A 30-something's lovingly sarcastic journey through all of Sweet Valley High, and then some (with lots of swears)

#14 Deceptions

Well, folks, we’re on book 14, and this is easily the dumbest one yet. I hadn’t had the pleasure of reading this one before, and I see I didn’t miss much. The writing is crap and the story is borrrrring, so let’s get this over with, already, so I can go read about town tramp Betsy Martin instead.

What’s going on? Nicholas Morrow is handsome, rich, and 18 years old, and with once glance at Elizabeth’s “ravishing” smile (gag me), he’s in love with her. He’s also a bit of a freakin’ creeper. He spends the rest of her welcome home party following her around, coercing her into dancing with him and pretty much breathing down her neck while she nervously giggles and tries to shoo him away. As with most creepers, he doesn’t take the hint and professes his undying love to Liz by the end of the night. Liz tells him about Todd, and he keeps whining and bugging her for a date anyway. He finally wins the prize by sending Liz on a guilt trip by telling her she’s not being fair and making her think she is somehow a bad person if she doesn’t go out with this tool when she already has a boyfriend. Her eyes actually fill with tears of misery. Yes, she’s that naive.

And uh … yeah, the days before the date drag on and on as we get to read page after page of Liz feeling guilty and trying to figure out how to tell Todd, which, of course, she doesn’t. I don’t know why not; he’d probably punch Nicholas’s lights out and save the day! Meanwhile, Jessica is convinced she’s hopelessly in love with Nicholas herself and concocts an elaborate scheme (see the sub-plot) to get him, not realizing it’s Liz’s ass he wants. Man, for someone who’s supposed to “always get her man” Jessica sure has to struggle to make dudes notice her a lot.

Let’s just end this crapola story here and now. Liz goes on the dumb date without telling Todd, probably because he already hates Nicholas, with good reason. The dude drooled all over his girl right in front of him at a party, after all. Plus, Todd is such a controlling douchebag that he’d probably hate his guts without a good reason anyway. I mean, he and Liz go to the movies, and Todd tells them what movie they’re going to see, even though Liz doesn’t really like it, and then tells her what movie they’re going to see next time also. He doesn’t even try to compromise or see what she wants to watch. And she just accepts this, doesn’t voice any opinions or anything. Reading this scene now, I’m disgusted because I’m reminded of too many asses I dated in the past — and dumped right quick. I hate boys who try to tell me what to do! AAAAH!

Uh, anyway. Liz is no prize either, because she’s still going on this stupidass date behind her boyfriend’s back, with a boy she doesn’t even like, just to avoid hurting his feelings by, you know, saying “NO, I DON’T CHEAT ON MY MAN. GET OVER YOURSELF, YOU AREN’T AS GREAT AS YOU THINK YOU ARE.” And if she says, “Oh, Todd!” one more time in one more book, I might vomit on the pages. She says it three times between pages 84 and 85 of this book while she’s fawning over how great he is. Lord have mercy, wake up, girl.

Liz goes on the date to an fancyass restaurant called Cote d’or in Malvina (some other town), thinking Todd will be celebrating his mom’s birthday in Sweet Valley, but … surrrrrrrprise! He shows up at the restaurant and catches them holding hands and having coffee, right after the pair agree to be “just friends” because Liz doesn’t love old Saint Nick. (Did you guys drink coffee at 16? I didn’t.) To get out of the situation, Liz pretends to be her twin. Man, that’s convenient, although since she sees Todd long before he sees her, she could just duck under the table or something. Todd buys it, but feels weird and decides to go to the Wakefield house to apologize to Liz for doubting her before Jess gets home to tell her … You guessed it, he meets Jessica instead, plants a big old kiss on her (while she’s wearing a bathrobe), and the story comes out. Man, this part is juicy!

Okay, in truth, I feel kind of bad ragging on Liz like that. I know what it’s like to be expected to be the “nice chick” who never hurts anybody’s feelings, and to feel like you have to put up with dudes’ assholish behavior. But I got over that mess real fast. I was disappointed Liz didn’t call Nicholas and tell him to fuck off and stop bothering her. Or hey, that she didn’t really do anything scandalous with Nicholas. I mean, if you’re going to do something behind Todd’s back, at least make it good.

