the_oracle: the cover image from Double Love, classic SVH (classic)
Who's Who?
February 1990


Will the real Jessica please stand up?
 photo 62_WhosWho_zpsfqh8a0wc.png
Scheming again...


   Jessica Wakefield has a fantastic idea! She's bored with all the guys at Sweet Valley High, so a computer dating service seems like the perfect way to spice up her love life- especially when she invents two new sparkling personalities to help her out!

  Jessica becomes sophisticated Daniella Fromage and also Magenta Galaxy, a wild corker with a passion for anything hot. The two guys she gets set up with seem to be exactly what she wanted. With the reluctant help of her twin sister, Elizabeth, Jessica must somehow manage to juggle them both. Who will finally meet her perfect match- Daniella, Magenta... or Jessica?


  
  I feel like this one doesn't really even need a recap, which probably explains why it took so long to happen.* I've come across people who remember Sweet Valley for a very small handful of things:
  The cover of Double Love, the Evil Twin (occasionally the Return Of as well), tragically dead Regina, and a weird mix of The New Jessica, Daniella Fromage and Magenta freakin' Galaxy.
  Depending on how well the person knew their Sweet Valley, they either realize TNJ is a completely different book or they think it's the one where Jessica creates her weird alter egos that you just know she'd use online later on. (What, you know damn well that Jessica went by Magenta Galaxy online. Don't even try to pretend otherwise.)



   Listen up, kiddies, for the story of the birth of Magenta Freakin' Galaxy.

   We begin with the Wakefield twins shopping at the mall. In a shocking twist of events, they are shopping for a dress for Elizabeth! Stop the presses, Liz is the cause of this shopping expedition? Gasp!

   Anyway, Liz has found the perfect dress for the Valentine's dance that's coming up. For someone who is going to spend the rest of this book and the next worrying about being too boring, she's made an unusual color choice for this particular dance: blue-green that seems to shimmer back and forth between the colors. Since this is my favorite nail polish color ever, I must approve but still. You're more of a rebel than you give yourself credit for, Wakefield Twin #1.
  The only problem with the dress is that it's way too pricey and Liz can't justify the expense, so she puts it back and fails to love anything else nearly as much. To perfectly illustrate the differences between our carbon copies, Jess suggests just getting the dress because it's PERFECTION and Liz clearly loves it. Mom will totally understand once she sees Liz in the dress.
  Liz is the responsible twin, guys, and Jess is the 'impulsive bankrupt your parents in the pursuit of your own happiness' twin. Huzzah! Now that that's sorted out, let's get this A plot rolling.

   There's a new store in the mall called Lovestruck Computer Dating. They advertise "Teens Our Specialty" which sounds a million kinds of creepy, honestly. I'm not sure if that's due to all the years of L&O:SVU or what, but yeah. Anyway, Jess is thrilled because she's SO BORED by all the guys she's dated and by Elizabeth's estimates, Jessica has dated everyone at SVH. Twice over by now, probably.
  Jess pulls her twin inside and gets the scoop on how the enterprise works. Jess grabs an application for herself and then declares that her twin needs one, too. Before Liz can blow it by declaring her undying love for Todd again, Jessica pulls her away and points out that duh, of course the second application is for Jessica. Just be cool, Liz. Jess has this all figured out. Her problem with her last matchmaking company is that she filled out all the answers honestly (I... don't think that was the problem, Jess) and this time she's going to fill out the application in order to snag the kind of guy she wants.
  Because she's Jessica, she has a backup plan already in motion.

   First we have Daniella Fromage, who is the beret wearing twin on the front of the book. Daniella, in a valiant effort to overcome her last name being French for cheese, has a deep love for foreign films, modern poetry, French cuisine, and world travel. She also happens to be based a bit on Suzanne Hanlon, only less insufferable.

   Magenta Galaxy is the wild rocker who likes everything new and anything hot, including fast cars, loud dance bands, and the latest fashions- the wilder the better. She's based on Dana Larson, although I'm going to need the story of Dana dancing on a coffee counter at 4am after scarfing down a burger since that's also part of Magenta's profile.

  Liz is completely baffled as to why Jessica would bother to base these two characters on people they know (you're going to be a fun writer, aren't you, Lizzie?) and why not just give the girls real names and have the company matchmake for them. Jess scoffs at this and then Liz points out that her last go round of being someone else didn't work out so well. Jess does not wish to discuss A.J. because it's still a sore subject, even if she does realize that she's not meant to be tied down to just one guy yet. Jessica then returns the applications to the pile and makes sure that they're not together so no one sees the same address but different last names.

  Right, because that's going to be the problem they have with the names... I suppose that since they specialize in teenagers they also specialize in knowing that false names are also going to be part of the deal. Enh, it gave us Magenta Galaxy so let's roll with it.


   Not too long afterward, the twins arrive home on a Friday and find a letter waiting for Daniella Fromage. They've found her a match in Pierre Du Lac who sounds positively dreamy to Jessica. She calls Lovestruck to give them permission to let Pierre have her phone number, only Prince Albert is having none of this. When Jessica tells her Prince, repeatedly, to leave her be, the woman on the other end of the call is confused as to why she'd need help dating if she has a prince already.
  I really cannot tell you if little me found this funny or if younger me also pulled the "are you serious? Really?" sarcastic face at the thought of someone being that Amelia Bedelia about anything as a freakin' adult. :P

   And then reality comes crashing down as Jessica realizes she says she wants a guy interested in things she knows very little about and now she has to learn enough to fake it. But how? Liz suggests a crash course and of course! So Jessica makes an appointment with Suzanne Hanlon and Elizabeth is left to wonder just how wrong this whole Fromage thing is going to wind up before the end.

   Turns out that Jessica is capable of being on time if it's important enough, as she rolls up to the Hanlon house at 10am on the dot. I think we're supposed to be impressed by the Hanlon estate but really, is it Fowler Crest or Bruce's mansion or even Regina's home? No? Then no one cares. Sorry, Suzanne.

  Then Magenta gets a hit in the form of Brett S. because last names just aren't cool. So Jess gets Dana to give her a crash course in being a new kind of awesome (all in the name of true love, which I suspect Dana agrees to because Jessica's schemes have got to be legendary at SVH) and then Jess spends the rest of her week cramming as much sophistication and punk rock music into her brain as is fictionally possible. When Liz tires of hearing the Psychedelic Overtones cranked up to 11, she asks Jessica to turn the crap down but, as always, Jess can't hear her. Oh the wackiness of that setup will never get old.

   This transitions to Liz still not understanding why Jessica would go to such lengths to get a guy who isn't even going to get to know the real Jessica (there are so many punchlines here that I literally cannot choose between them, so form your own) and that NONE of this is Jessica's style.
  Jessica shoots back that maybe it could be and she'll never know if she never tries and, as always, Jessica's logic works in the moment. Then she points out that just because Elizabeth is content to never push boundaries and to know her limitations, it doesn't mean that Jessica has to feel the same way. Liz worries that maybe she is boring and a coward and the set up for The New Elizabeth is born. It's also our C-plot since Magenta and Daniella are going to be A and B in alternating form.
  To be fair, I agree that especially at sixteen, Jessica should be allowed to push her boundaries at times and that Liz is also right in that this plan is doomed to failure. But it's not because it's Jessica's plan, it's because even after learning about all these things, she has absolutely no interest in them outside of landing a guy. Also, they're all fakers but let's not get ahead of ourselves.

   Because we needed more of Jessica's crash course, we switch to Jessica studying at Lila's. Lila's upset because Jessica went to Suzanne when she wanted to learn to be sophisticated and honestly, I don't blame her. It's particularly amusing since last time she did go to Lila but I digress. Jessica tells Lila that it's because Suzanne is so snobby and over the top and that Lila is decidedly more real but the reality is that Jessica suspects that Pierre is expecting Old Money like the Hanlons and not New Money like the Fowlers. We do have partial confirmation that Lila's father is the richest man in Sweet Valley and that's even with Lila spending money like crazy.
  We're treated to Lila quizzing Jessica on such things as who painted Starry Night and who is Abbie Hoffman, both questions Jessica missed that Lila knew. I could have done with more Lila time but it wasn't meant to be.

   Friday night, date night with Pierre. Jessica panics when she realizes she has no idea how to create the perfect sophisticated look for her date. I call BS because you know damn well that Jessica would have thought to ask Lila for help with that at least, but this gives us a chance to remember that Elizabeth is a classy broad. In a matter of moments she assembles a gorgeous ensemble and even manages to nail the accessories.

  At the restaurant (Chez Sam, really?), Jessica and Pierre are smitten by how gorgeous the other is but conversation never manages to flow easily. Pierre's mistakes are pretty obvious once you've picked up on his whole being a big faker, but Jessica assumes that he's making jokes throughout the night so she doesn't realize anything is amiss, although she is a little concerned when he doesn't order from the French menu in French.
  Realizing his mistake, Pierre explains that before Jessica arrived, he and the waiter were chatting but the waiter is French Canadian and their accents are just so totally different that it was easier to order in English. I really hope kid!me howled at that the way adult me because it's priceless, truly.

  Anyway, the rest of the date goes on in much the same way but a second date is set up because hello, gorgeous, and also Pierre is a great kisser?




   Saturday we learn that the Wakefield parents aren't completely clueless as Alice inquires as to where all the weird stuff in Jessica's room came from. Weird stuff? Paratrooper outfit, young lady. Crisis is averted when Jessica says she's borrowing things from friends and then Jessica asks Liz to help her get ready again since it went so well the previous night.

  I'll buy Liz being a natural at helping Jessica dress up as Daniella, but doing the Magenta look? Really? Elizabeth Wakefield? I'm torn on this because I adore the sisterly bonding and yet... Elizabeth is probably the last person in SV I'd ask for help with a rocker look. Maybe Todd would be last, but still.

   Anyway, Jessica decides Magenta needs a blue streak in her hair and has Liz pick out a section of hair for the spray on color. Liz does (bang and an inch wide chunk on the right side of Jessica's head, so the cover's not completely accurate) and Jessica debates a pink streak as well. Liz cannot say No! fast enough and Jessica agrees that maybe too much would just be too much in this case.

  Brett S. arrives in an old brown Oldsmobile that he says is his father's and Jessica, in an attempt to be cool, says she gets that he's making a real statement with the car. She's hip, you dig?
  The go to the Rock Spot and on the way there conversation is stilted at best until Brett throws on some heavy metal which is so not Jessica's scene at all. The headache only gets worse when she realizes that there's no chance for chatting in the club and that Brett is too cool for dancing.
  Still, he looks hot in his leather jacket and that covers a multitude of sins, I guess, since this sounds like an awful date to me. When the night ends, Jessica's left with ringing in her ears and hearts in her eyes.

   Wednesday night, Jessica and Pierre go see some weird French movie that Jessica asks Pierre to explain the French idioms and he panics and points out that there will be subtitles you know. The movie bores Jessica to tears and confuses her due to the language barrier and the fact that she's clearly not drinking enough Absinthe to get the full meaning behind everything. On their way out of the theater, Jessica thinks she sees Brett but that would be crazy since he's not into this scene and she chalks it up to going a little crazy due to all the switching back and forth.

  Back to Liz, the next phase in her Be More Daring campaign (after painting her toenails red) is to sit somewhere other than her usual lunch table with Enid. Enid points out that you can't plan spontaneity and Liz sulks a bit because she's just not good at this at all.

   Our ghostie remembers that this is the plot for the following book, so we switch back to Jessica who is getting ready to go to Jax, some club where people stage dive. Jessica hopes that Brett's aversion to dancing also extends to stage diving but not to heading out to Millers Point. We never do find out how that date plays out, alas.

  Friday #3, Alice intercepts a call for Magenta. Jessica decides to have Brett call Lila and leave messages there and I think we all know how well this is going to work.

   Saturday morning, Liz tries to convince the readers and her mother that Jessica would enjoy reading A Tale of Two Cities before deciding she's off to the mall to buy that dress she wanted. Jessica, in a rare moment of awesomeness and flush with cash somehow, offered to go halfsies on the dress with her twin. Awww. Liz invites Jess to the mall, but she's probably half deaf from the night before and is still sound asleep by the time Liz has showered and gotten ready and only truly awakens when Pierre calls to invite her to dinner that night.

  Liz heads off to the mall where she sees a sign for a two-week perm. After making sure it really lasts for only two weeks, Liz decides to go for it before hitting Lisette's to pick up her dress. While there she runs into Lila who has been trying all morning to get a hold of Jessica who is either on the phone the whole time or has accidentally left it off the hook. Lila's surprised by the hair and impressed by the dress and leaves Liz to deal with the fallout of Brett having made a date with Magenta for that night.



   Uh oh.





   Liz hightails it home and suggests that Jessica just cancel one of the dates. Jessica can't because the Hershey bar ate Brett's number and Pierre is going to be out all day. Ohnoes!
  Then Jessica gets a positively brilliant idea. Hey, Liz, remember when I said you'd owe me for the dress? Time to pay up! Todd'll totally understand you flaking out the weekend before Valentine's Day but neither of my true loves will, so it's time to Twin Up. Liz points out that she has no idea how to be Magenta or Daniella and that both boys have gone on dates with Jessica and Liz will just fuck things up.

   Fear not, Jessica has that covered as well. We'll take them to the Lotus House for Chinese and you'll sit in one dining room and I'll sit in the other and every 15 minutes we'll switch places. Luckily black works for sophisticated and edgy rocker. And Jessica will curl her hair and it'll be just like Liz's perm!



  What could possibly go wrong...



   Liz, as Daniella, finds that Pierre is full of shit, not knowing where Paris is (not on the Riviera, folks) and finds him a snob despite not knowing a damn thing about things he claims to know about. She orders ginger chicken before heading off to make a phone call.

  The twins switch and Liz voices her dislike of Pierre. Jessica points out that it's like, half of one date with the dude and by the time the night's over she'll have her date for the dance and just be cool, Liz, especially since you're being Magenta now.

  Liz as Magenta finds Brett to be just as big a faker as Pierre, if not more so since even Elizabeth knows that the Stones sing Sympathy for the Devil and not the Doors. She orders ginger chicken and doesn't really bother to make an excuse when her fifteen minutes are up even though Brett is trying to tell her something important as their dinner arrives.

   We follow Jessica back to Brett and she flips out when she realizes she's still wearing Daniella's watch. Honey, at this point I don't think Brett's gonna notice a watch. She takes a bite out of her dinner and nearly gags as apparently the twins do not agree on ginger. Still, she forces herself to shovel the food in because it's easier than making small talk, or something.
  When Brett works up the nerve to have his heart to heart with Magenta, Jessica runs off to the bathroom again. I kind of love her for not even thinking of being embarrassed about the fact that she's run to the bathroom three times in the last hour, leaving her date to probably think she's got some issue or another. Seriously, the thought does not cross her mind til much, much later.

   Back in the bathroom, Elizabeth has had enough of Pierre's bullshit and calls him on being a big faker. Considering she's pretending to be her twin who is pretending to be someone else, I'd say she's kind of lacking a leg to stand on but whatever. Jessica's ticked and heads off to make nice with Pierre, which leaves Liz to ruin things with Brett, too. The night with Pierre ends shortly after dinner and Jessica gets home before Elizabeth does.

  Liz somehow manages to be humiliated by all this which is something I sort of understand and sort of don't. These guys don't know she exists, so why would she care if they thought Magenta/Daniella was... I don't even follow the logic since she's the one calling people out on their lies. All she had to do was order a dinner she liked and pretend to care for fifteen minutes at a time. I get horribly bad secondhand embarrassment for people (real and fictional) and I've got some fantastic social anxiety going on but this? This sounds pretty simple, at least for the dinner portion.

   Anyway, the twins blow up at one another and Liz tells Jessica she's better off without the faking fakers and Jessica points out that this was not Elizabeth's decision to make. She's allowed to voice her opinion, but she doesn't get to decide who Jessica dates simply because she doesn't like them.
  The twins sleep it off and for once, Jessica is up and at 'em before Liz is in the morning. Jessica heads down to the tennis courts where she burns off her anger playing a set with Cara. While there she runs into a cute guy named Tony and realizes that when you have the choice between being Jessica Wakefield or being anyone else, duh, you choose Jessica Wakefield every time.

   Unfortunately back at home, Liz feels bad about ruining her sister's dates so she proves she's inept at plotting by calling both boys and having them come by the house at... the same time? She waits impatiently for Jess to come home but Jess doesn't make it home until just before Pierre arrives. Whoops. Liz disappears and Jess is ticked. They retire to the living room where Pierre confesses that his name is Pete and he's not at all like the guy he was pretending to be. Before Jessica can respond, the doorbell rings and Brett arrives.
  Turns out he's more like Pierre than rocker dude, and Jessica is once more interrupted by the doorbell. Suzanne and Dana have arrived together (but apart) because Jessica told them they could pick up their stuff that afternoon. Jessica storms upstairs to murder her twin but decides the homicide will have to wait after she realizes that maybe this madcap adventure was always doomed to failure. When she returns downstairs, she can't find anyone.

   The foursome is out on the patio by the pool and they've broken up into couples, with Dana chatting Pete up and Brett and Suzanne hitting it off. The newly minted couples drift off, leaving Jessica to get away with her lies mostly scott free.

   We end the book with Liz getting ready for the Valentine's Day Dance and people reacting to her permed hair with various shades of surprise and disbelief that the sensible twin wants to be more rebellious. Todd completely dismisses Elizabeth's feelings which is a bit unusual for old Todd, but Todd-with-money is a bit of an ass. I've always kind of felt that he went to Vermont and aliens took over his body. Anyway, Liz is determined to show everyone that Jessica isn't the only Wakefield with nerve.



Trivia Crack:

  • Lovestruck Computer Dating: Teens Our Specialty

  • As part of their opening promotion, Lovestruck is only charging $5 per application.

  • The receptionist at LS is a redhead.

  • Once a match is made, the girl gives LS permission to give her phone number to the guy, at least that's how it worked for Magenta and Daniella.

  • Daniella Fromage is an intellectual who loves foreign films, modern poetry, French cuisine, and world travel. Jessica gives her the barest hint of an accent and uses a throatier voice for her. "A meaningful conversation in front of a crackling fire, with an opera on the stereo" is her idea of the perfect evening.

  • Magenta Galaxy, on the other hand, is a wild rocker whose passions are everything new and anything hot. She likes fast cars, loud dance bands, and the latest fashions-the wilder, the better. Her perfect evening? Cruising the hippest music clubs in L.A. and ending the evening in a coffee shop at four in the morning, eating hamburgers and dancing on the counter top. She's got a royal blue streak in her bangs and an inch wide on the right side of her head. She also is prone to giant bangle bracelets.

  • Jessica still gets upset when forced to think about the breakup with A.J. This makes my little 'shipper heart absurdly happy.

