“I’m sorry, Todd, but it’s really too hot for this.”
This opening line sums up the entire book. This plot really IS too hot for Sweet Valley High or Liz to handle. And yet I love it!
Liz LIVES with Todd!! Liz MAKES OUT with Bruce – in front of Todd!!! What’s not to love?!?
And since when did Liz start having the badass plots in these books?!?!?
Forgive me for a boring beginning in this recap, but it starts off slow. Like Liz. Just trust me, it’s worth it!
The book opens with the aforementioned quote as Todd tries to make out with Liz up at Miller’s Point after not seeing her for a week.
Liz does NOT mention to Todd her concerns about her mom having an affair with Bruce Patman’s dad. Todd keeps trying to make a move in vain. For example: Liz SIGHS (thinking of her family issues) and Todd misinterprets the sigh and tries to make it even hotter and heavier. Which, for Todd, is saying something. Doesn’t he realize he’s dealing with Liz Wakefield? They talk and both agree they’re too young to be married but that every night would be like date night if they were to live together. This conversation would not exist in a regular book, but it does propel this plot forward and foreshadows the tone for the rest of the Todd-rejection going on in this novel.
Shockingly, both Mr. and Mrs. Wakefield are going to be away for the week! And Todd’s parents are still in Yosemite for the week! OMG x 4!!
Liz has already forgotten their convo at Miller’s Point cuz, let’s face it, schoolwork and alleged parental affairs are more important to her than her boyfriend – ergo why she continually cheats on him. Todd, though, has NOT forgotten. He invites himself to stay over for the week. Here is their actual conversation:
Todd: We can be together twenty-four hours a day!
Liz: Twenty-four hours a day?
Todd: OK, not twenty-four hours. I’ll sleep on the couch or in Steven’s room, of course.
Liz: Of course…
Liz later thinks, “If we practice living together for a week, we’ll have plenty of chances to talk.”
Yes. “Talk.” However, with Liz, you know she means just that.
Lila and Jessica, meanwhile, have decided not to tell their friends about their babysitting adventures in the Caribbean, preferring to pretend they just macked on all the guys there. Eh, I’d do the same.
Liz asks Jess if Todd can stay over, and Jess says she promises not to tell their parents only if Liz and Todd do all her chores for the week. Liz says to forget it, but Todd, very enthusiastically, agrees to do all the chores. (Maybe Liz didn’t tell him the plan was to only “talk” this week?) BTW, why didn’t Liz just blackmail Jess in return and say that she’d tell all Jess’s friends about her Kiddie Paradise fiasko in the Karibbean?
Here comes Bruce, bitching out everyone in his sight!!!! “Everybody who crossed his path had been coming in for a signature Bruce Patman tongue-lashing.” Where do I sign up for that? Yum!
Of course, by “tongue-lashing,” I mean I only want to “talk” like, say, Liz.
Meddling Liz feels sorry for Bruce and is constantly trying to comfort him because she assumes that her mom MUST be having an affair with his dad.
That same day, Jessica breaks her promise to Liz and tells Lila about the live-in couple. Jess thinks that she’s doing Liz a favor because she COULD tell the whole cheerleading squad instead of just Lila. She actually thinks, “Liz should be grateful for my restraint.”
Todd is thrilled about moving in and he races home with Elizabeth. She makes a joke about him carrying her over the threshold, and he of course takes this seriously. The start of the honeymoon, in Todd’s mind, has begun. But oh noes! It’s a huge debacle for him to juggle his girlfriend and open the door and they both fall. And then, once they get inside, Bruce immediately calls, throwing salt all over Todd’s G-A-M-E. Liz makes the correct choice and runs to Bruce’s house instead of sticking around her loser boyfriend.
Jess comes home and rubs Liz’s absence in Todd’s face. Even better, when Jess realizes that Liz hasn’t told Todd about her mom’s alleged affair with Mr. Patman, she sees this as “a golden opportunity to cause trouble in paradise for the most sickly sweet, boring couple in the history of the world!”
