I picked up this book and thought, “What the fuck? This title obviously spoils everything.” But whatever, let’s get going with the second (and last … I think?) book in the “Sweet Valley Scandal” mini-series!
Hahaha, I can’t get over this cover. As you can see here, Sue the bride just crop-dusted everybody with the stinky fart of the century and is smiling on, obliviously thinking that nobody can pin it on her. Unfortunately for her, it was an emission of the silent but deadly variety. It was so deadly, in fact, that Jessica’s bouquet fucking wilted and now she wants to shove it down Sue’s throat while her sister tries to hold her back. Completing the line of people giving Sue the ultimate grossed-out side-eye is Sue’s own groom, Jeremy, who not only uses too much hair gel but knows damn well from whose ass the stench is emanating. The officiant even looks like he paused to choke a little bit.
I hate the bridesmaids’ dresses. Not crazy about the bride’s gown either. And heels in the sand? Wouldn’t that shit be hard to walk in?
When we left off in our last book, Jessica had finally succeeded in (at least temporarily) tearing away the heart of Jeremy Randall, a 23-year-old man she barely knows, from his fiancee, Sue Gibbons. Sue is the eighteen-year-old surviving daughter of Alice Wakefield’s dead college roommate who Alice believes is marrying Jeremy to help her get over her grief, and that’s supposed to be something everyone approves of. That last installment ended with Jessica and Jeremy frantically making out behind the bushes at the Wakefield house during Jeremy and Sue’s engagement party, as the guests try to find them so they can start the toasts. Gee, Jeremy and Jessica missing at the same time, not suspicious at all! When this installment opens, Liz finds them and is pissed, but Jess doesn’t care because her life’s goal is to make as big an ass out of herself as possible over the biggest lunkhead men she can find. Liz stands there lecturing these two lust-birds, and I’m reminded of that scene in SVH #3, Playing with Fire, where Liz stomps into the woods to find Jessica and Bruce rolling around in the leaves and starts acting like Jessica’s mom. Now, as Liz stands there reaming the couple out for their behavior while fixing Jessica’s dress (which is falling off of her on one side because maybe Jeremy got a little boob action), Sue pops up and is like, “Oh! Golly gee whiz! What are you all doing in here?”. Gee, I don’t know why your fiance and the hot girl that keeps making doe eyes at him vanished at the same time and were found in some bushes, Sue! Sue needs help that no one is getting her to get over the death of her mom, and Liz certainly isn’t going to speak the fuck up and help Sue realize she’s being cheated on and deserves better than to settle for this bullSHIT at age 18. No, she’s just going to spend the rest of the book trying to control her dumb ass sister.
The twins march inside for the toasts, which Alice starts before saying that now her daughters will make a toast. Jessica says loudly, “Not this daughter”, then runs upstairs bawling while everyone else wonders what’s wrong with that bitch while simultaneously not really caring. Liz slogs through the toast herself with an excuse that Jessica is drunk on the champagne or something. Then she goes outside and bitches about the situation to Steven, who basically throws his hands up and is all, eh, nothing you can do about it. STEVEN WAKEFIELD doesn’t think she should do anything about it? Who wrote this and how much research did they do on these characters? And Enid is of the same opinion. Of course, the focus of Liz’s dilemma is Jessica’s welfare; nobody gives a shit about Sue and the horrid mistake she’s about to make – marrying this fool during a time of immense grief. I hate Liz for not being honest and exposing what she’s just seen while acting like she thinks it’s so wrong for Jessica to be carrying on this affair. And of course, I reallllly hate Jessica. I swear to god, each new mini-series is just an exercise in “Which twin should readers hate the most this time?”
