Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Sweet Valley Twins #117: Down With Queen Janet!

Janet Howell is a real piece of work. As she gets ready to graduate eighth grade and move onto high school, all she can think about is herself and her big graduation party. She assigns Jessica to write her speech, since the principal apparently couldn't find anyone better to speak. Jessica really doesn't want to do it, nor does she want to become the older girl's right hand man when it comes to party planning.

While going over the speech she wrote the night before, Lois tries to inch past them. Janet throws her arm up, which causes Lois to dump a plate of spaghetti all over her. This leads Janet to call her a whale and pick on her in front of the whole cafeteria. Both Elizabeth and Sophia stand up to her, but Janet just calls them nerds, dorks, and acts like a mega bitch.

Worried about how Lois feels, especially since she went home early, Liz stops by her house to check on her. Lois confesses that when they were kids, she and Janet were best friends. She even shows her pictures of them together. When they got to middle school, Janet suddenly only cared about boys, makeup, and clothes. She barely talked to Lois and then started treating her like dog shit. Liz tells Jessica about their friendship, and Jess points out that Janet could never be popular if she had a loser friend like Lois. Harsh.

Liz comes up with a great idea. Lois should throw her own party on the same night as Janet's party. She assumes other kids hate Janet's attitude as much as they do. Amy tries to tell her it's a bad idea, but she's convinced Lois will win. Lois isn't too sure, but when Janet calls her a whale yet again in front of a large group, she changes her mind. Though she buys invitations, she almost backs out again when Janet sees the cards, calls her a whale, and makes comments about how she has no friends.

Janet really is a piece of work in this book, much more so than usual. Cammi and Randy make the mistake of asking Jessica for the time, which leads Janet to telling them that they're such nerds that they should automatically know the time. She then snaps at them about how they should feel lucky they got an invite because it might be their last chance to be cool. She calls Kimberly out for wearing overalls that make her look like a stork and insinuates that Sophia hasn't bathed in weeks. And yet somehow, people still want to hang out with her.

Since her parents gave her unlimited funds for this party, she gets BBQ from some hot restaurant in town and books Gotta Rock for her party. Joe even tells her that high school kids plan on coming. While choosing food, Aaron has the never to talk back to her. Janet steals his hat, calls him a loser, says he has terrible hair, and wanders off. Jessica actually thinks his hair is cute and thinks about apologizing to him but chases off after Janet instead.

Queen Janet then starts telling people they can't come. Lois and Liz get their names crossed off the list, and then she knocks off Sophia and Patrick too. Jessica warns her that she shouldn't piss off people too much if she wants to make a good impression on high school kids. Janet gets just worried enough that she invites Patrick and Sophia again.

Jessica goes to Janet and tells her that Liz was super upset not to get an invite. Janet goes on and on about how Liz had her chance to be cool and ruined it before finally giving in and inviting her. When Jess tells her, Liz is less than thrilled. Jessica then goes on and on about how they never go to separate parties and should really go to the same one. Liz unexpectedly agrees but then reveals that if Jess doesn't stand up to Janet and come to Lois's party that she'll never look at her the same way again.

Liz starts talking up the party to everyone she knows. Lois will have 10 pizzas, dips, chips, and all sorts of stuff. Sophia keeps trying to change the subject before finally admitting that she doesn't know which party she'll go to or if she'll go to either. When Liz explodes at her friends, they all finally admit that they really want to go to Janet's house. Ouch, that has to sting.

Cut to party day. Janet makes Jess hang up all the decorations and be her little lap dog. She even gets pissed when Jessica hangs cacti lights over the food because clearly, chili pepper lights go with food and cacti lights go on the porch. When Joe once again tells her that high school kids are coming, she freaks out and decides that she needs a brand new outfit. They go shopping and then stop by Casey's for some ice cream.

Since apparently everyone in Sweet Valley hangs out in the ice cream parlor on Saturday afternoons, she stands up and gives a big speech. She tells Winston not to make a single joke because the high school kids will think they're immature and warns Aaron not to date wear his shirt, which has a skateboarding logo on the front. After threatening and warning everyone else about how to act and what to do, she tells Cammi to go get a makeover and snaps at Lila not to bring her baby CDs. Janet is nice enough to suggest Lila buy new music for the party, provided she ask for help picking out the discs.

Meanwhile, Lois keeps changing her mind. She cries to Liz because no one said they were coming and she doesn't think anyone will show up. That's when helpful as ever Jessica stops by. Jess tells Lois that everyone will be at Janet's except for the two of them, that she should cancel her party, and that Jess will sneak them into Janet's party. Liz leaves it up to Lois who finally decides to go forward with her own party. Jessica just shakes her head and leaves.

At 7:30, not a single person has showed up. The BBQ got delivered early, the band is late, and Janet is almost in tears. Even her mom thinks it's weird that no one is there. Lois feels pretty much the same way at her own house. The doorbell rings, but no one is there when they answer. It's actually Jessica, who has no idea what to do or where to go. Lois finally bursts into tears and runs to her room.

