1) Expand upon Elizabeth’s deep-seated desire to interfere with the lives of all the mere mortals who cross her path. How does this exemplify Elizabeth as the Patron Saint of Sweet Valley?
2) Do you think Jessica is really still a virgin? Explain why or why not.
3) Compare and contrast Elizabeth’s relationship with Jeffrey to the relationship she had with Todd. Which boy is the bigger tool? Which boy evokes your sympathy for being stuck with Elizabeth more, and why?
Sounds like a fucking delightful way to spend a Saturday afternoon! But I have no room to talk, this is the fourth SVH book in a row that I have read in just the past two days and I feel like parts of my brain have died. I need to give it a break soon.
Uh, so why the hell are the twins dressed like that? Well, they are headed to Walkersville, Kansas, to visit their great Uncle Herman and Aunt Shirley for 11 days, and I guess that’s what they think everybody in Kansas dresses like. God, Liz looks like a DOUCHE with that stupid belt and scarf over her schoolteacher outfit. And Jessica is just like, “Uh …. is this really happening? Am I really wearing a prairie hobag dress and spinning around a big old field waiting for a farmer boy to come pay me a sweet penny?” GUH.
Herman and Shirley Walker are Alice Wakefield’s aunt and uncle. Alice warns the girls that they are to “do as the Romans do” meaning that Kansas can’t possibly compare to the sunny streets of Sweet Valley and the twins should just accept that and shut the fuck up. Speaking of Rome, Lila is going there with her dad for spring break and Jessica is pouting about it. Should’ve refrigerated that Tofu-Glo, Jess.
The twins arrive in Kansas and they literally ride around the town with their heads hanging out the windows ooh-ing and aah-ing and gasping with disbelief that they are in a real small town. For some reason their great-aunt and uncle are not insulted by this. It gets even worse when they arrive at Five Elms, the family homestead. They gasp out loud at the country decor and the “huge brick fireplace that really worked”! What the fuck, have they never seen a wood fireplace before? What the fuck is this shit? Do I have to read the rest of this?
Ugh … moving on. Herman and Shirley are pretty old-fashioned. I can’t believe the twins really wanted to spend almost two weeks with them. What a complete drag for two sixteen-year-olds. I would’ve died of boredom. Even the car ride to the town sounds awful. Herman and Shirley rag on Elizabeth when they hear she has a serious boyfriend because she’s so young, and then Jessica sucks up to them by talking about how she agrees completely and would never date just one guy and Liz gives her the evil eye. Heh … one of my close friends has two old country grandmas who wanted her to get married and have kids right out of high school.
The girls go out to get a tour of Walkersville from Shirley and Herman. Jessica ditches them briefly to “go look in a craft shop” and by that I mean she wants to drape herself over some boys she saw hanging outside Walker’s, the five-and-dime Herman owns. She introduces herself to Dennis Stevens and his four friends, Louis, Sam, Hank, and Matthew. She starts flirting with Dennis and the boys “couldn’t believe she was really from California” and stammer from the nervousness of meeting glamorous Jessica. They even ask her if she’s ever met any movie stars since I guess people living in Kansas are too dumb to understand not everyone in Cali knows a movie star. Seriously, who wrote this?
While Jessica is still giggling with Dennis and friends and making them all tongue-tied, Dennis’s girlfriend Annie Sue Sawyer and her friend Mary Hamilton show up. Jessica doesn’t understand why Annie Sue doesn’t like her very much since Jess was just flirting with her boyfriend and all, no big deal. Annie Sue brags about a party Jessica isn’t invited to, and Jessica feels bad. WAAAAH. You NEVER treated anybody like this, right Jess? Jessica catches up to her boring relatives and asks Shirley about Annie Sue. Shirley thinks Annie Sue is “the sweetest girl in town” and later on introduces her to Liz and tries to get them to hang out. Annie Sue makes up some bullshit about having to run but it’s clear she hates both twins. You and me both, Annie Sue Sawyer. Is that the most stereotypical name you’ve heard so far or what? Liz wisely surmises that everyone probably feels threatened by them because they’re such glamorous outsiders and they’re just too much for this small town. Jesus.
