The one where Margo buys blue-green contacts: Sweet Valley High #98 “The Wedding”

2 May

So I was browsing through my local Blockbuster Video store recently, when I came upon this cracker of a title: “Margot at the Wedding”. No shit.

I haven’t gotten around to borrowing it yet, partly because I’m too embarrassed to go back in there on account of the bizarre stares I copped when I cracked up laughing, right there in the Rom Com aisle.

Furthermore, I realise that no amount of Nicole Kidman and Jack Black brilliance could possibly live up to my vision of a movie by that name- I’m talking a Lila Fowler and Magic Jungle Prom Juice and Margo-posing-as-a-caterer-to-spy-on-Elizabeth saga.

It’s only fitting that today I recap one of the finest titles in Sweet Valley history – the story of George and Grace Fowler [and Margo]: Sweet Valley High #98 “The Wedding”.  Luckily for me, it’s among the 20 books that made the cut and scored a place in my new [smaller] house. However, I’ve had a ridiculous amount of difficulty getting the book back off my housemate. I was so sure that she only borrowed the book to humor me, but judging from the amount of difficulty I’ve had prising it off her, I’m pretty sure she’s been converted.

I now pronounce this the second best book in Sweet Valley history.

Lila’s mother, Grace, has finally resurfaced from a thirteen year holiday in France. Nice of her to show up, really. But sadly, she comes with no satisfactory explanation as to why she left her daughter, the coolest Sweet Valley character, in limbo for her entire childhood.

In one of the greatest displays of continuity this series has ever seen, Lila is still having repercussions from her almost-rape by John Pfeifer. I’m so impressed they kept this up for an entire six books! Although when Grace shows up, miraculously Lila’s psychological scars are healed, and all she can think about is getting her parents back together. For the record, Grace actually returned because of Lila’s depression. Which is very nice and all, but if it was THAT easy to get her back, surely George would’ve gotten on the phone a little earlier – for example when Lila got busted shoplifting or when her best friend got kidnapped/shot at/ held at knifepoint for the billionth time. Or when in, you know, middle school, she had a curse put on her by a crazy mermaid. But whatevs. Nice of Grace to show when she could spare the time.

Anyhow, Grace has bought her sleazy European oil-heir boyfriend to Sweet Valley. We know he is sleazy because his name is Pierre, and also because he gropes Amy Sutton at Lila’s party.

But enough of that. Lets get on to the real action of the story. Enter Margo [you know, the Wakefield twin doppelganger who has travelled across the country to murder Elizabeth and take over her rightful place in the Wakefield family.]

Margo has recently acquired a new job at Sweet Valley Caterers, no curriculum vitae required. In a stroke of pure genius, she ran over one of the employees, and got herself on the books that afternoon. Did I mention that I love Margo? One of the perks of the job is that Margo will actually get paid to go to all the classy events in Sweet Valley and spy on the twins and friends.

But where have the Wakefields been while Margo is rasping around their backyard and stealing butcher’s knives from her new workplace?

Elizabeth and Jessica are STILL fighting over that damned jungle prom incident [you know, where Jessica spiked Elizabeth’s drink and Elizabeth drunk-drove Jessica’s boyfriend into a telegraph pole, only to be acquitted of his murder when the driver of another fucking vehicle came forward to cop the jail term] ?

Jessica still hasn’t fessed up about the spiking. And to make matters worse, she’s hooking up with Todd dumb-jock-fricken-imbecile Wilkins, who abandoned poor Liz while she was defending herself in court.

[See Sweet Valley Confidential – this was in the works a long, long time ago.]

Back at Fowler Crest, Lila is scheming to get rid of Pierre and get her parents back together. And as we know well, what Lila wants, Lila gets. [She and Margo should really hang out more.] So Lila takes Pierre out for the day, gets him drunk on scotch, and plans a romantic candelit dinner for her parents. While George and Grace are falling in love all over again across the table, Pierre stumbles in and makes a racket in front of all the Country Club guests.

Grace is even more shallow than I gave her credit for, because that night, she dumps Pierre and gets engaged again to George. Ain’t love grand?

The  wedding day finally arrives, and I’m telling you, Wills and Kate had nothing on this extravaganza. Supermodel Tina Baker is there! OMG you guys, Tina Baker!

Here’s a snippet from the red carpet:

Lila wore a slimming mauve dress with cap sleeves. A string of pearls hung around her bare neck. She looked spectactular. [Like, Pippa Middleton spectacular by the sounds of it.]

Elizabeth felt great [really?!] in the sleeveless shell-pink dress she’d bought in honour of the occasion.

Elizabeth was the most beautiful girl at the party – except perhaps Jessica. But as similar as they were, Margo knew they were actually quite different. [Margo, have you been reading these books? ] Jessica’s sleeveless turquoise dress was much flashier than her sister’s flowing pink one.

Bruce Patman, in his navy blue Italian suit and silk tie, had his arm around Pamela. In her tailored eccru linen dress, she couldn’t have looked more elegant.

Jessica takes her new man, James along as her date. Don’t get too attached – James is an eighteen-year-old super babe who Margo just happened to discover at Kelly’s Roadhouse Bar. She’s paying him two grand to spy on Jessica, and because he has no life, he accepts. Two grand to hook up with a Wakefield twin for two books? Not a bad deal, if you ask me. Todd must be feeling pretty ripped off right about now.

Liz puts her pity hat back on and takes Winston as her date, but then, as the rain drizzles down and the jazz quartet plays a slow number, she falls right back into the arms of Todd. Dumb-ass, spineless Todd who’s spent the past four books hooking up with her sister.

Say what you will about Margo, but she would never make that mistake.

* **

On another note:

Sweet Valley blogger Dwanollah actually made it to the NYC premiere of SVC and asked Francine about the fate of everyone’s fave evil twin. Sadly, it has been confirmed that yes, Margo is dead.

In the meantime, let’s remember our favourite Margo moment. What was yours?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: