About the Book

Title: Against the Odds (Sweet Valley High #51)
White Lies (Sweet Valley High #52)
Second Chance (Sweet Valley High #53)
Two-Boy Weekend (Sweet Valley High #54)
Perfect Shot (Sweet Valley High #55)
Published: 1988

Happy Friday, you guys!! I have to say, I’m feeling a SENSE OF ACCOMPLISHMENT on this fine Friday afternoon. Not life accomplishment (that’s sort of a topsy-turvy mess at the moment) and not Productive Human accomplishment (my apartment is a disaster zone), but FYA Accomplishment.

Why, you ask? Because I have been sitting on this Sweet Valley High recap for MONTHS. MONTHS. I read these books LITERALLY MONTHS AGO. Like, IN JUNE. And I kept putting off writing them, cause I just couldn’t find the funny. Every week, I’d have “SVH Recap” written by my name on our weekly FYA schedule (yeah, we have a schedule, cause we’re boss like that) and every Friday would roll around when I’d realize I couldn’t even summon up 100 words about stupid Liz Wakefield.

But finally! With the help of my good friends wine and beer, I managed to find my Wakefield Rage again! Unfortunately, because of my good friends wine and beer, I don’t . . . really remember the books I read in June? So, uh . . . I may have made some of this up. Enjoy! Or don’t! It’s all the same to me! (Ha ha, just kidding, LOVE ME, INTERNET!)

The Official Sweet Valley High Drinking Game:

Take 1 drink anytime: 

• the words “blonde,” “sun-streaked,” “blue-green eyes” or “perfect figure” are mentioned in relation to the Wakefield twins’ looks
•  anyone goes to the beach, or talks about going to the beach
•  Liz and Jess get to drive the Fiat
•  Jess mentions the number “37” (you guys, seriously, she does this a lot)
•  they mention Steve, the eldest Wakefield child
•  Bruce Patman shows up
•  Jessica flakes on chores, Elizabeth talks to herself, or Todd or Enid are lame
•  “Eyes and Ears,” the gossip column that Elizabeth writes for The Oracle, the student newspaper, is mentioned
•  the fucking matching lavaliers are mentioned

Sweet Valley High 51: Against the Odds

In which Ronnie Edwards makes like Pete Rose, only less amazing

Number Of Drinks Taken: 18

First Page On Which the Twins Are Described As “Blonde, Blue-eyed, All-American Good Looks” or equivalent: pg 3

Main Plot: Oh, Ronnie Edwards, you stupid fuckface. You stupid, stupid fuckface.

So, check it. It’s the big soccer game at Sweet Valley High, because the writers of Sweet Valley High are physically incapable of centering a plot around anything that would interest anyone at all, ever. So I guess everyone’s panties are all in a bunch about this game, because it could catapult Sweet Valley High and J French into the realm of, like, Christiano or Wayne Rooney or whatever things are popular in soccer; I don’t know. Yellow card!

Ronnie Edwards, mean-to-the-while, is going around town flashing cash like he’s motherfuckin Jay-Z or something. He’s, like, Sweet Valley’s HOV. While at the Dairi Burger, Ronnie Edwards goes over to Liz and J French’s table and is all, “I GOT THIS” and flashes a bunch of bills with which he encourages his classmates to buy malteds and fries. Liz and J French are all, “oh, no, that’s okay, don’t spend your money on us, blah blah blah” because they are the WORST and also because they think his cash might be ill-gotten. Look, I don’t care where your money comes from. It could come from the tears of orphans who have been sent on a death march, whatever. If you want to use that money to buy me a burger and vanilla malt, I will accept it. Seriously. You could have stolen that money from your dying grandmother and now she can’t pay for a nurse and therefore can’t afford hospice care and I’d be like, “AND I would like bacon on my burger and can you make my malt extra malt-y? THANKS.” And I don’t think that makes me a bad person! I think it makes me a person who really likes to clog her arteries with deliciousness.

