Which Sweet Valley Villain Are You? Take the Quiz!

31 Oct

 Happy Halloween!

Circle the answer which suits you best to find out which baddie you are.

What is your weapon of choice?

A] My bare hands, or at the right time of month, claws.

B] Anaesthetic gases

C] A glittering butcher’s knife

D] A sleek dagger

E] My charm

F] An axe

Which Wakefield twin would you rather kill?

A] Jessica

B] Neither, I would rather undo Elizabeth’s braid and molest her hair

C] Elizabeth [in a rasping voice]

D] Jessica [in a Southern drawl]

E] After I’ve had my way with both of them, I’ll drown them together.

F] Jessica “Blondie” Wakefield

Who is your dream Sweet Valley lover?

A] Elizabeth

B] Elizabeth [in between heavy breathing]

C] Bruce Patman

D] Whatever Margo said

E] Both Wakefields, simultaneously

F] Lover? What’s wrong with being a misunderstood hermit?

Where would we find you at midnight on a Friday?

A] The Slaughtered Lamb, if the moon is full

B] Lurking around the gynaecology ward at Joshua Fowler Memorial Hospital

C] Kelly’s Roadhouse Bar, or the Shady Lady if that’s where the night takes me

D] The graveyard

E] Aboard my 16ft yacht, The Emily Dickenson

F] The woods

What is your lasting memory of Sweet Valley?

A] I’ve never been, but I hung out one Summer with a pair of very fetching but very annoying intern journalists.

B] Lurking around the hospital car park at night.

C] Fooling an entire town into believing I was Liz Wakefield. Including Lila Fowler.

D] Murdering my twin at the Wakefield’s house.

E] Spending 10 years in prison only to wreak havoc on that bastard, Ned Wakefield

F] I haven’t left Camp Echo Mountain for thirty five years! Mwah ha ha ha

If you answered mostly:

A] Luke Shepherd

Befriended by Elizabeth Wakefield during her summer internship at the London Journal, you are a sensitive poetic type with a hard edge – and a set of hairy claws to match. You are a particularly stupid villain, as you put the idea into her head that a werewolf might be responsible for the London murders. That werewolf turned out to be you. Dumbass.

Villain rating: 2 knives.

B] Carl-the-Orderly.

Renowned as Sweet Valley’s biggest creep, you managed to anaesthetise and kidnap Elizabeth while she was volunteering as a candy striper at Joshua Fowler memorial hospital. She was so pure, and so sensitive, and so kind, and yet when you had her tied to your couch, all you managed to do was untie her braid and feed her blueberry pancakes.

Villain rating: 3 knives

  C] Margo Black.

The greatest psycho killer Sweet Valley, nay, the world has ever seen, you almost managed to off Elizabeth, and then Jessica, on successive New Years Eves. Your rasping was unrivalled, your collection of glittering knives incredible and your ability to impersonate both twins was admirable. Sweet Valley hungrily awaits your second return from the dead.

Villain rating: 5 knives.

D] Nora Chappelle [Black]

Best known as Margo’s identical twin, you surfaced from the deep south in Return of the Evil Twin to pick up where your wicked sister left off. Although slightly tamer than knife-wielding Margo, your bizarrely acute sense of smell worked to your advantage. It was you who managed to murder Margo in the end….Or did you?

Villain rating: 4 knives

E] John Marin

Perhaps Sweet Valley’s most eloquent baddie, you manipulated both twins into thinking you were The One. Disguised as a sensitive writer for Elizabeth, and a hot TV producer for Jessica, you lured both twins onto your boat where you almost delivered the fatal blow. Your motive? Revenge on Ned Wakefield, the multi-skilled lawyer who put you behind bars a decade ago. Revenge is a dish best served cold, and you served it on a silver platter, my man. Kudos.

