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Sweet Valley High #1: Double Love (2008 Reissue Edition) - Elizabeth and Jessica are better than you. [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Elizabeth and Jessica are better than you.

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Sweet Valley High #1: Double Love (2008 Reissue Edition) [Aug. 13th, 2009|02:24 pm]
Elizabeth and Jessica are better than you.


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Yes, I'm recapping a book. Not a TV episode, an actual book from a library with pages and words and shit. My reasons for bringing you this recap are not because I'm trying to prove to you that I can read (though I can, and how!) but because I need an excuse to tell you this God-awful story. Brace yourself.

Picture this: you walk into your local library, the place where the Sweet Valley obsession began all those years ago. You've been inspired by 1bruce1 to go ahead and borrow some of the ol' books, take a trip down memory lane. All is well and good with the world...until you discover that your awful bastard library has thrown out EVERY SINGLE Sweet Valley High book, and replaced them with the six new, technologically-enhanced reissue books. I nigh-on died right then and there. I mean really, who does that? WHO? Has the whole world gone crazy? Why does nobody respect classic literature any more? The library staff are so lucky that I didn't take my frustrations out on them, or the next book in the SVH reissue series could well have been Super Thriller: Murder at the Library, where Jessica and Elizabeth get internships at an Australian newspaper and have to track me down using every single Aussie stereotype there is. (See The Simpsons: Bart vs. Australia for examples.)

Plus, I was so impressed with [info]llew30 and her comparison of the Power Play reissue to the original book that I thought I would do exactly the same thing with the first one. (Remember, llew30, imitation is the highest form of flattery!) Then I realised that I no longer have the original book. (It got ruined in a flash-flood about five years ago, and I kept it for a good three months, even though it was unreadable, until my mother made me throw it out because it started to smell.) So instead I'm going to just recap the reissue in all it's crappy-looking glory. There'll be a bit of crossover to the original, I'm sure, but please bear with me. But I WILL compare the covers:



Oh that's right, I can't compare them, because this shit is apples and oranges. There's the original on the left, in all its familiar SVH glory. There's Jessica in denim, and Elizabeth in knits. Classic. Now let's look at the bastardised, sub-par cover -- the only word that springs to mind is 'gah'. (And that's not even a word.) Those twins are not the Wakefields. Actually, it's just one girl playing both twins, but let's pretend for a minute that it's not. You can't even tell them apart! Both of their shirts are exposing quite a bit of boob there -- Elizabeth would never wear something like that! I don't care if this is the noughties, you don't dress Elizabeth Wakefield in anything that shows that much breast-curvature. And I always imagined the Wakefields looking something like this, something that John Hughes (RIP, good sir) considers pretty:


not the trashy Daniel twins:


and especially not some bitch they found at a Hannah Montana concert:



Oh, and don't even get me started on the new tagline: All's fair in love and high school. Huh? Um, no. I think the entire point of the Sweet Valley High series is that there is nothing remotely fair about either of those things. Okay, I need to move on to the story before my head explodes.



Jessica, who is described as a "perfect size four [with a] perfect California tan," is standing at the mirror complaining that she's ugly and hideous while her twin sister Elizabeth lets her. Par for the course, I'm afraid, but let's continue. Though they seem to have dropped a dress size since the original book, they still have their lavalieres -- there is a God! We get the whole "twins so similar, so different" story for the first (but most definitely not the last) time in the series, and it's no less boring this time. Obligatory hottie Todd Wilkins calls up to talk to Liz, and since Jessica thinks he's way too scrumptious to be into boring Elizabeth, she phone-flirts with him and then hangs up before Elizabeth can talk to him. Niiice. Oh, and ew -- Todd plays football as well as basketball. Sacrilege! This book is losing me, and fast. When she gets off the phone, Liz is still in Jessica's room, which she cleaned while Jessica was on the phone to her crush. And she's all bummed about how Todd called for Jessica. It sucks ass to be Elizabeth Wakefield.

Elizabeth fills us in on the blossoming relationship with Todd Wilkins -- their eyes met once across the table in the cafeteria (weren't they in the line in the original?), there was a flirtatious conversation after chemistry class on Friday. But Elizabeth = frowny face, because she's more into cerebral guys who don't mind that she wears clear lipgloss. Oh, and Todd's in the "popular crowd", which is so now how I pictured him, but okay. She goes downstairs, where her mother has prepared her breakfast of French toast and fruit. Over breakfast, Ned talks about some big secretive case involving Sweet Valley High's football field, but "as a lawyer on the case, I can't say more than that just yet." Okay, Ned. Let's pretend like you're not the least competent lawyer ever to (allegedly) pass the bar exam. I'll play along. Jessica's worried that since Alice and Ned are both working late, it means the twins will have to walk home. (Gasp shock horror and et cetera.) Ned says that no, he picked up their red Jeep from the shop the night before, but Jessica's banned from driving it because of something sociopathic she did before the start of the book. Wait, no, she just drove the Jeep into a mailbox.

The twins are driving to school. There's some setup about their "green jewel of a California town", and how Lila and Bruce are rich and live on top of a hill. Yay, first mention of Lila and Bruce! How historic! Apparently the Patman/Fowler family feud is so serious that "Lila and Bruce can't even look at each other." Aw, shucks -- there goes my hope of a little pre-SVU Lila/Bruce action. Crushed! The twins get to school, and Elizabeth is greeted by her good friend Enid Rollins, who is ugly. We know she's ugly, because she's described as being "very smart and very funny", which is SVH code for UUUH-GLAAAY! Apparently Ronnie Edwards doesn't think so, because he's all manner of hot for her. Sweet. I'm actually really hating this book, because I know exactly how this relationship is going to turn out. (Spoiler alert! Ronnie = gambling scumbag + dead within a year.)

