s affair in college (he saw them together at the diner), but he didn’t want to tell Liz because it would hurt her. But now that Jessica is staying with Todd and Liz, and Liz wants to set a wedding date, Bruce thinks it might be time to clue her in. He takes Liz out for pizza (I believe the pizza place used to be the Dairi Burger, but now it’s called Napkin) and tries to get up the courage to break her heart, but just then Ken Matthews comes running in to tell them that Winston is dead.

What the frak?

Meanwhile, Steven goes to Liz’s house to yell at Jessica for outing him to Cara. He calls her a selfish bitch and then leaves. Jessica starts crying and Todd hugs her to comfort her, and OF COURSE they start kissing. That’s when Liz comes home, crying about Winston. Todd and Jessica manage to cover up pretty well and Liz doesn’t notice anything is amiss, but Bruce is giving them the hairy eyeball.

PRESENT DAY Liz flies into LAX, where she’ll meet Liam. She’s going to change at the airport and drive directly to the club for the party. On the flight, she remembers – FLASHBACK! Winston’s funeral. Winston got super drunk and fell off his balcony. People are sad, but Winston had turned into such a total misogynistic jackass that most people are mourning the kid he used to be. Jessica starts looking at Liz intensely and yapping about forgiveness and junk. Liz thinks it’s weird, but figures it’s just funeral stuff.

PRESENT DAY Jessica is getting ready for “Grandmommy’s” party (ugh, grandmommy?) and thinks about the day Liz found out about her and Todd.

FLASHBACK Which is totally lame. Jessica’s husband shows up, I guess to talk to her, but she’s afraid of him so she asks Todd to be in the room. Regan walks in and immediately accuses Jessica of sleeping with Todd. I don’t know why. Words are exchanged and the boys start scufflin’. Liz comes home and breaks up their fight. Regan yells at her and says there’s something going on behind her back, and then he leaves. Liz asks Toddica what Regan was talking about and Jessica says he’s just crazy jealous, which seems reasonable. But Liz has one of those moments where she suddenly realizes how blind she’s been. She calls them cheating liars and storms out.

And that’s it, that’s how she found out. Maybe I’m sick in the head, but I was really kind of hoping she’d find them in bed together or something. Something more exciting than a “sudden realization”.

PRESENT DAY Dinner at the country club seems like it might be okay at first. The twins manage to ignore each other for the most part, but Liz is a little irritated that Liam seems completely smitten with Jessica. She was supposed to fall for him, not the other way around. He hangs on her all night, which pisses Todd off. Liz can’t help but smirk when Toddica start arguing, and the smirk gets Jessica going. Pretty soon, Liz is yelling at Todd, Steven is yelling at Jessica, Bruce and Aaron are telling people to shut up, and Alice is trying to keep everyone from killing each other. She yells at Ned to “bring out the fucking cake.” Grandmommy Robertson is the only one not yelling. When Liz leaves to go back to New York, Todd and Jessica aren’t speaking to each other, and Liz is pissed at Liam for flirting with Jessica so much.

Liz still has to interview Will for her job, and she can tell he wants to apologize for accusing her of being crazy for revenge. She doesn’t want him to do that because then she’ll have to say he was right. So she does the interview and then goes back to his place and has sex with him. I’m not sure why she feels like she always has to have sex with a guy to make him shut up.

She gets home from Will’s to find Jessica asleep outside her apartment door. Jessica says she’s left Todd and wants Liz’s forgiveness. It only takes about thirty seconds of Jessica crying for Liz to forgive her. And just like that, they’re talking everything through. Liz, who only needed to find a new man to realize she really doesn’t love Todd anymore, tells Jessica to go back to Todd. Jessica leaves the next morning and Todd is waiting for her outside Liz’s apartment building. He gives her a big hug and they go home to Sweet Valley. Liz meets Will later and tells him everything. He still thinks she’s the bee’s knees and they go back to Liz’s.

Will and Liz become friends with benefits, and things are going really well. Her article comes out and she gets another job offer from a magazine. By the time Will’s play opens, Liz has decided she’s not in love with Will, but they have a really good friendship. On opening night, Will’s parents show up with the fiancé Will left behind when he came to New York to be a famous playwright. It’s clear to Liz that Will and Wendy love each other. She’s happy for them.

When Liz goes home for Jessica’s wedding, Bruce tells Liz he’s selling his house and moving to New York because he’s in love with someone who lives there. Liz is an idiot and Bruce has to spell it out for her that Liz is the one he loves. They go up to Bruce’s bedroom where they get naked and we learn that Liz has “taut nipples.”

EPILOGUE: FOR ALL SWEET VALLEY FANS OF OLD

Everyone in the world shows up to Jessica’s wedding, and Francine gives us a little bio of what’s been going on with all our old friends…

  • Bill Chase – Lost his right leg to a shark during a triathlon three years ago. Now teaches surfing to handicapped teens. Married someone named Lianne Kane.
  • Roger Collins – Mr. Collins has quit teaching and is a successful writer. His son is now nineteen and named Sam (pretty sure he used to be named Teddy).
  • Jeffrey French – Lila’s date for the wedding. Now Francine tells us he’s single, even though Jessica talked to his wife in the second chapter.
  • Dee Dee Gordon – Working as an artist
  • Charlie Markus – Married Annie Whitman. He writes for a car magazine but wants to be a novelist. He is referred to as the boy who “saved” Annie, but I think Francine has confused him with Ricky Capaldo.
  • Betsy Martin – An alcoholic who sleeps around. I guess art school wasn’t all it was cracked up to be.
  • A. J. Morgan – Sells shoes at the Nike store in the mall.
  • Roger Barrett Patman – A successful Hollywood producer. He married Zoe Jones, a rock star.
  • Caroline Pearce – Caroline’s cancer is in remission these days. She puts out a gossip blog six days a week.
  • Enid Rollins – Enid is a successful gynecologist, but she’s arrogant and extremely right-wing. She plans to run for city council, and that’s why she wants to keep her relationship with A. J. a secret. She doesn’t think a shoe salesman is an appropriate partner for someone as important as she is.
  • Nicky Shepard – I don’t know why we care about this guy since he was really only important in one book, but Francine tells us he hit rock bottom two years ago and is now living in Utah, teaching at an AA center.
  • Cara Walker – She and Steven are now divorced, but she still remains friendly with Ned and Alice.
  • Annie Whitman – Annie is a lawyer in San Francisco. She and Charlie have a two-year-old boy.
  • Robin Wilson – Catered Jessica’s wedding. She’s also senior editor of Bon Appétit.
  • George Warren – A representative for a Silicon Valley company. Lives in England.

