Saturday, July 31, 2010

There is nothing worse in the world than being fat ... aka SVH #4 Power Play

I thought about abandoning this blog altogether but then comes news that Sweet Valley Confidential is coming for reals and I just couldn't. In fact, it inspired me to go back and start reading Sweet Valley High vintage crappola and I stumbled upon "Power Play" (#4) first and decided to read. What a gem this one was. A seriously must read to be believed kind of book. What's worse than being fat? Nothing, in Sweet Valley world!

Basically I'll set up the plot for you. Too-fat-to-be-allowed-to-live Robin Wilson has been following too-beautiful-and-size-six Jessica Wakefield around for months. Why? Robin wants a friend and a spot in the coolest sorority on campus (by the way, do high school sororities really exist? How come I've never heard of them?), Pi Beta Alpha. Any girl who's anyone is a Pi-face. So Jessica is not about to let Robin the tub-o-lard into the group so Elizabeth takes it upon herself to nominate Robin for the group and thus the hi jinks begin!

The book opens with Elizabeth getting a call from Robin's mom. Mrs. Wilson says she is worried Robin will drop out of school if she doesn't make the Pis. Elizabeth doesn't get it. "Why, she was one of the smartest girls at Sweet Valley!" (true quote from the book, including the EXCLAMATION mark!). This just won't do, Robin dropping out of school that is.

And then who should show up at her door but Robin! Go figure. And go figure, but Robin is noshing on a chocolate bar which horrifies Elizabeth enough to ask, "Robin, doesn't eating like that make you ... breakout?" Elizabeth has to catch herself before saying "fat". Fat is a four-letter-word to Elizabeth, apparently. But seriously, Elizabeth sucks. She claims not to care about looks but here she is showing what a true hypocrite she can be, but a clever one who doesn't admit she is one.

Then we get the obligatory comparison of Jessica and Elizabeth's perfect blonde bombshell bodies to Robin's gargantuan, mutated form.

So Robin goes on and on about what a pleasure it would be to be a Pi-face and Elizabeth knowing Jessica will conveniently "forget" to nominate her fattie BFF, tells Robin she will do it! Elizabeth is so noble, isn't she?

Robin then leaves all glowy and chocolate-covered and Jessica arrives. She finds out Elizabeth's plan and is determined to stop it. Dun dun dun DUN. We can't after all be known as the "Pi Butterball Alphas". That's supposed to be funny - that line -but it failed. Epically.

Next chapter, the Pi-faces meet and Jessica wants to hurry through the meeting so they don't have to address the topic of Tubbie Robin. However, Florence Nightingale Elizabeth arrives and puts up Robin's name. Total silence and then pandemonium. However, no one will dare go against a Wakefield so Robin's nominated. For now. Jessica soon concocts tasks Robin must perform to become a member. Off to Robin's house Jessica, Lila and Cara soon go (sans Liz who is such a good friend to Robin that she has to see Todd instead!).

Naturally, Robin is so happy to hear she's a pledge and offers the merry band of bitches every snack and dessert she has at her disposal. Cause God knows Fatties want skinny girls to be fatties too.

The first task for Robin to do is run around the school's track five times a day for a week. Naturally no one in Sweet Valley has ever seen a fat person exercise so all the kids descend on the track to watch, mock and point at Robin as she goes around the track which is Sweet Valley's version of a public hanging. Elizabeth is so upset about what Jessica is doing and approaches Robin. Tells Robin she looks "terrible". Robin says she's never looked good in shorts. That's not what I meant, Says Lizzie. Oh please! This ghostwriter of this book loves taking cracks at Robin in every way she/he/It can. Maybe it was Francine Pascal's doing. Who knows but the cracks are lame and tired as a toothless two-dollar whore.

Then Robin's next task is revealed. Through sobs, Robin reveals Jessica and her merry band of bitches are forcing Robin to wear a two-piece/bikini to the beach on Saturday! Oh shit. Robin should quit now and save herself the humiliation but nope, she weathers on with Florence Nightingale Liz's solemn vow they will get through this together. The scenes are short though so we are saved too much Robin flailing about miserably. However, she gets a ride home with the merry band of bitches who declare she has one more pledge task to perform: She must get Bruce of 1bruce1 Patman fame to take her to the Discomarathon dance! Discomarathon? Disco-marathon? This is definitely seventies/eighties territory!

