Friday, April 15, 2011

Sweet Valley High #1: Double Love

Ah, the one where it all began. Jessica and Elizabeth are perfect size-6 wearing identical twins. Liz also has a crush on Todd Wilkins, the star of the basketball team. He smiled at her in the cafeteria and now she’s daydreaming about him. He actually calls for her, but Jess monopolizes the conversation and attempts to make her twin look bad.

The two discover that day that they’ve made it into the most exclusive sorority on the Sweet Valley High campus, as did Enid Rollins, Cara Walker and a few other friends. Jessica runs into Todd, who is a member of the sister frat and tries to convince him to take her to a big upcoming dance, even though he’s more interested in her sister and what her sister’s plans are.

Jess runs into the super sexy Rick Andover and he tells her that he’ll pick her up the next day. She’s go all out for their date: low cut red shirt, high heels and a short skirt. Then she keeps their date a big secret, which makes Liz think she’s going out with Todd. Rick takes her to a seedy bar (Kelly’s) and keeps putting the moves on her. When another guy tries to stop him, they get into a fight and the cops show up. One of the cops thinks she’s Liz and lets her off with a warning.

Caroline Pierce sees Jess dropped off and hears the cop use Liz’s name, so she spreads the story around school. Everyone starts thinking Liz was the one in the bar, even Todd and Enid. Liz confronts Jess, but she could care less because she just discovered their brother Steven is dating Betsy Martin, a total trash bag who goes out with all kinds of guys. Unlike Jess, who has made eyes at 17 guys so far in this book.

Eventually Jess offers to clear things up, but never really does. Todd confronts her on what happened and she breaks down, finally (kind of) taking responsibility. Todd thinks she’s just covering for her sister, which shows him a different side of her and he asks her to the dance. Winston meanwhile, stands up for Liz when Bruce picks on her and they end up going to the dance together.

Todd is completely smitten when he sees Liz all dressed up, but barely acknowledges Jess. Jess tries all night to get his attention, but he can’t keep his eyes off her twin. When he drops her off and gives her a kiss on the cheek, she can’t take it anymore. She promptly runs inside and tells Liz that he wouldn’t take no for an answer and kept grabbing at her. Todd keeps trying to see Liz and she keeps turning him down. Then he reveals that he wants to forgive her for going out with Rick and she goes off on him.

Cut to a few days later and Rick actually stops the twins. He hops in their car and speeds off, freaking them out. Todd sees the look on Liz’s face and chases after the car. He punches Rick and saves the twins. Jessica tries to kiss him, but Liz pushes her off and kisses him instead. Jess lets it slip that she really was with Rick that night, Todd feels stupid for not believing in Liz and they finally get together.

Liz decides to get back at her twin by pulling a twin swap. She pretends to be Jess and reveals that Liz writes the gossip column for the school paper. Following tradition, the kids toss “Liz” in the swimming pool fully clothed. Jessica ruins two reputations, but a pool toss totally makes up for it! Oh and Steven is actually dating Betsy’s sweet sister Tricia, so it’s all good.

The other plot is that Ned is spending a lot of time with Marianna West, a chick from his office. With Alice working all the time, the kids are convinced that he’s having an affair. He’s working on a case, where the Fowlers and Patman families are trying to take over the football field. In the end, it turns out he was helping her on the case and helping her make partner, no one cheats.

*The whole sorority-fraternity thing is weird to me and not just because my high school didn’t have anything like this. It’s confusing because Todd, Bruce and other guys are already in their frat, but the girls just got into their sorority and all the other pledges were juniors.

*Yeah, so apparently the school leases the football field from the city, but it isn’t owned by the school. When the lease expired, others had a chance at buying it. Does that make sense to anyone? We have one football field here that’s owned by the city, but that’s just so multiple lower income schools can all use it.

*Jessica borrows Liz’s tuxedo shirt, matching pants and bow tie. First of all, that doesn’t really sound like a Liz-type outfit and second, it sounds butt ugly.

*Ha-ha! Liz goes on a date with Ken Matthews, which ticks Jess off because she thought he had a girlfriend, so she wasn’t interested in him. They totally should have brought this up later!

*Bruce wants to take Liz to the dance for an appearance and then go somewhere “fun”. Where is Annie when you need her?

*The more I read these books, the more I realize Jessica was a total psychopath!


  1. Now now, in 1983 that tuxedo shirt/bow tie combo was all the rage.

    I had one and thought I'd blocked the memory of it completely from my mind until I read this damnable book a couple months ago.


  2. Every time I read that, I think about the tuxedo tee shirts, which sounds like something Winston should wear :-)

  3. Mine was a tres sophisticated gray with a pleated white bib front and poofy sleeves you could smuggle small children in.

    I was most likely huffing way too much Aqua Net when I picked it out of the Sears catalog.