Villain rating: 4.5 knives

F] Crazy Freddy

The laughingstock of villains in this series, you were clearly created at a time when Fran-Pasc was out of ideas for ways to kill the Wakefields. Campfire legends at Echo Mountain exaggerated stories of your wicked deeds, and you never quite lived up to the hype. Although you briefly managed to wave an axe over Jessica’s head, you never quite had us fooled. Crazy Freddy turned out to be nothing more than a misunderstood hermit.

Villain rating: 1 knives


The One Where The Twins Almost Get Offed by a Werewolf: “Love and Death in London”

20 Oct

As you may have guessed from my lengthy absence, Francine never answered the call to Bring Margo Back From the Dead. My heart is pretty much broken. After all, previous tales had filled me with great confidence in Francine’s ability to resuscitate Margo.

So because I am the vengeful type, I am going to go to town on one of the most redonkulous books in Sweet Valley history:

“Love and Death in London”

Shame on you, Francine. I’m going to snark this like a polaroid picture.

Let’s begin with the cover, which is probably the high point of the book.

I’m going to take a stab and suggest that the 35-year-old high class call girls in trench coats outside the Big Ben are Wakefield twins [no doubt on some top-secret assignment entrusted only to them by the Scotland Yard].

And judging by the god-awful bangs and over-zealous rouge on the twin motif, I’d reckon this book was printed circa-1993. Please note that Elizabeth looks one inch taller and one pound skinnier than Jessica. Bitch.

And as for the half naked werewolf scaring off the random brunette and her gay bestie….lets just leave that one, for now.

Elizabeth and Jessica have ditched their regular summer jobs at the Sweet Valley News for the greener pastures of London.

Elizabeth is her usual annoying self and waxes poetic about famous architects and the Great Fire of 1666 and St Paul’s Cathedral.

They move into a student boarding house where there are like, kids from all over the world! Wow! Conveniently, Elizabeth’s old French toyboy, Rene Glize is ALSO at the exact same boarding house at the EXACT same time! Maybe they will sneak out and drink tequila and have sex in the common room? But no, we have to wait another five years before she returns to London and jumps in bed with a duke.

The twins begin their illustrious jobs at the esteemed London Journal. Because a Wakefield wouldn’t get out of bed for a tabloid paper. Jessica is pissed about being assigned as a social columnist. Uh, no offence Jess but you’re INTERNS. 16-year-old undergraduate interns at that. Fuck her self-entitlement complex gets to me. Also, isn’t social commentary pretty much Jessica’s dream job? Swanning around London snapping Pippa Middleton or Rosie Huntington-Whitely. Or in those days, the likes of Hugh Grant and Liz Hurley??

But worry not – within their first week our twins are promoted to senior fucking crime reporters, which not only involves chasing leads on the nation’s biggest murders but also taking on the job of the entire Scotland Yard. I guess some inferior, non-Wakefield plebs can take on those pesky tasks of reporting on petty theft at the Oxford Street 7-11 or a pommy breaching an AVO.

Gold star, you two.

But we couldn’t have such wonderful criminologists in town without an epic crime. And so, in London that week there is a spate of brutal attacks on humans and dogs which are suspiciously like the work of a werewolf. Beware the full moon, bitches.

There is more to this wonderfully transparent mystery:

Elizabeth befriends/cheats on Todd with a sensitive beatnik type called Luke Shepherd. Luke is strong and kind and poetic and they make electric shocks together and all that shit, but the real appeal lies in his dark obsession with werewolves.  Hmm…something tells me there’s a link here. Given that Elizabeth is an amazingly perceptive journalist, you would think she might come to the same conclusion when he takes her out to a restaurant known as “The Slaughtered Lamb.”

Also, Luke is a fucking tool, because he leads Elizabeth to the conclusion that a werewolf is behind all the killings. Luke is an idiot. And surely Liz is too much of a skeptic to believe him? No! It’s all very logical, you see. What creature other than a werewolf would be capable of tearing the throats out of innocent Londoners?

[Man, if only they’d written this a couple of years later. I can just imagine Jessica’s headlines:

“Did a Werewolf Kill Diana?” or, “What Camilla REALLY Gets Up to When the Moon is Full”].

