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

#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

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