A 30-something's lovingly sarcastic journey through all of Sweet Valley High, and then some

Archive for August, 2009

#17 Love Letters

Yes, I know I’ve been MIA for a while, but I’ve still been reading all the SVHs. I’m currently on Super Edition #2, so I have a lot of catch-up entries to post. Thankfully, I had already written most of them; I was just too lazy to edit, scan in the books for the pictures, and post. But let’s get on with it! Here’s book 17, which sounded pretty dumb to me, and it kind of is. It’s all about Caroline, the redheaded, annoying gossipymouth who’s always hanging around stirring up trouble. Caroline lives to prove to her beautiful older college sister, Anita, that she’s really special. Anita apparently doesn’t pay enough attention to her, so Caroline starts composing fake love letters from her “boyfriend,” Adam, who lives two hours away in Cold Springs. She also shares them with all the girls at school, hoping that they will like her more, but they only seem more pissed off at her. You see, Caroline is a member of that snotty Pi Beta Alpha sorority, but I have no clue how she got in, since everyone despises her. I guess she’s that “friend that nobody likes” that Dane Cook did a comedy skit on. Even Winston Egbert (whose old girl Mandy Farmer moved away, by the way) doesn’t like her. It’s mentioned that Caroline had a secret crush on him once.
Man Caroline, you really suck.
The real reason people don’t like Caroline is because she’s always running her mouth about people. The same is true of just about everyone else in the school, of course, but Caroline is apparently really bad. She causes a huge showdown between Annie and Ricky when she spreads rumors about Ricky “talking to” Maria Santelli. I don’t get it — he isn’t allowed to talk to someone else? Urrrrr. She also makes sure everyone knows that John Pfeifer might be kicked off the Oracle because he pissed off Penny Ayala.

Meanwhile, Elizabeth works on a play about Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Roger Browning for the Junior Playwriting contest. And — what a coincidence! — we follow Caroline as she checks books about Roger Browning out from the library, and copies parts of love letters as “Adam’s” letters. I’m sure you can see where this is going. Caroline causes more trouble with her gossipyass mouth when she starts a rumor that Bill Chase is getting unauthorized help from Mr. Jaworski for his play entry. Biiiitch, please! Bill has to drop out of the competition, and Liz wins instead. What a shock!

The end result is that the Evil Triad (J, C, and L) figure it out and demand that Caroline bring Adam to Sweet Valley. In fact, Lila even throws a party in his honor. Caroline is miserable, and winds up confessing the whole thing to Anita, who promptly has a heart-to-heart talk with her about her shitty behavior. Caroline sees the light and decides to take the heat for showing up without Adam, but then Liz and Todd bring Todd’s friend Jerry Fisher down from Sweet Valley College and ask him to pretend to be Adam! Liz, what the hell? You didn’t want to help Olivia in the last book, but now you’re all about exonerating somebody else? Even worse, Caroline asks Liz not to read her play for the contest because then everyone will know the truth. Liz goes ahead and reads it, but she seriously considers not doing it! WTF Liz? Anyway, Jerry Fisher posing as “Adam” is handsome and suave. Everyone is totally wowed, but then Caroline actually goes and gets on the mic and tells everybody that Jerry isn’t really Adam, and that there IS no Adam! That takes some balls, but I still don’t understand why she wouldn’t just let it slide. I mean, these kids are dicks anyway! Why not just let them be fooled?
Caroline and Jerry get together and she gets her first real boyfriend … yawwwwwn.

The sub-plot: Mrs. Wakefield gets a great offer for a promotion at work, that would require her to move to San Francisco. While she’s mulling it over, but keeping it a secret from the kids, nosy Caroline GOES THROUGH THE WAKEFIELD TRASH and finds a copy of a letter from Mrs. Wakefield telling the firm she’ll “think it over.” How did she find that copy so easily? Don’t they keep their trash tied in bags? Anyway, the twins are devastated, and after confronting their parents and acting like spoiled brats, they start launching a campaign to remind them what’s so great about Sweet Valley. What IS so great? Everyone seems like an ass. Anyway, they have shitloads of brochures sent to them from the Chamber of Commerce. Jessica pretends to break down in the Fiat right at a scenic view so that Mr. Wakefield will have to come up there after her. The twins ask their parents to take them to Tiberino’s, the Italian restaurant where Mr. Ned Wakefield proposed to Mrs. Alice Wakefield . And … drumroll … it works. Of course it worked, what kind of series would this be without those twins?

WTF? Caroline tells Anita that Cara was at the Patmans’ country club dance for Roger with “a real nerd.” Oh, Cara! Come to think of it, who the hell likes Cara?

-Caroline lives on the same street as the Wakefields (Calico Drive), and she spends a lot of time hanging around their house and longing to be as fabulous as the Wakefield twins. Give me a break!
-When Liz wins the play competition, the applause is “deafening.” That’s weird to me. Who cares that much about a play competition in high school?
-Caroline is seriously the most unlikable character, ever. I think we knew a lot of girls like that in high school, who were very unlikeable and blamed it on their looks or whatever, but were actually just plain annoying/gossipy/bossy/demanding/snotty, and nobody could muster up the courage to tell them the truth. Hell, I know girls like that now!

