Monday, March 30, 2015

Sweet Valley Twins #37: The War Between the Twins

Jessica Wakefield can't wait to see her first news article in print. After multiple complaints that the Sixers didn't cover the Unicorns enough, Liz finally agreed to let her twin write a story. She could put in anything she wanted as long as it didn't go over 200 words. Jessica shows a copy to the Unicorns, and they're all excited about it.

Julie and Elizabeth get stuck putting the paper together. Turns out that it was a super busy news week, and they almost don't have enough space. Just before the paper goes to bed, Mr. Bowman rushes in with a big story. Some coach broke his leg, and it's such an important story that it needs to go on the front page. Liz has no choice but to cut Jessica's story. She plans to tell her twin that night, but she spends the night working on a project with Lila, and this is way too important for her twin to tell her over the phone.

Liz plans to tell Jessica before homeroom, but her twin is so excited that she shows up early to grab a copy of the newspaper. All the Unicorns yell at her because she promised they could read it. Her and Liz have a huge fight, and Jessica decides that the Unicorns will just put out their own paper. Everyone thinks it's a great idea.

Unfortunately, they have no idea how much it takes. Janet puts herself in charge as the head editor, assigns Ellen fashion, gives Lila entertainment, and makes Jessica the news editor. As the Unicorns are also in charge of the big upcoming dance, they don't really give a shit about any other work. Ellen turns in two paragraphs, Lila does a short assignment, Kimberly writes the history of the club in two paragraphs, and no one else except Jessica does any work.

Janet promises that her dad's secretary can help them with the typing, but at the last minute says she couldn't. Mary and Jessica spend all weekend typing up the stories and putting together the paper. When it runs short, they add the minutes from their last meeting. Lila was supposed to buy light purple paper but buys super dark paper at the last second, and she backs out of helping them make copies.

They want to get the paper out before the Sixers, but the copy machine is reserved so both come out at the same time. No one can really read it, and they think it's incredibly funny anyway. The paper was the same color as the ink, and they make fun of their meetings.

Janet wants to drop the whole thing, but Jessica doesn't want Liz to think she's a failure. Janet puts her in charge of the whole paper and she makes some big changes. The paper will be shorter, printed on white paper, and it will cover all types of news and not just news relating to their club. The paper is something of a failure until they decide to publish an interview with Donny Diamond, the hottest new teen singer.

Since no one actually knows him, they just look up answers in a magazine and rephrase the questions. Everyone loves the paper, and they end up having to print off more and more copies. Jessica and Lila's gym teacher, Mrs. Langberg, isn't as thrilled. She brings Jessica in and asks her a bunch of questions. Even though she lets her go, she seems suspicious.

The idea keeps growing. They start encouraging people to write in with their own questions. When they can't find an answer in a magazine, they just make things up. A few letters come in from someone accusing them of lying, and another letter demands a picture. Jessica just takes and existing picture of the Unicorns with Ellen's brother and pastes Donny's head on top.

Lila has some famous record producing uncle in LA, and he offered to find her a musical guest for the dance. They keep advertising a special top secret guest, and word spreads that it's Donny Diamond. High school students even get their little siblings to buy them tickets to the dance. They keep denying it's Donny, but Janet tells them to hush because it's good publicity. Mrs. Langberg finally brings them in for a sit down, and Lila admits that her uncle forgot his promise and that they have no guest. Langberg offers them the use of her nephew and his band, Donald Kaminsky and the Polka Dots as long as they tell the truth first.

Jessica and Lila have to stand up in front of everyone and tell them that they don't actually know Donny Diamond, that it was all faked, and that he isn't the special guest. The band comes out, with Donald wearing a striped shirt and a clashing polka dot tie. As the band plays, the crowd screams for Donny. Donald rips off his tie and fake wig, has someone toss him a guitar, and breaks out into a rock song as Donny Diamond.

Turns out that Donald Kaminsky was his real name, which he obviously changed and that Mrs. Langberg is his aunt. She told him what happened, and he took time out of his busy schedule to write them the letters. They arranged the whole fake band thing as a way to get them back for lying. Donny then has them gather the rest of the club to take a real club picture and agrees to be an honorary Unicorn.

*You have to love that the teacher makes Jessica and Lila get in front of everything and tell the truth but that she pretty much lets the rest of the club off without even the smallest of slaps on the wrists.

*Ned and Alice gush over having two editors in the family, which has to make Liz feel bad. She's been working on the paper all year, Jessica does it for a week, and they both get the same praise.

*It turns out that the Sixers is the only game in town. I always thought there were newspapers for each grade, but apparently theirs is the only one. And um, in a later book, there IS a paper for the upper grades.

*Jessica says they should never fight again, and Liz says they should probably agree to try not to fight instead. Given that they fight every week, her plan sounds better.

*The Unicorns favorite dessert is grape sherbert, so they put the recipe in the paper without checking it first. It calls for four gallons of grape juice, which would make one hell of a lot of sherbet.

*Despite the name, this really isn't that much of a war. The twins basically just don't talk for a few weeks.


  1. Liz has the better plan. They'll be fighting again soon enough. The rest of the club should have been punished too they were all involved.

    1. Yeah, it really annoys me that the Unicorns almost never get in trouble. Even if the whole club is involved, it's like the school just picks one or two of them to blame.