Tag Archives: sweet valley high

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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Which Sweet Valley Villain Are You? Take the Quiz!

31 Oct

 Happy Halloween!

Circle the answer which suits you best to find out which baddie you are.

What is your weapon of choice?

A] My bare hands, or at the right time of month, claws.

B] Anaesthetic gases

C] A glittering butcher’s knife

D] A sleek dagger

E] My charm

F] An axe

Which Wakefield twin would you rather kill?

A] Jessica

B] Neither, I would rather undo Elizabeth’s braid and molest her hair

C] Elizabeth [in a rasping voice]

D] Jessica [in a Southern drawl]

E] After I’ve had my way with both of them, I’ll drown them together.

F] Jessica “Blondie” Wakefield

Who is your dream Sweet Valley lover?

A] Elizabeth

B] Elizabeth [in between heavy breathing]

C] Bruce Patman

D] Whatever Margo said

E] Both Wakefields, simultaneously

F] Lover? What’s wrong with being a misunderstood hermit?

Where would we find you at midnight on a Friday?

A] The Slaughtered Lamb, if the moon is full

B] Lurking around the gynaecology ward at Joshua Fowler Memorial Hospital

C] Kelly’s Roadhouse Bar, or the Shady Lady if that’s where the night takes me

D] The graveyard

E] Aboard my 16ft yacht, The Emily Dickenson

F] The woods

What is your lasting memory of Sweet Valley?

A] I’ve never been, but I hung out one Summer with a pair of very fetching but very annoying intern journalists.

B] Lurking around the hospital car park at night.

C] Fooling an entire town into believing I was Liz Wakefield. Including Lila Fowler.

D] Murdering my twin at the Wakefield’s house.

E] Spending 10 years in prison only to wreak havoc on that bastard, Ned Wakefield

F] I haven’t left Camp Echo Mountain for thirty five years! Mwah ha ha ha

If you answered mostly:

A] Luke Shepherd

Befriended by Elizabeth Wakefield during her summer internship at the London Journal, you are a sensitive poetic type with a hard edge – and a set of hairy claws to match. You are a particularly stupid villain, as you put the idea into her head that a werewolf might be responsible for the London murders. That werewolf turned out to be you. Dumbass.

Villain rating: 2 knives.

B] Carl-the-Orderly.

Renowned as Sweet Valley’s biggest creep, you managed to anaesthetise and kidnap Elizabeth while she was volunteering as a candy striper at Joshua Fowler memorial hospital. She was so pure, and so sensitive, and so kind, and yet when you had her tied to your couch, all you managed to do was untie her braid and feed her blueberry pancakes.

Villain rating: 3 knives

  C] Margo Black.

The greatest psycho killer Sweet Valley, nay, the world has ever seen, you almost managed to off Elizabeth, and then Jessica, on successive New Years Eves. Your rasping was unrivalled, your collection of glittering knives incredible and your ability to impersonate both twins was admirable. Sweet Valley hungrily awaits your second return from the dead.

Villain rating: 5 knives.

D] Nora Chappelle [Black]

Best known as Margo’s identical twin, you surfaced from the deep south in Return of the Evil Twin to pick up where your wicked sister left off. Although slightly tamer than knife-wielding Margo, your bizarrely acute sense of smell worked to your advantage. It was you who managed to murder Margo in the end….Or did you?

Villain rating: 4 knives

E] John Marin

Perhaps Sweet Valley’s most eloquent baddie, you manipulated both twins into thinking you were The One. Disguised as a sensitive writer for Elizabeth, and a hot TV producer for Jessica, you lured both twins onto your boat where you almost delivered the fatal blow. Your motive? Revenge on Ned Wakefield, the multi-skilled lawyer who put you behind bars a decade ago. Revenge is a dish best served cold, and you served it on a silver platter, my man. Kudos.

Villain rating: 4.5 knives

F] Crazy Freddy

The laughingstock of villains in this series, you were clearly created at a time when Fran-Pasc was out of ideas for ways to kill the Wakefields. Campfire legends at Echo Mountain exaggerated stories of your wicked deeds, and you never quite lived up to the hype. Although you briefly managed to wave an axe over Jessica’s head, you never quite had us fooled. Crazy Freddy turned out to be nothing more than a misunderstood hermit.