But I digress. Back to this riveting mystery.

The killings go on and on, with no end in sight. Mainly because they have two sixteen year olds on the job, and the policeman in charge of the investigation is a bumbling fool called Seargent Bumpo. [This is making Twilight look like the work of Bram Stoker.]

But back at the hostel, some of the twin’s housemates have mysteries of their own.

Elizabeth is intrigued by social justice advocate Lina, who has headed to London all summer to work at a soup kitchen. She wears rags and looks somewhat familiar. Coincidentally, the young British Princess Eleina [who I’m guessing is Will and Harry’s cousin] has gone missing, and her face is all over the papers. Do you need a hint? Oh wait, you’re more than five.

There is also a snobby bitch called Portia who appears nightly at the Globe theatre. Only she’s not really a snob at all – she was just acting the whole time. All the time. Taking the Stanislavski method WAAAAY too far, methinks.

Jessica, meanwhile, is getting around with Lord Robert Pembroke, who is pretty much the English aristocracy’s version of Bruce Patman. She also gets VERY disappointed that Picadilly Circus doesn’t have any clowns. Dumbass.

Our story ends with Lord Robert inviting the twins over to stay at his manor. I’m sure he was doing a Prince Harry and thinking BINGO, but Liz goes and brings Luke the Werewolf along. That night, Jessica is the victim of a brutal attack when someone attempts to cut her throat. The book actually leaves on a high note, detailing how her limbs are all tangled, and she’s pulseless and soaked in blood.

“Elizabeth knew her tears would never end; her pain and sorrow could never be soothed. Her beloved sister was dead- murdered!”

Will Jessica die or is it just a hickey???? Only the second book of the story arc will tell…

Stay tuned for our super Halloween edition in the coming week!


Margo Lives!

10 Sep

A Margo Black Tribute

[and a call for guest bloggers!]

“Margo Black was the best thing that ever happened to Sweet Valley. Once we’d gotten past the fact that there was someone out there IDENTICAL to Elizabeth and Jessica Wakefield, The Evil Twin rasped her way into a special spot in our hearts.
From murdering small children, to hiding out in the Wakefield’s basement, to pushing Jessica’s boyfriend off a cliff, Margo was one crazy chick. She drank, she hung out at Kelly’s, and with her array of glittering knives, she got some serious shit done. She was smart, and calculating, managing to convince all the Wakefield’s friends, [including LILA] that she was born to be a Wakefield.
I for one refuse to believe we’ve heard the last of Margo Black. Given that the first time she supposedly died, she managed to survive a carotid artery laceration and hijack the ambulance, only to hide out in Sweet Valley graveyard until her twin, Nora, showed up. So yeah, as far as I’m concerned, Margo lives.
If this group gets enough members, we will use it to petition Francine Pascal and St Martin’s Press so that in the sequel to Sweet Valley Confidential, Margo will FINALLY get the life that is rightfully hers. 
Here’s to all the Team Margo’s out there, and to ending fifteen years of unfinished business.
Margo Forever!”

Margo Lives. That is the mission statement from our growing campaign “Bring Margo Back From The Dead.”

No shit. In all seriousness, if Francine Pascal is going to all the trouble of bringing out the SVConfidential sequels in online instalments, [yes, you heard right] she deserves to know what the fans want. And what do we want? Margo Lives! Margo Lives! Margo Lives!

A very keen blogger, Samantha , mailed this brilliant letter to Francine’s office in New York, detailing her ideas for a Margo resurgence in the upcoming instalments of SVC. [Warning: Confidential Spoilers in the letter]

Continue reading

SVH #120 “In Love With The Enemy”

24 Aug

Sweet Valley High School’s #1 Paper

Maintaining Journalistic Integrity Since 1983

Editor-in-Chief Penny Ayala

Front Page News:

Wakefield Twins Return To SVH!