The next day, Herman and Shirley take the twins to the carnival and Jessica creams herself because she’s never been to a real live carnival before! Ohboyohboyohboy! (And by the way that’s bullshit, there are numerous books that revolve around a fair or carnival of some kind.) Jessica scandalizes Shirley by wearing a ridiculous rhinestone jumpsuit, but Liz isn’t much better with a plaid skirt. Who wears a skirt and sweater to a carnival! Jessica can’t wait to meet a sexy carnie and is pissed when Shirley warns her of the obvious: carnies are gross. DUH. The carnival kind of sucks until they meet a sexy college boy from Kansas City named Alex Parker who’s giving horsey rides. Golly gee whiz, he’s a twin too! His twin’s name is Brad! Brad happens to be a lot like Liz! A twin for each twin! Wowsers! I’m sorry, I’ll try to control myself. This book is just way more ridiculous than I remembered. Long story short, Jessica tries to set it up so that the two sets of twins can double-date. Alex is extremely uncomfortable at this idea, and starts mumbling shit about why it isn’t possible for Alex and Brad to be together at the same time (their schedules are just so different in this tiny town!). He also studies Elizabeth carefully while slowwwly figuring out how to describe Brad to them, and hey! it just so turns out Brad matches everything Elizabeth already said about herself. If by now you haven’t figured out that there is no Brad, and Alex is just a creepy carnie hoping to score with both underage chicks, then you are hopeless. But the twins totally fall for it and Liz sends herself on a guilt trip for being attracted to someone other than Jeffrey.
Jessica makes plans to meet Alex later that evening. She tells Shirley about Alex and almost gives the old gal a heart attack. No, really! She literally clutches her heart and begs Herman to bring her her pills! I am not making this up. So Jessica stomps back to her room because Aunt Shirley doesn’t want her to get raped by some strange overage carnie man. Jess then sneaks out to meet Alex and Liz freaks out over having to cover for Jessica which she should be used to doing by now. Jessica has a lovely evening riding a stallion named Midnight with Alex.
Annie Sue spends a lot of time stalking around glaring at the twins, particularly Jessica. Jessica and Elizabeth get put to work helping out a girl named Mindy behind the soda fountain counter of the five-and-dime … man, what a vacation. Dennis and friends come in and flirt with them, then Annie Sue and Mary come by and see that and aren’t very pleased. I guess not since Mary’s boyfriend Hank was just checking himself out some Jessica.
Annie Sue’s grandmother invites them out to her farm to have lunch with Annie Sue and her friends. But when they get to the farm, no one has shown up but Annie Sue’s little sister Janie, who’s dressed like Carrie Ingalls and is also a 9-year-old brat from hell. Janie tries to get Jessica kicked by a cow, Elizabeth stampeded by pigs, gets the twins lost in the woods, and tries to lead them into poison ivy. Then the twins get back and decide not to tattle on her … what the fuck? I’d be all about that. I hate bratty kids. Then they have to wait on the porch for Annie Sue, who of course stands them up. The twins feel “humiliated” which I don’t get. They still get to eat lunch and apple pie and instead of enjoying it they feel “mortified.” Dude, you’re not the ones acting like assholes. Enjoy the nice lunch so Mrs. Sawyer doesn’t feel completely horrible about her dumb granddaughter.
Jessica sneaks out every night to get some Alex action, causing Herman and Shirley to become concerned she is either sick or depressed since she “goes to bed” at 9 every night and then sleeps in past 10. Of course, Liz goes ahead and comes clean to Shirley about Brad, and convinces her to let her see him (in the daytime) since Shirley is terrified the twins might get knocked up by a carnie baby daddy. Hehehe. Shirley relents because it’s Liz. So Liz sees him, feels guilty about liking him, but ultimately nothing happens between them at all, no kisses or anything. The most exciting thing that occurs is Brad injures his hand on a nail or something and gushes some blood.
Jessica, meanwhile, tries again to get old Herm and Shirl to let her see Alex, but flips out when they won’t let her walk to the carnival in the dark by herself to meet him. And then she freaks out again when they ask to at least meet him first before giving their consent for Jess to date him. What the fuck? My parents always wanted to meet guys that I was dating. Is that so strange, to want to make sure your daughter is hanging out with a decent fella?