ANYWAY. Liz gets all meddly in Ronnie’s shizz, because she’s Liz, and she nudges J French into being as meddly as she is, and J French walks outside of the Dairi Burger just in time to see Ronnie being sent a message by his bookie, Big Al. Yeah. His bookie’s name is Big Al. In the spirit of Meghan’s amazing MS Paint reviews of Teen Wolf, I have attempted to illustrate the scenes between Big Al and Ronnie below. You are welcome.

So J French soon learns that Ronnie in in the hole to Big Al for, like, some palrtry sum that I guess is supposed to be a large amount because it’s the 80s and we’re trying to impress upon children the horrors of gambling. I think it’s like a hundred dollars or something. J French wants to help Ronnie for reasons that are not really explained, since everyone hates Ronnie. So J French gives him twenty bucks.

The next week at school, Ronnie is hanging all over J French’s junk, which sort of pisses Liz off, because she wanted J French to meddle in Ronnie’s life, but not to the extent that it infringes upon her life in any way.So Liz is all, “don’t hang out with that Ronnie Edwards, J French; he’s trouble-with-a-capital-T-that-rhymes-with-P-which-stands-for-pool.” But J French still wants to help Ronnie. But then Big Al tells Ronnie that he’s got a big bet riding on the HIGH SCHOOL SOCCER GAME and that he needs to make sure that Sweet Valley cover the spread and only win by two points.

Okay, first of all: do people actually bet on soccer? Isn’t that the most unfulfilling and difficult bet ever? What are they going to bet on? “Gosh, I hope someone actually scores a point in this game and that it doesn’t fall to a tie.” I mean, that’s basically what I hope for everytime I watch soccer, but not because I have a bet riding on the game, just because I don’t want to vomit from boredom.

Second, were you to bet on soccer, would you really bet on a point spread? That seems like a dumb way to go about it. Bet on how many times Wayne Rooney will take his shirt off, even though no one ever needs to see that! Appropriate bet: TOO MANY TIMES.

ANYWAY. J French is, like, SUPER conflicted about throwing the big game and only winning by two points, since so often soccer is a total offensive slugfest and most teams win by 12 points or more! But he doesn’t want Ronnie to be beaten up by the mob! What should he do?

It’s been like two months since I’ve read this one, so I don’t really remember what he does. I think he ends up winning by two points naturally and Ronnie gets to keep his kneecaps but learns an important lesson. I mean, I’m just guessing. That’s usually how these things work out in Sweet Valley. Oh, wait! No! I remember! Somehow Liz gets embroiled in the scandal because she is Liz and CAN’T KEEP HER NOSE OUT OF ANYTHING and she and Ronnie get mobnapped and then almost beaten but then they escape and J French wins the game, the end!

Sub-Plot Not In Least Bit Related To Main Plot: Jessica has decided to become a jewelry designer! And, like everything Jessica does because she is awesome, she’s actually really good at it. But, like everything Jessica does because she’s surrounded by assholes, she gets no support from anyone. Jessica ends up selling her designs to a shop in the mall, and they place an order for even more pieces, so she kind of accidentally charges 500 dollars to Alice’s credit card. That could happen to anyone!

Anyway, then the store changes direction and no longer wants to sell Jessica’s pieces, which is why you always sell your work wholesale to a retailer, folks. You’d think by now Alice would stop letting Jessica use her credit card. This is like the fifth time that’s happened.

Improbable High School Moment: Does anyone care about the big soccer game?

Most Offensive Portion: Guys. I had to read a book about Ronnie Edwards. AND SOCCER. COME ON! There should be a limit on how much crap I have to put up with in one book.

Sweet Valley High 52: White Lies

in which Eventual Rapist John Pfeifer experiences the heartbreak that will ultimately lead him to rape, I guess.

