Posts Tagged ‘Twin Switch’

Sweet Valley Twins #47: Jessica’s New Look

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2015

SVT047The Moral of the Story: Wearing glasses isn’t so bad as long as boys still think you’re cute.

The Big Deal: Skate-A-Thon

Synopsis:

There are BOYS sitting at the Unicorns’ table in the lunchroom (a.k.a. the Unicorner). One of them is Aaron Dallas, who Jessica thinks is the cutest boy in school. She wows him with her basketball smarts (suddenly there’s a girls’ basketball team and Jessica is apparently on it?) and he asks her to go to a Lakers game with him and his parents. The other Unicorns are annoyed, especially since Jessica won’t shut up about it.

Mr. Bowman chooses Liz to be a Junior Journalist for a thing the Sweet Valley Tribune is doing. She’s supposed to write about kids making a difference. The fame-hungry Unicorns want her to write about them so they start trying to come up with good deeds they can do. After throwing out ideas such as community curling irons in the girls’ locker room and new uniforms for the Boosters, they settle on a skate-a-thon to raise money for a new encyclopedia set for the library.

Jessica has been having a lot of headaches lately and is having trouble seeing the chalkboard at school. Mr. Bowman tells her she should get her eyes examined because she might need glasses. Jessica is horrified by the idea because only nerds wear glasses. She hides the note Mr. Bowman sends home to her parents, but he calls them anyway and Jessica has to go to the eye doctor.

The doctor determines that Jessica’s eyes each work fine on their own, but they don’t focus well together. Wearing glasses for a few months will solve the problem. Is that really a thing? Seems made up. Jessica reluctantly picks out some purple frames, and she only wears them when she’s around her parents. Things are going fine until the Wakefields go to a movie and run into Lila. Jessica buys Lila’s silence by giving her an outfit she just got and carrying Lila’s books for her at school. Because, you know, her life will be over if anyone even suspects she owns a pair of glasses. I don’t think Lila even cares about the glasses, she’s just irritated with Jessica because she still won’t stop talking about her upcoming date with Aaron.

The Unicorns’ skate-a-thon is surprisingly successful, but it ends for Jessica when her parents show up and see her not wearing her glasses. They go home, where Jessica locks herself in her room and claims she’s canceling her date with Aaron and never leaving the house again. No amount of bribery or trickery will make her change her mind.

Liz tries to trick Jessica into thinking she’s going to ask Aaron out, but Jessica isn’t buying it because Liz is a terrible actress. Liz pretends to admit defeat and offers to call Aaron and cancel the date. Instead, she pretends to be Jessica when Aaron comes to pick her up. Jessica sees him compliment the glasses, and now that she knows she can still be attractive to boys, she decides to keep wearing them and go on the date. Liz runs upstairs so they can switch clothes, and Jessica has a wonderful time at the sportsball game.

Quotes:

Elizabeth put the finishing touches on a peanut butter and banana sandwich and placed it on a plate.

What would “finishing touches” on such a sandwich entail?

The Cover: WHAT A NERD! Actually, that dress is worse than the glasses will ever be.

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 #26: Taking Charge

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

The Moral of the Story: If you don’t let your kid play the sax, he might run away from home.

The Big Deal: Concert at the lake

Classmate with a Problem: Patrick Morris, crappy parents

Synopsis:

Patrick Morris has the worst parents. They make him do homework! He’s not allowed to have snacks! He has a curfew! Jessica doesn’t know how he can survive. Patrick is sick one day so the twins bring him his homework after school. He’s allowed to have only one friend over at a time so there’s twin switch shenanigans when his mom comes home early from work. That Saturday, there’s a concert at Secca Lake. A high school band called The Wild Ones is putting on a show as a fundraiser to buy library books and all the kids are going to be there. When the twins stop by Patrick’s house to see if he wants to go, his mom is rude and weird.

Patrick wants to play the saxophone in the school band, but his parents won’t even let him try out and they won’t tell him why. The school gives him a saxophone to practice with and he convinces the twins to let him keep it at their house. He comes over to practice and drives everyone crazy, but his tryout is great and he makes the band. His parents still won’t let him join and they refuse to talk about it.

Jessica and Winston get paired up to do a science project together. Winston’s got a whole thing he wants to do with mold, so Jessica has to keep a bunch of pieces of moldy bread around the house and that’s gross. Their project gets chosen to be on display at the library on Saturday and Jessica promises Winston she’ll be there. But come on, we all know that’s a lie. There’s a football game and Bruce is having a party afterward, so of course Jessica won’t be going to the library. The party turns out to be just a bunch of guys playing football in the yard, so Jessica leaves. When she gets home, Liz tells her Patrick has disappeared.

Everyone is in a panic. Patrick’s parents come over to the Wakefields’ house with the cops, and Liz doesn’t hesitate to tell the police that Patrick has probably run away because he thinks his parents hate him. The next morning, Liz finds a note stuck in the back door. It says, “We have Patrick. Stop looking for him. If you don’t it could be very bad for him.” Well that’s certainly frightening, but Winston comes over and says Patrick’s hiding in the Egberts’ basement and he made Winston write the note.

