the_oracle: (plotting)
Teacher Crush
August 1989


Has Olivia met the man of her dreams?
svh
Madly in love...



  Pretty and talented Olivia Davidson has always seemed independent. So it comes as a total surprise to Elizabeth Wakefield when Olivia confides in her that she's lonely. Everyone she knows is going out with someone, and now she's ready for a new boyfriend.
  Then Stuart Bachman, a gorgeous artist, starts teaching at Sweet Valley High. Olivia takes his class and is completely swept off her feet by him. Soon Mr. Bachman is all Olivia things or talks about. And it looks as if he may return her feelings. Has Olivia found true love, or is she headed for heartbreak?




  "You're so young, sweetie. Your life is just beginning!" It's nearly impossible for me to re-read certain books without looking for foreshadowing of the Terrible Things to Come. Regina Morrow's short stint in the Valley is made even shorter by the countdown to her dalliance with cocaine. Early John Pfeiffer has to duck the cans and rotting fruit thrown his way for what his future!self will do to Lila. To a lesser degree, Jeffrey French has to fight to get people to remember that Liz actually managed to be faithful to him, whereas she cheated on Todd (the guy she'll dump Jeffrey for in just a few minutes) every chance she got. And then there's Olivia.
  Dear, sweet, spacey Olivia, your number is nearly up, sunshine. It's going to take awhile, but not nearly as long as your mother seems to believe... On the very, very slim silver lining side, the fact that you know Olivia's going to end up on the wrong end of the earthquake that killed SVH makes it much easier to write her a free pass for all the stupid assumptions she makes in Teacher Crush.

   Olivia's more than a little lonely. With more than 60 books under our belt, Olivia's noticed that just about everyone in the Valley is paired up, and those that aren't (Jessica or Lila for example) have no shortage of willing volunteers. Artsy Olivia, however, hasn't exactly been fending off a bunch of would be boyfriends ever since she and Roger broke up. But when she mentions feeling like she's the only one not paired up on this extremely strange version of the Ark, Elizabeth tells her she's cr-aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaazy. It's not that bad. And immediately is glomped upon by Jeffrey. Smooth, Wakefield. Real smooth.
   Before we can wallow in too much misery, we're reminded of the co-A plot of this book. You might recall that at the end of the last book we learned that SVH would be doing a two week crash course/workshop that would give students a chance to explore something beyond normal classes. Everyone signs up for three possible classes, with the third being their last choice. It doesn't take a genius to see that some classes are bound to be more popular than others. Film making, painting, and dress design are all very, very popular. Which is why so many people are shocked when Jessica chooses to put down electronics as her third choice. She believes that she'll be the only girl in a room full of cute guys and what could be wrong with that? Still, she's not foolish enough to put it down as her first or second choice.
  Thing is, Wakefield, I know half the city also happens to have last names that end in W, but by the time they got to you, I'm thinking the rest of the classes had filled in and they saw you put down one of the more unusual classes for a girl so... they thought they'd accommodate your unusual request. Or else someone's got a sick sense of humor. Yes. Jess ends up in the electronics class with a bunch of guys she does not consider cute. (Except Jeffrey, but he's rather taken so...) The wacky, hilarious hijinks are sure to follow, yes?

   Not so much. As far as I can tell, the electronic workshop doesn't *teach* a damn thing. They're told they have to create something. And it must work. After that, every time we see Jess in class, she's being asked if she's thought of something and she's always saying no while everyone else is hard at work. I'd have been fantastically thrown, too. I would have thought you'd be doing a little more learning and a little less being thrown into the deep end and told not to electrocute yourself.

  While you ponder Jessica's fate, let's switch back to Olivia. Liv, Liz, and Enid have all made it into the painting class they wanted. Apparently, until this book, Olivia didn't actually create much in the way of art (outside of poetry, perhaps, and her contributions to the Oracle, which mostly seems to be in the field of editing) which is why she wanted to take this course. The fact that their teacher is amazingly hot? Yeah. That didn't hurt either. He's nice and funny and tells them all to call him by his first name (Stuart), but on the downside, he's young enough that a) Olivia believes she has a chance in hell and b) he doesn't know enough to not play favorites. When it becomes obvious to anyone who isn't blinded by cattiness that Olivia is beyond naturally gifted, Stuart lavishes praise on her work and her way of thinking outside the box. Olivia sees this as a sign that they have so much in common and she begins to volunteer to help him with everything. Liv's got stars in her eyes and it only gets worse with every passing second.
  Enid, proving that the sidekicks in these books are the only ones with brains at times (yes, I just lumped Lila and Enid in the same group. Deal with it!) quickly realizes that there are crushes and then there's statutory rape. She worries that Olivia's overly interested in Stuart and, later, that Stuart might actually either be interested in Olivia too, or that he's stringing her along, unintentionally or not.
   Saint Elizabeth laughs this off and there's a weird thing where Enid keeps insisting that while Elizabeth always tries to see the best in people, maybe this trait is blinding her to Olivia's rapidly growing obsession. How is believing that Olivia, who was bitching about being painfully single less than two weeks ago, isn't interested in their teacher "seeing the best" in someone? Isn't that just being dense? Whatever. I was busy gearing up for third grade when this came out, so my view on this particular bit of 80's mindset is probably definitely off.
  So, Saint Elizabeth doesn't believe what we already know. Just in case you're tempted to believe that Olivia wouldn't be throwing herself at someone who is 23/24, Olivia would like to prove you painfully, painfully wrong. In addition to always volunteering to help in class, she offers to come early and help set up for class, stay after class to clean, and looks up Stuart's address so that while she's out running errands and the urge to stop by his apartment is too great... she can actually stop by his apartment on a Saturday morning. Which she does. So early that he's still asleep. Thing is, Stuart is so new to this teaching thing, and so blown away by Olivia's natural talent (and possibly a little flattered that she's interested, though this one is purely speculation), that he invites her up, unchaperoned, to his apartment so they can look through art books and Olivia can drool over him. Somewhere, Enid's spidey sense is tingling big time.

   But what about Lila? you ask. Well, fear not, our ghosty has provided us with some lovely Lila C plot this go round. Lila's father is dating a soap star named Anika Hunt. Apparently she's so popular and famous that when she says jump Hollywood does without a second thought. I'll allow this because once upon a time, soaps were huuuuuuuuuuuge. And besides, Lila's father wouldn't waste his time on some nobody... *cough*
  Lila is so taken by the thought of Anika and her father dating that she goes on and on and ON about it. Which is a nice change of pace, because unlike other flings her father has had, Lila doesn't seem to be plotting to push Anika off a cliff or blackmail her into disappearing. It's refreshing. But then, I do wonder whether Lila really does like her father spending so much time with someone else, time he never spends with her... Whatever. Because Lila is so gaga over Anika, Jessica is sure that Lila is making it up. She never has any proof, like pictures (ah, the days before instant paparazzi hordes descended on anyone just on the off chance they'd get lucky!) or an autograph. Lila points out that she knows her father is dating a star and it would be terribly gauche to ask for an autograph. I mean, really, Wakefield. This is Lila. Why on earth would she lie? I mean, except for that one time... and her shoplifting... and, fine. Okay. I see your point.
  Jess becomes obsessed with proving that Lila is lying, because to believe otherwise would be to concede that Lila is just that fabulous. (She is, though! She is!) Luckily for Jessica, this means that she figures out what she'll be doing for her mini course workshop. She'll be making a lie detector and this time she'll prove Lila's a big, fat liar!
  Lila is completely unaware that her best friend is plotting against her, again (must be Tuesday), as she's a little preoccupied with the realization that she can't sew worth a damn. First she sews the darts of her dress on the wrong side (d'oh!) and then she makes the hem waaaaaaaaay too short and now her teacher is insisting that she wear this travesty in front of the whole school during their little fashion runway. The horror!
  What is a Fowler to do when being threatened by such public humiliation?
  Accidentally uncover the biggest, juiciest piece of gossip to rock the school since... well... you'll see.

   Back to Olivia. At Enid's insistence, Elizabeth has been paying careful attention to the interaction between Stuart and Olivia during class. By now Enid's worrying about whether Stuart realizes how Olivia feels (because the entire class knows, so even Liz has to admit that Olivia's got it bad) but she's willing to allow the thought that maybe Enid isn't cuckoo after all, especially once she hears Stuart and Olivia making plans to see one another. After class. O_O!
  Gasp!
  Shock!

   Before you start thinking something, let Stuart explain. Stuart has been asked to be one of the three speakers at the Riverside Art Academy alumni association's presentation. He's invited Olivia to go along because she's his star pupil and he thinks it would be good for her to meet some of the people at Riverside. Of course Olivia leaps at the chance to go. Thing is, Stuart doesn't realize that to Olivia this is practically a date. To him, he's just helping an aspiring artist. Boys, boys, boys...
   Monday afternoon, Olivia's on top of the world as Stuart introduces her as a talented new artist in his mini course workshop. She's so over the moon that not even people asking where "Monica" is can really bring her down for long. Afterward, Stuart asks if Olivia has to run home already, or if she'll be able to help him out with something. I have a feeling that even if Olivia had to be home immediately after the presentation, she still would have gone shopping with Stuart. Stuart is looking for a present for a special occasion... for a special person. Olivia is sure that he's heard that her birthday is coming up (Friday, the last day of classes!) and she's hoping he's trying to suss out what sort of gift she would like. She finds an absolutely breathtaking picture frame and for half a second Stuart is in love with the piece. But then he comes back down to earth and starts second guessing the genius of it. She's not entirely sure this special occasion is for her, but then she asks Stuart what it is and he tells her not to worry about it and winks at her. Again. Stuart winks a lot and this goes a really long way in making Olivia think he's seriously interested. To some of us, we begin to wonder if he needs his kneecaps taken out.
  Olivia comes home, still riding high on the rush of spending the afternoon with Stuart, and asks if it's okay if she sets up her easel in the basement to work on her painting for class. Her mother agrees and lets Olivia know that she comes by her artistic talent naturally, as her maternal grandmother was also a painter. Olivia is thrilled at this and heads off to artistic glory. When she comes up for air, her mother informs her that she's missed a call. Liv is sure that it's Stuart (...) but Mums tells her it was someone from school named Rod. Olivia is confused until she remembers there's a Rod Sullivan in her English class. Perplexed about why Rod would be calling, we segue way into...
   Rod running into Liv at school. He seems perfectly nice but Olivia is still so enamored with Stuart that poor Rod is written off as a nice guy before he even asks Olivia out. Which he does. And she turns him down. Stuart shows up and flirts a bit with Olivia, but not in a sketchy way. He caught Rod running off and teases Olivia who is sure that his, "Well, he has good taste" comment is a SIGN. Oi.
  Later, Olivia tells Enid and Elizabeth that she doesn't want to hang out with them on her birthday because she's sure that Stuart has something planned for her. Enid and Liz exchange glances as Olivia floats off into the stratosphere.
  Liv finds out that the 22nd (her birthday), Stuart has an exhibit opening at the museum. Which means he can't have a birthday surprise planned for her after all. Olivia feels like a complete ass for a half a second because she's told her parents she doesn't want to do anything and she's just told Enid and Elizabeth the same thing. Oh, cruel fate! But then, before her shame spiral really gets going, Stuart asks that she attend because he has a surprise for her.
  Naturally, Olivia is sure that this means True Love! My cringing for fictional characters probably began with this book, y'know.

   Come Friday, things have gotten a little bit twisty in our B/C plots. Jessica's lie detector is coming along perfectly, probably because Randy Mason has done all the work on it. Jessica is sure that she's going to catch Lila in her lie and then the whole school will know how desperate Lila is for attention. (Pot, kettle. Kettle, pot.) Lila is desperate to avoid wearing badly sewn hooker wear, so she's managed to convince Jessica to loan her the dress that's nearly an exact replica of the dress Lila would have sewn... if Lila had any skill as a seamstress. Or, you know, as much as one could have in two weeks without prior experience. She promises to tell Jessica her juicy gossip, especially as it so directly deals with Jessica's family. Jessica is intrigued, but Lila keeps not having to spill because other people keep interrupting.
  Jessica sets up her lie detector and has Winston try it out. Blah, blah, blah, he owes money to Ken. With that out of the way, Jess grabs Lila, who quietly begs Jessica not to expose the dress switch. Jess asks about Anika Hunt and... Lila is telling the truth. Jessica is so distracted that she isn't really paying attention to anything else. Olivia is roped into participating, but some jackass in the back of the crowd asks if she's really in love with Stuart. Olivia turns red as can be and tears out of the room, ready to rip Elizabeth a new one when the sensitive twin follows her. You'd think by now Elizabeth would be sort of used to people screaming at her for spilling their secrets...

