Photographs and Memories….

19 Jul
In the midst of all this snarking, I can’t help but get more than a little sentimental about my favorite book series. Because lets face it: if I hadn’t grown up around [?in] Sweet Valley, I would probably be doing other things – like studying – on a Monday night rather than sitting on the Sweet Valley Confidential facebook page or trying to win a “Team Jessica” t-shirt or re-reading “Ms Quarterback.”
So tonight, I’m taking a trip down memory lane. I’ve signed up to the Sweet Valley Super Fan page and read the first chapter of Sweet Valley Confidential, due for release in March 2011. I’ve read my BSC prequel, “The Summer Before” and shed a couple of tears over Mary-Anne’s 11-year-old angst.
And now I’m giving you the classic moments from my junior year at Sweet Valley High.

Random moments in time….

Ken Matthews reinvigorates school spirit during festive celebrations in The Evil Twin by dressing up as an elf. Yes folks, an elf. It would have been even more cutesy if Margo hadn’t tampered with the cards and written, “Wreck the halls with bloody bodies.”
Todd returns! But his nouveu-riche parents stick him in stuffy Lovett Academy for a term. And then, this gem from the Lovett Academy-SVH sports-off:
Jessica’s face was red from the intense effort and a trickle of sweat ran down her face. That was when Todd stood up and screamed, “GO, SWEET VALLEY HIGH!” Elizabeth felt her heart soar. Todd’s cry seemed to fill the SVH team with that extra bit of energy they needed. And, pulling together with all their might, they yanked the Lovett team over the mark.
Jessica Wakefield, business mogul…Selling seedy tofu-glo cosmetics to all her brainless friends was not her brightest moment. At least tuppaware comes with a money back guarantee.


Regina Morrow. Although I struggled to get an invite on your family’s yacht, and although Swiss surgeons wasted their ear transplant on someone who died of unrelated causes weeks later, I genuinely cried during Fran-Pasc’s rendition of your funeral. We’ll miss ya, Regina.
Sam Woodruff. Except for a brief moment on Anacapa island, I never got close to sociopath Wakefield. But you were really the guy for her, although she cheated on you with soap stars and princes in every second book during your courtship. Bridgewater will never be the same. [And RIP also to Margo’s employee James and Christian Gorman – apologies for being implicated in the gang that killed you. It was just a GNO, what can I say?]
Olivia Davidson. Your free-loving-arts-editing-hippy ways will never be matched in Sweet Valley [despite the fact that this is California.] Although I think Nalice wrote a complaint letter to Fischer-and-Paykel and got some insurance money for that fridge.
Margo and Nora. You girls screwed up big time.
John Pfeifer. Your death taught us all that sport is associated with pyromania and sexual abuse. Enough said.
Jonathon Cain. Like Devon Whitelaw, you proved than anyone who rides a motorcycle and rejects Jessica Wakefield cannot survive in Sweet Valley.
Jeffery French [what? He’s Alive?]
Robin Wilson. First you shrank, then your father came into existence circa book #112 and moved the family to San Fran.
Cara Walker. Everyone was gutted by your departure in “Steven’s Bride.” If only Jess and Liz had thought of you in their visit to London 18 books later.
Michael Harris. Sucker.


Me and Maria Santelli! I joined Jess, Liz, Cara Walker and Dana Larson in the top five engagement-breakers with this one.
Steven and Billie Winkler. I was genuinely happy about this one. Mildly pissed off that he left her for Lila for awhile.
Lynne Henry and Guy Chesney. Heart.
Jade Wu and David Prentiss. Classic artist and his muse.

Icky make-outs…

Dana Larson and Prince Arthur Castillo of Santa Dora, after she refused his proposal:
She lifted her face to Arthur’s for one last kiss. It was warm and gentle and salty; they were both crying.

[I had to re-read this several times before I realized that Prince Arthur was in fact Liz’s pen pal and not the Wakefield’s dog.]