Liz hears a doorbell and finds two people waiting outside. Two more people show up, then a few more, and then an entire group. Lois hears people talking and peeks downstairs to find everyone looking for her. They all have a great time gossiping about Janet, which leaves her feeling pretty bad. Steven stops by to pick up Joe and gets force fed food by Janet who remembers Jessica once telling her that Steven will go anywhere if there is food. Joe then comes downstairs and announces that they're leaving. Lois's party is so happening that a bunch of his high school friends called and told him to get his ass over there.

After over an hour of walking around town, Jessica finally makes a decision. She goes to Janet's house to tell her that she can't come to the party. Janet breaks down crying because not a single person showed up. Jessica rushes to the other party and tells everyone what happened. While they all get a kick out of it, Lois feels so bad that she grabs her jacket and walks to Janet's house.

Janet tells her not to gloat before she starts cleaning up. In an extremely bitchy move, she briefly thinks that people only went to the other party because Lois is fat so they just assumed she would have better food. Lois breaks down and asks why she's been such a bitch, and Janet finally confesses that she's worried she won't be popular anymore and won't have any friends, which is when Lois points out that multiple Unicorns will be graduating too. Somehow, she never put that together. Gotta Rock shows up, and the girls decide to combine both parties. They show up with food and the band. Janet apologizes to Jessica too.

During the graduation ceremony, Jessica looks forward to hearing her speech, which is why she's so surprised when Janet does a completely different speech. It's all about the value of friendship. The principal then announces that all classes are going on an unexpected field trip at the last minute, and people forget all about the parties.

*Janet snaps at Mandy for wearing a brown turtleneck and says she looks too washed out and needs makeup. When Jess offers up her brand new lip gloss, Janet says it's an old lady color and throws it in the trash.

*She also tells Tamara to not dare show up at her party in the outfit she's currently wearing, which is black tights, a black miniskirt, red top, and chunky shoes. Janet has the nerve to tell her to wear something more age appropriate. Oh, you mean like jeans and a tee shirt?

*Continuity error! Lois says no one came up to her in school that day to talk about her party, but it's Saturday when she says it.

*Everyone goes on and on about how great Lois looks in her “retro” outfit, which is just black flares and a red sweater. Lila even tells her she should get a pair of cat eye glasses and that she looks really cute.

*In a clear sign that Ned and Alice know nothing about their kids, they have no idea that there are two parties going on in the same night, even though they spent weeks talking about that very thing.

*I literally winced every time Janet called Lois a whale, which is, by my calculations, 748 times. She even pretends that she can't hear her at one point because only other whales can hear her.

*Once again, as with the BSC, I don't remember anyone giving a crap when we finished middle school. No graduation ceremony and definitely no graduation parties!

*Her party is such a big deal that sends out monogrammed invitations, but it's really just a local band and BBQ food like cornbread, chicken, ribs, mashed potatoes, and biscuits. Since when it mashed potatoes BBQ anyway?

*The one thing that really annoyed me is that Liz never suggests just throwing a party at the Wakefield house. Given the way most kids tend to treat Lois, it made more sense for Liz to have the party herself.

*Liz points out how impressed everyone was when Lois won the bike contest, and Lois says that was a long time ago. Yeah, like 12 years ago.

*I had to ask the boyfriend how old he thought the girl on the cover was, and his response was 15 or 16, not a girl in eighth grade.


  1. Omg! I forgot that they changed the cover styles with the later Twins books. I don't remember reading many of the later books from either the SVT or SVH series.

    When I as in grade 8, we had a leaving ceremony in the morning, then a dance in the afternoon, but that was about it. One of my friends had a BBQ that evening, but someone was always having an end-of-year BBQ, so again, it really wasn't THAT big of a deal (just slightly more special than usual haha). I guess the idea is that we were all going to different high schools and when you're young, school pretty much dictates your social life. Anyone not at your school might as well be in another country haha and even in HS, with all the clubs and teams and specialized classes and just the sheer size of it, social groups changed within the first year anyways.

    1. I went to a super tiny school. I think my 8th grade class had 80? people in it, maybe less, so it obviously wasn't a big deal for us :)

    2. Yeah, we had about 200 people in my year (7 and a half grade 8 classes in the school), and about a third were going to one high school, a third to another, and then the final third going to random different ones. So kinda a big deal haha

  2. I agree. The girl on the cover doesnt look young enough to still be in the 8th grade. Also, I expected a "prettier" Janet given how she has been described jn the past books. :-))

    1. Yup, this Janet just looks like a bitchy teenager lol.

  3. Yeah, the only people who cared about finishing the 8th grade at my school were the 8th graders and they only cared because they were finally going to high school. We had no big graduation or parties or anything.

    1. Glad to see someone else from a similar school! Graduating eighth grade is not a big deal, at all :)

  4. I teach at a private school. The class that graduated last year organized a special graduation party, but the school didn't organize anything for them. Elementary school graduations are a bigger deal here.

    I agree about the cover. Based on how Janet was described in earlier books, I expected her to be prettier.

    1. The expression on her face doesn't help! Does anyone look cute or pretty with the whole resting bitch face going on?