What about the cover? It’s a gross peach shade. It reminds me of these shorts I used to wear in the fifth grade with a matching top. Caroline doesn’t look as fugly as everyone says she is, but her clothes are hideous … as are Liz’s who looks like she’s about to stuff that letter right down Caroline’s throat.

In the back: The same old book order forms for the same old series.

Up next: Bruce the womanizer utters sweet nothings, acts a fool

#16 Rags to Riches

Roger’s mom is dead, it turns out he’s really the “illegitimate” son of Bruce Patman’s uncle, and suddenly Roger PATMAN is super rich and living in the Patman mansion! I’ll give you one guess who’s all over that. Jessica “Supabitch” Wakefield heads right over to the Patman’s party honoring Roger, now that he’s a “true” Patman and all. (I guess so long as his mom was alive, he wasn’t really a part of their family. What the fuck?) Jessica is ridiculous sucking up to Mrs. Patman. The Patmans, by the way, talk like total snotty idiots. They make Roger feel stupid because he likes to run, wants to be a doctor, and doesn’t know which fork is which at the dinner table. Oh, and because he spills wine all over Mrs. Patman’s dinner guest. Way to go, Rog! Meanwhile, Jessica is busy trying to make Olivia Davison, Roger’s girl, feel equally stupid so she’ll figure out that she isn’t right for the new Roger. How does she do this? Well, she:

  • -Pretends to be Olivia’s brand new best best friend so Olivia will listen to everything she says about “impressing” the Patmans
    -Encourages Olivia to wear her typical artsy/indie clothes to a Patman gathering, and her old run-down sweats to a tennis game
    -Starts dressing all preppy again, I guess like she did when she was with Bruce
    -Encourages Olivia to play tennis to begin with, so that Jess can show off her skills while Olivia looks clumsy and stupid
    -Gets Olivia to get a full plate of food at the Patman barbecue, plus a second plate with dessert, or something, so that everyone will think she is a huge pig. (Seriously, WHAT THE FUCK?)
    -Somehow gets Olivia involved in a diving contest at the Patman’s pool, in which she of course belly-flops while Jess does a beautiful swan dive

Ultimately, Olivia freaks out and dumps Roger, who consoles himself by deciding to take Jessica to some dance at the Patman house (after she makes up a story about Olivia planning to humiliate Roger at the party by standing him up — and Roger is stupid enough, and apparently doesn’t know his girlfriend well enough, that he believes Jessica). Then, he changes his mind with the help of Liz, who was kind enough to shed some light on the situation, and lets Olivia know he still loves her in front of everyone … awwwww.

The sub-plot: Regina Morrow is seen around town a lot with an older man, and everyone is just scandalized, until it’s revealed he’s really her modeling agent, and she’s going to be on the next cover of Ingenue magazine with a special story about overcoming being deaf. Lila tries to scam the cover from her, but the agent, Lane Townsend, tells Lila her face would “look flat” in modeling pictures. Hilarious! Also, the sub-plot reveals that Regina is deaf because her mother took too many diet pills when she was pregnant with her.

WTF? I was surprised that this book had a lot of these. For starters:

*What kind of HS cafeteria serves Hungarian goulash? Apparently, SVHS!

*Bruce wears a little Speedo at the swimming pool, and Todd and George make jokes about how tiny it is, calling it a “Band-Aid” while staring at his crotch. Ummmm … gay much?

*Liz is a stupid dumbass bitch and thinks that Jessica actually genuinely likes Olivia. Come on Liz, really?

*Jessica is still with Neil or whatever, although not seriously, but she pretty much ignores him in her quest to get Roger to date her. However, thankfully Neil’s still there as a safety date to the Patmans’ big party once Roger comes to his senses and drops her as his date. Is Neil a loser or what?

*The bottom line is that everyone in this book is an idiot.

*Oh, yeah, I’m confused about something, but I guess I need to go back to book 3 and check … didn’t Jessica hang out with the Patmans before, when she was dating Bruce? So how does Mrs. Patman not have a clue who she is? She must be a total lush.

*When Lila’s talking about Regina running around with Lane, she implies that they must be doing it because “everyone knows what older men are like.” Seriously? Is no one else having sex in this town except Bruce?

*Speaking of Lila, she brings some dude named Drake Howard to the Patmans’ big party.

The cover: Roger is wearing a double-popped collar. You gotta be kidding me. I seriously cannot believe what I am looking at. I must not know enough about 80s style. Jessica is wearing the same tank top she had on the last cover, but in pink this time, and she’s clearly not wearing a bra. Roger looks like this kid I went to high school with!

In the back of the book: Nothing really.

What’s next: Shirtwaist-wearing Caroline (see a previous entry for a picture of a shirtwaist!) apparently has some kind of super romantic boyfriend … or does she?