   Olivia goes to Stuart's exhibit and quickly realizes her shitty day is just going to get worse. Monica, it turns out, is Stuart's glamorous, beautiful girlfriend who had been out of town Monday. It also happens to be her birthday and Stuart bought her a beautiful picture frame. Poor, poor Olivia. As she's about to lose it, Stuart appears and shows her his surprise. He's taken her painting from class and put it on display because he believes so strongly in her talent. Olivia is blown away by this as well as the realization of how desperate she was.
  It probably doesn't hurt that she's sure that her birthday is ruined since she kept telling people she had other plans... and those plans aren't happening; they never were. Realizing how out of it she was, she stops by Casa Wakefield and appologies to Liz for trying to decapitate her. Liz forgives and forgets. Then Liv goes home, still a little shaken in ways good and bad, and her mother tells her that while they knew she made plans, her parents would like to take her out to dinner. Olivia agrees, and her mother sends her off to pick up her father because his car is in the shop.
  Only it's not. It's a surprise party that her parents had been planning all along! Stuart and Monica show up and everything! Cuz that's not awkward in the slightest! Good, good times!

   But wait. What about Lila's secret? For whatever reason, Jessica has brought along the streamlined version of her lie detector to the party. Her classmates make her admit that she had serious help with the creation of her project (fine, so she lied, but they knew it) and then Jess pounces on putting Liz on the hot seat. Thing is, she can't think of anything to ask. So Lila, sporting a Cheshire Cat smile, asks how well Elizabeth and Jeffrey will fare once Todd Wilkins moves back to the Valley.

  Dun.
  Dun.
  DUN!

  Winston freaks out because no one else is supposed to know and everyone is more than a little relieved that Jeffrey couldn't make it to the party because dude, so awkward, but still. Todd! Is! Coming! Back!

   Well played Fowler. Well played.


Trivia:

  • Arts and Vocations program is the official name of the mini courses/workshops being explored this go round. There are no grades, but at the end of two weeks, you will have to show off what you've been working on in front of the whole school. In order to make room for an extra class, five minutes were shaved off each class, including lunch, and ten minutes were tacked onto the end of the day resulting in a fifty minute class that starts at 2:15.

  • This means that SVH has seven classes, plus lunch, a day. Ah, math.

  • The workshops are only for juniors and seniors. How does this work for the freshmen and sophomores? Are there two sets of bells? (It's not unheard of.) Do they just go about their normal classes because at best, only a handful of sophomores might be in classes with upperclassmen? Do they go home early? Do they all get crammed into homeroom or studyhall or something?

  • Workshops offered: film making, pottery, electronics, dress design, modern dance, painting, jewelry design, nutrition and fitness, printing, and engineering.

  • Jessica chooses film making, pottery, electronics, and dress design as her four choices, in that order.

  • Olivia sees DeeDee & Bill, Winston & Maria, and Jeffrey & Elizabeth all as she's feeling particularly lonely and all one right after the other. This place really is the Ark, Davidson. Pair up or shove off!

  • Enid understands Olivia's loneliness while Elizabeth is a bit baffled by it. Enid points out that when you're single, and not necessarily by choice, it can be hard seeing everyone else paired up, and later Olivia will point out that of course Liz wouldn't get it. She's been with Todd and then Jeffrey... and we all chime in on the names of the boys Olivia missed because she doesn't know Liz's inability to be faithful.

  • Winston, Jeffrey, Jessica, and Randy Mason (as well as five other boys) are in the electronics workshop taught by Bill Drexel.

  • Bill Drexel is skinny with wirerim glasses that sit crookedly on his nose, a penchant for drab, nondescript suits, and he works in an electronics firm.

  • Cara Walker got poetry, her second choice, in stead of painting.

  • Maria Santelli originally claims that she's in nutrition and fitness and not modern dance, her first choice, but later she's seen in painting class.

  • The painting class has Elizabeth, Enid, Olivia, Caroline, and Maria, as well as five others girls who are never mentioned. Maybe they're seniors.

  • Lila plans to make a strapless sundress like the one she saw in Ingenue that also happens to be a double of one Jessica recently bought.

  • Some of the workshop teachers are from San Diego and L.A.

  • Elinore Whitcomb is the dress design adviser/teacher/whatever. Lila claims she looks a little like Anika Hunt.

  • Anika Hunt is on the hit soap, "The Willoughbys" and is currently dating Lila's father.

  • Unlike 99.9% of the women he dates, Lila seems incredibly enthusiastic about Anika Hunt. Possibly because she's famous and it gives Lila a subplot, or maybe Lila's getting lonely again, although truthfully it sounds like Anika keeps Mr. Fowler away more than you would think Lila would like.

  • Stuart Bachman is the painting instructor and he's apparently so hot that most of the girls in the program take notice, and probably some of the boys. Just guessing on that last one because you know they don't allow for that just yet. Anyway, he's got dark, long-ish curly hair, "stylish glasses", green eyes, prefers to be called Stuart and not "Mr. Bachman", and has been an artist since he was five. He doesn't take roll in class. He's a graphic designer at a fashion company and designs logos and helps design ads for the company. But his passion, his passion y'all, is "painting." He went to Riverside Art Academy, his father is a history professor, and his mother is a book keeper. He's a night owl and thus, not much of a morning person, as he tends to work all night and sleep in til noon, at the earliest.

  • The first thing Stuart has his class do is guess what he means by an exercise in color. Enid guesses that it might be painting different colors next to one another, and Caroline offers that maybe it's painting different shades of the same color next to one another. When it's Olivia's turn, she suggests (very shyly) that maybe it's painting a color without ever using it. She uses green as an example and bam! She has guessed the first real assignment for the class.

  • Caroline tries, sort of, not to laugh in Olivia's face before Stuart announces that Olivia's guess was the right one. Suck it, Pierce.

  • The electronics workshop is to design and create a project that will be finished in less than two weeks.

  • Randy wants to make a robotic calculator.

  • Winston throws out various ideas including musical toaster, electronic page turner, and voice activated coffee maker. Bill Drexler looks more worried by each suggestion. Ultimately he goes with a voice activated toaster.

  • Jeffrey is writing a computer game and it's not as easy as he thought it would be.

  • Olivia took a watercolor class last year at the community center.

  • Liv usually wears a peasant style wrap skirt, big hoop earrings, a pastel tee shirt, sandals, and lots of beads.

  • The second day of the workshops, Liv is dressed in a body hugging black dress, leather boots, a leather jacket, large triangular earrings that freak Jeffrey out, and her hair is slicked back with gel. According to a couple of sources, she looks like a model. Me, I can't get past the hair thing.

  • Some of Olivia's newfound magazine obsessions include Art World, and A, which has an interview with Stuart.

  • Stuart and Olivia share the same favorite artist, David Hockney. Stu has Olivia wax poetic about Hockney's use of colors and shapes to the class.

  • Olivia expects to find Stuart in the library at lunch, but instead finds him in the art room. I don't understand why he'd be at the school that early to begin with.

  • Jessica's at a loss for what to do for her electronics project. The best she can come up with is a heated coat hanger but she doesn't really think that's a good idea.

  • Stuart assigns his class a trip to the art museum over the weekend. They're to find a painting and then write an essay about what the artist was trying to convey/do.

  • When Jessica is late to class, she's paired up with Randy. I find this a little hard to believe since Randy is known for being a genius. You'd think the other guys in the class would *want* to pair up with Randy, if only because he'd be able to help make their project that much better.

  • Randy Mason: short, small, with braces on both his upper and lower teeth, wears hopelessly outdated corduroy jeans, and has a calculator in his back pocket.

  • Olivia tracks down Stuart's address from a copy of the Alumni catalog for Riverside Art Academy and then drives past his apartment building. She stops and visits #214, which is his apartment.

  • Olivia's father is six years older than her mother.

  • Liv is so caught up in her fixation with Stuart that she doesn't have the proofs for the Arts section of the Oracle.

  • Stuart doesn't like borders, at least in art.

  • Ty Rourke is a hot, new producer in Hollywood. (I've gotta say I probably couldn't ID any producer in Hollywood.) Anika is taking George to the set of the Willoughbys and then they'll hang out at Ty's for dinner.

  • Saturday morning, with less than a week to go, Olivia's mother asks what Liv would like to do for her birthday. Liv lets her mother plan her birthday and still doesn't suspect the surprise birthday Mrs. D plans.

  • Lila sews the darts of her dress backwards/inside out. Then she tries to lengthen the hem of her dress, only to chop it off and make it shorter and now it's skank-length I guess.

  • Olivia and Stuart leave SVH at 4pm and the art lecture at Riverside is over by 5:30, even with three speakers. (Stuart was the first one.)

  • Domain is a store that sells sleek, ultra modern stuff which also happens to be really expensive.

  • Olivia finds "a picture frame made of light wood with darker wood inlaid in a geometric pattern." Stuart declares it perfect about half a second before backing off.

  • Liv's maternal Grandmother Lea died before Liv was born, and she was also a painter, but did not live in a time when she could pursue her artistic love.

  • Rod Sullivan is in Olivia's English class. He's thin with light brown hair, tortoiseshell glasses, and seems to be the sort to become more good looking the more you get to know him. He's taking the printing workshop and wants to help punch up the Oracle. He'd also like to date Olivia.

  • Elizabeth gets uncharacteristically mad at Jess for leaving Liz's "good, silk blouse" lying on the closet floor. Usually when Liz is pissed about these things, there's an underlying cause, but Jessica's been too preoccupied with being mad at Lila to really do much to Liz, so what gives?

  • Stuart brings a flier for Olivia. It says "New Paintings from Stuart Bachman. Preview, Friday the 22nd, Madison Gallery."

  • So Olivia's birthday is the 22nd of some month.

  • Enid's pulse, when Jessica is setting up her lie detector, is 120 over 80.

  • Liv's mother wants everyone at the Davidson home at eight for the surprise party. For some reason she invites Jessica and Lila (and Amy) and they all go and bring presents and no one acts like this is weird even though Lila and Jessica have both actively plotted against Olivia and repeatedly refer to her as weird over the course of the series. o_O

  • Olivia goes shopping at L'Idee, which is right next to Domain. She buys a dark purple silk jumpsuit and pairs it with a silky scarf, a broad, leather belt, and is instructed to not forget the makeup to truly make a statement.

  • Grandma's birthday check to Liv pays for this.

  • Lila stops at McMahon's Sewing Supplies to pick up some last minute fixits for her doomed dress, and she overhears Winston's mother discussing Bert Wilkins moving back to Sweet Valley.

  • Lila manages to keep this a secret until Olivia's party, when she throws it in Elizabeth's face.

  • Winston owes Ken $25 from a bet he lost.

  • Olivia keeps thinking she's twelve when she's around Stuart.

  • Monica, Stuart's girlfriend, is very, very tall, slender, beautiful with "very classical features", "gorgeous high cheekbones, creamy skin, and beautiful blue eyes." Her blond hair is cut in a simple blunt cut with bangs. She seems on the mature side, but she's very nice to Olivia and not at all bitchy like you would imagine she might be.

  • Stuart designed earrings for Monica.

  • Monica and Olivia share the same birthday.

  • At the gallery preview of Stuart's paintings, Olivia is surprised at the fact that no one is really looking at, or commenting on, the paintings hanging around them. Instead they're gossiping with one another.

  • There's a woman at the preview with bright, turquoise hair.

  • Stuart's surprise for Olivia is that he smuggled her painting to the gallery and displayed it amongst other paintings done by Riverside students, but Olivia has the distinction of being the only artist still in high school and apparently her painting is also generating a fair amount of buzz.

