the_oracle: (plotting)
Head Over Heels
April 1985

   Can Bruce Patman really fall in love?

  Do opposites attract?


     Bruce Patman and Regina Morrow in love? No one at Sweet Valley High can believe it. Regina is beautiful and shy, one of the nicest girls at school. Bruce is a real snow, and the only person he's ever cared about is himself.
    Jessica Wakefield figures the romance can't last. She knows Bruce too well. She's even willing to bet Lila Fowler that Bruce and Regina break up within two weeks. The stakes are high, and Jessica can't afford to lose. If she has her way, Regina and Bruce won't be happy for long.


  Ah, Bruce/Regina. They are probably one of my favorite SV couples, but this book doesn't really do either one of them any favors aside from the cover. Let's begin...
  Regina Morrow has managed to find herself in love with Bruce Patman, but more surprisingly, Bruce is head over heels [sometimes the titles are so easy!] in love with her as well. However strongly they feel about one another, the rest of the school, and anyone who has ever even met Bruce in passing can't help but wonder if this is a sign of the Apocalypse. Bruce... in love? Weird. They're all sure that Bruce will break Regina's heart, and with good reason, given his record thus far in the series. Breaking one Wakefield, nearly raping the other, and being a world class ass to any other female who manages to cross his path. Fun, fun times.
  Anyway, while most people are worried, there are two exceptions. Jessica and Lila are pissed as hell, although for different reasons. Jessica is upset that Bruce seems to have actually changed enough to want Regina, whereas he didn't really want her. Lila is ticked that... well, with Bruce and Regina being a couple, Regina's popularity has soared. You can't go two conversations without someone mentioning the new duo. Considering that Lila is jealous of Regina, this does not sit well with her. So the two make a little wager. Jessica bets that Regina and Bruce will break up before the upcoming carnival. Lila's no fool and says no effing way. For whatever reason, Li decides that betting actual money is no longer kosher, so they they bet term papers. Fifteen pages long term papers. Foolishly, neither girl stipulates that the loser must write a GOOD term paper for the winner. Ah, the folly of youth.

  Thing is, Jessica doesn't plan to fight fair. When it becomes apparent that Bruce is truly enamored of Regina, she decides that since there's no way in hell she's writing Lila's term paper, she's just going to have to help the inevitable along. So she whispers in Regina's ear that if Bruce's lavish gifts are any indication, that it's a good thing no one's really taking the rumours very seriously.
  Regina is a sixteen year old girl and thus immediately demands to know what the hell Jessica is talking about. Jessica stalls and finally confesses that ever since Bruce and Regina got together, Bruce has become even more popular, which is funny considering the timing. What about the timing? Well, he's running for the president of the Centennial student council. Oh, he didn't tell you? Well, it must have slipped his mind. What? No, no, the thought of him dating you just so that people would vote for him IS preposterous. Really, it's just so out there that no one could ever actually believe it. No, you stay there and mull this over. I'll skip back to my car.
  Of course, it works. It's so stupid that it shouldn't. Who the hell would believe that? In what world would this ever actually happen? Oh, yeah, the earlier SVH books would totally have had that happen. Still, it comes across as a rush job and Jessica's lucky that Regina's obviously an idiot. But then again, so is Bruce. Instead of coming clean when Regina flat out asks about it, he tries to avoid the question and then gets really upset when she won't let the subject drop. All because he wanted to surprise her with his win. Why... Ho...Why would that do something special for her? Because it shows that you casually entered a competition and beat someone who actually wanted the job? That's going to impress her? Regina ain't Jessica, jackass.
  Speaking of stupid, we have another fight involving the ever-present love birds, Todd and Elizabeth. This one is so painful that the writer actually has the characters comment on it and my brain melted. Back story: The previously mentioned carnival is a fund raiser to help "handicapped children." No idea what handicaps, maybe all of them, maybe just social ones. Who knows, we're never told. Anyway, Liz is chairperson of the event and as such she's running around trying to get this thing up and running in under two weeks. Skye Morrow has been named parent adviser of this train wreck, although she doesn't appear to actually do anything. In order to work her magic on Regina, Jessica comes up with an idea for the carnival. Mother daughter fashion show! The single best moment in the book is when Liz says that it's a good idea, but do you think Mom would go for it, and Jessica snorts that she didn't mean either of the twins and Alice, she meant the actual models, Regina/Skye. Now, I giggle just thinking about that, though technically Annie and her mother are also both models [former] so it's not like the school is hurting for beautiful people. But asking them wouldn't get Jessica over to the Morrow's estate where she could flirt with Donald. When Liz stops by later, Donald flirts with whom he assumes is Jessica, but it's Liz. Oh those wacky twin mix ups.
  Neither Todd nor Liz remembers Elizabeth has an identical twin and that Donald might have thought he was flirting with her, not the boring, seriously taken twin. So Todd sulks and Liz is down in the dumps until the twins chat again. Then Liz runs off to call Todd and explain the whole mess and Jess is like, "wait, so you ruined my chances? Come back here!"

  Alright. The actual point of the book is that Kurt Morrow has found a doctor who might possibly be able to fix Regina's hearing. At first Regina is just as excited as the rest of her family about the prospect of normality, but then she finds out she'll have to spend a year in Switzerland for the treatments. This would mean leaving Bruce and Regina's not about to do that. So she says no. It's not all about Bruce, though. She likes her life in Sweet Valley, and I don't blame her. She's rich, she's beautiful, and the whole school seems to adore her, aside from Lila, so why would she want to leave for something that might just end up being a giant dud? She doesn't tell Bruce, or anyone else, really.
  When Jessica's plan works, Regina tells her family she'll leave immediately. Liz and Regina chat and Liz is pissed that Bruce would do such a thing, and once more I really question how smart Liz is. On the other hand, she loathes Bruce [for good effing reason] so that's blinding her to the absurdity of the situation.
  Thing is, Bruce is miserable. He actually loved Regina and he has no idea why she dumped him. Liz finally caves and Bruce points out that this is completely stupid and lacking in logic, and Liz tells him about Regina's move. At first Bruce assumes it'll be a short term treatment thing, but when Liz points out that we're talking a year or more, Bruce is less than thrilled. He's also confused. Does he let Regina go because if would be better for her, or does he beg her to stay because he loves her?
  He compromises. He writers her a fantastically over the top letter that explains he really does love her and because of that, she has to give her hearing a chance. Or something along those lines. It's actually kind of sweet. Anyway, he asks Liz to slip it into Regina's luggage somewhere so that she'll see it sometime after she's left.
  Liz agrees and slips it into Regina's scrapbook. On the plane ride, Regina finds it and feels all warm and fuzzy. Awww.


Trivia:

  • Hey, this one mentions Liz's mole. And that sounded really gross.

  • The book takes place over twelve days. [the length of time it takes to plan the carnival before it happens.]

  • The infamous History term paper is 15 pages long and worth a third of their grades. Lila manages a respectable B- while she leaves Jessica stuck with a D. Next time work on the specifics of the outcome, girls.