Villain rating: 1 knives

All hail the lipstick feminist: SVH #86 “Jessica against Bruce”

25 Jul

Let’s take a look at the story:

Bruce [Patman] is being an all-around a-hole, convinced that he is way too cool for boring old Sweet Valley High. So to liven things up a bit, he starts an all-guy secret club – “Club X” – that does totally kick-ass dares like LET OFF THE SCHOOL FIRE ALARMS. In my experience, cool people don’t usually have to prove themselves like that, not that I would know, never having been one of them. But a secret club whose sole mission is to pull annoying pranks isn’t what I would expect from Sweet Valley’s social elite. He is Bruce Patman after all! Surely for kicks he can get his hands on some “good shit” and squander his family’s fortune at the Casino.

Several guys rally around Bruce to support his inflated ego, and they rile up the girls by calling it a “guys only” club, and going on about how a girl could never “have what it takes” to make it in Club X. Enter Jessica Wakefield, maybe the only girl who could look Brucey P in the eye and take him on, while still flashing her midriff and looking sensational.

And so an all out gender war erupts in the cafeteria. I find myself particularly enraged when Bruce Patman tells the girls they can “Cheer on Club X from the sidelines…in their shortest skirts.”. But I had to stifle a laugh when the cheergirls argued that “Girls can do anything….like Justice Sandra Day O’Connor..and Susan Butcher. She’s won the Idatarod, that incredible DOG SLED RACE IN ALASKA, several times.”

Thank you, Terri Adams. Nothing like a dog sled race to smash the glass ceiling for us.

Jessica stands up to the lions of injustice and joins Club X.

Meanwhile, several delegates from the “International Teacher’s Federation” are coming to visit Sweet Valley High, god knows why. And who better to show them around than Elizabeth Wakefield? She practically cracks a hernia when Chrome Dome announces at assembly that he will be choosing some exemplary students to show Mr Ociba and Madame Erlane around.

Get this:

“Guess who’ll get picked?” Enid said in Elizabeth’s ear.  “You.” [Fuck off, Enid.]

Elizabeth smiled. She thought it sounded interesting. She hoped she would have a chance to meet some of the visiting teachers and find out what high schools in other countries were like. [Fuck off, Liz.]

But wait for it – as she’s getting summoned from class by the principal, she checks with Mr Collins:

“Are you going to assign homework?”

For every point I give Jessica in this book, I take at least ten from Elizabeth. And 20 from Enid.

Joining Elizabeth on the committee are Todd and Enid, presumably because they are her closest friends. Also Bill Chase, which surprised me, as I assumed he was either too stoned or too busy surfing to attend class.

But while Liz is sucking up to her new multicultural friends, Jessica is effectively burning her aqua maillot in the war on sexism.

She throws the full force of her sized six body behind Club X. The secret society meets at night in their matching Club X jackets, and they spin a wheel to see who gets to carry out the dare of the day. Jessica is initiated – driving without headlights, smoking in Mr Cooper’s office and scaling a fence to jump off a 20m platform into a river. Strangely, the dares keep landing on her, because Patman is rigging the wheel with a magnet. But she gets her own back – when challenged to steal a car, she hotwires 1BRUCE1 and high tails it to the Dairi Burger. All the time there is this overtone of sexual tension, but I am SO thrilled that Jessica doesn’t disrespect the point of this story and give in to Bruce’s charm. [She’s currently dating Sam Woodruff. Heart!]

Elizabeth is less ballsy about the gender war, but prefers to debate it with Enid, which is obviously not a debate seeing as Enid agrees with everything she says. At least Winston has a new approach to Elizabeth’s question of whether men and women are equal.

“Of course not,” he says. “Women have better hair.” I’m glad Winston is getting to the heart of this matter.

Meanwhile, Liz is getting anxious that the escalating dare war will spill over and ruin SVH’s reputation in front of the international community. So she phones Project Youth hotline for advice. Given that the service is staffed by Amy Sutton and her equally vapid boyfriend Barry, I have to conclude that Liz is an idiot. Heeding Project Youth’s advice, she does nothing and lets Jessica and Bruce sabotage the school.

After learning about the rigging of the dare wheel, Jessica sneaks in and weights the wheel to land on Bruce. She dares him to play banned hard rock radio station KZZP over the PA system at the special assembly.

Bruce has no choice but to partake.

The music blasts, the school is humiliated, Jessica is actually put on detention AND grounded, and Liz gets the shits temporarily.