  • George and Anika are going to be part of a feature on the private lives of starlets in Celebrity magazine "next month."

  • Jessica's pulse rate at Liv's party right before she's interrogated about making the lie detector is 72.

  • The fangirl in me squees like crazy at the fact that Ken was at Olivia's birthday party.





Quotable SVH:
  Lila burst out laughing. "Why don't you suggest your own workshop, Jess? Something like 'boys and dating'?"
  " 'Advanced boys and dating,' " Amy Sutton murmured, studying the list. - I love that Amy doesn't even have to pay attention to get a dig in. p2

  She'd had no idea that Olivia had been feeling so down. Olivia was such a pretty, talented girl. Why should she need to have a boyfriend to feel happy? - Normally I agree with the whole "you don't need to be paired up to be happy" philosophy. However, Liv's been single for ages and she's lonely and why is it not okay for her to be lonely for a bit? Why does Liz automatically assume there's something wrong with wanting to be in a relationship when you're single? Let Olivia feel what she feels and then distract her with other activities until either the mood passes or she finds someone. Jesus, Liz. p11

  Enid shook her head. "I don't know. But it doesn't surprise me that much. So many of the girls we know at school have boyfriends. No wonder Olivia feels left out. And I don't blame her for feeling a twinge of jealousy about you and Jeffrey," she added. "You two are such a perfect couple." - Odd how anytime Enid makes comments like this, the ghosties rarely mention Enid's huge crush on Jeffrey and how Elizabeth was supposed to hook those two up and failed. p13


  "Now, Amy," Jessica said calmly, "that is exactly where you're wrong. Don't you know anything about the psychology of lying?" - p56


  Randy covered his mouth with his hand and let out a sound somewhere between a grunt and a giggle. - I... lack the words. p69


  "Jess, I really don't see why you have to be so snide about my father and Anika Hunt. I think it's really nice Daddy finally has a steady girlfriend." She flipped her hair back over her shoulders. "Besides, have you even thought for a minute how hard it is on me, living alone with Daddy without a woman in the house? You ought to be happy for me!" - Oh, Lila. We love you, isn't that enough? p101


  "Well, you're not my mother, Elizabeth. You have no business judging me." - Olivia, where have you been for the last sixty-odd books? This is what Elizabeth *does*. p115

svh


   TC has never been my favorite book of the bunch. I like Olivia, but I hate books/movies/TV shows/whatever where I get to feel painfully embarrassed for someone else. If it's on screen, I have to either cover my ears or turn the channel. Since this is a book and it keeps happening, I have to suck it up and get over it. Or speed read. And then I avoid the book which costs you your monthly snark.
  I like certain things this go round. I like that Enid and Elizabeth are talking about a semi-mutual friend and that while Liz is closer to Liv, it's Enid who understands what the hell is going on and pursues it, even if Liv never really gets that. I love it when someone isn't paired up and isn't thrilled about being single. Except for the saints among us, I think most people who go through an exceptionally long single stage start to get a little stir crazy when everyone else around us is dating (happily, no less) and it makes sense for Olivia to get lonely.
   And I suppose her complete inability to read the writing on the wall concerning Stuart is a nice counterpoint to her magically newfound artistic genius.
  I could have done without all the "Olivia could have died" to show her mortification over things, but hey, I'm no longer the audience intended for these books. :P
  It gives me the giggles that when Lila suggests having Jessica twin-switch with Liz so she can be in Stuart's class, Jessica shoots it down. Not because Liz would see it as Wrong, but because Liz would want to keep the hot teacher for herself. Oh, Jessica... sometimes I'm not sure you know your twin at all. And then I think about the super secret diaries and realize you really do know your twin best of all.
the_oracle: (amy thinks)
Slam Book Fever
September 1988

Look What's Hit Sweet Valley!
Photobucket
Predictions...


   Slam books are the newest craze at Sweet Valley High. They're do-it-yourself books of lists and predictions about everyone in school. They start out as fun but soon stir up big trouble.

   First, Jeffrey French, Elizabeth Wakefield's boyfriend, gets paired up with another girl under the category, "Couple of the Future." Then Elizabeth gets matched with the new boy at school, A.J. Morgan- and her twin, Jessica is furious because she's the one who's fallen hard for A.J.

   Will the mysterious slam book entries spell the end of happiness for both Elizabeth and Jessica Wakefield?


   Ah, Slam Book Fever. The book most non SVH fans remember for whatever reason. Is it due to the law of the '80's and 90's that declared that at least once in every teen girl's life [and the occasional teen boy's as well] she would run across a slam book? That if she were high [or low] enough on the social ladder she would probably have her own and be mentioned in a category or two? Possibly. Or maybe it's because for ages if you looked up SVH online, you'd end up at Dwanollah's site. Which isn't to say you still don't end up there. You do. Don't deny it.

  Whatever the reason, SBF is right up there with Double Love in terms of cover visibility and the Evil Twin for plot recognition.

   But we have a formula to follow...so please, allow me to remind you of the glory that is Slam Book Fever.

  It's been awhile since Amy was in the spotlight, what with that whole being partially responsible for Regina trying coke and then dying thing. So Amy reminds everyone that dude, she went away for four years to Connecticut! And back East, they had these things. Called notebooks. But when you divided them into lists and categories, they magically morphed into Slam Books. Jessica and the rest of the bitchy clique of SVH are intrigued. Tell us more, they implored of Amy, all while reminding us that Amy's personality is mostly that of an annoying know it all, boy crazy, vapid, back stabbing bitch. Sadly, I only editorialized a little there. Anyway, Amy tells them how fantastic these slam books are and how awesome it is to find out what your classmates [at least the girls] really think of you.
   Jessica is sure that she'll crop up under Most Popular [sorority president, [co-]captain of the cheerleaders...] or possibly Most Beautiful... but everyone else has her pegged for Biggest Flirt. And Jessica is outraged that anyone would dare call her a flirt. Cara, Lila, Amy, and just about everyone who has ever met Jessica are a little thrown by how ticked Jessica seems.
   Cara wonders, ever so cautiously, what exactly Jessica would call herself then, if not... flirty?
  Friendly. DUH.
   Riiiiiiiiiiiight.

  Jessica's flip out aside, the Slam Books have everyone's attention. Liz appears so we can have our compare and contrast between the twins, and true to form, Liz points out that the Slam Books have the potential to really hurt people's feelings and she'd hate for someone to be hurt needlessly. Everyone at the catty table points out that there's the big difference between the twins. Jess is full steam ahead and Liz is prophesizing doom and gloom. After school Amy and the coalition for cattiness go and buy matching marble notebooks and the Slam Books begin.

   Meanwhile we run into the new guy on campus. Tall. Red haired. Gorgeous enough to tongue tie Jessica without even trying. You all remember him. A.J. Morgan from Atlanta. Jess is so smitten by A.J. that she acts more like Elizabeth around him than she does herself. She can't make small talk, she can't flirt, she can't really do anything but stand there and sort of drool. She's sure that A.J. thinks she's a complete moron and refuses to admit her crush to anyone, even when specifically asked about it. My soft spot for Jessica grows infinitely in these moments because a) who can't relate, and b) she's no longer Alpha Twin. She's actually more human than she's been in awhile.

  Over in Elizabeth land, Olivia has asked Liz to co-edit the new literary magazine, but Liz had to turn her down because of time constraints and wanting to actually see her boyfriend occasionally. So Olivia asks Jeffrey and he's in the process of turning her down, but he does offer his photography skills to help the lit magazine look gorgeous, while still leaving him time to spend with Liz. Olivia lets it slip that she's got the opposite problem. She's trying to work herself into oblivion because she and Roger are breaking up, but neither one is ready to officially cut the ties that bind just yet. Liz and Jeffrey are both shocked [as was I the first go round] because Olivia and Roger have been together for ages and they always seemed like such a rock solid couple.* L/J both worry that if Olivia and Roger can break up, the Wonder Couple could, too. So they reassure each other how much they love one another and that's that.
   Only it's not because that's less than a third of the way into the book.

  Back to the slam books. Everyone's enjoying the hell out of them until... Jessica catches sight of being named Biggest Flirt. She's ticked and hurt and worried that AJ will think she's not his type and definitely not worth his time now. Liz is a bit surprised when everyone starts putting Olivia and Jeffrey down as a new couple in the Crystal Ball section of the slam books. At first she's ready to play it off as people and their idle gossip, but then it keeps happening and she starts to wonder if maybe they're seeing something she just doesn't want to see. Her suspicions rise when Olivia and Roger really do break up and suddenly Olivia and Jeffrey are spending all their time together. Then again, Jeffrey had warned her beforehand that he was going to use Olivia as his model for the lit magazine because he needed someone who could pull of moody and he just couldn't see Elizabeth that way. Oh, sweet sledgehammer of subtlety and foreshadowing. Bet he saw her in a different light when Cara told Elizabeth she saw Jeffrey and Olivia making out at a rest stop on Route 9 and Liz immediately went off to flirt like crazy with AJ.

   Lila of all people offers to help mediate, and Jeffrey... takes her up on it. And so does Liz. It never occurs to anyone that Li would have an ulterior motive. Because apparently they all took their stupid pills. But it's also a bit fitting, because Liz has been proven to have a serious jealous side [see Todd] and Jeffrey's a bit thick. Or maybe just figures that Liz should know him better by now, that he's not the game playing sort and if he wanted to see Olivia instead, he'd tell Liz. But he doesn't, so he doesn't, and she's still flirting with AJ. Which is pissing Jessica off to no end.

   Olivia isn't exactly thrilled that Elizabeth has turned on her and since she knows Jeffrey is still in love with Liz, Olivia decides to figure out who started the stupid Liv + Jeff = <3 thing in the first place. She gets the idea that whomever started the rumour wouldn't have bothered to put it in their own slam book, and... well, Lila has never been known for her selfless acts, has she? So Olivia and Jessica, masquerading as Elizabeth doing an article on the Slam Book stats, round up as many slam books as they can find. Only Lila doesn't have Jeffrey and Olivia down under future couples. They run to tell Elizabeth their suspicions because Lila is on her way to tell Jeffrey to give up on Elizabeth. Liz realizes she's been duped by Lila Fowler and runs to explain her insanity to Jeffrey. See below.

Elizabeth Wakefield's Slam Book )

  Yes. They kiss and make up and all is Right With The World. Liv and Liz create a new category in the slam books called Class Sneak and Lila knows she's been busted.

Slam Book Entries )

  Now that Liz isn't chasing after AJ, Jess feels free to.... continue to act more like Elizabeth than herself because she thinks AJ would prefer a sweet, gentle, quiet Wakefield twin. Everyone else can see how badly this will turn out, but Jess is too far gone to care. She's in Love.

*- I really wish they'd had the Olivia/Roger thing be it's own book, or at least a C-plot for the last couple of books leading up to this. As it was, hello whiplash. Even knowing it's coming, it still seemed out of left field, which takes some skill. That said, I did like their brief scenes together, which is probably why I wanted more, damn it.

Trivial Pursuit:

  • For whatever reason, the SVH caf is exceptionally crowded the day Amy unveils her slam book idea.

  • Liz likes ham and swiss cheese sandwiches.

  • Chez Victoire is one of the most exclusive French restaurants in LA.

  • Jessica does not like being called a flirt. At all. It makes her crazy.

  • The best slam books are in marble notebooks. Everything is better in marble. It's what I use when writing the trivia for these things. Well. What I started with. Then Liz confiscated my slam book. Or I lost it. Whatever. Marble!

  • When pondering the categories she's sure to sweep, Jessica thinks along the lines of Most Popular, Most Beautiful. Everyone else is thinking Biggest Flirt.

  • Slam Book Categories : Least Likely To Go On A Date Before The Year 2000, Most Likely To Always Be A Millionaire, Best Dressed, Least Down to Earth, Most Likely To Have A Million Dollars By Age 30, Most Likely To Get Married First, Most Likely To Be Famous, Class Clown, Most Likely To Be In People Magazine, New Couples of The Future, Biggest Flirt,

  • Winston is chosen for the People category. It's a bit of a pity one though, as he seems genuinely hurt that he's only thought of as Class Clown. On, Winston. We love you.