The twins go to Winston’s house to try to talk some sense into Patrick, but he refuses to go home. He makes the twins promise not to tell anyone where he is. Liz wrestles with this promise for a while, but ends up telling her parents where Patrick is. Patrick knew this would happen, so he runs away to an abandoned church, where he falls through the floor and has to be rescued by his father, who ignores the policemen when they tell him not to go in there. After the rescue, Mr. Morris explains that he lost his job and that’s why he and Patrick’s mother have been so strict lately. But not to worry, he just landed another job! And Patrick explains that he can borrow a saxophone from school so it won’t cost anything for him to join the band! Yay!

Quotes:

“I’m not going to judge the way other people run their families, honey. It’s hard enough for parents to take care of their own kids.” Mrs. Wakefield yawned. “I’d like to lie down for a while before I start supper. Will you girls put the groceries away?”

I’m surprised she’s actually going to cook dinner for once instead of making the twins do it.

Patrick seemed not to have heard a word they said. “Today’s the day I should have been playing with the band,” he announced sadly.

The Cover: I don’t know what this is all about. I’m guessing that’s the abandoned church, but this doesn’t look like any scene from the book.

Sweet Valley Twins #23: Claim to Fame

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

The Moral of the Story: Footballs from the 60s bring families together.

The Big Deal: Time capsule contest

Classmate with a Problem: George Henkel, estranged from father

Synopsis:

Sweet Valley Middle School opened twenty-five years ago. To celebrate the anniversary, the school is going to bury a time capsule to be opened another twenty-five years from now. (Incidentally, that would be in 2013. That’s next year. OMG, I’m so old.) To get the kids into it, there’s going to be a contest. Four-person groups will try to find three things that best represent the 60s – because that’s when the school opened –  and whoever finds the most awesome things will get their pictures put into the time capsule. The Unicorns are determined to win because they want everlasting fame. And I guess we’re putting the things from the 60s into a time capsule in the 80s. I don’t really get it.

Liz, Amy and Julie get stuck with a kid named George Henkel. He’s quiet and morose and totally uncommunicative when Liz asks him why he doesn’t live with his father. Mr. Howard Henkel is a wheelchair-bound curmudgeon who lives near the Wakefields. Liz goes to his house sometimes and helps out around the house. Liz is looking through newspapers from the 60s and she finds out Mr. Henkel was a football player. He won some special game for the SVMS team and was given the football from the game. Liz asks George if his dad still has the ball, and George says he didn’t know anything about it because he doesn’t talk to his father.

Liz talks to her own father and finds out Mr. Henkel went off to Vietnam and came back in a wheelchair. His wife died when George was a baby, and then George went to live with his aunt and uncle. Liz thinks it’s tragic, but Ned tells her she should leave it alone. Ned clearly doesn’t know his daughter very well. The next time Liz goes to see Mr. Henkel, she asks him about the big game. He tells her all about it and even shows her the magical football. But he gets crabby when she asks if she can have it for the time capsule. He says it’s all he has.

The school is planning a 60s-style dance and Liz tells George he should go with her, Amy and Julie. At the dance, Liz notices George noticing Nora Mercandy, so she suggests he go ask her to do the twist with him. Everyone has a great time, and George is so relaxed and happy that he finally agrees to talk to his father about getting that football. George shows up at the Wakefield house the next day to tell Liz that his dad sucks and won’t let him have his super important football.

Later that day, Jessica goes to Mr. Henkel’s house to drop off some books Liz got for him. Mr. Henkel thinks she’s Liz and he gives her the football, babbling about how he should have treated his son better and not letting Jessica get a word in to say she’s not Elizabeth. Once she has her hands on the football, though, she shuts up and starts daydreaming about how her team is going to win the time capsule contest. By lunchtime on Monday, everyone at school has heard about Jessica getting the football. The Unicorns are impressed. Liz is not. Liz gets the truth out of Jessica and makes her hand over the football. When Liz tries to give it to George, he says he doesn’t want it unless his father gives it to him in person. So Liz tells Mr. Henkel and Mr. Henkel gets crabby and says the deal’s off.

Time’s up and everyone goes to the big ceremony at school. Jessica’s team has found a movie poster, a Beatles record and an old fashion magazine. Liz’s team has an autographed picture of President Kennedy and a textbook from the first year the school was open. They weren’t able to find a third item. But wait! In the middle of the ceremony, Mr. Henkel makes a dramatic entrance, wheeling himself onto the field, football in his lap. He goes straight to the stage and talks to Mr. Clark, who calls George to the stage.

Mr. Henkel makes a big speech about looking forward instead of backward and then he hands the ball to George. Big hug, Liz’s team wins, everyone is happy except the Unicorns. Jessica’s silver lining is that Liz is getting her picture put in the time capsule and people might mistake her for Jessica.

Setup for the next book: the twins think their mother is having an affair.

Quotes:

“The Unicorns are very happy about this,” [Janet] told Jessica. “This is a great accomplishment and we won’t forget it.”

Sometimes Janet sounds like a mob boss.

The Cover: I have always loved this cover. I think it’s because I’m obsessed with the 60s and 70s.

Sweet Valley Twins #20: Playing Hooky

Monday, December 12th, 2011

The Moral of the Story: It’s okay to skip school if you have a twin sister. She’ll get punished instead of you.