  • Bruce meets Regina after each of her classes just so he can spend a few extra minutes with her. Wow, the boy must run.

  • Bruce bought Regina a ruby pendant and a diamond bracelet. Oooooo.

  • Mr. Fowler is building another building across from his downtown office. Lila meets a construction worker named Jack there, though he seems thoroughly unimpressed by who her father is. Intrigue for the next book.

  • Jack has honey brown hair, is tanned from all his work outside, and muscled to boot. Awesome?

  • The Carnival Committee is as follows: Mr Collins, Liz, Todd, Enid, Olivia, Roger, Ken, Winston, Regina, and Skye Morrow.

  • Olivia is in charge of the prizes and decoration, Ken is building the booths, Regina and Enid are working the refreshments, Todd and Roger are all over the games, and Winston is the MC, as well as the man behind the pie throwing booth. Later, Ms. Dalton is in charge of the international food booth.

  • George's flying class is mentioned this go round.

  • Ken is running for the Sweet Valley Centennial Student committee president. Later Bruce enters the race and Liz rigs it so he'll win, because of his devotion to Regina. Um, what if Ken actually wanted that position he actually lobbied for?

  • Liz bets Todd that someone would enter the race against Ken. The prize? A hot fudge sundae at the Dairi Burger. Todd better pay up.

  • Regina things Mrs. Patman is nutty. Possibly because she spends half the night yelling at a deaf person and the other half trying to one-up other people's charity work so that she'll seem more important.

  • Donald Essex is eighteen, with thick sandy hair, green eyes, and newly working ears. He's one of the one in a thousand who had the treatments and they worked.

  • Donald also had a girlfriend and didn't want to leave her, but when she found out that he'd never told her about the possibility that he could hear again, she dumped him for being an idiot. Or not trusting her or something along those lines. Essentially, an idiot.

  • Max Friederich is the Swiss surgeon who works the miracles.

  • At last count, 57 people would rather throw a whipped cream pie at Winston, while only 14 would prefer lemon.

  • Bruce writes his letter to Regina at 1AM, and it takes him an hour to do so.

  • Ms. Dalton is the youngest SVH teacher at 25.

  • Caroline is making her disgustingly rich brownies, and Enid and Todd are making pizza. Where is the Enid/Todd hookup diary?

  • One ticket for the carnival costs a dollar.

  • Winston wears his father's oversized tux and red suspenders as his formal MC gear. Bitchin'.

  • When all is said and done, the SVH gang raised "over $800" for the handicapped children.

  • Jess receives a letter from Donald that says he hadn't wanted to lead her on. Jess is pissed and I'm just confused.

  • At the end of the book, there's a preview for the new Caitlin series. Even the reissues kept this, although I imagine Caitlin was long out of print by then.



Say wha?
Marie Patman hated the Fowlers. She hated them so much that she wasn't sure whether it was the idea of the Fowlers or the fact of them that so enraged her. p35

"Well," Jessica began, still out of breath, "what about a mother-daughter fashion show? We would set it up in one corner of the tent or get a smaller tent for it, and charge people a dollar for tickets."
Elizabeth frowned thoughtfully. "Not bad," she mused. "Do you think Mom would do it?"
Jessica burst out laughing. "Not me, Liz," she said, giggling. "And you think I'm vain," she added.
Elizabeth blushed. 65

"Hello, is Regina there?" Elizabeth shot her a look. Jessica's cheeks turned bright red.
Elizabeth shook her head in disbelief. Only my twin, she thought, would ask to speak to a deaf girl on the phone. It just figures. p75


If anyone can botch up a perfect relationship, she thought, grinning, it's me. Jessica knows herself quite well, p76




  Let's start with the obvious. Regina and Bruce are both painfully rich, and both are spoiled quite a bit. Regina due to guilt [dude, Skye? Dieting while pregnant has always been, and will always be an incredibly bad idea. So yeah, you should feel guilty.] and Bruce because he's... Bruce. So the distance might be a bitch, but something tells me they wouldn't have half the problem oh, say, anyone else on the planet would. So I'm guessing a bulk of the "I won't go, you can't make me" angst was in an effort to have your average reader relate.
  Now I ponder, if Liz hadn't meddled and Regina had gone off to have her hearing fixed, would she have come back only to have her heart broken and die tragically? Would Bruce had folded and told her, or would he have assumed Liz had done what he asked and that Regina just didn't care? Oh, the what-ifs...
  Now, in the recap they give for why Lila loathes Regina, the implication is that Jessica knows Lila went to Lane Townsend and tried to get him to use her pictures instead. Thing is, Lila didn't tell anyone, and I can't really see her sharing her embarrassment with anyone. Though maybe she had a diary and Jess read it. Why did we never get Lila's diary? That would have been amazing...

  I have a soft spot for Head Over Heels. Like a lot of SV fans, I love it when Bruce shows some semblance of humanity, and I loved Regina fiercely. [So much so that when it came time for Barbies, Regina was always part of the gang.] The other reason is I loved that this was the book that gave the world Caitlin. She never did live up to the promise in the letter [she softened way too fast] but bitchery in boarding school? I was so there with bells on.

the_oracle: (plotting)
Head Over Heels
April 1985

   Can Bruce Patman really fall in love?

  Do opposites attract?


     Bruce Patman and Regina Morrow in love? No one at Sweet Valley High can believe it. Regina is beautiful and shy, one of the nicest girls at school. Bruce is a real snow, and the only person he's ever cared about is himself.
    Jessica Wakefield figures the romance can't last. She knows Bruce too well. She's even willing to bet Lila Fowler that Bruce and Regina break up within two weeks. The stakes are high, and Jessica can't afford to lose. If she has her way, Regina and Bruce won't be happy for long.


  Ah, Bruce/Regina. They are probably one of my favorite SV couples, but this book doesn't really do either one of them any favors aside from the cover. Let's begin...
  Regina Morrow has managed to find herself in love with Bruce Patman, but more surprisingly, Bruce is head over heels [sometimes the titles are so easy!] in love with her as well. However strongly they feel about one another, the rest of the school, and anyone who has ever even met Bruce in passing can't help but wonder if this is a sign of the Apocalypse. Bruce... in love? Weird. They're all sure that Bruce will break Regina's heart, and with good reason, given his record thus far in the series. Breaking one Wakefield, nearly raping the other, and being a world class ass to any other female who manages to cross his path. Fun, fun times.
  Anyway, while most people are worried, there are two exceptions. Jessica and Lila are pissed as hell, although for different reasons. Jessica is upset that Bruce seems to have actually changed enough to want Regina, whereas he didn't really want her. Lila is ticked that... well, with Bruce and Regina being a couple, Regina's popularity has soared. You can't go two conversations without someone mentioning the new duo. Considering that Lila is jealous of Regina, this does not sit well with her. So the two make a little wager. Jessica bets that Regina and Bruce will break up before the upcoming carnival. Lila's no fool and says no effing way. For whatever reason, Li decides that betting actual money is no longer kosher, so they they bet term papers. Fifteen pages long term papers. Foolishly, neither girl stipulates that the loser must write a GOOD term paper for the winner. Ah, the folly of youth.

