It’s another strong list for Sweet Valley High with perhaps the best Super Edition yet! 🙂
Sweet Valley Scale: 4 out of 5 Twins
Pick Of The Bunch Rating: Fourth Place
Everyone at Sweet Valley High is surprised that football star Ken Matthews has fallen in love with Suzanne Hanlon – the two could not be more different. Sophisticated Suzanne likes poetry, art films and gourmet food while Ken’s idea of a good time is listening to rock music and eating pizza. Elizabeth knows that Suzanne is all wrong for Ken, but he is blind with love. Ken is willing to do anything Suzanne wants just to make her happy. Can anyone help him come to his senses before he gets hurt?
Suzanne Hanlon is what I call a rich bitch. You know the kind of person who believes she is better than everyone else, to the tenth power. Throughout the entire book she is putting down dumb jocks when Ken’s life is football and asking him to do the things that only interest her. Ken always does, sure that if Suzanne likes it, it must be the right thing for them. What is it with Sweet Valley High kids losing themselves in someone they’re dating to the point that they disappear? At least it was a guy this time though, since in the past it has only been the girls who act this stupid.
Speaking of stupid, the main focus of this book is actually on the fact that Ken is failing English and has to get a C on a short story that is due in order to play at a big game coming up. He asks for Elizabeth’s help and she gives him notes and one of her own stories to see what works. He can’t tell Suzanne he is failing because he’s afraid she’ll dump him and every time he sits down to do his assignment, Suzanne insists they go somewhere and pouts when he tries to get out of it. So, of course he doesn’t finish his story and instead turns in Elizabeth’s with his name on it. The English teacher, Mr. Collins loves the story and copies it for the staff of the school newspaper in hopes to print it. (I don’t know if this was a thing at most schools, but at my high school, the paper was a paper, not a place for stories or poetry. We had an annual literary magazine for that and yes I know because I was the editor-in chief of the magazine and entertainment editor and columnist for the paper. I have always been a writing nerd.)
Elizabeth is furious, but doesn’t tell anyone and confronts Ken. He feels lousy about it (as he should) and tells Elizabeth he is going to come clean to Mr. Collins. He goes home and writes a story for Suzanne, which is a fictionalized account about a boy who steals another student’s paper in hopes of keeping the woman he loves. Ugh. The truth comes out, Suzanne dumps him and he ends up in the principal’s office. Instead of getting in trouble for plagiarism, however, he is praised for his honesty and while his actual story would have received an A, he gets a C. C is for consequences after all.
There is this big deal picnic at the end of the book, after the football game (they won of course, since Ken was able to play) and Jessica is in charge of it, but forgets to take care of the food so makes peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. She also ropes her sister into manning the kissing booth. I don’t know why she said yes since the series has already had at least two people have or get mono, but whatever. After the game, Suzanne tells Ken she was wrong for dumping him and while the book has been fun so far, what he has to say to her makes it worth reading. Seriously, if you don’t want to read it at least skip to the end – it is awesome! 😉
“Spring Break” (Super Edition)
Sweet Valley Scale: 5 out of 5 Twins
Pick Of The Bunch Rating: First Place
Elizabeth and Jessica Wakefield are bursting with excitement. Spring break has arrived and they are going to the glamorous South of France! It is a trip of a lifetime and Elizabeth can’t wait to practice her French while Jessica is dying to meet those romantic French boys. With its beach clubs, magnificent mansions and the glittering Mediterranean Sea, the Riviera turns out to be even more beautiful and wondrous than they could have imagined. The woman they are staying with is a welcome hostess, but her son, Rene, is arrogant and rude. Can the twins figure out why he seems to despise them, or will he ruin their dream vacation?
Elizabeth and Jessica are participating in a ten-day student exchange program. While they’re in France, Avery Glize’s (their hostess) daughter, Ferney, is staying with their family in Sweet Valley. They’re both excited, but Avery’s son, Rene, is a complete creep even driving back from the airport. He keeps offending the twins on purpose, and says how terrible Americans are and so they are both terrible. They try to ignore him and enjoy their time in France without any guides. Jessica meets a boy named Marc who she uses to get her to the beach. Elizabeth finds a dog and returns it to her owner who ends up being a countess! She introduces Elizabeth to her handsome and sophisticated grandson, Jean-Claude, and Elizabeth is instantly smitten. They set a date for the next day.
The next day Avery needs a favor and Rene isn’t there because he took off once his mother asked him to show the twins around. Jessica is with Marc so Elizabeth ends up having to go all around town and misses her date with Jean-Claude. Jessica is supposed to stall him, but when he answers the door, she decides she is in love with him and poses as Elizabeth and then lies to Elizabeth and tells her she was stood up (bitch!). Rene humiliates Elizabeth, but she tries to keep her anger in check when she realizes his problems with Americans stem from his father running out on them, who was an American. He is also terrified of the water after his best friend drowned a few years ago (this will be important in a minute). Jessica keeps seeing Jean-Claude and Elizabeth goes to an art gallery with a deflated Marc (Jessica stood him up).
A terrible storm rolls in while Jessica and Jean-Claude are sailing. Elizabeth finds out she is with Jean-Claude and becomes worried because of the storm. Rene becomes a person and drives her to the beach and finds both of them close to drowning. Without thinking, Rene dives in and saves the day. Suddenly, he isn’t such a jerk anymore. And can I just say, do you realize in every single Super Edition so far, Jessica is in some kind of danger or puts someone else in some kind of danger because of her own stupidity (sneaking off, scheming, etc.)? Anyway, Elizabeth sees how much Jessica loves Jean-Claude (gag) so she pretends to be Jessica. Apparently, the adrenaline takes care of all that anger (doormat!).
