Archive | August, 2010

Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield: Better than Margot Fonteyn [but not as good as Margo Black…]

28 Aug

This was the first Sweet Valley book I ever read, so I will do my best to keep the snark to a minimum


The book is about the twins and their classical ballet class, which of course they are the star pupils of despite never having done ballet before or since this book.

The ghostwriter obviously read an “ABC of ballet” dictionary, because she knows three, and only three, steps: glisse, fouette, and jete. And so in every rehearsal scene, which accounts for 50% of the book [the other 50% is Jess sulking and Liz being self-righteous]; we get a rundown of one twin or the other executing one of these steps. Having done ballet since the tender age of four, I am more than amused at Elizabeth’s ability to go from a battement glisse [on the barre] to a fouette [basically a turn on one leg with the other leg whipping in and out] to a hop on one leg, known as a jete.

But suspending disbelief, we are taken to the originally titled “Dance Studio” in downtown Sweet Valley, which is run by a French expat known as Madame Andre. The students, including the twinkies, Kerry Glen, Jo Morris and Amy “Tomboy” Sutton, are preparing for a production of Coppelia in the upcoming fall recital.

In about the first two pages, we learn that Jessica is an amazing ballerina but goes unnoticed, while Liz is pretty average and yet Madame Andre’s favourite.

“Oh Lizzie, you don’t know how terrible it is to be ignored. Madame never looks at me. She never sees my plies or my battement glises because she’s always looking at you. You’re teacher’s pet. Madame likes you 337 times more than she likes me.” Jessica reflects that perhaps she fell out of favour when she dressed up for her first ballet class. I can see why:

*Outfit recap*

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Want a set of Team Elizabeth and Team Jessica shirts? IT’S GIVEAWAY TIME!

22 Aug

I was rather surprised when Sweet Valley Confidential contacted me recently, offering a set of TEAM ELIZABETH and TEAM JESSICA T-shirts for a give-away for you guys.

Sucked in unicorn club - even you guys didn't have matching shirts THIS awesome

For starters, 75% of this blog is committed to snarking about all the ridiculous things that went down in Sweet Valley, and I haven’t exactly had a million nice things to say about Fran-Pasc, either.

But you, my lovely readers, have the opportunity to win a set of the official shirts right here, which is probably easier than entering the facebook contests on SVC’s page [they’re up to something like 11,000 fans]

To win, simply leave a brief comment here telling me your favourite Sweet Valley character [any series] and what you loved most about them.

Winner will be judged on merit and I will email you the contact details so you can receive this very coveted prize!

Unfortunately, SVC can only ship to the USA and Canada, which I learned the hard way after spending hours on Twitter trying to win my own set here in Australia :[

Congratulations to DeathyCat and Cheryl, who are the winners of a Team Winston shirt from our last giveaway. Please sent postage details to and I’ll post out your prizes promptly!

UPDATE: CONGRATULATIONS TO EMILY, who picked Margo as her favourite character! I am amused that someone else also reads “The Evil Twin” on Christmas Eve [although I alternate yearly with “Return of the Evil Twin”]. Email me on and I’ll tell you how to collect your prize from SVC!

Congrats on the great responses everyone!


Interview with Michael Perl: A Winston Egbert Exclusive

15 Aug

Last week I interviewed actor Michael Perl, who [in case you lived under a rock last decade] starred as Winston Egbert on TV’s “Sweet Valley High” which ran for four seasons from 1994-1997. A self-confessed high-school loner, his witty comebacks and cute-but-geeky looks gave him the kind of Winston-esque charm that sensible girls eventually grow to adore [Step aside Bruce Patman.]

And despite my being a non-journalist and persistently annoying fan, he was only too happy to answer all my questions and bring Winston back to the people.

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You can’t be a hippie and a jock, or SVH Super Edition #9 “Mystery Date”

7 Aug

Before I recap the absurdity that is this book, let’s first take a moment to appreciate some of the awesome outfits it produced:

Read on for outfit snaps and Ken doing some serious birdwatching..

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1 Aug

This is probably the worst attempt in YA fiction to deal with body image issues – and I read “Nothing’s Fair in Fifth Grade”.

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