Tag Archives: everyone wants a wakefield

The One Where The Twins Almost Get Offed by a Werewolf: “Love and Death in London”

20 Oct

As you may have guessed from my lengthy absence, Francine never answered the call to Bring Margo Back From the Dead. My heart is pretty much broken. After all, previous tales had filled me with great confidence in Francine’s ability to resuscitate Margo.

So because I am the vengeful type, I am going to go to town on one of the most redonkulous books in Sweet Valley history:

“Love and Death in London”

Shame on you, Francine. I’m going to snark this like a polaroid picture.

Let’s begin with the cover, which is probably the high point of the book.

I’m going to take a stab and suggest that the 35-year-old high class call girls in trench coats outside the Big Ben are Wakefield twins [no doubt on some top-secret assignment entrusted only to them by the Scotland Yard].

And judging by the god-awful bangs and over-zealous rouge on the twin motif, I’d reckon this book was printed circa-1993. Please note that Elizabeth looks one inch taller and one pound skinnier than Jessica. Bitch.

And as for the half naked werewolf scaring off the random brunette and her gay bestie….lets just leave that one, for now.

Elizabeth and Jessica have ditched their regular summer jobs at the Sweet Valley News for the greener pastures of London.

Elizabeth is her usual annoying self and waxes poetic about famous architects and the Great Fire of 1666 and St Paul’s Cathedral.

They move into a student boarding house where there are like, kids from all over the world! Wow! Conveniently, Elizabeth’s old French toyboy, Rene Glize is ALSO at the exact same boarding house at the EXACT same time! Maybe they will sneak out and drink tequila and have sex in the common room? But no, we have to wait another five years before she returns to London and jumps in bed with a duke.

The twins begin their illustrious jobs at the esteemed London Journal. Because a Wakefield wouldn’t get out of bed for a tabloid paper. Jessica is pissed about being assigned as a social columnist. Uh, no offence Jess but you’re INTERNS. 16-year-old undergraduate interns at that. Fuck her self-entitlement complex gets to me. Also, isn’t social commentary pretty much Jessica’s dream job? Swanning around London snapping Pippa Middleton or Rosie Huntington-Whitely. Or in those days, the likes of Hugh Grant and Liz Hurley??

But worry not – within their first week our twins are promoted to senior fucking crime reporters, which not only involves chasing leads on the nation’s biggest murders but also taking on the job of the entire Scotland Yard. I guess some inferior, non-Wakefield plebs can take on those pesky tasks of reporting on petty theft at the Oxford Street 7-11 or a pommy breaching an AVO.

Gold star, you two.

But we couldn’t have such wonderful criminologists in town without an epic crime. And so, in London that week there is a spate of brutal attacks on humans and dogs which are suspiciously like the work of a werewolf. Beware the full moon, bitches.

There is more to this wonderfully transparent mystery:

Elizabeth befriends/cheats on Todd with a sensitive beatnik type called Luke Shepherd. Luke is strong and kind and poetic and they make electric shocks together and all that shit, but the real appeal lies in his dark obsession with werewolves.  Hmm…something tells me there’s a link here. Given that Elizabeth is an amazingly perceptive journalist, you would think she might come to the same conclusion when he takes her out to a restaurant known as “The Slaughtered Lamb.”

Also, Luke is a fucking tool, because he leads Elizabeth to the conclusion that a werewolf is behind all the killings. Luke is an idiot. And surely Liz is too much of a skeptic to believe him? No! It’s all very logical, you see. What creature other than a werewolf would be capable of tearing the throats out of innocent Londoners?

[Man, if only they’d written this a couple of years later. I can just imagine Jessica’s headlines:

“Did a Werewolf Kill Diana?” or, “What Camilla REALLY Gets Up to When the Moon is Full”].

But I digress. Back to this riveting mystery.

The killings go on and on, with no end in sight. Mainly because they have two sixteen year olds on the job, and the policeman in charge of the investigation is a bumbling fool called Seargent Bumpo. [This is making Twilight look like the work of Bram Stoker.]

But back at the hostel, some of the twin’s housemates have mysteries of their own.

Elizabeth is intrigued by social justice advocate Lina, who has headed to London all summer to work at a soup kitchen. She wears rags and looks somewhat familiar. Coincidentally, the young British Princess Eleina [who I’m guessing is Will and Harry’s cousin] has gone missing, and her face is all over the papers. Do you need a hint? Oh wait, you’re more than five.

There is also a snobby bitch called Portia who appears nightly at the Globe theatre. Only she’s not really a snob at all – she was just acting the whole time. All the time. Taking the Stanislavski method WAAAAY too far, methinks.