Number Of Drinks Taken: 32

First Page On Which the Twins Are Described As “Blonde, Blue-eyed, All-American Good Looks” or equivalent: pg 2

Main Plot: Oh, lord. So, Eventual Rapist John Pfeifer is in love with his neighbor Jennifer, because this plot hasn’t been done in at least five other Sweet Valley High books before. Jennifer, of course, can smell the eventual rape on John Pfeifer like the stench of gym socks, and would rather go out with Jerky Rick Andover, who you may remember from taking Jessica to that seedy bar where there were peanuts shells on the floor and beer in a bottle. John Pfeifer, being an eventual rapist, thinks he knows what’s best for Jennifer, because Rick is a Bad Boy who will sully Jennifer’s precious purity. Because he has a problem of any kind, Eventual Rapist John Pfeifer consults Elizabeth, wise Oracle to the stars, about evil Rick Andover’s hold over Jennifer.

At some point, John and Lizhappen to see Rick Andover breaking into some music store. John Pfeifer wants to call the police, because as long as it isn’t rape, he says no to crime. Liz, however, tells him not to call the cops, but the store owner instead, because if the cops arrest Rich Andover then Jennifer might be mad at John. Oh, Liz. It’s good to know that you are still as fucking nutsack stupid as ever.

As it so happens, Rick gets arrested anyway and Jennifer does blame someone – her father. For some reason that I can’t remember because I was drunk when I read it, Jennifer blames her dad or thinks her dad framed Rick or thinks her dad read her diary or I don’t know. Something stupid though, TO BE SURE.

Anyway, Mr Jennifer’s Dad is sad that his daughter won’t talk to him, and John and Liz both don’t tell Jennifer that they’re the ones who witnessed Rick breaking and entering, because they are meddling, rapey assholes and the plot needs to be strung out for at least another 100 pages. Then Mr Jennifer’s Dad has a heart attack and Jennifer, who is just as jerky as everyone else in Sweet Valley, refuses to come visit him in the hospital. Ugh. I hate these people so much.

Liz meddles some more and then drags Jennifer to the hospital and tells her that it was actually Eventual Rapist John Pfeifer who saw Rick Andover break into the music store. Then she goes out and BUYS FLOWERS and gives them to Jennifer and tells them they’re from John. Boy, Liz, you are going to feel pretty guilty when John Pfeifer rapes Jennifer, aren’t you? What am I saying? Of course you won’t.

Anyway, Jennifer and John make up, presumably John displays Early Abuser behavior to Jennifer over the next few months, and Liz has the satisfaction of having meddled in another stranger’s life, the end.

Sub-Plot Not In Least Bit Related To Main Plot: Oh, Lord. So, Dana, the lead singer from Zack Attack The Droids, is having a big party at her house. Jessica wants to go, but AJ doesn’t, because he has family in town. There is a lot of pouting and whining and then Jessica convinces AJ to go. That is seriously the entire B plot of this book. I need another drink.

Improbable High School Moment: Seriously, no one would really refuse to visit their dad in the hospital just because they think – with no evidence, mind – that their dad turned their boyfriend in to the cops, right? Right? People aren’t really that assy . . . RIGHT?

Most Offensive Portion: Once again, ladies and gentlemen, it’s Liz Fucking Wakefield’s entire presence which offends me the most. WHY IS SHE ALWAYS MEDDLING? WHAT IS THE POINT? Liz, don’t you have any shit at all that happens in your actual life? I mean, you’re always juggling your responsibilities at The Oracle with long talks with your best friend Enid or boyfriend J French! I know, because every book takes the pains to tell me that everytime your name is mentioned! Isn’t that enough? Don’t you need to sleep? Are you on meth, girl?

Sweet Valley High 53: Second Chance

In which none of these assholes are as awesome as our own Sarah

Number Of Drinks Taken: 19

First Page On Which the Twins Are Described As “Blonde, Blue-eyed, All-American Good Looks” or equivalent: pg 3

Main Plot: Well, it’s time to Teach Us All A Lesson by introducing another character who will never be seen/heard from again. The lucky person this time is Kristin, who is an ace tennis player but whose devotion to tennis has cost her A Normal Teenage Upbringing. Yeah, that’ll happen, but you’ll get over not being asked to prom after you sign your first multi-million dollar endorsement contract.