Oh my God, it's here. The moment we've been dreading. "A few yards away, Bruce Patman's sleek black Cadillac XLR Roadster convertible pulled into an empty parking space." It's the 1bruce1 replacement, right before my very eyes! It's okay, it's alright, don't let anybody tell you that you can't cry. This is an unimaginable tragedy. And what fucking reason do they have for getting rid of 1bruce1? I get the whole updating-technology-and-teen-lingo thing, but there is no reason to get rid of a young man's purdy car and his somewhat tacky vanity plates in favour of a different purdy car with no mention whatsoever of the plates. IT'S INHUMANE! Although I could spend the entire day on this subject alone, I'll continue.

Enid mentions they're having a dance. Do I look surprised? Really? 'Cause I'm not. It's the Harvest Dance, and Ronnie asked her to go with him. (Apparently he's willing to overlook the ugly in favour of the smart and the funny. Wow, I'm kinda sad he dies now.) Then Todd comes up to her, and Liz gawks at his, "gorgeous, athletic tan bod." Jeez, Liz, is that all you think about? Todd tells her he wants to meet her after football practice. Because he plays football now. Woot.

Liz is at her locker when Ken Matthews runs into her, and her books fly everywhere. He doesn't stop to help her pick them up, though, and Liz thinks that if she'd been Jessica he would've. Is anyone else seriously worried that Liz has self-esteem issues? Speak of the devil -- "Jessica scurried on her toes back to Elizabeth liked a psyched-up ballerina." Now is that not a weird yet hysterical line? Jessica tells Liz that she thinks Todd's going to ask her to the Harvest Dance, and Elizabeth dies a little more inside. Jessica doesn't know this, though, because it's not like Elizabeth said anything, ever. Liz still wants to jump Todd's manwhore bones, though.

Oracle office. Gah, the Oracle is a website? Excuse the sacrilege, but Jesus, Mary and Joseph! They're taking this whole technology thing a tad too far. Not to mention that SVH is officially taking its cues from SVJH and their Zone 'zine now. What's next, use the TV show for inspiration? (No! No no, I was just kidding, Modern Ghostwriter, PLEASE DON'T! Put down that remote!) Mr. Collins is there, only he doesn't look like Robert Redford, because teenagers today couldn't possibly know who Robert Redford is. That dude's, like, old. Mr. C is still eepy-cray, though. He lets Elizabeth out early to see Todd, only when she gets to the parking lot, she sees him taking off in the Jeep with Jessica. Who shouldn't be allowed to drive it! Gasp! SV residents, lock up your mailboxes!

Elizabeth goes home and sees Steven home from college. Get used to that, Liz. Steven greets her by saying, "You must be that ugly Wakefield twin I hear so much about." Well gee, with brotherly love like that, I don't understand how Liz could possibly have a complex. Bad Steven! I don't care if you're kidding around, you don't say that. That's appalling. Liz wants to give him a hug, while I want to poke his eyes out and kick him in his man parts. They have a snack and talk about how Steven's always home these days. Steven avoids the issue, but brings up another -- apparently, the lawyer who's working with Ned on the big Gladiator Field case is a smokin' hot babe.

Then Jessica comes home, and tries to set Steven up with her good friend Cara. Wow, new century, new ghostwriter, same old foreshadowing. Jess talks about how she and Todd picked out decorations for the dance. The second she leaves the room, Liz throws a towel. Not a metaphorical towel, an actual towel...just as Alice walks in with the groceries. She asks Liz if she wants to talk, and Liz is all, "Why would I? You're a shit mother!" Not really, she just yells some more about how Elizabeth Wakefield is allowed to get angry. Yeah! Get angry, I say! That'll rev Todd's engine something fierce!

The next day, Elizabeth is at the Oracle office writing her gossip blog, the Insider. (The updated Eyes and Ears. And yes, there is a mention of a pool-push if Elizabeth is unmasked as the mystery blogger, so yay for that.) Cara comes in and starts banging on about how Jessica and Todd are totally the new SVH hot couple. Hee! Liz almost starts to cry, and then John Pfeifer rushes in. Disappointing. I was kinda hoping the reissue would begin with a flashback of Mrs. Pfeifer exiting an abortion clinic sixteen years earlier. But no. He's here. Sigh. He says he's looking for Todd, and it's revealed that Liz knows his class schedule. Mmmkay. She runs right into Jess and Todd in the hall, and high-tails it out of there. Jessica tells Todd more lies about how Elizabeth's ridiculously popular and has twelve different guys lining up to take her to the dance. But Jessica has no one. Todd says nothing. Good to know that Todd's still dumb as a post. And if Todd is indeed part of the "popular crowd" as Elizabeth said, wouldn't he realise that she's, uh, not? And Jessica, uh, is? Does none of this strike you as odd, Toddles? No? Okay. Continue being a moron.

Jessica sees infamous bad boy Rick Andover in the parking lot, and quips that his car looks like something out of that hip movie all the kids are talking about, The Fast and the Furious. Now Rick Andover will always look like Paul Walker in my mind, even though he's described as having dark hair and dark stubble. That is the power of the pop-culture reference, my friends. In the wrong hands, it could destroy the world. Rick drives Jess home, they flirt and agree to go out on Tuesday night. Oh, and Rick smells like leather and gasoline. Sexy. Rick drops her off and speeds away, nearly knocking Alice down. Whew, that was a close one! If Alice had died, who would've been around to discipline her children? Oh, that's right...

