Hopefully you enjoyed our brief intermission with Sweet Valley High and/or descent into madness with Jessica Wakefield. We finish up the first SVH book’s last two chapters today, with a surprisingly glorious ending in which Elizabeth also can’t even with Jessica anymore.
Elizabeth just kissed a boy and life is good! Although she’s still identical twins with a manipulative psychopath, so there’s that to deal with.
“You’re the closest person in the whole world to me.”
“There’s no one in the whole world who means more.”
“Todd told me everything.”
“And you believe him over your own sister,” she said, switching gears without missing a beat.
“He said he never tried to kiss you or anything else.”
“Is that all?” She brightened. That was an easy one for a pro like Jessica.
I’m concerned why Jessica has so much experience getting caught making libelous claims about sexual assault.
“As for Todd trying to paw me, well, it’s true that he didn’t, but I only told you for your own benefit. […] Lizzie, honey. I did it because I felt he was wrong for you.”
Elizabeth calls bullshit, and also brings up the date to a seedy bar with Rick (although for some reason still isn’t bringing up the legal trouble she’s presumably in, because rich white teens in California probably don’t, I suppose), and eventually Jessica cracks because “Elizabeth was only four minutes older than Jessica, but in a pinch she could make those minutes really count”. I don’t have any idea what that means.
She burst into tears.
“I’m sorry, honestly, I swear I am. Forgive me. […] I knew if it got around school that I was in that bar with those terrible people (probably not the most important point, but, not counting the dropout she went there with, that’s like the guy who saw what was happening and offered her a ride home?), I’d be finished! [You] can’t be on the cheering squad if you have any black marks against your name. […] You know how much being co-captain of the cheerleaders means to me.”
I guess we do now that this is the first time a character we’re sometimes in the head of has ever explicitly explained why she did a thing that made most of the book happen.
“What about me? Didn’t you care if I got into trouble for something I didn’t even do?”
“But you wouldn’t have – and you didn’t!”
This would be more plausible if one of the subplots didn’t literally take place in a courtroom. But, sure, Jessica. Go on. Do explain why you knew your sister wouldn’t get in trouble for underage drinking somehow.
“You’re not a cheerleader”
Jessica argues that the worst that could have happened is that “some dumb kids gossiped about you”, clearly indicating that since this is the worst thing that can happen to a person in high school, that’s not too comforting. (Also, wait, now that I think about it, Jessica didn’t drink at the bar. She was clearly brought there against her will with no knowledge of where she was being brought. What exactly did the cop give her a legal warning for? Her taste in men?)
Elizabeth accepts the apology, but comes up with a plan…
While Jessica and Elizabeth are getting ready for Todd to pick them up and bring them to the school rally – which promises to be absolutely scintillating:
“I promise not to embarrass you, Jess. Maybe we’ll do a little hand-holding.” Maybe a lot of hand-holding.
Elizabeth wears her “tuxedo shirt” outfit that Jessica borrowed without permission that one time, and then “accidentally” spills water on Jessica’s outfit! Which is somehow one of the worst “accidentally”s we’ve seen on this blog yet.
Elizabeth picked up the glass of water that was on her dresser, and somehow it spilled all over Jessica’s white blouse and blue miniskirt.
NOW WE’LL NEVER KNOW HOW THIS HAPPENED.
Elizabeth offers Jessica one of her own outfits to wear instead, which the book helpfully spells out is leading exactly where you think it is.
“If I didn’t know which of us was me,” [Jessica said,] “I would swear you were me and I was you.”
Honestly, it’s probably a good thing the book is taking such pains to spell out the ending, since it’s based entirely on this world where nobody seems to ever remember that Jessica and Elizabeth are identical twins.
When they get to the rally, Elizabeth puts her plan into motion.
“Thanks, Dana. It really is me, isn’t it?” Elizabeth said, flashing a truly glorious Jessica Wakefield smile.
“Sure thing, Jess.”
…or maybe everyone else at this school is already bored of their identical twin hijinks? Maybe that’s what’s really going on?
Elizabeth, pretending to be Jessica, spills the secret that Elizabeth (whom Jessica currently looks like!) is the writer of the school paper’s “Eyes and Ears” column! Because there’s a school tradition where once the secret identity of the “Eyes and Ears” writer is revealed, the school bands together to throw them fully-clothed into the pool, because high school is wonderful. This was a detail mentioned earlier in the book that I honestly can’t remember if Ariel or I even mentioned, so I promise this isn’t coming out of nowhere. Look, this blog is harder to write than it looks. It’s not all gifs and dick jokes.
Anyway, back to high school being a wonderful place.
Two linebackers got to her first. One took her arms, the others her legs. They headed for the pool, followed by a laughing crowd.
“No! No! No! I’m not Liz, you jerks! I’m Jessica!”
Seriously, though, how does no one remember that these two are identical twins?
“One! Two! Three!” Jessica was thrown screaming into the middle of the pool.
This joke doesn’t work these days because now everybody’s first reaction would be, “Holy shit! Her phone!”
Elizabeth and Todd laugh at Jessica and stroll off, arm in arm, into “a long good night filled with kisses and sweet words, and still more kisses.”
And then the book sets up the sequel.
Elizabeth opened the door. There stood her friend, [Enid,] tears streaming down her face.
“Enid! What’s wrong?”
“Liz, I don’t know what to do. Something terrible has happened. I can’t even tell you, it’s so awful. But I know Ronnie is going to hate me, and I could just die!”
Just in case that wasn’t enough to get you hooked, the book offers a handy summary of why you should be hooked.
What is the dark mystery in Enid’s past, and how does Jessica use it to her own advantage?
Question of the day! We’re returning to the horrible world of Crossfire next week (you might remember I didn’t even read the third book, so get excited for me to probably not be too terribly lost anyway), but what did you think of Sweet Valley High? Should we do more of these in the future?