Friday, March 18, 2016

Sweet Valley Twins Super Edition #5: Lila's Secret Valentine

It's Valentine's Day in Sweet Valley, which means it's the perfect time for all the sixth grade girls to go apeshit about finding dates and choosing the right outfits. The Boosters decide to do cheers for kids. For $2, they will do a basic cheer, but anyone gives them $4 gets a completely customized cheer. The Sixers runs lovegrams, and kids can pay extra to get help from an “expert” like Elizabeth.

Liz borrows old school poetry books from the library and starts writing all these crazy and intense lovegrams. While most kids seem really uncomfortable, she promises them that Valentine's Day is the perfect time to go all out. After she and Todd double date with Amy and Ken, she starts worrying about what to get him. She finally decides to write him this crazy intense poem that sounds like something from the 17th century and slip it into his locker.

Todd gets her poem and immediately thinks it's from someone else because it's too intense even for Elizabeth. He spends their next few dates staring at other girls and wondering who has a crush on him. Liz spends those dates watching him and wondering why he hasn't asked her to the dance yet. Todd finally gets her alone, but instead of asking her out, he tells her they need to cool things and breaks up with her. The best part is when Liz wonders how going out two weekends in a row is getting too serious.

Lila has a massive crush on Jake Hamilton and expects him to ask her out any moment. She imagines them going to the dance with Jake wearing a white button up shirt, loose tuxedo tie, and a tapestry vest, which sounds unbelievable for a sixth grade boy. When he stops by the Boosters table, everyone expects him to make his move, but he instead asks them to make a customized cheer for Brooke Dennis.

All the other girls look at her in shock, but as soon as he leaves, Lila laughs and says that they recently broke up. They demand an explanation, and she lies about how she met this new super hot guy named Gray Williams. He goes to Lovett Academy, is super hot, and demands that she break up with Jake to be with him. She basks in all the attention until her friends say they can't wait to meet him at the dance. Way to go there, chicky.

Todd becomes completely obsessed with finding his dream girl. He thinks it's Brooke, then Maria, then a bunch of other girls. At the same time, guys start swarming around the now single Liz, and Bruce even asks her to the dance. Jessica gets super jealous because Aaron starts spending a lot of time with her twin and even calls just to talk to Liz. Todd has a terrifying moment where Caroline starts talking to him about being single. Though he thinks she's hot for his bod, she really just wants the dirt on Liz and Bruce.

Lila, meanwhile, just keeps digging her hole even deeper. Mrs. Pervis leaves unexpectedly to take care of the gardener who hurt his back and asks her to put away some flowers he cut. When the Unicorns show up, she pretends that Gray delivered the flowers to her. All the other girls get misty eyed and just can't believe that Lila found such a great guy. Ellen even asks if he can possibly find her a date to the dance.

Since she can't bring a fake guy to the dance, Lila decides to fake a break up. She sniffs an onion to make herself cry and puts blush on her nose. As she didn't make up a reason for the break up, she blurts out that she forgot all about her birthday. Later, she finds that the Unicorns bought him a birthday cake and were on the way to deliver it to his school. She lies and says they already made up, in fact, he even called her at school to apologize. The call she got though was actually from her dad.

Back at home, she makes herself a snack, goes outside, and trips. This cute guy in bad clothing pops up and apologizes, but she acts like a huge bitch to him before storming off. He can't get over how beautiful and amazing she is, which makes me wonder if he heard her screaming at him. Lila attempts to flirt with a guy in the hopes of telling her friends that she got a new boyfriend, but when he comes up to ask her out, the others scream at him about how she has a boyfriend and how he needs to get lost.

She then has another run in with the guy at her house. It turns out that he's related to the gardener and is filling in for him. His name is Justin and he really does go to Lovett Academy. When she starts crying, he comforts her and asks for the whole story. Since Justin is an imbecile, he blames her friends for her whole making up a fake boyfriend. He comes up with an idea but has to leave at the last minute.

The Unicorns all go shopping for new dresses. Lila keeps trying to think of ways to tell the truth and then backing out. She does finally tell Ellen that Gray couldn't find her a date and that she should go to the dance with friends or alone.

As a last resort, Lila decides that she'll fake having an appendicitis attack on the day of the dance. Jessica goes to confront Aaron about him and her twin, but the Boosters suddenly pop up and do a complicated cheer just for her. It turns out that he was only talking to Liz so she could help write the cheer. In all the commotion, no one notices that Lila is trying to fake passing out in the cafeteria. She goes home and pretends to be sick, but her dad shows up and announces that he arranged to be a chaperon at the dance.

Cut to dance night. Todd shows up with flowers and candy for Liz. When she tells him she doesn't want the gifts he bought for someone else, he says that the flowers are her favorites and he bought two boxes of candy so he could pick out the ones she didn't like and still get her a full box. Aw. They dance together, she quotes a line from the poem, and he finally realizes that she wrote it. When he tells her what happened, they have a good laugh.

