Tag Archives: saint liz

The Wakefields Get A Job: SVH # 131 “Fashion Victim”

6 Jun

This story arc was a bit of a landmark in the Sweet Valley series, as Elizabeth and Jessica said goodbye to high school for two whole weeks [!]  to learn about the big wide world of working girls [in the non-prostitute sense.] We also said goodbye to our early-90’s illustrated covers and hello to the Daniel twins. I’ll forgive the daisy-print onesie because I actually found them rather cute circa 1997.

I would really like to thank the Sweet Valley writers for preparing me so well for working life, because this book taught me SO many valuable lessons:

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PICKING UP WHERE MARGO LEFT OFF: SVH#111 “A DEADLY CHRISTMAS”

30 Nov

It’s been just ten books since Margo fell to her death in the Fowler’s pool house [or DID she?] but already it’s that time of year again! Yes, by book #111 we enter our fifth Yuletide celebration of the year! Congratulations, Francine, on mastering the fifth dimension and allowing the twins to remain sixteen for five successive Christmases.

But enough of that, and onto the insanity that is: “A Deadly Christmas.” It is probably the most sexual Christmas of the SVH series, but you must first understand that although “Playing With Fire” implied that Jessica was doing the unspeakable with Bruce, she is in fact a virgin in this one. Only in Sweet Valley.

Cover courtesy of ShannonSweetValley

I love the cover, because Jessica looks like she is about to be burnt to death. For reals, this time. Also, I get all nostalgic about the cutouts, with the deceivingly pleasant, festive exterior. Mwah ha ha!

I also love the plot, which is centred around Jessica falling madly in love with a guy who is trying to screw over the Wakefields. Among my favourite SV books are those where Jessica thinks she’s met “the one” and he’s all “Ha blondie – let’s see how much I can get out of you while I concurrently screw your sister/hook up with Lila behind your back/ win at tennis.”

In the previous five books of this miniseries, the Wakefields have been visited by an old family friend who we’ve never heard of before, called Sue Gibbons. [Remember, Sue = EVIL in Sweet Valley]. She bears the news that not only has her mother died [which is true] but that she has a rare, terminal blood disorder [which is not.]

Sue and her environmentalist fiancée Jeremy want to have a Sweet Valley wedding, of course. But there’s a twist – Sue’s deceased mother disapproved of Jeremy, so if the couple are married, Sue will not receive the inheritance. Instead, it will be left to Alice, who will probably blow the whole thing on renovating the Spanish tiles or sneaking off to the Hilton Hotel with Henry Patman. So Sue and Jeremy concoct a devious plan  – to fake a break-up and steal the money!

Jeremy pursues a lovestruck Jessica Wakefield, to try to convince the Wakefields that the engagement is off. Then Sue comes up with the mysterious blood disease, and Jeremy agrees to marry her. In the aptly titled “Left At The Altar” Jeremy ditches Sue and makes Jessica his fiancée. But really, he’s only breaking it off so Sue and he can run off with the fortune. Or at least that’s what Sue thinks…Instead, Jeremy is out to rip off all of them and return to Costa Rica with his wife, and his fortune. THE FUCK?! Ugh, I take it back. This plot is awful and makes zero sense. For example, why bother planning the wedding? Why doesn’t Sue pretend Jeremy doesn’t exist, take the damn money from Nalice and then elope? Also why is it that because Jeremy is found to be a career criminal he can’t be an environmentalist? Haven’t you heard of Peter Garrett? You may have mastered the dimension of time, Fran Pasc, but the characters are still completely 1-D.

The real fun is watching Jeremy wrap both girls around his finger.

He kidnaps Sue and ties her up in a cabin, then demands the inheritance from the Wakefields as ransom. Methinks young Jeremy is a complete sicko, because at this point in time, Sue is entitled to the inheritance anyway. [Don’t worry, the dumb ass Wakefields don’t suspect it’s him. Idiots.]

Next, he plans a romantic getaway with Jessica, and asks her to do the deed and prove her love for him. Seriously? She’s sixteen, you dirty man. Jessica agonizes about it, and thinks about condoms [yes, they say the C-word in this one!], and shivers a lot. I think they used the same ghostwriter from every single Elizabeth-centric story arc in SVU.