The school is a-buzz this week with the news that Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield will return to their usual classes at Sweet Valley High. After the talented twins scored amazing results on last month’s SATs, a taskforce at local community college Sweet Valley University offered them instant entrance into the courses of their choosing. Such an offer allowing 16-year-olds to abandon their mandatory senior year exams and enter college halfway through semester is unprecedented, and clearly reflects the brilliance of the Wakefield twins. After sticking out college life for over a week, Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield decided to hand in their textbooks and humble themselves by returning to SVH to see out the school year.

Jessica Wakefield yesterday was more than happy to comment. “We decided that even though we are both incredibly smart, we couldn’t bear missing another prom.”

School social commentator Winston Egbert, who is still reportedly reeling after being shunned by the SVU selection panel made this statement: “We all know they just want to make amends for the Jungle Prom, where Elizabeth offed Jessica’s boyfriend.”

The four-minutes older Miss Wakefield yesterday declined to comment, but both twins will be available in Mr Collins homeroom class, no doubt with a myriad of tales to tell from their College experience.

Sports Report:

By John Pfeifer

Palisades Pumas Pummel Gladiators

The Sweet Valley High Gladiators suffered their first loss of the football season to the Palisades Pumas on Friday night, going down by six points in a fierce, take-no-prisoners clash at Sweet Valley Stadium. Sweet Valley dominated for two quarters of the heated match, only to be crippled by savage Palisades defence on the full time siren.

The tension built early on in the second quarter, with linebacker Bryce Fisherman injured in a dirty three man tackle. He suffered a concussion and was treated at Joshua Fowler Memorial Hospital. With a four-all scoreline at half-time, Ricky Ordway was the next victim, suffering a medial ligament tear after a brutal shoulder charge by Palisades front-rower Christian Gorman.

Palisades were next to score, after Scott Trost was blinded by Amy Sutton’s cleavage on the sideline and missed a crucial tackle. With just a minute to go, Ken Matthews made a line-break, but was punched in the stomach and fumbled the ball, leaving Palisades to celebrate a Ten-four victory.

Yet the gut-wrenching loss was overshadowed by cheerleading prowess of Sweet Valley’s squad, with Jessica Wakefield and Heather Mallone leading a valiant, “Be aggressive” cheer till the death. Jessica’s triple herky will no doubt be the talk of the school this morning.

In other news, Todd Wilkins has made an amazing recovery from the ankle injury that threatened to destroy his basketball career. He will lead Sweet Valley’s all-star team out next month, in what is shaping up to be the most cut-throat basketball season  of this year.

John Pfeifer

High School War Heats Up

Editorial: The Big Issue by Penny Ayala

With assistant to the editor, Liz Wakefield

What began as a friendly football-field rivalry has escalated into an all out war that has Sweet Valley citizens asking, “where will it end?”

Arch-enemies Sweet Valley and Palisades High last Friday battled it out in the fiercest football competition of the year, but this time the violence has well and truly spilled off the field.

A prank war reminiscent of Club X has erupted between the schools, with SVH captain Ken Matthews waking up to find his vehicle egged and toilet-papered on Saturday morning.

Palisades High has claimed responsibility for the attacks. A source within the school reports that football team captain Christian Gorman may have been the brains behind the incident.

Rumour has it that a band of SVH males has joined forces to form a rival gang, hosting “Guy’s Night Out” meetings [GNOs] to plan retaliation efforts against Palisades High.

True to form, Sweet Valley High struck back at Palisades overnight, hanging up a nasty sign that reads, “Palisades Pumas Purr Like Kittens”.

Says SVH Principal Cooper: “This mob mentality is a dangerous thing and the people responsible will be held accountable for their actions. Just because we can’t see your faces doesn’t mean we can’t identify you. If you turn yourselves in now, you may escape a federal charge.”

English teacher Roger Collins was also ingratiated: “Once again the jocks have proven they can’t string a sentence together. Kittens? At least “Pussies” would have kept up the alliteration. Maybe if they’d spent more time in my classes they’d know a bit more on that subject.”