We get a rundown of some dead folks. Winston, Regina and Tricia are mentioned, but strangely, Olivia Davidson is not. Maybe because of her zombie appearance in SVU. Surprisingly, Suzanne Devlin is among the dead. We’re told she returned to Sweet Valley six years after the Mr. Collins scandal, but she had multiple sclerosis and crashed her car after taking her medication with champagne. Wait, I thought she just had mono. I’m confused.

And now the Wakefields…

  • Ned Wakefield – Still a successful lawyer. He’s so awesome that even the mayor came to the wedding.
  • Alice Wakefield – Now has her own interior design company. It is, of course, successful. Alice was diagnosed with breast cancer a few years ago, but she had a lumpectomy and some radiation and is good to go.
  • Steven Wakefield – Steve and Aaron are living together and hoping that someday they’ll be able to get married.
  • Elizabeth Wakefield – Liz was Jessica’s maid of honor. I think that’s gross, but what do I know? She and Bruce are totally in love.
  • Jessica Wakefield – Was fifteen minutes late for her own wedding because, as you know, nothing starts until she gets there.

Quotes:

Unless, of course, she were to arrive, unexpectedly, at her grandmother’s party on the arm of a handsome New York playwright. That certainly wouldn’t be pathetic.

It’s a little pathetic if he looks exactly like the ex-boyfriend you’re so eager to show up.

…its main financial backing had come from Richard Fowler, Lila’s father.

Didn’t his name used to be George?

One time when we were in high school, this lunatic madman came at her with a sledgehammer. I jumped in between them, and I didn’t even have a weapon. All I had was crazy fury and determination to save my sister’s life.

What’s funny is that I thought I would try to give you guys a link to the book this is from and make a snarky comment about it, but the twins escaped death so many times that I don’t know which book to link to.

I’m in my black Porsche convertible, the last vestige of the old Bruce that I can’t give up.

1BRUCE1 is still alive, people!

“I remember once I had this thing with Caroline way back when we were in the seventh grade. She told everyone that I let A. J. Morgan touch my breast.”

That’s so weird, you know, because he didn’t move to Sweet Valley until junior year.

She was twenty-seven years old and this was the first person she’d ever told to go fuck himself. What was wrong with her?

Oh, Liz. You’ve just been suffering from Valleyitis. Folks from the SV don’t say fuck. Except Alice Wakefield, apparently.

The Cover: Is boring. I really do like the endpapers though.

 

The End.

Sweet Valley High #140: Please Forgive Me

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009

SVH140Read part one of this miniseries here. Read part two here.

The Moral of the Story: A week of starving in the woods will help you figure your whole life out.

The Big Deal: Barbecue at Secca Lake

Synopsis:

Liz is super pissed at Todd and Devon. She’s completely overreacting, pacing around and crying just because a couple of punches were thrown. Whatever. You cheated on one with the other and got them fighting over you and now you’re complaining? Bitch, please. Liz decides she needs to do something to prove her independence from guys. Enid tells her about some Project Adventure camping trip and Liz convinces her parents to let her take a week off of school to do it. She’ll be learning to survive in the woods on nothing but a pocket knife and her wits. Sounds awful.

Jessica can’t believe Liz actually wants to do this instead of help her plan the barbecue she’s decided to throw at Secca Lake. Liz doesn’t want to help Jessica because she’s so mad at her, but for some reason she ends up agreeing to write the text for the invitations before she leaves for her stupid camping trip. Meanwhile, both Devon and Todd are totally depressed that Liz won’t speak to them. Todd can’t stop thinking about her and Devon actually considers drowning himself in the ocean. Guys, she ain’t that hot.

Todd takes up mountain biking with that hippie Keith Wagner, and pretty soon he has all the guys doing it. They bail on their dates, lie to their girlfriends and high-five each other while they talk about what a natural high mountain biking is. I’m suddenly wondering if “mountain biking” is code for something else entirely. Todd loves “mountain biking” so much that all his anxieties about Liz start to disappear and he actually brings himself to invite Devon to join the fun. Devon’s much too cool for that and rolls his eyes as he turns Todd down. The guys are all eating at Guido’s one night after a bike trip when someone mentions Liz’s Project Adventure trip. Todd, who thought Liz was just avoiding him, can’t believe she’s out in the woods. He starts to run out the door to “rescue” her, but Aaron talks some sense into him. When Devon finds out what Liz is doing this week, it for some reason depresses him so much that he decides he should just leave town.

Jessica and the other girls are fed up with the boys ditching them every day. They follow them after school one day to the Great Mountain National Reserve and see them all get on their bicycles. By an amazing coincidence, Devon has chosen this day to leave town. He’s packed up his saddlebags and is taking one last ride through town on his motorcycle. He ends up at the Great Mountain National Reserve. Todd sees him and asks again if he wants to join the ride. Bruce has an extra bike, so Devon borrows it and off they go.

Meanwhile, Liz is in the woods on the last evening of her big nature adventure when she sees Todd and Devon fly by on bicycles. She thinks it’s a hallucination because she’s so hungry. Then Jessica, Lila, Amy and white Maria show up and start talking to her. Jessica has to pinch Liz to convince her she’s not having visions. They try to convince her to come with them to the Dairi Burger, but now that Liz has seen Devon and Todd hanging out together, she feels like she can face the night alone. Or something. She goes home the next day feeling all good about herself.

Devon and Todd have agreed they both need to stay away from Liz so she can make up her mind about them. Then both of them decide they need to see her anyway. Before the party on Saturday, Todd goes over to Liz’s and they have a nice chat and agree that no matter what happens, they’ll always be friends. Hooray for them not getting back together! Then Liz freaks out because she forgot to go pick up some deli trays for the party and the deli closes in half an hour. Todd offers to do it and Liz tells him to take the Jeep and she’ll drive his car to the party. Todd and Devon meet in the driveway and yell at each other for a few minutes. Devon starts getting all emo again as he knocks on the door. Liz lets him in, but the phone rings immediately. It’s Jessica, telling Liz the brakes are out on the Jeep and she should take Alice’s station wagon.

Liz freaks out and tells Devon that Todd is in her death trap of a car and she needs to go save him. She starts to get into the station wagon, but Devon convinces her his motorcycle will be faster. Liz agrees. I don’t get it. When you find Todd, where are you going to put him? Furthermore, weren’t you in a motorcycle crash a while back? Whatever. They catch up to Todd just in time to see him crash the Jeep through a guard rail. Now the Jeep is perched precariously on the edge of a cliff. How many times can this really happen to one person?

Devon pulls Todd out of the Jeep just before it goes over the side of the cliff. Bye-bye Jeep. Todd is unconscious, and a nice lady passing by calls an ambulance. Everyone rushes to the hospital. Jessica and her friends go back to the party as soon as they find out Todd’s going to live, but Liz and Devon stay. The nurse says Liz can go in, and she’s so happy he’s not going to die that she almost goes in there and tells him he’s the one she wants to be with. Then, thank goodness, she stops and thinks. She realizes she wants to try being single for a while.