We learn that he is planning to scoot with the money in exactly ten days because he is a very devious man. [Ten bucks says he checks into The Shady Lady on the way out.]

I have ten days to kill so I might as well enjoy myself, Jeremy thought. Might as well get some kicks along the way.

Excuse me while I go file a DOCS report.

Of course, super sleuth Liz is onto it by then, and his true identity is revealed and Jessica is rescued from the burning cabin and everyone lives happily ever after and sings bloody Christmas carols and Sue has no rare blood disorder after all. Sheesh!

In the B-plot, Lila is dating a starving artist, called Robby. First he pretends to be rich, then she pretends to be poor, and now they are happy. Yawn. Who kidnapped our Lila? I can’t wait till the camp miniseries where she hooks up with Beauregard Creighton the Third and they get caviar shipped from Paris.

But now I will leave you with this, a quote from everyone’s favorite hypocrite,

“Now he was engaged to Jessica and supposedly through with Sue, but Elizabeth didn’t trust him for a second. In Elizabeth’s opinion, if Jeremy cheated on Sue, that meant he wouldn’t hesitate to cheat on Jessica, either. While Jessica was fickle and impetuous when it came to matters of the heart, Elizabeth drew great happiness and satisfaction from the fact that she and her boyfriend, Todd Wilkins, had weathered romantic storms to forge a relationship that would last.”

Smug bitch.

I suppose the 13 infidelities she committed during junior year don’t count as cheating?

People in glass houses, Lizzie. People in glass houses usually get pushed and lacerate their carotid arteries, like Margo did. Here’s hoping.

Any others you’d like to see for our Christmas countdown? I will do anything from the BSC to Sweet Valley Twins, High or, with gritted teeth, University. I am keen to get my hands on a particular SVT Super Edition, “A Christmas Without Elizabeth.” It sounds AWESOME, although possibly too good to be true…

Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield: Better than Margot Fonteyn [but not as good as Margo Black…]

28 Aug

This was the first Sweet Valley book I ever read, so I will do my best to keep the snark to a minimum

Not!!!

The book is about the twins and their classical ballet class, which of course they are the star pupils of despite never having done ballet before or since this book.

The ghostwriter obviously read an “ABC of ballet” dictionary, because she knows three, and only three, steps: glisse, fouette, and jete. And so in every rehearsal scene, which accounts for 50% of the book [the other 50% is Jess sulking and Liz being self-righteous]; we get a rundown of one twin or the other executing one of these steps. Having done ballet since the tender age of four, I am more than amused at Elizabeth’s ability to go from a battement glisse [on the barre] to a fouette [basically a turn on one leg with the other leg whipping in and out] to a hop on one leg, known as a jete.

But suspending disbelief, we are taken to the originally titled “Dance Studio” in downtown Sweet Valley, which is run by a French expat known as Madame Andre. The students, including the twinkies, Kerry Glen, Jo Morris and Amy “Tomboy” Sutton, are preparing for a production of Coppelia in the upcoming fall recital.

In about the first two pages, we learn that Jessica is an amazing ballerina but goes unnoticed, while Liz is pretty average and yet Madame Andre’s favourite.

“Oh Lizzie, you don’t know how terrible it is to be ignored. Madame never looks at me. She never sees my plies or my battement glises because she’s always looking at you. You’re teacher’s pet. Madame likes you 337 times more than she likes me.” Jessica reflects that perhaps she fell out of favour when she dressed up for her first ballet class. I can see why:

*Outfit recap*

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You can’t be a hippie and a jock, or SVH Super Edition #9 “Mystery Date”

7 Aug

Before I recap the absurdity that is this book, let’s first take a moment to appreciate some of the awesome outfits it produced:

Read on for outfit snaps and Ken doing some serious birdwatching..

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IF YOU’RE NOT A SIZE SIX, THE WAKEFIELDS WILL POKE A STICK AT YOU AND LAUGH, OR SVH #4, POWER PLAY

1 Aug

This is probably the worst attempt in YA fiction to deal with body image issues – and I read “Nothing’s Fair in Fifth Grade”.

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Danny is not your friend and he doesn’t want your help or Sweet Valley Twins #40, Danny Means Trouble

15 Jul

Before the shoulder pat, Saint Liz practised the “Creepy Peer From Afar” maneuver

Danny Jackson is a rebel. For one, his name sounds like that of a T-bird, or someone out of West Side Story. We know he is bad not only because he cuts Julie Porter’s hair and pokes fun at Ms Arnette, but because Jessica thinks he is hilarious, and Elizabeth is concerned about his welfare.

