*sigh* My name never gets used in fiction. *sadface*
This is vintage SVT, and this is undoubtably one of the nastiest tricks I've ever seen. Seriously. Kids can be such bitches.
This is "Jennifer", dressed in one of Steven's cardigans. Yeah, apparently he's seventy years old now. And there's Brooke Dennis, shaking her finger at her. Coz she's mean and bossy, get it?
There's a new girl in Sweet Valley who moved down the street from the Wakefields. Jessica has apparently met her and already hates her. I think she kicked the dog Jess was walking for some old lady. Jessica helping old people? Is it Saint Jessica of Sweet Valley now? Definitely not, as we will soon discover.
The "identical twins with long blond hair and blue-green eyes" thing pops up on the eighth line of the book. Possibly a record? Beat that people! Jessica is lazy at schoolwork, and Elizabeth never puts it off, apparently. This is from Liz's point of view, BTW. She sure loves to talk herself up.
Anyway, Liz has to interview said new girl, Brooke Dennis for the Sixers. Jess calls her "Disgusting Dennis". WTF? That's not even clever. At least she's got the alliteration down, but come on, it doesn't even rhyme. Liz is determined to give Brooke a chance, but Brooke is a total cow when she and her dad come for dinner at the Wakefields. Mr Dennis is a client of Mrs Wakefield's, which kind of sounds like Mrs W is a hooker, but that may be because I have prostitution on the brain (I am playing one in a theatre show at the mo, haha). Mr Dennis is a screenwriter and is rich and famous. Why he came to Sweet Valley, I'm not sure. I guess the same reason why rock stars and royalty come. Liz soon decides over dinner that Brooke is the Devil Incarnate.
Jess says Brooke is weird because she wore a skirt and stockings in the weekend, which I don't really get, because, well, why not? Jess says Brooke looked like the cover of Seventeen magazine, so I'm not sure why Jess dislikes it. Liz bribes Jess to go to school by saying she can wear Liz's new white hair ribbon. Yay. It'll go really well with Jess's new purple sweater vest.
Maybe coz white goes with everything?
Brooke doesn't make a fab impression. She's bitchy to everyone, she tattles in class, and she spills paint on Jessica's super-awesome book fair poster, which consists of traced Nancy Drew covers (sounds like a Claudia Kishi art project to me). There are several things wrong with this:
1. Jessica and books are like repelling magnets.
2. Liz is the one who reads mysteries, anyway.
3. Jessica putting effort into schoolwork?
4. Voluntary schoolwork?
Anyway Jessica and everybody are super-pissed at Brooke, and so Jess and Lila (yay!) plan revenge. In the meantime, Brooke tells off Bruce Patman because he cut the lunch line. +10 awesome points for Brooke. She then comes to sit at the twins' table and they tell her the seat is reserved for Jennifer. You know, the third Wakefield twin... er, triplet. Everyone agrees. Jessica leaves to get more food and puts on a blue cardigan and ties a bow behind her ear, returns to the table and pretends to be Jennifer. Brooke falls for it, as I guess you would at first. Why not?
Jess spreads the word to the whole school about the triplet and EVERYBODY agrees to keep it secret. In the real world this would not last. 'Jennifer' always wears a bow and talks in a whisper. Even the seventh and eighth graders are in on it. Even Steven is in on it, and loans the twins some rugby shirts to wear as Jen. I didn't even realise you guys had rugby shirts in the US. Not to mention that Steven actually wears them. Awesome points for Steven. Brooke and Jennifer become friends, and Brooke bitches about how everyone thinks Jessica is made of win when she's actually a loser crybaby. Brooke invites Jennifer over but Jess has to cheer at the basketball, so Liz pretends to be Jennifer. Liz even calls Jess's scheme "absolutely brilliant". I knew Liz was a nasty little brat inside. There is a land called Passive Aggressiva, and Liz is their queen.
To be honest, I quite like Brooke sometimes. She can be a nasty little wench, but she calls Liz and Jess on all their shit. She says the Sixers is a "silly little typed up rag" and calls Jess an attention seeking crybaby. Anyone can see Brooke is just lonely, but nobody notices, except occasionally Liz. Liz is just feeling bad for Brooke when Jess falls and hurts hurself at cheerleading and Brooke smiles. Liz is horrified that someone could be happy Jess embarrassed herself, and so hates Brooke again. Liz is a fickle one.
