Archive | April, 2011

The one where we heap pity on the fat and the dateless: SVH #74 “The Perfect Girl”

25 Apr

It was only when she was malnourished that Robin Wilson was allowed to be a Sweet Valley cover girl...

Look what I stumbled upon today: It’s another chapter of the Sweet Valley rule book!

  1. Being fat is a mortal sin
  2. Your personality is weight dependent. I refer you to the case of Robin Wilson – when she was fat, she was desperate, clueless and annoying. Since her miraculous weight loss, she is a kick ass cheergirl who is even cool enough to hang out with Jessica. [The same Jessica who started the nickname “Tubby Wilson.”]
  3. All fat people are greedy gluttons who keep chocolate bars in their pockets. There is no such thing as just being disposed to a little extra padding on the side. If you are fat, you must be evil.
  4. Also if you are on the chubby side and are ok with it, that is a terrible, terrible sin. Fat is never okay.
  5. Only skinny people like the Wakefields and Amy Sutton are allowed to stuff their faces with fries every day after school at the Dairi Burger. Because they are perfect.
  6. If you do not have a boyfriend, there must be something wrong with you. Never mind that you are only sixteen and actually want to have a life before you give it all up for some guy. Your job is to wait around at the Beach Disco on Saturdays for a hunk in a red Mazda Miata to show up.
  7. If you are fat AND don’t have a boyfriend, you have failed at life, and should be banished to the dirty side of Sweet Valley. Maybe you will befriend Betsy Martin there. Or even Lois Waller.

And now I present the sad, sad case of Robin Wilson, who not only struggles with weight, but struggles with guys. That is so sad. Don’t you feel sad? Let’s all pause a moment to weep for poor Robin and heap pity on her size-18 ass.

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Sweet Valley: Out with the Old, In With The New

17 Apr

Last week we re-visited one of the turn-of-the millennium editions of Sweet Valley University, an incredibly trashy Secret Love Diary that made “The Evil Twin” look like the work of one of the Bronte sisters.

Call me a Luddite, but the Sweet Valley I reminisce about was that of the Miller’s point rendezvous, and letter-writing dating services, not Conor McDermott’s moody thought poems and Lacey Frell’s fricken emails. And so, to continue our look back at late-nineties-early-noughties YA fiction, lets examine the Sweet Valley of old, and how it compared with the titles that emerged from that god awful Y2K period.

Outfit recaps below the cut!

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The Regression of Jessica Wakefield: SVU Secret Love Diaries: Jessica

12 Apr

It says Jessica but I'm 99% convinced that's the Elizabeth twin...

2000 was a god-awful year in YA fiction. Sweet Valley High stopped producing dopplegangers and werewolves, and gave breath to a bunch of emo teens and alcoholics. Jessica and Elizabeth started Junior High with a bunch of strangers from Secca Lake. The Babysitter’s Club as we knew it disbanded [and Mary-Anne broke up with Logan! Shock horror!]

Sweet Valley University was not immune to the changing face of the new millennium. Gone were our quickie marriages and multitude of gun-wielding dead boyfriends. Instead, Jessica and Elizabeth started using words like “choice”, and parting their hair in the centre, and wearing plum lipstick and making myriad pop culture references to Buffy, and Manolo Blahniks, and eBay and Freddie Prince Junior. Still no chance that either of them would go a week without 137 date offers. [Hell no, everyone still wanted a Wakefield.]

I recently got hold of a copy of “Secret Love Diaries: Jessica”, one of the last Sweet Valley books ever written. The SVU swan song, if you will. And yeah, it was appalling. Or as a ghostwriter circa-2000 would say, “like, so not on.”

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Mr Collins isn’t the only perve in Sweet Valley! SVT Super Edition #9 The Twins Go To College

6 Apr

Ah, this old book. A favourite of mine, when I was eight. I remember thinking how old they looked on the cover, something which is going to come in handy later in the book. Seriously, though, the twin on the left could pass for eighteen – a far cry from the doe-eyed blondes who stepped onto the cover of “Teacher’s Pet” in 1986.

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