The Big Deal: Basketball championship game

Synopsis:

The Unicorns’ favorite soap opera, All the World, is coming to Sweet Valley to film an episode. Why? Because Sweet Valley is the most amazing place in the world. Kent Kellerman, heartthrob of the show, is going to be there and the Unicorns are desperate to meet him. Unfortunately, he’s only going to be in town on a Monday during school hours. Brooke Dennis tells Liz her dad is working on the show but she doesn’t want everyone to know because then they’ll all want her to introduce them to Kent. So of course Liz tells Jessica because she can’t possibly keep such a big secret from her very own twin. Jessica promises Liz she won’t say anything, so she has to come up with some devious plan to use this information.

Jessica talks it over with Lila and they decide to offer Brooke a spot on the Booster squad. They figure she’ll be so grateful that she’ll offer to introduce them to Kent. Jessica finds out Liz and Julie are meeting Brooke at Julie’s house to talk to her about being on the school newspaper staff, and since newspaper is the opposite of Booster squad (and a person can only do one or the other) Jessica decides to get to Brooke first. She races over to Julie’s house and catches Brooke before she can knock on the door. She tells Brooke that Julie and Liz aren’t going to make it and Brooke should just come to the Dairi Burger with her. About an hour later, Julie and Liz decide Brooke isn’t going to show, so they decide to go get some lunch. Where? The Dairi Burger, of course.

Jessica’s plan is flawless. After she and Lila tell Brooke she’d make a great Booster, they start talking about Kent Kellerman. Brooke is so grateful that the popular girls want her on their super exclusive cheering squad that she offers to try to get them passes to the set. Liz has arrived by this point and she’s appalled at Jessica’s behavior.

Brooke gets the passes, but she tells Lila and Jessica that the filming will be over by the time school lets out. Caroline says Ms. Langberg the gym teacher has jury duty and won’t be in school all week, so Jessica and Lila decide to skip lunch and gym and go to the film set. Liz thinks this is a horrible idea and she freaks out when Amy tells her Caroline was wrong about Ms. Langberg. Liz uses the rest of her lunch period to go downtown and bring Jessica and Lila back. The girls think they might get away with it, but they run right into Mrs. Knight, the principal’s secretary. Now, somehow, Mrs.  Knight gets back to school before they do (what is she doing downtown in the first place?) and tells Mr. Clark that Jessica and Lila were cutting class. She apparently did not see Liz.

Jessica and Lila are in big trouble. Their punishment is to wash blackboards after school every day for the rest of the week, and they won’t be allowed to participate in any after school activities. Oh no! There’s a basketball championship coming up and Jessica is the star player! (Since when?) Jessica convinces Liz to participate in a good old-fashioned twin switch, and even gets Liz to agree to switch for after-school practices. This means Liz is washing blackboards while Jessica is practicing in the gym. It also means Liz is going to miss an important interview for the Sixers. Mr. Bowman goes to the gym and tells Jessica-as-Elizabeth that the famous ballerina she’s supposed to be interviewing will be at her hotel at four and she can interview her there. Jessica gets Brooke to agree to the interview, but of course she fucks up and tells her to go to the ballet school instead of the hotel.

The ballerina has to go back to San Diego, and Brooke and Liz can’t think of anyone else they can interview for the paper. Then Kent Kellerman falls into their laps. He’s going to be having dinner with Brooke and her father, and Liz is invited to join them. Kent’s even agreed to answer a few questions for the paper. Jessica wants to go, but she’s grounded for cutting class. HA! Liz does get her an autograph though, because that’s what nice sisters do.

Finally, it’s Friday night. Basketball night. Jessica is determined to prove she’s better than Billie Layton, the new girl on the team. Billie starts the game, but Jessica comes in halfway through and wins it for the team. She even wins the MVP trophy (with Elizabeth’s name on it). Hooray. Moving on.

Liz has been feeling guilty all week because she cut class and didn’t get punished (except that she washed blackboards every day as Jessica, but whatever). She tells her parents and Mr. Clark what she did and feels just great when she’s sentenced to another week of washing blackboards. Thankfully, she has the sense to make Jessica switch places with her and wash them herself.

Setup for the next book: Sarah Thomas hates weekends.

Quotes:

“It’s just not right,” Elizabeth said. “I did something wrong and I should be punished, too.”

Shut up, Liz. You can flog yourself later.

“Marvelous Marvin!” Elizabeth said. She remembered how foolish everyone had felt when they discovered Mr. Mercandy was the victim of a stroke and not a zombie as they’d thought.

I love the matter-of-fact way Liz remembers thinking the man was a zombie.

The Cover: I can’t tell which twin that’s supposed to be. Based on the actual story, I’d say it’s actually Jessica because Liz was never caught like that. But the tag line throws me off.

Sweet Valley Twins #1: Best Friends

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

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

Synopsis:

Elizabeth and Jessica Wakefield are just the cutest identical twins alive and they do everything together. They share a room, they dress alike, they join all the same clubs and have all the same hobbies. So when Liz says the school is letting her start a school newspaper just for the sixth graders and asks Jessica to write for it, she’s shocked when Jessica says she’d rather hang out with Lila Fowler and join the Unicorn Club. Liz decides to ask her friends Amy Sutton and Julie Porter to help her out, figuring Jessica will want to join once she sees what a success the paper is.