  • The book takes place about a month before Valentine's Day since we cycle through at least three weekends.

  • Friday afternoon (two days after she signs up) Daniella has a match in Pierre Du Lac.

  • Pierre Du Lac was born in France and spent his childhood going back and forth between the Riviera and Paris, has traveled extensively "on the Continent and in Europe" (silly boy, it's the same thing), speaks four languages, plans to be a novelist or a museum curator, plays the piano, loves jogging and sailing, and his favorite foods are truffles and foie gras.

  • Pierre is tall and slim, with a "narrow and sensitive" face, light brown hair, dark lashes, bright blue eyes, is tanned, and has dimples when he smiles.

  • Prince Albert is so excited to see Jessica that he demands a hug before he'll leave her alone.

  • Jessica's appointment with Suzanne is at the Hanlon's home at 10am and she's on time.

  • Mason is the Hanlon's gloomy looking butler. I imagine living with Suzanne and her parents has probably sucked the joy from him.

  • Suzanne is in PBA with Jessica, something I forget.

  • The Hanlons have a solarium and have vacationed in Italy. They also have the albums, not scrapbooks, of photographs to prove it.

  • Suzanne lends Jessica a Neiman-Marcus shopping bag with several silk blouses, 2 Chanel purses, two designer scarves, a pair of Gucci shoes, and several accessories.

  • As of this book, Liz is still practicing her recorder.

  • Chez Sam is in Pacific Shores and their menus are all in French. No English for you.

  • Jessica knows that thon is French for tuna fish, so she orders thon aux herbes so she doesn't accidentally wind up eating calves' brains or something equally disgusting. Pierre follows suit.

  • Pierre claims he ordered in English because the waiter was French Canadian and their accents were just too different, so English was easier.

  • Brett S. wants to be a race car driver or a rock guitarist, or maybe both. He believes in "living life to the max." He says he's tall, dark, and wild and likes his girls to be tall, blond, and wild. He drives his father's old brown Oldsmobile. He's tall and lean with golden brown eyes, dark brown hair, a strong jaw, high cheekbones, and a black leather jacket he apparently wears the hell out of. He shows up to their first date wearing said jacket, a white t-shirt, skintight black jeans, and black motorcycle boots, as well as dark sunglasses. (Sunglasses at Night. I did not realize one could do duck lips while singing but hey, the 80's were a progressive time)

  • Since when is 5'6" for a girl considered tall?

  • Jess imagines that Brett will be tall and lanky with a leather jacket, swept back black hair, piercing dark eyes, and a "very kissable mouth."

  • Jessica admits that she admires Dana for her style and envies her ability to get up in front of crowds and sing with The Droids.

  • Brett calls Magenta at 4pm Sunday, has just the sort of voice Jessica imagined: cool, sulky, and sexy. Because... sulky is sexy?

  • Brett is taking Magenta to the Rock Spot (located outside of the Valley) at 8pm Saturday night. X-Press is playing.

  • Dana brings a tape deck to her crash course with Jessica in the cafeteria at SVH.

  • Dana agrees because Jessica claims it's True Love.

  • Various bands mentioned during the Magenta storyline: Blues Hogs (too derivitive according to Brett), Psychedelic Overtones, X-Press, the Beatles, the Doors, and the Rolling Stones.

  • Jumping Jimmy's showcases new talent every Thursday night.

  • Jessica has taped maps of Europe and pictures of French paintings all over her walls during this.

  • Jessica is also the one who inadvertently prompts The New Elizabeth when she points out that while she might fly too close to the sun, Elizabeth never even thinks of getting off the ground.

  • Elizabeth's first act of being less predictable? She writes DARE TO BE DIFFERENT in her journal.

  • Lila's housekeeper is still Eva.

  • Lila is upset that Jessica went to Suzanne Hanlon instead of coming her to her for her sophistication crash course.

  • Jessica claims it's because Lila is more real than Suzanne is, but it's really because Suzanne is Old Money and Lila is very much New Money.

  • Lila has a pink upholstered chair in her room, but both girls hang out on her canopy bed for their study session.

  • Quiz questions include: What is an aubergine? (eggplant), Who is the conductor of The Academy of St. Martin in the Fields? (it's chamber music and Sir Neville Marriner is), Who painted Starry Night (Jessica initially guesses Renoir), Who is Abbie Hoffman (Jessica guesses the lead guitarist for the Dead and then files him under "dead Hippie"), and Where's the best place to buy vintage records in Sweet Valley? (Tune Town on Fifth Street)

  • Lila asks about David Hockney but he's not on Jessica's list so she has no time. Lila points out that if she's asked, she can't say that but Jessica's not worried.

  • Liz comforts herself with the notion that she can always order ginger ale instead of root beer, but also admits this is pretty lame as far as being different goes. (It really, really is, Liz. Root beer is the superior choice in this case and dammit, now I want some.)

  • Jessica splits the cost of the dress Elizabeth wants from Lisette's. Aww.

  • Le Chou Farci is the most expensive restaurant in town and Suzanne claims her family eats there at least once a week.

  • When Daniella says she wants to "drown myself in the dance", Pierre asks which dance. Jessica is puzzled because The Dance is ballet.

  • Pierre also thinks Fellini is pasta, but Jessica is sure he's joking.

  • Pierre claims to love Verdet's poetry as well as Baroness Rolfenhausen, who is better known in Europe than in America. Or y'know, is fictional.

  • Their next date is set for the Odeon, Sweet Valley's revival movie theater, Wednesday evening.

  • Jessica wants Pierre to kiss her hand and both cheeks because "It would be so European." She still practically swoons when he just kisses her on the lips.

  • Liz and Todd bailed on their lame movie and after Todd leaves, Elizabeth decides to paint her toenails red as another step in the direction of Different.

  • Alice wonders where the strange things like the paratrooper outfit and the black rubber and clear plastic necklace in Jessica's room have come from.

  • Jessica hates heavy metal.

  • Brett claims he comes to the club to hear the music and that dancing ruins that.

  • On her way out the door to the movie from hell with Pierre, Jessica notices a strand of blue left in her hair, so she yanks it out.

  • Pierre confuses Ingrid Bergman with Ingmar Bergman.

  • Brett is at the movie from hell.

  • Liz and Enid always sit at a table in the middle of the lunchroom with a bunch of their friends.

  • Brett takes Magenta to Jax which is one of those places where people throw themselves off the stage.

  • Jessica trims her own split ends.

  • Liz finishes A Tale of Two Cities and thinks Jessica would like it. Alice and I remain skeptical.

  • Sheer Glamour is running a Two Week Perm for $20 special.

  • Pierre is set to pick Daniella up at 6pm and Brett is picking Magenta up at 6:15.

  • Brett calls Lila to set up a date for Magenta at 11:15am, and Lila spends the morning calling the Wakefields but can't get through because Jessica is on the line each time Lila calls.

  • Lila runs into Liz at Lisette's and tells her about the date.

  • Lotus House is a large Chinese restaurant with two dining rooms, thus enabling the switching back and forth. It's on Fremont Blvd, just past the Bank of California.

  • Pierre is on a San Fransisco kick, saying they have the best Chinese food outside the People's Republic, of course. He also waxes poetic about their theater, exhibits, "that sort of thing." Liz, as Daniella, is not impressed.

  • When pressed, Pierre says his last exhibit was on Greek pottery, but it wasn't as good as anything at the Louvre. Liz thinks he's just name dropping now.

  • Liz happens to be at the table during the ordering portion of both dates and she orders ginger chicken both times.

  • Jessica hates ginger and wishes Liz got something normal like moo shu pork.

  • Liz judges Brett for ordering sweet and sour pork since it's not all that exciting. She'd probably hate my orders then.

  • Brett stumbles and attributes Sympathy for the Devil to the Doors and not the Stones. Even Liz knows he's wrong, but give him another four/five years and he just might not have known it was a cover. Then again, I'm guessing he wouldn't know who Guns N' Roses are either.

  • Tony Mangino is 5'10" (he's described as four inches taller than Jess) with straight blond hair, blue eyes, a dimple in his chin, and is supposed to be really cute. He's also smart enough to not tell Jessica that she plays well for a girl but that she plays well for anyone. He's Jessica's date for the Valentine's Dance.

  • Jessica leaves Pete Lake (in his black jeans and black t-shirt) in the living room when she answers the door.

  • Brett gets left in the den and he shows up wearing a bright blue polo shirt, chinos, and brown boat shoes. He and Suzanne are both going to the Altschuler Gallery that afternoon.





Quotes:
"I'm telling you, Liz. The boys around here are so immature it makes me want to join a convent sometimes."
"The junior and senior boys would have to proclaim a national day of mourning if you did that." - Jess and Liz know how to open a story, page 1.

She tried not to ogle the fine antiques and lavishly decorated rooms as she followed Mason through the house. She knew it wasn't classy to ogle. - Oh, Jess. page 19

"Listen, Jess, don't you think it's kind of useless, all this studying you're doing? You're trying to turn yourself into something you're not."
"I'm not yet, but I could be," her twin insisted in a confident voice. "Why shouldn't I go for something I want? You never get anything if you don't take a chance." - For once Jessica makes sense, page 33

"For your information," Lila said, "Abbie Hoffman was that sixties radical hippie who died in 1989. Even I know that."
Jessica looked at the ceiling. "OK, OK. Abbie Hoffman, dead hippie." - page 42

She knew the French ate some pretty horrible things, but she wasn't willing to be that sophisticated. - Jessica draws the lines at calves' brains, page 52

For the time being, though, Magenta was going to going to listen to the music and enjoy it, even if Jessica had to go deaf doing it! - page 70

"You look awfully pretty, Jess," her father said as he passed her in the hall. "I hope I didn't have to pay for that outfit, though." page 73

"First of all," Enid began, "you can't plan to be more spontaneous. That's a contradiction in terms." - You tell her, Enid. page 78

Jessica and Lila were always involving each other in their crazy schemes. Their whole friendship seemed to be built on mutual plots and subterfuges. - Precisely. page 83

"Speaking of Jessica, where is she?" Mrs. Wakefield asked. "Sleeping?"
Elizabeth smiled. "Remember, she needs her beauty sleep, Mom."
"At this rate, she'll be the most beautiful girl in the world." - page 85

"It's her problem, not yours."
At that, Elizabeth let out a short, sarcastic laugh. "Lila, Jessica's problems always have a way of turning into my problems." - Liz knows what's what, page 92

Jessica crossed her arms. "I figured out what to do about tonight."
"That's good," Elizabeth replied. A little crease of uncertainty appeared in her forehead. "What are you going to do?"
"You mean, what are we going to do," Jessica corrected her.
Elizabeth whirled around to face her twin. "What are you talking about?" Her heart began pounding.
Jessica walked over and stood next to Elizabeth. Their identical images looked back at them from the mirror. "We've done it before," Jessica said softly. - This is the set up to an entirely different kind of story, I suspect. page 98

"What were you and Brett talking about, just so I know?"
"Oh, classic rock 'n' roll. The Beatles, you know. All those ancient bands." - Liz and Jessica making people feel old since forever. Page 110.

What's going on? she wondered. First Pierre thinks Paris on the Riviera, and now Brett mixes up classic songs even I know about! -Liz, page 113


Fashion File:
The strapless dress was made of a shimmery fabric that looked blue from one angle and green from another. - Liz's Valentine's dress from Lisette's.

Dana looked down at her wrists. She was wearing four thick black bangles on each arm. They went perfectly with her skintight black pants, black and white-checked shoes, and lime green T-shirt. In one ear she wore a guitar pick dangling from a silver wire. - The 80's-ness of this, it burns! page 30

Daniella wears a cream colored silk blouse, navy blue linen pants with a silk scarf in red, blue, and gold artfully tied over the shirt. She opts for Suzanne's little red bag and her own blue suede flats complete the look. Her hair is "pulled back neatly and clipped with a wide gold barrette." pages 44 and 50.
For her outfit, she had chosen tight black bicycle pants, a black tank top, and a red leather jacket she had borrowed from Lila. Almost anything from Dana's collection would look right with the ensemble.
"The guitar pick earring, definitely," Elizabeth said. "And those black bangles." - Magenta's first outfit, page 64

She glanced at her reflection in the hall mirror. The blue jacket and white linen skirt were two more items borrowed from Suzanne.
She turned her head from side to side to admire her borrowed pearl stud earrings. - page 73

On Thursday night Jessica had another blue streak in her hair. She wriggled into a blue strapless minidress and fastened a necklace of dice and tiddlywinks around her neck. In among the clicking pieces were Scrabble tiles that spelled out "Hard Rock." - Jessica completes this look with a side ponytail on the right side of her head, page 79



The French movie that probably haunted everyone who read this: "As far as Jessica could tell, all the characters believed they were in purgatory, though to her it looked just like a doctor's waiting room. Every once in a while a nurse would call someone's name, and that person would look shocked and begin talking morosely about his childhood. Then the scene would switch to someone's apartment, and the characters would begin to talk about opera and the family's cheese-making factory. It didn't make any sense at all!

To make matters worse, every once in awhile a little red ball would roll across whatever room the characters were in. No one in the film seemed to notice it. Jessica didn't have the slightest idea what it was supposed to symbolize, but she knew she had to have an opinion by the time the film was over."


 photo whoswho_eng_zpslg7x26zg.png




   Who's Who? is a fun read. I particularly love the bits of twin bonding between Liz and Jessica, like when Jessica gives Liz the money for the dress and how Liz helps Jessica get ready for her dates. It's sweet and it's why I love to read the SV books, honestly. I have sister envy something fierce and WW definitely feeds right into that.
  Magenta Galaxy is definitely worth remembering and was definitely ahead of her time. :p The B/C plot is a bit weird since it's all a set up for the next book but really, this book couldn't handle anything too heavy plot wise since there's a lot of crazy going on with the Daniella/Magenta antics. I do find it funny that only one person matched up for both personalities but hey, let's not pick too much at this book. It's what, 25 years old?

   And now you feel old, too, so my job here is done! And looking back on this, holy crap, this is long. It feels like it's longer than the book itself. Oops. Sorry about that. Maybe it'll make up for the three year absence? Cover wise, am I the only one getting Geena Davis vibes from Jess/Magenta?

Many thanks to [livejournal.com profile] luxken27 for the scan of the original book cover. Also, happy belated birthday!









*- Or, y'know, not. I moved twice in the last two years and there was the year of having to pack prior to the first move (you live somewhere for 15 years, you accumulate a lot of crap. Double that when someone finds all the crap you never unpacked from the previous house where your family lived for like, 30/40 years. A LOT of those things were books and for awhile there I couldn't stand to LOOK at another book, let alone do anything with them. Throw in a few waltzes with death and general fuckery and here we are. No evil twins, however. Not that I'm aware of anyway...
the_oracle: (gasp!)
Kidnapped!
weird, my copy says April 1984, but given that we know that's wrong, we'll say November, 1984

  Elizabeth's nightmare is about to begin...

  A living nightmare...


   Elizabeth Wakefield never imagined that her evening of volunteer work at Sweet Valley's hospital would turn into the most horrifying night of her life. But when a strong hand clamps a chloroformed rag over her mouth and she is pulled from her car, Elizabeth's hellish ordeal begins.
   When she regains consciousness, Elizabeth finds herself tied to a chair in an isolated shack. She has been kidnapped-by Carl, a lonely and disturbed orderly from the hospital. Elizabeth doesn't know what Carl wants from her, but it's clear he's on the brink of insanity. Somehow Elizabeth must escape-before it's too late!


  If you don't know what Kidnapped! is about, you're either incredibly new to the Valley or you're an idiot. It tells you in the title, the cover makes it obvious which twin gets 'napped and everything else is on the back cover. But really, all you need to know, you learned last go round anyway. Carl, the creepy custodian, kidnaps Elizabeth because he likes her. He thoughtfully prepared his van with a mattress in the back so she'd be comfy as he escorted her to the run down section of town [hey, any bets on whether the Martins live close by?] and this is pretty much where we'll meet up with Liz. Later.

  The book actually begins with a cute little scene between Steven and Jessica, both getting ready for their evenings out. Steve has a date with Tricia, his tragically ill girlfriend, and Jessica is going to a party at the Morrows' mansion. So yes, this book picks up as soon as the last one left off. This is starting to become a pattern. Steve zips Jessica's dress up and they chat a bit. Jessica bites her tongue about Tricia, seeing as she's dying and all, and Steve does his best to convince her that maybe she'll be a little chilly in her outfit, seeing as it's so low cut and all. He also offers her a ride to the party, but Jess says she's waiting for Liz who'll be home at eight, so they can go together. Twins making a bigger splash than two pretty blondes arriving separately, I suppose.
  However, Jess sucks at waiting. She picks out an outfit for Liz, to help speed her sister along when she finally gets home. She paces and freaks out by ten 'til eight, and calls Cara to pick her up. That's right. She can't even wait ten more minutes, less if you consider that Cara had to take at least two minutes to drive over. Sigh. Jess leaves Elizabeth a note on the fridge, and heads off to party.
  Introducing the Morrows. We have Kurt and Skye.Tall, dark, and gorgeous would describe them both. They dash out on their way to their own party, and then we meet Regina. At first, Cara and Jessica don't know anything is wrong. That is, until Regina repeatedly ignores anything Jessica says. Jess is a little upset. Why is the new girl being such an unbelievable bitch? Then Regina trips, and instead of figuring that high heels plus a new house might equal a bit of a problem, Jess assumes Regina's drunk. She taps the girl on the shoulder and asks where the booze is. Naturally, with Regina facing Jessica, she's able to read Jessica's lips and tells the blond that this ain't that kind of party. Regina then offers them the non-alcoholic goodies and explains that she's deaf. She can lip read and is all sorts of other fabulous though, so don't worry. Nicholas descends upon the party and he and Jessica immediately begin chatting. Turns out that Nicholas pretty much adores his little sister and when he thinks Jessica is pitying her, he's a bit of a jerk. Jessica points out that with Regina's good looks and obvious fearlessness, the girl is someone to be reckoned with, so pity is so not the word for her. And thus Jessica spends the rest of the night with Nicholas, chatting away.

  Let's switch back to Liz who comes to, briefly, and wonders what the hell is going on. It takes her a minute to remember that she's been kidnapped, but she can't remember who did it. She passes out again, because she's a drama queen. Or maybe the chloroform is that strong. Dunno.
  Todd notices that Liz isn't at the party, so he goes to ask Jess about the whereabouts of her twin. Jess lies and says, "Oh, didn't Liz call and tell you? She's babysitting for Collins tonight." Like hell. Todd figures that if anyone would be worried about Liz, it would be Jessica, so he wanders off to do whatever it is Todds do when not part of Elizabeth+Todd. Thing is, eventually Todd realizes that Elizabeth would have called him [not like, say, when she went off with Todd and didn't tell Collins about the change, right, Toddy?] and he was home all night before the party... So he goes to call her at Collins' place. Mr. C answers and Todd is confused. They have a bit of a moment and then Todd stalks off towards Jessica. He's ticked because Liz is not the sort of girl to be late without letting people know, and when he finds Jessica poolside with Nicholas, and she tries to blow him off again, he shoves her in the pool. Nicholas freaks out and just before he can have Todd kicked off the premises, Todd gets it through Jessica's thick skull that something is WRONG. Jessica flashes back to the last time she screwed Liz over and recalls that the Fiat is a fussy machine, and maybe Liz is stranded somewhere. So off they run to the nearest phone to call home.