  • Olivia is working on a literary magazine which she asked Liz to co-edit, but Liz declined.

  • Did we know Bruce's father's middle name was Wilson? Henry Wilson Patman.

  • Out of nowhere, Liv and Roger are not only on the rocks, but breaking up.

  • Wave One of Slam Book Fever: Lila, Jessica, Cara, Robin, Maria, and Amy

  • Jess breaks in Amy's slam book, Amy does Lila's, and Lila does Robin's.

  • First Category in Jessica's sb? Class Clown.

  • The first category in either Cara or Maria's is Most Conceited.

  • Jess puts Bruce down as Most Concieted. Biggest Brain? Peter DeHaven.

  • Liz and Jeffrey are first in someone's book as Best Couple.

  • Most Fascinating New Male [Lila's book] has AJ written twice. Seriously, how many 'new' guys could possibly win this, Li? For shame.

  • A.J. Morgan: Adam Joseph, he's an army kid from Atlanta, red hair, tall, basketball player [new to the game] who loves baseball as well. He's apparently catnip to the senior girls in his art class, according to Maria who is in the same class.

  • Anatomy of an Olivia/Roger fight: Roger hurts Olivia's feelings, intentionally or otherwise. Olivia strikes back or picks a fight. Liv and Roger find themselves unwilling to let go and unable to truly fix whatever has gone wrong, so the cycle repeats.

  • At the first sign of potential waning attention to her slambook idea, Amy has them create the Crystal Ball sections. Someone is desperate for attention...

  • AJ scores 28 points in his first game while Jess fumbles horribly in various cheers. Whoops. Sandy picks up on Jessica's crush first.

  • When Liz asks Alice if she ever gets jealous, Alice scoffs at the idea and then admits that when Ned first started at his current law firm, there was a young, pretty British woman named Annabel who was very interested in Ned. To your fanfics, people!

  • Cara had a dental appointment in Riverside and along Route 9 she sees Jeffrey and Cara in what she thinks is a passionate embrace. Their eventual excuse? Olivia had something in her eye. Seriously, guys. The proper lie is Olivia was so overcome with sadness over the breakup that she needed a hug. That Liz and I could buy. This whole speck of dust or whatever? No.

  • Aaron Dallas, the poster child for anger management, never once gets ticked when his best friend's girlfriend throws herself at the new guy in front of him. Repeatedly. I cry bullshit. Or maybe the ghosty didn't know that Aaron was the wrong backup character to use because he's Jeffrey's bestest [and only] friend. Whatever. Boy would have beaten A.J. down or at least pulled Liz aside and asked when she started taking skank pills.

  • Lila bets she can get Liz to talk to Jeffrey after he and Olivia show up at the beach with their lame "something in Liv's eye" story, and of course Lila probably tells Liz that Jeffrey and Olivia were holding hands or something, so Liz glares at Jeffrey and stalks off. So, Lila loses her bet and "has" to take Jeffrey to L'Escalier. No one is intially suspicious of Lila's newfound philonthropy because she never makes a bet she'll definitely lose, especially not an expensive one. Guys, really. It's not losing if it's essentially a date with a guy you've been into for the last... 15 books or so. :P

  • Dear Ghostwriters of the Past: I don't know where in the South you all grew up, but I really don't think "quiet and sweet" are necessarily words you should use to describe Southern girls in a general way. This, by the way, is AJ's type. Everyone snickers when he describes Jess this way, and even Jess is a little thrown, but hey, compliments about her? Always. Welcome.

  • I never understood why Lila's never bothering to hook Jeffrey and Olivia's names in her own slam book was damning evidence. Surely she would have missed someone else's slam book? Oh, and Lila's handwriting is kind of distinct. Just sayin'...

  • Jess and Olivia gather 31 slam books and even Elizabeth has one.

  • Olivia's literary magazine is called Visions. Aren't all HS lit mags called Visions?

  • AJ is under the impression Jess writes childrens books. Everyone else chokes at the thought.

  • Liz is reading Tender Is The Night and Jess wants the Cliff's Notes version. Because reading is like, hard and stuff.

  • I think it's cute that we get Liv, Liz, and Li.




Quote This:

  Jessica was certain that she was only going to find out good things about herself. Or, at least, things she already knew. She wouldn't be surprised if she were described as most popular. After all, she was a co-captain of the cheerleading squad and the president of Pi Beta Alpha, the most exclusive sorority at Sweet Valley High. Or maybe even most beautiful... - Modest as ever, Jessica. p 5

   Amy and Jessica exchanged a glance. It was just like Elizabeth to come up with a sensible objection. - Pepsi snorted through nose? Painful. p 6

  Jessica felt her face burn. "I'm not a flirt," she objected. "I don't know what you guys are talking about."
  Amy started to laugh. "Come on, Jess. You- not a flirt? Are you kidding?"
  Jessica was beginning to get annoyed. "I'm not kidding," she said flatly. "I don't happen to think of myself as flirtatious."
  The table fell quiet for a minute. "Jess," Cara said a bit timidly," what would you call it if it isn't being flirtatious?"

  "I guess I deserve all the credit," she mused. "I mean, just think about it. If it weren't for me, no one would even know what a slam book is." She frowned. "Do you think everyone appreciates me for introducing the idea? Or is everyone going to forget it was mine?"
  Jessica patted her on the arm. "We'll all remember, Amy. We'll put up a big commemorative plaque in the front hallway." - This is why I love SVH. Truly. Amy/Jess, p 29/30

  "I'm not a flirt," she added sulkily, not giving Lila a chance to protest. "Since when have you guys seen me flirting?"
  Lila started to tick off on her fingers. "Remember that chef who taught the gourmet cooking class?"
  "What about all those friends of Steve's from college?" Cara added. Cara dated Steven, the twins' older brother, and knew how many times Jessica had fallen for one of his friends. Or at least flirted with them.
  "Not to mention Aaron Dallas, Nicholas Morrow..." Lila offered.
  "And Alex Kane," Cara added, referring to a musician Jessica had recently had a crush on.
  "And what about Jeremy Frank?" Lila demanded.
  Jessica cut her off. "That was all ages ago. It's ancient history. Can't you guys see I've changed?"
  Lila and Cara looked at her, then at each other. "You look the same to me," Lila said philosophically. p 34



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   Seriously, what else do you need to know about Slam Book Fever? It's awesome and it's awful all at the same time. Jessica's certifiable but she teams up with Olivia, and that's worth the price of admission right there. Amy offers one of her only contributions to the SVH legacy [the others being stealing Bruce thus killing Regina and helping Tom realize he's totally gay] and it's Slam Book Fever. Really. Go.

  But while you're reading [most likely re-reading] this classic, please tell me why Aaron Dallas didn't punch AJ? Or pull Liz aside and ask why she was cheating on his best friend? Cuz really, Aaron, even after the anger management, probably would have had at least something to say.

Oh, and this doesn't live up to my terribly high standards, blame technology. It kept dying on all fronts as I tried. That, or you could blame Amy. Cuz she's the root of all known evil.

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the_oracle: (plotting)
Rags to Riches
February 1985

Look who's after Roger Barrett!

Roger strikes it rich...


  No one would have guessed that Roger Barrett, the poorest boy in Sweet Valley, was really one of the Patmans, the wealthiest family in town. But when Roger's mother dies, the secret of his birth is revealed, and overnight he becomes a millionaire.
  Immediately Jessica Wakefield sets her sights on Roger and his newfound wealth. Only one thing stands in her way-Olivia Davidson, Roger's longtime girlfriend. But not for long. Jessica has a surefire plan to take care of her!


  Ah, Rags to Riches. This is one of those books that I would own very briefly, and then it would get lost, but I wouldn't notice until my inner librarian/masochist would decide it was time to catalog my books. So I'd haul them all off the shelves and see which ones I was missing, and then, if I liked the book enough or was sure I actually owned it, I would go out and search for it. I never went looking for Rags to Riches. Ever.

  Which isn't to say that the book sucks. It's just that it's another Roger book, and Roger books were kind of boring, y'know? Even when given a free pass for angst and drama, Roger fails miserably to live up to that potential. His mother dies and Roger is whisked away to the Patman mansion. His uncle buys him all the things he's ever wanted and probably quite a few he needed, and we don't really get to experience this much because he's Roger. There's momentary excitement over getting to buy pretty much whatever he wants at The Sports Shop, but because he's a guy, or maybe because he's Roger, this is short lived and nothing more than a blip on the radar. His new aunt cannot stand Roger's old life and doesn't seem all that fond of Roger himself because she has a stick up her butt, but again, the drama is lacking. Not even Jessica can really spice things up, but Lord does she try.
  Okay, I should begin at the beginning. Roger Barrett, remember the poor as a church mouse guy from Racing Hearts? Yeah, well, his mother died at the end of the last book and he found out that he was the long lost love child of Paul Patman, Henry Patman's wealthier brother. Too bad Paul is dead, and Roger is definitely an orphan. However, now he has family, so he's shipped off to the Patman mansion where he promptly forgets all about his mother. For someone who worked really hard to help save mama and worked his butt off to keep a roof over their heads, Roger spends more time pining for his old room than he does for his mother. I get that a lot of guys aren't all touchy feely, but usually when something happens to their parent of choice, you at least get something, anything... Nothing. Roger doesn't mention her except for the catalyst as to his moving to his new life, and never with sadness, really. It's a bit scary when you overthink it.
  Instead, we fixate on Olivia, Roger, and the changes their relationship is going through due to Roger's upgrade in life. Olivia, who was previously established to be a free thinker, unafraid of what people think, is now a seething ball of insecurities. On the one hand, yay, reality stopped by the Valley for a brief stay! On the other hand, boo, reality has no place in the Valley. I can see why Olivia would be worried. Roger's rich now, his new family has completely different values, and Roger desperately wants to fit in. You could argue that he needs this new family more than he might need Olivia, so naturally she's worried about where Roger Barrett's girlfriend will fit into Roger Patman's life. Of course, it probably doesn't help that Roger introduces her everywhere as his good friend Olivia, and never his girlfriend. That would bug me to hell and back.
  The Patmans decide to throw Roger two parties to welcome him to the family. One is an informal gathering of Roger's friends, and the other, at the end of the book, is meant to basically welcome Roger to the Patmans' lifestyle. This means the rich bitches will all be in attendance there.