School reporter Liz Wakefield believes a dance will resolve the problem, yesterday stating, “Grafitti, violence, hurtful words… who knows how this could end up? I think we need to get everyone in the same room, eating pretzels and dancing to Johnny Buck.”

Enid Rollins was quick to nod in agreement.

Amy Sutton, speaking on behalf of teen hotline Project Youth, had a different view:

“I think it’s good to see the guys acting more manly,” admits the willowy blonde.

Student Olivia Davidson believes sport is at the root of this evil, and should be banned. “Maybe if we all united against a common cause, like whaling, this could be avoided.”

Rival football captains Matthews and Gorman have declined to comment, and both are rumoured to be currently holed up in a shack at the beach with a mystery sized six blonde.

Local citizens are fearing the worst, with recent episodes of gang rivalry across America resulting in several fatalities.

But the most chilling warning yet arrived this morning, just as The Oracle was about to hit the press, with this ominous sign hanging in the halls of SVH:  “Get ready for your last dance.”  It is a harrowing reminder that we must act fast to stop this gang violence, before it is too late.

Look out for Elizabeth Wakefield’s report next week: “A Palisades Perspective”, as she goes deep into enemy territory to resolve this crisis.

Performing Arts

with Olivia Davidson

For those who follow the crowd, rap music is making a big impression on Sweet Valley, courtesy of local music video channel Rock TV. Lila Fowler and Jessica Wakefield have both been spotted trading in their Jamie Peters cassettes for “Snoop Dogg”.

That’s all for now! Next week, tune in as we learn how to make a tie-dyed t-shirt, and coming soon: Colleen Dunstan opens up about the rainforests!


By Jennifer Mitchell

This Friday Night, don’t miss:

131 Phantom Lane, Sweet Valley

It promises to be the biggest bash of the month – an interschool dance with Sweet Valley and Palisades High. But this is more than a dance – it’s a genius move by Liz Wakefield to heal the growing rift between rival schools. Elizabeth has been running the show, with the help of PH social committee members Caitlin Alexander and Marla Daniels. Enid Rollins has agreed to do the gaffa work, and wipe Elizabeth’s ass should the need arise.

Eyes and Ears

By Caroline Pearce [Elizabeth Wakefield is too busy tackling Big Issues to contribute this week.]

Spotted: a certain sized-siz blonde Aphrodite taking surfing lessons from the enemy – Palisades hottie Christian Gorman. Something tells me her strapping hunk of man back at Sweet Valley High will be less than impressed….

You know you love me. XOXOX Eyes’N’Ears.

Fashion Report

With Guest Fashion Editor Lila Fowler

In a throwback to the 1950s, the Sweet Valley gang members have been sporting leather-and-denim combinations during their late night raids on Palisades High. I will grudgingly admit that Bruce Patman looked very dapper on Saturday night, dressed in black Levis, a white FCUK tee and an Italian bomber-cut leather jacket, with black Ray Bans topping off the “West Side Story” theme.

Scott Trost was Danny Zuko-esque in his cheap, imitation version.

With the surfing season in full swing, a new range of designer wetsuits has hit the shelves at Sam’s Sporting Goods. My pick? The hip metallic bathing suits are hard to pass up, in gold, green, blue and floral pink.

This full length fluorescent lime green wet-suit was a bit hit and miss.

Meanwhile Jessica Wakefield’s outfit choice left a bit to be desired:

“A classic full length black suit with yellow sleeves”

Still on Jessica, her recent appearance in a crushed purple t-shirt dress had many of the fashion elite raising their eyebrows. The piece was more of a throwback to the Unicorn Club than the kind of knockout get-up we have come to expect from Jessica at the Beach Disco. Lets see Jessica’s purple t-shirt dress hall of shame:

Rivals or not, those Palisades ladies know how to dress. At least, as well as they can do on a shoestring budget!

Making mall fashion almost hip, Caitlin Alexander recently turned heads in this ensemble:

A black cotton jumpsuit with a scooped-neck white T-shirt underneath and chunky silver jewellery.