But of course, this is Jessica, and she never gets her come uppance. Liz disregards her spine and goes along with a twin switch so Jessica can sneak out to see Sam. I guess for once, I’m not even too pissed about a Wakefield getting off the hook with murder.

Maybe I could get a Club X jacket? Or get the precious logo embezzeled on my stethoscope? Maybe I could hotwire a BRUCE’s Lexus and drive it into our local burger joint? Either way, Francine has inspired me to smash the glass ceiling, Wakefield style.

Sweet Valley Confidential: The Verdict? Perfect! [Warning, Spoilers]

30 Mar

Unlike the sugar-coated, predictable, solved-in-sixty-pages plots of our bygone series, Sweet Valley Confidential is surprisingly… real. Told through a series of flashbacks – to high school, to SVU, and to the events that led to the war between the twins – each chapter provides just the right amount of tantalizing detail to keep you in complete suspense. It was absolutely unputdownable – to the point where I was pacing my living room like a maniac, screeching, “Lila had a boob job?!” “How the fuck did Liz find out?” and “Who has Steven been screwing all this time?”

And yet, it reflects just enough of the series we so lovingly snark, with the resurgence of original Sweet Valley personalities like Caroline Pearce, Ken Matthews and Jeffery French. It harks back to those defining events – the death of Regina Morrow, the demise of Enid-the-Drip – that even snarky old me remembered with a fond smile.

All the while, the book poked just the right amount of fun at the Sweet Valley franchise, with self-referential remarks such as

“Bruce Patman kissed her [Elizabeth] ! That had never happened before. At least, not while she was conscious anyway, but that’s another story.”

Yes, folks, a warm-wine-in paper-cup reference from fan favourite “Dear Sister”.

Although heavy on those age-old Sweet Valley-an themes of true love, sisterhood and commitment, the emotions ‘Confidential dealt with were surprisingly raw. For once, not everything fell into place for our twins, as even they had to cope with rejection, criticism and the realisation that they were  –  shock horror – not the perfect sized-six beings of the past.

Before I give you the story straight up, let me add this disclaimer: my recap can not do this epic work of chick lit the justice it deserves. Recapped in chronological fashion, it seems a little blah, but this suspense-filled book is anything but. Go and get yourselves a copy [or if you’re an Aussie* befriend your fellow Americans / have a super-awesome reader who will express mail you a copy].

Heavy spoilers below the cut!

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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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The Evil Twin: A Sweet Valley High Costume Celebration

5 Jan

No-one can deny that the awesomeness of The Evil Twin is largely attributed to Margo Black. However, this Magna Edition also produced some killer outfits, outfits so fantabulous that I can justify an entire post solely dedicated to bringing them to life. Sadly, nearly all the items below I happened to own. Most were tucked away in boxes at my sister’s, grandmother’s and parent’s, but nevertheless they were there. One exception is Jessica’s New Year’s gown, which is probably my favourite Sweet Valley High outfit EVER, and the trigger for the complete and utter Wakefield-envy which plagued me for much of my childhood. My 12-year-old self would be thrilled to know that I picked up the sequinned frock at Samaritans for the bargain price of just $4.00. Get jealous.

 Just then, Elizabeth’s eyes came to rest on one of her favourite outfits, a fancy tuxedo shirt with matching bow tie, trousers and vest.

Elizabeth sighed. She’d just as soon put on an old pair of khakis and a polo shirt; she didn’t feel particularly festive.

Elizabeth slipped out of her robe and pulled a red v-neck top and black skirt out of her cupboard.

 Jessica chose an outfit that was appropriate for the last day of school before Christmas vacation – a short, forest-green knit dress with long sleeves and a scooped neck – but she did it without really thinking.

Somehow, I don’t think “appropriate” was the best choice of adjective.

“Trust Dana to make even an elf costume look like this year’s hottest fashion!” Elizabeth said laughingly to Todd. Dana Larson, lead singer of the popular SVH rock band The Droids, was wearing a bright green minidress and red tights and gloves. She’d even tinted her short blonde hair red and green for the occasion.

“What on earth am I going to wear?” Margo wondered, looking around the room at her skimpy wardrobe, much of which was lying crumpled and dirty on the floor. Since arriving in Sweet Valley, she’d purchased a few items of clothing and shoplifted some others; she’d also filched various accessories from the Wakefield twins’ drawers. Margo wrinkled her nose. Nothing she owned was quite right for this special occasion. Nothing was good enough for Todd.