Jessica, meanwhile, is getting around with Lord Robert Pembroke, who is pretty much the English aristocracy’s version of Bruce Patman. She also gets VERY disappointed that Picadilly Circus doesn’t have any clowns. Dumbass.

Our story ends with Lord Robert inviting the twins over to stay at his manor. I’m sure he was doing a Prince Harry and thinking BINGO, but Liz goes and brings Luke the Werewolf along. That night, Jessica is the victim of a brutal attack when someone attempts to cut her throat. The book actually leaves on a high note, detailing how her limbs are all tangled, and she’s pulseless and soaked in blood.

“Elizabeth knew her tears would never end; her pain and sorrow could never be soothed. Her beloved sister was dead- murdered!”

Will Jessica die or is it just a hickey???? Only the second book of the story arc will tell…

Stay tuned for our super Halloween edition in the coming week!

Winston

Mr Collins isn’t the only perve in Sweet Valley! SVT Super Edition #9 The Twins Go To College

6 Apr

Ah, this old book. A favourite of mine, when I was eight. I remember thinking how old they looked on the cover, something which is going to come in handy later in the book. Seriously, though, the twin on the left could pass for eighteen – a far cry from the doe-eyed blondes who stepped onto the cover of “Teacher’s Pet” in 1986.

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The one where Winston Egbert gets what he always wanted: Jessica’s Secret Diary Volume II

29 Mar

My original reaction to these “Secret Diary” editions was that Fran-Pasc was so stumped for new ideas that she had to rehash the events of sixty-odd Sweet Valley books. I probably wasn’t that far off the mark, because the next 77 titles just progress in their ridiculousness [Vampires! Werewolves! Crazy Freddy! French Royalty!]. However, this particular volume is a remarkably amusing read, not only because Jessica Wakefield KEEPS A FUCKING DIARY, but also because she snarks pretty much every Elizabeth-centric event that went down in books #40-#55.

Ten bucks says the ghost-writer in charge of this book secretly enjoyed mocking all the happy endings and Elizabeth heroism we were fed.

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In the word “TEAM” there is no “I” [but apparently there are two Wakefields]…

7 Mar

TEAM SWEET VALLEY #1 “JESSICA GOES FOR THE GOLD”

Jessica Wakefield is the star gymnast representing Sweet Valley Middle School at the state championships. Surprised? Oh, you poor deluded soul. It doesn’t matter that Jessica has never attempted gymnastics/played a team sport/committed to anything longer than one book before. Why not, you ask? Because she is a Wakefield, of course! And Wakefields are awesome at life. And vaulting, apparently.

[On a side note, it’s little wonder that I cannot hack losing and have to be the best at absolutely everything I do. See what you’ve done to me, Francine? See?]

The school is competing at a local meet, and Jessica is kicking ass on the uneven parallel bars:

“It was a killer routine too-full of complicated hand changes and death-defying leaps from one bar to the other. She leaped to the high bar, swung, then came back in a blind back-straddle over the low bar. She’d never felt so strong. Then Jessica leaped to the high bar for her big move. She did a long hanging kip, then casted to a full handstand on top of the high bar and did a pirouette. The crowd went wild. All around the gym, people were jumping up and down, cheering for her. Her face glowing with excitement, Jessica turned around and waved to HER public. Finally the head judge stood up. “Nine point seven,” he announced.

Of course.

This is making me hate Jessica. It’s also making me want to dig out some of my old “Gymnasts” books. I always did have a crush on the coach, Patrick.

So Jessica has developed a fierce rivalry with Dawn Maven, star of the Weston team. I wonder if Dawn is also new to gymnastics? Or if she’s been working her ass off 35 hours a week since she was five like most people who are good at something. Also, where is Weston? What happened to the Secca Lake team? Or El Carro? Big Mesa? Palisades? Dawn is a mega-bitch, but I like her. She oils up the bar so Jessica falls off. Jessica mixes sugar in the chalk bowl so Dawn slips and busts her ankle.  Dawn has a Margo moment when she threatens to “fix her, and fix her good”. This goes on and on until Jessica somehow finds a sense of guilt, becomes Dawn’s personal rehab physician, and they agree to play fair at the upcoming California Games. How Jessica can remediate a sprained ankle in the space of a fortnight astounds me.

Donald Zwerdling, who is basically Winston Egbert on acid, [read: more annoying, more persistent, more clumsy, and just an all around nerdburger] provides something vaguely resembling amusement in the B-story. He missed out on a spot on the boy’s team, [thanks to their captain, Bruce Patman] so he has decided to carry the drinks for the girls and be their assistant. Genius! Betcha Bruce wishes he’d thought of that. Also, can we take a moment to stop and laugh at Bruce doing gymnastics? Bruce on the pommel horse….Bruce busting his tighty whities on the rings….Ha!