Lila shows up with her dad and says that Gray was in Santa Barbara with his parents, ran late, and somehow chartered a plane to get to the dance. But, he'll totally be there soon. She then just keeps the lie going until she can finish off the night. After claiming he made it, she says he went to get drinks, then get a snack, ran into someone from school, and even sneaks off and says they went for a romantic walk across the football field.

Jessica tells the others that she feels bad Gray came but barely spent any time with Lila. The Unicorns decide to name them the Valentine's Day Couple of the Year, which is a slap in the face to the couples who actually go to that school. When the band leader makes the announcement, Lila goes as stiff as a board. Jessica and Janet realize at the same time that there is no Gray. To preserve the reputation of the Unicorns, they try to find a way to get her out of the room without anyone else finding out the truth.

Just then, a guy who looks exactly like she described wanders in wearing her dream outfit. He asks her to dance, and everyone goes crazy because Gray actually is real. Later, she and Justin take the limo home and decide to start dating. He asks what they'll tell her friends and jokes about changing his name or pretending he's Gray's brother. Lila only seems to care that she now has a real boyfriend.

*Amy suggests Liz give Todd a stuffed animal, but she poo poos it as being too immature. Um, I'm 35 and have a stuffed animal put back for my boyfriend for Christmas...

*Lila is way too obsessed with her feet! In one fantasy, she imagines her slim sneakered foot stopping a skateboard. She also pictures how everyone will react when they see her delicate foot step out of the limo in a platform pump.

*Lila knows Jake likes her because he once held the door open for her and a bunch of other kids and then let her cut in front of him at the water fountain.

*Todd thinks Brooke likes him because she borrowed 15 cents from him and because she bumped into him in the hallway. See, bumping is almost like hugging and if she bumped into him, it means she wouldn't mind kind of hugging or almost hugging him.

*How can Elizabeth laugh and then take Todd back? Oh, so he was only looking for someone he thought liked him and not a real person? Yeah, that's good to know. It's not like he would jump ship if someone else really did like him.

*Jessica buys a cream colored dress with pink and green flowers on it, but the picture on the front makes it look like she's wearing a shirt.

*Janet picks out a dress, but Ellen tells her that it's too “cazh” for a formal dance. Am I missing something here or was that actual slang?

*There's a telling moment where Lila isn't sure if Jessica wants to hear that they broke up and she's miserable or if she actually wants to see Lila happy.

*Lila's dress for a SIXTH GRADE DANCE is a sheer black bodysuit with matching pants that have gold bells on the bottom and black platform heels. How is that appropriate at all, and why the hell did her dad let her out of the house?

*Liz almost gets in trouble for the lovegrams after someone complains they felt pressured into writing something more romantic than they wanted. Mr. Bowman lectures her and then pretty much lets her off the hook.

*There were two big continuity errors in this book. Liz says that lovegrams cost $1.50 and $1 more for getting help. Some kid uses the poem she writes and then hands over $1.50. It was literally one chapter later! Also, Jessica asks if they will ever sell one of the custom cheers, but someone puts out that it's okay because they sold so many of the cheaper ones. That scene comes like 10 pages after Jake bought the custom cheer for Brooke.

*Aren't Jake and Lila kind of a couple in a ton of these books? The Brooke thing seems to come out of nowhere, especially since everyone considered him and Lila a thing. Plus, it's weird that he knows all this personal stuff about Brooke and that no one ever noticed they were spending a lot of time together.

*Liz refers to Todd as her “special friend” multiple times and says they aren't ready for a boyfriend girlfriend kind of thing, yet they go out alone all the time and even kiss.

*This book really disturbed me for some reason. I think it was how crazy they all went with the love thing, finding the right outfit, and getting a date for the dance. It was a little overboard for sixth grade girls. Pretty sure I was still playing with dolls when I was in sixth grade?


  1. I think "cazh" as in casual, right? Like the shortened form of casual? Like obvi for obviously or cray for crazy I guess lol. I can totally see dumb sixth graders in the 80s and 90s saying cazh because they think it makes them sound more mature or grown-up? Better than "dibble" ..amiright?? :D Anyway, love your blog!

    1. So much better than dibble! I kind of want to start using it and see the looks on people's faces :)

  2. Yeah, it took me a sec to realize that "cazh" was short for "casual", because I have never seen anyone write it out. It's mostly just said. I had to try pronouncing it aloud and playing with the sound before I realized what they were trying to go for haha

    1. Just one more reason to love Ellen and wonder what happened to her when they hit high school :)

  3. This book like others gave girls unrealistic expectations when it came to middle school dances. They had dates, found the perfect dress and danced at the dance. At my school boys were on one side of the room and girls on the other. No one actually danced.

    1. The only dance I remember from middle school had like 10 people show up with dates. We wore more casual dresses and usually went in big groups!

  4. I always thought it was really sweet that her friends bought a birthday cake to help Lila make up with her "boyfriend". I always liked when they showed the girls actually being friends to each other.

    1. Yes, it's nice to see them actually getting along! They spend so much time being gossipy brats to each other that I like the nicer moments.