Jessica doesn’t bring Alex over, but continues to see him after dark anyway. She decides she’s falling in “love” with him, or Jessica’s version of love anyway. Annie Sue sees them out one evening with Midnight, and comes into the five-and-ten the next day to harass Jessica about it and threaten to tell the Walkers. She starts blackmailing Jess into giving her a bunch of shit like her rhinestone headband, cowboy boots, a pin, sunglasses, necklace, etc. You’d think Jessica would just stop wearing these accessories since she knows Annie Sue will take them. Of course, Annie Sue can’t help but want to be like Jessica since she’s so stylish and glamorous and beautiful. Annie Sue and her friends Mary Hamilton, Susie, and Carol all start dressing like Jessica, but of course they’re described as looking plainer than Jess. Just kill me.
As the end of this too-long vacation comes to a close, Herman and Shirley decide that since they haven’t even met these Parker twins the girls are always talking about, and the bratty Wakefields refuse to let them meet them, that they can’t go to big square dance with them. Jessica thinks that Herman and Shirley should just get a grip and accept that since Alex’s dad OWNS the carnival, he’s clearly a good guy. Only poor people commit rapes and shit. God. Just let them meet your stupid carnies already, then go have fun rolling in the hay at the square dance! But noooo, Jess just flips out about the square dance and runs away to the carnival to see Alex one last time. Annie Sue is there and she announces her daddy just bought Alex’s prize, but moody stallion, Midnight and then demands to ride him. Jessica tries to stop her, but Annie Sue throws herself on the horse and jerks the reins too hard, and of course the poor horsey flips out and gallops around trying to throw her. I wish he would. Jessica saves Annie Sue in front of a bunch of people, conveniently just as the Walkers arrive with Elizabeth. This is all it takes for the Walkers to completely forget their precious grand-nieces are a couple of lying twats. The whole town praises Jessica, and Annie Sue does a complete 180 and has a deep talk with both twins about what an ass she has been, and why she’s that way, and how insecure she’s always been, and she feels trapped, and bla bla, and riiiiiiiiight. Liz thinks about how much she “pities” Annie Sue and I want to slap her. Annie Sue even throws a huge party and invites the whole town, and stands up on a chair and makes an impassioned speech about how much she loves the twins. Then she starts insisting they come visit again soon. Yeah, right, we all know we’re never going to hear of any of these people ever again.
At this party, Liz sees that Alex has a hand injury just like the one Brad has, and finally puts two and two together. DUH! There is no Brad! It’s all Alex! Liz is infuriated but keeps the secret from Jessica because she doesn’t want to hurt her, because Jess loves Alex so much. Just like she allowed Jean-Claude to think Jessica was her because they loved each other so much. But Liz does decide that she has to get back at Alex in the most juvenile way possible. So when the square dance rolls around, she gets Annie Sue to torment Alex by continuously cutting in on him to get him to dance with Liz, then Jess, then Liz, then Jess … Alex gets worn out and he finally apologizes to Liz. You see, he liked both twins! They’re both so beautiful, and glamorous! They don’t have anything like that out thur in Kansas! He couldn’t help it! But now he really likes just Jessica! It’s okay!
I think anyone from Kansas who reads this book should be personally insulted and write Bantam nasty letters!
Other stuff: Cara Walker’s name is typoed as “Cora Walker.” Oh, Cara, you’re so effing forgettable.
Dennis is baffled by the rhinestones on Jessica’s jumpsuit and asks her if they are real diamonds. Kill me
When Alex tries to hide his bandaged hand, he puts his hand in his pocket and “looks uncomfortable” and everyone wants to know why. If it were me, I would’ve assumed he had a boner and left the poor dude alone.
Annie Sue explains herself to Jessica by saying that she’s an only child, and Jessica doesn’t challenge it even though just a few chapters back, Annie Sue’s little sister Janie was harassing them. Wow, a glaring continuity error within one book.
In case you were wondering – no, Herman and Shirley Walker aren’t any relation to “Cora” Walker. It drives me INSANE how uncreative the ghostwriters are with names.
Worst. Super. Edition. Ever. Seriously, this one might be worse than Winter Carnival! And I REALLY hated that one.
Next up: A pretty high school dropout tries to give school another shot, which of course means she’s fair game for Jessica and her bitch friends.