At the California games, for once Jessica doesn’t win. Amazing. Riding her bike home from Dawn’s the night before, she sprains her ankle, and scores a measly old 9.4 on the bars to Dawn’s 9.6 [you may remember the highest score all book is still Jessica’s 9.7, of course]. She even congratulates Dawn on the victory, which is very un-Jessica. Obvs the ghosties were under instruction to teach us all a lesson. But like so many of these lessons we learn in Sweet Valley [you need a boyfriend to be worth anything, fat people should be burned at the stake, you CAN cheat on your guy 15 times a year, you SHOULD ALWAYS listen to Elizabeth etc, etc..] I’m choosing to ignore it.

‘Cause winning is everything, bitches.

The best part of this book? There’s barely any Elizabeth [she’s off playing volleyball for the school]. The worst? Jessica not getting her come-uppance. At least not properly. Seriously, does any of the shit she pulls have any consequence beyond the same book?

Continuity note: Amy gets a 9.2 on her floor routine at the California Games. So she’s pretty much the best in the state. However, back in SVT#2, Amy is so bad at classical ballet that she scores the role of Coppelia the doll. I’m sorry, but someone who can barely point their foot and keep time in Madame Andre’s sixth grade dance class is probably not a state level rhythmic gymnast.

Cheerio!

 

The Wakefields get duped again: SVH Super Thriller “A Stranger in The House”

9 Jan

“A Stranger In The House” [I’m telling you, this guy should hook up with Margo].

Gaa, don’t you hate it when a psycho killer that your dad jailed ten years earlier comes to Sweet Valley under two different guises and convinces both you and your twin that he’s your soulmate?

I sure do!

Of course, we all know that everyone in the universe is obsessed with the Wakefields, so it’s only natural that John Marin would stalk the twins, with a view to wooing them, slaughtering them, and avenging his decade-long captivity.

In case you haven’t read all these books, Ned Wakefield is a specialist in at least 137 different branches of the legal system. We’ve already seen him in action in divorce and family law [the Ricky Capaldo case], criminal law [representing his own daughter after her DUI charge] and civil law [weighing in on the Patman/Fowler football field ownership dispute].

Of course, he still has time to run for mayor and be a devoted father. Not devoted enough, apparently, because while working in prosecution a decade ago, he only managed to put double-murderer Marin in the clink for ten years. Now, as Marin is freed from Sweet Valley jail on rather lofty parole conditions, Ned remembers the killer’s final words: “Your precious little girls will never be safe again!” Mwah ha ha!

Here is John Marin, just days before his release:

I am amused that he got scissors in jail. Also that he was allowed to tape myriad photos of the twinkies to his cell wall.

If you look closely, there is a photo of Jess and Lila at Paradise Spa, taken from the cover of “Murder in Paradise.” Up here for self-referentiality, Fran-Pasc.

Our story is set during the 11th summer after junior year, and the twins have started a new waitressing job at the Marina Café. Of course, they are brilliant at it. When a handsome scholar called Ben Morgan* puts the moves on Elizabeth, she finds herself cheating on Todd AGAIN. But it’s okay, you guys – she’s met her soulmate! I find it hard to believe that a guy who was jailed at 18 and probably hasn’t seen a book since is charming the pants off St Liz with his deep insights into 19th century literature. Also, he has enough money to buy a sixteen foot yacht, which he calls “The Emily Dickinson”.

Jessica, meanwhile, has forgotten poor old Ken Matthews, and is wrapped up in Scott Manderlake* a trendy TV intern who offers her a spot in his miniseries. [What is a television intern? Please enlighten.]

*Actually John Marin

Marin, meanwhile, is having a ball toying with the twins. First he pulls a Margo and picks the lock on the Wakefield’s front door so he can get into Elizabeth’s secret diary. Then he rocks into Jessica’s world in a red Mazda Miata, [one of the most overused hot-person cars in this series] and he begins to plot the twins’ murder, which he will carry out on a boat. Marin, marine…it’s all in the name. My favorite is when he crouches in the bushes at Calico Drive, fantasizing about Alice in one of Jessica’s miniskirts. He even takes some photos, the perve!

On Saturday night, while Liz is moonlighting on a yacht with her literate lover “Ben”, Ned and his detective pal Cabrini finally tell Jessica about John Marin. “But Dad!” is her reply on seeing the mug shots. “I’ve been dating this guy ALL WEEK!”

If only the twins were still doing the job of the SVPD at the Sweet Valley News, dammit!

Finally, the A team hijacks a coast guard boat and rescues St Liz, just as Marin is arching his glittering knife through the air. Marin is initially reported to have drowned, but there’s a twist – he somehow gets back to the Wakefield’s, drugs Prince Albert and slugs Ned. But finally, we get a window-push, and Marin is handcuffed and transported to prison. The real police have yet to be called. But hey, who needs ‘em. Of course, Todd forgives the cheating minx and everyone sits down to a steaming cup of milky cocoa.

