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Devon Whitelaw, or “If You are the One”

9 Apr

After the vampires, werewolves and French monarchy had been dealt with, the late-90’s Sweet Valley shake-up brought us hot, mysterious Devon Whitelaw.

Devon, after the untimely death of his parents, travels on his motorbike across the country to Sweet Valley with his large inheritance in tow, to seek out his relatives and not go to school. His exploits prior to arriving in the valley become the B plot of the “Fire” trilogy; as we get intimate details of him becoming a high roller at the age of sixteen and getting involved in a gambling ring with his estranged uncle Pete and Pete’s partner in crime Linda [never to be heard of again]. After much non-essential traipsing across the U.S. to relatives who end up disappointing him, Devon finally links up with Nan in Sweet Valley and has his first trip to the Dairi Burger to stalk the high school girls. No points for guessing which smart, kind, perfect girl immediately melts his cold heart, and no points for guessing who wants to wrap her legs around him on the back of his Harley and scrounge off his fortune [fear of motorbikes due to dead cousins and amnestic twin sisters having long been forgotten].

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

21 Mar

pfk

 

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!

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Fashion show at lunch! GIF credit tenor.com

 

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.

 

Two Boy Weekend: A Husband Recap

12 Mar

 

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My husband read Two Boy Weekend to me aloud. With voices. It was awesome. I handed it to him to read on International Women’s Day. Perhaps he agreed due to the enticing cover, or the promise of some kind of dirty tryst at Miller’s Point. Sorry to disappoint husband, but this is Sweet Valley.

To recap before the mansplaining begins: Jessica turns into a pouty brat [wait, turns into?] when redheaded Texan boyfriend A.J. Morgan, whom she has been relatively faithful to for almost FIVE books goes away for four days. Four whole days without melting salty sweet fried chocolate kisses is far too much for Jessica to bear! For someone I took to be a lipstick feminist, she is woefully attached to the fact that she cannot possibly go stag to Ken Matthews’ party because, duh, people EXPECT her to show up with A.J. Her life is basically ruined! The next day, still whining, Jess ditches out on a Dairi Burger sesh with Lila, Amy and sensible Cara Walker and finds herself hooking up with a hunky surfer called Christopher.

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5 times Ned Wakefield was THE WORST

9 Mar

1. In # 21, Runaway, when he allows, nay, encourages, his favourite twin Liz to cover his own client’s custody case for The Oracle and spends the entire book driving Jessica to run away with drink driving Nicky Shepherd (whose parents are divorced, THE HORROR)

(See podcast recapped by #SweetValleyDiaries)

2. In # 1, Double Love, for definitely having sex with Mariana West

3. In the Super Thriller “Terror at Sea” duology when he doesn’t let his family know that psychokiller John Marin is after his daughters; and then tries to cure Liz’s PTSD by taking her ON A FUCKING BOAT

4. In #102, “Almost Married”, for leaving his teenage daughters alone for a week by going on a business trip at the same time as wife Alice and coming home drunk; just TWO books after his daughter was up on a DUI charge and almost hacked to death by a plotting murderess in the form of Margo Black.

5. For being allergic to all Chinese food, as announced in #17, Love Letters. Doesn’t really qual as shit parenting, but also makes no sense.

It’s no wonder Nalice were totally obsolete in the TV show.

Far From the Shallow Now or SVU#31: Lifeguards “The Truth About Ryan”

1 Mar

 

svu ryan

 

We’re not in Sweet Valley anymore. That’s right, we’re in Sweet Valley Shore, where the twins and all their friends have taken jobs as live-in lifeguards. Gone are the summers spent super-sleuthing around sweet valley in the fiat, getting locked in a tower by European royals, or saving the universe through investigative journalism. Some things never change though, and the book starts with Liz on the side of the road in her jeep, which has broken down AGAIN [not at the hands of Todd, an earthquake, or a psycho stalker this time though]. Due to these pesky jeep issues, she missed an important date with current BF, chief lifeguard Ryan Taylor, who is celebrating one year of sobriety. So after staying up all night waiting for a prognosis on the car, she gets all prima donna with the creepy mechanic [who, like many characters in SVU doesn’t buy into the Wakefield BS], and finally hails a cab to the beach to start her 8am shift. By that stage, Ryan is over her and her uptight ways, and has fallen off the wagon. Ryan becomes cold and withdrawn. The Liz-Ryan plot, in short:

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500 Christmases later….