  Liz, however, is still stuck with Carl. She's at his home, tied to a chair, and unhappy about it all. In record time, she convinces him to take off her gag and she screams bloody blue murder. He clamps his hand over her mouth and explains that this was so not cool. Again she convinces him that she'll be good and won't do that again. She was just afraid and startled and stuff, y'know? Kidnapping being a little new to her and all. In her infinite wisdom, Liz decides she'll have him untie her and as soon as he's done that, she'll make a break for it. Which sort of works, only she didn't count on Carl having an enclosed porch. Who knew shacks had them? Certainly not worldly wise Elizabeth. Carl grabs her and their moment together is gone. He ties her back up and he goes to sleep in his room.
  Now, I'm not sure whether it's fair to find fault with her plot to run away or not. On the one hand, you want to get out immediately. On the other hand, you should have some freakin' idea of your escape plan beyond, "Well, I escape. That's my plan." Then there's the prospect of sleeping arrangements. If she's not tied up, would Carl expect her to sleep with him, even if it is just sleeping? Or would he be foolish enough to trust her in the living room? Rather than find out, she bolts and it doesn't pay off.
  The next morning, Carl gives her cardboard tasting pancakes because he overheard her telling their boss she loves her mother's pancakes. Sweet, if only not a kidnapper, eh? Liz is shocked that he's going in to work. He points out that he doesn't have a phone so he can't call out, and besides, he's not stupid. If he doesn't show, they'll know something is up. God, get with the program, Lizzie. However, he does have a gift for her. Three books, to be precise. One's a book on investing, one's a bedtime storybook, and the other is a book on raising farm animals. Turns out Carl can't read, so he just grabbed the first ones he saw.
  Liz doesn't even bother to try and read the most promising of the bunch [hello, bedtime stories!] and instead freaks out the whole day. Uh...huh. Cuz that helps so very, very much.

   Now, I should point out, there is one other little problem here. Liz was running late because she had to tutor Max Dellon. When Liz never shows up, Max takes off and goes to look for her. He heads right for the hospital and sees her car. He's ticked. If she had to work late, she should have called. He kicks one of the tires before he realizes that there's a scarf on the ground, the car door is ajar, and Elizabeth's sweater is on the front seat. Something is seriously up. Instead of calling the cops, he breaks into the glove compartment for "clues." Dude, you have to break in, the kidnapper didn't do a damn thing in the car, okay? Leave their stuff alone. Before common sense can pass that message along, the police bust Max. Turns out he'd already run into one of the cops a couple of nights before after a late night with the Droids and a munchies run. The cop stopped him for "suspicious behavior" and Max copped serious attitude. That bites him on the ass and they haul him off to jail for attempting to steal the Fiat.
  Also worth mentioning, the Wakefields [Ned and Alice] return from their party and they're feeling a bit frisky. Alice notices Jessica's note on the fridge and starts to worry. Ned points out that Liz might not have seen it at all because it's a stupid place for a note when Liz was going to just come home to change. Alice agrees, but ever since Elizabeth's accident, she's been secretly Mom-spying on Liz and usually knows where Liz is at any given time of the day. [So do you. At school, at the Oracle office, at the hospital, out with Toddy, probably at the beach or the Dairi Burger, or home, with the occasional mall stop or Oracle research/library, thrown in for good measure. It ain't that difficult.] She's not doing well with this obvious glitch in the system, but when Jessica calls home looking for Liz, she falls apart. Despite a search party, no one can find Liz. The next day doesn't help much either, but Jess does talk to Nicholas who stops by to see how she is and to share a story of sibling guilt.
  It seems that when he was ten and Regina eight, their parents foolishly left him in charge of her one day on vacation. They were firmly in their "I hate you//I hate you more!" phase, so this makes absolutely no sense. My parents wouldn't leave me in charge of my little brother until we were both well old enough to know that juvie would be our best option, and prison would be more likely if we managed to make good on our threats to kill one another. Seriously, we had a babysitter when I was 13, that's how bad things could be. I was a babysitter by then, too. Go figure. Anyway. The two go their separate ways, the loft catches on fire, and Nicholas runs out without even thinking to grab Regina. He won't go back inside and he's sure she was inside and that he's killed her. He's also sure his parents blame him and oh, the angst. Jess says that it's lovely he tried to cheer her up, but fairytales aren't cutting it. He points out that he just shared some serious angst and it wasn't a fairytale for him. She then says that it's obvious Regina lived, seeing as she's met the girl, and Nicholas says yes, she'd managed to sneak out while he was busy ignoring her. Jess is a bit of a bitch and cries, "Yeah, she came back! I may never see my sister again!" and collapses into a tear filled heap. Um, drama queen, table for one.
  After work, Carl brings Liz a lovely sweater of blue to match her eyes. Liz is thinking, "SCORE!" because she's sure that he bought it from the hospital gift shop. Way to assume he has no life outside the hospital and his dreary little home, Liz. Real nice. *cough* Nope, he bought it elsewhere because he's not an idiot... idiot. Liz despairs further when Carl says he's taking her away to the mountains, where she won't be tied up because she won't be able to escape anyway. They're leaving tomorrow. Yay!
  So. Monday brings us no closer to finding Elizabeth, but the high school kids are at school. I cannot see Alice letting Jessica walk out the front door, myself, but maybe I lack vision. Or maybe this is one of those things you just aren't supposed to think about. OR, maybe, it's in some hope of finding normalcy. I don't really know. Todd's there as well, and he walks to the cluster of the In crowd [Lila, Cara, you know the drill] and Lila has a theory. It must be bunnies! Max did it, obviously. He was missing for part of Saturday and so was Liz, obviously, and the cops did bust him in her car, so two and two must equal world's dumbest kidnapper. Duh. Todd mulls this over all day, despite sticking up for Max initially.
  Max, by the way, is having an incredibly shitty day. He had to spend all of Sunday studying Othello and considering he couldn't even begin to decipher Shakespeare two days ago, he's not exactly feeling like he's going to pass Collins' test at the end of the day. If he doesn't, he'll have to go to summer school and he has to quit music cold turkey. Great plan, Dellons. Great, great plan. Anyway, Collins calls Max to the front and Max assumes that Collins, like half the school, assumes he had something to do with Liz's disappearance. Collins doesn't, because it just doesn't make any sense, and SV isn't the sort of place where crazy just happens. Nope, there must be a reason. Right?
  Nope, Collins wants to offer Max an extension. Max blows him off and then kicks himself for it almost immediately. Still, he feels relatively confident that he's actually managed to comprehend the Bard. Who knew?
  After class, he's walking along, minding his own business, when Todd comes up to him and asks for a more thorough explanation of what the hell happened Saturday. Max says he doesn't know, but he really wishes Liz would turn up, especially given how much trouble the girl has gotten him into. Todd freaks the hell out and punches the guy. Jess interrupts and tells Todd that he's behaving totally irrationally and out of character. Uh, no. No, Todd has anger management issues and we've already been through this. Hell, he shoved you in a pool earlier, fulfilling many a fantasy, but still. The dude's not exactly all calm and rational when around either Wakefield, or when they come up in conversation.
  Somehow, the trio decide that since the police are sure that Liz is a runaway and thus there's little point in investigating further, that they will just have to do the sleuthing. So off they race to the hospital. Where nothing, nothing, nothing happens until Max heads up to the third floor. He's about to go talk to a custodian [hi, Carl!] when Carl sees Jessica and flips out. "Elizabeth! What are you doing not being kidnapped!" he all but yells as he runs towards her and then smashes her against the wall. Max tackles him and Jess wonders how Carl could not know that Liz has a twin. How rude, right? Right. Blah, blah, the cops are called, they haul him away and Carl is sad because his love, his Liz, is not Liz, but instead her evil twin. Jess goes with the cops to pick Liz up and upon being rescued, Liz declares she'd like to bathe, eat, sleep, and plan a party celebrating her rescue. Aw.
  The book ends with Liz opening the door at the party, and Nicholas Morrow is there. He's obviously smitten with her, and Liz is a bit worried about this. Note that next book, the tone of this little exchange totally changes.

Trivia!

  • Steve has a plaid comforter and his own tiny bathroom.

  • Steve is 6'1", for those of you playing along at home.

  • Nicholas Morrow grew up in Boston, except that part where he went to an exclusive boarding school in Connecticut, that he graduated from in June. He's taking the year off to study his father's business.

  • Cara and Jessica subscribe to the theory that thou shalt not chase after one another's boy toys. This might explain why Cara and Jess are never as explosively competitive as Lila and Jessica are, eh? Even more surprising, this book claims that they actually adhere to that commandment.

  • Max Dellon is a horrible student, and as he has no interest in school, he's just coasting/failing. But the only teacher who actually calls his parents? Mr. Collins. For shame, everyone else. For. Shame.

  • Max and Guy Chesney starting jamming *snort* together two years ago. At first they'd play Saturday mornings, which would then extend to Sunday mornings, and slowly they acquired Dan Scott, Emily, and Dana. Thus The Droids were born.

  • Evidently, Caroline has a thing for Winston. Poor Win.

  • Nicholas is shorter than Todd by several inches. This could partially explain why Nich has such a problem with Todd. That and Todd keeps trying to assault Jessica in Nicholas' house the first time they meet. Hrm.

  • Ned Wakefield calls Jessica "princess." Hee!

  • Elizabeth is an idiot. She assumes that Jessica was the first person to notice she was missing, and was so worried that she probably missed the party and began the search immediately. Jessica? Miss a party where an eligible rich boy was first appearing? Have you lost your damn mind, woman?

  • Liz wants to spend her first five hours as a free woman in the bath, or at least that's what she's thinking by day two of her ordeal.

  • For their 13th birthday, Jessica gave Elizabeth a bright yellow sweater. Liz wasn't all that fond of the brightness, but it was a gift, so she dealt. Thing is, Jessica borrowed it so much that it became apparent that Jessica didn't give a flying fig about Liz's feelings on the matter and instead, she essentially bought herself a gift. To retaliate, Liz shrinks the sweater, but puts it back in her drawer as if nothing is wrong. When Jess finds out what happened, she flips out and pillow world war 1 erupts. We know this because Liz concentrates on this story as a way to stay sane while Carl is away.

  • Carl lives at the end of St. James Avenue, in the bad part of town. Still, the dude does have a porch, so that should count for something.

  • Also, apparently 5'6" is considered tall, as one of the twins is described as such at the end of the book. ...Right.



Quotable Sweet Valley:

"I'm ready," Cara said with a trace of wistfulness. "Maybe this time I'll find someone who wants me." Poor Cara. p16

"Look, it's not my fault my stupid brother can't see how good you'd be for him. Maybe after Tricia dies, you two could start over again."
"Jessica, that's morbid!"
"No, that's life, Cara," Jessica said matter-of-factly. "We all know she's going to die, and afterward my poor brother is going to need someone to help him pick up the pieces. It might as well be you." Jessica is, oddly enough, a realist at times. p17


Cara didn't bother to respond. She knew Jessica was like the Royal Canadian Mounted Police-she always got her man. p18



  Kidnapped isn't so bad to re-read. It has it's moments of wait, what? But it's also a bit unusual as we don't really get to see Steve and Jessica interact without Liz there to keep the peace, and this go round they don't even need that. We also don't normally see Ned and Alice without the kids and it's a bit jarring, but hey, they should have lives outside of being parents... Though some might say that it's kind of obvious, given how often they go out to parties and dinner and leave their kids to fend for themselves. Hell, Sundays the twins are supposed to hunt and gather their own meals. I'd forgotten this tidbit, as the Wakefields are always presented as this kind of family you expect to sit down and chat over Sunday dinner, even if they don't attend church, y'know?
  Speaking of the Wakefields, I'd also forgotten that they're a little worried about Liz and Todd, especially how serious the couple is about one another. Towards the end of the book, Alice walks by and sees the couple making out and it's not so much the kissing and groping that bother Alice, but the intensity behind it. If Todd were just a fling, she wouldn't worry so, but he isn't, so I guess she's worried that Liz is gonna sleep with Todd. Trust us, A, that ain't gonna happen, no matter what anyone hopes to the contrary. Kind of funny, and easily mockable, but in the context of the book, it works, somehow.
  Lastly, we have Carl. I always envisioned Carl to be older than the 25-ish we're given. I always tacked on another ten years, because 25 seemed too young, too close to Mr. Collins [and Ms. Dalton] and it seemed weirder that way. Also, how many 25 year olds do you know who just want to occasionally pet some girl's hair, when they've been obsessing? Of course, I suppose you could say the same of a 35 year old. Someone was stunted in their development, which I guess is best for Liz. Don't want to darken the series too much, too soon. I kinda felt bad for Carl, but you don't just go around kidnapping pretty people, even if the cops don't seem to care. Nor do you kidnap other people of the non-pretty persuasion. But the thing I don't get [I know, just one? you ask] is how could Carl not know Liz had a twin? Did he never see Jessica, or interact with her? Cuz she would have blown him off so fast your head would spin clean off. Wouldn't he wonder? Wouldn't that have been a fun twist? If Carl had been okay with stalking Liz, but when he works up the courage to talk to Liz, it's really Jessica, and she tells him to fuck off and die, so he snaps, and the next time he has a chance, he nabs Liz, and it is Liz and she's all, "ohhhh...that darn Jessica!"
  Back to Alice and Ned, isn't it also kinda funny that Alice memorizes Liz's schedule but Jessica always seemed like the twin most likely to get into trouble, and she does [all those older boys, Alice!] but it's Liz Alice obsesses over. Still, Jessica's ability to hide her antics aside, I like my SVH with a dash of realism. Not too much, or you end up with a salty, tear soaked melodramatically overdone bummer that is Senior Year, but a little to balance out the rampant crazy that leaks off the pages when you least expect it.
  The other thing I 'love' is how the back cover gives the impression that it's through any luck or skill on Elizabeth's behalf that she's rescued. Nope, she tries, but is thwarted. Repeatedly. It's dumb luck that saves her.

   Let's look at the newly added covers, shall we? I like how Hungary actually tried to make their Liz looked scared... even if she's apparently being kidnapped while doing the Robot. Russia, you're being fined for making a mockery of Nicholas Morrow. That and the TV show are really harshing my childhood crush, man. Not cool!
  Together with When Love Dies, Kidnapped! is one of those classic early SVH books that every passing fan should read, at least once. Just to say they have.


Kidnapped Non English Cover, part 2
the_oracle: (left of normal)
When Love Dies
September 1984

What terrible secret is Tricia keeping from Steven?

The end of romance...


  The Wakefield twins' older brother, Steven, is heartbroken. His girlfriend, Tricia Martin, no longer seems interested in him. She breaks their dates and doesn't return his calls. Steven can't understand why Tricia's feelings have changed so suddenly.
  Jessica is thrilled that Steven isn't dating Tricia anymore. She sees it as the perfect opportunity to pair him with her best friend, Cara Walker. Elizabeth, Jessica's twin, thinks that scheming, gossipy Cara is all wrong for Steven. She's determined to find out the reason for Tricia's strange behavior- and horrified when she discovers the awful truth.

  When Love Dies is pretty much the pivotal moment in Steven Wakefield's life. Moreso than when Tricia actually dies [come on, look at the title. While misleading in that she's still alive at the end of this book, she's going to croak SOON] because this is when the angst cranks up to ungodly levels. But let's take a moment to back up, breathe, and start at the beginning.
  Steven Wakefield is upset. His girlfriend of the entire series thus far [though, seriously, how long has this been? Are we still in fall, did we move to spring, or what?] has been blowing him off left, right, and center. He comes home for weekends, basically just to see her, and drop off laundry for Alice to do, and she won't see him. She abruptly ends their calls, she never writes, she won't send flowers, and gosh oh golly, she probably doesn't say I love you either. Zee pain. Oh, the agony. Though to be fair, that must suck. In fact, it does suck, so I'm sorry, Steve. If it weren't for the fact that you'll obsess over this for the rest of your entire LIFE, this would break my heart.
  Anyway, no one can figure out why formerly sweet and devoted china doll Tricia is daring to be all elusive with one of the great Wakefields. Cara Walker begins spreading the word that Tricia's got a new boyfriend. Being the kind, thoughtful, and considerate little sister that she is, Jessica says as much to Steve and offers to hook him up with Cara. Which is a bit cruel as Cara really likes Steve and well, he's still hung up on his tragic girlfriend. In a fit of desperation, Steve goes to the Martins' home and pushes his way past drunk daddy [why doesn't Steve end up in jail? He's an ass at times and he lacks a lot of the bubbly charm his sisters have] to confront Tricia. She's packing and he assumes that she's going away for the weekend with some other guy. She doesn't deny this and they break up. They're both crushed, though Steve thinks Tricia's pain is because she's been caught.
  So the love birds mope around. Jessica can only stand it when she's the one moping, so she convinces Steve to go to a party at Cara's. The catch? Cara isn't throwing a party. They try and whip one up, but for two of the most popular girls in school, all they can manage is Lila Fowler*, Lila's date, Jessica, Aaron Dallas, Steve, and of course, Cara. Seriously? I could get more people to a party on short notice in high school, and I was one of the social outcasts. :P Beers are handed out because Cara's parents are out and the couples break off to go make out. Cara gets to gossiping, which is sort of what Steve wanted, and when he learns that Tricia does indeed have a new boyfriend he overcompensates. Because he's a jealous, impetuous type, Steve ropes Cara out onto the dance floor, and in an effort to prove he's so over Tricia, kisses Cara. While Cara feels the earth move and fireworks explode overhead, all Steve feels inside is cold and dead.
  Jessica skips home afterward, thrilled that her latest matchmaking ploy has worked. Liz is in shock, what could Steve see in Cara? At school, Liz runs into Tricia and they chat awkwardly about why Tricia ran off the last time Liz saw her, but before Liz can ask, "Why're you being so cold to my bestest big brother?" Cara and Jessica waltz by, discussing Steve and Cara's explosive night out. Loudly. Poor Tricia looks as if her heart is breaking, but there isn't anything anyone, even Super!Liz, can do.
  By now we know that Tricia has leukemia and is dying. It's not a maybe, could be, if we're not lucky sort of thing. This is the, aside from God coming down from on high and giving the girl a break, she's toast. Her mother died of the same thing when she was nine, and that's what led Mr. Martin to drink, and probably what led her sister Betsy to being such a skanktastic wonder. Tricia saw how it ruined her family, how it ruined her father, and she decided that she could not, would not, do that to Steve. So they broke up, and she let him hate her, so that when she dies, he won't care as much, and later on he might forgive her, but it'll be okay because he won't be as emotionally entangled as he could have been. The hard part is that this means she's essentially dying alone. I gather Tricia has NO friends at all, because they're never mentioned and you'd think one of them would know, if she had any.
  So as her heart is breaking over the thought of her boyfriend, ex or otherwise, with Cara of all people, part of her hopes that this means Steve is moving on. So she flashbacks to her dates with Steve and tries to be freakishly, superhumanly strong. *sniffle*

  This, by the way, leads us to the B story. Jessica gets wind that Jeremy Franks, a local TV celeb of sorts, is in the hospital with a broken leg. Maybe had he not skied into a tree, his leg would be fine, but when you're that handsome, well, the trees throw themselves in your way. Cara got the word from Janie McBride, a candy striper at the hospital. Jessica decides that she and Liz will finally give back to the community by becoming candy stripers, too. First she has to talk Liz into it, which is a bit more difficult than one would imagine. However, Liz crumbles as she's no match for the youngest Wakefield, and off they go to the hospital, where they both have similarly bad flashbacks. Liz remembers her coma stint and the aftermath of the accident, while Jessica remembers that she just recently drove a girl to attempted suicide. Despite this bit of foreboding, the twins enter and are quickly welcomed to the fold. Jessica gets maternity and Liz gets... some other floor that you know will house Jeremy Franks. It does, Liz meets him, and Jess is jealous. She goes to visit, and flirts. When she leans over to sign his cast, she loses her balances and reaches out, pen still in hand, and somehow manages to jab the poor guy in the knee. This is just the first of many, many horrible things. Poor Jeremy.
  Now, we know that Tricia's going in and out of the hospital, and during one of her In patient moments, Liz goes to see the new girl. They freak out, Tricia confesses that it wasn't a friend, as she'd previously said, but that she's dying and no, you nosy girl, you cannot tell Steve because it would KILL him, and that would kill Tricia even faster. Or something. Liz promises not to tell and it eats her alive. She also promises to tell Steve, after Tricia's been dead awhile, that she really did love him. This complicates matters as Liz is sure that Steve and Tricia should decide together what to do. If he wants to run for the hills, let it be his/their choice.
  So Liz angsts about this for a bit.

