Hello, Comrades! I'm back in the nice, relatively warm, capitalist United States of America! The first thing I did when I settled back into my own house in Texas was eat some Mexican food.
The second thing I did was pick up more Sweet Valley High books. (Actually, that's a lie, this past week I read The Dark Volume, the follow-up to The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters series, and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Hello, adult fiction! It's been ages!)
But good ole' SVH kept me sane during the wee hours when I couldn't sleep due to jet-lag, and I have more reviews! We last left off with Jessica staying out ALL NIGHT LONG and the twins having a falling out because of it. Will anything repair the twins' relationship?? Or will they ever even mention the events of All Night Long, except for when Elizabeth wants to score stupid moral victory points over her sluttastic sister? (Hint: It's the second one!)
Read on to find out!
Sweet Valley High 6: Dangerous Love
In which Todd gets a motorcycle and everyone freaks the eff out
Number Of Drinks Taken: 8 (you guys, this book is some SRS BZNZ. No time for your foolish drinking!)
First Page On Which the Twins Are Described As "Blonde, Blue-eyed, All-American Good Looks" or equivalent: page 1. Of course.
Main Plot: Todd gets a motorcycle, but Elizabeth has been forbidden to ride it, due to the fact that her cousin died in a motorcycle accident. In a normal world, this would not be much of an issue, but since this is Sweet Valley, it's basically The Worst Thing Ever. Elizabeth might have to break up with Todd! Because . . . he can't drive her to school anymore? I dunno. Anyway, guess what? Todd decides to sell the bike, since it's causing problems in his three-month relationship with his high school girlfriend. And then Jess ditches Liz at Enid's Sweet 16 party! So Liz decides to take One Last Ride with Todd down the winding, steep mountainous road near Sweet Valley! Without a helmet on! GUESS WHAT HAPPENS, Y'ALL.
Sub-Plot Not In Least Bit Related To Main Plot: Enid is turning 16 and her mom totally goes Bridezilla on her ass about the party. Has anyone reading this ever actually had a sweet 16 party? I don't think they exist outside of John Hughes films and MTV. Also, Bill The Surfer, who won the surfing competition, is now extremely popular. But he can't get over his lost-love, who tragically died from a car accident after she and Bill had a fight. In junior high.
Improbable High School Moment: That Todd has a motorcycle, or for that matter, a motorcycle license. I'm too lazy to look up the laws in California, but typically a person has to be 18 before they can get a motorcycle license. Although, maybe Todd IS eighteen, and has been held back several times for being boring! That could almost be interesting!
Most Offensive Portion: So, right, at the party where Liz is stranded, Todd only has one helmet (his). Instead of A) refusing to take the bike out at all or B) refusing to allow a passenger to ride without a helmet or C) for that matter, allowing his girlfriend, who is in a dress and not long pants, which is the ONLY WAY YOU SHOULD EVER BE ON A MOTORCYCLE (and yes, I too remember the Sex and the City episode where Carrie was dating Peter Gibbons and they went to some party in Brooklyn and she was wearing a really short dress and I yelled at the TV then too) to get on the bike, he D) takes her for a ride anyway, which of course results in an accident. Not for nothing, gentle readers, but I've grown up around (racing) bikes, as a young child I witnessed a motorcycle accident that ended in death, and I have examined the various remains of motorcycle accident victims and, let me tell you, "road rash" is not a term you want applied to your mortal remains, okay? Stay safe out there.
Oh, also, the local burger place in town starts selling something called The Hot Clam Special, which I am pretty sure has wound up on a brothel's menu of services sometime since.
Sweet Valley High 7: Dear Sister (aka my SECOND FAVORITE SVH BOOK EVER)
In which Liz wakes up from a coma . . . and ACTS LIKE JESSICA!
Number of Drinks Taken: 27 (much is made of Elizabeth's all-American good looks)
First Page On Which the Twins Are Described As "Blonde, Blue-eyed, All-American Good Looks" or equivalent: I can't remember and forgot to write it down! I think it was page 3.
Main Plot: Liz is in a COMA, and it's all Jessica/Todd/Fate's fault!!! Jessica prays, like, a lot, for Liz to wake up, and promises not to be so flaky in the future. Liz finally does wake up, and starts acting just like Jessica! Maybe worse, actually! She flirts with EVERYONE, and wears skimpy clothing, and flakes on chores, and LIES to her PARENTS. And then she goes on a date with Bruce Patman! And then he tries to date rape her! In the ensuing struggle (cause even though Liz is totally a Loose Woman now, she is still saving herself for Luke Perry), Liz hits her head against a bedside table and finally snaps back into her boring, old self. I cried at the end of this book. It just seemed like such a waste. Liz was TOTALLY AWESOME when she was bad! Stupid Bruce Patman ruining it all with his rapiness!
Sub-Plot Not In Least Bit Related To Main Plot: Jessica likes Bill the Surfer, who won the surf competition two books ago. Due to a scheduling mixup with dates, he thinks she's Elizabeth, and he kisses her and professes his love for her. Then Jess is like "no way, it's actually me, lolz" and Bill the Surfer is shocked, but ultimately pleased.
Improbable High School Moment: Liz is in a COMA, but her teachers keep assigning her homework. This isn't college, for chrissakes!
Most Offensive Portion: When Liz regains her memory and acts boring again. Such a waste.