At lunch the next day, the twins sit at separate tables for the first time ever so Liz can talk to Julie and Amy about the paper. Jessica sits with the Unicorns and tries to get an invitation to join the club. The day after that, Jessica stands Liz up after school to go to the Dairi Burger with the Unicorns. Just as she hoped, they ask her to join and give her three pledge tasks to complete. Janet Howell, the club’s president, tells Jessica she can’t tell anyone what her pledge tasks are, not even Liz. Jessica asks about Elizabeth’s pledge tasks, and Janet says Liz isn’t going to be asked to join. Jessica is shocked at first, but then realizes Liz wouldn’t like being a Unicorn anyway.

Jessica’s first pledge task is to take Mrs. Arnette’s lesson plan book off her desk and get it back into the teacher’s bag by the end of class. Jessica manages to get the job done with help from Lila and Winston. Her next task is to stand outside the girls’ restroom, tell people it’s flooded and get at least three girls to use the boys’ room instead. That one gets done pretty easily, too. The only task left is to come to school looking so different from Liz that nobody can tell they’re twins. Oh, calamity.

On Monday morning, Liz dresses in her yellow sweat suit (ugh) and takes the same outfit from Jessica’s closet and lays it out for her. As soon as Liz goes down to breakfast, Jessica jumps out of bed and dresses in something completely different. Then she curls her hair and puts on some makeup. She waits to go downstairs until it’s too late for Liz to change. Liz is hurt but Jessica doesn’t really notice because she’s so happy she’s completed all her tasks.

When the twins get to school, Liz locks herself in a bathroom stall and starts to cry. Then some girls come in talking about Jessica’s new look. They say they think it’s great that they can finally tell the Wakefield twins apart. When they’re gone, Liz decides to make the best of things by doing her hair in a style Jessica doesn’t usually like to wear. She decides it’s okay with her if she and Jessica stop dressing the same.

Meanwhile…

Jessica has asked her mother for dance classes and Alice has complied. The twins get to the studio just before their first class starts, but Jessica tells Liz to go ahead while she finishes getting ready. She finally comes into the classroom during roll call, and Madame Andre freaks out because Jessica is wearing a purple leotard, purple legwarmers, a purple scarf around her waist and purple barrettes with purple streamers. Also, blue eyeshadow all the way up to her eyebrows. Madame Andre yells at her, and it flusters Jessica so much that she messes up on all her ballet moves for the whole class.

Caroline Pearce comes up to Liz at lunch and says she thinks it’s super exciting that Jessica has been asked to be a Unicorn. Liz goes home crying that night about Jessica not wanting to spend time with her anymore. She talks to her mom, who says it’s really okay that the twins have separate interests. Liz doesn’t really like it, but she goes upstairs and tells Jessica she’s going to try not to let it bother her. Jessica offers to try to get her in.

Jessica goes to her first Unicorn meeting, and Liz asks Amy to come over to talk about newspaper stuff. Amy is a joy to hang out with and Liz has a really good time spending the evening with someone other than Jessica. She’s a little sad she won’t have time to do that kind of thing once Jessica makes her a Unicorn.

Liz won’t leave Jessica alone, so Jessica finally asks the Unicorns to let Liz join. They aren’t happy about the idea, but Jessica threatens to quit. Janet thinks that would make the club look bad, so they give Liz one pledge task. She has to go to the Dairi Burger with Lois Waller and replace the whipped cream on her sundae with shaving cream. Liz says no. She refuses to make Lois eat shaving cream. Jessica decides to do it herself. She calls Janet and tells her Liz is going to do it on Wednesday.

On Wednesday, while Liz is at a dentist appointment, Jessica poses as her twin and goes to the Dairi Burger with Lois. When Lois takes a bite of her sundae and starts spitting out the shaving cream, the Unicorns at the next table start laughing. Lois leaves all upset that Liz would embarrass her like that. A few days later, Jessica tells Liz she’s been voted into the club. Liz figures they must have realized their pledge idea would have hurt Lois’ feelings. Yeah, right.

Liz goes to her first Unicorn meeting and can’t believe that all they do is talk about boys and movies. Ellen comes up to Liz and congratulates her on a job well done at the Dairi Burger. Liz gets mad and goes home, where she cries to her mother. Again. Alice tells her again that twins can have different interests. Again.

Liz calls Lois and tells her it was Jessica at the Dairi Burger. Then she tells Jessica to apologize to Lois. If she doesn’t, Liz will stay in the Unicorn club and tell everyone else it was Jessica and not Liz who tricked Lois. Jessica apologizes. Liz isn’t satisfied, so she calls Lois and cooks up a scheme to get back at them. It really just boils down to Lila eating shaving cream on her sundae and Amy taking pictures for the newspaper. Good times.

Meanwhile, the twins are fighting about their room. Liz doesn’t like it being so messy all the time and Jessica, I don’t know, doesn’t like Liz’s books or something. Alice and Ned decide it’s time the girls have their own rooms. They’ll move Jessica into the guest room down the hall. What the hell? They’ve had an extra bedroom this whole time and just made the twins share because they’re twins? Not cool, man.

Somewhere in there, we hear about how some girl named Roberta Manning got kicked out of the Unicorns because she made out with a high school boy, and we find out the high school boy is Steven Wakefield. I guess he’s always liked them young.

Setup for the next book: The twins’ dance studio (which is called The Dance Studio) is putting on a production of Coppelia and Jessica wants the lead. Also, Amy’s mother is making her take ballet.

Quotes:

She undid her ponytail and let her hair fall free. Then she parted it in the middle, pulled it back from her face, and fastened it with a clip. It was a hairstyle she loved and Jessica hated…

“Hey, Liz!” Lois’s eyes were wide. “You should wear your hair like that all the time.”

So it’s Lois’ fault Elizabeth spends the next six years with her hair pulled back in clips and barrettes.

The Cover: I think the twins are so much cuter on these covers than they are on the SVH covers. I also think those sweaters look really comfortable.

Sweet Valley High Senior Year #48: Sweet 18

Friday, June 4th, 2010

The Moral of the Story: Who cares? I’m done! Last book of the series!

The Big Deal: Graduation! Birthday party! Woohoo!

Synopsis:

Monday: Maria is freaking out about her valedictorian speech. She hasn’t even started it yet. She wants to be there for Ken, who is clearly upset about the upcoming anniversary of Olivia’s death, but she can’t focus on him while she still has this speech to write.

Liz tells her parents she got into Oxford, and Alice tells Jessica. Jessica freaks out and tells Liz she doesn’t want anything to do with her on their birthday, which is Thursday. Jessica calls Jeremy and gets pissed when he says his parents planned a graduation party for him on Thursday night. Jessica somehow turns this around to mean that Jeremy doesn’t care about her anymore. Oh, boy.

Tuesday: Liz decides to make things better with Jessica by planning a surprise party for their birthday. Again? Didn’t we try this last year? I recall it ending in tragedy. Liz talks to Conner and Tia and they decide to have it at the Riot. Maria sits around feeling sorry for herself all day because she needs help with her speech, and she’s annoyed when Liz says she needs to work on the party plans and can’t help her. Jessica decides she’s going to throw a party and not invite Liz, but Tia tells her Liz is already throwing one and the entire senior class is going. Jessica is pissed that Liz is having a party and not inviting her. Oh, Jessica.

Tia, Andy and Conner are all excited about their post-graduation road trip. It’s supposed to be just the three of them, but Tia has told Trent he can come along. She tells Andy, and he says that in that case, Dave is coming, too. Before Andy can tell Conner, Conner says he appreciates Tia and Andy leaving Trent and Dave behind for three weeks so the three of them can have their special best friend alone time.

Jessica’s home ec teacher tells Liz that Jessica never made up her risotto assignment, and she won’t be able to graduate unless she makes it up the next day. Liz knows Jessica has plans with Jeremy the next afternoon, so she decides to pull a twin switch and do it herself.

Wednesday: Liz has a meeting with a rep from Oxford. She kind of hopes the meeting will suck so she’ll have an excuse not to go, but the rep tells her all the wonderful things about Oxford and makes Liz want to go there more than ever.

Conner overhears Tia talking about how excited Trent is about the road trip, and he loses his shit. He tells Tia and Andy to uninvite their boyfriends, but they don’t want to. So Conner says they can all go together and he’ll just stay home.

Liz is the salutatorian, so she and Maria meet in the library to work on their speeches together. Liz says she hasn’t even started hers yet, and Maria flies off the handle because Liz isn’t taking it seriously enough. Then Liz gets really stupid and says she should have been valedictorian. So now Liz and Maria are in a fight. Liz heads to the home ec room to make a risotto.

Jessica goes to dinner with Jeremy and his family, who are all in town for graduation. As the family catches up on stuff, Jessica keeps thinking of how awful it’s going to be next year when she’s separated from both Liz and Jeremy. She gets up and leaves the table, and Jeremy follows her. He asks her what’s wrong, and she decides she’s pissed at him for not inviting her to his graduation party the next night. He says he figured she’d want to do something else since it’s her birthday, but Jessica is beyond reasoning. She runs to the parking lot in tears.

Evan gets off Berkeley’s waiting list. Thanks, Tia.

Thursday: Jessica wakes up in a terrible mood. Liz tries to make up over breakfast, and she tells Jessica she saved her from having to make a risotto. Jessica accuses Liz of thinking she’s so flaky that she can’t even do her own schoolwork. An argument ensues and Jessica takes the Jeep and goes to school.

Today is for graduation practice, but neither Liz nor Maria have their speeches prepared. Liz tells Maria not to worry about it, and subtly points out Conner, who is backstage cutting the wires to the microphone. Principal Chrome Dome suddenly can’t be heard, and Maria is worried Conner will be caught. Liz tells her not to worry, and at that moment, Jade stands up in the middle of the seated seniors and yells that Evan can’t stop her if she wants to go commando under her graduation robe. She starts a “Naked!” chant, and in all the confusion, Conner manages to get back to his seat before anyone notices he’s gone. Maria and Liz apologize to each other for their fight, and then Maria takes off for the library to work on her speech.