  Back at the hospital, Liz and Jeremy have decided that the only way to keep Jessica from spying Jeremy naked again and dropping ice water on him from shock, is for him to pursue her. He gives her roses, he flirts, and eventually he asks her to marry him. For a second it seems as if Project Hurricane is a success. Jessica freaks out and runs away. But given time to think about it, Jessica decides that maybe this will work to her advantage. So she takes him up on it. Too bad it was a bit of a joke/scheme, so he's forced to confess. Jessica agrees to forgive and forget, if he'll let her on his show, something she was angling for all along. Sneaky, sneaky.

  Mr. Collins asks Liz to tutor Max Dellon because he's going to flunk and she's Mr. C's best student. She agrees, but when she's not doing dorky back flips over this, Collins asks what's up. A little prodding later, Liz spills the beans about Tricia. Mr. C never comes out and says she should break her promise, but he does say that some promises were never meant to be kept. Liz decides she's going to tell Steve before Cara gets her hooks in any deeper. We're never really told whether Liz just thinks Cara isn't good enough for Steve, or if she just believes that Trish and Steve are her OTP. Thing is, before she can say a word to him, Steve's off.
  Cara and Steve go to a party at his dorm, where Cara makes the mistake of telling Steve that if they're to be a couple, he can't just go around thinking about Tricia all the time. This makes sense, except that if you have to say that, you have no chance of getting the guy you want, the way you want him. Steve blows up and takes her home, effectively "breaking up" without ever copping to being a couple in the works at all. Liz swoops in and tells him that Tricia still loves him and that she only broke it off with him to protect him. The rest of the story comes tumbling out and Steve is at once heartbroken and elated. Yay! Tricia loves him. Woe! She's going to die. So he runs over to the Martins and tells Tricia that he knows, and they cry and all is good.
  For a second it looks like we'll get a relatively happy ending. Tricia and Steve are joined at the hip, Jessica got her guest stint on Frankly Speaking, and Elizabeth's social calender is filled to the brim. She's on her way to the party at the Morrows after a quick study session with Max. But first she has to make it out of the hospital parking lot. She's made it to her car, all creeped out by the lack of people and the storm heading their way, when Creepy Carl, the orderly who so obviously thinks Liz is beautiful [as he's always staring at her, but rarely says much and is just creeeeeeeeeepy] knocks on her window and says their boss lady needs to see her. Liz reluctantly crawls out of the Fiat and he grabs her, chloroforms her, and gently places her on the mattress he's so thoughtfully put in the back of his creepy van.
  We're told that we have to wait an extra month to find out what happens and we fade to black.


Trivia!:

  • Janie McBride is the candy striper who tells Cara about Jeremy's accident and stay at the hospital.

  • Jeremy Franks is a local celebrity who hosts 'Frankly Speaking' which is a talk show. He broke his leg when he skied into a tree. Oops.

  • Tricia Martin's mother died of leukemia when Tricia was nine. This tore her family apart and drove her father to drink.

  • Cara's little brother is 13.

  • When word gets out that the new family in the Godfrey mansion [the Morrows] is loaded and has a teenage son, what's Cara's first thought? I wonder what car he drives. My money would have been on, "I wonder if he's cute." Oh well.

  • Speaking of the Godfrey Mansion, it's even better than Fowler Crest. Mr. Wakefield was Mr. Godfrey's lawyer and handles the estate now that Mr. Godfrey has died.

  • Alice Wakefield was a candy striper when she was around the twins' age.

  • Kurt Morrow was the star QB for the Hawks. Now he's into computers and is totally loaded.

  • Jeremy Franks is in room 213.

  • Tricia Martin is in room 227.

  • Elizabeth decides to call her series for The Oracle about her stint at the hospital, "A Candy Striper's Journal." Um, is it just me, or is that painfully dry?

  • Carl, the creepy custodian, drives a gunmetal gray Chevy van.


Quotes:
  Jessica gave a huge sigh and announced, "Life has no meaning."
  Elizabeth greeted this statement with only the tiniest flicker of surprise. After sixteen years, she was used to her twin's theatrics. p25

For weeks afterward, Jessica had pretended to feel faint whenever a boy she liked came near, in hopes he'd think she had some romantic, incurable disease. It ended the day she pulled her act on Tom McKay and he'd commented nervously that he'd hoped whatever she had wasn't catching. p27


  "You're an angel!" Jeremy called to her as she was leaving.
  "I just hope Jessica doesn't find out about any of this," Elizabeth responded, "or I may end up getting my halo bashed in!" p81




  I won't lie. Back in the day I'd read this book and cry my eyes out. I also would read Lurlene McDaniel books and cry. Emotional masochism at it's best. It was always more about the what if of the story than the actual story itself. What if I were dying and had a really cool boyfriend. Would I tell him, or would I try and hide it until I was gone? If I'd been in Elizabeth's shoes, would I have told Steven, or would I have honored Tricia's wishes? [I'd have told him, even if I knew he'd be all screwed up later on, as he so obviously is.] I could identify with Tricia having a horrible bad hair day on the cover, as my hair desperately wanted to curl when I was in middle school. Now, I'd kill for that problem, but then I had issues. Never did have that sort of bad hair day though, thank the gods.
  I know it's coming, but when Steven says, "Trish, baby, I know," I tear up like a little girl. I hate it when anyone calls anyone who is not a baby "baby", but in this case I make an exception and sniffle like I have for years.
  As time has gone by, I can think of at least two other Jeremy's Jessica's dated. There's that jerk Jeremy [isn't it a Jeremy?] where Jess 'steals' him from Sue or whatever her name is, only he's an ass, and then there's SVH:SY Jeremy, whom I love almost as much as Sam. Not that she actually dates Mr. Franks, it's just one of those names that keeps popping up.
  Totally random, but in the earlier books, before the girls pretty much take over the Fiat, it's so weird to see Jessica and Cara [or any of the characters, really] riding the school bus. Hee.



  *- Lila is almost always referred to as 'Lila Fowler'. Not just her first intro into the book, but anytime Jess or someone says, "Hey, I spent the day with Lila" they always add her last name. It's the ultimate status symbol. I think they knock it off a bit when Cara moves out of the way as Jessica's best friend, but for now she's Lila Fowler. This amuses me, but I'm weird.
the_oracle: (left of normal)
When Love Dies
September 1984

What terrible secret is Tricia keeping from Steven?

The end of romance...


  The Wakefield twins' older brother, Steven, is heartbroken. His girlfriend, Tricia Martin, no longer seems interested in him. She breaks their dates and doesn't return his calls. Steven can't understand why Tricia's feelings have changed so suddenly.
  Jessica is thrilled that Steven isn't dating Tricia anymore. She sees it as the perfect opportunity to pair him with her best friend, Cara Walker. Elizabeth, Jessica's twin, thinks that scheming, gossipy Cara is all wrong for Steven. She's determined to find out the reason for Tricia's strange behavior- and horrified when she discovers the awful truth.

  When Love Dies is pretty much the pivotal moment in Steven Wakefield's life. Moreso than when Tricia actually dies [come on, look at the title. While misleading in that she's still alive at the end of this book, she's going to croak SOON] because this is when the angst cranks up to ungodly levels. But let's take a moment to back up, breathe, and start at the beginning.
  Steven Wakefield is upset. His girlfriend of the entire series thus far [though, seriously, how long has this been? Are we still in fall, did we move to spring, or what?] has been blowing him off left, right, and center. He comes home for weekends, basically just to see her, and drop off laundry for Alice to do, and she won't see him. She abruptly ends their calls, she never writes, she won't send flowers, and gosh oh golly, she probably doesn't say I love you either. Zee pain. Oh, the agony. Though to be fair, that must suck. In fact, it does suck, so I'm sorry, Steve. If it weren't for the fact that you'll obsess over this for the rest of your entire LIFE, this would break my heart.
  Anyway, no one can figure out why formerly sweet and devoted china doll Tricia is daring to be all elusive with one of the great Wakefields. Cara Walker begins spreading the word that Tricia's got a new boyfriend. Being the kind, thoughtful, and considerate little sister that she is, Jessica says as much to Steve and offers to hook him up with Cara. Which is a bit cruel as Cara really likes Steve and well, he's still hung up on his tragic girlfriend. In a fit of desperation, Steve goes to the Martins' home and pushes his way past drunk daddy [why doesn't Steve end up in jail? He's an ass at times and he lacks a lot of the bubbly charm his sisters have] to confront Tricia. She's packing and he assumes that she's going away for the weekend with some other guy. She doesn't deny this and they break up. They're both crushed, though Steve thinks Tricia's pain is because she's been caught.
  So the love birds mope around. Jessica can only stand it when she's the one moping, so she convinces Steve to go to a party at Cara's. The catch? Cara isn't throwing a party. They try and whip one up, but for two of the most popular girls in school, all they can manage is Lila Fowler*, Lila's date, Jessica, Aaron Dallas, Steve, and of course, Cara. Seriously? I could get more people to a party on short notice in high school, and I was one of the social outcasts. :P Beers are handed out because Cara's parents are out and the couples break off to go make out. Cara gets to gossiping, which is sort of what Steve wanted, and when he learns that Tricia does indeed have a new boyfriend he overcompensates. Because he's a jealous, impetuous type, Steve ropes Cara out onto the dance floor, and in an effort to prove he's so over Tricia, kisses Cara. While Cara feels the earth move and fireworks explode overhead, all Steve feels inside is cold and dead.
  Jessica skips home afterward, thrilled that her latest matchmaking ploy has worked. Liz is in shock, what could Steve see in Cara? At school, Liz runs into Tricia and they chat awkwardly about why Tricia ran off the last time Liz saw her, but before Liz can ask, "Why're you being so cold to my bestest big brother?" Cara and Jessica waltz by, discussing Steve and Cara's explosive night out. Loudly. Poor Tricia looks as if her heart is breaking, but there isn't anything anyone, even Super!Liz, can do.
  By now we know that Tricia has leukemia and is dying. It's not a maybe, could be, if we're not lucky sort of thing. This is the, aside from God coming down from on high and giving the girl a break, she's toast. Her mother died of the same thing when she was nine, and that's what led Mr. Martin to drink, and probably what led her sister Betsy to being such a skanktastic wonder. Tricia saw how it ruined her family, how it ruined her father, and she decided that she could not, would not, do that to Steve. So they broke up, and she let him hate her, so that when she dies, he won't care as much, and later on he might forgive her, but it'll be okay because he won't be as emotionally entangled as he could have been. The hard part is that this means she's essentially dying alone. I gather Tricia has NO friends at all, because they're never mentioned and you'd think one of them would know, if she had any.
  So as her heart is breaking over the thought of her boyfriend, ex or otherwise, with Cara of all people, part of her hopes that this means Steve is moving on. So she flashbacks to her dates with Steve and tries to be freakishly, superhumanly strong. *sniffle*

  This, by the way, leads us to the B story. Jessica gets wind that Jeremy Franks, a local TV celeb of sorts, is in the hospital with a broken leg. Maybe had he not skied into a tree, his leg would be fine, but when you're that handsome, well, the trees throw themselves in your way. Cara got the word from Janie McBride, a candy striper at the hospital. Jessica decides that she and Liz will finally give back to the community by becoming candy stripers, too. First she has to talk Liz into it, which is a bit more difficult than one would imagine. However, Liz crumbles as she's no match for the youngest Wakefield, and off they go to the hospital, where they both have similarly bad flashbacks. Liz remembers her coma stint and the aftermath of the accident, while Jessica remembers that she just recently drove a girl to attempted suicide. Despite this bit of foreboding, the twins enter and are quickly welcomed to the fold. Jessica gets maternity and Liz gets... some other floor that you know will house Jeremy Franks. It does, Liz meets him, and Jess is jealous. She goes to visit, and flirts. When she leans over to sign his cast, she loses her balances and reaches out, pen still in hand, and somehow manages to jab the poor guy in the knee. This is just the first of many, many horrible things. Poor Jeremy.
  Now, we know that Tricia's going in and out of the hospital, and during one of her In patient moments, Liz goes to see the new girl. They freak out, Tricia confesses that it wasn't a friend, as she'd previously said, but that she's dying and no, you nosy girl, you cannot tell Steve because it would KILL him, and that would kill Tricia even faster. Or something. Liz promises not to tell and it eats her alive. She also promises to tell Steve, after Tricia's been dead awhile, that she really did love him. This complicates matters as Liz is sure that Steve and Tricia should decide together what to do. If he wants to run for the hills, let it be his/their choice.
  So Liz angsts about this for a bit.

  Back at the hospital, Liz and Jeremy have decided that the only way to keep Jessica from spying Jeremy naked again and dropping ice water on him from shock, is for him to pursue her. He gives her roses, he flirts, and eventually he asks her to marry him. For a second it seems as if Project Hurricane is a success. Jessica freaks out and runs away. But given time to think about it, Jessica decides that maybe this will work to her advantage. So she takes him up on it. Too bad it was a bit of a joke/scheme, so he's forced to confess. Jessica agrees to forgive and forget, if he'll let her on his show, something she was angling for all along. Sneaky, sneaky.

  Mr. Collins asks Liz to tutor Max Dellon because he's going to flunk and she's Mr. C's best student. She agrees, but when she's not doing dorky back flips over this, Collins asks what's up. A little prodding later, Liz spills the beans about Tricia. Mr. C never comes out and says she should break her promise, but he does say that some promises were never meant to be kept. Liz decides she's going to tell Steve before Cara gets her hooks in any deeper. We're never really told whether Liz just thinks Cara isn't good enough for Steve, or if she just believes that Trish and Steve are her OTP. Thing is, before she can say a word to him, Steve's off.
  Cara and Steve go to a party at his dorm, where Cara makes the mistake of telling Steve that if they're to be a couple, he can't just go around thinking about Tricia all the time. This makes sense, except that if you have to say that, you have no chance of getting the guy you want, the way you want him. Steve blows up and takes her home, effectively "breaking up" without ever copping to being a couple in the works at all. Liz swoops in and tells him that Tricia still loves him and that she only broke it off with him to protect him. The rest of the story comes tumbling out and Steve is at once heartbroken and elated. Yay! Tricia loves him. Woe! She's going to die. So he runs over to the Martins and tells Tricia that he knows, and they cry and all is good.
  For a second it looks like we'll get a relatively happy ending. Tricia and Steve are joined at the hip, Jessica got her guest stint on Frankly Speaking, and Elizabeth's social calender is filled to the brim. She's on her way to the party at the Morrows after a quick study session with Max. But first she has to make it out of the hospital parking lot. She's made it to her car, all creeped out by the lack of people and the storm heading their way, when Creepy Carl, the orderly who so obviously thinks Liz is beautiful [as he's always staring at her, but rarely says much and is just creeeeeeeeeepy] knocks on her window and says their boss lady needs to see her. Liz reluctantly crawls out of the Fiat and he grabs her, chloroforms her, and gently places her on the mattress he's so thoughtfully put in the back of his creepy van.
  We're told that we have to wait an extra month to find out what happens and we fade to black.


Trivia!:

  • Janie McBride is the candy striper who tells Cara about Jeremy's accident and stay at the hospital.

  • Jeremy Franks is a local celebrity who hosts 'Frankly Speaking' which is a talk show. He broke his leg when he skied into a tree. Oops.

  • Tricia Martin's mother died of leukemia when Tricia was nine. This tore her family apart and drove her father to drink.

  • Cara's little brother is 13.

  • When word gets out that the new family in the Godfrey mansion [the Morrows] is loaded and has a teenage son, what's Cara's first thought? I wonder what car he drives. My money would have been on, "I wonder if he's cute." Oh well.

  • Speaking of the Godfrey Mansion, it's even better than Fowler Crest. Mr. Wakefield was Mr. Godfrey's lawyer and handles the estate now that Mr. Godfrey has died.

  • Alice Wakefield was a candy striper when she was around the twins' age.

  • Kurt Morrow was the star QB for the Hawks. Now he's into computers and is totally loaded.

  • Jeremy Franks is in room 213.

  • Tricia Martin is in room 227.

  • Elizabeth decides to call her series for The Oracle about her stint at the hospital, "A Candy Striper's Journal." Um, is it just me, or is that painfully dry?

  • Carl, the creepy custodian, drives a gunmetal gray Chevy van.