Presuming that tennis stars get endorsement contracts? I avoid all “back and forth” sports as they tend to make my eyes cross. With boredom.

Anyway, Kristen works super hard at tennis because her dead mom used to be a tennis pro before she became dead. Also I think probably having Kristen ruined her tennis career, and it’s really a shame that she died when Kristen was so young, because she missed out on prime opportunities to tell her kid, “you know, before you came along, I was a STAR!”

Liz feels super bad about how busy Kristen is, even though she of course does not know Kristen at all, so she makes her spend what little free time she has at Big Sisters. More on this in a minute.

Meanwhile, Bruce is warm for Kristen’s form, mostly because Kristen let Bruce win at tennis, and Bruce is one of those people who actually likes it when people talk down to him. At night, Bruce spends time at Mistress Payne’s Professional Dominatrix Studio. He licks boots and he likes it.

(Seriously, what’s with that particular kink? I mean, there are lots of kinks I don’t understand – like baby fetishes and anything involving poop – but at least those kinks haven’t made themselves any further into the mainstream than being featured on HBO’s Real Sex. But boot licking is, you know, mainstream enough that one person could say to another, “lick my boots,” as, like, sort of an insult, but it’s still WEIRD. I get people like to be debased; that’s cool, but BOOT LICKING? THERE ARE GERMS THERE. GERMS FROM THE GROUND THAT ARE NOW ON YOUR TONGUE. You could get, like, hookworm. IN YOUR MOUTH. Maybe this whole kink started out as a mistake. Maybe someone wanted someone else to lick their boobs but, like, they couldn’t talk and this was before ASL was created so they just wrote it on a piece of slate, but they smudged the chalk a little bit with their wrist because they were left-handed and it’s hard out there for a leftie and so instead of “lick my boobs” it said “lick my boots” and the other person did said licking and they both thought it was super weird but they didn’t want to mention it to the other person? And then, like, the boot licker was, like, down at Ye Olde Public House one day [boot-licking, like all sexual kinks, was clearly invented in Britain], and he was talking to his friend John, and John was like, “Mate, I can’t make my girl happy in the bedroom, cor blimey, apples and pears” [John is a Cockney. Cockneys are uniquely concerned with the sexual satisfaction of their partners. This is scientific fact.] and then the other dude was like, “Well, John, I think this is totally weird, but the other day I licked my wife’s boots and she didn’t kick me in the face so maybe try that?” and then John the Cockney tried that and the pub landlady overheard that as well, so she went home and made her husband lick her boots and it all just spread from there? I think this is probably what happened.)

I’ve completely lost the plot. Where was I? Oh, right. Bruce. So anyway, Bruce would like to serve his balls up to Kristen’s Love Net, if you know what I mean and I hope you do, cause I don’t. I don’t really understand sports metaphors that don’t involve baseball. He wants to do it with her, is what I’m sayin’.

So soon Kristen spends all her time dating Bruce – who grows evermore douchetastic – and being a Big Sister to her Little Sister Emily, who is also motherless. So many motherless people in Sweet Valley! With all this time spent not practicing tennis, she starts sucking at her matches and fails to win the qualifying match for some Super Fancy Pro Tennis League that is operating out of Sweet Valley, because the suburbs are rife with Pro Tennis leagues. Actually they probably are, depending on the suburb.

Kristen is super sad about losing at tennis and she thinks her dad won’t love her anymore but then her Little Sister, Emily, helps convince Kristen that her dad will love her no matter what. And then Kristen dumps Bruce and then someone on the Pro Tennis League gets injured and Kristen gets called up, so basically we end this book with absolutely no real change in the Sweet Valley Continuium. There was a girl named Kristen. She was good at tennis. The end.