#15 Promises

The plot: Hey, Betsy! You’s a ho! HO! You’s a ho! I said that you’s a ho! Okay, so that’s the jist of this whole story. Good night.
….Oh, alright. So, Betsy Martin is Tricia’s older sister. She graduated from high school already, and she lives at home with angelic Tricia and their drunk father, who can’t get over their mother’s death from cancer, years ago. So now Tricia is dying of cancer as well, but Betsy is too busy drinking and carousing to be at the hospital with her. Yet, after she hears that Tricia is dead, she busts into the hospital crying and screaming, with her shirt pretty much hanging open and alcohol on her breath, wailing that she wasn’t with Tricia when she died and what a horrible sister she is. Of course, we see all this through the eyes of Jessica the Bitch Twin. Jessica despises Betsy, seems secretly relieved the Wakefields are no longer associated with the Martins, and is more concerned that she can’t figure out what to wear to Tricia’s funeral than she is that her brother is in deep mourning. Well, joke’s on you, bi-otch! Turns out Steven made a promise to Tricia when she died that he would take care of Betsy, and Betsy just moves right in with the Wakefields!
Jessica is just horrified at having the town tramp in the house! It’s true that Betsy is a prickly pear, because she thinks everyone is assuming she wants to do them and snort all their cocaine. But Jess is really horrified when Betsy starts hanging around Steven every waking minute, and appears to be crushing on him hardcore. At Lila’s suggestion, Jessica snoops through Betsy’s luggage, thinking she’ll find some drugs there that can be used to get Betsy kicked out of the house, but there’s nothing. Why the hell didn’t she just go get some pills or something from her old friend Rick Andover, and plant them in Betsy’s things? Jessica isn’t about to give up, but thankfully for Betsy, she has good old Elizabeth meddling in her business, and of course, there’s a hidden talent (art) and a potential love interest, college student and local art teacher, Jason Stone. Betsy decides to start taking Jason’s class, but flips out when he asks her out on a date, and then again when she thinks he’s just fucking with her about trying to get into the Los Angeles Academy of Fine Arts. Her smartassed reactions are actually really hilarious. She gets so mad at Jason she starts mimicking him to his face, and openly states that he just wants “a night alone with me.” And at the breakfast table! HAHAHA! Anyway, Saint Liz, Jason, and Steven concoct a plan to secretly get Betsy into the art school, but then Jessica spoils it by telling Betsy about Steven’s promise to Tricia. Assuming that Steven doesn’t really give a crap about her but just feels bound to Betsy (which, honestly, he probably does), Betsy takes off to the Shady Lady bar for some good old fashioned drinkin’ and fuckin’ two guys at once! Needless to say, the boys show up, a fight ensues, Jason wows everyone with his karate skills (yes, really), and Betsy realizes they really do care. Jessica cracks me the fuck up by thinking, Spare me the corny make-up scene when Betsy apologizes to Steven.
The sub-plot: Winston Egbert attemps to break a world pizza-eating record at Guido’s Pizza. And, he fails to break the record. That’s all.
WTF? Jessica starts dating Neil Freemount in this book. I guess he’s just some random character inserted to keep her occupied until she goes after someone more notable.
*Betsy laughs when Liz suggests they have a brownie and milk together, and calls milk “The good girl’s drink” HAHAHA! No 40’s in this household, Betsy!
*The Triad of Evil (Jessica, Cara, Lila) try to find out why Bruce Patman’s family is paying for Roger Barrett’s mother’s operation. (This is the lead-in to the next book) They elect Cara to go ask him, and she wails, “Why me? Bruce Patman has never even stopped to give me the time of day!” Yes, he has — she went on at length in Book 3 about how she dated him for a while and he was an ass to her! Lila went out with him, too, but Jessica is the only one who refuses to ask because of her “history” with Bruce. Jess is self-centered enough that it makes sense she thinks she’s the only one who was hurt enough by him. She’s probably just the only one who actually banged him.
*Tim Houseman gets together with Dana Larson. Okay, who really cares about Dana Larson? And who the fuck is Tim Houseman? There’s already a Tim Bradley in the series.
*Jessica remembers the time she got a speeding ticket on the way to Miller’s Point, and it wasn’t worth it because Paul Sherwood is the worst kisser alive.
*Jessica says that Betsy was at Miller’s Point with “Charlie Cashman and Jim Sturbridge … Both of them. At the same time.” Wow, that’s a direct reference to a threesome.
*Betsy says she’s going to smoke some “dynamite” pot and she gives Crunch and Charlie “wet” kisses in front of Steven and Jason. WTF!
*There’s another dumb dancing scene at the Beach Disco. I can’t remember when they stop talking about the Beach Disco in the SVH series, but I kind of hope it’s soon.
From the mouth of Lila Fowler: “Why, our stable boy has more class than Betsy Martin.”
The cover: Yes, that’s really Betsy. Totally awesome facial expression! “Duuuuur?” Her shirt is Miss Goody Goody though. Why isn’t Liz wearing it? Hell, Jessica’s little tank top is skimpier! The artist should’ve opened several buttons and shown major cleave. Maybe he did originally, and they made him change it!
What’s next? Roger’s mother dies of heart problems, and … dun dun dun … it turns out he’s not who you think he is!
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