Sweet Valley High 8: Heart Breaker
In which Jessica toys with Bill's affections, and also with stardom
Number of Drinks Taken: 16
First Page On Which the Twins Are Described As "Blonde, Blue-eyed, All-American Good Looks" or equivalent: Page 3
Main Plot: Jessica was all over Bill the Surfer after he won the surf competition and his stock rose. Now they're in a play together, along with DeeDee Gordon, who also has a crush on Bill. Anyway, Jessica of course starts ignoring Bill the Surfer, leaving DeeDee primed to snatch him away. After he gets over his dead girlfriend from when he was 12, that is. Maybe I should rename him Bill Humbert.
Sub-Plot Not In Least Bit Related To Main Plot: Actually, the plots sort of ARE related in this book! (I know!) DeeDee's dad is a famous casting director, or producer, or something or other, and he comes to watch the school play. Jessica, of course, is convinced that she will soon become a star, but DeeDee's dad likes Bill Humbert!! Bill Humbert is going to be a star!
Improbable High School Moment: Hello, this is Hollywood! Being good at a school play is not enough to get you cast in a movie! That's what Ikea makes cheap, but comfortable, couches for!
Most Offensive Portion: The fact that I just made a Lolita joke about a Sweet Valley High book. Forgive me, Vladimir.
Sweet Valley High 9: Racing Hearts
In which Roger Barrett learns he's fast, and Lila proves she has no concept of the phrase "life is a marathon"
Number of Drinks Taken: 8
First Page On Which the Twins Are Described As "Blonde, Blue-eyed, All-American Good Looks" or equivalent: Page 2, I think.
Main Plot: Roger Barrett is poor. Poor, poverty-stricken Roger. To make ends meet, he has a part-time job as a janitor at Mr. Wakefield's office. All his running to and from class and school makes people realize that he's pretty fast on his feet. So he enters a school track competition, which just so happens to have a full schollarship to SVU offered as the prize! And he wins! Quelle surprise. Sadly, his success on the track does little to win the heart of beautiful Lila, which is not surprising, since Lila's way too good for him. Not because she's rich! But because Roger Barrett's sort of a doofus.
But then it all works out, cause Olivia, the dippy Editor of the Sweet Valley High newspaper, "The Oracle," (drink) finally spends enough time Watts/Taylor Swift-ing her way into Roger's affections.(Lila certainly wears short skirts, but Olivia does not wear sneakers. She wears Birkenstocks, because Olivia is begging to be punched in the face.)
Sub-Plot Not Least Bit Related To Main Plot: Jessica gets a job? At her dad's firm. I can't remember the reason why she got the job in the first place, but she keeps the job because there's a cute boy working at the office next door. (Oh, Jessica. If I had a glowing employer reference for every time I had done that, my resume wouldn't need quite so much padding.) Everything's going pretty well, except when Jessica learns that her collating partner has only recently turned 15!! The scandal! Jess breaks it off, but actually misses the poor little guy.
She gets over it, don't worry.
Improbable High School Moment: People are giving out full college scholarships based on one track race? And they're not even requiring the winner to be on the SVU track team?
Most Offensive Portion: That Roger Barrett wasn't gender tested upon running, and winning, the race. Hey, if they're going to do it to Caster Semenya, I demand they do it to everyone.
Sweet Valley High 10: Wrong Kind of Girl
In which Annie Whitman wants to be a cheerleader, even though everyone knows she Gives It Up to guys.
Number of Drinks Taken: 20
First Page On Which the Twins Are Described As "Blonde, Blue-eyed, All-American Good Looks" or equivalent: Page 2
Main Plot: Annie Whitman, nicknamed "Easy Annie" by the kids at school, is out with a different guy every night. Why? Well, because Annie's mom had her when she was 16 and subsequently drinks too much. And because Annie's mom's boyfriend is a sleazeball who probably molests children. And because they live in an apartment, which, as we all know, means they are trash.
Annie longs to be a cheerleader, and she's got the skill to pull it off. But Jessica hates Annie, because both Jess and Liz are future Fox News reporters in training, and has vowed to keep her off the team!
So what happens then? Well, with nothing to live for, now that cheerleading is over, Annie takes a bunch of pills and nearly kills herself. Jessica feels pretty sad about this, and when Annie recovers, Jessica welcomes her to the team!
The moral of this story tragically came too late for The Texas Cheerleader Mom, who should have realized that, instead of killing her daughter's competition's mom, she could have just had her daughter swollow a bottle of baby aspirin. Oh well. Live and learn, Texas Cheerleader Mom. Live and learn.
Sub-Plot Not Least Bit Related to Main Plot: Elizabeth is upset that Jessica is mean to Annie. She doesn't want to say why, so Todd thinks it's because she likes another guy. They fight. Then they make up. Then Todd's mom bakes something.
Improbable High School Moment: LOOK AT ANNIE'S HAIR. I don't care HOW much you Give It Up to boys, Annie, but there's no way I'd let any of my cheerleaders have hair like that (let's pretend I have a cheerleading squad). What is with the HAIR? That's just straight-up 80s Mom Hair. Just say no, Annie.
Most Offensive Portion: Even though Jessica Mean Girls Annie into trying to kill herself, no one blames her. Also, the fact that I'm clearly supposed to judge Annie because she dates a lot of guys. Shut it, Francine Pascal.
That's it for this week!! Next week, psychotic house guests, kidnapping, and cancer! Hooray?