Hope you all enjoyed Snark Week, and I hope equally as hard that you’re ready to get back into the sweet sweet world of Sweet Valley High. [Matthew says: And I hope that you’re as excited as I am that in two more years I will never have to write anything about Fifty Shades ever again.]
When we left off, bad twin Jessica had just gone on a crazy date with scum bag Rick. When a cop shows up, Jessica quickly lies and says she’s good twin Elizabeth. Even though literally everyone seems to be aware that Jessica is a conniving, whiny bitch, for some reason they are all super quick to believe Elizabeth was out being a badass. Ha! Unlikely.
Sweet Valley High: Double Love Chapter 8
We open to Jessica complaining about her date with Rick to Elizabeth. You’d think after spreading her dirty lies about Elizabeth, Jessica would find a more sympathetic ear for all her woes, but no.
“I wish I had been with Todd,” said Jessica. “He would never have taken me to that awful place! I’m telling you, it was all Rick’s fault. He practically dragged me in there, for heaven’s sake!”
“If it was all Rick’s fault,” Elizabeth asked, suspiciously, “then how come the police ended up with my name?” She wasn’t letting Jessica worm her way out of it this time.
Elizabeth putting her foot down is as about as effective as starting your diet by only eating five Oreos instead of six. I’m telling you, I’m going to make weight loss my bitch! One less Oreo today, one less pound tomorrow.
We’re only eight chapters in, so it’s pretty sad that I can already say things like, “Typical Jessica!” But really, in typical Jessica fashion, she just starts crying and insists it was all a wacky misunderstanding caused by the cop/other people in school/the government etc.
We also discover that Jessica has a lot in common with people like Christian Grey and Gideon Cross. Is it feminism when this happens? Look, a rich woman can be as terrible as a rich man too!
Jessica knew she shouldn’t make a crack about Enid, but she couldn’t resist. She didn’t like Elizabeth being close friends with anyone but her.
So we’re all in agreement, Enid is going to wind up dead by the end of this book? And the confrontation between Elizabeth and Jessica will go like this:
Elizabeth wasn’t going to let Jessica off the hook again. Not this time. “Jessica, I know you killed Enid!” Though Elizabeth was relieved that this meant Jessica wasn’t out with Todd the night before, she was still totally mad that her mischievous sister had murdered her best friend.
Jessica burst into tears. Her crystal blue perfect amazing spectacularly spectacular eyes leaked perfectly shaped tears, and Elizabeth knew there was no way she could stay mad at her crazy sister.
Back to what’s really happening. Jessica seizes this opportunity to try to mark her Todd territory:
“Is there anyone else you want me to tell the truth to? Maybe Todd Wilkins? Are you and he kind of buddies?” Jessica asked, never taking her eyes off her sister’s face.
Buddies? Buddies! The one boy in all the world whom Elizabeth loved, who made her heart beat faster and her breath catch in her throat. Buddies?
“Yeah, I guess that’s what we are,” she finally answered.
Wait she loves Todd? All they’ve done is glance at each other in the cafeteria and have two awkward conversations at school. Teenagers! [Matthew says: Also importantly, how did “Hey, uh, please clear up the legal trouble you got me in by impersonating me” turn into “Well, I guess if at least one boy knows I didn’t do it, that’s worth the cost of you dating him instead of me. I also don’t care about my legal record, btw.” Damn, Elizabeth is an impressively bad conversationalist, even given the standard of the other books we read for this blog.]
I’m even more incredulous over the fact that Jessica, who is supposed to be the queen of cool, says things like, “Are you and he kind of buddies?” I can’t think of a period of time when that was in a teenager’s lexicon.
Jessica continues to be an insufferable bitch and also make no sense:
Knowing she had won the battle, Jessica gave Elizabeth a hug. “Don’t worry about a thing, Liz. Todd and I have gotten very close. I’ll tell him the truth. I just know he’s too terrific a guy to hold it against you. No way do I want him mad at you, Lizzie. Like, wouldn’t it be impossible when he picks me up for dates for him not to say hello to you, at least?”
Why would Todd be mad at Elizabeth if he’s dating Jessica? Why would he pick Jessica up and give Elizabeth the cold shoulder because she went on a date with Rick?
Abruptly, the chapter changes focus and we go on a date with Ronnie and Enid…which is third-wheeled by none other than Todd. The teens discuss the drama, and for some reason cannot come to the conclusion that it was Jessica, not Elizabeth, who got busted by the cops.
“I know Liz better than just about anybody. And I can’t imagine her with a guy like Rick— especially in a place like Kelly’s.”