That night, Jessica dreams that she’s the one marrying Jeremy. Then she wakes up to the sound of Jeremy tapping on her window. She gleefully tells him she was just dreaming about him, but leaves out that it was a marriage dream because that might be “pushing things a little too much”. Yeah okay, I guess that scene last book where she threw herself at Jeremy while wearing his fiancee’s wedding gown wasn’t “a little too much”. Jeremy happily tells her he’s going to take her out on a secret date to watch the sunrise at Secca Lake, and I want to puke. Just as they pull away from embracing each other, Sue also comes outside saying she couldn’t sleep. She is very excited to see Jeremy is in the driveway and assumes he must have come to see her. She’s not surprised at all to see Jessica out there with him, wearing a skimpy sundress, because she just assumes Jessica was “out all night” with her fake boyfriend, Bruce Patman. Sue then babbles on that the three of them should go watch the sunrise together so that Jeremy can get to know Jessica better. She even remarks that Jeremy and Jessica kind of look like brother and sister. I am way more squicked out by this than Jessica is, who seems to find it hot that Jeremy “could be her twin”. Of course, I believe Jessica was the one admiring her real brother’s physique in a previous book, so I guess that wouldn’t really disturb her that much.
The sunrise drive doesn’t go well. Jessica tries to provoke Jeremy into saying something about their affair to Sue, but it’s obvious he doesn’t want to. Sue keeps pissing Jessica off by smooching on Jeremy and chirping about how she can’t wait to marry him. When Sue suggests Jessica must not be feeling well because of the champagne she drank last night (assuming it’s Jessica’s first time drinking champagne and she can’t handle it), Jessica rolls with it and asks to go back home just as they arrive at the lake because she’s still hungover. Then she has to sit through a family breakfast at the house, during which the Wakefield parents chatter on about how Sue is like a sister to the twins now, and remarks are made about Sue and Jeremy sharing a bed in the future.
Jessica chats with Lila on the phone, who only furthers Jessica’s bad mood because she’s all happy she and Robby Goodman have gotten back together. (I keep having flashbacks to Robbie October from Perfect Summer.) Jessica tries to make trouble by implying that Robby only likes Lila for her money. Lila snaps back “I realized how lucky I am that my boyfriend is available and not about to marry someone else.” She then asks Jessica if she’s going to be Jeremy’s mistress, or will she be throwing Sue under a truck like she did her wedding dress? This is why I love Lila. Jessica swears she will do whatever it takes to ensure Jeremy never marries Sue. You know, one way she could do that would be to open her fucking mouth and say something, but I guess Jessica wants to let the man handle everything.
That night, Sue and Jeremy open their engagement presents at the Wakefield house. Jeremy’s parents sent them matching koala sweatshirts from Australia … how precious. They are busy traveling and can’t make the wedding. I feel like no one that this couple actually knows can make their wedding. From the Fowlers, there are pink satin sheets, which cause Jessica to think of Sue and Jeremy rolling around on them and feel sick again. I seriously wish Jessica a lifetime of nonstop vomiting at this point. Sue also opens a big serving platter, which Sue is disappointed is “only pewter” and not silver. Jeremy tries to reassure her that pewter is the better choice for the active lifestyle they will have tramping around rainforests and I’m really confused how a serving platter of any kind fits into that shit at all. Jessica storms off into the kitchen, where Jeremy creepily follows her and tells her that after he gets back from his movie date with Sue that night, he wants Jessica to come meet his car down the block so he can take her somewhere private and fuck her. Well, that’s not exactly what he says, but it might as well be. Liz, naturally, disapproves of this plan and tries to read to Jessica from her latest self-help book as Jessica gets ready for her clandestine fuck fest. Jessica points out that Liz has no room to talk because she was the one being dishonest in London by running around behind Todd’s back with a fake werewolf. Sick burn Jess. Liz still tries to keep Jessica from meeting Jeremy by locking her in her bedroom later. Of course, it takes Jessica maybe 5 minutes max to open the lock with a bobby pin and leave. I’m so confused how Jessica’s own bedroom doors lock from the outside but not the inside. I guess they’re Liz’s doors too since their rooms connect, but what the fuck? Anyway, Jessica escapes and dashes out of the house, leaving Sue to think Jessica is meeting Bruce. As Jessica climbs into Jeremy’s car, she insists they can’t keep up with this secret stuff and Jeremy tells her he has some kind of plan. Liz is left surprised her dumb plan to keep Jessica from leaving didn’t work, because she’s stupid. There’s also some shit about a letter for Sue that Sue doesn’t seem particularly thrilled to open and I guess that’s going to be relevant later.
