Cue Phil Collins: It’s Playing for Keeps, Peeps

21 Mar



True to form, and to her personality disorder, Jessica gets all gone girl on us and tries to morph into Liz to impress handsome redhead A.J. Morgan, the latest new student at SVH to set her loins aflutter. She once overhead A.J. telling someone he didn’t fancy flirtatious girls, which of course means she needs an entire personality transplant to woo him. She takes up hiking, birdwatching, reading Emily Dickenson, and writing god-awful poetry; all of which basically makes a night with Enid Rollins look like a trip to Ibiza by comparison. A.J., unsurprisingly, is not into this chick at all and finds himself increasingly attracted to Pamela Jansen, a voluptuous brunette from yet another rival school we will never hear of again, Whitehead Academy.

Pamela and Jess both enter a fashion show at Lisettes where the winner takes home a $1K wardrobe from designer “Nadine”. Pamela is a total bitch, btw.

Lila and Amy are pretty cool and totally have Jess’ back, and Lila especially is full of sassy one-liners to remind Pamela just how tacky she is and just who she’s messing with. Lila and Amy team up to take down scheming Pamela and the result is awesome. Don’t mess with Lila Fowler, bitches.

Finally, the day of the fashion show arrives and Pamela goes rogue behind the scenes to sabotage Jessica’s chances and try to make her look like a fool in front of A.J. She deliberately rips Jess’ dress, then twists the zippers on her second outfit so it doesn’t fit. Luckily, with help from her squad, Jess manages to pull off the ripped attire with a laissez-faire air. Pamela’s final dastardly plan –  splashing cold water on Jess –  totally backfires, because Lila and Amy manage to pull back the curtain to backstage, so AJ gets all hard up seeing Jess having a catfight in a wet sarong and decides she is the girl for him. And they swear to be together forever, or at least until the previously recapped Two Boy Weekend, in five books’ time. And despite being sabotaged all afternoon, Jess wins the wardrobe. On a side note, I wasn’t there, but couldn’t $1000 buy you kind of a lot of clothes as a teenager in 1988? As in, she really doesn’t need to shop for the rest of junior year? I digress.

This is also the first book to unsubtly introduce shy ballet dancing sensation Jade Wu, who I assume must show up in the next book to contribute to 80’s tokenism and also to TEACH US A LESSON, before disappearing again until she is reinvented in senior year just when as were starting to get to know her.

And now for the cozzies!


Fashion show at lunch! GIF credit


Jessica bit her lower lip and stepped into her first outfit. It was a clingy, nubby knit dress in light blue cotton. As she smoothed the sleeves down her arms, she had to admire the way the dress showed off her figure. It was skintight, with a wide, off-the-shoulder neckline.

“Jessica is wearing an off the shoulder knit, mid-thigh and very formfitting,” the announcer’s voice crooned over the music just as Jessica reached the end of the runway. “Perfect for parties and special evenings on the town.”


Jessica’s voice was grim as she slipped the denim dress over her head. Two zippers ran up the sides of the dress to make it as skintight as possible. She grabbed a wide leather belt from a nearby table and cinhed it tight at her waist. Above and below the belt, two gaps [**created by Pamela!] showed through at each side, but in a daring, stylish way. She grabbed the Australian outback hat that matched the outfit and raced for the curtain.

And this:

Jessica frowned as she pushed her arms into a filmy, semitransparent robe. Amy put a necklace of clicking seashells around her neck…she felt the shock of ice water hitting her full in the face and chest. Ice-cold water dripped down her entire body, and her filmy beach-wrap clung to her in huge wet patches. She was through with playing the sweet, understanding type. This was all-out war.  

Let me know if you have any requests for next time :]

Also, I’m currently re-jigging the SVH-BSC parody “When Lila Met Stacey” and considering a small, [not-for-profit] release in paperback or hard copy form, so message or comment if you’re interested in receiving a copy.


7 Responses to “Cue Phil Collins: It’s Playing for Keeps, Peeps”

  1. urbanpeasants March 23, 2019 at 3:12 pm #

    Woohoo for the return of When Lila Met Stacey!

  2. urbanpeasants March 26, 2019 at 5:13 pm #

    Ps. Have you thought about doing a When Lila Meets Stacey podcast? I used to do radio here in Melbourne and gave been toying with the idea of a Sweet Valley podcast but didn’t know of a way to differentiate from the ones already out there. Anyway reckon that’d be a cool idea for you.

    • winstonegbert March 27, 2019 at 3:37 pm #

      Well that’s an idea! Sadly I do not have the voice, or experience, for radio but I’d definitely consider it if you were willing to collaborate!
      The manuscript is in the final stages now, with quite a few changes made. Let me know if you’d like a copy, and if the podcast is something you think you could get off the ground 🙂

  3. winstonegbert March 27, 2019 at 3:38 pm # sorry

  4. Ms. Kitsch April 26, 2019 at 10:59 pm #

    Oh my God, When Lila Met Stacey is one of my favourite works of fiction of all time, I’d LOVE a copy!!!

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