The twins run into each other in the line for yearbooks, and Liz apologizes. It seems like Jessica is just about to lighten up and talk to her, but then the home ec teacher comes running down the hall. She says the risotto was horrible and Jessica will have to try again that afternoon. Jessica is pissed and hates Liz all over again.

Tia, Trent, Andy and Dave go to the Riot to start setting things up, and Trent and Dave say they’ve been looking over the itinerary and have some changes they’d like to make. Tia and Andy get irritated and decide they’ll just have to tell their boyfriends they can’t come. They don’t have to, though. After listening to Tia, Andy and Conner tell stories about each other for a while, they announce the three of them should go alone.

In really sickening news, Jade’s mother has written a book and a publisher has offered her a lot of money to turn it into a series. That’s not the sickening part. The sickening part is this: “It’s about a pair of twins who have very different personalities…But they’re still closer to each other than to anyone else in the world…” Barf.

While she’s cooking, Jessica says something about the dress she wore yesterday, and Ms. Goldberg realizes it was Elizabeth who made the awful risotto. Jessica explains that she and Liz have been fighting, and Ms. Goldberg actually makes her feel better about things. Jessica goes to Jeremy’s graduation that night, and they make up afterward. Then she goes home and gets ready to go to the Riot and make up with Liz. She falls asleep instead.

Liz is at the party, feeling miserable about Oxford. She decides she’ll miss Jessica too much if she goes. She goes home to tell her so. The twins make up and talk about how much fun they’ll have at Sweet Valley University next year.

Friday: Graduation day. At the ceremony, the twins sit next to Todd because of stupid alphabetical order, and Todd asks Liz to go out with him after graduation. She accepts. Dammit, we just got rid of one codependency, and now you’re going back to an old one? UGH.

Liz never actually got around to working on a speech and all she has is a bunch of note cards. She’s nervous about making a fool of herself, so Jessica takes her notes and pulls another twin switch. Two in one book! Jessica, as Elizabeth, gives an awesome speech and everyone applauds.

THE FREAKING END!!!!!

Quotes:

A few of our old friends make cameo appearances in this book, even Robin Wilson, who came all the way back from Denver. It’s like graduation day on Boy Meets World. I wonder if they’ve been hanging out with Minkus in the other hallway?

When Enid turned into the classroom, her shirt slipped down, exposing a little skull tattoo on her back. Elizabeth shot Maria a look. She didn’t know if Enid’s tattoo was real, but if there was a yearbook award for most changed, Enid would definitely win. She’d gone from geeky to goth in less than a year.

Winston Egbert handed Elizabeth her test paper and flashed her a quick thumbs-up for luck.

Robin Wilson grimaced and held her gown up to her slim body. Her soft brown hair tumbled down over her face as she looked down at the shiny fabric. “Please, Liz. I mean, you spend all this time and effort dropping weight, and then they make you wear a muumuu to graduation.”

Bruce Patman, of all people, walked in – someone she hadn’t seen since he left for college and hadn’t liked much before then. He was all prepped out in a light blue button-down and khakis, and the second he saw Ken Matthews and Aaron Dallas, he dove into the crowd and started shaking hands like a politician.

And there is actually some mention of the more bizarre happenings from junior year:

Almost every single good memory Jessica cherished had occurred inside the sprawling building. And some bad ones, of course – kidnappings, bomb threats, gang wars, that crazy Margot [sic] chick who had come to town and tried to pretend she was Elizabeth. Junior year had definitely been tumultuous.

Definitely.

[Elizabeth] turned her full attention to Maria, whose expression made her look almost exactly the same as she had when she’d broken the news to Elizabeth and Jessica that their dog, Prince Albert, had run away during the earthquake last year – very uncomfortable.

So that’s what happened to the dog. I wonder why Maria had to be the one to break the news.

“We’ve lost many friends – Olivia Davidson, Roger Patman, Ronnie Edwards, Regina Morrow, to name a few.”

I don’t remember Roger Patman dying.

The Cover: Sorry about the terrible image. This book is all shiny and metallic and didn’t scan well. I went to The Closet, but theirs is the same.

This cover is totally lame. I have no idea which twin is which. I’d guess the one on the right is Jessica, but after 180+ books in the original series telling me Liz always wears her hair in a ponytail, I don’t quite believe it. Also, I think the one on the right looks kind of stoned.

Sweet Valley High Senior Year #4: I’ve Got a Secret

Monday, February 22nd, 2010

The Big Deal: Football game, party at Andy’s

Synopsis:

Jessica has a meeting with Coach Laufeld, who tells her if someone hadn’t told her Jessica was sick, she’d have been really worried about her when she didn’t show up for the pep rally and probably would have kicked her off the squad. Jessica thinks the whole squad hates her, so she wonders who bailed her out. Jessica hasn’t spoken to Liz since the night before at the Riot, so Liz calls her mother and tells her she’ll pick Jessica up. After practice, Liz runs into Tia, who offers to hang around and explain herself to Jessica. Jessica doesn’t want to hear it at first, but Tia tells her Melissa and Cherie lied to her to make sure Jessica didn’t get to the pep rally. She hugs Jessica and tells the twins she wants to do something to get back at Melissa.