  Now, we've gone too long without a Jessica scheme popping up, so we have to check in with the devious twin. Seems that with Roger now being fantastically wealthy, Jessica's upgraded him from cute, but hopelessly out of her league to just her type. Olivia, she decides, isn't right for his new life, but Jessica certainly is. So at the little informal gathering, she starts buttering up Mrs. Patman. Who knew that acting like the maid and helping to clear things would endear her to Marie Patman? But it does. Jessica and Marie have a little chat and Marie makes it rather clear that Jessica is just the sort of young woman Marie would wish for her new nephew, and Jessica whole heartedly agrees. Olivia, they decide, must be dealt with. With this in mind, Jessica ups her devious little game. She "helps" Olivia fit in by having her get her desert while everyone else is just concentrating on their burgers and whatnot. She "helps" her pick out tennis clothes for their doubles match with Bruce and Roger. She helps hem Olivia's dress and then proceeds to list all the reasons why such a dress would do nothing but embarrass Roger. And the thing is, she sort of does try to help. She points out what is expected of Olivia, highlights the fact that it's not really Olivia's style or personality to be this girl the Patmans seem to require, and then says, "but really, that delightful ensemble you're wearing? Go with it. I'm sure no one else will be wearing tennis whites, although everyone else on the planet knows I'm lying through my perfect teeth." And Olivia falls for it, because she wants so desperately to hold onto Roger. Because she loves him, she wants to make things easier for him, but because she's so worried about not fitting in, naturally it all falls apart.
  It doesn't help that Roger hasn't got the balls to stand up to his aunt who proceeds to trash everything about him. So you like to run, Roger? Isn't that a bit of a solitary endeavor? Surely wouldn't you rather play tennis because tennis is what we Patmans are known for, and besides, Bruce does it. Your clothes, Roger, shouldn't they be more like Bruce's? So you want to be a doctor? Isn't that a bit... messy? Your girlfriend, shouldn't she be a little less of a free thinker and more like, say, me but in sixteen year old blond form?
  And he falls for it because of all the reasons listed previously. When Olivia realizes that she will never be the girl Marie Patman would wish for her nephew, she breaks her date with Roger for the big party. She even tries to explain how his new life has been rubbing her the wrong way, but of course things blow up. They break up and each is miserable. Liv runs into Liz and Liz comes home, tells Jessica, and is then amazed by how warm and fuzzy Jessica seems as she goes off to console Olivia. Well, Jessica never said that, she just said she was off to offer consolation. She lies to Roger and snags herself the ultimate date to the party of the season when Roger asks her to be his date.
  However, it doesn't take long for Jessica's plan to backfire. The day of the party, Roger overhears his aunt discussing Jessica's involvement in their little plan and how marvelous it was that she could do so much damage in so little time. She's proud of this, I might add, and I love that. Roger rushes over to casa Wakefield and tells the twins he's realized what an ass he's been and that he needs Olivia back, won't they help him? With some complicated eye contact, Jessica realizes Roger's on to her and she demurs the invitation, prompting Elizabeth to realize that Jessica was indeed being a backstabbing bitch. Roger details the bitchery on the way to Olivia's.
  Olivia, it turns out, lives in the best house I've heard of all series. Well, at least the non-mansion types, anyway. Roger begs forgiveness and Liz is there for no reason other than to have helped Roger keep Olivia from running away. After Roger invites her to be his date again and she accepts, Olivia asks Liz to come check out her dress. Elizabeth declares it beautiful and reminds Olivia that Roger loves her, strangeness and all.
  Jessica rebounds quickly and her backup boy toy, Neil, escorts her to the party. Roger grows a pair and stands up to his aunt, his uncle swoops in and tells his wife to shove it, that maybe Roger needs the acceptance of his family more than strangers, and everyone has a loverly time. Except for Lila and Caroline.

  Lila is our B story thread. It seems Regina Morrow has been missing classes lately and Todd Wilkins is worried about it. So he convinces Liz to ditch school one day and they follow Regina downtown. They see her meet up with a handsome older man and disappear into an office building, but before they can figure out what to do about this, they run into Lila who has also seen Regina. Lila is jealous of Regina because Regina George is so cool until Regina showed up, Lila was the richest girl in school, and one of the prettiest to boot. Regina appears and is prettier, nicer, more well liked, and just as rich, if not moreso. Lila spreads the rumour that Regina's got a much older boyfriend. Eventually the gossip gets to Regina who tells Elizabeth that the older guy in question is Lane Townsend of the Lane Townsend Agency. She's going to be the next cover model for Ingenue magazine and that's what's with all the school skipping and driving off in someone's beige Ferrari. She's not fooling around with a married man because she's not that kind of girl. She promises Liz to secrecy and Liz agrees, although she feels bad about holding out on Todd. Done with the inadvertent snorting of anything you might have been drinking? Good.
  Eventually Cara spots the infamous Ingenue cover and she tells two friends and they tell two friends and soon it's all over town. Of course, Lila knew about this before because she stalked Regina, too. She tried to get Lane to dump Regina and go with Lila instead, but he gently turns her down and tells her that while she's lovely, she's not model material and wouldn't like how flat her face would look in pictures. Ouch!
  Everyone freaks out about Regina's newfound celebrity status at the party, hence Lila's unhappiness.
  Caroline, on the other hand, has been talking about this guy named Adam she's apparently been seeing. We have no proof of him other than a letter she conveniently brings to the party with her and Cara reads aloud. Now, I can see bringing the letter with you, I guess, but the fact that Adam's letter says "I wish I could be there with you tonight" is a little off. Sure, he could have written it so that she'd read it the day of the party, but still, weird.
  So yes, I think you know where that's going. However, that's our lead out into the next book, so until then....

Trivia:

  • Roger has gray eyes.

  • RtR takes place a little over a week after Promises.

  • Roger wears contacts now, and dresses more preppy than he did before.

  • After lunch, Liz has English and Todd has study hall.

  • Todd's last class of the day is English, and Regina's in his class when she's not out modeling, that is.

  • Regina Morrow takes mostly honors classes.

  • The Patmans have a 5 car garage. Is that all?

  • For some reason Jessica is trying to sell t-shirts she's painted to help earn money for the cheerleaders.

  • Neil Freemount has a new sports car, thus ensuring that he keeps his place as Jessica's go to boy when she's dateless.

  • Liz describes Olivia has "very slender and small" thus blowing my mind completely, as I never think of her as that.

  • When Liz and Todd skip last period, they stalk Regina, run into Lila, and spy Roger. Half the junior class was cutting and no one told Jessica?

  • Elizabeth is sure that Mrs. Patman dyes her hair to keep it that black. Um, of all the reasons to dislike this woman, this is one of the ones put forth why?

  • Bruce is wearing a speedo and George and Todd both comment on it. Make your own joke -here-.

  • Lila describes Regina's 'mystery man' as a Paul Newman look-alike.

  • In a botched attempt to impress Roger, and his new family, Olivia flubs a dive and ends up doing a belly flop. Ouch!

  • A big deal is made about the twins watching a movie in the family room on their brand new VCR that Ned just set up. I giggled for a good five minutes at that.

  • The movie in question? Some Travolta flick.

  • Why does the school serve 'Hungarian Goulash' and more importantly, why does Lila choose that over whatever Jess has that involves french fries?

  • Caroline first brings up Adam on page 71.

  • Regina's room has a massive canopy bed in the center, guaze curtains, a couch that Regina chose the fabric for herself, and the whole thing is done in pastels. I think an Easter Egg blew up in there, somewhere. Regina decorated it herself.

  • Mr. Jaworski is holding a playwright competition. Naturally, Liz is going to enter.

  • In the week between books, Todd's car broke down on the way to Elizabeth's, and the car parts still aren't ready. Rude.

  • Olivia loves pale lilac.

  • Roger doesn't call Olivia his girlfriend until the very end of the book. Every other time it's "my friend Olivia." Idiot.

  • Lane Townsend drives a beige Ferrari. What a waste.

  • Olivia doesn't drive, but rather, she rides her bike. Because she's eco friendly.

  • The Davidsons have a large, rectangular garden at the center of their house. It's enclosed, so no worries about freak rainstorms ruining everything, and in the middle of this little oasis, there's a marble fountain. The house, and it's awesome garden, were designed by Olivia's uncle on her mother's side. He designed the house for Olivia's birth, since he's an architect.

  • Lila's date for Roger's big party is Drake Howard.

  • Lane Townsend's daughter is Simone, and Regina babysat for her once.

  • It was Mrs. Townsend who discovered Regina and that ultimately lead to Regina's Ingenue cover.



Quotes:
"Take it easy, Bruce. I feel even stranger than I look."
Bruce snorted. "That would be hard," he muttered. Roger/Bruce, p16

Mrs. Patman leaned back in her chair and continued smiling at Jessica. In fact, she smiled so widely and for such a long time that Jessica began to wonder if something was wrong. [I just have this picture of Mrs. P going all Joker in that moment. Someone distract me, quick!] p44

...but at the same time, Elizabeth hated holding out on Todd. p89 I think we all know where my mind went with that little tidbit....

"Jess, I just ran into her downtown and she looked absolutely terrible!"
"What was she wearing?" Jessica asked, interested at last.
Liz/Jessica p113



   Oh, Olivia, I love you dearly, but sometimes I do wonder about you. But not as much as I worry about Roger in this book. When Olivia trips and falls while they're playing tennis, and is obviously a little shaken up, Roger would rather continue playing tennis than let Olivia stop and clean her wounds. What the hell, Roger? Let the girl clean the grit from her skinned palms before you make her awkwardly hold a racquet again, ok?
  Also, why is Jessica running around in the background selling stuff to make money for the cheerleaders? It's just so random. The t-shirts we're pretty sure no one bought, or at least only suckers did, and then some ugly ass cookies that they sold all of them for $55... We're never given a reason, are we?
  Other things to ponder:
Why is it that when Jessica wants the dirt on something, she's a flighty gossip, but when Elizabeth does, it's her 'reporter's curiosity?
If Mama Barret was known for always doing the right thing, how did she end up having an affair with her married boss?

   And with this book, I truly begin to wonder if Elizabeth isn't a bit of a sociopath herself. She knows what her twin is like, but instead of learning with each new calamity Jessica brings down upon herself, Liz keeps hoping that this time will be the time Jessica reveals her heart of gold. Or, better yet, she'll suspect quite heavily that Jess is up to no good, but she won't interfere because "it's none of my business." Um, hello, if it looks like Jessica is trying to break two people up, don't you think you should step in and say something to someone, somewhere? Sure, reasoning with Jessica is out, but had she said, "Liv? Do you know that Jessica doesn't know a damn thing about sewing so her helping to hem anything will be a disaster..." Olivia might have begun to realize that things with Roger went downhill significantly faster once Jessica "befriended" her. Okay, maybe that's a stretch, but the signs are there, Liz. And still, when Jessica is busted and ratted out, does Liz actually manage to rip her a new one? Nope, she allows herself to be distracted.
  I do have to say that part of me, the sick sadistic side, admires how Jessica doesn't manage to see her failures as that. They're just another opportunity to be found elsewhere. And I'd be lying if I said I didn't wish like mad for her ability to be able to call a guy up at the last possible second and trill, "It's your lucky day, you get to take me..." and have them do it and be glad to do so. Cursed fiction!



Updated most of the previous entries with an extra cover for the non-English side. If I disappear for awhile, it's a connection issue. Seems I pay my part of the deal, but they don't pay theirs. Woe. Fear not, my trusty notebook and I will be continuing to work, it just might take a little while to share. Or not. If any of the images don't work, fuss at me so I'll know to fix them, kay?
Also, if you find yourself thinking, "Hey, I have a cover for that book that she doesn't..." feel free to share. Sometimes my eyes cross or I just can't find 'em even though I'm fairly certain they do exist.
the_oracle: (plotting)
Rags to Riches
February 1985

Look who's after Roger Barrett!

Roger strikes it rich...


  No one would have guessed that Roger Barrett, the poorest boy in Sweet Valley, was really one of the Patmans, the wealthiest family in town. But when Roger's mother dies, the secret of his birth is revealed, and overnight he becomes a millionaire.
  Immediately Jessica Wakefield sets her sights on Roger and his newfound wealth. Only one thing stands in her way-Olivia Davidson, Roger's longtime girlfriend. But not for long. Jessica has a surefire plan to take care of her!


  Ah, Rags to Riches. This is one of those books that I would own very briefly, and then it would get lost, but I wouldn't notice until my inner librarian/masochist would decide it was time to catalog my books. So I'd haul them all off the shelves and see which ones I was missing, and then, if I liked the book enough or was sure I actually owned it, I would go out and search for it. I never went looking for Rags to Riches. Ever.

