Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Sweet Valley University #1: College Girls

Liz, Jess, Todd, Winston and Enid are ready for college life at Sweet Valley University. Jess can’t wait to get away from their parents, but Liz isn’t feeling as confident. She and Todd take one last date night, she thinks about how hard the change is going to be and cries at the thought of leaving behind Prince Albert (hey! He’s still alive). Jess thinks she’s a moron, but I can’t talk because I was the same way when I moved to college.

Enid decides that when they get to school, she’s going to completely change her look and be a new person, complete with a new name: Alex. Liz can’t get over how much everyone’s changing, but willingly climbs in the car with Jess to head off on their new life. By the way, what kind of school lets all these freshmen have cars on campus? And what kind of parents just let their twin girls run off to college together without even checking out their dorm? Everyone I knew had their parents helping them move in on the first day. Oh and they’re leaving Sweet Valley county to get to the school.

As soon as they get to school, the twins separate. Jess sleeps in late, flirts with guys, leaves her crap all over the room and makes friends wherever she goes. Liz…just wants things to stay exactly the same. She wants everyone in the same little box they were in high school, including Alex/Enid. Alex tells her very bluntly that she’s tired of living in the great Liz’s shadow and wants to be her own person. I’d be all excited if her own person didn’t mean Jess. Alex goes all boy crazy and sorority mad.

Todd is the BMOC right off the bat, living in a great high-rise dorm, making new basketball friends and the whole deal. He doesn’t seem to have time for Liz and keeps blowing her off when it comes to dates, showing up late or not showing up at all. Then there’s poor Winston who somehow got stuck in an all girls dorm when the computer listed him as Winnie and all the girls in his dorm call him that same name.

Jess is missing Lila, who was supposed to attend classes at SVU (not the TV show), but she went to Europe for the summer and still isn’t back. She ends up becoming friends with Isabella Rici, a gorgeous sophomore who’s also a member of the Zetas. The Zetas are the most exclusive sorority on campus and Alice was once president.

Liz starts eating too much, going from a perfect size 6 to an 8 or maybe even 10...you pig. She also freaks out when Todd invites her back to his room and puts the moves on her. Basically she’s all into it and wants to sleep with him, but then gets pissed off because he wasn’t waiting for the right time. They have a huge fight and eventually break up.

Jess makes a date with Danny Wyatt, which brings shock from Isabella. He’s black and he’s the rival of Peter something or other, who’s president of the Theta’s brother fraternity. Peter goes after Jess and gets pissed when she disses him. Oh and he’s rumored to be involved in a secret society.

One day she’s out driving the Jeep when she accidentally hit’s a 1964 Corvette and dings the bumper. The owner is super hot and she’s sure he’ll fall for her, but he’s just pissed about his car. Good guy. She becomes obsessed with him, but doesn’t even know her name. eventually she gets sick of living with Liz and her obsessive compulsive disorder and decides to move in with Isabella. Um, can freshmen live in sophomore housing? Because they couldn’t in my school.

She comes home one day to find the car guy sitting in her living room and learns that his name is Mike McAllery. Immediately everyone she knows freaks out because he’s a bad dude, even Steven is on her case. Apparently Mike was once a trouble maker, moved to LA, became a famous photographer, moved back when his dad died and became a troublemaker, sleeping with a bunch of girls. Jess ignores them because she’s sure he’s just in morning, or acting out in grief…five years later.

Liz gets a new roommate in the form of Celine Bordeaux, who’s basically a slightly more evil Jess with a southern accent. She leaves her clothes everywhere, smokes, treats Liz like crap and uses her stuff. When she comes home drunk one night with a guy, Liz freaks out and runs to Steven, but feels guilty when she sees Billie getting ready for bed and ends up sleeping in the lobby of her dorm.

Isabella fixes Jess up with Mark, a friend of Todd’s who met Alex and went loco. She sees the two of them on a date and runs out in tears, but the two realize that they’re both interested in someone else. It doesn’t help that she runs into Mike on their date, but she does make excuses when he blows her off for a girl in the band.

Tom Watts is a friend of Danny’s, who keeps seeing Liz everywhere and having feelings for her. When Jess and Danny are confronted by Peter at a big frat party, Liz is the one who stands up for her sister and makes Tom fall even harder. He keeps seeing her in the library and then discovers that she’s his new intern at the campus new station, which he also runs.

There’s a big Halloween party and a rumor sweeping the campus is about a mass murder happening at the party. It leads to a funny exchange where Jess blows the whole thing off and someone asks if they didn’t have serial killers in Sweet Valley. Only once a year.

So Jess and Danny are dancing like crazy when Peter confronts them again. He keeps using phrases like “black boy” that made me wince because it was like someone’s bad attempt at being racist. She walks away and starts dancing with a frat brother, who eventually puts the moves on her, in a bad way. She’s wearing a sheet as part of her costume (she went as Penelope, who pined over her husband, just like Jess pines over Mike) and he wants to take her home and get the sheet off. Lame.

Liz storms out of the party and Tom is on her tail. He tells her that something weird is going on and it’s not safe for her to walk home. She doesn’t care though because she just saw Todd making out with some new girl. She runs home and realizes that Tom followed her the whole way, just to make sure she made it back. I like him.

Jess storms off, her date follows and Danny has to save the day. Peter confronts them again and this time they both walk away. As she’s heading home, a figure steps out of the shadows and attacks her. She’s narrowly saved in the nick of time by…Mike. He kicks some ass and then sweeps her off her feet with a kiss. Whatever could happen next?


  1. Winston always gets such a shitty deal.

  2. I remember thinking these were so racy when they came out, but Liz was such a prude. I love the way they manage to fit the phrase "perfect size 6" in every book. My favorite part of the SVU books was that Lila randomly became a countess.

  3. Winston does get a shitty deal, but at least he gets the hot sorority girl...eventually. I love Lila and I love how after she comes back, they mention her dead husband at least once every book, just like the twin's dress size lol

  4. Perfect size six...currently downsizing to size four for the new books, eh?

  5. Interesting writeup! I loved it. You have a great sense of humor. I am doing a read-a-thon of this book on my own blog in June and there will be a prize so please check it out!


  6. Loved the SVU books at the time. It made college life seem so glamorous! If I remember correctly I want to say that Isabella had an off campus apartment, but I could just be imagining that.

  7. Ha, I remember Mike McAllery. I dated a guy in SIXTH GRADE who was also a "bad boy" and also had an M name, so of course I thought I was JUST LIKE JESSICA.

  8. Was the car a corvette? I thought I remembered it being something obscure, but I could be wrong. Didn't he buy her one in a later book?

  9. I honestly don't remember now. I know he does buy her a car later, but I think she gives it back to them after their super quickie divorce. Not sure what car he was driving when she hit him though.

  10. Elizabeth was incredibly annoying and immature in this book.