Anyway, on with the recap. I'm well-aware that irinaauthor has already written a great summary of this book, and as such I'm not going to repeat what she's already said. However! I thought that the readers of 1bruce1 might be interested in the contents of the new edition of this book.
First, the cover:
I have to say that the cover isn't all that bad. True, it doesn't match up to the glory of classic SVH covers, but if this were a brand-new book written in 2007 I'd still be tempted to buy it. It tells me pretty much everything I need to know - "Sweet Valley High" is in big letters so it's not going to be the most intellectually-stimulating of books. It's obvious that the protagonists are a pair of identical twins who nevertheless have very different personalities (one has straight hair and looks sad, the other has wavy hair and looks sassy - is that a gleam of sociopathy in Jess' Pacific Ocean blue eye?). My edition's cover is a lot darker than the copy I found on Amazon so the twins look tanned rather than anaemic. And there's a white blob of Clearasil on the end of Liz's nose: obviously her unhealthy skin parallels Jess' skimpy regard for decent behaviour throughout the book, so that while one twin has spotty morals, the other has spotty skin. (Or the white blob is just a design flaw. Your call.)
In fact, I'd go so far as to say that this cover is pretty misleading. As I said, I'd buy this book. It looks like a fun, flirty, light read - the sort of book that looks like it could have been written in 2007. I look at those girls and I want to read about them buying Prada handbags and texting each other pictures of cute boys. Damnit, I wouldn't want to pick up this book and read about freaking Eeny Rollins and Win Egbert and all the other twee little names the characters had for each other which got dropped after the first ten books.
And yet I have. More fool me, I guess! More fool me.
The blurb on the back is the same as the 1983 edition, although this too looks pretty rad. The font they used is Impact, and the designers have coloured in some of the letters! It looks a little like the sort of poster you might have made for a school play when you were fourteen (minus the annoying clipart), but I like it all the same.
Now onto the actual book! Some of the things that I expected them to edit for teenies in 2007 - such as Jess walking down the street with her hips swinging to attract passing cars, or Todd being angry at Liz for going to Kelly's bar when they weren't even dating, or any of the fake rape stuff - hasn't been changed at all. I'm kind of annoyed about this - partly because I wouldn't want to give an impressionable young friend or relative a copy of the book now, and partly because I wanted chapters where Liz pulled fun revenge pranks like leaving flaming bags of poo on Todd's front porch, instead of just crying over him for the entire book.
Also, secretly, being the shameless Jessica fan that I am, I'm kind of sad that she's still so mean in this edition. JESS, WHY DO YOU MAKE IT SO HARD FOR ME TO JUSTIFY MY LOVE FOR YOU? :(
Anyway, The List:
* Rather sweetly, the little SVH flag at the top of each chapter is still there.
* Readers are still treated to a description of the twins' beauty and perfect figures - but there's no mention of them being a size six. I know that by Hollywood standards nowadays size sixes are hideously obese, but still...
* Mr. Collins is introduced with no mention of him looking like a young Robert Redford. EPIC FAIL! They didn't even hilariously modernise the reference so that he looks like, say, a young Hugh Grant. He and Liz still have a borderline-inappropriate relationship, though. THANK GOODNESS.
* No mention of Jess' room being called "the Hershey Bar". I have to admit that I'm not entirely sorry to see this reference go, as the UK didn't have Hershey Bars when I was growing up and therefore Jess' room's nickname was always a source of much bewilderment to me. I believe that I finally concluded that Jessica must have had a sort of cocktail bar in her room, and I spent many years being both surprised and impressed that her parents allowed her to get away with this.
* Steven goes to "State U" rather than SVU. What the actual fuck?
* I'm sorry, but this is hilarious:
Elizabeth...felt tears starting to fill her eyes, but she willed herself not to cry. After all, she told herself, if Todd preferred Jessica - and that certainly was how it looked - she would not stand in the way. She'd do the decent thing. Die.
I know it was in the original edition as well, but I can't stop giggling!
* Even in 2007, Liz still has a typewriter rather than a computer.
* Also, Bruce still calls Marianna West - the hot divorcee everyone thinks is sleeping with Ned Wakefield - a "trampy broad". Surely it would be more in-character for Bruce to call her a slut? I mean, people who go around calling girls sluts are obviously horrible human beings, but I don't think that anybody here is arguing that Bruce is exactly a prince.
* And he still calls Liz "Roadhouse Rhoda". I guess Bruce is permanently seventy years old whether it's 1983 or 2007.
* What I don't understand about this book, in either edition, is this. When Steven tells Tricia Martin that he loves her "anyway", even though he thinks her family is trash, she rightly breaks up with him for being a judgmental ass, and they don't get back together until he learns his lesson. But when Todd is attracted to Liz "anyway", even though he looks down on her for going to Kelly's, he gets away with it. The hell?
* Jess still gets pushed in the pool at the end of the book. No real reason for mentioning that - except what would a SVH recap be without an obligatory mention of someone getting pushed in the pool?
And that's the book. Really, it probably wasn't worth buying except out of curiosity to see what changes had been made. Maybe a new generation of teenage girls, with their Gossip Girls and their Meg Cabots, will pick up this edition of Double Love, read it, love it, yearn for a boyfriend of their very own with a battered old Datsun and a penchant for punching other potential suitors. And maybe one day they too will discover 1bruce1 and laugh fondly at all the memories: the Dairi Burger, Psycho Margo, that book where Liz is in a coma and wakes up with Jess' personality, "Chrome Dome Cooper", Tragically Dead Regina, and the rest.
Somehow I doubt it, though. Kids today have no damn appreciation of the classics.