Quotes:
  Jessica gave a huge sigh and announced, "Life has no meaning."
  Elizabeth greeted this statement with only the tiniest flicker of surprise. After sixteen years, she was used to her twin's theatrics. p25

For weeks afterward, Jessica had pretended to feel faint whenever a boy she liked came near, in hopes he'd think she had some romantic, incurable disease. It ended the day she pulled her act on Tom McKay and he'd commented nervously that he'd hoped whatever she had wasn't catching. p27


  "You're an angel!" Jeremy called to her as she was leaving.
  "I just hope Jessica doesn't find out about any of this," Elizabeth responded, "or I may end up getting my halo bashed in!" p81




  I won't lie. Back in the day I'd read this book and cry my eyes out. I also would read Lurlene McDaniel books and cry. Emotional masochism at it's best. It was always more about the what if of the story than the actual story itself. What if I were dying and had a really cool boyfriend. Would I tell him, or would I try and hide it until I was gone? If I'd been in Elizabeth's shoes, would I have told Steven, or would I have honored Tricia's wishes? [I'd have told him, even if I knew he'd be all screwed up later on, as he so obviously is.] I could identify with Tricia having a horrible bad hair day on the cover, as my hair desperately wanted to curl when I was in middle school. Now, I'd kill for that problem, but then I had issues. Never did have that sort of bad hair day though, thank the gods.
  I know it's coming, but when Steven says, "Trish, baby, I know," I tear up like a little girl. I hate it when anyone calls anyone who is not a baby "baby", but in this case I make an exception and sniffle like I have for years.
  As time has gone by, I can think of at least two other Jeremy's Jessica's dated. There's that jerk Jeremy [isn't it a Jeremy?] where Jess 'steals' him from Sue or whatever her name is, only he's an ass, and then there's SVH:SY Jeremy, whom I love almost as much as Sam. Not that she actually dates Mr. Franks, it's just one of those names that keeps popping up.
  Totally random, but in the earlier books, before the girls pretty much take over the Fiat, it's so weird to see Jessica and Cara [or any of the characters, really] riding the school bus. Hee.



  *- Lila is almost always referred to as 'Lila Fowler'. Not just her first intro into the book, but anytime Jess or someone says, "Hey, I spent the day with Lila" they always add her last name. It's the ultimate status symbol. I think they knock it off a bit when Cara moves out of the way as Jessica's best friend, but for now she's Lila Fowler. This amuses me, but I'm weird.
the_oracle: (tear)
Dear Sister
April 1984

Can Jessica face life without Elizabeth?

A senseless tragedy...


  Sweet Valley is stunned by the news: Beautiful young Elizabeth Wakefield lies in a coma, on the brink of death after a horrible motorcycle accident.
  Elizabeth's boyfriend Todd is consumed by guilt; he was driving and escaped unharmed. He feels totally helpless. All he can do is wait for a change in Elizabeth's condition-a change that might mean the loss of the only girl he's ever loved.
  But no one is more shattered than Elizabeth's twin, Jessica. As she keeps watch over the silent body of her sister, she's overwhelmed by despair. Without Elizabeth, can life go on?

  Dear Sister is one of my two favorite classic Sweet Valley books. I don't know if it's because it was one of the first few I read or if it was because I was/am a sucker for the melodramatic, and the whole premise of the book sounded fantastic. It could also be that it's a good book.
  The plot is simple. Liz is still in her coma and the world is crumbling around Jessica. The back of the book leads you to believe that Liz is going to be in the coma for the entire book, but she wakes up by the start of the third chapter. Nope, the rest of the book deals with the what if factor. What if Elizabeth wasn't the nice, good twin? What if Elizabeth could out Jessica the real Jessica? What would happen? Would the world stop spinning on its axis?
  Simply put, it's awesome. Somehow the book manages to be a little too long and a little too short all at once. I'm more interested in seeing Liz in her new environment, but the book follows Jessica as she attempts to figure out who she must become if her twin has taken over Jessica's old identity and then cranked it up to 11. Which is probably the better move, as we've spent much of the series in Elizabeth's shoes up until now, and Jessica needs some fleshing out. Thing is, if you aren't the bad girl, it tends to be on the interesting side to read about the bad girl, so if we're denied this opportunity... well, where's the fun in that? However, if the book had continued on for much longer, I'd have found a way to reach through time, space, and fiction and backhanded a few people.
  I'm skipping around though. Back to the beginning.

  Liz is still in her coma when the book opens, and Jessica is at wit's end. Her twin is her entire world [funny, up until now we'd have wagered boys held that position] and without her, she's unsure as what to do. So she does nothing but sit at her twin's bedside, trying to coax her out of her coma. This involves a lot of self flagellation, until the sorta creepy neurosurgeon John Edwards [I know!] tells Jess that not only are the twins beautiful, but maybe if she just spoke to Elizabeth as if Liz would answer at any moment, it might help. You know, ease of the guilt and whatnot, see what happens. So Jess sort of does. Instead of chatting about boys and fashion and whatever else fills Jessica's thoughts, she gives us a recap of the series so far, with a giant helping of "you're so good, Liz, and I'm so, so very bad." About the time Jessica begs her twin to wake up, offering herself up as Liz's slave for life, Liz begins to come to. Jess freaks out in the best way possible and voila! Liz is awake.
  Fast forward a few days, and Liz is acting decidedly not herself. Jess returns to the hospital, only to find Liz sobbing because she looks like death warmed over. Jess is confused. This is a total Jessica move, not anything even remotely resembling Elizabeth. So Jess glams Liz up as much as she can and Liz then demands more makeup. Weirder still is the way Liz snaps so repeatedly at Jessica. She's even bitchier than Jessica normally is. Jess then tells her that Todd is stopping by and Liz is less than thrilled. Todd enters the cage and is quickly shown the door, given the excuse, "I'm tired." Todd meets Jessica who bites off his head when he dares to complain about the lack of love he received. "What do you expect, her to laugh and smile immediately after such a shock?" is the type of thing she snaps. Immediately afterward, they hear Liz laughing at something her doc said. Poor Todd.
  Three weeks after the accident, Liz comes home. Todd tries to visit and Liz won't see him. At all. She won't see or talk to anyone, but still manages to be a complete and utter bitch to her sister. Despite this new development, the twins begin to plan a party for after Elizabeth is allowed to go back to school. Liz is all for it being guys only, and Jess is shocked. It's the sort of party she's always wanted to throw, but never had the nerve, but it's kinda weird to hear Elizabeth express an interest in such a thing. So Jess points out that since guys almost never throw parties, and all the girls would hate them, maybe they should invite a handful of the fairer sex to their shindig. Liz reluctantly agrees.
  Skip ahead, and we're five weeks after the accident. Liz returns to school and immediately Enid runs over and damn near chokes Jessica in a bear hug. You see, Liz is skanked up in a green mini, something Jess would normally wear. And the confusion doesn't stop there. The whole day Jess is confused for Liz and vice versa. There's a weird little interlude with Liz and Mr. Collins, but mostly their first day back just sets up the fact that the twins seem to have switched.
  As to the party they've planned, Liz pulls a Jessica. While Jess is fixing up the house, Liz is supposed to be resting. Then Jess gets a call from Liz, who ran to the mall on a "vitally important" errand. Jess ends up setting up for the party, having to rush getting ready [since Liz stole the shower], having to keep everything full/everyone happy during the party, and oh yeah, has to clean up after the party. You know, she has to be like Liz used to be. Liz, in turn, flirts with every single guy except for Todd, and possibly Winston, but Win wouldn't have noticed as he only has eyes for Mandy. Aw.
  As time goes by, everyone except for Elizabeth and the adults, seems to understand something isn't right. The kids know that Liz isn't herself, as she's busy flirting with anything male, even if he has a girlfriend sitting RIGHT THERE as Liz tries to score with him. So they bitch about her to Jessica. The adults do know something isn't right, as Liz hasn't made up any of her assignments and is danger of flunking. So not Liz, right? Somehow, though, Ned and Alice Wakefield are oblivious. I can see how Jessica stepping in and trying to deflect things could help a little, but considering how little Liz has tried to catch up, wouldn't the school call and ask if maybe, just maybe, the girl should be evaluated by professionals again?
  Instead, Ned and Alice decide to baby-sit their friends' twins, Joan and Jean Percy. On their first day at the Wakefield home, Ned and Alice head out to play bridge. WTF. It would be one thing if the younger twins were friends of the older twins, but no, these are essentially guests of Ned's and Alice's, and they immediately bail. This is about the time I realized that it's no frickin' wonder Jessica's such a pain in the ass; her parents suck. Liz skips out, after hearing that Jess has a serious date planned, which is just really shitty. So Jess is forced to drag the twins with her and Danny [remember him from the last book?] to the drive in. Seems Danny had a more X rated time in mind, as he only caves when Jessica promises to do anything to make it up. Seriously, by this point it's obvious they're talking something more than Bruce Patman's patented cop-a-boob-feel.
  So they go and they have a positively awful time. Somehow between Dangerous Love and Dear Sister, Danny has gotten the upper hand in his flirtation with Jessica. Dunno how, but he has. She's freaking out because he'll never want to see her again and she complains bitterly to her parents about how unfair it all is. Except she doesn't mention that the people who should have been watching the twins in the first place let THEIR social lives come first instead. She does let a Liz complaint slip, but then quickly back peddles and convinces her parents that she's matured somehow. Weird.
  Back to Sweet Valley High. Liz ups her flirting with Ken, who is seeing Susan Stewart. Never one to let a little girlfriend impede her progress with a guy Jessica Liz decides to sink Susan's battleship by putting in a little item about Susan and a mysterious guy in her Eyes and Ears column. Nothing bad will come of this, I'm sure. Then she heads to Winston and cons him out of his Punic War term paper, which she then changes a few things around and calls it her own. Which she doesn't seem to think will get her busted. Oh, my lord.
  She gets busted for the E&E thing first, and Mr. Collins kicks her off the Oracle. I'm thinking it wasn't so much for what she did, or the lack of remorse she showed, but because she was too self involved/stupid to think up the really obvious way to cover her ass, which was, "But, Mr. Collins, I heard from numerous sources about that guy with Susan. I guess that's the last time I'll trust them" or something along those lines. It's a gossip column, so you're bound to make a mistake once in awhile! Idiots.
  Oh, in between conning the paper and getting busted for it, Todd has a basketball game that Liz attends with Ken [probably due to her snippet] and he can't take his eyes of them. He can't shoot worth a damn and when the crowd starts booing him, one of the Big Mesa guys makes a crack about it, so Todd attacks him. He gets benched and Coach Horner gets the rest of the team to spill. They tell him that Todd's ex is Elizabeth Wakefield, formerly the nicest girl in the school, currently vying for the title of biggest "flirt", and that Todd is still hung up on her. Coach talks to Todd and points out that maybe there's something wrong with Elizabeth, and that Todd's going to have to sit out a few games, what with the violence and all. So Todd vows to try and help her.
  Now, back to Elizabeth's bad day. After she comes home from the debacle at the Oracle, her parents attack her for the cheating on a term paper. But the real kicker is when they turn on Jessica and bitch her out for not telling them that something was wrong. When, oh workaholics? When was she to tell you? Besides, she shouldn't be held accountable for every misstep Liz makes. It's unfair to them both, but particularly so when you remember that while Liz would get the fallout from Jess, it's not like her parents expected her to force Jessica to be an upstanding citizen. So how is it fair to expect Jessica to be Elizabeth's keeper? I digress.
  With the Sword of Damocles hanging over her head, Jess naturally freaks out when Elizabeth shows up driving Max Dellon's bike. Todd is there and Jessica sends him after her wayward twin, because a) it's another motorcycle and b) she doesn't want to get grounded for Elizabeth's bad behavior. Todd catches up with the duo [and by now, shouldn't the Wakefield twins' inability to ride a motorcycle be of legendary status?] and forces Liz off the bike, over his shoulder, and carries her back to his car. Yeah, he kidnaps her. She starts yelling and losing her ability to speak in contractions and Todd tries to get through to her, but fails miserably. Since we've made Todd miserable, it's time to share the wealth with Jessica.
  Again, the Wakefields manage to flake on the Percy twins, leaving them in the questionably capable hands of Jessica. Because heaven forbid they force Liz to do a chore, right? So Alice sends the Percy twins upstairs to wake the sleeping beast, Jessica, and force her to take them to their flute auditions. Jess flips out because it's barely 7 AM and she had plans for the day, but they don't mean jack. It's kind of telling that she didn't even try to get Elizabeth to cover for her. So Jess goes, it takes forever, and she gets busted speeding to the beach. Unable to sweet talk her way out of the ticket, Jessica snaps at the cop and continues her mad dash to the beach, only to find Danny with his arms around another girl. On her way out of the parking lot, Jess has a fender bender and begins to cry. I felt massively sorry for her by this point.
  Because Jessica doesn't share the details of her shitty day with her parents, she and Liz are able to sweet talk their way into going to Lila's Pick Up party. Namely, everyone shows up single and tries pick up whomever they're interested in.


Lila never gave a party without a theme, and this time she had combined two of her old favorites. The kids were told to come in costume and without a date to a "pickup party." Everybody came single and picked up whomever they could. A lot of girls at Sweet Valley who thought they were going steady found themselves without boyfriends after one of Lila's pickup bashes, and a lot of girls who wanted to get rid of guys, did so that same night.


  Jess and Liz go as Matadors for some unknown reason, but it quickly becomes clear that the red matador is Liz and the green one is Jessica. Green with envy, maybe? Liz dances and flirts and has a great time, while Jess does little but watch and attempt to not kill anyone bitching to her about her twin's behavior. The description of Liz spinning across the red Spanish tiles confused me. I envisioned her either being repeatedly spun ballroom style, or a Tasmanian Devil sort of thing. Neither is really conducive to not throwing up. Nor, apparently, is finding yourself in Todd Wilkins' arms. Liz spins away, only to find herself in the evil clutches of Bruce Patman.
  Bruce seems to have momentarily forgotten the rumours about the twins and assumes the flirtatious twin in his arms is Jessica, whom he is exceptionally interested in. He only finds out the truth when he spies Max snickering and he comments on the pairing of Bruce and Liz. Bruce is shocked. Apparently he's been after the uppity twin for some time, hoping to take her back down to earth. Thing is, he acts as if she's stupid ["Do you know who I am?"] and she doesn't seem to mind. He then begins to try and get her drunk on some mystery drink, and then he cons her out to his father's beach club. Wait, when did Mr. Patman get one of those? Luckily, Jess has sent Todd after her twin again, and Todd punches Bruce and grabs the inebriated Elizabeth right before she passes out.
  Jess is busted at home for the ticket and the fender bender, but before her parents can kill her dead, the Percy twins stick up for her. Seems spending time with Jessica is just as much fun as we've always been told. Maybe they also feel bad for her, seeing as their hosts suck and Jessica is obviously not supposed to always be in charge of them. Who knows, but it was sweet, and Jessica's heart breaks a little when she sees how close the younger twins are, and realizes how far she and Liz have drifted apart.
  Back at school, Bill Chase begins his pursuit of Liz. Seems Bill has had a thing on Liz for ages [see All Night Long's character bio] and when he finds out that Todd and Liz are no more, he asks Todd's permission to chase after Liz. And Todd grants it. Oi.
  Unfortunately for Bill, while Liz says yes to the date, Bruce calls her up and asks for one the same night as Bill's, and Liz goes with Bruce's drink filled invite instead. She lies and says she's going to Enid's, and when Bill shows up, Jess runs upstairs to call and bitch her out. Only, dun dun dun! It was a lie. Jess decides to twin switch on the one guy stupid enough to turn her down, and she goes out with Bill dressed as Liz. Jess, that is, not Bill dressed as Liz.
  Bruce, being slime, cops a feel and then convinces her that they should go upstairs and have sex. He doesn't actually say that last bit, but it's implied. When he has her upstairs, he runs back downstairs for more wine, you know, to get her good and drunk enough that she won't be able to stop 'im even if she does come to. Unfortunately for Bruce, she gets cold feet [even super skanky Liz knows something is amiss] and attempts to find her way downstairs. She doesn't even make it out of the room before she falls and conks her head on a big old table.
  The real Elizabeth comes rushing back and is completely unaware as to what the hell is going on. When Bruce returns, she freaks out and accuses him of taking her there against her will. He's none too happy with the loss of his biggest conquest and attempts to scare her back into submission. Liz calls him on it after she bites him [forcing him to back off momentarily], tells him he's a pig, and runs away. She races down the beach, drawn to light and sound, proof that other people are around, and maybe just maybe, subconsciously drawn towards Todd. She finds him and they have a happy reunion, only slightly marred by Todd's confusion as to whether she was with Bill or Bruce. They realize it was Jessica and Liz worries that Jess has an evil plan all worked up.
  The book ends with Jessica telling Bill that if he really is in love with the twin he's spent all night with, he's actually in love with Jessica, not Elizabeth, Wakefield. SHOCK! Horror! Amazement! The end.

Trivia:

  • THE Hospital in Sweet Valley is the Joshua Fowler Memorial Hospital. We know the Fowler bit is due to Lila, but who is the Joshua in question? Liz is taken here for her scenic coma.

  • Liz's neurosurgeon is John Edwards, and he's kinda creepy the way he's commenting on an unconscious patient and her twin being beautiful.

  • Liz was in her coma for four days.

  • 3 weeks after she wakes up from her coma, she goes home, and two weeks after that she returns to school. About a week after that she has her party and this book takes place over the longest period of time thus far. Seriously, we should have passed Christmas and should be rounding the bases til Valentine's Day, but no sign of any holiday at all.

  • The Wakefield's kitchen is at the back of their house.

  • While the Percy twins stay with the Wakefields for a few weeks, Liz and Jess have never met Mr. and Mrs. Percy.

  • Danny Stauffer is an excellent kisser. Y'know, in case you're interested in him or his Trans Am.

  • Mrs. Green is the guidance counselor who never thinks to check up on Liz after the revelation that she's having mysterious dizzy spells.

  • Coach Horner is the basketball coach. Gruff on the outside, heart of gold on the inside.

  • When Jess gets her speeding ticket, she's going 70 in a 55 MPH zone.

  • Jessica's favorite breakfast is french toast.

  • Apparently Mr. Patman owns a beach club as well as a beach house, or else the writing is a little too vague here.

  • Bill Chase asks Todd if it's okay if he goes after Liz, and Todd doesn't stop him.

  • At this point in time, Lila is dating some dude named Tim. I wonder if it's an actual Tim or if they meant Tom?