The twins go to dinner with their family, and explain how "gross" Brooke is. Mrs Wakefield is surprised, but tells them to be nice. This would have been good parenting from a Wakefield, except she never really follows up on this advice. D+ parenting grade. Not a fail yet. Jess manages to scam an allowance advance, which isn't related to the plot, but provides us with this quote from old Ned Wakefield:
"Young lady, how did you do that? You took a lecture of mine and turned it into a request for an advance on your allowance. If I could learn some of your tricks, I'd never lose a case!"
There are so many things I could say here, but this about sums it up: Ned, you are a suck-ass lawyer. This is not the only example of Ned's sub-par lawyering abilities.
Fuck, what were you DOING at law school?
There's a couple of near misses with their identities, but everything rolls along smoothly. Liz, Jess and Jennifer are never seen together, but Brooke doesn't notice a thing. The twins know that the trick can't carry on much longer til a teacher finds out, so they plan to go out with a bang. At the assembly where the book fair poster prizes are given out, Jess is going to get Bruce Patman and Jerry McAllister to make a chair with a collapsible seat, so Brooke will literally make an ass of herself in public. She'll then blame Jennifer, who doesn't exist. You see? You SEE? It's so clever! She'll fall down!! HAHAHAHAHAHA.
Elizabeth has to play Jennifer on the fateful day, as Jessica is presenting the poster award. Liz even manages to get Brooke to help carry the chair (in a box) by pretending it's a class project. And so Brooke contributes to her wretched fate, unaware of the perils that shall befall her as her social doom gets closer. Oh, the tension!
Liz hangs out with Brooke before the assembly (as Jennifer of course) and Brooke chooses this appropriate moment to bare her soul about why she's such a catty wench. It's because she misses her mum! And her old friends! Jennifer is the first friend she's ever had since grade school! (which for them I'm sure was just last year anyway?) She's lonely and her dad doesn't pay any attention to her! *insert emo tear* Elizabeth feels super bad, but not bad enough to actually TELL Brooke what's going to happen. She makes a couple of half-assed attempts at getting Brooke to sit on another chair, but her plans are foiled and Brooke ends up on the booby chair. Jessica opens the winning envelope *drumroll* to discover that she, Jessica, is the WINNER! Her project was so fantasically super duper before destruction that it warranted the prize. Even Brooke is happy for Jessica, because hopefully now Jessica won't be so mad at Brooke about accidentally ruining the poster. Brooke then sits down and is brutally impaled on a spear of wood from the broken chair.
No, not really. But it breaks, she discovers there's no Jennifer, everyone laughs at her, and she runs out crying. Liz tries to explain, but Brooke screams at her to go away. Damn fucking straight. Liz finds her secret crying place and tries to explain again, but Brooke is past the point of caring what happens to her. If it was any book but Sweet Valley, I'd put her on suicide watch. Seriously. That was some harsh, overall undeserved treatment.
Oh, and it's Brooke's birthday. What a kick in the balls. Her dad got her a chocolate cake. Brooke hates chocolate. As Elliot on Scrubs would say,
"Well, isn't this just the pickle on the giant crap sandwich that is my day."
But this is a Sweet Valley book, and Jess and Liz organise a birthday party for Brooke to make up for the satanic treatment. They both dress up like Jennifer with the nancy-pants little bows and go over to kiss ass. Brooke's dad tells them Brooke still hates them. The twins are suprised. She isn't immediately forgiving them? Oh noes!
Do they not know they broke her spirit? This is the kind of thing that results in years of therapy. One vanilla birthday cake will not fix the hole in her soul.
They return to the Dennises and actually manage to talk to Brooke. Sappy exchanges follow and they all realise that no one is disgusting or evil and Brooke comes over, has a lovely birthday, and lives happily ever after, becoming a mildly peripheral character in the occasional SVT book for the rest of the series. Which really, is the best outcome possible for a character like her.