Ken and Jessica at the Carnival on one of the many Christmas Eves we celebrated that year: “My lips can’t wait to wish your lips a happy new year,” Ken said. That’s too bad Ken, because New Years take a very long time in Sweet Valley. Like 17 years long.
This classic Liz-Todd moment: Out in the parking lot he slid his arms round her, dropping a kiss on her upturned mouth. He tasted salty-sweet, a combination of French fries and vanilla milkshake. Todd’s kisses were one of the things Elizabeth loved best about him. They were like Todd himself- firm, but so gentle. THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID.
Sexual innuendo with Bill Chase and Dee Dee Gordon: See The Dairi Burger for this hormone-charged scene.

[Far too much salt, methinks!]


Enid and George, which would’ve happened earlier only that he almost killed her in a plane and felt guilty.
Liz and Todd [x 137]
Jessica and A.J. Morgan [sob!]
Me and Mandy someone, who ceases to exist after about book 9


Heather Mallone [BABE ALERT] and Jessica in The Pom Pom Saga.
Jess and Lila over a guy at least once per book. Favorites are Jack in “Showdown”, a ski instructor in “Falling for Lucas” and a perverted lifeguard in “The Boyfriend War.”
Annie Whitman and the Catholic Church
Liz and Nicole Banes [I love when the good twin gets her claws out!]

My nemeses……..

Bruce Patman. F@#*wit.
Caroline Pearce. In the early books, only tubby Wilson and social outcasts like Caroline have the hots for me.
Charlie Cashman. A rivalry that dates back to SVT when he mocked me for being on the cheer squad.


My favorite is when Todd, Ken and I dressed in drag and snuck into the girl’s rooms at the State High School Cheerleading Championship. Here’s a snippet:
“Ken!” Todd said. “Can I borrow your blue eye-shadow?”
“Coming!” Ken called in a falsetto voice. [THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID.]
A moment later he sashayed into the bathroom like a runway model, adorned in a classic cheerleading costume.
“How do I look, dah-lings?” Ken drawled, his hands on his hips. He pirouetted slowly, pausing to exhibit the cheerleading outfit from a variety of angles. It was bright purple and yellow, with a V-necked sweater and a pleated skirt. A big, gold S was emblazoned on the sweater. Ken whirled in a circle, displaying the flare of the skirt.  Todd put his fingers to his lips and let out an approving whistle.
“Hubba, hubba,” said Winston, twirling round to watch the show.
“I always knew you’d make a great girl,” said Todd with a grin.
“Here’s your eye-shadow, honey,” said Ken, batting his eyelashes at Todd. “But make sure to return it!” He pressed the compact into Todd’s hand.

Ken and Todd in Return of the Evil Twin enjoyed some, er, bonding time at the carnival: Todd closed his eyes and touched his forehead with his fingers. “Wait, I’m receiving a vision now. The Great And Powerful Todd sees hot dogs…I definitely see hot dogs in your future, Matthews,” he repeated. Very big hot dogs.”…You girls stay here and have your fortunes told. Then meet us over there at that concession stand.” He pointed. “In the meantime Ken and I will do some research on those foot-long hot dogs.” …They hurried off toward the concession stand.
I don’t even want to know what happened in the House of Mirrors!
The Guy’s Night Out epidemic during the high school wars. Everyone from Aaron Dallas to Bruce Patman fought for Sweet Valley High’s right to…something
Photos courtesy of Shannon’s Sweet Valley High Blog
From glittering knives to saline-charged pashes to electric shocks running through people when they stared into another set of coffee-coloured eyes, ‘twas a year so full of memories it almost felt like it stretched from 1983 to 2000. What do you remember most?
You know you love me
Xoxo Winston
Coming soon – I go head-to-head with my on-screen altar-ego, in an interview with actor Michael Perl! Stay tuned!
Super fans alert: Let me know what you thought of Chapter One of SVC [that’s Sweet Valley Confidential, not superior vena cava for those of you playing at home.] I won’t spoil anything here but I am VERY excited about the rest of the book!!

One Response to “Photographs and Memories….”

  1. Lindsey October 12, 2010 at 9:43 am #

    LOVE IT!!

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