“Well, sometimes a person is not what she seems,” Ronnie said sharply.
Todd nodded in agreement. “Yeah, that’s true. I mean, that’s what I’m finding.”
Enid couldn’t believe her ears, and told them so. “I know there’s another explanation. I can’t accept these rumors, especially after Liz has denied them.”
So not a one of them even suggests that this other explanation is that bad twin Jessica is clearly the one who was in this situation.
The boys continue to be insanely judgmental:
Todd, a sad, faraway look in his brown eyes, said, “Maybe there’s just so much a person can take. I mean, how long can you go on trusting someone, believing in someone?” [Matthew says: Didn’t they stare at each other in the cafeteria once?]
“If you’re her friend,” Enid said, “you should never stop.”
Jesus Christ, there is melodrama and then there’s melodrama. 1) Again, Todd and Elizabeth barely know each other so aren’t even friends. 2) Seriously, they don’t even know each other. How much has he endured? What the fuck does he mean by, “there’s just so much a person can take”? [Matthew says: This must have been the most taking-est afternoon of his life!] 3) What the fuck else has he trusted Elizabeth to do?
Desperately, Enid turned to Ronnie. “Sometimes people make mistakes they’re sorry for later,” she said slowly and from her heart. “Don’t you think they should be forgiven?”
Ronnie thought for a moment, throwing a pebble over and over into the sand. Finally he shook his head. “Some things are unforgivable.”
HOW IS THIS UNFORGIVABLE??? I dread to think what would have happened if Elizabeth had smoked a cigarette or farted in public.
Enid at least realizes that Ronnie is terrible while the boys determine that Elizabeth is definitely guilty, no ifs ands or buts.
“I heard it from at least three people,” Ronnie answered. “She was seen getting out of the police car. She was overheard promising never to go to Kelly’s again— with Rick, especially.”
“Well, I guess that’s it, then,” Todd said with bitter resignation. “There’s no use arguing because it’s a plain fact—Liz was there with Rick, and no amount of explaining can change that.”
Yeah. I sure can’t think of another explanation either. [Matthew says: Nobody even mentions Jessica in this conversation. It’s like they collectively forgot she exists for the sake of the mistaken identity.]
The chapter ends on a very dark note:
“Well, I do know,” Ronnie said vehemently. “And if a girl I liked did something like that, I’d never speak to her again.”
Though the day was still warm, Enid shivered and pulled on a shirt. She had made a decision. He must never know about me. Never. He must never know about the time she was arrested after that horrible accident. Lost in thought about herself, Enid forgot all about Elizabeth’s problems.
Elizabeth continues to be sad that everyone thinks she’s the one who was out with Rick the Dick, while Jessica is thrilled she’s in the clear. Jessica say’s she’ll totally set everyone straight, but Elizabeth says not to bother because if people believe the rumor they’re not really her friends…? I’ve seen some pretty terrible explanations in the books we write about, and this is one of the worst. [Matthew says: Don’t forget this is actual trouble with the law, by the way. I feel like a court wouldn’t really accept “If you believe what’s on my legal record, YOU’RE NOT REALLY MY FRIEND.”]
There also appears to be a plot line about a rich family buying the football field to build a factory. Uh oh, another rich family wants to buy it to turn into a “formal English garden”. But where will the teens play football? And what the fuck is going on in this book?
The football team and cheerleaders decide to form a sit-in on the football field. For Elizabeth, this is the scoop of the century. Things are sure heating up in Sweet Valley!
Jessica starts arguing with two teens who appear to be members of these rich and powerful families. They start calling one another disgraces [Matthew says: Aw geez! Rich white teenager problems!], and then shit gets super real:
“But, my backside,” said Bruce. “And when it comes to a disgraceful family, Wakefield, how about your father and Marianna West—that trampy broad he’s fooling around with.”
“Now, just a minute,” Elizabeth said, stepping forward. “Marianna West works for my father’s law firm.”
“Yeah? Where? On the couch, maybe?” Bruce sneered.
Bruce laughed. “Sure! Your father spends all his time running around with a sexy woman and you call that ‘working for the firm.’ ”
This town is so fucked up.
Elizabeth remembers an argument she walked in on her parents having last week. Her father was upset their mother was working so much and he didn’t get a chance to see her enough…wouldn’t this be more a sign he isn’t cheating? [Matthew says: Man, I can’t wait to see how far this plot about their father maybe having an affair progresses through mere conjecture before someone actually asks him about it.]
Do you guys think the twins’ dad is a cheating cheater? Do you care?