Alice is all wound up for some reason. (Not just the near-death thing, although that may have contributed slightly.) Jess thinks it's because of the Hot Lawyer Lady Ned's been spending an awful amount of time with lately. She hates this thought. Not only that, but "sometimes she really hated reality." Fuck off, Jessica; you live in Sweet Valley.

Tuesday night, and Jessica is tramping herself up for her big date with Sweet Valley's scumbaggiest. Liz is like, "Who's the dude?" even though she knows it must be Todd Wilkins. Right, Liz, because Jess is a one-man kind of woman. Jessica doesn't tell her who she's going out with, but tells Ned and Alice that she's going to the library. Dressed in tight jeans, a sexy top and high-heeled sandals. Ned and Alice, what planet are you on? Liz gets all mopey again. God, Liz, stop. Pathetic sadsackery is so out this season.

Jess gets into Rick's fully pimped ride (see, Francine? I can be hip too!) and he kisses her. She's surprised to taste cigarettes and mouthwash on his breath. Uh, Jess? That ain't mouthwash, but you just continue thinking that. Jessica asks where they're going, but remembers that it's supposed to be a surprise. Rick says to her, "You learn fast. I can't wait to see what else you're good at." Rick, you prince, you. He takes Jessica to a stretch of road known for dangerous drag-racing. Not that seedy bar Kelly's? Awww! Oh hey, Jessica actually just referenced Pimp My Ride herself! Hee! This book is going to age well, I can tell.

Rick's now swigging "brown liquid" out of a bottle, and Jess finally realises he's not all jazzed about mouthwash. All the other people there give her shit for being pure, and I can't help but wonder, in how many other situations is Jessica the 'purest' person in the place? She decides to leave, but Rick won't let her. "He grabbed her arm. Hard. This was the last moment of her life as she knew it." Fierce. Tense. I wonder what she thinks is going to happen. Is this insinuated attempted rape? Does she actually think he's going to kill her? Whatever. It doesn't matter anyway, because the cops come and break this shit up.

The cops believe Jessica's story that she's an innocent bystander among this hotbed of immorality. She says her name's Wakefield, and one of the cops recognises her -- as Elizabeth. Jessica doesn't correct him, because why would she? Apparently this cop is Emily Mayer's brother, and Emily has mentioned Liz on numerous occasions, seeing as how Liz is dinner table fodder for all the kids at school. They have her poster up on their walls, and some even pray to her before they go to beddy-byes. Oh, and Emily Mayer apparently plays drums for a band called Valley of Death. I'm kinda hoping this is her first band, and she'll eventually move on to the Droids in later books, but I fear that won't be the case, that the Droids are Valley of Death. In that case, FAIL.

Officer Mayer drives Jess home and doesn't tell her parents where she's been. Just another tasty treat from our friends at the SVPD. Oh, and Caroline Pierce is watching this exchange on the street corner. Of course she is. And this is 21st century Caroline Pierce, so she has a cell phone! How did she do her job without one all these years? Oh, and for the record, I always imagined Caroline looking something like Patty Simcox from Grease. I don't know why, but I did. And you know what? I still do, cell phone or no cell phone. SO FUCK YOU, MODERNISED SVH BULLSHIT! Ahem, anyway...

Elizabeth gets a ride to school with Enid, so Jessica has no way of getting to school. Hee! You awesome today, Lizzie! Apparently I'm not the only one who thinks this, because when she gets to school, a whole bunch of guys start wolf-whistling. Bruce Patman says he didn't know Liz had it in her. Liz is like, WTF? Ronnie comes up and drags Enid away, telling her that Liz is a whore, and he doesn't want Enid to be a whore by association. Oh yeah, that's why I hate Ronnie. Enid's like, "She's my friend, and I'm giving her the benefit of the doubt," and Ronnie ditches her. Yeah, you walk away, Edwards! You die, and Enid doesn't! Not even that time she got bitten by a vampire, so suck it!

Casa Wakefield. Steven and Alice are fighting because Steven was supposed to go back to school two days ago, and Steven says, "I didn't know you and Dad had time for anything other than work these days!" Yeah, these days, ever, same same. And way to twist the knife there, Steve-O. Enid calls Liz on her cell phone (how cool) and tells her that everyone's talking about how she was drinking and driving with Rick Andover in a drag race last night. Liz is horrified at the thought that she'd ever drink and drive. (Really? Be sure to tell Sam Woodruff that.) She's scared Todd's heard about this. Then Jess comes home and drops a bombshell -- Steven is dating Betsy Martin! Who is even more trashy trash than Rick Andover! Those Wakefields are tore up to the floor up these days!

Liz demands to know what happened with the Rick Andover thing, and Jessica tells her all the gory details about all the danger she was in and whatever, really hamming it up. She's so pleased with herself, she actually thinks, "I should really write a book about this stuff! Or blog about it!" We get it, Modern Ghostwriter, we're not in 1983 anymore. Really, we do. Liz is like, "That doesn't explain shit about why people think it's me!" Jess says she can't tell anybody it was her because she'll get kicked off the cheerleading squad. Because they don't condone underage drinking? Boy, that's new. Jess says she'll tell Todd it was her, because in this version she works out that Liz likes him. Aw, that'd be really nice if I actually believed she'd do that. Since I don't, I can continue thinking mean thoughts.