Back to Jessica and Jeremy. They’re on their secret date, stargazing at Miller’s Point in an open convertible, which is hilarious because doesn’t everyone come out there? Wouldn’t Jeremy worry they’d be seen together? As Jessica hangs on his every word, Jeremy does some babbling about their place in the universe, then says he realizes he never loved Sue. He gave her an internship at his company because she was crying and he felt bad for her. And then, Sue fell in love with him and asked HIM to marry her (according to Jeremy), and he went with it because he thought he’d never love again. You see, when he was 17 he was in love with a girl named Justine, but it didn’t work out and they broke up, and Jeremy figured he would never love anyone like that again! OH I HAVE THE SADS NOW! Jeremy is a giant fucking man-baby, but Jessica is all about it because now he’s saying he realizes he’s madly in love with Jessica and can’t go through with marrying Sue. He claims he’s going to tell Sue the truth the following evening after his busy day of meetings is over. (He’s been working at the California branch of their company since he’s been in town for the wedding.) Jessica is deliriously happy because this sad sack sounds like the world’s greatest prize. They start making out with the fire of a thousand suns.
Back home on Calico Drive, Liz overhears Sue crying in Steven’s room (where she’s been staying). She assumes Sue knows about J and J, but then Sue tells her that the mysterious letter that arrived the other day confirmed Sue has this rare blood disease. The doctors don’t even know what it is, but they know it’s hereditary so they tested Sue for it, since it killed Sue’s mom. (I could’ve sworn that they said in the last book that Sue’s mom died of cancer. If this wasn’t Sweet Valley, I would think I’m imagining things.) Sue’s doctors have told her (apparently in a letter) that she only has 2-3 more years to live. Sue tells Liz she’s going to break her engagement to Jeremy tomorrow, so that he can be happy living the life of his dreams and not be bogged down by her impending doom. Liz tries to talk her out of it and assure Sue that she’s sure Jeremy loves her and will want to be with her in last days, even as Liz is fully aware that her twin is likely going down on Jeremy right this very minute. It’s clear that Jessica is the only one Liz blames for Jeremy’s indiscretion.
Jessica swoops home from her date, where Liz does a womp-womp on her mood by telling her about Sue. Jessica is initially upset and ashamed – she thinks to herself that maybe her “psychic powers” made Sue sick. Then Jessica starts wondering out loud if maybe Sue is lying so that she can keep Jeremy. Liz proclaims that Jessica is “about the most evil, selfish, unfeeling person in the world.” ACCURATE. Liz yells at Jessica that Sue is planning to call off the wedding and stomps out of the room slamming the door. Jessica thinks about how this situation probably won’t be too good for HER AND JEREMY because she’s, well, what Liz said a moment ago.
Jeremy comes over to break up with Sue, but she beats him to it by telling him all about her diagnosis and trying to end the engagement. As Jessica eavesdrops in horror, Jeremy pledges never to leave her and to make her dying days happy. That night at dinner, Jeremy and Sue hold hands and gross Jessica out. When J and J finally get to talk alone, Jeremy tells Jessica that Sue needs him now and he can’t leave her. He says he and Sue have a history and starts telling Jessica that he’s too old for her anyway. He also says that Sue’s wish is that the Wakefield parents not know about her disease yet, and he asks Jessica to honor that.