Kudos to Jess for calling it as it is!
Oh, and by the way, Bruce could TOTALLY take Todd in a fight. So Todd punched him before – Bruce must have let him.
Liz rushes to Bruce’s, who uncharacteristically apologizes to her for being a jerk to her. Is she making him feel things he has not felt before? Instead of returning to her happy home, Liz and Bruce decide to rummage around in HIS attic for more proof of the affair.
Liz leaves after two hours of quality time with Bruce. When she gets back, Todd lashes out at her for no telling him about the affair earlier and speaks in the Wakefield-boyfriend-signature-husky-voic
They spend the majority of the night making out (little does Todd know this will be the ONLY night…). He’s staying downstairs because, as he says, “I won’t be tempted to barge into your room for an early morning pillow fight.”
This IS the most boring couple in the history of the world.
Liz dreams of herself marrying Bruce and then wakes up thinking, “I love Todd, not Bruce, Bruce, Bruce…”
Liz rushes off to school early in the morning, leaving Todd to make Jessica her gourmet breakfast by himself. He barely manages to not burn down the kitchen and ends up just giving her money to go to the Dairi Burger.
Another point: If Jess is this much of a pain in the ass, why didn’t they just stay at Todd’s place?
Liz tells Enid about Todd staying over and admits it’s not that much fun. Is she afraid of receiving a Todd punch if she doesn’t let him stay over?
Anyhoo. Todd takes Liz away from her friends at lunch to discuss their evening plans. And what is this happening couple doing?
Todd: One of those laundry/video rental / cappuccino bars just opened up in town. Why don’t we try that?
Has anyone here actually heard of one of these places existing??
Later, Jess voices my thoughts to her sister:
Jess: You’re going WHERE?
Liz: The videomat.
Jess: That’s a laundromat, you know.
Liz: No duh.
Jess: Let me get this straight. You and Todd just cooked dinner and cleaned the kitchen and now you’re going out for the night to a laundromat?
Jess decides to tag along (unknown to Liz) because she can’t NOT witness this travesty of a date, and she calls Lila and all of her other friends to join her.
“The videomat?” exclaimed Lila, sounding just as disgusted as Jessica. “That really is the saddest thing I’ve ever heard. Their parents are out of town, it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity to go crazy, and they do laundry.”
Amen to that, sister!
At the Laundromat, Liz thinks that because the place is packed, Todd must be right about this being Sweet Valley’s hottest new nightspot. WTF? What happened to the Beach Disco or the Dairi Burger or Casey’s? Anyway, they argue over everything; Liz decides to take the opposite position of everything Todd says, just to piss him off. Liz hopes, as I do, that a Todd punch will liven up the evening at the Laundromat. But, alas, no such luck.
Liz gets wired off like a billion cappuccinos, Todd adds way too much detergent to one of the washers, the machine starts to shake…. Jess and all her homies roll up just then to watch the show – just in time to see the washer explode!! Jess and her friends then leave to go to the Dairi Burger (which I still think is a better hangout than the videomat).
The next morning, Liz (having had too much caffeine) sleeps through her alarm, and Todd does too. Todd is still seething about the previous night and it only further pisses him off when Liz RUSHES out the door into 1Bruce1. Yeahhh, I’d be pretty pissed too. And yet still no Todd punch!!
At school, Liz is actually avoiding Todd. It’s only Wednesday.
Todd rushes to Liz’s locker after school (not at all taking the hint). However, Liz has already rushed into 1Bruce1 and invited Bruce over to her pool.
Todd had decided to make a romantic dinner for the two of them that night and brings home groceries, roses, and gift-wrapped jewelry for Liz. He calls her “ma petite fleur” while speaking in a French accent. Seriously, dude, take the hint! Liz and Bruce are sitting in swimsuits at the kitchen table. Bruce asks Todd what’s for dinner!
Liz asks Todd if he needs help. It is, after all, her house that he’s cooking in. Todd says no. And without protesting, Liz and Bruce head outside to the lounge chairs. Quality girlfriend material.