Quote the fantastic:
"Liz. Hey, Lizzie, time to wake up." Jess, waking Liz from her coma. p12
"I thought basketball players had good eyesight, Todd. On a scale of one to ten, I'm not even on the scale yet." Liz, p19
Jessica couldn't have been happier. For a change she and Elizabeth seemed to want the same kind of fun. - p23
"I solemnly swear to take over my share of the chores as soon as I have made a total recovery-which should be in about three months!" Liz, p27
"If she's Jessica", she agonized, "then who am I?" -Jess isn't afraid to ask the deep questions, p46
"What an absolutely gruesome day!" she said, frowning fiercely.
Jessica stared at her, fascinated.
"If all you're going to do is stare at me, take your face someplace else!" Liz goes on another bitchfit for no reason, p50
"No way, Jess. I told you what I had planned for tonight. There is no way I want an audience." - Danny Stauffer, p62
"Mom, I could never resent Liz!" Jess lies through her perfect teeth, p69
"You know, just about none of the girls at school will talk to me without complaining about Liz trying to steal their guys,"
She saw Todd wince at that and put her hand on his arm. "I'm sorry, Todd. I shouldn't have said that." Jessica learns the art of sympathy, p95
"It's fun, that's why! Besides, Max Dellon is a safe driver," Elizabeth taunted.
"You know, Jess, you surprise me. Maybe you and I could become-"
"If you dare ask me to be your buddy, Todd Wilkins, I'll slug you, I really will!" Todd/Jess, p104
The girls stared at each other, wide-eyed. They had been in the Wakefield house long enough to know they should steer clear of Jessica when she first woke up. 106
"You are both lying! My mother loves me. There is no way she would want me to get up in the middle of the night!" Jess doesn't often see 7am, apparently. p107
"The nerve of him! Just because I was a few hours late, he picks up someone else," Jessica fumed. p114
"I'm just terrific, Bruce. How's your glass jaw?" - Liz, p 134
"I never really knew what a coward you were until now," she cried. "Is that what all your big love stories are about, Patman? Taking advantage of girls who either don't know what they're doing or too drunk to care? I don't know anybody lower than you are at this minute. And listen, you want to tell this story all over? Go ahead! Because I've got one to tell, too, and you won't look very good in it. You're a coward, Bruce Patman!" Liz, lucky she's not in an episode of L&O, as lesser rants have gotten girls killed, p146

137 ways to have fun:
"I was just wondering if Todd's seen you in that nightgown. I bet it'd raise his temperature about a hundred and thirty seven degrees!" Jess, p26
"But you hate him, Lizzie."
"Who told you that?"
"You did, a hundred and thirty-seven times." p122



  As a kid, I accepted the various things done so that Jess would be forced into taking responsibility for the Percy twins. As an adult, I find myself wanting to smack Ned and Alice. You probably already figured that out, but it bears repeating. It's unfair to expect your sixteen year old daughter to force her twin to act responsibly. If you want her to report back to you at any sign of trouble, you should wake from your dream world, but it's much closer to a realistic expectation than the whole wanting her to [s]mother her sister.
  However, my biggest issue with the Wakefield parents is that they evidently spend so little time with their daughters that they didn't truly notice the complete personality rehaul of their eldest daughter. Sure, she's a teenager, but she's the good kid. When she starts mouthing off and snapping at everyone and this continues for weeks, maybe you should have done something about it, y'know? Even soap opera parents drag their kids back to the neurosurgeon who patiently explains that the trauma may have changed them, but hey, at least they're alive, who wants milkshakes? If nothing else, why didn't the high school call and see if they knew what was going on? It would be one thing for Jessica to slip even further behind, but usually schools get a little twitchy when their star students start to slide. They have visions of standardized testing sliding down and that means funding would go down and, yeah, it's a whole big mess. So really, they would have called before the term paper fiasco.
  It speaks volumes about Jessica's guilt that she doesn't try and one up her sister, and instead seems to sort of try and fill the void left behind. She bonds with Todd, feels empathy/sympathy for Enid, and does try to reach out and get help for her twin from an adult, though that adult is utterly useless. Seriously, Mr. C, don't you think telling Jessica to talk to her parents might have been a good idea? Back to the idea of two Jessicas. Would have been awesome to see Jess take on Super!Vamp Liz. Senior Year brings us a version of the twins being basically the same person, but it's this odd fusion of Liz/Jess and it doesn't ever quite gel for me, so we don't count that.
  So, I wonder, did Elizabeth's accident just sort of dial back her inhibitions and let her ID come out to play, or was it Jessica's choice of subject matter when she was trying to coax Liz back to life? She told Liz she should party more. Liz parties to the extreme, at least so far as their social circle will allow. She points out that Enid is dull as watching paint dry and when Liz wakes up, will not have a single thing to do with Enid, and mocks her instead. Ditto for Todd. Jess mentions that Liz could be super!twin if she just let loose a little and had fun with her makeup, and her attitude. So. Does Liz just idealize her twin a little and so she kind of used her as her model for bad behavior, or did Jessica create her own monster?
  Speaking of monsters... It amazes me how thoroughly they change Bruce as the books progress. In the beginning, I'm surprised no one's accused him [rightly so, I'd imagine] of date rape. Yet somehow Regina'll manage to redeem him. He's a slimeball at the start though, and you'd think it would be wiser to spread that information before someone else falls under his spell. Heaven knows John P. goes only a smidge further, if that, and he's crucified eventually, so why not crucify Bruce who has to have been in a similar boat? Is it that he's so damn rich no one would dare to chance the backlash, or is it that they alter everyone just enough later that it would kill them to take down their bad boy who isn't a drop out? Hmm.
  And because my mind is filled with the littered thrown away plots, I wonder what would have happened if Liz had been in her coma longer? Would Jess have gone back to school and been a zombie? Would SVH manage to snub her, or would they rally around her? Would it have made Jess a better person, or would she have rebelled further?
  Totally superficial moment, but the cover has also been one of my favorites for awhile. Or maybe it's simply that the book was purple and that was right smack dab in the middle of my purple frenzy?



the_oracle: (tear)
Dear Sister
April 1984

Can Jessica face life without Elizabeth?

A senseless tragedy...


  Sweet Valley is stunned by the news: Beautiful young Elizabeth Wakefield lies in a coma, on the brink of death after a horrible motorcycle accident.
  Elizabeth's boyfriend Todd is consumed by guilt; he was driving and escaped unharmed. He feels totally helpless. All he can do is wait for a change in Elizabeth's condition-a change that might mean the loss of the only girl he's ever loved.
  But no one is more shattered than Elizabeth's twin, Jessica. As she keeps watch over the silent body of her sister, she's overwhelmed by despair. Without Elizabeth, can life go on?

  Dear Sister is one of my two favorite classic Sweet Valley books. I don't know if it's because it was one of the first few I read or if it was because I was/am a sucker for the melodramatic, and the whole premise of the book sounded fantastic. It could also be that it's a good book.
  The plot is simple. Liz is still in her coma and the world is crumbling around Jessica. The back of the book leads you to believe that Liz is going to be in the coma for the entire book, but she wakes up by the start of the third chapter. Nope, the rest of the book deals with the what if factor. What if Elizabeth wasn't the nice, good twin? What if Elizabeth could out Jessica the real Jessica? What would happen? Would the world stop spinning on its axis?
  Simply put, it's awesome. Somehow the book manages to be a little too long and a little too short all at once. I'm more interested in seeing Liz in her new environment, but the book follows Jessica as she attempts to figure out who she must become if her twin has taken over Jessica's old identity and then cranked it up to 11. Which is probably the better move, as we've spent much of the series in Elizabeth's shoes up until now, and Jessica needs some fleshing out. Thing is, if you aren't the bad girl, it tends to be on the interesting side to read about the bad girl, so if we're denied this opportunity... well, where's the fun in that? However, if the book had continued on for much longer, I'd have found a way to reach through time, space, and fiction and backhanded a few people.
  I'm skipping around though. Back to the beginning.

  Liz is still in her coma when the book opens, and Jessica is at wit's end. Her twin is her entire world [funny, up until now we'd have wagered boys held that position] and without her, she's unsure as what to do. So she does nothing but sit at her twin's bedside, trying to coax her out of her coma. This involves a lot of self flagellation, until the sorta creepy neurosurgeon John Edwards [I know!] tells Jess that not only are the twins beautiful, but maybe if she just spoke to Elizabeth as if Liz would answer at any moment, it might help. You know, ease of the guilt and whatnot, see what happens. So Jess sort of does. Instead of chatting about boys and fashion and whatever else fills Jessica's thoughts, she gives us a recap of the series so far, with a giant helping of "you're so good, Liz, and I'm so, so very bad." About the time Jessica begs her twin to wake up, offering herself up as Liz's slave for life, Liz begins to come to. Jess freaks out in the best way possible and voila! Liz is awake.
  Fast forward a few days, and Liz is acting decidedly not herself. Jess returns to the hospital, only to find Liz sobbing because she looks like death warmed over. Jess is confused. This is a total Jessica move, not anything even remotely resembling Elizabeth. So Jess glams Liz up as much as she can and Liz then demands more makeup. Weirder still is the way Liz snaps so repeatedly at Jessica. She's even bitchier than Jessica normally is. Jess then tells her that Todd is stopping by and Liz is less than thrilled. Todd enters the cage and is quickly shown the door, given the excuse, "I'm tired." Todd meets Jessica who bites off his head when he dares to complain about the lack of love he received. "What do you expect, her to laugh and smile immediately after such a shock?" is the type of thing she snaps. Immediately afterward, they hear Liz laughing at something her doc said. Poor Todd.
  Three weeks after the accident, Liz comes home. Todd tries to visit and Liz won't see him. At all. She won't see or talk to anyone, but still manages to be a complete and utter bitch to her sister. Despite this new development, the twins begin to plan a party for after Elizabeth is allowed to go back to school. Liz is all for it being guys only, and Jess is shocked. It's the sort of party she's always wanted to throw, but never had the nerve, but it's kinda weird to hear Elizabeth express an interest in such a thing. So Jess points out that since guys almost never throw parties, and all the girls would hate them, maybe they should invite a handful of the fairer sex to their shindig. Liz reluctantly agrees.
  Skip ahead, and we're five weeks after the accident. Liz returns to school and immediately Enid runs over and damn near chokes Jessica in a bear hug. You see, Liz is skanked up in a green mini, something Jess would normally wear. And the confusion doesn't stop there. The whole day Jess is confused for Liz and vice versa. There's a weird little interlude with Liz and Mr. Collins, but mostly their first day back just sets up the fact that the twins seem to have switched.
  As to the party they've planned, Liz pulls a Jessica. While Jess is fixing up the house, Liz is supposed to be resting. Then Jess gets a call from Liz, who ran to the mall on a "vitally important" errand. Jess ends up setting up for the party, having to rush getting ready [since Liz stole the shower], having to keep everything full/everyone happy during the party, and oh yeah, has to clean up after the party. You know, she has to be like Liz used to be. Liz, in turn, flirts with every single guy except for Todd, and possibly Winston, but Win wouldn't have noticed as he only has eyes for Mandy. Aw.
  As time goes by, everyone except for Elizabeth and the adults, seems to understand something isn't right. The kids know that Liz isn't herself, as she's busy flirting with anything male, even if he has a girlfriend sitting RIGHT THERE as Liz tries to score with him. So they bitch about her to Jessica. The adults do know something isn't right, as Liz hasn't made up any of her assignments and is danger of flunking. So not Liz, right? Somehow, though, Ned and Alice Wakefield are oblivious. I can see how Jessica stepping in and trying to deflect things could help a little, but considering how little Liz has tried to catch up, wouldn't the school call and ask if maybe, just maybe, the girl should be evaluated by professionals again?
  Instead, Ned and Alice decide to baby-sit their friends' twins, Joan and Jean Percy. On their first day at the Wakefield home, Ned and Alice head out to play bridge. WTF. It would be one thing if the younger twins were friends of the older twins, but no, these are essentially guests of Ned's and Alice's, and they immediately bail. This is about the time I realized that it's no frickin' wonder Jessica's such a pain in the ass; her parents suck. Liz skips out, after hearing that Jess has a serious date planned, which is just really shitty. So Jess is forced to drag the twins with her and Danny [remember him from the last book?] to the drive in. Seems Danny had a more X rated time in mind, as he only caves when Jessica promises to do anything to make it up. Seriously, by this point it's obvious they're talking something more than Bruce Patman's patented cop-a-boob-feel.
  So they go and they have a positively awful time. Somehow between Dangerous Love and Dear Sister, Danny has gotten the upper hand in his flirtation with Jessica. Dunno how, but he has. She's freaking out because he'll never want to see her again and she complains bitterly to her parents about how unfair it all is. Except she doesn't mention that the people who should have been watching the twins in the first place let THEIR social lives come first instead. She does let a Liz complaint slip, but then quickly back peddles and convinces her parents that she's matured somehow. Weird.
  Back to Sweet Valley High. Liz ups her flirting with Ken, who is seeing Susan Stewart. Never one to let a little girlfriend impede her progress with a guy Jessica Liz decides to sink Susan's battleship by putting in a little item about Susan and a mysterious guy in her Eyes and Ears column. Nothing bad will come of this, I'm sure. Then she heads to Winston and cons him out of his Punic War term paper, which she then changes a few things around and calls it her own. Which she doesn't seem to think will get her busted. Oh, my lord.
  She gets busted for the E&E thing first, and Mr. Collins kicks her off the Oracle. I'm thinking it wasn't so much for what she did, or the lack of remorse she showed, but because she was too self involved/stupid to think up the really obvious way to cover her ass, which was, "But, Mr. Collins, I heard from numerous sources about that guy with Susan. I guess that's the last time I'll trust them" or something along those lines. It's a gossip column, so you're bound to make a mistake once in awhile! Idiots.
  Oh, in between conning the paper and getting busted for it, Todd has a basketball game that Liz attends with Ken [probably due to her snippet] and he can't take his eyes of them. He can't shoot worth a damn and when the crowd starts booing him, one of the Big Mesa guys makes a crack about it, so Todd attacks him. He gets benched and Coach Horner gets the rest of the team to spill. They tell him that Todd's ex is Elizabeth Wakefield, formerly the nicest girl in the school, currently vying for the title of biggest "flirt", and that Todd is still hung up on her. Coach talks to Todd and points out that maybe there's something wrong with Elizabeth, and that Todd's going to have to sit out a few games, what with the violence and all. So Todd vows to try and help her.
  Now, back to Elizabeth's bad day. After she comes home from the debacle at the Oracle, her parents attack her for the cheating on a term paper. But the real kicker is when they turn on Jessica and bitch her out for not telling them that something was wrong. When, oh workaholics? When was she to tell you? Besides, she shouldn't be held accountable for every misstep Liz makes. It's unfair to them both, but particularly so when you remember that while Liz would get the fallout from Jess, it's not like her parents expected her to force Jessica to be an upstanding citizen. So how is it fair to expect Jessica to be Elizabeth's keeper? I digress.
  With the Sword of Damocles hanging over her head, Jess naturally freaks out when Elizabeth shows up driving Max Dellon's bike. Todd is there and Jessica sends him after her wayward twin, because a) it's another motorcycle and b) she doesn't want to get grounded for Elizabeth's bad behavior. Todd catches up with the duo [and by now, shouldn't the Wakefield twins' inability to ride a motorcycle be of legendary status?] and forces Liz off the bike, over his shoulder, and carries her back to his car. Yeah, he kidnaps her. She starts yelling and losing her ability to speak in contractions and Todd tries to get through to her, but fails miserably. Since we've made Todd miserable, it's time to share the wealth with Jessica.
  Again, the Wakefields manage to flake on the Percy twins, leaving them in the questionably capable hands of Jessica. Because heaven forbid they force Liz to do a chore, right? So Alice sends the Percy twins upstairs to wake the sleeping beast, Jessica, and force her to take them to their flute auditions. Jess flips out because it's barely 7 AM and she had plans for the day, but they don't mean jack. It's kind of telling that she didn't even try to get Elizabeth to cover for her. So Jess goes, it takes forever, and she gets busted speeding to the beach. Unable to sweet talk her way out of the ticket, Jessica snaps at the cop and continues her mad dash to the beach, only to find Danny with his arms around another girl. On her way out of the parking lot, Jess has a fender bender and begins to cry. I felt massively sorry for her by this point.
  Because Jessica doesn't share the details of her shitty day with her parents, she and Liz are able to sweet talk their way into going to Lila's Pick Up party. Namely, everyone shows up single and tries pick up whomever they're interested in.


Lila never gave a party without a theme, and this time she had combined two of her old favorites. The kids were told to come in costume and without a date to a "pickup party." Everybody came single and picked up whomever they could. A lot of girls at Sweet Valley who thought they were going steady found themselves without boyfriends after one of Lila's pickup bashes, and a lot of girls who wanted to get rid of guys, did so that same night.


  Jess and Liz go as Matadors for some unknown reason, but it quickly becomes clear that the red matador is Liz and the green one is Jessica. Green with envy, maybe? Liz dances and flirts and has a great time, while Jess does little but watch and attempt to not kill anyone bitching to her about her twin's behavior. The description of Liz spinning across the red Spanish tiles confused me. I envisioned her either being repeatedly spun ballroom style, or a Tasmanian Devil sort of thing. Neither is really conducive to not throwing up. Nor, apparently, is finding yourself in Todd Wilkins' arms. Liz spins away, only to find herself in the evil clutches of Bruce Patman.
  Bruce seems to have momentarily forgotten the rumours about the twins and assumes the flirtatious twin in his arms is Jessica, whom he is exceptionally interested in. He only finds out the truth when he spies Max snickering and he comments on the pairing of Bruce and Liz. Bruce is shocked. Apparently he's been after the uppity twin for some time, hoping to take her back down to earth. Thing is, he acts as if she's stupid ["Do you know who I am?"] and she doesn't seem to mind. He then begins to try and get her drunk on some mystery drink, and then he cons her out to his father's beach club. Wait, when did Mr. Patman get one of those? Luckily, Jess has sent Todd after her twin again, and Todd punches Bruce and grabs the inebriated Elizabeth right before she passes out.
  Jess is busted at home for the ticket and the fender bender, but before her parents can kill her dead, the Percy twins stick up for her. Seems spending time with Jessica is just as much fun as we've always been told. Maybe they also feel bad for her, seeing as their hosts suck and Jessica is obviously not supposed to always be in charge of them. Who knows, but it was sweet, and Jessica's heart breaks a little when she sees how close the younger twins are, and realizes how far she and Liz have drifted apart.
  Back at school, Bill Chase begins his pursuit of Liz. Seems Bill has had a thing on Liz for ages [see All Night Long's character bio] and when he finds out that Todd and Liz are no more, he asks Todd's permission to chase after Liz. And Todd grants it. Oi.
  Unfortunately for Bill, while Liz says yes to the date, Bruce calls her up and asks for one the same night as Bill's, and Liz goes with Bruce's drink filled invite instead. She lies and says she's going to Enid's, and when Bill shows up, Jess runs upstairs to call and bitch her out. Only, dun dun dun! It was a lie. Jess decides to twin switch on the one guy stupid enough to turn her down, and she goes out with Bill dressed as Liz. Jess, that is, not Bill dressed as Liz.
  Bruce, being slime, cops a feel and then convinces her that they should go upstairs and have sex. He doesn't actually say that last bit, but it's implied. When he has her upstairs, he runs back downstairs for more wine, you know, to get her good and drunk enough that she won't be able to stop 'im even if she does come to. Unfortunately for Bruce, she gets cold feet [even super skanky Liz knows something is amiss] and attempts to find her way downstairs. She doesn't even make it out of the room before she falls and conks her head on a big old table.
  The real Elizabeth comes rushing back and is completely unaware as to what the hell is going on. When Bruce returns, she freaks out and accuses him of taking her there against her will. He's none too happy with the loss of his biggest conquest and attempts to scare her back into submission. Liz calls him on it after she bites him [forcing him to back off momentarily], tells him he's a pig, and runs away. She races down the beach, drawn to light and sound, proof that other people are around, and maybe just maybe, subconsciously drawn towards Todd. She finds him and they have a happy reunion, only slightly marred by Todd's confusion as to whether she was with Bill or Bruce. They realize it was Jessica and Liz worries that Jess has an evil plan all worked up.
  The book ends with Jessica telling Bill that if he really is in love with the twin he's spent all night with, he's actually in love with Jessica, not Elizabeth, Wakefield. SHOCK! Horror! Amazement! The end.