Robin is all a'panicked. How the hell is she going to get hot studly Bruce Patman to take her to the Disco-whatever? Elizabeth says it will happen, no worries. Robin is not so sure but Elizabeth makes her promise to ask Bruce. Robin agrees and Elizabeth sets off to play Florence once again and mastermind a date with Bruce and Fattie Robin.

Elizabeth approaches cool Bruce at school and after a lot of awkward, lame humor manages to persuade him to take Robin to the dance in turn for Liz writing an article about his tennis-playing prowess. Elizabeth agrees and goes home and eggs on Jessica about how she is sure Robs will get a date with Bruce. Fat chance, believes Jessica!

Robin hesitates still in calling Bruce but after being egged on by Florence-Liz, she agrees to do it. Later she comes up to Liz in a fluster saying Bruce has agreed to take her. Score one for the fat girls! Or not ...

Because the Disco-sham whatever rolls around and its a nightmare for poor Robs. Bruce comes in with Robin and then ... big surprise ... humiliates her!

"Okay, that's it. I brought you to the dance, Tubby. I've got better things to
do now. Hey! Anybody want to steer Queen Mary around the floor tonight? She's
all yours!"

And Bruce walked out. The manbitch said that and walked out! I would skin him alive but naturally Robin runs out in tears. Elizabeth catches up to her and tries to force Robin to look into a mirror, look past the fat rolls, and see all her inner-beauty and what a lovely face she has. Robin can't see it. Enid tells Liz that Todd is going to rearrange Bruce's face (man that would rock!) but of course Florence-Liz, stops him and instead sends doofy Allan Waters' after Robin so she can break up the man-bitch fight. What a turd Lizzie is!

Allan catches up to Robs, Robs insults him a few times in her anger and humiliation, and then realizes at the end of that chapter, that he has really nice eyes! Sweet huh?

A chapter of side stuff happens and then its voting time for Pi-face Pledges. The girls gather at Cara's house. To make a long, boring story short this time, Robin is blackballed by none other than Jessica who tries to act innocent but of course fails. Jessica tries to be pious and says she will tell Robin the news since they are "such good friends". Its obvious from the transparent writing that the bitch just wants Robin to be further humiliated. Jessica gets girl boners hurting people, I swear.

Elizabeth and Jessica break the news to Robin who is horrified and in disbelief that she didn't make it. She runs out in tears and Elizabeth, er, Florence chastises Jessica for her bad behavior. Jessica cares ... NOT!

Elizabeth takes her frustrations to the Eyes and Ears column and pens an article about the snobbery at SVH. Jessica is angry. Big deal.

Later, Robin shows up at school and her happy-go-lucky demeanor is gone, replaced by another tent dress and frown.

Mere days pass. A stupid subplot where Lila is stealing things to get Daddy's attention pops up. I worry we'll not find out what's up with Fattie Robs. Then she pops up and lo and behold ...

Robin's getting her skinny on! Apparently Liz sees her eating healthy. Her plate which is "usually heaped with French Fries and double burgers, now only held lettuce leaves, two tomato slices, and a hard-boiled egg". Say what? What self-respecting fat girl would eat that much food in front of her peers? I think us big'guns would rather die first. Francine is lame and so are her ghost writing pals if they think anyone would load up that way in front of their skinny peers, even skinny peers with great character like Florence-Liz.
I will wrap up the remainder of this review tomorrow so tune in!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Part 2 of SVJH: Get Real, review

So picking up where I left off last nite ...

Elizabeth makes the paper (shocker!) and so does Anna and Salvador. Elizabeth notes how natural it feels to her when Salvie wraps his arm around her shoulder. I bet you all can see where this is going ... If not, get some glasses!

In this book, Jessica catches Lacey SMOKING. OHMIGOD I had no idea teens actually smoked. Yikes! In SV world, its got to be a sin somehow. Lacey also calls cheerleaders "lame". Truer words were never spoken lol

That night, Liz has a newspaper meeting and her and Salvie are assigned to work together stuffing envelopes or something lame like that. Somehow, of course, Liz gets newspaper print on her face and it smears and Salvie leans over and wipes it away and they have a "moment". Like a sexually charged moment where their eyes lock all romantic like. Urgh. Where's Todd Wilkins when you need him?