Enid, Ronnie and Todd are at the beach. Todd's all moody because he's heard the LizWhore rumours, and Ronnie tries to tell him that "she's just a chick." Ronnie, shut up. Todd says he can't forgive her. Todd, shut up. You guys aren't even going out! Maybe she doesn't want your forgiveness! I can't fight this too hard, though, because I know she actually does. Enid tells them both to fuck off. Enid, I love you right now, even if you are UUUH-GLAAY!

At school on Friday, everyone's talking about how Lila's dad wants to turn Gladiator Field into a strip mall, and Bruce's dad wants to turn it into an amusement park. (As opposed to the lame eighties factory and lame eighties public garden in the original.) Dana's there, and yep, she's the lead singer of Valley of Death. God. She's a bit emo now, because Debbie Harry-esque glam rock is sooo eighties and unheard of. I hate this reissue. Anyway, Mr. Collins gives us the low-down about how the school's lease on the land has expired, and apparently the Patmans are going to turn it into a formal English garden, so I apologise to Modern Ghostwriter slightly. Liz has to write the story, because John Pfeifer is otherwise engaged. (Covering the SVH/Palisades football game -- get your minds out of the gutters!) Oh, and John's surname has accumulated an extra 'f' since the eighties, but I shall NOT write it like that! Nevah! It's what separates him from Michelle!

Football and cheerleading practice has been cancelled, and this concerns Todd because he's on the football team now. I really can't get over that. Anyway, Jessica organises a walkout, and the all go and sit on the football field instead of going to class. How radical. Bruce and Lila show up, and everyone starts paying them out, and then they pay each other out. Then, because we're not quite done with all this hostility yet, Bruce starts paying Elizabeth out for all the LizWhore stuff. But he doesn't call her Roadhouse Rhoda! No! IS NOTHING SACRED ANYMORE? I've also noticed that Bruce doesn't finish his sentences with "...see?" anymore, like he used to in the early books. It always reminded me of an episode of the Little Mermaid TV show, where the Lobster Mobster did the same thing. But since I'm relatively sure none of you know what I'm talking about, I'll continue on my merry rant. Bruce goes on about how Liz's dad is bonking his Hot Lawyer Lady. Todd changes the subject, because apparently he's only 70% douche right now.

The cops come and break up the protest. Which seems like an overreaction by the school, since all they're doing is sitting there calling each other names. Liz talks to Todd about how it's weird that there even was a protest, because (and I quote) "Sweet Valley is not exactly know for its progressive politics." Well, at least they're admitting it now. I'm surprised they even let non-white people vote there. Jessica interrupts their little moment by dragging Todd away, and she does a really decent thing here and tells Todd that it was her who went out with Rick Andover, not Elizabeth. Which I think she did in the original as well, but I totally forgot about that. Todd DOESN'T BELIEVE HER, because he's up to 85% douche, and he's also got the intelligence of a mailbox. (Hopefully Jess will run him down.) Then he makes out with her and asks her to the dance. I just...I don't know. I didn't get it in the original, and I don't get it now. He doesn't even like her. Ugh, fucking Todd.

In the hallway, Bruce asks Liz to the dance because he wants to Tap That. (Was that a cool enough reference for you, Modern Ghostwriter? Huh? Rewrite ME, bitch!) Liz wants to punch him in the face. If only Todd was here! Instead, Liz tells Bruce that she's going to the dance with Winston Egbert, and he's way more of a man than Bruce is. Since Bruce forgot to take his paper cups and wine out of 1bruce1 before Modern Ghostwriter towed it away, he just has to stand there and deal with it. He does smack Winston in the head, though, and the mental image makes me chuckle. After Bruce is gone, Liz tells Winston that there really is no one she'd rather take to the dance than him, then thinks, "No one available, anyway." You bitch.

Jess tells Liz everything that happened between her and Todd. Um, almost. She says she told Todd it was her who went out with Rick, and Todd wanted to take her to the dance anyway. Nothing about how he didn't believe her, but okay. Liz mopes some more. Steven's back, and Jess mentions that Bruce told the whole school Ned was gettin' jiggy with Marianna West, aka Hot Lawyer Lady. Jessica mentions that Ned is hot, and this conversation ticks over to uncomfortable.

Then Jessica tells Steven that they know he's dating Betsy Martin, and Steven's like, "Betsy? Ew, I'm dating Tricia!" Which we now know is a conversation he could've avoided, seeing as how there are about fifteen girls in town who look like Tricia -- he could've told her he was dating one of them. But no. Doesn't matter anyway, because Tricia dumped Steven. Oh, and Steven says it's because he wanted to take Tricia out somewhere nice, and they had a big fight about it -- REISSUE RAPE!! That makes no sense! Steven's supposed to be ashamed of how her family's all poor slutty druggos and whatnot. God, just because he's a Wakefield means he's perfect? I want this book to die, but since I'm past the halfway mark, I'll keep going.

Twin talk time. Jess is sickened that Liz is going to the dance with Winston, and even more sickened that she turned Bruce down, because "have you seen his car?" Why yes, Jessica, I have, and that's half the fucking problem with this book. But I digress.

Harvest Dance night. Liz pines for Todd, watching from her window as he gets out of his car. TO PICK UP HER SISTER. Liz, you just bring me down. They have a Moment as Liz does her teen movie walk down the stairs. Then Jess comes down and steals the limelight. Boo, you whore! They get to the dance, and Cara tells them that Bruce doesn't have a date. You know what, Cara? Shut up. It doesn't make him any less awesome. Going stag is perfectly acceptable in this modern world of ours. (See, Modern Ghostwriter? I'm trying to play nice.)