Trivia:

  • THE Hospital in Sweet Valley is the Joshua Fowler Memorial Hospital. We know the Fowler bit is due to Lila, but who is the Joshua in question? Liz is taken here for her scenic coma.

  • Liz's neurosurgeon is John Edwards, and he's kinda creepy the way he's commenting on an unconscious patient and her twin being beautiful.

  • Liz was in her coma for four days.

  • 3 weeks after she wakes up from her coma, she goes home, and two weeks after that she returns to school. About a week after that she has her party and this book takes place over the longest period of time thus far. Seriously, we should have passed Christmas and should be rounding the bases til Valentine's Day, but no sign of any holiday at all.

  • The Wakefield's kitchen is at the back of their house.

  • While the Percy twins stay with the Wakefields for a few weeks, Liz and Jess have never met Mr. and Mrs. Percy.

  • Danny Stauffer is an excellent kisser. Y'know, in case you're interested in him or his Trans Am.

  • Mrs. Green is the guidance counselor who never thinks to check up on Liz after the revelation that she's having mysterious dizzy spells.

  • Coach Horner is the basketball coach. Gruff on the outside, heart of gold on the inside.

  • When Jess gets her speeding ticket, she's going 70 in a 55 MPH zone.

  • Jessica's favorite breakfast is french toast.

  • Apparently Mr. Patman owns a beach club as well as a beach house, or else the writing is a little too vague here.

  • Bill Chase asks Todd if it's okay if he goes after Liz, and Todd doesn't stop him.

  • At this point in time, Lila is dating some dude named Tim. I wonder if it's an actual Tim or if they meant Tom?



Quote the fantastic:
"Liz. Hey, Lizzie, time to wake up." Jess, waking Liz from her coma. p12
"I thought basketball players had good eyesight, Todd. On a scale of one to ten, I'm not even on the scale yet." Liz, p19
Jessica couldn't have been happier. For a change she and Elizabeth seemed to want the same kind of fun. - p23
"I solemnly swear to take over my share of the chores as soon as I have made a total recovery-which should be in about three months!" Liz, p27
"If she's Jessica", she agonized, "then who am I?" -Jess isn't afraid to ask the deep questions, p46
"What an absolutely gruesome day!" she said, frowning fiercely.
Jessica stared at her, fascinated.
"If all you're going to do is stare at me, take your face someplace else!" Liz goes on another bitchfit for no reason, p50
"No way, Jess. I told you what I had planned for tonight. There is no way I want an audience." - Danny Stauffer, p62
"Mom, I could never resent Liz!" Jess lies through her perfect teeth, p69
"You know, just about none of the girls at school will talk to me without complaining about Liz trying to steal their guys,"
She saw Todd wince at that and put her hand on his arm. "I'm sorry, Todd. I shouldn't have said that." Jessica learns the art of sympathy, p95
"It's fun, that's why! Besides, Max Dellon is a safe driver," Elizabeth taunted.
"You know, Jess, you surprise me. Maybe you and I could become-"
"If you dare ask me to be your buddy, Todd Wilkins, I'll slug you, I really will!" Todd/Jess, p104
The girls stared at each other, wide-eyed. They had been in the Wakefield house long enough to know they should steer clear of Jessica when she first woke up. 106
"You are both lying! My mother loves me. There is no way she would want me to get up in the middle of the night!" Jess doesn't often see 7am, apparently. p107
"The nerve of him! Just because I was a few hours late, he picks up someone else," Jessica fumed. p114
"I'm just terrific, Bruce. How's your glass jaw?" - Liz, p 134
"I never really knew what a coward you were until now," she cried. "Is that what all your big love stories are about, Patman? Taking advantage of girls who either don't know what they're doing or too drunk to care? I don't know anybody lower than you are at this minute. And listen, you want to tell this story all over? Go ahead! Because I've got one to tell, too, and you won't look very good in it. You're a coward, Bruce Patman!" Liz, lucky she's not in an episode of L&O, as lesser rants have gotten girls killed, p146

137 ways to have fun:
"I was just wondering if Todd's seen you in that nightgown. I bet it'd raise his temperature about a hundred and thirty seven degrees!" Jess, p26
"But you hate him, Lizzie."
"Who told you that?"
"You did, a hundred and thirty-seven times." p122



  As a kid, I accepted the various things done so that Jess would be forced into taking responsibility for the Percy twins. As an adult, I find myself wanting to smack Ned and Alice. You probably already figured that out, but it bears repeating. It's unfair to expect your sixteen year old daughter to force her twin to act responsibly. If you want her to report back to you at any sign of trouble, you should wake from your dream world, but it's much closer to a realistic expectation than the whole wanting her to [s]mother her sister.
  However, my biggest issue with the Wakefield parents is that they evidently spend so little time with their daughters that they didn't truly notice the complete personality rehaul of their eldest daughter. Sure, she's a teenager, but she's the good kid. When she starts mouthing off and snapping at everyone and this continues for weeks, maybe you should have done something about it, y'know? Even soap opera parents drag their kids back to the neurosurgeon who patiently explains that the trauma may have changed them, but hey, at least they're alive, who wants milkshakes? If nothing else, why didn't the high school call and see if they knew what was going on? It would be one thing for Jessica to slip even further behind, but usually schools get a little twitchy when their star students start to slide. They have visions of standardized testing sliding down and that means funding would go down and, yeah, it's a whole big mess. So really, they would have called before the term paper fiasco.
  It speaks volumes about Jessica's guilt that she doesn't try and one up her sister, and instead seems to sort of try and fill the void left behind. She bonds with Todd, feels empathy/sympathy for Enid, and does try to reach out and get help for her twin from an adult, though that adult is utterly useless. Seriously, Mr. C, don't you think telling Jessica to talk to her parents might have been a good idea? Back to the idea of two Jessicas. Would have been awesome to see Jess take on Super!Vamp Liz. Senior Year brings us a version of the twins being basically the same person, but it's this odd fusion of Liz/Jess and it doesn't ever quite gel for me, so we don't count that.
  So, I wonder, did Elizabeth's accident just sort of dial back her inhibitions and let her ID come out to play, or was it Jessica's choice of subject matter when she was trying to coax Liz back to life? She told Liz she should party more. Liz parties to the extreme, at least so far as their social circle will allow. She points out that Enid is dull as watching paint dry and when Liz wakes up, will not have a single thing to do with Enid, and mocks her instead. Ditto for Todd. Jess mentions that Liz could be super!twin if she just let loose a little and had fun with her makeup, and her attitude. So. Does Liz just idealize her twin a little and so she kind of used her as her model for bad behavior, or did Jessica create her own monster?
  Speaking of monsters... It amazes me how thoroughly they change Bruce as the books progress. In the beginning, I'm surprised no one's accused him [rightly so, I'd imagine] of date rape. Yet somehow Regina'll manage to redeem him. He's a slimeball at the start though, and you'd think it would be wiser to spread that information before someone else falls under his spell. Heaven knows John P. goes only a smidge further, if that, and he's crucified eventually, so why not crucify Bruce who has to have been in a similar boat? Is it that he's so damn rich no one would dare to chance the backlash, or is it that they alter everyone just enough later that it would kill them to take down their bad boy who isn't a drop out? Hmm.
  And because my mind is filled with the littered thrown away plots, I wonder what would have happened if Liz had been in her coma longer? Would Jess have gone back to school and been a zombie? Would SVH manage to snub her, or would they rally around her? Would it have made Jess a better person, or would she have rebelled further?
  Totally superficial moment, but the cover has also been one of my favorites for awhile. Or maybe it's simply that the book was purple and that was right smack dab in the middle of my purple frenzy?



the_oracle: the cover image from Double Love, classic SVH (classic)
Double Love
October, 1983

Share the continuing story of the Wakefield twins and their friends-
their laughter, heartaches, and dreams.



Will Jessica steal Todd from Elizabeth?


  Elizabeth and Jessica Wakefield are identical twins at Sweet Valley High. They're both popular, smart, and gorgeous, but that's where the similarity ends. Elizabeth is friendly, outgoing, and sincere- nothing like her snobbish and conniving twin. Jessica gets what she wants- at school, with friends, and especially with boys.
  This time, Jessica has her sights on Todd Wilkins, the handsome star of the basketball team- the one boy that Elizabeth really likes. Elizabeth doesn't want to lose him, but what Jessica wants, Jessica usually gets... even if it ends up hurting her sister.
  Meet the Wakefield twins, their guys, and the rest of the gang at Sweet Valley High.



  Double Love is fairly simple. You're introduced to the Wakefield twins. There's melodramatic Jessica, who isn't above trashing people's reputations to protect her own, but still manages to be incredibly popular. And then there's quiet, serious Liz who isn't above kissing a boy before the first date or plotting against her more diabolical sister. Both are gorgeous, popular, fantastic, and prone to emotional outbursts. Seriously. Liz bursts into tears no less than three times this book, sometimes for absolutely no reason. Jess also cries at the drop of a hat, but it's usually in order to manipulate someone.
  Got that? Good. Jess has set her sights on the current IT boy of Sweet Valley High, basketball captain and star, Todd Wilkins. Thing is, he seems more interested in talking to Jess so he can then get a hold of her twin, Elizabeth. Considering she's such an expert with guys, Jess figures he just doesn't know what he's missing, so she "helps" him realize the error of his ways. She's constantly caught offering him helpful little tidbits that cast Elizabeth as the flighty, popular, boy magnet twin, while she stays at home and, I dunno, washes her hair for the umpteenth time. The kicker, and proof that maybe Wilkins has taken one hit to the skull too many, is that he never cries bullshit on any of this. One could imagine that Liz is asked out plenty, and goes out fairly often, so it's okay if he believes that bit of the lie. Hormones make you stupid, especially when presented with the very real possibility that the object of your affection isn't at all interested in you.
  However, I remember first reading DL and knowing full well Jessica was full of it. You're pretty much told within seconds of meeting Jessica, that she has made her rounds through much of the male dating pool at SVH. Not in a full blown skanky way, but in that, "Sure we can go out and you can tell me how great I am," way. For Todd to believe anything other than this just blows my mind as much now as it did then. Idiot.
  Naturally, Liz doesn't know this, as she sits at home and dreams about her one true love, Todd Wilkins. She doesn't want much, dear diary, she just wants to be his girlfriend. They don't have to scale the highest mountains, swim the deepest seas, write the most epic of all love poems. No, what she wants is normalcy. She wants it to be normal for the two to eat lunch together and for him to randomly kiss her on the forehead, simply because he can and wants to do so. For they are in LOVE. That's all.
  But she never actually tells this to anyone. Ever. Because she's an idiot as well. She never tells her twin. She doesn't tell her best friend [though Enid has an extra braincell or two to rub together, so she's able to figure it out], and being that this is 1983, she sure as hell doesn't tell Todd she thinks he's keen or whatever. That last one I understand, but given that Jess is such a sneaky sort, you'd think it might be wise to let her in on the crush you've been harboring. Either to keep her away from said crush, or to get her to help you out, seeing as she isn't shy and knows her way around the male of the species well enough to snag a date for her sister. Just a thought.
  So Liz is dying a thousand deaths each time Todd calls to talk to Jess. Or she sees the two of them together. To complicate matters, Todd doesn't realize he's being set up as Jessica's newest conquest. So he still makes googly eyes at the wrong twin, still tries to get Liz alone, possibly so he can ask her to the big Phi Epsilon dance, or possibly just to say, "I love you, you idiot." So Liz is getting these "he likes me!" vibes and Jess doesn't know that Liz actually has any interest in Todd, so she sees no real problem in continuing to help Todd fall for the right Wakefield twin.
  This can only go on so long before something goes wrong and true love conquers all. So fate intervenes and decrees, "This shall not be a fifty page novel! We must have MORE conflict!"

  Another thing you should know. Jessica is not accustomed to being turned down. As far as she's concerned, she's the hottest thing around, and anyone who doesn't agree can go to hell. So when it becomes painfully clear that Todd isn't falling for her as planned, she decides to take her anger out on the unsuspecting males of Sweet Valley. Luckily for all of them, Rick Andover [tattooed, 17 year old bad boy drop out] spies Jessica walking home, and picks her up. Turns out he knows exactly who she is [see drop out status that makes this a little less creepy than it would be if he were just some random guy who knew who she was by sight alone] and finagles a date. Jess needs some male attention, so she agrees.
  Check the mini bio given for Rick again, and it'll become obvious that the only way this date is going to end is badly. Sure enough, Rick takes Jessica to Kelly's [local bar, conveniently located not that far from the teen dream hangout, the Dairi Burger] and gets smashed in record time. Seriously, one shot of whiskey and he's slurring his words. Granted, it's implied he had a little something before picking Jess up, but still. ONE SHOT. He also gets a little grabby, so Jess excuses herself and in perfect bad boy form, Rick manages to get himself into a bar fight. The cops are called and Jess gets a ride home via the police. Luckily for her, the cop thinks she's a friend of his niece, Emily Mayer, and assumes she's Elizabeth. [Cuz Liz is so the bar-hopping twin!] He reads her the riot act as he's dropping her off, calling her Elizabeth once more. Jess goes to correct him, but it's too late.
  You see, Caroline Pearce, the biggest gossip in all of Sweet Valley [which says a lot, given that almost all of Jessica's friends are identified as huge gossips as well] just happens to be walking by at that exact moment. She hears the whole thing, complete with the mixed up identity, runs home [three doors down from the Wakefields] and fires up the white princess phone that serves as the easiest way for gossip to spread through the Valley. Take that, Gossip Girl.
  By the next morning, all of SVH knows that good girl Liz has gone to the darkside, courtesy of a trip to Kelly's with bad boy Rick. Possibly fearing that two devious Wakefields is more than one high school can handle, people react by pretty much avoiding her. The boys are divided in two camps. Those who probably think Liz is a good time, though probably one involving a trip to the doctor's before and after, and those who think she's a total skank and should be put in her place. Preferably by never speaking to her again, I guess. This second camp is given a voice in the form of Enid's [Liz's best friend] current crush-turned-boyfriend Ronnie Edwards. The former is lead by rich boy Bruce Patman. But since no one's talking to Liz for fear of the crazy catching, she just thinks the entire school has gone insane.
  Until Enid finally breaks down and tells her that "no matter what, Liz, no matter what..." She spills the rest of the story and at first Liz is confused as to why Caroline would make up such an outrageous story about her. A second later, she realizes that Caroline didn't. She just had one certain fact messed up. So Liz confronts Jessica who in a tizzy over her brother's incredibly poor choice of girlfriends. Namely, the town skank, Betsy Martin. Still, no matter how much this grosses Liz out as well, she sticks to the more important matter. Namely, that her entire school is populated by idiots who believe Liz is the bar crawling twin.
  Because having Jess confess publicly will never happen, and because we've got to make it to page 182, we get another curve ball.
  It seems that we have a feud of epic proportions between the old money Patmans [hey, Bruce!] and new money Fowlers [aloha, Lila!] who for some reason, don't see a thing wrong with destroying the high school football field for their own purposes. Bruce's family wants to restore it to it's former glory as a formal English tea garden. The Fowlers want to build a factory. Now, I should stop to point out one little WTF moment. There are no FolwerS. There is Lila's father, George. Lila's an only child and her parents have been divorced for ages. Seriously, there are two Fowlers in the whole of SV as far as we've been told. I sincerely doubt Lila gives half a damn whether a factory goes up there or not. She'd probably enjoy any influx of money that would come her way, but she might also think it's a bit tacky to have a factory across the street from her school. Who knows? No one ever asked the girl.
  Instead, when news of these insane plans for their football field breaks, the students of SVH turn mob and corner the [mostly] innocent children of insane parents. There's some name calling and foolishly, Jessica opens her mouth and Bruce verbally bitchslaps her for it. It seems Mr. Wakefield has been seen all over town with a hot chick who ain't his wife. The whole town, or at least Bruce's parents, assume he's screwing around, and really, with that in her family closet, Jessica should STFU. Liz is shocked. She thought only the twins and maybe their brother suspected such a thing. For a gossip columnist, she's kinda naive, eh?
  Now, I know what you're thinking. WTF does this have to do with the price of Todd's stupidity and the scheming twins who love him? Well, not a whole lot, but we need some B-story angst. And because in the aftermath of bigmouth Bruce-y bass, Jess comes clean to Todd. Who doesn't believe her, but thinks she's incredibly noble to take the blame for her obviously skantastically confusing twin. So he invites her to the big dance. And they go. And have an absolutely miserable time after a brief dirty dancing fling. You see, Todd spends the rest of the evening staring hopelessly at Liz, who I guess never manages to look over at the same time to see him eying her. But both Liz's and Todd's dates notice. Winston doesn't mind all that much since he's had a thing for Jess for the better part of six years. Jessica, however, is beyond pissed.
  But it gets worse when he drops her off at home and all she gets is this stupid t-shirt a kiss on the cheek. So naturally, having only destroyed one person's rep this book, she decides to confuse Todd's antics with grabby hands Rick. And tells Liz all about it. By this point Jess has kind of figured out that Liz has a thing for Todd, but when given the chance to have Jess step aside, Liz chose not to take it. To keep Liz from getting better from Toddy boy than she did, Jess tells Liz that Todd is slime. And Liz buys it. Mostly. Still, it seems a little weird to her, but why would Jess lie?
  Back to the b story no one cares aboot, Mr. Wakefield and his other woman Marianna West, are working to save the Gladiator's playing field. So Liz gets time off from school, learns all aboot the ways of a real reporter, and yay, Mr. W saves the day! Well, actually Marianna does, which makes Liz feel a little funny that she thinks she could like the woman who is so obviously ruining her parents' marriage. Awkward! Only it turns out that, haha! Marianna really was just working with their father and now she's partner and yay, the perfect Wakefields really are perfect after all!
  Oh, and it turns out that Steven wasn't in love with Betsy, but rather her beautiful non skanky sister, Tricia. But Steve was so ashamed of her family, that he sabotaged his relationship with perfect Tricia, and she called him on it, broke his heart, and left him horribly depressed, something that will stain the poor boy horribly in the future. But for now, it's easily mended by him throwing himself on the mercy of Tricia's kind hearted nature.And again, perfection reigns supreme!
  Which leaves us with but one glaring problem. Todd is considered slime. Liz still wants Todd, and Rick is still pissed that Jess got him in trouble with the law. So Rick carjacks the twins and drives them out to Kelly's for some unknown reason. Maybe to show them that he's not a lightweight and can so totally hold his whiskey. Who knows? But first he drives by the Dairi Burger [told you it's conveniently located] and Todd happens to see them. And notice, in that split second, how freaked out Liz looks considering there's a maniac behind the wheel of their car. So he follows them, punches Rick out, and is rewarded with a kiss from fair Liz.
  The love birds trade notes on their destroyed reps [though, to be fair, Jess only told Liz, and it seems Liz never bothered to put the word out to warn anyone else] and came to one conclusion. Jessica!