Meanwhile in Sweet Valley, the twins’ brother Steven is a douche to his girlfriend Cara and stands her up to worship Ferney because she looks just like his dead girlfriend, Tricia Martin. By the end, he realizes she is nothing like Tricia and feels guilty. You would think that a guy with twin sisters who are complete opposites would know just because two people look alike, does not mean they are alike, but whatever.
This might be my favorite Super Edition yet. I mean, it is Sweet Valley meets France – what’s not to love? 😉
“Alone In The Crowd”
Sweet Valley Scale: 4.5 out of 5 Twins
Pick Of The Bunch Rating: Third Place
Lynne Henry is tall, awkward and incredibly shy. The one bright spot in her life is songwriting; in her room, playing her guitar, Lynne forgets her loneliness and becomes someone special. Then The Droids, Sweet Valley High’s most popular rock band, hold a songwriting competition, Lynne can’t help but enter it – anonymously of course. When The Droids hear Lynne’s song, they know they’ve found the clear winner. Guy Chesney, the attractive lead guitarist vows to find the songwriter, no matter what. Only Elizabeth Wakefield knows Lynne’s secret. Can Elizabeth persuade her to come forward and share her talent or is Lynne destined to remain alone in the crowd.
This book didn’t have the craziest schemes or danger, but it was one of the ones I liked the most. Lynne is ugly-pretty. You know where she is naturally beautiful but hides herself in baggy clothes, glasses too big for her face and doesn’t even brush her hair. Imagine that when she wears clothes that fits, combs her hair and ditches the glasses she is gorgeous. This is more or less about her transformation and everyone else plays bit parts. At first, she doesn’t consider entering the contest, but suddenly inspired by her crush on Guy Chesney, she does so, anonymously. Even after she has found out her song won, and The Droids, particularly Guy, are scrambling to find out just who anonymous is, she doesn’t come forward, sure that it being her will leave everyone disappointed. She snaps out of it, actually takes care of herself (I can’t call it a makeover because she wore the clothes her mother bought her earlier that weren’t baggy, wore contacts she already had but never used, and did something with her hair that was not extreme – so she just started to pay attention).
Liz hears Lynne singing as she is teaching some children how to play the guitar and recognizes Lynne’s song submission. Lynne gets her to promise to keep quiet (we know all about Liz and her promises) but Elizabeth gives Guy a clue by accident and he suspects that anonymous is really Lynne. This is perfect since he has fallen in love with the songwriter and how would it have turned out if it was Ken Matthews or something?
This is a book not to be missed in the Sweet Valley High series. And at the end, we find out Elizabeth’s best friend from middle school is moving back to Sweet Valley and Elizabeth is ecstatic. So, you know you’ll have to read that one too. 😉
Sweet Valley Scale: 4.5 out of 5 Twins
Pick Of The Bunch Rating: Second Place
Elizabeth Wakefield is ecstatic when she finds out her dearest childhood friend, Amy Sutton, is moving back to Sweet Valley. Elizabeth can’t wait to see her again and introduce her to her current best friend, Enid Rollins. When Amy arrives, she is an instant and undeniable hit at Sweet Valley High. She’s glamorous and with her bubbly personality, she becomes the newest member of the cheerleading squad. To Elizabeth’s shock, however, Amy and Enid seem to dislike each other and are headed for a showdown. Will the prospect of having two best friends leave Elizabeth with none?
I was so excited that Amy Sutton was coming back to Sweet Valley! I used to read the ‘Sweet Valley Twins and Friends’ series when I was much younger and before I got into this series, which follows the twins and their friends in the sixth grade. Amy rocked back then and had a lot in common with Elizabeth. Back then she was the anti-Jessica, but now she is just another Jessica (Jessica was much more likeable and less crazy in that series as well). Elizabeth pushes Amy and Enid together, but they just don’t click. Elizabeth is in complete denial of who Amy is now and how she has changed. This really resonated with me, because I had a close childhood friend; we were friends for 24 years, but she became a completely different person – one who was acted a lot like Amy in this book. I ended the friendship, which was hard, but had just become a nightmare where the world revolved around her and owed her everything – I was better off. Anyway, back to the book…
Amy is boy-crazy, manipulative and selfish – seriously another Jessica. She threatens Enid to stay away from Elizabeth and Enid doesn’t say anything about it. Elizabeth keeps blowing Enid off to try to spend time with Amy who keeps blowing her off. Instead, Amy becomes really tight with Jessica, Lila and Cara and joins the cheerleading squad (one of the cheerleaders just moved away).
Lila throws a big party in honor of her hot cousin Christopher (it gets weird here) and tries to set him up with Amy, but he isn’t interested and goes for Enid. (For being a loser according to Jessica and her friends, Enid lands the best guys without even trying.) Amy keeps trying to get between the two and then threatens Enid again, but this time Elizabeth overhears. Everything is out in the open. Elizabeth gives up on her old friendship with Amy and makes it up to Enid.
This was a great book: one that held my interest and took no time at all to get through. I also think it is one of the few Sweet Valley High books, which carries important messages that can relate to real life. People change and you can’t stop them from changing. Sometimes there is nothing left to do, but let go. I debated for awhile on if it should be a perfect five, but realized if I had to think it over, then it was the next best thing. Still, well worth a read!
I told you that you were in for a treat with this list: a trip to France and many adventures there, football-playing puppy dogs, a transformation and an actual life lesson (that has universal relevance!). This may be my favorite list yet… or at least so far. 😉