Her partner in crime Marla Daniels rocked a pair of soft, faded jeans and a burnt orange T-shirt.

Enid Rollins, meanwhile, looked her usual déclassé self recently in a midnight-blue velvet dress.

And in news just in, Amy Sutton and I will be waltzing into Friday night’s dance dressed as geisha girls, wearing elegant pale blue silk dresses and satin slippers. To complement our outfits, we are both holding beautiful, elaborately decorated Japanese masks on sticks.

Who will live, and who will die as the violence is turned up a notch over the coming days? Tune in for next week’s edition of the Oracle. It’s a scoop.

Penny Ayala and staff of The Oracle

If you mess with Lila Fowler, you get it back ten fold…SVH SUPER THRILLER: Deadly Summer

19 Aug

It’s another summer at Sweet Valley High and the Wakefield twins are solving crime at the Sweet Valley News.

The latest craze sweeping SVH, courtesy of Jessica and Lila, is the Ouija board.

But instead of using it to connect with the dead or, say, Lila’s absent mother, they use it to ask if Jessica will ever be on TV.

Elizabeth finds this extremely amusing, and says to Lila in a very condescending tone, “I don’t understand how you can waste your time on something so incredibly silly. I know Jess can be a space agent, but I thought you were smarter, Lila.”

Laugh all you want Liz. ‘Cause in about 30 books time Jessica does in fact land a role on the TV Soap “The Young and the Beautiful.”

Lila gets very pissed off and storms out of the Dairi Burger, which she is entitled to, seeing as her Ouija Board ends up being very accurate and Elizabeth is very rude to bring logic into this.

However, the ghostwriter describes Lila as “insecure” which I disagree with.

Back at Fowler Crest, Lila dreams up a devious scheme to get revenge on Liz once and for all, and Jessica agrees to go along with it, for shits and giggles.

There is lots of Lila- Jess camaraderie in this one, which I Iove. Beats Liz and Enid’s one sided friendship any day.

Continue reading

Run, don’t walk from the zombie…..Or SVH #83 “Steven’s Bride”

10 Aug

Steven Wakefield is officially a zombie. Seriously. The guy’s about to celebrate the biggest day of his life and he can’t even muster an expression. Not even a hint of joy, or fear, or god help us, a vague look of interest in the woman he’s asked to become his wife.

This is Steven’s wedding look:

You will notice, it is pretty much the same as his grieving look:

And his “fond memories” look:


This is his “oh-fuck-my-parents-are-splitting-and-I’d-better-come-home-from-college-again-to-look-after-my-sisters” look.

Notice a difference? Nope, me neither

Poor Steven. I always give him such a bad rap. But seriously – all he seems to do is come home from college, date a bunch of high school girls, and mope around after they’ve died/moved on/ failed to embody Tricia Martin’s personality despite being her doppelganger.

And this time, he goes one better. He takes the advice of stupid, stupid Jessica and agrees to marry sixteen year old Cara Walker so she doesn’t move to London with her mom.

The background is that Steve and Cara have been dating for about fifty books, which probably equates to a few months in Sweet Valley land. During this time he has dumped her – twice – for a Tricia Martin clone, treated her like shit when he’s actually trying hard at law school, and come home from college repeatedly to hang out with her and the other high schoolers at the Beach Disco.

[I will ignore the fact that ten years later he is dating Aaron Dallas, because that casts a whole new light on what he actually got up to away at SVU.]

Anyway, Cara is being her usual boring self and tells her much cooler friends – Jessica and Lila – that she is moving to London for good. Jessica feels bad for her brother, because she knows how hard he took Tricia’s death, and losing another gf would be disaster! So the logical solution, she decides, is to convince Steven to marry Cara! In the end it takes just one conversation.

Although Cara is still in high school, and he is still grieving Tricia [not to mention the fact that Billie Winkler, aka love of his life, is still twenty-five books away], Steven has this response to Jessica’s bright idea:

“Why didn’t I think of that?” he shouted. “Jess, you’re a genius!”

