Ahhh, another Sweet Valley classic! I felt like I should be kicking back in a giant armchair by the fire, smoking a pipe and introducing Jessica as she cries by Elizabeth’s bedside …
The cover: A lovely lavender with a dead serious (and somehow very 30-something-looking) Jessica clutching a black and white picture of her sister, Elizabeth. The tag line, the blurb on the back, and the excerpt in the front of the book are all designed to make us think that Liz is in a coma for the entire book, and that we won’t find out if she lives until the end. But…
The plot completely breezes past this part. Liz wakes up at the end of Chapter One, after several pages of helpless crying from Jessica and Todd and a sexy doctor convincing Jessica that all she has to do is beg Liz to wake up. So, yeah, Liz wakes up, and she flirts with that doctor and basically every other male she comes across – except Todd. She decides Enid is indeed a bore, that too much makeup is not enough, and that grades and chores are for chumps while clothes and boys-only parties at the Wakefield lair are totally awesome. Yeah … she wants a party with a ton of boys all to herself. What’s that about? Dreams of gangbangs? (She’s talked out of that last idea by Jessica, who secretly wishes that they could have that kind of party!) So Liz has become Jessica, pretty much. Yet Jessica is completely shocked and feels like she doesn’t have a sister anymore, but when she tries to talk to her parents about it, they brush her off. Nice parenting there, Ned and Alice.
Jess realizes Liz now equals Jessica with an extra dash of crazy and starts to see things from old Liz’s view … or so we think. Todd decides that crazy new Liz just hates him because the accident is somehow his fault and slunks around the school moping and losing basketball games. Enid just kind of fades away after one confused conversation with Jessica. Nice. Meanwhile, I don’t recall seeing any mention of Crunch McAllister getting his due for driving drunk! And if there is one, it’s so small that I forgot all about it! A perfect opportunity to teach kids about driving drunk … wasted. Way to go
Anyway, crazy new Liz:
- Flirts with Mr. Collins. INAPPROP!
- Writes a fake item in Eyes and Ears about Susan Stewart cheating on Ken Matthews, because she thinks this will help her get into Ken’s pants
- Gets fired from the paper for writing that shit
- Coaxes Winston into letting her copy his paper because she doesn’t wanna do hers
- Gets in big trouble for cheating
- Pisses Lila off for trying to steal her boyfriend Tim (um, Tim who?)
- Drives Max Dellon’s motorcycle (Max is another Droid)
- Causes Jessica and Todd to bond over the situation! WOW!
- Gets wasted with Bruce at Lila’s “pickup party” (yes, I said pickup party … sounds like college!)
- Rides off in Bruce’s Porsche and is about to drunkenly do him when Todd punches Bruce and makes Liz go home
- Stands up Bill Chase, who’s been in love with her for a long time, to run off with Bruce. (Todd actually tells Bill to just go ahead and date Liz if that’s what he wants. We aren’t supposed to think Todd would want to punch Bill out??)
- Almost bangs Bruce at his parents’ beach house! He slides his hand onto her breast and she says it feels good! You dirty slut, Liz.
The only reason Bruce doesn’t get to hit it with Liz is because she falls and hits her head in the bedroom and comes back to life. When she freaks out and tries to get away from Bruce, he tries to scare her into banging him with threats of ruining her reputation, and shows her how strong tennis has made his wrists by twisting Liz’s around … oh, Bruce, you silly rapist, you. Yes, another one. Liz wrecks Bruce’s shit and tears out of the house and up the beach to find Todd and sob in his arms. Epic FAIL, Bruce!
The sub-plot ties in nicely. The Percy twins, twelve-year-old bores from down the street, come to stay with the Wakefields for a few weeks while their parents are away. The Wakefield twins are supposed to look after them, but of course Liz always takes off at just the right time, wrecking her sister’s dates with Danny Stauffer (she’s with him again) by forcing Jess to look after the twins instead. Eventually Jessica has to stand Danny up for a beach date to take the twins to a music audition (no cell phones = you lose) and when she does get to the beach, she spots Danny with his arm around some other girl. But then the twins help Jessica defend herself to her parents after she gets a speeding ticket and then hits some man’s car.
WTF? Jessica has to promise Danny “anything” he wants (a blowjob?) in order to get him to take the twins along with them to their drive-in movie date.
-Jessica tells her reflection that she’s glad she lost TWO POUNDS because “Danny wouldn’t want to put his arms around a blimpo.” Yes, because a size six with two extra pounds is a real blimpo, Jessica fucking Wakefield! I read this as a young, impressionable girl! Can I blame this chick for every body image problem I’ve ever had?
-The twins dress as “sexy matadors” for Lila’s pickup party … WHAT. THE. FUCK.
-Bruce keeps calling Liz “Sweet Liz.” So creepy.
-After Liz stands up Bill, Jessica decides to take a page from her old book of tricks and impersonates Liz so she can meet Bill instead. She’s mad because Bill’s never paid her any attention, even turning her down for the Sadie Hawkins dance one time. She gets Bill to admit he’s fallen in love with her (her = Liz), and makes out with him on the beach. then spills the beans about her real identity. She’s doing this because the plan is somehow supposed to get Bill to fall out of love with Liz and in love with Jess. Because that makes tons of sense.
Personally speaking, I think this book was an excuse for Liz to have some real fun for a change without having to suffer any consequences. Hey, it was that bump on her head! She can’t be blamed if she loses her golden hymen to Bruce Patman! I so wish she had bumped her head again AFTER the dirty deed was already done!
EDIT: Trivia Time! I’ve now heard that this book was originally supposed to be called About-Face and that one of the original printings of book 5 has an excerpt from book 7 with that title.
In the back of the book is nothing special.
Next up: Jessica torments Bill because she has learned nothing from Dear Sister.