Then Jess gets home, realizes that Todd is making a romantic dinner for ALL of them, and calls Lila to invite her over to witness the fiasco. Then, Jess sees the gift-wrapped jewelry box and asks Todd if it’s for her. Todd says, “Why not?” And Jessica takes the earrings, saying, “You shouldn’t have Todd.” He sighs and says, “I know.”
At the romantic dinner for 5 that night, Todd is in a bad mood because he cooked a candlelight dinner for he and Liz for 3 uninvited guests. Liz thinks that Todd is being “a wet blanket; he probably pictured a candlelight dinner for two, but that’s just too bad.” (once again, what a great girlfriend) Bruce and Liz talk the entire dinner about things that Liz hasn’t even told Todd about. Todd, not so discreetly, tells Bruce to leave after dinner, but the Wakefield twins have already invited him to stay and watch TV. Todd is pissy about this, but Liz points out that it is her house and, let’s face it, TODD won’t even leave when Liz discreetly implies he should, so why would anyone else leave?
Todd washes the dishes. Bruce sits on the sofa with a Wakefield twin on either side. Score.
Jess asks Liz what’s going on with her and Bruce. Liz blushes and says, “Not a thing.” Oh Liz – you were never much good at lying!
The next day at school, there is a super awkward moment. The cheerleaders are sitting around at lunch, talking about Liz and Bruce, and Bruce’s girlfriend Pamela walks up to the table. The girls do the super fake, “Oh we weren’t talking about anything” BS, which makes Pamela KNOW that something is up… especially when Bruce enters the cafeteria with Liz.
Todd whines some more about how this week is supposed to be about “togetherness.” Liz IS all about togetherness this week… just with Bruce, not Todd.
After school, Liz rushes to the 1Bruce1 again. She doesn’t want anyone to know that she’s going somewhere with Bruce. They take a romantic trip to SVU, where their parents met and fell in love. They share stories about their parents at college because nothing is more sexy that stories about yo daddy at college.
Bruce thinks, “If Dad could fall in love with Alice Robertson, why shouldn’t I fall in love with her daughter?”
They hold hands. Which, for Liz, is practically third base.
Liz thinks about the “intimacy that connects her and Bruce.” See, Todd, she IS thinking about togetherness – just not with you!
As they drive back home, they spot a car broken down on the side of the highway and – what are the odds?!? – it’s Todd and his broke ass BMW! (I always knew a Porsche was better than a BMW) They give Todd a ride to Liz’s, and Liz invites Bruce inside. Todd actually wonders, “Doesn’t that guy ever get the message?” (I think he does, Todd – Liz invited him in. That WAS the message…)
They all decide to go to the Beach Disco, and Todd deviously decides to invite Bruce’s girlfriend along too. Todd stakes out his property and claims Liz for every slow dance. Every fast dance, she runs off to Bruce. Who’s not getting the message now, Todd?
A sample of the night:
“This must be the long version of this song,” said Elizabeth, a trace of impatience in her voice as she danced with Todd.
“I hope it lasts forever,” Todd murmured, wrapping her more tightly in his arms.
Elizabeth, however, couldn’t wait for it to end. Tonight, every slow song felt like a chore. She resented having to go off in search of Todd whenever the tempo slowed. I’m tired of him, Elizabeth recognized.
You and me both, Liz.
The evening ends with Todd glaring at Bruce and Liz across the dance floor and Bruce’s girlfriend crying in the bathroom.
Friday rolls around:
“I’m so glad it’s finally Friday,” Elizabeth exclaimed. “I feel like a prisoner finally about to be released from jail!”
Er. Yes. Go Todd. Raving endorsement. Maybe you didn’t talk well enough? Bruce must be a better conversationalist.
Liz discusses her growing attraction to Bruce with Enid.
And that was Friday.
Saturday, Todd is mad because the Wakefields are planning a pool party. He mopes around the house, thinking that it’s his last night there, so how can they want to see anyone else?!? Liz invited Bruce to go grocery shopping with them. Todd has finally had enough!!