Liz works on planning Sue’s bridal shower with Enid and Olivia at the Dairi Burger. Liz has the bright idea to hold a book shower. Hahaha. That honestly sounds like a great party for someone to throw for me for no reason. Just shower my ass with all the damn books. Liz says a book shower will be more practical than “stuff the bride doesn’t need” like egg slicers and lemon zesters. Uh … I love to cook, and those exact items are two things I very literally received as Christmas presents this past December! Olivia and Enid tell Liz that she’s been reading way too much and her idea is boring, and then Liz tells them that their idea of doing a kitchen supplies shower is boring. Olivia and Enid order hot fudge sundaes, but Liz says she’s not getting one because she’s trying to practice self-control and she scared herself by eating a bunch of chocolate cake the other day. She then insults Olivia and Enid by telling them not to come crying to her when their lack of self-control gives them acne and weight gain. Enid pushes her half-eaten sundae away because Liz’s prattling made her lose her appetite. Finally, the three Stooges here decide they will give Sue a hot lingerie shower. Liz is weirded out because in her head she’s seeing “dying Sue in a red teddy” and I feel bad because I’m still cackling at that part. Liz doesn’t say that stuff out loud since most people aren’t supposed to know that Sue is dying, but she does some mild protesting, and Enid tells her not to be such a prude. Uh, is this book a portal into the Twilight Zone or what because I feel like no one in this scene acted like themselves. What the fuck is happening?
Sue and Jeremy go to Lytton & Brown department store at the mall to shop for a tent for their honeymoon. I don’t even know where the fuck they are supposed to be going but I guess it’s indeed camping in a rainforest. I hope Jeremy gets eaten by piranhas. Jessica shows up to interrupt their shopping reverie, and keeps suggesting they get tents that have separate sleeping compartments and shit like that. Sue just thinks Jessica is hilarious, as opposed to the dangerous stalker she actually is. Jessica makes up some lie that there is a giant rose-shaped soup bowl on another floor of the department store that would make a perfect thank-you gift for Alice, knowing that Sue will want to drop everything to go buy it. Sue sends Jeremy off to buy some jeans because getting the bowl is “a bride’s responsibility”. Jessica claims she can’t come with Sue to find the bowl, because she has to do some shopping of her own, then, as soon as the coast is clear, throws herself into the same elevator as Jeremy, pushes the elevator stop button, and literally backs him into the corner to make him kiss her. He protests like crazy, then finally kisses her just as the doors open on another floor in front of a crowd of amused shoppers. Sadly, Sue is not among them. Oh yeah, the soup bowl was totally fictional, so Sue couldn’t find it and is all sad.
That night, the twins and Sue hang out with Alice in the living room as she reminisces about her college days with Sue’s mom Nancy. We learn that when Alice and Nancy first started rooming together freshman year, they both had huge crushes on a guy named Peter Mallard. Peter started dating Alice, but she didn’t want to hurt Nancy’s feelings so she didn’t tell her. Unbeknownst to Alice, Peter was also dating Nancy, and Nancy was avoiding telling Alice so as not to hurt HER feelings. Everyone wants to know what ultimately happened, but they’re interrupted by Ned telling them dinner is ready. Yes, Ned actually made dinner for a change (due to the “family cookoff” they’re having, or whatever). But Sue takes off with Jeremy for a pizza and a movie date. Jessica the Stalker wastes no time finding out what movie they went to – a rainforest documentary, natch! all they do is talking about fucking rainforests – and then tears out of the house to go see the same movie. Liz tags along because she is afraid of what Jessica will do. I feel like if I was Liz, I would just let this train wreck go on and crash, but it’s Liz so that’s not happening. At the theater, Jessica sits right behind Sue and Jeremy. When they start to kiss, she spills popcorn all over them. I’m waiting for Sue to scream in terror, but instead she’s all like “Oh wow! Fancy seeing you here Jessica!” Jessica clambers over the seats and forces Sue to move over so Jessica can sit between her and Jeremy, and Sue thinks nothing of this. Liz just stays in her seat dying of embarrassment. After the movie is over, Jessica insists that everybody go to Casey’s for ice cream.
