Sweet Valley High (The Book Series): Season 1 – It’s A Sweet Valley World After All (Part 2)

The time has come to wrap up the first season of Sweet Valley High (the books, not the TV show) as I see them. If you haven’t already, check out Sweet Valley High (The Book Series): Season 1 – The Skinny And The Perfect Size 6 (Part 1) for ‘The Skinny’ of the season and the first twelve episode (book) recaps.  The last nine episode recaps are below followed by a special section full of insights, trivia and funny tidbits about the book series. If you have read my previous Confessions Of A Bookaholic: Sweet Valley High Editions then the recaps may be nothing new, except serve as a convenient cheat sheet in the future. The last section, however, is completely new information such as Jessica’s secret obsession, what the weather in Sweet Valley tells us, why only one of the twins is put in physical danger and the psychological states of each twin if they were real people. Enjoy! 🙂

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The Perfect Size 6 Of Season 1 (Continued)

Episode 13 – “Kidnapped!”: The Morrows are a wealthy family who just moved to Sweet Valley. Everyone is enjoying a party at their estate and don’t notice Elizabeth is missing. Todd keeps bugging Jessica about it, but she ignores him until he pushes her into the pool. Soon people realize that Elizabeth has been kidnapped and they search for her. Meanwhile, the man who has kidnapped Elizabeth wants to keep her forever because she is nice to him. Todd and Jessica save the day and Elizabeth is rescued who decides throws a party to celebrate said rescue.

Episode 14 – “Deceptions”: Nicholas Morrow falls in love with Elizabeth as soon as he sees her at her ‘I was just rescued from a kidnapper’ party. He tells her it is not fair of her to deny him a date when she doesn’t even know him and Elizabeth who has to be fair, finally caves. Jessica is convinced Nicholas Morrow is her soul mate and Elizabeth keeps her date a secret from her and Todd. Todd catches her anyway and they break up (yes again). They both feel miserable and Nicholas tells Todd he pressured Elizabeth, who obviously only cares about Todd. Todd feels better, they get back together and he lets Elizabeth dance with Nicholas. Also, Jessica flirts with a computer nerd so he can hack into the school’s computer and change one of her grades – it doesn’t work out so well.

Episode 15 – “Promises”: Steven’s girlfriend, Tricia Martin, makes him promise to look after her sister Betsy once she is gone and then dies immediately after he agrees (she had leukemia). The Wakefields take Betsy into their home, even though she has major drug problems. But a night at the Wakefield house cures Betsy of her drug problems; she falls in love with Steven and enrolls in art school. Steven is just not that into her, so he sets her up with his friend Jason. Jessica keeps scheming to get Betsy out of her house faster, but everything blows up in her face. Roger Barrett’s mother has a heart attack and dies and the truth of his birth comes out – poor Roger Barrett is actually millionaire Roger Patman, cousin of the infamous Bruce Patman.

Episode 16 – “Rags To Riches”: Roger Patman (formerly Barrett) used to be the poorest boy in school and now he is the richest. He has a hard time adjusting to upper crust life and his aunt is a total witch to him. Jessica schemes to land Roger as her man and sabotages things with his girlfriend Olivia under the guise of helping Olivia fit into the wealthy lifestyle. Elizabeth and Todd snoop on Regina Morrow after noticing strange behavior and see her meet up with an older man. Lila Fowler, always jealous, also sees Regina and spreads terrible gossip about her. But then the truth comes out, the older man is a fashion magazine editor and Regina has landed on the cover. Lila demands to be on the cover and she is told she isn’t model material. Jessica’s plan is discovered and Olivia and Roger make up. When Roger’s aunt disapproves he tells her to go to hell. (Makes sense, she married money and he is money; new or not, he wins!)

Episode 17 – “Love Letters”: Caroline Pearce is a horrible gossip so nobody likes her. She finds out that the twins’ mother is considering a job in San Francisco and blabs to everyone they are moving, which is the first Elizabeth or Jessica has heard about anything. Caroline copies love letters out of an old book and tells everyone her boyfriend wrote them, but she made the boyfriend up. Everyone makes Caroline promise to bring her boyfriend to a party, otherwise he must not exist and she will be shunned. Elizabeth realizes the truth, but tells Caroline she won’t blow her cover, but she thinks Caroline would be happier if she stopped gossiping. Todd has one of his friends pose as Caroline’s boyfriend for the party, but she tells everyone the truth anyway and then she and her ‘date’ get together for real. The twins flood their parents with tourist brochures and memories of why Sweet Valley is so wonderful, so they won’t leave. Of course, it works.

Episode 18 – “Head Over Heels”: Bruce Patman falls in love with Regina Morrow and the two are great together. Jessica makes a bet with Lila that it won’t last. The loser has to write her own term paper as well as the term paper for the winner. Regina is offered a chance to restore her hearing (she’s deaf) but she has to go to Switzerland for several months. She doesn’t want to leave Bruce, but then Jessica convinces Regina that Bruce is using her so she dumps him. Bruce finds out about Switzerland and decides not to come clean about Jessica’s lies, not wanting to stand between Regina and her cure. He leaves her a note that she won’t find until she is in Switzerland saying how much he loves her and explaining everything. She finds it on the plane and loves him again. Meanwhile, Todd almost breaks up with Elizabeth because a boy flirts with her, but she swears she has no idea who he is. It takes a day for him to realize he must have thought she was Jessica and Lila writes Jessica’s term paper, but Jessica is pissed she gets a D.

