SIGH OF RELIEF!! I am finally done TY’s Horrible Dare Challenge, and will cut that albatross from my neck with gusto.
Alright, I was given the option of reading the SVH wild card of my choice, and did you know that libraries do not carry these books? And by ‘libraries’ I mean ‘neither mine nor TY’s’ and need you to go check yours as well, because have they all been recalled so that the new ones where the twins are a size 4 and drive a Jeep instead of the Fiat (which, a Jeep? So they’re set in the 90s, then?) can infiltrate the system?
Luckily my local used book dealership had EIGHT SVHs, two of which were your favorite and mine, Dear Sister. Otherwise known as The One with the Groping.
Welcome to Sweet Valley! If you remember Book #6, Todd Gets a Motorcycle and then Scoops All the Ladies, Driving Elizabeth to Make Her First Ever Foolish Decision in Life you may recall that Elizabeth is in a COMA after a tragic motorcycle-VAN collision (oddly, despite the motorcycle/VAN disparity, Todd is fine [except for the crushing guilt]). So, Elizabeth: coma. Jessica: bedside.
Ah, not even at the end of page one and already we’re doing the obligatory physical run-down, as though anyone reading this book hasn’t read the other eleventybillion. Five-foot-six, check. Gloriously attractive, check. Sun-streaked blond hair, check. Sparkling blue-green eyes, check. BUT WHERE IS THE HONEY-COLORED TAN?!?!? I feel…incomplete.
Ok, so Jessica’s sitting by Elizabeth’s coma-bed and the doctor is all, Are you her sister? I can see the resemblance. THEY ARE TWINS, YOU MORON!!! And then he ruffles her hair. Because she is eight.
And then he tells Jessica that the secret-coma-treatment is to reminisce with the vegetable, which Pascal takes as an opportunity to re-cap books 1-6 in the series. ‘Remember that time I tried to steal Todd from you and then also the time I blabbed Enid’s secrets and then that time I played with fire, and by ‘fire’ I mean ‘Bruce Patman,” etc. and then Hey presto! Liz is fine.
And your run-of-the-mill coma survivor essentially has two options: total amnesia, or opposite-self. Because Jessica is Elizabeth’s opposite-self anyways, the two pull your basic Freaky Friday body-swap and Liz takes over Jess’s role as Sweet Valley’s preeminent wearer-of-green-minidresses and shirker-of-duties.
So both Jess and the tall, dark and saccharine Todd are TOTALLY TO BLAME for Liz’s accident, ergo neither of them can, you know, talk to an adult about it and maybe get Liz some counselling or some medication or a lobotomy or something and this goes on for PAGES! Liz: *flirt* Jess: *seethe* Todd: *sulk* Liz: *giggle* Jess: *gnash* Todd: *sulk* Liz: *hair-flip* Jess: *eye-roll* Todd: *sulk*
Several chapters ensue where every character present wonders aloud or to themselves whether Elizabeth has turned into Jessica (I neither joke nor embellish. EVERY character). Also, brief aside: in one of, like, twenty episodes that serve to illustrate that LIZ = JESS and JESS MUST NOW = LIZ, Elizabeth defects, forcing Jessica to babysit two mousey-twin-children. Meanwhile, Jessica unwittingly looks forward to her drive-in date with Danny whose front seat reclines *wink* and congratulates herself for having lost those two pounds because, quote, Dan wouldn’t want to put his arms around a blimpo. Something inside me just died.
Eventually Todd breaks out of his tweetsulk when the plagiarized-term-paper-handing-in-and-therefore-grounded Elizabeth goes OUT with ANOTHER GUY on a MOTORCYCLE, and he chases them down and then manhandles her off of the bike, like with wrist-grabbing and everything, and into the car and I get it that it’s for her own good and I love Todd Wilkins but…that is not ok.
ANYways, then he and the law-abiding Jess have a nice, jokey moment and she jocularly threatens to slug him. SLUG him! Like, sock him one, right on the HyperColor-non-hooded-sweatshirt-wearing shoulder. With her Slap-Bracelet-wearing fist.
But then, ok, this is where it gets good. Bruce Patman (1BRUCE1!!) gets Liz drunk because he’s always wanted to DO her (or, you know, Jessica. Same difference, really) and now she’s sluttastic. So he plys her with wine (there are faster ways, 1Bruce1) and then takes her to his father’s club and I’d forgotten how many times the word ‘sexy’ and all its manifestations appears in these books, as well as how many kisses are ‘deep’ or ‘probing.’
ANYwhatisgoingonhere, he gropes her, and by ‘gropes’ I mean ‘tentatively puts hand on boob’ because this is Sweet Valley and despite the deep, probing, sexy kisses, we get up to no shenanigans here. Having made such an auspicious start, he proceeds to leave to get more wine. Liz trips over a rug and bangs her head and I SHIT YOU NOT is all ‘Where am I? What am I doing here?’
Bruce comes back all *leers* Hey baby, remember me? We were making out just now and I was going to doink you but I conveniently vacated the room for a second. Shall we proceed to get it on? And Liz is Like hell we will! And then she bites him and stumbles out the door and into the strong, manly arms of the conveniently-located Todd Wilkins.
And, ok, I used to devour these books and then re-devour them (chew my literary cud, as it were) and even though they are SO BAD, reading Dear Sister was like hanging out with an old friend who is more irritating than you remember, but nostalgically so. The Horrible Dare Challenge ends on a high note!!!
Stay tuned for it’s possibly less-hilarious, but certainly less-eye-gougey sequel, It’s A Wonderful Dare.