#GirlBosses of Sweet Valley

9 May


Forget those tiresome Wakefields – there were so many kick-ass women in Sweet Valley. The majority only had a book or so to shine. Here, we pay homage to some of the Sweet Valley #girlbosses:

The Women in Sport:

Claire Middleton

claire midd

Accepted onto the football team when Ken Matthews is out with temporary blindness, Claire scores the winning try against Big Mesa in the final scene of Book #70 “Ms. Quarterback.”

 She also really gives it to Jessica, which I don’t fully agree with:

Don’t you think being a cheerleader is just a little bit sexist?” she blurted out. “After all, it’s just a bunch of girls prancing around in cute little costumes.”


Kristin Thompson


Tennis ace Kristin gets Bruce’s attention, not by letting him win at tennis like other girls, but by legitimately kicking butt on court. Unfortunately, she is so wrapped up in Bruce’s charms that she loses out on making a representative team. However, she redeems herself by working her bum off and going pro. Not bad for a teenager from Sweet Valley. Bruce proves to be such a fairweather cad, and when Kristin is back on a winning streak she ditches him for good. “She was going to have to learn to make adjustments in her life so there would be room. But it had to be the right boy, And she was more than willing to wait.”

Go Kristin! [and don’t worry Brucey, I still love ya]


Honourable mention:

Shelley Novak, for finally owning her 6-foot frame and kicking ass on the basketball court and the dance floor. She did kind of ruin it at the end of her one book #55 Perfect Shot:

shelley novak

Shelley and Jim just stood grinning at each other when the lights came up. They knew they had won, alright. And it had nothing to do with winning the photography competition or the waltz contest or the Athlete of the Year Award. It had to do with finding each other. That made them the biggest winners of all.

Oh, vomit. Glad to hear that despite her many talents, Shelley was only complete when she found a guy. Please.

The Media Women:

Penny Ayala

penny 2

As the stickler-for-excellency editor-in-chief of the Oracle, you’d do as well to mess with Penny Ayala as you would Lila Fowler. She runs the whole show and demands the full attention of her staff, which include an insercure version of Dawn Schafer in Olivia Davidson, arts writer; and a very violent man in John Pfeifer, sports ed. Not even Liz is exempt from Penny’s hawk eye, and to be honest, Penny’s workmanship kinda puts Liz’s gossip column to shame.

Which is why I find it particularly rude that the only cover Penny managed to score depicts her looking sullenly at a wristwatch waiting for a guy who doesn’t actually exist. Then again, this is Sweet Valley. Sigh.

Honourable mention:

Abbie Richardson from #44 Pretenses. Maintains her dignity and throws off the shackles of her doormat status despite getting used by all three Wakefield kids, later becoming a cartoonist for the Oracle.

The Rock Stars

Dana Larson:




Renowned for wicked outfits, hooking up with The Prince of Santa Dora, and being an all-round workhouse writing original tracks to play at pretty much every SVH party or Beach disco, [which averages around two per week], Dana, as lead singer and guitarist, is pretty much the heart and soul of the Droids.


Andrea Slade


Not to be confused with Tricia Martin’s doppleganger of the same name, Andrea arrives in book #72 “Rock Star’s Girl”, also known as the one where Lila takes up playing the Marimba, whatever the fuck that is, to impress Jamie Peters. Andrea, as it turns out, is rock god Jamie’s daughter, but she keeps this fact a secret so that people like Jessica don’t use her for her connections. Andrea is super sure of herself, resistant to Elizabeth’s pity, and doesn’t fall for any of Jess and Lila’s shit when they find out who her father is. Also, she starts dating Nicholas Morrow and finds out that he likes reggae music.

Lynne Henry


So indie. So moody. I love how she matched her guitar to her chocolate-brown specs AND her shirt. Lynne unfortunately suffers from that terrible, mostly female, affliction of imposter syndrome and she apologises all the time. Ugh. I am similarly afflicted, and I hate it. It took a whopping shoulder pat from Liz to get Lynn to fess up that she is the mysterious anonymous winner of the song-writing competition. The hit “Outside Looking In” which she penned for the SVH contest sends her straight into Sweet Valley stardom. Sadly, none of this seemed to matter until she dressed like Linda Ronstandt and got with Guy Chesney from the Droids. 

Honourable mention:

Liz Wakefield for totally sucking at recorder, but still giving it ago, and even maintaining her recorder practice for around 30 or so books. A rare display of continuity from the ghostwriters.

The Gal Pals

Cara Walker:

More than a vapid cheergirl, Cara was the only one of Jessica’s squad [including Basic Bitch Sutton] with any sense.

Cara, calling out Jess and Lila on their shit in #71 “Starring Jessica” after they spend 120 pages trying to sabotage each other’s audition for a spot on a TV talk show [with Bruce’s help]:

“This is a peace mission,” Cara explained. “We don’t want to hear any backtalk – you don’t have a choice. Make up or else.” Damn.

She also calls Jess on her boy crazy vapidity in #54 Two Boy Weekend, and maintains her dignity when Steven falls in love with Tricia Martin’s doppleganger in #64.

Minus points for taking Jessica’s advice and acting like a total ditz in #44 Pretenses. But redeems herself with her super cute cover style.

Too cool for Hollywood Maria Slater:

Absent for four whole years as she pursued a Hollywood career, Maria returns in the Summer Camp miniseries [#123 Elizabeth’s Rival] when she is stuck in the middle of Liz and a girl called Nicole Bains, who legit fight over her. When Maria heads back to SVH to get an education, she ignores Jessica’s bullshit, joins Elizabeth’s crowd and finally breaks up the one-way Liz-Enid dynamic. Maria is sassy, fun, and prone to an eye roll or two at St Liz. My fave moment is when she casually brings a Hollywood actor slash model, Tyler Becksmith, as her prom date.

maria svtmaria

I will pretend this and this didn’t happen:


maria unicornmaria senior












One Response to “#GirlBosses of Sweet Valley”

  1. teightytwo July 26, 2019 at 10:54 pm #

    Can’t forget Johanna Porter from #36! Not only is she a math/science whiz, she saw no shame in taking up a waitressing job to support herself, even when the rest of SVH acts like a job is the worst thing ever.

    Not to mention she totally dumps that dickhead Peter. A rare SVH lady who knows she doesn’t need a boyfriend to be fulfilled!

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