23 Feb

Well that 7 years went by in the blink of an eye. That would be what, 50 years in Sweet Valley time? Even longer in Jessica standard time? Lilely encompassing 500 Christmases, 200 pool pushes and 137 shoulder pats. But hey, who’s counting.

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[Current Mood]

Since last post, [which was around the time I was receiving my degree, starting life as a junior doctor and ending a 5 year relationship], I threw myself into a career in medicine which has been both demanding and incredibly rewarding, met my trustyhusband, [kind of a Morrow-Wilkins-Johnny Buck hybrid] and basically abandoned most creative pursuits. [Without so much as a goodbye, I now realise. How Grace Fowler of me!]  And recently, shortly after taking up meditation during my six month sabbatical, I realised that I Want Sweet Valley Back in my life. So when my mother, after 20 years, decided to renovate my childhood bedroom [the nerve!] and to abandon my entire YA collection to A CRATE IN THE GARAGE, I decided to re-adopt these fine works of literature into the marital home.

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Let’s all make memes and laugh at Elizabeth: SVH #84 “The Stolen Diary”

5 May

I’m going to give you the distilled version, so we can have fun with the cover.

I mean, what is with that expression? She looks like she’s just seen one of Jessica’s dead boyfriends. Or walked in on Collins and Ms Dalton in the staffroom. Either that or it’s Margo. The deadpan eyes give it away. Anyhow: –

Todd wants to date other people. [At least he’s being up front about it.] He takes up with a hot junior called Peggy, who Elizabeth thinks is silly and frivolous which probably means she is cool and more fun than yours truly.

After about four chapters of Liz moping and sloping around and pretending to listen to Enid prattle on, Liz accepts a date to the 137th school dance of the semester. The lucky sod is Kris Lynch, a cartoonist from the Oracle. Elizabeth is clearly disinterested and using the poor boy as a weapon to get at Todd, which fortunately doesn’t seem to be working.

Kris spends the next fortnight trying to get into Elizabeth’s freshly ironed Bermuda shorts [or are we at the chino stage? It’s 1992, after all]. He also has a tanty, John Pfeifer-style, when she cock-blocks him at Miller’s point.  Don’t ask me where Penny Ayala drags up these staff members from.

Anyway, Kris comes to school on Monday with blue balls and a white rose, and Liz is all forgiving. How lovely. I would be insulted myself, given that white roses usually mean death. But whatevs.

Later that day, rumours start flying around that Lizzie lost her V-plates in the back seat of Kris’ Cadillac. She is the laughing stock of the entire school, except for one person……after hearing about Elizabeth’s wild night of passion, Todd wants her back!

This makes me laugh. Poor Todd. He is so hard up.

But that’s not all – mysteriously, Elizabeth’s diary goes missing temporarily for a few days.

In the meantime, Kris starts telling the entire school the “intimate” details of Liz and Todd’s relationship, and all of Enid’s boring secrets that were kept by wondertwin. I wonder how he found all that out?? So to does Liz, the supposed genius of the fucking Wakefield family.

So Liz now has no boyfriend, and no annoying auburn-haired hanger on. She feels very puzzled and alone.

Until Jessica realises what has happened, and goes and forces Kris to fess up to Todd and Enid, and all is forgiven and everyone goes to Guidos and eats pizza like Robin Wilson when nobody’s watching….

I was kind of disappointed by the ending. Surely Jessica could do something slightly more creative and vicious to publicly humiliate Kris? A twin switch wouldn’t have hurt in this situation.

But I will leave you with this, a quote from Lila Fowler: “Just the idea somebody reading MY DIARY gives me the creeps”.

Wait, Lila has a secret diary? Magna edition, anyone? What I wouldn’t give to read that.

But let’s get on with the memes:

 

If you also want to mock Liz head over to http://memegenerator.net to make your own captions.

Love you long time, Winston.

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