  Which isn't to say that the book sucks. It's just that it's another Roger book, and Roger books were kind of boring, y'know? Even when given a free pass for angst and drama, Roger fails miserably to live up to that potential. His mother dies and Roger is whisked away to the Patman mansion. His uncle buys him all the things he's ever wanted and probably quite a few he needed, and we don't really get to experience this much because he's Roger. There's momentary excitement over getting to buy pretty much whatever he wants at The Sports Shop, but because he's a guy, or maybe because he's Roger, this is short lived and nothing more than a blip on the radar. His new aunt cannot stand Roger's old life and doesn't seem all that fond of Roger himself because she has a stick up her butt, but again, the drama is lacking. Not even Jessica can really spice things up, but Lord does she try.
  Okay, I should begin at the beginning. Roger Barrett, remember the poor as a church mouse guy from Racing Hearts? Yeah, well, his mother died at the end of the last book and he found out that he was the long lost love child of Paul Patman, Henry Patman's wealthier brother. Too bad Paul is dead, and Roger is definitely an orphan. However, now he has family, so he's shipped off to the Patman mansion where he promptly forgets all about his mother. For someone who worked really hard to help save mama and worked his butt off to keep a roof over their heads, Roger spends more time pining for his old room than he does for his mother. I get that a lot of guys aren't all touchy feely, but usually when something happens to their parent of choice, you at least get something, anything... Nothing. Roger doesn't mention her except for the catalyst as to his moving to his new life, and never with sadness, really. It's a bit scary when you overthink it.
  Instead, we fixate on Olivia, Roger, and the changes their relationship is going through due to Roger's upgrade in life. Olivia, who was previously established to be a free thinker, unafraid of what people think, is now a seething ball of insecurities. On the one hand, yay, reality stopped by the Valley for a brief stay! On the other hand, boo, reality has no place in the Valley. I can see why Olivia would be worried. Roger's rich now, his new family has completely different values, and Roger desperately wants to fit in. You could argue that he needs this new family more than he might need Olivia, so naturally she's worried about where Roger Barrett's girlfriend will fit into Roger Patman's life. Of course, it probably doesn't help that Roger introduces her everywhere as his good friend Olivia, and never his girlfriend. That would bug me to hell and back.
  The Patmans decide to throw Roger two parties to welcome him to the family. One is an informal gathering of Roger's friends, and the other, at the end of the book, is meant to basically welcome Roger to the Patmans' lifestyle. This means the rich bitches will all be in attendance there.

  Now, we've gone too long without a Jessica scheme popping up, so we have to check in with the devious twin. Seems that with Roger now being fantastically wealthy, Jessica's upgraded him from cute, but hopelessly out of her league to just her type. Olivia, she decides, isn't right for his new life, but Jessica certainly is. So at the little informal gathering, she starts buttering up Mrs. Patman. Who knew that acting like the maid and helping to clear things would endear her to Marie Patman? But it does. Jessica and Marie have a little chat and Marie makes it rather clear that Jessica is just the sort of young woman Marie would wish for her new nephew, and Jessica whole heartedly agrees. Olivia, they decide, must be dealt with. With this in mind, Jessica ups her devious little game. She "helps" Olivia fit in by having her get her desert while everyone else is just concentrating on their burgers and whatnot. She "helps" her pick out tennis clothes for their doubles match with Bruce and Roger. She helps hem Olivia's dress and then proceeds to list all the reasons why such a dress would do nothing but embarrass Roger. And the thing is, she sort of does try to help. She points out what is expected of Olivia, highlights the fact that it's not really Olivia's style or personality to be this girl the Patmans seem to require, and then says, "but really, that delightful ensemble you're wearing? Go with it. I'm sure no one else will be wearing tennis whites, although everyone else on the planet knows I'm lying through my perfect teeth." And Olivia falls for it, because she wants so desperately to hold onto Roger. Because she loves him, she wants to make things easier for him, but because she's so worried about not fitting in, naturally it all falls apart.
  It doesn't help that Roger hasn't got the balls to stand up to his aunt who proceeds to trash everything about him. So you like to run, Roger? Isn't that a bit of a solitary endeavor? Surely wouldn't you rather play tennis because tennis is what we Patmans are known for, and besides, Bruce does it. Your clothes, Roger, shouldn't they be more like Bruce's? So you want to be a doctor? Isn't that a bit... messy? Your girlfriend, shouldn't she be a little less of a free thinker and more like, say, me but in sixteen year old blond form?
  And he falls for it because of all the reasons listed previously. When Olivia realizes that she will never be the girl Marie Patman would wish for her nephew, she breaks her date with Roger for the big party. She even tries to explain how his new life has been rubbing her the wrong way, but of course things blow up. They break up and each is miserable. Liv runs into Liz and Liz comes home, tells Jessica, and is then amazed by how warm and fuzzy Jessica seems as she goes off to console Olivia. Well, Jessica never said that, she just said she was off to offer consolation. She lies to Roger and snags herself the ultimate date to the party of the season when Roger asks her to be his date.
  However, it doesn't take long for Jessica's plan to backfire. The day of the party, Roger overhears his aunt discussing Jessica's involvement in their little plan and how marvelous it was that she could do so much damage in so little time. She's proud of this, I might add, and I love that. Roger rushes over to casa Wakefield and tells the twins he's realized what an ass he's been and that he needs Olivia back, won't they help him? With some complicated eye contact, Jessica realizes Roger's on to her and she demurs the invitation, prompting Elizabeth to realize that Jessica was indeed being a backstabbing bitch. Roger details the bitchery on the way to Olivia's.
  Olivia, it turns out, lives in the best house I've heard of all series. Well, at least the non-mansion types, anyway. Roger begs forgiveness and Liz is there for no reason other than to have helped Roger keep Olivia from running away. After Roger invites her to be his date again and she accepts, Olivia asks Liz to come check out her dress. Elizabeth declares it beautiful and reminds Olivia that Roger loves her, strangeness and all.
  Jessica rebounds quickly and her backup boy toy, Neil, escorts her to the party. Roger grows a pair and stands up to his aunt, his uncle swoops in and tells his wife to shove it, that maybe Roger needs the acceptance of his family more than strangers, and everyone has a loverly time. Except for Lila and Caroline.

  Lila is our B story thread. It seems Regina Morrow has been missing classes lately and Todd Wilkins is worried about it. So he convinces Liz to ditch school one day and they follow Regina downtown. They see her meet up with a handsome older man and disappear into an office building, but before they can figure out what to do about this, they run into Lila who has also seen Regina. Lila is jealous of Regina because Regina George is so cool until Regina showed up, Lila was the richest girl in school, and one of the prettiest to boot. Regina appears and is prettier, nicer, more well liked, and just as rich, if not moreso. Lila spreads the rumour that Regina's got a much older boyfriend. Eventually the gossip gets to Regina who tells Elizabeth that the older guy in question is Lane Townsend of the Lane Townsend Agency. She's going to be the next cover model for Ingenue magazine and that's what's with all the school skipping and driving off in someone's beige Ferrari. She's not fooling around with a married man because she's not that kind of girl. She promises Liz to secrecy and Liz agrees, although she feels bad about holding out on Todd. Done with the inadvertent snorting of anything you might have been drinking? Good.
  Eventually Cara spots the infamous Ingenue cover and she tells two friends and they tell two friends and soon it's all over town. Of course, Lila knew about this before because she stalked Regina, too. She tried to get Lane to dump Regina and go with Lila instead, but he gently turns her down and tells her that while she's lovely, she's not model material and wouldn't like how flat her face would look in pictures. Ouch!
  Everyone freaks out about Regina's newfound celebrity status at the party, hence Lila's unhappiness.
  Caroline, on the other hand, has been talking about this guy named Adam she's apparently been seeing. We have no proof of him other than a letter she conveniently brings to the party with her and Cara reads aloud. Now, I can see bringing the letter with you, I guess, but the fact that Adam's letter says "I wish I could be there with you tonight" is a little off. Sure, he could have written it so that she'd read it the day of the party, but still, weird.
  So yes, I think you know where that's going. However, that's our lead out into the next book, so until then....

Trivia:

  • Roger has gray eyes.

  • RtR takes place a little over a week after Promises.

  • Roger wears contacts now, and dresses more preppy than he did before.

  • After lunch, Liz has English and Todd has study hall.

  • Todd's last class of the day is English, and Regina's in his class when she's not out modeling, that is.

  • Regina Morrow takes mostly honors classes.

  • The Patmans have a 5 car garage. Is that all?

  • For some reason Jessica is trying to sell t-shirts she's painted to help earn money for the cheerleaders.

  • Neil Freemount has a new sports car, thus ensuring that he keeps his place as Jessica's go to boy when she's dateless.

  • Liz describes Olivia has "very slender and small" thus blowing my mind completely, as I never think of her as that.

  • When Liz and Todd skip last period, they stalk Regina, run into Lila, and spy Roger. Half the junior class was cutting and no one told Jessica?

  • Elizabeth is sure that Mrs. Patman dyes her hair to keep it that black. Um, of all the reasons to dislike this woman, this is one of the ones put forth why?

  • Bruce is wearing a speedo and George and Todd both comment on it. Make your own joke -here-.

  • Lila describes Regina's 'mystery man' as a Paul Newman look-alike.

  • In a botched attempt to impress Roger, and his new family, Olivia flubs a dive and ends up doing a belly flop. Ouch!

  • A big deal is made about the twins watching a movie in the family room on their brand new VCR that Ned just set up. I giggled for a good five minutes at that.

  • The movie in question? Some Travolta flick.

  • Why does the school serve 'Hungarian Goulash' and more importantly, why does Lila choose that over whatever Jess has that involves french fries?

  • Caroline first brings up Adam on page 71.

  • Regina's room has a massive canopy bed in the center, guaze curtains, a couch that Regina chose the fabric for herself, and the whole thing is done in pastels. I think an Easter Egg blew up in there, somewhere. Regina decorated it herself.

  • Mr. Jaworski is holding a playwright competition. Naturally, Liz is going to enter.

  • In the week between books, Todd's car broke down on the way to Elizabeth's, and the car parts still aren't ready. Rude.

  • Olivia loves pale lilac.

  • Roger doesn't call Olivia his girlfriend until the very end of the book. Every other time it's "my friend Olivia." Idiot.

  • Lane Townsend drives a beige Ferrari. What a waste.

  • Olivia doesn't drive, but rather, she rides her bike. Because she's eco friendly.

  • The Davidsons have a large, rectangular garden at the center of their house. It's enclosed, so no worries about freak rainstorms ruining everything, and in the middle of this little oasis, there's a marble fountain. The house, and it's awesome garden, were designed by Olivia's uncle on her mother's side. He designed the house for Olivia's birth, since he's an architect.

  • Lila's date for Roger's big party is Drake Howard.

  • Lane Townsend's daughter is Simone, and Regina babysat for her once.

  • It was Mrs. Townsend who discovered Regina and that ultimately lead to Regina's Ingenue cover.



Quotes:
"Take it easy, Bruce. I feel even stranger than I look."
Bruce snorted. "That would be hard," he muttered. Roger/Bruce, p16

Mrs. Patman leaned back in her chair and continued smiling at Jessica. In fact, she smiled so widely and for such a long time that Jessica began to wonder if something was wrong. [I just have this picture of Mrs. P going all Joker in that moment. Someone distract me, quick!] p44

...but at the same time, Elizabeth hated holding out on Todd. p89 I think we all know where my mind went with that little tidbit....

"Jess, I just ran into her downtown and she looked absolutely terrible!"
"What was she wearing?" Jessica asked, interested at last.
Liz/Jessica p113



   Oh, Olivia, I love you dearly, but sometimes I do wonder about you. But not as much as I worry about Roger in this book. When Olivia trips and falls while they're playing tennis, and is obviously a little shaken up, Roger would rather continue playing tennis than let Olivia stop and clean her wounds. What the hell, Roger? Let the girl clean the grit from her skinned palms before you make her awkwardly hold a racquet again, ok?
  Also, why is Jessica running around in the background selling stuff to make money for the cheerleaders? It's just so random. The t-shirts we're pretty sure no one bought, or at least only suckers did, and then some ugly ass cookies that they sold all of them for $55... We're never given a reason, are we?
  Other things to ponder:
Why is it that when Jessica wants the dirt on something, she's a flighty gossip, but when Elizabeth does, it's her 'reporter's curiosity?
If Mama Barret was known for always doing the right thing, how did she end up having an affair with her married boss?

   And with this book, I truly begin to wonder if Elizabeth isn't a bit of a sociopath herself. She knows what her twin is like, but instead of learning with each new calamity Jessica brings down upon herself, Liz keeps hoping that this time will be the time Jessica reveals her heart of gold. Or, better yet, she'll suspect quite heavily that Jess is up to no good, but she won't interfere because "it's none of my business." Um, hello, if it looks like Jessica is trying to break two people up, don't you think you should step in and say something to someone, somewhere? Sure, reasoning with Jessica is out, but had she said, "Liv? Do you know that Jessica doesn't know a damn thing about sewing so her helping to hem anything will be a disaster..." Olivia might have begun to realize that things with Roger went downhill significantly faster once Jessica "befriended" her. Okay, maybe that's a stretch, but the signs are there, Liz. And still, when Jessica is busted and ratted out, does Liz actually manage to rip her a new one? Nope, she allows herself to be distracted.
  I do have to say that part of me, the sick sadistic side, admires how Jessica doesn't manage to see her failures as that. They're just another opportunity to be found elsewhere. And I'd be lying if I said I didn't wish like mad for her ability to be able to call a guy up at the last possible second and trill, "It's your lucky day, you get to take me..." and have them do it and be glad to do so. Cursed fiction!



