Tag Archives: steven’s home

Sweet Valley: Land of the Clones Or SVH #64, “The Ghost of Tricia Martin”

25 Jan

Oh hey, Steven. Welcome home from college. Again. Or should I say, hi 33-year-old Justin Bieber. What the fuck are you doing with LaToya Jackson? Ba-by, ba-by, ba-by, oh…

But no – it’s not Ms Jackson taking up with a juvenile. It’s Steve Wakefield’s latest fling, Andrea , who is apparently the spitting image of his dead girlfriend, Tricia, who we met back in book 13.

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My Christmas Wish: Sweet Valley Twins Special Edition “A Christmas Without Elizabeth”

13 Dec

I am totally digging this cover. For starters, there’s a shot of a woe-begone Liz with all her hair chopped off, sporting a fugly and completely unflattering red ensemble. But that has nothing on the title, nor the by-line: ““What If Elizabeth Had Never Been Born?” Oh, what if! Please, ghostwriters, make my day –

The first part of the book is actually rather likeable. Jessica had been elected head of the SVMS party planning committee, and like Angela of “The Office” fame, the power is going to her head. She has a kitty of $186 to spend, once she’s come up with a knockout theme to impress all the boys she’s after. Liz, meanwhile, is helping at the homeless shelter, and she befriends a poor family called the Glasses, whom she can pity and shoulder pat whenever she likes. The volunteer work is so all-consuming that she is blowing off TBT, Amy, homework and even the Sixers. She steals the $186 and gives it to Mrs Glass to put a down-payment on a rental property. Because they are poor, I fear it may be a place on the Wrong Side Of The Tracks, possibly near The Shady Lady or The Martins. Mr Glass is “working away” and uncontactable, and without the money for a week’s rent, the family are evicted. That night, Jessica figures out that her twin stole the money, and Elizabeth is the subject of everyone’s anger from the Glass kids to the Unicorns. And so she bawls, and feels sorry for herself and wishes that she had never been born… [If Only].

That was the first part of the book. The good bit. From here on in, Liz is taken around town by a spectre, whose sole purpose is to visit Liz and prove how wonderful she is and how the universe wouldn’t function without her. The angel, however, is fairly shrewd, making this observation about St Liz:

“Personality Problems Profile. Elizabeth can be very self critical. She takes on more responsibility than is age-appropriate. She can be stubborn and exhibits a tendency towards self-righteousness. She is a major goody-goody.”

She then takes Liz for a spin around the Valley, “A Christmas Carol” style, showing all the things that would’ve happened had Elizabeth never been born:

#1 Without Liz, Sophia Rizzo is a social pariah, and her brother ends up in reform school because he got in so many fights defending her.

#2 Sophia’s mom and Sarah Thomas’ dad never get married.

#3 Sarah Thomas is dead. [Apparently without Liz, she would have died from falling down a flight of stairs.]

Dear God.

#4 Denny Jacobsen is dead. Without St Liz, there was no-one to rescue him when a monster wave hit and his surfboard whacked him on the head.

I’m starting to see a pattern here.

#5 Brooke Dennis a social outcast. [Maybe a leper?]

#6 Mary Giaccio/Wallace is still in foster care and has mousy, limp hair.

#7 TBT is miserable and boring without the love of his life and stays at home playing video games all day [so really, nothing’s changed.]

#8 Amy and Winston are not on the Booster’s cheer-squad. OK, I read Booster Boycott, and Liz had nothing to do with me being on that squad, dammit!

#9 I get beaten up by Jerry McAllister and Charlie Cashman. [Would’ve liked to see Liz stopping that one. ]

#10 The Unicorns are called the Sharks and they smoke actual cigarettes! OMG!

Enough, spirit, enough! Show me no more!

#11 Alice is accused of having an affair and Nalice divorces, because there was no St Liz to defend her! [She’s been boning Hank Patman all along, I knew it! If only Liz had covered it up and she could continue her wicked ways….]

#12 Ned is a divorced alcoholic who hangs out at Kelly’s.

#13 Steven has a tattoo, an earring and a ponytail. He is also in the hood. This is what happens as a direct result of a divorce in Sweet Valley. And the divorce is a direct result of Elizabeth never having been born.

Here’s an excerpt of the Wakefields, sans Liz:

Mrs Wakefield ran out the door after him. “Will you at least be home to open gifts tomorrow morning?”

Steven stopped in midstride halfway across the lawn. “Did you get me that CD player I want?”

“Steven, you know we don’t have that kind of money –“

“Then the answer’s no.”

 

#14 Without Liz, Jessica is ugly and unpopular. When the Sharks come round pretending to be her friend, she jumps at the chance. They then force her to scale City Hall and remove the star from the top, and she falls to her death.

It is now that Elizabeth realizes she is crucial to everyone’s livelihood, and agrees to go back to the real world.

When she “wakes up”, she’s at the SVMS Christmas party, as the guest of honour. A guest of honour? At a fucking Christmas party? With all this miracle work, she’s practically Jesus Christ, so why am I not surprised?