  This leads us to our classic bit of revenge. Liz writes the Eyes and Ears column for the Oracle. It's a secret, and if the author is found out, it's school tradition to dunk them in the pool. So Liz dresses like Jess, makes it so Jess dresses like Liz, and while pretending to be Jessica, Liz lets the cat out of the bag. Jessica is dunked, and the newly happy couple is left to laugh and laugh. Gotcha, Jess!



Random tid bits:

  • Liz's tuxedo shirt is later changed to a generic green shirt and her nifty bow tie is changed to a belt in the double edition of Sweet 18, the final SVH [Senior Year] book. The current re-release of the book leaves the tux alone, letting the twins cross dress to their heart's content.

  • Enid and Elizabeth became friends during their sophomore creative writing class, though Liz still thinks Enid a bit mysterious.

  • Which could be because Enid hasn't told Liz that she's been arrested. Ah, good times.

  • As of DL, the Wakefield's pool is a fairly new addition to the house.

  • Ronnie, Enid's obnoxious boytoy, is awfully opinionated for the new guy in school.

  • Marianna's ex, Gareth West, is apparently a big deal heart specialist.

  • Bruce's mother is a Vanderhorn, one of the oldest families in SV. Nobody cares.





Say wha?
  After all, she told herself, if Todd preferred Jessica- and that certainly was how it looked- she would not stand in the way. She'd do the decent thing. Die. -Liz, p34

137 Different Ways to be Cruel:
  You've got to be seven hundred and thirty-seven kinds of idiots not to be excited about associating with the best girls at SVH. What's wrong with you? p35
  He has got to be the most wonderful boy in a hundred and thirty-seven states! p108
  This family has got to be the biggest bummer in five hundred and thirty-seven cities! p111
  I'll never forgive you, not if I live to be a hundred and thirty-seven years- p182.






Inability to discuss her massive crush on Wilkins and crying jags aside, this Liz is probably one of my favorites. She's funny, she's sarcastic, and she's a schemer. But most of all, I love that while we're told how popular Liz is, she seems less so than Jessica. Perhaps it's that Jess is the epitome of the popular girl. She's perfectly lovely to look at, and you want to hear about her exploits, but you know she's a raging bitch. Liz, on the other hand, is the twin you'll find sprawled on the ground collecting her books, wondering how long she has until some jerk kicks her and she has to restart the whole rescue operation. See, the true popular girl wouldn't have this problem, as Liz herself notes. If Jessica's books fell to the floor, her minions would scatter and retrieve them. Liz is without minions at this point, and it's kind of nice.
In general, I have a love/hate relationship with Double Love. Sometimes it's just fantastic enough that I enjoy it like cotton candy. And sometimes I wonder if perhaps I was an exceptionally stupid child and I've been stained forever by this book. But mostly I wish we could get a glimpse of pre-superfab twins. You know there are stories in their past, and the earlier books hinted at them. Later books were content to either ignore what came before or remind you with the sledgehammer of "previously on..."

Double Love non-English covers part 1
Double Love non-eglish covers part2



Re-issue, courtesy of 2008 )


** )
the_oracle: the cover image from Double Love, classic SVH (classic)
Double Love
October, 1983

Share the continuing story of the Wakefield twins and their friends-
their laughter, heartaches, and dreams.



Will Jessica steal Todd from Elizabeth?


  Elizabeth and Jessica Wakefield are identical twins at Sweet Valley High. They're both popular, smart, and gorgeous, but that's where the similarity ends. Elizabeth is friendly, outgoing, and sincere- nothing like her snobbish and conniving twin. Jessica gets what she wants- at school, with friends, and especially with boys.
  This time, Jessica has her sights on Todd Wilkins, the handsome star of the basketball team- the one boy that Elizabeth really likes. Elizabeth doesn't want to lose him, but what Jessica wants, Jessica usually gets... even if it ends up hurting her sister.
  Meet the Wakefield twins, their guys, and the rest of the gang at Sweet Valley High.



  Double Love is fairly simple. You're introduced to the Wakefield twins. There's melodramatic Jessica, who isn't above trashing people's reputations to protect her own, but still manages to be incredibly popular. And then there's quiet, serious Liz who isn't above kissing a boy before the first date or plotting against her more diabolical sister. Both are gorgeous, popular, fantastic, and prone to emotional outbursts. Seriously. Liz bursts into tears no less than three times this book, sometimes for absolutely no reason. Jess also cries at the drop of a hat, but it's usually in order to manipulate someone.
  Got that? Good. Jess has set her sights on the current IT boy of Sweet Valley High, basketball captain and star, Todd Wilkins. Thing is, he seems more interested in talking to Jess so he can then get a hold of her twin, Elizabeth. Considering she's such an expert with guys, Jess figures he just doesn't know what he's missing, so she "helps" him realize the error of his ways. She's constantly caught offering him helpful little tidbits that cast Elizabeth as the flighty, popular, boy magnet twin, while she stays at home and, I dunno, washes her hair for the umpteenth time. The kicker, and proof that maybe Wilkins has taken one hit to the skull too many, is that he never cries bullshit on any of this. One could imagine that Liz is asked out plenty, and goes out fairly often, so it's okay if he believes that bit of the lie. Hormones make you stupid, especially when presented with the very real possibility that the object of your affection isn't at all interested in you.
  However, I remember first reading DL and knowing full well Jessica was full of it. You're pretty much told within seconds of meeting Jessica, that she has made her rounds through much of the male dating pool at SVH. Not in a full blown skanky way, but in that, "Sure we can go out and you can tell me how great I am," way. For Todd to believe anything other than this just blows my mind as much now as it did then. Idiot.
  Naturally, Liz doesn't know this, as she sits at home and dreams about her one true love, Todd Wilkins. She doesn't want much, dear diary, she just wants to be his girlfriend. They don't have to scale the highest mountains, swim the deepest seas, write the most epic of all love poems. No, what she wants is normalcy. She wants it to be normal for the two to eat lunch together and for him to randomly kiss her on the forehead, simply because he can and wants to do so. For they are in LOVE. That's all.
  But she never actually tells this to anyone. Ever. Because she's an idiot as well. She never tells her twin. She doesn't tell her best friend [though Enid has an extra braincell or two to rub together, so she's able to figure it out], and being that this is 1983, she sure as hell doesn't tell Todd she thinks he's keen or whatever. That last one I understand, but given that Jess is such a sneaky sort, you'd think it might be wise to let her in on the crush you've been harboring. Either to keep her away from said crush, or to get her to help you out, seeing as she isn't shy and knows her way around the male of the species well enough to snag a date for her sister. Just a thought.
  So Liz is dying a thousand deaths each time Todd calls to talk to Jess. Or she sees the two of them together. To complicate matters, Todd doesn't realize he's being set up as Jessica's newest conquest. So he still makes googly eyes at the wrong twin, still tries to get Liz alone, possibly so he can ask her to the big Phi Epsilon dance, or possibly just to say, "I love you, you idiot." So Liz is getting these "he likes me!" vibes and Jess doesn't know that Liz actually has any interest in Todd, so she sees no real problem in continuing to help Todd fall for the right Wakefield twin.
  This can only go on so long before something goes wrong and true love conquers all. So fate intervenes and decrees, "This shall not be a fifty page novel! We must have MORE conflict!"

  Another thing you should know. Jessica is not accustomed to being turned down. As far as she's concerned, she's the hottest thing around, and anyone who doesn't agree can go to hell. So when it becomes painfully clear that Todd isn't falling for her as planned, she decides to take her anger out on the unsuspecting males of Sweet Valley. Luckily for all of them, Rick Andover [tattooed, 17 year old bad boy drop out] spies Jessica walking home, and picks her up. Turns out he knows exactly who she is [see drop out status that makes this a little less creepy than it would be if he were just some random guy who knew who she was by sight alone] and finagles a date. Jess needs some male attention, so she agrees.
  Check the mini bio given for Rick again, and it'll become obvious that the only way this date is going to end is badly. Sure enough, Rick takes Jessica to Kelly's [local bar, conveniently located not that far from the teen dream hangout, the Dairi Burger] and gets smashed in record time. Seriously, one shot of whiskey and he's slurring his words. Granted, it's implied he had a little something before picking Jess up, but still. ONE SHOT. He also gets a little grabby, so Jess excuses herself and in perfect bad boy form, Rick manages to get himself into a bar fight. The cops are called and Jess gets a ride home via the police. Luckily for her, the cop thinks she's a friend of his niece, Emily Mayer, and assumes she's Elizabeth. [Cuz Liz is so the bar-hopping twin!] He reads her the riot act as he's dropping her off, calling her Elizabeth once more. Jess goes to correct him, but it's too late.
  You see, Caroline Pearce, the biggest gossip in all of Sweet Valley [which says a lot, given that almost all of Jessica's friends are identified as huge gossips as well] just happens to be walking by at that exact moment. She hears the whole thing, complete with the mixed up identity, runs home [three doors down from the Wakefields] and fires up the white princess phone that serves as the easiest way for gossip to spread through the Valley. Take that, Gossip Girl.
  By the next morning, all of SVH knows that good girl Liz has gone to the darkside, courtesy of a trip to Kelly's with bad boy Rick. Possibly fearing that two devious Wakefields is more than one high school can handle, people react by pretty much avoiding her. The boys are divided in two camps. Those who probably think Liz is a good time, though probably one involving a trip to the doctor's before and after, and those who think she's a total skank and should be put in her place. Preferably by never speaking to her again, I guess. This second camp is given a voice in the form of Enid's [Liz's best friend] current crush-turned-boyfriend Ronnie Edwards. The former is lead by rich boy Bruce Patman. But since no one's talking to Liz for fear of the crazy catching, she just thinks the entire school has gone insane.
  Until Enid finally breaks down and tells her that "no matter what, Liz, no matter what..." She spills the rest of the story and at first Liz is confused as to why Caroline would make up such an outrageous story about her. A second later, she realizes that Caroline didn't. She just had one certain fact messed up. So Liz confronts Jessica who in a tizzy over her brother's incredibly poor choice of girlfriends. Namely, the town skank, Betsy Martin. Still, no matter how much this grosses Liz out as well, she sticks to the more important matter. Namely, that her entire school is populated by idiots who believe Liz is the bar crawling twin.
  Because having Jess confess publicly will never happen, and because we've got to make it to page 182, we get another curve ball.
  It seems that we have a feud of epic proportions between the old money Patmans [hey, Bruce!] and new money Fowlers [aloha, Lila!] who for some reason, don't see a thing wrong with destroying the high school football field for their own purposes. Bruce's family wants to restore it to it's former glory as a formal English tea garden. The Fowlers want to build a factory. Now, I should stop to point out one little WTF moment. There are no FolwerS. There is Lila's father, George. Lila's an only child and her parents have been divorced for ages. Seriously, there are two Fowlers in the whole of SV as far as we've been told. I sincerely doubt Lila gives half a damn whether a factory goes up there or not. She'd probably enjoy any influx of money that would come her way, but she might also think it's a bit tacky to have a factory across the street from her school. Who knows? No one ever asked the girl.
  Instead, when news of these insane plans for their football field breaks, the students of SVH turn mob and corner the [mostly] innocent children of insane parents. There's some name calling and foolishly, Jessica opens her mouth and Bruce verbally bitchslaps her for it. It seems Mr. Wakefield has been seen all over town with a hot chick who ain't his wife. The whole town, or at least Bruce's parents, assume he's screwing around, and really, with that in her family closet, Jessica should STFU. Liz is shocked. She thought only the twins and maybe their brother suspected such a thing. For a gossip columnist, she's kinda naive, eh?
  Now, I know what you're thinking. WTF does this have to do with the price of Todd's stupidity and the scheming twins who love him? Well, not a whole lot, but we need some B-story angst. And because in the aftermath of bigmouth Bruce-y bass, Jess comes clean to Todd. Who doesn't believe her, but thinks she's incredibly noble to take the blame for her obviously skantastically confusing twin. So he invites her to the big dance. And they go. And have an absolutely miserable time after a brief dirty dancing fling. You see, Todd spends the rest of the evening staring hopelessly at Liz, who I guess never manages to look over at the same time to see him eying her. But both Liz's and Todd's dates notice. Winston doesn't mind all that much since he's had a thing for Jess for the better part of six years. Jessica, however, is beyond pissed.
  But it gets worse when he drops her off at home and all she gets is this stupid t-shirt a kiss on the cheek. So naturally, having only destroyed one person's rep this book, she decides to confuse Todd's antics with grabby hands Rick. And tells Liz all about it. By this point Jess has kind of figured out that Liz has a thing for Todd, but when given the chance to have Jess step aside, Liz chose not to take it. To keep Liz from getting better from Toddy boy than she did, Jess tells Liz that Todd is slime. And Liz buys it. Mostly. Still, it seems a little weird to her, but why would Jess lie?
  Back to the b story no one cares aboot, Mr. Wakefield and his other woman Marianna West, are working to save the Gladiator's playing field. So Liz gets time off from school, learns all aboot the ways of a real reporter, and yay, Mr. W saves the day! Well, actually Marianna does, which makes Liz feel a little funny that she thinks she could like the woman who is so obviously ruining her parents' marriage. Awkward! Only it turns out that, haha! Marianna really was just working with their father and now she's partner and yay, the perfect Wakefields really are perfect after all!
  Oh, and it turns out that Steven wasn't in love with Betsy, but rather her beautiful non skanky sister, Tricia. But Steve was so ashamed of her family, that he sabotaged his relationship with perfect Tricia, and she called him on it, broke his heart, and left him horribly depressed, something that will stain the poor boy horribly in the future. But for now, it's easily mended by him throwing himself on the mercy of Tricia's kind hearted nature.And again, perfection reigns supreme!
  Which leaves us with but one glaring problem. Todd is considered slime. Liz still wants Todd, and Rick is still pissed that Jess got him in trouble with the law. So Rick carjacks the twins and drives them out to Kelly's for some unknown reason. Maybe to show them that he's not a lightweight and can so totally hold his whiskey. Who knows? But first he drives by the Dairi Burger [told you it's conveniently located] and Todd happens to see them. And notice, in that split second, how freaked out Liz looks considering there's a maniac behind the wheel of their car. So he follows them, punches Rick out, and is rewarded with a kiss from fair Liz.
  The love birds trade notes on their destroyed reps [though, to be fair, Jess only told Liz, and it seems Liz never bothered to put the word out to warn anyone else] and came to one conclusion. Jessica!

  This leads us to our classic bit of revenge. Liz writes the Eyes and Ears column for the Oracle. It's a secret, and if the author is found out, it's school tradition to dunk them in the pool. So Liz dresses like Jess, makes it so Jess dresses like Liz, and while pretending to be Jessica, Liz lets the cat out of the bag. Jessica is dunked, and the newly happy couple is left to laugh and laugh. Gotcha, Jess!



Random tid bits:

  • Liz's tuxedo shirt is later changed to a generic green shirt and her nifty bow tie is changed to a belt in the double edition of Sweet 18, the final SVH [Senior Year] book. The current re-release of the book leaves the tux alone, letting the twins cross dress to their heart's content.

  • Enid and Elizabeth became friends during their sophomore creative writing class, though Liz still thinks Enid a bit mysterious.

  • Which could be because Enid hasn't told Liz that she's been arrested. Ah, good times.

  • As of DL, the Wakefield's pool is a fairly new addition to the house.

  • Ronnie, Enid's obnoxious boytoy, is awfully opinionated for the new guy in school.

  • Marianna's ex, Gareth West, is apparently a big deal heart specialist.

  • Bruce's mother is a Vanderhorn, one of the oldest families in SV. Nobody cares.





Say wha?
  After all, she told herself, if Todd preferred Jessica- and that certainly was how it looked- she would not stand in the way. She'd do the decent thing. Die. -Liz, p34

137 Different Ways to be Cruel:
  You've got to be seven hundred and thirty-seven kinds of idiots not to be excited about associating with the best girls at SVH. What's wrong with you? p35
  He has got to be the most wonderful boy in a hundred and thirty-seven states! p108
  This family has got to be the biggest bummer in five hundred and thirty-seven cities! p111
  I'll never forgive you, not if I live to be a hundred and thirty-seven years- p182.






Inability to discuss her massive crush on Wilkins and crying jags aside, this Liz is probably one of my favorites. She's funny, she's sarcastic, and she's a schemer. But most of all, I love that while we're told how popular Liz is, she seems less so than Jessica. Perhaps it's that Jess is the epitome of the popular girl. She's perfectly lovely to look at, and you want to hear about her exploits, but you know she's a raging bitch. Liz, on the other hand, is the twin you'll find sprawled on the ground collecting her books, wondering how long she has until some jerk kicks her and she has to restart the whole rescue operation. See, the true popular girl wouldn't have this problem, as Liz herself notes. If Jessica's books fell to the floor, her minions would scatter and retrieve them. Liz is without minions at this point, and it's kind of nice.
In general, I have a love/hate relationship with Double Love. Sometimes it's just fantastic enough that I enjoy it like cotton candy. And sometimes I wonder if perhaps I was an exceptionally stupid child and I've been stained forever by this book. But mostly I wish we could get a glimpse of pre-superfab twins. You know there are stories in their past, and the earlier books hinted at them. Later books were content to either ignore what came before or remind you with the sledgehammer of "previously on..."

Double Love non-English covers part 1
Double Love non-eglish covers part2



Re-issue, courtesy of 2008 )


** )

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the_oracle: the cover image from Double Love, classic SVH (Default)
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