  Thing is, Jessica doesn't plan to fight fair. When it becomes apparent that Bruce is truly enamored of Regina, she decides that since there's no way in hell she's writing Lila's term paper, she's just going to have to help the inevitable along. So she whispers in Regina's ear that if Bruce's lavish gifts are any indication, that it's a good thing no one's really taking the rumours very seriously.
  Regina is a sixteen year old girl and thus immediately demands to know what the hell Jessica is talking about. Jessica stalls and finally confesses that ever since Bruce and Regina got together, Bruce has become even more popular, which is funny considering the timing. What about the timing? Well, he's running for the president of the Centennial student council. Oh, he didn't tell you? Well, it must have slipped his mind. What? No, no, the thought of him dating you just so that people would vote for him IS preposterous. Really, it's just so out there that no one could ever actually believe it. No, you stay there and mull this over. I'll skip back to my car.
  Of course, it works. It's so stupid that it shouldn't. Who the hell would believe that? In what world would this ever actually happen? Oh, yeah, the earlier SVH books would totally have had that happen. Still, it comes across as a rush job and Jessica's lucky that Regina's obviously an idiot. But then again, so is Bruce. Instead of coming clean when Regina flat out asks about it, he tries to avoid the question and then gets really upset when she won't let the subject drop. All because he wanted to surprise her with his win. Why... Ho...Why would that do something special for her? Because it shows that you casually entered a competition and beat someone who actually wanted the job? That's going to impress her? Regina ain't Jessica, jackass.
  Speaking of stupid, we have another fight involving the ever-present love birds, Todd and Elizabeth. This one is so painful that the writer actually has the characters comment on it and my brain melted. Back story: The previously mentioned carnival is a fund raiser to help "handicapped children." No idea what handicaps, maybe all of them, maybe just social ones. Who knows, we're never told. Anyway, Liz is chairperson of the event and as such she's running around trying to get this thing up and running in under two weeks. Skye Morrow has been named parent adviser of this train wreck, although she doesn't appear to actually do anything. In order to work her magic on Regina, Jessica comes up with an idea for the carnival. Mother daughter fashion show! The single best moment in the book is when Liz says that it's a good idea, but do you think Mom would go for it, and Jessica snorts that she didn't mean either of the twins and Alice, she meant the actual models, Regina/Skye. Now, I giggle just thinking about that, though technically Annie and her mother are also both models [former] so it's not like the school is hurting for beautiful people. But asking them wouldn't get Jessica over to the Morrow's estate where she could flirt with Donald. When Liz stops by later, Donald flirts with whom he assumes is Jessica, but it's Liz. Oh those wacky twin mix ups.
  Neither Todd nor Liz remembers Elizabeth has an identical twin and that Donald might have thought he was flirting with her, not the boring, seriously taken twin. So Todd sulks and Liz is down in the dumps until the twins chat again. Then Liz runs off to call Todd and explain the whole mess and Jess is like, "wait, so you ruined my chances? Come back here!"

  Alright. The actual point of the book is that Kurt Morrow has found a doctor who might possibly be able to fix Regina's hearing. At first Regina is just as excited as the rest of her family about the prospect of normality, but then she finds out she'll have to spend a year in Switzerland for the treatments. This would mean leaving Bruce and Regina's not about to do that. So she says no. It's not all about Bruce, though. She likes her life in Sweet Valley, and I don't blame her. She's rich, she's beautiful, and the whole school seems to adore her, aside from Lila, so why would she want to leave for something that might just end up being a giant dud? She doesn't tell Bruce, or anyone else, really.
  When Jessica's plan works, Regina tells her family she'll leave immediately. Liz and Regina chat and Liz is pissed that Bruce would do such a thing, and once more I really question how smart Liz is. On the other hand, she loathes Bruce [for good effing reason] so that's blinding her to the absurdity of the situation.
  Thing is, Bruce is miserable. He actually loved Regina and he has no idea why she dumped him. Liz finally caves and Bruce points out that this is completely stupid and lacking in logic, and Liz tells him about Regina's move. At first Bruce assumes it'll be a short term treatment thing, but when Liz points out that we're talking a year or more, Bruce is less than thrilled. He's also confused. Does he let Regina go because if would be better for her, or does he beg her to stay because he loves her?
  He compromises. He writers her a fantastically over the top letter that explains he really does love her and because of that, she has to give her hearing a chance. Or something along those lines. It's actually kind of sweet. Anyway, he asks Liz to slip it into Regina's luggage somewhere so that she'll see it sometime after she's left.
  Liz agrees and slips it into Regina's scrapbook. On the plane ride, Regina finds it and feels all warm and fuzzy. Awww.


Trivia:

  • Hey, this one mentions Liz's mole. And that sounded really gross.

  • The book takes place over twelve days. [the length of time it takes to plan the carnival before it happens.]

  • The infamous History term paper is 15 pages long and worth a third of their grades. Lila manages a respectable B- while she leaves Jessica stuck with a D. Next time work on the specifics of the outcome, girls.

  • Bruce meets Regina after each of her classes just so he can spend a few extra minutes with her. Wow, the boy must run.

  • Bruce bought Regina a ruby pendant and a diamond bracelet. Oooooo.

  • Mr. Fowler is building another building across from his downtown office. Lila meets a construction worker named Jack there, though he seems thoroughly unimpressed by who her father is. Intrigue for the next book.

  • Jack has honey brown hair, is tanned from all his work outside, and muscled to boot. Awesome?

  • The Carnival Committee is as follows: Mr Collins, Liz, Todd, Enid, Olivia, Roger, Ken, Winston, Regina, and Skye Morrow.

  • Olivia is in charge of the prizes and decoration, Ken is building the booths, Regina and Enid are working the refreshments, Todd and Roger are all over the games, and Winston is the MC, as well as the man behind the pie throwing booth. Later, Ms. Dalton is in charge of the international food booth.

  • George's flying class is mentioned this go round.

  • Ken is running for the Sweet Valley Centennial Student committee president. Later Bruce enters the race and Liz rigs it so he'll win, because of his devotion to Regina. Um, what if Ken actually wanted that position he actually lobbied for?

  • Liz bets Todd that someone would enter the race against Ken. The prize? A hot fudge sundae at the Dairi Burger. Todd better pay up.

  • Regina things Mrs. Patman is nutty. Possibly because she spends half the night yelling at a deaf person and the other half trying to one-up other people's charity work so that she'll seem more important.

  • Donald Essex is eighteen, with thick sandy hair, green eyes, and newly working ears. He's one of the one in a thousand who had the treatments and they worked.

  • Donald also had a girlfriend and didn't want to leave her, but when she found out that he'd never told her about the possibility that he could hear again, she dumped him for being an idiot. Or not trusting her or something along those lines. Essentially, an idiot.

