Lorraine: Hello again! I’m Lorraine. As I’ve mentioned previously, I’ll be helping Sara Nips navigate the vast Sweet Valley High world. This is my first time reading any of the books. I am unspoiled as far as plot lines and I have zero emotional attachment to any characters. I’m not afraid to call bullshit when I see it. So, here we go:
First book, first page and we open our story with… some girl complaining about how horrendous she looks.
Her name is Jessica Wakefield. I’ll spare you the details of her three page tirade about how terrible looking she is, mostly because this is all the author’s way of telling us, the stupid reader at home, just how damn beautiful this girl really is.
“Oh, Lorraine! C’mon! How beautiful is she?“
Fiiiiine. If you insist: She is “without an extra ounce visible anywhere,” has “perfectly shaped bronze leg[s],” she is the “most adorable, most dazzling sixteen-year-old girl imaginable,” has “silky blond hair,” and “long eyelashes over almond-shaped eyes the blue-green color of the Caribbean.”
Get it? No?
Fine. She has “sun streaked blond hair,” “perfect skin,” and is “blessed with spectacular, all-American good looks.” Plus, there are two of them, for she is a twin.
I know that the author is being really stealth here guys, but in case you missed it, these girls are preternaturally pretty.
As a small aside, I’m pretty sure I already hate this twat waffle author because she used the term “all-American” and OMG what does that even mean?! I was born in the flippin’ USA. Am I all-American?
Other stuff we quickly learn about the Sweet Valley-verse: Elizabeth is four minutes older. They wear matching, gold lavalieres. I have no clue what the those are, but that’s probably because I’m un-American. The author also takes great care to tell us that Jessica’s eyes are “mischievous” and Elizabeth’s are “sincere.” Oh, okay I see:
Sara: Apparently, in Sweet Valley, mischievous = WHOREY WHORE WHORE
Lor: That’s a pretty accurate assumption Sara, because just one page in and Jessica is already cockblocking Liz. There is nothing more evil than a cockblock.
See, Liz likes LURVES this guy Todd and he likes her back, but WTF, no one is supposed to like Liz because she doesn’t even have mischievous eyes, dammit. Jessica does not approve. Jess doesn’t really like Todd but he does have a penis, so she’s willing to pass up that small “actually like him” detail in favor of making sure that everything with a penis finds her irresistible.
Moving right along:
Jess and Liz are pledging a sorority. They do stupid stuff to get in, like turn mashed potatoes purple. WILD.
Jess complains about only being upper-middle class.
Jess complains about not being able to drive the car to school.
Jess makes fun of Liz’s nerdy best friend, .
Jess is legitimately bipolar. I refuse to accept this behavior as that of a normal 16 year old.
Sara: Can we please discuss the fact that they have sororities at a high school. I guess that’s what those beautiful all-American girls from California do in their free time, while the rest of us pasty-ass ugly girls do our learning.
Lor: Dude, the sorority thing threw me off too, but then I figured they were special because they wear gold lavaliers. I still don’t know what that is. Maybe I’ll save it as a treat for myself if I make it through this book: “Last page, yay! You get to Google lavaliers!”
Anyways, we meet other people like Bruce the rich douche and Steven, the twins’ older brother.
Sara: Bruce is a rich douche, but I’ll admit… I kind of have a crush on him.
Lor: Jessica keeps going on and on about how awesome Todd is to Liz. I wish I could hate on Jess a little more, but Liz never says, “Hey twinbitch! I like that guy! Can you please stop hitting on him and then telling me about it?” She just starts crying. Seriously. I think every time Jessica talks to her, tears well up in her eyes. What. A. Baby.
Momma Wakefield: Liz you aren’t acting like yourself. Tell me about it, but talk fast because I’m gonna be late to meet a client.
MW: Crap. I’m going to be late, aren’t I?
Liz: *runs away crying*
MW: Guess I won’t be late!
Stupendous parenting! Did I mention that the girls suspect their father of having an affair? Really, when you have big fish to fry like ZOMG TODD DOESN’T LIKE ME, affairs are an after thought. The lady is Marianna and she’s hot and *gasp* divorced, which they mention about 87 million times. Because obviously divorced means she’s a ho fa sho.
Liz secretly writes the gossip column at her school’s newspaper. It’s tradition that if anyone outs the author of the high school gossip column (seriously. What kind of a school is this?) they throw them into the pool fully clothed. #lame.
Sara: I like that Elizabeth is supposed to be an amazing journalist, and she writes…. the gossip column. Scandalous.