Sub-Plot Not In Least Bit Related To Main Plot: Little Sisters! Enid and Liz get it into their head that they want to start a Big Sister/Little Sister program at their high school, even though A) I’m pretty sure high schoolers aren’t allowed to be Big Sisters or Big Brothers, though Sarah, being an actual Big Sister*, could tell us for certain and also B) the whole point of the Big Brother and Sister program is that you are matching up kids in need with adults who are responsible, mature, and worth looking up to. I.E. NO ONE IN SWEET VALLEY APPLIES TO THIS CRITERIA.

God, can you imagine if Liz Wakefield were your actual Big Sister? She’d probably end up getting CPS called on your house and then you’d get shoved in foster care, all because your kitchen didn’t have Spanish Tiles in it.

Anyway, I guess everyone gets Little Sisters for like the week of time that elapses in this book and then forget all about them afterwards. See ya, kids! Say no to drugs!

* When I met Sarah many years ago, her Big Sister status caused me quite a bit of confusion. She’d mention her Little Sister in passing conversation, but I also knew she was an only child, so I got super confused. Eventually I created this whole scenario in my head that Sarah’s parents had adopted a child from war-torn Somalia (I wasn’t sure why I specifically honed in on Somalia, but I was pretty sure that’s where the kid was from) once Sarah had gone to college. THEN I got even MORE confused because when Sarah would mention spending time with her parents, she wouldn’t usually mention her Little Sister, so then for a while I thought her parents were, like, awful people to be leaving her little Somalian sister at home all the time, which didn’t really jive with my impression of Sarah’s parents, who are like the sweetest human beings in the world. It was all SUPER CONFUSING for like THREE MONTHS and then I realized that, actually, Sarah just is awesome and volunteers a lot. (Also her Little Sister is not Somalian, which I realized once I saw a photo of her.)

Improbable High School Moment: Why would you let a group of TEENAGERS be Big Sisters?! Not to mention that Liz and Enid just sort of ran the whole thing themselves and paired their friends up with Little Sisters on a whim. I don’t trust teenagers to PARK MY CAR. NO OFFENSE, TEENAGERS. I love you! But do you really want to be good role models for kids? No! That’s what boring adults do! You’re supposed to be going out and experimenting with drugs and alcohol and, I dunno, cutting yourselves just to feel. That’s what teenagers do!

You know what? I should be a Big Sister! I bet I would be SUPER INFORMATIVE AND ALSO MOTIVATIONAL to teenagers who’ve lost their way. COME HERE, KIDS, LET’S TALK ABOUT LIFE THINGS.

EXTREMELY PROBABLY MIDDLE GRADE MOMENT: I bought this copy, used, from Amazon, so just like me, this book’s been around a few blocks. It also, I GUESS, was stolen from a library? Or maybe bought at a library book sale? I know this because it has a card slip attached to the front cover. Monroe Township Library in Williamstown, New Jersey, WHAT UP? But! That’s not the coolest part! The COOLEST part is that some girl wrote a note on the title page ABOUT A BOY. I took a picture to show you guys:

GUYS! We need to put our INVESTIGATIVE skills to work! People from New Jersey! Did you go to Oak Knoll? Did you know some damn hippie in Mr Fiora’s 7th period class? WRITE HIS NAME DOWN IN THE COMMENTS. We could be find the files from the Monroe Township library to see who signed their names with big, bubble letters and then maybe they could meet and FALL IN LOVE! We need to get our Nancy Drew on!

Most Offensive Portion: I have read fifty three of these fucking books by now. Fifty three. I can’t even FEEL my liver anymore. It may not even be part of my body at this point. It probably dissolved into tiny, alcohol-soaked particles and passed through my bloodstream, knocking over the tiny humans on their Fantastic Journey, which I’m PRETTY SURE is what is actually happening when you get a flu shot. This whole flu shot racket is just a way to slip tiny, microscopic humans into your blood stream so that they can attack viruses using guns powered by white blood cells. IT’S SCIENCE.

