Sweet Valley Confidential Chapter 14, Part 1:
Elizabeth is still upset that Will accused her of only going back to the party/bringing Liam to try to set her sister up to cheat on Todd. She wishes she’d pointed out to him that since Liam isn’t attracted to her, there’s no way he’s going to be interested in her twin sister!
She tries to imagine all the ways she can deal with them at the small party, which basically boil down to obvious, yet classic, plans like, ‘Don’t speak to them’ or ‘Tell them to stay away from me’.
Elizabeth knows that these sorts of plans only get her so far and don’t bring the same satisfaction as revenge. But seriously, bringing Liam is not part of a nonsensical revenge plot!
As usual, we quickly get a flashback apropo of nothing. Elizabeth’s flashback doesn’t even start where Jessica’s ended. It starts with her offering to help Winston’s family out post-funeral. I wonder if this is established just so we can can continue to be appalled at how awful and selfish Todd and Jessica are and how selfless and wonderful Elizabeth is.
But then, coming home from Winston’s, that’s when the whole scene with Jessica’s soon-to-be-ex-husband plays out. Elizabeth hopes that her sister doesn’t go back together with Regan because she deserves to be with someone who is right for her and truly loves her. That is really sweet of Elizabeth, so she should just be happy her sister found the right guy even if it was originally the love of her life. Or at least, I’m pretty sure that’s where this book is headed.
Now we see the big revelation from Elizabeth’s perspective, and boy is she shocked!
I turn to look at Jessica. And I see something I never saw before. They are standing together, she and Todd. More than just near each other. Together.
It’s not possible.
Except, like, it totally is!
I still don’t understand in this scene why Todd tries to deny what’s happening. I guess I could understand it if he had decided to end things with Elizabeth but also not pursue them with Jessica and try to spare everyone the fallout. But the way I read this, I think he’s trying to just have things continue on the way they are, which seems especially cruel on Todd’s part. I honestly don’t really understand why either of the sisters are interested in this guy, the only personality trait I can think of for him is ‘terrible decision maker’, which can be applied to anyone in this series really.
Elizabeth leaves the house, and is suddenly able to piece together everything. She realizes that the weird things that happened in college, including Todd and Winston’s friendship ending, were all connected to this! It sounds like she feels the way I do when I watch Wayward Pines and we start to get some answers.
Elizabeth swore she would never see them again, but here we are again in the present and she’s seeing them really soon. She meets up with Liam, and I actually enjoy their conversation:
“Have you figured out your entrance?”
“Spoken like a true actor. I just did six hours of entrance practice cross-country. Five hundred different approaches and I still don’t have it right. I don’t know whether to pretend like nothing happened or ignore them. Spit in his face or rap her over the head with a turkey platter or just knee him in the groin. What do you think?”
“You have some nice choices there. But I think since it’s your grandmother’s party I would dump the action stuff. Play it cool, treat them like second cousins once removed you probably won’t ever see again.”
I’m always taken aback when decent ideas are proposed in these books.
And then Elizabeth also talks about a belief she has, which is a belief I have:
“It’s simple and absolutely natural. If you dread something, I mean really dread it, right from the heart, it’s going to turn out awesome, like, ninety percent of the time. The converse is that if you can’t wait to get to that party, it’s a sure bomb. But there’s a hitch: It’s got to be real. If you pretend the dread, it doesn’t work.”
TRUER WORDS, ELIZABETH! Wow this conversation has been shockingly not terrible.
Once they get to the party, Elizabeth suggests that maybe it’s too soon and they should just leave. Liam makes a good point that if she stays away too long, she’ll become the outsider in her family, not Jessica who stuck around. This gives Elizabeth the conviction she needs to go in, which again, actually makes sense from both a character standpoint, and a believable motivation in general.
She had run away from everyone and stayed away for the better part of a year. Even if she had their sympathy in the beginning, Jessica was a daughter, too, a sister and a granddaughter, family. They loved her and in these months they would have seen her suffering— she had to be suffering. They would have come to feel compassion for her. It would be natural.
I actually find myself being like, “Shit, this sucks. Come on Elizabeth, go back there and make sure your family still give fucks about you too!”
Elizabeth starts wondering if she too could find a way to accept Todd and Jessica’s love. Again, I feel like that’s where this book is headed, and that’s fine and good, but I also think she should never forgive them because they’re pieces of shit.
We abruptly shift to Jessica’s point of view, and she’s still upset her mother only just told her Elizabeth is coming to the party. But then we shift to their mother’s perspective, and she’s like, “Ug my daughters!”
Jessica tries to back out of going to the party, but Mrs. Wakefield insists she (and Todd????) be there. Why the fuck is she so insistent on Todd coming? Wouldn’t it make the most sense if he sat this one out to make things a little easier? Fuck you, Mrs. Wakefield.
Then we switch to Todd’s point of view, and he feels bad about being a piece of shit. Too little, too late, boring Todd.
Back to Elizabeth! Elizabeth mentally prepares to enter the party.
Back to Jessica! Jessica mentally prepares for Elizabeth to enter the party. JESUS CHRIST CAN WE GET ON WITH THIS?
Elizabeth enters the party, and Jessica is shocked to see that they have gotten the same haircut independantly. My god! How could they not reconcile at this point? Jessica also acknowledges that Liam is hot.
Speaking of Liam, we switch to Bruce’s perspective and how painful it is to see Liam there with Elizabeth. My head is spinning. Why are we jumping perspectives every few paragraphs?
Elizabeth politely introduces Liam to everyone including Jessica and Todd.
There was no noticeable Jessica response to this gorgeous man.
Relief washed over her. Jessica appeared to be passing the test. And that made Elizabeth’s heart sink involuntarily, because it meant that maybe Jessica’s love for Todd had changed her.
I can’t even begin to understand this reaction to what’s going on. Also, for all the build-up to this…Elizabeth isn’t even inwardly in pain? She’s just interested in Liam and Jessica’s interaction? The fuck?
Okay, Will Connolly, you were wrong.
But when the gorgeous man, Liam, touched Jessica’s hand, he almost lost his breath.
Elizabeth was stunned. For a moment it took her mind off the betrayers and a sick feeling greased around in her stomach. This was something she had never expected. It was not possible. Jessica was her identical twin. You’re not turned on by one, you’re certainly not turned on by the identical other. Right?
I’m really glad we were reminded who the gorgeous man was in the least awkward way possible above. I’m also super excited about the twist that Liam could be more attracted to one twin than the other. How is this all going to play out?
Everyone takes their seats, but then…
But when Elizabeth looked up at Liam, he had switched seats with Steven and was sitting next to Jessica. Elizabeth looked away.
Cliffhanger of the century. Find out what happens tomorrow!