The dance is boring. Jessica swoons, Liz pines, Winston just kinda sits there, wondering "how the heck did that guy get both the Wakefield twins to fall in love with him?" Since this is technically the first book in the series, I'll forgive that. I would've chuckled if Ken Matthews had said it, though. There's actually a kind-of sweet moment where Liz and Winston both acknowledge that their crushes are out there dancing with one another. Which I know was in the original book, but shut up, okay? Some things were bound to be the same. There's also a weird moment where Winston talks about how Ronnie is being really protective of Enid. FORESHADOWING!!

Jess notices that Todd's been checking out Liz all night. When he goes to drop her off home, he DOESN'T KISS HER! Not even a kiss on the cheek! I know! What a bastard! Seriously, though, this is the only time in the book where I actually like Todd, the only time where Todd actually does what society would classify as Not Morally Reprehensible Behaviour. Because Jessica's obviously never been to that class, she decides that a fair and balanced punishment for what he did (or didn't do, as the case may be) is to tell Liz that Todd tried to rape her. Oh. No. She. Did. Not. Jessica Wakefield is going to burn in hell. Liz believes this, because...um, I don't know why. Because she's a dumb shit. She and Todd truly belong together.

Steven has a heart-to-heart with his parents over a breakfast of Froot Loops. Way to commercialise, Modern Ghostwriter. Apparently Ned and Alice have taken their empathy pills today, because it's not all work work work and fucking hot lawyer ladies. Ned calls Steven "kiddo". Does he do that in the original? I can't remember, but it's a little freaky. Their advice is so good, it seems, that Steven resolves to rush right out and make up with Tricia! Except that he's still wearing, "his boxers, his nobby knees and his mismatched socks." Sorry to burst your bubble, Stevie, but even when you change out of your pyjamas, those nobby knees will still be there. And I always thought it was spelled "knobby", but perhaps I'm just too old-school to keep up with this book. Yay for half-decent parenting, though.

Steven goes over to Tricia's shanty. Even the Martins' welcome mat is tattered. Jeez. They make up. It's nice. (Until the death comes...) They go to Casa del Sol for lunch, which in the old SV world was the Dairi Burger. They replaced the Dairi Burger. Because hamburgers are so eighties. It's all about tacos this season. Mother. Fucker.

On his way home, Steven spots Ned's car. In the passenger seat is a women who definitely ain't no Alice Wakefield. It's Marianna West! Hot Lawyer Lady! Steven follows them to a house he doesn't recognise, and he safely assumes it's Marianna's. They both go in, and DON'T COME OUT! Ned Wakefield, I don't know whether to give you a stern talking-to or a high-five.

In history class, Elizabeth is taking her revenge out on Todd by glaring at the back of his head. Way to go, Liz. How do you find pants that fit with such big balls? Liz bolts out of class, but Todd catches up because "he had annoyingly long legs." I don't know what it is about this line, but it's just odd. And those are basketball legs, Modern Ghostwriter, not football legs! Todd tells her to meet him after school. But first...to the Oracle office! It's been over a hundred pages since we were there last! Mr. Collins reminds Elizabeth that she has to cover the big Gladiator Field lawsuit, even though the SVH/Palisades game has been postponed and there is no good reason why John Pfeifer can't do it. Except for the fact that he has to go back to running hell. Anyway.

That night, Todd calls Liz, because apparently she blew him off -- a feat I'd be really proud of had it not spawned from sociopathic lies and doormat stupidity. Todd apologises for being a dick for thinking Liz was a dirty skankbag 'cause she hung out with Rick Andover that one time. Rightly so, but too little, too late, Toddles. Liz is like, "What the fuck? Jess told you it was her!" to which Todd responds (and this is a direct quote), "We both know she took the bullet for you. Don't act like we both don't know what really happened." TODD YOU BASTARD! Does he say it like that in the original, too? Todd Wilkins, I hate you more than words can express right now. When the earthquake hits in a few months' time, please stand next to Ronnie. Or near the fridge. Elizabeth hangs up on his ass. Bitch is mad. Hell, I'm mad, and I A) was not on the receiving end of that little display of judgemental fucktardism, B) know that he is in fact not a date rapist, and C) hate Elizabeth.

Sweet Valley courthouse. One of the few times where a Wakefield is not on trial or a key witness, so yay. More mention of cell phones and Blackberries. Because this is the noughties, and we need to be reminded of that every seven pages. Oh, and Liz is wearing sensible shoes. Of course she is. The trial is boring, so I'm not going mention most of it. Just that when Marianna, aka Hot Lawyer Lady, stands up, all the football boys have a perv. Even Todd, who I thought was above that. Liz is like, "Date rapist!!" but not aloud, because in a courtroom that kind of thing's not really done. Anyway, blah blah, Sweet Valley High gets to keep their field. Whoop-de-doo, now Todd can go and play some football. I don't know why that Todd-plays-football thing pisses me off so much, but it does.

At home, Alice reveals that Ned's invited Marianna over for dinner. Jessica is pissed. Then Steven mentions that he's invited Tricia over as well. Jessica is pissed-er. She says, "It's gonna be a real white-trash evening at the Wakefield house!" Which sounds suspiciously like something one might say had they not been gallivanting around the slums with Rick Andover the other night. (And then shirking the blame to their sister.) Anyway, it turns out that Ned's been helping Marianna get a promotion. What an anti-climax. I take back that high-five, Ned.