I think Liz and Todd have really broken up this time! Hooray!

Quotes:

Jessica crossed her arms behind her head and sank deeper into the couch. You’re awesome, Jess, she told herself, simply amazing.

Jessica tells herself this after she comes up with the incredible idea of throwing a party. I’m not sure if that actually qualifies her as amazing.

What?” he yelled. “That’s out in the middle of nowhere! She won’t be able to handle it!” He pulled some money out of his pocket and threw it on the table.

“Where are you going?” Bruce demanded.

“To rescue Liz,” Todd shot back, starting for the door.

What a drama queen.

Once the bikes were off the cars, Todd and his group started walking them toward the mountains. Devon hesitated a moment, but he was really curious to see what they were up to.

Um, I think they’re gonna ride bikes.

The Cover: This never happens! Which guy is that supposed to be, anyway?

Sweet Valley High #139: Elizabeth is Mine

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009

SVH139Read part one of this miniseries here.

The Moral of the Story: If your girlfriend cheats on you and you want to win her back, start making out with another girl.

The Big Deal: Science fair

Synopsis:

After Jessica tells Todd that Liz and Devon are making out on the softball field at school, she puts her hand on his in a suggestive way and offers to fool around with him to get back at Liz. Todd is horrified at the idea. He doesn’t believe his sweet, loyal Liz would ever, ever cheat on him, so he leaves Jessica with the food and races over to the high school to see for himself. When Todd gets to school and sees Liz and Devon together, he decides he will win Liz back. Um, hello? Let the bitch go.

Jessica starts scheming. She figures if she can get Todd to start going out with someone else, Liz will break up with Devon so she can get Todd back, leaving Devon free for Jessica. She decides to get in touch with Courtney Kane and do a little matchmaking.

Since Lila is friends with Courtney, Jessica lets her in on the plan and the three of them get together. Courtney is perfectly willing to be Todd’s rebound chick, so she lets Jessica and Lila give her a makeover so she looks more “soft” and “refined.” More like Liz, in other words, and less skanky. Then they parade her in front of Todd, and he starts to wonder if Jessica is on the right track with this revenge idea. But no, he’d rather cry about Liz and try to win her back by giving her the ring he bought for her. Liz puts it in her jewelry box, and Jessica takes it, figuring it will come in handy.

The next part of Jessica’s plan is to get Devon to notice her again. To that end, she makes sure to bump into him while she’s walking down the hall reading her chemistry book. She tells him she’s having trouble in the subject and he plays right into her hands by offering to help her after school. They meet in the library for about two seconds before Jessica gets pissed because Devon makes some comment about not being surprised she sucks at chemistry. Jessica yells at him and tells him to watch out for Liz because she’s a fickle bitch. Much like destiny.

LOST

You know what I’m talking about, Lost fans.

Later, Jessica makes sure Courtney is waiting for Todd after basketball practice. While they’re talking, Jessica, pretending to be Liz, walks across the parking lot. She turns to Todd, sees him with Courtney, reaches into her pocket and puts on Todd’s ring, and then waves at Todd before turning around. Todd is at first excited that Liz seems interested in him again, but then he gets mad that she didn’t want him back until she saw him with Courtney. This pisses him off more than Liz kissing Devon did. And somehow Jessica knew it would. Todd and Courtney leave to go grab some pizza, and Jessica follows them to Guido’s. She calls Liz and asks her to meet her there, and Liz gets to the restaurant just in time to see Todd and Courtney making out. Liz runs out the door in horror, but then she starts thinking about things and decides she’s really happy for Todd and she’s going to do whatever it takes to make sure his new relationship works out. That way she’ll be free to be with Devon without feeling guilty.

Then there’s the whole science fair thing. Devon and Liz are going to enter because they’re lab partners. Jessica wants to enter, and she’s sure that Devon will fall madly in love with her if she wins. Unfortunately, Bruce is her lab partner and the best idea they come up with is a volcano. At the fair, Devon is acting all weird and doesn’t really want to win. He didn’t want to enter in the first place, something about people at his old school only knowing him as a smart guy. Yeah, who wants that? When he finds out that somebody (Jessica) ruined his and Liz’s project, he thinks it’s great. Meanwhile, Todd is walking around with Courtney, totally fed up with her snobbishness, and Jessica and Bruce’s volcano blows up.

The next morning, Jessica mentions something to Liz about the ring Todd gave her. Liz decides to give it back to him so he can give it to Courtney. How very noble of her. Liz calls Todd and then goes off to meet him at the Dairi Burger. They get to talking about the ring, and Todd says he saw her wearing it that one day after school. Liz says she never wore it and doesn’t know what he’s talking about. They realize Jessica’s been messing with them both this whole time. As they talk about how much they still care about each other, they hold hands.

capture_28112009_110404

Aren’t they cute together?

Of course, that’s when Jessica comes in with Courtney and Devon. Devon and Todd start yelling and threatening each other in their cool-guy way, and then out of nowhere, Todd gets down on one knee and asks Liz to marry him. I wish I was kidding. Liz is horrified. So is Devon. He grabs Todd and the two of them start going at it. A couple of football players come break up the fight. Liz goes home and locks herself in her room, disgusted with everyone.

Fight!

Fight!

Quotes:

Elizabeth would never do this to me, he reassured himself. She would never cheat on me.

What in your experience together would lead you to this line of thinking?

She couldn’t help thinking that Todd never wanted to watch the same movies as she did anymore. They used to watch old classics together all the time. But now he seemed to prefer action movies or psychological thrillers.

Liz, Todd is a dude. You can’t expect him to just watch Casablanca over and over again for the rest of his life.

“How about if we paint it purple?” Jessica suggested. “We could even add tiny yellow flowers or moons.”

Bruce shook his head. “Jessica, volcanoes are brown. And they don’t have little moons on them.”

“Brown?” Jessica asked in alarm. “You want to paint it brown?”

Jessica, seriously, are you still twelve years old?

The Cover: Does the Dairi Burger have a pool table? Nobody has ever mentioned that before. And who the hell are these people? Neither one of these guys look like the Devon from the previous covers.

Sweet Valley High Super Edition #9: Mystery Date

Friday, December 18th, 2009

SVHSE10 - OuterThe Moral of the Story: All it takes to make everyone get along is a party!

The Big Deal: Big dance, big football game, big party

Synopsis:

The book opens with a dance at which the popular students finally seem to realize that there are other kids at Sweet Valley High. A big fight breaks out over what kind of music the DJ should play. The jocks want to hear the Beach Boys so they can dance to it, Justin Belson and the burnouts want some heavy metal, Keith Wagner and the hippies want something with meaningful lyrics and Dana wants some punk. The arguments escalate until finally Tad “Blubber” Johnson punches Justin in the stomach. And this is why the Droids should always perform at school dances.