Tia goes up to Melissa the next day and yells at her in front of everyone. Melissa insists she didn’t do anything wrong and tries to cry on Will’s shoulder later about how mean Tia’s being, but Will says he overheard Melissa and Cherie planning to sabotage Jessica. He asks why she can’t stop being so mean to Jessica, but Melissa just starts sobbing and asks Will to take her home. Will starts thinking it might be time to break up.

Liz asks for Tia’s advice about Conner, but makes sure to keep it anonymous. She says she has a big crush on a guy who treats her like crap, and Tia says she should kiss him to find out if there are any sparks. While Liz sits there fantasizing and wondering if she would ever have the guts to do that, Tia hopes her advice helps Liz and Conner get together because of course she knows that’s who Liz is talking about.

At lunch one day, Maria insists on sitting with Conner and his friends so she can show him how over him she is. Conner says his guitar teacher is the lead guitarist in some band that’s opening for Silver Chair on Friday (I don’t know if that’s supposed to be Silverchair or some other made up band), and he’s given Conner free tickets and backstage passes. Liz says she wants to go, so Maria says she does, too. Liz can tell Maria is totally not over Conner. Liz is supposed to work Friday night, so she asks Jessica to cover for her. Jessica says that’s fine as long as Liz covers for her on Saturday afternoon.

Melissa and Will make plans to meet for dinner Thursday night, but Will doesn’t show. She calls his house, but his mom says he’s at his friend Josh’s. So Melissa calls over there and he blows her off, saying he forgot about dinner and now he’s promised the guys he’d play basketball with them. Melissa is furious, so she makes him hang out with her and her friends on Friday at House of Java, which pisses him off because it’s the night before the first football game of the year and he wants to be hanging out at Todd’s with the rest of the team. He finally realizes he can just get up and leave, so that’s what he does. Melissa is pissed.

There’s some guy named Jeremy Aames who goes to Big Mesa and works at House of Java with Elizabeth. His dad lost his job a year ago and Jeremy hasn’t told anyone because he wants everyone to think his family is perfect or something. Anyway, Liz has told him about Jessica covering for her so he can help her out Friday night, but she apparently didn’t tell Jessica she told him. Jessica keeps calling him Justin, and Jeremy keeps pretending he thinks she’s Liz. Lila and Amy walk in and Jessica turns pale and runs off to the bathroom. All in all, though, Jessica has a good night. It’s the first time she’s been out of the house in a while and Jeremy flirts with her. After work, Jessica admits she’s not Elizabeth, and Jeremy says he knew all along.

The concert sucks because Maria spends the whole night trying to make Conner jealous by flirting with his friend Evan, who spends the night trying to get Liz’s attention. Liz doesn’t notice Evan because she’s too busy noticing how sickening Maria is being and hoping Conner isn’t jealous of her flirting with Evan. She doesn’t get home until like three in the morning, and she calls Jessica to ask her to cover her morning shift at the coffeehouse. Jessica is more than happy to hang out with Jeremy again.

Liz gets a call from Andy the next day. He invites her over to hang out at the pool and says everyone will be there, including Maria and Conner. Liz can’t stand the thought of Maria and Conner being in the same place at the same time, so she dolls herself up with a bunch of makeup and puts on a skimpy bikini and goes to the party. Conner ignores her the whole time, but Evan and Andy try to get her to play volleyball. She says no, so they throw her in the pool. When she surfaces, Conner is laughing at her and Liz realizes her mascara has run. Maria takes her inside to fix her face.

Jessica goes to the high school Saturday afternoon for the football game and sees Jeremy in a Big Mesa football uniform. They talk for a minute, and then all the other cheerleaders show up and start whispering when they see her talking to a guy. Jessica runs away and the other cheerleaders go meet the coach, who has promised she’s going to announce who she’s assigning captain. She gives the title to Tia, and Melissa and her friends assume she and Jessica must have told the coach they lied to Jessica about the pep rally. Jessica, who decided to just skip the game, wanders over to Healthy, which is I guess the name of the place where she works. Her boss fires her for not showing up for her shift, the one Liz was supposed to cover.

Melissa’s in a bad mood because she got a message from Will asking her to meet him after the game because he wants to talk. When Melissa never comes outside after the game, Will goes back inside and finds her surrounded by her friends, crying. She tells him Tia and Jessica told on her so Tia would be named captain. Will starts to say that doesn’t make sense, but Melissa starts crying harder and saying Jessica’s trying to steal everything from her. Will knows that if Tia and Jessica tattled they would only be telling the truth, but he thinks it’s his fault that Melissa has become such a bitch and he decides he has to stay with her.

After washing her face, Liz gets in the Jeep to leave Andy’s party, and Conner jumps into the passenger seat. He asks Liz if Maria is okay since she’s been acting weird lately. Liz drops her keys between Conner’s seat and the center console, and they both reach for them at the same time. They kiss the biggest kiss of their lives, and then Conner says he has to go.

Quotes:

“Jessica, is everything okay?” Mrs. Wakefield asked… “You just seem a bit down lately.”

Alice Wakefield, as observant a parent as ever.

The Cover: Ew, horrible kissy face cover that looks like just about every teenage girl on Myspace.

Sweet Valley High #142: The Big Night

Tuesday, December 29th, 2009

SVH142Read part one of this miniseries here.