Sue goes shopping for bridal flowers with Alice and Liz, and chooses a “healthy and hopeful” bouquet which makes Liz want to bawl. At breakfast the next morning, Jessica acts like a rude ass once again by refusing to eat the special French toast Sue made, even though her family is all “But you love French toast.” Sue feels bad she made something Jessica hates. Then she brightly announces she and Jeremy are going on a hike up the coast to do trail clean-up, and Jessica invites herself along, and Sue doesn’t tell her to go fuck herself, so then Liz feels she also has to invite herself to keep Jessica out of trouble. Jessica puts on a ridiculous outfit with sandals and a silk blouse for this garbage pick-up. The hike turns out to be 6 miles long, and there are two separate trails, so Sue and Jeremy take one while the twins take the other. Jessica sulks and refuses to pick up any garbage, so Liz has to do all the work, so business as usual. By the last part of the hike, Jessica is mopey and bitchy and covered in dirt. Then she fakes injuring her ankle and cries so that Liz will believe she’s hurt and run to get Jeremy to carry Jessica to the end of trail. The plan works like clockwork because everyone in these books are morons and let Jessica run the show no matter what. As soon as Jeremy arrives, by himself, to rescue Jessica, she starts kissing him. I feel like, at this point Jeremy is realizing what a mistake he made and is just going along with Jessica’s dumb schemes because he’s terrified she’s going to expose him and probably get him in legal trouble for diddling a 16-year-old. As the full group leaves for home, Jessica’s foot is magically better and nobody’s suspicious because GOD THESE PEOPLE ARE STUPID AS FUCK. In my version, Sue would confront Jessica and a wild catfight would ensue that ends with both Jessica and Jeremy flying over a cliff. Then Liz would get bitten by a poisonous snake and drop dead. Then Sue would drive off laughing maniacally, hit a few choice other people with her car, then yell “I’m the dumb ass ghost of Margo” before driving off a cliff. But that’s not what we’re going to get so let me just keep on with this hot mess. Okay, so there’s a beach barbecue that night thrown by the “happy” engaged couple and Jessica’s ankle is magically fucking healed and all so she shows up in some gorgeous dress tossing her hair around in Jeremy’s general direction. Also, shocker, Sue and Jeremy do have grown-up friends of their own, and some of them have shown up from the East Coast for the wedding. There’s the “cool, sophisticated” Sally Haskins and a hippie-ish dude named Andy Green. Jeremy talks to Sally for a long time, and Jessica gets jealous. Sue introduces Sally and Andy to Jess with a remark that it’s “adorable” that Jessica’s still in high school. Then Bruce shows up to the barbecue with his real girlfriend Pam Robertson and Sue is sad for Jessica because she hasn’t figured out that whole fucking charade yet because she’s an idiot. Jessica pretends to be sad about Bruce and Pam so that she has an excuse to run off down the beach by herself, and Sue sends Jeremy after her because, like I said, she’s an IDIOT. Liz takes off after them and makes Enid go with her, and they interrupt J and J just as they’re about to make out again. Jess is pissed and yells at Liz, who says she’s just trying to protect Liz. Jessica snaps, “Protect me from what? A werewolf?” I am fucking dying. But if Liz didn’t learn her lesson in the last story arc, there’s no way she ever will.
By the Wakefield pool the next morning, Jessica suns herself because she’s given up on that whole “London pallor” bullshit. Liz lectures her about skin cancer and wrinkles, and Jessica says “Who are you? The surgeon general? You’re the one who’s going to end up with premature wrinkles from scrunching up your face and worrying about everybody else all the time.” Jessica refuses to help Alice, Sue, and Liz write out place cards for the wedding, which is the next day, because she claims she hurt her hand hiking. Sue tells Jessica she thinks Andy has a crush on her, so even though “he’s a little old for you” she arranged to have them sit together at the wedding reception. Sue, you must not think very much of your old pal Andy. Next, everybody gets Alice to continue her story about her and Sue’s mom Nancy both dating the same dude at college. Alice says it ended when she and Nancy were out for dinner and saw the dude, Peter, at another table with another girl, Melody. Both got upset and revealed they’d both been secretly dating Peter to try and protect each other’s feelings. To get back at Peter, Alice and Nancy put on bright red lipstick, sat in his booth and smooched all over him in front of Melody, who left the restaurant with Alice and Nan and became their new friend. There’s definitely some foreshadowing here, I think, but Jessica is dumb and thinks Jeremy is “the victim of a terrible situation” and there’s no way he’s a “cad” like Peter was. Hah. At this point I wouldn’t be too shocked if Peter turned out to be Jeremy’s dad and the douchebagginess is hereditary.
