The Truth Comes Out: Sweet Valley High Chapters 16 & 17

Double Love Chapter 16:

This chapter is a mere three pages long, and all that happens in it is that Elizabeth and Enid are having a burger when they spot Todd dining with a girl they know named Emily. Who is the drummer in a band that we’ve never heard of before. [Matthew says: They might have been fleetingly mentioned once. You know, like most of this book’s subplots.]

Elizabeth held her head high and wore her brightest smile as she and Enid approached the front of the Dairi Burger.

“Hi, Emily. Hey, The Droids were terrific at the dance. You guys are really something else.”

“Thanks, Liz,” said Emily.

“Hello, Liz.”

“Hi, Todd. See you two around.” Elizabeth walked as fast as she could out the door, through the parking lot, and to the car. There was only one thought in her head: don’t let me cry, don’t let me make a fool of myself!

Although the "Somebody That I Used To Make Eye Contact With In The High School Cafeteria" version of the song was much less popular.
[Matthew says: Although the “Somebody That I Used To Make Eye Contact With In The High School Cafeteria” version of the song was much less popular.]
I have no idea why this scene has a whole, incredibly short, chapter dedicated to it. Maybe we’re supposed to be so shocked by Todd’s audacity to go cavorting around with all the women of Sweet Valley that it totally warranted its own chapter.

However, there’s never before been an issue shoving all of the book’s various “plots” into one chapter. SO WHY HERE? WHY NOW?

Chapter 17

Elizabeth mourns the loss of Todd who she never had, and who she’d already seen dating another girl (Jessica). But the sight of him with Emily send Elizabeth into a tailspin.

After a sorority meeting, Elizabeth and her sisters return to the scene of the crime (good old Dairi Burger) to grab burgers, and Elizabeth encounters Todd again. They both ignore each other/notice they’re both ignoring each other.

It was over. He never called her anymore. They avoided each other in the halls. Still, Todd was being careful not to look at her, and she was being just as careful not to look at him.

Wait, didn’t he only call that one time when Jessica told him Elizabeth was too busy to come to the phone before school? I guess Elizabeth had a very rich fantasy life, so this loss is hitting her in a lot of unexpected and inaccurate ways.

After chowing down on some burgers, our heroines run into their arch douchebag Rick. By ‘run into’ I mean he stalks them and approaches their car when the engine stops. So this is where the book turns into a horror film!

In case you don’t remember, Rick’s the guy who got Elizabeth sucked into all that mistaken identity nonsense. He continues to think of the least clever ways to hit on women. I feel like he’s the inspiration for pick up artists everywhere.

“Well, well, well. If it isn’t Heaven and her sister, Heavenly.”

Jessica exploded. “Rick Andover, you scared me to death! I didn’t recognize you without your car.”

“Aw, sorry,” he said mockingly. “Mine’s in the shop. I borrowed that little number. You like it? Or would you rather I took you for a ride in this one?”

The girls immediately take off their panties, unable to resist Rick’s charm.

Actually, they quickly realize Rick is drunk, and before they can stop him, he jumps out of his car, and shoves his way into the driver’s seat of the twins’ car. [Matthew says: Apparently just leaving his car at the stoplight or whatever.]

Rick starts driving the car wildly around Sweet Valley. Of course, he starts by driving crazily around the parking lot of Dairi Burger for some reason, and then he speeds off into the rest of the Valley – with our girls still in the car!!! This looks like a job for…A MAN!

Looking back, the last thing Elizabeth saw was Todd Wilkins standing near the front door, looking after them in bewilderment.

But Todd’s bewilderment vanished the instant he saw the terror on Elizabeth’s face and turned to sheer fury at the sight of Rick Andover at the wheel. Within seconds, he had jumped into his Datsun and was speeding after them.

While Todd drives into action, Jessica and Elizabeth acknowledge the fact that Rick is actually a terrifying person:

“Rick, you stop this car, or I’ll—” Elizabeth commanded.

Rick uttered a harsh bark of laughter. “Scream as loud as you like. Who’s going to hear you?”

Elizabeth shot Jessica a terrified look. Rick was really crazy. He could wind up killing them!

I think somehow a book intended for middle schoolers features a villain slightly scarier than the one from Fifty Shades. I feel that Jack Hyde is pretty heavily based off of Rick Andover in the sense that they’re both based off of very loosely drawn and basic EVIL male characters everywhere. [Matthew says: Side note, I totally forgot Christian Grey isn’t the villain of Fifty Shades.]