Lor: Meanwhile, Jess is telling Todd that Liz already has a date for the dance. Lying is pretty much what Jess is good at. Todd is sad, but to his credit, doesn’t bite when Jess is all, “I’m totally dateless hint, hint, winky, wink.”
Which means that now Jessica is crying, because handling rejection is something she is not good at. This is like 8 cries in the matter of 3 pages. Anyways, Jessica is really pissed that Todd blew her off and didn’t ask her to the dance so she’s going to do what all girls do when we want to get over a boy – attract another boy. Don’t even lie. You do it too. Don’t lie.
Sara: Truth. In 8th grade, I dated a gay guy to make my ex-boyfriend jealous. My mom yelled at me. I cried a Wakefield cry.
Totally got my ex-boyfriend back, though.
Lor: I don’t think there is a gay guy handy, so how will Jess accomplish this? Walk home naturally, as men in cars are always the perviest, which makes attracting attention easier.
Seriously, when you guys get in cars, do you just get an urge to ‘whoop’ at females? Do they teach you how to be gross while driving while us girls are learning about the blood that will leak out of us monthly? I need answers.
Anyways, what do you do when you are walking home and want to attract the most attention ever? No, not take off your shirt. No, not take off your pants. No, not stand on a corner looking prostitute-y. Come on guys! You swing your hips. You go Jessica, with all that mischief in your eyes. You just go, girl.
It works, y’all, shaking your hips. Rick Andover, an “outrageous” 17-year old who dropped out of high school, pulls over to Jessica the Hip Shaking Monster and says, “pardon me, Heaven- which way to Mars?”
Ladies of the world, keep it together, though I know it’s hard in the presence of such absolute game. I’m a sucker for guys asking for directions to other planets. Swoon.
Rick is also said to have danger in his eyes. Danger meet Mischief. She once turned some ‘taters purple.
Jess: Hey perv, why are you undressing me with your eyes?
Rick: Dude, weren’t you just shaking your hips? Isn’t that code for… you know…
Jess: Fine. You win.
Rick: I’m taking you home, unless your mom ever told you something dumb like, “don’t take rides from strangers.”
Jess: That’s so dumb! I do what I want.
Totally dumb Jess. You should totes get in the car. And if we’re ignoring big life lessons, like the whole “stranger danger” thing, I also suggest you ignore the whole “look both ways before crossing the street thing,” too. You know, just for my personal happiness.
She gets in the car and he drives her home. He knows exactly where she lives, too, because he “make[s] it a habit to know where all the foxiest chicks in Sweet Valley live.” Look, Edward Cullen: since the ’80s.
Rick keeps calling Jess “Heaven,” and I kind of want to chop off his balls for it. Now he’s nuzzling her hair. Hey, can someone preemptively call the cops?
He takes her to some bar named Kellys- the baddest bar in Sweet Valley.
Sara: The baddest bar in town is named after a Saved By the Bell character? Oh, Sweet Valley.
Lorraine: Jess is sipping on beer. Rick is slipping his hand up her leg.
“Rick’s eyes narrowed. “All tease and no tickle, huh? Didn’t your mommy tell you not to put anything in the window that you don’t sell in the store?”
What. The. Hell. “All tease and no tickle” made me throw up in my mouth a little. Blah, blah, sexual assault, blah, Rick tries to punch someone, blah the cops arrive.
Best. Cop. Ever.
The rumor spreads at school – “Liz” was brought home by a squad car and was out with Rick Danger. Her reputation is ruined, people shun her and most importantly, Todd doesn’t think he can tap anyone that’s been to Kelly’s.
Jess is all, “blah, blah, whatever. Who cares if your whole reputation is ruined Liz. I just found out our brother is going out with a girl… who sleeps around!” And Jess is afraid – not of STD’s – but of what this’ll do to her reputation. Jessica starts crying (again) because girls who sleep around are the worst of life.
Next two pages, Jessica is still crying. Guys, I don’t think that’s mischief in her eyes. I think it’s a saline build up, from the tears and all.
Sweet Valley must have the cumulative IQ of a wet napkin. Everyone is all, “Elizabeth? At a bar?? It makes no sense. One might almost think she has a walking double of herself. Ahahahahaha. SILLY.”
Enid tells Liz she’ll always be her best friend, even if she is a Kelly’s type of girl, because you never know who has a deep, dark, past, ahem, ahem, hint. ENID? YOU? But… but… You’re a nerd! And your name is Enid! Surely no one with the name Enid can have a dark past.
(I’m secretly hoping she moonlights as a dominatrix! *fingers crossed*)
Breaking news – Papa Fowler of the rich Fowler’s wants to.. buy the high school football field… and build a factory? Look, I’m just throwing these plot lines out at you as they come at me, okay? The rich Patman family wants the land to build a garden. Blah, blah the Fowler and Patman families are all Montague and Capulets except, you know, with that limp noodle IQ.
