Saturday, October 16, 2010

Sweet Valley High Super Stars: Olivia’s Story

Liz and Jess are working at Simpson’s Department Store during the Christmas holiday, the same store where Olivia’s mom works. She mentions in passing that maybe Liv should work there too, but she isn’t interested. Jessica finds out that the owner’s son Robert is super-cute and becomes obsessed with him. She thinks that once he meets her, he’ll fall in love with her and she’ll never have to work again.

Olivia kind of falls for this guy James, but he kind of irritates me. He’s one of those super pretentious artist guys who a teen girl might love, but adult girls eventually realize are losers. All he cares about is creating true artwork, even if that means he doesn’t have money to pay rent or buy food. Trust me Olivia, you can do so much better.

Spending time with him makes her realize that she should be more individualistic and not care what people think. Um, isn’t that the whole point of the character, that she’s oh-so different? She then expresses her individuality by wearing an ugly ass outfit and ruining an Elvis record by wearing it as a ponytail holder.

Olivia and James have a “date” at a coffee shop near campus, which I’m sure she had to pay for. He takes her up to his apartment, which in most cases would be a euphemism for date rape. He’s a college student taking a high school girl to his place after all. Actually though he just wants to show her his artwork and give us more examples of how poor and dedicated he is. Olivia tots wants him, but he lets her know that he can’t have a girlfriend because he has to focus on his art. Whatevs.

The next day she works her ass off on a new painting that I completely don’t understand. She’s making a painting of a mother and child, but using only colors and no bodies or shapes, which is supposed to give off the emotion of a mother and child. Her aunt June arrives in town with her daughter Emily and the two are forced to make small talk with Olivia. Emily is kind of a nerd. Okay, she’s totally a nerd.

Emily is only in town because she wants to check out colleges. I think she’s graduating early or just getting head start for the next year. She has a bunch of file folders and is already thinking about minors and double majoring. She also doesn’t understand Olivia’s artwork, but she loves her still life paintings and sketches. Basically she loves anything plain or boring.

Being around Emily makes Olivia start doubting her own future. Even her mom starts riding her about working and looking for a career in the future. She goes to meet James and takes Emily with her. Emily and James have nothing in common and he pulls the “I’m a temperamental artist” crap and Emily develops a crush on him.

Olivia starts working at the store, where she runs into Robert Simpson, the owner’s son. Jessica keeps trying to him on him, but he only has eyes for Liv. He doesn’t get her artwork, but he too likes the boring stuff. She decides to put away her good stuff and only leave around the boring pieces, especially after he suggests selling some in the store.

Robert asks her on a date to some country club thing and she lets him pick out her outfit. Jessica keeps hitting on Robert, thinking that once he realizes the real Olivia, he’ll dump her and Jess can swoop in. Meanwhile Emily keeps borrowing clothes from Liv and trying to impress James, who barely notices that she’s alive.

Olivia’s date with Robert kind of sucks because he’s so focused on his friends. The girls at the party are all stunned that Olivia isn’t planning for the future and she starts freaking out. Don’t worry sweetie, you really don’t have a future. Olivia cuts her wild hair short, starts wearing suits and decides to look into colleges. Even Liz realizes that something is wrong, when she notices Olivia working on boring paintings.

Olivia gives James a fancy silver paperweight in the shape of his initial. He gets kind of pissed off and tells her that the gift you give someone is a reflection of you. He doesn’t like what the gift says about her. She starts crying and runs off. I’d kick him in the balls and take back the gift! Of course she’s really upset because she’s “in love” and wants him to like her.

We know we’re getting to the end because Liv finds a bunch of paintings that her mom did. Apparently her mom wanted to be an artist, but let everyone talk her into a more sensible career. She knows what it’s like to give up something and doesn’t want Olivia to do the same thing. Emily goes to see James and from the way he talks, she realizes that he loves Liv.

Olivia goes and he gives her a boring organizer. She runs off because she doesn’t want him to see her as that type of girl. She changes clothes, goes back and gives him one of her paintings. He gives her a painting too, but his is some huge one on an alley wall. He confesses that he loves her and they live happily ever after, which in Sweet Valley time is probably three books.

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