Episode 19 – “Showdown”: Lila starts dating a guy named Jack. Jessica decides she wants him and tries to steal him away, but Jack just dates both of them. A mystery photographer is leaving photos for the school paper and Elizabeth finds out that it is a staff member’s younger sister and she is positive her older sibling won’t want her on the paper. Elizabeth comforts her and finds a picture of Enid’s boyfriend, George Warren, making out with Robin Wilson, former fat chick. Elizabeth confronts George who plans to break up with Enid after he takes her for a ride in a plane because he just obtained his pilot’s license. Jessica finds drugs while at Jack’s place and confronts him about them. He attacks and strangles her when Elizabeth and company arrive just in time to rescue her. Jack is arrested and down at the police station everyone hears that George and Enid’s plane has crashed!

Episode 20 – “Crash Landing”: Enid is paralyzed from the plane crash and George feels so guilty he dumps Robin Wilson, while Jessica figures out they have been sneaking around together and gets all of her friends and the cheerleaders to shun her. Robin is depressed and starts to get fat again. Enid has surgery on her spine, but still can’t walk. Elizabeth thinks it is all in her head, because she knows Enid knows something is up with George and sees him dancing with Robin when she tells him to have fun, leaving her alone in her wheelchair. Elizabeth decides to ‘make’ Enid better by having a kid she babysits for pretend to drown in their pool with no one else around. Enid jumps out of her wheelchair and ‘rescues’ the boy and she can walk again. She tells George she just wants him to be happy, they break up and he gets with Robin.

Episode 21 – “Runaway”: Jessica is tired of everyone liking Elizabeth. She doesn’t even want them to talk to her twin, because she should be enough. Rather than think this is unreasonable, she decides to run away from home. Elizabeth helps her father, who is a lawyer, with one of his trials while writing a big girl article for the city paper. After the trial, Elizabeth finds Jessica’s room clean sans Jessica and knows something is wrong. Jessica’s family connects the dots and track down her bus – an actual car chase ensues – and in the end Jessica realizes she is loved and goes home with her family. Jessica is welcomed home with a new sweater for her troubles. Not even lying…

The World of Sweet Valley High Season 1

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Reading can be many things, but it is always educational. Even if that education has no merit on real life, here are some insights, observations and lessons learned (or not) of the world of Sweet Valley High Season 1 (books #1-21).

  • Both of the Wakefield twins are gorgeous with sun kissed blonde hair, beautiful blue eyes and perfect tans. They are too pretty to be models – the perfect size 6! Their entire family is just as beautiful. The first chapter of every book is sure to let us know their mother looks like their older sister, their father is handsome (it gets creepy here) and their brother is a hunk (a younger version of their daddy).

Meanwhile, Elizabeth is completely codependent on her crazy sister. She lets herself be used, even when she is aware of what Jessica is doing. She also can’t say no, unless it comes to sex or drugs. She will do anything you ask her to do because otherwise she thinks she is acting selfishly and if you ask her to keep a promise, even a potentially dangerous one that is morally wrong, she will. We are talking mafia secret-keeping skills over here.

  • Sweet Valley weather, like its town is beautiful and perfect. It is always sunny and a great beach day unless there is going to be some horrible accident or disaster (motor cycle accident, plane crash, you get the idea). So never expect the weather to be anything other than fabulous and if the rain starts up, hold on. You’re in for a bumpy ride…
  • Jessica is obsessed with the number 37. Seriously, page through your books and see how often she uses it (137, 437, 737, etc. all count).
  • Attempted rape happens all the time and is no big deal. (Jessica and the older guy book #5, Elizabeth and Bruce Patman book #7, Jessica and Suzanne’s boyfriend, book #11.)
  • Jessica believes Annie is a slut because she goes out with a different boy every night in book #10, but by that time Jessica had been out with at least nine guys (they were the ones important enough to get actual page time). This does not include her unrequited crushes. Pot? Kettle? What?
  • Elizabeth is kidnapped for several days and when she is rescued is immediately ‘okay’ and goes to a party. Obviously Post Traumatic Stress Disorder does not exist in Sweet Valley. (I could have made these points with all of the attempted rapes too.) On that same note, Jack tries to kill Jessica and strangles her, but again she is completely herself within seconds of being rescued.
  • For the most part, only Elizabeth is put in great physical peril (coma, kidnapped, etc.) that could end in death. Why? Because I have a feeling even the writers understand that if it were Jessica, a lot of the readers could consider it karma. When bad things happen to ‘bad people’ others tend to go on unfazed.
  • Everyone loves Elizabeth, but everyone lusts after Jessica.
  • Elizabeth and Todd are said to have the ideal relationship, loving and pure. Hold onto that though, because in the first season they have already broken up at least three times. That pattern only continues since Todd cannot deal with Elizabeth being Jessica’s scapegoat and Elizabeth can’t handle Todd speaking poorly of Jessica. Also, Todd flirts with everyone, down to putting suntan lotion on other girl’s backs (book #8) or running around with dozens of girls on his motorcycle (book #6). But if Elizabeth even says hello to a guy Todd doesn’t know, enter Todd’s doppelganger also known as, Possessive Pig. Pig makes many more appearances while Todd admonishes Elizabeth for being insecure about their relationship when it comes to him and his women.
  • True love transforms a person. Bruce Patman, a wannabe rapist and total asshat becomes only the occasional jerk once he falls in love with Regina Morrow. (Hey, I can buy the first sentence, but Bruce… I dunno.)

And that concludes the first season of Sweet Valley High: The Book Series. I hope you’re ready for the beginning of the second season, which I’ll be taking on in my Confessions Of A Bookaholic post this coming Monday. It starts off with the first Sweet Valley High Super Edition ever! Now that’s how you do a season premiere. If you’re not hooked yet, you will be soon!

-DMW

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