  • Max Friederich is the Swiss surgeon who works the miracles.

  • At last count, 57 people would rather throw a whipped cream pie at Winston, while only 14 would prefer lemon.

  • Bruce writes his letter to Regina at 1AM, and it takes him an hour to do so.

  • Ms. Dalton is the youngest SVH teacher at 25.

  • Caroline is making her disgustingly rich brownies, and Enid and Todd are making pizza. Where is the Enid/Todd hookup diary?

  • One ticket for the carnival costs a dollar.

  • Winston wears his father's oversized tux and red suspenders as his formal MC gear. Bitchin'.

  • When all is said and done, the SVH gang raised "over $800" for the handicapped children.

  • Jess receives a letter from Donald that says he hadn't wanted to lead her on. Jess is pissed and I'm just confused.

  • At the end of the book, there's a preview for the new Caitlin series. Even the reissues kept this, although I imagine Caitlin was long out of print by then.



Say wha?
Marie Patman hated the Fowlers. She hated them so much that she wasn't sure whether it was the idea of the Fowlers or the fact of them that so enraged her. p35

"Well," Jessica began, still out of breath, "what about a mother-daughter fashion show? We would set it up in one corner of the tent or get a smaller tent for it, and charge people a dollar for tickets."
Elizabeth frowned thoughtfully. "Not bad," she mused. "Do you think Mom would do it?"
Jessica burst out laughing. "Not me, Liz," she said, giggling. "And you think I'm vain," she added.
Elizabeth blushed. 65

"Hello, is Regina there?" Elizabeth shot her a look. Jessica's cheeks turned bright red.
Elizabeth shook her head in disbelief. Only my twin, she thought, would ask to speak to a deaf girl on the phone. It just figures. p75


If anyone can botch up a perfect relationship, she thought, grinning, it's me. Jessica knows herself quite well, p76




  Let's start with the obvious. Regina and Bruce are both painfully rich, and both are spoiled quite a bit. Regina due to guilt [dude, Skye? Dieting while pregnant has always been, and will always be an incredibly bad idea. So yeah, you should feel guilty.] and Bruce because he's... Bruce. So the distance might be a bitch, but something tells me they wouldn't have half the problem oh, say, anyone else on the planet would. So I'm guessing a bulk of the "I won't go, you can't make me" angst was in an effort to have your average reader relate.
  Now I ponder, if Liz hadn't meddled and Regina had gone off to have her hearing fixed, would she have come back only to have her heart broken and die tragically? Would Bruce had folded and told her, or would he have assumed Liz had done what he asked and that Regina just didn't care? Oh, the what-ifs...
  Now, in the recap they give for why Lila loathes Regina, the implication is that Jessica knows Lila went to Lane Townsend and tried to get him to use her pictures instead. Thing is, Lila didn't tell anyone, and I can't really see her sharing her embarrassment with anyone. Though maybe she had a diary and Jess read it. Why did we never get Lila's diary? That would have been amazing...

  I have a soft spot for Head Over Heels. Like a lot of SV fans, I love it when Bruce shows some semblance of humanity, and I loved Regina fiercely. [So much so that when it came time for Barbies, Regina was always part of the gang.] The other reason is I loved that this was the book that gave the world Caitlin. She never did live up to the promise in the letter [she softened way too fast] but bitchery in boarding school? I was so there with bells on.

the_oracle: (tear)
Love Letters
  March 1985

    Is Caroline's romance for real?

   Make-believe romance...


   Caroline Pearce has always been one of the least popular girls at Sweet Valley High. But when she invents a new out-of-town boyfriend, people finally start to pay attention to her. Brown-eyed, six foot Adam and his romantic love letters are the talk of the school.
   Caroline has everyone fooled-even clever Jessica Wakefield. But what begins as a bid for love and attention quickly becomes the worst jam of Caroline's life, when her friends insist on meeting the boyfriend she's been bragging about. Can Caroline keep the truth a secret, or will her lies be her downfall?

  Love Letters proves that some people should have paid a little more attention to Jan's attention seeking on The Brady Bunch. I know it's the early eighties and all, but shouldn't we have learned by now that making up a boyfriend is a bad, bad, bad idea? Well, no, because if we all learned our lessons, this wouldn't be one of those quintessential stories that a teen series MUST tackle at least once.