Everyone is gushing over her, and the crowd cheers every time she opens her mouth. Then the friggen Glasses turn up with good news – they’ve moved into an even better apartment! In the space of one day! Even Mr Glass is there, which is surprising because I was beginning to think he might be George…

The moral of the story – Elizabeth Wakefield is central to the functioning of Sweet Valley, to California and to the entire solar system. Can I have the past two hours of my life back? Please? Francine, if you’re reading this: “A Christmas Without Elizabeth” is the perfect title for a spin-off series, where Margo finally has her way….Just a thought.

***

As many of you know, I am a major Sweet Valley nut. But above and beyond that, I am a Christmas dork. I freaking love Christmas. I turn into this corny, caroling version of myself. So this year, I decided to put a Sweet Valley spin on my Christmas decorations. The Evil Twin scene from last week is in the living room. And this is what became of my book collection:

Introducing Trusty-Sort-of-Boyfriend-Todd: Sweet Valley Twins #43 Elizabeth’s First Kiss

8 Nov

Between the combover, the mutism and the vacant look on his face, Todd had all the makings of a Liz Wakefield project.

For obvious reasons, I skipped to the last chapter first, knowing that if the kiss happened as promised, Fran-Pasc wouldn’t waste it on the rest of the book. And it happened…kind of. Although it was more of a peck on the cheek and less of a salty-french-fried-chocolate-millshake-makeout. They are twelve, after all. And he is only her sort-of-boyfriend. So after plowing through all the ocean-eyed-sunstreaked-haired-same-but-different mantra, I discovered that this book is pretty much a toned down version of Double Love [i.e. The twins fight over Todd, but Jessica doesn’t accuse him of sexual assault.]

Jessica has the hots for Todd, or at least the idea of Todd, and because all the Unicorns are getting sort-of-boyfriends, she needs one too. Only strangely, whenever Todd is around her, all he wants to do is talk about Liz, because THAT’S ALL ANYONE DOES IN SWEET VALLEY.

I quite like Liz in this book [SHAME!] – she actually seems like a real 12-year-old noticing boys for the first time. In true Liz fashion, she overanalyzes everything that Todd says and does, which reminds me of myself until oh, about four years ago. And I am in my 20s. For instance, she and Toddles have an awkward conversation about bowling in which she admits how clumsy she is, and then she proceeds to beat herself up for the next week for so stupidly offending him. Then, when Jessica asks her to go bowling she wonders if Todd will think she’s going because of him, but then if she stays home Jess will get a crack at TBT and BLAH BLAH BLAH. I still hate Liz, but maybe that means I hate myself.

As is the case in Double Love, Jessica pursues Todd with vigor, and Liz lets her get away with it, because she is a doormat. Without confessing who her crush is, Liz asks Jess for dating advice, and of course gets the solution to all relationship woes, a makeover, from her twin. Please note Jessica hasn’t been kissed yet, which surprises me. So Liz rocks up at SVMS decked out in purple and with her hair curled, and because Lila is a bitch [who I love] she sends a rumour around that Liz is looking for a boyfriend. So everyone from me to Randy Mason chases after her, even though it’s TBT she wants. [Trusty Boyfriend Todd? Trusty sort-of-boyfriend Todd? TSOBT?]

Anyway – eventually the whole gang decides to go to the bowling alley, and TSOBT only agrees to go with Jess because Elizabeth will be there too. Todd, you are waaaaay simple.

And you have an extraordinarily long neck

Luckily, Jessica ditches him for Aaron Dallas, so he is free to go off and hold hands with Liz and deliver the timely peck. What would have been awesome is if, when they were bowling, Liz did something clumsy and Todd fell for her in spite of it. But no, we are in Sweet Valley, so instead we get this scene:

“If I bowl a strike,” said Elizabeth, “it’ll be the first one in my whole life.”
“There’s a first time for everything,” Julie reminded her. “Come on, we want to win!”
Elizabeth stepped back, took two running steps, and threw the ball. To her enormous surprise, it went straight down the middle of the lane and smashed into the pins. Every single one of them crashed to the floor.
“A strike!” Amy yelled, jumping up and down. “I knew you could do it! Now we’re ahead!”
“Hey,” Todd said admiringly, “that was pretty good.”

Screw you, Liz. On the night of my first pash, I tripped over the bloody sound equipment at the school dance and the plastics laughed in my face. So screw you.

While all this is transpiring, [maybe bad things happen to me because I use words like ‘transpiring’] Steven is two-timing a sporty feminist chick called Lindsay [who I dig], and an flirtatious, vapid airhead called Candace [who I do not.] I liked Steven waaaay more in SVT, when he didn’t fawn over his sisters and mope after much-younger girls and dead people. He totally strings both girls along, then has to ditch Candace at the bowling alley and break her little heart. Go Steve! The only thing I dislike is that he asks Liz for relationship advice.

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