Monday, August 20, 2012
Sweet Valley Twins #68: The Middle School Gets Married
Mr. Siegel announces a new project for the entire middle school: marriage. All of the girls think the idea is super romantic, which annoys him because he wants them to learn something. He warns them that he will pull their names out of hats, randomly assigning everyone a spouse. Even though they know what’s coming, the Unicorns still think they will come out on top.
When the partners get announced, it seems like no one is happy. Elizabeth gets Bruce, Janet winds up with Randy Mason, Ellen gets paired with Winston, Lila’s with Todd, and Jessica gets Rick Hunter who constantly teases and picks on her. Todd convinces Elizabeth to talk to their teacher, but before she can, he announces that he won’t change the partners.
Bruce is a pain in the ass. He acts like Mr. Cool all the time, never doing any assignments. The teacher decides that they have to do everything together, including eat lunch and attend classes. When Bruce is late, he won’t even let Elizabeth sit down until he gets there.
Rick isn’t much better. He picks on Jessica all the time, even insinuating that she’s fat. He comments on all of her food, telling her that she’ll get fat and pimples. When it comes to creating a budget, he decides that he’ll be a rock star and won’t have to worry about money. He creates a budget with money set aside for concert tickets and his pet snakes without budgeting for food or a home.
Mr. Siegel announces a twist on the project, making all of the students carry around an egg as a baby. Jessica and Rick fight over their baby’s name, finally settling on Steven Fido. She gets annoyed at him and accidentally breaks the egg. She eventually breaks four or five of them, usually because she’s so annoyed.
Bruce wants absolutely nothing to do with the egg, but he does agree to come over to the Wakefield house. After seeing Ned cook dinner and help with their project, he decides that he wants to be just like him. He takes over the project, making Elizabeth feel stupid for most of the book.
As part of the project, they have to cook a well-balanced meal at school. Bruce plans the entire menu, chides Elizabeth for picking squash over spinach, and thinks that she needs more iron in her diet. When she gets angry at him, she accidentally breaks their egg and replaces it with one from their refrigerator.
Jessica and Rick have an even worse time cooking. He burns the macaroni for their macaroni and cheese and makes a joke about the teacher eating dog food just as he walks in the room. Rick apologizes, helps her finish the dish, and acts like a normal human being. Then he kisses her and admits that he likes her.
The worst couple is Sophia and Patrick, her crush. She is so worried about what he thinks of her that she rarely opens her mouth. She keeps waiting for him to make a decision while he’s waiting for her. After heading to the grocery store three times without making a choice, she finally snaps and they stop talking. She goes home, learns that her mom is engaged to Sarah’s dad, and yells at them that they are making a huge mistake. On top of all that, Bruce finds out that the egg Elizabeth used is a hard-boiled one and stops talking to her.
Jessica wants to tell everyone about her new boyfriend, but they are too busy bitching about their partners. She and Rick start spending more time together, but things are different. He stops teasing her, they never argue, and they never have any fun. When she starts bragging about the budget she did on her own, he finally snaps and they stop speaking.
The last day of the project arrives, and Mr. Siegel lets them finish up. Everyone starts fighting and he hears someone say that the project was impossible. He basically tells them that they learned the right lesson: that marriage is impossible unless you’re old enough and with the right person, and he promises them all an A.
Bruce apologizes to Elizabeth and goes back to being Mr. Cool. Sophia and Patrick makeup, and she tells her mom that she can’t wait to be part of a new family. Jessica goes to the Unicorn table and sees Randy teasing Janet. Ellen invites Winston over, telling her that everyone is used to the way things were. Even Lila rushes off to sit with Todd. Rick stops by, teases Jessica, and she gets excited because things are back to normal.
*The project is part home ec, part math, part social studies, etc. Did you all have to take home ec? It was an “elective” in my junior high, but we could take other classes too. I think I took the basic class and then took cooking classes instead, and I knew a lot of people who never took a single home ec class. This book acts like everyone has to do it.
*There is no way that this is a new project, so why is everyone so surprised? Janet is in eighth grade, so I’m assuming that she did this project at least once. If it is new, how will it work in the future? Will they need to do the same thing every freaking year?
*Todd is apparently a neat freak that cannot pick the perfect folder for their project, which seems completely out of character.
*We didn’t do the egg project in my school, but we did have to carry either a sugar or flour sack. There was one 12-pound flour sack assigned, and guess who got it? Yup, that was me. Everyone else had a little 8 pounder, and I was stuck lugging the giant bag to every class.