Sue’s lingerie shower is that night. Jessica sits there “sick to her stomach” watching Sue open up her naughty things while everyone makes jokes. Sue gets to Jessica’s present last and it’s three big pairs of granny panties. You know I couldn’t make this shit up. Jessica claims she just wanted to get Sue something practical while everyone cracks the fuck up and makes jokes and Sue tries to make Jessica feel better. After the shower, the girls sit out by the pool where Liz starts harshing Sue’s pre-nuptial buzz by going on and on about how sexist she finds wedding traditions that Sue is taking part in. One of the things she names is the bride’s father giving her away. Sue responds that her stepfather is able to come to the wedding after all and he’s going to give her away and she’s glad. WOMP WOMP, fuck you Liz.
That night is also Jeremy’s bachelor’s party, and Jeremy, Robby, Andy, Steven, Bruce, and Todd are all over at the mansion that poor little Robby’s been housesitting for the summer. Why the fuck is Todd there? He just got back from his grandma’s house and barely even knows these cats. Plus, he’s only 16. You really want some underage kid at your bachelor party? As it turns out, it’s a lame-o party anyway. Robby decided to just host a dinner party with his special homemade food. The guys wanted to at least go out dancing or bowling or something so they’re bored as hell. Jeremy is being a sad ballsack over his general situation so Robby takes him into the kitchen for a heart-to-heart, but Robby doesn’t offer any advice so it is about as useless as Liz at an Anti-Busybodies’ Convention. When the guys come back out of the kitchen, Steven is asleep, Todd has pulled out a book, and Andy and Bruce are playing tic-tac-toe.
Meanwhile, the girls are sure the guys are having a strippers-and-coke blow-out, so Liz, Enid, Lila, Jessica, Olivia, and Amy dress up like London bobbies (for real) and “raid” the party. (Sue and Sally obviously think that sounds like kid stuff so they decline to join in.) The bobby chicks are stunned when they can’t find any evidence of anything fun happening. Liz is in disbelief because she was eager to find girls in bikinis at the house and give the guys a lecture about how looking at girls in bikinis is sexist. The guys are relieved to see the girls because they were passing out in their salmon mousse, and they start a dance party in the house. Robby encourages Jeremy to take advantage of the situation and run off with Jessica, which Jeremy does. Real nice, Robby. I hope your salmon mousse gives everyone the shits.
Liz gets home from the bachelor party and tells Sue it was lame. She also lies to Sue that Jessica isn’t home because she and Bruce made up and went out to the Dairi Burger; meanwhile, Jessica stays out all night with Jeremy. They watch the sun come up at Secca Lake at long last.
The next day is the wedding. Sue takes her bridesmaids for manis/pedis and Jessica tries to convince her that black nail polish would be a great choice. The nail tech accidentally pokes Sue’s hand or something and Sue yells at her, shocking the twins. Then they go to the mall where Sue tries on and apparently buys a $1,000 going-away dress suit and a $700 silk dress for the honeymoon. Can y’all just come out with it and tell us that Sue Gibbons is the new Suzanne Devlin or something?
At the ceremony, Liz has to kick Jessica’s shins to make her start walking down the aisle. Jessica stands there and gives Sue a shit face as the beaming bride follows. Meanwhile, Jeremy is standing there looking miserable and Sue thinks nothing of it. Sis, put the whole man in the trash. When the priest, Father Bishop, asks if anyone knows a reason why Jeremy and Sue should not be married and that whole jam, Jessica shouts that she does. She tells the whole crowd that Jeremy doesn’t love Sue, he loves her. Poor Father Bishop is about to have a coronary. He asks Jeremy if this is true and Jeremy admits that it is, so Father Bishop declares the wedding ceremony over. Sue faints and Robby catches her. Alice is furious and about to cry, and asks Jessica how she could do this. Father Bishop takes Jeremy off down the beach for a little chat. Liz is also furious and marches Jessica away from the wedding to their Jeep. Liz thinks this is the worst thing Jessica has ever done. I don’t even need to comment.