Mr. Collins says the dance is officially over, so everyone leaves. The jocks end up at Ken’s house, where Jessica has to defend her sister, who dragged Todd off to the Dairi Burger. Olivia goes home and feels sorry for herself because she’s so weird that she doesn’t even know which group she fits into. She gets online and goes to her favorite chatroom, Virtual Hangout. She feels so much more confident under her screen name, Freeverse, because she can just be herself and nobody cares how she dresses. You know, Olivia, your clothes seem to cause you an awful lot of stress. Maybe you should, you know, stop dressing that way. Just for your own peace of mind, you understand. Olivia meets a guy whose screen name is Quarter and they start flirting. Olivia has no idea that Quarter is really Ken, who’s been feeling all sad and lonely since he broke up with Jessica.

Things at school aren’t going very well. Somebody puts a copy of Blubber’s D quality homework on a bulletin board, so the jocks get their revenge by spraypainting “Die, wimps, hippies, punks, and brains,” on the cafeteria wall. Then the hippies put little cards that say “Make Love – Not Football” in everyone’s lockers. It’s all very stupid. Then there’s a big football game. When Blubber goes out on the field, Nicky Shepard (I guess he’s back from San Francisco) starts booing him and calling him stupid. Blubber runs right into the stands and beats the crap out of him. Sweet Valley forfeits the game. Todd and the twins go to Casey’s afterward and Liz gets all bitchy and self-righteous when Jessica and Todd agree that Nicky got what he deserved for being an ass. She accuses them of sticking together just because they’re both jocks. Ken and Olivia each go home to their respective computers after the game, and I’m subjected to like ten pages of their crappy conversation. All you need to know is that they’re falling in e-love. They even have a cyber kiss that was a little uncomfortable to read about.

ist2_7588751-internet-love

Freeverse and Quarter think it’s time to meet in person. For some reason, each thinks the other goes to El Carro High, so they decide on an ice cream shop in El Carro. Ken and Olivia get to the place and wave at each other, then they’re both upset when their dates stand them up. Even though Freeverse and Quarter have both explained to each other in detail what they look like, Ken and Olivia don’t get it. They wait a while, and then they each go home and get on their computers. They finally figure it out, and Olivia is pissed that Ken never mentioned online that he played football. For some reason, this matters very much to her and she doesn’t want to talk to him anymore.

Jessica has been stringing along two football players, Danny Porter and Bryce Fisherman. She gets them to agree to a joint date because neither guy wants to leave the other alone with Jessica. The three of them decide to go over to Blubber’s house to see how he’s doing. Blubber is in big trouble. His grades have been going down the tubes, and now with all the violence he’s exhibiting, he’s been suspended from school and the football team. When Jessica, Bryce and Danny get to his house, an ambulance is wheeling him out on a stretcher. He tried to kill himself because of all this crap that’s been going on. Oh, and his parents are splitting up.

The clique war kind of takes a break for a few days while everyone digests what happened to Blubber, but Liz and Olivia are sure it’s only temporary. They decide the best way to fix everything is to have a Walk in Each Other’s Shoes party in the school gym. Everyone has to borrow clothes from someone they wouldn’t normally associate with and wear them to the party. Of course, it’s a huge success. Lila dresses in somebody’s grungy clothes and dances with Justin Belson, who is wearing one of Bruce’s tuxedos. Bruce has borrowed someone’s pocket protector and polyester pants. Keith dresses in Todd’s clothes and wins the heart of Jessica, who is dressed as Dana. Liz wears Lila’s clothes, Todd dresses as Nicky Shepard and Mr. Collins borrows Todd’s basketball uniform, all the better to confuse Liz, I imagine. Oh, Liz and Todd make up, of course.

Olivia wears Claire’s football uniform and Ken comes dressed as a hippie. Ken apologizes for not being totally honest and Olivia apologizes for being so judgmental. They dance together and, I don’t know, I guess they’re a couple now.

Quotes:

“Hi, all!” Olivia typed. “Anyone ever feel all alone in a room full of people? : (“ She ended with an emoticon, a frowning face that could be read sideways, and then hit enter to send the message.

Yes, I got to learn all about emoticons and LOL and chatrooms and flaming.

Claire had been dating the powerful linebacker since a few weeks after he’d transferred to Sweet Valley High – since just after Jessica refused to go steady with Michael [Lewis].

Oh, I guess this actually happened.

“This is so bizarre,” Enid said. “Everyone usually gets along just fine.”

I know, Enid. It’s much easier for everyone to get along when we can pretend half the students don’t actually exist.

“When [Liz and Todd] are mad at each other, the whole school feels it.”

Ugh. Why?

“And then you kiss me back, Freeverse, long and hard. And nothing has ever rocked me the way your kiss does.”

Ew.

The Cover: I hate this cover. This chick looks like she’s thirty years old and I just don’t see Olivia wearing that. And then on the inside we’ve got some denim tuxedoed guy making her laugh for some reason. Blah.

SVHSE10 - Inner

Sweet Valley High Super Thriller #11: “R” for Revenge

Monday, December 14th, 2009

ST09-OuterThe Moral of the Story: Sweet Valley High needs to start doing psych evals on potential cheerleaders.

The Big Deal: Big basketball tournament

Synopsis:

In the prologue, the SVH cheerleading squad is tied up in somebody’s basement, which is filling with water while “Free Bird” plays on a radio upstairs. Oh boy. I can’t wait to see how this happened…

One day, Liz is called to the principal’s office after school. Mr. Cooper introduces her to Diane and Brad, a writer and photographer from Scoop magazine. They’re in Sweet Valley because they’re going to write an article about “The Girls of Seventy-Six.” The “Girls” are the SVH cheerleading squad of 1976, who did nothing more extraordinary than win the state competition that year. Diane happened to be on that squad, but I still can’t imagine why a national magazine would care about it. Anyway, the article is a “where are they now?” kind of thing, and Mr. Cooper has offered Liz up as a research assistant. In exchange, she’ll get a credit in the magazine.

Liz leaves for the library to start her research right away. Brad follows her and obnoxiously starts flirting and asking her where da party at. He’s confused and thinks Liz is the cheerleader who was just showing off for him on the football field. Just so you’re aware, Brad is the best looking guy we’ve ever seen. Liz gets rid of him. In the library, she tells Ms. Swanson, the new shy library assistant, all about the article. We can assume Ms. Swanson mysteriously has something to do with the Girls of Seventy-Six because she wears hippie clothes, says things like “far out,” listens to classic rock and has a bad reaction to Liz’s talk about the article.

