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
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!