Updated most of the previous entries with an extra cover for the non-English side. If I disappear for awhile, it's a connection issue. Seems I pay my part of the deal, but they don't pay theirs. Woe. Fear not, my trusty notebook and I will be continuing to work, it just might take a little while to share. Or not. If any of the images don't work, fuss at me so I'll know to fix them, kay?
Also, if you find yourself thinking, "Hey, I have a cover for that book that she doesn't..." feel free to share. Sometimes my eyes cross or I just can't find 'em even though I'm fairly certain they do exist.
the_oracle: the cover image from Double Love, classic SVH (Default)
Racing Hearts
June, 1984

Can Roger melt Lila's icy heart?

Love on the run...


  Roger Barret has always had a hopeless crush on glamorous, wealthy Lila Fowler. The only attention Lila ever pays to him, though, is to make fun of him in front of her friends. But why shouldn't she, he thinks. After all, he's clumsy and shy and works secretly as a janitor after school.
  When Roger wins the qualifying heat for a big race, he becomes a school celebrity overnight. And to his surprise, even Lila starts to chase after him. But Roger knows if he runs in the race finals, he'll lose his job. Will Lila still notice him when he's no longer a star?

  I love that the back of the book doesn't even try to convince you that the school would give half a damn about Roger if he didn't run in the big race. Look, right there, it tells you that if he doesn't race, he won't be a 'star'... Of course, anyone at all familiar with Lila, or anyone looking at the cover, will tell you that he hasn't got a chance. Oh, Roger, it was cruel of fate to let you fall for Lila, the richest girl ever, while you are a poor little church mouse. Cru-el!

  Anyway. Again, simple: Roger is in loooooooove with Lila. As Lila is a bitch, she takes it upon herself to tease and flirtatiously goad Roger into running in the qualifying race for the Bart, some annual race we never really hear about again, despite just about every other school ritual being repeated as the series goes on. So Roger races and wins by a landslide. Take that, Bruce Patman! Oh yeah, baby. Despite all the bragging Bruce has been doing, Roger spanked that ass but good. But not literally, as that would be awkward, particularly given what'll happen about eight books or so from now. So, Roger wins and everyone falls all over themselves to kiss up to him. Naturally this wave of love is lead by Lila herself, once it becomes obvious what whomever wins the Bart will be supremely popular until, y'know, someone else does something newsworthy. Once Lila flutters her pretty eyelashes in Roger's direction, his only actual friend, Olivia Davidson, wanders off. Because she's in love with Roger, duh!
  Thing is, Roger is really, really poor. So poor that instead of working at McDonald's or something, he works as the janitor at the office building where Mr. Wakefield works, and his boss is a real asshat who won't give Roger any time off, not even when he's sick. As a kid I knew this was wrong, but didn't know for sure it was illegal. Now I think every kid knows such a thing, but this was the 80's, and I guess Roger wasn't that quick on the draw. So with this lawbreaking jerk as a boss, Roger can't very well take the time off to practice for the race, let alone run in it. However, the adoration of his peers, and Lila in particular, is too much for Roger, and he can't find a way to break the news to Coach Schultz, who has displayed remarkable restraint in not kicking Roger's ass for not showing up to a single practice with nary an explanation in sight. Given his feelings of inadequacy and his inability to hang out after school, Roger gives Lila the impression that he's now playing hard to get. Jesus, Roger, didn't you think this out before you threw yourself at her? Traditionally girlfriends, be they rich or not, expect to spend time with their boyfriends. Roger never manages to give an inch.
  Eventually Roger realizes he has to confess his inability to run, particularly when he runs into Jessica Wakefield while on the job. How? Why? Didn't he learn his lesson with Liz?
  Well, that's what the B-story is for. Jessica decides to turn over a new leaf after her disastrous wipe out with Bill. She decides she'll join her father as a lawyer. It never occurs to Jess that her father will stick her at the bottom of the food chain, pride or no pride, and she's bored beyond belief. She can't quit immediately though, because she knows her sister and everyone else will laugh, roll their eyes, and say, "Typical Jessica." Which is proof that there is a little more going on under that fried blond hair than most people think. However, just as Jessica's about to drown at her own pity party, she meets Dennis who works across the hall. He's cute, he's interested in her, and he's incentive enough to stay on at the law firm. Turns out that Dennis won't go out with Jessica, but he's content to make out with her after hours at the office. Which is a bit creepy and insulting once Jessica thinks about it long enough. Still, she's determined to have the world gasp at how gorgeous her new man is, so she devises a plan. Not only will this plan introduce Dennis to her friends, but it will get Lila and Roger together [making Lila happy, momentarily] but it will also then allow her to humiliate Lila when she reveals that Roger is a lowly janitor. Yup, the inevitable happens when Jessica finally runs into Roger at work. Luckily Liz was there, spying on Jessica, so she runs home, runs interference with Lila, and blackmails Jessica into not saying a word. Foolish Liz...
  With this hanging over his head, Roger realizes what Elizabeth does not. He has to come clean before someone else beats him to the punch. So he tells Olivia, who promptly calls and tells Elizabeth. The next day Roger goes to tell Coach S. Little side story here, possibly even counting as a C-story. Coach Schultz has a tendency to throw hissy fits at the school board meetings and this time someone takes him seriously when he says he'll quit if they don't give him what he wants. This morphs into him being put out to pasture, being stricken with cancer, and I think there's even a heart condition thrown in for good measure. Anyway, Roger tells Coach that he can't run, why, and is promptly interrupted. Seems Mr. Pendergast called the coach to tell him that Roger could have the time off to run, claiming to be a sports fan. Roger does the happy dance, declares he'll win one for the Gipper the Coach. Coach sets him straight [he's a drama queen not dying] and Roger runs off to thank Elizabeth. Of course, before he told the coach, he told Lila, and she freaked out. Well, not exactly freaked out, but she did let him know that poor and star-less, he had absolutely no chance with her.
  Roger and Olivia scheme a way to really outshine Bruce. Roger lets the rumor that he's dropped out of the race to run it's course and he shows up to a shocked crowd come Saturday. Roger wins, Bruce stumbles but finishes the race anyway, and everyone is happy. Except for Jessica who found out that Dennis wouldn't go out with her because he couldn't drive her anywhere, what with him being a freshly minted 15 and all. Jess freaks out and that's the end of that romance. Too bad she actually really liked the guy, eh?
  So the book ends with Jessica readying for a date with a male cheerleader from a rival school, Olivia and Roger together, and Lila alone. End scene, roll the credits, and hit the lights on your way out.


Trivia:

  • Originally supposed to be Love on the Run, and was even advertised as such in the back of Heartbreaker.

  • Cara Walker stays home from school the day it rains because she thinks she's coming down with a cold and doesn't want to aggravate it.

  • Mr. Wakefield's office closes at 6PM.

  • Lila and Aaron Dallas dated in "junior high", but it didn't work out, although they've remained friends. You'd never know this from any other book in the series, and I wonder if Jessica knows about this dating they did back in Jr. High. Was it during that series, or did I miss it in the SVT series? :P

  • Speaking of Aaron, why is he in Bruce's history class? Did he skip a grade, or was he a year older than the twins and I never knew, or is Bruce really bad in history?

  • Roger's goal in life is to be a doctor.

  • Olivia works at the museum, giving tours and chatting about the artwork.

  • Todd is still pissed at Bruce for trying to get in Elizabeth's pants a few books back. I love this.

  • Tony Esteban is the track team's long distance runner.

  • Mark Riley is the sprinter and track captain.

  • How unspoken can the rivalry be between Lila and Jessica, if it's always mentioned when those two clash? Is it in the student handbook?

  • Also, why is it never mentioned again that Mr. Wakefield is helping someone sue Mr. Fowler?

  • Dennis Creighton goes to El Caro High.

  • SVH hasn't won the Bart race since 1956. That winner was Jack Ralston.

  • The Bart is actually the Barton Ames Memorial Mile.

  • The guys who ran in the qualifying race are: Bruce, Todd, Roger, Tony, Peter Sorley, and Mark Riley. Roger, Bruce, and Tony qualify in that order and go on to run in the Bart.

  • Bruce figures he could be the track 'miler', but practice is as the same time as his tennis practice, and we know how much Bruce loves his tennis.

  • Olivia and Bruce are the only two who don't seem to make a fuss about Roger's big win. By the way, he ran the mile in 4 minutes and 5.5 seconds. That's in ratty jeans and not snazzy racing gear.

  • SVH has a school store, and if you were interested in the warm up suit Roger coveted, it'd run you $30. o_O

  • Olivia writes poetry and is the Arts Editor of the Oracle.

  • Lila has to work like a fiend to maintain her thinness, but Jessica does not.

  • Jess admires her sister for blackmailing her.

  • Elizabeth and Jessica now have phone extensions in their rooms, so no more overhearing gossip from the phone in the hall. I wonder if this is when they get their own phone number too.

  • Four of the five schools competing in the Bart: SVH, El Caro, Springbrook, and Palisades.

  • Kevin Borden from Springbrook is a male cheerleader who hits on Jessica.

  • Most of the SVH students aren't so enthused by the Bart race as they are about the dance afterward.

  • Liz talked her father into confronting Mr. Pendergast concerning his illegal practices where sick days and the like were concerned.



Say wha?:
  "I'm serious about this. I never said I was giving up boys. But I've got to think about other things, too. I've just come to realize there's more to life than drive-ins on Saturday nights and beach parties every Sunday afternoon." Jess, p5
  "Hey, why do you call him Bugs Bunny, anyway?"
  " 'Cause he bugs me." Jess/Lila, p14
  For the first time in his school career, he felt like a somebody, and he wanted to take advantage of the attention for as long as possible. It was as if he felt that at any moment it would all disappear. Roger, p51
  "Can you trust her?"
  "She's my sister. When she gives her word to me, she means it." Roger might want to realize Liz has lost her grasp on reality, p 108
  "I'll keep that in mind the next time I see you snuggling up to a ninth grader." Todd, p131
  "Crowds bother me. I was content to wait. My patience is unlimited." Olivia channels her inner fortune cookie, p 144




  In the grand scheme of things, I rarely think about RH. It's not a bad book, and in fact it's pretty entertaining. I'm a sucker for HS politics and it's not like it's missing anything. Thing is, it's also dull when you compare it to some of the other things that happen over the years. Roger never attains A-list status, and ducks in and out of books throughout the series, while rarely making me care all that much. Nice enough guy, but who in the hell could fall for both Lila Fowler and Olivia Davidson? The two could not be more different if they TRIED.
  Also, Jessica's plan to humiliate Lila so that she could take over as the center of the party was just plain cruel. She didn't care what it would do to Roger at all, and didn't seem at all phased as to the thought that it would knock Lila down a peg or two. Granted, Lila's a pain, but still, the girl has yet to have a love interest worth mentioning thus far. If nothing else, Jessica should be allowed to relate to that. She can't, nor can she rise above Dennis being a year younger, even though she likes him. They'll recycle that bit for later use on Lila quite a few books down the line.
  One of the standout things in the book is how it's okay for Elizabeth to be so serious about her writing, but Jessica isn't allowed to seem actually serious about acting, even though odds are good that Jessica has a better shot of being a working actress than Elizabeth does as a published author of the novel variety. Jessica's plan for When I Grow Up is ridiculed and Elizabeth's is proof that she's Serious. How is that fair? Now take into consideration the fact that excluding SVU, where it's as if Jessica's never heard of drama, Jessica's been set up to be an aspiring actress since she was twelve at the very latest. Liz has made no secret of her desire to be a writer, but it changes for each series. Sometimes she's Super Journalist, and sometimes she'll be the next great poet making school children groan in protest. This doesn't mean I doubt her love for writing, but since it's rarely a case of wanting to be all these things in her long and varied career and more of her changing her mind, she's just as fickle as Jessica can be. But it's okay, because it's all writing in one way or another, right? Except for her SVU years. Later on they'll comment on this, but for now it's just one of those throw-away items that Jess points out but, gasp, they go right back to doing even though she's pointed out that it hurts her feelings. Sure, she's a drama queen, but it doesn't mean we're not supposed to believe that she's not self-involved enough to have feelings. Right?

the_oracle: the cover image from Double Love, classic SVH (Default)
Racing Hearts
June, 1984

Can Roger melt Lila's icy heart?