The sub-plots: On the day before Todd gets back in town from his family trip, Liz frets about whether to tell Todd about the affair she had with Luke in London. She talks to Sue about it over chocolate mousse cake and Sue insists that there’s no room for dishonesty in a relationship. When Todd comes back, he takes Liz to the beach where they walk and talk. Just as Liz is about to tell Todd about all the fake werewolf dick she got in London, Todd suddenly tells Liz that he has a confession to make: He also had an affair. He had a fling with someone he met while he was staying at his grandmother’s over the past couple of weeks. The other girl reminded him a lot of Liz and he spent loads of time with her, then realized she was faking her interest in books and shit so that Todd would like her. He pulls that whole “I only did it ’cause I missed you” bullshit. Liz gets upset and fails to tell Todd that she, too, “met someone.” In fact, she lies and claims she only thought about Todd while in London! She demands Todd tell her the other girl’s name, but he won’t because he thinks she should get over it already and do an insta-forgive. He goes, “Liz, please try to calm down and see how silly the whole thing is.” What a condescending piece of shit. I can see why Liz was attracted to him since she, too, is a condescending piece of shit. Anyway, Liz tells him their being together is what’s silly and runs away from him. She’s right. They’ve cheated on each other numerous times before – Todd with Jessica, then Liz with Bruce, then Liz with Luke and now Todd with this random chick. I’m tempted to say Todd cheating is Liz getting her just deserts and laugh, but at this point, there’s seriously a whole chain of just deserts and I can’t remember who started it anymore. (And yes, the correct phrase is “just deserts”, not “just desserts”!) I was gonna say it was Liz with Nicholas Morrow, but even in Double Love Todd couldn’t make his fucking mind up which twin he wanted half the time. It’s like they’re all sixteen years old or something.
Not to worry, everything is resolved at Jeremy’s fucking bachelor party. First Todd has a heart-to-heart with Steven who’s all like, “Oh don’t worry, I only ran around on Cara with girls who looked just like my dead ex-girlfriend a couple of times. Just help Liz deal.” Okay, that’s not exactly what he said but he may as well have. Then when the girls crash the party, Steven convinces Liz to dance with Todd. She does, and then confesses that she, too, cheated and Liz and Todd kiss and make up and agree it was normal for them to have these flings, or something. I don’t even give a fuck.
The other sub-plot is about Lila and Robby. After Jessica plants the seed in Lila’s mind that Robby only cares about her money, Lila starts worrying. The couple eats at La Maison Blanche, Lila’s treat, and Lila is taken aback when Robby orders not only a chef’s salad, but a filet mignon as well. (The filet mignon is described as being $20 which has gotta be pocket change for Lila.) Lila gets even more suspicious when Robby cheerfully admits he has no plans to try and sell his art and seems happy to be a starving artist forever. She decides to test him by tricking him into thinking she is also poor. She lies and tells him she is an orphan that the Fowlers took into their home as a young companion to their real daughter, Venice. She tells him a whole Cinderella-style sob story about how she was made to clean up after Venice starting at age 8, was always treated second best to Venice, and ended up taking the blame for a lot of Venice’s bad behavior. Now Venice is away at boarding school while Lila continues to live with Venice’s parents. She says she’s been paying for their dates with the few hundred dollars she managed to squirrel away. Haha! Robby buys her story and tells her what a strong and beautiful woman she is. Lila is disappointed that she may have just made all this shit up for no reason, and is now fearful that Robby likes her more because he thinks she’s such a strong woman for being lifelong servant to the fictional Venice. If this story line didn’t involve Lila, it would be totally boring. And you know, I’m pretty sure Lila dated some other dude who was broke before but I can’t put my finger on it. (Maybe I am thinking of Evan from Lila’s Story, who was always borrowing her money for his drag races.)