Elizabeth and Enid are at Casa del Sol (hate hate hate!), talking about the Gladiator Field court win. Enid says she's heard Henry Patman's had Botox. Because Botox is such a hip word, and why not throw in something extra hip to add to all the hipness? Liz refuses to talk to Todd, and so is forced to tell Enid what happened. She could've lied, or avoided the subject like Steven did re Tricia for three weeks, or been like, "What's up with you and that dick Ronnie? I noticed you went to the dance with him, even after he called me a trampy ho-bag and yelled at you for associating with a trampy ho-bag." And why isn't Ronnie here? I thought he was supposed to be by Enid's side at all times? Meanwhile, Cara's getting drunk off a non-alcoholic pina colada (?) and Enid and Liz come join them. Jess is mad that Liz told Enid what happened to her, and rushes out into the parking lot. Liz muses that "Jess hates to be the victim," and I begin to wonder if Elizabeth has actually ever met Jessica.

Liz finds Jessica in the backseat of the Jeep, feeling sorry for herself, so Liz jumps in too. Before they can talk properly, Rick Andover (who's drunk as a skunk) randomly gets into the drivers' seat, takes the keys and starts the car. Why is he even at a cool Mexican restaurant? He should be at Kelly's, boozing it up with Tricia Martin's dad. Anyway, he takes Jess and Liz on a bit of a joyride...to Kelly's! Yay! Rick sleazily grabs Elizabeth and says, "I've already had your sister. Let's see what you taste like." Rick, you're a charmer and a half. And we all know what's coming now, don't we, folks? A Toddpunch! Awesome! Right in the kisser, eh, Andover? Ha! They have a lame-ass fight, and then Rick passes out from all that 'mouthwash' he's been chugging. Elizabeth swoons, even though at this point she's still supposed to be under the impression that Todd tried to rape her sister. But okay. I don't mean for logic to ruin the moment or anything.

Elizabeth now believes that Jessica is lying, but she seems pretty okay with it, considering. Todd confesses that he's realised it was Jessica who was at the drag race with Rick. And why is it you think that, Toddles? Come on, out with it. "I heard what Rick said to you back there, about having Jessica." That's right, because he had to wait for Rick Andover himself to say it. Stay classy, Wilkins. Elizabeth says they ought to promise never to believe anything Jessica says again, and I laugh out loud. They make out again.

Liz gets mad at Jess for all the sociopathy. Finally! But then they talk it out, and then they hug it out. Sigh.

The next day, as they're getting ready for a celebratory concert or something, Liz spills soda on Jess's dress, and offers to let her borrow some of her stuff. Why? Oh, don't pretend like you don't know! When they get to the concert, Liz pretends to be Jess and tells Dana that Elizabeth writes the Insider column. Dana announces it before Valley of Death (I feel stupid just writing that) starts their set, and Jess gets thrown into the pool. At least you didn't bastardise that classic detail, Modern Ghostwriter.


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[User Picture]From: pip3r
2009-08-13 05:24 am (UTC)
i almost with they had just eliminated the pool push. so much change with this hip world of ours. who evens uses pools anymore? no one swims, and tanning is evil or out of a building!
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[User Picture]From: hellobrisvegas
2009-08-14 03:51 am (UTC)
Let's not say things we can't take back. The pool-push is irreplaceable!
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[User Picture]From: imakittiecat
2009-08-13 05:59 am (UTC)
So glad I didn't buy this edition..
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[User Picture]From: hellobrisvegas
2009-08-14 03:51 am (UTC)
I only borrowed it from the library, and I feel cheated...
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[User Picture]From: mocha_latta
2009-08-13 06:28 am (UTC)
He doesn't stop to help her pick them up, though, and Liz thinks that if she'd been Jessica he would've.
it's called putting out, Elizabeth. I would say try it sometime, but she would just ignore me for several time-warped years until she runs off to some foreign country and loses it to some jerkwad, spineless prince who she's pretty much just met...
or something.

She hates this thought. Not only that, but "sometimes she really hated reality." Fuck off, Jessica; you live in Sweet Valley.
To be fair, her reality involves werwolves, vampires, kidnapping cults and John Pfeifer.

Reading your recaps is always a pleasure m'dear, even if it is to horribly abused reissues (even if the cover model is how I pictured the twins)

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[User Picture]From: hellobrisvegas
2009-08-14 03:52 am (UTC)
Thank you for your kind words. And kudos to you for picturing the twins like that. Maybe it's just me...

And I always kinda wanted Elizabeth to end up losing it to Todd, even though this reisssue has reminded me what a dick he is.
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[User Picture]From: hanfastolfe
2009-08-13 07:15 am (UTC)
*laugh* I loved your excoriation of the re-done version of this book. I died laughing at several lines in it, especially your mocking of "Toddles". He comes off as much less of a class act now that I've seen this refresher on how the Todd/Elizabeth relationship started.
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[User Picture]From: hungryandfrozen
2009-08-13 09:44 am (UTC)
This modernisation sounds excruciating. I laughed so hard at your run-down of it though. For some reason illogical plot points from the original are even more reprehensible here. Oh and losing all the original details like 1Bruce1? Unforgiveable!
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[User Picture]From: hellobrisvegas
2009-08-14 03:53 am (UTC)
I just don't know why they did it! I can't work it out! I'm upset!
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[User Picture]From: princess_lilam
2009-08-13 12:01 pm (UTC)
That remark about Bruce's car cracked me!
"Have you seen his car?" Hahaha