“I want something new,” she announced. “I want something unbelievably sexy.”
In Margo’s opinion, she was taking over in the nick of time; Elizabeth’s image definitely needed an overhaul. Now Jessica understood the advantages of high hemlines and low necklines – she wouldn’t be caught dead wearing jeans and an oxford shirt on a date. When Margo was in charge, Elizabeth would adopt a much better style…and tonight Todd Wilkins would be treated to a sneak preview.

Lila agreed on a teal-blue dress with a deep, U-shaped neckline and a very short, flouncy skirt.

I had to consult my sister on this one:  Is teal pale blue-green, like aqua, or a darker shade more like turquoise? I realise now that the ghosties painted quite a fuzzy picture in my head of Margo-as-Elizabeth’s date outfit. Both of these fit the description, but somehow the latter looks far too medieval to be sexy. It does, however, catch the glittering light of the butcher’s knife very nicely…

“Hmm…” Lila eyed a bright red miniskirt with a matching, sailor-style jacket. “Cute. Too cute,” she concluded, pushing it aside.

 James turned away from the railing…and there she was, hurrying down the pier in his direction, a slim figure with pale hair covered be a baseball cap, her chin tucked into the collar of her denim jacket. “Jessica!” James cried, his heart almost bursting with joy.

James, you fool. The real Jessica would never be caught dead in that.

At least she’s up and dressed, Elizabeth thought, noting her sister’s oversized green sweater and black jeans.

 Almost immediately, Elizabeth was sound asleep and dreaming. Once again she was going to the Jungle Prom, and once again every detail was vivid and precise. Wearing her light-blue dress, Elizabeth stood looking at herself in the mirror, arranging her hair and putting on her jewellery… The simple, flowing lines of the silk allowed her natural beauty to shine through; her eyes reflected the ice-blue shade, sparkling like gems.

What on earth was she going to wear to Lila’s ball tomorrow night? Elizabeth remembered asking herself the same question before the jungle prom.

The dress that Elizabeth and Margo apparently wear to Lila’s ball is described as below:

Elizabeth* considered the selection and then pulled a short, strapless fuschia dress from the closet. Jessica raised her eyebrows. The dress was new, and so daring and sexy she hadn’t even gotten up the nerve to wear it yet herself.

“Wow!” Jessica exclaimed. “That’s not exactly your usual style, Liz. But sure. Go ahead. I guess you’re planning to start off the New Year with a bang, huh?”

A secretive smile curved Elizabeth’s lips. “A bang? You might say that, yes.”

*actually Margo

Yet, on the cover, we have this:

It’s kind of conservative and bridesmaid-ish.  I can’t really imagine Jessica being too modest to get around in this. Then again, given the shit that went down in this book, a minor outfit inconsistency probably isn’t our greatest concern.

Also Margo shoplifts her copy of the dress, and then slashes the saleswomans’ tires with her pocket knife. Just for kicks.

Margo was wearing the strapless fuschia dress she’d “bought” that afternoon from Lisettes; her glossy blonde hair was swept up on one side and secured with a single rhinestone-studded barrette; her soft, golden skin and blue-green eyes were highlighted with just a hint of natural-looking makeup. I look beautiful, she thought, her lips parting in a self-satisfied smile.

And now, for my all-time fave:

 Jessica zipped up her dress and then padded in stockinged feet to examine the effect in the bathroom mirror. When Amy had called that afternoon, Jessica had confessed that she had nothing to wear to Lila’s ball. Ten minutes later Amy showed up with a sequinned cobalt-blue dress that Jessica had always been crazy about. Jessica smiled again, giving the gown’s ruffled taffeta hem a flirty flip. The sequins, the bare spaghetti straps – the look was both sexy and elegant, Jessica’s favourite combination.

 

Pamela looked terrific in a strapless plum velvet sheath that seemed moulded to her slender figure.

[For the record, I’m a Bruce-Pamela fan]

 Lila gave the skirt of her flouncy black chiffon dress a little flip. “Just a little something from Paris,” she said lightly. “Glad you approve.”

“Hi, how are you?”asked Elizabeth as she stepped up to Enid’s side and put out a hand to touch the sleeve of her friend’s dark-green velvet dress. “Enid, this is beautiful,” she said. “It matches the colour of your eyes exactly.”

I can’t finish on Enid, I just can’t. So here’s the cobalt-blue number to see out this costume bonanza.

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