The next 100 pages are dedicated to keeping the secret from their parents, and convincing Liz not to blab. There are 137 scenes of Steven and Cara agonizing about the situation and planning a civil ceremony with just the two of them. I want to shake them and remind them that if there are this many misgivings, it’s probably not the right thing to do.

Then Jessica discovers that Steven has turned down a lucrative scholarship for an intensive law program at SVU. She now decides to plot against the marriage and convince Cara of all the downsides of married life. She says impressive things like, “women are still repressed by the institution of marriage” and, “you’ll probably take up cooking and knitting.” This is a little funny ‘cause when Steven and Cara are finally hitched in ‘Confidential, Cara spends about 90% of her time in the kitchen.

Jessica’s scheming rocks the very unsteady foundations of this relationship, because Cara finds her voice and jilts Steven at the altar on the day of their elopement. Oh and the Wakefields are there. Liz blabbed.

Steven, naturally, is pissed, and he waits till Cara has boarded her flight to speed to the airport and declare his undying love. He says his final goodbye, knowing they are just too young to enter in to anything like marriage.

My advice to Steven: Cut your hair. Stick around at college for one weekend. Go to a frat party. Pash and dash.

I really dislike this spineless Steven. He was sooo much better as a fourteen year old in Sweet Valley Twins. No really – that kid rocked, and generally got the better of his sisters. Of course, it takes his hook up with Billie Winkler [his housemate, during Margo’s reign] to bring out some ‘tude in Steven – and replace his Bieber locks with a style more befitting a law major. Steven and Billie forever. You can hang your hat on that.

The One Where Penny Ayala does “Blue Steel” or SVH #89, “Elizabeth Betrayed”

3 Aug

If you think this book is awesome because of the story, think again.

I personally like it for this gem of a Todd moment, when he is giving Olivia Davidson a rap for her environmental poetry:

“That is a great idea,” Todd agreed. “I wish I had some artistic or literary talent. I’d love to do something to help the rain forests!”

Baahaa. Todd is such a greenie in disguise. Helping the rainforest! It reminds me of a Todd quote from way back in SVH #1 “Double Love.”

“Besides,” said Jessica, “Who cares about saving the whales?”

Todd did, but he let the comment slide by.

Oh, Todd.

Let’s turn our attention now to Olivia Davidson, the other unwitting star of this story. Olivia suffers more than ever in this book from what I like to refer to as the “Dawn Phenomenon.” This affliction is generally seen in carefree, hippy individuals and takes its name from Dawn Schafer , who you might remember as the token Californian member of the baby sitter’s club. Girls like Dawn and Olivia Davidson prance around in floral maxi-skirts, wearing records in their hair and making sweeping declarations about organic food and the environment. They are often described as “individuals” who “don’t care what other people think”, but in reality, they do care. Lots. They can be seen spending entire books desperately seeking the attention of older boys, or wishing they were a Wakefield or a McGill. They conform by changing their hair, their clothes and their opinions.

But on to the story.

Olivia is dating a guy called Rod Sullivan, who, like everyone in Sweet Valley, only wants to talk about Elizabeth Wakefield. Olivia bites her tongue and feels pathetic while Rod goes on about Elizabeth’s journalistic genius and how wonderful it is that Liz gets to take over from Penny Ayala as Oracle editor while Penny is away on study leave. It’s really not that big a deal, but Rod, whoever he is, won’t STFU about it. He repeatedly asks Olivia if they can double date with Liz and Todd. So yeah, I can understand Olivia being pissed. But surely someone as individual as herself can pull a nobody like Rod Sullivan into line? No, she decides to pull a Dawn Schafer instead.

Olivia has to make do with editing the school poetry magazine, Visions, which is regarded as the Oracle’s pathetic little brother. She also designs a lovely poster for “Save the Planet Day” and is submitting poems to The Sweet Valley News. So why she needs the approval of Elizabeth Wakefield and Rod fucking Sullivan is beyond me.