Love on the run...


  Roger Barret has always had a hopeless crush on glamorous, wealthy Lila Fowler. The only attention Lila ever pays to him, though, is to make fun of him in front of her friends. But why shouldn't she, he thinks. After all, he's clumsy and shy and works secretly as a janitor after school.
  When Roger wins the qualifying heat for a big race, he becomes a school celebrity overnight. And to his surprise, even Lila starts to chase after him. But Roger knows if he runs in the race finals, he'll lose his job. Will Lila still notice him when he's no longer a star?

  I love that the back of the book doesn't even try to convince you that the school would give half a damn about Roger if he didn't run in the big race. Look, right there, it tells you that if he doesn't race, he won't be a 'star'... Of course, anyone at all familiar with Lila, or anyone looking at the cover, will tell you that he hasn't got a chance. Oh, Roger, it was cruel of fate to let you fall for Lila, the richest girl ever, while you are a poor little church mouse. Cru-el!

  Anyway. Again, simple: Roger is in loooooooove with Lila. As Lila is a bitch, she takes it upon herself to tease and flirtatiously goad Roger into running in the qualifying race for the Bart, some annual race we never really hear about again, despite just about every other school ritual being repeated as the series goes on. So Roger races and wins by a landslide. Take that, Bruce Patman! Oh yeah, baby. Despite all the bragging Bruce has been doing, Roger spanked that ass but good. But not literally, as that would be awkward, particularly given what'll happen about eight books or so from now. So, Roger wins and everyone falls all over themselves to kiss up to him. Naturally this wave of love is lead by Lila herself, once it becomes obvious what whomever wins the Bart will be supremely popular until, y'know, someone else does something newsworthy. Once Lila flutters her pretty eyelashes in Roger's direction, his only actual friend, Olivia Davidson, wanders off. Because she's in love with Roger, duh!
  Thing is, Roger is really, really poor. So poor that instead of working at McDonald's or something, he works as the janitor at the office building where Mr. Wakefield works, and his boss is a real asshat who won't give Roger any time off, not even when he's sick. As a kid I knew this was wrong, but didn't know for sure it was illegal. Now I think every kid knows such a thing, but this was the 80's, and I guess Roger wasn't that quick on the draw. So with this lawbreaking jerk as a boss, Roger can't very well take the time off to practice for the race, let alone run in it. However, the adoration of his peers, and Lila in particular, is too much for Roger, and he can't find a way to break the news to Coach Schultz, who has displayed remarkable restraint in not kicking Roger's ass for not showing up to a single practice with nary an explanation in sight. Given his feelings of inadequacy and his inability to hang out after school, Roger gives Lila the impression that he's now playing hard to get. Jesus, Roger, didn't you think this out before you threw yourself at her? Traditionally girlfriends, be they rich or not, expect to spend time with their boyfriends. Roger never manages to give an inch.
  Eventually Roger realizes he has to confess his inability to run, particularly when he runs into Jessica Wakefield while on the job. How? Why? Didn't he learn his lesson with Liz?
  Well, that's what the B-story is for. Jessica decides to turn over a new leaf after her disastrous wipe out with Bill. She decides she'll join her father as a lawyer. It never occurs to Jess that her father will stick her at the bottom of the food chain, pride or no pride, and she's bored beyond belief. She can't quit immediately though, because she knows her sister and everyone else will laugh, roll their eyes, and say, "Typical Jessica." Which is proof that there is a little more going on under that fried blond hair than most people think. However, just as Jessica's about to drown at her own pity party, she meets Dennis who works across the hall. He's cute, he's interested in her, and he's incentive enough to stay on at the law firm. Turns out that Dennis won't go out with Jessica, but he's content to make out with her after hours at the office. Which is a bit creepy and insulting once Jessica thinks about it long enough. Still, she's determined to have the world gasp at how gorgeous her new man is, so she devises a plan. Not only will this plan introduce Dennis to her friends, but it will get Lila and Roger together [making Lila happy, momentarily] but it will also then allow her to humiliate Lila when she reveals that Roger is a lowly janitor. Yup, the inevitable happens when Jessica finally runs into Roger at work. Luckily Liz was there, spying on Jessica, so she runs home, runs interference with Lila, and blackmails Jessica into not saying a word. Foolish Liz...
  With this hanging over his head, Roger realizes what Elizabeth does not. He has to come clean before someone else beats him to the punch. So he tells Olivia, who promptly calls and tells Elizabeth. The next day Roger goes to tell Coach S. Little side story here, possibly even counting as a C-story. Coach Schultz has a tendency to throw hissy fits at the school board meetings and this time someone takes him seriously when he says he'll quit if they don't give him what he wants. This morphs into him being put out to pasture, being stricken with cancer, and I think there's even a heart condition thrown in for good measure. Anyway, Roger tells Coach that he can't run, why, and is promptly interrupted. Seems Mr. Pendergast called the coach to tell him that Roger could have the time off to run, claiming to be a sports fan. Roger does the happy dance, declares he'll win one for the Gipper the Coach. Coach sets him straight [he's a drama queen not dying] and Roger runs off to thank Elizabeth. Of course, before he told the coach, he told Lila, and she freaked out. Well, not exactly freaked out, but she did let him know that poor and star-less, he had absolutely no chance with her.
  Roger and Olivia scheme a way to really outshine Bruce. Roger lets the rumor that he's dropped out of the race to run it's course and he shows up to a shocked crowd come Saturday. Roger wins, Bruce stumbles but finishes the race anyway, and everyone is happy. Except for Jessica who found out that Dennis wouldn't go out with her because he couldn't drive her anywhere, what with him being a freshly minted 15 and all. Jess freaks out and that's the end of that romance. Too bad she actually really liked the guy, eh?
  So the book ends with Jessica readying for a date with a male cheerleader from a rival school, Olivia and Roger together, and Lila alone. End scene, roll the credits, and hit the lights on your way out.


Trivia:

  • Originally supposed to be Love on the Run, and was even advertised as such in the back of Heartbreaker.

  • Cara Walker stays home from school the day it rains because she thinks she's coming down with a cold and doesn't want to aggravate it.

  • Mr. Wakefield's office closes at 6PM.

  • Lila and Aaron Dallas dated in "junior high", but it didn't work out, although they've remained friends. You'd never know this from any other book in the series, and I wonder if Jessica knows about this dating they did back in Jr. High. Was it during that series, or did I miss it in the SVT series? :P

  • Speaking of Aaron, why is he in Bruce's history class? Did he skip a grade, or was he a year older than the twins and I never knew, or is Bruce really bad in history?

  • Roger's goal in life is to be a doctor.

  • Olivia works at the museum, giving tours and chatting about the artwork.

  • Todd is still pissed at Bruce for trying to get in Elizabeth's pants a few books back. I love this.

  • Tony Esteban is the track team's long distance runner.

  • Mark Riley is the sprinter and track captain.

  • How unspoken can the rivalry be between Lila and Jessica, if it's always mentioned when those two clash? Is it in the student handbook?

  • Also, why is it never mentioned again that Mr. Wakefield is helping someone sue Mr. Fowler?

  • Dennis Creighton goes to El Caro High.

  • SVH hasn't won the Bart race since 1956. That winner was Jack Ralston.

  • The Bart is actually the Barton Ames Memorial Mile.

  • The guys who ran in the qualifying race are: Bruce, Todd, Roger, Tony, Peter Sorley, and Mark Riley. Roger, Bruce, and Tony qualify in that order and go on to run in the Bart.

  • Bruce figures he could be the track 'miler', but practice is as the same time as his tennis practice, and we know how much Bruce loves his tennis.

  • Olivia and Bruce are the only two who don't seem to make a fuss about Roger's big win. By the way, he ran the mile in 4 minutes and 5.5 seconds. That's in ratty jeans and not snazzy racing gear.

  • SVH has a school store, and if you were interested in the warm up suit Roger coveted, it'd run you $30. o_O

  • Olivia writes poetry and is the Arts Editor of the Oracle.

  • Lila has to work like a fiend to maintain her thinness, but Jessica does not.

  • Jess admires her sister for blackmailing her.

  • Elizabeth and Jessica now have phone extensions in their rooms, so no more overhearing gossip from the phone in the hall. I wonder if this is when they get their own phone number too.

  • Four of the five schools competing in the Bart: SVH, El Caro, Springbrook, and Palisades.

  • Kevin Borden from Springbrook is a male cheerleader who hits on Jessica.

  • Most of the SVH students aren't so enthused by the Bart race as they are about the dance afterward.

  • Liz talked her father into confronting Mr. Pendergast concerning his illegal practices where sick days and the like were concerned.



Say wha?:
  "I'm serious about this. I never said I was giving up boys. But I've got to think about other things, too. I've just come to realize there's more to life than drive-ins on Saturday nights and beach parties every Sunday afternoon." Jess, p5
  "Hey, why do you call him Bugs Bunny, anyway?"
  " 'Cause he bugs me." Jess/Lila, p14
  For the first time in his school career, he felt like a somebody, and he wanted to take advantage of the attention for as long as possible. It was as if he felt that at any moment it would all disappear. Roger, p51
  "Can you trust her?"
  "She's my sister. When she gives her word to me, she means it." Roger might want to realize Liz has lost her grasp on reality, p 108
  "I'll keep that in mind the next time I see you snuggling up to a ninth grader." Todd, p131
  "Crowds bother me. I was content to wait. My patience is unlimited." Olivia channels her inner fortune cookie, p 144




  In the grand scheme of things, I rarely think about RH. It's not a bad book, and in fact it's pretty entertaining. I'm a sucker for HS politics and it's not like it's missing anything. Thing is, it's also dull when you compare it to some of the other things that happen over the years. Roger never attains A-list status, and ducks in and out of books throughout the series, while rarely making me care all that much. Nice enough guy, but who in the hell could fall for both Lila Fowler and Olivia Davidson? The two could not be more different if they TRIED.
  Also, Jessica's plan to humiliate Lila so that she could take over as the center of the party was just plain cruel. She didn't care what it would do to Roger at all, and didn't seem at all phased as to the thought that it would knock Lila down a peg or two. Granted, Lila's a pain, but still, the girl has yet to have a love interest worth mentioning thus far. If nothing else, Jessica should be allowed to relate to that. She can't, nor can she rise above Dennis being a year younger, even though she likes him. They'll recycle that bit for later use on Lila quite a few books down the line.
  One of the standout things in the book is how it's okay for Elizabeth to be so serious about her writing, but Jessica isn't allowed to seem actually serious about acting, even though odds are good that Jessica has a better shot of being a working actress than Elizabeth does as a published author of the novel variety. Jessica's plan for When I Grow Up is ridiculed and Elizabeth's is proof that she's Serious. How is that fair? Now take into consideration the fact that excluding SVU, where it's as if Jessica's never heard of drama, Jessica's been set up to be an aspiring actress since she was twelve at the very latest. Liz has made no secret of her desire to be a writer, but it changes for each series. Sometimes she's Super Journalist, and sometimes she'll be the next great poet making school children groan in protest. This doesn't mean I doubt her love for writing, but since it's rarely a case of wanting to be all these things in her long and varied career and more of her changing her mind, she's just as fickle as Jessica can be. But it's okay, because it's all writing in one way or another, right? Except for her SVU years. Later on they'll comment on this, but for now it's just one of those throw-away items that Jess points out but, gasp, they go right back to doing even though she's pointed out that it hurts her feelings. Sure, she's a drama queen, but it doesn't mean we're not supposed to believe that she's not self-involved enough to have feelings. Right?

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