Danny is not your friend and he doesn’t want your help or Sweet Valley Twins #40, Danny Means Trouble

15 Jul

Before the shoulder pat, Saint Liz practised the “Creepy Peer From Afar” maneuver

Danny Jackson is a rebel. For one, his name sounds like that of a T-bird, or someone out of West Side Story. We know he is bad not only because he cuts Julie Porter’s hair and pokes fun at Ms Arnette, but because Jessica thinks he is hilarious, and Elizabeth is concerned about his welfare.

Unless you are Ellen Riteman or a like-minded moron, you will figure out by about chapter three that the reason Danny Jackson plays up is because he can’t read.

Elizabeth, of course, is onto it.

Hmm… I wonder why every time Danny is asked to read he makes a joke or pretends there is a mouse on the floor…AHA! Genius! Now I have an excuse to judge him and meddle in his life.

Of course, Mr Bowman and the Hairnet can’t put two and two together, and Liz is far too concerned for Danny’s feelings to embarrass him in front of his teachers, so she keeps it to herself AND HER BLABBERMOUTH TWIN. [She might as well just tell Caroline Pearce and get it over with]. Nalice, of course, approve of her decision. Classic Ned: “Elizabeth, I don’t think there’s anything you can do. If you go to your friend’s teachers, you’ll be betraying a confidence.”

Also, Danny’s parents are supposed to be genius scientists or something, yet even they can’t figure it out. Good God.

Meantime, we find out that Danny is an awesome runner, and is eventually thrown off the track team because the teachers are idiots and can’t figure out that he is illiterate.

Elizabeth decides something must be done! Or else SVMS will never beat Pinecrest in the conveniently upcoming middle school track championships!

What will she do? Go to a teacher? Get Nalice to phone his parents? Talk to Danny? No!

She instead writes a letter to Greg Voynow, an athletics world record holder, who apparently couldn’t read until he was in college. Of course, Greg returns her call THE NEXT DAY and agrees to meet her at the gym at 3pm the following afternoon to SAVE DANNY.

Soapbox time:

1] How does Greg know where Sweet Valley, let alone the SVMS gym is?

2] Hasn’t he got training/ promos/ girlfriends/ press conferences to attend or something else that might prevent him landing in Sweet Valley the very next day?

3] Should Elizabeth really be meeting an older, male stranger?

In the subplot, Jessica takes up running to improve her physique and get in with Greg Voynow. But her purple-tights-and-leotard-combo totally backfires with the boys. [At least, in the totally lame Junior High Series she sticks with it for more than half a book. The track, not the boys.]

The ending, of course, is absolutely sickening. Greg comes to Danny’s aid and counsels him [get this, Greg had apparently read about Danny in the newspaper. Yeah, right.] All the students and teachers are made aware of the sitch with a public assembly starring Greg Voynow, and because this is Sweet Valley none of the ratbag sixth graders even think to rip Danny off about it. Of course, Elizabeth receives some special award for her insight and gets a peck on the cheek from Mr Voynow, which would be more annoying only that it serves to piss off Jessica.

I’m going to stop now, because my inner 8 year old girl is getting really upset about the amount of irreverence I’m showing toward her favourite series.

Food for thought: What are your favorite inappropriate-teacher moments in Sweet Valley? Here are my top 5:

1] Creepy Collins in every book. Highlights are stepping on Aaron Dallas’ foot at Lila’s party and chaperoning every school dance. Dating Alice Wakefield is also questionable.

2] Jessica walking Mr Glennon’s dog in exchange for an upgrade from a C to a B in maths. [SVT Super Edition #12, Jessica’s No Angel]

3] Olivia Davidson’s Art Teacher, Stuart Bachman in SVH #57, Teacher Crush

4] Lila’s completely inappropriate guidance counselor Nathan in the Prom Miniseries

5] Teachers turning a blind eye to race riots in SVH#69 Friend Against Friend

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2 Responses to “Danny is not your friend and he doesn’t want your help or Sweet Valley Twins #40, Danny Means Trouble”

  1. julie porter July 18, 2010 at 10:35 pm #

    LMAO! I never realised what a meddling person Liz was. Its like she takes happiness in everyone elses misery! I love this blog.

  2. nadia January 2, 2013 at 2:36 pm #

    I liked this book as a teen, but now that I am over 30, it is one of the crappiest books on Dyslexia. Obviously, Danny’s parents are just too dense for words. And yea, what makes a super-star player like Greg Voynow to entertain someone like Liz? It’s so stereotypical – the same thing happens in SVT “The Christmas Ghost”. Liz writes a letter to a famous actor Beau Dillon, and of course he replies her letter to help with a fund-raising event. Good Lord. IN real life, you won’t even be given a damn.

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