Unless you are Ellen Riteman or a like-minded moron, you will figure out by about chapter three that the reason Danny Jackson plays up is because he can’t read.

Elizabeth, of course, is onto it.

Hmm… I wonder why every time Danny is asked to read he makes a joke or pretends there is a mouse on the floor…AHA! Genius! Now I have an excuse to judge him and meddle in his life.

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SWEET VALLEY REPEATS ITSELF!

2 Jul

Apparently Fran-Pasc’s ghostwriters were subscribers to the school of thought “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” In fact, they realized that if a story worked in one series, why not repeat it in another? And so we ended up with SVH#72, “Rock Star’s Girl” and SVT#55 “Brooke and Her Rock Star Mom” which are so freaking similar that I got some serious de ja vu…

“Brooke and Her Rock Star Mom” Courtesy of Amazon

“Rock Star’s Girl” Courtesy of Shannon’s Sweet Valley High Blog

SVT# 55 BROOKE AND HER ROCK STAR MOM SVH#72 ROCK STAR’S GIRL
PUBLISHED January 1992 February 1991
Central Character [to be relegated to third tier after this book] Brooke Dennis Andrea Slade
Rock Star Parent Constance “Coco” Gray Jamie Peters
Album Hot Coco Pride
Reason for being in Sweet Valley [centre of the universe] Brooke moved to Sweet Valley earlier in the year with her dad. Her mother, Mrs Gray, has been busy becoming a pop star in France [Fran-Pasc’s fave city] and has a new hubby and baby. She has moved to SV to be some semblance of a parent to her daughter. [maybe she will take parenting tips off Nalice??] Andrea moved to Sweet Valley with her Dad, who wanted a break from rock star life. They live on a massive property near the Morrow/Fowler/Patman estates.
Main Problem Coco’s manipulative agent Bernice wants Brooke and Coco’s new family to be kept a secret, as it could ruin Coco’s image! Oh no! So while Brooke’s friends at SVMS go “Coco crazy”, she has to hide out at her mother’s hotel and pretend she’s not interested. Also, Bernice bans her from going to her mother’s concert. Are you f#@*ing serious? Andrea wants to keep her father’s identity a secret so people will like her for who she is. Then, when Lila and Jessica hear about Jamie Peters moving to SV, they decide to follow him home and spy on him. And there he is, lounging by the pool at his Spanish-style villa – with Andrea! So of course this means she is his live-in-lover, and Jess/Lila spread rumors around SVH so that Andrea is shunned and dumped by her new bf.
Confides In [Who else??] Saint Liz Saint Liz[Seriously, why does she befriend all the new people for just one book and then move on to a new project once all their problems are solved??]
What Jessica “Joe Jackson” Wakefield tries to get out of it Front row tickets to rock star’s concert. She even starts the first “Coco Crazy” fan club. A dry hump with said rock star
Love interest Colin Harmon Nicholas Morrow [YAY!]
Climax Brooke runs away* Andrea runs away
Solution Rock star phones Liz Rock star phones Liz
Subplot The Wakefield’s threw a party the previous week and try to keep it a secret from Nalice. Of course, when they do own up, there is no punishment because their honesty is oh so admirable. Nice one, Nalice. Lila takes up the marimba and hopes to impress Jamie Peters with it [WTF?]

* fortunately, Jess happens to be at the bus stop as Brooke is making a run for it, so she coerces Brooke into hiding out IN THE WAKEFIELD’S BASEMENT FOR TWO DAYS until Saint Liz can drag her out with some berry pancakes

And another thing….

Nicholas Morrow takes Andrea out on his boat, called “Morning Glory”. THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID!!!!! [For die-hards, the boat was actually called “My Favourite Twin” when he was hot for Elizabeth in SVH#18, Deceptions]

When they’re not going Coco Crazy or hiding their friends in the basement, the twins are getting psyched for Aunt Helen’s upcoming visit. Can someone tell me who Aunt Helen is? And where she fits into the whole Wakefield-ancestry thing that we have two whole magna editions devoted to in SVH????

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