  Caroline Pearce is the biggest gossip at Sweet Valley High. When you consider that the school also houses Cara Walker and Jessica Wakefield, you've got to admit this takes some talent, and a whole lot of talking. Thing is, Caroline talks so much, and to anyone who will listen, about absolutely anything she hears or thinks she's heard, or maybe even something she sort of saw while out walking the dog that no one really likes her. You can't tell her anything because you know it'll end up on the SVH gossip-grapevine, probably distorted just enough to make things look really bad for you. And if you can't talk to someone about even the most harmless little thing, you don't really have a shot of hanging out with them at all. Hell, even Saint Elizabeth doesn't really like Caroline. So you know Caroline is lonely. Painfully, mind numbingly, lonely. This hasn't really come up before, what with the inability to talk to Caroline, but this is her show, so now we find out.
  And it makes sense. With the exception of Tricia Martin, so far everyone else brought up in the series has had someone, anyone, to cling to. Annie had her long list of boys, as did Betsy who also had Trish and Steve, Roger had Olivia, Bill had Dee Dee and I'm bored re-capping, so we're done with that now. If you didn't have a single friend at school, you can relate. Hell, if you just had a few friends, you can relate.
  Caroline is tired of being a misfit, always relegated to the outskirts of the SVH-crowd. She decides that enough is enough. She's done with the whole outside looking in crap. So she makes sure that she's got the ears of the demi-gossip-goddesses, and she tells them all about Adam, her amazingly perfectly gorgeous, overly romantic, super secret until now boyfriend.
  Oh, boy does she tell them. She reads his letters, passes them around, details every phone conversation, and in general acts like your best friend's little sister who desperately wants to be cool enough to hang out with you guys, if only for an afternoon. Of course, she probably sounds like that because she is like that. Her sister, Anita, seems like your typical perfect older sister. Pretty enough that dating isn't a problem, popular enough to have friends come and go, and just bitchy enough to point out your short comings over breakfast. So it's not like Caroline needs a guy just to impress the in crowd at school. Nope, a boyfriend would shut her older sister up, too.
  Thing is, Adam doesn't exist. He's Caroline's dream boy, but she hasn't met him and he certainly doesn't send her poetry laden letters every other day. Now the rest of us know that Caroline is only going to get so far with letters, even really spectacular letters, before Lila and Jessica pressure her into producing this Adam.
  This is as good a time as any to point out our B and C stories. Both involve the Wakefield twins, and give them different reasons to help or hurt Caroline when things get down and dirty.
  While trying to glom onto either twin, Caroline finds a letter from Alice Wakefield to a design firm in San Francisco, thanking them for their generous job offer and telling them she'll think about it. When Jessica pushes Caroline too far at the beach, Caroline fakes some sympathy for poor Jessica. It must be so hard to concentrate on other people's problems when you're so caught up in the potential move, huh?
  Yeah, not your best move, Caro. By pointing out that Jessica's perfect life is possibly about to come crashing down around her, you've moved straight to the top of her shit list.
  When the twins, led by overly melodramatic Jessica, confront their parents, Alice admits she's been offered the gig and she'd really like it. Ned points out that it's an incredible honor and that with the twins so close to college, it really would be a good thing for them to make more money. Now, call me crazy, but you'd think the cost of living in Frisco would off-set the major pay increase at least a little. Silly me. Anyway, the parental units are ticked when neither twin is thrilled at the thought of their entire lives being uprooted in the midst of their junior year in high school. Jess does make one possibly out of character observation. She points out that while it sucks massively just thinking about moving, what with cheerleading and all, it would KILL Elizabeth to leave Todd. It's never mentioned as a selfish, manipulative comment, and I for one would like to give Jessica the benefit of the doubt. Sure, she had to know it would guilt the 'rents, but it's also... true. And foreshadowing, but we'll make our way back there soon enough.
  The twins combine forces to convince their parents that moving would be a bad, bad, baaaaaad idea. From brochures inundating them with every possible bit of information on Sweet Valley, to nostalgic visits to various restaurants, right on through to trashing San Francisco, the twins have pretty much thought of everything.
  C story is a continued thread from a few books back. Elizabeth's entering a playwright competition and hers is based on the life of Elizabeth Barrett Browning.
  Now, since Adam doesn't exist and it's not likely that Caroline houses the soul of a poet, where has she been getting her letters? Oh, yeah, she's been lifting from Robert Browning. The smart people are snorting and saying, yeah, what are the effing odds of that? Well, it's simple. In life, particularly high school, the one thing that can unravel your pack of lies is infinitely closer than the rear view mirror would indicate.
  However, Caroline skates on, oblivious to her impending doom.
  Anyway, plots C and B combine to sink Caroline's battleship. After a night that is essentially a Taste of Sweet Valley cuisine, Elizabeth reads her family her play and Jessica realizes that parts of it sound awfully familiar. She's certain she's never read Browning's work before and the only other source of poetry in her diet has been Adam's letters. She puts two and two together and comes up with faux boyfriend.
  In a twist, Lila points out that Caroline could still be telling the truth, completely unaware that her boyfriend has been lifting his lines from a dead poet guy. Jessica all but snorts and asks, "What crack are you on, Fowler?" Lila carefully points out that there are obvious, and normal, explanations for each of Jessica's protests. Adam could have terrible handwriting, leading to him typing his letters. Since he's not doing the heavy thinking parts of the letters, his frequency in mailing them is nothing to look twice at.
  Caroline knows that she can't keep Lila and Jessica at bay for much longer with just letters, so she says she's going to Cold Springs one weekend to visit Adam. Lila and Jessica coo over this and point out that it leaves the following weekend for Adam's party. Perfect !
  Yeah, except for Adam not existing. So Caro "brings back" proof. There's the "Property of Cold Springs Athletic Department" shirt she claims is from Adam, but is really a left over from her cousin Sally's dating disaster with a Cold Springs boy. There's a newspaper picture of 'Adam', though it's from a basketball game and blurry to boot, though that came in a letter. Oh yeah, and then there's the fact that Jessica saw Caroline while she was supposedly out of town.
  Thing is, Lila and Jess are both thrown by the proof. Maybe the guy really does exist...
  Also thrown is Anita, Caroline's big sister. Caro shares the joy and fakes a phone conversation and she and Anita bond. Which is really annoying later on, given how much of a bitch Anita is the first time she shows up. It takes your little sister inventing a boyfriend for you to give her the time of day? Nice, real nice.
  Anyway, to ensure that Caroline can't use the "But Adam is broke..." excuse, Lila buys the elusive Adam a bus ticket. Nice, huh?
  Jessica also sets things up so that Liz finally hears one of Adam's letters. Liz is worried that Caro doesn't realize they aren't legit, but Caro confides that's the least of her worries. Liz points out that Caroline might have some friends if she weren't such a busy body, always poking into other people's business. Yes, you may snort with laughter now.
  Caroline begs Liz not to read her play, as that will expose Caroline as a fraud. Liz reluctantly agrees, and goes home to bitch Jessica out. Anita then busts Caroline, sort of. Seems Mama Pearce doesn't know a thing about Adam, so Caroline confesses. Anita gives her a much longer, much bitchier version of Elizabeth's speech, and Caroline realizes the error of her ways. GASP! Liz failed and bitchy eating disorder riddled older sister prevails!
  The next day, Caroline tells Elizabeth that it was wrong of her to ask Liz to not read her play, and it's okay. She's just going to have to suck it up and admit that she's a big ol' liar. Because of this, Saint Liz and her sidekick Todd resume work on Operation Rescue. Uh...huh.
  However, Caroline chickens out the first time she's given a chance to come clean, and continues to chicken out all week. Not that I blame her, but Jesus, you'd think coming clean at school would beat making a total ass of yourself at a party thrown partially in your honor. It's not like having your execution catered would make it any easier to die.
  For the party, Anita goes all out on Caroline and the girl is glowing so much that Todd gives her a fantastically backhanded compliment. At the party, Caroline decides to bypass the goodies and head straight for the guillotine. She has Lila kill the music and just as she's about to confess her lie, a handsome, 6'2", wavy brown haired, chocolate brown eyed sweetheart of a guy rushes up, apologizes for being late, and kisses Caroline for all the world to see. It seems Adam has finally arrived.
  Operation Rescue involved Todd asking a friend of his to pretend to be Adam to save Caroline the pain of being publicly humiliated. I suspect Todd agreed solely to thwart Jessica's plan for Caroline's downfall, but that's okay. Normally I'd ask what are the odds that you could find this dead ringer for a made-up boytoy, but when you think about it, it shouldn't be all that difficult. Brown-eyed brunettes aren't exactly hard to come by, and Todd knows Jerry from basketball, so odds are good that the 6'2" bit wasn't that hard to fill. But did anyone else notice that Caroline pretty much conjures up Todd Wilkins up when she creates Adam? Looks-wise, I mean. Every time she'd go on and on about his eyes, I'd think of the numerous times over the series Elizabeth would find herself lost in Todd's gaze.
  Eventually Caroline realizes that while everyone else thinks she's found someone fantastic, she's just as lonely as before, if not moreso. So she confesses and runs away. I cannot fault her for that either, as I'd have run, too. Jerry follows her, tells her he's proud of her, and they kiss for real. It's very sweet, although Caroline asking if she can come visit so quickly is a little forward and obnoxious.
  Overall, Caroline gets a happy ending after all. So do the twins. Seems that Alice and Ned turned the offer down shortly into the "YAY, SV!" blitz, but thought to teach the twins a lesson, so they didn't share the news immediately. Alls well that ends well.
  Or as close as the valley's going to let us get, at this point.