Jessica and her cheerleaders are all upset because the school board just made a rule that all school activities must now have a faculty adviser. Finally! They can’t think of anyone who would still let them do sexy moves and wear skimpy outfits and this pains them. Liz suggests Ms. Swanson. Jessica thinks that’s a great idea because she figures she’ll be too shy to tell the cheerleaders what to do. At her very first practice, Ms. Swanson starts to get weird when she confuses the cheerleaders with the Girls of Seventy-Six. Meanwhile, Liz finds out there was another girl on the ’76 squad who dropped out because she had some kind of weird disease. Of course, nobody remembers her name, but I’ll bet you anything it’s Nancy Swanson. Anyway, all this research is taking up too much of Liz’s time and Todd gets pissy like he always does and they have a big fight.

Amy and Jade don’t show up for cheerleading practice on Friday, but Nancy tells the rest of the squad that she sent them up the coast to pick up the new uniforms. Later that night, Nancy sits in her beanbag chair listening to her Doobie Brothers records loud enough to drown out the noises coming from her basement. She remembers being seventeen and suddenly having this unnamed mysterious disease that makes her twitch and stuff. The other girls kicked her off the cheerleading squad and one of them Loretta, stole her boyfriend, George. So I guess it all traumatized her so bad that she wants to punish the current cheerleaders. Whatever. I mean, that’s pretty shitty, but don’t be a crazed maniac because of it. The next day, she kidnaps Heather and throws her in the basement with Amy and Jade. Amy’s and Heather’s mothers both call Jessica to find out if she knows where their daughters might be, but Jessica is too wrapped up in her dates with Brad to concern herself with such things.

Liz accompanies Diane and Brad to Gina Bari’s house. Gina’s sister is Loretta, the captain of the ’76 squad. She tells our gang that Loretta died shortly after graduation, but that she was never the same after “the accident.” Apparently, Loretta and George were driving around when George grabbed the wheel and steered the car off a bridge. George died instantly, and later there was some mysterious ugly girl whose name nobody can remember on Loretta’s front lawn screaming at Loretta for killing her boyfriend. The September after she took her squad to nationals, Loretta got drunk and drowned in the quarry. The story gives Liz flashbacks to the accident that killed Sam. She’s all sad and stuff and decides to stop being mad at Todd because she needs him. Todd hangs up on her when she calls. Ha! But damn, they make up the next day.

On Sunday, Annie and Jessica meet at the mall and realize all the other cheerleaders are missing except Lila. Then Jessica goes home and gets pissed that Lila isn’t there like she said she’d be. *facepalm* Jessica is about to get ready for a date with Brad when a car pulls up outside. Lila’s at the wheel and Annie’s in the backseat. Nancy is in the passenger seat and she tells Jessica to hop in so they can talk. Jessica says she has to be somewhere else, but Nancy pulls out a gun and tells her she’d better just go ahead and get in the fucking car.

So now we’ve caught up to the prologue. The cheerleaders are in the basement and “Free Bird” is playing upstairs while water pours out of a pipe. For some reason, when none of the cheerleaders come home Sunday night, all their parents come to the conclusion that they’re at Maria’s house having a big party because her parents are out of town. Nobody goes over there or anything, but they take the fact that nobody is answering the phone there as proof of this party. Then, when all the cheerleaders skip school on Monday, everyone thinks they’re just a bunch of wild and crazy gals. Nobody worries.

Jessica manages to get herself untied and she unties everyone else. They all gather at the top of the stairs near the apparently watertight door, but the water level is still rising. Liz shows up because she had a flash of brilliance and deduced that Nancy was the missing cheerleader from 1976 and she wants to talk to her for the article. When she gets there, all that happens is that she gets thrown into the basement with the others. Well done.

Since Nancy seems to be living in the past and keeps calling the cheerleaders by the names of the girls on the ’76 squad, Liz comes up with the idea of going along with it and pretending they want Nancy on the squad. The plan gets Amy’s Project-Youth-volunteer seal of approval, so they all start chanting some cheer and then yelling for Nancy to join them. Finally, Nancy opens the door and the water rushes out and knocks her over. The cheerleaders go free and Nancy gets arrested. Hooray!

I guess that’ll show the school board what happens when you try to impose a little adult supervision over the cheerleaders.

Quotes:

“Cowabunga! Brad is looking better and better every minute!”

Did anyone besides Ninja Turtles ever actually say “cowabunga?” Especially as late as October of 1997?

“Why can’t he cut me a little slack now and then when I’m working on a writing project that matters to me? He does this every single time!”

He really does. Maybe it’s time to BREAK UP!!

The Cover: Very compelling picture, I guess. But not really what happened in the book.

ST09-Inner

Sweet Valley High #132: Once Upon a Time

Monday, December 7th, 2009

SVH132The Moral of the Story: There’s a prince at the end of every hedge maze.

The Big Deal: Going away party for the twins at Lila’s, big trip to France

Synopsis:

The school year has ended and the twins are off to France to be au pairs for the summer. They’ll be watching the kids of some royal couple, the de Saint-Maries. The night before they leave, Lila throws a big bon voyage bash. Jessica is bored and anxious to just be in France already. Liz isn’t looking forward to being away from Todd for a month and she pulls him away from the party for some alone time. Todd tells her he wants them to see other people for the summer. Liz, who prefers cheating to breaking up, is totally pissed and leaves the party in tears.

The twins arrive in France and get on a train. On what turns out to be the longest train ride ever, Liz sulks while Jessica talks to a cute guy, Jacques, and his father, Louis. Jacques claims his father is the duke of Norveaux, and Jessica is suitably impressed. By the time the men get off the train, Jacques and Jessica are in love and making out. Jacques gives her a huge emerald before he leaves, and promises to come visit her at the de Saint-Maries’ castle. A little while later, a countess on the train starts screaming that one of her gems is missing. The countess is horrible and mean and thinks the twins are scum because they’re not royalty. Unfortunately, the countess and her daughter are also going to be spending the summer with the de Saint-Maries.

The twins’ first day on the job, little Pierre runs into the hedge maze and Liz goes after him. She gets lost for a while, but finally finds the kid peeking through the hedges at Prince Laurent, his half-brother, who is having a little fencing practice in front of a cottage. Prince Laurent de Saint-Marie is eighteen years old and he dreams of meeting a beautiful blond girl with blue eyes and a heart of gold. How convenient. Liz checks him out through the hedges, then Pierre leads her out of the maze. Liz yells at Jessica for letting Pierre run off and the twins start shouting at each other in front of everyone. They decide they can’t work together anymore, so they split the days into shifts so only one of them is with the children at a time.