Sweet Valley High 54: Two Boy Weekend

In which Erin couldn’t find a copy of this book so she is going to make something up

Dear FYA,

Allow me to sit down and spin you a yarn. So when I started this little project, way back when, I tried to find all my old SVH books at my parents’ house. Only, it turns out, my dad has this personality quirk that I like to call “not gonna put up with any bullshit from you, girl,” in which he doesn’t find himself overly emotional about his children’s things. You know, like, he isn’t the type to hang on to your yearbook for years just in case you decide you might want it someday. (My mother, on the other hand, is the type, which is the only reason I still have my yearbook.) And even though he has secreted away old, hand-drawn Father’s Day cards in a desk in his drawer that he thinks I don’t know about, he also gave away every single one of my childhood books that I hadn’t already rescued in college.

Which is cool, hey, no big deal. It’s not like I wanted to share I Am A Beagle, the first book I ever read, with my kid or anything. Sniff.

Anyhookies, all this is to say that I had to go BUY all the SVH books I’ve reviewed in the last two years. Yes. MONEY. I spent MONEY and purchased these things. IT HURTS MY HEART YOU GUYS. I mean, I could have used that money on, like, champ cans or some sort of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind-type mumbo jumbo to erase the Wakefield-related pain. But in my many purchases over the last 20 months or so, somehow Sweet Valley High: Two Boy Weekend slipped through my grasp.

Which is a damn shame, since I remember REALLY liking this book. But I also don’t SUPER remember what happened? So I’m going to just make something up from what I do remember:

Jessica! Is still dating AJ Morgan, the tall redhead from the Deep South who likes quiet, sweet girls. From the book before this book, it seems like Jessica is getting sort of bored with AJ, FINALLY. AJ is not worthy of you, Jessica.

So, from what I remember, Jess asks some other dude out or something, while AJ is away? But then that dude turns into a stalker and, like, tries to kill her? Or something? I can’t SUPER remember but I think this is one of those many times in which one of the twins goes on one damn date with a dude and then he decides he CAN’T BE WITHOUT HER and then tries to make babies with her, or something. I dunno. Then AJ comes back and is mad at Jess for getting herself stalked and then they break up, the end.

Very sincerely,

Sweet Valley High 55: Perfect Shot

In which I have to sit through ANOTHER book about a girl sports person who just wants a boy to notice her

Number Of Drinks Taken: 27

First Page On Which the Twins Are Described As “Blonde, Blue-eyed, All-American Good Looks” or equivalent: pg 6

Main Plot: Oh, look, it’s time for another book featuring people we’re never going to care about again. I wonder if this book will also feature a girl who has low self-esteem until a boy comes along to teach her that she’s worthy of love? I BET SO. This time our temporary heroine is one Shelley Novak, who is super tall and thus spends all of her time playing Varsity Basketball and whinging that she’s so damn tall and therefore uggs. Hey, try being short, Shelley Novak.I mean, at least people notice you. And you can see bands at concerts.

Shelley’s in love with her neighbor Greg, who of course doesn’t think of her that way, because of how tall she is. Jesus, Greg, even Tom Cruise is cool with a taller lady, and he is both gay and insane. What is your excuse?

Meanwhile, Sweet Valley High is conveniently hosting another formal dance, since it’s been at least a day since the last one. This dance is to honor the student atheletes, because I know from my own school experience that when you want to do something nice for student atheletes, the natural choice is to make them try to shove their muscled bodies into formal attire and then force them to dance for hours. I mean, Christ. Couldn’t the school just have hosted a formal kegger instead? At least then the jocks would actually want to go. Concurrent to, or perhaps because of, this formal dance, the school has also decided to start offering ballroom dancing lessons after school. Uh huh. Totally realistic. Lots of the athletes go to the ballroom dance classes because I guess they don’t have to spend that time after school working on their free throw percentage or running laps.

At the Ballroom Dancing Lessons Of Absolute Realism, Shelley pines for jerky Greg, who is partnered up with his ex-girlfriend. Shelley gets partnered with Jim, another character we’ve never heard of before and will never hear from again. Jim is a photographer, maybe I guess for the Oracle? And he has a super huge crush on Shelley. Shelley likes Jim too, because he’s tall. Seriously, that’s the only reason she likes him. Because he’s as tall as she is.