The Moral of the Story: You can only fuck around on your boyfriend for so long before he finally gets sick of it. In this case, fifteen years.

The Big Deal: Junior Prom

Synopsis:

Devon corners Liz at the beach and yells at her for skipping their date to meet Todd. Then he tells her he’s the one who asked her to come to the beach because he wanted to see which guy she’d choose. Liz tells him she just wanted to return Todd’s ring. Devon immediately starts apologizing and Liz decides to forgive him.

Suddenly, it’s prom night. Devon calls and leaves a message with Jessica for Liz to meet him at some restaurant instead of at Secca Lake like they’d planned. Predictably, Jessica forgets to pass on the message and Liz ends up waiting around for an hour for Devon to show up at the lake. Why isn’t he picking her up at home? I love a good plot contrivance. Todd shows up at the lake. He wanted to go there because it’s “their” place. Liz is touched and confused and stuff, but after waiting so long for Devon, she decides to just go to the prom with Todd.

Meanwhile, Jessica’s limo pulls up at Jordan’s house. Right next to Lila’s limo. They spot each other and race to the front door. When Jordan answers the doorbell, he’s wearing boxers and eating a chili dog. He tells Lila and Jessica they’re a couple of morons for going behind each other’s backs. Then he slams the door in their faces. For some reason, this makes Jessica remember Devon’s message for Liz. She goes to the restaurant, planning to explain herself to Devon, but when she sees him looking all lonely and sad, she can’t help but pretend to be Liz. She figures they can go to Lila’s pre-prom party together, and then when they get to the dance, she and Liz can switch dresses and Devon will never know the difference.

Everything is going just great at Lila’s party except black Maria keeps giving Jessica and Devon weird looks. Enid looks absolutely miserable with Blubber Johnson and Devon keeps suggesting “Liz” go talk to her, but Jessica changes the subject. When everyone is leaving to go to the dance, Courtney Kane shows up. She stomps up the driveway and demands to know where Todd is. He apparently called her and said he decided not to go to the prom, but Courtney is sure he’s with Liz. Lila says nobody’s seen him, but Courtney is welcome to accompany her to the prom to see if he shows up. In the limo, Devon and Jessica flirt a whole bunch and Jessica decides she’s not going to give him back to Liz.

Liz and Todd go straight from the lake to the country club ballroom, reminiscing about old times the whole way. Which I imagine goes something like this: “Hey, remember that time you cheated on me with my sister?” “Which time?” They’re the first ones at the dance and they decide to have a spin around the dance floor before anyone else gets there. And of course that’s when the whole crew comes in and sees them together. Courtney screams, “I can’t take this anymore!” and runs out of the room. Everyone else looks on in shock because they think it’s Jessica dancing with Todd. Liz is pretty shocked herself to see Jessica and Devon together. Jessica drags Liz away and comes up with the worst plan ever: Jessica will hang out with Devon and pretend to be Liz all night while Liz enjoys her prom night with Todd. How is this a good plan? So there are two Elizabeths and no Jessicas at this prom? Whatever. They’re not even trying anymore.

Jessica has a great time with Devon, but then Lila drags her off to the bathroom, where she threatens to tell Devon the truth. She’s miserable because she doesn’t have a date, so she wants to spread the misery around. They argue for a minute and then Lila says Jessica’s not worth the effort. After they leave the bathroom, Courtney comes out of a stall feeling like an evil genius. While Jessica talks to some of the cheerleaders, Courtney tells Devon he’s been dancing with Jessica all night. Devon is pissed. He marches over to Todd and Liz and makes a scene. Both Devon and Todd are completely disgusted with the twins. Liz runs out of the room in tears.

Jessica finally decides to come back to the ballroom, and Lila catches her and tells her Devon and Todd found out what was happening and that Liz wants to talk to her and is waiting in the golf shed. Jessica runs off that way, but she doesn’t know that Lila and Courtney are working together to bring the twins down. Liz is actually in the pool house crying to Enid and black Maria. Lila runs in and tells Liz that Jessica wants to talk in the golf shed, and she’s aggravated when Enid and Maria insist on going with her. While Courtney is locking the twins, Enid and Maria in the shed, Lila goes on to do the rest of her job. She’s supposed to convince Todd and Devon to get on the party yacht the school is renting.

Maria’s date, Tyler, and Blubber Johnson find the girls and Blubber breaks down the door. Well, that’s one upside to dating a football player. They run to the dock and get there just as the yacht starts sailing away. They get hold of a speedboat and go after it. I don’t really get what they’re going to do when they get to it, but we never get to find out because as soon as they get close, they see Courtney push Todd overboard. So she’s not just a bitch, she’s also homicidal. Liz jumps in and saves Todd. Once he’s on the speedboat, he thanks Liz for saving his life, but tells her he doesn’t ever want to see her again.

Quotes:

Todd’s jaw tightened. “You heard me. I don’t want to see you anymore. I can’t let you keep playing with me the way you have been.” He closed his eyes, and when he spoke again, his voice sounded distant and harsh, not at all like Todd. “I won’t play the fool anymore, Liz.”

Todd’s breakup speech.

The Cover: Doesn’t Lila look like some kind of dominatrix back there? Or, like, a madam keeping an eye on her girls?