He stays home to sulk instead of shopping.
I know. I was hoping for a punch too.
At the pool party, Bruce finally admits to his girlfriend that he has feelings for Liz. She leaves. Bruce then hunts down Liz in the kitchen.
Because I know that everyone had to be looking forward to the Bruce/Liz action, I will retype it here:
Bruce slipped his arms around her waist, burying his face in her hair. “Oh, Liz,” he murmured, his lips warm against the bare skin of her neck.
Suddenly, Elizabeth realized with a start that she was holding Bruce Patman in her arms and that they were both wearing next to nothing. The ksin of his back was bare and smooth under her hands, and he was kissing her neck…
“Bruce,” Elizabeth gasped, too surprised to pull away. Bruce’s mouth had found hers. He kissed her passionately over and over. “Bruce,” she said again, but this time her voice was low and eager. As Bruce’s mouth pressed insistently on her, Elizabeth began to kiss him back. She pulled him closer, her fingers sliding up his back to his shoulders and neck, tangling in his hair.
Suddenly, Elizabeth’s full body tensed. For one impulsive, wildly emotional moment, she’d forgotten where she was. What am I doing? she thought dizzily.
Bracing her hands against Bruce’s chest, she prepared to push him away from her. That was when Elizabeth saw Todd in the doorway, staring at them in horror.
Take that message, douchebag!!!!!!
How many times has Liz cheated on him? And didn’t Bruce try to rape Liz awhile ago? I think we need a tag that says, “Liz cheats on Todd.”
Liz still denies being in love with Bruce AND she denies treating Todd like dirt! Now, I’m not the biggest fan of Todd, but come ON now! She DID treat him like dirt!
Todd rushes out of the party, probably to go cry. Bruce goes somewhere too. Bruce’s girlfriend Pamela comes in and tells Liz that Bruce is in love with her. Then Liz questions what love is.
For the record, I don’t think anyone in Sweet Valley has fallen in love. I think it’s all sixteen-year-old infatuation from teenagers who have just gotten to know their naughty parts.
We cut to Todd, who’s trying not to cry in his car. He thinks about how this must be HIS fault because he did not listen to Liz (So what? Every time they don’t see eye to eye, it’s okay for her to cheat?). he decides to go back and fight for Liz! Because she is a winner.
Back at the party, Liz is pissy because she’s confused. (Hormones) She’s debating between Todd and Bruce in her mind and does a jackknife dive into the pool, knocking herself out. Apparently no one at this party can swim, as Jess starts screaming for someone to help Liz. Trusty Boyfriend Todd races to the pool and dives in to save her! Elizabeth is okay and makes a brief apology. Todd, overly dramatic, apologizes even more and says, “I don’t think I could have gone on living without you.” They kiss. Bruce sees this and realizes he and Liz have nothing in common. (That’s right, Bruce, because YOU are COOL)
To make the scene even more dramatic, Mrs. Wakefield arrives home early and finds out that Todd has been staying over. Instead of cowering as usual, Liz grows a pair (probably from being in close proximity to Bruce, who actually uses his instead of Liz’s bitch boyfriend Todd). She stands up to her mom and asks what’s going on between her and Hank Patman. Mrs. Wakefield explains she was apparently engaged to Bruce’s dad but then met Ned Wakefield and broke the engagement. Nothing is going on with them now; they’re just business partners.
Liz decides to meddle even more and that they have to get Bruce’s parents (who have separated) back together. Mrs. Wakefield says, “It’s worth a shot. We need a strategy, though.”
Now we know where Liz gets her meddling tendencies from!!!!
Liz also uses the nads to tell Todd to she did not have a good time this week. Todd agrees and says, “We should have taken the time to talk about our expectations.” Liz thinks she and Todd will be together for a very long time.
Will Bruce’s parents get back together? Will Liz keep her nads? Find out in Operation Love Match, SVH #103