Jessica misses the point completely.

“Oh, no!” Jessica wailed as he made a screeching turn down a familiar road. “He’s taking us to Kelly’s!”

GIRL, REALLY? That is what you’re worried about?

To be fair, apparently Jessica fears that Rick is going to get them arrested because no one will believe they aren’t with him. I feel like they could play the kidnapping card here/everyone at the Dairi Burger can confirm there was a lot of terror in Jessica and Elizabeth’s eyes. [Matthew says: Although they might run into a little bit of trouble with the “how did he even GET IN YOUR CAR” detail, because HOW DID HE EVER GET IN THEIR CAR?]

Todd shows up to fulfill his manly duties and fight Rick.

wondy_kickinass
Basically what happens, but if Todd was a woman.

[Matthew says: It might just be me, but for some reason this was one of the most confusing action scenes I’ve read for this blog in a while. I had to reread a paragraph like three times to check that Todd didn’t drive alongside the car and literally pull Rick out of it. ANSWER: I don’t think so? This scene was way more confusing than it had any reason to be.]

“I thought he was going to kill you!” Jessica gushed. “Oh, Todd, you were wonderful! You practically saved our lives!” She glared in the direction of Rick and the roadhouse. “I never want to see this place again. It’s even worse inside.”

Todd gave her a funny look but said nothing

For some reason, when Jessica actual told Todd that she was the one who was at Kelly’s in the first place, he was like, “OH, JESSICA YOU ARE SO NOBLE.” But now THIS is what gives him pause? It would be like if the murderer immediately confessed to Sherlock Holmes but he was like, “Impossible! You can’t be the murderer. But thank you for being so noble and trying to protect the real murderer.” But by the end of the book, he found an incriminating piece of evidence in the murderer’s home and then acted like he’d solved the crime in the most interesting and unexpected way possible.

Elizabeth finally stands up for herself, but it’s really awkward:

“I could just kiss you!” Jessica squealed, rushing toward him.

She was intercepted as Elizabeth stepped in front of her. “Not this time, Jess. It’s my turn.” With that, she turned to kiss a surprised Todd squarely on the mouth.

byebitch

I guess there’s nothing like a fight to get a girl like Elizabeth to take back the boring bro!

Todd and the twins head back to the Wakefield’s house. Todd continues to be the most terrible detective in the world.

“Hey, Jessica,” he said. “What did you mean when you said you never wanted to see Kelly’s Roadhouse again?”

“Well, I don’t, Todd.”

“But how do you know how rough it is in there?”

“I really am simply too worn out to go on with this,” Jessica said suddenly, looking from Todd to Elizabeth. “Good night!”

mementodisease

This would be like if at the beginning of The Sixth Sense, the kid was like, “I see dead people. Bruce Willis, you’re dead.” But then Bruce Willis was just like, “LOL good one, I’m obviously your very alive therapist and nothing weird is going on.”  And the end of the movie is exactly the same, with Bruce Willis realizing he’s dead. He wouldn’t be like, “OMG this has never been alluded to before.” Right? He’d be like, “My bad for not believing sooner.”

Thank fuck, Elizabeth finally points this out to Todd. And he has a very reasonable explanation for why he’s being such a dunce.

“Liz, do you mean that—that other time—it really wasn’t you?”

Elizabeth only looked at him.

“But—”

“Todd, didn’t Jessica tell you it was her?”

“Well, yes. But—”

“But what?”

“That’s really amazing. She said it was her, but—Liz, I’m so sorry. I should have known you wouldn’t have— that you never could have. . . . How could I have been such an idiot?”

So we’re not even going to try to find a reasonable explanation for this? When in doubt, just have a character babble and then have the other character immediately jump in to excuse their behaviour. In this case, Elizabeth is like, “Oh that totally makes sense, everyone doubted me.” Except Jessica didn’t tell everyone else the truth!

Todd and Elizabeth clear the air about everything, all the truths come out! Jessica’s lies come undone! And yet no one seems angry with her at all…they just make out. Oh also Todd just has a history project with the drummer he was a getting a burger with. So that was a completely useless thing to have happen and have a whole chapter dedicated to it.

My question for you is what the fuck kind of name is “Dairi Burger” Is it supposed to be parodying people who replace a ‘y’ with an ‘i’ when they’re spelling their name? Like Kelly vs Kelli? Amy vs. Ami? If it is just meant to be “Dairy Burger” WHY? [Matthew says: Also, why is the distinguishing feature of their burger that they’re advertizing their… dairy content?]

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