Well done.
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[User Picture]From: shewhohashope
2009-08-13 12:43 pm (UTC)

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[User Picture]From: hellobrisvegas
2009-08-14 03:54 am (UTC)
Oh, I bet they will. It hasn't been mentioned, but I'm pretty sure the Datsun will end up on the scrap heap with 1bruce1 and the twins' Fiat. He might get the Beemer early like the twins did with the Jeep.
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[User Picture]From: calliope427
2009-08-13 01:15 pm (UTC)
You are in another country and (I believe) a lady, but I am offering a proposal of marriage anyway. We will live in a beautiful Spanish-style California house (in Austrialia, I DON'T CARE!) next to our neighbors Bruce and Lila Paterson and get people to push other people into our pool (because God forbid we do anything approaching anything less than saint Lizly) and take turns measuring our perfect size six figures until they go down a whole size and I will buy you a red Jeep and take you to the Casa del Moon Beach Sol and it will never rain and we will be so HAPPY!

(I guess this isn't the time to let it out that they're reissuing and modernizing The Baby-sitter's Club series, too?)
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[User Picture]From: free_reverie
2009-08-13 02:29 pm (UTC)


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From: iliketea
2009-08-13 01:24 pm (UTC)
I was kinda hoping the reissue would begin with a flashback of Mrs. Pfeifer exiting an abortion clinic sixteen years earlier.

*cracks up*

Oh, man, part of me never wants to read these updated versions. And then another part really really does.
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[User Picture]From: hellobrisvegas
2009-08-14 03:59 am (UTC)
Yeah, you really don't. I thought I did too. And I was wrong.
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[User Picture]From: esc_key
2009-08-13 01:55 pm (UTC)
pulled into an empty parking space." It's the 1bruce1 replacement, right before my very eyes! It's okay, it's alright, don't let anybody tell you that you can't cry. This is an unimaginable tragedy.
Sobsob. WAIIIIL.

Damn Michelle Pfeiffer should sue the updaters. People might think she's related to John (boo!)!
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[User Picture]From: irishunicorn03
2009-08-13 03:01 pm (UTC)
Whizzer Wilkins plays football too?

Wonder what his nickname on the football field is?
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[User Picture]From: hellobrisvegas
2009-08-14 04:01 am (UTC)
I wondered that, too...

and they hardly mentioned basketball, which I think is what pisses me off the most. Actually, i have no idea what pisses me off the most. This book made me angry.
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[User Picture]From: miss_cuckoo
2009-08-13 03:59 pm (UTC)
It always reminded me of an episode of the Little Mermaid TV show, where the Lobster Mobster did the same thing.

I LOVED that show. My favorite episode was when King Triton became a little kid and Ariel had to babysit him. Or maybe it's the one where Ariel's laughs caused earthquakes.

I know I should probably be embarrassed by that admission, but that show was awesome.
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[User Picture]From: hellobrisvegas
2009-08-14 04:05 am (UTC)
THANK YOU! I'm so glad someone remembers this classic show! I used to get the Little Mermaid magazine as well. (Okay, now that's embarrassing)
The Lobster Mobster was totally my fave episode, I even remember the song they sung to get Urchin in their mob. Oh, and the one where Ariel finds the charm bracelet! Memories!
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[User Picture]From: elisethestrange
2009-08-13 04:21 pm (UTC)
I love how in the old books the twins were a perfect size six, but now it's a perfect size four. Although I'm surprised they didn't go with size 2, honestly.
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[User Picture]From: redacted
2009-08-13 06:46 pm (UTC)
Double zero! We have to make sure whoever is reading these books for the first time as reissues (oh the horror) gets as big a kick to their self-esteem as possible.
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[User Picture]From: ifandonlyif
2009-08-13 05:10 pm (UTC)
valley of death? REALLY? they couldn't come up with ANYTHING else? honestly, what's wrong with the droids?
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[User Picture]From: ellixian
2009-08-13 05:22 pm (UTC)

I hadn't even realised they'd started to reboot the series - reading this, I have a really morbid curiosity about the books and am tempted to pick them up. Except I'd probably shoot myself in fairly short order, hrrrmph.
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[User Picture]From: hellobrisvegas
2009-08-14 04:08 am (UTC)
Most likely. It felt WRONG reading them, I just can't even explain.
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[User Picture]From: elandae
2009-08-13 08:18 pm (UTC)
Bart Vs. Australia is one of my favorite eps, omg. I'm always saying the "900 dollareedoos?!" line, because it's awesome.

I had the same problem though with my library. They didn't have any of the Baby-Sitters Club books when I wanted to re-read some of them and revel in their ridiculous awfulness. These people have no damn respect for nostalgia!

Jessica scurried on her toes back to Elizabeth liked a psyched-up ballerina.

This should be everyone's new mode of transportation. Just cause.

Oh, and Rick smells like leather and gasoline.

Yeah,and how many gas station attendants can say the same thing?

Oh, and for the record, I always imagined Caroline looking something like Patty Simcox from Grease.

I'm totally imagining her gossip to all end with "And isn't that the most, to say the very least!"

Brilliant job with this, though! (and ugh, why dud they change so much from the books? That annoys me)
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[User Picture]From: hellobrisvegas
2009-08-14 04:10 am (UTC)
I hate that Bart vs. Australia is ANYONE'S favourite episode, ugh.