ALSO MEANWHILE, there is some sort of photography competition being hosted by the Sweet Valley News, whom you may remember were stupid enough to give Liz and Jess internships over the summer, even though they kept bringing dead bodies around the office and fucking off from work to make sure that Nicholas Morrow didn’t die from blue balls. So the Sweet Valley News are not that smart, is what I’m saying! J French is super assured of winning the contest, but as soon as he and Liz see Jim’s photo of Shelley, mid-dunk, they of course have to meddle in his fucking shizz and tell him he HAS to enter it into the competition. Jim declines, because he knows how shy and low-self-esteemy Shelley is, but they keep fucking harping at him until he agrees to enter the photo. THEN someone mentions it to Shelley and she gets all fucking het up about it and dumps Jim because she can’t believe he’d betray her trust by taking a photo of her at a public event in which she was performing publicly and then enter it into a public competition.

So then Liz meddles AGAIN SOME MORE and makes Shelley feel ashamed of herself so then she sneaks Jim’s picture BACK in and then he wins but then Jim gets mad at Shelley for entering his photo into the competition he was already going to enter and whatever, I give up. I think at the end Shelley got the man and scored a field goal in the last seconds to win the game; the crowd goes wild; the Giants win the pennant, the Giants win the pennant.

Sub-Plot Not In Least Bit Kinda Related To Main Plot: And so it happens, as these things do, that the completely illogical, stupid ballroom dancing classes which are for some reason super popular with Sweet Valley High students are being taught by some total French hottie. Obviously. Ballroom dance instructors are ALWAYS hot French men and are never, say, Nigel Lythgoe leching at you during the Viennese Waltz.

Jessica, newly single, and Amy, always awful, start fighting overwhich one of them the teacher likes best and they both vow to ask him to the Formal Athlete Dance. Why? Is he going to teach the ballroom dance lessons at the dance? Annnyhooskies, the dance arrives and Amy and Jess both end up wearing matching dresses – awkward – and it turns out that the hot French guy is banging some super fine rich lady, who he takes to the high school formal dance celebrating jocks, because no one and nothing in these books is capable of owning even the slightest resemblance to reality.

Improbable High School Moment: A FORMAL DANCE FOR JOCKS. I MEAN.

Most Offensive Portion: You know, this is like the FIFTEENTH freaking SVHbook that I’ve read in which someone who owns lady parts is sad about her life in some super-specific and yet completely unrealistic way, like being too tall or liking art or some other made up bullshit, but whose low self-esteem is COMPLETELY RESOLVED by having a man whisper huskily towards her in a G-rated type way.

LISTEN, Francine Pascal Cabal: if people have low self-esteem, it’s not because one person in particular doesn’t like them. It is because they have spent their lives being systematically belittled in a variety of broad or specific ways about some attribute or attributes in their makeup, so much so that they now feel that they don’t deserve to be loved or to be taken seriously or to allow themselves to chase their dreams or whatever. That is low self-esteem and it is rarely, if ever, solved by some mouth-breathing high school dude sticking his boner up against your thigh.

And! On that note, it’s time for me to bid you all a warm farewell for the week. I hope your weekend is full of boys whispering huskily into your ear and/or your problems being adopted and then blown way out of fucking proportion by meddling blonde sun-kissed girls named Liz because she can’t learn to be content with her own damn life. As for me, I’ll be working and watching Texas beat the pants off OU, while devoting at least a few hours to wondering exactly how Fried Coke is made. Happy weekend!

Oh! Also! I wanted to give a big shoutout to Shannon’s Sweet Valley High Blog, which besides being informative and hilarious, has scans of every SVH book cover. SHANNON YOU ARE A TREASURE.

Erin is loud, foul-mouthed, an unrepentant lover of trashy movies and believes that champagne should be an every day drink.