I currently feel like I’m stuck in an arc of the dumbest SV books ever. Yes, I know they’re all kind of dumb. I’m doing this SVH project out of a mixture of love/hate, the same way I love to watch shitty low-budget horror movies on the Sci-Fi (or is that SyFy) channel. But every time I thought about reading this sad tale of Liz losing her precious toolbag Todd, I wanted to retch. We learned in the last book that Todd was moving away because he read a stupid poem or some shit at the talent show in front of everyone. Yes, he and his family are moving to Vermont. He sells his Datsun and the family takes off like, one week after the announcement. Elizabeth is mopey and miserable and Jessica can’t stand it. Of course, her main motivation is that she doesn’t like Todd after he chose Liz over her in book 1. Waaaah. So, Jess decides that she will have Nicholas Morrow replace Todd — we already know that Nicholas is in love with Liz, since Liz gave in to his overly pushy, creepy tactics in book 14. Barf. It’s also pretty funny that Jessica wants Nicholas to replace Todd when Nicholas also chose Liz over Jess! Shouldn’t she be pissed about that also, since she throws such a tantrum over Todd? (Why do they keep insisting that Jess always gets her man?)
After Todd leaves, Jess tells him when he calls that Liz is miserable and that it’s in her best interest for Todd to leave her alone. Because Todd is stupid and apparently doesn’t remember what a scheming bitch Jessica is, he falls for it and just stops calling and writing. Because Liz is stupid and spends all day writing to Todd and hanging around waiting for his call, she doesn’t even get mad at his sudden silence, and instead just assumes he stopped loving her. She starts going out with Nicholas and basically throwing herself at him. Meanwhile, Todd plans a surprise visit to Sweet Valley, where he of course finds Liz dreamily slow dancing with rich, creepy Nicholas. I’m serious — he gives me the heebie jeebies! Nicholas realizes Liz is still in love with Todd and leaves them be. Durrrr – was she really supposed to get over “coffee-colored eyes” Todd that quickly! Liz finds Todd at his old house later and they make out and decide they won’t strictly decide that neither can ever date anyone else — they’ll stay together but put it on a “let’s see as we go along” basis, making Enid, Jessica, their parents, and everyone else in Sweet Valley happy as that’s what they’ve been insisting they do all along.
The cover: Liz looks like a crying mess, which is appropriate. She always wears those dumb matching barrettes. Todd actually doesn’t look like a tool. He does look a lot older than 16, but that’s typical. The way he’s holding Liz’s hand makes her look super fragile. The cover is bright yellow which seems inappropriate given the sad subject matter.
The subplot: Jess ran up her parents’ charge account for a new outfit from Lisette’s and has to get a job to pay it off. She works for a matchmaking company and of course everything there is pink. She starts snooping around in everyone’s lives and trying to find Steve a new match, completely against company rules I’m sure. She calls three women and tells them about Steven, then asks them not to inform him how they got his number — uh, okay. She stupidly picks these three: Beatrice Barber, a 40 year old who calls Steven nonstop, Jody MacGuire, a punker chick who randomly shows up at the house and blows Jessica’s cover (which of course infuriates Steve, who is home too much anyway), and Melissa Porter, a girl who apparently loves food (read: fat) so much that she decides to not even pursue Steven. We can see that despite book 21, Jessica is really up to her old tricks again! At Lila’s party, Jessica is stuck with some nerd named Spence Millgate who misrepresented himself to the matchmaker agency (just shocking), and Steven is dancing with Cara until Betsy Martin throws a fit over it, and we are all ready for book 24.
This book was just odd. It was more interesting than I thought it would be, though. Thank God for silly side plots. Seriously, why is Steven home so goddamn much? What a loser!
Back of book: Nothing interesting.
Next: Cara and Steven find themselves together again … but this time there’s not one, but two Martin sisters in the way.