Soon enough there is another schedule thingy with brilliance. It says things like at 6:25 PM, Jessica and Mr. Wakefield .. blah blah blah ... One interesting thing I did learn. Tim is not a BF of Anna Banana's mama but rather Anna's DEAD brother. Boy, do I have egg on my face!

Salvie gets tickets to see a band and The Dona (he calls his gramma that for whatever reason) tells him to take Anna. Instead who should he call but ... LIZ?! Who didn't also see that coming. This book couldn't be more predictable if it had been written by one of the Wakefield twins themselves.

Lila and the Unicorns stand up Jessica at the movie theater. She's all wounded and embarrassed. Poor girl. Meanwhile, Liz and Salvie are on their "date" and Salvie is lying about Anna not wanting to come to see the band. When he didn't even ask her. What a toad!

Even worse is that Anna was supposed to hang out with Stupid Salvador and he didn't bother informing Anna even cryptically that he would be busy. The sole funny part of the book was Anna seeing him and Liz together and dousing them with her bottle of Gatorade. Haha. Couldn't happen to two more bratty persons.

To wrap up this long review, I'll give you the short of it. Lacey and Jessica make peace, Anna and Elizabeth and Salvie do too. Of course the ending was really supposed to be a cliffhanger but just left me feeling gross. Sal and Liz are not meant to be, not even close. And Liz thinking this makes it all the more clear:

I hoped Salvador was sighing because he was bored. And not
because he was wondering what it might be like to be in a darkened room on a
couch alone ... with me.

OOh Liz has got the 'mones as my mom would say. HOROMONES. They had always been so latent and I guess now these writers were going for a more mature Liz but damn, she annoyed me making googly eyes at Salvador with Anna just on the other side of the couch. I do not see this ending well. I like Anna now so Liz better watch herself! Salvador can piss off. He's annoying, an annoying little turd.

Overall, this book pretty much sucked so I am being extremely nice by giving it a 2 out of 5 stars. Hope the next one is better.

Stay tuned for more SV reviews and shit-giggles soon!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Sweet Valley Junior High #1: Get Real

I was going to start reviewing the books in order of their publishing date but I happened to already have this one on hand so why shouldn't I begin with it? lol So I will be doing an in-depth review of this book in my post. If you haven't read it, please be forewarned that spoilers abound lol

So okay the gist of the story is that Jessie and Lizzie are going to a new school called - what else?! - Sweet Valley Junior High. (Such original names in this town I know, lol) Basically, they have been "rezoned" (a word dropped copiously in just the first few chapters) and will be two of the very few sent to SVJH. This means no Todd, no Lila, no Unicorn Club members. THE HORROR!

It would admittedly be intimidating going to a new school where you don't know anyone really but Jessica takes it in stride and is even excited about it while Liz, the worrywort, is sure that its going to blow chunks. And with a little twist of irony, you can easily imagine what happens next. Liz ends up loving it and Jessica ... not so much!

There is this new fad in the books to do a) the POVs in first person (oddly, its alright but the girls don't sound very Wakefield-like) and b) to do schedules to show exactly what everyone is up to at 6:45, 7:25, et al. These are some choice ones:

6:19 AM - Jessica French-braids her hair.

Very exciting stuff, huh?

6:25 AM - Jessica places her hair in a bun.

Woo the plot thickens.

6:35 AM - Jessica is in the kitchen, cleaning out her backpack from last
year ... "What is that?" Elizabeth asks, pointing to a greenish square
Jessica has put on the counter.

"It used to be a ham sandwich," Jessica says. "Now it has its own
ecosystem, complete with foodchain."

Say WHAT?! Since when does brain-dead Jess have any idea what an ecosystem is? Already I am sensing the series is going to be way different than the other ones (or I would be sensing it if I hadn't already read 4 other books in the series in the past and knew for sure things would be way different).

7:15 AM - Salvador wakes up, looks at the clock, says something in Spanish not
printable here - and leaves for school still wearing the teeshirt he slept in.

Adios mios!

Now who is this Salvador, you ask? Well he's no Bruce or Todd that's for sure. So far, as of chapter 3, he sounds like a little turd. He is not very nice to his bestest bestie of all time, Anna. Anna who I don't get a clear mental picture of at all initially. Just that she may be an insecure, needy tomboy.