A letter from Todd comes for Liz, but Jessica burns it before Liz can see it. Damn, I really wanted to know what he had to say for himself. Then Jessica talks to Anna, another servant, and asks what she knows about the duke of Norveaux. Anna says there’s no such thing and Jessica is disillusioned. She can’t believe some guy she didn’t even know would lie to her.

Liz goes to take a walk before dinner one day and gets lost in the hedge maze again. Idiot. It starts to rain and by the time she finds the cottage on the other side, she’s totally soaked and freezing. Prince Laurent lets her in and they spend the entire night talking. When Liz gets back to the castle the next morning, Jessica is so happy to see her that she declares their fight over. Until the next week when Liz skips out on baby-sitting duties to go horseback riding with Laurent. The prince takes her to some romantic spot and tells her he had a dream about her before they met. Liz thinks that’s totally cool because she’d had a dream about him on the plane ride over. They make out.

Back at the castle, Jessica puts the kids to bed and goes up to the tiny attic bedroom she’s disappointed to call her own. Someone grabs her and puts a hand over her mouth. She struggles and squirms, but then a “sexy voice” tells her to be still. She turns around and is overjoyed to see Jacques. She thinks it’s a little weird that he lied about being a duke’s son, and that he sneaked into the castle like a creeper, and that he was going through her bureau, but she makes out with him anyway.

Quotes:

“I just can’t wait to get out of Sweet Valley,” Jessica explained. “I feel like I’ve been dancing with the same ten cute guys my whole life.”

And I feel like I’ve been reading about it my whole life.

Jessica had traveled in the past, and she had even spent some time in England as an intern at the London Times. But still, it seemed strange to be in the midst of a non-English-speaking crowd.

This whole book, the twins act like they’ve never been to France before.

Jessica frowned. She had hoped they would eat with the royal family at the regal dinner table that they had passed.

Why would you assume something like that? You’re the baby-sitter.

“I was dating a guy named Cameron, but it didn’t work out.”

Just in case you were wondering about the relationship Jessica spent the last three books desperately pursuing, it “fizzled out” because Cameron had to travel on business all the time.

The Cover: Jessica, take off that stupid beret and the dumb scarf. You are not really French and your shoes are totally wrong for that outfit. Liz, you just keep on rockin’ your barrettes and floral luggage.

Sweet Valley High #131: Fashion Victim

Friday, December 4th, 2009

SVH131Read part one of this miniseries here. Read part two here.

The Moral of the Story: Working for a fashion magazine will make you crazy.

The Big Deal: Dinner party

Synopsis:

Enid and black Maria decide their lives just aren’t worth living if Liz isn’t their friend, so they decide it’s time to make up. When Liz tells them what Leona’s done, they offer to help get back at her. They, along with Reggie from the office, come up with a super awesome plan. This plan includes Enid and Maria coming to the Flair office for no apparent reason while Liz calls Gordon Lewis, head of the company, to say she has an idea she’d like to discuss with him. Gordon says he’ll stop by her office the next morning. Liz tells him she works in Leona’s office, and then freaks out about making Leona’s office look like it belongs to Liz. Even though Liz has her very own office just down the hall. Whatever. This is stupid.

Jessica goes out to some awesome nightclub with Quentin and has a terrible time. Quentin doesn’t want to dance because the dance floor is too crowded, and he refuses an invitation to party with Eddie Rook, a rock star who happens to be hanging out at the club. Jessica goes outside and walks a couple of blocks. Then she sees someone who looks just like Cameron leaving a fancy restaurant and getting into a Porsche. Jessica figures it’s just lovesickness making her see Cameron. She decides to make him fall in love with her again, so at lunchtime on Monday she goes to the mailroom with a “gourmet lunch” for him. The guy working there says Cameron quit.

Liz finds out about some party Gordon Lewis will be attending, so she and her posse decide to crash it. Furthermore, they decide to go to Leona’s to “borrow” some of her clothes. When they get to the party, Liz stays out of site while Maria and Reggie talk about her in front of Gordon and make her out to be some really important person in the fashion industry. By the time Gordon meets Liz the next morning, he thinks she’s just the greatest thing ever. He loves her idea and wants her to present it to the board that afternoon.

Todd moves into a really crappy apartment. He’s sure he’ll get more modeling jobs and be able to afford something really spectacular any day now. He invites his parents and Simone over for dinner and then, of course, burns the roast he was trying to make. He serves macaroni and toast, Simone is a bitch, his parents try to be supportive and blah, blah, blah. Who cares?

Things are going swimmingly for Liz and Reggie at the board meeting until Leona comes hobbling in on her crutches. She starts yelling that Liz is only an intern who stole her idea. Liz is fired on the spot. This doesn’t really matter because suddenly it’s Friday and the internship is over anyway, but Liz is distraught. Enid, Maria, Jessica, Lila and Amy all rally around her that night, clucking about how bad they feel for her. Then Leona has the nerve to call Liz and invite her to lunch the next day to apologize. She gives her directions to some restaurant up the coast. Liz plans to bring a tape recorder and trick Leona into confessing to stealing Liz’s idea.

The next day, Leona’s directions take Liz along a road at the top of a cliff. Out of nowhere, some jackass in a pickup truck starts bumping the Jeep. Liz almost goes off the road, but then who should show up but Todd the Great. He was driving around Sweet Valley earlier when he saw Liz in the Jeep and decided to follow her. So now he gets behind Liz, edging out the pickup. Liz and Todd pull over and the jackass drives away. Liz is grateful, but not so grateful that she forgets she hates Todd right now. She decides to forget Leona and go home. Todd goes to the police station and gives the cop the pickup’s license number and a description of the jackass. The cops say the jackass is a freelance thug. They suspect someone hired him to hurt Liz.

The cops find the guy the next day and arrest him, and he says Leona Pierson hired him. Over a fucking magazine article. Jesus. Meanwhile, Liz is at Flair with her tape recorder, determined to get Leona’s confession once and for all. But Leona pulls a gun on her and gives an Evil Villain speech about how important her career is and how Liz doesn’t know anything about getting ahead in life. This bitch is insane. The cops show up and arrest her. That night, Todd pulls a Say Anything, playing the Jamie Peters song that was on when he and Liz first “pledged their love to each other.” Then he climbs up to Liz’s window and they make out for a while. Oh, Todd moves back home at some point, of course.

Jessica is pissed because Quentin decided not to use her photos in the magazine. A week after the internship is over, she gets a package in the mail containing the “blue pages” for the upcoming issue. Turns out Jessica’s going to be in the magazine after all. There’s a letter attached, an invitation to a dinner party at the home of Edward McGee, the owner of the corporation that owns Flair. Jessica thinks that’s kind of weird, but is more than happy to show up. When she gets there, Mr. McGee leaves the room to get his son, who turns out to be Cameron. Cameron is the new vice president of Flair and he wanted to get a feel for the company by starting at the bottom, in the mail room. Even though Jessica was the one whoring herself out for the chance to be a model, Cameron is the one who apologizes. They end up making out all night.