*- Not that I have a hat, but since I won't need to eat it anyway, that really doesn't matter.

Trivial Pursuit:

  • Adam is 6'2", dark brown hair, warm laughing brown eyes. He lives in Cold Springs, plays baseball, and is naturally well liked. He was also on the basketball team last year. His mother is an English teacher and perfectly fine with her son's mystery girlfriend spending the weekend at their house.

  • Cold Springs is about two hours away from Sweet Valley.

  • Anita is Caroline's older sister. She's model thin and constantly makes Caroline feel fat because she doesn't exist on ice water and melon like Anita does. If Anita doesn't have food "issues", I'll eat my hat.*

  • Anita suffers under the delusion that the twins are the nicest girls in the junior class.

  • According to Caroline, Annie and Ricky's issues are as follows:Ricky promised Annie a ride in his father's white Seville Cadillac, but when he showed up for the date, it was just in his beat up old Chevy. When Annie went to the bathroom to clean herself up after an unfortunate incident involving cocktail sauce, she returned to find Ricky flirting with Maria Santelli.

  • Elizabeth makes most of the jokes about Jessica's room.

  • John Paine, is the director of the Hurley Group, one of the biggest firms in California. He's offered Alice a job, and even when she declines, he says he'll keep a spot for her anytime she changes her mind.

  • Elizabeth based her play on "Sonnets from the Portuguese."

  • Mr. Wakefield's receptionist is Mrs. Kelly.

  • Jessica runs into Dennis [remember him from book nine?] while visiting her father.

  • Caroline keeps Adam's stationary in her 3rd desk drawer. Said stationary is light blue, in case you wondered.

  • Caroline has been lifting Adam's letters from Robert Browning: Letters, volumes one through three.

  • Miss Priss Caroline finds t-shirts too low cut. Um, mid-80's shirts, no less.

  • Bruce helps Regina out with a math problem, then asks her out, and she still manages to call all the shots.

  • Liz buys her mother a lovely Amaryllis arrangement from Petal Pushers.

  • The 'Taste of Sweet Valley' dinner includes a salad with a special Dijon mustard dressing from Season's Gourmet Shop, Veal Parmesan from Vitos, and a lemon chiffon pie from Caster's.

  • The Wakefields used to eat takeout from Vito's at least once a week.

  • Caroline is the only member of PBA to have perfect attendance at the meetings. Something tells me Liz and Enid have the worst in recent memory.

  • Tiberino's is owned by Sal Ciardi, and it's where Ned proposed to Alice, and their go-to restaurant's for anniversaries.

  • Ned is allergic to Chinese food.

  • Las Palmas Canyon is twenty miles from SV.

  • Elizabeth's play is called "One Woman's Romance."

  • Fowler Crest is apparently now Spanish Style. Who knew?

  • Jerry Fisher is a friend of Todd's, and he pretends to be Adam, but seems to genuinely like Caroline.




Quoted:

"Caroline has it coming to her anyway. I can't believe she tried to trick us! I'll admit it showed she's got more imagination than I ever gave her credit for, but that's all." Jessica defends her malicious streak. p120

"Yeah. There's something different about you tonight-and it's not just your new dress. You're pretty," he said. Todd trips over his words fantastically. p 138




  It's crucial to make your misfit likable in a story like this. Not only do you have to explain why a previously painfully obnoxious character should be pitied and understood, but you also have to make it so that you want them to rise above their past misdeeds, especially if they lack the effortless charm that other characters are graced with. And the thing is, it works, which is kind of surprising. Caroline manages to walk that fine line between previously established busy-body and misunderstood misfit.
  On the one hand, you have Caroline spreading her usual gossip all around. There are her stories about Annie and Ricky possibly breaking up because of Ricky allegedly flirting with Maria Santelli, John Pfiefer being kicked off the Oracle for consistently turning his sports copy in late, and then there's the one about Bill Chase getting help with his play from Mr. Jaworski.
  On the other hand, it's not like she intentionally tries to screw things up for people. The Annie gossip was meant as something to contribute to a conversation where she felt left out. The Bill thing was an attempt to make small talk that failed madly, and well, John's got worse coming to him in the far future, so really, he got off light.
  Anita comes off as impossible to live up to, so you feel for Caroline at home. At school she's the one person just about everyone attempts to hide from, and as the series manages to churn out spin offs like crazy, you realize this has been going on for forever. So yeah, Caroline brought a lot of this on herself, but she didn't mean to. She just happens to be her absolute worst enemy.
  The funny thing about Love Letters is that it's the first time the character makeover introduced doesn't stick. Caroline momentarily tries to be a better person in this book, and then she pretty much lapses back into her gossip-y ways fairly quickly. What little character definition she was given is snatched back and she goes back to being the stereotypical gossip hungry wannabe.

  Now I leave you with two things. One, the reissue of the book is impossible to read the back cover without your eyes starting to bleed a little. Black on bright effing blue is a bad combination for reading. Two, did Adam sign his name, or did he type that as well?



Various other banners have been updated. I think Double Love, Dear Sister, and whenever it finishes loading, When Love Dies.
the_oracle: (tear)
Love Letters
  March 1985

    Is Caroline's romance for real?

   Make-believe romance...


   Caroline Pearce has always been one of the least popular girls at Sweet Valley High. But when she invents a new out-of-town boyfriend, people finally start to pay attention to her. Brown-eyed, six foot Adam and his romantic love letters are the talk of the school.
   Caroline has everyone fooled-even clever Jessica Wakefield. But what begins as a bid for love and attention quickly becomes the worst jam of Caroline's life, when her friends insist on meeting the boyfriend she's been bragging about. Can Caroline keep the truth a secret, or will her lies be her downfall?

  Love Letters proves that some people should have paid a little more attention to Jan's attention seeking on The Brady Bunch. I know it's the early eighties and all, but shouldn't we have learned by now that making up a boyfriend is a bad, bad, bad idea? Well, no, because if we all learned our lessons, this wouldn't be one of those quintessential stories that a teen series MUST tackle at least once.