Kids at school learn that the Patman and Fowler families are fighting over the football field land. The kids are all, “you may take our lives, but you may never take our fooooooooootball (field),” but, you know, with that soggy toast IQ.
Jess comes clean to Todd about being the one at Kelly’s and Todd’s reaction is to be all, “oh you rebellious, adventurous one! You must be taking the blame for your studious, shy sister. Let’s make-out!” He also invites her to the big dance, which leaves Liz going with Winston, “the joke of the school.” It makes Liz happy for, oh, two seconds because she suffers from depression and is suicidal over a boy she’s only ever exchanged longing glances across a cafeteria with.
I’m serious. She’s wished death upon herself a few times in this book already and you know what? If she wants to die…
Sara: I like how Todd doesn’t even bother asking Elizabeth what happened. That would just be too easy for the people in Sweet Valley.
Lorraine: Steven isn’t dating a girl who sleeps around. He’s dating her sister Tricia! Oh, mix-up, how clever and silly you are. She dumped him though because he was ashamed of her poor-ness, hence all the secret-keeping and speculation. Poor people are ewies.
Jessica gets pissed that Todd brought her to the dance but was watching Liz the whole time. He doesn’t even kiss her at the end of the night… so she lies to Liz and says he tried to sexually assault her.
Sara: WHAT. THE. FUCK.
Since when are fake rape accusations the way to handle rejection? Apparently I’ve been doing it wrong all these years.
Lorraine: Me too Sara. Me too. Maybe we should invest in lavaliers to make us smarter. (I can almost Google that!)
Steven and Tricia kiss and make-up after he’s all, “I love you even though you are grossly poor and the daughter of the one drunk in all of Sweet Valley.” Then they cry together.
Liz tells Todd off for getting handsy with her sister. Then she cries alone. For an hour.
SVH gets to keep their football field.
Papa Wakefield wasn’t cheating after all. He really was just working.
One night, Rick Andover sees the girls at a stop light, is drunk, jumps in their car and manages to start driving it. These girls need pepper spray like woah. Todd sees this, though, and stops Rick. It’s all a little hazy at this point because I’m not even sure if this is all logistically sound. I’m a few pages from the end and my eye is twitching. Seriously, I’m not sure where this all came from, though I think the point mostly is to give Todd a chance to punch Rick a few times.
I’m not complaining. “Throat Punch Todd” does have a nice ring to it.
Lorraine: Elizabeth is all, “I don’t care if you did sexually assault my sister. That was hawt TPT.”
But hark! Todd didn’t harass anyone! Jessica is just a lying wanker. Todd and Liz sit around and talk about all the ways Jess lied to them. Liz forgives Jess because Jess rationally explains her thinking and evenly apologizes. JUST KIDDING EVERYONE: She cries.
Sara: HAHA, oh that Jessica, accusing innocent high school boys of rape. She does the zaniest things!
Lorraine: Liz does get even with Jess, however. She tricks Jess into dressing up in her clothes and then outs herself as the writer of the gossip column. Everyone confuses Jess for Liz and Jess gets thrown into the pool. All is right with the world because an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth and a swim for a false accusation of sexual molestation, ruining of a reputation and boyfriend stealing.
Sara keeps telling me that I’ll start liking Jess more eventually, but I mean, she’s gonna have to do a lot to make up for the fact that she’s a manipulative little twit. I’m not particularly fond of Elizabeth’s wild emotions and constant internal whining, but she can just shut up and I’d be okay. At this point, I’d only be okay with Jessica if she were standing in a puddle licking electrical wires.
Sara: Eventually you get used to the fact that Jessica is literally insane and could possibly turn out to be a serial killer because of her lack of remorse for anything she does. When you can just sit back and enjoy the crazy, you start to appreciate Jess a bit more.
Lorraine: Whatever. In the meanwhile, I’m pretty happy hatin’ and calling her Jessi-caca.
Sweet Valley is a strange place. Everyone seems to forget that Jess and Liz are twins who look alike, who you can’t tell apart and THAT COULD BE IMPORTANT LATER.
Sweet baby Jesus.
I think I need a drink. At this rate, I’ll be well on my way to becoming the new town drunk!
See you for the next book!
Author’s Note: Seriously? Lavaliers are freakin’ pendants? I hate you Wakefields.
Next time: Enid has a dirty, dirty secret but it isn’t that she’s boring as hell. Find out what it is in Sweet Valley High #2 – Secrets.