Friday, April 19, 2013

Sweet Valley High #88: Love Letters for Sale

Jessica needs to make some fast cash. Not only did she put a CD player for the Jeep on layaway, but she also wants to redecorate her room and get Sam a killer gift for his birthday. Elizabeth wouldn't mind some extra cash either because she wants to get Todd a warm up jacket to thank him for all the nice stuff he does for her. After hearing Lila and Amy whine about writing some letters, she comes up with a new business idea.

Jess asks Liz to help her write letters as a new business plan. Jessica will do all of the leg work, and Liz will write the actual letters. They hang fliers all over town, and Steven even takes some back to college. The way it works is that someone sends them the information and $5. They write the letter and send it back to the person so they can send it along to whoever needs it.

The first few letters are easy. Someone wants them to write a letter to their neighbor because the woman stole her cat, and someone else wants a birthday letter to his father because they're having some problems after his parents' divorce. Then they start getting some rougher letters. Some woman wants them to tell her husband she left town and is never coming back, stuff like that.

While all of this is going on, Shelly Novack pops up to reveal that she's having problems with her boyfriend Jim. He's so busy working on the paper and the yearbook that he never has time for her. Todd starts showing up to all the basketball games to support the girls' team, and he usually ends up talking to Shelly. She wonders if she has feelings for him, and asks the twins' business to write a letter for her.

Since she uses their real names, Jessica immediately flips out. She calls Steven for advice and he suggests that she tell Liz the truth. Instead, she rewrites the letters to take out all of the identifying information and gives that letter to Liz. Liz writes a long and romantic letter that makes Jessica wince, and she ends the letter by asking the guy out on a date.

Naturally, Todd starts feeling lonely and wondering why Liz never comes around anymore. She doesn't want him to know about the business because she wants the jacket to be a surprise, so she just keeps telling him that she's swamped with work. She doesn't do a good job of it either. She'll make plans with him and cancel an hour beforehand, or she'll call him the night before and say she doesn't have time for him.

He plans an elaborate date at home, and she once again cancels at the last minute. Shelly stops by and he invites her to join him for a movie. They have fun, and Shelly wonders if he really likes her. Todd gets her letter, and he wonders if maybe he and Liz are at a dead end. He writes to the company, asking them to write two letters: one to accept a date with Shelly and one to cool things down with Liz.

Jessica once again rewrites the letter and passes it along. Liz writes the letters, and Jessica thinks that she can grab them before the mail runs, but they literally run into the mailman and Liz hands them over. She then dresses up like Liz and tries to get the mailman to give her the letter back, which he refuses to do.

Liz gets the letter from Todd and absolutely flips out. She is so mad that she cries for days and doesn't even want to look at the jacket that just arrived in the mail. Todd and Shelly go on their date, but within the first five minutes, Shelly realizes that she misses Jim. They decide that they should just be friends and focus more on their own relationships.

Jessica explains to Todd what happened. Actually, Todd hangs out at the post office where they rented a box and kind of attacks her when she walks in LOL. She tries to talk to Liz but she doesn't want to hear it. Todd finally writes to the company again, and she agrees to give the letter to her sister. Liz is so happy that he still loves her that she writes him the letter he wants and delivers it with his new jacket.

Todd tells her that he loves her and that he loves the jacket. He makes her wear it and says that he won't wear it until he can buy her a matching one. A few weeks later, they walk around school in their matching jackets and everyone oohs and ahs about how they started a new trend. Oh, and Shelly talks to Jim and they write out a list of activities that they can try together so they can start spending more time together as a couple.

*This is all supposed to be anonymous, so how the heck do they hang dozens of fliers without anyone seeing them?

*Todd gets annoyed because Liz says that she's busy having plans with Jess, but then Jess goes to a concert with Sam. She acts all indigent that Todd would dare to doubt her, but she doesn't even bother to explain to him what happened. I guess he should just read her mind.

*How early does the mail run in Sweet Valley? The mailman stops by the house before the twins leave for school, which has to be at least 8 am if not earlier. On a good day, our mail gets here by 11, and I've never lived anywhere where my mail came before 9 am.

*When Liz writes the letter for Todd to send her, she thinks it's ridiculous that anyone would ignore such a great guy. Liz, I would like you to meet pot, pot, Liz.

*There's a throwback to the Soap Star book. Jessica and Sam go to a Bill something concert, the guy she met while working on the show. Apparently, she made such an impression after ONE meeting that he gives her free backstage passes.

*Jessica redecorate the Hershey Bar in this one, deciding to use a silver and purple color scheme.

*Liz really is a total bitch in this book. She keeps saying that Todd has no reason to doubt her because she obviously doesn't remember cheating on him so many times.

*I would say that this book is dated because people actually pay the twins to write their letters, but I actually worked for a company that wrote emails for people.

*Todd buys a deli meat and cheese platter, sparkling apple cider, and a cheesecake for their movie date. Not only did I never date this type of guy in high school but I never did as an adult either.

*Despite advertising everywhere, the only two SVH people who respond are Shelly and Todd. Would no one else really need them?

*Liz worries that they might need to hire on some new people or raise their prices, which is funny because they stop their new business after this book.

*Liz keeps saying that Todd should understand her predicament, but she never explains it to him. Seriously, how many teen girls blow off their boyfriends for two weeks because of homework and writing for the school paper.

*The Oracle is ridiculous anyway. Jim's photos get ruined, so he has to do a rush job, take new photos, and immediately process them. They act like the paper would be ruined if they didn't have pictures of a basketball game.

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