Quotes:

Ken ambled over to the table and sat down in one of the plastic chairs. “So Todd, now that you’re busy with Simone, would you mind if I asked Elizabeth out?”

Okay, so he’s joking. But dude, that’s not even a little funny.

Todd desperately wanted this dinner to turn out perfect. He’d invited his parents and Simone and was eager to prove to all three that he could make it on his own.

Listen, Todd. Simone doesn’t care whether or not you can make it on your own, and your parents know you can’t. Just give it up.

The Cover: Liz looks pretty cute, but this doesn’t seem to correlate to anything that actually happened in the book.

Sweet Valley High #130: Model Flirt

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009

SVH130Read part one of this miniseries here.

The Moral of the Story: If you’re a dumb jock, modeling can ruin your life. If you’re a Wakefield, modeling is the inevitable next stop on your path to stardom.

The Big Deal: Not much happening.

Synopsis:

Liz just caught Todd and Simone the supermodel making out. She runs away and hides in a closet or something, but Todd finds her. She tells him to fuck off and he gets all indignant and stomps away and then goes out with Simone that night. They dance at a nightclub until the wee hours, and Todd gets his picture in Los Angeles Living the next morning. His parents are not amused. Todd’s grounded. Ha.

When Todd gets to the Flair office the next day, he brings some flowers up to Liz’s floor. The receptionist buzzes her, and a second later Liz’s voice comes over the intercom, saying she never wants to see Todd again. Todd is humiliated, but Liz doesn’t care. She saw the picture of him dancing with Simone and she’s pretty upset about it. She’s decided to totally throw herself into her work and become just like Leona, her supervisor who has suddenly turned into a bitch in this book. Liz still likes her, but you and I can tell she’s a condescending and power hungry jerk.

Jessica is supposed to go out with both Quentin and Cameron on Friday night. She would much rather go out with Cameron because she really likes him, but he’s just a lowly mail clerk and can’t do a thing to further Jessica’s career. She doesn’t want to cancel on either guy, so she gets Liz to help her out. They decide to do exactly the same thing they did in Who’s Who? Hooray for recycled plot lines. Liz takes Cameron first and is surprised to find she actually gets along with him. She’s also surprised that someone who works in the mailroom is so comfortable at Chez Paul, the super fancy restaurant at which Jessica insisted on dining because that was where Quentin was taking her. The twins switch places a couple times during dinner. As you might have expected, Quentin is full of himself and no fun at all. At the end of the night, Cameron kisses Liz on the cheek and thanks her for a lovely evening. He calls her Elizabeth, and Liz realizes it was her watch that gave her away. Because people the world over know about the Wakefield twins and their issues with watches.

Leona calls Liz at home over the weekend and says she won’t be in Monday. She’s going out of town with her boyfriend and she wants Liz to take care of things. Liz does a fine job at the office, but then Leona calls again and says she broke her leg and won’t be able to get around for a few days. She wants Liz to go to her house and feed her cats and shit. Liz is in awe of Leona’s closet full of clothes. She gets really creepy and puts on one of Leona’s outfits and then walks around her condo pretending she’s Leona. Weird. Liz finds a tape recorder full of Leona’s notes-to-self. The tape contains dictation for a letter Leona wants to write to Gordon Lewis, Flair’s president or something. The letter makes it clear that Leona wants to steal Liz’s “Free Style” idea and pass it off as her own. Liz is so traumatized that she goes home and becomes almost catatonic. She stays in bed the next morning and doesn’t get up until Reggie, one of the girls from the office, calls and asks her what’s wrong. Reggie convinces Liz to meet her for lunch. Liz tells her everything, and they decide to go to Gordon Lewis themselves and tell him what a horrible person Leona is.

Jessica exposes some film, ruining an entire set of Simone photos. Simone has already left for the day, so Quentin has no choice but to use Jessica as his model. Just so you know, none of this makes any sense. Is Simone the only model who is ever in this magazine? Do Francine and her ghostwriters really think that a photographer and his model just show up at the magazine office every morning, take pictures until five o’clock and then go home? Whatever. Quentin tells Jessica the board loves her pictures and has given the go ahead to use her again if he wants to. Then he tries to kiss her. And wouldn’t you know it, Cameron chooses that moment to walk by. After the fiasco with dinner on Friday, Jessica managed to convince him she doesn’t really like Quentin, but now Cameron tells her she’s out of chances.

While all this has been going on, Todd’s been getting too big for his britches. He doesn’t appreciate being grounded, and when Simone says he’s too old to listen to his parents, Todd agrees to meet her at another club. He gets caught again. He really sucks at breaking rules. Then he misses dinner one night and his parents tell him he needs to stop modeling because they don’t like what it’s doing to him. Todd decides he doesn’t like their rules so he’s just gonna go ahead and move out of their house. Oh man, I can’t wait to see how this turns out.

Quotes:

Elizabeth scowled, feeling like a nobody, a nothing. She felt like her entire self had been made worthless. She could change her interests, but she couldn’t change her looks. She’d never be six feet tall. She’d never look like a supermodel.

Oh, cry me a river. Aren’t you one of those twins with golden hair and a perfect size six figure?

Ever since her obsession with Jonathan Cain, a deranged transfer student who had been at Sweet Valley for a month, [Enid’s] life had been entirely guyless.

Oh, now don’t even try to act like he was just some psycho. You know he was really a vampire.

The Cover: Jessica looks pretty creepy in her weird ugly shoes. This photographer guy looks like he’s about twelve. And why is he just holding that rinky dink camera like that? This is such a stupid cover.

Sweet Valley High #127: Dance of Death

Wednesday, November 18th, 2009

SVH127Read part one of this miniseries here.

The Moral of the Story: Jessica Wakefield always gets her man. Especially if Enid is her competition.

The Big Deal: Party at Jonathan’s creepy mansion

Synopsis:

Todd shows up at Liz’s house just in time to see her in Joey’s arms. He gets pissed and gets back in his car. Liz says they can fight later but they have to find Jessica right now. Todd is all, “Fuck off, bitch,” as he drives away. He goes home and rips up his pictures of Liz and decides he’s not going to be Mr. Nice Guy anymore. I really hope this means they’re breaking up for good. Joey and Liz jump in Joey’s car and she explains everything to him on the way to Secca Lake to see if the murder victim is Jessica.

It isn’t. We know this because Jessica is at this moment at Jonathan’s house making out with him. He stops kissing her and tells her to get the hell out “before it’s too late.” Jessica thinks he’s afraid he won’t be able to resist making out with her or something and just keeps flirting. Jonathan finally gives up and closes the front door. He starts making out with Jessica, but then tells her he can’t get involved with her and she’ll have to leave.