And only a week has elapsed.

Murder in Paradise

29 Jun

Imagine I’m a well-regarded journalist, and this is a reputable newspaper. You know, like Elizabeth Wakefield and her regular column in The Oracle. Because the shit that went down in this Super Thriller is seriously newsworthy.
MURDER IN PARADISE

Crazed Transplant Surgeon

Almost Ruins Perfect

Family

Above: Lila Fowler and Jessica Wakefield working on their tans at Paradise Spa

Above left: Elizabeth Wakefield captured by CCTV footage as she attempts to track down her missing mother.

From the outside, Paradise Spa Health Retreat was a safe haven, a luxurious escape from life in sunny California, where young women could be pampered in five star comfort, enjoy clean living for a weekend or even putt a couple of holes on unspoiled greens.

But inside lurked a hidden danger, a woman so obsessed with beauty that she would do anything – even murder – to achieve perfection among herself and her staffers.

Tatiana Mueller’s crazed obsession dates back to her days at Sweet Valley University, where she became infatuated with fellow college attendee Alice Wakefield. After graduating from medical school in the mid 70s, she devoted her life to cosmetic surgery in the hope that she could one day become the owner of Mrs Wakefield’s face. In the interim, she established a cult among employees at Paradise Spa, perfecting her craft by performing face transplants on wayward teens who would then work for her and become complicit in her exploits.

It was from these illusory environs that a mother-daughter group of Sweet Valley residents rescued late yesterday was lucky to survive.

Alice Wakefield thought luck was on her side when she received a phone call late last week from Paradise Spa offering her an all expenses paid luxury holiday with her twin daughters and three other friends. She, along with daughters Jessica and Elizabeth, and friends Grace and Lila Fowler and Enid Rollins, had enjoyed three days making the most of yoga, facial treatments and all the perks the spa had to offer.

Dr Mueller’s devious work began to unravel when cluey twin Elizabeth discovered the body of a former employee known only as Katya. It is believed this poor young girl, plucked from unattractiveness by Dr Mueller and given a lifeline, was brutally murdered by the surgeon after threatening to tell the Wakefield family the truth about Paradise Spa.

Dr Mueller is said to have told Fowler Memorial Hospital that Katya had a heart condition and thus would not require an autopsy. Forensic pathologists from the hospital will face questioning over claims of negligence.

Following this cruel act, Dr Mueller allegedly lured Alice Wakefield into her private surgery – a state-of-the-art facility with photos of the attractive blonde plastered on every wall – and began hypnosis.

Fortunately, the twins and disgruntled employees tracked down Dr Mueller and her team of surgeons before Alice’s face could be removed.

Police allege that as they handcuffed Dr Mueller, she lapsed into a delirious stream of conscience, claiming that she was once “ignored” and “ridiculed” by Mrs Wakefield, and that other students “flocked” to this “golden girl.”

Dr Mueller will face Sweet Valley local court on Tuesday and will not be released on bail.

The family was available to speak to the Tribune in the early hours of this morning.

Said daughter, Jessica Wakefield: “I was getting over the macrobiotic thing anyway. I could just die for some fries and a milkshake at Casey’s. Also, will this be on the front page?!”

Todd Wilkins, Elizabeth’s relieved boyfriend, commented, “I’m just so glad to have Liz back. I know this is the thirteenth time she’s cheated on me in our junior year, but she is the wholesome twin, after all. I’m sure she was just missing me.”

Also glad of the escape was Enid Rollins, Elizabeth’s friend who, feeling vulnerable after a recent relationship breakdown, was the subject of one of Dr Muller’s evil attempts to brainwash and reconstruct visitors to Paradise spa. Said Ms Rollins: “I just got so jealous of my sized six, blonde-haired friend and her equally attractive family. Now I realize that I need to accept my unfortunate looks and be grateful she even acknowledges my presence.”

Elizabeth is said to be part of a taskforce aiming to harness the technology Dr Mueller created and use it in the treatment of burns victims and survivors of war.

Alice Wakefield regrets that she only vaguely remembered Dr Mueller from SVU: “Perhaps, had I paid her more attention instead of whoring it up at the Theta house while my boyfriends called her ‘Tatty Mule’ this whole thing could have been avoided.”

It is a chilling tale, and today we remember those who died in a quest for beauty, and those who were fortunate enough to be born in a sun-streaked blonde-haired, size six body.

Above: Tatiana Mueller, whose quest to transplant Ms Wakefield’s face remains unfulfilled

Winston Egbert,

Sweet Valley Tribune

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