  Caroline Pearce is the biggest gossip at Sweet Valley High. When you consider that the school also houses Cara Walker and Jessica Wakefield, you've got to admit this takes some talent, and a whole lot of talking. Thing is, Caroline talks so much, and to anyone who will listen, about absolutely anything she hears or thinks she's heard, or maybe even something she sort of saw while out walking the dog that no one really likes her. You can't tell her anything because you know it'll end up on the SVH gossip-grapevine, probably distorted just enough to make things look really bad for you. And if you can't talk to someone about even the most harmless little thing, you don't really have a shot of hanging out with them at all. Hell, even Saint Elizabeth doesn't really like Caroline. So you know Caroline is lonely. Painfully, mind numbingly, lonely. This hasn't really come up before, what with the inability to talk to Caroline, but this is her show, so now we find out.
  And it makes sense. With the exception of Tricia Martin, so far everyone else brought up in the series has had someone, anyone, to cling to. Annie had her long list of boys, as did Betsy who also had Trish and Steve, Roger had Olivia, Bill had Dee Dee and I'm bored re-capping, so we're done with that now. If you didn't have a single friend at school, you can relate. Hell, if you just had a few friends, you can relate.
  Caroline is tired of being a misfit, always relegated to the outskirts of the SVH-crowd. She decides that enough is enough. She's done with the whole outside looking in crap. So she makes sure that she's got the ears of the demi-gossip-goddesses, and she tells them all about Adam, her amazingly perfectly gorgeous, overly romantic, super secret until now boyfriend.
  Oh, boy does she tell them. She reads his letters, passes them around, details every phone conversation, and in general acts like your best friend's little sister who desperately wants to be cool enough to hang out with you guys, if only for an afternoon. Of course, she probably sounds like that because she is like that. Her sister, Anita, seems like your typical perfect older sister. Pretty enough that dating isn't a problem, popular enough to have friends come and go, and just bitchy enough to point out your short comings over breakfast. So it's not like Caroline needs a guy just to impress the in crowd at school. Nope, a boyfriend would shut her older sister up, too.
  Thing is, Adam doesn't exist. He's Caroline's dream boy, but she hasn't met him and he certainly doesn't send her poetry laden letters every other day. Now the rest of us know that Caroline is only going to get so far with letters, even really spectacular letters, before Lila and Jessica pressure her into producing this Adam.
  This is as good a time as any to point out our B and C stories. Both involve the Wakefield twins, and give them different reasons to help or hurt Caroline when things get down and dirty.
  While trying to glom onto either twin, Caroline finds a letter from Alice Wakefield to a design firm in San Francisco, thanking them for their generous job offer and telling them she'll think about it. When Jessica pushes Caroline too far at the beach, Caroline fakes some sympathy for poor Jessica. It must be so hard to concentrate on other people's problems when you're so caught up in the potential move, huh?
  Yeah, not your best move, Caro. By pointing out that Jessica's perfect life is possibly about to come crashing down around her, you've moved straight to the top of her shit list.
  When the twins, led by overly melodramatic Jessica, confront their parents, Alice admits she's been offered the gig and she'd really like it. Ned points out that it's an incredible honor and that with the twins so close to college, it really would be a good thing for them to make more money. Now, call me crazy, but you'd think the cost of living in Frisco would off-set the major pay increase at least a little. Silly me. Anyway, the parental units are ticked when neither twin is thrilled at the thought of their entire lives being uprooted in the midst of their junior year in high school. Jess does make one possibly out of character observation. She points out that while it sucks massively just thinking about moving, what with cheerleading and all, it would KILL Elizabeth to leave Todd. It's never mentioned as a selfish, manipulative comment, and I for one would like to give Jessica the benefit of the doubt. Sure, she had to know it would guilt the 'rents, but it's also... true. And foreshadowing, but we'll make our way back there soon enough.
  The twins combine forces to convince their parents that moving would be a bad, bad, baaaaaad idea. From brochures inundating them with every possible bit of information on Sweet Valley, to nostalgic visits to various restaurants, right on through to trashing San Francisco, the twins have pretty much thought of everything.
  C story is a continued thread from a few books back. Elizabeth's entering a playwright competition and hers is based on the life of Elizabeth Barrett Browning.
  Now, since Adam doesn't exist and it's not likely that Caroline houses the soul of a poet, where has she been getting her letters? Oh, yeah, she's been lifting from Robert Browning. The smart people are snorting and saying, yeah, what are the effing odds of that? Well, it's simple. In life, particularly high school, the one thing that can unravel your pack of lies is infinitely closer than the rear view mirror would indicate.
  However, Caroline skates on, oblivious to her impending doom.
  Anyway, plots C and B combine to sink Caroline's battleship. After a night that is essentially a Taste of Sweet Valley cuisine, Elizabeth reads her family her play and Jessica realizes that parts of it sound awfully familiar. She's certain she's never read Browning's work before and the only other source of poetry in her diet has been Adam's letters. She puts two and two together and comes up with faux boyfriend.
  In a twist, Lila points out that Caroline could still be telling the truth, completely unaware that her boyfriend has been lifting his lines from a dead poet guy. Jessica all but snorts and asks, "What crack are you on, Fowler?" Lila carefully points out that there are obvious, and normal, explanations for each of Jessica's protests. Adam could have terrible handwriting, leading to him typing his letters. Since he's not doing the heavy thinking parts of the letters, his frequency in mailing them is nothing to look twice at.
  Caroline knows that she can't keep Lila and Jessica at bay for much longer with just letters, so she says she's going to Cold Springs one weekend to visit Adam. Lila and Jessica coo over this and point out that it leaves the following weekend for Adam's party. Perfect !
  Yeah, except for Adam not existing. So Caro "brings back" proof. There's the "Property of Cold Springs Athletic Department" shirt she claims is from Adam, but is really a left over from her cousin Sally's dating disaster with a Cold Springs boy. There's a newspaper picture of 'Adam', though it's from a basketball game and blurry to boot, though that came in a letter. Oh yeah, and then there's the fact that Jessica saw Caroline while she was supposedly out of town.
  Thing is, Lila and Jess are both thrown by the proof. Maybe the guy really does exist...
  Also thrown is Anita, Caroline's big sister. Caro shares the joy and fakes a phone conversation and she and Anita bond. Which is really annoying later on, given how much of a bitch Anita is the first time she shows up. It takes your little sister inventing a boyfriend for you to give her the time of day? Nice, real nice.
  Anyway, to ensure that Caroline can't use the "But Adam is broke..." excuse, Lila buys the elusive Adam a bus ticket. Nice, huh?
  Jessica also sets things up so that Liz finally hears one of Adam's letters. Liz is worried that Caro doesn't realize they aren't legit, but Caro confides that's the least of her worries. Liz points out that Caroline might have some friends if she weren't such a busy body, always poking into other people's business. Yes, you may snort with laughter now.
  Caroline begs Liz not to read her play, as that will expose Caroline as a fraud. Liz reluctantly agrees, and goes home to bitch Jessica out. Anita then busts Caroline, sort of. Seems Mama Pearce doesn't know a thing about Adam, so Caroline confesses. Anita gives her a much longer, much bitchier version of Elizabeth's speech, and Caroline realizes the error of her ways. GASP! Liz failed and bitchy eating disorder riddled older sister prevails!
  The next day, Caroline tells Elizabeth that it was wrong of her to ask Liz to not read her play, and it's okay. She's just going to have to suck it up and admit that she's a big ol' liar. Because of this, Saint Liz and her sidekick Todd resume work on Operation Rescue. Uh...huh.
  However, Caroline chickens out the first time she's given a chance to come clean, and continues to chicken out all week. Not that I blame her, but Jesus, you'd think coming clean at school would beat making a total ass of yourself at a party thrown partially in your honor. It's not like having your execution catered would make it any easier to die.
  For the party, Anita goes all out on Caroline and the girl is glowing so much that Todd gives her a fantastically backhanded compliment. At the party, Caroline decides to bypass the goodies and head straight for the guillotine. She has Lila kill the music and just as she's about to confess her lie, a handsome, 6'2", wavy brown haired, chocolate brown eyed sweetheart of a guy rushes up, apologizes for being late, and kisses Caroline for all the world to see. It seems Adam has finally arrived.
  Operation Rescue involved Todd asking a friend of his to pretend to be Adam to save Caroline the pain of being publicly humiliated. I suspect Todd agreed solely to thwart Jessica's plan for Caroline's downfall, but that's okay. Normally I'd ask what are the odds that you could find this dead ringer for a made-up boytoy, but when you think about it, it shouldn't be all that difficult. Brown-eyed brunettes aren't exactly hard to come by, and Todd knows Jerry from basketball, so odds are good that the 6'2" bit wasn't that hard to fill. But did anyone else notice that Caroline pretty much conjures up Todd Wilkins up when she creates Adam? Looks-wise, I mean. Every time she'd go on and on about his eyes, I'd think of the numerous times over the series Elizabeth would find herself lost in Todd's gaze.
  Eventually Caroline realizes that while everyone else thinks she's found someone fantastic, she's just as lonely as before, if not moreso. So she confesses and runs away. I cannot fault her for that either, as I'd have run, too. Jerry follows her, tells her he's proud of her, and they kiss for real. It's very sweet, although Caroline asking if she can come visit so quickly is a little forward and obnoxious.
  Overall, Caroline gets a happy ending after all. So do the twins. Seems that Alice and Ned turned the offer down shortly into the "YAY, SV!" blitz, but thought to teach the twins a lesson, so they didn't share the news immediately. Alls well that ends well.
  Or as close as the valley's going to let us get, at this point.