Enid is having Jonathan withdrawals. She drives to his house and curses the Wakefields when she sees the twins’ Jeep out front. She looks in the window and sees Jessica and Jonathan kissing. She gets all discouraged until Jessica runs out of the house, crying. Then she goes inside and Jonathan starts making out with her. This guy gets around. He starts sucking on Enid’s neck and that’s the last thing she remembers until she wakes up in the morning in her bed at home.

At school, good old Chrome Dome Cooper holds an assembly and says the girl who was murdered on Saturday night was a cheerleader from Palisades High. Sweet Valley is going to start enforcing a curfew: nobody under the age of eighteen is allowed out after ten o’clock. After the assembly, Jessica tries to tell Amy and Lila about her makeout session with Jonathan. They start giggling and tell her Jonathan gave Enid a hickey the same night. Ha, remember hickeys?

Todd dyes his hair black and joins the goth movement. Actually, all the guys want to look like Jonathan and have all started wearing black. Even Winston is doing it, though he makes a joke out of it all by wearing black tuxedo jackets with brightly colored ties. I’m starting to love Winston a little bit. The guys think the curfew is a total bummer and they decide to liven things up at SVH by getting Jonathan to throw a party. Jonathan says he doesn’t want to do that, but Todd and Bruce start inviting people anyway.

That night, Jonathan is pacing around his house, all upset because of his “hunger.” He wants Jessica, but she’s too important to him and it’s too dangerous. So he calls Enid and asks her to come over. ‘Cause it wouldn’t really matter if he accidentally killed her in a fit of vampire passion. Jessica calls but he tells her he’s sick. She decides to come over with some homemade chicken soup. This girl doesn’t even know how to do laundry, but she can make her own chicken soup. I’m so sure. When she gets there and sees Enid with her wild hair and smudged lipstick, she throws the thermos of soup at Jonathan and leaves. Enid tries to help him clean up the mess, but he gets pissed and tells her to get out. Jonathan is grateful to Jessica because if she hadn’t shown up, he would have hurt Enid. He’s one of those tortured vampires who really doesn’t want to kill anyone. He just can’t help it. A few nights later, Jessica can’t find Jasmine the cat. She goes outside and finds the cat’s dead body. Ewwww.

Liz has been going out with Joey ever since Todd found them together, but she isn’t sure she really likes him anymore. He’s acting all condescending ever since he started college. And he keeps taking Liz around Sweet Valley and showing her places like Miller’s Point and the Dairi Burger as though Liz hasn’t lived here her whole life. At the Dairi Burger, Joey asks Liz if she wants to do something the next night. Liz promised Jessica she’d go with her to Jonathan’s party, but she doesn’t want to bring Joey and flaunt her relationship with him in front of Todd or something so she lies to him and says she’s going to a movie with Jessica. Then, of course, Caroline Pearce comes over and mentions the party and how much Jessica is looking forward to going. Joey gets pissed and leaves Liz at the restaurant.

Jonathan’s party is just awesome. Jessica sneaks upstairs to meet Jonathan. The lights go out while she’s sitting on his bed. He comes in and they start kissing. Liz is downstairs freaking out. She somehow convinces Todd to help her get the lights back on. They go downstairs and mess with the breakers. When the lights come back on, they hear somebody scream upstairs. They run up and find Amy’s visiting cousin (and Todd’s date), Katrina, dead, her blood drained.

Quotes:

Todd turned up the collar of his black leather jacket and swaggered slowly into the cafeteria on Tuesday at lunchtime, imitating Jonathan’s walk. He was wearing black jeans and a black denim shirt with a white T-shirt underneath. His face was unshaven, and he’d dyed his hair black. Todd’s new look gave him a sense of fresh confidence.

UGH.

The Cover: These kids seem to think this party requires formal dress.

Sweet Valley High Magna Edition: Elizabeth’s Secret Diary, Volume 2

Thursday, November 12th, 2009

Diary - Elizabeth02-OuterSynopsis:

Liz is looking forward to her anniversary with Todd (which anniversary? Tenth? Fiftieth?), but Todd ruins everything when he says his friend Michelle Thomas is coming for a visit from Vermont. This is the same Michelle Thomas Liz got jealous of in the last diary. Liz stops speaking to Todd and won’t answer his calls. She invites Enid over for some Project C.C. Cookie and actually starts to feel better. Then Todd comes over. With Michelle. Liz gets upset and says a few mean things, and Todd and Michelle leave. Then Enid tells Liz she was wrong to be so rude. Liz decides to bring Todd and Michelle some cookies as a peace offering, but finds them making out by the Wilkins’ pool. Liz runs home to read through her old diaries:

Liz recaps #58: Brokenhearted, in which Todd moves back from Vermont and they get back together. We get to relive the boredom of Liz and Todd breaking up again in #59: In Love Again, and laugh when she tries to go back to Jeffrey and he doesn’t want her. Then there’s the briefest mention of Ken’s accident as Liz recaps #60: That Fatal Night. And since the theme of this diary is “I Miss Jeffrey,” there’s a bit about how much she misses Jeffrey.

Blah, blah, Liz tells us about Patty Gilbert’s problems in #61: Boy Trouble. Then Liz gets her hair permed and Jeffrey is the only one who understands why in #62: Who’s Who? Then she starts surfing and Todd breaks up with her and Jeffrey comforts her in #63: The New Elizabeth. Then we hear about how worried she is about Steven’s sanity and her parents’ fighting in #64: The Ghost of Tricia Martin.

Liz’s parents are still fighting in #65: Trouble at Home. Liz can’t seem to talk to Todd about it, but Jeffrey is a really good listener. Which brings us to #66: Who’s to Blame, in which Liz goes to Jeffrey to talk and ends up kissing him. At some point during #67: The Parent Plot, Jeffrey climbs the trellis under Liz’s window and sneaks into her bedroom. They make out for a while, then Todd starts throwing pebbles at the window. Liz shoves Jeffrey in the closet and makes out with Todd. When Todd leaves, Jeffrey jumps out of the closet all pissed off like he didn’t know Liz had a boyfriend. Liz and Todd break up again in #68: The Love Bet. But of course they get back together. Liz crusades against racism in #69: Friend Against Friend. After Claire Middleton brings out Liz’s inner feminist and makes the football team in #70: Ms. Quarterback, everyone goes to the Dairi Burger and Liz sees Jeffrey with a date. She’s super happy he’s moved on.

Back in the present, Liz realizes Todd just made a mistake kissing Michelle, just like Liz made a mistake kissing Jeffrey. They make up and life goes on.

The Cover: Boring. Don’t care. We’ve seen all this before.

Diary - Elizabeth02-Inner