In the B-plot, Annie Whitman cracks the shits at Jessica, because Jessica knew about Tony Esteban cheating on Annie, but said nothing. For her negligence, Annie calls her “Judas Wakefield.” Heee. It has kind of a nice ring to it.

Also, Jessica doesn’t want to offend boyfriend Sam Woodruff by telling him how much she hates his dirt bike riding, so she makes up a string of excuses to avoid going to watch him.

Lila gets her hair chemically straightened with purple streaks and Jessica avoids telling her that she looks like something out of “Night of the Living Dead.”

Ned Wakefield buys ugly meerkat statues for his parents and Alice pretends to like them.

….I’m getting the sense that the moral of this story is about honesty, or something.

A nasty illness is circling the school, and has wiped out about 1/3 of the population. We know this because unlikely buddies Todd, Winston and Scott Trost are having lunch together and the entire Oracle team is off sick. Of course, this staff burden puts a heavy weight on the shoulders of Liz, who now has to basically write and edit an entire edition of the Oracle. Deadlines, people! Life is so tough when you’re the only high school student capable of doing anything!

She cons Jess into writing a piece, and Jessica produces a well-received article about telling the truth. Rod, meanwhile, produces an excellent article which Elizabeth notes is, “vaguely like something she’d read before.” Hmm.

Later that week, Rod gets his wish for a double date, and Olivia gets all dolled up in some tie-dyed creation. Instead of complimenting his girlfriend, Rod is all, “doesn’t Liz have a dress like that?” Ass.

It gets better: While Olivia is envying Liz’s casual style of shorts and a sweatshirt, Rod tells Liz she looks like Aphrodite. Would someone kick this guy? Please?

Olivia is miffed, but can’t even stay mad when Rod drops her off. “I guess I’m just tired.” She says. Get mad, Olivia. Get fucking mad. His behaviour is not OK.

Back at school, Jessica’s article is a huge success. She decides to take her own advice and be honest. Which means being kind of a bitch, telling her mother she looks ugly, and criticizing Winston’s “boring” history speech. Lila organises a Total Honesty for Jessica Day so people can give it back. I am still perplexed as to the purpose of this B plot.

Meanwhile – Rod’s behaviour is getting ridiculous. He showers Liz with hugs and compliments, and brings her cookies. Liz really needs to put her foot down, but I guess the attention of her best friend’s bf is okay with her. Bitch.

Rod lies to Olivia and takes Liz to the Dairi Burger to help her with her English essay. Why would the top student of the school need help from a below par English student? This is all so weird!

Olivia catches them, but STILL doesn’t get angry at Elizabeth. Good God.

Elizabeth hands in her essay and Mr Collins asks to meet her IN PRIVATE after class. Woot woo, I think. I need to grow up. Someday.

Collins gives her an F, as her paper has actually been plagiarized from some literary whiz called Archie Fox. Turns out Rod was feeding her stolen ideas to get her in trouble! A betrayal!

Olivia starts ignoring Liz and Rod starts noticing Olivia.

Finally, Jessica intervenes and tells Olivia where to go. Man she rocked in these later books [Sam Woodruff was a good influence, methinks.]

Then Elizabeth discovers that the article Rod “wrote” for the Oracle was also plagiarized – from Thomas Jefferson. Which means Rod is a total evil backstabber, you guys! Rod is named and shamed in front of Collins and Liz’s essay score is upgraded from an F.

I still don’t know how this excuses Liz – it doesn’t change the fact that she copied the essay ideas Rod gave her. I guess Collins has a soft spot for the stand-in Oracle editor. Either that or a hard on.

And as for Rod – there is still no clue as to why he so badly wanted to build up Liz’s ego then bring her down like that. Something so twisted and cruel is surely more deserving of some Margo-esque scenes delving into his psyche. Or at least some rasping. But like all good villains who backstab a Wakefield – he is never heard of again.

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