Lila keeps up her bullshit for no apparent reason and I’m annoyed they have Lila Fowler acting this way over a dude. She lies and tells Robby she loves poetry, and then she lies and tells him she loves to cook. He’s all excited and has her come over to cook brunch for him the day of the wedding. She tries to make waffles but they come out totally inedible. Robby tries to act like they’re good, but then winds up running off to spit them out in the trash. Instead of owning up to everything, which would be more than a good idea at this point, Lila claims she has no idea why the waffles came out so badly. Robby thinks it’s because she tried a new recipe because he’s a dumbass and says he can’t wait for them to have fun cooking together. This BS drags on for a bit, then finally, on the day of Sue and Jeremy’s wedding, Lila admits to him that she’s the richest girl in town, by showing him her massive closet. Robby couldn’t care less and tells her he loves her no matter what. He says he only ordered filet mignon at La Maison Blanche because he wanted to impress her with his good taste. What? They make out in the closet.
Oh, and Lila wears an ivory dress to the wedding. Hello, FAUX PAS!
Other stuff: Liz’s latest self-help books: First, we have Love: Addiction and Obsession and How to Overcome It. What is the “it” in the title referring to: addiction or obsession? Anyway, this book convinces Liz that Jessica has a “love addiction”. I don’t disagree but I think it’s more like Jessica is addicted to loving herself. After Liz dumps Todd for cheating on her, she reads Breaking Up is Hard to Do: Ten Steps to Surviving Your Breakup. Finally, Liz reads Women as Seen Through the Eyes of Male Society and gets all fired up about the patriarchy. What’s especially weird to me is that Enid and Olivia act like she’s ridiculous for reading these books, but in the very last SVH book, they were ALL reading these types of books and gathering together to discuss them! Not only that, but Olivia at least is hardly the type of person to treat Liz like she’s weird for caring about sexism. It only makes sense to me when Liz is trying to piss all over somebody’s wedding joy, which by the way, further shows what a hypocrite Liz is. She won’t let Jess piss all over Sue’s wedding joy by telling the goddamn truth, but she sees nothing wrong with bitching about the evil of weddings to someone on the night of her freaking wedding!!!!
Jeremy is described as having “enormous coffee eyes.”
Jessica wants to learn about rain forests just because Jeremy cares about them (and conservation issues in general). She thinks to herself that maybe they’ll go on adventures to the Amazon “or wherever rain forests are.” Haha, maybe she can give Jeremy one of the “Save the Rain Forest” buttons she had made for the Jungle Prom Queen crown back in A Night to Remember.
Throwback to earlier books: Jessica thinks about how she hates being called “cute” or “adorable”, yet one of the opening lines in the very first SVH book, Double Love, called her “adorable.” She also gets irked when Sue calls her by her nickname, Jessie, because Jessica doesn’t like for anyone but Liz to call her that. But “Jessie” was something she went by quite a bit in the earliest SVH books.
The Wakefield family does some kind of cook-off where each family member makes a favorite recipe each night of the week. This all started because Ned makes his “famous” blueberry waffles for breakfast. Here’s what each person makes: Liz – peach cobbler, Sue – blueberry pie, Ned – his “famous chili” made with a secret recipe, Sue – French toast. Steven jokes he’s just going to nuke some frozen shit, and needless to say Jessica doesn’t make shit.
Jessica decides to wear less makeup because she thinks a guy like Jeremy likes the “natural look.”
One thing I recently found out is that Ingenue magazine, which the twins have been reading a looooong time, was a real magazine. Its last issue came out in the 1970s, so I guess Francine decided to just bring it back to life again. When I looked it up, I fell into a rabbit hole reading about some scandal with a sexually explicit article about heavy petting published at the end of its original run!
Coming up next: The book tells us that “Jeremy is back” (oh goody) in another “new” 3-part mini-series, which the book claims is also called “Sweet Valley Scandal” even though that’s also the name of the mini-series we just finished. I think even the publisher was getting bored at this point. Before those next books were released, however, Bantam put out the first of the two “Secret Diaries” books where we get to hear the innermost thoughts of the twins. I’ve been really excited to read those, so I guess that’s where we will head next!