So, how do they make up (because you know they will)? Well, Elizabeth and Todd both mope around crying all day, and fucking Todd messes up the basketball game and almost makes Sweet Valley lose … NO WAY! Come on Todd, you can’t do that! But then Nicholas goes and has a little pep talk with Todd and lets him know that Liz only went out with him because he basically bullied her into it. You see, Todd, there’s no need to worry! She only did it because she’s a stupid pushover like she’s always been! After this heartwarming talk, Todd bounds back onto the court and totally wows the crowd with his hot b-ball moves! YES! SWEET VALLEY HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL RULES!

And, yes, there’s a totally barf-inducing make-up scene. Liz walks home by herself so she can throw a solitary pity party, and Todd runs after her and they smooch under the stars and bleaaaaaaaauggggggggggh there goes my breakfast!

This book really made me hate these two. Total tools. Every guy in this series is a total ass, I swear.

The sub-plot: Jessica freaks out over a bad grade, until she realizes she can get Randy Mason to fix it for her. She convinces him to hack into the school’s computer network and change the grade, but he gets caught. Elizabeth finds out, of course, and forces Jessica to go over to the principal’s office and confess. Liz, you big narc! No one really gets in trouble, though, because Liz is such a known goody-goody that she then does a 180 and promises the principal that Jessica really isn’t THAT bad. LAME. I really hope there’s a book somewhere where Liz just busts out and goes crazy and turns into a Betsy Martin type. Maybe she should hit her head again.

WTF? I think this entry really says it all, but seriously: Why is every guy at Sweet Valley a cockface? Todd is the biggest douche on the history of the Earth. You should’ve heard him bagging on Betsy Martin when she came into the Dairi Burger drunk; he is just DISGUSTED at the horrible spectacle. I guess underage drinking is practically unheard of by the other kids at school. He calls her “trash” and continues to pass judgment on her and other people while Liz swoons over him, going, “Oh, Todd!” Grow some ovaries, Liz. This dude sucks.

Also, the ghostwriter really goes all out to show you how rich and over-the-top Nicholas Morrow is. He has birds fluttering in a gold cage, or some such nonsense, and his mannerisms are ridiculous.

The cover: Liz has the stupidest look on her face, like she’s being naughty, when her real attitude throughout the whole book is, “Oh, waaaaaaah, woe is me!” Nicholas has sandy blondish-brown hair, but the book describes it as black. FAIL.

In the back of the book: An ad for a special book in the Sweet Dreams teen romance series … what’s so special about it? The girl in the story is going to be an extra in a Michael Jackson video and finds love on the set! Does this mean there’s a paragraph or two where she interacts with Michael? It reminds me of that time I saw there was going to be a Baby-sitters Club book called Stacey and the New Kids on the Block or something. I was so excited because NKOTB was my favorite group as a kid, but then it turned out it was really about … some new kids … on her block.

Here’s a picture of Star Struck (has anyone read this?):

What’s up next? Tricia Martin finally passes away from cancer … oops, did I spoil something? Not to worry, she leaves her terrible ho-bag druggie sister behind!

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Comments on: "#14 Deceptions" (2)

  1. It literally took me years to realize that was supposed to be Nicholas on the cover and not Mr. Collins If You’re Nasty. Why does he look 34? Does being mega rich cause premature aging?

  2. I ABSOLUTELY read that Sweet Dreams book! I remember the cover very well, though I don’t remember the story. My absolute favorite Sweet Dreams book was ‘A Brush With Love’ (girl works at a flower shop and enters love triangle with two boys hired to paint her house over the summer).

    Goddamn do I wish that my mother had never given all of my old books to her local library. I had so many SVH, SVT, SD and BSC books…I could cry just thinking about it. Seriously. Anyway, just had to say that I’m reading these posts way after they were written, but I’m loving them. Such a great trip down memory lane, with the perfect snarky assessment of the many, many what the fuck moments that these books contained. It’s seriously crazy how acceptable near date rape was in the 80’s. I’ve had the new ‘all grown up’ SVH book on my shelf since it came out and I’m afraid to read it for fear of how batshit stupid it’ll be. Anyway, love the site – thanks for all the hard work and entertainment!

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