*- Not that I have a hat, but since I won't need to eat it anyway, that really doesn't matter.

Trivial Pursuit:

  • Adam is 6'2", dark brown hair, warm laughing brown eyes. He lives in Cold Springs, plays baseball, and is naturally well liked. He was also on the basketball team last year. His mother is an English teacher and perfectly fine with her son's mystery girlfriend spending the weekend at their house.

  • Cold Springs is about two hours away from Sweet Valley.

  • Anita is Caroline's older sister. She's model thin and constantly makes Caroline feel fat because she doesn't exist on ice water and melon like Anita does. If Anita doesn't have food "issues", I'll eat my hat.*

  • Anita suffers under the delusion that the twins are the nicest girls in the junior class.

  • According to Caroline, Annie and Ricky's issues are as follows:Ricky promised Annie a ride in his father's white Seville Cadillac, but when he showed up for the date, it was just in his beat up old Chevy. When Annie went to the bathroom to clean herself up after an unfortunate incident involving cocktail sauce, she returned to find Ricky flirting with Maria Santelli.

  • Elizabeth makes most of the jokes about Jessica's room.

  • John Paine, is the director of the Hurley Group, one of the biggest firms in California. He's offered Alice a job, and even when she declines, he says he'll keep a spot for her anytime she changes her mind.

  • Elizabeth based her play on "Sonnets from the Portuguese."

  • Mr. Wakefield's receptionist is Mrs. Kelly.

  • Jessica runs into Dennis [remember him from book nine?] while visiting her father.

  • Caroline keeps Adam's stationary in her 3rd desk drawer. Said stationary is light blue, in case you wondered.

  • Caroline has been lifting Adam's letters from Robert Browning: Letters, volumes one through three.

  • Miss Priss Caroline finds t-shirts too low cut. Um, mid-80's shirts, no less.

  • Bruce helps Regina out with a math problem, then asks her out, and she still manages to call all the shots.

  • Liz buys her mother a lovely Amaryllis arrangement from Petal Pushers.

  • The 'Taste of Sweet Valley' dinner includes a salad with a special Dijon mustard dressing from Season's Gourmet Shop, Veal Parmesan from Vitos, and a lemon chiffon pie from Caster's.

  • The Wakefields used to eat takeout from Vito's at least once a week.

  • Caroline is the only member of PBA to have perfect attendance at the meetings. Something tells me Liz and Enid have the worst in recent memory.

  • Tiberino's is owned by Sal Ciardi, and it's where Ned proposed to Alice, and their go-to restaurant's for anniversaries.

  • Ned is allergic to Chinese food.

  • Las Palmas Canyon is twenty miles from SV.

  • Elizabeth's play is called "One Woman's Romance."

  • Fowler Crest is apparently now Spanish Style. Who knew?

  • Jerry Fisher is a friend of Todd's, and he pretends to be Adam, but seems to genuinely like Caroline.




Quoted:

"Caroline has it coming to her anyway. I can't believe she tried to trick us! I'll admit it showed she's got more imagination than I ever gave her credit for, but that's all." Jessica defends her malicious streak. p120

"Yeah. There's something different about you tonight-and it's not just your new dress. You're pretty," he said. Todd trips over his words fantastically. p 138




  It's crucial to make your misfit likable in a story like this. Not only do you have to explain why a previously painfully obnoxious character should be pitied and understood, but you also have to make it so that you want them to rise above their past misdeeds, especially if they lack the effortless charm that other characters are graced with. And the thing is, it works, which is kind of surprising. Caroline manages to walk that fine line between previously established busy-body and misunderstood misfit.
  On the one hand, you have Caroline spreading her usual gossip all around. There are her stories about Annie and Ricky possibly breaking up because of Ricky allegedly flirting with Maria Santelli, John Pfiefer being kicked off the Oracle for consistently turning his sports copy in late, and then there's the one about Bill Chase getting help with his play from Mr. Jaworski.
  On the other hand, it's not like she intentionally tries to screw things up for people. The Annie gossip was meant as something to contribute to a conversation where she felt left out. The Bill thing was an attempt to make small talk that failed madly, and well, John's got worse coming to him in the far future, so really, he got off light.
  Anita comes off as impossible to live up to, so you feel for Caroline at home. At school she's the one person just about everyone attempts to hide from, and as the series manages to churn out spin offs like crazy, you realize this has been going on for forever. So yeah, Caroline brought a lot of this on herself, but she didn't mean to. She just happens to be her absolute worst enemy.
  The funny thing about Love Letters is that it's the first time the character makeover introduced doesn't stick. Caroline momentarily tries to be a better person in this book, and then she pretty much lapses back into her gossip-y ways fairly quickly. What little character definition she was given is snatched back and she goes back to being the stereotypical gossip hungry wannabe.

  Now I leave you with two things. One, the reissue of the book is impossible to read the back cover without your eyes starting to bleed a little. Black on bright effing blue is a bad combination for reading. Two, did Adam sign his name, or did he type that as well?



Various other banners have been updated. I think Double Love, Dear Sister, and whenever it finishes loading, When Love Dies.

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