Thursday, July 15, 2010

Sweet Valley High #59: In Love Again

Todd and Elizabeth are now back together again, but things are soooo different now. Todd doesn’t even go to Sweet Valley High! It’s kind of funny because the whole book seems to be about how Liz can’t fit in with all his friends, but then she never even tries. She basically just wants Todd to tell his dad to stuff it and come back to school with her.

At the beginning of the book, she’s kind of/sort of trying to be the good girlfriend. They meet after school every night, but it’s also kind of selfish on her part. Supposedly Lovett Academy where Todd now goes, is an hour away. So basically he drives an hour home, immediately meets her, spends a few hours with her, does his homework and goes to bed because he has to get up early. But Liz talks about how it’s such a drain on her because she doesn’t have enough time.

They both end up getting in trouble because Todd skipped out on three basketball practices to meet with her and his coach told him if he misses one more, he’s off the team. Liz left a meeting for The Oracle early and then Penny got all disappointed because her latest article had four typos when it went to print. Um, isn’t Penny, you know, the editor? Isn’t it her job to check for shit like that? Since I work as a writer, I’m pretty sure that’s how it works.

They decide to cut back on the amount of time they spend together, but promise that it won’t hurt if they only see each other on the weekends and talk at night. Cut to three days later when Liz tells him that she feels like he’s back in Vermont because they never see each other. Oh cry me a river Liz. Maybe you should have held onto Jeffery!

Liz acts kind of snotty about the kids at Todd’s new school, but when he calls her on it, she acts like she didn’t mean it. She goes to a big party at the country club, held by Courtney who hates her and completely ignores everyone at the party to talk to the one person she knows. Yeah because that’s not snotty at all. Then she has the nerve to call the other girls snobby and stuck up, even though she makes absolutely no effort.

Courtney’s dad owns a radio station and they plan on doing a battle of the schools thing, which includes Lovett and Sweet Valley High. She kind of insinuates to people that her dad will let them when, though he states outright that he won’t. The winner of the competition gets to pick a group of kids to appear in a new shoe commercial.

The competition itself seems kind of lame. There’s a relay race, where kids balance an egg on a spoon and have a three-legged race and a quiz bowl, stuff like that. Liz decides that she wants to compete on one of the athletic teams and gets picked for the relay race…with Jeffery. Uh-oh. Then, despite the fact that they don’t even ask who does what best, Liz gets selected to climb a rope on a wall and then can’t fucking do it. Seriously? Ken Matthews is on the relay team and seems better suited for this, then carrying an egg on a spoon.

Todd meets her after school, which doesn’t make sense because he shows up when classes end, but drove down from his school. It turns out that he got picked for his school’s relay team so they’re competing against each other. In a great move, Ken throws Todd out for being a competitor and then Todd asks Liz to drop out and support him. I bet Jeffery never would have asked that.

Liz and Todd meet a few days later and somehow get into a huge fight. He keeps talking about his school, his new friends and basically his life, but Liz interrupts and says that she wants to hear all about him. He points out that he was doing that and she doesn’t really care what he does. In the end, they break up and she starts moping all the time.

The side story involves Jessica suddenly deciding that she wants to go to private school. She blows off all her friends, just to study for the entrance exam. Enid points out that she can’t dress wildly at Lovett, which is the only thing she worries about. She won’t take part in the competition and actually cheers for the other school.

Then she visits Lovett for an interview and discovers that the school actually cares about grades. She gets sad when she realizes that she can’t goof around with her friends anymore. She decides that it will all be worth it when she sees a couple of cute guys and realizes that they’ll be her classmates. Yes guys, Jessica has apparently run out of cute guys at Sweet Valley High…for the next three days.

During the quiz competition, she notices that there’s something weird going on with the curtain on the stage. That would be Courtney, who’s sending answers to the teammates from her school. Jess stops her, Courtney threatens her and Jess decides that she doesn’t want to go to school with people like that. Jess has the high ground because it’s been at least three days since she cheated.

The two schools are tied and it all comes down to the relay race. Liz and Todd both have to climb the rope, which is conveniently the last part of the event. Courtney cut the rope though and Liz falls on her ass. She hurts her leg, but Todd runs over and they make up, so it’s all good. The schools decide to do a tug of war to determine the winner, Jess takes Liz’s place and they win. Big surprise.

Jess tells everyone at school that she changed her mind about leaving and they all think it’s because she wants to be in the commercial, probably. The book ends with Amy drooling over Ken Matthews. Hey, I remember how that ends…



    by Dane Youssef

    Oh, look at them here together. So happy, so content. Oh, yeah… they were made for one another. I’m sorry, but I think this cover just seems kind of creepy. I normally like the old-school original covers for the sake of nostalgia. See, these are the originals. That’s “the REAL Elizabeth and Todd.” It’s… kind of sweet.

    Todd doesn’t come across as a boyfriend here. He looks more like her older brother… or her father. He comes across as a grown man in his mid-30′s cradling a 12 year old. He seems a legal adult. Not her, and…

    Hey, wait a tick… I thought Todd has BROWN eyes. What’s with those matching baby-blues… like Elizabeth’s got?

    What happened, did she and Jessica get to him? Uh-oh. The Master Aryan race is taking over. The “cleansing…” they worked Todd over. Can you hear, “Deutschland, Deutschland, Uber Alles”… playing in the background. Oh crap, here comes the Master Race…

    –For Elizabeth and Todd, the poster-couple for the Epitome of European Beauty, Dane Youssef

  2. See, this is why they kept getting back together... they were made for each other. The two dullest, most goody-goody bookish people physically possible. They deserve one another...

    See, this is why I was grateful for the Jessica-Todd marriage. I hoped it finally meant enough of this crap. Enough, already. Actually, more than enough. But this is back when it was still fresh and didn't feel so exhausting. By "Elizabeth Is Mine," readers for clamoring for the Liz-Todd thing to die already! For good!

    Still... I enjoyed this book. The series hadn't started to suck to death like a typhoon in a hurricane yet.

    Still, that did happen a long time ago. Oh well, I guess the species has already died out. So it's all 100% moot.

    Thanks again for the nostalgia flashback, Jenn. We are eternally grateful.

    --For You... More Than Liz and Todd, Dane Youssef

  3. I don't know if you ever found my SVC recap (it's kinda buried by now LOL), but I hated that book with a passion. The Jessica and Todd thing came across as super forced, and it felt more like Jessica finally getting the upper hand on her twin than any type of real relationship. It definitely didn't help that in TSL, they stuck them with a kid.