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#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.” Continue reading

It’s a Pity Party! : The Top 5 Elizabeth Wakefield Shoulder Pat moments

3 May



1. In “The Love Bet” #68

love bet

Dana Larson and Aaron Dallas are, at 16, OVER the dating game, and who else should they confide in, but St Liz?! Hmm… can you see where this will lead? Meddlesome Liz gets all Jessica on them and decides to solve the problem by forcing them to get together! It takes a whole book, but surpisingly works. Even though in my mind Aaron Dallas is a mouthbreathing jock and Dana can do waaay better. My favourite passage from this book:

There was someone else who hurried out of history class as soon as the bell rang – Claire Middleton. Elizabeth had been meaning to have a word with Claire to see if she could break through the new girl’s shyness. Today, however, she just didn’t feel up to the effort. All her thoughts were on Aaron and Dana.

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The 8 BEST Sweet Valley High Parties

26 Apr

A nine-year-old me dreamt of one day going to glamorous beachside parties where hotties like Nicholas Morrow and Jeffery French would be sidling up to me with a soda. A fifteen-year-old me waited for boys who forgot to call in a sweaty school hall with a teacher-Dad as a bouncer. A thirty-year-old me has a “derisive snort” at the white privilege of it all but secretly longs for the day when I trade in watching true crime on Netflix in my PJs for a night out at the Fowlers.

The Sweet Valley parties had it all. Well, except for alcohol. And sex. And since they average one per book there’s about 150 to choose from. Here’s my top 8:

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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.


Two Boy Weekend: A Husband Recap

12 Mar


two boy.jpg

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.

Continue reading

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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