The twins get to school for the first time. Awkward locker assignment for Jessica; she has to share with some kid named Reese or Ronald or whatever who is obsessed with prime numbers and quarks. Why do the nerds always have to obsessed with quarks?

Liz makes friends with her locker partner Brian right away. He sounds cute and friendly but right away, she only has eyes for Salvador, who flirts with her shamelessly and she blushes and does all that girly mumbo jumbo.

Jessica goes to class, feels like an idiot, feels like a geek. The girl she wants to be friends with, Lacey, is a beeyotch so that hurts Jessica and there are some vague references to "Pineapple Heads". Urgh. So far I am none too impressed with this line of books. Liz and Jess don't seem like themselves at all. They must have switched bodies again. Invasion of the Wakefield Snatchers. (Eww that sounds dirty!)

The twins appear to have no classes together and P.E. is ironically a big adventure for Elizabeth who's new friend Anna is not wearing a sports bra which the gym teacher points out to her humiliation. They use the word "breasts" in a SV book. I could keel over from shock right now, seriously. I think SV only used the word breast one other time and that rocked the world too. And then the plot thickens unexpectedly! Anna doesn't wear bras yet so Lizzie suggests they skip school and go get one. Again, who is this Liz Wakefield? She may still be blonde and beautiful, but she's no Elizabeth I know.

So Elizabeth and Anna Banana go on a bra hunt. Elizabeth mentions the words "cramps". As in menstrual cramps. I didn't know SV-ers even knew the meaning of the words. Its a shock, especially with Liz talking so freely about it. Anna thinks about someone named Tim, who I assume is her mom's new BF or husband and he don't sound that friendly.

The lady at the House of Lingerie where they go is rude as of course all bra salespersons must be *RME* Anna is changing when Salvador himself shows up. Awkward comedy ensues. No, really bad humor. Just baddd. Who wrote this book? A chimpanzee? I think they could even do it better. So far I am terribly disappointed in this series. Its the weakest link. Goodbye.

Or not. Cause I am determined to persevere and make it through although at page 52 I am already thinking a lobotomy would be more stimulating.

Next day, Jessica goes to P.E. and that weird gym teacher Ms. Scarlett talks about periods and menstruating. My god, what is the world coming to?!! lol

This post will be in 2 parts. I will publish part 2 later in the morning or afternoon. Thanks!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

You're Invited!

Join me in reading and discussing the first Sweet Valley University novel, book 1, "College Girls". Beginning June 1st 2010, we will have a read-a-thon of the book, discuss it chapter by chapter, and all participating followers of this blog will be entered in a contest to win a $15.00 gift card. I hope you will all join in!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Just FYI

I was shocked - yes, shocked! heehe - when researching this series for my blog that not only had SVH been re-released but that they had made some decidedly new and unpopular updates to the book. The perfect size 6 blondes are no more! They are now the perfect size four! Like size 6 wasn't threatening enough for young and old readers alike. I bet Victoria Beckham is laughing somewhere about now! I will be chronicling my adventures with the original book versions. You know the ones from the eighties and nineties with the big hair! I might purchase a copy of the updated Double Love but its doubtful so when my review goes up, it will be the original book I am talking about. I like things old school, OG, original, what can I say? Here's a peek at the new cover though:

I do believe that the new Liz and Jess are represented on the cover by All My Children and Grey's Anatomy star, Leven Rambin. Can anyone verify that? I think its got to be her, I know soap stars have been modeling for book covers forever and why not? They are generally a gorgeous lot of people. Anyway, look for a new site header soon made by my dear friend Ayshen and soon my review of Double Love will be up as well. I will include spoilers in my reviews so please know that in advance as well! Also if you're interested in watching Season 1 of the SVH tv-show please comment and I can get you downloads of it. Thanks!

About this blog

Hey everyone. My name is Daphne and I have two other book blogs but this one will almost entirely relate to the Sweet Valley verse. I will attempt to read every Sweet Valley book out there, beginning with Sweet Valley High #1: Double Love. What inspired me to do this? Boredom, maybe, fanaticism, more likely. And just plain missing the days of yesteryear when I raced to the bookstore for the latest copy of SVH or SVU or whatever series I was into at the moment. I hope you will join me on my reading journey! I will be posting reviews of the books, read-alongs, read-a-thons, and offering giveaways so be sure to follow me and bookmark this page.
Thanks and rock on SV fans!