I got made 'cause the changes they made were really unnecessary. Sure, you can add a couple of cell phones and websites and whatever, but don't get rid of 1bruce1, the Droids, the Dairi Burger etc. It's just not done.
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[User Picture]From: rhitroadkill
2009-08-14 04:23 am (UTC)
Wow. Interesting that with all the "modernization" and "updating" they still manage to be incredibly politically incorrect and an instance of false-claiming of attempted date-rape is still brushed over.

Scene: Your twin sister tells you a guy tried to rape her. Do you A) Call the police B) Tell your parents and then call the police C) Take her to the trauma ward, tell your parents and call the police or D) glare at him at school, ignore the alleged rape attempt and then start dating the guy a few days later? Yep, stay classy Sweet Valley--keep teaching our kids good values.
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[User Picture]From: hellobrisvegas
2009-08-16 03:28 am (UTC)

I think technically it's not really rape because technically nobody in Sweet Valley has actual sex organs. Just a theory.
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[User Picture]From: llew30
2009-08-14 04:44 am (UTC)
Wow, I am flattered, thank you!!!
Going to read the rest of your recap now...
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[User Picture]From: llew30
2009-08-14 05:30 am (UTC)
Ok I'm back and still chuckling at your sarcasm. Great recap!
Favorite line (I can only pick ONE? Yes, because it's almost time for Craig)
Does none of this strike you as odd, Toddles? No? Okay. Continue being a moron.
Lovin the Toddles.
Oh and I've found Amazon to be a great place to pick up old SVH and BSC books (my library also got rid of classic SVH) Amazon sells tons of used copies for just 1 cent and with the 3.99 shipping it's darn near the '80s price.
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[User Picture]From: hellobrisvegas
2009-08-16 03:32 am (UTC)

I've been frantically searching all my local op shops for them, but alas, nobody is giving away their SVH books where I live anymore! (They've probably seen the reissues and thought they'd better not.) Amazon's great, but because it's an American site, the exchange rate does NOT work in my favour :(
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[User Picture]From: nen_yim
2009-08-14 01:10 pm (UTC)
Haha, I sadly own all of the reissues. XD Awesome recap. It's good to know that, twenty years later, even in a world of pop culture references and cell phones, Todd is still dumb and punchy.

(Also, I don't know it's obvious from only reading one book, but what annoyed me the most about the reissues was the fact that every time a girl said something, she never said it, she TRILLED it. You'd think someone would get tired of a bunch of trilling teenage girls after a while, but apparently not. ^^)
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[User Picture]From: hellobrisvegas
2009-08-16 03:35 am (UTC)

Oh God, I'm so glad I didn't notice the trilling, because that would have pissed me off something fierce.

And yes, Todd will ALWAYS be dumb and punchy, and in a way, it's strangely comforting.
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[User Picture]From: posh_tas
2009-08-15 11:08 am (UTC)
Awesome, awesome recap!!

I sadly bought the first 4 reissued books - there were discounted heavily... I am trying to scrub my eyes out from the horrors they have read...

I am gutted about 1bruce1, the Dairi Burger & the Droids all MIA :(
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[User Picture]From: hellobrisvegas
2009-08-16 03:36 am (UTC)
there were discounted heavily
I. Am. So. Shocked.
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[User Picture]From: ebullient_blue
2009-08-15 09:23 pm (UTC)
brisvegas wrote:
"[...]teenagers out there who will read this and think it IS Sweet Valley. Ew, what an awful thought."
Ahhh! I can't imagine. You're so right when you say it just feels WRONG!
These reissue books should only be sold in packages with the old ones!!
I'm using too many exclamation points, but I'm just sooo frustrated.
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[User Picture]From: ebullient_blue
2009-08-16 02:31 am (UTC)
Great recap!

icon credit: ohh_redlace
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[User Picture]From: nofe_air
2009-08-16 12:19 am (UTC)

Y'know , funy this topic should come up I happened to find

at a thrift store yesterday a very nice condition first edition of Double Love for 50 cents. I did not buy it, just because I have room at my place for only the books I know I'm going to read, and I cannot afford to be a pack rat any longer. But yeah...Maybe I should've got it.
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[User Picture]From: hellobrisvegas
2009-08-16 03:39 am (UTC)

Re: Y'know , funy this topic should come up I happened to find

I miss my old Double Love book so much. Damn that flood, damn it to hell I say!
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[User Picture]From: annakelly
2009-08-16 01:04 am (UTC)
Even though I can never bring myself to buy this reissue, I feel compelled to read any and all recaps of it. Truly, yours did not disappoint! I feel your pain on the lack of classic SVH/BSC books in libraries nowadays. Mine only has a few SUVs and the stupid Elizabeth series. Hopefully I'll get to recap the Playing with Fire reissue, since I did break down and buy that one.

"Not even that time she got bitten by a vampire, so suck it!"

Either the worst intended pun or best accidental pun. Either way, I love it.
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[User Picture]From: hellobrisvegas
2009-08-16 03:42 am (UTC)

My library has a smattering of Junior High books, but that's pretty much it now. Considering they had like all of them when I was young, I think that's pretty poor, but okay.

Either the worst intended pun or best accidental pun. Either way, I love it.
It was an accidental pun, but my decision not to delete it on account of unbelievable lameness was intentional :) I only picked up on it when I was rereading it and thought, "Interesting choice of words. Looks pretty stupid...I HAVE to keep it."
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[User Picture]From: mothergoddamn
2009-08-16 05:57 pm (UTC)
"seeing as how there are about fifteen girls in town who look like Tricia -- he could've told her he was dating one of them."


That girl is exactly how I pictured the twins! I loved huge headed, lantern jawed twins the best, where Liz was well fugly:


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